Piercing through the clouds, in bright rays, the morning sun shined its warm embrace down on the ancient Palvista Hillock. Upon the grassy headland the small hobbit community of Mesmir resided, quiet and seemingly deserted if it wasn’t for the few dim candles in windows. Off in the distance dark clouds rolled southward with cracks of lightning clattering miles away. Leaning against the railing of a small circular porchfront Barris Oakfoot stared out towards the small town before him, scratching the railing impatiently. The cold metal of the ruby necklace in his hand reminded him that the passing storms were only the least of worries for him and his people. A place such as Mesmir, isolated and almost antique when compared to the modern world; it would be gone if everything Farjadis had told him he was true. Barris didn’t want to admit it, but he was sure that every bit of it was. He looked down at the ruby pendant in his palm and let out a long breath before returning his gaze to the large windmill at the center of town.
Standing high above Mesmir the damaged wood vanes of the old mill slowly creaked as bird songs emanated from the forest. The cylindrical wooden body of the windmill sprouted nearly three stories from a large hobbit hole. It’s polished wooden surface was ported with four circular windows, each with a sill adorned by hanging plants. Around were four cisterns made of dark stone and treated wood— the pre-war reservoirs of Gwendilae — now overfilled by the storm and drowning the surrounding grass and shrubs. Decorated hobbit holes encircled the hilltop mill and between them was a maze-like ring of vibrant berry bushes and short fruit bearing trees of all kinds. One could get lost in the meticulously crafted rows of flora and the mix of aromatic scents permeating through every inch of the village. In the warm seasons many would come to visit the famed fruit gardens of Mesmir, the one place to find any sweet nectar to sink your teeth into. Yet it wasn’t why Barris arrived the past stormy night, this time around was the far from vacation. Just as it was eight years ago on another dismal day.
“Few come to seek refuge in Mesmir Uncle, so, what’s really got you out of your hole these days?” The jovial voice of a young girl asked from behind him.