A butcher’s son, Melvuior earned his keep as a boy hauling stock, game, and hides from shop to market. Meat was a luxury reserved for the Gondorian elite, so the scraps his father saved for the family were a feast, and Melvuior fed well. From a young age the boy learned not just a strong work ethic, helping his father carve and his mother make stews from drippings and marrow, but the strength and bearing to shoulder it. By twelve he was as strong and broad as a galley rower and as hard-working a full-grown man.
His life had been decided from birth, as was true at all tiers of Gondorian society—work in his father’s shop, apprentice elsewhere if he was lucky. When he came of age to serve his prime years in service to one of Gondor’s captains, though, he was nowhere to be found. By law and custom, he owed three years to the navy, but when the Steward’s men came to his father’s shop, he was already gone.
Melvuior speaks fondly of his home, but rarely in detail. One of the many port towns scattered along Harondor’s coastline, Melvuior’s home is better remembered vaguely—a tableau of shoreline freckled with palm trees, water with a twilit gradient, a sea of blue sails. What matters now is his new life, far from the ocean, on just the other side of Gondor’s border, among people who have no word in their language for pressgang.
Now he keeps a Wayhouse in Blithing—a traveler’s inn for Gondorians and Rohirrim crossing through the White Mountains. In the winter when the passes close, he keeps the company of guests who live there for months at a time. In summer, the lawn is strewn with tents and wagons, the temporary homes of caravaners spending a day or two before moving on.
He loves stories, and though one might not earn you a bed under his roof, it might earn you another helping of steaming porridge or a stick of cinnamon in your wine. Stick around long enough, and you might just hear some stories of his own.
Those who spend an evening under his roof
Left behind, but remain with him
It is unwise to keep any