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 Post subject: Re: ~ The Roadhouse ~
PostPosted: April 5th, 2017, 10:14 pm 
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"Its Will, I'm her brother," he said quickly, turning to the speakers.

Tali helped him sit down by the fire, enjoying its warmth herself. The two huddled together, sharing the fire and their own little body heat.

"He's a ranger," Tali whispered. "He rode with the King."

Will straightened, "He did?"

"Yes," Tali replied. "There is the lady too."

"What do they look like?" Will asked very quietly.

Tali began to describe the two, though she did so very quietly so that only her brother could hear.


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 Post subject: Re: ~ The Roadhouse ~
PostPosted: April 6th, 2017, 7:11 am 
Dunedain Ranger of Arnor
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"It is good to meet you Will, and your sister Tali too. You two are pretty far from anywhere being up here. Not much around. One day that will change when the King gets to ordering his realm in the north. But as yet it hasn't happened yet. So if you don't mind me asking, what brings you up to these desolate lands?"

Durian eyed Dauwna as well, meaning to ask her the same question. Surely they woul dhave questions of him. He would answer any after her went out and tended to his horse.


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 Post subject: Re: ~ The Roadhouse ~
PostPosted: April 6th, 2017, 7:45 am 
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Tali hesitated at the question, but Will answered firmly.

"Our parents, sir," he started. "They were killed in the war. No one from our village wanted to take me...us in. We found that it was easier to survive in the wild, where there is more food to be had."

Tali glanced at her brother, hoping it wouldn't bother the strangers that he was blind.


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 Post subject: Re: ~ The Roadhouse ~
PostPosted: April 6th, 2017, 5:41 pm 
Dunedain Ranger of Arnor
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Durian stood by the door of the inn and listened to Will talk. Tali looked nervous but was quiet. Durian said,

"Yes... the war.... it was here in the north of Eriador as well...."

Durian noticed Will turning his head slightly when he began to speak. He had no sight. He went on saying,

"Some forget that there was war here in the north...."

His face went expressionless as he spoke as his eyes found the window that was on the wall to the left of the fireplace. Though appearing to be looking at the window, he was staring a thousand yards past it, out into the unseen distance in the direction of the highlands of Rhuadur. He wrestled his demon as her memory came again to mind. He closed his eyes hard and it appeared as though he was pushing the memory deep within him. He opened his eyes again and looked at Will and Tali, and gave her a reassuring nod. He said,

"There were many who were lost here in the north that have gone unknown and unspoken. I too lost someone dear to me while I was away south fighting."

As the vision of Saranna faded in his head, he sighed before asking Tali and Will,

"Where did you live when this evil happened?"

Durian gave a reassuring smile that slighted his face. They had done well to survive in the wild. He could see that Tali had keen eyes for the both of then, and Will the keen ears and nose. Together he could see they are more than capable. Durian was glad he could help give them some peace and rest here for the night. He would get the food he had and would give it to them.


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 Post subject: Re: ~ The Roadhouse ~
PostPosted: April 6th, 2017, 7:49 pm 
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Dauwna listened to Will and Tali, and watched Durian who had paused at the door to speak. She said to Durian,
"Do not burden them with needless questions. They will speak of themselves as they see fit, as will I, and you. The words of war and loss haunt you sir. Should I, a mere stranger, ask you of it?"
She watched Durian as he looked back at her. She stared hard into his eyes.

_________________
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.
You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet,
there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings


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 Post subject: Re: ~ The Roadhouse ~
PostPosted: April 7th, 2017, 7:06 pm 
Dunedain Ranger of Arnor
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"You may ask m'lady, but my answer will only be forthcoming should I have many of these old ales. I will return shortly if I do not drown or get blown away outside."

Durian threw his hood over his head and pulled open the door. The rusted hinges squealed in protest of having to move, and once outside, he pulled the door shut as a blast of wind and rain pelted him. Stormer was still there, head low and her coat dripping. Durian took her and led her around to the back, where another horse was tethered. He took its lead and he brought them into an empty decrepit stable. The roof did its best to keep the rain out, but the dripping was incessant, and there were no doors. They had fallen off and were rotted. He checked the integrity of the posts that held the roof up and they seemed solid enough to weather a few more storms, so he settled the two horses and pulled his satchels from Stormer.

"I'm sorry to have left you out in that for so long my girl."

As he gave her a hand full of wet oats. Stormer looked at him and her eyes swore at him for it, but quickly forgave him when the oats were eaten. The other horse looked over and eyed what Stormer was getting, and Durian gave some to her as well.

"It looks like you have a new friend this night Stormer. You two watch out for each other now."

He removed the satchels from the other horse and had a look around in the back of the stables. He found some jars of what looked like preserved fruit. The first jar was rancid, but he found a few that looked like they had stayed sealed. How old they were he could not tell. After giving both horses a pat, he headed back out into the rain and wind for the back door of the inn. He paused at the door and looked around, wondering who else mat be lurking and wanting shelter from the storm. If they did, they would have to come through the front door. He went in and closed the door, and bolted it with the timber that was leaned up by the wall. He walked out of the kitchen and set the jars and satchels down on the bar before removing his sodden cloak. His leather tunic, hauberk, and breeches were darkened where the water had found its way through his cloak. He ran his hands through his hair and pushed the damp locks back behind his face. He could see that Will, Tali, and Dauwna were talking, so he stood there and listened for a time.


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 Post subject: Re: ~ The Roadhouse ~
PostPosted: April 8th, 2017, 9:23 am 
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Tali leaned against her brother as he talked with the woman. Maybe when the Ranger returned she would ask him if he knew their father. Will's head turned as he heard the Ranger reenter the inn, but he continued talking.

"They say the King will come soon and the old kingdom will be renewed," he said quietly.


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 Post subject: Re: ~ The Roadhouse ~
PostPosted: April 9th, 2017, 7:12 am 
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"Yes, the king will come north and order his kingdom here. It may be a couple years yet. He has a new wife and there is still trouble in the east and south. But he will come north again."
Dauwna said in reassurance. She looked to where Durian was standing , and she said to him,
"I thank you for bringing my bags in. Now you come sit by the fire."
She said as she stood to retrieve her bags from the bar.

_________________
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.
You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet,
there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings


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 Post subject: Re: ~ The Roadhouse ~
PostPosted: April 9th, 2017, 8:03 am 
Dunedain Ranger of Arnor
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Durian gave Dauwna a nod as she approached. He took his satchels and walked over to the fire, taking the chair closest to it. He set down his satchels and took off his cloak an hung it up to the side of the hearth. He sat down and dug into one of the satchels and pulled out a couple bags. One had dried meat in it, and the other dried fruit. He set it out on the table and said to Tali as she looked at him,

"It looks like this is dinner tonight. Come, have some."

He encouraged Tali to help herself and Will to his trail rations.


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 Post subject: Re: ~ The Roadhouse ~
PostPosted: April 13th, 2017, 1:24 am 
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As Will and Tali ate some of the food Durian had set out, Dauwna brought her bags back to the table and sat down next to Durian. She opened her bag and took out a feaf-wrapped package and said,
“I have this elvish waybread. It is good in a pinch. Help yourselves.”
She unwrapped it, then she took a piece of the dried meat Durian had. She looked at Durian and as he looked like he may be in deep thought, she asked the question she said before he went outside.
“The weariness of loss does weigh you down Durian. I know it is not my place to ask, but maybe talking of it will help relieve the burden?”
She put his hand on his damp arm as she looked hard with care at his cheek. She then said,
“If you wish not to speak of it, I am sorry to ask. But know that I will listen.”
She gnawed at the jerky and thought some. She then said,
“I too was involved in this war, though not much. There was a fight in Bree, and blood was shed.”
She closed her eyes for a moment before opening her eyes and looking at Durian and then to Will and Tali who seemed content in eating and listening.

_________________
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.
You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet,
there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings


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 Post subject: Re: ~ The Roadhouse ~
PostPosted: April 13th, 2017, 1:54 am 
Dunedain Ranger of Arnor
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Durian heard Dauwna talk but he moved not. He stared at the table top and watched as Tali’s hand slowly took some dried fruit. He gave her a nod as if to reassure her it was all right to eat his trail rations, and he went back to listening to Dauwna. He drained his ale and said,

”My loss was great, and I have yet to deal with it. Her name was Sarrana.... She... was my wife."

He choked up when he said her name. He closed his eyes and after a moment, he opened them and stared at a knot of wood on the table top as his finger started following its edge. He swallowed and his eyes seemed to sink nto his head as he squinted as he spoke as if on a trance…

"She died, and I have never faced ... I never..."

He went silent and closed his eyes remembering as he spoke,

"It was the day a summons came from Halbarad. It was the last day I saw her. She begged me not to go. We argued, and I walked out to the stable for my horse. I had told her I had to, for I knew in a vision that it was Aragorn our chieftain asking from afar.”

Durian seemed to lose himself in his thoughts and memories, but Dauwna was right. Speaking about it seemed to draw out the poison of the thoughts. He went on,

”There were thirty of us Dunedain who rallied to Harbarad. We gathered east of Bree, and we were joined by the Sons of Elrond. We then set out south with speed."

He wiped his eyes and looked into his flagon for more ale, but there was none. He continued talking,

"Before I left our home in Rhuadur, Sarrana came to me as I finished securing my satchels to my horse. She cried and begged me to stay and was scared, and so I held her close for a long time. She always liked it when I caressed her shoulders. It was when the first drops of rain started to fall that she looked up at me and said,

""You go Ranger, with speed. Go with my love, and bring my love back to me""

We kissed long as the rain started to fall hard. Then I mounted my horse and I turned and rode away. I stopped and turned my horse around to again gaze upon Sarrana. She was standing there in the dim light, hair in soaked strings about her shoulders and her arms crossed to ward off the chill as her evening gown clung hard to her body. That was the last time I saw her. I got word some months after the war ended that our house and the villages nearby were sacked by hillmen. They were eventually beaten when they moved on Bree by the Dunedain Rangers which had remained in the north, but it was too little too late for my dear Sarrana."


Duawna’s hand rested on his arm, and he reached and put his over hers. He then said,

”She was found in the ashes of the cabin. There were arrows in her and she still grasped a sword. There was an unborn child there as well. I lost my wife and unborn child while I was away south fighting.”

He suddenly stood and he threw his empty flagon at the bar and it hit the back wall shattering and knocking down a shelf with some old bottles on it. Will and Tali jumped, as did Dauwna. Durian put his hands on the table and steadied himself. He looked to Tali and said,

”I am sorry. No amount of anger will change a thing. They died, and I live.”

He looked reassuringly at her as Dauwna stood next to him. Dauwna said,

”Come, let us get some more of that old black ale.”

They walked slowly to the bar. Durian had to find himself another usable tankard.


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 Post subject: Re: ~ The Roadhouse ~
PostPosted: April 14th, 2017, 2:26 am 
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Deumea went behind the bar as Durian leaned against it. She searched around and after pushing away some of the broken bottles he had knocked down, she found a large tankard… the ones a barmaid would carry about refilling patron’s mugs with. She taps the old ale and drains the firkin into it. She set it before Durian and said,
“Oh Durian, I cannot imagine the pain you carry. Have this ale, and I will go see of I can find more.“
She rubbed his arm then looked over at Tali and Will, and they seemed content eating some of the elvish waybread she gave them. She then went searching around behind the bar. Durian took a long drink of the ale, and Deumea said,
“I will have a good look around the back kitchen.”
Taking a lit candle, she went back in the kitchen, and seeing there was little around, she started tapping her boot heel. The floorboard sounded hollow. She walked back to the doorway by the bar and it sounded solid. She went back and dropped to her knees and felt the floorboards. She swepy away the dirt and looked hard for somewhere to try and pull it up. She finally found a knot of wood that was somewhat loose. She pulled out her dagger and pried up the knot of wood. She then slid her fingers down and pulled the floorboard up. Three of them revealed a cut, and the floor hinged up with ease. She looked down into the darkness, the candle struggling to light the heavy, dusty stale air below. A ladder was against one side. She thought about going down, but instead lay flat on the floor and leaned in with the candle. She could make out barrels and jars neatly lined along one side, covered in dirt and webs. She sat back up and then stood, walking out to where Durian was. She said,
“I think I found a larder of some sort.”
Will, hearing her words, turned his head toward them as he listened intently. Durian said nothing, he only gulped down the ale, trying to put the painful memories back into the deeps of his mind.





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_________________
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.
You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet,
there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings


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 Post subject: Re: ~ The Roadhouse ~
PostPosted: April 14th, 2017, 11:29 pm 
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Will listened as the ranger spoke, feeling the pulse of anguish and tangled emotions in the man's voice. Raw, barely healed feelings surged from Tali as she leaned against him. He could sense her unasked question.

Did you know our father? How did he die?

He took a bite of the waybread, trying to summon the courage to ask. He heard the man and woman walk away and poked Tali in the ribs. She grunted and he swore he could feel her glare.

"What?" she demanded.

"Shh," he quieted her, waving a hand.

"What?" she asked in a quieter voice.

"Are you going to ask?" he murmured back.

"No." Tali said firmly, before hesitating. "...maybe..."

"Well I am," Will decided.

"Now?" Tali hissed. "We don't know them."

"But he just shared about his wife and child," Will protested. "That he was part of The Thirty."

"He is a stranger. Both of them are," Tali insisted.

"You need to trust people," Will blew out. "I can feel they are good."

Tali huffed. "The last time I trusted anyone, you got that scar."

Will subconsciously touched the jagged white scar on his left cheek. "But I didn't get a feel for them then..."

"We were with them for days," Tali stated.

"I'm sorry," Will whispered.

"I can't forget," Tali shivered.

The memory of his ripping of his sister's dress came back at full force. The searing pain as the knife came down as he prevented the worst. Running, tripping over obstacles that threw themselves into their path. Will shook himself.

"I'm going to ask."

Will pushed himself to his feet before Tali could protest. The heat from the fire grew hotter so he quickly backed away. Tali sighed heavily and jumped up.

"Someday you are going to trip and fall to your death," she grumbled, taking his arm.

"Love you too," Will muttered, letting her guide him towards the Ranger.

He could tell she was trying not to be obvious about it. She didn't hold his hand as usual and kept bumping him whenever he started to run into something. Finally they evidently reached the location.

"Sir," Will started. "I...you said you were in The Thirty....did you...did you know Ranger Kevetil?"


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 Post subject: Re: ~ The Roadhouse ~
PostPosted: April 15th, 2017, 2:28 am 
Dunedain Ranger of Arnor
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Durian heard the two siblings approach but he did not turn around to look at them. Should one of them want to knife him in the back right now, he did not care. It would hurry him down the track that Saranna had taken where he could not now go. He instead took a long drink from the ale bucket that Deumea had given him. He heard as if it were a distant echo Deumea’s voice say something about a larder… but the word that he heard that fell the hardest on him was name spoken by Will… Kevetil!

Durian set the large bucket of ale down and turned his head to Will. His sister Tali clung to his arm as she looked at him with both fear and anticipation. Durian was expressionless as he looked at them. He eyed Will, then caught Tali’s eyes and nodded. He said,

”Yes, Kevetil. He was number 17. We Rangers who were able to answer Halbarad’s call marked each other with a number. We met Halbarad at the Forsaken Inn east of Bree. Halbarad did not have a number, but we would refer to him at times as ‘zero’. We numbered ourselves in the order of arrival. I was number 13. Kevetil was number 17. Yes, I knew him. We, with the other brethren who rode south to meet Aragorn formed a bond, sort of a brotherhood. It took nothing away from our brethren who could not go south, but when you ride to war and fight as we did, you become close, for your life depends on the man standing next to you and who has your back.”

Durian paused and took another drink, some of it running down his chin as he carelessly pulled the bucket away from his mouth. He could see Kevetil’s face… the last time he saw him alive. He could also see his face when he was found on the Fields of Pelennor. He and Halbarad lay near each other, arrows in them and sword wounds on their bodies. Durian looked at Tali’s eyes, and Will held her arm as he too stared at him as if he could see. What does he say of Kevetil to these two siblings? Were they his family? He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He then opened his eyes and looked at Tali and Will with love and said,

”Kevetil… he steadied me when my courage was failing when we walked the Paths of the Dead. A grasp of my arm and a nod he gave me then. It was all I needed to go on. Yes.. I knew Kevetil, Dunedain Ranger.”

He turned and looked at the wall behind the bar and took another drink from the bucket. He then noticed that Deumea was standing by the doorframe of the kitchen, looking at them and listening to his words…


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 Post subject: Re: ~ The Roadhouse ~
PostPosted: April 15th, 2017, 6:53 am 
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Deumea went and stood at the door and listened as the two kids came to talk with Durian. He was obviously getting drunk, and his words were flowing freely. She heard about the Rangers, and she looked at the floor as he spoke. She didn’t want to say that her husband was one of the thirty. She said goodbye to him and he rode away, and she had no word of his fate since. As these kids asked him, she too wanted to ask as well. What number was he? Maybe… just maybe he would know what happened to Bereck. She held her tongue and listened. She would not speak of him now. Instead she watched Tali and Will, and wanted to hear what Durian would tell them when they asked again.

_________________
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.
You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet,
there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings


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 Post subject: Re: ~ The Roadhouse ~
PostPosted: April 15th, 2017, 7:24 pm 
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”Yes, Kevetil. He was number 17. We Rangers who were able to answer Halbarad’s call marked each other with a number. We met Halbarad at the Forsaken Inn east of Bree. Halbarad did not have a number, but we would refer to him at times as ‘zero’. We numbered ourselves in the order of arrival. I was number 13. Kevetil was number 17. Yes, I knew him. We, with the other brethren who rode south to meet Aragorn formed a bond, sort of a brotherhood. It took nothing away from our brethren who could not go south, but when you ride to war and fight as we did, you become close, for your life depends on the man standing next to you and who has your back.”

Will listened intently, feeling his sister shift by his side. They were remembering one thing. Will, the cool kiss of the spring breeze and horse's hooves pounding away as goodbye's echoed around them. Tali, her father sitting straight on the red gelding smiling down at her, Will, and their mother. Then all faded away as the memory grew distant. A minute older.

The Ranger looked up at them and Tali tensed, fearing the worst. The news of his death.

”Kevetil… he steadied me when my courage was failing when we walked the Paths of the Dead. A grasp of my arm and a nod he gave me then. It was all I needed to go on. Yes.. I knew Kevetil, Dunedain Ranger.”

"I can't, Will," Tali whispered. "You ask."

Will felt her leave and stood confused for a moment. He suddenly felt cold and the sorrow tugged at him with icy fingers. Searching for the right words to say, he stammered for a few seconds.

"D-do you know how he died?" Will managed. "Do you know how my father died?"


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