Book 4: Act 1 - Kinstrife & Dark Tidings

It is the year 2946 of the Third Age, and the lands east of the Misty Mountains are astir. From the cloud-shrouded peaks above the High Pass to the spider-infested gloom of the forest of Mirkwood, paths long-deserted are trodden once again. Busy merchants carry their wares to new markets, messengers bring tidings from foreign realms, and kings send forth armed men to extend their influence and the rule of law. Some say that a new age of freedom has begun, a time for adventure and great deeds to reclaim glories lost in long centuries of oppression and decline.

But adventures are not really things that people go out and look for. They are dangerous and rarely end well. While it is true that a handful of valiant individuals set out to make their mark on the world, for others it seems that adventure chooses them, as though it is the path they are fated to tread. They are restless warriors, curious scholars and wanderers, always eager to seek what was lost or explore what was forgotten. Ordinary people call them adventurers, and when they return successful, they call them heroes. But if they fail, no one will even remember their names...

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Book 4: Act 1 - Kinstrife & Dark Tidings

Post by Vardaen » Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:39 pm

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"I once saw him sitting alone on the top of the Carrock at night
watching the the moon sinking towards the Misty Mountains,
and I heard him growl in the tongue of bears:
"The day will come when they will perish and I shall go back!"
That is why I believe he once came from the mountains himself."
― Gandalf, The Hobbit, Queer Lodgings
April 9th, 2948 The Third Age, Spring

More than half the year has passed since coming to the Easterly Inn in the middle vales of the Anduin Valley. The winter months have been mild, but not without their snow, and even this late into April some snow lingers in the shaded eves of Mirkwood. However travel has started up once more and the Easterly Inn begins to see more and more patrons. Dwarves traveling from Erebor to the Blue Mountains pass through and stay at the Inn. They are pleased to find Frier and Borir there and the small forge in operation.

Beornings from the south come up for ale and songs and fellowship. Honey cakes, honey, creams and other delights from the Beornings are stocked at the Inn, and pipeweed is traded in return as the Beornings are starting to enjoy the halfling leaf more and more.

Trade with men further north in the vale trickles down as well to the Woodmen in the south where iron spear and arrow heads are traded for grains and foodstuffs that will help the northmen last out till spring finally arrives there.

Things are prosperous, Finn's keen business mind helps with trades, Pipkin's cooking and knowledge of leaf spreads the renowned of the Inn, and Borir's little smithy turns a nice profit. Wren even has been selling his little carvings, mostly to those with children back home to take to them, but the competition from the toy markets of Dale overshadows anything he provides.

It is much a day like any other today. Varuthil is watching the kids outside. They play under her gaze but don't interact with her at all anymore, having given up trying months ago. Shadrach the dog sits next to the elf maiden wagging his tail and on occasion whimpering and looking up at her as if he wants a bone or a treat.

The Inn is in shambles from a rather rowdy night last night as a quartet of dwarves passed through and drank more than their fill and ate more than their fill. The sweet stores of honey and honey cakes of the Beornings are now about spent, and the honey mead barrel is dry.

Dindy and Dody are arguing in the back room about supplies and the need for more. Dindy is not keen on making another trip to the Shire, not after what happened last year, but Dody's concerns about stock are well founded. The two argue behind closed doors but you can still just hear them if you are in the common room.

Agatha is in the common room, and sighs as she lifts a chair and rights it once again, with a few of you, cleaning up from last night...
Welcome to Book 4!

Big party last night, maybe some of you are hung over trying to keep up with the dwarves. Certainly Finn kep the party going with some of his songs, but some folks could be helping to clean up things now.
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"He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." - Gandalf
J.R.R. Tolkien, Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Re: Book 4: Act 1 - Kinstrife & Dark Tidings

Post by Trogdor » Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:04 pm

Pipkin moves through the common room with a broom, sweeping up some of the mess from the previous night. He's feeling the effects of trying to keep up with the dwarves the previous night. Thankfully a proper Shire breakfast has settled his stomach and it's only a nagging headache that remains. He shares a look with Agatha as he sweeps.

"Well," he notes after a long silence. "At least they paid well. For all the mess, we made a tidy profit last night."

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Re: Book 4: Act 1 - Kinstrife & Dark Tidings

Post by Vardaen » Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:19 pm

Agatha nods back to Pipkin, "That is good, but we are out of all the stock from the Beornings. We are going to need to make a trip down the vale to trade for some of it again." She rights a second chair and then flips it over and sets it on the table. She begins to do this around the tables so Pipkin can sweep under them.
"He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." - Gandalf
J.R.R. Tolkien, Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Re: Book 4: Act 1 - Kinstrife & Dark Tidings

Post by Blubbo_Baggins » Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:16 pm

Finn had taken a walk that Spring morning, and had returned to the Inn to find something to eat. Approaching the kitchen, he overheard Dody and Dindy arguing behind closed door, so he turned back to the main room and began to do what he could to help. He hadn't tried to keep up with the Dwarves. After three pints of mead, his fingers were loose on the strings but he was still able to play. Any more and the singing would have been a capella.

"I am going to need to make a trip back home to Laketown. I'm certain we can pick up supplies for you there. Nothing as good as Shire pipeweed or beer, but good enough for travelers. However, in the meantime I'm sure after last night we will need more honey and mead. Some or all of us can certainly make a supply trip to Beorn...though I'd hate to leave without finding someone to provide entertainment to guests first."

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Re: Book 4: Act 1 - Kinstrife & Dark Tidings

Post by Eilandor » Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:02 am

Wren makes his way through the common room with only so much as a nod to both Pipkin and Finn. As he closes the door behind him, he can only imagine that his complexion matches that of the greenish leaves on his cloak. It turns out keeping pace with Borir has its consequences. Across the yard and into the woods he finally takes a knee and leaves the previous nights festivities on the forest floor. Standing while wiping his mouth with his sleeve he looks around, "Nobody needs to know of this..." Walking back across the yard, he eyes the boys playing under Varuthil's watchful eye. Managing a smile, he yells, "Hey! Did you get her to talk yet?"
Number Two: "You are number six."
Number Six: "I am not a number, I am a free man!"
Number Two: "Muh ha ha ha ha!"

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Re: Book 4: Act 1 - Kinstrife & Dark Tidings

Post by Muskrat » Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:16 am

Varuthil turns a baleful look on Wren and says, "I talk when it is needful, not wagging my tongue all the time." She sighs, realizing she was rude, and says, "But sometimes I do enjoy listening to the wagging of others' tongues." Which is true enough--sometimes listening in others' conversation can be fascinating. "I did not stay up for the whole party last night. Was there any interesting tongue wagging I missed?"

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Re: Book 4: Act 1 - Kinstrife & Dark Tidings

Post by Eilandor » Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:20 am

Wren stops as his hand rests on the door pull, then looks at Varuthil and gives a hush sound with his finger to his mouth. "Don't tell, I fear I was there the whole time but it seems missed as much tongue wagging as you did!" Hoping he didn't do anything too bad, he opens the door and finds Pipkin still sweeping. "Need any help?"
Number Two: "You are number six."
Number Six: "I am not a number, I am a free man!"
Number Two: "Muh ha ha ha ha!"

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Re: Book 4: Act 1 - Kinstrife & Dark Tidings

Post by Trogdor » Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:02 pm

"Good company makes any task shorter and more pleasant," Pipkin replies. "I'd be happy for the help. The other broom is back in the kitchen."

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Re: Book 4: Act 1 - Kinstrife & Dark Tidings

Post by Eilandor » Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:10 pm

Wren nods and makes his way to the kitchen to fetch a second broom. Agatha is paying him no mind, so he eyes a sweet roll and lifts it on his way out to the common room. Eating and sweeping simultaneously, Wren engages Pipkin in some idle chatter about the days to come.
Number Two: "You are number six."
Number Six: "I am not a number, I am a free man!"
Number Two: "Muh ha ha ha ha!"

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Re: Book 4: Act 1 - Kinstrife & Dark Tidings

Post by Vardaen » Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:25 pm

The fighting with Dody and Dindy eventually ends, and the back door is slammed shut. Dody comes into the common room with a worried look on his face but perks up as best he can as he spots the group cleaning up.

"Leave?" He catches something of what Finn is saying. "Oh good then you've decided to restock our honey stores yourselves?" He glances at the kitchen as Wren arrives chewing something but he hardly cares what it is. "We are going to need a restock and soon. Ale, honey cakes, honey, that sweet cream of theirs. A rather big load, I can hitch the wagons or if you prefer we have that row boat that was left here in trade last month by the northmen." He just assumes at this point you are all going to go shopping for the Inn in the Beorning lands; he also looks none too keen on arguing anymore after the spat with Dindy.
"He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." - Gandalf
J.R.R. Tolkien, Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

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