An Entrance to Bree

A smile crept over the woman's features as she examined the interior of the property. She stood beside a much older Bree-man, in an older farmhouse. The man had suggested a reasonable sum for the property. Indeed, she thought to herself, this place was perhaps too reasonable to be true. 

The man beside her was a man of no less than sixty summers, and while congenial toward her, he was stern and unflinching with his underlings. She had sought him in an advert that he had placed about the place in question, and so here they stood together, examining the beams near the roof of the house.

"It is not terrible terrible," remarked the woman, tapping her chin with a finger in thought. "Indeed, I rather like its rustic interior. I think it will do quite nicely for what I desire." The man considered whether she was speaking more to him or to herself, but then decided that it did not matter so long as coin exchanged hands.

"You know, Mr. Hemley, I do believe I shall make a purchase of the place. Please, take this." She handed him a coinpurse nearly bursting with silver coins. The businessman he was, he counted them out one by one and lifted a hand to return more to her.

"There is no need," she replied, putting up her hand to stop him. "Consider it my own generosity, and perhaps I will soon be renowned for it." She smiled again, this time a little strangely. Mr. Hemley slipped the coins back into the purse quickly, but soon excused himself. The smile made him nervous.

Bree-land. It was as foreign as anything Anorieldis had ever seen. She was used to the splendors of Minas Tirith, and the occasional trips north to Dale. But this was quaint. It was perhaps more of a purpose to what she had in mind in returning to her studies and removing herself from the White City.

There were paupers here. There were people who would not be missed when they died. There were shallow graves, she knew. No one would question it.

But then, what was so evil about "robbing" graves? she thought. There was nothing to rob because the person was already dead. And how was she supposed to find a panacea or understand the way the race of Man worked, if she could not examine their anatomy? It was part of the reason she had departed from Gondor. They never did understand.

She snapped her fingers, imagining how to fill the rooms of the house with more arcane items, or with herbs and poultices and the like. Ah, but it would be easy. And the stores she had brought with her caravan were more than enough to get her started. She was a natural philosopher, but also an artist. The two were never twain in her, and she did not see them as incompatible.

"Bree," she remarked lowly to herself, "You had best be ready. I am here now, and you need fear nothing else."