At The Hobbit Refugee Camp Annale Gentian

Before the Swan-ship
The waves crash and shatter against the rough stone that forms the coast here, exploding into tall plumes of foam that stretch to the skies and fall back to the seas again to join the chaotic mass of cascading salt water. This shelf of naturally formed stone, however, seems untouched by the deadly caress of the Blood Sea and its malevolent onslaught, protected by powerful druidic magics which keep this harbour amazingly calm. Two slender towers reach into the air, their bases of solid dwarven design which melds into a tall elf turret. Facing each other with stone arms raised in peace, the glorious statues of both a Quendi Elf and Khazad Dwarf crest the towers, a memorial of the magnificent bridge which once spanned the sea to touch the soils of Irrybis on the other side, and the collaborative effort of both dwarf and elf which accomplished this feat of architecture and sorcery. Rocking gently in the water at her pier, the Tinu Elena awaits passengers seeking the home of the Quendi, a beautiful vessel crafted in the form of a graceful swan.
Exits: west up
A long-time guard of Irrybis Island stands watch.
Padishar glows with an aura of divine radiance.

It is just before dawn, and the small port near to the edge of the Blood Sea is livid with hobbit activity while the elven guards stationed near by look on in distracting annoyance. The tiny cooking fires set near each tent send streams of thin, unsightly smoke trails into the air, unsettling the tranquility of the elven forest. Soon, the smell of the hobbits' breakfast, an unhealthy selection of fatty sausages and eggs fried in oil will engulf the vicinity, sending the guards on duty into a moan of exasperation. [Gentian]

Some days she felt as though there weren't enough hours in the day. This morning, before dawn had even started to show itself, Annale found herself heading to the shores, where the refugee camps seem to be wakening. The smoke from the cooking fires was barely discernable against the pre-dawn sky. She didn't actually know who the hobbit 'leader' was, with rumours that Kadgeon had gone "sunbathing", of all things. But she was certain that the 'leader' wouldn't be too difficult to find. [Annale]

Within the circle of tents, a small makeshift table is set up, cut from one of the trees in the forest illegally and knowing that the elven guards would refuse to step into the center of the hobbits' camp, the tiny ones got away with that. Around that table, small earthern cups filled with some foul brown brew are placed around a kid-skin map stabbed with daggers. [Gentian]

At that very table, a small child-like halfling has seated herself; her white silverish hair prominent amongst her comrades of darker brown and black shadings. Her hands cup around one of the mugs and her face is set in a rather determined look, her lips pursed up. [Gentian]

One of the guards falls into step behind Annale as she breaches the perimeter of the camp, weaving her way through the camp, around the cooking fires and avoiding stepping on any toes. She heads straight for the middle of the camp, her eyes sweeping the camp as she passes through. It surprised her how the hobbits lived, as the greasy smells filled the air, although she didn't dare betray her surprise. [Annale]

Hobbits busy with the morning meal or their laundry still do look up in a notion of surprise at the Tall One striding through their camp like she owns the the deed to the land. Even more surprised are they to take note that one of the guards followed her! [Gentian]

This creates a buzz amongst those seated at their cooking fires and they stop at their activities, gawking a little at the elf woman while she finds her way to the center where the meeting table is located. But before she could even approached, already a few halflings have made it to the table first, waving and attempting to get the silvery-headed hobbit's attention while fingers still clutching a half-eaten sausage link or two jab at the incoming Tall One. [Gentian]

She couldn't help but notice as her appearance in the camp seems to cause quite the stir among the halflings. She had thought about informing them that she would be coming, but had decided against it. If the news in the most recent Cry of Despair was accurate, then the Hobbits were buying up mass amounts of weapons. Finally spotting the table (with the help of a few hobbits rushing that way), she fixes her gaze upon the table, calling out in common, "Greetings and fair winds" as she comes within earshot. [Annale]

The silvery-head snaps up and her fingers release themselves from the mug. Whether it was because of the messengers telling her or that she caught the greeting of the elf woman, the female hobbit rises from her small stool at the table. [Gentian]

"Greetings." She replies, pushing an unkempt strand of hair into the fat braid of white against her neck. "I am Gentian, Gentian Quicksilver." The eyes of the hobbit raise up to meet the tall elf woman's, the gaze of the former tinged with a faint suspicion at Annale. "Are you here to tell us to leave?" [Gentian]

Annale inclines her head in greeting, acknowledging Gentian, "I am Tari Annale Firestorm. I am here to meet those who seek refuge upon my fair Nation's shores, and to hear, from those people, what caused them to flee their lands." Silently, she adds ~And to make sure that these people won't become permanent additions, or pose a threat~. [Annale]

The silver-headed hobbit cocks her head askew and steps away from the table, her comrades watching her quietly. Lest fearful of incurring Gentian's wrath, they do not say anything and merely turn all their heads in perfect timing to look at Annale while she addresses their camp leader, their eyes all narrowing the same suspicious way like Gentian's did. "I have to thank you first." The female hobbit begins slowly, pushing a small hand onto the edge of the table to steady herself. [Gentian]

"For allowing us to take cover in the forests of the Tall Ones." Emphatically, Gentian lifts her head once more to look upon Annale, her cerulean eyes widening slightly at the elf woman. "The other Tall One promised to allow us to do what wish as long as we did not harm the forests and we will leave once the threat is cleared by any means." [Gentian]

Just as the silver haired hobbit finishes her words, one of the followers raises his hand, slapping the small meeting table quickly. "We swear, your Highness, this table is driftwood. We did not cut down any tree!" [Gentian]

Annale's gaze snaps to the hobbit who spoke, her features darkening at the lie before turning back to Gentian, choosing to address the silver-haired woman, "The Elear spoke truly, you may stay upon our shores as long as you do not harm the forests, and as long as you leave once the threat is cleared. You would be wise to advise your people to speak more truly, for the forests will not lie." She shifts her gaze pointedly at the table and then back to Gentian, she was obviously not pleased. [Annale]

The small female hobbit shrugs her tiny shoulders in a helpless notion, her hand loosing itself from the table's edge and they spread to mimic the expanse of the halfling camp. "Zikel chopped down the tree in his haste to build this table so we may make plans to kill the Hungry One. I am sorry for his stupidity." [Gentian]

She lifts her snowy brows at the hobbit who has raised his hand and then, by her side, closes her fingers about the hilt of her sword and pulls it out swiftly, the metal blade singing into the air. "For that, your Highness, the tree is your blood and he will pay for it with the arm that he used to chop it off." [Gentian]

Tapping the blade's point onto the table, Gentian notioned for the stuttering Zikel to lay bare that arm onto the table so she may have it loped off. [Gentian]

"Blood will not replenish the forest. I would rather, Gentian Quicksilver, that he plant and tend, 10 trees to replace the one that we have lost." She appreciated Gentian's quick decision, and under different circumstances, would approve of it fully. But, the Elves did not appreciate bloodshed, and a man without an arm wasn't going to be of much use to the Hobbits returning home. [Annale]

Snowy brows still lifted, Gentian sheaths her sword now, flicking her fingers at the accused hobbit who has now buckled under the pressure of having his arm gone forever and have collapsed into a sweaty heap by the side of the table. "Take him away, and make sure he plant those trees the Highness asked of." [Gentian]

"Plant." Gentian repeats firmly, her blue-green eyes locked onto one of the hobbits who have volunteered to hoist the half-conscious Zikel away. The two of them swallow and nod, departing quickly from the scene. Now the silver-haired one turns to look up once more at the Tari. "We have asked one of the merchants of the Wet Ones to help but I believe he has turned coward and ran away from us. Despite that we do have treasure to offer him." [Gentian]

Her tone remains firm and simple, like a crisp report. "We have no mages and sages amongst us. Our people are born to hold the sword and plough, not to toss fireballs. Maybe that other Tall One who came by can help us?" She ends on one emphatic note, which one perhaps may mistake it to be a hopeful request." [Gentian]

Annale regards Gentian as the hobbit Zikel is taken away, making a mental note to send a druid here. Transplanting trees from the mainland can be a tedious, and strenuous, task. "I will speak with the "other Tall One". Elear Israfel and the Circle of Magi may be able to aid you in some way. I would like to know more about that which has driven you from your homes, so we can better prepare to aid you in sending it away." Without saying it in so many words, her tone implied that the Elves were intending on helping the Hobbits as much as possible. [Annale]

"Call Enite over." Gentian directs her voice towards another one of the halflings standing around and she scurries off to find the name she has voiced. "Enite has seen the Hungry One eat up her whole house. Well.." The female hobbit coughs slightly, changing her tone to a lower one. "Her house, her pots and her parents." She quickly masks over the words with yet another cough as a plump hobbit girl wanders over, her rough hands tucked into the pockets of her apron. [Gentian]

"Hullo." The one named Enite lifts up her round face in quite obvious terror at the sight of the Tari and her accompanying guard. "What.. what do you need me for? I did not cut down any tree!" She gasps, her hands rolling into small fists into her pockets. [Gentian]

"She's asking you about the Hungry One. Not trees. The one that ate up your mom and dad." Gentian rolls her eyes in gathered exasperation and sits down, sliding fingers into the mug of now cold coffee. "Tell the Highness what you have seen." [Gentian]

In between literal flustered gasps and a few sobs here and there, Enite recounts the tale of how she woke up in the dead of the night and smelt the stench of burning flesh, and that the Hungry One was breaking apart her house and gobbled up her parents while they tried to save the furniture and the pots. After her tale, the hobbit bursts into wails and had to be escorted away. [Gentian]

Annale's guard was obviously here to hear this tale and suddenly takes an interest in the tale, trying to glean information about size, strength, power, weapons, armor. A look of frustrated annoyance mars his face as the hobbit breaks down, not giving him nearly as much information as he was hoping. [Annale]

Annale listens patiently, not interrupting to ask questions, although she had many. Once finished, she waits for the piercing wails to quieten, "Thank you, Arwen Gentian, and our thanks to Enite as well. Her experience is horrid, but the information is invaluable." She pauses, trying to decide which questions would seem the least unfeeling. Do we know of anything that harms it? Or where it was going? I have heard the gnomes have had problems of a similar nature." [Annale]

"I'll just tell you what I know then." Gentian places her smallish hand onto the table where the kid-skin is attached with small daggers. "Those gnomes let the Abyssal One out, and it grew hungry, so it roamed till where it found meat." The hobbit sucks in a breath and continues, her eyes rolling. "Meat, us. So it started eating up the entire Burrows or whoever tries to escape. Everyone it ate, it turned into an exact copy of that person. It ate Enite's parents, it turned into them." [Gentian]

"Once it ate another, it turned into that person. As long as it kept eating, it will keep changing how it looks." Her blue-green eyes scour about the campsite now and back onto Annale, very disturbingly. "For all I know, Highness. It could be you. [Gentian]

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