Monday, April 10, 2017

The Adventures of Elladan's Outriders -- Episode 1.3

Where To Begin? Part 3

This writing business is tiring! It also makes me hungry. One moment...

That's better -- nothing like a bit of bread and butter to strengthen one for some more writing. It's a good thing old Barley keeps well-stocked with ink pots. Not everyone in Bree-town can call themselves a lettered Man, as Barliman can.

Now, where was I? Oh, yes: the end of that peculiar meeting. Well, at that point Gaelira (the important she-Elf, if you recall) began passing out what she called "adventuring packets" which were supposed to have been given her by Elladan himself, son of Lord Elrond (how exciting!). I'm not sure if they were all the same, but mine contained a skin of mead, a good helping of Travelling Rations (I hate the stuff, but anything is better than nothing, especially when on the Road!), a very nicely crafted fishing pole (I am rather adept at both catching and frying up some perch, so I know a thing or two about fishing poles), and a small pouch of pipe-weed (which was a relief since I had smoked all of mine on the journey from Buckland to Bree. It was not at all high quality weed, and I know more than just a thing or two about pipe-weed!). There was also a cloak in there for each of us, which we wear to identify ourselves as members of the Company.

We then proceeded to assign roles within the Company. I felt most important as I was entrusted with an assortment of medicinal extracts and salves, which I suppose would be used in the event someone cut themselves in a briar patch or whatever. I don't really know much about such things, but fortunately they aren't heavy, so I can at least carry them. Oh, and I also volunteered to serve as the Company scribe. I've always been rather handy with a quill and Gaelira said we'd want someone to document our journey together, so it's a task I take upon myself gladly. In fact, the Reader may not believe this coming from a simple hobbit of the Southfarthing, but it was I who devised the name for our little walking troupe! It's true! Well, it was nothing really: we are supposed to be aiding this Elladan fellow, so the name ELLADAN'S OUTRIDERS immediately suggested itself! Thereupon, we marched ourselves down the hill to Bree-town Hall, our splendid cloaks fluttering in the morning breeze, to register ourselves with the Clerk of Kinships.

After that, we repaired to Jasmine's Garden, not far from the Town Hall. I've visited there a few times before: it's a very serene place with a few well-tended flower gardens. Not many of the Bree-folk go there since they're usually preoccupied with their own business. We had talked the night away and the light of dawn was growing stronger in the sky as we talked about our road ahead. I listened more than I talked and tried to learn what I could about my new Companions.

The she-Elf Gaelira was very smartly dressed in a beautiful Elvish garment with many bright colors like aquamarine and crimson. She carried a simple quarterstaff and seemed to bear herself as someone important and spoke with authority. She called herself Gaelira of the Noldor of Lindon. I have no idea who or what the Noldor is nor where Lindon might be, but I suspect I'll find out eventually. She didn't seem interested in divulging too much information about herself. But Elves can be like that, you know.

The other Elf was a merrier chap, most of the time. He was dressed in brown robes with strange markings and said he is a scholar who has studied under Lord Elrond in Rivendell. I shall have to ask him about the master of the Last Homely House East of the Sea sometime during our travels together! His name is Luean. I shall also have to ask him what his name signifies sometime, as it sounds strange and mysterious to me. His hair is dark, unlike that of Gaelira, and his mood would turn dark as well when he mused on the gathering evil in the world outside. Luean carried no manner of weapons or other gear of war that I could see, which I found quite odd.

Then there was the Woman Nephyn (a most curious name). She is tall, strong, and rather handsome. Her skin is a deep brown, as though she has spent too many hours under the hot Sun, yet her hair has a distinct reddish hue. I don't know if this is unusual among her own people, but it's certainly a new experience to me. Whether or no, her demeanor was quite cheerful -- it was she who asked if I might play them a tune -- and she was very polite and well-spoken. Yet, I can see she could be tough as old tree roots if she wished to be, and I think many, many leagues lie beneath her stained boots. She carried a longbow with a quiver across her back and her clothing was very weather-worn. I think she and I may easily become friends!

The last of our Company was the Dwarf. I've never found Dwarves easy to deal with... always so gruff and demanding. But this one must have been the quietest Dwarf I've ever encountered -- he never told us anything about himself and spoke rarely... and then only in brief snatches of conversation. He openly wore a mail shirt with pauldrons and heavy boots, but I didn't notice any weaponry on him. Perhaps it was with his belongings in his room, if he is also staying at the Inn. His beard was middling: not as long and pompous as some of the well-to-do Dwarf merchants I've seen crossing the Shire, but definitely not the twiggy croppings of those infernal Dourhands, either (the Dourhands have not been unknown to the Shire as a troop of them appeared in the north ends of Rushock Bog earlier this year). Right now, Drodie (that's our Dwarf's name) is the greatest mystery among us and I can't deny I'm interested to learn more about him.

I expect we'll all get to know each other all too well after weeks of lying together in hedges and ditches. I still can't believe I've gone and done what I've done, but there's nothing for it now. It'll be better for everyone involved anyway, I think, including me. Just so long as we don't get ourselves into too much trouble!

Well, my hand is killing me. If I don't stop writing now I may not have strength enough to ring for Nob, and I could use another of those blackberry tarts!

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