Hail and well met friends! It has been a long time since we’ve had a proper Community Feature but hopefully we have made up for some of that lost time with this one. A couple of weeks ago Kaleigh Starshine was kind enough to meet in the Rabbit Room of the Bird and Baby to discuss some of her adventures in Middle-Earth. Fortunately, I had a lengthy scroll and ample ink to record our conversation. After our initial greetings, we went ahead and jumped right into it.
Theviking: Greetings Kaleigh! Your tales have travelled throughout the lands of Landroval and beyond. What first motivated to begin recording your adventures?
Kaleigh: So many have been kind enough to read my journal, and kinder still with their words. I am very grateful.Well, when our village was attacked, I lost so much. I wrote a little before that, but when I decided to leave and make a new life for myself, I began to write as a way of reflecting on things, both old and new, to find myself in a way.
Theviking: And has it helped?
Kaleigh: Very much so. Well, my journeys and what I have seen and done, and then putting those things into a place where I can learn from them, yes.
Theviking: That is good news indeed.
Kaleigh: *smiles* Thank you.
Theviking: I recently heard that you had decided to return to Archet. Have you made it back and how did it affect you?
Kaleigh: I mean to, yes. It is home still, even now, in a way.
Theviking: I understand they are still recovering from the attack by the cursed Blackwolds.
Kaleigh: I have been back a few times. It has always been bittersweet thus far, but one day, when things are made anew, it will be a more happy day.
Kaleigh: Oh, that is fine! Yes, the Blackwolds hurt us very much. And they still linger in the ruins outside town even now. *sighs*
Theviking: Yes, I’ve slain many myself. Though it seems that there is no end of them.
Kaleigh: *sighs* It seems that way, but we must not lose hope. One day, we will drive them out and find peace.
Theviking: Yes, one day the ‘wolds and their kind will be defeated at last.
Theviking: Since your initial departure you’ve been here to the Shire, mined with the Dwarves, spent time in Rivendell, slain orcs in Moria and taken part in many Ales and Tales is there a particular time that stands out to you?
Kaleigh: Oh, what a good question. I think the first time I went to the Shire was a time very dear to me, and I keep those memories close for they are precious.
Theviking: The shire is indeed a special place. Speaking of special places, do you have a preference of inns here in the Shire?
Kaleigh: I think maybe the Bird here, since we play our concerts here. And the Ivy Bush in Hobbiton, for that is where I began my visit here that first time.
Theviking: I can’t say I’ve been. Which is something I shall have to remedy
Kaleigh: Oh, you should!
Theviking: I shall!
Theviking: perhaps before I return to the Dead Waters I’ll stop there for an ale.
Kaleigh: Speaking of that, I have some friends in the Inn League here, so..
Kaleigh: I bought these [2 Flagons of Spring Willow Wine] so that maybe we could toast to our meeting and the coming Spring, if you would like?
Kaleigh: To new friends and the new Spring!
Theviking: To new friends!
Theviking: Good stuff…feeling…woozy…
Kaleigh: To new friends! My, a little stronger than I remember.
Theviking: I’m sure it’ll pass, before I pass out.
Kaleigh: Oh, it should yes.
Kaleigh: Just no driving any carts until it has passed!
Theviking: Heh, good advice. I wanted ask about some of the tales that have circulated around. Your tale of the Broken Vessel in particular was quite touching.
Kaleigh: Oh, thank you. That tale had been on my mind for a long time, partly due to what we spoke of before, and the Shire’s meaning to me.
Theviking: If I recall, she was your great aunt yes?
Kaleigh: Oh, she would be my great, great Aunt, actually.
Theviking: Ah, it must be the beverage…
Kaleigh: *laughs* Well, relations are hard to remember sometimes, especially when they are not your own.
Theviking: True enough. Does your cousin Eavan take after her at all?
Kaleigh: *ponders* Well, in ways she does and in ways not. She serves in a company down south, so she is a bit more hardnosed, if that make sense. At least on the surface.
Kaleigh: But I think cousin Eavan is kind like her. Just in her own way.
Theviking: Do you and Eavan travel much together?
Kaleigh: Oh, not often, no. We used to visit whenever we could when we were younger, but she went away and is newly returned to these parts. She stays with me, but we are often doing separate things.
Theviking: Such is often the way of things
Kaleigh: Hopefully, we will find the time to strike out together soon, though. *nods* Yes, we each must live our own lives, but we still share them in so many ways. That is partly why I keep my journal as well.
Theviking: And yes, even separate lives often connect in unexpected ways. What of your dwarf friend from from your wooly mask tale? Had you ever learned what became of him?
Kaleigh: Oh, Master Tarnorili Oreshaper. He is a dear, dear friend. Yes, he went back to work the mines in Thorin’s Halls for some time, but he is newly returned to us as well, and I am so glad for that.
Theviking: Excellent! Did his respite revive him? And will there be further travels to Moria?
Kaleigh: They do, indeed. I think so! He makes journeys even out to the plains to aid the horselords these days. I think his time away reinvigorated him. He would say the break from us longshanks is the reason for it, though *laughs*
Theviking: I’m sure he would :).
Kaleigh: *laughs* Yes, he is something else.
Kaleigh: I go back every now and then to lend aid when I can. Sometimes, I know of friends making a journey there and I offer to join them. Old memories are made new that way.
Theviking: How are things in Moria these days?
Kaleigh: The dwarves are making great strides there. There is much more light in the depths these days, and that is a very good thing. But there is much to do yet, of course.
Theviking: Of course. And I can tell from the tales I hear and the way you carry yourself that you must be a great help in clearing the Halls
Kaleigh: That is very kind of you to say. And it means a great deal to me that you and others think so. I try to do my part, as others have before, and made my path the clearer for it.
Theviking: Is your other tale, Quest of Hope also based on your own adventures?
Kaleigh: Oh, yes, that was a relatively recent adventure. To be asked to help in such a quest by Master Laval and Miss Riani meant a lot to me.
Theviking: And it is a good thing to have recovered Arndreth’s sword. It does not belong in the foul hands of any orc.
Kaleigh: Oh, thank you. The Waywatchers have gifted me so much. It was just a small payment toward the great debt I owe them, but it meant a lot to me to help recover it.
Theviking: How did you come to know of them and their need?
Kaleigh: Laval and Riani are travelers, and their eyes see so much, their ears hear so much. They learned about Andreth’s fate and that the sword was in the hands of evil from others in the North Downs, and they spoke to Genny and I about it.
Theviking: a good thing that their eyes and ears are open then :)
Kaleigh: Very much so! I am called a Scout by them, but I miss more than I discover, sometimes.
Theviking: I was fascinated by the descriptions of Shadepaw, one of your fellow travelers on that quest. What manner of creature is he? I’ve never seen his like
Kaleigh: Oh, Laval called him a ‘lynx’. They wander so far, I am not sure where he came upon his friend. But I am glad he did! Shadepaw is a better skulker than I am. He put me to shame *smiles*.
Theviking: Perhaps he is a burglar in training?
Kaleigh: I would not doubt it, though I hope he keeps his burgling to orcs and goblins and such. I am sure he will.
Theviking: You’ve mentioned performing a couple of times already in which band do you play and do you have a regular schedule?
Kaleigh: Oh, yes! I am a proud member of the Green Hill Music Society, led by Master Falibrand. We play each Tuesday night just outside the Bird and Baby here. The concerts begin at 10:00pm Bywater [Eastern :)] Time.
Theviking: Oh yes of course! I had seen some performances some months back but haven’t been back this way since.
Kaleigh: Oh, I see. Well, please feel free to come by whenever you are free and able. It is a real joy to play for our friends. Please come by and see the show, if you have the time someday!
Theviking: I surely will if I am able. and I will certainly mention it to my friends along the way
Kaleigh: Thank you so much!
Theviking: I recall there being a rather large crowd at times, do you still bring in a large audience?
Kaleigh: We had quite a few last evening. Maybe thirty or even a little more.
Theviking: Wow, that is impressive indeed!
Kaleigh: Oh, we are very lucky to some nights, yes. Thank you! We just returned from a hiatus this week, so that may have been part of it, but we usually have quite a few, which is nice.
Theviking: Do you have a preferred instrument?
Kaleigh: Oh, my favorite would be the harp, I think, as it was my mother’s instrument as well, and she taught me some.
Kaleigh: I think so, too. Each has its charms, of course. But the harp is special to me. Oh, that is wonderful. Their sounds bridge this world with our thoughts and dreams, in a way.
Theviking: Truly. But on that note I regret that duty is calling me elsewhere soon but before I go is there anything else you would like me to include?
Kaleigh: I would like to thank everyone who takes some of their time to read my journal and other writings. The kind things they say means so much to me and it makes the effort to do so effortless. And I want to think you for taking some of your precious free time to speak to me about my journal as well. We can show kindness in so many ways, and that really is a kindness, to show interest in someone else’s efforts. Thank you for that and for speaking with me today.
Theviking: The pleasure has been all mine!
Kaleigh: Mine, too! You cannot claim it all! *laughs*
Theviking: Thank you again Kaleigh! It has been great getting to know such a well known and loved member of the free-peoples
Theviking: I’ll be sure to tell all I see of our merry meeting!
Kaleigh: It was an honor to meet you, sir! Thank you again! You have made my day and more to come, I am sure!
Theviking: I believe I will rest here for the evening and then head to the Ivy Bush before I leave the Shire. Fair thee well!
Kaleigh: I am glad! Please enjoy your visit and safe journeys to you!
And that brings our merry meeting to close. I hope that you have enjoyed this brief glimpse into the Life and Times of Kaleigh Starshine. Be sure to visit her blog and tell her Viking sent you!