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Jan 9 2015, 20:01
Hello, my good friends all!
While it's true that I mean to have some dealings (of some sort or other) beyond the borders of the Shire, I'd also be delighted to roleplay inside the Shire. Farmer Maggot, Pooka (who has expressed interest in playing a Hobbit), and anyone else - shall we bat around some Shire-folk ideas?
Jan 5 2015, 21:02
full name: Rory (Roriadoc) Pinewhistle
date of birth: TA 2979 (40 at time of Battle of the Pellenor)
home: The Shire (village of Scary, northern part of the East Farthing)
occupation: farmer and Bounder
Rory is taller than average for a Hobbit, though not remarkably so, and sturdy-looking without being stocky. Light grey eyes and tanned skin. Very blond, very curly hair (unusual even for a Hobbit lass, downright startling for a lad). His hair is so curly (in an untamable manner) that if it gets wet enough to straighten out it lengthens to a real nuisance, but if he has it trimmed short enough to avoid that, it looks too shorn when dry, so he sighs, doesn’t have it shorn, and always carries a hooded cloak in case of rain.
His clothes are of linen, wool, and leather in all their variety. He only has one finer outfit, of which the breeches, waistcoat, and jacket are fawn-colored. Otherwise his clothes are of the more inexpensive shades of green, blue, and brown. He *never* wears a yellow waistcoat, since thanks to his hair he is self-conscious of that color. He has several woolen hooded cloaks of faded green and grey.
When patrolling as a Bounder, he carries a stout staff, a sturdy Hobbit-sized hunting bow with quiver, a hunting knife, a slingshot, and a curved horn that blows loud and carries far (both for scaring away dangerous animals – rarely a trespassing person – and, if necessary, calling for help). He also carries a game bag because he often returns home from his patrolling with some fresh game for his family’s table.
The only really memorable thing is likely his shock of very unruly blond curls. Possibly also that he looks quite sturdy without being stocky.
likes/ dislikes/ strengths/ weaknesses/ bad habits:
Rory is typically friendly and has a lot of energy. He has learned a lot about patience from having to wait until the lass he loves, Cabbegia Thistleseed, reaches age 33 so that they can marry. The traces of Took blood he inherited from his father manifests itself in his open curiosity about the world outside the Shire, his pleasure in traveling (to Bree-land, that is), and the relative ease with which he slips outside the Shire sometimes to hunt game, gather wild berries, etc. He has less tendency to categorically distrust any non-Hobbits and, indeed, might be even curious about them.
Rory enjoys stories and ballads and histories (especially if they contain some hint of adventure). Even more than reading silently, he loves listening to a good storyteller, whether they’re recounting from memory or reading from a book. (This trait directly led him to seek the acquaintance of Cabbegia Thistleseed once he heard her storytelling.)
Since his lifetime of occasional travel to Bree-land brought him to Buckland, and there is a reasonably good storehouse of both written and verbal stories and histories there (and now that his sister lives so nearby Buckland), Rory has gotten fairly familiar with that area. He has always enjoyed fishing (there is a good trout stream running northward near his home village), and in Buckland was coaxed into sometimes going out in a boat on the Brandywine. While he is as fearful as the typical Hobbit of deep or fast water, he grew fairly comfortable in a boat in the shallows not too far from shore. He still definitely prefers solid dry land, though!
He takes pleasure in long walks and hikes through the Shire, and if he didn’t have to do a lot of that as a Bounder, he would do it anyway. He tends to be curious about places (especially in the woods) that he hasn’t seen or noticed before, and takes the view from the tops of hills at all times of day and night. He loves running little races, too (and wins them, often as not). Of special delight is racing Cabbegia, especially where there is a fence that he can run along the top of while Cabby runs on the ground. (He always lets her win – but a little – or tie the race, because the best part is hearing her delighted, merry laughter, which is literally music to his ears.)
As a Bounder, Rory has keen eyes and ears and is observant of his surroundings. He knows how to spot the tracks of worrisome animals, Big Folk, and Dwarves (if they aren’t too faint or cleverly concealed). He can usually tell the difference between a campsite used by Hobbits and one used by outsiders. He is a very keen shot with his hunting bow (has never shot anything but animals), and is also skilled enough with a slingshot to hunt fowl and small mammals.
Shrews: Not only do they dig holes right where you don’t want them or will step in them, but they are bad tempered and so remind him too much of Camellia Thistleseed.
Billy goats: He has no idea why, but billy goats seem to think his rump is the most tempting target in the whole Shire, and several times have sent him tumbling into the smelliest of messes. He’d as soon turn his back on a wild boar as a billy goat! He’ll do nearly any other farm chore without complaint, as long as it’s not near the goats.
Flying insects that sting: They seem to think he’s as delicious as a birthday cake.
Raw vegetables: He likes any and all of these cooked, thank you kindly.
Despite his love of words (in the form of stories either read or spoken), he is a tongue-tied writer, which makes his letters and notes to friends short and almost sounding like someone else wrote it, and if he had to write any sort of report to the Shirriffs it would be bare-bones. Rory feels self-conscious about his writing deficiency, which can get awkward among Hobbits who on average are fond of writing and receiving letters.
Another thing about which he feels self-conscious (when it happens) is that although he is as talkative as any most of the time, he tends to become very tongue-tied when acutely astonished, perplexed, frightened, or embarrassed – especially if it happens with no warning. If a woman is the cause, this problem is at its worst (probably because he will try valiantly to maintain good manners no matter how he feels about her). He recovers from the speechlessness within a minute (though it may involve some stuttering), but it can certainly cause painfully awkward moments, and those less charitable of heart have been known to think less of Rory because of this weakness.
Rory is the youngest of 5 children. His parents are Harriswaithe “Harry” and Daisy Pinewhistle (Harry with Took blood in his veins, though somewhat watered down). Daisy comes from a poor family, and although she doesn’t mind that, she insisted that her children have more dignified (or at least less ordinary) names than her parents chose, and she also rarely calls her beloved husband by his nickname.
Rory’s oldest siblings are identical twin brothers Tuppen and Turgen, 7 years older than himself (living in Staddle in Bree-land for the past 6 years, working the farm that they are to inherit from an aged uncle). Rory’s next oldest siblings are fraternal twin brother and sister Wingo and Wisteria (3 years older than himself). Wisteria married a farmer in Stock in the Marish near Buckland 8 years ago. Wingo and his young family live on the Pinewhistle family farm. Several relatives live in the nearby village of Quarry, and more distant relations scattered about the Shire.
other important people:
Cabbegia “Cabby” Thistleseed: The Hobbit lass Rory has been in love with since he was 37 and she 28. Cabbegia is the 13th (youngest) daughter (no brothers) of Mr. and Mrs. Thistleseed. All but 1 of her older sisters has married and moved away (some rather far away). Her father named her after his favorite food in the world, cabbage (he has won prizes at many a harvest festival for growing such excellent ones, too). Her mother had absolutely insisted that all their daughters be named traditionally after flowers, only conceding that if they had more than 12 daughters she’d allow him to name the 13th Cabbegia. To her astonishment, their 13th child was indeed another daughter, hence the very odd name.
Camellia Thistleseed: Cabbegia’s older unmarried sister (5th daughter). Camellia (with full help from her mother) has been pursuing Rory ever since he met Cabbegia, but Rory can’t abide her! (He says she should have been named Snapdragon.) Camellia is ideally pretty by Hobbit standards (rather tall, rosy complexion, shiny dark auburn hair), except for her rather large feet (which are especially noticeable when she stamps them in ill temper, a habit for which she has become all-too-well known).
Fellow Bounders ((I won’t name them in case anyone might want to play one))
The 3 Shirriffs of the East Farthing (who have authority over all that farthing's Bounders) – ((whom I won’t name, for the same reason as above))
Rory’s childhood was about as normal as a Hobbit lad’s could be, with very little to distinguish it except for the relatively small size of his family (only five children). The family was not poor, though not well-to-do either, and everyone was needed to work on their farm. Rory was an energetic and curious boy, tending toward impish (in a way that many called “rather Took-ish”).
Rory’s father had a much older bachelor brother who removed to Staddle to establish a farm there when Rory was very young. This uncle had always declared his desire that one of Harry’s children should inherit the Staddle farm, so throughout Rory’s life there were occasional trips to Staddle. To Rory’s delight, he got to come along on quite a few of them as he grew up, even after it was settled that his older twin brother would be the ones to inherit. Rory didn’t really mind, for he was content with their farm in the Shire. All that traveling did, however, have a definite influence on him, such that he was keen to become a Bounder as soon as he was judged old enough, which was at age 25 (Bounder in training for the first year or so).
Rory was excited (his father proud, his mother proud and rather anxious) to be chosen as a Bounder. Bounders were deputies answerable to the Shirriff’s Service (each farthing had 3 Shirriffs), and charged with patrolling the borders of the Shire to keep strange people (usually meaning Men) and dangerous animals from trespassing, and checking around for signs that trespassers had already entered. Unlike the Shirriffs, extra Bounders could be appointed anytime there was need and be released again when the need passed. Rory was a permanent one, and during his first 15 years of service there was rarely need to appoint extras.
He enjoyed the job on the whole since it gave him a fine outlet for his extra energy, and helped satisfy his somewhat Took-ish appetite for exploring (at least not being too much confined to his own farm and village) and curiosity about the world outside the Shire (as far as Bree-land, anyway). He got well acquainted with all the Hobbit families who lived nearest the border along his route, and had even met a few Dwarves who were passing by. Most Dwarves used the Great East Road when they traveled, but sometimes they would take the north way. Generally the Shire-folk didn’t mind the occasional Dwarf and would barter with them, though if they didn’t enter by the usual route (the road), questions were due to be asked and answered if they wanted inside the Shire. Once, during a harsh and very early winter storm, Rory had even let a group of Dwarves camp with him for greater shelter. He found them rather interesting, if quite different than Hobbits in most ways.
Rory met and fell in love with Cabbegia when he was 37 years old and heard (without seeing who the voice belonged to) a lass telling stories to children in the most charming, melodious voice he’d ever heard. When he finally saw the speaker, at first he was definitely uninspired by her plain looks, for she was short (even for a Hobbit), a bit plump, with mousy brown hair that was barely what anyone would call curly. He was so charmed and attracted by her voice and demeanor that he still sought out her acquaintance, and it wasn’t long before he fell head-over-heals in love, for she was sweet, kind, merry (well, he formed quite a long list of praises for her). By then he’d also developed the opinion that she was a wonderfully lovely lass in his eyes.
The fly in the ointment was Cabbegia’s older sister Camellia (and her mother). Cabbegia was the youngest daughter and too young to marry without her parents’ permission. Camellia was the only other of the 13 daughters (5th born) still unmarried, and Mrs. Thistleseed was determined (desperate?) that Camellia not suffer the embarrassment of her littlest sister marrying before she did. Once they took notice of Rory (because he’d noticed Cabbegia), they pursued him with great determination, but he couldn’t abide Camellia! She looked beautiful, he admitted, but she was temperamental, very vain, jealous, and easily offended. Camellia (and her mother) had scared off every suitor until there hadn’t been any for quite awhile, so they'd set their sights on Rory like glue.
Rory loved Cabbegia enough to suffer Mrs. Thistleseed and Camellia whenever he couldn’t avoid them without passing up seeing Cabbegia. It helped considerably that Cabbegia took after her father in temperament and character, and Mr. Thistleseed favored the love blossoming between his beloved youngest daughter (with his special-most name) and Rory. Mr. Thistleseed encouraged Rory to be patient until Cabbegia came fully of age (at 33), when they could marry despite Mrs. Thistleseed’s opposition.
Rory and Cabbegia were indeed patient, courting happily and dreaming of their future while awaiting her 33rd birthday. They also had the support of Rory’s family, thank heavens.
role play sample:
It was a chilly late autumn night, mere minutes before dusk. The clouds had been patchy for hours, allowing a clear view of the emerging stars through the gaps. Rory never tired of gazing at how bright and large the stars shone. A bright half moon shone too, hiding and emerging as the clouds scudded across.
Rory had his small campsite set up and cozy in a little sheltered pocket he used regularly on his Bounder patrol. He was two days out from home, which meant a third of the way through this patrol counting the whole round trip. Nothing remarkable had happened. He’d been thorough, as usual, in checking for signs that outsiders or dangerous animals had already crossed into the Shire, being long since familiar with every likely path and all the places where it would be most difficult for a person or large animal to pass without leaving telltale tracks. As usual, he rather enjoyed the patrolling but was glad not to have found anything worrisome.
It was too dark to do any more that night, but curiosity alone (as far as he knew) made him leave his supper plate warming at the fire while he walked the short, familiar steps to the boundary fence and looked out beyond into the wilds. He held his warm woolen cloak close about him, for the breeze blowing from the north was brisk and cold. He had to hold onto the brow of his hood to keep the wind from pushing it back.
It was too cold for comfort, so he was about to return to his campfire and tasty supper when he thought he saw movement beyond in the thin woodland, maybe a fairly large animal. The light was fading quickly, though, and peering out patiently, he soon wasn’t sure what he’d seen. Perhaps nothing, but he “felt” like something was out there that he should pay attention to. He tried climbing to the top of the fence and walking along the pole this way and that for a higher vantage, but it didn’t help, and soon it was fully dark. Again he was about to return to his fire when he smelled something – wood smoke. A campfire, betrayed to him by the northerly wind, and it couldn’t be very far away.
His Bounder’s instincts awake and alert, though not actually worried, Rory sighed, knowing he’d have to stay awake and keep watch for who knew how many hours of the night, just in case trouble came nosing up to the boundary. Returning to his campfire, he reduced it safely to embers and carried his supper plate and pack to where he could settle down comfortably and keep lookout. At least he could smoke his pipe, being well downwind if the wind stayed northerly, though it would spoil his smoke rings.