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The Shire Stories - The Old Took's Theft Affair

Tue 21 May 2024, 07:05

The Shire Stories - The Old Took's Theft Affair
A Solo Roleplaying Play Report - the One Ring RPG
By Arthur Dallas


- Young Paladin (II) Took is living near Whitwell. He is a cousin of Ferumbras (III) Took. For the past year, he has been building a superb chicken farm.
- Young Eglantine Banks works at the Whitwell Library. She has been dating Paladin for 3 months. Today is the big day, she will finally meet Paladin's family.
- Young Ferumbras (III) Took. He is one of the cousins of Bilbo Baggins. He never married because no one wanted Lalia for a mother-in-law.
- Fortinbras (II) Took is the 29th Thain of the Shire, living in the Great Smials of Tuckborough.
- Lalia Clayhanger Took is the wife of Fortinbras (II) Took. She has one child, Ferumbras (III) Took.


As Paladin and Eglantine made their way through the bustling village of Tuckborough, the excitement in the air was palpable. Hobbits of all shapes and sizes greeted Paladin with smiles and waves, recognizing him as the young and handsome cousin of the esteemed Thain Fortinbras.
As they walked, Paladin leaned in close to Eglantine, a playful glint in his eyes. "I must warn you about Ferumbras' mother, Lalia Clayhanger Took," he said in a hushed tone. "She has quite a character and she says everything she thinks, so be careful."
Eglantine smiled reassuringly, her hand slipping into Paladin's. "Don't worry, my dear Paladin," she replied. "Everything's gonna be alright."
Arriving at the Great Smials, Paladin and Eglantine were greeted by guards who ushered them inside. The grandeur of the hobbit holes took Eglantine's breath away as they made their way to meet Ferumbras.
"Hello, my dear cousin Paladin," Ferumbras exclaimed warmly as they approached. "We're going to see father at supper. Come, let me show you to your room."
Paladin grinned at Ferumbras and then turned to Eglantine, his heart swelling with pride. "Ferumbras, allow me to present Eglantine Banks," he said, his voice filled with affection. "My dear companion and the future mistress of our chicken farm." Eglantine blushed at the introduction, feeling a surge of happiness at being included in Paladin's family gathering.
Inside the Great Smials, the labyrinthine halls and cozy rooms seemed to stretch on endlessly. Ferumbras led them through the maze with ease, chatting amiably about the upcoming supper with Thain Fortinbras.
As they finally reached the room, Paladin turned to Eglantine with a grin. "Welcome to the Great Smials, my love," he said, squeezing her hand gently. "I hope you'll feel at home here among my family." Eglantine returned Paladin's smile, feeling a sense of belonging settle over her as they prepared to join the rest of the Tooks for supper.


As the evening progressed, Paladin and Eglantine found themselves enjoying the holiday dinner with the rest of the Tooks. Laughter filled the air as plates were piled high with delicious food, and Paladin couldn't help but steal glances at Eglantine, feeling a warmth in his heart at having her by his side.
It was at this moment that Lalia Clayhanger Took said to Eglantine, "I can clearly see Eglantine, kicking your chickens' butts my dear Paladin". Everyone starts laughing. Paladin looks at Eglantine apologetically.
But amidst the festivities, a shadow lingered over Ferumbras' demeanor. When he returned to join Paladin and Eglantine in their room after dinner, his expression was troubled.
"I must tell you the news," Ferumbras began, his voice somber. "Old Gerontius the Old Took's room has been broken into today. They took his old parchments, the reading glasses, and above all, his weed pipe."
Paladin's heart sank at the news, a sense of disappointment washing over him. "Grandfather," he murmured, shaking his head. "It's a shame."
Eglantine's eyes widened in surprise. "You're talking about Gerontius the famous old Took?" she asked, her voice filled with concern.
Ferumbras nodded gravely. "Yes, no one has ever changed anything in his room since his death," he confirmed. "And now we've been robbed. Father launched an investigation, but you know him, it won't turn out anything."
Paladin's mind raced with thoughts of justice and retribution. "What if we did our little personal investigation, my good Ferumbras," he suggested, a determined glint in his eye. "You're up for it too, Eglantine?"
Eglantine nodded without hesitation, her resolve matching Paladin's. "Of course," she replied, her voice steady. Ferumbras smiled knowingly at Paladin's proposal. "I knew you were going to say that, my cousin," he said warmly.
As the night wore on, the holiday dinner gave way to quiet conversations in the parlor, accompanied by the soothing aroma of pipe-weed. But even as they shared stories and reminisced about happier times, the theft of Old Gerontius weighed heavily on everyone's minds.
Eventually, the Tooks retired to their respective rooms, but Ferumbras made his way to join Paladin and Eglantine as planned. In the dim light of their room, the trio prepared to embark on their investigation, determined to uncover the truth behind the theft that had shaken the Great Smials to its core.


With a sense of urgency, Paladin turned to Ferumbras, his voice steady. "Ferumbras, what are the known elements of the investigation?" Paladin inquired, his brow furrowed with concern.
Ferumbras glanced at Eglantine, who listened attentively, before responding. "I spoke with Rosy the housekeeper," he began. "No one entered through the 12 ground-level entrances to the Great Smials. Several of its accesses are guarded, and no illicit bags have been seen."
Paladin nodded thoughtfully, considering the implications. "It could be someone internal, but it's unlikely," he mused. "Are there any new employees?" Ferumbras shook his head. "No," he confirmed.
"Then we'll start by going to Old Took's room and inspecting it," Paladin declared, his voice resolute. Eglantine's eyes sparkled with excitement as she gave a big smile.
Together, the trio made their way to Old Gerontius' room, the guard at the entrance letting them pass without question. Stepping inside, Paladin surveyed the familiar surroundings, his heart heavy at the absence of the cherished items that had once adorned the space. "Everything is in its place according to my memory," Paladin murmured, his gaze sweeping over the room. "But the scrolls, glasses, and pipe are no longer here."
Suddenly, his eyes caught sight of small, subtle traces of mud on the floor near the large wardrobe. With a sense of urgency, Paladin called out, "Look for mud marks." Ferumbras frowned, puzzled. "I was here before and I saw nothing," he replied.
Undeterred, Paladin approached the wardrobe and began to search its depths. His fingers brushed against a hidden lever, and with a sense of anticipation, he pressed it, revealing a secret door with a staircase leading downward.
"What if the secret tunnel between Tookbank and Tuckborough villages existed, and Old Took hid the information from everyone?" Paladin proposed, his mind racing with possibilities. "The thieves may have gone through this tunnel."
With determination in their hearts, Paladin and Ferumbras collected some candles, preparing to venture into the unknown depths below. Eglantine insisted on accompanying them, despite the potential dangers that lay ahead, her loyalty unwavering as they embarked on their quest for answers.


Paladin, Eglantine, and Ferumbras descended the ladder into the depths of the secret tunnel, their hearts pounding with anticipation as they ventured further below ground level. After what felt like an eternity, they finally reached solid ground, the dim light of their candles illuminating a poorly lit tunnel that stretched out before them, leading towards Tookbank.
"We're below ground level," Paladin observed quietly, his voice echoing in the confined space.
As they pressed forward, their footsteps echoing softly against the stone walls, Ferumbras spoke up, his tone filled with awe. "You were right, Paladin. It's a secret tunnel to Tookbank."
With determination in their hearts, the trio advanced cautiously, their candles casting flickering shadows on the walls. After a while, they heard voices echoing through the tunnel, and they quickly extinguished their candles, moving silently towards the source of the sound.
In a room illuminated by torchlight, two figures stood arguing vehemently. Paladin's eyes narrowed as he recognized them instantly—John and Jim Ferny, notorious men from Bree known for their dishonest dealings.
John's voice carried through the chamber as he spoke to his brother. "Drop those glasses and that pipe. These are the scrolls that are worth gold. They will lead us to treasure. The great hobbit treasure."
Jim obeyed, dropping the stolen items onto the ground as they turned to leave, making their way back towards the exit where two horses awaited them.
As Paladin, Eglantine, and Ferumbras waited in the shadows of the secret tunnel, anticipation hung heavy in the air. "Stay hidden, Eglantine," Paladin murmured, his voice low yet resolute. "Ferumbras, on my signal."
As the Ferny brothers moved closer to the exit, Paladin and Ferumbras sprang into action. With practiced precision, they unleashed their slingshots, sending two large stones hurtling through the air. The projectiles found their mark, striking the Ferny brothers squarely and sending them sprawling to the ground, stunned.
Quick as lightning, Paladin seized John Ferny, lifting him effortlessly and delivering a solid jab to his face. "For grandpa," he growled, his voice edged with righteous anger.
Meanwhile, Ferumbras was not as fortunate, taking a blow from Jim Ferny that left him momentarily dazed. But before Jim could strike again, Paladin intervened, his voice firm and commanding. "Hand over the scrolls, Jim," he demanded, his gaze unwavering. "Your burglary has failed. We are not alone, and more hobbits will arrive soon."
At that moment, Eglantine's voice echoed in the chamber, deep and commanding. "Come on, everyone," she called out. "It's in this direction. They are there..."
Jim Ferny hesitated for a moment, his eyes darting between Paladin and the unseen threat. Realizing the futility of resistance, he surrendered, relinquishing the stolen scrolls to Paladin's outstretched hand. With a resigned sigh, Jim hoisted John onto one of the waiting horses, and the brothers made a swift exit, disappearing into the night.
As Paladin watched the Ferny brothers depart, a swell of pride filled his heart. Turning to Eglantine, he offered her a warm smile. "I'm so proud of you," he said earnestly. "You saved us."
And so, with the recovery of Gerontius's parchments, glasses, and pipe, the mystery of the theft was finally resolved, thanks to the courage and determination of Paladin, Ferumbras, and their steadfast companion, Eglantine.

END OF EPISODE (In Adventuring Phase)
Last edited by _ArthurDallas_ on Tue 21 May 2024, 07:15, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Shire Stories - The Old Took's Theft Affair

Tue 21 May 2024, 15:48

Not a bad tale at all, though I question the innovation of the slingshot (a nineteenth century invention that only came into existence with the introduction of vulcanized rubber--Ori from the Hobbit films notwithstanding). The hobbits probably should have been armed with more conventional slings.
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Re: The Shire Stories - The Old Took's Theft Affair

Tue 21 May 2024, 19:31

Otaku-Sempai you will be my Tolkien lore specialist (:-)). I thought the slingshot was good for hobbits. I thought I read that somewhere?! What do you think the weapon should be called... only slings... thanks for the comments, it's always appreciated.


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