The Briary was a crossroads village with a good side road leading to Rendwalk and through the White Downs on to the Whitescarp Trail . In better days , disreputable folk got no closer to Rendwalk , a haven of the wealthy , than the Briary , only two miles up the road . Since the gentry did not mind associating with disreputable people when taking their rest , the Briary became , in its small , woodland way , a center for vice . Now a shadow of its former self , it boasted a curious maze of hedgerows , buried in the woods , grown from the same Elvish hawthorn that bound the frontier of Cardolan north of the Barrow Downs . The hedgerows were intended to "contain " and shield the Briary's nastier business . Now most just seemed to wander through the woods , the establishments they once protected long forgotten . Mixed in with them , and gone equally wild , were cunning herbs and other plants , once grown in gardens and used to create noxious drugs and dubious potions of love . A few Elves , carried the only remaining clear memories of the most interesting of these herbs and could occasionally be found wandering the mazes , indulging themselves .
- MERP:the Shire