Source: Fourth Age, post-Ring War
Disclaimer: Tolkien’s world, Kortirion’s feisty heroines
She was weary of mopping and scrubbing for Da… putting the Mill to rights… the work seemed endless.
Oh things weren’t so bad as they’d been. Sharkey was gone, and his hangers-on. Those who’d collaborated with them… some kept their heads down, doing their best to make amends, some moved, or suddenly found they’d got sick relatives in out the way places. All Bywater knew who’d done what… but...
She’d heard the tales the Four brought back, of dwarves and kings, and distant lands. She wanted her own adventure.
Be-bibbalowed! She was going too - off to find work in Bree!
Her fingers had always been nimble. Years in the armoury forges had coarsened her hair, calloused her hands, but… the need for war-axes had lessened; dwarf-folk away fighting, or defending the mines, were returning to the Mountain, taking up their old work. She could put away trews and leathers, think about a family… She sighed …not yet.
She’d trained in weaving within the family auspices, but after volunteering for war-work… now, she’d new ideas. Weaving metal threads, making ribbons of supple mesh for gauntlets, greaves, scarves… light as cloth, but able to deflect blades.
She could do this.
There were many strange sights in Rohan these days… odd folks, sitting around inn tables, telling stories, travelling; not for generations were so many on the move.
And those two… are odder than most, thought Hild.
Two little men, one swathed in woollen scarves, the other bearded, half-hidden under a drop-brimmed hat, she approached them with her tray.
“Another ale, masters?”
They looked up… and curiously, both had very long eyelashes…
“Oh… you’re not…”
The bearded one snatched her wrist.
“We are, what we are!” he/she hissed.
Hild slid to their bench.
“Tell me more,” she urged, “I love tales.”
Melleth noted how well the Lower Circle’s stonework was progressing since she’d last visited. Another party of dwarves were arriving, and amongst them, if she wasn’t mistaken, were hobbit, female dwarf… and shieldmaiden, travelling incognito.
That piqued her curiosity…
The dwarven masons swarmed around the women protectively, disguising those among them, but Melleth had a trained eye for oddities. She followed them to their hostelry and paid the landlord for access.
The Rohir’s sword was drawn as Melleth entered their room; the dwarf’s axe… even the Hobbit-lass seized a candlestick.
“Peace!” Melleth showed empty hands, “I’m curious - what’s your tale?”