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Old 05-10-2004, 10:07 PM   #201
alaklondewen
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Lorien: Celegtâl

Celegtâl waited as Caranduin descended and met him on the ground, then the pair strode to the group. “Be forewarned,” Caranduin’s voice was firm, and his grey eyes flashed. “If you as much as show a hint of hostility toward us, you will not live to regret it.”

Celegtâl did not look toward his companion, but placed his hand over his dagger. To be honest, the elf did not wish to do battle against these mortals, especially being outnumbered, and he hoped Taitheneb was lurking nearby, in case they found themselves in need of another hand.

“Tell us more of this Gondorian blacksmith, Sir Ædegard. You say he believes he is the Lord Amroth?” Celegtâl lowered his hand from his dagger and stepped closer to Ædegard.

“Yes, sir. He claims to be.”

Celegtâl tried to touch the edge of Ædegard’s thoughts, but the Rohirrim kept his mind closed. He was distrustful, and most rightly so. Celegtâl respected this as he himself trusted very few. “The lass mentioned two that you pursue, yet you only speak of one. What of the second?”

“He is a boy, a teenager, from the wandering peoples. He accompanied Amroth when he rode from our camp this morning.” Seemingly predicting the next line of questioning, Ædegard continued, “we followed their tracks here, sirs.”

Celegtâl nodded and turned to Caranduin. “What do you make of this?” He whispered in his companion’s ear.

“I believe he speaks the truth. No deception lies in his voice or expression.” Caranduin glanced at the group before continuing. “I feel the real concern lies in the blacksmith. We cannot allow a disillusioned man leeway in the forest, especially one that claims the kingship.”

Celegtâl remained silent a moment and piecing together what he had heard. “You may enter the forest, but only with our guidance. We will take you to Erebemlin. He watches over the forest, and if your blacksmith is here, he will know of it.”

~*~*~*~
Orual's post: Erundil

Erundil stepped forward. "If I may, sir...?" he began. The elf nodded. "I am not a companion of the blacksmith. Perhaps I should take my leave now."

Celegtâl looked at him for a long moment, as though trying to divine his intentions. "I am a Ranger, and must go back to my work," Erundil continued. He didn't add that all this talk of the blacksmith made him uncomfortable.

Finally, Celegtâl nodded. "Be on your way," he said. Erundil bowed, turned to the company, and bowed again. Then he left, going to his horse.

He would do well to tell his fellow Rangers of this straightaway. Who would be out?

As he nudged his horse to a canter, it hit him. Ravion! Ravion was always out. He would find him, and tell him of this matter...

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Old 05-11-2004, 12:52 PM   #202
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The Flet: Dec 16

Chalk walls, covered with ash. Daylight filtering through low-hanging mist, coming to rest on a layer of dust. Nothing green; nothing blue; nothing gold or silver; only grey, turning to black with nightfall. Bones, skulls, rotted teeth scattered about. No decay; there is nothing left to decay. Even the air is dead.

Amroth muttered and grew restless. Erebemlin turned to Nethwador, but the boy had already crawled to Amroth's side, and was hurriedly speaking to Amroth and trying to calm him. Amroth struggled in his sleep.

Taitheneb had departed with the other elf, and now Erebemlin wished that he hadn't. Erebemlin considered calling him back.

"Lord Amroth must rest, Nethwador; yet if his dreams are evil, will his body gain strength?" Erebemlin hesitated. The redness of Amroth's skin had only turned darker, his pulse was pounding in his veins, and he had begun to sweat. Erebemlin stepped to the edge of the talan and drew breath to call Taitheneb. But there was no need. The elf was running back along the path.

"Wake him!"

Erebemlin strode to Amroth's side, shook him and spoke his name. He heard Taitheneb climbing the ladder in haste, and in moments Taitheneb knelt by Amroth's side. "My lord, wake. Lord Amroth!" He placed his hand on the young man's brow, and spoke to him, calling him. Taitheneb's face grew strained, and he trembled. Just as abruptly he released Amroth and sat back, wide-eyed. Amroth now lay quiet and still. Nethwador still chattered at him, til Erebemlin touched his finger to his lips.

"Taitheneb, speak," said Erebemlin.

"He drowned, " said Taitheneb, who had turned pale. "Dusty, filled with dry choking ash. He drowned in death. The dust of mortal decay filled his breast, and he drowned. I heard his cry, and then it was cut off."

Erebemlin glanced at Amroth; his pulse still thudded in his veins. "He lives."

"I heard his cry and it was the cry of one who departs this land." Taitheneb stared at the young man's body, at a loss.

"Why does he lie quiet now?" asid Erebemlin.

"Call him, Silmaethor. He has despaired. You are stronger than I."

Erebemlin studied Taitheneb, and gathered his courage. Taitheneb had braved the lord's dark dreams; he could do no less. He returned to Nethwador's side, and laid his hand on Amroth's brow.

Dust... grey, choking listlessness. The days wear on, each like the last, grey, grim, silent, choked with ash and mist. Each step is like the last; each breath is like the last. What is joy? It is all but forgotten in the grey ash. Where did it go? What was hope? Did I have joy? Did I have hope? Why did it leave me?
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Old 05-11-2004, 02:43 PM   #203
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Mellonin shrank backward, shaking, as Raefindan and Ravion glared at the merchant and his henchman. She went back to Gond, around to his far side, and leaned her face against his neck. She was still shaking.

"What quest?" prodded the henchman.

Ravion looked reluctant to speak, and Raefindan was still pondering his last outburst.

"Tell us of this quest, " said the merchant, sipping his tea, "if it is not another lie."

Mellonin's head snapped up, and she returned from behind the horse. "I am looking for my brother, " she said, meeting the marchant's eyes.

"Your brother. And who might that be, Lord Fingon?" mocked the merchant.

"He goes by the name Mellondu, " she said.

"Oh, but of course. We are all friends here. Especially of Lord Fingon!" The henchman laughed.

A flush rose in Mellonin's face. "He is seventeen. He left the city three weeks past, and we have not heard from him since, although we have news of his trail."Her eyes flicked toward Ravion. Should she let him speak? No; this was her quest, her missing brother. Her voice strengthened. " He is like me in voice and stature."

"Oh ho, he's pretty too!" laughed the henchman. "Why would he want to return home?"

The merchant smirked, and began to laugh.

'He is a boy like this one, " Mellonin gestured at Aeron. "He is no traveller. His strength at the forge will do him little good on the road."

"A blacksmith! A girl-faced delicate little blacksmith!" Ravion's face grew white. But his anger was slower than Mellonin's. She stepped forward and now her eyes sparked with anger.

"It is plain you care little for your fellow men," she hissed at him.

"Men? You speak of boys! Like this one!"

Something tugged at the back of Mellonin's mind, and she turned. The black horse grazed nearby, his saddle and bridle gleaming, his burnished coat reflecting the sun's fire. She stepped calmly to the black steed and grasped its headstall.

"Unhand my horse," said the merchant in a ice-cold voice.

"So! You value your horse. More than a man?" she replied.

"Do not touch him!"

She drew her dagger, and meeting the merchant's eyes, she reached her dagger-hand down towrads the horses' tendon. Unconcerned, the horse chewed his mouthful of grass and looked calmly at its master, but the master was now anything but calm. Both the master and the henchman stood enraged yet rooted to the ground.

Ravion fitted an arrow to his bow; Raefindan belatedly did likewise and stepped back, thought better of it and stepped closer. But Ravion was not aiming at the men. He was aiming at the great black stallion.

"I'll have your head! Do not harm him! You will pay for this!"

"Then leave us, " Mellonin cried, bringing her dagger back up near the horse's throat. "Leave us now! And do not trouble us again, or we will shoot your horse on sight! Leave us now!"
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Old 05-11-2004, 03:24 PM   #204
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Tolkien

With a snarl, the merchant leaped onto his horse, drove his heels into his flanks, and dashed away from them, disappearing over a nearby knoll. Behind him he could hear the thudding of his servan'ts hooves. To think that a ragtag group had first of all taken a thief under their wing, second of all refused to return the necklace, and third of all threatening his steed -- he reigned the stallion in gently and dismounted. With loving hands he carressed the broad withers and inspected the neck. If there was so much as a puncture mark that girl -- nay, the Lord Fingon would pay in equal blood.

As for the Lord -- he was no more man than he was nobility, of that the merchant was sure. Turning to his servant who had stopped beside him, he said, "I do not believe that was a lord. If nobility, Fingon would have been a lady."

The servant nodded.

"The flesh of the cheek was too smooth, was it not?"

Again a nod.

"The step too light?"

The nod.

"Her spirit too delicate?"

A snort instead of a nod. "A true lord would have either thrown himself within the fray, or else let you and the ranger fight it out like men. Did you hear her squeak like a frightened child and did you see her hand tremble?"

"Yes. See how easily you call the lord a she? It must have been a girl...a peasant girl at that. Her hands has seen years of hard work and callouses to have been newly traveling."

"My master," said the servant, rubbing his aquiline nose, "why would the brother of a lord be a blacksmith?"

A toothless smile stretched across the merchant's thin face. Why indeed?
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Old 05-11-2004, 03:31 PM   #205
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Mellonin, Raefindan, and Ravion stood, watching, as the two horses thundered over the hill, but then the galloping stopped. They waited. Aeron put his arms around Gwillion, and hushed her, but she only shivered harder and drew closer to him for warmth.
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Old 05-11-2004, 04:45 PM   #206
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Bellyn hushed herself as Ædegard spoke with the strangers. She felt only slightly better with Liornung close by her side, and Argeleafa behind her. Something about the woods and the strange archer men scared the life and cheer out of her. Or perhaps it was not fear, but some sort of awe that captivated her and kept her in constant rapture. The colors of the leaves were not like any she had ever seen, and held a hue and life that Bella had never used or tried to paint. The rays of sun falling through the treetops and revealing particles of dust had never been sketched by Bella's hand. This is why I am here! Bellyn thought anxiously, the lack of confidence still showing on her face.

Looking to the archers, the ones that had 'frightened' her so, Bella found a new and even more glorious energy. She longed to capture their expressions and how they seemed youthful but wise and old in some other way. All the new surroundings and exotic sights reminded Bellyn why she loved drawing and painting so much. Bellyn felt a desire to capture the moments in time and always wanted to be able to remember the feelings of the picture.

"Liornung, this is such a strange place," Bella whispered, her voice quavering with a mix of excitement and apprehension. "I had not noticed it at first, but now that the arrows are down and my eyes are open to not just the threat of death, I can see how different everything looks! Is it not strange how much more comforted I feel thinking about colors and images, though I keep in my heart his warning that we are being watched?"

"It is no more strange than when I feel comforted at a familiar tune," Liornung replied softly, patting Bella's shoulder again. Bella smiled and became more aware of the songs of birds after Liornung's comment. "But I am still open to hearing new songs. This strangeness, I think, comes from when we realize that the things that comfort us so almost make us forget about the other beauties of the world."

"Yes. I suppose. I do not think I will let my comfort in old colors and sights keep me from seeing the new ones any more." Bellyn said decisively. "But all these new colors cannot keep me from wondering how Amroth and Mellon fare..."

"We shall know soon enough how Amron and Melloth fare, Bella," Argeleafa piped up from behind Bellyn and Liornung, with a grin wide on her face. Bellyn blushed at the reminder of her fumbling speech.

"Soon!" Bellyn agreed.
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Old 05-11-2004, 08:07 PM   #207
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Anorien: Ravion

As the merchant and his servant rode away, seething, Ravion took his arrow from his bow and stuck it into the ground before his feet. "As good here as it would be in your back. You are a waste of an arrow," he shouted after the merchant.

The retreating villains were not the only ones who were seething. Ravion had tried to keep his temper during the skirmish, not wanting to escalate the tensions, and certainly not wanting to slip in an ill-timed word after Raefindan's bargain. Perhaps the man had more to learn about archery, but he was certainly a soothing presence, and there was a bond between the red-haired man and Mellonin. Ravion could not afford to lose him. But still, it had been a bitter struggle, and one narrowly won. A victory was a victory, though, he supposed...

He turned to Aeron with sharp words ready on his tongue, but saw the boy huddled with his sister, calming her. The words died, and the tip of Ravion's anger dissolved. He was by no means pacified, but he now was conscious of the cold, uncomfortable silence that had fallen, like the chill before a hurricane.

Mellonin was shaking. Ravion realized that her role as "Lord Fingon" had not been an easy one for her. There had been much at stake, and she had borne up admirably, but she was still a very young woman who had to take on an odd role at a precarious time. He grabbed his arrow and shoved it into his quiver, and laid his bow on the ground. He walked over to Mellonin and put a hand on her shoulder...but before he could say anything, she started to sob.

It took him by surprise. He shot Raefindan a panicked glance, but the red-haired man just shrugged helplessly. Unsure of what to do, he put his arms around her, and tried to comfort her.
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Old 05-11-2004, 08:23 PM   #208
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Weak. Weak, foolish, and useless. She buried her face in her hands, mortified by the Ranger's sympathy, and her body went rigid.

She was used to rebuke, and it would have strengthened her at least for the moment, at least until she could have found some time alone with her Mellondu. He always understood...

The magnitude of her loss struck her hard, and Ravion stood by as Mellonin stifled and strangled her sobs.

Raefindan appeared with another cup of hot tea. Mellonin laughed amid her tears and accepted it, wiping her face and fighting for composure. He carried another, and offered it to Ravion who shook his head. "They're colder than I am."

She caught her breath, and looked up over her hands at the boy who had just narrowly escaped drowning, or having his arm pulled off, or worse, and thought of her brother. Were they so different? Yes-- and no. And that arrogant wretch cared more for his horse. Indignation fought with embarassment. "Is Aeron all right?" she asked Ravion.

"He will be sore for many days, " Ravion said grimly.

"Poor Aeron, " she replied. Her voice still shook and she wanted to run off and be alone. But that was no longer a choice.

It would be some time now before she would let the others out of her sight.

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Old 05-11-2004, 09:10 PM   #209
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Eye Lorien: Erebemlin

Erebemlin gently laid his hand upon the brow of his king’s mortal body. As flesh met flesh, a series of images flooded his mind…

Darkness, everything was around him was filled with an immense, impenetrable darkness. His master’s voice rang in the thick, chalky air. The elf recoiled, wishing to detach himself and run for the light, but then he saw a lone figure, covered in a consuming ash. As Erebemlin grew closer he saw his lord’s face, but Amroth had changed…there was no light, no hope or joy that had once emitted from his spirit. Amroth gasped…he could not breathe.

“Lord, reach for me.” Erebemlin knelt, but the closer he came to reaching Amroth, the farther Amroth fell away from him. Panic filled Erebemlin for one moment before he regained control, and then the elf stood over the sinking king and called to him in a voice that cut the ash and darkness like a knife. Light flowed through and from the warrior as he continued to call Amroth’s name.

Slowly, Amroth found his breath and began to climb from the depth of the ash. With every word Erebemlin spoke, the king found strength to continue and soon he was standing enveloped in light.


Amroth awoke. His body clothes were soaked with perspiration and his heart still pounded in his chest.

Erebemlin fell backward, out of breath. Leaning on his hands, the elf looked with wide eyes from Amroth to Taitheneb.
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Old 05-11-2004, 09:47 PM   #210
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White Tree

"Poor Aeron," Mellonin said.

Aeron heard her and turning to her, dragging his sister to her feet, said, "Poor no one. You did as well as you could and the merchant is gone after all." He glowered after the cloud of dust, rubbed his arm and spat. Sighing he said, "There is naught to be distraught over."

He crouched down in front of Mellonin and grinned. "You should not be crying," he said. "All is said and done now and there was no exchange and no one was harmed." He wondered why she still wept and wondered if it could be her brother. He wondered if Gwyllion would be so upset if she lost him, and whether if he would weep at her loss. He could not imagine his sister dead, or missing. It would not happen...He pushed the thought away and said, "Ravion will find your brother, and I am sure he has made some friends." Hopefully good friends...

He scratched his nose, and said softly, "You did me kind service, Mellonin and Ravion. I would thank you." Leaning over, he pecked Mellonin on her brow and bowed to the ranger. Why had the ranger tried to save him? Aeron was like a flea that would not go away, while the ranger was a load of brickish lectures about Aeron's neck. The boy shook his head and shrugged once again. He had been saved, his sister was still with him, and the fellowship remained in tact. "Of course, I do not seriously think that the merchant would have drowned me for a mere trinket," Aeron said with a cough. But what if would have? Struggling in the water, lungs screaming for breath...he shuddered.

"That was not a mere trinket," Ravion said.

Aeron shrugged. "To me it was. And it was foolish to be upset at the loss of it."
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Old 05-12-2004, 02:05 PM   #211
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The Flet: Dec 16

Amroth leaned on one elbow, and looked up at the three anxious faces that studied him. He sat up.

"Erebemlin, thanks. Taitheneb, thank you." He reached a hand to Nethwador's shoulder, and the boy smiled in return. Then Amroth drew the back of his hand across his own brow, and then studied his drenched hand with distaste. "I seek her awake or asleep. Where my search leads me I cannot foretell."

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Old 05-12-2004, 08:53 PM   #212
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Anorien: Ravion

Ravion quickly realized that a hug was not what Mellonin had needed, and she was no more comfortable with it than he was. Flustered and tired, he stepped aside, wondering what it was he was supposed to have done. Well, more than that, actually, he wondered why he had fallen in with this enormously bizarre crew in the first place. Women and thieves! Would that he were still dousing his worries with whiskey at the Seventh Star.

Then Aeron did something that surprised him greatly. He stood up and said, in a soft voice, "You did me kind service, Mellonin and Ravion. I would thank you." He kissed Mellonin and bowed to the stunned Ranger. There was a brief pause, after which he continued: "Of course, I do not seriously think that the merchant would have drowned me for a mere trinket."

"That was not a mere trinket," Ravion replied quickly, both out of confusion and a little bit of irritation. A trinket? So Aeron thought all that trouble was over a trinket?

"To me it was," the boy said with a shrug. "And it was foolish to be upset at the loss of it."

"If it was such a trinket," Ravion said slowly, from between gritted teeth, "then perhaps you should not have taken it in the first place."

"I take what I can get," Aeron retorted with a slight grin.

"I shall show you what you can take," Ravion exclaimed, taking a step forward. He was not really sure what he was going to do, but it would involve at the very least some harsh words. A trinket, indeed!

"Enough!" Raefindan shouted. Ravion froze mid-step, and Aeron looked quickly from the Ranger to the red-haired man. "Ravion, you're always talking about how we don't have time to waste. Why are you wasting time fighting?"

Ravion did not understand a couple of the things that Raefindan said, but got the gist, and had to concede that he was right. "Your comment was ill-timed, Aeron," he said carefully, trying to control his temper. "After the danger that we have all been through, after the sacrifices that you saw we were all willing to make, saying that it was all for a trinket that you did not truly value was in poor taste." He took a deep, deep breath. "That is all I have to say." He turned sharply and went to Gond. Perhaps now was a good time to stay away from Aeron, lest their tempers flare again.
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Old 05-12-2004, 09:11 PM   #213
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Anorien: Mellonin. Dec 18.

Raefindan and Mellonin exchanged glances, and reached for their packs. Mellonin spoke to Gwyllion. "Come, Gwyllion, walk with me."

"With pleasure, Lord Fingon, " Gwyllion said.

"Oh..." Mellonin blushed. "May I be just Fingon? Leave the Lord, shall we? And it might be wiser for you to dress as a man, too. The servant of the merchant had his eye on you; I liked it not one whit."

"Shall I change now?" Gwyllion said, wide-eyed.

Ravion, Raefindan and Aeron were busy preparing for the afternoon's march. Mellonin nodded. "Yes. You know how to put a man's clothes on under your dress, do you not? Do that now."

It was not long before Gwyllion was dressed in the breeches and shirt her brother had brought for her. While Gwyllion changed, Mellonin studied the movements of the men as they packed. Each man had his own stride and way of moving.

She was determined to be accepted as a man by the next person they met.

They walked til the sun went down and the moon was high.
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Old 05-13-2004, 11:12 AM   #214
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The Flet: Erebemlin

Before this moment, Erebemlin had not grasped the intensity of Amroth’s passion for finding the lady Nimrodel, but now he saw first hand the hopelessness and darkness his king suffered without her. Shuddering he considered what might have happened if he had not ventured into Amroth’s dream.

“I am truly sorry, my lord.” Erebemlin lowered his eyes to the flet’s floor.

“Good and faithful, Erebemlin. You have no reason for apology.” Amroth leaned forward and placed his hand on Erebemlin’s shoulder. "If you had not..." The king's voice trailed off.

“Aye, I do. I thought you were mad, my lord, but you…” The Sinda closed his eyes and swallowed hard. “You must find her.” His eyes opened slightly and looked up into Amroth’s young mortal face. “I cannot bear the thought of your pain, my lord. I will aid you in your search; even if I am unsure of the journey’s end…I will be by your side.”

Taitheneb stood back and listened. The forest would be greatly grieved if Erebemlin departed from its eaves. Lowering his head, Taitheneb studied the floor beneath his feet, then as a new thought struck him he spoke, “Lord Amroth, you cannot leave for another journey…not this soon. Your body needs rest, my lord, or your sickness with increase.”

“Taitheneb is correct. You will need more rest before setting out from here.” Erebemlin stood and leaned over Amroth, who was shaking his head negatively. “Hush, my lord,” the Sinda’s words were like a lullaby. “I will watch over your dreams, so you shall come to no harm.” Amroth’s volition seemed to melt, and Erebemlin placed his hand under his king’s head and lowered him the rest of the way to the floor.

The next few hours Erebemlin never left his king’s side. Occasionally he would place his hand over Amroth’s brow and speak a few inaudible words. His hand often stroked the young mortal’s hair affectionately as he considered his blessing of finding his king after so many years.
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Old 05-13-2004, 04:06 PM   #215
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Celegtâl led the band of Men slowly through the forest, while Caranduin walked behind, ensuring none straggled, and also leading the pack horse. The day wore on until the sun was only coming through the trees in the west, when finally the elves stopped.

The elves spoke quickly in their native tongue, and then Celegtâl leapt upon a lower branch of one of the great mellyrn and climbed effortlessly up the tree and out of the sight of the group. As he reached the area just below Erebemlin’s talan, he mimicked the call of a bird and immediately Taitheneb’s face appeared.

“Taitheneb, if I did not come seeking the council of Silmaethor, we would settle the debt you owe us for walking out on the work this morning.” Celegtâl’s eyes flashed mischievously before continuing, “But this debt we will settle another time.”

Taitheneb smiled and laughed at the younger elf’s words. He, too, knew Celegtâl well enough to recognize his fiery spirit. “You seek council, you say. What do I hear below us?”

“Men…two male, two female, and their horses.” Celegtâl noticed a flash of interest in Taitheneb’s eyes. “This does not surprise you, Mellon?”

“Yes and no,” Taitheneb paused with uncertainty. “I think you should come up.” The elf back away from the door and allowed the other to enter.

Celegtâl’s eyes widened as he looked across the flet and saw Erebemlin sitting beside a young man who was sleeping. Nearby another young man rested also. Taitheneb spoke quickly in a hushed voice, informing Celegtâl of the events of the afternoon. Celegtâl, in turn, revealed the nature of the group on the ground. After hearing this news, Taitheneb interrupted Erebemlin to inform him of the Men.

“These must be the others of whom he spoke,” Erebemlin gazed down on Amroth’s still sleeping face and then back to Taitheneb. “Let the ladder down.”

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Old 05-14-2004, 03:01 PM   #216
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White Tree

Gwyllion wriggled into her brother's clothes and then inspected herself in a small pool of water, raising an eyebrow in mockery of her brother. Then she smiled...morphed it into a vague reflection of her brother's grin, then flashed her teeth at the pool.

She hated to admit it, but dressing in her brother's clothes was much more comfortable than women's clothing. She could walk however she pleased, and do whatever she pleased without infringing upon the boundaries of modesty. She smiled to herself.

***************

Aeron heaved a pack of cooking utensil's to his shoulders and walked towards the horse. If only they had had more than one horse so that they could take turns riding the beast. If how they had traveled yesterday was an omen for today...he shuddered, scowled, and attached the bag to the horse's saddle.

That's when he noticed Gwyllion watching him, and walking strangely after him. "What are you doing?" he asked, cocking his right eyebrow.

Cocking her right eyebrow, she asked, in a deep voice, "What are you doing?"

Aeron snorted. Leave it to her to not give him a straight answer. Sometimes he wondered why he bothered asking. "And why are you wearing my clothes?"

She grinned at him, then frowned. "Grin at me," she commanded, straightening himself.

"I only grin when I want to," said Aeron, grinning.

"Thank you!" she said.

"Are you trying to be like me?" asked Aeron, staring at her. "Because, if you are, you will not succeed. Men have a special quality about them that women simply cannot master."

"That is what you think," she said, smiling, "but I know better."

"Alright," said Aeron with a shrug. "If that is what you want to thinkt then by all means, keep on fooling yourself."

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Old 05-15-2004, 03:45 PM   #217
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Shield The Flet: Dec 16

The horses snorted, rolling their eyes and stamping as their masters rose up into the leafy heavens above them. Caranduin spoke words of comfort, but their curiosity was still strong, and they watched their masters as long as they could see them.

Ædegard went first, then Bella, then Argeleafa, and Liornung followed last. Ædegard hesitated a little as he approached the door to the flet, and saw the elf looking down at him.

"Come, " said the elf.

When he was head and shoulders through the door, he saw two more elves, and Wild Mellon; and nearby, was Amroth. He paused, and looked hard at him. Then he looked up, and nodded at each of the two elves, and climbed up and stood facing Amroth. Bella, Argeleafa, and Liornung soon stood beside him, and he thought he had rarely been so glad for their company as now.

Liornung was once again beset with shy awe, as was Bella; Liornung quickly caught Bella's hand, and they turned and watched Ædegard. He took a deep breath.

"You have cared for our friend, and I thank you. I am Ædegard; with me are Bellyn, Argeleafa, and Liornung." He looked down at Amroth. "How is he, sir?"

He guessed that there was more to say, but the forest was such a silent place he didn't want to.

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Old 05-15-2004, 06:23 PM   #218
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The Flet: Erebemlin

Erebemlin remained on the floor of the talan as his guests arrived, but he pulled his shoulders up and held himself to full stature. Listening intently to the young Ædegard, the Sinda studied the row of young faces. They were in awe of their surroundings, which comforted Erebemlin because it left them vulnerable and he was more able to perceive their sincere concerns for Amroth.

"How is he, sir?" The young Ædegard inquired.

“I am afraid he is weary to the point of illness.” Erebemlin looked down and searched Amroth’s face. “He will need more rest before he is able to continue on his quest. Has he mentioned his dreams to any of you?” The Sinda glanced from face to face then spoke again before any could answer. “I apologize. You are weary also. Please, come and sit at my table.”

Erebemlin rose and motioned his arms to guide them to the low table that had held their earlier meal. “Taitheneb, please bring the travelers some fresh fruit and meat.” Taitheneb nodded and immediately disappeared down the tree. Erebemlin then gave orders for Celegtâl and Caranduin to gather blankets for the guests.

“I have many questions to ask of you, but I will wait until you have eaten and rested properly.”

“Thank you, sir.” Ædegard looked as though he might say more, but stopped himself from continuing.

Shortly thereafter Taitheneb returned and began spreading the food across the table.

“Nethwador,” Erebemlin called to the boy who still sat near Amroth and spoke to him in both word and thought. “Please come to the table and share in our meal.” The boy nodded and pushed himself up from the floor, then after gazing momentarily at Amroth, he joined the company at Erebemlin’s table.
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Old 05-15-2004, 06:55 PM   #219
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Dec 16: The Flet

Ædegard studied Wild Mellon with a look of surprise.

"He's so calm. And what did you call him, sir?"

"Nethwador. It means Young Brother."

"Better than Pig," nodded Ædegard. "And less confusing than Mellon. Nethador it is."

Erebemlin sang one verse over the food, and Liornung held his breath wishing he would sing more. He hoped there would be time for song. Many songs.

They ate; Liornung and Ædegard both remarked how calm Nethwador had become.

"I am not certain it will last beyond the borders of the forest. I believe lord Amroth assured him he was safe here in Lorien," said Erebemlin.

Ædegard handed Nethwador a peice of fruit. "Nethador, here, take this."

It was received calmly, and devoured quickly.

Ædegard shook his head. "It's as if you cast a spell on him."
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Old 05-15-2004, 08:08 PM   #220
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Tolkien The flet: Ædegard

Ædegard was not at ease high up in this tree, no matter how large the deck; "talan", they called it, an Elvish word. Ædegard looked at Liornung; the minstrel looked spellbound. Bellyn, next to him, was in awe. Argeleafa, sitting beside Bellyn, looked from Elf to Elf with eyes as wide as he'd seen from her. Seeing them caused Ædegard to wonder why he was not so in awe. Elves were Elves, to be sure, and they were strange, to say the least. Maybe it was that he expected them to be so different, and his expectation had proven true. Nethador, now, his calmness was not expected; and Ædegard believed the Elf, that it would not last beyond the borders of this forest. Now, why had Erebemlin said that? It was as if he expected them to be leaving soon; where to? And why? Maybe it had to do with these dreams Amroth Mellon had been having.

"Sir, these dreams you spoke of. We did not know what they were. I knew that he dreamed, but I did not think they were more than nightmares. Is there more to them?"
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Old 05-16-2004, 08:51 AM   #221
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Bellyn listened to the conversation half-heartedly, standing next to Liornung with her hand in his for comfort. When she noticed that Argeleafa sat alone next to them Bellyn tuggedon Liornung's hand gently and the two of them sat down next to Argeleafa. Argeleafa took a piece of fruit with tentative eyes and hesitating hands, but took it anyway. Bellyn craved no fruit, so she eyed the elves and Mellon, now called Neth-something, carefully. Although Bellyn knew that as soon as Amroth woke he would want to leave, the prospect of Mellon going back to his wild ways made Bellyn want to stay despite Amroth's urgency.

"It must mean something more," Bellyn thought aloud, despite the mishap with the names earlier. She spoke to Ædegard at first, but turned to face the Elves as she continued. "Once he took the first watch when we halted for a night, and I asked if he liked it better that way. He said he did not like the dreams he had at night," Bellyn spoke softly, trying to remember Amroth's words so that all she spoke now was true. "He spoke as if he knew the nightmares would not stop..." Bellyn paused, and in this pause she noticed that all eyes were on her as she spoke. She quickly continued. "I asked Amroth then if his song told of his dreams. He said it was strange that an elf did not remember which came first...It was all rather strange."

When Ædegard thought Bellyn was done, he recalled the attention of the elves and continued. "Has he told you things about his dreams that he did not tell us?"
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Old 05-16-2004, 01:06 PM   #222
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Tolkien The Flet: Erebemlin

Erebemlin remained silent for a long moment considering what he should share regarding Amroth’s dreams, and if he knew enough of them to share anything at all. “He searches for Nimrodel,” he began slowly. “He searches for her not only in his waking hours, but in his dreams also.” The elf closed his eyes and considered the dark, suffocating images of the dreams. “I wonder if he is possibly finding her.” The thought occurred to the elf only as he spoke it, and his eyes widened and he looked at fruit on the table as though they held the answer.

“If I may, sir,” Liornung spoke up for the first time. “If Amroth is meeting his lady in his dreams, would they not, the dreams, be merry?”

The young man had a point, Erebemlin reflected. The dreams were far from merry. They were full of despair and hopelessness. “I am not certain, Liornung. The dreams are dark, full of a suffocating dust…” The Sinda trailed off as he mulled the idea over in his mind. “I believed his dreams portrayed his despair of his lady’s absence, but now I wonder if it is she who is despaired.” As he spoke the final words he raised his eyes and searched his guests’ faces.

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Old 05-16-2004, 04:12 PM   #223
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The Flet: Erebemlin

“Silmaethor, what do you make of the water and drowning?” Taitheneb leaned across the table as he spoke.

“I am sorry for interrupting, but what water and who’s drowning?” Ædegard’s face was sober, and he furrowed his brows.

Erebemlin looked from Taitheneb’s face to Ædegard’s before answering. “Before you arrived, Lord Amroth dreamed of drowning.” The Sinda stopped while he considered its implications.

“I saw him,” Taitheneb turned his eyes to Ædegard and then to the others. “His breath was stopped under the water.” The elf looked down at his hands and shook his head. “If not for Silmaethor…”

“I did what was needed. Do not make more of it.” Erebemlin shot a glance at Taitheneb from across the table. “Again I am uncertain of what to make of it.”

At that moment the sound of Bellyn’s sweet voice touched his ear. She was humming softly, and then she began to sing as if only to herself.

The wind was in his flowing hair,
The foam about him shone;
Afar they saw him strong and fair
Go riding like a swan.

But from the West has come no word,
And on the Hither Shore
No tidings Elven-folk have heard
Of Amroth evermore.


The girl then sat back. Her face was slightly pink from embarrassment.

Erebemlin looked up surprised. Why had he not thought of it before? “Miss Bellyn, that is it. These dreams must be memories of his drowning, or…” The elf thought over what he made out of Amroth’s dreams minutes before. “Or her memories of it. It is possible that if the Lady Nimrodel is still in Middle Earth…she knows of his passing. If he is finding her in his dreams, then maybe she has memories or images of his death in her mind.”

The elf took a deep breath and opened his mouth to continue, when something rustled behind him. Turning he saw Amroth stir and then push himself up from the floor.
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Old 05-16-2004, 04:30 PM   #224
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Amroth surveyed the gathering with eyebrows high. "Well met, friends. Erebemlin, thank you for their welcome."

"Of course, my lord, " replied Erebemlin.

Amroth smiled, studying each face in turn. "Are you rested and content? It is well. I have not slept so soundly since Edoras, for which I thank you, Erebemlin, and you, Taitheneb."

Erebemlin's eyes met Taitheneb's. They guessed what was next. Amroth came to the table, selected a piece of fruit and a peice of bread, smiled at Nethwador, and nodded at Ædegard.

"So. A quick meal and we ride once more. I look forward to more singing," he nodded at Liornung, and then at Bella," and your gentle song most of all."

Nethwador smiled at Bella, and then blushed and hung his head.

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Old 05-16-2004, 07:30 PM   #225
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The Flet: Erebemlin

Erebemlin sat quietly, watching his king eat, while the others talked and Taitheneb sang. Internally, he struggled. He had sworn his allegiance to Amroth and promised to assist in his journey, but he wondered what Amroth would think of his conclusions about the nature of Amroth’s dreams. His concern for the king’s health was also heavy in his mind. Amroth needed more rest…days, not hours, but he knew very well of Amroth’s hardened will and stubbornness. “Lord Amroth,” Erebemlin shifted his weight and leaned toward Amroth. “I am still concerned with your well-being. You need more rest, my lord.”

“Nonsense, Erebemlin. I feel much better, and you know I will not forfeit my search.”

“Nay, I do not ask you to end your quest, but prolong it…a day, two days, long enough to regain your strength.” Erebemlin studied Amroth’s face. His king truly felt there was nothing wrong with him. “You will have to care for this body more tenderly than your last, my lord.”

Amroth looked at Erebemlin with a quizzical expression and dismissed the statement. “We will ride at nightfall.”

Erebemlin glanced at Taitheneb looking for assistance. Taitheneb stood and sat down next to Amroth at the end of the low table. “My lord, would you not rather wait for morning and leave with the rising of the sun?”
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Old 05-16-2004, 07:44 PM   #226
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Bellyn hesitated to intervene in the argument, for she knew of Amroth's desire to find his love and yet she understood the fear in the elves of Amroth becoming ill again.

"Perhaps they are right, sir Amroth," Bellyn said softly, looking up at Amroth. "It might be best to rest here, where it is safe, while we - while you can. Safety is not ensured in the wild, and if you were to take ill in the wilderness and the open..." Bellyn did not continue, for she hoped that everyone could guess what could become of Amroth and the rest of them if something unexpected happened outside of the protected woods.

"If something happened in the wild, we would be no worse off than if we were caught or attacked at any other time," Amroth urged, and Bellyn looked down at her hands, folded in her lap. She did not want to push Amroth or make him angry, she only wanted to make certain that he was in the best condition for finding his love.

"Whenever you leave, my Lord, you can be sure that we will go as well. We only wish for your safety and well-being," Bellyn assured Amroth gently.
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Old 05-16-2004, 08:01 PM   #227
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White Tree The Flet: Afternoon of Dec 16

Amroth watched Bella, and then with a soft laugh, shook his head.

"I forget my friends," he said. "You need your own rest; you have ridden hard. Forgive me, gentle Bella. We will wait til dawn, that you may rest." Her surprise showed on her face, and he smiled at her. "Perhaps before you sleep, you could sing for us again. You will sleep well here, I deem. I will take the watch."

"I will sing if you wish, lord Amroth," she said, made shy by the request and by Nethwador's too-plain delight. "But why must you watch? You should rest too."

Amroth looked down; he still dreaded the dreams.

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Old 05-16-2004, 09:27 PM   #228
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Shield

Liornung gazed about him in awe, fearing to blink lest the sight vanished from his eyes. Sweet raptures went through him and he shuddered out of pure delight, vaguely concious of the argument between Amroth and the other Elves. He dared not move, though he longed to touch the golden leaves, to run his hands over the smooth bark of the trees. He did not dare. He clasped his hands tightly together, forcing himself to remain still.

And then he saw Argeleafa sitting off by herself, her knees pulled up to her chin and her face buried in her skirts. He had only glanced at her, but something odd compelled him to look again. He studied her in silence for a moment, wondering what it was that was different, and then he realized that her shoulders were shaking. Surprised, he crawled towards her and sat by her, listening carefully. She was sobbing. Very softly and quietly, so no one would hear, but sobbing all the same.

"Argeleafa, why do you weep?" he questioned, putting a hand on her head.

She looked up and he saw her tear-stained face before she dropped her head again. She spoke, choking on sobs and pausing occassionally to draw breath. "It's just that it is so beautiful here and I am so terribly lonely."

"But why would you weep because of beauty? And why are you lonely? We have been at your side constantly."

"Yes, I know," she murmured. "But you all know each other so well, and you do not know me. You are kind to me, it is true, but you hardly speak to me so I might speak to you. And Bellyn is so kind to me but she is so beautiful and wise while I fail in both things. I admire her so much but I want to be her friend, and I cannot because I cannot speak to her as a friend, only as an admirer. And then here it is so beautiful and it makes me think of home. It was always that way whenever the wayfarers came to somewhere beautiful... it made me think of home. I miss my dear little home so much..." She seemed as though she would continue for a moment, but then she looked about her and fresh tears began to flow.

Liornung remained silent, unsure of what to say as he ran his fingers through her hair. Guilt plagued him... he had been so much in wonder over the surroundings that he had not even looked at Argeleafa... and she was homesick. She was still a little girl yet.
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Old 05-17-2004, 05:07 PM   #229
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White Tree

Was that what Gwyllion thought a male walk was? Aeron lifted his brow and grimaced. It was humiliating...she was swaggering down the road, chin in the air, arms swinging by her sides. Dreadful. "Do you call that a man's walk?" he asked.

"Yes." She tossed her head.

"It's more like a woman's strut in my mind," Aeron said, coughing.

"Well, why do you not teach me to walk like a man," Gwyllion suggested.

"Fine. First of all, men do not swing their arms about normally. They walk with a firm tread, with level chins -- ideally of course. And you should want to imitate the ideal man."

"Accept that there is no such thing as an ideal man to imitate," said Gwyllion with a giggle.

"Then, when all else fails, dear sister, you shall imitate me." He grinned at her.
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Old 05-17-2004, 07:58 PM   #230
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White Tree Ædegard

Ædegard's brow furrowed. This Erebemlin held Mellon, or Amroth; either one for that matter, in too high regard. This Amroth was proving to be a fool, caring not for his own health to chase a dream. Nimrodel, they had named her, Amroth's long lost love. Who could say for sure whether she was even alive to be found? And Amroth was proving to be far too stubborn. Ædegard was ready to open his mouth and say a thing or two to bring Amroth up short in all his stubborn foolish king's pride, when Bellyn spoke in her soft way. Her words were quiet, and Amroth's final answer spoke not to her words, but to what he made of them instead. He cared not for his own body's health, but would forego his own will for the sake of others' weakness. So there was another side to being a good king, and at least he had wisdome enough for that, it seemed. It was a thing to be remembered; maybe it could be put to good use later, some other time when Amroth was as a rock with no ears to listen to sense.

Ædegard noticed Liornung move to Argeleafa's side. He could not hear the words that passed between them, but saw, for a moment, her face, stained with many tears! His heart melted, and he wondered what could be wrong. But he did not think that it would be seemly to ask from the opposite end of the talan. He held his peace, glad that they would sleep the night. He did not relish sleeping hundreds of feet above ground, but the Elves assured them that they would be safe. So be it, he said to himself.
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Old 05-17-2004, 10:22 PM   #231
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Anorien: Ravion

Ravion glanced at the siblings, deep in contemplation about how to "walk like a man", with some amusement as he prepared Gond for the day's journey. He had earlier tried to erase the signs of their stay as much as possibly, fearing that they were being followed still. Their encounter with the merchant had left him even more paranoid than he normally was, and he was taking no risks. However, he had eventually deemed the effort fruitless. Wild mumakil make less of a mess than my companions, he thought ruefully as he glanced over their campsite. With a sigh, he looked back to the siblings.

"If everyone is ready, we need to start off," he called. Mellonin stirred from where she had been resting, and the others looked over at him. None of them seemed particularly inclined to leave. "We are wasting daylight," he said, eyebrows raised. Still no one moved. "I am asking politely!"

Aeron snorted at Ravion's half-desperate, half-frustrated tone. "And where do you have to go that merits such speed?" he asked languidly. Ravion stared at him for a moment, then took several deep breaths, counting to ten. He would not get angry. It was counter-productive and only slowed them down. He would reason with the boy, and then they would all leave and they could go on their way. By the time he got to "seven" he could tell that it was not going to be an easy fight, his battle with his temper. But every journey began with a single step...

"Nowhere but wherever our search for Mellonin's brother will lead us," he said in what he hoped approximated an even tone. Out of his peripheral vision he saw Raefindan make a strange face. It almost seemed like he was trying not to laugh. Odd.

"But surely another hour will not hinder us too much," Aeron persisted. Gwyllion elbowed him in the side, and he grunted, but did not take back his comment.

"An hour is more than we can spare, yes," Ravion said, his hand clenched tightly around the middle of his sword's scabbard. He would not make a fist. He would not show signs of anger.

"But an hour? Really," Aeron said. Ravion suddenly realized that this whole conversation was staged to aggravate the Ranger. He was all the more determined to not let the boy get his ire up.

"An hour is an hour, and more time than you think, while we are on a search," he said smoothly. Raefindan and Mellonin exchanged glances. Ravion did not bother to try to decipher what they meant. He had a feeling he did not want to know.

"How far could Mellonin's brother get in an hour?" Aeron asked.

"An hour's travle farther from us," Ravion said, his voice now tight. His fingers ached from gripping the scabbard. He hoped his face was not red.

"But surely a Ranger could travel faster than--"

"Not a Ranger burdened with the likes of you!" Ravion snapped, then bit his tongue. That had done no good.

"I can travel fast, when I am disposed." Aeron leaned back a little, glancing at Ravion with a twinkling eye full of mischief.

And that was all it took. Ravion tackled Aeron, being reluctantly careful to avoid what was surely the boy's still-sore shoulder, and pinned him down.

"Get. Packed. Now," he said. "We are leaving as soon as everyone is packed, which should be in less than ten minutes."

Aeron looked up at him, then surprised Ravion by thrusting his head up and slamming it into Ravion's chest. Ravion gave a grunt of pain, and the two of them started wrestling for true.

"Oh, that will do!" Mellonin cried, half laughing and half concerned. Ravion and Aeron stopped, both panting, and both grinning. Ravion wiped the grin off quickly and stood up, dusting himself off.

"Shall we go?" he asked in a dignified voice. Aeron stepped up and pulled a blade of grass out of the Ranger's hair, and Ravion swatted his hand away. He turned an innocent face to Mellonin and Raefindan. "We are wasting daylight."
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Old 05-18-2004, 06:34 AM   #232
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Boots Anorien: Mellonin. Dec 19.

Mellonin packed with haste, face turned away from her friends. They heard the snickers that escaped her; she could not help that; but she was determined they would not see her blush.

Over the last day, she realized, she had fallen in love with each and every one of them. Silly Aeron, full of mischeif. Gwyllion, vulnerable and earnest. Raefindan, the bold, brash peacemaker. And Ravion.

She donned her pack, and stood beside Raefindan, and as they walked she spoke in a low voice.

"Aeron and I both are in your debt. I am in awe of your courage on Aeron's behalf," she said.

"Oh, be serious, " Raefindan laughed.

"What?"

"It was a tight spot, and we all did what we could," Raefindan shrugged.

"Alas, I did little. But you? Bidding the merchant take you as a steward in Aeron's stead? Diving into the river to save the cruel merchant? And bidding the henchman to release Gwyllion... and he did."

She blushed again. "You were truly brave. And wise."

Raefindan's eyes twinkled, and he glanced back over his shoulder at the ranger. "And Ravion?" he whispered, watching her.

Mellonin did not turn. Her blush deepened. She studied the ground and did not answer.

Raefindan smiled.

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Old 05-18-2004, 10:06 AM   #233
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Erebemlin looked on Amroth with eyes full of concern. “Lord Amroth, we have no need for a watch here. You are still in need of much rest before you will be well.” Amroth met Erebemlin’s gaze and the Sinda saw the king’s fear. Opening his thoughts, Erebemlin touched Amroth’s mind. Come, rest…I will watch over your dreams tonight. You have no need for fear.

Momentarily Amroth appeared flushed, but he immediately hid it. “Maybe you are right, Erebemlin. The forest is safe, and I do still feel as though I could sleep some more this evening.” The king flashed his eyes to his faithful servant. Thank you.

The elves sung a song of peace and restfulness as they worked together to make comfortable beds for the guests. Soon six small beds of thick blankets lined the left side of Erebemlin’s talan, and as the four elves continued to sing the guests became weary and soon laid down, each peacefully sleeping, even the cautious Ædegard who expressed his wariness of sleeping in the tree.

After quickly cleaning the mess of the evening’s dinner, the four elves sat, still as stone, discussing the day’s events. Erebemlin remained near Amroth, while the others faced him.

Do you truly mean to leave the forest, Silmaethor? Taitheneb finally asked what had been on his mind the majority of the evening.

You must understand, Mellon. He is my king, and I have sworn allegiance to him, even before his arrival this day…in this mortal body. The Sinda looked down at Amroth’s sleeping face then back to Taitheneb. I must aid him and see he is safe.

Taitheneb remained silent and studied his hands that lay crossed in his lap. Caranduin and Celegtâl look at one another. This was the first they had heard of Erebemlin’s leaving. We will be greatly grieved at your departure, Silmaethor. Caranduin’s eyes were saddened.

It will be difficult for me also, mellyn. I shall miss each of you greatly, but I will return when the quest is over. You have my word. Now, I will need your help. We will need enough lembas to last possibly weeks…enough for all of us. Can you do this?

For all? But, my lord... Celegtâl raised his eyebrows and looked from Erebemlin to the humans and back to Erebemlin.

Yes, mellon. Erebemlin gazed down at the young mortal who housed his king. I know not how Lord Amroth returned to us, but I have made an oath to aid him with whatever means I have.

That is well, Silmaethor, to help Lord Amroth... Caranduin glanced at Celegtâl before continuing. It is rare, indeed, for lembas to be given to any mortal...not since the Ring Bearer...

I know our traditions, Caraduin. The elder's eyes flashed. I believe this is a time where an exception may be made to tradition. It seems this is the chosen company of the king. What fate draws us, I know not. The younger Sindar lowered their eyes and said nothing. I will ask you again, Erebemlin's thought became more gentle. Can you do this?

Yes, we will have it for you by sunrise. Celegtâl bowed his head, and then he and Caranduin rose and left the flet to gather supplies for the travelers. Taitheneb remained.

Let me go with you. Taitheneb flashed his eyes with determination.

Erebemlin was surprised by his statement. Why do wish to go on such a journey, Taitheneb? Why would you wish to leave the forest?

Taitheneb looked down again. I cannot see you leave this forest without me, just as you cannot see him go without you. Slowly Taitheneb raised his eyes and looked at Erebemlin’s face.

Astonished, Erebemlin considered the elf’s request. In his heart he did not want Taitheneb to have to give up the forest to go on mission about which he cared little. However, he could not deny that another elf could be needed if the group came across any trouble. After his long silence, Erebemlin reached out his hand and took Taitheneb’s. I would be honored to have your company on this journey.

Taitheneb smiled and sat back. The weight had been removed from his shoulders and he sighed.

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Old 05-19-2004, 08:35 AM   #234
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Ravion's troop in Anorien, Dec 19: Mellonin

Mellonin's sore legs gradually warmed up, and her stride became easier; but her back did not stop aching. Raefindan was limping and sniffling. Gwyllion and Aeron kept up a steady whispering banter, as Gwyllion tried to walk and talk like a man, when she wasn't whining about her sore legs and back.

Even Jorje was weary. Mellonin half expected him to give up and go home, but he trotted stubbornly along, whining if he lagged behind, occasionally distracted by rabbits or mice.

Aeron and Ravion and Gond showed no discomfort, walking easily over the miles. They briefly stopped for lunch and a short rest, but Ravion drove them on long before they felt ready. Sunset came and passed, and the stars came out, and still Ravion drove them on. Mellonin wondered why, til they finally stopped beside a dead tree. Firewood. She was grateful. Briefly she thought about putting pen to paper, as she had promised the lady Estelyn. But she was too weary.

Ravion took the first watch and Aeron took the second. Raefindan grimly took the last watch, limping in circles to stay awake. Mellonin and Gwillion slept soundly through til dawn.

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Old 05-19-2004, 02:54 PM   #235
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Anorien: Ravion

Ravion was awake early in the morning, before anyone else. It was not quite time for them to start preparing for the day's journey, so he spelled Raefindan and let his companions sleep a little bit more.

In the light mist of the pre-dawn morning, the Ranger went through his daily routine of stretches and exercises. He practiced with his sword for a while, brushed and curried Gond, and got all the troublesome details out of the way before they had to leave.

The sunrise painted the sky with surprisingly vibrant colours: magentas and bright oranges and yellows. It was lovely. And time to go. He hated to wake everyone up--especially Raefindan--but they could not waste time.

The company was getting tired, though. Raefindan had a limp and what Ravion hoped was not a cold; Aeron's shoulder was doubtless still sore; Mellonin and Gwyllion were not enjoying the hard days' walks that Ravion forced them on; and even the Ranger had to admit that he was pushing them all. Perhaps this was a good pace for a Ranger on his own. For five people, it was hard.

He shook Aeron gently, moving on quickly as soon as he knew the boy was awake. He knew that there would be teasing that day, but no point in starting it early. He then went to Gwyllion and woke her, then Raefindan, then Mellonin.

As he touched Mellonin's shoulder, he realized that she had been acting somewhat strange lately. He wondered why. Once he had gotten over the embarrassment of his tussle with Aeron, he had noticed something odd about Mellonin's behavior. He could not figure it out. He made a mental note to watch her while they walked.

"We ought to get started," he said. "The fire is still burning; we can eat breakfast, put out the fire, spread out the firewood, try to cover up our marks and then go. I hope to cover a good amount of ground today." He looked at the dismayed faces of his companions. "But it will be steady rather than fast. The last thing I want is ill travelers." He turned and went to Gond to get some food for breakfast.
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Old 05-19-2004, 06:14 PM   #236
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White Tree Raefindan

Raefindan had slept fairly well before his turn at the watch, but by the end of his limping, sniffing, head-filling watch, he felt more exhausted than he had at the end of the day. He had fallen asleep fast and hard, but not peacefully. When Ravion had jostled him awake, he was sure that he had been asleep for perhaps five to ten minutes, and groaned when he was told that a couple of hours had passed.

What made the morning too soon, and too bright, and too cold, and too - well - awake, had been his dreams. Raefindan wasn't sure whether his illness had brought the dreams, or if the dreams were making the illness feel worse. And his hip! When had he thrown it out, if that was what had happened? In the water? Or did he just have a cold in his bones? He felt like it.

He sneezed. Jorje's head came up and his ears went back. He had been lying quiet.

"G'ealth," said the others.

"Thags."

Wherever he had been before, this was certainly no better.

He sneezed again. Jorje barked at him.

"G'ealth," said Gwyllion again.

"Tha- tha- tha!!" He sneezed again. "gyouverybuch!" Gwyillion snickered, and Jorje barked at him, his ears back, his tail wagging. He got up and came over to Raefindan, his ears back grimacing in anticipation of the next bark to come from his new master.

A humdinger. He mumbled the word.

"What did you say, Raefindan?" asked Mellonin.

"Hubdigger!!" He said it so loud his head hurt.

"What does it mean?"

"I duddow."

"Then why did you say it?" He forced his painful eyes up to her; she was grinning.

"Thad's dot dice. You are a cruel wubid. The word is-" he plugged his nose "-humb dignger." He wiped his fingers on his breeches. Gwyillion pulled a face. "Sorry. I dod't have eddy kleedex. Hubdigger meads a really big ad dasty wud."

"What are clear decks?" asked Gwyillion.

He looked at her blankly for a moment, then realized what she was trying to say. He enunciated the word more clearly, and explained it.

"Oh!" said Aeron. "You mean a nose rag!"

Raefindan's eyes crossed and he fell backwards, hitting his head on the ground. "Ow! If oed-ly I had a doze rag! But it wouldd't help take away by dreeb!"

"What dream!" Mellonin was at his side in a moment. Raefindan groaned. "Dot dow. I'll tell you wed I feel better." He shut his eyes hard, and tried breathing out of his mouth. Jorje came up close, sniffing; Raefindan pushed him away from his face, knowing which scent attracted the dog. Mellonin pulled Jorje away.

"Just kill be dow! Put be out of by bisery!"

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Old 05-19-2004, 09:27 PM   #237
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The Flet: Late on Dec. 16

He had napped already. He wasn't that tired. THe elves were talking in their lilting speech; he lay awake, listening, wishing he could understand.

He liked them. They were aloof, but kind. Especially the very tall one. And they had taken good care of his horse; he had checked often, peering over the edge of the flet.

Cold moonlight filtered through the tree's stiff golden leaves. Nearby, Amroth slept peacefully. Beyond him slept Ædegard, and then Liornung. Then Argeleafa. And all the way at the end was the lady Bella, but he couldn't see her unless he sat up. It was a tempting thought.

Two of the elves left, and the Tall one spoke to the last one. He listened.

Then he felt the last elf touch his thoughts. Rest, little brother. You will need all your strength, with Silmaethor leading.

Nethwador rolled up onto his elbow, and met Taitheneb's eyes, and smiled at him. Taitheneb smiled back. Then Nethwador stole a glance at lady Bella, and then he lay back down again and went to sleep. His dreams were peaceful.

Last edited by mark12_30; 05-31-2004 at 07:11 PM. Reason: Note: the Anorien team is now at Dec 20.
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Old 05-19-2004, 10:19 PM   #238
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Tolkien

"Oh no, we could not kill you now," said Aeron, grinning, "we like you too much to do that."

Raefindan, with a wan smile, clambered to his feet and began a half hearted sort of packing. As Aeron moved to help him (why wait for the Ranger's order?), he asked, "You have a strange word for a nose rag."

"Yes," Raefindan wheezed.

"Cleanex," Aeron said, winking at him.

"Cleanex," Gwyllion echoed. She tittered and then sighed. "What I would like to do is to stay abed with a roaring fire and a nice cup of hot tea."

"It is a bit hard to stay abed when one is travelling," said Aeron. "Besides, who would like to waste the day like that? The whole wide world is a game and it is not going to be played by lying abed. Why, the pieces would become dusty, the board would rot and the game would be lost without you ever playing in it."

Gwyllion frowned, cocked her brow, frowned again, cocked her borw, and said, "So I am a mere pawn in the course of things, eh?"

"Yes."

"I feel so unimportant now," said Gwyllion, sighing.

Aeron laughed and said, "Better a piece than a stick of wood." Life was made to be lived. Not sitting stagnantly on the side lines.
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Old 05-20-2004, 10:35 AM   #239
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Lorien...Dec. 17

Erebemlin and Taitheneb watched over the guests for the remainder of the night. When sunrise was but an hour away, Celegtâl and Caranduin returned, and the elves gently woke the sleeping Men. Erebemlin presented them with fresh water for bathing and laid out a fresh breakfast across the low table. As the travelers prepared themselves, Caranduin descended and readied the horses, so once the group was ready to move they found their horses were freshly rested and the pack horse had new packs filled with supplies and food.

“You will be greatly missed, Silmaethor.” Caranduin took Erebemlin’s hand and bowed in respect. “Look, the forest already grieves.” At that moment a light rain showered the tree-tops, and the falling drops looked like great tears.

“Farewell, Mellon. I will return when you least expect it.” Erebemlin then mounted his tan steed and led the others from the forest. As soon as they stepped out from under the great trees, the Sinda turned to Amroth. “Lord Amroth, this is your quest. Which path shall we take?”
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Old 05-20-2004, 11:08 AM   #240
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Eaves of Lorien: Dec 17: Amroth

Amroth met his friend's gaze. "I have given the choking dust much thought," Amroth replied. "It was the first time I so dreamt. All other dreams had been full of water, or fire; or of empty despair. Yet the dust lingers in my heart. I deem it a sign."

Erebemlin waited. Behind, Taitheneb and Nethwador gazed forward. But Ædegard, Liornung, Bella, and Argeleafa gave heed.

"Such choking dust is found in few places that I know of, Erebemlin. Dagorlad is one place; Gorgoroth and the slopes of Mount Doom also are deep with ash."

"Indeed, my lord."

"Lovely, " muttered Ædegard.

Amroth laughed. "Good friend, you need not come. I would not ask such a quest of any who were unwilling."
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