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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By the Road Abandoned – Part One

By the Road Abandoned – Part 1

The morning was bright, and clear, and the gold of the sunrise over the lake promised a beautiful summer day. They had passed a few days on the shores of Lake Evendim, but now they were to continue their journey eastward, and cross into the North Downs. Brassica was assured that there were Rangers to be found in this region as well and as she now bore a seven-pointed silver star pinned to the mantle about her shoulders, she would be known for a friend. There was a sense of determined industry about the Ranger camp of Tinnudir, and as she finished making the last check through her pack to ensure she had everything, Brassica found herself saddened by the thought of not being a part of it any longer. There was a nobility about their cause that it was impossible not to admire. The Dunedain had fed her and clothed her, and helped rescue her from the hands of the brigands who roamed the land. She had heard their stories and learned their history, if only in a tiny part. Enough to realize that she had lived her whole life–indeed, all of hobbit kind had lived their whole lives–in peace and safety, for which they were indebted to the guardianship of the Dunedain.

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