8. Head ‘Em Up, Roll ‘Em Out! Uh The Wagons That Is!
Head 'Em Up, Roll 'Em Out! Uh, The Wagons That Is!
It had been a very emotional and sad experience for everyone as the process of dismantling the workshops and packing the equipment had started. Far more equipment existed than they could ever move or would need in the future. Amarie's grandfather had built much of it, especially the looms, and deciding what to leave and what to take had been very difficult. After much discussion the best selection was made to send on to their new home. It was split into several groups, dismantled, labelled and packed, ready for loading onto the wagons. Right on schedule early in the morning the first group of wagons departed Bar-Meneg-Mir-Lain for Imladris. Amarie, Sadi and the rest of their friends and co-workers watched and waved until they passed out of sight
Reluctant to leave any remaining equipment behind to looters or decay, one of the artisans suggested offering the prized looms to their fellow weavers in Lorien and Mirkwood and to their human counterparts at Minas Tirith, and Edoras. Much relieved by the decision, they quickly dispatched messages with the offer and grateful responses were just as quickly received. The looms were carefully dismantled, packed, labelled and stored with the village leader since the arrival of their transport would occur after the departure of the last group for Imladris.
While the rest were dealing with the equipment, Amarie and Sadi concentrated on getting the records and files in order, packed and set aside to be loaded on their wagon. They completed a detailed inventory of fabric, threads and other soft material supplies and packed them carefully into special waterproof containers. The last items to be dealt with were the design libraries. These were the most precious items the workshop owned. They contained a record of all the artistic work accomplished by the workshops since the beginning of their operation. Many individual design cartoons were very fragile and the only record of pieces long lost.
Now the process of preparing the families and their households for the move began in earnest. Those items that would go with them were set aside to be loaded later in each family's assigned wagon. These included the most important and loved pieces of family heirlooms, furniture, art, instruments and workers tools. Many of the women took this opportunity to ruthlessly pair down generations worth of possessions with most of it going into the village warehouse for dispersal later to anyone needy, newcomers or victims burned out in raids. A number of special things were tearfully shared or passed to friends and family remaining behind. Members about to leave found themselves gathering together after the evening meal to share and exchange memories as they said their good byes to those they were leaving behind and faced the truth of the actual move.
Things moved at an increased tempo as the date for departure of the second group neared. An additional seven families decided to join the original family group, swelling their final numbers to thirty-eight adults and twelve children. A swift message was dispatched to Imladris to advise of the change in numbers and a request to increase escort numbers. The escort arrived two days before the scheduled departure date under the leadership of Glorfindel. He brought much welcomed word of passing the first group just a few days out from Imladris and carried a letter from Lord Erestor to Amarie which provided a description of their future new home.
After checking preparations Glorfindel suggested adding additional wagon wheels and horses to insure that a wagon would not become stranded due to a broken wheel or a lame horse. He shook his head over the livestock and pets accompanying the families but resignedly assigned several warriors to assist the hostlers who would be caring for them. In spite of a last minute scramble to obtain additional wagons and horses, the wagons were finally loaded and ready to go only a day late.
"Well my lady, it looks like we are finally ready to depart." Lord Glorfindel commented looking down the line of wagons.
Amarie nodded looking tired and just a bit stressed. She found it difficult to believe they had successfully accomplished this much with only minor problems. Now faced with the actual departure of the largest and most vulnerable group she was found her anxiety level rising to a new high. It would be a long and dangerous four weeks for them and she would not know of their safety until she and her group arrived themselves.
Glorfindel paused before mounting his horse and placing a hand on her shoulder gently squeezed it. "Amarie, it will be all right, we are good at our job."
Mounting, he settled firmly into his saddle and seeing that his warriors were spaced out along and behind the wagons as instructed he signalled the front scouts to move out ahead. His horse was restless, dancing back and forth and eager to be off. Lifting a hand in farewell to Amarie, he turned and gave the signal for them all to move out.
As before, Amarie, Sadi and, this time, a much smaller group of friends stood and waved as the wagons moved up the road and out of sight leaving only a cloud of fine dust to mark their passing.
Sadi pulled Amarie into a hug. "Now we have two weeks to finish closing the last of the house and shops and loading up the wagons with our furniture, personal belongings, records and getting on our way."
"I know, but right now I am so tired, I am going to go back to the house put my feet up and maybe even take a nap. Tomorrow is soon enough to worry about the rest."
"That sounds like an excellent idea, penneth, I'll join you." They both turned and disappeared slowly into the house.
Bar-Meneg-Mir-Lain – House of a thousand jeweled threads
Imladris. - Rivendell
penneth – young one