Lord of the Coffee: Lord Elrond's Rules for Scrabble

by Lothithil
The Council of Elground in Rivendell Perk

Lord Elground speaks, "The coffee-ring! What shall we do with it, this pastry that Sour'on fancies? We cannot drink it, we cannot eat it! We cannot coat it in chocolate or even carob so that it will not stick in the throat and choke us. That is the purpose for which you are called hither. Called I say, though I have not called you to me; indeed, I tried to lock the door, but one of you brought an axe," and he bowed to Gelimli, who was sharpening that same axe while eyeing Legolatte's braided blonde tresses, muttering, 'Yeah, he'd look good in a Mohawk, methinks.'

"I did not call, yet here you are, and so we who sit here and none other, must now find counsel for the peril of the world."

"Whoa! Lighten-up, Elfdude!" spoke Boromocha. "You'd think the fate of the world rested on a little coffee-ring in the hands of a half-caff. I just came here to get the answer to a riddle."

Boromacha stood and spoke out: "Give me leave to speak of Gondaroma, Master Elground! Say not that our beans are stale, or that our ground is poor. Those in the West are full of praise for our deeds, but offer only little plates of cookies when we come to tea! We are the Filter of the East! What freedom and peace your people enjoy is purchased with our coffee!!

"But I did not come to Rivendell Perk to ask for tea and cake. The wisdom of Lord Elground is in beans, not confections. I have come to seek the unraveling of hard words. On the eve of our last fight, a dream came to my brother Faramocha; oft it came to him, until we cut back on his coffee-intake. And once, in a caffeine-haze it came to me, also: The Eastern sky grew dark, but in the West a pale light lingered. I heard a voice, remote but clear, and it seemed to say:

"Seek for the beans that were broken:
In Imladrip it brews.
There shall be counsels taken
In caffeine-induced muse.
There shall be shown a token
That doom is on the land,
For Isillydur's Bane shall waken
And the half-caff forth shall stand."

Boromocha continued his speech, "I also dreamed that I was going to school, but that I had forgotten all my clothes, and no one seemed to notice..."

"Enough!" announced Elground. "NescaFrodo, hold up the coffee-ring, and then Boromocha will understand the weird dream he has had, and maybe go back to where he came from soon."

In a trembling hand, the half-caff raised the coffee-ring before the eyes of the council.

In a stern voice, Gandgulp said, "Behold, Isillydur's Bane!"

After taking a long pull out of his coffeemug, which said on it in graceful elf-script: This Cup Of Coffee Just Saved Your Life, Lord Elground spoke again, " 'The fate of the world rests in the hands of a half-caff' So it does indeed, Boromocha." He turned quickly and withdrew a sliver of chalk from the sleeve of his robe, approached a large black board erected behind his raised chair, and made a mark next to his name. The score so far: Lord Elground=1, everyone else=0.

Boromocha's eyes glinted as he gazed at the Coffee-Ring. "The Half-caff!" he muttered. "Is then the doom of Minas Teabag come at last? But why should we seek for broken beans?" He reached out and took the coffee-ring from the half-caff, saying, "Hey, nice coffee-ring. Can I have it?"

"No!" NescaFrodo snatched it back from the big Man. "No more coffee for you, BoyScout number 2!" Lord Elground turned and made a mark next to NescaFrodo's name, and then another next to his own. There was murmuring among the dwarves, and the elves smirked.

Aromagorn stood, and he looked at Boromocha with the condescending glare he had learned from Elground himself. "The words of the riddle were not the doom of Minas Teabag, but doom and great deeds are at hand. The Beans That Were Broken shall be brewed again! I carry these beans, and have treasured them as have all the heirs of Isillydur before me, and I am the last of that product-line. Now that you have found what you have sought, what would you ask? Do you wish for the House of Blendil to return to the Land of Gondaroma?"

Boromocha looked into his empty coffee cup and said, "Not really, but I could use a refill."

Elground shook his noble head, making a cutting-off gesture at his neck to the wait-staff, then turned and made three marks next to Aromagorn's name, then four more marks next to his own.

The Dwarven posse cleared their throats, and one stood and said angrily, "Lord Elground! Why do you make marks after your own name when you have scored no points? What kind of
Greenway Scrabble game is this?"

Elground of Imladrip, Lord of the Edainish, looked at Gelimli, son of Gloinchop, and said, "This is not Greenway Scrabble, but White Council Scrabble, and I make the rules! And also," he added, and his wise face was long and ageless and showed not a trace of his sarcasm, "I happen to be holding the chalk!" And he turned and gave himself two more scores, then added one to Gelimli. The Dwarf rose and bowed.

Boromocha looked angrily about then turned to NescaFrodo, who was holding his angelic face stiffly, trying not to laugh.

"And what do you mean by 'BoyScout number 2'? I am the bloody son of the Steward of Gondaroma, I am! And I can handle my coffee!"

Legolattte stood then, and retorted dryly, "Aye, but Aromagorn is the heir to the throne of Gondaroma, while you are merely the offspring of the hired help." Behind the proud back of Boromocha, the Prince of Smirkwood and the Heir of Isillydur exchanged a high-five. Elground noted five points for LtPoSmirkwood, one for Aromagorn, and three more for himself. Boromocha rolled his eyes.

Elground spoke then. "One of you must take this coffee-ring to Mordonut and cast it into the Cup of Doom... sit DOWN Boromocha! Okay, one of you who is not the son of the Steward of Gondaroma, must drink this bitter beverage. Any volunteers?"

One of the elves raised a shaking hand, and said in a sweet voice, "Lemme get this straight... we have to take a cursed coffee-ring hundreds and hundreds of leagues across horc and gobbling-infested lands with little or no help from any mighty Elves or powerful Men, sneak into Sour'on's land through jungles of boobytraps and sleepless hairy eyeballs while everyone and their sheepdog is looking for us, climb an active and erupting volcano and drop the coffee-ring into the boiling syrupy espresso in the mountain's core?"

Lord Elground regarded his manicure minutely and said, "Yes... that or appear for five consecutive nights in a row as co-host for Conan O'Brian."

"I will take the drink!" said Everyone, at the same time. A scuffle then broke out, started perhaps by Boromocha 'accidently' wedging Aromagorn's scabbard in the trestle-table beam, causing his trousers to rip when he leapt to his feet. Legolatte and Gelimli were arm-wrestling, and Gandgulp was draping his long grey robe over the 'No Smoking' sign, puffing happily on his pipe as he kept book on the bets the Elves and Dwarves were placing on the struggles. None heard the small voice that spoke, barely above the riot of the crowd.

"I will drink the coffee, but I do not like the flavour." NescaFrodo was ignored, for now Elground was busy smacking Boromocha over the head with a mithril yardstick, and the Dwarves and Elves were placing bets on whether or not Gelimli would be eating his beard or Legolatte wearing a hat through most of the adventure.

NescaFrodo sighed and placed the Coffee-Ring back around his neck and left quietly, unnoticed except for Sanka who was always a step behind him or before him, if he happened to be walking backwards.

He turned and laid a hand on his friend's shoulder. "Well, Sanka, this is it! The Adventure we have always wanted. I do not ask you to go with me!"

"You’re not goin' anywhere without me, Mr Coffee!"

NescaFrodo squeezed his friend's arm, grateful for his undying loyalty and unfailing courage. "But, Sanka; I am going to Mordonut!"

Sanka handed NescaFrodo a map and a compass, plus a half-eaten package of Elf-biscotti, and says, "Don't forget to take a left turn at Albuquerque!"

Grabbing Sanka around the neck, NescaFrodo volunteers his loyal and steadfast companion to accompany him on this deadly foray. Sanka shows his friendship and devotion by passing out in NescaFrodo's sleeper-hold.

And Elground chose him 7 other companions, all mighty warriors; a proud Elven Prince Legolatte, a mighty wizard Gandgulp, a stalwart Dwarven warrior Gelimli, two doughty Men, both skillful and strong Aromagorn and Boromocha, and because the Elves were running short of food and patience, NescaFrodo's two cousins, Merrymocha and Drippin.

And so the Adventure continues.....

Final Score of White Council Scrabble: Elground=11, LtPoSmirkwood=5, Aromagorn=4, Gelimli and NescaFrodo tied for last place with one point each.