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 Not The Start To Something Wonderful, tag: Varbjörn [TA 2838, May]
Posted: Jun 30 2014, 02:26 AM

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Group: Elves
Posts: 82
Member No.: 58
Joined: 23-June 14

ooc: let me know if this is alright <3 I figured maybe Bear could overhear their conversation and be intrigued. DKW I just wanted to do something different than random meet up wandering about the woods. They can just 'not' head in the same direction, 'not' together.

Although not as at home in Gondor as in Rohan, Tínemel had found herself settled in a farming village somewhere in north Lebennin, resting within the shadows of the Ered Nimrais. Not so close as to spit on, but close enough to view from a distance. The landscape had a pleasant hilliness to it, dotted with the occasional rise of a steeper peak. Above all else, it was strikingly green. Green and sprawling, like the fields they’d raised their horses on in the long distant past. Beautiful. It was a very beautiful land. Painfully so to Tínemel for all the lost memories it evoked.

And yet, she’d been here for nearly two years now. It was only supposed to be a momentary stay, nothing more than a passing through, but plans changed. An exchange of fixing a broken plow for a nights stay under a roof turned into a laundry list of things to be done for the village who hadn’t had a decent blacksmith in months, maybe years, upon her arrival. The sorry excuse for the village’s forge had been collecting dust in a dilapidated shack for Eru’s sake. She might not be a disciple of Aulë, but Tínemel knew her way around a forge well enough to suit the villager's simple needs. Plus, the few horses needed their hooves looked after as well; even plow horses needed a little tending to from a good farrier. For the most part, her existence had been relatively peaceful. She should have loved it, and it would be a lie to say Tínemel hadn’t enjoyed it, but it was certainly dull.

So, the news of a troll in the northern hills brought on an unusual amount of excitement for the soldier. However, the fact that her usual hunting companion had so casually declared a lack of interest disturbed her greatly.

“You can’t have plans,” Tínemel scoffed while working on the iron teeth for a new harrow. It was an easy process, mindless really, which enabled her ample ability to wave about her hammering tools in her youthful companion's direction.

“I have plans."

“We had plans,” Plans that involved hunting a troll, which had to be much better than whatever plans Húnalal might have made with whoever. What was there even to do here? Tínemel tried not to think too much about whatever, or whoever, Húnalal had planned for the evening.

“Why don’t we start the hunt tomorrow night instead? The troll will still be in the area,” She retorted flippantly, leaning against the wall of the forge with her arms folded across her chest. For all the world, she looked like a sulking beau, pitching a fit at an older brother or cousin. Both passed themselves off as men for sake of ease in traveling and employment. Tínemel was far more convincing with her height and broader musculature, but Húnalal played the part of budding young man quite well by now. They were undeniably fairer than most Men and men, but people believed what they were presented with for the most part. If anything, only their race was questioned, but very little complaint was ever made about it. Their sex might cause more stir, even in the more free thinking areas of Men's domain. There was little physical resemblance between them, but the behavior bespoke of a close tie between the two that had familial twinges. They might as well be given the amount of time they’d spent together and the perils they’d faced. At times like this, Tínemel felt like Húnalal was an irritating younger sibling.

“More sheep will be taken,” She grumbled, casting a reproachful glance at the now crestfallen Húnalal. They’d been here long enough to genuinely care about the people, and lost sheep meant lost resources. More worrisome, the troll seemed to be heading closer to the more remote farmer homes. “But fine. I’ll go by myself. I’m taking your crossbow though.”

Húnalal perked up at the concession, “don’t lose it. Or break it beyond fixing. Just don’t break it in general. I don’t want to deal with putting it back together.” Perhaps the expected response would be to show concern for the apparent idiocy of her friend proposing to take on a troll alone. However, if Tínemel couldn’t handle a troll on her own than Húnalal was a beardless dwarf maid. Sure, it wouldn’t be easy, but neither was particularly concerned about the outcome of Tínemel hunting alone. She’d survived the Nirnaeth Arnoediad and the War of the Last Alliance. Tínemel felt fairly confident in her ability to handle a troll. It might even be fun.

The third member of their trio finally pipped up, from his place besides the forge where he observed his mentor, “I could go with you, Bewitan. You said yourself I was getting better with swordplay.” His blush acknowledged the fact they’d only practiced with wooden practice wasters.

Both elves glanced towards the young lad, one expression more amused than the other, but still at the same time replied flatly, “no.”

“But—“ He prepared to launch himself into a lengthy explanation but was cut short.

“No,” Tínemel, who the youth of Gondor knew as Bewitan, shook her head resolutely. The last thing she needed was an unexperienced youth tagging along on a troll hunt. They were hard to kill, dangerous despite their general lack of cleverness. She’d have her hands full taking one on herself. Tín would not risk her apprentice, eager and skilled, but still young. She’d taken him on in the hopes to not leave the village bereft of a blacksmith upon her inevitably departure. Admittedly, he’d grown on her, and the disappointment written on his face moved Tín to openly express some sympathy. “We’ll move to blunted blades when I get back.”

How easily youths could be appeased, she thought to herself, as his dreary looked turned to one of excitement. “Promise?”

“Promise,” And Tín kept her promises. It would be an easy enough one to keep. “And I think you’ve worked the forge’s long enough today. Go help your brothers in the field.” A task that was far more sociable than working with the somber elf. “Take Hlude with you, make him earn his keep since he doesn’t earn it here.”

Húnalal wrinkled her nose at Tín, accompanying a grand eye roll. Still, it was a fair point. So, with little complaint, ‘Hlude’ swept out of the forge with the chattering youth to go work the fields. Tínemel watched them go, grateful for the peace that followed their departure. Her forge was more a glorified stall than a proper shop, not much more than three walls and a ceiling. Still, she liked it better than having some enclosed shop. Tín wouldn’t admit to being claustrophobic, but she’d never cared for proper establishments. The lack of a proper fourth wall let in a breeze to combat the heat from the fire. Not that she sweat much, if at all, but it was still refreshing. It helped to keep the shackles welded on her lower arms from heating up too much.

Rolled up sleeves exposed the constant reminders of her captivity. They'd been dented, chipped, but not broken. The similarity between her and the shackles were strikingly obvious to her. Another one of life's jokes. Dark hair pulled back into a low bun hid the other reminder, far less funny. There was no amount of heat that would force her into exposing her mutilated ears, but Tín had mastered a range of styles that both hid the jagged remainders of her ears and kept her mass of hair off her neck.

She twirled the small smithy hammer in her hand, glancing at her finished work and what was left to be done. A sword in its scabbard, still easily to identify as finer than anything else to be found in this village or surrounding area for that mattered, waited to be sharpened. Trolls did have incredibly thick skin, much like their skulls. In a few more hours she'd set out on the hunt, one less member of her hunting party than planned. Part of her second guessed not moving her hunt date back to tomorrow so that she’d have Húnalal with her.

However, Tín was incredibly proud. She’d not admit to wanting someone along for the hunt. She could handle this by herself. Of course, she could. Why was she even thinking about this? Tín rubbed at her face, feeling the grit that settled upon her face from the morning spent at the forge. She'd had no great love of it like others of the Noldor, but it still reminded her of home, of Tirion. It seemed everything reminded her of the past lately. This hunt would be a good thing, a way to take her mind away from the past. Her demons had been quiet lately, perhaps appeased for a time by the peaceful village life. She'd hate for them to wake up due to lingering thoughts on a home long lost to her.

A heavy sigh escaped between pursed lips. Maybe she should just leave early. Now might be nice. Ai, but Airandur still needed to be sharpened. She set about the chore, lovingly caressing the blade upon removing it from the worn scabbard. The sword was Rohirric in nature, down to the running horse etched into the blade above an engraved inscription, an old inside joke of sorts instead of some profound prose. It was done by a friend long gone from this world. The inevitable heartbreak of living among Men as their short lifespan, but Tín gladly suffered the brevity of the friendships. Perched atop a stool near the entrance of her forge, long legs sprawled before her, Tín carefully guided a whetstone along the blade in precise strokes. Even an only slightly dull blade would be an unfortunate tool against the thick skin of a troll.
Posted: Jul 9 2014, 10:02 PM


Travel had been surprisingly easy going since leaving Rivendell behind - Imladris, it’s folk called it. Either way, Bear rather felt the other name for it - the Last Homely House - was perhaps the most apt of the three. Then again, he didn’t much know what Imladris meant in the tongue of the elves. Either way, he’d not known that sort of hospitality since he was a wee lad living in Erebor, when his people were open with their hearts and knew the value of community and bonding. That such a warm feeling could be brought forth to him by elves was still a bit mind-numbing, but he knew from that day on he’d have no hesitation on whether or not to take advantage of the last stop before the mountain passes into Rhovanion.

He’d taken a much longer route down to Gondor, following the path of the mountains south and keeping to them through Dunland, never heading too far into the lands of Men but rather searching for the hidden doors and passages that lead on to various gatherings and groups of his people. They traveled in family clans for the most part, tight knit and wary of strangers, but for the most part they listened to his stories of Ered Luin, and of prince Thorin’s leadership. Of the home that could be found in those blue mountains, where their kin could once more give them strength and a warm hearth. An end to the dispossessed wandering of migrants and vagabonds, but a home once again.

Bear didn’t know how many heeded him, if any actually took the hope he offered and made their way to Thorin’s halls, but he kept on going and kept on giving his tale as much as he could. He had no real ties to anyone or anything, but he did have a heart that was full of hope for his people and he could not allow himself to be idle. Someone needed to reunite them, or at least give them some sense that there was a place for them that they would belong in. It wasn’t much maybe, but Bear at least hoped it was something.

He’d been months in the mountains of Gondor, finding more of his folk there with more frequency than most other places. Only now was he traveling down through the flatlands where the menfolk made the most of the land. He found dwarves here as well, in forges and other trades, but these ones were fairly settled into this new way of life and had less reason to listen than those who huddled their way through the mountains. Still he carried on, ever south, determined to touch every corner of Gondor before making his way north again.

Bear was in need of a few wares before he began that long trek however, not the least of which being new shoes for Badger. His shaggy mountain pony had worn them down well and could probably have gone another week or two before needing to see the farrier again, had it not been for the latest goblin scuffle. Few folk expected a pony to be trained the same as a Rohirrim battler, but Badger was as good a fighter as his rider was. He spun, kicked and bit with the best of them, keeping a wary eye on anything that came too close and striking out when needed.

They got off barely nicked, but Badger had edged a shoe loose in a goblin’s skull - a good way to lose a shoe, in Bear’s opinion, but he couldn’t keep his pony in such shape after such a good show. The town they reached now was small, but it showed signs of an active blacksmith - spokes on the wheels were new enough to catch sunlight still, most of the horses were well shod and he even saw a new ring on the sign of the inn. All good signs, as it meant he wouldn’t have to work the bellows himself and find himself lingering longer than he ought in order to pay his way to using it by helping out the townsfolk a bit.

Making his way to the forge, Bear led Badger on, having opted not to ride him since the shoe made itself loose, and so was a bit less of a jangle than usual. As such, he caught wind of talk inside as he rubbed down his pony’s neck and prepared to head in to haggle himself either some aid or right to the forge for himself. He didn’t hear much - some of the voices were soft - but he got the gist of things by the time he’d gotten Badger free of his saddle and gear. He finished brushing down the pony, giving him some time to enjoy the freedom before getting stuck with having his shoes removed and replaced, before heading inside.

Seeing as the last remainder was busy sharpening his sword, Bear coughed to catch his attention, wondering mildly how such a slim looking fellow could work a bellows at all as he stated, “I be needin’ new shoes for my pony outside. I can blast em myself, but I know how some folk get about their forges. Mind we talk price afore you head off troll killin?” He inquired, a plum crazy part of his mind thinking it might be rather fun to tag along on that adventure, but knowing better than to ask. Follow though, unseen - that he might just do.
Posted: Jul 28 2014, 09:26 AM

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Group: Elves
Posts: 82
Member No.: 58
Joined: 23-June 14

Even before the cough, Tín realized she was not alone. Hypervigilance paid off on the occasion. Not that she felt particularly threatened by the dwarf. Her grudges went deeper than that of elf and dwarf, her particular racism ebbing towards more sinister breeds. Granted, she did know quite a few good dwarf jokes thanks to Hunalal but would certainly not rattle them off at present. The dwarf had impeccable timing given the fact he’d narrowly missed running into her far more racist friend who would certainly not have held her tongue. Marillel did, however, wait for the interrupting cough to acknowledge him.

Pale eyes glanced away from the sword and to the welcome intruder, about to offer a polite greeting but remained quiet as the dwarf stated his needs. She didn’t mind the lack of proper social graces. Marillel was not so good at them herself and preferred being direct rather than superfluous. Admittedly, she liked that about dwarves. They did not seem as concerned with pomp and circumstance that her kin did or at least how she remembered. Perhaps things had changed or maybe they hadn’t. Tin couldn’t say and had no interest in finding out. The thought of setting foot into another elvish settlement unsettled her for a variety of reasons.

The comment regarding her forge brought her back, at least in memory, to times she lived among her own people. She did not think of this essential-shack with an anvil as her forge. No, that had been a far more glorious establishment in Barad Eithel where they’d crafted armor for the horses unlike any other. They’d fit together the many individual metal pieces together like feathers on a bird, allowing a complete range of movement and dispersion of a hit. The key was in the different sizes of the ‘feathers’ and the careful manner in which they were layered. Marilel would never claim to be a master smith, but that mounts' armor had been something uniquely wonderful. She had not attempted nor wanted to attempt a remaking of it since Nírnaeth Arnoediad. Marillel doubted she still possessed the skill to make anything of the sort again.

As for horseshoes, well, that was the basis of footing, and therefore, the most important piece of equipment for a sturdy mount. That particularly talent Marillel still had with great skill. “Let me take a look, and then we can talk price,” She rumbled in a low but non-threatening tone, slipping the sword back into its scabbard and rolling up onto her feet. Leaving the sword leaning against a wall, Marillel wasted no time in examining his pony. A quirk of a smile tugged at the left corner of her lips. No Rohirrim battler for sure, but a stout little fighter without doubt. She offered a hand for the pony to sniff and muzzle on his own accord, not rushing the introduction.

Out of old habit rather than genuine concern, she ran her large hands over the ridge of his neck and withers, along the curve of his back and hips. His alignment was good, no sore spots to suggest mistreatment either out of ignorance or indifference. The pony looked happily fat but not overfed, fit would be a good description. There was a good amount of time before Marillel actually even got around to looking at the issue of the loose shoe, but she would not be rushed. Her examination of all four legs, hooves and shoes was just as thorough.

“It shouldn’t take too long to fix. The other three will last about another week or two, but I can replace those now with something better,” She finally concluded, taking a moment to coax the pony into letting her peak at his teeth. Finding them satisfactory, Tin let the pony have back his head but still gently scratched behind his ears. “As for price,” She mulled over her options, eyes flickering to the dwarf, then to the weaponry by his packs and back to him. “Have you ever killed a troll before?” It was a long shot, but Marillel was too old to go off troll killing by herself, and she’d not yet met a dwarf on the road who couldn’t hold his own in a fight.
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