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Old 06-07-2004, 04:07 PM   #281
mark12_30
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Twilight, Dec 20, Entwash Delta

Ravion pointed. "There is the first stream. We'll camp soon." Mellonin couldn't see the stream yet, but she was glad to hear the news. She took a deep shuddering breath and thought of Gwyllion's question. "Dreams. What dreams?" She scrubbed her tears away and composed herself.

"Well, there were dreams of winter. Snow on golden leaves, muffling a wood. Lonely dreams of searching and longing. Then there were dreams of ... of hair in the water; long hair, swirling and moving in the waves; golden hair, dark hair. And then the waves grew wilder, and I thought... I thought I was drowning. And then I realised that I was dreaming of the song that I had taught my brother just before he left... before he disappeared."

"What song was that?" asked Gwyllion.

"The Lay of Nimrodel," Mellonin said. "He loved it. He sang it again and again, and all day at the forge, and we would sing it together at night. We sang nothing else for three days. And then he was gone. I hate dreaming about it. Sometimes I think if I had not taught him that song, he would not have left."

"Would you sing the song for me?" Gwyllion asked, shyly.

Mellonin paused, deciding. And then, "No," she said. "I would rather not. I wish I had never learned it."

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Old 06-07-2004, 08:03 PM   #282
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Silmaril Raefindan's Dreme

On midsummer's eve they search high in the mountains, near to where the trees give way to the mountain's stark and boney heights. As late afternoon draws toward twilight, they walk in a high sward, feeling the cool, sweet breezes of evening. His heart is hers, and she has known this for months. Still, her duty is to her mistress. But her hope has dwindled. With sun's setting, they stop and watch the stars brightening in the deepened night. Their hands find each other's, and entwine, for the first time. They do not need a roof this night, and lay to sleep among the spikey flowers and grasses and stunted trees of the high slopes. No cloud mars the stars this night. She is sad, and he comforts her, for she does not think her mistress is among the living. Without movement, but in her eyes, he sees the turning in her heart to him, and she wordlessly consents to stay with him, to wife.
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Old 06-07-2004, 08:07 PM   #283
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White Tree

Women. Such sentimental creatures. Aeron rolled his eyes and snapped, "Well that is the silliest thing I have ever heard."

"What do you mean?" asked Mellonin, her brows carving in slight frown. "Can I not be upset?"

Why were his words always coloured with new meaning? Why? Heaving a breath he said, patiently, "Of course you can be upset. But why silently pout at the world because of a little misfortune? The song was beautiful, you said. Why not appreciate it?"

"It brings to mind too many memories."

"Curently it seems that memories are the only thing left to you since your brother has gone," Aeron said. "Content yourself with them just in case your brother does disappear forever."

"Aeron!" Gwyllion snapped.

"I am telling her the truth!" he protested. Who would rather be fed disillusionments instead of the truth? Disillusionments were like cakes that had poison instead of cream within them. Anybody who would rather kill themselves with disillusionments were fools.

"What my brother means to say," Gwyll said, touching Mellonin's arm, "is that Memory fades when it is not visited often. It is like...." she stopped, her teeth gnawing her lips, searching for words, "it is like a flower denied the light of the sun. It is strong and vigorous at first, always there. And then it begins to shrivel, clutching for it's life. It becomes withered, brown, a mere skeleton."

Aeron nodded. His sister understood. "You do not want your brother become dead in both body and spirit do you?"
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Old 06-08-2004, 06:59 AM   #284
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Dec 20, Ravion's ramblers...

Mellonin turned to Aeron trembling with cold fury. "My brother is not dead, " she hissed. "And if you say that again I will claw your eyes out."

"Calm down, woman," said Aeron with a snort.

"How dare you? How-- dare--"

She flew at him. Gwillion gasped and said "No!" and Aeron dodged as Mellonin clawed at his face. In self-defense he slapped her; she took no heed. Ravion leaped at them, and pulled Mellonin off of Aeron.

"Stop it. Now."

"Raefindan!" Gwillion was wringing her hands as Gond snorted, jigged and shied, and Raefindan slipped sideways. Mellonin struggled in Ravion's grip.

"Get my horse, " Ravion said to Aeron. Aeron lunged clumsily towards Gond's head, and Gond leaped in earnest. Raefindan, arms tied around Gond's neck and ankles tied near the girth, slid sideways and hung against Gond's leg. The horse reared and then bucked.

Ravion dropped Mellonin and tried to soothe Gond, but the horse bucked and screamed. "Whoa. Stand," said Ravion. Jorje whined and barked, and Gond panicked and ran with Jorje running after him. Ravion's shouted commands were drowned out by howls and hoofbeats that receded into the distance.

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Old 06-08-2004, 07:22 PM   #285
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Silmaril Raefindan

In the moments before dawn, the mountains rumble. He wakes to find her standing over him, looking at the cliffs above. The shoulders of the mountain shift in its sleep, and the icey build up of centuries is loosened. A crevasse opens and icey snow pours through, cascading on snowy boulders below. One boulder rocks just enough to loosen from its eons long perch, and begins to roll. It knocks others loose. Moments later, the entire slope is a river of rock and ice and snow, tumbling towards them. She turns, fear in her eyes, and lifts him to his feet. They run down the mountain side as fast as their feet can carry them. They are not fast enough. A stone hits him in the head and he knows no more.

His head hurt. He remembered falling. The ground was still shaking above his head. The rocks were rumbling. Trees were skittering and scattering this way and that, never quite leaving him alone. No, not trees. Horse limbs. The sky was brown and shaking. No, it was earth below him! His head was knocked by another rock. No, a tree trunk, no, horse limb; and a maddened, baying wolf yammered upside down, like a feral bat out of a nightmare, running across the upside down brown sky. His head pounded and his stomach churned, and was getting set to loosen and revolt. This was no good. He wanted his nightmare back. He looked ahead of him, between the two bending and churning tree limbs, with horse hoofs on the end of them instead of tree roots, that touched the upside down sky, and to his dismay, saw a big rock that the tree limbs were not trying to avoid. He twisted his neck as far as he could and strained as much as he could, and lost control of his stomach. But the rock struck the side of his head. The feral upside down wolf stopped yammering, and the day went dark again

She knelt over him in their home, and washed his face with a damp cloth. Peace. The avalanche was far behind them now. She must have come through it unhurt, and had helped him to his horse, and had guided them back home. She smiled at the gratitude in his eyes.

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Old 06-09-2004, 06:45 AM   #286
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the swamp-dwelling elf: Dec 21, mid-day

"You murmur enough to cast a spell of your own."

Raefindan stirred, and frowned. The voice was male. He opened his eyes. Glimmering in the firelight, a slender elf bent over a bucket of water, rinsing a cloth.

"Who are you?"

"Your unwilling host," replied the elf.

The redhaired man stirred, moaned, and lay still again. Outside a dog whined, and Raefindan spoke. "Jorje...?"

"Your loyal dog? He won't leave even if chased. I tied the horse and washed his wounds."

"Wounds? Is he all right? Where are the others?"

A sharp laugh. "The horse will be well; his wounds were shallow. You ask where are the ones who tied you to the horse? I know not. Nor care, if they but stay away. "

"Tied me?"

"Hands and feet. You have rope burns. Why the horse stayed here, I do not know. But you were dying, and I did not want a mannish corpse near my home."

"Dying..." Raefindan's eyes wandered around the cave. Wetness gleamed on the brown rock walls. There was no musty smell. Moss grew here and there. A chimney of sorts was cut through the rock, and there was a trickle of water into a basin near the door. The door was wooden, and needed repair.

With a lifted eyebrow, the elf wiped Raefindan's brow, face, and neck. "Your fever has broken at last. How weak you men are! You will be on your way soon, I trust."

"I can hardly move, " replied Raefindan.

"Weak indeed," muttered the elf, and went to rinse the cloth. "Yet you shall not stay."

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Old 06-09-2004, 09:51 AM   #287
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Field of Celebrant: The Elves

Erebemlin looked to Taitheneb with pleading eyes and then to the bright stars above as silently he asked Elbereth for guidance. Finally he rested his eyes on Amroth. His mighty king…so fiery of spirit and passion gazed out from this young man’s body. Sadness welled up in him as more pieces of this grand puzzle were brought forth in Amroth’s behavior. “Many songs and tales have told of the Lady Nimrodel’s misfortune and how she became lost to the world.”

Amroth tilted his head and look curiously at the elf. He opened his mouth as if to say something, but Taitheneb interrupted with a sideways glance toward Erebemlin. “Lord Amroth, you should rest. Tomorrow will be a long day, and you have still not regained your health.”

“Yes, my lord. Why don’t you lay back and rest.” Erebemlin rose and rolled a small blanket from his pack and then placed in beneath Amroth’s head. The elf wondered at how child-like the king was at this moment. Placing his hand gently on Amroth’s forehead, Erebemlin spoke a few soothing words and the king was soon soundly snoozing.

For the remainder of the evening hours, Erebemlin and Taitheneb watched the camp to let the mortals gain their strength through rest. They spoke only in thoughts to one another, contemplating the odd behaviors of Amroth and the tales of Nimrodel, until the dark sky grew pale and strands of light peaked over the horizon.
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Old 06-09-2004, 12:51 PM   #288
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Ravion's Ramblers: Ravion

Ravion's shouts and whistles trailed off as Gond disappeared from sight. "Gond!" the Ranger roared, to no avail. The horse, and Raefindan, were gone.

"We have to follow them," he said unnecessarily. Mellonin, Aeron, and Gwyllion were already prepared. "We have to start now!"

"Can we really catch up to Gond?" Gwyllion asked, a touch of panic in her voice. She was bouncing on her heels, trying to rid herself of her nervous energy. Aeron put a calming hand on her shoulder, but she merely shrugged it off. "I mean, we cannot hope to go as fast as he was going."

"He will not run too far--he was merely spooked," Ravion said hurriedly, starting off at a quick walk. His companions followed him. "Gond knows that he is not to leave without me unless I tell him to. He has been my horse for many years...I am surprised that he has not come back yet." He did not add, unless they've come across trouble.

Gond was a good horse, and well-trained. He would not leave Ravion without good cause. And good cause usually meant bad news.

Ravion broke into a run, his companions trailing a bit behind him. Despite his somewhat small stature, Ravion could make good speed running, and most people usually found it difficult to keep up. His companions, however, driven by concern for Raefindan, managed to maintain a fairly steady distance from the Ranger.

After a little while, he slowed to a walk. He knew he was following Gond's trail, but how long was it? How much distance had the horse put behind him before stopping...if he had even stopped yet? Mellonin, Aeron, and Gwyllion caught up with him, breathing heavily. Ravion did not turn around to look at them. "We may as well walk from here," the Ranger said dully. Aeron frowned deeply, and Ravion could see a protest budding on his lips. "If Gond has not stopped, we will not catch him until he does," Ravion said harshly. "And if he has stopped, we can only hope that he will not start up again, unless it is to find us. He should stay in the same place."

"He should stay in the same place," Aeron parroted angrily. "And if he does not? What then?"

Ravion said nothing for a moment, then, simply, "He will."

He started walking again, slowly, then picking up speed, but not breaking a brisk walk. There was no use in wearing himself and his companions out. Raefindan may be in danger, and if...when...they found him, they would need all their strength.

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Old 06-09-2004, 04:20 PM   #289
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Dec 21 well before dawn

They arrived at the first stream, where they had planned to make camp. But there would be no camp now. The lands were mostly flat, the night was cold and clear, and they could see a fair distance; there was no sign of Gond, Jorge, or Raefindan.

Ravion paused, and glanced back at his three weary friends. Aeron and Gwyllion met his eyes, and Aeron waved him onward. Mellonin did not look up.

They forded the stream. The water was so cold that Mellonin cried, but she did it quietly and no one knew. Gwyllion was less quiet, and Mellonin was glad; Ravion marched onward. Mellonin's legs and back ached more than ever, but she clamped her lips tight and kept up.

I should have made him stay at home.
I should have left Aeron alone.
I should have stayed calm around the horse.
Whatever befalls Raefindan I am to blame.


The stream of bent grasses went northwest through the delta. She bit her lips and tried not to think about how cold her feet were.

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Old 06-09-2004, 07:12 PM   #290
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Silmaril Raefindan

Raefindan lay back and thought about his circumstances. His head hurt from a bruise on the side. But the overwhelming sensation was loss. Maybe the dreams had come on the back of a fever, but they touched a deep part of him that he did not often pause to think upon. Mithrellas. He had come to love her! ....as Imrazor. But if she was an elf, did she still live? But that was not the core issue here. Mithrellas was Imrazor's heart's answer. Raefindan had had such a one in his life once, but no more. His eyes welled.

"Save your tears for the dead," said the elf.

Raefindan frowned at the elf. You do not know of what you speak, elf. He kept his thought to himself. He wiped his eyes and tried to sit up, with no success.

"You must remain as you are until I tell you that you are well. You humans never learn."

This elf's way was irritating. Raefindan was not given to dislike, but this elf made it hard for Raefindan to keep his peace. Maybe some pleasantness was in order.

"I am Raefindan. What is your name?"

"You have not earned the right to know it."

"How may I earn it?"

"You cannot."

So much for that. This elf reminded Raefindan of a professor he had known. A professor! He stopped himself in mid thought. Another memory. He was a student at a university! A type of school. When? Where? And what did that have to do with here? Raefindan shook his head and looked around at the rugged walls. He lay his head back and closed his eyes, and thought of his dreams.
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Old 06-11-2004, 05:57 AM   #291
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Dec 21, Dawn: Ravion's Ramblers

As the sun came up, Mellonin went down. Gwyllion called Ravion, who turned, and saw Mellonin in a heap under her pack. Aeron reached for Mellonin and swayed, struggling for balance. Gwyllion knelt by her side.

"Go on," Mellonin said. "Leave me."

Ravion slumped, and passed one hand over his brow. "You three stay and make camp, and get some sleep. Aeron, can you track me? Or can you at least follow Gond's hoofprints?"

Aeron shot him a look that said those questions did not matter. The ground they were on was nearly dry. He shrugged off his pack, lay down with his head on it and began to snore.

Mellonin, still without meeting Ravion's eye, struggled to remove her pack. Gwyllion pulled it off of her, and put it under her head, and then removed her own and lay down.

"Try and set a watch, " Ravion muttered to the three sleepers, and then he scanned the horizon. There was nothing to see but swamp and marsh stretching to the horizons.

Loosening his sword in its scabbard, he turned to follow Gond's tracks.

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Old 06-11-2004, 03:38 PM   #292
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White Tree Aeron

Sleep... How pleasant the word sounded, whispered in Aeron's mind. But that stupid ranger insisted on tracking the horse. Surely he was just as tired as they? Why did he continue to persue them when it was quite obvious there was no hope of catching them. A few extra hours would make no difference.

What was it the ranger had asked? He had asked for his help...the help of a thief. Aeron grinned. So the ranger was not too proud to ask help from scum such as himself. But...he was so tired. His legs felt as if stones were bound to them, and his eye lids struggled to close.

But if the ranger insisted on looking for that dratted horse that had carried that blasted red head away that had been bloody scared by Mellonin then he could do no less as well. His sister had taken the disappearance of Raefindan hard as well. Poor little Gwyllion...she rather liked the red haired man.

He sighed and struggled to his feet. He nudged his sister with his foot and whispered, "Get up and watch. I am going after Ravion to help him find that Raefindan."

She smiled. Aeron glowered at her and trotted after the ranger.
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Old 06-11-2004, 08:19 PM   #293
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Ravion's Ramblers: Ravion

Ravion's boots thudded dully on the packed earth. The sound echoed in his ears, and despite his attempts to whistle the same old Gondorian marching saw that he had been humming the night he had stumbled across the Seventh Star Inn, he could only hear the sound of his own boots. It was a hollow sound.

He had been to hard on Mellonin, and Gwyllion. Maybe even Aeron. Perhaps if he had not kept them to such a strict, driving schedule...what? What would have happened? Maybe Gond would not have bolted. They certainly would have gotten the encounter with the merchant over with sooner. Why couldn't he have realized sooner that he was pushing them too hard? Who was going to suffer for his mistakes?

Thud. Thud. Thud-thud.

Ravion turned around when he heard an extra pair of boots. He saw Aeron running up to him. "What are you doing here?" Ravion called, crossing his arms, though in truth he was relieved to see the boy. He had a feeling of foreboding about this mission.

"Tracking you," Aeron said. "It seems that I did a fairly good job."

Ravion smiled wanly and clapped Aeron on the shoulder. His smile then faded and he grew somber. "Mellonin and Gwyllion..."

"...can take care of themselves," Aeron finished. "They're fully capable."

"Their what?" Ravion queried, then stopped. He and Aeron fell silent, and Ravion knew that Aeron was realizing the same thing as the Ranger: the boy had picked that up from Raefindan.

"We have to find him," Ravion said quietly. Aeron nodded. "We should not waste any more time." Aeron nodded again, and they set off, trying to find Gond's hoofprints in the silent, untelling marshes.

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Old 06-12-2004, 03:59 PM   #294
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The sky loomed dark an ominously as Bellyn sat up from her bed roll. The sun had started to rise just as Bellyn had woken from her dreams. The clouds above her remained a sea of blue-grey morning, rolling like waves to some unknown place beyond the horizon and heavens. In the long, quiet minutes following, a peach-cream pink came to adorn the clouds and seep into the deep violet that had previously dominated the sky. Bellyn felt silly for feeling awed at something so simple that happened every single day, but then she became too wrapped up in noting all the colors of the sky that she could never duplicate, no matter how hard she could try mixing paints.

Soon Bellyn could see birds flying westward, racing against the warm colors of the sun that began flowing away from the east. The edges of the sky were caressed with shades of red, orange, blue, and violet until the lattermost faded into the hazy blue that lightened with every moment of sunrise. In the chill morning, every inhale tasted of fog. Bellyn sighed in the damp thickness of the air.

Shuffling noises brought Bellyn out of her reverie, and she turned around to see Argeleafa waking up. Liornung was in the process of rolling his blankets, and Ædegard was ready and itching for departure. Bellyn could see the elves watching over Amroth, with Mellon-Nethwador by their side. Bellyn wondered at the situation they had all gotten themselves into, and for a moment she wished she could just stay on a hill and watch the entire sunrise, instead of having to go off and find a long-lost love that did not even belong to her heart. Then the young artist and map-maker realized that in her former day-to-day carelessness and stagnancy, she would not have even noticed or cared about the sunrise.

"Where are we going, Argeleafa?" Bellyn asked as she began to pack up her bed roll.
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Old 06-12-2004, 05:08 PM   #295
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Shield

Argeleafa started but when she saw it was Bellyn who was speaking to her she relaxed and even smiled a little. "I apologize, Bellyn," she said. "I was thinking of something else." She reached over to help the younger girl pack her bedroll. "Where are we going?" she mused. "I really haven't the faintest idea. If you like I'll go ask Ædegard." She stood from her knees and went to the aforementioned Ædegard. Bellyn watched her with a startled but pleased expression. The past day or two Argeleafa had been more friendly... no, perhaps friendly was no the correct word. But the Rohirric maid had been more willing to speak.

"Ædegard." She tapped his shoulder and then blushed in confusion. How many times had her mother told her it was not polite to tap one's shoulder to get attention? But if she was not tapping one's shoulder she was pulling one's sleeve. It would be best, she resolved, to, in the future, keep her hands behind her back so she would not make any such mistakes.

Ædegard had turned. "Good morning, Argeleafa," he said. He did not seem to mind in the least that she had tapped his shoulder. Some people in the past had.

"Good morning, Ædegard," she replied. "Bellyn has asked me where we're going, and I don't know at all. I thought perhaps you...?"
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Old 06-12-2004, 06:48 PM   #296
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Shield Ædegard

Ædegard was greatly pleased to see Argeleafa standing before him, wseeking to talk. She was blushing, which made her cheeks rosy, which set off her blonde hair and fair complexion, not to mention red lips, quite prettily. Her hands were held behind her back, which only served to make her the more intriguing. What a fool you are, Ædegard! he said to himself.

"Good morning, Argeleafa."

"Good morning, Ædegard. Bellyn has asked me where we're going, and I do not know at all. I thought perhaps you...?"

He smiled. "I do not know. But I will ask Erebemlin and tell you what I have learned."

"Thank you." Her eyes met his briefly, then lowered with a deeper blush to her cheeks.

"How do you fare, Argeleafa? Did you sleep well?"

"I am well. And I slept well."

"Good. If you have any need, please tell me. I will go ask Erebemlin now. Would you join me?"

Her eyes widened of a sudden and her face turned pale. She shook her head, glancing at the Elf with eyes opened wide in awe. "I do not think...."

Ædegard smiled again. "It is nothing. I have seen the awe of Elves in most other folk, and I do not know why it is not so with me. I will speak with you soon."

She nodded once, met his eyes again, and blushed, a small smile coming to her lips. Then she turned and walked back to Bellyn. Ædegard heard the simple tune again, faint on the wind, as if Argeleafa was catching the words out of the air:

"Deep in my heart are you, Rohan my home,
Far from your quiet fields now I roam.
In a distant land bends my way,
But I shall return to you some day."


With light heart he walked to the Elf, humming to himself,

"Many tales I shall speak to each friend,
Of stout hearts whose words always mend,
Of loyal friends on the road I did greet,
And a maiden fair it was my joy to meet."


He came to Erebemlin.

"Good morning, mellon. Where do we go today?"
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Old 06-12-2004, 07:16 PM   #297
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Silmaril Raefindan

"Mithrellas," The Elf said.

Raefindan looked up. The Elf glowered at him from his seat. Raefindan had been thinking about his dream.

"What about her?"

"You will speak of that to me, human. She was an Elf. What cause have you to think of her?"

The Elf was reading his mind! Most unnerving! He would have to be careful not only of what he said, but what he thought! It would be the most difficult thing he had ever had to do. What if the Elf could force him to think of things he didn't want to think of?

"I dreamed of her."

"Do you know who she was, human?"

"An Elf. She served another Elf lady but lost her in the White Mountains."

"And in this dream of yours," the Elf's tone dripped contempt, "what had you to do with Mithrellas?"

Raefindan narrowed his eyes at the Elf, who was bating him, or worse.

"I think you know already."

The Elf rose and stood over Raefindan menacingly, his eyes narrowed to slits of ill feeling.

"I do indeed, human." The Elf's jaw clenched and his teeth gnashed; his voice came out soft as a hissing snake. "How dare you take an Elf to marry!" The Elf raised his arm to slap Raefindan, but he raised his arms to ward it off. The Elf grinned. "Bodily pain is too good for you." He stalked back to his seat and leveled his gaze at Raefindan, full of rage.

He dreams again, all of a sudden. The Elf forces him asleep, and dreaming, and according to the Elf's will. He is Imrazor again, and Mithrellas is the mother of his two children, a boy and a girl, but Mithrellas is changed this day. She looks at the walls of their home as if her gaze passes through them. She walks out the door; he assumes for fresh air, but minutes pass. He calls for her. There is no answer. Perhaps she has gone walking, as she does from time to time. Hours pass. He seeks her. She is nowhere to be found. She is lost to him and his heart breaks, for even as he dreams that he is Imrazor and has lost Mithrellas, he is aware that it is the Elf that forces him to see, and whispers into his dream that he never deserved her, and that he is now cursed for having taken her, and he will never know happiness again.
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Old 06-12-2004, 09:29 PM   #298
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Ravion and Aeron

"I am not entirely sure that I like this place," Ravion said darkly, shouldering his pack. Aeron glanced at him in disgust.

"Well, I am entirely sure that we have no choice but to go on," Aeron snapped. They had not been walking long, but it seemed long enough. "Raefindan is counting on us, right? So we cannot turn back."

"Did I suggest that we turn back?" Ravion exclaimed irritably, throwing his arms into the air in exasperation. Aeron shrugged, but did not reply. Ravion sighed. "I am sorry, Aeron. I just hope that we find Raefindan and Gond soon."

"Do you think his fever has broken?" Aeron asked. Ravion sighed and shook his head. "You do not think his fever has broken?" Aeron persisted, for clarification.

"I do not know," Ravion said. "He was showing no signs of coming out of his sleep. It has not been that long."

"It has been long enough for something to have happened," Aeron said. Ravion glanced at him, and the boy quickly added on to his statement: "Anything, something good included."

Ravion passed his hands over his face and through his hair, which was growing longer than he liked it. His fingers snagged in knots and tangles. Everything seemed to be falling apart: this mission, his friends, himself, physically and emotionally. With these thoughts in mind, he was not paying much attention when his foot caught on a small indentation in the ground.

He caught himself quickly, but examined the mark. "This is Gond's!" he exclaimed. He gestured for Aeron to follow him, and took off at a jog. He wanted to make sure he did not miss any of Gond's prints.

He had not gone far when he heard a low whinny. He rounded a corner and saw his horse. "Gond!" he called, and the horse looked up sharply. He gave a loud neigh, and cantered up to his master. Ravion stroked his neck and spoke into his ear. "Raefindan, Gond. Where is Raefindan?"

Gond looked at him with soulful eyes, as though to say, "We can just go. That would be fine," but turned and trotted back to a small house. Ravion turned to Aeron, putting his hand on his sword hilt meaningfully. Aeron nodded.

Slowly, Ravion approached the house. His knuckles were white as he gripped his sword. Whatever had Raefindan, if it meant any of them ill, it would meet with his sword. He looked to Aeron and mouthed a count to three, then burst into the house.

"Raefindan!" he cried as he burst through the door.

He stared at the scene ahead of him. He had not known what to expect. But he had not expected this.
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Old 06-13-2004, 01:08 PM   #299
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Silmaril Raefindan

He walks among the mountains, high above their home. He holds in his hand a tatter of her garment, which he had found hanging on a branch; torn, as if she were in too great a hurry, and could not or would not pay it mind to go back and retrieve it. Chased? Chasing another, so focused on whom she followed that she cared not to retrieve the fragment? He finds one shoe caught in a cut of rock standing up from the ground. This tells no more than the tatter. He comes to a cold, shallow lake, before which is cast off, the other shoe. She has waded or swam across to the fir tree lined far side. He follows, his clothes wet to his chest by the time he reaches the far shore. Through the trees that grow close about. He comes to a stone wall, a cliff, perhaps, for it is not made by men. There is a way through, narrow as the width of a human, or elf, walking, and it is closed overhead. He passes through, and stops. Before his feet is a gorge, and the path is just two feet wide, following the gorge to either side. To his left is an Elf, his eyes are slits, and his mouth is gritted in ill will. He knows this Elf, not by name, but by mien.

"Look down, human!"

He drops to the ground, convinced that if he walked up to the edge, the Elf would push him. He slides up to the edge and peers over the edge. Hundreds of feet below lies a body. It is she.

"No!" He raises his head, his eyes blurred with sudden tears; the Elf's features are unclear. "You pushed her over!"

"Fool. This is a dream. Have it so if you wish, but now you know her end. You deserve to know what you have done to her by winning her heart, human. You killed her."

He wept.


There was a crash. "Raefindan!" The voice was familiar to him, but he did not care. He couldn't believe that he had killed her, but his heart believed it, even if he could tell himself otherwise. His love had died. Just like the other time.

"Mithrellas!" 0h Angela!

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Old 06-13-2004, 01:31 PM   #300
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Dec 21

Raefindan lay on a bed, eyes unseeing, despair in his face. Ravion stood at the door, blade drawn. Between him and Raefindan stood a slender darkhaired elf. The elf did not smile.

"What! Has my home become a highway for ruffians and tramps? Begone, vile manling! Or perhaps you come for the sick man, " he spat.

Ravion stepped into the cave.

"His plight moves you to pity, does it not? It should. Pitiable indeed." His voice was ice cold.

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Old 06-13-2004, 01:50 PM   #301
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Erebemlin: Morning of Dec. 21

Erebemlin looked up at the young man from his position on the ground, but continued his task of packing. “Good morning, young Ædegard. We shall continue following the Anduin today. Lord Amroth believes it possible that the lady may have gone there seeking the music of its waters.”

Ædegard nodded in response and said, “I hope he is right in his thinking.”

“Aye, so do I…so do I.” Erebemlin closed his pack and rose, towering over the young man. “Can you assure the others are ready to leave? We must start early for our journey shall be long.” How long…Erebemlin was afraid to say. In his heart he felt that they would not find the lady by the river, yet something kept him from dissuading Amroth from his choice of direction…

“Yes, of course,” Ædegard answered. “They are nearly ready now.”

“Very well, then…shall we?” With those words the elf lifted his pack and readied his horse, awaiting the others to follow his lead.
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Old 06-13-2004, 07:49 PM   #302
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Morning of Dec. 21, near the Undeeps

Amroth packed Echo's saddlebags, and leaped elf-style into the saddle with less than elvish grace. Ædegard smiled wryly.

"You could mount like a normal man."

"I am not a normal man," Amroth retorted.

Ædegard glanced keenly at him, and Amroth smiled. "I would take the saddle off but that the bags are strapped to it."

"That is my father's saddle, " Ædegard replied.

Amroth's smile faded, and he nudged Echo closer to Ædegard.. "I mean your father no ill. You have been a loyal and good friend and ally, and I am in debt to you I fear beyond what I can pay."

Ædegard shrugged, and then said, "What happened to his bridle?"

"It is in the saddlebag," Amroth said, pointing.

Ædegard nodded, and walked back towards Argeleafa. Amroth watched him go.

Echo, feeling Amroth's eagerness, tossed his head and jigged. The other horses were not all so eager, and Amroth knew that the slower horses must set the pace; but he wished he could give Echo his head. The young firebrand could run well.

Fresh from a night of nearly dreamless sleep, Amroth bent his thoughts southward, and hunted along the Anduin on both sides. There was no sign of her, again. Next he scanned Dagorlad; again, there was no sign of her. With a sigh, he turned his thoughts towards Gorgoroth. There was much less darkness than he expected to find; there were only echoes of malice and shadows of shadow, hidden pockets of evil rather than brazen armies. He thought it odd, and decided to ask Erebemlin about it later.

For now all that mattered was Nimrodel.

Echo's stride lengthened steadily, til the troop was strung out at an easy run. It was not long before Erebemlin and Taitheneb took the lead, and slowed their horses, giving the group a rest. Echo snorted his ire, but Amroth hardly noticed. He could all but taste the acidic fumes and the blowing ash and dust. His stomach turned. There was far more dusty, ashen ground to search in Gorgoroth than there had been at Dagorlad. He began at the eastern extreme, and worked his was slowly westward; it seemed more hopeful than going the other way.
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Old 06-13-2004, 09:55 PM   #303
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Ravion

Ravion gripped his sword until his knuckles cracked when he heard the elf speak. Ruffians and tramps...and Raefindan spread across the bed. He looked like he had woken from his fever, but was now sleeping again, and his dreams seemed nightmarish. He extended his sword-arm towards the elf. "We have come for our friend," he said, his voice quiet but fierce.

The elf laughed mirthlessly. "Ah, his friends. You tied him to a horse and left him for dead, yet now you want him back?"

Ravion dropped his sword to the ground. "Ravion," Aeron said, quietly, warningly, anxiously. "Be careful!"

"It would benefit you to listen to your younger, wiser friend," the elf said. He glanced at Aeron briefly, then at Ravion's sword on the ground, and then back to Ravion. "Disarming yourself before a potential enemy is unwise, would you not say, Ranger?"

"I would say that I do not need my sword," Ravion said, and lunged at the elf, ignoring Aeron's alarmed cry of his name.

He tackled the elf to the ground, landing several blows before the elf regained his equilibrium. The elf, at first, merely held Ravion off, blocking his swings and evading his blows. Then Ravion managed to land one more, a good blow right to the elf's stomach. The elf grunted, and then launched into an offensive.

As Ravion fought, his thoughts raced. Who was this elf? What was he doing with Raefindan? Was he truly their enemy? He seemed hostile enough. Was that a good enough reason to attack him? He felt a blow connect soundly with his left cheekbone, and reeled. He staggered to his feet, and stumbled back into Aeron. The boy caught him and helped him regain his balance.

"Easy," Aeron said softly, his own eyes burning into the elf, who was righting himself. "The last thing we need is a fight."

"We just had one," Ravion grunted.

"Another one, I mean."

Ravion shook himself, and, picking up his sword, stood before the elf. "I was..." He stopped again. What was he supposed to say? He was not going to apologize. If the elf had been giving Raefindan aid, he should have been less hostile. "If you have helped our friend, you have my thanks. But you have not shown us yet that you should have our trust. What reason can you give me not to resume our fight, but now with my sword?"
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Old 06-14-2004, 11:51 AM   #304
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Shield Ædegard rides to Argeleafa...

Liornung noticed that Amroth was not at ease. He never had been at ease from the beginning of the journey but there was something more now. Bellyn rode not too far from him, and Nethwador at a close distance to her, watching the others warily, with an occasional fond glance at Amroth. Ædegard rode by the Elves, when the latters' horses were slowed enough for the others to catch up, and Argeleafa rode close to him yet not too close. From time to time she would cast a shy, awe-filled look towards the Elf. Liornung saw that she wanted to ride closer to Ædegard but was hesitant about going too near the Elves. Poor little girl. She just wanted someone to protect her and Ædegard had done so much in protecting them all thus far. And then Ædegard cast a look behind him, saw her hesitant expression, and slowed his mount so he was riding beside her. She blushed shyly but her expression of hesitance changed to an expression of pleasure.

"And there's something in the wind," Liornung murmured under his breath. "With Ædegard it is obvious. Argeleafa I am not so sure... She keeps so very much to herself and hides her feelings... but I have a suspicion..."

"Did you say something, Liornung?"

He turned and smiled at Bellyn. "Yes indeed, I did, though I was merely speaking to myself," said he. "The matter I was pondering is one that might have come to your attention while watching Ædegard and Argeleafa." He said no more but looked again to Amroth. The latter had often been calmed by songs, and he faintly recalled that it was his turn in the game of rhymes to sing. And so he began.

"I first saw you, sweet maid,
sitting on a lonely stone wall,
and you wept with sorrow and grief,
and heard the mourning bird's call.
I was stricken by your fair beauty;
hair of gold and skin so white,
cheeks of rosy hue and clearly
did I see your eyes so bright.


I watched as you lamented
over all your home long gone
and wept at your deep sorrow
and your mournful, haunting song.
I gently stepped up to you
and questioned you as to your sorrow
and you told me your home
you would leave behind on the morrow.


Your father will take you with him
when he leaves his home
and away with the wayfarers
he will ride off to roam.
And you would have no place
if you dared to remain
and o'er your head would be no roof
not in snow nor in rain.


And I, so stricken by your beauty
could not watch your grief
I took your hand and led you away
for in love I've always had belief.
And I asked you to wed me
and stay with me forever
to honor and to please thee
would ever be my endeavour.


And your eyes when you heard
were like stars in the night
but you turned away from me.
You did not think it would be right
for you had known me but a minute
and could not wed me for that time
but bid me court you for a month
and in that time you would be mine.


Maiden fair, I await the day
when you at last shall be mine.
All my treasures that I own,
my very heart shall be thine.
Fair maiden, how I love thee so!
Until you're mine I know no rest
so them come to me, maiden fair,
for I'm the one who loves you best."

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Old 06-14-2004, 02:07 PM   #305
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noonof Dec. 21

Nethwador listened to Liornung's song, and watched Lady Bella's face; she smiled, sometimes, and sighed sometimes. She did not stray far from Liornung's side. In the front of the group, Echo's cream-colored mane and tail and the flowing golden hair of Erebemlin contrasted with the dark hair of Amroth... Dark hair like mine. It was a happy day when I found Amroth.

And Bella's hair was dark too. Riding a little behind her, he watched how her hair shimmered in the wind, and wished he could comb it for her.

Liornung finished his song, and Bella smiled at him.

I will learn to sing. Perhaps then she will smile at me.


'******************


They halted at noon and unbridled the horses while they ate. Erebemlin spoke to Echo, and halted him; Amroth was glad. He looked down at the nearby river as one awaking from a dream, and at the relief of seeing green grass he dismounted, reached down and caressed it.

"You are weary, my lord Amroth." Erebemlin's face was grave. In answer, Amroth lay down and gazed into the heavens.

"You must eat. We will bring you fruit, lembas, and river water. Perhaps you should taste miruvor as well."

Amroth raised his hand. "I need not eat. I have eaten ash all morning."

Erebemlin shook his head. "Breathe the river-air, my lord, for dine you must or you will ail again. Rest now."

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Old 06-14-2004, 02:31 PM   #306
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Shield

Liornung cast his eyes over their company as they sat for their lunch, and he smiled in deep fondness. Rarely had he met such interesting personalities, such kind and open personalities. At least kind. Argeleafa was not open to them. Not yet. And they could all sing, too. A trace of smugness crept into his smile then. All of the company had sung at least once... except Nethwador. In truth he had never heard Nethwador even speak. Liornung had made friends more or less with all the members of the company except Nethwador. He had half-ignored the boy. It was difficult to make friends with him, though. He was fond of Bellyn and Amroth, but of the others he was suspicious.

But it was no matter. Liornung had been in the company of the suspicious before.

He drew forth his fiddle from his pack and smiled at Bellyn, who was sitting close to him. She looked up into his face and returned the smile, the expression on her face half-questioning as she wondered if he would sing again. Liornung gestured to Argeleafa; shyly she came to him. Liornung smiled smugly again. This was the way he was meant to be... seated upon the grass with people gathered about him, looking earnestly up into his face and hoping for some show of his music. He set his fiddle on his knee and held it as one might hold a lute. "Well, lassies, have you ever heard a fiddle played in such a manner as this?" His fingers sought out the strings and placed themselves upon them. The bow lay untouched on the ground beside him. He ran the nails of his right hand down over the four strings of the fiddle. "See, I can play like a lute, only it brings a more careless, airy, childish sound. Listen." He began strumming an amusing little tune and soon began to sing.

"Oh there's an old man upon the road
panting under his weary load!
Mamma, mamma, mamma dear,
let the old man come in here.
La-dee-dally, mamma dear,
let the old man come in here."

"Oh there's a poor dog in the evening late.
By his thinness I fancy he hasn't ate.
Mamma, mamma, mamma dear,
let the poor dog come in here.
La-dee-dally, mamma dear,
let the poor dog come in here."


He stopped and was delighted with the laughter of the two girls. "It's an old song I used to sing when I was a child," he said, "and some children of Rohan sing it even now. It's very long and about all the unfortunate people the boy in the song sees. It begins with the old man in the morning and ends with the dog in the evening. Out of the goodness of her heart the mother lets them come in and at the end the house is full. I'll sing you the whole song someday, but I cannot now. It is very long and it has been many years since I last sang it. I would have to bring it back to my memory."

Ædegard, not too far away, was chuckling over the song and Liornung heard. He looked over the rest of the company to see if any others had enjoyed his song, and his eyes fell on Nethwador, who had been listening intently and gazing at Bellyn. He suddenly felt an urge to befriend this lad. He had a nephew who he fancied would someday be a bard, and he enjoyed teaching him in his spare time. Perhaps Nethwador would enjoy learning the art of the fiddle. Gesturing, he called softly, "Mellon... Nethwador! Come here and sit with us and I will teach you to play the fiddle."
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Old 06-14-2004, 02:50 PM   #307
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Noon of Dec. 21

Nethwador jumped up and his dark brown eyes flew open wide. The whites of his eyes shone against his tanned skin, and he drew away at first. Then he paused.

Taitheneb spoke. "He offers to teach you music."

Eagerness grew, wrestling with a deep-rooted wariness. His eyes darted from Liornung to Taitheneb, and back, and then to lady Bella. She sat still, watching.

Liornung beckoned with his hand. "He's just as wild has he was before we got to Lorien."

"No," whispered Bella. "Not quite."

Taitheneb spoke again. "Liornung will teach you music, if you will learn it from him."

Nethwador took one cautious step towards the three sitting on the grass, and another, eyes flicking often between Taitheneb and Liornung. His every muscle was taut.

"Pig? Feh. He's more like a wolf, " muttered Ædegard.

Nethwador inched steadily closer, and Liornung hummed a few more verses to pass the time. Finally Nethwador stood five feet away, and halted, eyes darting between Liornung and Bella.

They were all startled to hear Amroth's voice ring out. "If they hurt you, I will beat them myself. Sit down, and hold the viol as gently as you would hold a bird."

Nethwador looked toward Amroth. The tautness left his body and the fear left his eyes. Straightening, he nodded, and stepped forward, and sat down crosslegged between Liornung and Bella. He looked from his face to hers, and then at the ground.

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Old 06-14-2004, 03:28 PM   #308
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White Tree

A splash awoke Gwyllion from her deep sleep. A fish maybe? A great fish with bugging eyes, white flesh, and cruel, jagged teeth? She shuddered. Or could it be something worse? And if it was something worse, was it better to roll over and go to sleep, thus presenting an easy target if it happened to be hungry, or to go and face it straight on, with an imaginary sword in hand?

She struggled to her feet and stumbled forward as her legs loosened. Soft, white mists curled from the swamp, and it reeked with a foul smell. Clouds of blood sucking winged insects scuttled away and the chirping of the frogs wavered, and then faded.

She shivered, hoping that her presence had cowed them to silence. But...birds did not silence themselves within forests when she appeared.

Splash

She tried to laugh. 'Twas nothing. Hopefully. Probably not. No, it could not be nothing. Did fish live in swamps anyway? She could not remember.

Something black slithered through the scraggling weeds. A snake...an innocent harmless snake. Snakes were nasty creatures. They crushed their prey and stuck their forked tongues out at you. She moved her foot away.

The black thing lunged at her, curling itself about her ankle, dragging her foot into the murky water. Gwyllion screamed as she glimpsed the massive, shimmering black head of a monstrous brute.

Her skin burned and she felt her muscles relax, whispering, like a lover, of sleep and relaxation. It was useless to struggle....struggling could not help her...

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Old 06-14-2004, 03:40 PM   #309
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Shield

Liornung regarded Amroth gravely and gave the slightest nod of his head. "Thank you, Lord Amroth," he said, and turned to Nethwador. Gently and slowly he took Nethwador's hands and placed the fiddle in them, as though he were using the utmost care to give a child some candy, a child that was frightened and did not know he meant good. And just as gently and slowly he guided Nethwador's hands to hold the fiddle. "Now put it to your shoulder," he said softly, "or rather so it is more between your shoulder and your throat. Hold it with the left hand as this; you will have balance of your fiddle as well as being able to play the notes on the strings with ease. Put your chin here." Liornung taught him with great patience, but he was surprised to see that Nethwador understood perfectly and acted to his instructions with remarkable swiftness.

Liornung gestured to Bellyn, who gave him the bow, and he placed it in Nethwador's right hand. "Now hold it like this," he said, "and try not to touch the hairs with your fingers. Now run the bow gently over this string here, at this spot." Nethwador did as he was instructed and while the note was clear and distinct the sound was rather scratchy. Liornung nodded approval but Nethwador looked confused. "It's all right, lad," said Liornung. "You cannot expect it to sound wonderful the first time. In time you will produce as clear and fine a note as I, if not more so. And now let me show you how to play these other notes...." Some time passed as he did this and as Nethwador practiced, and then at last Liornung nodded. "Now you will play those notes again and again in that order while Bella sings," he said. "You will not be playing the tune of her song, but you will provide a lovely accompaniment."

"Which song is it you wish me to sing?" questioned Bella.

"The one you sung before," Liornung replied. "It ran thus..."

"Hark where the night is falling,
Hark hear the pipes a-calling!
Loudly and proudly calling down through the glen....


"And so on. Will you sing it?"

She nodded, and Liornung spoke to Nethwador once again. "Play the notes in the order I showed you as an introduction. After you play them once continue on, but after that first time through Bellyn will begin to sing. Now..." Nethwador glanced at Bellyn and then began. The sound was still scratchy at some times, and wispy at the others, but the noise was sweet to Liornung's ears. He had taught many young people how to play the fiddle but every time it was a joy. When Nethwador played the notes the first time round and then continued on as Bellyn began to sing. All of the company fell silent to listen, and when Bellyn's voice ceased to sing Nethwador played the notes twice again before letting the last note dwindle away. Tears were openly in Argeleafa's eyes, and there was a suspicious glint in Liornung's own eyes. He ducked his head and ran a hand across his face, and when he looked up his eyes were dry. He smiled and said one word. "Beautiful."
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Old 06-14-2004, 08:24 PM   #310
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noon of Dec. 21

Nethwador sat quite still, holding the viol under his chin, yet gently as if holding a bird. His eyes flicked toward Amroth, and then toward Taitheneb, who had been translating with osanwe for Nethwador the entire lesson. Then he looked toward lady Bella, who had handed him the bow. She smiled, nervously.

Slowly, as if Bella were a bird that might fly away, he lowered the bow and offered it to her. She glanced at Liornung, who nodded, and Bella accepted it.

She was surprised when the fiddle followed the bow, and began to protest. But moving slowly and gently, Nethwador shifted til he knelt beside her, and guided the fiddle til it rested under her chin. Liornung laughed, and then shot a suspicious glance at Taitheneb; but Taitheneb looked surprised too; it was Amroth who seemed to take no notice.

Nethwador was indeed treating Bella as gently as if she were a bird... a tiny, delicate bird. Liornung watched closely but did not intervene while Nethwador repeated his own lesson to Bella, and she learned the same notes.

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Old 06-14-2004, 08:28 PM   #311
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Dec 21: Mellonin

Deep in her dreams Mellonin heard a scream, and she moaned. Not more torment! Drowning... another drowning dream. She heard gurgling noises, and struggled to wake, to escape the dream, to breathe again. She sat up gasping for breath.

But the screams had not stopped, nor the splashing. She struggled to her feet barely in time to see Gwyllion disappear beneath the water.

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Old 06-14-2004, 09:48 PM   #312
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Liornung gazed in complete awe as Nethwador gently instructed Bellyn. He seemed to know exactly what he was doing, and it was plain to see the joy the boy felt in teaching the Lady Bellyn. He had never ventured to move so close to her before, and know he knelt right beside her. She seemed tense at his nearness but was slowly becoming absorbed in her lesson.

It was a beautiful picture the two made... both were like little birds, more than a little afraid of each other. If either one made a sudden move the other would flit away in panic. But both were acting very quiet and gentle and soft, so as not to frighten the other. Liornung found he could not think of anything to say to encourage the two in their lesson, so he merely fell back quietly to sit beside Argeleafa, who had moved closer to Ædegard to ask him what he had thought of the song.

He would sit and wait. He would not intervene on the lesson but would see how it played out. He did not wish to disturb the two little birds. It was too fair a sight.
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Old 06-15-2004, 10:51 AM   #313
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Bellyn did not dare move with haste, and only moved when Nethwador instructed her to do so. The notes did not come out clear, and Bellyn almost felt embarrassed when the scratchy, rought notes flowed out into the air. The notes came out slow and steady as Nethwador guided Bellyn's hand that held the bow. Bellyn did not learn as quickly as the dark boy had, and this flustered the Gondorian girl, for she could feel all the eyes of her companions on her and Nethwador.

She practiced the notes Nethwador had taught her slowly, and the boy nodded as she recited the sounds. If she made a mistake, she searched valiantly for the right note, using only her ears until Nethwador would kindly and timidly step in to rearrange her left hand on the fingerboard. Bellyn did not understand the music that came out of the little fiddle, for she did not understand music as Liornung did. She did not know how the music came out of the wooden thing, and why the notes sounded so well together. Yet somehow the music sounded lovely and felt wonderful in her hands instead of within her own voice.

Nethwador gestured his hands for Bellyn to pick up speed in the little tune, and gradually Bellyn played the same tune Nethwador had. Her version just sounded a bit more screeching and, to Bellyn, less pleasing to hear. When Bellyn had played the tune a few times over, she slowly pulled the fiddle from its resting place between her chin and shoulder. She looked to Nethwador and smiled happily, pleased that she could actually pull a tune out of something so complicated and also appreciative of her teacher.

"Now, if only we had two of these," Bellyn examined the viol with a great grin on her face. "Would that not be wondrous? It would sound lovely and harmonious, I imagine, having two playing the tune. Liornung and Nethwador could play..." Bellyn paused, looking away from Nethwador and the fiddle for just a moment. "...and Argeleafa could sing! It would lighten our hearts and lift our spirits, certainly."
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Old 06-17-2004, 10:45 AM   #314
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noon of Dec. 21

Nethwador did not move, basking in lady Bella's smile. He could not remember when he had been so happy.

I can never repay you.

Amroth smiled. No, you cannot. But she has, with the smile she has given you. I am content.

I wish I knew her language. Can you not teach me? Can you not speak through me to her?

Amroth's smile faded. You must show her your heart without words. I will not speak through you. He smiled again. Yet you need not fear, if you continue as gently as you have begun.

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Old 06-17-2004, 04:09 PM   #315
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Tolkien

Obviously the hostile elf was at a loss for words. What was it the elf had said? Some vile insinuation about them being friends with Raefindan. "Well," said Aeron, plopping himself upon the floor and curling his feet under him, "I do believe it is a bit unfair of you to say that we are poor friends. Do you know the circumstances of the situation? I think not. Maybe it was a complete accident and that the horse -- blast his stupid brains -- just trotted --"

Ravion nudged him and mutted, "Galloped.."

"Eh, that's right -- galloped away." Aeron stopped and glanced at Raefindan. He was inclined to believe that the elf had been helping him just because he was simply an elf. Would an elf let a man die? Aeron rolled his eyes up and considerred...no...that would be against the elf's nature, wouldn't it? Of course it would...

"I say --" he stopped and blushed. Yet another of Raefindan's odd, but pleasant sayings..."I say --" it felt good to say it and deserved to be said more than once -- "why don't we just sit down like a couple of gallant lords, and talk this over calmly. Normally I am not one to cry nay to a fight, but fights are so time consuming and you being an elf and all it just wouldn't be right."
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Old 06-17-2004, 06:09 PM   #316
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Tolkien Raefindan

"Where are Mellonin and Gwyllion?" Raefindan asked.

He was greatly relieved at the presence of Ravion and Aeron, and was pleased that they were getting along well; at least, as well as could be expected. Raefindan suppressed a chuckle at Aeron's I say. But Raefindan's mood was not light. This Elf had invaded his mind, and showed him things he wished he did not know. But of greatest concern was the safety of the women. Or girls. He would have to ask them what they wished to be called, then laughed at himself at the obvious answers: Mellonin and Gwyllion. A rose by any other name and all that.

Ravion answered him. "They wait for us some way back."

"It is not safe to leave them so," Raefindan said, flicking a glance at the most unsafe creature he could remember having met, which wasn't such a great stretch considering his general loss of memory. In fact, the only person he had to compare the Elf to was the merchant, who was small fries compared to the Elf. Small fries? What were fries? No image came to mind to provide a clue. He struggled to his feet. "We need to go back and find them." He eyed the Elf.

"Go on with you then, and take your foolish, mannish hungers with you. You shall not die, though these your friends almost killed you."

"Almost killed!" Aeron was on his feet in a moment. "You do not know the circumstances! You have no right to judge!"

"Pray do not tell me your so called sir come stances, for I care not how you humans name each other, nor how you come and go, nor where you stand, as long as it is outside the walls of my home."

Raefindan grinned at Aeron's use of the word. That which surrounds the current stance. He knew that he could never explain how such a word could mean such a thing, but there it was, and he agreed with the Elf this time.

"Let us leave here, friends."

"Aye," said Ravion. "We came to find you and Gond-"

"And Jorje!" Aeron grinned.

Ravion smirked. "-and Jorje, and have found the three of you. Let us return to Mellonin and Gwyllion."

Ravion led them outside.
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Old 06-18-2004, 08:40 AM   #317
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Dec 21

"Gwyllion!"

Melonin ran to the water's edge, looking this way and that. The water was black and there was no sign of Gwyllion.

Mellonin's thoughts raced. Bubbles! The bubbles will tell me where she is!

But there were no bubbles to be seen. Horror rooted her to the ground; panic rose in her heart. She screamed, but there was no one to hear.

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Old 06-19-2004, 09:35 AM   #318
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Ravion's Ramblers: Ravion

"We were fortunate that Gond had not gone any further," Ravion said, trying to sound somber, but unable to keep the smile off his face, or the relief out of his voice. "We were tracking Gond's hoofprints. If he had kept going, we might never have found you."

"Your tracking senses do not extend to inside houses?" Aeron asked jovially. Ravion glanced at him sideways.

"I would be able to find you, so put whatever thoughts you have of running off out of your mind, and--"

He broke off abruptly as they neared the campsite. "Where is Gwyllion?" he asked, his voice tense and a terrible feeling of panic growing in him. "Mellonin? Gwyllion? Answer me!"

"Ravion!" Mellonin's cry carried over to where the men were standing, and Ravion, throwing Gond's lead to Aeron, raced over to her. There was Mellonin, but still no sign of Gwyllion...

"Where is Gwyllion?" Ravion asked, trying to keep his own panic in check. Mellonin was shaking, and if both of them were unable to do anything...

"There," Mellonin replied vaguely, waving her hand over the edge of the water that she was standing in front of. "I cannot see anything. I cannot find her."

Ravion looked at the water anxiously. "Raefindan! Aeron!" he bellowed, and heard them come running. He looked once more at the water, then turned to Mellonin. "When they come, tell Aeron to join me. Do not let Raefindan! He is not strong enough yet."

He took one deep breath, closed his eyes, and dove into the water.

The water felt icy as he started swimming, trying to open his eyes despite of the dirt and cold. He could not see anything. He surfaced for air, gasping. "Anything?" Mellonin called.

"Not yet," Ravion called back. He dove back under.

He could not see anything. A constricted feeling tightened his chest, born both of frustration and of his inexperience in swimming. He had started back up when something brushed his ankle.

He thrashed around for a moment in panic, then calmed down. He surfaced briefly, ignoring this time Mellonin's call, and went under. This time he forced himself to open his eyes, and saw...something. A large black shape, and a smaller shape. Vague, certainly, but at least it was something. He tried to tred the water for a moment, attempting to get a better picture. He squinted, trying to see...

...something caught his ankle. It wrapped itself around him, jerking him down suddenly. Fighting against it, Ravion managed to surface for a moment. "Aeron!" he cried, and only managed to take one deep breath before the creature pulled him under again.
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Old 06-19-2004, 10:16 AM   #319
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December 20: Taitheneb

Taitheneb leaned back in the grass with his weight on one elbow. Slowly he nibbled on a small piece of lembas bread while he watched the young people with the musician’s instrument. Throwing a glance over his shoulder he saw Erebemlin stretched out on his back looking to the sky. Taitheneb followed his gaze. A few wispy clouds glided across the heavens, but the younger elf was more interested in watching the young humans. “They have..." The elf paused to find the right word for his thoughts. "...harmony. Do you see it?” He whispered over his shoulder, but kept his eyes on Nethwador and Bellyn.

Erebemlin shook his head as though he were pulling his thoughts from somewhere else. “What, mellon? Harmony? Who?”

“The young ones…have you not seen the way they have worked together here.”

Erebemlin pushed himself up to his elbows and looked to the group of mortals. He saw them sitting while Nethwador and the lady Bellyn produced rough notes upon Liornung’s fiddle.

Taitheneb waited until he knew the other elf was looking and then continued. “They move together like a dance. Each is afraid of the other, yet enchanted in a way that they cannot remove themselves.”

Erebemlin shook his head again and chuckled slightly. “You care too much for the ways of the mortals, mellon.”

Taitheneb turned and studied Erebemlin’s face. He opened his mouth as if to speak and then quickly closed it, returning his gaze to the young humans. The elf knew Erebemlin had never married, nor found a love beyond his duty. Taitheneb on the other hand understood the beauty and wonder of eternal love…not that these young humans had found this sort of love, but they may if they continue to work and grow together.

Now Taitheneb lay back, putting his head on the prickly grass. Closing his eyes he pictured Gwaewen’s smooth and glowing face. Her eyes had always lit up when she saw him, and he would tremble when she held his hand. He missed her terribly, but he knew they would meet again upon the shining shores. Until then, he would patiently wait, feeding on his memories.

Whether he had lain there a very few minutes or an hour when Taitheneb felt a gently hand on his arm, he knew not. Opening his eyes he found, Erebemlin kneeling over him. “We must be on our way,” he said simply. Taitheneb nodded and rose. Within minutes the company had returned to their horses and was moving at a quick pace along the river.

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Old 06-19-2004, 03:27 PM   #320
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Dec 21: Mellonin **preceeding post should be Dec 21 not 20**

Mellonin stood frozen on the bank, her heart in her mouth, staring at the circles on the water where Ravion had just gone under.

Do something, fool!

Far in the distance, she heard Aeron running. He had heard Ravion call. She could hear Aeron's labored breathing, and she turned; he seemed so very far away. She must do something. She looked down at her waist. Knife. I have my knife. But what good is that--

Something moved near her foot. She gasped as her foot went out from under her; inhaled a great breath to scream-- and the waters closed over her head as the tentacle pulled her under as well. Another tentacle wrapped itself around her thighs.

She remembered her knife. She drew it, and feeling with her left hand, began to slash with all her strength at the thing that held her thighs. The water grew darker. The grip around her thigh was loosening! It was gone. She curled up toward her ankle, feeling with her left hand, and stabbed at it again and again. Suddenly its strength was gone, and she was free. None too soon, for she could hold her breath no longer.

She kicked downward, but her foot sank into mud. She wrenched it loose, and kicked at the water, and kicked again, and broke the surface gasping for breath.

Beside her the water churned, and she saw Ravion's cloak. She gasped for breath, and took hold of the cloak. With one more breath she put her face in the water and pulled herself down hand over hand along his cloak. Beside her Aeron splashed into the water, and she felt a jab of pain in her arm. She pulled herself down further. Ravion was thrashing, and she saw a dark-grey arc of movement. His sword. She dodged away, and went to his left; she pulled herself down along his tunic, his belt. There was a thick tentacle wrapped around his waist. Aeron was beside her, kicking, and she saw his blade too; she moved away to Ravion's back. She was getting dizzy, and wanted only to breathe. She hacked at the tentacle around Ravion's waist. The water grew blacker still. She felt with her left hand, and hacked again.

She had to breathe. She let go, hating herself, and surfaced. She felt her foot kick something that yeilded.

Beside her Ravion came up. She reached for his shirt as he reached for her, and they both nearly went under again, but he pulled her towards shore. Aeron came up next. Mellonin's foot kicked something again; it yelded again. It felt solid. She looked down, but the water was black.

"Gwy--" She tried to point down. "Gwyl--"

Aeron dove. Seconds later he surfaced with a handful of his sister's hair, and swam hard for shore.

Aeron dragged his sister onto the tussocky shore as Ravion and Mellonin crawled out on all fours and collapsed. Ravion sucked in several breaths and then said "Further. Still too close." They crawled til he was content, and then collapsed again. Aeron dragged his sister up beside them, and sat down, holding her and wiping the reeds from her face and hair.

"Gwyllion, " he pleaded. " Gwyllion, wake up. Listen to me. Gwyllion, wake up. Gwyll!"

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