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Welcome, Stranger

Short Summary: Bran meets Verin and her father.
Date (real-life): 2010-06-10
Scene Location: Fletcher, Anduin Village
Date (in-game): 02-25
Time of Day: Morning
Weather: Fair


The small building's door opens to admit you.


This little building houses the shop and residence of the Fletcher; the shop is on the ground floor, and the modest home above in the loft. Woodworking tools lie about the table which sets against the wall to the right as you enter including a knife-like tool, several strangely shaped stones with grooves in them and what appears to be a fine tipped painting brush. Beside that is a coil of long horse hair and a small ceramic jar of glue. An open birch bark container holds various feathers. On the left side of the room is a bundle of slim straight hardwood lengths ready for smoking and working. In the back, a wide ladder leads through a hole in the ceiling to the loft above.


 The door opens at your touch to reveal a small, cozy building. Inside, the air is a touch warmer from the fire in the middle of the building, over which a small earthen kiln sits to harden the arrow shafts.




Obvious exits:



*WHACK* *WHACK* precedes the sound of dust hitting the floor.

"No, Verin, you're not doing it right. It's like this," a man says to the girl next to him. By all appearances, she's only knocking on rocks, but apparently she's knocking them together wrong. They're both wearing thick woolen mittens on their hands, and the man takes the rocks from the girl. "Watch carefully this time," he admonishes, then brandishing the dull rock in his left hand, lines it up on the corner of the shinier rock. He knocks them together lightly a couple times, then swings back with his left hand and crashes it hard against the rock in the right hand.

*WHACK* *CRAAAAAACK* A long, thick sliver breaks free from the rock held in the right hand. Without another word to the girl, the man removes the mittens from his hands and stands up. Without any indication that he'd seen anyone else entering the building, he offers a greeting. "Good afternoon, sir!" he says to Bran. "I'm trying to teach my daughter," he motions with one hand towards the girl, "how to make arrowheads. How can we help you?"


Bran frowns at the display, deep lines in his face suggesting that this is a common expression for him. His eyes follow the man as he stands, almost warily. "Luck with that," he says in a tone that suggests he has little hope for the man. Narrowed eyes survey the shop, and he wanders slowly about the open space. "My quiver's empty, but my purse isn't quite," he says as the silence draws out. "Thought I might correct the former, 'fore the latter changes itself." He arches one eyebrow at the fletcher, as if that explains everything.


With a casual shrug of his head towards the girl, Telford says, "Eh. She'll get it. I recall it took me a few years to get it down to only one blow, and I still don't get it every time." The girl picks up the rocks her father had put down and, without turning around to see, he says "Remember to prepare it first. You always forget that," he says with a grin on his face. The quiet sounds of rock hitting rock can be heard as the girl "prepares" one of the rocks.

"Well, we can't have empty quivers, can we? Never know when orcs might be approaching the pass. How many you wanting?"


Bran grimaces as he weighs a coinpurse in his hand. "Twenty?" The shadow of a shrug passes over him as he speaks. "If we see orcs, I doubt there'll even be time for twenty. Still, best be prepared." He pulls the purse from his belt, silver glinting from within. "Seeing orcs around here, lately?" His voice is soft, flat, almost emotionless. "Seems to be spreading, doesn't it?" He shakes his head slightly, causing the shadow from his hood to dance across his lined face. "Dark times."


"Dark times," echoes the fletcher. Reaching beside him, he pulls out a stack of arrows and counts them slowly, as if perhaps counting isn't something he does well. He stops a couple times, as if thinking, then continues. "They're a little less around here during the winter months, but come spring thaw over around the High Pass and they'll be flooding just the same as the melting snows into the river." He glances over his head at his daughter, then lowers his voice slightly as he turns back to the stranger. "Ever since her ma died, I try to stay out of the front line so much but I remember how it was when I was younger and fighting with the main guard." He eyes the stranger carefully. "You from over Laketown? Don't think I seen you around the village here much." The twenty arrows fully counted now, he pushes them towards the man.


"Haven't been 'round the village here long." It's not exactly an answer, but he presses on. "Best to let younger men do the fighting, Fletcher," Bran says with a glance at the daughter. "Men with less to lose, less counting on 'em." The last is added with a lopsided grin that has the effect of making him look immeasurably sad, rather than happy. He empties a few coins into his gloved hand, eyeing them almost as if they might bite him. "What do I owe you?"


"The name's Telford," he says to the man. Seeming to assume that Laketown was an accurate guess, he continues, "Never did understand how you folk can live on top the lake that way. Me, I like the soft squish of moss and grass beneath my feet." Behind him, Verin cracks the rocks together again, but still there isn't the loud *CRACK* sound that was produced when Telford produced the thick piece. He chuckles softly and shakes his head, then comments. "Persistent, that one. Won't never give up on nothing." Then louder, he offers the man a price for the arrows. "Not aiming to shoot no animals with these arrows are you? You know we don't take to that in these woods. My arrows, I make 'em just for the killing of orcs and trolls."


"Persistent," Bran says with a grimace, as if he tasted the word and didn't care for it. "Well, that's something for ya." He counts out the coins and holds stacks them neatly, pushing them toward Telford with a shake of his head. "Not much of a hunter myself," he admits. "I can track a bit, when the ground's good and the weather cooperates. Fair hand at that, when it comes down to followin' a group of folk, or something darker, but I've never been much for chasing game." With a nocommittal shrug, he adds, "Guess I'll fit right in here, then. Once I find a use for myself, anyway."


"Well, I'm sure as we can always use more like yourself who don't have no love for the orcs." Behind Telford comes the sound of a chair scraping against the floor. Turning his head, he watches as his daughter places the rocks on the chair, then shakes off the mittens and places them neatly together beside the rocks. With a bit of a limp to her gait, the girl makes her way over to her father and the customer. Standing on her father's right side, Verin lays a gentle hand on his arm and bestows an indulgent smile on him before looking across at Bran. With a quiet laugh, she says, "Don't let papa bore you to tears. One mention of orcs and he won't stop talking for hours. I'm Verin," she tells the man bluntly, without waiting for a polite introduction. "Everyone has their own best use you know. I'm going to be a falconer when I grow up." Telford opens his mouth, but Verin hurries on before her father can interrup. "A falconer who makes very fine arrowheads," she adds with a grin.


Bran nods, eyes taking Verin in slowly. "Looks like you're well on your way to grown up," he says evenly. "Falconer," he goes on with a half-shake of his head and an eye for Telford. "Reckon your father would rather you take up the family business, then?" That sad grin threatens to take over his face again as he adds, "There's something to be said for taking after your da. Still, folk have to run on their own. Make their own mistakes, don't they?" He picks up one of his newly bought arrows after removing his woolen gloves and tucking them into his belt. "Reckon we've made ours," he tells Telford as he tests the point of the arrow with a finger. "I have."


The daughter squares her shoulders a bit when the stranger mentions that she's nearly full grown, but drops her gaze and squirms just slightly at the mention of her father's desire for her to take up the family business. She eyes her father out of the corner of her downcast eye, even as the father is gazing down. He pats his daughter's hand in a gentle, loving way. "Reckon you're right, people need to make their own mistakes." He offers a wry grin, as if a memory has tickled him. "Still, fletching has been in the family since .. well, my grandfather learned it from his gr..." and Verin interrupts. "Papa, he doesn't need to hear our family story." Glancing up at Bran, she tells him. "I'm sure you can do whatever you'd want here - except be a falconer," she adds hastily, with a wide grin. "That is, if you plan to stay around here long?" she asks him.


Bran turns the arrow with no particular flair, placing it into his quiver. "I just might," he says after a moment's pause. "I'd been thinking on it. Figured I'd see what work came along, see where that got me." From the look of his calloused hands and weathered features, he's no stranger to work. "Doubt I'd take to falconry," he adds after a moment with no trace of irony in his voice. "Man could lose an eye or a finger; I don't have any to spare." A gravelly chuckle follows that, but it's not the sort of laugh that catches on with a crowd. "I'll try and stick to safer work."


Heaving a sigh - probably of relief, since it corresponds to the man saying that he's not interested in falconry - Verin nods her head. "Well, if you need a tour around the village or need someone to introduce you to folks, you just let us know." Looking up at her father, Verin asks, "I could show him around, right papa? Maybe they need someone over at the stables," she suggests to her father, then looks at the man. "Don't know if you know nothing about horses, but they's always needing people to muck out the stalls and whatnot. Since you're not too keen on losing a finger or eye," she says without a trace of mirth, "then you might not want to fight the orcs. Pa's uncle Acton was killed, and I've heard of people losing arms and legs even. Oh, I know!" she says quickly, eagerly. "Maybe pa could teach you how to make arrowheads. It's not so difficult really," she reassures the man, even though she'd been unable to produce a flake.


Bran shakes his head. "No, I doubt I'm much for the fletcher's trade. Never was the persistent type." His hand drops to his side in a comfortable, reflexive motion, and his eyes flicker slightly as they don't meet the hilt of a sword there. Instead, he tucks a thumb into his belt. "Orcs, I can handle," he says with a weary sort of confidence. "Horses, maybe," he says with a shrug. "But birds? That's a whole other animal now, isn't it? And I'm getting long in the tooth for new tricks." He doesn't seem old though, so much as he seems tired. Used-up. "I'll leave you to it. Falconer, fletcher, and guide? It'd be a kindness, if one of you were to show me around, maybe introduce me here and there. A rare kindness. I'd owe you."


Wordlessly, Verin looks up at her father. He pauses a moment, then nods once in answer to the silent question. Looking back at Bran, Verin says. "I need to go home and get papa's and my lunch ready sir, but maybe this afternoon if you'd like, I can show you around some and introduce you to folks? You wouldn't owe us nothing for it, honest. Folks are supposed to help others out," she says simply.


Bran looks for all the world as if that were a new idea to him. "I reckon so," he says after a moment. "Still. A favor's a favor; I'd be in your debt." He looks from Verin to Telford. "And yours, Master Fletcher," he adds as he tucks the rest of the arrows away with the first. "I'll be off to the Inn then, to put the quiver with the bow." He offers a smile, but it looks forced. Polite, as if he knows it's the done thing, but far from seeming heartfelt. "A good morning to you both, then?" He takes a backward step toward the door.


Telford and Verin remain standing together as the stranger makes his exit. "A good morning to you, sir!" they say in harmony, and then Telford alone speaks. "Verin will meet you at the inn after we have eaten. Until next we meet sir," he says with a friendly smile and a nod of his head.


"Until then," Bran says with a nod. With one more backward step his is out the door, and disappears as it closes behind him.

Date added: 2010-06-11 11:43:38    Hits: 42
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