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The Shire Stories - The Watch Over The Shire

Mon 10 Jun 2024, 05:52

The Shire Stories - The Watch Over The Shire
A Solo Roleplaying Play Report - the One Ring RPG
By Arthur Dallas


- Hallas (male Rangers) is one of the Captains of the Rangers Of The North, protector of the crossing of the Southern borders of the Shire and the Sarn Ford region. He is the father of Halbarad. Hallas and Halbarad pose as merchants from Tharbad when they go to The Sparrow's Rest Inn. They call themselves Anar and Tar when they are disguised as pipe-weed merchants from Tharbad.
- Halbarad (male Rangers) is one of the Rangers Of The North, protector of the crossing of the Southern borders of the Shire and the Sarn Ford region. He is son of Hallas. Hallas and Halbarad pose as merchants from Tharbad when they go to The Sparrow's Rest Inn. They call themselves Anar and Tar when they are disguised as pipe-weed merchants from Tharbad.
- Karg (male Half-Orc) is a solitary hunter. Those Half-Orcs are a crossbred-race conceived by an unknown agent. Karg has heard of a magical ring that seems to come from the banks of the Shirebourn River in the Shire. It is said that mournful noises and barely heard songs seem to drift above its waters.
- Lotho Brandybuck (male Hobbit) is the Innkeeper and stable-master of the Sparrow's Rest Inn.
- Lobellia Brandybuck (female Hobbit) is the Sparrow's Rest Innkeeper's wife and best cook of the region.
- Gilly Brownlock (female Hobbit) is a travelling minstrel and the Sparrow's permanent musician.


As the moon hangs high in the night sky, Hallas and Halbarad ride steadily along the Shire Road, their cloaks billowing in the cool breeze. The gentle clip-clop of their horses' hooves is the only sound amidst the serene darkness.
"We're nearing Sparrow's Rest, father," Halbarad remarks, his voice barely above a whisper as he glances at the dark silhouette of the inn in the distance. Hallas nods, his keen eyes scanning the surroundings. "Aye, we'll find respite there for the night," he replies, his hand instinctively drifting to the hilt of his sword.
The Rangers of the North have long kept watch over the southern regions of the Shire, safeguarding its borders from any threat that may lurk beyond. Tonight is no different, as they make their way towards the familiar haven of Sparrow's Rest Inn.
As they ride on, the ominous cawing of crows fills the air, their dark forms flitting amongst the trees. Halbarad furrows his brow in concern. "Father, those birds... they seem to be watching us," he observes, his grip tightening on his reins.
Hallas nods grimly, his gaze fixed on the unsettling sight. "Aye, they're Crebain from Dunland," he murmurs, his voice low and wary. "Enemy spies, no doubt. We must tread carefully."
The pair continues on their journey, the watchful eyes of the crows following their every move. Soon, the welcoming lights of Sparrow's Rest come into view, casting a warm glow against the night sky.
As they dismount outside the inn, they are greeted by Lotho Brandybuck, the innkeeper. "Welcome, my friends travelers from Tharbad," he calls out cheerfully, his eyes twinkling with curiosity.
Hallas and Halbarad exchange a knowing glance before nodding in acknowledgment. "Anar and Tar, at your service," Hallas replies with a practiced smile, his voice laced with a hint of mystery.
They enter the cozy interior of the inn, the aroma of pipe-weed mingling with the sound of merry laughter. As they settle into their seats by the hearth, they know that they must keep their true identities hidden, for even in the peaceful lands of the Shire, danger may still linger in the shadows.


As Hallas and Halbarad sat at the table in the Sparrow's Rest Inn, weary from their journey, Lotho, the innkeeper, approached them with a warm smile. "We'll get a room for the night and leave tomorrow. We are exhausted," Hallas says to Lotho.
Lotho nods understandingly. "Without a problem, my friend. I'll put this Tharbad pipeweed on your credit and add a keg of Old Toby to deliver to your room as usual," he replies with a chuckle. "Take a seat, and my sweet Lobellia will bring you something to eat and drink shortly."
As Lobellia brings them a dish of pork stew and the famous strawberries and cream cake for dessert, along with a nice mug of beer, Hallas takes a moment to ask her about the latest news. "So, what are the stories these days?" he inquires.
Lobellia sets down the tray with a smile. "To the north, there seems to be a wolf or several wolves that have been seen, but I'll believe it when I see it. A dwarf died in Gamwich or was kidnapped by fairies, I don't know," she replies, shaking her head. "In Hobbiton, they had a death and beer stolen by southerners. Bree thieves tried to steal Old Took's stuff, but it didn't work. We also have these black crows hanging around here. Other than that, everything is fine."
Hallas nods, taking in the information. "Well, okay, these are all stories we know, so nothing new," he remarks to Halbarad. They look at the audience and almost all of them are hobbits, except perhaps this big guy sitting in the corner with his hood on.
Halbarad replies. "The inn is busy tonight because the beautiful minstrel muse, Gilly Brownlock, is about to sing a song." As Gilly begins her song, the room falls silent, and all eyes are on her. The melody weaves its way through the air, captivating everyone in the room. It feels as though a magical spell is at work, as Gilly's voice fills the space with its enchanting tones. A soft eerie light illuminates the moment. Hallas notices something glinting on Gilly's finger and leans over to Halbarad. "She wears a magic ring," he whispers.
Halbarad's eyes widen in surprise as he watches Gilly sing, mesmerized by her performance and the mysterious ring she wears. As the song comes to an end, the room erupts into applause, but Hallas and Halbarad exchange a knowing glance, their curiosity piqued by the magical aura surrounding the minstrel and her ring.


As Hallas scanned the room, his eyes flickered over to the corner where the hooded figure had been seated, only to find it vacant. His senses sharpened as a hobbit burst into the room, panic etched across his face. "There's a fire in the stable!" he exclaims.
Instantly, chaos ensues as patrons rush outside to aid in extinguishing the flames. Without hesitation, Hallas and Halbarad join the efforts, grabbing buckets and forming a line to pass water to the fire. Minutes pass in a blur of urgency and exertion until finally, the flames are subdued.
Breathless from their efforts, Hallas turns to Halbarad with a furrowed brow. "I have a feeling this fire is a diversion. Come, let's go see Lotho and Lobellia," he says quietly.
Entering the inn, they find Lobellia in a state of agitation, conversing with Lotho. "I tell you, they left through the back kitchen door. Gilly didn't seem to want to go with him at all," Lobellia recounts anxiously. Hallas approaches Lobellia, his expression grave. "Explain to me what you saw," he urges.
"I saw this big guy in a hoodie leaving with Gilly. They left through the kitchen door and went outside. The guy had a horse, and Gilly didn't seem to want to go with him," Lobellia explains, her voice trembling. Turning to Lotho, Hallas issues a swift command. "Prepare our horses."
Hallas and Halbarad take some time to examine the ground behind the inn. Hallas observes, "They went east. They will either join the Pincup Road or continue east towards the Shirebourn River."
Lotho joins them with their steeds ready, his expression a mix of concern and admiration. "I always thought you were men of action with your build," he remarks. "We are merchants from Tharbad, but we are going to bring Gilly back," Hallas replies firmly.
With determination in their hearts and the cold night air whipping past them, Hallas and Halbarad ride onward, guided by the light of the stars above. The watchful eyes of the crows follow their every move.


Hallas and Halbarad ride tirelessly through the night, their steeds pounding against the earth as they pursue the elusive trail. They pause intermittently to inspect the ground, searching for any sign of the horse they're chasing. With each moment, the tension builds, driving them forward with grim determination.
As they reach the Pincup Road, Hallas observes, "They are going towards the Shirebourn. We will catch them there in the morning." True to his words, as the first light of dawn breaks over the horizon, Hallas and Halbarad arrive at the Shirebourn River. Following their instincts, they head north, eventually coming upon a humble fisherman's cabin nestled near the riverbank. A horse is tied to the edge of the house, confirming their suspicions.
Silently, they enter the cabin, their senses alert for any sign of danger. Inside, they find belongings that unmistakably belong to a musician. "This must be Gilly's house. But why did they come here?" Halbarad wonders aloud.
Emerging from the cabin, they make their way towards the river, where a chilling sight awaits them. Gilly is tied to a tree, her expression filled with fear. "Watch out, he's after you," she warns, just as the hooded man leaps into their path.
With a swift movement, Halbarad is knocked to the ground, the hood falling away to reveal the visage of a Half-Orc. Hallas's grip tightens on his sword as he faces the intruder. "Karg, what are you doing here? We told you to stay south," he demands.
But Karg, brandishing his scimitar, is undeterred. "The stinkers of the Sarn Ford. I will settle your account once and for all," he growls, launching himself into the fray.
Blades clash as Hallas and Halbarad defend themselves against Karg's relentless assault. Despite their skill, Halbarad is wounded, a dagger sinking into his leg with a searing pain. With a fierce determination, Hallas presses on, his strikes growing more aggressive.
In a final, decisive blow, Hallas's sword finds its mark, and Karg falls to the ground, his laughter echoing through the air even as life fades from his eyes. "You don't know what's coming. It makes me laugh," he taunts, before succumbing to the inevitable.
As the morning sun casts its golden light upon the scene, Hallas and Halbarad stand victorious, though the shadow of Karg's words lingers in their minds, a reminder of the perils that await in the days ahead.


In the fading light of evening, Hallas and Halbarad stood by the Shirebourn River, their faces etched with concern as they tended to Halbarad's injury. Gilly rushed to their aid, her heart pounding with worry.
"Hold still, Halbarad," Hallas murmured, his hands deftly applying a makeshift bandage to his son's wound. "We'll get you patched up in no time." Halbarad winced but nodded, his gaze flickering towards Gilly as she approached. "Thanks, Gilly," he said weakly, a grateful smile tugging at his lips.
Gilly knelt beside them, her eyes filled with empathy. "Don't mention it, Halbarad. You've both been good friends to me," she replied softly, her voice laced with concern.
As Halbarad's breathing steadied, Hallas turned to Gilly with a furrowed brow. "What did this Half-Orc want with you, Gilly?" he asked, his tone edged with suspicion. Gilly's eyes widened slightly before she glanced down, her fingers nervously fidgeting with the hem of her apron. "It's because of this ring. Karg wanted the other rings and I told him I only had one ring. He didn't believe me." she confessed, her voice barely above a whisper.
With a quick movement, she retrieved the ring and held it out for Hallas to see. "I call it the rainbow ring." Hallas took the ring in his hand, studying it closely before turning his gaze back to Gilly. "Where did you find this ring?" he inquired, his voice low and serious.
Gilly hesitated for a moment before speaking. "I found it near the banks of the Shirebourn River," she admitted, her eyes meeting Hallas's with surprise. Hallas's expression darkened slightly as he processed her words. "I know this ring," he murmured, his mind racing with thoughts.
As the sun dipped below the horizon, a gentle breeze rustled through the trees, carrying with it a sense of anticipation. Hallas, Halbarad, and Gilly stood near the riverbank, their senses heightened as they waited. Suddenly, Hallas made a strange noise with his mouth, a bird-like call that echoed through the stillness of the evening. They waited in silence, their hearts pounding with anticipation.
Then, as if summoned by the sound, a figure emerged from the water, her form radiant in the fading light. She moved with grace and elegance, her long hair shimmering like spun gold in the twilight.
Hallas knelt before her, his eyes filled with reverence. "Hail Goldberry, the River-daughter," he greeted, his voice filled with respect. "We have two important things to tell you." Goldberry regarded them with a serene smile, her eyes shining with wisdom. "Speak, dear Hallas," she urged gently, her voice like music on the evening breeze.
Hallas took a deep breath, his gaze unwavering. "First, we believe we have found one of your rings," he began. Hallas gives the ring to Goldberry. "And second, we encountered a half-Orc today who spoke of ominous things to come."
Goldberry's smile faltered slightly, her expression turning solemn. "Thank you for bringing this to my attention, Hallas," she replied, her voice tinged with concern. "I will speak to Tom Bombadil about these troubling words." With a graceful nod, Goldberry slipped back into the river, disappearing beneath the surface with a gentle ripple.
Just as they prepared to leave, a soft voice broke the silence, causing them to turn back towards the river. Goldberry emerged once more from the water, a small smile playing on her lips as she approached Gilly.
"Gilly Brownlock," she said, her voice carrying a hint of warmth, "you have shown great courage and kindness. Your voice is strong and you have a pure heart. For that, I believe this belongs to you." With a graceful motion, she extended her hand, offering the Rainbow ring to Gilly once more.
Gilly's eyes widened in surprise as she accepted the ring, her fingers closing around it with reverence. "Thank you, Goldberry," she whispered, her heart overflowing with gratitude.
With a gentle nod, Goldberry bid them farewell once more, disappearing into the depths of the river with a final ripple. Gilly watched her go, a tender smile gracing her lips as she turned to Hallas and Halbarad.
And as they stood together by the riverbank, bathed in the soft glow of twilight, they knew that whatever trials lay ahead, they would face them together, bound by friendship and a shared sense of purpose. But, the watchful eyes of the crows still follow their every move.

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Re: The Shire Stories - The Watch Over The Shire

Mon 10 Jun 2024, 16:36

A pretty good tale. The term hoodie took me out of the story for a bit. It's a bit too modern, only having been coined (apparently) within the last hundred years. Hood would have sufficed, as it did later.
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Re: The Shire Stories - The Watch Over The Shire

Mon 10 Jun 2024, 19:57

Thanks for the feedback otaku-senpai. your comments are always welcome.


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