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Early birds

Tags: Haruven,  Gloin

Short Summary: As dawn breaks, the Elven diplomat Haruven nears Esgaroth. A Dwarven company, however, just can't wait till break of day to leave it!
Date (real-life): 2014-01-24
Scene Location: Approach to Esgaroth
Date (in-game): January 3061
Time of Day: Dawn
Weather: Clear
Approach to Esgaroth

The rolling farmlands of Dale extend to the north and south on either side of the Esgaroth Road, however dominating the the view to the east are the rolling waters of the long lake, and the town of Esgaroth which sits upon it. Spanning the distance from the shore to the thriving town on the lake is a large bridge of wood, flanked by a pair of guardhouses. The light from the town on the lake brightens the shoreline, highlighted by the two beacons that sit atop the bridgeposts, lighting the road for some way westwards.

Obvious exits:
 Wooden Doors leads to Stables.
 Lake-town Ferry leads to Esgaroth Docks, Western End.
 West leads to Hillside.
 Bridge leads to Esgaroth Bridge.

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Dale-Lands Time and Weather Service

Real Time: Fri Jan 24 14:09:33 2014 MST

Dale-Lands Time:
Highday, twilight on a clear winter's night, January 6 of 3061

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[Haruven(#15070)] The sun is just breaking dawn on a chilly winter's night. The fading stars and first rays of sunlight glow softly on the frozen, snowy landscape, revealing a single traveler emerging from the West -- an Elf it seems, on horseback, which is perhaps a more uncommon conveyance for elves than their usual rafts. The horse is a lovely shimmery, silvery gray, pace unhurried, tack softly chiming with subtle bells woven into its construction. Upon closer inspection, the particular elf headed toward the city and the stables is Haruven, the wino diplomat who is perhaps by now a semi familiar face in the Laketown.

Haruven may be headed toward the city, but clearly some others just can't wait to get away from it! Wending its way southward in a long, slug-like train, is a caravan of wagons. The travellers are not unprotected - the dawn glow glints here and there on the head of axe or hammer, and there are guards posted fore and rear. Not because any trouble is to be expected this close to Esgaroth, but ... well, Dwarfkind hasn't lived this long by trusting others.

As horse and rider are spotted, a message is passed down the column; in response a rather fine-loking Dwarf with white cloak and white beard, mounted on a sturdy pony, starts to make his way to the fore.

Haruven slows his horse to a stop, which somehow carries the impression of being the idea of both the horse and the rider, as though they simply both think it's a good idea. On closer inspection, the horse's tack doesn't seem to involve a bit or bridle or much in the way of controlling the beast; it seems more for the purpose of carrying a small assortment of saddle-bags and the usual elvish inability to resist pointless aesthetics. Also because he is an elf, Haru doesn't approach the dwarves, but waits to be approached. Snooty, that's what that is. But should the white-clad dwarf come within conversational range, he will be greeted politely nonetheless. "Greetings to you," he notes simply, and lets an openly curious gaze travel the length of the caravan.

Haruven has quite a wait - ponies don't move over fast at the best of times, and this Dwarf is in no hurry. However, in the fullness of time Gloin son of Groin sits facing the Elf and his mouint, trying not to look like he's craning his neck. "Fine morning for journeying," he offers in turn, letting his gaze rove along the southward road. "Visiting Lake town again, Master Haruven? You seem to have a peculiar fondness for the place."

Haruven(#15070)] "The nature of my duties within Amon Thranduil require attention to Esgaroth," Haru agrees. "But I confess without shame an affection for the lake-town, this is true." One brow raises, just slightly. "A fine morning, to be certain, but an unseasonable time of the year... for most. Where are you headed in such numbers, Gloin son of Groin? The heart of winter holds Rhovanion firmly in its grasp."

"The place has its uses," Gloin comments more prosaically to those first words. "Even if the commons have been somewhat short of late." His immaculately groomed beard wrinkles as though he were pursing his lips.

At the next question, a moment's silence follows. "Winter's grasp is not yet at its tightest," the Dwarf returns by way of excuse. "And only a fool would travel through yon forest without such numbers." He jerks his head towards the dark smudge on the western horizon. He's going west, then.

[Haruven(#15070)] "Some might be so bold as to say that only a fool would travel through the forest, and conclude the sentence after such an observation," Haruven returns, mildly. "You well know that the woods hold a treachery all their own, a shadow more subtle than can be chased with blades and bold hearts." The elf's horse snorts and stirs, fidgeting and pawing the snow briefly as though feeling discomfort at the mention of Mirkwood's dangers. "What draws you unguided into the cold and the dark?"

Gloin scowls. "Shadow or no, we must go through. The Dwarves have long trod these paths, and we have both blades and boldness aplenty." He casts a fierce, almost challenging gaze in Haruven's direction. "How else would we reach the lands of the Beornings? We go to trade - perhaps they will have food to spare." Perhaps, too, he suspects the Elf can see beyond the half-truth, for the Dwarf hesitates and then admits, "And to seek an item of my kin, something that was lost."

He shifts in his saddle and the pony fidgets. Less defensively, Gloin murmurs, "We go unguided because we must. Still, Master Elf, I would welcome any news of the road west. I fancy the eyes of your folk see much."

[Haruven(#15070)] "Of course," Haruven replies about the Beornings, politeness tinged with just the slightest dry edge. But then a little more of the truth appears, and the elf's gray gaze sharpens. Something of his kin? An artifact?! Now that's getting more interesting. A long moment passes in which he regards Gloin somewhat inscrutably, eventually responding with a thoughtful, somewhat calculating, "I see." That look lingers just a half moment longer, then is lost when the elf shrugs elegantly. "I am not a scout, and the forest is ever changing," he replies. "I cannot inform you as to the conditions of the road ahead, other than to note that the borders of the Woodland Realm are well watched." It's both reassurance or warning, depending on how one takes it, but he does add, "Should my people discover anything of particular interest, which they feel an imperative to share with travelers, I am certain they will have no difficulty finding your party."

It's undeniable: Dwarves do not excel at being stealthy. Indeed, only one or two even attempt it. No Elf could miss them! Gloin's twitching beard catalogues his efforts not to take Haruven's final words as either insult of warning. Age and diplomacy triumph and after a moment he replies gruffly, "I trust your people will provide all aid they may to honest travellers. The Dwarves are grateful that the Forest Road is kept open. If, in turn, there is anything we can do to assist in that matter ..."

[Haruven(#15070)] "Employ your steel against the wicked things which may block your path," Haru replies regarding what aid the dwarves can provide, his tone grim. "Although I pray that none shall be so bold." His horse is fidgeting nervously again at the mention of wicked things, and this time the elf seems to think the animal has the right idea about that being enough of this kind of talk. "I must take my leave of you, Master Dwarf; your journey is long and I would not countenance delaying you further." The horse gratefully turns to go, but then both pause, and Haruven does offer, "Peace and fortune to you upon your travels, Gloin son of Groin." And with that, he turns back towards whatever business draws him to Esgaroth, leaving the dwarves to their fate!

"And to you, Master Haruven," Gloin responds in turn, before retreating to the company of his own kind.

Date added: 2014-01-26 13:47:52    Hits: 94
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