The Elusive Brown Trout
Once upon a very long time ago in a land far away lived a most beleaguered Lore-Master named Ranni. She walked the lands of Eriador with purpose and took great pride in her accomplishments. She’d found a fellowship of lost Elves near the Henstager Farm in Bree and tried to help them find their way home. The Hobbits of Waymeet praised her for her work in clearing Dora Brownlock’s farm of wolves and saving breakfast by rescuing the chickens. Over at Sandson’s she stood among the farm hands and threatened a winter squall of frost and lightening should the shrews not take their leave and hunt elsewhere. She even single-handedly kicked the giant shrew who’d been trashing the garden in Dulliond out of everyone’s misery. She was a people’s Lore-Master who’s life was to serve and protect the lands of Middle Earth.
Noble as these deeds may seem, Ranni was haunted by her lack of abilities to catch the head of the dreaded band of fish known for terrorizing the banks of the Brandywine with their hijinks and supper stealing antics. Rolo Fobbin had been lulled into a dreamy afternoon nap by Rainbow, the eldest sister in the Trout clan, so Cutthroat, her young scrappy cousin, could steal Rolo’s brand new lebetheron fishing pole. Rolo had carefully saved up for his treasure knowing the Fobbin’s were planning on taking an adventure to Michel Delving. The very best fishing pole craftsmen lived in Michel Delving, after all, and it was his life’s dream to own one of their poles. To add insult to injury, Cutthroat’s brother Bull had whacked him over the head with his canister of bait as the Trouts made off with his stuff. Rolo is convinced Bull did so to make sure he was awake and could see them in action. When Ranni heard that the Trout’s had successfully deprived the Fobbin’s of an evenings meal, she knew she had to do something!
Armed with her very own lebetheron pole named Suppersoaker, she set out on her hunt for the Trouts. She knew she must teach them a lesson in civility and restore the calm and tranquil shores of the Brandywine. Ranni’s one big flaw, the one that had kept her traveling in circles for days on end, was that she had no real sense of direction. She left Michel Delving and, somehow, in a way only Ranni could, found herself by a little pond in the North Downs. She had no idea where she was or, really, exactly how she’d gotten there, but was relieved when she recognized an elf from the lost fellowship she’d met some time ago. He told her she was in Meluinen, a small town down the path from Othrikar. This looked like as good a place as any to start looking for the Trout clan and so she cast her pole out into the water.
Determined, she fished for days on end. She had met every single member of the Trout clan, save for one, and had taught them a lesson on being nice to the hobbits of The Shire. The days passed and still, she had yet to meet the grumpy old head of the Trout clan, the elusive Brown Trout. She had an inkling that he was near, mocking her with his wrinkly gills as she stood in the hot sun and cast yet again. When giving Speckled Trout a good talking to she learned that Brown Trout wasn’t just the head of the family but lead his family into hijinks with a heavy fin. Those who failed to follow his orders were forced to feed off the bottom of the muddy ponds and riverbeds, being denied any part of the bounty brought in by other members of the family. Speckled himself had had more than his fair share, in his opinion, of muddy poop and was tired of being picked on. He had no choice but to do as Brown Trout told him, though he did show a bit of remorse as he admitted to being the ‘lookout’ for the Fobbin heist. Ranni knew in her heart that she had no choice but to take out the head of the family in order to restore peace to the shores of the Brandywine. She’d promised Speckled that he’d never again have to eat from the bottom of the lake if she had anything to do with it!
Her hunt for Brown Trout continues and with each setting of the sun a fire grows in her heart. She will find him and when she does, she plans to take him to a friend in Bree who will mount him for a mere pittance. He’ll live out the rest of his days as a trophy on her walls and a testament to the will of a Lore-Master.