Survey results & NEW RULES

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Fear

Hunt

Five Senses

picture challenge

Ideas

Misunderstandings

Habits

Trust

Walls

Originals and Copies

Resolutions

Doors

Sacrifice

Sky

Birthdays

Oaths

Brothers

Pain

Anonymity

Waiting

Life and Death

First

Escape

Memories

Creatures

Stones

Knowledge

Directions

Opposites

Circles

Money

Raiment

Sickness

Out of Place

Unexpected Adventure

Endings

Beginnings

Alphabet Story

Weather

Bonds

Betrayal and Forgiveness

No Time

Yes, I do

Mystery

Mmmmmmmm...

Temptation

Shadow

Holidays

Letters

Smile

Magic

Mountains

Dialogue

Weapons

Capture

Smells

Promises

History Repeating Itself

Jewels

Last Words

Seed

Around the Fireside

Moments of Transition

First Meetings

Stars

Languages

Heirlooms

Candles

Stories and Pictures

In the Name of Love

Animals of Middle-earth

Alcohol

Numbers

Music

Colours of Middle-earth

Dreams

Trees

Father and Son

Names

One Voice

Anniversaries

Heart Break

Resolutions

Losers Weepers

Finders Keepers

Devil's Advocate

Falls

Journeys

Five Ingredients - Your Recipe

The Student Surpasses the Teacher

Mothers

Pranks

Return of the Light

Trading Places

The Price of Freedom

Giving Gifts, Receiving Gifts

Bad Habits

Weird Tales

Crossroads

Elven Realms

Competitions



Crime and Punishment

"When I Was Your Age...!

Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

Excuses

Leavetaking

Once Upon A Time

Disguises

Healing

Love

Growing Up

Twenty-Four

Dark Places

Friend or Foe

Well-laid Plans

The Sea, The Sea

Good and Evil

The Four Elements

As Time Goes By

Childhood Fears

Whodunit

Me, Myself and I

Skills

Maidens of Middle Earth

Crossing Borders

On Location

Home is Where the Heart is

A Glimpse of the Future

That's a First

Hobbits

Secrets

Unlikely Heroes

The O. C.

Lest we Forget

Proverbs

Choices

Friendship

If I could turn back Time

Wanderlust

First Sentence

Things to be Thankful for

White Lie

Winter Wonderland

Rituals and Festivities

Boo!

Happiness/Unhappiness

Family

Drabbles

What If ...?

One Title: Your Story

A Fairy Tale, Middle-Earth style

Games People Play

Friends in Small Places

First Impression


BeginningsG-rated



I would have expected a mortal to be more surprised, I think, as we surround him, arrows aimed, and he calmly stands, hands raised, waiting.

“Mae govannen,” he says, quietly, and then falls into the uncouth Westron tongue, “I am glad to see you. I bring a prisoner – Mithrandir would ask your king to keep him safe a while.”

I cannot see a prisoner. Then I realise he refers to the squirming sack at his feet.

Odd.

I raise my brow, wanting more explanation.

“I was raised in the house of Elrond,” he says, as though that is likely to recommend him to us, “by birth I am one of the Dunedain.”

Again, I wonder why he thinks this is likely to make me listen.

“This prisoner,” I ask, “what manner of creature is it?”

He shrugs, and I suppose he thinks his smile is disarming as he admits, “I do not rightly know its full history, or breed – but it is small, yet vicious.”

For a moment, I long to ask for advice, but I cannot be seen to do so in front of an outsider. I must make my own decision.

I lower my bow,

“Your weapons,” I say, “we will take you before the King. Let him hear your story.”

He acquiesces in silence, but I notice he is loath to part with his sword. He does, in the end, and I wonder why, when I see it is no sword, merely a broken shaft. Oh, it is good work, ancient, but – broken. I suppose it is the way of mortals, to treasure such things.

They have only short lives, yet they persist in filling them with objects. An elf would either mend it or replace it.

He tries to talk to us as we take him to the Halls – both in his own tongue, and in some form of Sindarin – but we ignore him. He may like to think of himself as elf-friend, guest, but here – in this realm – the word of a half-breed Noldor means little, and he is captive. Detained at my lord King’s pleasure.

We let him continue to carry the sack containing his prisoner.

What else are mortals for, after all?

“My lord King,” I say, kneeling, “we found this – man – in the Forest. He says he has a vicious creature which Mithrandir would have us imprison for him.”

I wait, watching the impassive face, until he makes the gesture allowing me to rise.

Another gesture, and the man comes forward.

He repeats his account of himself, and then there is a long impassioned speech. Something mortals, I have been told, are given to, always thinking their little lives and concerns so important.

Ada – my lord King – hears him out, and sighs. He makes another beautiful gesture, and the man retreats.

“Legolas,” he looks me over, his cold eyes seeing only my failures, and I long for the chance to please him, “your group found him, you had best take charge of this creature. Place it in the dungeons – and this time, try to keep it there. We do not want a repeat of the – Erebor incident – do we?”

I flush, I cannot help it,

“No, my lord King,” I say, eyes downturned, “we will do as you say.”

I want to ask if we are to cease our usual patrols, but the words do not come to me, I am silenced by his presence – as I always am.

I need not.

“This will be your duty from now until we are rid of the creature,” he says, “Arasfaron, let the captain of the guard come to me, patrol duties will need to be reassigned.”

The silent and efficient Arasfaron nods, and walks away.

I bow, and retreat.

As I do, he speaks once more,

“I can offer one night’s hospitality to the friend of Mithrandir, then you will wish to be on your way,” he dismisses the man, “Legolas, you found him – see that he is given guest quarters and made welcome.”

For the first time, my lord King – Ada – looks at me with a hint of shared understanding, and I nod, knowing what he means.

See that this scruffy mortal is cleaned up if he wishes to eat in Hall, and see that he does not wander anywhere he should not, see anything he should not.

There is much in this kingdom the Noldor of Rivendell need not know.

The man follows me until the creature is safely locked away. It is indeed most unpleasant, and I cannot imagine what Mithrandir – or any other – wants of it. It hisses.

As we leave the dungeons, I brace myself. I know my duty as host, and I will do it, whatever it costs me. I turn to this man, and say,

“You are greatly in need of the comfort of comb and song, I think – will you join my group?”

He frowns a little, and answers,

“I am no elf, though I lived long years in Rivendell. I would be grateful simply to rest, eat, and be on my way in the morning.”

I try to control my expression, not to show the horror at his appearance – at his lack of care – but I suspect I do not. At least, not to any other elves – any more than the Silvans of my group manage to conceal their thoughts from me. We are indeed relieved not to have to comb with one so matted and grubby – but – the thought that he cares not for his state – is enough to make us uneasy.

“As you will,” I say, and we ensure he is left at a pleasant guest chamber, that he will have all he can require – apparently not including soap or water for washing – and I task two to watch his door.

“Be ready to offer him any help he needs – if he wishes to leave, he may – he must tomorrow, as the King said. Do not let him wander,” I speak quietly in our Silvan tongue, that he will neither hear nor understand my words.

“Farewell, Legolas,” he says, and I nod in answer.

I turn away, and I do not let myself think on how he spoke so urgently to my lord King, how he was listened to with such attention, how he travels alone so far. I have my position here, my tasks, my group. I have no desire to leave this Forest of mine.

I would not wish to be so alone.

I would not wish to be unwashed, uncombed.

He is only a Ranger, a Man.

He will never amount to anything.

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