A Stay In Bree

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A Stay In Bree

Post by Conleth on Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:09 pm

Days ago it had been a pleasure to set eyes upon weathertop once more. They had sheltered within it against the torrential rain that continued to pour down upon them. Weathertop, Amon Sul, one of the last watch towers to exist. Amon Sul, a bastion that was once occupied by soldiers and stood as a sentinel that overlooked the East Road of Arnor. But that was an age long gone. Now it was a ruin almost completely covered in moss and plants. A sign that the past age would be forgotten completely, in time. Aragorn didn’t know why that thought made him feel sad. Perhaps he wondered if the age in which he lived would too be forgotten. Perhaps he would be lost in time and all memory of his deeds and those of other great men and women. Surely forgotten if evil held sway in these lands. All withered away like tears in rain.

Bree was a dingy, hulk of a town expanded in a haphazard piecemeal fashion. Poor planning was the main culprit to its awkward layout. But no less awkward than the unscrupulous souls that called it home. Primarily occupied by humans, it occasionally received both Hobbit and Elf travelers. One of its more ‘well known’ Inns, The Prancing Pony was a usual stop for Rangers who passed through this way. As they entered the dank and smoky Inn their noses were assaulted by the scents of acrid smoke and the smell of stale man sweat. Several pairs of eyes watched them warily as Vanya began talking to the Innkeeper. A man who’d likely forget their names a few hours after they left. Barliman Butterbur cleaned a large, wooden mug with a dirty towel and nodded as Vanya asked him for accomodations. He nearly as tall as he was stout, with a large, round belly. He had thick, dark red hair with a thick mustache that hung down the sides of his large, puffy face.

He smiled at Vanya but once he saw Aragorn with his hood still down over his face the smile faded into worry. Known as they were, the Rangers of the North had a reputation for sticking their noses into business that they ought not to. Aragorn did not approach Vanya so it would not be clear that they were together. Several men who were drinking and talking nearby ogled the beautiful Elf but shifted their gaze to Aragorn once he closed the door. The talking seemed to lower for an instant before it sprang up again to the level it had been before they entered. The watchers too shifted their attentions back to those they sat with though some still stole glances back at the elf. Aragorn approached the bar from the side and slapped a silver coin onto the counter.

“Ale and make certain the mug is clean...this time,” Aragorn said a hoarse voice that hinted at displeasure should he not receive what he asked for. He did not look at Vanya. Barliman did not ask who the other in ‘we’ was. In fact the point had left his mind as soon as Aragorn walked in.

“I has good rooms fer ya miss. They is  two silver or three dependin on is ya wantin a cot or a bed,”  He said expeditiously as he nodded toward Aragorn and gave him a wary look.

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Re: A Stay In Bree

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:01 pm

Vanya's sharp ears picked up on the various conversations men were having throughout the inn. Several involved her, but she ignored their comments and their stares. She was used to being ogled as soon as she walked into inns. As long as they didn't touch her she would usually let it slide. Behind her, she heard Aragorn step in and close the door behind him. As soon as he did that all the attention shifted from her to him. She did not look back at him herself, but could see him from the corner of her eye as he approached the bar and ordered a mug of ale.

Vanya kept her attention on Barliman and was glad when he did not question her about her use of the word "we" when requesting a room. Most innkeepers didn't care if an unmarried man and woman shared a room, but some did. However, he also had no proof they weren't married either.

"A bed...and one with clean sheets," she said as she put down three pieces of silver. "I'll know if they haven't been changed."

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Re: A Stay In Bree

Post by Conleth on Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:00 am

Barliman gave Vanya an uncertain smile and an affirming nod of his head as if he were trying to figure out if she’d actually scrutinize the sheets. There was a smoky haze in the air inside the cramped common room and patrons were on both sides of both Vanya and Aragorn alike. Some had the stoutness and smell of men but there were a few women in the room and not just the two barmaids who gave men who pinched their bottoms suffering smiles that never touched their beleaguered eyes as they picked up empty mugs or set down newly filled ones.

“Barliman...my ale?” Aragorn said in a gruff, impatient tone. His purpose was clear for his outburst, a man who was not in a good mood was not a man who anyone should get caught staring at. And indeed eyes flinched away from him almost immediately. As Vanya’s own attentions, as well as Barliman’s were drawn to Aragorn out of the corner of her eye Vanya caught the movement of a thin wrist and quick fingers as a hand deftly snatched the coins off of the counter. Not only that she felt a slight tug at her belt pouch soon after where the rest of the coins were nestled. Next to her on her left sat a darkly clad fellow who, like Aragorn had their hood up. He appeared to be slight of build and smelled quite ripe as if they hadn’t bathed in some time. To her left was an older man with thick, tufts of graying hair on his balding head. He was missing several teeth and his thick, wool coat had several ale stains upon it. That and his head waivered as he recoiled his neck to sip at his ale he tipped up to his mouth.

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Re: A Stay In Bree

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:55 am

Vanya accepted the room key Barliman gave her, but wasn't sure if the sheets were actually going to be clean or not. She started to give him another warning about the sheets when she heard Aragorn ask about his ale. Her eyes shifted his way as she sensed his impatience. The two of them were tired and travel worn. They just needed a night in a dry, warm place and some food that they did not have to catch and kill themselves. If they weren't too tired Vanya hoped that perhaps they could make love tonight. They hadn't been able to do so while they were traveling as one of them had to keep watch at all times. They had both been feeling the affects of their lingering desires.

Suddenly, Vanya's eyes caught sight of some movement to her left. It was quick, but she spotted the quick movement of a thin wrist and small fingers as they snatched some coins off of the counter. It happened so quickly and she was so tired that it took a moment for her mind to register that it had even happened. She was so busy trying to look around to see if she could spot the thief that she almost didn't feel the small tug on her belt pouch. However, by the time she had and reached down to grab the hand of the thief they were gone. The room was so crowded and with so much movement that Vanya couldn't see where the thief had gone. The hand had not been that of an adult...of that she was certain.

As Aragorn finally received his ale she stepped over to him and whispered to him in elvish. "There is a thief here. They took coins off the counter and also managed to pick y belt pouch."

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Re: A Stay In Bree

Post by Conleth on Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:53 am

Aragorn accepted the large wood and leather mug as soon as it was set down before him. He didn’t look at Vanya directly and spoke softly a moment before he tilted the mug up to his lips.

“I saw someone leave, they wore a dark, hooded cloak and I think it was a girl,” He whispered and took a long swallow. It was a decent ale but he favored the coolness of it down his throat than the actual taste right then.

“I think…” He began but before he could say more a high-pitched scream resounded from just outside the Inn. From the west he thought on the alley side. Aragorn and Vanya’s eyes looked at one another briefly before He dropped his mug on the counter and followed Vanya out and around to the side where there was an alley.

The alley was not lit and there were large, wooden barrels positioned for the rain run off in the corners of the buildings on both sides. There were also wooden crates and discarded refuse as well in the dirt-packed street with runnels where the rainwater collected. The damp, wood and brick walls of the buildings that ran along it were a dingy brown and a faded green. Here and there there were doorways and wooden fences but it was the man that lay in the street that caught their attention first though it was all filling up fast with those that heard the scream. A woman dressed in an old housemaids coat, hat and apron was being comforted by others that had arrived. Her clothes were gray and white save for the blood on her shoes that gleamed dark and damp in the dim light. Two people had lit lanterns and stepped up to the body. As they did those nearby who saw gasped in unison. The man that lay there in a pool of his own blood was the Guard Captain himself, Tamarl Joshwin.

He lay on his back with a dark hole in his chest and his dark eyes stared up at nothing but his face retained its look of a pained expression. Pain or fear to which could not be made certain. He had on his chainmail hauberk and his light blue fur-lined cloak was beneath him. Vanya would notice near the body a couple different sets of footprints. Obviously the footprints of the woman who screamed...and one other set a bit smaller than hers. They appeared to hop over the body and take off in a run down the alley Northward.

“I sawr summon runnin down the alley but it twas so dark I can nay see who it twas!” The frightened woman wailed and others nearby muttered about about how little their own lives were worth if the Guard Captain could be murdered like this! And how unsafe Bree was at night!

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Re: A Stay In Bree

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:54 pm

Vanya glanced at Aragorn when he mentioned that he thought the thief was a girl. She thought so as well based on what little she had seen of the thief. Aragorn began to say more when a scream suddenly echoed from outside. It was a scream of fear and surprise and it caught both Vanya and Aragorn's attention immediately. Vanya quickly got up and rushed outside onto the street. The scream had not come from the main street, but from the alley. Of that Vanya was very sure. A crowd was forming and there was a sense of panic and fear rippling through the group. Vanya and Aragorn managed to push their way to the front and there they found the body of the Guard Captain laying in a pool of his own dark red blood. Beside him a woman dressed in maid's clothes was being comforted and consoled by several others. She was clearly distraught by the event by Vanya wanted to talk to her.

"Did you hear anything? Was anything said between the Guard Captain and the person who did this?"

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Re: A Stay In Bree

Post by Conleth on Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:02 am

Clarelle couldn’t really see the woman that addressed her though the oddness that a woman was asking questions in a time like this hadn’t filtered down to her right then. She was distraught and filled with fear. However a couple others there noted the exchange and as a result a few lanterns that provided only a small bit of light shifted Vanya’s way. Obviously those that held those lights were curious about a woman that would ask such questions.

“I...I could nay see...it twas dark an I was jus tossin out the refuse an I hears a man...in the dark. I don’t know why but I dropped the bucket as if meh hand suddenly went outta feelin. Scared I was but I could nay go back in err move from where I stood. I could feel ess eyes on meh an then some-un ran pass meh….the hooded one. A moment later my feet drew me to the alley an befer I knows it Im standin next to tha Cap’n screamin fer all I was worth!” She said then began to sob.

Aragorn didn’t like Vanya making herself known to these people and a woman asking questions, if they could not see that she was an elf, was going to be talked about. They were Rangers not part of the constabulary here. A few moments later and more people began to crowd at the entrance to the alley and two men stepped up in similar armor and livery than the Captain.

“Whats this!? Look! It’s Cap’n Joshwin!” One of the men croaked. “Alright, alright, back off now!” The other barked and appeared to flail his lantern up to dimly lit the faces nearest to him. Pale, fearful faces who began to draw away from the scene.

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Re: A Stay In Bree

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:01 am

The hood to Vanya's cloak was still pulled up, partially obscuring her face and hiding her ears. She ignored the looks from the men and women around her and kept her attention on the woman that had found the body. She listened closely to her story and wanted to ask more questions, but sensed that that would only draw more unwanted attention her way. She and Aragorn were being hunted by the Wraiths and they needed to remain as invisible as possible.

She sunk back into the crowd as a few other guards appeared on the scene and stepped away with Aragorn. "So, we are dealing now with a thief and a murderer," she said in a low voice to him. "We both agree we think the thief was a young girl. I highly doubt a young girl would be able to kill a Guard Captain."

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Re: A Stay In Bree

Post by Conleth on Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:21 am

Aragorn moved away from the scene and followed Vanya down the alley and through a fence gate that led back toward the Main Street. There was a cobblers shop to their right and a small flat area where several tarp covered carts stood. A small hawkers plaza he guessed long since closed for the evening.

He nodded at Vanya’s words. “You could be correct but if she didn’t it is likely who did kill the Captain has seen her which puts her in a pickling jar in either case,” He said and then rubbed his chin thoughtfully.

“I say we steal away and continue on our journey or do you sense something more here that I do not?” He asked. It was a forgone conclusion that elves, even half elves had a keen awareness of that which mortal men could not detect. He had learned to trust her instincts over the few years he had known her. That and the longer they remained in one place, the more familiar people became of them and the less likely they’d forget them to.

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Re: A Stay In Bree

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:27 am

Vanya carefully considered the situation. She knew that they had already drawn attention to themselves and that attention would likely increase the longer they remained in Bree, but something in the back of her mind told her that they needed to stay.

"I think there is something more going on here," she told Aragorn honestly in a quiet voice. "I think that girl may be in danger. A young girl would not normally be a thief if she was in a good situation. I think we need to find her."

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