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PELARGIR: A Knight and a Squire on the Landing of Elendil

Tags: squire,  pelarglir,  knight,  gwendion,  conalmir,  hope

Short Summary: The Knight-Captain Gwendion and the Blue Squire Conalmir discuss hope and love in Pelarglir.
Date (real-life): 2014-02-27
Scene Location: Pelargir: Elendil's Landing(#17481)
Date (in-game): April 18th, 3061
Time of Day: Evening
Weather: Clear

Pelargir: Elendil's Landing(#17481Ra)
Elendil's Landing, the ancient heart of Pelargir, is a circular plaza covered in bright blue-glazed tiles and ringed by the eldest structures and trees of the city. Easily two hundred paces across, this courtyard's center is dominated by a tiered stone fountain.
[20:21:21] Northeast the tower of Ilmentirion rises highest above all others in the city; northwest sprawls the gilt-domed library, the steps leading to the main gate flanked by broad-boled trees. Between these two, a wide avenue leads northward into the square, while other roads lead southeast and westward toward the other gates of the city. Southwest stand the gates to the citadel of Minas Sirion, home to the Lord of Pelargir.
[20:21:21] Nighttime leaves the Landing devoid of much of the life it sees in the hours of the sun; the plaza is lit only by hooded lanterns placed around the circular edge, each casting a faint halo in the humid river-air. Lights glow in the upper floors of the Minas Sirion and the Library, though, and in the lower portion of Ilmentirion; those of keen eyesight may even see figures atop the great tower silhouetted against the night sky.
[20:21:21] Morthond Street <W>, Ilmentirion <NE>, Minas Sirion <SW>, Library <NW>, Anduin Lane <SE>, and Forum <N>
[20:23:47] A coat of sea fog, thin but chill, coats the city of Pelargir, hiding the night's stars from sight. The Landing is not still, people move to and fro, heading back home after the business of the day or to a tavern or inn to sup and drink. But it is barren compared to the height of the day, and the chill, light touch of fog mutes both sound and sight. Upon a small wall, attached to the Ilmentirion, rests the Knight-Captain of Dol Amroth, Gwendion Bragollach. Him and his have recently sailed from the west for the shipwrights of Pelarglir to aid in the repairs of ships Amroth has not the hands to fix, nor the time. He blows softly on a bowl of steaming soup, hard roll held awkwardly under it in his hand, alone as yet.
[20:29:10] [Conalmir(#31396)] Conalmir comes along the landing, heading from somewhere in the foggy evening to somewhere else. Seeing the still figure of the captain, he veers towards him. "A drink, sir?" The squire holds out a tankard cleverly kept from spilling by a hinged lid.
[20:34:11] Surprise marks the Knight's face as Conalmir seems to appear from naught, "Conalmir. My thanks," he reaches with the bread hand to grab the ale, threading two fingers around the handle. He manages to plunger down his thumb upon the lid and lift it, sipping from the lip of the tankard.
[20:34:11] "Refreshing. Again, my thanks."
[20:34:11] "Wandering the city spare drink in hand? Or seeking out a favor?" he jokes.
[20:39:05] [Conalmir(#31396)] "A favor, naturally," Conalmir says, face straight. Then he grins and shakes his head. "I thought to take one back with me, for Felstin, but I saw you first. He will not grudge a drink, more so since he didn't know it was coming."
[20:42:05] An agreeing nod, "It seems a wise course of action. There are few days I relish my title." A nod and another swift drink, this one deeper than the last. Wiping his lips with the back of his hand he nods once again, clearly pleased, "But this night I am thankful for it."
[20:42:05] "Have you eaten? You are welcome to a portion of the stew," he holds is out, "If you wish. Surely you have learned that ale alone is not an ideal meal."
[20:44:56] [Conalmir(#31396)] "I had some bread earlier," Conalmir answers. "Thank you. Sir, are we to help the shipwrights? I know how to build ships. At least, I've worked on smaller ones."
[20:52:18] "Quite the opposite. We are here to gather their aid. Our fleet lingers yet from the levels before the devastation of Caldur and Amroth well bled from war, has not the men to build anew and repair the old. Luckily," in a deft maneuver, he slips the tankard onto his pinky, "The wrights of Pelargir are well hungry for coin," the dips the bread into the soup, "And promise some speedy work for it." He stuffs the juicy lump into his maw, then frowns, "Were you not briefed?" he asks, flushing down the bread with another sip of ale.
[20:55:49] [Conalmir(#31396)] "No, sir," Conalmir replies to the knight captain's question, before nodding at the explanation. "I see. So we will take them back with us." He still holds his own mug of ale, the lid keeping any from sloshing out, but doesn't drink.
[21:01:04] "Elusul..." Gwendion's look darkens, "There is a man injured. Not just in those scars and wounds visible." He considers a moment, shakes his head and sips from the broth. "You are here then without him? What are your thoughts on the city and its people?"
[21:05:33] [Conalmir(#31396)] "Yes, sir," Conalmir answers. Perhaps it is in answer both to question and comment alike. He takes a moment in thought, absently flipping up the lid of his tankard and drinking his ale. "They seem vigorous," he says at last. "Hearty in spirit and body alike. Many I have spoken with in the countryside nearer where the Pretender came seem beaten down."
[21:08:57] "What does that mean to you?" Gwendion asks, putting some emphesis on the final word. "Beaten down." He repeats.
[21:13:50] [Conalmir(#31396)] "Mean to /me/?" the squire repeats, surprised. "I don't know what you mean, sir. They look as if they have lost hope. Tired. Worn out in body and mind. I think - " He hesitates a moment. "I think we are not accustomed to - to being invaded thus. The Corsairs, they come and raid, but it is swift and as swiftly over. They don't ... stay." He moves a hand, uncertain how to speak his meaning. "It is hard to think that he could come and we could not keep him out."
[21:16:28] "You have brought me ale, squire, and raised my spirits. So I have no wish to dampen yours." Gwendion pauses, his tone turning grave, "You are not squired to me, but I will offer you a lesson, but it is not a kind one and it is the hardest I have ever had to learn. I still struggle with it nearly every day."
[21:16:28] "Or we can talk of better things," he says, a warm smile coming back to shine on Conalmir.
[21:19:05] [Conalmir(#31396)] "Both?" Conalmir suggests with half a smile. "Speak of both, then I shall have some small thought of comfort to seek my bed with."
[21:27:23] "As you will."
[21:27:23] The Knight-Captain sets his bread, soup and ale upon the wall and stands tall. His hand falls on Conalmir's shoulder, "Squire, if you look upon Gondor on any day of the week, month or year, for the last hundred... two hundred years even.. with your eyes, and your mind. You will see the path is clear. Gondor will fall. All you know will be destroyed and burnt. The age of man will end as we know it and an age of monsters will reign. The Pretender, the strength of Umbar growing, the foul creatures that continue to spew from the East all portend this. It is inevitable."
[21:27:23] He allows a moment to pause.
[21:27:23] "If you see it with your eyes and your mind. This is why the Knight of Dol Amroth, under our Prince, teach of hope. It's power is beyond those wretches that sail under the dark towers of the south, and no black heart that beats in Mordor holds it. If you look at Gondor with a heart full of hope you see that though we are beaten down, as you say, we do not break. Unbending reeds in the wind. That is why I can look out at the world and see that despite the darkness that engulfs this world and the sorrow we bear for being in it, I know..." he leans closer, his voice hardening, "I. Know. We will be victorious, Squire. I cannot tell you how. And I may not live to see it. Nor yourself. Be we will. And that, is what your job will be most of all things when you are a Knight. Find hope. Give it. And foster it. All else is secondary to our victory over Evil."
[21:33:52] [Conalmir(#31396)] The younger man looks into the elder's face, a strange mix of expressions on his own. As the knight-captain speaks, a protest hovers on his lips, though the truth of Gwendion's words stand grim in his eyes. But then the elder knight speaks of hope, and Conalmir stills. "Yes, sir," he says at last. And perhaps he stands a little straighter.
[21:36:35] "So, when you see people such as you spoke, do what you are able. Often, a kind smile and the words, 'It will be all right. Someday.' are all that are needed. And perhaps," the Knight squeezes the squires shoulder and then releases, "A squeeze on the shoulder."
[21:36:35] He leans back and takes up the ale, lifting it to sip, but only holding it to his lips before sitting it down once more and taking up the soup.
[21:36:35] "So, whom have your notice in court? Be wary of my cousin. She has the look of her mother about her."
[21:41:00] [Conalmir(#31396)] "Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. I will remember and do my best."
[21:41:00] "I have not been much in court of late, sir. I rode to Minas Tirith with Sir Menelglir and have only recently returned. And - ah - " In the dimness, it might not, perhaps, be so easy to see the flush that darkens Conalmir's face. "I spent most of my time in Dol Amroth with - er - with friends," he finishes in a rush, still redder. "The Girithlin, you know them, of course. I mean - of course, you would." Evidently aware that he is perilously near to babbling, Conalmir shuts his mouth abruptly, only to ask a moment later, "Your cousin, sir?"
[21:43:59] Gwendion guffaws, "The Girithlin have friends? I have seen them have playmates, toys and puppets, but friends?" He glances quickly at the squire, making an encouraging face, "I am sure your friends are quite true to you, squire. I.. tease only."
[21:43:59] "So, you have friends. Is it a woman or not, boy? It's too late to be subtle."
[21:48:49] [Conalmir(#31396)] An angry glower spreads over Conalmir's face and his jaw clenches. "Yes ... sir. Lominzil is my friend. Whatever anyone might say."
[21:48:49] Both his hands are clenched as well, the one into a fist at his side, the other clamped around the handle of his mug. But with an attempt at nonchalance, he says, "His sister is very beautiful but - but I do not think she counts me as a friend." It's hard to say those words.
[21:51:54] "If you mark him friend, then so do I. I meant no harm with my jest."
[21:51:54] "But his sister?" He purses his lips, "I have not had the pleasure... Or do not remember it. More to my feeble mind than to her beauty, I assure you." Gwendion, dips the bread back into the soup, "She thinks you not as a friend and not as more, I take it from your meaning. Did you cause some hurt? Or is it only unrequited interest?"
[21:55:42] [Conalmir(#31396)] "I am hardly the sort of man who would be acceptable to such a lady," Conalmir answers, gloom overtaking him. It is all well and good to talk of hope and the future, of the darkness of the fates of men, but this is a matter of a girl! He runs a hand through his unruly hair, disheveling it even more. "I - I asked her if I could escort her to the tournament, once..." He blushes and studies Gwendion's fascinating boot. "But she did not wish my company."
[21:58:00] "If you are not acceptable to such a lady, then she cannot be a beauty to me. Did she say as much?"
[22:01:33] [Conalmir(#31396)] The squire glances up quickly, then looks away again. "You cannot have seen her, or you would not say that," he answers, then shakes his head. "No ... I - I did not ask."
[22:08:52] "Bah. Bah!"
[22:08:52] "My lessons here are not as successful. Either you can mask yourself and become what you think she wants, and maybe in time and practice, one day you will discover you are that thing and catch her eye. But that way I think is... easier but less fulfilling. You would love her less, and she you, I think."
[22:08:52] More soggy bread is stuff in his craw, "Better I think to carve Conalmir into the man you wish him to be. And perhaps, with luck, you will catch her eye. And if not, I promise you there is no one person for anyone. Those are just tales that keep the purses of bards full and their love ballads always upon their lips. But there is little more advice I can give but that."
[22:08:52] "Save maybe that we war. Life is short. Too short to not ask important questions because of silly reasons. Consider that as well. Life is.." again some sadness wells in his eyes, "Quite short. Even a long life is not long enough."
[22:12:32] [Conalmir(#31396)] Maybe Conalmir understands all of this, and maybe not. But he nods. "I don't know what she wants," he confesses. "She did keep the kitten I gave her. That is a good sign, don't you think? I think she did, anyways. She didn't give it back..." He considers the matter anxiously, until Gwendion speaks of war.
[22:12:32] "But - war, sir. How could I ask any woman ... anything ... with this war facing us all?"
[22:20:26] "Ha! You think soldiers are grown on trees? You have work to be done, and not on the battlefield." Gwendion's good spirits returned, he takes up the tankard and clashes it against the squires undrunk tankard, then drinks himself. "Ahh... But more seriously. It is well to love and be love. It sharpens you mind and your sword, whetstone be damned. It grows the muscles in your arms and chests, though you be weak. Men who would give up and die on the field, hang by their fingernails from falling into that sweet abyss for the taste of their love's lips once more. Love is the best thing for this war. Again, we fight evil with other things than sticks and stones. "
[22:20:26] "But more importantly, if you think you would love her well and she you, the length of that love matters not. You need not deny yourself living in some vain attempt to save another from the sorrow of death. You could trip and break your neck, find a sword in your gut or live to hundred years. You cannot tell the future." He lightly punches the squire square in the chest, "Only your next action."
[22:24:40] [Conalmir(#31396)] Conalmir's face turns darker still, and he shuffles uncomfortably. Babies! He has barely dared to consider the bliss of his beloved smiling at him! "Ah... yessir," he mumbles. "But ... Girithlin! Would they not laugh that I dare set my sights so high? My family is not wealthy; even the lands we had are occupied by the Pretender's men. My mother and sisters rely on the charity of cousins for a place to live. Do you really think - " His words trail off.
[22:25:55] "If all she cares for is gold and silver, is that the sort of woman you find attractive? I think I was right when I said she was no beauty to me." And that is all he seems to have to say about the topic, as he gives a stiff nod and finishes his ale.
[22:27:39] [Conalmir(#31396)] "Her father," Conalmir explains hurriedly. "Surely, a father would wish more for his daughter?" But Gwendion seems to have closed the topic and the squire takes the hint. "Goodnight, sir. Er. Thank you." Under his breath, as he turns away, he mutters, "I think..."
[22:28:59] "Hold a moment. I have enjoyed talking, Conalmir. Perhaps while we are here, you will walk with me in absence of your Knight?" asks the Knight-Captain.
[22:32:11] [Conalmir(#31396)] "Oh. Certainly, sir, if you wish it." The squire turns back, taking another long swallow of his ale, no doubt to fortify himself against the knight-captain's conversation!
[22:33:36] "Excellent. Let us wake at dawn then, and ride outside the city. We will speak with those people you saw, see if we can offer them some aid for a few hours. Hunt a lunch for the men and then return."
[22:33:36] Another stiff nod, "Till then, Squire. Be well."
[22:34:44] [Conalmir(#31396)] "Good night, sir." Relieved, Conalmir salutes and turns away, hurrying along the street towards his lodgings. No doubt to dream of blue-grey eyes.

Date added: 2014-02-28 11:40:14    Hits: 52
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