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[personal profile] rc45
Title: Dragon Fever
Author: (name lost)
MSTed by: Trojie

[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<lj-cut="well>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

<b>Title:</b> Dragon Fever
<b>Author:</b> (name lost)
<b>MSTed by:</b> Trojie

<lj-cut="well here="here" we="we" are="are" again="again" for="for" the="the" second="second" onslaught"="onslaught&quot;">

Trojie; Well here we are for the second onslaught. *Checks page count* Dammit, there’s still over a hundred pages of this thing to go.
Gypsy; You volunteered for this.
Trojie; True. Shall I skip the disclaimer again? It’s only a repeat of the last ones.
Gypsy; Go ahead.

wipwipwipwip

Chapter 3 - The Dragon’s Bane Inn

Gypsy; Fairly formulaic name, don’t you think?
Trojie; But most pubs are called things like that, and it’s similar enough to the Green Dragon Inn of Bywater to pass muster.
Gypsy; Would the Bardings call their pubs the same things as the Hobbits though?
Trojie; Good point. I think we can let it slide though.

Meril sat on the pier next to her older sister Nissa. Business at their inn had been slow of late, so their brother, Goran, had sent them to drum up some customers.

Gypsy; Meril and Nissa are reasonable names, but Goran? It just doesn’t sound . . . name-y.
Trojie; It could be worse. It could be Elwen. I will never get over the trauma of an overtly masculine character being named ‘Star Maiden’. Never.

But Meril didn’t mind at all. It was so much better to be outside, feeling the wind in her hair, with the possibility of meeting interesting strangers,

Trojie; Interesting strangers tend to be the ones who’re dangerous. This is Middle Earth, before the War of the Ring and just after the downfall of the Necromancer. We are between Mirkwood and the empty spaces to the East. It is not a friendly place to be.
Gypsy; So, not the kind of place you’d find tourism brochures for, then?
Trojie; No, and definitely not the kind of place you’d send young girls out to solicit strangers in.

than being cooped up in the inn, serving drinks, cleaning, or making beds. Here she could dream of leaving Esgaroth, of paddling her canoe to distant lands.

Trojie; Paddling her canoe to distant lands? *starts singing ‘Pocahontas’ songs*
Gypsy; ‘. . . with all the colours of the wind . . .’

Suddenly she grabbed her sister’s arm. "Oh Nissa," she said, "‘tis our lucky day. Look what’s coming!" They both stood up and watched Legolas and his party mooring their canoes to the dock.

Gypsy; What, they couldn’t have done that sitting down?And what’s with the dialect? “’Tis”? The Bardings spoke rather formally, from memory, not like Tess of the D’Urbervilles.
Trojie; People always make humans in Arda speak with accents. Dunno why.

Nissa caught her breath. "Elves! Four of them. Three blond and look, a
dark-haired one! Oh gods, Meril, they’re lovely."

Gypsy; She makes them sound like puppies in a shop. Like *female* puppies in a shop.

"Elves are always attractive, but by the Valar, look at that one!" Meril said, pointing at Legolas. "He’s gorgeous. Like a god." Her heart soared just to look at him. He and the raven-haired elf were so tall, taller, she figured, than any of the men at Esgaroth.

Trojie; a) the only ‘gods’ *were* the Valar, b) I didn’t catch a mention of Elves, or even Legolas in the specific, being overly tall in the books, did you?
Gypsy; Not at all.
Trojie; And c) it is anatomically impossible for your heart to soar and remain attached to you and functioning.

Nissa shook her head, "Nay, I prefer the dark-haired one. I’ve never seen one with hair so black before. He must be a different type. So handsome! I’m in love." She laughed and fluttered her hand against her chest.

Trojie; ‘A different type’? Kill me now. She thinks there are ‘types’ of Elves. There are different *races*. The divisions were *not* based on hair colour.
Gypsy; Does this mean you and I are different types of humans, because my hair’s brown and yours is mucky blonde?
Trojie; Presumably, according to this logic, at least.

"As if they’d even be interested in the likes of us," sighed Meril. "when they probably have lovely elf-maidens waiting at home."

Trojie; Or when they’re having graphic fantasies about each other . . .

"Maybe not, and maybe they like variety. I’ve heard that elves and humans mix sometimes," Nissa said. "Gods, they’re coming this way."

Gypsy; ‘Sometimes,’ like in myths and legends. Variety? Elves were strictly, STRICTLY monogamous.

"Come on, Nissa, they may not know it yet, but these elves are definitely staying at the Dragon’s Bane," Meril said.

Trojie; Interesting comma usage. *Counts.* The first one should possibly have been omitted, the second one should have been a full stop.
Gypsy; Has your beta-reader been ranting at you about punctuation again?
Trojie; Yes. Does it show?

************

The elves had climbed up a ladder onto the dock and were looking around. "Talagan, you and Thrin should stay with the boats, while Elwen and I find a place to stay," Legolas said.

Gypsy; (as Legolas) Thus giving us more bonding-time.
Trojie; And bondage time. *shudder*
Gypsy; What?
Trojie; There was a BDSM tag on the fic.
Gypsy; Bugger. I hate BDSM.
Trojie; Me too.

"I’d recommend The Stork’s Nest. It’s located near the market place."
said Talagan, "It’s quite comfortable and the fare is reasonable."

Trojie; The Stork’s Nest moves?
Gypsy; Huh?
Trojie; A ‘fare’ is traditionally the money paid to be taken somewhere, i.e. in a cab or boat or something. You pay a ‘rate’ or a ‘charge’ at a hostelry or inn.

"Good afternoon, sirs. I couldn’t help overhearing," called a young woman, "would ye be looking for a place to stay the night?"

Gypsy; Loving the blatant eavesdropping.
Trojie; But not the accent. No-one in Laketown spoke like this in the Hobbit.

They turned at the sound of her voice. Legolas saw two girls standing
next to each other.

Trojie; Two girls? Where did the young woman go?

They looked about seventeen or eighteen. The one who had spoken was taller and slim, with reddish blond hair, and blue eyes. The other was a bit heavier, and had dark brown hair, and hazel eyes.

Gypsy; (as Legolas) They have different coloured hair! Two different kinds of human!
Trojie; And either one’s a boy, or someone doesn’t know how to differentiate between masculine and feminine forms of words. Girls are blonde, not blond.
Gypsy; Also, when were they weighed? How do we *know* the brunette is heavier?

Both of them had their hair plaited in long braids. They were pretty, in
the ephemeral manner of young human females, with pink cheeks, bright
eyes, and moist lips.

Trojie; What, so Elven females have . . . blue cheeks, dull eyes and dry lips? They sound a bit corpsified. Why do the qualities he lists indicate ephemerality?
Gypsy; Is ‘ephemerality’ a word? Is ‘corpsified’, if it comes to it?\
Trojie; You know what I mean. This is almost a Total Logical Disconnect. And ‘corpsified’ is a Joss-ism. Straight from Firefly. You’re a Firefly-verse ficcer. You should know that.
Gypsy; I’d just call it ‘Illogical Reasoning’. And I did know that. Doesn’t mean it’s a word, we’re not in the Joss-verse here.

Legolas had observed that, all too soon, such attractiveness faded to a brown sameness as they became overwhelmed with the toil and sorrows of the mortal life.

Trojie; My, he’s cynical and pessimistic today. Doesn’t suit him.
Gypsy; And how much contact has he had with mortal women?

Legolas walked over to the young women. He bowed slightly. "Ladies," he said. "Do you have a recommendation for a lodging, then? We are new to this town since it was rebuilt."

Gypsy; These young women, are they the same people as the girls?
Trojie; Why is he asking for advice from people he doesn’t know over the advice of his father’s chief advisor?
Gypsy; Because he’s rebellious and naughty in this fic, remember?

The taller girl blushed deeply. "My family owns The Dragon’s Bane, which I can truthfully say is the finest inn at New Esgaroth. It is also located near the market place, closer than The Stork’s Nest, and we are well known for our spiced wine and fruit pies. And our father is the head of the Merchant’s Guild, so ya will be in the most advantageous place to trade your goods, if that is yer purpose."

Gypsy; What is this ‘ya’ and ‘yer’? It JARS.
Trojie; This accent jars.

"You hear that, Talagan? Willing to try something new?" Legolas called.

Trojie; (as Legolas) I will be cheeky.
Gypsy; (as Talagan) *mutters* If you were mine I’d give you such a smacking . . .

"As m’lord wishes," Talagan said grumpily. Legolas looked at Elwen, who was grinning.

Gypsy; (as Elwen) I love watching my friends get into trouble with others.

"He said ‘m’lord?’" whispered the shorter girl, grabbing the other girl’s arm.

Trojie; (as the unspecified taller girl) Yes, are you deaf as well as a midget?

"We’ll go and see if the Inn is everything the lady promises," Legolas said. "If so, we’ll come back to help carry our supplies." He and Elwen shouldered packs and then turned to the girls. "Ladies, lead on." he said. He couldn’t understand why the shorter one suppressed a giggle and the taller one hit her in the shoulder.

Gypsy; Neither can I.
Trojie; It makes no sense whatsoever.

"What are your names?" Elwen asked, as they followed the girls through a series of narrow, busy streets.
"I am Meril," the taller girl said, "and this my sister, Nissa."
"Meril," said Legolas. "Elvish for rose."

Trojie; (as Legolas) I know this because I am an Elf. *smug face*
Gypsy; (as Legolas) And I’m saying it, despite the fact that you probably know, as do your sister and Elwen, because I am an exposition device and token Captain Obvious as well as the author’s pet lust-object.

"Aye," Meril blushed again. "My mother loved the elvish language. But she died birthing me. My name was almost the last thing she said."

Trojie; Almost?
Gypsy; She probably said something along the lines of ‘And I shall call her Meril. Oh . . . I feel a bit odd . . . can someone please take the baby before I -*death gurgle*’

"It was well bestowed," Legolas said gravely. "I have always liked roses. The ones in my father’s garden are truly magnificent in the springtime."

Trojie; *blink* That was actually in character and in the correct mode of speech for Legolas.
Gypsy; *takes snapshot* This may never happen again.

Meril looked at him sidelong. "And what might ye be called?" she asked.

Trojie; (as Legolas) I refuse to divulge my name to anyone who speaks with such a terrible accent . . .
Gypsy; You wish.

"I am Legolas, which is green leaf, and my companion here is Elwen, the drunken star."

Trojie; She knows about the ‘translation not surname’ thing! She is almost redeeme-
Gypsy; But look at the translation of Elwen . . .
Trojie; Redemption retracted.

"My friend takes liberties." Elwen said, "The meaning is whirling star, but can also mean giddy, not drunk." He gave Legolas a slight shove.

Trojie; In which language is this translation?
Gypsy; Sounds like Suvian Elvish to me.
Trojie; But there aren’t any Sues!
Gypsy; There’s an OC: this ‘Elwen’.
Trojie; True. But a patently female author writing a Marty-Sam? Unusual.

"I can see that ye are old friends." Meril laughed. "And here we are."

Trojie; Ye? Gaah.

They had reached a large open square filled with stalls and vendors selling a variety of goods. The streets were crowded with Lakemen, people from other regions, and a large party of dwarves. Around the
perimeter of the square, two-story houses, built of wood with straw-
thatched roofs, were packed close together.

Trojie; That’s a lot of commas.
Gypsy; Does she need that many commas?
Trojie; I don’t think so.

Legolas and Elwen were standing outside one of the largest houses. It had a sign swinging from the upper story on which was painted a golden fire-breathing dragon; its toothy mouth appeared to be eating the words, The Dragon’s Bane.

Gypsy; I’m sure that there should be speech marks around ‘The Dragon’s Bane’, and that that comma should be something else.
Trojie; A semi-colon, maybe?

Meril pushed open the heavy oak door and they went inside. To Legolas, the place smelled of sap from freshly cut wood, mixed with the smell of bread baking, and spiced wine.

Trojie; What did it smell like to other people then?
Gypsy; (as Meril) Well I always thought it smelt of spit, muddy boots and beer.

He inhaled deeply. Then he noticed Meril smiling at him. To the left was a large desk with a ledger sitting on it. They could hear men’s laughter in the next room and the clink of glasses. Meril stepped up behind the desk and opened the ledger. "Would ya like to register?" she asked.

Trojie; (as Meril) for the marathon next week? I’m sure you’d do well.

"I would like to see the rooms first," Legolas said. "If you don’t mind."

Gypsy; (as Meril) I’m afraid that’s not possible, sir. It’s lucky-dip week.

A young man entered the room. He was slender, well-built, and attractive, with coppery brown hair shorn off at the shoulders, and a closely cropped beard.

Trojie; Oh dear, do I scent impending sexual tension?
Gypsy; Without the beard, he sounds a bit like a Weasley . . .

But he had a hard, calculating expression that marred his good looks.

Gypsy; All the time, even when he smiled? People have more than one expression each, you know.
Trojie; Maybe the author was fooled, because Legolas-in-the-movies only has that one of vaguely ineffable constipation.

He stopped, his mouth popping open for a moment.

Trojie; Popping? Gah. Have you ever actually seen that happen, wording aside?
Gypsy; Can’t say I have, except in fics.

Then he seemed to recover his composure and glided toward them. "Ah, good, Meril and Nissa. We have guests?"

Gypsy; (as Meril and Nissa) No, these are health inspectors. I’m afraid we’re overrun with cockroaches trying to escape the Evil Forcefield of Smaug.

"Aye, Goran. This is Legolas and Elwen of Mirkwood," Meril said.

Trojie; Does she realise that there are two of them, and she should therefore use plural forms? She’s referenced them as one person.
Gypsy;(grudgingly) It is correct for colloquial English.
Trojie; Which, as we agreed, the Bardings would not really be using. So, she fails Grammar 101
Gypsy; Could be amusing if someone decides to give this the PPC treatment; them sort of blending into one creature named LegolasandElwen of Mirkwood.

Both elves inclined their heads. "My pardon, good lady," said Elwen, "but I am not of Mirkwood, but rather from Imladris, which is also called Rivendell."

Trojie; Which she spells right . . .
Gypsy; Still not redeeming her. Be strong, Trojie!

"I have not heard of that place," said Goran. "But ye are welcome here." He smiled broadly and his eyes flicked up and down Legolas.

Trojie; Because that’s not blatantly obvious as him checking Legolas out.
Gypsy; An argument could be made that he was looking for weapons.
Trojie; Would Legolas carrying weapons be unusual/bad? ‘Of course he’s got a knife! We’ve all got knives! It is 1183, and we are barbarians!’

"I was just going to show them a room, so they could decide if they want to stay here," said Meril.

Trojie; Not so that they could take a quick Polaroid for their upcoming book on Great Hostelries and Taverns of Middle Earth, then?

"I will do that," Goran said hastily. "Ya can watch the desk. This way, my good elves."

Gypsy; ‘Ya’ this, ‘Ya’ that. Gaah.
Trojie; It amuses me that he calls them his ‘good Elves’ when it is patently obvious that later on in the fic he’ll probably want them to be his ‘bad Elves’, said in some suitably sultry tone of voice, and possibly involving leather.
Gypsy; You have been on the NC-17 beat far too long. I’m going to ask Upstairs to transfer you to something innocuous in Children’s Fiction. Involving puppies called Spot.

***********

Meril and Nissa watched them go up the stairs. "Uh oh," Meril said. "I think our brother is smitten too."

Trojie (as Nissa); Dammit, more competition.

"Shh," said Nissa, "that kind of talk is dangerous."

Gypsy; (as Meril) You’ll get poor Goran stampeded by all the *other* admirers.
Trojie; Now, let’s stick to established fic speech patterns. It’s ‘Ya’ll get Goran . . . ‘ etc.

"Ya know as well as I that Goran’s tastes don’t run to women," said Meril. "I hope he behaves himself."

Gypsy; Because younger sisters know all about their brothers’ . . . tastes.
Trojie; The girls are exposition devices. Nothing more. This is evidenced by their names, each one taken from the box marked ‘Stock Fantasy Not-Really-Names’.

"Aye, let’s hope so. We both know the penalty for engaging in . . . in *that* sort of behavior," said Nissa.

Trojie; What? Sex? Why do authors have to make every community so damn puritanical?
Gypsy; Why do you think? To provide angst. I didn’t have you down as this much of a clueless newbie.

"I don’t think even father could protect him if he’s caught again. Ya remember how he almost got caught last time with that boy from Dale. If ya hadn’t covered for him . . . well, I fear what might have happened. Do ya think he’d try anything with our elves?"

Gypsy; So girls are allowed to fool around with boys from other towns, but boys aren’t? Something is wrong.
Trojie; ‘Our’ elves? Possessive wee madams, aren’t they.

"I wouldn’t worry. Legolas and Elwen look quite capable of taking care of themselves. They move like swordsmen." Meril sighed.

Trojie; Because being capable of using a sword is unusual in these times, in this town?

"Meril, did ya see Elwen’s eyes?" Nissa cooed. "He has violet eyes. Violet! And such long, black eyelashes. I’ve never seen anyone like him."

Gypsy; Someone’s been reading too much Tamora Pierce. Violet eyes? Those are almost copyrighted to Alanna the Lioness.
Trojie; And Thom. Don’t forget Thom. But I take your point. Unusual eye colours are a standard Sueish feature.

"Aye, they’re both quite beautiful. And that other elf, the one with the sour expression on his face, he called Legolas, my lord," said Meril. "I wonder if Legolas is royalty? I must find out. I want to know everything about him."

Trojie; Like what he looks like without his clothes, and whether or not he’ll ever have it off with you?
Gypsy; Trojie!
Trojie; Whaat? That’s all she wants to know. I know her type.
Gypsy; The ‘too many commas’ type? According to that sentence she just called Nissa ‘my lord’.

"Meril, ya know the festival is tomorrow night. Maybe we can get them to go with us," said Nissa.

Gypsy; Yes, because the giggling daughters of your innkeeper are exactly the kind of women you want to escort to social functions when you are a travelling member of the Mirkwood royal family.

They grabbed each other’s arms and burst into laughter.

Trojie; . . . at the humour of the very idea that the elves would even look at them, let alone take them to a festival. Hmm, upcoming title repetition. Skip time?
Gypsy; Certainly.

wipwipwip

</lj-cut>

Date: 2006-07-02 01:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yattara.livejournal.com
The thought occurs that since they know who Thranduil is...why do the Bardings not know he's got a son? Wouldn't that make sense when keeping relations with close neighbours who are assisting you with the rebuilding?

Or am I being too logical?

Nice MSTing.

Date: 2007-12-30 09:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agenttrojie.livejournal.com
I'm afraid that your logic, though attractive and, indeed, logical, is not Suvian logic and is therefore not applicable. It has been far too long since I worked on this MST ... living with three guys who would all be disgusted by the next section and who all shamelessly read things over my shoulders hasn't helped though. But I am starting again. W00t.

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