A Troubled Supper
Dunharrow, Night of June 7

Pippin played by Hobbitness
Maltriel played by Maltriel
Bearn played by Wraith

Bearn, advisor to Eomer King, has led an entourage of civilians to sanctuary at the mountain fortress of Dunharrow. Upon their arrival, Lord Bearn says, "Lady Eowyn, I will guide you to the pavilion that has been prepared for you already, where you may refresh yourself. Master Peregrin," he points to the side of Eowyn's pavilion, "you will have that tent there. You are the lady's page now and you may escort her about the camp. You will be at her side at all times, so see that she comes to no harm. And don't forget to tell her a tale now and then," he laughs. "My pavilion is over yonder. When you both are refreshed, come join me there and we shall dine."

Bearn: *Maltriel has just exited her tent. Pippin waits for her outside*
Bearn: *Bearn earlier pointed out where his pavilion was*
Maltriel: *sees pippin waiting for her*
Pippin: *approaches the lady*
Bearn: *Bearn waits in his pavilion*
Pippin: *smiles* Are you feeling any better, my lady?
Maltriel: aye, i am well..
Pippin: Well that's good!
Maltriel: *hides her innermost feelings behind a veil of indifference, but is courteous*
Pippin: The man, I think he is called Bearn? He said they had food for us!
Pippin: I am so hungry! Aren't you hungry?
Maltriel: yes.... his name is bearn. *she says, her hands clench slightly*
Pippin: *leads her toward the tent, chattering* I hope they have mushrooms. Those are my favoite food
Maltriel: it has been a long ride... i suppose i must eat.
Pippin: What is your favorite food?
Maltriel: *is led by pippin to the tent*
Maltriel: *is surprised anyone would ask* i am rather accustomed to army foods... dried things and bread.
Maltriel: *they enter the tent*
Bearn: *Bearn rises and bows to the lady, and waits for Pippin to help her get seated*
Pippin: Ah, well, if only I could introduce you to some hobbit fare, you would change your mind! What wouldn't I give for some good stew and taters!
Pippin: *pulls the chair out for the lady*
Bearn: My lady, you look well tonight
Maltriel: *to pippin* i am afraid i do not remember fancier foods, other than army fare.. *nods to bearn, takes her seat*
Maltriel: *wary yet cordial* thank you.
Bearn: *waits until they are seated and then sits down*
Pippin: *pushes her chair in*
Pippin: You're welcome
Pippin: *plops down in his chair*
Pippin: *still exhausted from continuous days of riding*
Pippin: *He shifts uneasily, sore all over*
Bearn: Ah, Master Peregrin, perhaps you will have some stories to tell us when we finish dining? *he asks with a question in his voice*
Maltriel: *she does not quite know what to expect, ever suspecting the rohirrim of devising some treachery*
Pippin: *He bristles, knowing that Bearn doesn't believe the Fellowship's adventures and will mock him*
Pippin: Ah, yes, yes, I could tell you a tale if you wish
Bearn: *Bearn is amused at his words*
Pippin: *He yawns*
Bearn: And what might the tale be, Master Peregrin? More how you slew the barrow wights?
Pippin: I never said I slew the barrow wight!
Pippin: And there was only one!
Pippin: And I said Frodo and Tom Bombadil slew it!
Maltriel: *she looks at her hands which lay in her lap, yet listens to their conversation*
Pippin: *his fists clench*
Bearn: Ah, Master Peregrin, then I misunderstood! *his words sound slightly mocking*
Maltriel: *glances at pippin through the corner of her eye. thinks: they dont believe you either*
Pippin: *tries to control his anger. To have come through so many perils, to such an end, and not even be believed! He blinks back weary tears*
Bearn: The food will soon be brought.
Pippin: What sort of tale would you like to hear, my lord and lady?
Bearn: Let us not let our appetites be disrupted!
Pippin: *fidgets waiting for the food*
Maltriel: *is hesitant to give an answer*
Bearn: *Serving women bring in bowls of some sort of stew, bread, a few berries gathered from the fields*
Pippin: *Pippin's mouth waters*
Pippin: *The first real meal he has had in days*
Bearn: *and wine*
Pippin: *brightens considerably at the wine*
Maltriel: *silently watches everything*
Bearn: The host of the meal bids you dine
Pippin: Thank you! *begins eating very fast*
Maltriel: *vaguely wonders if it is poisoned... but what would it matter anyway*
Maltriel: *watches pippin before she begins to eat*
Pippin: Oh it's delicious!
Pippin: *is very excited over the meal*
Bearn: *Looks at Pippin and wonders where he learned his table manners, for not even the Rohirrim eat in this fashion*
Pippin: *notices Bearn staring at him*
Pippin: Oh, I'm sorry
Maltriel: *aimlessly moves the spoon around in her bowl, an eye on pippin to see if he falls over dead*
Pippin: It's just that I've hardly had anything to eat on the road
Pippin: and hobbits are accustomed to six meals a day!
Bearn: Oh do not let me disturb your appetite, Master Peregrin *he takes his spoon and samples the stew*
Pippin: *dreamily* First breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, supper!
Maltriel: *the poison would be in my bowl and mine alone she thinks*
Pippin: *sighs nostalgically and continues eating*
Bearn: Mutton *he looks disagreeable and tears off a piece of bread from a platter*
Maltriel: *hesitantly takes a spoonful of the soup wondering how the hobbit can eat so much, at times she can barely eat a few bitefuls before she gets full or nausated*
Pippin: Actually....we used to eat SEVEN meals a day! Ah! Those were the days.
Bearn: *watches Pippin as he chews his food, then he takes a drink of wine*
Maltriel: *thinks: the little fellow eats more than a half starved orc after a long days march*
Maltriel: *slowly begins eating*
Bearn: *thinks: Why does it have to be mutton again and what are these herbs the women have used to season this with?*
Pippin: *savors the stew, tears off another piece of bread and eats it, dipping it in the stew*
Pippin: *thinks: Oh how wonderful it is to eat a hot meal again!*
Maltriel: *the food is a bit different from mordor... she feels homesick and misses angmar*
Pippin: *He only wishes Merry were here. He always wishes Merry were here.*
Pippin: My lady, you look sad.
Bearn: I must appologize for this food. I realize the women cooked it in a hurry *thinks of his dead wife and how he liked her cooking.*
Maltriel: *looks up and to pippin* nay, nothing is wrong.
Pippin: Oh, sir, the food is very good! I am so grateful!
Bearn: *he pushes his bowl back, takes another piece of bread and eats that and drinks it with wine*
Pippin: *looks at the bowl he pushed back* Are you going to finish that?
Bearn: Perhaps I do not like mutton *he says and smiles*
Bearn: Nay, Master Peregrin, I am not
Pippin: *hopefully* Can I have it?
Maltriel: *so this is what this is, mutton? wonders what mutton is*
Bearn: Yes! *he says with disgust in his voice. begins to feel another bout of indigestion coming upon him*
Pippin: *Pippin's face falls, hurt at the disgust, but he takes the bowl and eats it*
Pippin: *softly* Thank you.
Maltriel: *continues eating, takes a sip of wine*
Maltriel: *at least it is not poisonous, it does taste fairly well, though... food does not seem pleasant now, nothing does*
Bearn: *Wonders if they are both finished eating*
Pippin: *Pippin will not be finished eating until somebody stops him*
Pippin: *He drinks his wine and begins to sing, almost unconsciously*
Pippin: Ho ho ho to the bottle I go
Bearn: *he nods to the serving women who stand there by to take his bowl and spoon*
Pippin: To heal my heart and drown my woe
Maltriel: *has not eaten very much but is getting full, her appetite destroyed by her mood and her illness*
Pippin: *sips, smiling with pleasant memories*
Maltriel: *thinks the hobbit has gotten a bit tipsy*
Pippin: My lady, do they have drinking songs where you come from?
Maltriel: *he shakes her out of her thoughts* ah, drinking songs?
Maltriel: aye, but they are not in a language that you would find pleasing to hear.
Bearn: *amused at the hobbit's singing* Sing more, Master Peregrin
Bearn: *the women quietly begin to clear the table and bring more wine*
Maltriel: *watches as table is cleared*
Pippin: *brightens* Ah, you like our songs?
Pippin: *continues singing*
Bearn: *Bearn drinks the wine that he has been brought. The women wait in attendence in case they want more*
Bearn: Aye, Master Peregrin, any song is better than none
Pippin: *His voice loses a little of its excitement, but he continues singing*
Maltriel: *thinks of orcish drinking songs she has heard... but not many in the west care for black speech. and she is not sure the lyrics would be suitable for polite company*
Pippin: The Road goes ever on and on down from the door where it began
Pippin: Now far ahead the Road has gone, and I must follow if I can
Bearn: Do either of you know any songs of the Rohirrim?
Pippin: *drinks a last sip of wine at being cut off*
Pippin: I can't say that I do
Maltriel: *looks up* i have heard them sung but i do not know their words.
Pippin: I spent more time in Gondor than with the Rohirrim
Bearn: Well if neither of you know one, I will sing one
Pippin: *surprised, but nods*
Bearn: *He stands, holding his glass and in a baritone voice begins singing a long song about Eorl the Young*
Maltriel: *listens, does not know what he is talking about, but says nothing*
Pippin: *likes Bearn's voice, but is very tired, and the song is so long...interesting, but so long....*
Pippin: *yawns*
Bearn: *he sings many stanzas about Eorl the Young*
Pippin: *tries to stay awake and look interested*
Maltriel: *slightly uncomfortable, does not know what he is talking about but says nothing not wanting to appear ignorant or be too nice to her enemies*
Bearn: *notices Pippin's nodding off*
Pippin: *blinks*
Bearn: *stops singing*
Bearn: *still holds his glass and says* We should think of Eorl the Young
Bearn: In timse like these, when the darkness has fallen and hope has failed
Maltriel: *his words remind her of her inner termoil, conflicting feelings and confusion*
Bearn: *his voice falters* We do not have food to stay a siege
Pippin: Oh, sir...if you don't mind my saying...hope has not failed yet! It can't have. *he pales and begins to tremble slightly*
Pippin: We still have Gandalf and Aragorn
Maltriel: *looks down at her hands again*
Bearn: We cannot go back to Edoras!
Bearn: We cannot go to the south, we cannot go up the mountains
Pippin: *pales even more*......not...enough food?
Bearn: Not enough food! *he shouts* Not enough food for a long siege!
Pippin: But...but they will meet us here, won't they? We are going to help with the great battle!
Bearn: We are shut off here
Pippin: But I want to fight now! I want to avenge my friend!
Maltriel: *shifts in seat slightly, uncomfortable with their talk*
Pippin: I have the only blade left that can do it!
Bearn: Fight! *he shouts* We fight now for survival!
Pippin: *shrinks down in his chair*
Maltriel: *feels guilty, fights it... is confused and weary, hides her feelings*
Pippin: *eyes wide, he does not dare to say anything*
Bearn: And all the bravery cannot fight starvation!
Pippin: *He begins to feel truly afraid. All along he has assumed Gandalf would set things right, Gandalf would save him from anything*
Pippin: *But now he realizes he is in just as much danger as he was at the siege of Gondor*
Pippin: *He really could die. They all could*
Pippin: *He shivers*
Bearn: There is only one path open to us
Bearn: and that is south to Gondor
Bearn: unless you want to take on the whole Mordor army singlehanded!
Maltriel: *considers suggesting surrender, but does not want to get into an argument, is too weary*
Pippin: *His hobbit spirit reawakens* No, no, we must do whatever it takes to save the Free Folk.
Pippin: But I will fight alongside you if necessary!
Bearn: And if you kill a thousand of them, two thousand, what will be the cost to us!
Pippin: *looks down*
Pippin: *quietly* I do not oppose saving your people.
Maltriel: *they speak against mordor..... of the land she thought she was from. and they tell her stories about her past.... she thinks they are lies. ever the confusion is maddening, exhausting mind and body*
Bearn: I am not like Denethor of Gondor. It is dishonor to take your own life!
Pippin: *shudders at the memory*
Maltriel: *it is not dishonorable in mordor, she thinks..... and she tried to do it, but her sword was taken away from her when she was captured*
Bearn: I would rather fall in battle than that
Pippin: So would I
Pippin: I would never do that
Bearn: And I do not want to be faced with an option of surrender either.. *his voice trails off*
Pippin: But the situation cannot be that hopeless!
Maltriel: *looks up at mention of surrender*
Pippin: We have the White Wizard and the Brown Wizard
Pippin: and the eagles
Bearn: but if it comes to that *He looks at Eowyn* I would surrender Dunharrow before I would let the women and children be slain like sheep before a butcher!
Pippin: and I'm sure the Elves will help
Pippin: Oh, it couldn't come to that....it simply cannot. *trails off, very grave*
Maltriel: *she smiles slightly and softly says* they would treat you with all kindness ... *fears what he may say*
Bearn: Kindness! *he shouts* Ha! I think not!
Bearn: They would behead me before the people
Pippin: *his eyes widen*
Maltriel: sue for peace, they would give you mercy *she says hesitantly*
Bearn: Mercy? From Sauron? *he laughs*
Pippin: *He wonders what they are doing to Frodo. Nightmares of fire and torture haunt him sometimes, and throughout all of them he is searching for his cousin*
Maltriel: lord angmar told me that lord sauron is quite kind and belevolent *looks down, missing angmar*
Pippin: *looks disbelievingly at the lady*
Bearn: *His face turns red* Angmar! *he shouts* The Witch-king! *he laughs sarcastically*
Pippin: *gasps*
Maltriel: *eyes narrow slightly* you speak of the one i love, so watch thy tongue
Pippin: I forgot that was his name.......*swallows*
Pippin: *He turns to the lady* My lady, I know you don't believe this...
Bearn: And you, Eowyn, daughter of Eomund, brother to the king, you fawn before them like a senseless pawn!
Pippin: but you are decieved. He is not a man, he is an evil spirit. I am sorry for your pain....
Maltriel: *she clenches her fists and glares at him*
Pippin: Perhaps this will convince you...he killed my best friend.
Maltriel: *their words confuse her and make her angry, an ever spiraling mass of lies that twist around her brain choking and strangling it*
Pippin: When he was trying to defend you! *tries to look at her sympathetically*
Pippin: *knowing you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar*
Maltriel: *tenses greatly* these are all lies and you seek to poison my mind!
Pippin: No, no, my lady. *to Bearn* Perhaps we should not talk about this anymore right now.
Bearn: *He stands there and points his finger at her* Thrall of Mordor, will you never have sense!
Pippin: Sir!
Pippin: That is not going to help her!
Maltriel: *impulsively jumps up, her chair falling backward... she throws her wine goblet at bearn*
Maltriel: *backs away quickly from table*
Pippin: *ducks the goblet*
Pippin: *stares tensely between them*
Bearn: *the goblet hits him in the face and the impact takes him aback. He stands stunned at what Eowyn has done*
Maltriel: *fearing what may happen next she bolts out of the tent*
Pippin: *He remembers her before, when he first met her. He cannot believe the change!*
Pippin: *He hates Mordor ever more and more*
Pippin: *follows her*
Pippin: My lady!
Pippin: *runs after her* My lady, I'm sorry, he shouldn't have yelled at you
Maltriel: *runs through darkness*
Pippin: *runs until he is completely exhausted*
Pippin: *sits on the ground with his head in his hands*
Maltriel: *she quickly becomes tired because of illness, and stops panting*
Bearn: *Bearn takes a hankerchief and wipes his face off, and stands there, enraged*
Maltriel: *falls to her knees softly crying, her hair covering her face*
Pippin: *Portents of death and doom....witchcraft of the enemy....Merry's horrible death....they all swirl in his head. He is afraid he will be sick and waste his lovely dinner*
Pippin: *hears crying*
Pippin: *He rubs his face and gets up*
Pippin: *He notices the lady crying on the ground and it hurts his heart*
Pippin: *He goes to her and kneels beside her*
Pippin: My lady?
Pippin: I didn't mean to upset you.
Maltriel: *she tenses when she senses his presence beside her, and feels a fool for showing her despair*
Pippin: *waits uneasily for her to say something*
Pippin: *wrings his hands*
Maltriel: *sobs* oh, pippin!
Pippin: *risks moving a little closer but still hesitant to touch her*
Pippin: It will be all right, my lady. I'll look after you.
Maltriel: they think i am someone else, all of them do... i am not who they think i am *between sobs*
Pippin: *decides that at least for the time, it's useless to try to convince her that she is Eowyn*
Maltriel: my name is maltriel, and i am of mordor, and lord angmar is my betrothed.
Pippin: *nods*
Maltriel: *gets tired of saying this over and over and no one believes*
Pippin: *Hesitantly* Yes, I know....*pats her hand*
Maltriel: i am a prisioner, a captive of the rohirrim...
Maltriel: *wipes her eyes*
Pippin: They want only to help you. But they do let the stresses of war overcome them sometimes.
Pippin: And they miss their Eowyn terribly.
Maltriel: i suppose now he will have me locked up in a cell someplace for throwing that goblet at him.
Pippin: No, of course not!
Pippin: I'm going to take you to your tent so you can get a good night's sleep.
Pippin: That's all we can do now, really.
Maltriel: a proud man is he, and i have offended his pride.. *says sulkily, enjoyed throwing that goblet at him*
Pippin: One day at a time
Pippin: He will get over his outburst in the morning
Pippin: *thinks: I hope*
Maltriel: *wonders if he will come out and scream at her and have her dragged away to some horrible place*
Pippin: *thinks: and I hope he will not yell at me again either!*
Maltriel: we shall see
Maltriel: *he has done nothing so far.... these people are indeed strange*
Pippin: *offers her his arm* It is getting late
Pippin: We should go back
Maltriel: *she rises to her feet, and brushes herself off... turning slightly redder in embarassment that she cried*
Pippin: *Pippin would like to indulge in such an outburst himself*
Pippin: *but this is not the time or the place*
Maltriel: *wipes her eyes again, letting her hair fall in her face hiding it*
Maltriel: they insult the man i love, and they expect me to stand back and say or do naught.
Maltriel: *she takes his hand... not being able to take his arm..*
Pippin: Try to understand...he is the captain of the army they fight in this war...*he struggles to keep the rage out of his voice*
Pippin: ...but we should not speak of that now
Pippin: *leads her by the hand back to the camp*
Maltriel: *she follows pippin, feeling both guilty and proud of her deeds in the tent*
Maltriel: *she sighs... always confusion. she misses angmar and wishes she were back in mordor... where things were less confusing*
Pippin: *How strange it is, to have to reassure this woman who is in love with the demon who killed Merry!*
Pippin: *But the woman herself is Eowyn, who attacked the Witch King in the first place*
Pippin: *He wonders how so much horror could happen*
Pippin: *But he tries to push it from his mind, for he needs to sleep and cannot let nightmares plague him tonight*
Maltriel: *perhaps she should appologize to bearn in the morning... but now her weariness is catching up upon her... her little sprint having gotten the best of her*
Pippin: Good night, my lady. Let us hope that....well, let us still hope.
Pippin: *smiles sadly at her*
Maltriel: *they soon reach her pavilion... she pauses before entry*
Pippin: *pauses next to her*
Maltriel: *she smiles weakly* thank you. though there is no hope..
Pippin: Oh, there is. *looks up at the stars* There always is.
Maltriel: for west, or for east, perhaps.
Pippin: We will outlast this
Pippin: And now if you are all right, I will bid you good night
Maltriel: goodnight, pippin.
Pippin: *tries to believe his own reassurances*
Maltriel: in the language of my people... *softly* burz tor.
Pippin: *bites his lip and hides a surge of anger and sadness*
Maltriel: *opens her tent flap and slowly walks in*
Pippin: *bows and then leaves*
Pippin: *walks back to his own tent, imagining that Merry is sleeping on the other side*

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