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More Hands

Tags: Hraefengar,  Nurenhir,  Talbinor,  Sulgirion

Short Summary: The workers at the Shephering Village receive more helping hands, and wings.
Date (real-life): 2010-04-02
Scene Location: Shepherding Village

Shepherding Village
This is the home of a small, proud, and independent people who live primarily by herding sheep in the open lands south of the Great East Road. Once driven from this region by troll depredations, they have returned and appear to be prospering, perhaps because they can also profit by trade on the Great East Road.

Or rather.... we should say it /was/ the home of these people. The many sturdy houses and smaller huts clustered on a hill here have mostly been burned. Some are yet standing, more are nothing more than charred timbers. Once, they were safely ensconced behind a deep ditch and wall. The ditch is filled with the ashy ghosts of thorn bushes ... and the gate hangs crookedly, black as charcoal.

A long, low, smoke-stained building, sprawling along the hillside below the caravanserai, appears to the south. Its thatched roof has miraculously escaped burning - though there are black patches across it. Thick lead-paned windows are dark. There is no one here.
Ered-Luin Encampment
Large Ballista
Finest Herd
Obvious exits:
Gathering House, Caravanserai, and Great East Road

Lord of the Rings Calendar <in English> ==============
IC time is:    Early Afternoon < About 3:11 PM >
IC day is:     Monday
IC date is:    July 30
Moon phase:    Full  <VISIBLE>
Earendil:      Gil-Estel is not visible.
IC year is:    Third Age 3049
RL time:        Fri Apr 02 21:03:49 2010

Here just off the Great East Road, the sounds of pounding hammers and other disturbances of contruction ring in the afternoon air. A fair count of workers are busy with their tasks, cutting wood, lifting stone, and striking nail. Slowly, it seems this ruined town is beginning to show promising signs of recovery. Only the gloom of the nearby woods of the Trollshaws might bring a shadow to hang over the morale and progress.

Destroyed walls litter sections of this village, and among them there is propped up a much larger shape -- this one not of wood nor stone, but rather of feathers. Sunlight glancing off bronze wings, an Eagle perches there amid the workers. If it is an odd sight, the creature appears to care not, dipping a large head now and then to preen a few of the feathers at his side.

The elven steward Nurenhir, normally to be found upon the roof where few Men dare climb, is standing guard today -- he sits upon the wall, on a perch much like the Great Eagle's, with a scabbard slung over one shoulder. The cloak-hood drawn over his head shows little of his face, but there is a smile as he looks at the preening avian.

There comes a sound of hooves along the road, a horse's stride long yet not hurried. There comes a dun-gold stallion, with a long-legged, silken-coated wolfhound that trots beside it. Upon the stallion is a tall man with hair of honey-gold. He is mail-clad, cloaked in grey, and there is a spear held in one hand. There is a shield slung at his back, and his saddle is one designed for long trravel. Across the pommel, though, before him, is draped a long-legged pup, too young to trot the whole distance beside his dam.

Once again, Talbinor slips into the village, and onc again he carries neither tool or supply to do any actual repairs. Only a blade and a pack, as usual, his cloak swirling behind him as he steps in as discretely as possible given that he's following the path. The sounds of hammering and even the -smells- of manual labour cause the Ranger to crane his head upward, and he sniffs, and he smiles, very slightly.

One glance down, as if making sure there are no little kids running around who will cause him to fight polecats again. Then he steps into the village proper.

The cleaning ceases for the time being, and Sulgirion raises his gold-crowned head to fix a large amber eye on the Firstborn nigh at hand. A curved beak opens to give a few low squawks, but therein is also words in the Common. "Ah, Master Elf," acknowledges the avian, and the bright eyes would seem to indicate a smile above the stiff emotionless mouth that speaks. "No more wandering today? It is a fortunate thing that your kin can climb that well, though I do not suppose the monster is likewise as thankful for it."

The eagle pauses as the sound of hooves comes, and the head cocks sideways away from Nurenhir and the approaching Ranger to peer curiously at the new mounted arrival.

"It is fortunate indeed," sighs Nurenhir, shifting the heavy weapon. "Although it seemed quite conversational, I cannot say that previous experiences with those creatures left me fond of their speech. Let us hope it does not visit the village."

The rhythm of horse-hooves upon the road is not lost upon the cloaked Elf, and he stands upon the wall, raising a hand. "Hail, traveller!" he calls in Westron, elven voice warm, but guarded..

The rider lifts his head, and his eyes flicker. He looks from the cloaked elf to the great bird, and his gaze fills with wonderment. He pulls the stallion to a halt, and then raises one hand' palm forwards. He then settles his spear across his lap, balances it, and lifts his other hand in copy of the first. Then he lets his hands fall to his side. "Hail!" he calls back. "I am... a traveller come from afar. For some time I have been staying in Bree-town west of the river and the hills. Word came of need, and troubles east. Though I no longer ride with the warriors of my people, I once did, and my hands well remember the haft of a spear. I came thinking I might help."

The Ranger is quite lost in his own little world. But he is roused only reluctantly by the clip-clop of hooves, a sound seldom heard in this place and at this time. Talbinor turns about, idly, regarding the man on horseback, taking a few steps backward so as to better get the stranger into his sight.

"There has been peculiarly little call for bladework so far," Talbinor says, simply. "More for master of hammer and trowel."

For a while, the raptor merely listens, and resumes preening feathers; nevertheless, he keeps his head tilted so as to watch the others present. "I have only recently arrived," Sulgirion supplies after a length, "but it was in response to a troll who had strayed a little too close to the Road. Bladework may not be as readily needed, but I am sure it will be an added reassurance."

The Elf leaps lightly from his perch, peering over the wall at the villagers hard at work. "Indeed, your presence is most welcome here. Shall I find someone to take your horse? I know that they keep their ponies well."

"It would be kind, as long as it is someone who does understand horses. He is not bad-tempered, but he is at times high-mettled." The blonde stranger dismounts lightly, then lifts down the pup. Then he takes down a wrapped bundle slung with straps. "I could manage some smaller woodwork, perhaps, as well," he says. I am a scop... a bard... by trade, and I make some of my own instruments."

The sound of a voice from above causes Talbinor to jerk his attention upward, at the eagle who the Ranger had, rather sadly, not noticed until that moment. "Certainly, a stout man at arms is always welcome company," he adds, speaking to the horseman but still glancing sidelong at the eagle. "But I did not wish to get your hopes up."

A few steps further into the village. The Ranger suddenly has something on his mind. "Although if there's a troll about, perhaps I should at least try to sound less anti-social and more welcoming. I am getting sick of fighting them alone."

"Alone?" Sulgirion repeats the Dunadan's word, even as the Man begins to walk further away. "I had not planned on lingering -- my kind do not generally interest themselves in the affair of land-dwellers for long; but if it would be of any aid, I could remain here for a time. If the stone-monster or the yrch offer no trouble, surely I could serve to lift high the wood or stones?"

The great avian eyes watch all with an unblinking gaze: Hraefengar, Ranger, Elf, wolfhound, and other.

"My hopes?" The horseman furrows his brows, looking at the Ranger, puzzled. Then he looks to the eagle and the elf, and he gives a slight bow. "But... forgive me my manners. I am Hraefengar son of Hrothgar of the Riddermark which is called by many Rohan, the land of the Horse-Lords. It is nigh unto Anduin the Langstrand, between the Gap and the River, between the Misty Mountains and the White. I am one of the bards of Theoden King. I came here many mnonths ago with men of Gondor seeking... well, I cannot say now I fully understand what they came for. Wisdom they sought of some sort. My lord thought I, being a lorekeeper, would enjoy such a quest. But they did not allow me past Bree. So here I am, and I thought I might do some good before seeking my own road home alone. If there is wisdom to be had in the North, I hope they found it. I wish I could have as... forgive me. I am letting my tongue run on."

"Master Hraefengar. You have tarried long, for the men you speak of have sought counsel with Elrond Half-elven and returned east." With a dip of his head, Nurenhir smiles, but does not elaborate. "Yet your song -- and your spear -- will be welcome here. Allow me." The Elf disappears into a nearby half-built house, from which a villager issues a moment later.

Talbinor's smile at the horseman is laconic and utterly dry. "I know where Rohan is, thank you," he says, and he cannot keep the slight irritation out of his voice when he says that.

"Of course," and here he's back to his friendly tone, or at least as friendly as Talbinor ever gets, looking back to the eagle, "I should not wish to rely upon your good graces, but I should certainly be grateful of your aid were it available."

"Forgive me as well, for I think I have yet to introduce myself to anyone present, save the Master Baker here," the eagle nods toward the soon departing form of Nurenhir. "Sulgirion I am called, 'Wind-sailor' in the Sindarin tongue."

Amber eyes brighten a little, interest perhaps again aroused at the mention of the Gondorians. "Squires and Knights I came upon during a flight east. Indeed, they found what they sought." Sulgirion, likewise, does not utter aught more regarding thus, and instead only ruffles a few tail feathers in what might appear to be embarrasement -- though the reason remains unvoiced. Then there is a nod to the Ranger. "Very well, I shall tarry for a short while. If anything," the big eyes might seem to hint at their grin again, "I might learn something of how the creatures of the land raise their homes." That said, the eagle steps back a pace, ere spreading out titanic wings that shimmer, gold-rimmed, in the sun. Several mighty flaps later, and Sulgirion's shape is sailing away, most likely for a more quiet spot to settle down for a preening and rest.

[Hraefengar(#30729)] "I ask your pardon," answers Hraefengar, his voice soft. "Not everyone does know where it is, and I did not want to make you guess. I am an honest man, and when I identify myself I want to make it clear. I am not familiar with the North. Still, I would have you take what I said in the spirit it was intended. I serve my king loyally. He sent me here. I do not know who is Elrond Half-elven, though my mind is stirred back to old legends I learned there. Languages I learned there, and lore, there and in my own land. I would learn more here if any would share it, but, sharing or no, I shall serve here as I might. Upon my father's grave, I would not leave people in need without helping." He looks to the eagle. "Thank you, master of the winds, for telling me this. I am glad they found what they sought, at least."

With visible effort, Talbinor steels himself, closes his eyes, forces a smile, and nods, perhaps a bit curtly but politely all the same, at the Rohirric rider. "If you spend much time here," the Ranger replies, picking his words very delicately indeed, "you will find that there are many who would need that clarification, and a few who take a bit too much offense at being lumped in with the former group." He bows, rather lower than protocol perhaps demands but there we are.

"And, as I say, help would of course be welcome; though it has not been needed yet that does not mean it shall not be needed." A pause, to once again carefully run words through his mind. "I understand there are many trolls in the east," he says, not really saying much at all.

"Until it is needed, I shall do what I can. My dog here is an aid to me, but she also is good keeping vermin away. Or children occupied. Or herded." Hraefengar shrugs. "I do apologize for having offended. But tell me, is there aught you would have me do now? I can guard, or help some with hammers, though on the ground. Or I can give a tune to lighten work."

"I hardly run the show," Talbinor says, his forced smile turning into an inadvertant and rather wry one. "I am no handyman, and am not even much good to haul material from one spot to the other." As he speaks, a bit self-consciously, he tugs his cloak more tightly over his shrouded, ruined right arm. "Save when a hammer needs to be swung, I walk and monitor and make people close their eyes and mouth curses until I go away."

Looking about the village, briefly, Talbinor fidgets a bit awkwardly in the midst of the road. "I doubt a song would go amiss to get their minds off of the Ranger walking about."

"Then I will play and sing for the moment." Hraefengar nods his head, and he settles himself comfortably, drawing from the wrapped bundle a finely-crafted harp of glossy wood, inlaid and carven. He plucks at the strings, then begins to tune them.

The dog drags her pup over to the man, then lies down beside him. He bows his head, nodding once, then looses himself in the business of making music.


Date added: 2010-04-04 20:59:52    Hits: 97
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