The Gray Hill Inn

Discussion in 'Strolls Through The Green Hill Country' started by Mirelena, May 2, 2005.

  1. Halasían

    Halasían Dunedain Ranger

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    (Guess I've been holding up the party? My apologies.)

    Halasian finally said to Heinrich,

    "Oi! no need for gun play here. Nobody is a threat and somebody may get hurt. This is afterall, the Gray Hill Inn, a relatively peaceful place. Granted, if a band of Uruks came crashing through the door, that gun of yours may come in handy. But now that you got it a working, can I ask you holster it?"

    Heinrich looked at the gun, seeming embarrassed that it went off accidentally, being a soldier of Magyr and all. Halasian went on,

    "You may be a might bit confused by how you have arrived here, but I can tell you, odd things can and do happen."

    Heinrich thought about plugging the rough ranger with a shot, but decided to hear him out. Halasian went on,

    "Let me tell you about a time I was off on my own in the wild. I had set camp and had a rabbit on the spit. It was getting close to being done, when three white crystaly columns appeared in the field before me. Now not knowing what was happening, I took the knife I had in hand and threw it at one of the columns. As the knife left my hand, the three columns turned into humanoid folk wearing strange clothing. One had a yellow shirt on, one a blue shirt on, and one a red shirt on. My knife caught the red-shirted man in the chest and he fell dead. The other two assumed rightly so I was hostile, and I was shot with some type of gun similar to the one you posses. Every nerve in my body burned and I thought I was dead. It turned out I was just put into a heavy sleep. When I came to I was strapped to a bed in some very metallic room with lots of lights blinking on the wall above my head. A blonde lady who wore a similar uniforn to the blue shirted man, except it was a skirt that only came down to here, said to a light on the wall, 'Captain, he's awake."

    Halasian took a drink of his ale and seeing the soldier was getting bored, went on,

    "Anyway, to summarize, I was somewhere in "space" they said, which didn't make sense to me because I'm in a space right here. But they showed me a window where I was out amongst the lights of Varda, which really confused me. They said it was a mistake I was picked up, because their sensors only detected the heat and light source of my fire. Said there was a 'malfunction' in their sensors. Anyway, they thought their fancy light gadget wiped my memory clean, but though it was at first vague, it came back to me. So Heinrich, you were obviously beamed here by mistake or for another's purpose. But there is no need to carry whatever war or politics that you were a pawn in where you came from here. May you sit and have an ale or two with me and this strange woman. It would be a right bit more peaceful."

    Halasian downed the rest of his ale and ordered another round of three.
     
  2. Maiden_of Harad

    Maiden_of Harad Diligere est Pati

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    Heinrich stared at the ranger, noting his grim face, bespattered clothes and firm, scarred hands. Again he glanced at the woman, averting his eyes from hers.
    Should I trust him-after what she did to me? Heinrich pondered.
    He reached for his gun, a tingle running up his arm to his heart when his hands felt the cold metal. For a while he ran his hand over it, feeling its dips and ridges, stroking the outline of the engraved insignia on each side of the grip. As he did so, his face fell, and his heartbeat slowed.
    "Apparently it's all useless here-this insignia and the might it stands for," whispered Heinrich. "Here I am no one of importance."
    He darted his eyes round the room in a quick survey, gradually realizing that he was the tallest person in the room. Down at his lap he glanced, and there was his gun, gleaming in the wavering firelight. He lowered his shoulders, but his muscles remained tense and tingling.
    Just then, a blur whisked by him. Heinrich shot his head up, and saw the barkeeper carrying mugs of ale to the ranger and the sorceress. If he was going to act, he must do it now.
    "I'll sit with them, and keep my weapons handy," Heinrich muttered to himself.
    He rose from his chair and strode across to the other side of the room, a hand gripping his holster.
     

  3. Halasían

    Halasían Dunedain Ranger

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    "No wthat we got that out of the way, I myst say Welcome to this table fine and honorable soldier from another land. I bought you an ale on my dime, so hopes you enjoy it. Maybe while drinking it you could tell me about this place from which you come?"

    Halasian took a draw on the fresh ale of his own and then asked Heinrich,

    "Maybe you could tell me of the brews and such that you have enjoyed?"

    Halasian didn't have much to say about himself, except he was a Ranger who seconded as a carousing drunk, which was sometimes seen as not too noble by his brethren. He'd tell the guy that though, both being soldiers of a sort. Halasian added as Heinrich eyed the ale before him, still tense,

    If you take a sip, tell me what you think of this ale. I'm thinking the old house ale was better. But new brewers will try and make their mark. It will do for me.
     
  4. Elora

    Elora Dreamweaver

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    A pale, pudgy face that was not at all helped by the fact its owner smashed it against the window's glass pane caught Elora's attention. Inconvenient, she thought with some irritation, or then, considering the sneering demeanour of the stranger who was so determined to view assistance as insult and threat and now occupied the same table, perhaps not so inconvenient.

    "Please excuse me, gentlemen," she murmured as she pushed back from the table and stood, eyes on the window. The scoundrel had withdrawn as soon as he had spotted her within. They'd be out there, waiting. Well, she hated to disappoint.

    Elora prowled towards the inn's door with a liquid grace that was not quite feline and entirely otherwordly. She paused, head cocked to one side and an grin flickering on her face that no one could see. Even if they had, no one there knew what it meant.

    "Ah...very well then, if you insist," she purred, sidestepped and walked into the wall.

    There was no thud. The Guardian did not bounce back off the wall with a startled oath. She simply walked through it, as though walls and doors were the same thing. They were, for the Guardian of Arda. Ordinarily she kept such displays to a minimum - a frightened human was even more troublesome than a hungry balrog. But Halasian had a strong stomach and, frankly, she did not care what his new drinking companion made of it.

    Outside, Elora drew the night air deep into her lungs with relish. Inside, two wary table mates exchanged careful words. As Elora had predicted, Halasian had not missed the manner of her departure and scarcely missed a beat.

    "Is she gone?" his companion, back to the door and oblivious, asked with some heat.

    "Who?" Halasian replied, forgiveably distracted by such casual displays of power.

    "The sorceress!"

    "Sorceress? Her?"
    Halasian asked, shaking his head, "Clearly you're new here. She about as much a sorceress as you are a woman."

    "What is she, then? A witch? A demon?"
    Heinrich persisted.

    Halasian sighed. No good ever came of advice and he wasn't sure himself, but he had a hunch. A strong hunch.

    "Do they have gods where you are from? Do you worship powers there?"

    "She's a god,"
    Heinrich asked, contempt dripping from his voice.

    "No! Perish the thought! She's not a god...but she is the keeper and physical manifestation of a God's will and power. She is the Guardian of Arda. She is older than time, older than this world, and craftier than a bag of monkeys. So here's my advice. Leave her alone. She's no menace to you, she may even be an ally and anyone knows powerful allies are valuable. But make her an opponent and you'll rue it for the rest of the days. She'll give you a good long while to wallow in your misery too."

    "Prove it,"
    Heinrich said, unmoved.

    "You're a student of military history. Ever heard of the Sons of Feanor? Gondolin?"

    "No."

    "My point, exactly,"
    Halasian said, perfectly aware he was playing fast with the details but it was in the lad's best interests.

    In the ensuing silence, while Heinrich pondered this and muttered to himself as he was prone to doing, Halasian thought he heard the distinctive sound of a man squealing in the night. Elora reappeared shortly thereafter, this time using the door like a civilised person. Her expression was animated, cheeks flushed and there was a smile, an outright smile on her face. And, if Halasian was not mistaken, there was an extra pouch on her belt. She reclaimed her seat and peered at her tankard.

    "You didn't steal my ale!" she remarked.

    "Enjoying yourself?" Halasian asked and Elora looked up and into his face.

    Her eyes swirled, her smile grew and she breathed, "Oh yes...very much indeed!"

    Elora threw back her ale in a mighty swing, slapped the empty tankard onto the table and announced, "My round, next and you gentlemen are in luck for I have worked up a thirst."

    While Elora saw to more drinks at the bar, Halasian remembered a few other important details he had yet to impart, "Never get into a drinking contest with her. She is, after all, inhuman. And never get involved in a wager with her."

    Elora returned with three tankards that she dropped onto the table with aplomb, "Have I ever told you about that time I accidentally let a greased pig lose in Thingol's Grand Hall? It was an accident. Stupid wager but I've never been able to say no to Galadriel...greased pig, enclosed space under ground, lots of Elves in their fancy, sparky clothes and perfectly arranged hair..."
     

  5. Maiden_of Harad

    Maiden_of Harad Diligere est Pati

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    Meanwhile, Heinrich remained edgy, warily eying the stranger sitting across from him. And never once taking his eyes away from that woman.
    He swirled his mug, saying, "So you call this-beer? Or ale? Either way, I have never had any-I was always told that they were some sort of drinks invented by humans, and that people liked to get drunk off of them. Especially soldiers."
    He peered over the rim of the mug, then set it down.
    "Soldiers do not get drunk where I come from, but they do get high. Imported drugs are very popular, and there are several varieties of our own. But I do not use them."
    Heinrich leaned back in his chair, causing its joints to creak.
    "I do smoke a pipe. It does not cloud one's judgement."
    Then he remembered.
    "Ah, military history! Well, I studied the histories of my own forebears and of their enemies, but Feanor, Gondolin-never. Never heard about them in my entire life."
    He leaned over the table and stared into the stranger's eyes.
    "Tell me about them."
     

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