The Treed Gnome

Hyde Park

Hyde Park. Trails run through the large city park, statues dot the landscape. Near a corner is 'Speaker's Corner'.. that location where anyone can say almost anything and not be punished or prosecuted for it.


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Ghost Spooker

A less than beautiful spring afternoon in the one of the parks of the city of London. Only the stalwart of tourists make their way along the paths of Hyde Park; those diehards that insist that they'll get every penny from their vacation packages and visit every corner of the city before their next 'port of call', as it were.

Well, tourists and.. other visitors to the city.

Manicured copses of trees are usually considered 'off limits', particularly when they have low, black, cast-iron fences. For most normal people, that serves enough as a deterrent. But there's a short fellow in long, brightly coloured coats kicking up with red and yellow dyed boots, climbing one of the trees. The fingered gloves make it a little easier to grasp the limbs to heft himself up, and once he gains the lowest branch, he rubs his hands together.. carefully, and only after wrapping a supportive arm around a smaller limb. Glancing up, the white-shocked haired gentleman exhales audibly.. and mumbles, the sound almost indignant,

"He'd better appreciate this.. all night.. not even a pillow!"


The brightly clad figure isn't alone, though he might have assumed he was. The figure that observes him has earned her safe-name many times over. Nestled comfortably on a broad limb above the flamboyant climber, she hears his muttering and chuckles silently. As he glances up, she leans over and extends a gloved hand toward him to help him up. "Your coat tails are dragging, neighbour."


Must have been a good choice then!

The somewhat diminuative man looks up again, his jaw dropping and his eyes widening as he realizes the presence of someone he'd missed on the first glance up.

There's no malice to be seen on the man's face, no deep, dark, sekrit burning behind the eyes. Even if he scrunches up his face and sounds a more indignant note, beginning a little louder than need be, and checking himself before quieting with the rest. "Hey.. this is.." Shh.. "This is my tree. I picked it.."

He hasn't lost his arm grip around the branch, assuring his continued place on the limb, however, and at her words, he looks down to check on the coattails in question.

Unhooking an arm, he tries to pull them up, and weaves a little on the limb, and stops.

Not a good idea.

Looking up again, and then at the outstretched hand, offering aid to climb yet higher, there's a decision that has to be made, obviously.

High enough.. or go higher? Problem with being of a diminuative height is that what is high to him is.. eye level to everyone else.

There's that moment of consideration, and putting aside his petulance until he's at least one more level up, he extricates himself from his anchor and reaches out for the hand, fumbling with the other three limbs to catch a purchase to climb ever higher.

"I found this one first." A statement of fact as far as he's concerned.


The stranger's laugh is light, musical, and entirely amused as she hoists him up to a level branch and rolls her body to sit with her back against the trunk and a long leg (compared to his) stretched out along the broad limb. "These trees belong to no one, neighbour," she says lightly. She glances down to where the little black fences suggest otherwise. "No matter what the humans may think."

Twisting some, she fishes a bit of way bread from a pouch on her hip and loosens her face mask. It falls away like the breather on a fighter pilot's helmet, revealing delicate, elfin features and crystaline eyes. Carefully, she splits the nutty, fruity bread in half and tilts her hand toward him. "Bread?"


With much bark falling down around the base of the tree (look out below!), the white-haired gnome manages to make it to the second level— with the aid of the person above him, and her hand for steadying. Once up, he takes stock and inventory; coattails aren't hanging down, thus giving his position away (very important, that!), and his small bags of various and sundry items are still secured and in place.


Settling, with a protective hand out on the limb, he first looks down, then over to his .. neighbor of the arbors. "Ah… yes.. well, I thought that too." Until he saw her.. and he found the tree first! Even if he didn't get up the tree until…

No matter.

He watches her for a long moment, and he can't help but make connections; he's only been on this world for, what.. how long has it been? And he hasn't seen one— an elf!

Breaking bread with him? //And it looks so good.. not that white, spongy mess that Frank has been giving him.. with.. what is it? Some sort of nut.. thing on it. Sticks to the roof of his mouth and makes it hard to talk!

A sigh exits the gnome and he nods, though he's not defeated (not that there's any real fight!), and reaches out to take a piece. "You know, this is still.. well.. I found this tree.. and it's perfect." He raises his brows, his free hand coming out to gesture to echo his words, "And I need to be in this particular group of trees in order—". Realizing that he's got one hand on the bread and the other gesticulating in the air, he has to work out which the empty one is in order to grab onto an anchor once again. He's.. not all that comfortable in trees, apparently.

"Thank you." He'll pick at the bread the moment he doesn't feel like he's about to fall out…


"You're welcome," the elf woman says simply. She sets the bread in the curve of her lap and fishes in her pouch for another morsel. Drawing out a lump in a heavy cloth, she carefully unwraps it. The scent is sharp and clear — a well-aged cheese. Taking out a short knife, she slices a chunk off of it and extends it toward the gnome. "It's even better with cheese," she notes.

He's as fussy as any gnome she's ever met, even if his accent isn't like theirs and his style is… far less severe.

"So, what brings you to Llyn Dain, stranger?" she asks lightly, now. "'Tisn't often any gnomes I've met find occasion to climb trees. Particularly not in the Old Grove."


Properly settled, he balances himself enough such that he can pick at the soft, nutty insides of the bread with his fingers, popping each torn morsel into his mouth. He chews it appreciatively, though when he smells the cheese, his eyes widen again. It's like a feast! How sad is that?

The cheese is accepted quickly, and with a muffled 'thank you', due to the bread and then the cheese put into his mouth, he bobs his head while he chews.. and after swallowing, he offers up another, little more proper thanks.

"I can't believe you have real food." He shakes his head and looks out onto the park grounds proper. "How can they actually like that stuff they're eating?" Ew?

Turning back around, he straightens his back; a proud little gnome he is, and puts his hand out in greeting and introduction. "Name's Spooker." He pauses, then, "Well.. it's what they call me anymore, but it suits me fine. It's what all my friends call me."

There is more than a little surprise that registers on the gnome's face, and he puts a steadying hand out. "You know.." He exhales in a sharp sigh, "And here I was, going nuts.. they," a gesture comes, with the hand holding the bread, "have no clue as to what a gnome is. They're calling me.. dwarf, and do I look like a dwarf to you?" Beat. "No.. no I don't." Just in case…

He has to remember to cant his voice down, and he was getting a little loud there for a moment. He ducks his head, a physical action that echoes his volume, "Llyn Dain.. I'm here, well.. because I got a little turned around." He pats the tree branch. "I fell out of one of these trees on my way here. Just sorta seeing if I can't find the right branch off the right tree and.." A shrug rises under the greatcoat. ".. I have a friend who's going to be very worried about me." He puffs a little, "She always worries if I'm not around to help her."


The elf woman chuckles lightly, now, watching the gnome relish his food. "I always carry my own food, when in City-Above," she admits. "Copper cooking utensils are unreliably found among the humans. Many of them prefer cast iron or diluted iron" — a.k.a. steel — "when preparing their meals. And, the strange things they have done to their foods in their great cook houses… even they get sick from it, though they're often too dim to realize the cause." She gives another light shrug, enjoying some of her bread and cheese together. "Generally, the humans of this Age are even more ignorant than their forbearers. They have forgotten how to recognize we that come from beyond the Twilight Veil, if they ever truly knew at all. Many would not know a real dwarf if he rose up and hit them."

Still, she smiles, now, and regards him from beneath her hood. "Well met, Spooker," she says as he introduces herself. "I am known as Ghost in these lands. From whence come you? And where is your friend?"


"I don't much like underground.. cold, lots of people pushing.. and when they're not pushing, they're staring."

Spooker's food doesn't go ignored for a moment, and picking at his bread, matching it with the cheese, it's a feast in a tree. "Ghost.." He nods, "that works.. and I'm from," he lowers his voice a little more, but doesn't make the pronouncement until he has another bite of food, savouring it. "Amrika.. and I sort of missed, I think."

The gnome shifts his position on the bough before looking up to see if he can't find the next one. "I don't know where she is. I think she's probably either.. lost, or where she's supposed to be, waiting for me to catch up. Her name is Kendrin, and she looks.." Wide eyes come back down to Ghost, and he smile broadly before popping another duet of bread and cheese into his mouth. The pieces in his hand are getting smaller, thus his pieces that he's pulling off to eat are also getting smaller, "And she looks a lot like you, actually. A lot. But," he lowers his voice, "she's probably where we're supposed to be.. so I'm trying to find that branch. Oh, and helping Frank." Here, his words get a little faster and shmushed together as he speaks, "He asked me if, while I wasn't looking for the tree that I fell out of, (I don't think he believes me) if I could hike into a tree and hide at night for some shadow-thingy that someone else said that he'd seen and asked Frank to take a look for.. but only at night, and I was told that the trees were definitely the best.."

Never impart a secret mission to the gnome.

"So, I thought this one looked pretty good, and a really good choice for maybe seeing what it was that Frank couldn't see.. and maybe it was the tree that I fell out of, but I couldn't see any footprints in the soil under.. so maybe not." Not that he landed on his feet


"Amrika…" Ghost echoes slowly, thoughtfully. A moment. No. She's not heard of it. So, she simply files the information away. She takes the description of Kendrin and smiles. "I've not seen your friend," she admits, "but that's not such a surprise. So, the faegate between Amrika and this place is in a tree? What does it look like, do you recall? What kind of tree?"

She likes to keep track of gates. Never know when they might come in handy.

Of course, taking his measure and listening to his words, it doesn't take much for her to deduce that Kendrin is probably the more stable and logical of the two. The gnome… well, he's certainly a gnome. More flamboyant and far less grumpy than most of the the puritans she's met, but perhaps life is different in Amrika than the lands she's more familiar with.

"Who is Frank?"


"Faegate?" Spooker shakes his head, "Spellgate."

The moment the word is out of his mouth, however, he clamps a gloved hand over his mouth, and shakes his head. "You didn't hear that.. but it's not.. fae? As in.. fae?"

He's more than willing to move on, now that he's put his boot into it. His words come slowly, "It was a tree." As if he'd know which tree is which; particularly when seen on the way down? "It was a tall tree. Lots of branches." He considers, but that comes with popping the rest of the bread and cheese into his mouth, and then chews thoughtfully. "Big tree." Of course, most everything looks big to him.

"But I'm pretty sure it's in this park.. and there was a little bridge nearby.. I think."

Bringing his thought process around, he remembers that there is a job to do for Frank, and he wiggles a little on the branch in preparation for hanging out on the branch all night (not that he'll be able to stay awake, and thus.. in the tree..). "Frank is a human I met.. he's giving me a bed and some food. In return, he's just asked that I look for those shadowy-things," he allows for his tones to turn theatrically mysterious, "and it's supposed to be all hush-hush.. because other humans don't actually believe in things like this.. and, he says, like me.." Not that he's entirely certain that the older man believes what Spooker is saying anyway. "So.." here, he puffs a little and readjusts his items, " I am."


"Did Frank describe to you the… shadowy-things?" Ghost asks, now. It's apparent to her that Frank must be some kind of seer. "So that you might know them, if you see them?" Has it not occurred to the gnome that seeing shadows at night might be difficult, despite the humans' preference for high-wattage lights? f


Spooker shakes his head quickly, making himself comfortable on his overhang. "Nope. Just.. shadowy. Moving shadows.. and not really attached to lights."

Settled now, he digs into his greatcoat to find a random bit of something to keep his fingers busy. "He said I woudln't find it during the day," an answer to the unasked question. "Probably wouldn't look like anything during the day. It was.. seen at night.. so apparently, you can actually see it.. even if it's dark, and the sky is dark," he casts his eyes upwards, checking on the progress of the sun.

"If this wasn't such a great spot, I'd get down and look for the tree."


A… ghost of a frown passes over Ghost's features at Spooker's vagueness. Still, it's piqued her interest. There've been rumours, after all.

She cants her head. "Do you truly intend to sleep here in the tree?" she asks. "I know of better places — safer, with soft beds, good food, an excellent ale." She doesn't mention the cookies, however.


Spooker has no chance not to be vague as Frank's gotten his information second hand.. and through Charlie Mesner of all people. The gnome doesn't know of the provenance of the original sighting, however, and is moving forward blindly.. or as blindly as a seer could give information to go on.


"Oh, no.." Spooker shakes his head quickly. "Not sleeping up here. Just.. watching to see if I can't find— ale? They have ale here?" Soft beds? Good food? If the food is as good as that bread and cheese, Spooker will have to find a way to apologize to Frank…

"I didn't know that." His expression turns a bit peeved, but for Spooker, it seems almost.. a comedic expression. There just isn't any harshness in the mien, even when he's insulted. "He didn't mention that."


Ghost chuckles softly at the gnome's peevish reaction. "The human very likely wouldn't know. Few do. But, I know a place that's been here since the Old Grove covered the river's banks. Its mistress is a fine hostess, excellent cook, and peerless baker. I shouldn't doubt that your friend will find her way there, eventually. Most of us do."

Too, the comfort and rest might loosen the gnome's tongue further, which might be helpful.


Fine hostess. Excellent cook. Peerless baker.


It's a battle; the idea of sitting in the tree to look for shadows in the dark, or to at least be introduced to the hostess of whom she speaks. And stay for a few moments, just to be polite.

Putting his item back into his coat, he makes a quick check in one of his bags, and a frown creases his round face, but it is fleeting. "Is it an Inn? Because.. I only have a few of the coins from here.. but there are things I can do." Good food, good ale..

"I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to pay a call, if only for a little while while I wait for the sun to go down. And, if Kendrin can find the place.." Assuming she's here, in this world.

"If Kendrin is here, she'll probably find it. Good food, good ale?" Spooker's head bobs in the nod. "She'll look for me there, I'm sure."

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