Going to immediately put this under a “read more” because it’s literally thousands of words.
Lori inspected her reflection in the looking glass as she finished inserting her earrings. Her lips curved into an unbidden smile when the turquoise beads shone in the sunlight. Wearing these was always a treat; not only were they beautiful, but they reminded her of fond summer memories. She would occasionally miss her scruffy Gondorian sailor, but in the end, they both knew it was better to part on good terms.
She and Tarlanc had acted like a bunch of lovesick teenagers back then; a rush of hormones and fast declarations of love and general impassioned groping. She wouldn’t trade that time for anything in the world, but it wasn’t sustainable. They both were too used to doing their own thing, and after that merchant ship sank, it was clear that their worlds weren’t going to be compatible long term. He needed to go back to Gondor for a long time and wanted her to come with him, but she wasn’t ready for that yet. She had a house, a business, an entire life here.
Even though the two of them were head over heels for one another, Loriwen still wasn’t quite ready to settle down, much less have children, with someone she had known for three months! Some of her friends thought she was insane, but she knew it was the right call. They were just starting to get to know one another. What would have happened if, in half a year, they suddenly discovered a serious and fatal flaw in their relationship? He’d probably be out at sea most of the time anyway, and Lori wasn’t willing to live that kind of life.
And so, one late summer night, they said their goodbyes. He gave her the earrings she now admired, and she gave him an amulet she had carved of the lost ship. Hopefully, he still carried it as a reminder.
The door rattled as someone banged on it, jarring her out of the reverie.
“Oi, c’mon Lori. Market opens in a few minutes; we’re gonna be late!” Her oldest friend’s voice rang through the wood.
Lori shook her head and grabbed her sack of trinkets before running to head outside. The sun radiated down on her as soon as she stepped through the doorway. The wet smell of earth rose to her nostrils and she smiled widely, closing her eyes to soak it in for a few moments. Fall was coming!
The door creaked open and a wave of hot air rushed out of the inn, blowing Bryn’s hair away from her face. Incongruous smells mingled, somehow combining to form a symphony of comfort in her mind: pipe smoke, roasting meat, yeasty beers, the rich taste of metal armor in the air. Loud and entirely too hot in the summer though it may be, The Pony was one of the safest and most beloved places Bryn had found. She figured that this was what “home” was supposed to be like.
She stepped inside and walked over to the bar with purpose, head held high and shoulders back. She was a real customer tonight, not just a street rat paying a fair price for a bag of bread and apples. Barliman’s smile when she first sauntered over to his bar was hesitant, but the tight smile quickly turned genuine after she gave him her order.
“’ey Barli, gimme a real bowl’a stew, an’ whatever’s yer best tea.”
Bryn paid out the exact cost of a full meal with a rare smile and headed to sit at the table closest to the bard currently strumming a lively tune on his lute. The young Hobbit had to still be a tween but he had a lot of talent; his song was both invigorating and comforting, much like a warm cup of tea. She relaxed against the wall behind her, watching his bright eyes carefully keep track of his fingers.
Barliman’s hired help, a young woman with curly auburn hair and clear blue eyes, plopped down a steaming mug of tea and bowl of stew. Bryn could barely stammer out her thanks before the barmaid was swaying through the crowd again. This smelled heavenly! Was that onion, carrot, and potato? The meat – probably beef – looked tender and juicy.
…This really must be what a “home” really was supposed to be like.
Deep blue eyes slowly opened, immediately squinting shut once more when golden-red rays of light bore into them. Tegil stretched for a few long, absolutely sublime, moments before getting out of bed. He had managed to fall asleep in the afternoon heat yet again and it looked like he was going to be awake just in time to watch the sun dip below the horizon. He swung his legs off the edge of the bed and grunted as he pushed himself up to a stand.
Sunset was always his favorite time of the day, but particularly here at his estate in Dol Amroth. He especially loved the after effect, the light purples that spread across the sky, welcoming the moon to her evening. He took a deep breath of salty air and exhaled in a smile.
Life was simple here, but it had some challenges. The bustle of the busy street below, the roaring of the waves…the atmosphere was particularly loud. That didn’t work for some, but Tegil was grateful for the change in scenery from Bree-land. He missed his friends, and would still occasionally write them, yet this existence suited him better. As he watched the last of the sun’s light slip beyond the horizon, he mused that it would be nice to have company on his walks along the beaches or forests, though.
He needed to meet people.
Osbeorne pulled another shirt out of his dresser, unfolding it and laying it down on the bed. He found that it was better to roll his clothes when traveling; easier to fit more in the same pack. This trip would hopefully go better than the last one. He had a wicked scar from his mishap during the fight with that asshole and really didn’t want to repeat that if possible. Kieran was a good kid and Os wanted to help out however he was able.
Hopefully, that little girl would come to her senses and leave with them, too. Sure, Kieran was clearly taken with her and that was nice and all, but the thing he kept thinking of was that parents shouldn’t be that way. What kind of mother lets their daughter get treated like that? It wasn’t right. He’d never treat a kid like that, even if the kid wasn’t his. That guy deserved everything he got.
He folded his shirt in half and methodically rolled it into a tight cylinder, taking some of his frustration out on the poor piece of clothing. Stuff like this only made Os surer he wanted to look into that adoption stuff. He wasn’t giving up on finding someone, but it was about time he needed to really look at what he wanted to do with his life. One of the things he definitely wanted to do was to help raise a kid, and what better way to do that than to adopt a poor kid who doesn’t have a family yet?
His ma wasn’t too keen on the plan; she was concerned that any woman who may be interested in him would find a pre-existing kid a huge detraction, but Os wasn’t actually concerned about that. Why would he want to spend his life with someone who didn’t understand and appreciate the value of bringing a kid in and helping them become a productive adult?
Os sighed and tucked the rolled-up shirt into his pack. When he got back from this trip, he’d start the paperwork for being evaluated. Money wasn’t an issue, but he would have to show he could provide a suitable home. He could do that!
A breeze gently played with the hanging braid of midnight-black hair, slowly swinging it back and forth. A sleepy smile came to the lips of the elf to whom that braid belonged; the breath of coolness that danced upon the late summer’s air current was very welcome. Aeldes hummed a soft tune, one long lost to time and tragedy. Nights like tonight gave her bittersweet memories of her time wandering the forests of Beleriand. It was, as always, so long ago and yet seemed as if it were yesterday.
She didn’t mourn the lost lands or those friends of hers who had sailed beyond to never return, but it did fill her with a sad longing. If she hadn’t been bedridden for so long, she surely would have left with them, but alas, she remained and with much of her passion for the land. This “Bree-land” was a particularly rustic but charming area, and it deserved to be allowed to flourish!
Aeldes stifled a yawn of contentment; this was a wonderful green land, but there was wandering yet to be done in her imagination.
This is 100%, unequivocally, absolutely your fault. This survey was incredibly helpful, if utterly time-crushing, to someone who is easing back into RP. Those of you who know me and my characters well will recognize four out of the six, and there are updates for each of them scattered throughout the piece. Two new characters (both of whom I have fallen in love with while writing this) make a debut as well.
Side note: Lori is here and updates are current (as well as in line with the original timeline I set forth last year). I updated her bio page already, but it boils down to this: she is semi-retired. Lori will appear in occasional blog posts, but she will not be RP’d in game, except for specific requests. Not only is her husband’s in-game character retired, but I really don’t think I have the time to RP a pregnancy alone.
Without further ado, HAVE A WALL OF TEXT!!! *nom nom nom*
Body and Appearance
1. Describe the character’s height and build. Is he heavyset, thin, short, rangy?
- Loriwen – She is 5’4”, and slight all around. Over the past few years, married life has softened her up a bit, giving the woodworker some notable curves, mostly in her hips.
- Tegil – Six feet tall and very lanky. If he ever worked hard labor, he could bulk up quite nicely (his older brother is very built) but for the time being he is content to stay lean.
- Tuija – Average height for a woman of the Lossoth, with a voluptuously curvy figure. The phrase “child-bearing hips” has most certainly crossed people’s minds, in both Forochel and Bree-land.
- Brynlee – She probably has another growth spurt left in her, but Bryn is slightly below average height-wise. Most would consider her an average build, bordering on thin at times. With proper feeding, she looks as if she could fill out nicely.
- Osbeorne – Taller than average, very muscular. Years working the smithy have given him a sturdy physique that is more top-heavy than not.
- Skyrah – Very tall for a young woman, nearing 5’11”. She is extremely lanky – two years of solid food and care barely seem to have had an effect; apparently she naturally looks nearly gaunt.
2. How old is he?
- Loriwen – Turning 33 this month.
- Tegil – Turned 21 last month.
- Tuija – 28.
- Brynlee – 16.
- Osbeorne – 29.
- Skyrah – Now 20 years old.
3. Describe his posture. Does he carry himself well or does he slouch?
- Loriwen – You will be hard pressed to find Lori doing anything but slouching. Her hands tend to float at her side as she walks, using them as a way to balance herself. She’s very clumsy and her feet have a delay in reaction, causing more than one spill throughout her life.
- Tegil – He has absolutely impeccable posture, even while lying on the ground to inspect a flower. When describing something to someone, he has a habit of leaning forward, the only time he will do aught but sit straight.
- Tuija – She is poised, but her posture is not perfect. Graceful is the best word to describe how Tuija moves throughout the world. Her shoulders do slouch when she concentrates heavily on something, like her mending.
- Brynlee – Her head is often down, eyes scanning the ground more than people around her. She seems a bit like a beaten puppy when she moves through a crowd, scurrying from point A to point B. Squared shoulders give away at least some training in proper posture, however.
- Osbeorne – When he is working at the forge, his posture is tense and careful. At all other times, though, he slouches with the best of them and pays no mind to how he sits or stands. As long as he is comfortable, Os is happy. He enjoys raising an arm above his head and resting his forearm on the crown of his head while idly sitting around; the action seems to be second nature to him.
- Skyrah – Shoulders back, head held high, and spine held straight…perhaps a little too straight. When walking around in public, Sky seems to carry herself with almost too much self-esteem; to the trained eye, that is because she clearly does a bad job of mimicking those with proper posture. When around those she trusts, she relaxes into a more natural pose, but her head is still held high.
4. How is his health? Is he fit or out of shape? Any illnesses or conditions? Any physical disabilities?
- Loriwen – For the most part, she is extremely healthy and fit. She has a slight short-term memory problem due to a plague that took her out for a few weeks, and her feet have an issue with delayed reaction. If she isn’t careful, she will trip over seemingly thin air; as long as she pays attention, it’s barely a disability at all.
- Tegil – He is fit, and has no known health issues. His metabolism is quite slow, however, and he makes no secret of how carefully he eats (both his eating speed as well as dietary habits).
- Tuija – No known health issues or disabilities.
- Brynlee – She is an undiagnosed anemic and has Vitamin C deficiency, causing her to always feel cold and to bruise easily. Eating a proper diet will correct these things, not that she knows it.
- Osbeorne – He’s in fantastic shape, although he’ll cough occasionally. Working around smoke-filled forges and smithies has begun to affect his breathing.
- Skyrah – She looks nearly malnourished, but that is just her lanky build; she is perfectly healthy.
5. How attractive is this character physically? How does he perceive himself in the mirror?
- Loriwen – Lori is more attractive than she thinks, but she’s not gorgeous by any stretch of the imagination. Her bright teal eyes are her best feature. She’s pretty unforgettable looks-wise, unless you’re a legs/hips man; then she’s probably caught your eye at least once and probably from behind. Her husband would probably throw me out for calling her less than perfect.
- Tegil – Tegil will forever have a case of “used to be fat,” so he will never be satisfied with his appearance. He is lean and healthy, and has as stereotypical a Gondorian face shape as is possible. For those who are attracted to dark hair and eyes with chiseled features, he’s stunning.
- Tuija – She is gorgeous and knows it, but she only cares so far as to make sure she is always presentable for her betrothed. They will be married soon, so she is taking extra care with skin creams lately. It’s had a great effect on her appearance. If you find very curvy women attractive, she is certainly drop-dead gorgeous. If you prefer lanky or lean figures, you’d probably consider her “not your type” but appreciate her beauty.
- Brynlee – If Bryn had proper nutrition and diet, she would fill out into a lean but lovely young lady who probably would forever lament her lack of fuller breasts. She has a very round face and certainly has potential, but it hasn’t been realized yet.
- Osbeorne – He is average and happily aware of it, but if you are into the more rugged, good ol’ “man’s man” kind of appearance, Os is the pinnacle of what you enjoy.
- Skyrah – Since filling out and gaining more self-confidence, Sky has begun to show signs of being pretty. Many would still consider her homely with a thin, sharp nose and copious amount of freckles, but she is slowly growing into her skin.
6. Describe his complexion. Dark, light, clear, scarred?
- Loriwen – Light-skinned, but not pale. She has various scars all over her body, most courtesy of her clumsy nature and choice of a profession that includes nails and heavy boards.
- Tegil – He has a small scar on his left temple, but is otherwise unmarred. None but family or an eventual wife will see his bare torso, which does sport several old stretch marks. During the colder months, he grows paler due to staying indoors for study and work. The warm months see him outside quite often, enjoying nature, and he tans nicely during those times.
- Tuija – Several years in the much more mild climate of Bree-land has softened her previously weather-worn skin. She has creamy skin which can tan to a lovely golden color with one scar across her chin from an archery lesson gone awry as a child.
- Brynlee – Pale skin with a small smattering of freckles. If she weren’t so undernourished, she would have rosy cheeks.
- Osbeorne – He is definitely tanned, with warm toned skin to match his chestnut hair. The overall effect is a healthy glow.
- Skyrah – Sky doesn’t glow at all, despite being healthy. Her complexion could most easily be described as “freckles.” She tans slightly, but not enough to hide the freckles. Blushing, which she does rarely, tends to do a better job of camouflaging them.
7. Describe his hair: color, texture, style.
- Loriwen – Golden hair tinged with carroty red; depending on the season, it lightens or darkens to more golden or more reddish. It’s thick and smooth, but rarely untangled. She doesn’t comb it as often as she should, and doesn’t style it, preferring to sweep it over and behind her ear.
- Tegil – Long raven-colored locks, glossy in the sunlight on a good day. Soft but fine strands that he often pulls back into a half-ponytail for ease at work.
- Tuija – Impossibly long, impeccably cared for jet-black hair. In public, it’s always pulled up into a functionally tight, large bun. In private, it reaches easily to her knees, even with waves. She will never allow anyone to braid it, even her husband-to-be.
- Brynlee – Thick, rough hair in a golden auburn color. It’s cut short and frames her round face, but has enough volume to it that she still needs to force it flat on a humid morning. The longer it is, the more unruly it becomes.
- Osbeorne – Long, wavy strands of warm chestnut hair. A near-permanent dip and wave makes itself known in his hair, just below chin-length; this is an indentation from pulling his hair back when working the forge.
- Skyrah – Plain mouse-brown hair that manages to stay straight even in hot weather. Everything about her hair is average, including its thickness. She’s grown it out more and as of late favors tying it back with braids, swept to the side.
8. What color are his eyes?
- Loriwen – Her most striking feature, a vibrant blue-green.
- Tegil – Deep blue, with a slight hint of grey.
- Tuija – Sapphire blue with dark brown lining her irises.
- Brynlee – Green eyes that take on a hazel cast in low light.
- Osbeorne – Pale blue eyes.
- Skyrah – Plain brown eyes.
9. Does the character have any other noteworthy features?
- Loriwen – No.
- Tegil – He has two distinct smiles: a polite smile, and his boyish smile. Both are typically genuine, but his face lights up whenever his boyish smile appears.
- Tuija – A thin scar that runs from the left corner of her mouth to the bottom right ridge of her jaw.
- Brynlee – Several scars along her arm, of varying sizes and shapes. Many of them were attained earlier in life, stretched and somewhat worn. She has a newer one on her cheek from some sort of fire, which looks like it didn’t heal proper and ended up scarring.
- Osbeorne – Small scars on his arms and hands from working smithies, but nothing noteworthy. His smile is infectious.
- Skyrah – All her noteworthy features can be boiled down to: So. Many. Freckles.
10. What is the character’s wardrobe like? Casual, dressy, utilitarian? Bright colors, pastels, neutrals? Is it varied, or does he have six of the same suit?
- Loriwen – Lori has slowly been wearing more and more dresses, but her wardrobe is varied. She prefers casual clothes for everyday wear, but adopts a more utilitarian wardrobe when working in her shop. Regardless of what she’s wearing, it is always either a soft umber color or a bright teal which matches her eyes. She is never hard to spot in a crowd.
- Tegil – Robes, robes, and more robes! He feels naked in pants and a shirt or tunic. While he continuously attempts to stray from his favorite color of crimson, Tegil always ends up purchasing items in that color anyway. Even he can’t deny that it looks good with his dark hair/eyes and light skin.
- Tuija – Now that she has been courted proper for some time, Tuija’s style has blossomed once again. When she first arrived in Bree-land, she wore nothing but utilitarian Lossoth-styled clothing. Over the past several months, her wardrobe now includes many jewel-toned dresses.
- Brynlee – Her wardrobe at the moment is ratty, faded and consists of very few pieces.
- Osbeorne – He favors blue and red shirts, and often rolls the sleeves up past his elbows. Rough working pants and a few solid pairs of working boots finish out his simple but hearty wardrobe.
- Skyrah – Since she is now buying her own clothing, more pink is entering the mix. Pink isn’t her best color, but she loves it and so it is worn. There is a good mix of dresses, tunics, and shirts in her arsenal.
11. Do his clothes fit well? Does he seem comfortable in them?
- Loriwen – Very much so. Whoever her tailor is, they know her measurements perfectly. She always looks comfortable.
- Tegil – For the most part. He has a robe or two which seem a bit short on him, but he wears them regardless. The rest of his clothes fit just right, and all of his clothes are clearly well-made.
- Tuija – She alters her own clothes, occasionally tailoring a dress or two. All of her clothes, and her daughter’s, fit snugly.
- Brynlee – Her clothes do not fit perfectly, sleeves often seeming a bit too long and many of her hems are uneven.
- Osbeorne – They fit well enough for him. As long as they don’t hang off of him (a serious hazard in his profession) or choke the blood from extremities, he’s not too picky.
- Skyrah – Her newer clothes seem to fit better, although they are clearly not altered. The tall young woman usually ends up letting hems out in order to compensate for her height.
12. Does he dress the same on the job as he does in his free time? If not, what are the differences?
- Loriwen – Lori would never wear a dress to work! She’s a woodworker, and that’d end badly. She always wears sturdy cargo-style pants (to hold tools) and a form-fitting linen shirt, usually with short sleeves. Hardy work boots round out her work clothes.
- Tegil – Yes, he is a scholar and wears robes to the Stair all the time.
- Tuija – She is about to retire from being the maid at the Holloway hall, but when she did work, she always wore black pants and a red Lossoth shirt. Her new profession (housewife & mother) will see her wearing dresses during work more often.
- Brynlee – That she does. Begging doesn’t really require a dress code.
- Osbeorne – Typically, yes. He’ll usually go from work to the tavern to home without bothering to change, and no one can tell the difference.
- Skyrah – She tries to avoid wearing her nicer clothes while working with beeswax, but doesn’t have specific ‘work clothes.’
1. What does this character’s voice sound like? High-pitched, deep, hoarse?
- Loriwen – Bright and cheerful, but unintentionally lowering her tone during more private moments.
- Tegil – He sounds exactly like Smooth McGroove’s speaking voice.
- Tuija – Soft-spoken, demure. A very deep, smooth tone.
- Brynlee – Quiet with a higher pitched, rather girly voice. She’d most likely squeak if poked.
- Osbeorne – He has a rumbling, rich voice. It can be gruff at times, and he’ll need clear his throat or take a drink to keep from coughing occasionally.
- Skyrah – Prone to not speaking for long periods of time (she gets very focused on work), her voice will be unintentionally rough until she drinks something.
2. Does the character have a distinct accent or dialect? Any individual quirks of pronunciation?
- Loriwen – Bree-land accent, through and through. She likes needlessly qualifying things, such as adding “I think” to the end of sentences.
- Tegil – A learned man of Minas Tirith whose speech holds a significant accent. It’s understandable, but very clear. He also consciously never uses contractions; if he uses one, he’s either very off guard or doing it on purpose (or I screwed up).
- Tuija – Incredibly distinct accent, of the Lossoth. Her Westron is improving, but the accent is still a barrier at times.
- Brynlee – A south-western Bree-land accent marks her words, but it’s not too strong. She mumbles a lot.
- Osbeorne – A nondescript accent belonging to Bree-landers who grew up in Bree-town proper.
- Skyrah – Northern, poor Bree-land accent. She pretty much sounds like a country bumpkin.
3. What language/s does he speak, and with how much fluency?
- Loriwen – Native Westron speaker.
- Tegil – Native Westron speaker (the Minas Tirith dialect), is as fluent in Sindarin that a man with no significant amount of Elvish blood can be. Is studying the language of Rohan when he has free time.
- Tuija – Native speaker of Lossoth, and a tentative grasp on Westron has developed into a working knowledge of the language.
- Brynlee – Only Westron.
- Osbeorne – Westron, with a couple of choice swear words in both Rohirric and Sindarin.
- Skyrah – Westron, and not even very well at that, despite it being her native tongue. Her country accent often twists words.
4. Does he switch languages or dialects in certain situations?
- Loriwen – No.
- Tegil – Whenever he is around those who clearly speak Sindarin as a primary language (such as any Elves he meets) he will immediately switch if polite to do so. He’ll also often switch when alone and studying. He will rarely mutter in Westron, preferring to do so in Sindarin.
- Tuija – She nearly refuses to speak Lossoth (whether they understand her or not) to anyone she doesn’t trust implicitly. Westron is the language of the land, and that is what she speaks every day. When singing to or scolding children, though, she’ll switch over to Lossoth.
- Brynlee – She almost always mutters, but if someone’s actually paying attention to her, she’ll try to enunciate more clearly.
- Osbeorne – He’ll tone his language and bawdy jokes down when around women. It’s just polite.
- Skyrah – When excited or distracted, she’ll forget just how heavy her accent is, babbling away. Typically Sky pays attention to if she’s understood or not.
5. Is he a good impromptu speaker, or does he have to think about his words?
- Loriwen – She’s quite the pontificator, but it’s typically neither well-spoken nor thought out. That said, she can’t lie for her life, so it’s always the truth.
- Tegil – For more serious matters, he tends to take his time thinking on his words before speaking. When in public and having a good time, he has little issue throwing out fun quips or toasts.
- Tuija – She never speaks over other adults, and rarely speaks at all, but when she does, her words are very carefully chosen.
- Brynlee – Bryn never speaks up, and when expected to, looks shocked and takes her time picking words.
- Osbeorne – He can tell a good story along with the best of them, and has no difficulty sharing his thoughts in a group, but in private matters, he is a fan of the “sit and listen/learn” approach.
- Skyrah – Typically she’ll take her time before quietly speaking up.
Mental and Emotional
1. How intelligent is this character? Is he book-smart or street-smart?
- Loriwen – “Woods-smart” would be more appropriate to describe Lori rather than street-smart. That said, she did complete the full gambit of basic education as a child. She can read and write well, as well as knows her numbers.
- Tegil – Incredibly book-smart, not so street-smart. He’s not as naïve in regard to things like mugging, crime, etc., but you won’t find him willingly traversing the less savory sections of town after dark.
- Tuija – She is intelligent, but not book-smart nor really street-smart. Her training was, and her passion is, entirely in homemaking and childrearing.
- Brynlee – Quickly learned on the fly in regard to street-smarts, with a very sharp intellect, but not even remotely book-smart. She couldn’t read her own name if it was in front of her face.
- Osbeorne – He’s not dull-witted, but few would call him intelligent. Os knows his craft well, and is fair at best with his letters; math and angles are his strong points.
- Skyrah – “Book-smart” never has and never will be an adjective anyone will ever associate with Sky. Now that she has a measure of self-confidence, she’s become much more aware of street-smarts.
2. Does he think on his feet, or does he need time to deliberate?
- Loriwen – Neither. She acts first, thinks later, worries/panics about how she may have messed up last.
- Tegil – He is rather quick-witted and typically makes his mind up on even the biggest decisions within a day or two.
- Tuija – She prefers to take her time with decisions, but if threatened (like when she and her first husband fled Sûri-kylä to escape her family’s wrath) she will decide and act immediately.
- Brynlee – For the most part, Bryn thinks on her feet and it’s the only reason she’s alive thus far, but when she has the opportunity, she takes her time for even the simplest choices.
- Osbeorne – He takes a moderate amount of time to decide things. The more important the decision, the longer it’ll take.
- Skyrah – Sky is better at thinking on her toes than she used to be, but she still isn’t great at it. Her habit of freezing up still happens on occasion.
3. What kind of education has the character had?
- Loriwen – Full schooling, but no academia/higher education. Years of woodworking instruction via her father, a master woodworker.
- Tegil – extensive schooling in both Westron and Sindarin, courtesy of his parents’ tutors in Minas Tirith.
- Tuija – Cooking in the Lossoth style. Making/delivering/raising babies. Cleaning houses. Women didn’t need more than that in her family.
- Brynlee – Zilch.
- Osbeorne – He has been apprenticed to a master smith in town since he was old enough to help stoke the fires. Os did finish school, but he’s forgotten most of it.
- Skyrah – She was raised on a bee farm, and is extensively educated on the raising of bees, harvesting of honey, and utilizing their wax for candle-making. No formal education.
4. What are his areas of expertise? What, if anything, is he interested in learning more about?
- Loriwen – Her woodworking skill is easily that of a master, and she has a talented hand at brewing odd combinations of beer and ale. Lori’s current focus is reading any and all child-rearing literature, particularly information on the best practices for conception; after over a year, she and her husband continue to have difficulties.
- Tegil – Sindarin translation and transcription. He’ll often be found humming a tune or reciting poetry, usually in Sindarin. After several years of practice, Tegil is a decent cook. He isn’t skilled enough to consider it a trade skill yet, but he could make quite the spread for a meal. His next scholarly pursuit is learning the language of Rohan.
- Tuija – She is an expert in being a wife and mother. Her future husband is the supervisor at a wheat mill, and her current interest is learning more about his trade. She visits when able.
- Brynlee – Too young to have an area of expertise, but her singing voice (when she thinks she’s alone) is exquisite. She doesn’t realize it’s as good as it is.
- Osbeorne – Smithing of all varieties. They mostly deal with shoeing horses and farm equipment repairs, but in his spare time he does indulge on precious ores for finer metalwork. He has a secret interest in gemstone cutting and jewelry-work.
- Skyrah – Bees are her expertise, but she’s been learning more about acting from her best friend, Luned. She’ll never act on stage, but being able to lie convincingly is something Sky really needs.
5. Is he an introvert or an extrovert?
- Loriwen – Extrovert, through and through. Outgoing, loud, happy, and friendly. Sometimes annoyingly so.
- Tegil – He thinks he straddles the line between the two, but in reality Tegil is a textbook introvert.
- Tuija – Very introverted.
- Brynlee – An extrovert who has been so beaten down that she acts the exact opposite.
- Osbeorne – Boisterous and genuinely nice, Os is quite the extrovert. He can be found buying the whole house a round each payday.
- Skyrah – An introvert who wishes she were an extrovert.
6. Describe the character’s temperament. Is he even-tempered or does he have mood swings? Cheerful or melancholy? Laid-back or driven?
- Loriwen – She has more mood swings than she thinks she does, but they’re usually flights of fancy rather than actual temperament shifts. Her head is in the clouds fairly often, but as long as nothing is going wrong, she’s chipper and very laid-back.
- Tegil – Tegil is very even-tempered, and his general demeanor is polite/proper. When he’s in a great mood, though, everyone gets winks and a boyish grin.
- Tuija – She’s almost too even-tempered. Few have patience to rival hers, and some think her cold for being so calm regardless of circumstance.
- Brynlee – Bryn may have been cheerful once, but melancholy is the best word to describe her. She has mood swings, as all teen girls do, but they are usually suppressed.
- Osbeorne – What’s a mood swing? He’s just having a good time living life, who has time for mood swings?!
- Skyrah – Occasionally she’ll get hit by a fit of melancholy, but in general Skyrah has calmed down into a quiet young woman.
7. How does he respond to new people or situations? Is he suspicious, relaxed, timid, enthusiastic?
- Loriwen – If the situation is friendly and safe, she’s enthusiastic and friendly. Otherwise she clams up and watches suspiciously.
- Tegil – In addition to Tegil’s innate gift for being cordial, he was taught for years on the correct way of socializing; he revels in meeting new people and learning new things.
- Tuija – Usually suspicious, but now that she understands more of the language in this land, she’s becoming less wary of strangers…if Lempi isn’t with her. She’s fiercely protective of her daughter.
- Brynlee – Timid and watchful, ready to curl up into a protective ball at the drop of a hat.
- Osbeorne – He’s a big, burly man with many friends. The more, the merrier!
- Skyrah – She isn’t as skittish as she used to be, but Sky still is incredibly awkward when meeting new people.
8. Is he more likely to act, or to react?
- Loriwen – Act, then think later.
- Tegil – Depends on the situation, but he leans slightly toward react.
- Tuija – React.
- Brynlee – React by disappearing.
- Osbeorne – Act.
- Skyrah – Act.
9. Which is his default: fight or flight?
- Loriwen – Depends on the situation. She’s more cautious than she used to be.
- Tegil – He knows he’s no warrior like his brothers. Flight is his preference, but he will fight if no other option presents itself.
- Tuija – Either, depending on if her daughter is in danger.
- Brynlee – Flight.
- Osbeorne – Fight.
- Skyrah – Flight is her preference, but she will fight if she has to, and fiercely at that.
10. Describe the character’s sense of humor. Does he appreciate jokes? Puns? Gallows humor? Bathroom humor? Pranks?
- Loriwen – If it’s a bad joke, she’s either made it or snorted a loud laugh at it.
- Tegil – Puns and wordplay are his favorites.
- Tuija – Harmless pranks are the one type of humor anyone has seen her laugh at.
- Brynlee – Bathroom humor is always funny, but ladies shouldn’t laugh at those jokes, so she pretends not to love it.
- Osbeorne – Bawdy tales and bathroom humor, bring it on!!
- Skyrah – Her sense of humor is slowly developing into quite the gallows humor.
11. Does the character have any diagnosable mental disorders? If yes, how does he deal with them?
- Loriwen – She has a slight short-term memory issue and seems scatterbrained. To compensate, she writes more notes to herself than before.
- Tegil – None.
- Tuija – No.
- Brynlee – None she knows of. She does have a serious case of PTSD, but it’s untreated/unknown.
- Osbeorne – He’s a little bit of a narcissist, but it’s not to the point of being an actual medical condition.
- Skyrah – Some would claim her sexual preferences are a mental disorder, but she couldn’t disagree more.
12. What does he fear?
- Loriwen – Failing at everything “mother.” Conceiving, having kids, raising kids, you name it.
- Tegil – Being alone.
- Tuija – Losing her second husband much as she lost her first.
- Brynlee – Being discovered.
- Osbeorne – He’d never admit it, but he is getting on in years and begins to secretly worry he won’t find a suitable wife.
- Skyrah – Never finding another woman like her.
13. What are his hopes or aspirations?
- Loriwen – To pass on her knowledge of woodworking to any future children, to live to a right old age alongside Tarlanc, and live a blissfully simple life. She’d also love to see Rohan and a proper Elf-city one day.
- Tegil – His heart may be broken at the moment, but deep down he still wants to find his One True Love™ and sweep her away on an epic journey throughout the civilized parts of the world. If they wrote his epic together, it would be dreams truly come true.
- Tuija – A large, happy family with many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren (snow spirit permitting she live so long). To pass along to her children a love of their Lossoth roots.
- Brynlee – To be safe and have a family again.
- Osbeorne – Eventually make the switch over to be a master jeweler and settle down with a nice woman. Eventually.
- Skyrah – If she can’t have acceptance, love would be enough. A real love, one strong enough to withstand even the strongest storm.
14. What is something he doesn’t want anyone to find out about him?
- Loriwen – She doesn’t really have any deep secrets.
- Tegil – He was once a fat kid that was picked on mercilessly.
- Tuija – She holds deep guilt over her first husband’s death, thinking it was their fleeing her family that caused his “exposure” (heart attack).
- Brynlee – It’s too painful to even think about, much less share with another.
- Osbeorne – He loves painting. Flowers. All the canvases adorning his small shack are from a “distant aunt.”
- Skyrah – She’s a lesbian. If the wrong people got that information, it could end very badly for her and so she holds it very close to her heart.
1. Describe this character’s relationship with his parents.
- Loriwen – Very close with her father, who raised her. The two of them were nearly inseparable. Her mother died when she was still an infant.
- Tegil – He and his father have a mutual respect and understanding of each other, and do love one another. That bond pales in comparison to the one Tegil holds with his mother; he is a true momma’s boy (it’s a healthy level of attachment, though; he did head out to see the world).
- Tuija – It was a warm and loving relationship with both of her parents…before she announced she would marry a foreign man from Bree. She was immediately disowned and cast out when she didn’t back down.
- Brynlee – None a’ your business. (Her words.)
- Osbeorne – He and his parents get along very well, but the relationship with his mother is slowly becoming estranged as she continues to ask about settling down.
- Skyrah – Until she was disowned for admitting she was a lesbian, it was a good relationship. She used to be a daddy’s little girl, but that was forever severed on that day.
2. Does the character have any siblings? What is/was their relationship like?
- Loriwen – Only child.
- Tegil – An older sister and older brother, with another older brother who is deceased. He and his sister are exceptionally close, and he writes to his remaining brother more frequently now that Corunir is gone. They were all happy siblings who generally got along as children.
- Tuija – Two older siblings that disowned her when she married Michael. Her older brother, Päiviö, was particularly protective of her, and that relationship was the most difficult to leave.
- Brynlee – Only child.
- Osbeorne – One younger sister, of whom he is very protective. She begrudgingly tolerates it, if only because having a burly big brother that everyone loves tends to keep the cads from pawing at her.
- Skyrah – A younger brother that she hasn’t seen in a long time. They were very close before she was ostracized, and that is her biggest regret.
3. Are there other blood relatives to whom he is close? Are there ones he can’t stand?
- Loriwen – She has distant uncles and cousins up in the North Downs that she never sees or hears from, and newly discovered family in Edoras, but she is not close with any of them.
- Tegil – He is close with all his blood relatives, and gets along with them well.
- Tuija – Her young toddler, little Lempi, is close to her. She never liked her sister too much, but it never grew beyond a personality clash.
- Brynlee – She can’t stand any of them, and is close to none.
- Osbeorne – He and his aunt have disagreements once in a while, and he doesn’t approve of her lifestyle (she’s a leatherworker who lives alone and refuses to marry).
- Skyrah – Just no. On both accounts.
4. Are there other, unrelated people whom he considers part of his family? What are his relationships with them?
- Most of my characters have an interchangeable feeling on the two words “family” and “friend. This would be silly to fill out.
5. Who is/was the character’s best friend? How did they meet?
- Loriwen – Tarlanc, her husband, is her best friend. They met when she fell off the porch at the Pony. His niece, Caraeglir, is a close second.
- Tegil – They had a rough patch (very rough), and don’t talk as much as they used to, but Tegil still considers Nídhil his childhood best friend.
- Tuija – Until Daeline left for Gondor, the Lossoth woman considered her the closest thing she had to a best friend. In Sûri-kylä, Tuija’s best friend was Idunn. Tuija hasn’t dared to contact her, since neither woman can read or write.
- Brynlee – She has no best friend at the moment.
- Osbeorne – His best friend is named George, a good drinking buddy of well over 15 years. They grew up together in the same village.
- Skyrah – Luned. They met by chance in the Mess Hall in Bree-town one night late in the winter.
6. Does he make friends easily, or does he have trouble getting along with people?
- Loriwen – She makes friends very easily, but is a bit too extroverted for some people. That can cause issues at times.
- Tegil – Cordiality and friendliness are nearly ingrained into him, and he tries harder than most to be liked by all he meets.
- Tuija – Tuija does not make friends easily, but once you are considered a friend, it is for life.
- Brynlee – She tries to get along with people, but her social skills aren’t up to par.
- Osbeorne – He makes and keeps friends easily. Everyone loves Os!
- Skyrah – She seems to accidentally make friends without even trying.
7. Which does he consider more important: family or friends?
- Most of my characters have an interchangeable feeling on the two words “family” and “friend. This would be silly to fill out.
8. Is the character single, married, divorced, widowed? Has he been married more than once?
- Loriwen – Happily married.
- Tegil – Single, and still getting used to that fact.
- Tuija – Widowed several years ago, and betrothed to be married a second time.
- Brynlee – Single.
- Osbeorne – Single and loving it! (Or so he acts.)
- Skyrah – Single, and not very happy about it.
9. Is he currently in a romantic relationship with someone other than a spouse?
- Loriwen – Nope.
- Tegil – Nope.
- Tuija – Betrothed counts, right? Technically yes, then.
- Brynlee – No.
- Osbeorne – No.
- Skyrah – No.
10. What does he look for in a romantic partner?
- Loriwen – What she already has!
- Tegil – Strength of spirit, the ability to see the whimsy of the world.
- Tuija – Stability, honesty, the ability to love her daughter as their own.
- Brynlee – She has no idea. Survival is more important.
- Osbeorne – The typical wifely skills, pretty, spirited (but not too much).
- Skyrah – Ideally, red hair or grey eyes, but she’ll be happy for someone who is nice and like her.
11. Does the character have children? Grandchildren? If yes, how does he relate to them? If no, does he want any?
- Loriwen – Not yet, but she’s sure trying for them.
- Tegil – He doesn’t have children, but when he weds, he most certainly wants at least several.
- Tuija – She has one child, a two year old named Lempi. The two of them are very close. That said, Tuija definitely wants more children with her future husband.
- Brynlee – Don’t broach that subject.
- Osbeorne – He relates to his nieces and nephews well, but has no children as far as he is aware. He’d like a few in time.
- Skyrah – She does not have any, cannot have any, and does not want any.
12. Does he have any rivals or enemies?
- None of my characters really have…rivals.
13. What is the character’s sexual orientation? Where does he fall on the Kinsey scale?
- Loriwen – 0. The thought of being with ladies has never even occurred to her.
- Tegil – 2. He’s quite straight, but he can appreciate an attractive man.
- Tuija – 0. Her sexuality is baby-making.
- Brynlee – Yet to be seen.
- Osbeorne – 1. Very straight, but he’s not completely oblivious to the attractiveness of other men.
- Skyrah – 6. Wimminz plz.
14. How does he feel about sex? How important is it to him?
- Loriwen – Usually it’s pretty much the bee’s knees, but at this point she’s beginning to become disillusioned. Great sex is great sex, but when you’re trying for a kid and haven’t conceived in a year, it slowly begins to become an exercise in frustration.
- Tegil – Not until marriage. He holds it a sacred gift and trust, which he takes with the utmost seriousness.
- Tuija – In private, she is a very sexual woman. It’s a very important part of a relationship, and should be treated with respect between a husband and wife. Often.
- Brynlee – Leave me alone. (Her words.)
- Osbeorne – It’s fun! 😀 Important, within reason. It’s the kind of thing that can be taught over time, so there’s no reason to take it too seriously.
- Skyrah – It’d be nice.
1. Do you know your character’s astrological (zodiac of choice) sign? How well does he fit type?
- Not only do I have no clue, I wouldn’t know if they even fit the types anyway.
2. Does this character have a personal code of morals or ethics? If so, how did that begin? What would it take to compromise it?
- Loriwen – “I’d rather live with an open heart that is occasionally bruised than a closed one that’s empty.” That is the motto her father lived by and Lori takes it to heart as well. Nothing will compromise it, ever.
- Tegil – He has a personal code of morals, and he holds them very dear to his heart. Much of it was taught to him by his parents, and it would take a tragedy of significant impact in his life for him to compromise on most of it.
- Tuija – She holds many of the morals and ethics of her Lossoth tribe, but has eschewed several in favor of love; first for her husband, then for her daughter. Her immediate family and children are of the utmost importance.
- Brynlee – Keep alive.
- Osbeorne – Be honest, work hard, drink harder, and always be a gentleman to women.
- Skyrah – She refuses to live a lie, but she can’t live the truth, either. Her life is always a balance between who she truly is and who she wishes she were.
3. What prejudices does he hold? Are they irrational or does he have a good reason for them?
- Loriwen – She gives mostly everyone a fair shake right off the bat, but if you ever cross her or a friend (in a severe way), she will forever hold a grudge against you.
- Tegil – He likes to think of himself as truly open-minded, but he has an ingrained prejudice against those of direct Harad descent; it was irrational, but then his brother was killed by one in battle. Now he feels it is justified.
- Tuija – After falling madly in love with a foreign man and finding herself in an entirely new culture, how could she reasonably hold prejudice any longer against non-Lossoth? Being disowned technically made her one as well.
- Brynlee – She equally distrusts everyone. Gender, age, nothing matters.
- Osbeorne – Women belong at home, men support the family. He doesn’t believe this militantly, but it is something he thinks is correct. It’s a byproduct of the culture he grew up in.
- Skyrah – Any man who tries to make eyes at her…they’re dangerous. It’s completely irrational at this point, but she’s terrified of being in a situation where she has to turn a man down. A deep-seated paranoia of him figuring it out just from being rejected won’t leave her mind.
1. What is the character’s financial situation? Is he rich, poor, comfortable, in debt?
- Loriwen – Both she and her husband both make good coin, and don’t live lavishly. They live very comfortably.
- Tegil – He comes from old, excessive money, but is smart about it. He invests in real estate and works an actual job in order to keep from having to ask for more money. “Living lean” (which is still much more nicely than most of Bree-land) has worked out well for him.
- Tuija – Her job at the Holloway hall gave her a small nest egg, and the man she is to marry is the manager of a wheat mill. They won’t be filthy rich, but will never have to worry for coin.
- Brynlee – Poor doesn’t begin to describe it. At least it’s summer and warm at night.
- Osbeorne – On the poorer side of “middle class,” but definitely not in debt. He lives smartly and doesn’t waste coin on anything more expensive than ale on a night out.
- Skyrah – Very poor, but not so poor that she can’t feed herself properly. Her candle trade is slowly (very slowly) beginning to take off.
2. What are his eating habits? Does he skip meals, eat out, drink alcohol, avoid certain foods?
- Loriwen – She’s recently completely cut out all booze in the off chance that her (at times excessive) drinking was causing her seeming lack in fertility. Otherwise, she eats and drinks with near-abandon.
- Tegil – He usually cooks for himself, always eats slowly, and never eats too much. Half of his plate is usually green vegetables. He does enjoy a good glass or two of red wine, however.
- Tuija – She has a farmer’s wife’s appetite, and can appreciate a good mug of mead if the fancy strikes her. She does miss ice wine.
- Brynlee – Anything not rotten sounds good.
- Osbeorne – Ale with a side of ale, please! And some good roasted meat for dessert. He is allergic to onions, though. It’s a really annoying allergy to have.
- Skyrah – With how careful she needs to be with money, she eats mostly vegetables since they are cheapest to buy in bulk. Alcohol is too much to warrant spending money on.
Which of the following do you associate with the character, or which is his favorite:
- Loriwen – Bright teal/turquoise (Sea Blue dye in game)
- Tegil – Red (Crimson dye in game)
- Tuija – Deep jewel tones (Ered Luin and Crimson dyes in game)
- Brynlee – Pale orange and green (Ranger Green & Rivendell Green dyes in game)
- Osbeorne – Light blue (no specific dyes in game)
- Skyrah – Pink and lavender (Rose dye in game)
- Loriwen – Cedar.
- Tegil – Books.
- Tuija – Cooking spices (clove in particular).
- Brynlee – Dirt.
- Osbeorne – Metal, iron, sweat.
- Skyrah – Lilacs and wax.
3. Time of day?
- Loriwen – Her favorite is sunset, but I associate her more with sunrise.
- Tegil – Dusk.
- Tuija – Midnight.
- Brynlee – Sunset.
- Osbeorne – Mid-day.
- Skyrah – Midnight.
- Loriwen – Spring!
- Tegil – Winter. Snow!
- Tuija – Winter, even though it’s never cold enough for her.
- Brynlee – Summer. Warmth is good.
- Osbeorne – He loves fall and spring equally. They’re neither too cold nor too hot and he can comfortably get the most amount of work done during the day.
- Skyrah – Summer is her favorite. As skinny as she is, she prefers warm weather.
(Stealing some of these from a previous post, as four out of these six were assigned flowers over two years ago.)
- Loriwen – A bright yellow gerbera daisy. Daises in general are associated with joy and innocence. Gerbera daisies in particular are also considered to stand for cheerfulness because of their vibrant and happy colors.
- Tegil – Wisteria. These flowers on a vine grow where they will, with little regard for anything other than getting as much sun as possible. They are often associated with youth and poetry because of their free-growing nature.
- Tuija – The white asiatic lily, as with all lilies, is the classic flower to represent purity and fertility. Its long and elegant petals sway as Tuija does with the winds of change. The bold red stamen and pistils represent her deeply-rooted passion and love for family.
- Brynlee – Peach glow water lily. Water lilies are hardy plants with tender flowers that have learned to live in less than ideal conditions.
- Osbeorne – The spring starflower. It’s not a little ironic that the flower I found which had strength of shape and matched his eyes…is of the onion family. (He is allergic to onions.)
- Skyrah – Light purple lilacs, almost a pink hue. According to Greek legend, the beautiful nymph Syringa (lilac’s botanical name) caught the heart of the forest god, who loved her. She turned into the flower known as lilac to escape from his affections. They are known for youthful innocence and first loves. They are nondescript but beautifully fragrant, much like Sky who is incredibly average on the outside while retaining an exquisite strength of character deep down.
- Loriwen – A puppy. Unpredictable, means well, loyal, loving, affectionate.
- Tegil – Green-cheek conure. Small, curious, intelligent, and ever-brave.
- Tuija – Den-mother wolf. Graceful, keen, and fiercely protective of family.
- Brynlee – An old dog who’s been treated badly in the past, but just wants someone to love her.
- Osbeorne – A fuzzy, friendly bear. :3
- Skyrah – A doe.
A long absence due to multiple reasons! I apologize for the silence on my part and all I can promise is an attempt to try harder! If any of you didn’t know, the main reason is because the game I work for, Star Wars: The Old Republic, recently announced our preorders. Things are crazy.
I also admit to having hit something of an epic writer’s block; my brain would not let me come up with anything remotely resembling LotRO stuff for months. Well over 25,000 words of Mass Effect and Dragon Age II fiction later, I think I finally sated the monster that was that epidemic. Here are a few snapshots for you, giving you a little update on where all my little characters are at the moment!
The sun’s rays gently crept along golden hair, kissing it into a brilliant glow. In time, pear-apple eyes slid open only to immediately squeeze shut again at the light’s intrusion. Rather than sit up, the young woman decided to lie in bed and enjoy the sun’s attentions. She had become quite adept at using her crutch, and she would once she rose – but there was a simple pleasure to be had in luxuriating in the sun like a cat. One she felt like indulging in at the moment.
There was a simple phrase her mother would tell her every morning; a saying she never understood until her recent injury. Don’t be impatient – life gives its gifts one day at a time. She closed her eyes and let her memory dance along the rays and back to Rohan. When she rose, she would take today’s gift of life and make the most of it…but not yet. For now, she reminisced.
Dexterous fingers gently pulled black hair away from a sweat-slicked forehead. Already it was so hot, but Lempi slept soundly regardless. Tuija reveled in the quiet peace lying next to her sleeping daughter brought. In no time at all, she would awaken and be waddling all over the hall, trying to get into everything. Watching her grow and learn every day was the single most brilliant thing in Tuija’s life.
A small pang of sorrow laced through the serene moment as she remembered yet again that Michael would never see their daughter grow old. Well over a year had passed since he left them, and the pain had grown duller, but it would never completely leave. She could imagine his warm brown eyes crinkling as he twirled Lempi through the air, their laughter mingling loudly. The bittersweet joy of that false memory would be enough to get her through the day.
She woke up indoors. Seeing a roof over her head instead of the sky peeking through leaves shocked her into bolting straight up. Skyrah stared around the room with wide eyes, looking much more like a frightened deer than an 18 year old woman. She relaxed when her eyes settled upon one of Luned’s props. That’s right, I’m home. Even when not spoken, the word “home” felt bitter to her. It wasn’t really home, but it was full of supportive – if unaware – friends. It would do for now.
Stretching, she rolled around a few times before standing up. Skyrah forgot how restful not sleeping on the ground could be for the body. The wind whistled through the leaves outside their window, eliciting a rare smile from her. It looked to be another beautiful day and for once she could enjoy it. If she couldn’t find herself a real person to love, trying to chase after a phantom, slightly sinister alternative just wasn’t healthy. Today was the start of a new chapter. Time to find Luned for some lessons…
Deep blue eyes shuttered open, raven hair being shaken out of their view. Tegil scratched his bare chest with a sigh that quickly decided to evolve into a yawn. Another late night working, another piece completed. The changes in his life continued fascinate and elate him. Two years ago, if you had told him exactly where he would be on this very day, he would have laughed merrily and brushed it off. Such odd and fortuitous circumstances that led him to this small house!
He wouldn’t change a thing. Many of his peers back in Minas Tirith would dismiss it as another one of his “flights of fancy” but Tegil had found a new sense of self here in Bree-land. Scholarly pursuits for curiosity’s sake would always be a wonderful adventure for his mind, yet working gave him purpose he found nowhere else. While dwelling on these thoughts would be a lovely way to pass the morning, he sat up and swung his legs over the side. It was time to rise.
The mail he neglected to read last night taunted him from the table next to his bed. Foremost, the letter from his mother was set to the side for a more thorough reading outside. Next was correspondence from a fellow Sindarin scholar in town; the last was a payment. He quickly counted and portioned it. Every time he divided his earnings and placed half into the special hidden box, he couldn’t help but feel a small jolt of pride and excitement. Who knows where he’d be one year from now?
Streeeeetch. Loriwen’s body pulled and then contracted back into a ball. Another day, another job. She felt a bit queasy…she hoped she wasn’t getting sick. Time to take it easy today. No point in getting dog-sick because she wanted to work as much as she could. Her legs plopped out with two thuds and lifted her from bed, over to the wardrobe.
Her mind drifted as she covered herself with clothing. Planning to have children forced her to take stock of how little carving she’d be able to get done once it happened. She’d been working a lot lately to compensate for it; perhaps too much. The lightheadedness and feeling cold (it was the end of Mede, she should never feel cold) agreed with her assessment. Time to drink some water and go back to bed for the day. You’re supposed to starve being sick, right? She thought so, anyway; never could remember. Hopefully Lori could stave off whatever she managed to saddle herself with – she idly thought that she probably caught it from the kids at the store last week – before it exploded. She didn’t get sick often, but when Loriwen went down, she was down in the worst way.
I get inspired at 4 am. I don’t know why, but it always seems to happen this way. I’m also feeling the “snippets” style of writing right now! Here is how my characters spent their night: from their hearth.
The fire flickered as someone stoked it; its benefactor retreated with a sleepy grunt, no doubt to their bunk. Newly invigorated, the flames set shadows dancing across a face faintly contorted with pain. Fitful rest would follow that one this evening.
Gold and red twined together, their light quavering as quickly as the quill that continued to write in this late hour. It took another quick dip into its ink well before gliding across the paper again. Late or not, the letter would be finished before sleep took him.
The hearth held no fire; in fact, the window was open – cool air moved the curtains to its own silent symphony. That same gentle breeze wafted across the two who slept: one Lossoth, the other half-blooded. The older stirred with pleasure at the temperature while the younger was merely content.
Coals smoldered, casting their warm glow throughout the room. The light highlighted two figures, both adrift in their own dreams, sprawled along their bed. Hours earlier, both the fire and couple were ablaze; now, all three had tapered into languorous slumber.
The fire pit was empty. For the first time in months, it didn’t feel the searing bite of flame. Its usual companion sat in silence, watching the nonexistent fire scintillate and dance in her mind. Hope began to grow as dim as her clothing.
It seems like yesterday since my last “At Rest” meme went out, but damn…it was actually a while ago! Started by the talented Laenlis, here’s yet another installment of my favorite device. I’m actually really, really pleased with the way these came out. ^_^
Every time she shifted, dulled pain shot through her body. This time, it was more than just a slight interrupt to her dream: it woke her up. Long blonde hair, shockingly free of its usual twig-and-leaf decorations, had managed to tangle itself in the makeshift crutch she still insisted on using. It was functional enough for her purposes, so the healers didn’t argue it with her. Damn it all. She reached to begin to free the wood from her tresses. It was going to be another long night.
As always, the young woman was asleep on the ground. Her head was cushioned by a fragrant pillow, and despite the relative warmth of the evening a handsome brown cloak was her blanket. No fire was needed thanks to the recent thaw; the only light that danced upon her face was moonlight, occasionally streaming through the growing leaves above her. Beneath the cloak, unbeknownst to any but herself, she clutched a note.
Green blankets shifted, black hair fell in a new pattern. Next to the bed, a candle gave its last flicker. Its owner was negligent, once again, in snuffing it out before he fell asleep. The sudden lack of light caused the bedroom’s sole occupant to stir and mumble something incoherent – possibly not even in Westron. His eyes were closed, but behind them, he dreamed of laughter and family and joy. The black dress stood out in stark contrast against the white stone, causing him to grin widely to his mother. Her bright smile mirrored his own and they shared a brief, private look. She approved.
Blue-green eyes slowly slid open and looked around the room. A yawn escaped her and she decided to see just how late it was. She stood up, bright hair tumbling to her bare shoulders. Idle thoughts of trimming it skimmed over her mind while she padded over to the window. Her skin glowed silver as she stepped into the shaft of moonlight and squinted into the night. It was seemingly still the dead of night. A low, deep murmur of unconscious discontent floated to her ears as her husband realized she was no longer lying next to him. She smiled and headed back to crawl into his arms once more.
For the first time in a year, both denizens of the well-appointed room slept soundly. A tiny hand, so strong for its size, grasped out in its sleep and sought the larger woman’s hand. This woke her with a pleasant startle, dark blue-brown eyes quickly focusing on the child lying next to her. When all was deemed well, the mother pulled two of her fingers together; these were offered to the small hand, who quickly clutched them. A true smile, the rarest of sights from this Lossoth, blossomed. The sleepy lilt that set the smile askew soon overtook her whole face – the two slept in contented silence once again.
While I don’t believe there is really a Mother’s Day in Middle Earth, many of us spent yesterday (or part of yesterday) celebrating it. I have had a horrible case of writer’s block for almost a month now, and this idea finally broke my dry spell. In honor of Mother’s Day, I’ve written snapshots of each of my characters, dealing with their mother or a mother-like figure in their life. 🙂
The envelope quietly ripped open, dexterous fingers releasing the well-traveled contents inside. A small linen drawstring pouch fell into her lap, confusing Lori. The letter that shortly followed suit was quickly opened and scanned. Whoever wrote this for them had awfully small handwriting: she had to squint and scoot closer to the window. It was legible enough, though…and filled with simple conversation. Everything seemed normal, but an extra page at the end, a smaller one, caught her eye. She pulled it out and read it slowly.
Your mother’s birthday was last week, from when this letter was written. I have held on to this for years in the hopes that one day you would see it and ask for it. Since the ways have become dangerous, I do not wish for you to travel here now. Instead, it is enclosed it for you. Your mother gave this to me before she left, as a reminder of her. After much talk with my mother, we have decided it should pass to you.
Blue-green eyes widened immediately, looking to the pouch on her lap as if it burned. This was something her mother gave Uncle Thurwald. What was it? The letter was carefully laid on the table as a finger reached out to poke the pouch. It was soft, whatever it was. Very light. Could it have been paper? No, she was told her mother couldn’t write. What… what was it? Loriwen slowly opened the pouch, blindly sticking her fingers in to feel around. It felt like…hair? She pulled it out carefully. It was hair. A braided, old piece of golden hair…
Golden hair. Her mother had golden hair. Was this…? She turned it around in her hands a few times, eventually lifting it to compare to her own reddish locks. They both held that golden tint to them, her own tinged with her father’s carroty reddishness. It was. She held it up, staring at it for some time before finally blinking and realizing where she was. This had to be kept somewhere safe… aha! Her knife pouch. She’d get a new carving knife pouch, one that was a little bigger, and she’d keep it in there. There was nowhere else it could possibly belong. For now, she should keep it in the bag – when she wasn’t looking at it, of course. Like now. She inspected the hair, reverently spinning it in her hands.
This was a very odd gift! Very thoughtful, though. She had a similar idea for her wedding ring to Tarlanc, but sadly it wasn’t possible: she wanted to encase some of her hair in crystal or glass or something. No one knew how to do it. It was more than a little touching to realize her mother thought of the same kind of gift. Perhaps they would’ve had some things in common. Hmmm, maybe cutting some of her own hair wouldn’t be a bad idea. You know, in case something happened. It always was a possibility. She’d want her child to have a little piece of her.
Her thought process halted immediately and she stared wide-eyed at the wall. Wait…
Another sniffle echoed throughout the woods, startling a small rabbit from its early feast of a fresh clover patch. The little creature hopped away, rather than toward, the noise. If only it knew how harmless the skinny, awkward teenage girl really was. She wiped another tear from her face and cleared her throat. She was having such a wonderful day, and then she managed to catch a glimpse of her mother walking through town. Naturally, as her luck would have it, she was spotted as well. She ran as fast as she could, easily losing the frantic woman in the bustle of the crowds. The woods were the first place she ran, hoping she wouldn’t be followed. She wasn’t, as far as she could tell.
Why did she have to see her mother? Couldn’t that have been her father? Someone she could hate? Ugh. This was horrible. Needed to clean her face up before she faced Luned again.
“Olen pahoillani, tyttäreni. Rakasta hänen – mikään ei ole tärkeämpää. Ei edes maaomaisuus.”
I’m sorry, my daughter. Love her – nothing is more important. Not even the land.
The Lossoth words echoed as Hilja’s voice rang from the sun above. Tuija looked around, confused. A moment later, her mother floated down on a cloud to stand before her. Somehow she knew that she spoke in perfect Westron, but Hilja understood her anyway. “Mother, why are you here?”
“Voit surra ohi aiemmin, ja vieroksua sitä tulevan. Rakkaus hänen kuin rakastin sinua.”
You grieve over the past, and shun the future. Love her as I loved you.
Tuija reached toward her mother, but the elderly woman dissipated the moment her fingers brushed what would have been her peikko-fur tunic. Panic set in, and she awoke with a start. Was it a true dream-message, or the workings of her mind? Did it matter? She looked over to Lempi, nearly a year old, and brushed a lock of jet black hair away from the baby’s sleeping face. It was sound advice, regardless of from where it came. Kiitos, äiti.
((Yeah, okay. Lots of Finnish. It just didn’t work any other way; sorry! Last one is “thank you, mom.”))
You truly did not have to send anything, but I know there is no method of dissuading you from sending a birthday gift if you wish to. I do miss you, Merileth. Thank you again. I keep you all in my thoughts at all times. Please give Mother a kiss and embrace for me.
He sat back and sighed happily. Time to let the ink dry before he sent it off. What did Merileth send him? Knowing her, it was likely something absurd and far too pushy – possibly even something to do with Ceswyn. Then again, Mother probably would insist Merileth be patient. He was glad, truly glad, that they knew; but that naturally opened the door for pestering and teasing. Well, he would bear it proudly. Hopefully the gift would be something simple and meaningful.
Now to write to Mother. She would no doubt wish for a detailed description of the pendant…should he draw it? No, that would not do it justice. His words would have to suffice. He started the letter as he always did, before diving right into describing the gift. An easy, lopsided smile grew as he imagined her reaction to reading it.