Forum: Anglachel - Stories

Discussing: OMY Ch. 2 - On the King's Road

OMY Ch. 2 - On the King's Road

On the King's Road - no objectionable material in this chapter.

In which a journey is begun, a song is sung, news is shared, roots are discussed, the badger is fat and Frodo sees ghosts.

Also, I have added a Cast of Characters Appendix, which will be updated with each new chapter. I myself am not entirely certain how many characters are in OMY. It's a lot.




Re: OMY Ch. 2 - On the King's Road

Ahhhh, more of Anglachel's visions of the Shire. I read these two parts with great enjoyment today. As ever, I like the level of detail you bring in, and I'm a fan of your Bilbo.

I did a good deal of thinking about your use of pacing and build-up in this story. It moves along, slow but steady, and lingering over all sorts of details. I was quite content to let it amble, specifically because I was enjoying the sense of visiting the Shire the story gave me. It would be possible to tighten it up a bit, especially the tavern scene, if your goal was to "get a point" across. But like I said, I wasn't in any hurry.

I also see you're doing a very clear POV breakdown. A modest suggestion: have you thought about including a touch of Bilbo's POV in Ch. 1? Might there be a benefit in seeing Bilbo's satisfaction at giving Frodo a home brought in sooner, to be countered immediately after by Frodo's sense of still being unsettled?



Re: OMY Ch. 2 - On the King's Road

I was quite content to let it amble, specifically because I was enjoying the sense of visiting the Shire the story gave me.

Same goes for me. We have another intriguing name to puzzle over, more interesting and lively characters (Haysend was rather Maggotish, in many ways - very astute), and hints of the larger history. All quite as Tolkien would wish, I think!

Although regarding the Riders, is Bilbo keeping back what he knows of the Dúnedain? I'm guessing the Dúnadan present at Dáin's ceremony was Aragorn - does Bilbo guess that as well?

Last tiny thing, which might not be relevant if my memory's playing up - I seem to remember that it was Balin and not Dwalin who gave Bilbo the dark green cloak and hood - can't check as my copy of the Hobbit is many miles north of me now!



Re: OMY Ch. 2 - On the King's Road

Nope, it really was Dwalin. I looked up the donor of the cloak when this chapter was in alpha...




Re: OMY Ch. 2 - On the King's Road


The story does start slowly, but it will pick up the pace in coming chapters. There is a lot of background information to wade through in the first two chapters all of which returns, grows and connects as the story goes on.

Most of my chapters are single POVs to keep them clear and to keep some tension. There are a group of them in the middle where Frodo and Bilbo split the perspective. I've gone back and forth about interleaving the perspectives more.

A suggestion you had for me from the last story is going to be used - keep your eyes peeled!


PS - I vote for "Eru made me funky", myself



Re: OMY Ch. 2 - On the King's Road


Haysend is rather Maggotish, and his name will come up again. He's too good a character just to use once, though that was my plan. He kept tugging on my sleeve and saying, 'Now, Mistress Gurthang, you can't quite leave it like that! Ain't proper." I had that happen to a couple of secondary OCs.

Bilbo, as far as I know, does not know about the Dúnedain that well (not as much as he knows of the Elves, for example), and he is clueless that the Grey Riders are the decendents of the previous rulers of the region. He has not yet figured out that the Riders and the tall, thin Big People who buy sable and martin pelts from the Hobbits and whom the Breelanders don't like (Legacy, "Exchange") are the same folk. But he will figure it out eventually - he always does.

No, that was not Aragorn who attended the crowning of Bain in Dale. Aragorn was on his southern sojourns at that time. It was another of the Dúnedain - too old to be Halbarad, too. So, contest! What Dúnadan accompanied Gandalf to the crowning of King Bain in Dale in 2977? Which Elf prince of Rivendell was in attendance? Was there a side trip to Thranduil?

I had originally said Thorin, too, but Cel corrected me:

'I'm awfully sorry,' said Bilbo, 'but I have come without my hat, and I have left my pocket-handkerchief behind, and I haven't got any money. I didn't get your note until after 10:45 to be precise.'

'Don't be precise,' said Dwalin, 'and don't worry! You will have to manage without pocket-handkerchiefs, and a good many other things., before you get to the journey's end. As for a hat, I have got a spare hood and cloak in my luggage.'

That's how they all came to start, jogging off from the inn one fine morning just before May, on laden pack ponies; and Bilbo was wearing a dark-green hood (a little weather-stained) and a dark-green cloak borrowed from Dwalin.'

"Roast Mutton", The Hobbit



Re: OMY Ch. 2 - On the King's Road

My memory is obviously failing. A re-read of the Hobbit is now scheduled for Christmas!

I suppose given the time-frame of this piece, Bilbo wouldn't know that much about the Dúnedain. I think I was mentally flicking forward a few years and self-referring - wrongly ... Bilbo at this point knows, or met once, Estel, and not Aragorn, who he meets on arrival in Rivendell following the Party - or at any rate that's how I wrote it once. So his knowledge of the Dúnedain develops later.

So, niggles all to do with my muddled mind!



Re: OMY Ch. 2 - On the King's Road

So, contest! What Dúnadan accompanied Gandalf to the crowning of King Bain in Dale in 2977? Which Elf prince of Rivendell was in attendance? Was there a side trip to Thranduil?

For the elf, my guess would be either Glorfindel (past military involvement w/mortals at Fornost) or Elladan (based on my own fanon that has him as a linguist/politician, extrapolated from his name translation). However, Elrond’s never given any rank besides “master,” which makes whatever nobility Elladan had a bit fuzzier than most people think. The Dunadan is even stickier; I’d guess Halbarad simply because not many other Dunedain of that time period are given names, and Halbarad seems to be Aragorn’s regent-equivalent, as well as his friend.

What time of year would the crowning have been? At the Dwarves' midsummer feast mentioned in the Silmarillion?

And I'm trying to remember how many suggestions I made to see which one gets taken! I'm guessing from part 4 the one about Merry?



Re: OMY Ch. 2 - On the King's Road

The elf is up for grabs. I tend to think Glorfindel, but that is because I have a story in my head that Elrond and Thranduil have good reason to intensely dislike each other. Thus, Elladanrohir (whichever) would not be a diplomatic choice.

Dalin would call any High Elf of importance a "prince" so that does not rule anyone out. Remember, he also calls whomever led the Orc hunting band in the High Pass a "prince" and that's a safe bet to be one of the Twins. Finally, he's the door warden for King Dain - he's going to inflate the titles of the visitors so as to increase the importance of his king. Look at what Rory does when introducing Dalin in Chapter 3.

Hmm, I think Halbarad would be younger than the Ranger I describe, who I specifically say is an older man with heavily grizzled (i.e, mostly grey) hair. I don't think they would spare a younger man for a diplomatic trip, particularly when Aragorn was gone and Halbarad is his closest kindman (Aragorn's heir in absence of a son? Hmm, there's an interesting idea) and so they would not want Halbarad haring off. An older fellow, one with much experience as a mercenary, perhaps, with exposure to men in south and east? My bets are on an OC kinsman of Gilraen. I don't myself know. Yet. ;-)

It was the crowning of Bain - it could have been at any time of the year, but midsummer has a good sound to it.

I can't remember your guess about Merry! No, your suggestion is the one having to do with gifts from certain friends, and will show up in chapter 8.



Re: OMY Ch. 2 - On the King's Road

Tyellas wrote:
"Ahhhh, more of Anglachel's visions of the Shire. I read these two parts with great enjoyment today. As ever, I like the level of detail you bring in, and I'm a fan of your Bilbo."

And I am another one and second this.
One little detail that made me shiver: how Frodo ducked away from Bilbo's touch at his hair and Bilbo realizes why.

Spelling: when they leave the guestroom: the kitchen maid met them, not me them.

Horse colours: deep grey or brown, without markings. That sounds to me as if the Riders prefer horses whose colours melt with the background, not easily to be seen. However, if they ride dark greys, they will become whiter year after year. Or do you mean roan horses?



Re: OMY Ch. 2 - On the King's Road

I'm a big fan of Bilbo, too. I didn't know how much until I started writing him. He's a fascinating character. He is the kind of person who would pick up on small details like someone not wanting to be touched a certain way. Keep an eye out for when Frodo will allow his head to be touched, and by whom.

Oooh, good catch on the typo. I'll get that corrected.

Horse colours - Yes, I think the Rangers would want horses that do not attract attention, but are of very good quality. They would probably stay away from white and light grey steeds, bright chestnuts, golden bays, and the like. Dark bays, dark browns, liver chesnuts, and the darker shades of grey would be preferred. Dark roans, as well. A very dark grey horse would lighten over time, but would still be less obvious than Asfaloth or Shadowfax.

who is trying to get Ch. 6 prepped tonight.



Re: OMY Ch. 2 - On the King's Road

More horse nagging:
But the time factor: How long does a dark grey horse stay dark? If it is old enough for full service (trained and capable of going long distances; about five years old) there are but a few years left, if any, if you want a dark horse. Most greys are white at the age of ten, most sport a lively dappled pattern years earlier and have white heads and light grey or white manes and tails.

I like Frodo's "ghost" theory! I bet he heard all kind of horror stories from older youths or adults in Brandybuck Hall.
But not only the horse turd on the road, but simply the smell of horses hanging in the air after their passing could help to convince him.



Re: OMY Ch. 2 - On the King's Road

I had a dark grey mare who stayed quite dark until she was 18 - black mane, black legs and muzzle, and the rest a deep grey. OTOH, my dapple grey Welsh ponies were almost pure white by the time they were 8. I think some strains will stay dark longer, and will stay darker longer, than others.

In any event, I think Rangers will choose darker colored horses when possible, but will always opt for the best horse available, regardless of color. Hasufel is described as a dark-grey horse - I think I must have been thinking of him when I described the Ranger's horses.

Yes, well, Bilbo was amused at Frodo's abiltiy to ignore common sense, and thought a road apple a grand example with which to debunk the stories. Rationalism is not very strong in the Shire, and ghosts are so much more exciting to the imagination! ;-)

Toodles - Ang,
who still has to fix that typo, and thinks Ch. 6 may have to wait for tomorrow....



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