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  1. The Inn of the Prancing Pony IV




    The door was open and light streamed out of it.
    Above the arch there was a lamp, and beneath it
    swung a large signboard: a fat white pony reared up
    on its hind legs. Over the door was painted in white letters:
    The Prancing Pony by Barliman Butterbur...
    Even from the outside, the inn looked
    like a pleasant place to familiar eyes.

    - Tolkien, from The Lord of the Rings:
    The Fellowship of the Ring -
    At the Sign of the Prancing Pony


    The Prancing Pony sits down the road from the West Gate of Bree, and has been sitting there for a long time. Although in days gone by it saw a lot more custom than it does these days it is still a popular stopping place for travelers, both friendly and unfriendly and for those mysterious men known as Rangers. It also serves as a popular meeting place for the inhabitants of Bree; it has always been a great place to hear all the local gossip, and to eagerly awaiting ears an even better place to tell it. The innkeeper, Barliman Butterbur (played by Beren Camlost) is an important person around these parts and is known by all. Together with his servants Bob and Nob they keep the place running smoothly and keep the atmosphere warm and welcoming to any who come a-calling.

    Upon entering the inn, one is greeted by the sight of many tables and chairs on the near side of the taproom, which are freely pushed and pulled about by patrons to whatever configuration suits them best. On the far side, longs trestle tables with benches take up the majority of the space, and all along the wall opposite the door sits a vast three-sided oak bar, behind which Barliman Butterbur holds court with his stocks of ales and wines and liqours. A swinging door where the left end of the bar meets the wall provides access to the bar, and through a second door behind it, to the kitchen. All along the bar are stools, where the less (or more, depending) social can nurse their brews. At the back wall a set of stairs runs up to the second story, where comfortable rooms await those spending the night, and behind the inn is a generous block of stables.



    Attention:

    The season is winter in the
    festive, snow-kissed village.
    The sun is setting.

    When Barliman Butterbur (Beren) is busy
    his assistant bartender
    Edward Sugarplum (Beren) will be your host.


    Pub Staff:
    Assistant bartenders: Edward Sugarplum, (Beren) Fern Hollow (Beren)
    Cook -
    Open
    Servers
    - Nob (Beren), Lauren Ravenwood (Beren), Open
    Housekeeper - Emily Brackenbrook (Beren), Open
    Stablehand - Bob (Beren), Open


    The following NPCs
    may be used by anyone at anytime:
    Jacob Hill (associate bartender, halfling),
    Carleton Heath (Server)
    Stacy Bluebell (Housekeeper)
    Douglas Henbit (Stablehand)

    If you would like a job at The Prancing Pony,
    please see Mr. Butterbur in character.

    Menu

    Drinks:
    Old King's Ale – A dark malty beer, fairly bitter, the
    recipe of which dates back to the reign of Ruindol,
    the second son of Amlaith and the firt king of Cardolan.
    Drunken Bee Ale - This straw-colored wonder brewed by Chris Honeymeade is a crisp blonde ale made
    with an infusion of, you guessed it, honey! The bottle featured a bee delightfully chugging in drunken flight.
    Dry Stout – A beer dark as Bill Ferny's soul,
    characterized by a strong coffee-like taste.
    Cranky Tree Red Label - An incredibly tart cider
    made from pressed cinnamony Fire Apples taken from
    some irate trees of the old Forest.
    Skylord Cider - A juicy sweet cider
    made from pressed Chetwood blue apples.
    Tastes like blueberry cotton candy!
    Nob's Fearsomely Sharp Lemonade -
    A tangy alcoholic drink made with lemons from Harlindon.
    Bob's Dry Perry Cider - This delightfully crisp cider offers a sweet aroma with a distinctive, lingering pear taste.
    Prince William Porter - Once crafted by a Cardolan
    noble this dark, roasty beer with hints of caramel is
    still celebrated in the Bree-land today.
    Pipeline Stout - The most dangerous brew in the business. And inky black, malty, hoppy, punch-you-in-the-face confection. Limit: three glasses per customer per night.
    Blackberry Wine - Coming from a mysterious elven supplier, this fruity wine will lay you low most pleasantly.
    Nightqueen Cider - A bold and refreshing cider of Rivendell made exclusively with Crystalpool black apples, distinguished by the bold flavor of chocolate covered strawberries
    Queen Virgilia's Blade - A velvety garnet-colored wine produced by Flutterby Vineyards in Combe Valley with underlying notes of raspberries and red plums.
    Lady Eleanor's Bonnet - A silky and pale-yellow
    chardonnay wine of Flutterby Vineyards which tastes
    of mandarin oranges and mangos of Harlindon with intense aromas of wildflowers and honeysuckle.
    Northern Spy - A dry Riesling of Flutterbye Vineyards, produced from grapes in Combe Valley. It has a bold dark-yellow color. Aromas of apricot and fresh green apples with flavors of honey and tropical fruits. Northern Spy - its creation sponsored by Mayor Bear - was named for the half-Elven Ranger, Moriel, who visits Bree often on her Ranger quests. The bottle's white label features the pale, black-haired peredhel clothed in a midnight-blue cloak and holding bejewelled crossed falchions as she faintly smirks.
    Raging Bee - Miss Lisbeth's sbourbon whiskey, a smooth liqueur infused with honey from the finest beehives west of the Carrock!
    Archet Straight Bourbon Whiskey - A praiseworthy treasure of Bree's wooded village. It has rich flavors of brown sugar and molasses.
    Chetwood Brandy - A tremendously satisfying grape-based drink with pleasant aromas of oak and spice.
    Gin & Elderflower
    Herbal Teas.
    Fruit Juices
    Ginger Ale
    Dandelon & Burdock
    Lemonade

    Finch Farm Milk - Cold or warm.
    Hot Chocolate - A heated beverage made from
    shaved chocolate, cocoa powder, hot milk, and sugar.

    Food:
    Bread - White and crusty, thick & heavy wheat, one with lots of seeds for the odd folk. Comes with fresh butter.
    Breetown Special - Slabs of roast beef with mustard garlic crust and horseradish sauce, with the bread of your choice
    Beef Barley Stew – Rich, filling venison stew with barley and good root vegetables
    Potted Hare – Rabbit stewed in red wine, shredded, mixed with lemon and thyme, then packed into a terrine and covered with broth and butter and left to cool until the mixture has saturated.
    Cheese & Pickle Sandwich - Crunchy dill pickles, mature cheddar, and mayonnaise.
    Roasted Chicken – Whole or half, cooked on a spit over an open fire and basted in its own drippings, well salted and peppered, with a hint of rosemary.
    Roasted Coney – Tender rabbit, whole or half, seasoned and stuffed with onion and sage
    Bangers and Mash – Beef sausage and fluffy mashed potatoes, with onion gravy.
    Pie - Mince, Cherry, Peach (imported from the Green Dragon), apple
    Fresh fruit - Imladris cherimoya sprinkled over with sugar, Forlindon blood oranges, Harlindon bananas, Bywater red grapes,
    Staddle Pavlova
    Candycane fudge wafers
    Raisined Apple Dumplings
    Plum Cobbler

    Willow Oaks honey-roasted peanuts,
    chestnuts, and black walnuts
    Cinnamon Squares
    : A warm tantalizing dessert, yummy bar-shaped cookies filled with cinnamon splendor and drizzled with caramel syrup. Are they good? No, "they're slammin!", just ask Amelia Sugarplum.
    Last edited by Beren Camlost; 11/Dec/2017 at 09:07 AM.
    "We're all mad here."
    - The Cheshire Cat, from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland


  2. Lady Aikári's Avatar
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    #2
    Mastersmith Quennar Tarcelmë

    The mastersmith entered the inn. Winter was as usual upon them, but the ancient elf was not very interesting in the white curtain that covered the land. Besides he left no footprints in comparison to the heavyweights around. He came from the west to the southern mountains of Harlindon. Over his dark clothing he wore a cloak that covered him complete and obscured his nature, he was not so fond of preying eyes. He carried knife and sword on him and also a bow and quiver full of arrows. Elven ears and eyes noticed the tiniest things in the dark, and the scuttle of a few mice in a corner made Quennar also having a good overlook on the tavern. There were a few persons in at this hour but from the smell he identified them all as mortals. The snow fell from his cape and smelted on the stone floor. There wasn’t much real good folk in this neighbourhood, and besides dainty people he was not looking for. The inn was though a good place for a listening ear to have idea what happened in the world, if not for the better. With the years going by, the dark was stirring more and more, Mordor was infested by it. But Angmar was also such a stronghold, and who that better than the Nandor in Middle Earth. Those who lived in the woods, and rather disregarded as less intelligent and more dangerous.

    Quennar came in and walked by the bar where a few belly round men were making fun. They were banging on the woods and raising their mugs, where the beers golfed out and spread over clothes and other customers nearby. What they were laughing about the mastersmith couldn’t understand, he spoke not the local human dialect of distant Numenorean. Or Eriadorian? Quennar got past them, then got almost a chair in his stomach when a spitting woman pulled it backwards, blocking his path. The elf snatched the chair out his way and the woman lost grip on the seat, resulting that she bumped on the floor with a scream of shock. He didn’t help to get her up and besides her but would hurt a bit. A good lesson next time to watch first before pulling the chair backwards.

    The mastersmith walked on and found in the back a nice square table, near a window that was empty. In this part it was more quiet and less spooky also. He expected nobody to meet here. He was here for just some news but not much more. He didn’t order anything. Just he settled down and settled his bow next on the floor. A bit later an unknown waiter brought still a beverage and Quennar left it standing before him, not touching it. From a bag under the cloak he got a small book and opened it to read the familiar scribbles of his daughter. She had put out in an outlining how to grow wheat after having done research for the best fertile grounds, the right water and other nutrients. Caewinië found it important to study things first than going straight for something. Her brother Ćlfwinë was even more cautious. Both were true Nandor, lighter haired than Quennar was. Celidië was lightbrown haired. Quennar wasn’t really active anymore as mastersmith, the trade was in decline among the elves. He sat reading on her remarks and smiled sometimes where she was right, as he figured. Quennar had never been a man for working the ground, but some of the Nandor did, otherwise they had no harvests and no bread to eat.
    Last edited by Lady Aikári; 11/Dec/2017 at 03:05 PM.

  3. Ankala Teaweed's Avatar
    March Warden of the Shire
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    #3
    Ann Kalagon
    catching up with Milo Whitfurrows and Maura Dunami


    Ann winked at Nob and lifted a couple of tempting items from the platter of finger food. The Drunken Bee ale had a hearty flavor which complemented the small meat patty she first tasted. Duck? It was quite nice of Beren to have sent this over.

    Milo Whitfurrows had said, "I only made it to Rivendell. I met you here on my way back from there, and then I returned to the Shire." This was no real answer to her honest inquiry of his own journey. She made a note to raise the question again; he had seemed not to hesitate but rather to gloss over.

    Then Maura as well seemed to gloss over her own history and leave out what might be better explanations. What slave traders? thought Ann. Goblins? She went on into a better description of various things she had learned from an adoptive Elf family, although it seemed a bit odd that Elves should have had the wherewithal to buy the hobbit lass a hobbit hole all the way back in the Shire. Then Maura wrapped up saying, "Figuring out where I belong has been a journey all by itself, and I'm truly grateful I have Milo by my side to accept me for who I am, oddities and all. But enough about me. Are you close with anyone, Ann? Friends or family? We'd love to hear about your life, as well."

    Ann smiled at Maura and nodded, then pushed one of the duck patties onto her saucer.

    Ann said, "My own journey will make a bit of a story for you, and I shall be glad to share it, but I think I would first like to hear Milo more in detail about his own travels.

    "How did you find your way to Rivendell? Had you a guide? Traveling companions who had been there before? Getting back home is one thing; knowing a route across new territory while avoiding serious problems is another. Please, Milo? Favor us with your tale? We are in no hurry today and I for one would very much like to hear it all. Leave nothing out: what you ate on the way, how you found safe camping, did you stay on the great road or did you have to leave it here or there for safety?

    "Please do start at the beginning, this time. Did you start from Bree on that journey?" With that Ann raised her mug and drank a bit more of the lovely ale.
    Last edited by Ankala Teaweed; 12/Dec/2017 at 01:21 AM.

  4. Maura Dunami's Avatar
    Bookbinder of the Shire
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    #4
    Maura Dunami and Milo Whitfurrows
    Catching up with Ann Kalagon


    Milo took a gulp of his ale and snatched up a few of the pieces of finger foods, which he stuffed in his mouth right as Ann insisted on hearing more of his story. With wide eyes and a sheepish grin, he chewed the nibblets as fast as he could and swallowed them down with another swig of ale. “Well, to start from the beginning, I’d have to go back to my coming of age. That was in September, and I was itching to finally be free from my chores on my parents’ farm in Whitfurrows. They live pretty close to the Shire border, on the west side of the Brandywine, and we all function as the Shire’s unofficial messengers, if you will. They were awfully good at keeping secrets from me, until I begged them to tell me what they knew of Maura’s whereabouts. All they knew was that she’d been taken to live with the Elves, but they didn’t know which ones. I figured I’d be able to find more out in Bree. I would’ve left after the harvest that year, but my Pa got sick and I had to help Ma with the planting in the spring. Finally summer came and I set off in mid-July. I stopped in Bree and met with an old friend who happens to know quite a bit about the comings and goings of the people of Bree. He sent me in the direction of Rivendell, set me up with a pony, and introduced me to an Imladris ellon who agreed to escort me. We stuck to the road, and camped along the way where he felt it was safe. We saw very little in the way of trouble, thankfully. We both brought some food; me, some mushrooms, potatoes, and apples; him, some bread, cheese, and wine. We also caught small game -- coneys, to be precise -- and made stews in the small pot he carried. It took us 11 days on foot and, when we finally arrived on August 1st, he put me up in his house and helped me search for answers. All we were able to find, however, was that Maura was not in Rivendell, and no one had really even heard of her. I ended up staying there for two months, then headed back to Bree the beginning of October. When I finally arrived back in town, I met you. From there, I headed home, thinking maybe my parents had been holding out on me. When I got there, they informed me that Maura had returned home on her own. I rushed to her hole and discovered she was there! And that, I can safely say, is how the journey I didn’t even need to make went.”

    Maura sipped her ale and gave him a small, appreciative smile. “It may not have been necessary, but it shows you care. I didn’t know you went to so much trouble.”

    Milo shook his head. “No trouble. I got to see a kingdom I might not have gotten to see otherwise. And besides, finally finding you and knowing you were safe was worth it.”


  5. thatguy's Avatar
    Villager of Bree
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    #5
    Thick grey clouds covered the skies as snow fell from the heavens. A thick and tall layer of snow coated the ground. The wind might not have been howling, but it was enough to chill any man to the bone. Yet somehow a young couple, two Rohirrim men, dismounted the horse they were riding, an old mare with a white coat and grey spots.

    The door swing open and the young couple entered the Prancing Pony, an acrid chill rushing into the room as they walked in. The door closed with a THUD as it was shut. They glanced around at the various patrons in the inn. Most had dark hair, unlike the two Rohirrim. The fire in the hearth was roaring. Just what the two men wanted on such a cold night like tonight.

    Yuletide decorations hung over the mantle and were placed all over the inn, giving an incredibly upbeat and positive feeling to the warm tavern, despite these times being so troubled, with the Uruk-hai and whatnot.

    The two quietly took a seat near some of the patrons, squeezing each other's hands tightly.

    "Hello there, my lords!" Jacob called out to the two.

    "Hello! I am Eofor and this is my newlywed husband Eothain. A pleasure to meet you."

    "Aye, a pleasure to meet you two as well. Congratulations. Now, can I get you some food and drink?"

    "Some Drunken Bee Ale and Blackberry Wine, as well as some roasted chicken and bread."

    Sent from my LG-LS993 using Tapatalk

  6. Ercassie's Avatar
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    #6


    Gwandhyra Harion and Erfaron Sílűgnir



    Hesitation met them at the foyer, where the same scents and sounds which enticed the Man to enter seemed to deter the want of the Elf. Raucous laughter half-drowned the debauched attempts of a song from within, which was a distinct shame. For the surviving strain of that thin caterwauling still managed to sting immortal ears, even from the doorway. Casting a derisive glance about the warm interior, Erfaron observed as pints were brandished in a toast which sent foam to carpet the floor. Sadly this did little for the state of said floor, where only the daft tongue of a one-eared and emaciated dog was serving as a mop. Gwandhyra unloosed one arm before them, gesturing a welcome for his friend to dare within, but a pair of Men took first toward such shelter, before Sílűgnir resigned himself to pursue them.

    The Ranger nodded, as amicably as his own troubles allowed him, toward Ann Kalagon, whom he noted was caught up with friends. The Elf meantime, acknowledged his own one-time associate, the Mastersmith, with a staring mask of amazement to locate him here, of all places. Being rather well acquainted with Quennar’s nonchalence to society in general, Sílűgnir left his fellow be. Timing found them arrived at the bar, regardless, and since Jacob Hill was tending to a set of Rohirrim, Gwandhyra caught the eye of Carleton Heath.

    Old Kings Ale,” the friendly server recited, matching up the weathered face of the tall man before him with accomplished memory. On receiving a relieved agreement from Gwandhyra though, he dared next toward his ‘friend’, quite sure he had never laid his sight upon such a one before now. Hair like bone, eyes like frost and a mien of some imposing pedigree that flaunted expectancy about the pale lips. There was something of a reputation that might meet that description, although rumours would have him roaming the lone lands like a ghoul. It could not be the same Elf … “And for you,” he debated, offering Sílűgnir chance to speak up before he guessed wrong. “Can I get you something as will satisfy ?

    Gwandhyra sneezed what sounded like a snort into one hand, bemused. But Erfaron leant slowly and ever more so with passing moments until his face was close to the startled Breeman. “I sincerely doubt it,” he presumed, caught the young server in a predatory stare that had seen grown men wet their trews before now. “But prey, do not let that keep you from making attempt.

    He smiled, recalling himself from the draw which held Carleton entranced, like a rabbit beholding the swooping talons of a hawk. With one hand he waved the young man off about his business of now trying to appease him. “They are staring,Erfaron divulged sidelong to his friend with a bored annoyance. “How long must you hold me ransom to your need ? I would be gone and far from here.

    The Ranger broke off from where he’d been clandestinely directing Carleton toward a choice of ale for the Elf. “I would have you share before departing the name of quite whom you think might help us,Gwandhyra hissed back. “We are as deep in this as one another, and I have told you all that I know. Fair is fair.

    Life is not fair.Sílűgnir allowed an eye about the drinks which were surrendered. Their host shook his head and mouthed ‘laters good and fine' to the man who started to seek coin from where it hung off his person. Evidently the Breeman was none too keen to linger even for the promise of due payment. The Elf raised his tankard in one hand, and eyed the contents with suspicious bearing.






    Sullivan Spruce and an equally miscreant associate Henley Buckthorn



    At a nearby table, Henley Buckthorn had ceased his horrific excuse for a song, while Sully Spruce collected his jaw from the table where he’d dropped it. A hiss and a whistle summoned the pitiful hound to their company, where it whined at the foot of mud-slicked boots.

    Well theres a turn up for the books, and no mistakin,” the tanner shook his head. “I din’t think that’un was more than a tall tale to scare up the orc spawn.” In as much as the Breeman could avoid staring at the odd outsider, he could not keep from glancing that way. And again.

    You still wanting to do as we meant ?Henley rolled his hand around the bald head of his ugly mutt. A click of Sílűgnir’s teeth and the dog rallied to where the Elf and Ranger were propped at the bar. Sully exhaled and tapped his pipe against the table. Neither man moved to retrieve the dog. Particularly when it’s new albino friend wound his head to regard them in his turn. With a snide amusement Erfaron returned attention to where Gwandhyra was now engulfing his disquiet in his alcohol. One swipe of the Elf's pallid hand saw his own Ale upturned, where it rained from emptied glass unto the floor. The dog dropped it’s head without pause to lap up the tribute, and Henley summoned it with a bark all his own.

    Get to it. Go,Sully hissed to his accomplice, before the inn was overcome by a scene which would thwart their intentions this evening. Seizing the dog roughly at it’s neck, Buckthorn made his exit from the Inn. Sully set his feet up on the table and threw his attention unto Edward Sugarplum. There he kept his gaze, with an all-knowing smirk that was fashioned to irk the pub’s bartender. “I’ll keep here,” he vowed, smugly.

    The Elf calmly pushed the counter that saw him back off from it. No words explained why he was now taking himself back outside, but still he vanished beyond the door, moments after Henley Buckthorn. And the dog.

    I’d like to take a room please,Gwandhyra gave up his coin for the drinks, and more now, to young Master Heath who helped him to gather up the perils of shard from the floor.

    One bed or .. ?” the barman tumbled over his query, asking more than he was speaking aloud.

    The Ranger held up one finger, pointedly, and sighed to recognise the relief in the other's honest features. “Just me,” he promised, to the soon responding smile. There was a part of him which pulled to go after his friend, and demand to hear of the plan that he hoped was forming. There was a far more resolute part of him who knew better than to press for things which were not forthcoming.

    I’ll have Emily be told,Carl obliged. “She’s making up beds as we speak for the spare rooms ..
    Last edited by Ercassie; 16/Feb/2018 at 08:46 PM. Reason: Got confused by npc list in the op. Fixed now

  7. Lady Aikári's Avatar
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    #7
    Mastersmith Quennar Tarcelmë

    A girl with wavy almost ablest red hair came rushing into the pub, long tresses dancing on her shoulders and moving agile between the customers toward a reading person in the back. Without any ceremony she sat down like a sack of potatoes on the chair and grinned to the mastersmith across it. “You know... those tiny creatures outside use all sorts of tools working the ground. The steels are half so long, but if we could get our hands on them, would ease the work much,” she rattled in Nandorin. “Those blades... eh how they called them? Oh yes, weeders. You have, the fulcrum head weeder has a split tip like a serpent's tongue, and a long thin handle. Many models have a curved piece of metal along the handle which is put against the ground while the tip is digging. The curved metal piece acts as a fulcrum in a lever system. It is helpful to remove weeds either with a tap root or a fibrous root system. AndtThe Cape Cod weeder has a thin, long handle and a triangular scraping head. When the handle is held parallel to the ground, the head points downward. The crack weeder is a relative of the Cape Cod Weeder. It is designed to scrape out weeds growing in crevices, stone walls and other deep and narrow places. The plane of the L-shaped scraping blade includes the handle; the bottom of the "L" is parallel to it. One of those little men told me all. Sounded so handy to me.” Quennar looked from under the hood into the blushing and eager face of his daughter. Of all what she had said flew one ear in and out of the other. “Sure, if you feel you need those blades, buy them, but used the proper money,” he said in the same language. “Great, I go and get them,” replied his daughter and off she went, hair dancing on her shoulders and covering her ears complete. She wasn’t an elf in appearance, more like a human teenage daughter.

    The mastersmith went back to his reading and scribbling. Perhaps he was watched, perhaps not, he took no interest in the present customers in the inn. The Prancing Pony had never been much for his kind. Humans had the tendency to render their noses too deep in the bottles and singing dirty songs afterwards. Elves were stronger to stand liquor, but large quantities resulted also in dizzy visions and clouded heads. Then a quieter person entered, long midbrown hair flowing over shoulders down halfway the back and ending there. Hair that also covered ears, but the beardless face easy indentified him more elf than human. Different that was for his sister. He slumped down in the seat where moments before Caewinië had been rattling. “What are you reading?” asked the younger man, leaning over the table. Quennar looked up in the face of his son. “Agricultural suggestions on how to grow barley and wheat. That much,” he replied. Caewinië had made a study of it. “Oh? Hmm, boring,” was the reply back. “What of that drink? You don’t want it?” Quennar shook his head and went back to reading. Ćlfwinë reached out for the glass and drank it completely empty in one move. “Some sort of beer, the taste of it,” he said. “Most likely,” said Quennar, not looking up and placing a mark between the lines he read. Children? At time they were a menace. How cool was it to bother dad with non-trivial matters? Both had their traits in knowing how come with nonsense. Quennar was in fact waiting for someone, but that person was running late. “Can I lend some axes, swords and spears?” asked Ćlfwinë sudden. Now Quennar looked up from under the hood that still covered his features. “Planning to fight the Rohirrim?” “I am not going that far. Just more to the north... to Annuminas or so. I haven’t decided yet. Cae shall come with me, I am not going alone, if you worry about that,” shrugged his son. “You know what your mother think of such adventures,” replied Quennar dry and left it with that. He heard the rush of his son’s leaving and smiled for the quiet sphere that entered in, being alone. Both his children were everywhere and nowhere. He wondered slight when his appointment arrived. If it took too long, Quennar would leave.

  8. Ercassie's Avatar
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    #8


    Henley Buckthorn
    Outside the Prancing Pony, and upstairs (via an opened window)


    Never had the Prancing Pony seemed more enticing as from directly outside it’s establishment. The snatches of light and company which such a view afforded, hinted at a warmth that the cold, dark street could not equal. Though he had not long vacated that same inn, Henley Buckthorn was sorely tempted to round right back on inside. This was his actual intention, as it turned out, but most folk who seek to reach the first storey of any building, merely climb the stairs. Henley had (for his own reasons) opted to shin up a drainpipe and ease through an open window. The main (or rather only) advantage to this means of travel was the lack of witnesses. For who would lurk about in the dregs of a badly-lit and cobble stoned side alley ? Despite all the lack of likelihood, Henley startled more than once, sure that he’d spied movement in the shadows. He ought to have never brought the dog with him, of course. For certain that was the cause of the shift in light, the fall of extra feet, the breath which caught, hung, and kept the Man on edge.

    Damned dog,” the Bree-Man cussed. The one-eared hound padded after his master regardless, now wracked by an unmistakable stink of all the alchohol he had lapped up. It watched as the barber checked his back pocket for a pair of mismatched knives. Though these did not look to be expensive, nor well-tended, still the blades had a distinctly well-worn appearance. They looked perilously unlike any tool hygienic enough to trim folks' hair neat.

    Henley doubted he would require such means for this assignment, still it was a risky undertaking and he was not one to go anywhere unprepared. He pulled from the fold of his jacket, a grey and dingy pillow case, absent of any pillow. Shaking out it’s expanse, the Man tried it on for size, and waved one hand in front of his face. Moments later the home-made mask was torn with a snarl from his head. Jamming it under his belt, the determined Bree-Man wore a mask of scowling frustration instead, as he heaved himself in through the open window. Making feet along the corridor, he closed in on his victim. The maid wore a crown of thick dark curling hair, naming her exactly who he was seeking for, although her pretty young face was buried deep in a cupboard right packed with linen. Why, he needn’t have brought his old pillow case at all ! Not merely because it was useless as a mask, being not even a little bit see -through, but ….


    A smile cracked the grizzled hang of the Barber’s long chin. He closed in, retrieving the foul pillowcase from where it hung on his waist, and then hooked his catch. The girl’s voluminous curls were swallowed by the gross bed net but if she called or fussed, Henley would be hard-pressed to notice. Quite aware that time was of the essence, the Man grabbed the girl’s arms and swung her against the door of her cupboard. Seizing what he judged to be her head, he dashed it forward against a shelf (which was too cushioned by cushions and the like to be much matter) and then brought it backward hard against the door.

    Deeming that his victim would be woosy by this point, her courageous assailant hammered his fists hard about her unprotected stomach. Tripping her unsteady form, he grimaced as her fall made quite a crash against the floor. Still, that did not keep him from there administering several cruel kicks to his best guess at where her kidneys nestled.

    The dog was barking from outside by this time, but the din rousing from the room below told Henley that Spruce had held his end of the bargain. With luck all whom might come to the girl's aid would instead be engaged too far in a brawl or else in their best efforts to evade one, that they would not notice the commotion from upstairs. A leering amusement had replaced the scowl about the barber’s features. Desperation for the coin he’d been promised had long been replaced by a hunger, he was caught up in the pump of adrenalin and could not have stopped even had he meant to.

    Not without some help in that regard ..






    Sullivan Spruce
    Within the inn / bar-room


    It was as much Henley’s setting out upon his task, as much as it was the pale Elf’s decision to leave the inn, which saw Sullivan Spruce to drop his feet from the table with a thud. Fixing his stare upon the most robust of the barmen, the tanner lurched first toward his left and then his right. A steady diet of whisky had left him in no want to forego with his role in their little scheme.


    Hey !!” he belched out the word with such volume as should gather all attention. “What the hey is this ?!"

    Each arm rose with no co-ordination, as the massive Man stalked the length of the room. His speech, if that was what he meant for the vocal eruptions to create, was seemingly directed toward Edward Sugarplum, the Pony’s renowned bouncer and a former wrestler of great repute.

    What do you call this ?Spruce repeated, with every indication that he had forgotten the rest of his lines. “Sugarplum !!” he crashed into the bar, and insulted each and every patron in the inn that he might note. “This is a batpoop garbage pail of all walks of life save for good honest Breefolk !” he snorted. “Pointy-eared Pixies,” he waved his smallest finger toward the Mastersmith. “Hob – hob .. hobgoblins !” he tried not to recall the true name for Hobbits, but to elect which name he could conceive would be most insulting. “Horse-huggers and …Sully pulled a face at Eofor and Eothain, “Southern scum ! he threw the basest vaguest offense toward Ann Kalagon and Gwandhyra as he could retch forth.

    Which of the any of you piddly little piddlers thinks he has the right to drink in my drunking house ?” he demanded. “You’re barred ! The lot of you !!

    As prompts for anarchy went, it was the most provocative that the Man could think up off the cuff. Even if none of the others present were keen to forego their own antics and meet his ‘drunken’ challenge, he might at the very least raise the roof with noise that would keep them from upstairs. While his good friend took right care of the Sheriff’s daughter ….

    Sully had a score to settle with Miles Brackenbrook and he cared not who he had to entangle in his revenge. So long as little Emily paid the price.
    Last edited by Ercassie; 16/Feb/2018 at 10:00 PM.

  9. Maura Dunami's Avatar
    Bookbinder of the Shire
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    #9
    Maura Dunami and Milo Whitfurrows
    Catching up with Ann Kalagon

    The lull in their conversation afforded Milo the chance to survey the Inn's various patrons. Ever suspicious of the Big Folk, Milo let his eyes narrow as a certain dark-haired man (Spruce) slammed his feet on the floor and belched out a loud and drunken "Hey!!" with enough force to silence any remaining chatter in the bar-room. The man's movements appeared to be random and wild as he strode the length of the room, calling out insults at the innocent patrons. His drunken cry of "Hobgoblins!" directed at him and Maura evoked a fierce scowl from Milo. His cheeks radiated with intense heat as the man's insults found their way to Ann as well. When the tirade finally ended, Milo's ears and cheeks burning profusely, the man issued a challenge - who had the right to drink in his "drunking house"? His thunderous declaration of banishment sent Milo's vision into a fiery rage momentarily until a soft hand grasped his left arm.

    Turning to look behind him, he was met with the sight of Maura's pale white complexion, which highlighted the fear in her eyes. His vision cleared, allowing his thoughts to return to her side in the reality of the moment. He took her hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze.
    "It's okay, Maura," he whispered. "You know I'll protect you, like I always do."

    She nodded and he turned to Ann, his voice still in a whisper.
    "I don't know what that man is trying to pull but I don't think he's right in the head. I'm going to keep Maura out of the way if you feel compelled to deal with the scoundrel."
    Last edited by Maura Dunami; Yesterday at 07:23 PM.

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