Blithe the Days of Summer – Part Four

Blithe the Days of Summer – Part 4

Beldrieth was fetched by Aldish (who was probably the shyest out of the hobbits of Aubergine’s company, and had hemmed and hawed and respectfully doffed his cap a great number of times to the tall, impeccable elfess before managing to convey the message he’d been sent with). Despite her fluency in Westron and kindness and grace towards the small assemblage of hobbits, most of them were struck dumb and tongue-tied by Beldrieth. Brassica found herself wondering why the elfess carried such an air of gravity about her. Perhaps it was simply difficult not to sense her age, and to know how how to comport oneself around someone thousands of years old.

The appearance of Celebarad and Llythne lightened the mood considerably, as Beldrieth gently examined Bungo’s bruising wrist. Llythne was bouncing her dice merrily on her palm, and despite Brassica’s warning, soon she had Hal and Aldish rolling against her for trinkets and a handful of silver coins. Well recovered from any shyness of his own, Celebarad sat in the shady grass and chattered merrily to ‘Bergine, who seemed glad of the distraction now that her brother was in good hands.

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Blithe the Days of Summer – Part Three

Blithe the Days of Summer – Part 3

The breakfast that Aubergine Took had provided was a tasty and welcome start to the morning, and went a long way towards piquing Llythne’s curiosity towards the Summerday’s Festival, which she knew about, but was not actually really celebrated in Evendim. Brassica had been fortunate in borrowing ‘Bergine’s dress instead of Primmy’s–Primmy was stout even as hobbits went, and Brassica was closer in build to ‘Bergine, who was trim and perky. Once everyone had eaten, the tarts and the jammy bread having been washed down with fizzy sweet cider, Brassica retreated to the privacy of a bush, and wiggled into the soft yellow dress. It fit like a glove, and she spun and twirled girlishly, wishing for a mirror.

Now endowed with the capacity to flounce about, Brassica did so emphatically, her dress swirling about her every movement in a thoroughly pleasing fashion, as they tidied the camp and prepared to ride for the festival grounds. It had taken some cajoling to convince Beldrieth that they could spare a day for some relaxation and merriment, and that supplies could be just as easily purchased at the festival ground as they could in Bree Town, and probably with less fuss and bother. Once she had consented–and not unkindly, for she knew the value of a day of fun to the young hobbit–her charges had begun to prepare in earnest for the excursion.

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Blithe the Days of Summer – Part Two

Blithe the Days of Summer – Part 2

There was a strange fluidity between the pair of them–the mare and the elf. Brassica had noticed that Celebarad seemed to have a soft spot where the horses were concerned, especially his own Miriel. If Brassica hadn’t been clinging quite as tightly as she was, she might not have glimpsed the pure, unbridled joy that they both seemed to get from simply running free.

Brassica, tragically, didn’t quite manage any emotion other than stark terror until Miriel was urged to the crest of a hill and then slowed to a stop with a word from the elf. From this vantage point, Brassica could see the Festival Grounds, and see that they were indeed a place of great merriment, and there were certain to be more fireworks to come. “There!” she cried, and pried her fingers free long enough to point, and thump the elf on the shoulder. “Go slowly!” she scolded. “I feel about to fly off the back of your silly horse, for whatever the two of you think you’re flying on the ground.”

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Blithe the Days of Summer – Part One

Blithe the Days of Summer – Part 1

It had taken an entire day to calm Brassica down after they had left Trestlebridge.

Never mind that the town was half in ruins. Never mind that the guard were hard pressed to fend off from the Orcish camps that filled the canyon of Cirth Nur, and that Brassica and company had been fortunate to pass through Trestlebridge in a rare lull in the increasingly vicious assaults by the Tarkrip Orcs. Never mind that they were lucky that the inn was even still standing. And certainly never mind that it had been Llythne’s first time in a building less than a century old. Brassica had been shocked at the notion of what the big people allowed to pass for an inn.

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And the Echoes all Around

And the Echoes All Around

Author’s Note: To be read with this playing on repeat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKQwgpaLR6o

Brassica didn’t know what she’d expected the Fields of Fornost to be. The dream she’d had of the great battle was fading, bare scraps of memory clinging around the edges of her mind, like a tapestry torn away. Not that it would have been a good reference anyway, what she did remember of it seemed plainly absurd to her waking-mind, in the way that dreams do.

Her expectations entirely aside, the only word for the place was creepy. Brassica had shivered when they’d approached the Evendim Gate; when they’d passed beneath it, she’d felt as though someone had walked over her grave.

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By the Road Abandoned – Part Six

By the Road Abandoned – Part 6

If Brassica noticed, when she came bounding down from the watchtower, that Llythne seemed sleepy and yawned rather a lot, she had no particular comment. Speaking for herself, she was quite refreshed. The tower had been a wonderful place to sleep, and her thoughts coloured by the stories Celebarad had read her, she’d dreamed of Fornost and the great battle there. She would never have imagined that a dream of a battle could be anything but terrifying, but hers had been exhilarating and triumphant, and she’d woken all eagerness and excitement when Celebarad had gently shaken her shoulder.

“Good not-quite-morning!” Brassica called cheerfully, after fairly skipping down the no-longer daunting stairs of the watchtower. It was still dark out, though there was the faintest suggestion of the inky blackness of night beginning to pale towards dark grey in the eastern sky.

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By the Road Abandoned – Part Five

By the Road Abandoned – Part 5

“Well!” Brassica broke the silence that had fallen in the wake of Beldrieth’s departure, getting up with a stretch and a yawn. “I think I could do with some sleep.” She leaned over the kettle simmering above the fire, sniffing at the rabbit stew bubbling inside it. “That’ll come along nicely, I think,” she declared, pleased. “And you can keep it going a good long while, too, you know, just keep dumping carrots and onions in, top it up with water, some salt now and again…more coneys, if you catch them. Game hen, too, if there’s any around here.”

“You seem to have given me a gift that will continue giving!” Torogethir leaned over the kettle, to peer inside and inhale the fragrant steam rising from inside. “Ahh, the halflings are a kind folk, little mistress, it’s too long since I had anyone but myself to give a care for what I eat.”

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By the Road Abandoned – Part Four

By the Road Abandoned – Part 4

 

Whatever her opinions were about waybread, Brassica proved to be more than familiar with the way around rabbits, and had expertly dressed them with salt, honey, and some peculiar blend of herbs she’d acquired from the Ranger’s stores. She had eyed Beldrieth’s quiver of arrows speculatively, before thinking better of it and assigning Celebarad to go and cut her some stout sticks, which she had then directed Llythne to sharpen them into spits. When this was accomplished, she had skewered the rabbits expertly, propped them over the fire, and then proceeded to fuss and cluck about them as they roasted, until she deemed them worthy to be served, and they were dished out to the party, with chunks of tough dark bread, and a flask of pale, fiery wine that Torogethir had been saving for just such an occasion.

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By the Road Abandoned – Part Three

By the Road Abandoned – Part 3

 

Only a hobbit, Llythne had concluded, could go on at such lengths on the merits of waybread, as it was made by the elves as compared to the Dunedain. By this point, the burglar had forgotten how they’d actually came to be on this particular topic, but it was shocking just how much Brassica had to say on the subject. Further to the point, only a hobbit could find flaws with the elvish preparation, and been staunchly certain that she could improve on it, if given the opportunity.

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By the Road Abandoned – Part Two

By the Road Abandoned – Part 2

The sun had reached its zenith when Brassica began to suspect, with growing horror, that Beldrieth didn’t intend to stop for lunch. In point of fact, Brassica was beginning to realize that she’d never really made any proper observation of what the elves ate. There had been food in Tinnudir, certainly, and the Duendain had shared it around most generously, and if the fare was simple, it was still hearty and Brassica had greatly enjoyed it. But now that she really thought about it, she didn’t recall that she’d particularly noticed either of the elves eat anything. Celebarad, of course, had been making himself scarce, but Brassica couldn’t call to mind any memory of having seen Beldrieth eat anything. They must eat…surely they must, because the elf Lithuinin on the island of Rantost had given her several of his little cakes. And besides which, they had been at the breakfast feast in Dwaling, and surely they would have tucked in to an excellent and marvelously prepared spread, such as the one her kinfolk had provided. And yet…so far the only notion of food that had crossed anyone’s mind had been when Celebarad’s mount had strayed from the trail behind Beldrieth and wandered into a stand of blackberry bushes, because the elf had gotten it in his head to pull out his book, and try to read while riding. Brassica found herself glaring enviously at the elf’s horse, jealous of her few munched mouthfuls of berry bush.

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