Again, a disclaimer: I do not own, nor did I create, these characters. I wrote this as homage to my favorite writers, J. R. R. Tolkien as well as Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. — Ruth Davis Hays
After an exhausting and confusing time of “follow the leader”, the two found the front door and had gone inside. The house seemed to unfold, with each room larger than the last and offering more doors that led to more and more rooms. Each one stranger and filled with more interesting little things than the one before it. Indeed, it could take an eternity to wander and explore the whole place.
In one tall library that had a fireplace larger than they were high and a long polished wood table, they had come across the kender, Gintilli Dibbertill. She was a slender and muscular girl with a long, blonde topknot tied in the same fashion as Tasslehoff’s. She looked much like Tas, only feminine in all the right ways. Her manner was very similar to Tas’s as well. She talked excitedly, moved around almost constantly and was intensely interested in anything new. Frodo guessed that this was just the way kender acted and made the best of it.
Tasslehoff had scolded her for changing the entrance to the tree house while he had been away, though he had complemented her on the “merry chase” she had led them on while trying to find the way in.
“I thought you might like it,” She had simply said. She was evidently undaunted by his first reaction.
Frodo explored part of their house with them. The fascination that they showed in many of the twists and turns made him wonder if it was the first time that they had seen some parts as well. Then he remembered how kender like to find new things and realized that they must change the house constantly so that it can always be new to them. At times, they bickered like siblings and at other times they seemed to titter and giggle like ‘tweens in love. He was curious as to what their relationship actually was, but thought it improper to ask.
At length, they all settled in the tall library again to eat. That was when Gintilli introduced her half-sister, Glorianthea. They had overlooked her the first time through the room as she had been sitting in a far corner silently. Now, she was sitting at the long table, silently.
She was very different from the other two kender. Though she had the same size and features, she was thinner and paler than Gintilli. Her dark brown hair was braided in a single long braid down her back and her slanted, chestnut eyes stared vacantly before her. She also did not seem to move, nor register that they were present in any way. She just stared.
Tasslehoff called her unnerving. Gintilli called her annoying. But, Frodo simply found himself staring at her curiously, almost as if he was waiting for her to move or look up at him.
Dinner was a bit odd, as Tasslehoff and Gintilli seemed quite used to ignoring Glorianthea, but Frodo felt it rude leaving her out of the conversation or not acknowledging her presence in the least. After he had offered her something to eat for the third time, Gintilli finally said not to bother.
“She won’t take it even if she can hear you. Believe me, I’ve tried. She will eat but, only when no one else is around. She must feed herself because I leave food with her and when I come back, it’s gone. I just never have the patience to sit around long enough to see her eat it. It gets too boring,” She said in her soft, high, almost sing-song voice.
“Why is she like this?” Frodo asked. He looked at her wide, almost sad eyes. Her face was smoother than Gintilli’s with the small pointed ears making her look as if she were a tiny, petite elf maid. He felt his pulse race and remembered a similar feeling long ago in the presence of another elf maiden.
“She’s been like that as long as I can remember,” Gintilli began. “I think she saw a dragon once and this is what happened. I don’t know why, though. I’ve seen a dragon or two myself and I was never scared stupid.”
“Dragons do tend to make one’s stomach feel funny,” chimed in Tas, “But, I’ve been around a ton of them. I got used to the feeling. Maybe it tried to eat her. That might make her not want to go outside. But, we keep telling her that there are no dragons here. At least none that I’ve seen yet.”
“Perhaps there is more to it,” pondered Frodo.
They talked late into the evening around the fire in the huge hearth, but Frodo’s eyes kept straying back to Glorianthea’s still form in the tall chair at the end of the table.