“A little more wine sir?” Dolen enquired of the figure in the heavy grey cloak.
“No, I shouldn’t think so…. Although, if the lord of the house has any more pipeweed I could stand to some, my bowl appears to have gone out.”
The indescript servant simple nodded into a small bow and turned away. In truth that was the best he could force himself to offer. He didn’t like the man… no, that wasn’t accurate and the inaccurate use of words could do far more harm than many in this age knew.
No it wasn’t that he didn’t like the man, in truth he had little emotion either way about the being that came and went as he pleased in the shape of an eccentric old mortal. It was more that he distrusted his nature, the Wizard simply was, he had not had to become, by training or teaching, research or craft, and when one could be that just by the nature of things, it made everything else cheapened somehow. The nasty little voice in the back of his mind asked if a mortal man felt like to look upon the Eldarin…? he ignored that voice as he often had to do.
Of course in this instance the grey shrouded figure made a most interesting case, one that even the rumour of it’s presenting had sent whisper out to one or two of the well paid ears Dolen kept in his employ (or his debt at least). The rumours were that the Storm Crow had come to a conclusion that the White Council did not agree with or approve of. Oh to be a fly on the wall of that meeting.
Not that he could become a fly of course…
He could become a man though.
So several days earlier the one they had once named Edlenor had paid a local trader not for his wares but what he wore. That evening at the correct and proper time and place he had spoken the words in the vulgar dialects of the mountain kin
Precisely nothing had happened. Just as it should, he ad fancied he heard a whisper, like the echos down deep stone halls, but it had passed.
Now he came and went about the meeting point, overlooked by all as a simple servant passing wine and refreshments while great lords and ladies held their court and discussed the fate of the lands.
“For your pipe sir?” he announced, offering the small silver plate with the dirty brown torn up herb on it. Thankfully the smoker simply gave a pleased snort, and, looking down began to tear up the fibers and pack them into the bowl of his pipe – all the better Dolen would not have to touch the stuff. He was convinced it addled the mind.
Then there was a moment. The scruffy greying figure regarded his server reflected in the platter. Dolen had been waiting impatiently, but not he froze and tried to calm himself, to give away nothing to peek this observers interests in him. Regardless, the older of the two gents looked up at the younger, from under greying brows and held the gaze for what felt like an age…
“Indeed?” he said finally, cocking one of those bushy grey brows and smiling quizzically. One breath, two, and he turned to address the group that now was duly assembled and refreshed and ready to begin business.
“If a small party, with the services of a burglar where to move on the south gate of Dul Guldur I believe it passible… there is a…”
“My old friend, must we do this again? I have given the council my assurances that the rumours are false and we have nothing to fear from the Bald Hill”
“Please, gentlemen, Mithrandir must be permitted to speak, as all hear assembled must”
“My thanks… Don’t treat the threat so glibly as to dismiss it as a mere hillock from Oropher’s age, I have been to the place and seen…”
“My friend I submitted my research to the White Council a few weeks past and they accept them, did you not believe them?”
“Forgive me, that was not my intention I merely wish to highlight…”
Dolen settled into a corner, his earlier worries passing, he was confident he was overlooked, and could overhear at his leisure.