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Old 06-25-2003, 05:50 PM   #1
piosenniel
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Orofaniel's post

The sun was already up and it was shining brightly behind the horizon. Betuli had already been up for several hours and was ready for a new day.

Betuli went upstairs to see if Finduilas had awoken, but Findulias was still fast asleep. Betuli turned and was going to the door, she didn't want to wake her yet. Some more sleep would do her well, Betuli thought, while going trough the door. It made a horrible shrieking voice and Betuli was sure it was going to wake Findulias, but she just made a little noise and rolled over.

She had been lucky, Betuli thought while going downstairs again. Then she came up with a clever idea (well she thought it was clever at the time), she was going to suprise her with a great breakfast on her bed in an hour. But first she was going to wash to was the kitchen and scrub the floor. While scrubbing, she started to sing an old song she learned from her mother:

"O, What a day, what a beautiful day.
Sun is up shining as bright as it may,
What more can I say?

O, What a day, what a beautiful day.
The birds are singing their fairest songs,
Let this day not fade away.

O, What a day, what a beutiful day.
Rain and cloudes away, away!
They can't destroy the summer day!

O, What a day, what a beutiful day.
May it last for ever this day
it will, if we sing all the way.

O, Merry day , Merry day.
That is what I shall call you!


Betuli had forgotten that Findulias was sleeping upstairs and she was quite suprised to se that she was now standing in front of her.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have been singing that loud. I was carried away. I hope you'll forgive me." She said in a vorried voice.

" No harm done," she replied quickly.

"Are you sure? I'm so soory and I promise it'll never happen again." Betuli said in a troubled (and still worried) voice.

"I'm just going to finish scrubbing the floor and I'll bring you a great breakfast!" She added quickly. " you just go back to bed and rest a little while longer and I'll call for you."

Findulias gave a smile and nodded while she turned around. "Nice song, by the way," she said.

"Oh, Thank you indeed. My mother thought me." Betuli said and started to scrub again.

[ August 01, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 06-25-2003, 05:50 PM   #2
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Manardariel’s post:

Tessa woke up. Pushing her thick, brown curls out of her face, she streched around cat-like, squinting around the unfamiliar room. It took her a moment to realize she was in Minas Tirith, not in her room at home in Dol Amroth. Tessa tiptoed out of bed, careful not to awake her peacefully sleeping sister. The girl peered out of the window, trying to get used to the unfamiliar view unfolding under her eyes. As far as Tessa´s eyes could reach, she saw houses, streets, carts and so many people! The sun had barely risen, and they were already crowding thre city, bustling and babbeling; giving her an idea what she had to expect from the next few years. Not that bad, no. In fact, Tessa liked it. It reminded her of the big spring-market back in Dol Amroth, a big attraction in that lazy, beautiful sea town. Tessa crept back into bed, but she couldn´t go to sleep. Instead, she studied Finduilas. Her sister looked stunningly beautiful, even now that she was asleep. Tessa snuggled in her arms. “Tessa.... lemme sleep...” the woman grumbled. The girl smiled and gently tickled her stomach. “Tessa! Stop it!” She pulled her hand away. Grinning, she gave her sister a hug and wispered “Rise and shine, Lady of Gondor. Today´s your big day!”

My big day, Finduilas thought. Half-smiling, half-frowning, she recalled all the “big days” she´d had in the last few months- the day father had announced her wedding to Denethor, the steward to-be. The day she´d left Dol Amroth. And today, when she´d first meet her husband and all the court of Minas Tirith would be her big day. Like her wedding, like the birth of her first son would be “big days”. Like every day she lived and breathed could be a big day. Finduilas pulled on the richly embroided, white gown she´s be wearing today. With Tessa´s help, she put up her hair into an elaborate bun, and slipped on two beautiful, fish-formed earrings. Adjusting her shawl –it was a bit cool- she looked at her sister. Little Tessa seemed lost in adoration. “I think I´m ready,” Finduilas said quitely. Her eyes filled with tears at the sight of that girl worshipping her like she was some kind of goddess. “Oh Finduilas, you´re so gorgeous!” Tessa cried, hugging her sister. “You´ll be the most beautiful Lady ever”

Nervously, Finduilas tapped her foot. She was to meet the important figueres of the court first, the the Steward and then, at last, Denethor, her future husband. Right now, she was greeting every lady, girl and mother of Gondor, or so it seemed. She smiled, looked elegant and tried hard to remember name after name after name after.... from time to time she caught Tessa´s look.
“How do I look?”

“Brilliant.” Tessa mouthed. With a mock look, she added “You Lady you!”

[ June 29, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 06-25-2003, 05:50 PM   #3
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Hirilaelin's post

The muffled clang of a metal vase falling to the carpeted floor startled Rheaite from her musings. She bent low, and retrieved the ornately etched vase, setting back where it belonged. So much to clean! Finduilas, bride-to-be of Denethor, would be arriving soon...

At that precise moment, trumpets sounded outside the gates, three bold, brassy notes filling the air. She must have come early! Making sure that all was in order, Rhe set the feather duster down on the low wooden table, and set off at a run down the hall. Everyone was supposed to be gathered in the enormous recieveing hall right now, and here she was, losing track of time with another of her far-fetched fantasys. Her mother's voice echoed in her memories, scolding her. "Rheaite! How many times do I have to tell you to get your head out of the clouds! Honestly girl! People will think you're not all there in the head if you stand about all slack jawed and dull eyed! Now get to work!"

Grimacing, Rhe tryed to banish the memory, but her the shrill tones still seemed to circle 'round inside her skull, screeching at her. Shaking her head furiously, she pelted pell-mell down the hall towards the grand hall. Stopping short of the doors, she brushed her dress out, patted her back into place, and slowly, cautiously, pushed open the doors. Sliding inside, she took her place in the rustling throng, closing the doors carefully behind her. Muttering apologys, she pushed towards the front to get a better view. At the far end of the cavernous room, towering doors stood open, A sudden hush rippled through the crowd, as the trumpeters called out the introductions.

After the minor ladies, servants, maids and a small group of soldiers passed through the doors, Finduilas finally appeared. Dressed in white gown with exquisite embroidery, she was stunning. Her dark, curling hair was piled on top of her well formed head in a bun, and a gauzy shawl was draped across her perfect shoulders. Rhe gaped. One to rival even the lady Dryea. She seemed to float down the hall, her perfect carriage enhancing her height and shapely figure.

But even as Rhe was admiring the lady, and thinking of what a perfect bride she would make Denethor, years of training took over. It did not matter how beautiful she was, how graceful, how perfect, she was an enemy. Even if she did come from Dol Amroth, she had agreed to marry Denethor, future steward, the enemy of the corsairs. Finduilas was nothing more than a traitor.

[ June 29, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 06-25-2003, 05:51 PM   #4
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elven maiden Earwen's post

Eleniel sat up slowly in bed. She was really tired. She looked around, and it took her a few minutes to register that she was in Minas Tirith. It was Finduilas’s big day. Eleniel got up and pulled back her curtains. Bright light streamed though, illuminating her room. She began getting dressed. She pulled on a green dress. It had been embroidered on it in gold was a turtle. Around her waist a golden and green thread were entwined and sewed on. It was her favorite dress and it had been made just for her for this special occasion. She pulled her long, dark, black hair into two braids and slipped on her shoes.

Eleniel looked out the window. She could see much of the White City from where she sat perched on the long windowsill. She saw the great walls that surrounded the city. The city was awake and moving. There were houses and shops that lined the streets. There were people with horses, and just walking. There were guards, and nobles, and peasants everywhere. This absolutely, positively, unquestionably, without doubt wasn’t a boring city. Eleniel pulled open her window, and leaned outside. She felt the cool fresh air fly though her. This was a wonderful city. But still she would always think Dol Amroth better.

She shut her window and walked out of her room. I need to check up on Finduilas and Tessa she thought as she headed towards their room. *Knock knock knock* Tessa opened the door. “Good morning” Eleniel said as she followed Tessa into the room. *Gasp* There was Finduilas. “Finduilas you look beautiful!” she exclaimed. Finduilas stood there in an elegant ornately embroidered white dress. Her hair was pulled back in a sophisticated bun and her shawl was perfectly dainty and simple. Finduilas looked gorgeous. But she always did look stunning but took day she looked better than ever before.

[ June 29, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 06-25-2003, 05:51 PM   #5
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Varda's post

Elena heard the sound of feet running past the door of the library. Snapping her heavy book shut, she went and looked out the large window, curiously to see what was drawing everyone’s attention, and saw the arrival of Finduilas and her maids.

It seemed the whole of Minas Tirith was excited about the arrival of this strange woman from Dol Amroth, here to be married to Denethor. Those that weren’t so excited were jealous, at least that was the impression Elena had picked up from the gossiping maids around the court, and the frowns worn on the faces of the nobility, hoping to have married off their daughters to the future Steward.

Elena, in truth, felt very little about Finduilas’ arrival. It was just another woman who had looked for Denethor’s attention, hoping for marriage, only this time the woman had actually succeeded. What reason had a girl like Elena to care too deeply about it? Hopefully, it would at least bring some excitement to the court of Minas Tirith, which, if anything, had only become increasingly dull of late. Even the maids had been running out of gossip to tell each other. Surely, there would be a few parties in Finduilas’ honour, and then, Elena felt sure, there was a chance to have some fun.

[ June 29, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 06-25-2003, 05:52 PM   #6
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Everdawn's post

It was nearing dusk and the wind was high in Dol Amroth, Vieana hurried down the road from the palace, clutching her basket close to her. She had previously been there talking with her friends, she had bid Tessa and Finduilas and a few other of her friends goodnight and returned home. Leaving the palace, several guards had bowed to her and she swiftly nodded back. Vieana stood at the front of the gates of her home, which she shared with Dol Amroth high guard and son of a Dol Amroth general, Dardanir. It was a huge mass of sandstone, fenced by the same material with huge cast iron gates facing the exterior. Vieana was concealed under her emerald cloak, which prompted the guard at the front of her house to call out “Halt who goes there”

“Its me!” she called laughing. The guard bowed and let her pass. “So sorry madam” he stammered. “Not at all soldier, it’s nice to know that we are protected by such fine men!” This was typical of her; Vieana was one for giving compliments. Her father always marvelled at where Vieana lived, although her house was not as nearly grotesque in magnificence as her father’s mansion. Her father had been very glad that she married Dardanir, he said “Provides you with security me dear, and a handsome income.”

Vieana opened the door to the house and placed her basket down on a near by table. “Vieana my love, are you home?” a voice called from a side room, it was the voice of her husband Dardanir. He was tall and well built, with black shoulder length black hair and dark brown eyes, the perfect picture of a man, except for a scar down his left cheek. But Vieana never minded, she said it “added character”. He walked up to her and took her cloak. And led her to the lounge where she sat in front of the fire. Husband and wife talked for some time before Dardanir asked “You haven’t changed you mind have you? You are still going to start for Minas Tirith tomorrow?”
“I am, the universities there offer the best in medical education.” She said taking her hand in his.

The colour had drained from Dardanir’s face, as it did every time she mentioned the universities. “But, Vieana, what about our plans? I thought we were going to settle here, start a family!” he frowned. “We can still have a family, and besides, its not like I am going away forever, and you yourself spend more time there than you ever do here. And you know that whenever you need to see me you can get leave, your father can see to that.” He embraced her “You always seem to get the better of me, that’s why I love you so much.” They were quiet. Dardanir spoke again “Do you think Finduilas will be happy after you know…”
“…After the sea captain incident?... You know what? I think she will be very happy.” Vieana laughed and left to pack for the next day.


Vieana had arrived in Minas Tirith along with the others the night before Finduilas was to meet her new husband. She had not time to see anything as it was dark. Vieana slept well though she was woken early the next day. “Finduilas’ big day” she sighed to herself as she opened a door to a balcony and looked upon the huge city of Minas Tirith. “I do hope she will be happy.” She spoke aloud to no one. Vieana had a dress made for the occasion. It was grey, silver and white, her favourite colours, though one would argue she wore them too often. Vieana decided to wear her hair down, and placed upon her breast, the blue lily jewel her husband had given her. Taking one final look in the mirror, she headed down the corridor after one of the servants who took her to the other ladies.


Vieana smiled in admiration at Finduilas. She looked the picture of perfection. “I am sorry I am so late” she said waving to the others. “My dear, you do look wonderful, Dethenor will not be able to take his eyes off you.”

[ June 29, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 06-25-2003, 05:52 PM   #7
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Wren's post

Lessawen hopped out of bed eager to begin her day, for tomarrow would be her day off and these days always seemed to fly by. She dressed hurriedly in a simple grey dress with a white pinafore over the top. It had large pockets for holding her tools of the trade like cleaning cloths, combs, brushes, even toys for when she was helping in the nursery.

Today she skipped down to the kitchen to grap a quick bite to eat and help the cook prepare breakfast. She chatted chearfully with the kindly woman about her plans for the morrow. "I have learned of a park with a pond where swans and ducks can enjoy the water. I'm going to take my lunch for a picnic." She watched as the cook carefully took her bread from the oven, and set it on the wide countertop. Then Lessawen found a knife and began to slice the bread for the cook. Grinning at the older women and enjoying the smells of the fresh bread, she slathered the newly cut pieces with sweet butter. She helped the cook load up serving trays with many different kinds of fruit, not dishes, cold dishes, milk, cream, juice and wine.

Then she ran back upstairs to see if she was needed. The lady of the household was awake and needing some help with her buttons. She smiled when she saw Lessawen, because the new girl had proven herself to be gentle and careful in her attentions. Once she had the lady all buttoned up she began to brush her hair, being very careful not to pull too hard on the tangles, then she divided the woman's hair into two sections, braided each section and styled them in coils around her head.

When all of the ladies had dressed and there hair was fixed and combed to their satisfaction, Lessawen could begin her cleaning of the rooms. She carefully made the big beds. Plumping the pillows, and putting away the nightclothes. She carefully dusted the beautiful furniture with a clean white cloth, when it shining and gleaming. Then she cleaned the fireplace's ashes of the previous night. Scooping them into her bucket was a messy buisiness, and she often needed to clean herself when she was done.

Now it was time to turn her attentions to the floors. She swept up the dust which inevitably gets tracked in, and then it was time to mop. Getting down to her hands and she knees she wiped the entire floor's surface with a moistend cloth. She worked her way towards the door. With this room finished she made her way to the next. Thinking to herself, "Only nine more to go!"

[ June 29, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 06-25-2003, 05:52 PM   #8
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Durelin's post

"You're lucky my wooden spoon isn't my favorite pitch fork!" Vernathitia, Head Cook of the Kitchens of Minas Tirith, shouted at the men and women rushing back and forth around her. The kitchens of Minas Tirith were a busy place, especially with guests. Ladies of Dol Amroth, and the Lady Finduilas herself, the woman who was to wed the Steward's son! And the wedding itself was not far away.

"Those red-currant tarts better be in the ovens!" Vernathitia, called Vern by anyone she considered a friend or of higher status, strode over to peer over the shoulder of a young girl with blonde curls at a large pot.

"What are you doing girl!" she screeched in utter astonished anger. "The potatoes should have gone in five minutes ago!"

The girl stared up at the imposing woman with large eyes filled with horror, her knees wobbling. Cowering beneath the gaze she lowered her eyes only to stand there.

"Well what are you waiting for, girl? For the taters to grow legs and leap into the soup?"
As the honey-haired girl jumped to grab the potatoes Vern suddenly gasped. The girl jumped. "The salmon!" she cried. Seeing the girl, Vern turned to her with a reassuring look. "No, not you." The girl relaxed and Vern raced off to the back of the kitchens.

Right next to the strangely curved wall at the back, six large grey fish lay on a polished stone surface. Vern quickly grabbed the fileting knife and attacked one of the fish, pulling out herbs and spices. Then the door behind her opened and two young men came up the stairs from the cellar, carrying large wheels of various cheeses. The two were speaking intently to one another.

"…and you know what the Lady Dryea says," said the taller of the two. He had short dark hair and eyes. "What?" asked the other boy. He was a head shorter and had lighter and longer hair. "She says she's not sure about these ladies who came with the Lady Finduilas, from Dol Amroth," the dark haired one continued, "And she thinks they aren't really from there."

That was all Vern needed. She had never really known the Lady Dryea or any of her retinue, they seemed quite normal to Vern. The Lady Dryea seemed nice enough, and her family had been in Minas Tirith for quite a while. Now these ladies…she'd just have to keep an eye on them. And of course she'd notify the Lady Emilia about this, that was her job. It would do her quite a lot of good if --

"Ow!" she cried. She had cut herself neatly down her finger instead of the fish. "I have to pay attention to my work, then I can worry about giving my information to m'Lady," she mumbled to herself.

"What was that you said, Mistress Vernathitia?" asked the light haired boy carrying the cheese. She had completely forgotten about the two. "Oh do shut up!" she yelled. "And give that bloody cheese to Master Domon!"

[ June 29, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 06-25-2003, 05:53 PM   #9
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Arien´s post

Alethea lay on her four poster bed. It was covered in a beige spread with several soft cushions sprawled over it. Muslin hung down from the post and were eloquently tied back with golden ribbons. Her dress, which was now no doubt getting creased, was a rich gold. The sleeves covered her bronzed arms and stopped , tied with a weaving lace on the inner wrists. Her corset was tied tightly, with a golden ribbon weaved in at the back. Her front was decorated with a simple starburst of Citrine jewels, backed with the same golden colour, in silk. The bottom part was simple and purely flowed to the floor. Her hair hung loosely in attractive and refined ringlets. Upon her feet she wore simple golden slippers.

Her mother was with her sister. There was no change there. She always would help her get ready as she was the ‘eldest’. Alethea doubted this, it was probably favouritism. Everyone seemed to like Dryea more, but this didn’t really bother her that much. She liked the friends she had.

Alethea got up slowly and peered into the mirror. Resting on her tanned face her eyelashes were thick and dark and her eyes had a faint golden shimmer swept over them. And on her lip elusively hung a brush of intense red. She smiled, her small perfect pearl teeth shone. So today she would be meeting Findulas. The one person, she thought, that could ruin all their planning. Her sister and mother didn’t seem to be bothered about the new oncoming presence but she certainly was. What if she told that they were not from Dol Amroth? But then again her and her maids could be used to their advantage. Maybe it was time to put some of their skills into practice once more. Her trail of thought was suddenly lost by knock on the door. A maid entered.
“Miss, your mother and sister are waiting,” she said timidly.

“Thank you,” Alethea smiled. She quickly sprayed her self with a fragrance of lavender, checked that she had her knife- which was kept beneath the skirt and briskly walked out of her room, locking the door behind her and slipping the key into a purse that hung from her side. She met her mother and sister on the landing, who both looked equally stunning.

“Shall we go then?” she smiled and they proceeded to walk down to the hall. Down there was array of beautiful women and handsome men. Alethea sat beside her Minas Tirith friends and watched as Findulas and her maids entered the court. For better or for worse she whispered to herself.

[ June 29, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 06-25-2003, 05:53 PM   #10
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Maikafanawen's post

Dryea Morthaniawen stood in front of the full-length mahogany mirror in her bedchamber, studying her elegant ensemble. Her amber hair was piled on top of her head in elaborate curls and held in place by decorative pins. Her dress was of crimson velour with a seven-inch wide strip of embroidered flowers on cream velour running down the front. Darts on the left and right fronts of the bodice gave it a shapely look and enhanced her exotic figure. The sleeves were snug and ran gracefully down the entire length of each arm, stopping at a point above each delicate hand.

“Exquisite,” said her mother, coming up behind her, dressed equally as ravishing in dark blue velour. She dismissed the maids with a polite nod and smooth out a slight wrinkle on the sleeve. “What about jewelry?” she asked. Dryea glided over to her vanity and chose a long gold chain from which hung a beautiful medallion. The medallion was inlaid with sapphires and was of a fine ship, with tall masts and billowing sails, representing Dol Amroth. The lady also chose a delicate array of bangles that she slid onto her wrist. Taking another look in the mirror, she was satisfied with the view.

“Splendid.” Then the daughter did something unexpected for a lady. She opened a secret drawer in her vanity and withdrew a dagger of unique make and tucked it into a fold in her dress. Her mother didn’t blink an eye for she too held such a weapon. But these noblewomen of Minas Tirith were not at all as they appeared.

Sent here years ago, the mother was a spy from the corsairs whose stronghold lay at Umbar: a city in Harad. For many years the sea-faring men had been looting merchant ships and living off their plunder. Dryea had been raised knowing only what her mother had taught her. So she had believed that her deeds were noble and for the good of her people. However, now as she grew older, and with age came wisdom, she realized that her actions were nothing short of vengeful. But she didn’t change her ways. She thought only of power. And the day when she would rule Gondor and the corsairs would rule the seas yet again. That thought always brought a wicked smile to her magnificent face.

Soon they were joined by Dryea’s younger sister, Alethea. Together, the three of them walked down their corridor length and down the stairwell to the hall where they were being introduced to Lady Finduilas of Dol Amroth, and future Lady of Minas Tirith. This may or may not impose a threat to Dryea and her mother’s plans. If she turns out to be easily susceptible to her charm, she could prove to be an important ally. If not. . .

“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” her mother had said unsteadily as she nodded greeting to guards as they were permitted to enter the hall. It was beautifully decorated with tapestries that hung from the ceiling and were carefully woven with portraits of past kings and stewards of Gondor. Dryea walked down the length of carpet, following the other ladies of the court, until she stopped in front of Finduilas. She was just as, if not more, stunning in appearance than Dryea. The lady looked very confident, although, thought Dryea thinking back to the first time she had come to the citadel, she must be very nervous. She bowed her head slightly in due respect and gave her a reassuring motherly smile and a wink. Finduilas seemed to relax a bit at Dryea’s friendliness and continued greeting the court.

Dryea Morthaniawen then took her place beside her friends of Minas Tirith and watched the procession closely, taking in all the new faces and their unique characteristics whether it be fan-waving, eye-batting, or a slight hop to their walk. Dryea knew almost everything to be known about each member of the court. Soon, she would also know about this Finduilas of Dol Amroth!

[ June 29, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 06-25-2003, 05:53 PM   #11
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Elora's post

Lady Ruiel Morthaniawen critically examined her daughter's appearance. Dryea was an flawlessly beautiful woman and on this occassion there could be no flaw. Too much was at stake and the Gondorian nobles would be paying close attention. Already Ruiel had recevied word of the bubbling resentment towards Finduilias and the Dol Amroth contingent, an encouraging possibility not to be squandered by a wrong footed entrance now. Finding no blemish in her radiant beauty, Ruiel smiled at her daughter.

"Exquisite," she said in approval, her voice it's usual cultured alto musical tone. Ruiel waved the maids from the chambers after favouring one in particular with a small smile. The dressing completed, and stood beside her fair daughter before the mirror. Youth and maturity stared back at her. Ruiel smoothed the luxuriant nap of her indigo, paneled gown that fell in graceful folds from her lush, curved hips. The bodice, tightly bound to her ripened torso, emphasied the feminine curve of her figure. Ruiel, though not in the grip of youthful beauty, was a woman come into the maturity of her own handsomeness.

"What about jewellry," Ruiel prompted. Dryea crossed to the richly carved vanity to finish her preparations. She stowed a dagger, delicately worked for all it's lethal edge, and tucked it into her glorious crimson gown. The decadent colour set her golden skin off to perfection, as had been intended when the bolt of fabric had been purchased some weeks ago and sent to the dressmakers for work.

Ruiel, who saw all as an investment that must provide her the expected return, the cost of the wardrobe she'd commissioned for this journey was well invested. Her daughter was as beautiful and deadly as the dagger she had hidden in her dress. Her daughter added a extraordinary medallion and fine golden bracelets that gently chimed to her slim wrists. Then she turned to re-examine her appearance.

Dryea lifted her chin at her reflection and satisfaction gleamed in her sapphire gaze. "Splendid," Dryea finally agreed.

Ruiel, amber hair was wound intricately around her head, turned for the door to see where her other daughter dallied. On her fingers gleamed a fiery ruby set in an ornately carved ring, the betrothal ring of her dead husband. A golden torc, twisted delicately into trailing vines and flowers by a clever smith, gleamed at the base of her long throat. The heavy fabric of her gown whispered as she walked, augmented by Dryea who accompanied her.

Alethea emerged from her chambers, dressed in the gold gown as Ruiel had instructed. Well pleased with her daughters, who would gleam as jewels in Gondor this day, bright and beckoning to the already beleaugered Finduilias who was also newly arrived from Dol Amroth. If the child did not take the bait, then it little mattered to Ruiel. The trio smoothly walked towards the hall where the lords and ladies in attendance were gathering.

"We will cross bridges as we come to them," Ruiel gently reminded her daughters, moreso Dyrea who had glanced at her mother prior to entering the hall. Standing graceful, they moved like swans through the knots of people, Ruiel nodding here and there to those faces it suited her to acknowlede until they came to Lady Finduilias.

Her youth was striking, as was her beauty. Denethor had not chosen from his own city, but Ruiel could see why he had risked the censure of his nobles to snatch up Finduilias. That was all well and good, provided the child did not impede more imporant matters, like the cedeing of Umbar's lands back to them in accordance with ancient birthright. No vassal of Gondor, no matter how beautiful, would stymie her on that score.

Dryea and Alethea stood on either side of their mother, hands clasped elegantly before them and schooled expressions of charming welcome upon their faces. Ruiel herself curved her lips into a motherly smile of greeting, and swept into a graceful cursty before the bride.

"Lady Finduilias, greetings and felicitations on your impending wedding. Lady Ruiel Morthaniawen of Dol Amroth at your service."

Finduilias smiled, anxious in this strange place with it's cool Gondorian nobles around her. Ruiel had calculated her smile, warmth and the familiar name of Dol Amroth to be a powerful relaxant. She smoothly rose once more.

"I introduce to you my daughters, Dryea and Alethea, who had accompanied me to witness the glorious upcoming event," Ruiel said. Dryea and Alethea curtsied sweetly, allowing Ruiel the opportunity to covertly guage the level of attention they were garnering. More than one set of eyes focused on their gathering, notably upon Dryea, as Ruiel had hoped.

She returned her focus to Finduilias, who in turn greeted her daughters. Ruiel projected comforting, gentle warmth through her smile at the bride, a stranger in this less than receptive court. Then, she stepped back to allow Finduilias to continue with the procession of greetings. Time would see if the girl was so alone here as to reach for a seemingly comforting presence of a friend. Flanked by her daughters, Ruiel continued her inspection of those gathered. Yes, she thought with the confidence of experience as she looked about, even should the girl prove recalcitrant and aloof there is still much to work with here. Lady Morthaniawen wrapped her anticipation and satisfaction around her.

[ June 29, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 06-25-2003, 05:54 PM   #12
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Horse-Maiden of the Shire's post


Meirelle awoke to another maid shaking her roughly by the shoulder. "Miss Meirelle! Meirelle! You're late for your duties!" she exclaimed, now resorting to slapping her face lightly.

Meirelle groaned and pushed the maid off of the bed, resulting in a thud on the floor. "I know," she said hotly. "Besides, I'm only..." her words trailed off as she looked at the clock in her quarters. "Half an hour?!?!? Oh, cram!!" Meirelle leapt out of bed, stepping on the maid who was still sprawled out on the floor. She grabbed her dress and hastily put it on. She quickly braided her hair into a single braid and grabbed her shoes that were sitting by the door.

Meirelle hopped down the hallway as she put on first her left, then her right shoe. She turned the corner and ran into yet another maid, who said, "Oh! You're late, Meirelle!" Her response was a grumbled "I know, I know..." She finally got to the main room, and slipped in quietly. Luckily nobody seemed to notice that she was gone, so she heaved a silent sigh of relief and relaxed.

"Make way for Finduilas, bride-to-be of Denethor II, son of Ecthelion!" A man's voice pierced the air sharply. Meirelle was jostled and shoved as people moved aside to make room for the Lady. Meirelle had to stand on her toes to look over peoples' shoulders. She hadn't caught the slightest glance of Finduilas yet, but when she did she drew in her breath sharply. Finduilas was no doubt a beauty among beauties. Denethor is a lucky man! thought Meirelle, as the Lady drew away through the passage in the crowd. The man's voice continued now: "Please continue to the Party to celebrate Finduilas' arrival in our fair city!"

Meirelle followed the others to the room where the party was held. It was decorated lavishly, with beautiful curtains and tapestries on the walls. Maids and servants were bustling to and fro. Someone tapped her on the shoulder and she spun around, to be handed a plate piled high with food. "Take this to Lady Dryea!" was the command. Meirelle made her way over to Dryea's table and handed her the plate of food. A quick glance and a small smile were her thanks as Meirelle curtsied and went off to find more duties.

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Old 06-25-2003, 05:54 PM   #13
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Lyra Greenleaf´s post

“Oh dear!”
Emilia shook her head just enough to make her hair sway prettily but without tangling it. From the corner of her eye she watched the off duty City Guard.
He is looking!
Deliberately, Emilia widened her eyes.

“Oh no. What shall I do?”
Once again she looked at the Guard. He was definitely watching her. Quite appraisingly, too. Irritation flared. That was very crude of him. With an internal sigh she decided he would never do to marry. Not if he went around looking at all pretty girls like that. Still, he was attractive.

Why is he not offering to help? Oaf!
Unhappily she turned to him, deciding to try the direct approach. “Will you please help me? I’m trying to find the Houses of Healing, and I can’t remember the way.” Discreetly Emilia batted her eyelashes. It was always best to be discrete, she had never yet been accused of flirting by a man.

Annoyingly the man raised an eyebrow, and gave a slight smile.
“The Houses of Healing? And why would you be going there? You don’t look ill to me”
Insolence! The gall of this man!
Emilia was unsure how to reply. She had never been questioned in this way before! Most of the Guards would just be happy to escort her, to talk to her.

“I-I have a message for one of the healers.”
“Very well” the man replied, again with that insolent half smile. Immediately he turned and began to walk briskly, cloak swirling around his legs. Emilia hurried to follow, blood boiling. He was indeed walking briskly, she could hardly keep up.

With a start Emilia realised she was passing her own front door. Her ‘escort’ had not yet looked back to check whether she was following. With a small smile Emilia turned aside and entered her house.

I believe I win, she said to herself.


Emilia looked around the gathering in disgust. There were so many women! “Where are all the men?” she asked the old lady sitting to her left.
“Some trouble with, well I own, I hardly know who! Not those Corsairs, I don’t think. The Rohirrim? No, they’re on our side…”
Emilia sighed and wandered away. An Old Maid.
No doubt she has no-one to talk to at home so decides to bore to tears anyone she meets!

From a vantage point in a corner of the long room Emilia gazed around. There really were very few men. With satisfaction she noticed Beren. Well, there’s little fear of him going to fight anyone, she thought with contempt. Little worm! Nevertheless he is extremely good looking. He makes the City Guard look-
Emilia broke off her thought, annoyance at the man’s attitude resurfacing.
Determinedly she began to walk towards Beren. He was talking with Lorna.
Simply because she has fair hair she thinks every man should fall at her feet! Empty headed little-

“Lorna!” Emilia said, false smile spreading over her features. “And Beren!” ”Emilia” Lorna returned, smile stretched even wider.
“I am so parched. Do either of you know where I can get a drink?” Emilia asked, features showing innocence.
“I will get you one of course Emilia” Beren answered immediately.

Emilia watched him walk away with a small smile.
Men! So easy to understand and control! It’s sweet really. Except that-
Emilia cut herself off again. Not that odious man.

At Beren’s departure both women dropped their smiles.
“Emilia I was talking to him first. When you get your drink - ”
“But Lorna, I simply had to come and tell you about your hair.”
”My hair?” Lorna looked at Emilia distrustfully. Emilia was aware that somehow she had gained a reputation among the women for being manipulating. It was unfortunate, really- it made everything so much harder.

“Well yes. The interesting effect you have at the back. It’s very bold. I only hope everyone else likes it as much as I”
Lorna put a hand up to feel her hair. Emilia bit back a smile.
Nearly as easy as dear Beren!

“I think it’s commendable,” she continued “Court fashions haven’t changed in so long. Whose idea was it? The tangled look I mean?”
“T-tangled?” Lorna began, distrust still flickering in her eyes. “It’s not - ”
Time for the kill!
“Yes, tangled. Letty was saying it looked like a bird’s nest. I stood up for you of course. I think it’s a triumph.”

Both women stared towards Letty. Emilia had noticed her looking, a few moments ago. Now, of course, she quickly ducked her head. Looking back to Lorna, Emilia saw horror was blooming on her face.
“E-Excuse me” she said, walking quickly away, hands fluttering up repeatedly to touch her hair. Emilia smiled gently as she watched her leave the room, then waved at Beren, who nodded, rasing his two filled hands.

Indeed people are so easy to control, Emilia thought with satisfaction. That was a most enjoyable interlude. Now, I think, a dance? Beren dances as badly as he would fight- were he ever to try. Reniedil on the other hand…


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

The next morning Emilia yawned behind her hand as she waited for the girl from Dol Amroth, who was to wed Denethor.
Such a pity that we must all stand around to greet her. It was be far more agreeable to have a party. Or a ball…

A dreamy smile spread across her face at the thought. A new dress of course, perhaps a dusky rose pink like the one she had worn for her brother’s wedding. Hopefully the soldiers would be recalled to the city, for Emilia could not stand another party with just the men like Beren, too rich or cowardly to do anything.
Yes, that would do nicely…

A flash of movement in front of her distracted her attention from a detailed plan of the embroidery she would have on the bodice of her dress. As she looked up, Emilia saw the guard from yesterday. He was waving his hand at her, talking to another soldier. As he saw her looking he winked. Unbidden, a blush crept onto Emilia’s face. She willed it away, for blushing made her freckles stand out. It would not go, and she feared he would notice. Notice that he had got to her, of course, not her freckles. She wouldn’t care about the freckles. Of course not. Vexed she turned away.
Obnoxious pig of a man! she thought furiously.Where in the world is Adrama?

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Old 06-25-2003, 05:54 PM   #14
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Snowdog's post

As Ränne finished helping with Dryea's beautiful hair, a smile spread across her face.

'You are ravishing Lady Dryea!'

Ränne said as the door to the chamber opened. The Lady Morthaniawen entered and Ränne stepped back behind Dryea and lowered her eyes. As the Lady motioned her dismissal, Ränne bowed slightly and said,

'I will be working in the kitchens seeing to the service of the reception if you require me m'lady.'

And with a nod she turned and left the room, letting the door close gently.

Ränne knew of the arrival of Finduilas to the City and the wedding of Steward Denethor. So to was she aware of the influence the Lady had and the aspirations for her daughter Dryea. Surely the coming of Finduilas was a threat to all that was hoped for in house Morthaniawen. As Ränne made her way to her chamber to dress, then through the halls to the kitchens. Bumping into Meirelle, Ränne said as she hurried by,

'You're late!'

Which drew a fading "I know!" as she disappeared around the corner. Ränne's skirts flurreyed about her feet as she passed a hall where much talk could be heard. The Lady Finduilas had arrived with her party, and Ränne herself was late in her duties. Having gained a position on the kitchen waitstaff, she went to fill elegant glasses with the finest in Anfalas and Befalas red and white wines. With a grace of movement, she started out about the main reception room where the Lords and Ladies were gathering and soon her tray was empty as hands helped themselves to the goblets. Ränne made her way through the gathering to set fresh-filled glasses upon her tray. She made it a point to get to where Lady Finduilas was with her entourage, and as Ränne handed her a goblet, their eyes met for a moment. Taking what she saw in them to note, she likewise served a woman with her with blue eyes, and again a smile passed from Ränne. She could see it would be a very long day on her feet, and evermore reading the intentions of the people gathered.

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Old 06-25-2003, 05:55 PM   #15
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Ealasaid's post

As they entered the great hall for the reception, Averyll, as one of the newest ladies added to Finduilas' court, found herself in the rear of the elegant party. She was not accustomed to being at court and found herself ever more and more impressed by the beauty and finery of the ladies of Minas Tirith as they swept past her on their way to pay respects to the future bride of Denethor. She glanced down at her own pale green dress with its white inserts at the sleeves and neckline that she had been so pleased with that morning, and felt instantly inferior.

"Well, it's better than mourning," she reminded herself softly. Her husband Calum, a young naval officer, had been lost at sea just over a year previous. The time since had been difficult on Averyll, but she was getting by. She thought fondly of her three year old son, whom she had been forced to leave with his grandparents in Dol Amroth. How long would it be before she would see him again? she wondered. How much will he have changed?

She sighed deeply, letting her eyes wander around the crowded room. It was ironic, the idea of her having come here for a wedding after the tragic disaster of her brief marriage. She looked forward to where Finduilas stood next to her sister Tessa, greeting the seemingly endless flow of beautiful ladies and elegant noblemen. I hope things work out better for you! she thought to herself. Not only had she lost her young husband a bare four years after their exchange of vows, but as soon as his death became known, a string of creditors had appeared at her door: gambling debts, unpaid bar tabs, unpaid bills of all kinds. Painstakingly, she had paid them all, but it had left her penniless. Out of kindness and a desire to help, her family had secured her the position with Finduilas only days before the lady's ship sailed for Minas Tirith. Now, as she watched Finduilas greet her future husband's people, Averyll felt a fierce protectiveness over the young woman.

Life could be so cruel sometimes. Finduilas would need friends in this strange new place, and Averyll intended to be there for her.

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Old 06-25-2003, 05:55 PM   #16
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Annalaliath's post

Gwen stood behind the other ladies in waiting as they crowded about the court as their fine mistress enter the hall she stood watching as Denther's new bride-to -be walzed in to meet her future husband. This was all strange to her, the stone, the greyness, and weightiness. She wanted to be anywhere but here. She had brought a book with her that she kept hidden in a pocket of her white apron, it bummed against her leg lazily as she watched in the huddle that consisted of the ladies in waiting. As was usual she was being ignored, and she was thinking on what the world would be like if it were all under water. What would it be like if it all were taken by the ocean, she wondered. Then she thought, “ Then we would not be here and I would not be wearing this dress.

She looked down at herself and wondered at how she stuck out. A dark blue skirt, her own white blouse and her apron. The apron had the packets, she loved her pockets. She could keep her things in them, her books, her scraps of paper, and a bit of food saved from a meal. She likes to keep her dagger with her, a happy gift from her parents, tucked in her belt. She had no other use for it other than to eat with and that is what she did. All of this is what she thought as she watched the lady enter the court. She thought it amazing that she was thinking all this because of water.

One of the other ladies there bumped into her, she looked at the woman, who was looking at her. She must have looked peevish because at that moment she just laughed and turned away, “Ahhh, don’t worry, it was only Gwen.”

“Only Gwen,” Gwen mumbled, “Only Gwen! I do have feelings you know.” Then out of the pure shock of it she turned to the woman who had been so rude and simply said, “ I like to dissect things, especially rude people.” The woman looked quite perplexed as Gwen went back to watching her mistress and pondering her thoughts.

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Old 06-25-2003, 05:55 PM   #17
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Estelyn's post:

Diorwyn’s dark hair and the folds of her soft grey dress blended with the shadows of the drapery in the hall. Though not likely to be noticed in the colourful throng of noble guests, she had an excellent view of the Steward, his family and the newcomers from Dol Amroth. Her critical eyes observed Finduilas, the designated bride, noting every detail of her perfect appearance. With a tiny sigh of relief, she turned her head to look at the dresses of the other ladies present.

“She’s beautiful,” a low voice beside her said, “and she does her seamstress honour.”

“Gwinniel!” Diorwyn exclaimed softly. “I might have known that you would be here. Nothing escapes your attention, as always.”

The lips of the white-haired woman curved upwards ever so slightly in greeting. “It appears that the princess has chosen wisely; your skill has improved even since I last saw you. I am pleased that you have come to the White City after a long absence. But tell me, how does your family? They must miss you sorely!”

“As I do them,” the younger woman answered. “Ciryandil said that they would fare well without help, but his sister lives nearby and is looking after them when needed. Our eldest spends all day at the wharves with his father, learning the shipbuilding trade. The two younger ones are still in school, though they think that they would rather be grown up already.”

“Good, good.” Gwinniel’s reply was rather preoccupied, for her gaze rested on the gown of Finduilas again. “The colour and style become her well,” she said approvingly. “You have changed the prevailing fashion in some details; now, how did you…”

The two women drifted off into a low conversation on cuts, trimmings, fabrics and figures, and if some of the ladies had heard their caustic comments, they would have fled the hall immediately to change their garments…

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Old 06-25-2003, 05:56 PM   #18
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Nurumaiel’s post:

Adrama stood with her mother Pelien, watching critically as Finduilas was introduced to the court. Her heart burned with jealousy and rage at the thought of this stranger wedding Denethor. Glancing up at her mother, she saw that she was thinking much the same. But all she wanted was for her daughter to marry Denethor, a man of great position. She didn’t realize that the young woman standing beside her had been and still was deeply in the love with him.

“Perhaps we should go greet her,” Pelien said, taking a step forward. Adrama knew it was a command, but she stood where she was and shook her head. She would not go speak to that woman who had stolen her life from her. Her mother could go, but she, Adrama, would not. What did her mother care, anyway? She didn’t understand the suffering Adrama had endured, and was now enduring as she watched Finduilas, who would wed Denethor.

Pelien gave her a warning look as she walked towards Finduilas to greet her. Adrama watched stubbornly. Suddenly she was aware of someone standing at her shoulder and she turned furiously, already knowing who it was. Yes, it was as she thought. Addruran, possibly the most annoying young man in the court. She knew he was in love with her. He followed her everywhere and never gave her any peace.

This gave her twice as much reason to escape. First Finduilas, the one who had ruined her life, and now Addruran, who was trying to ruin it further. She turned and glared up at him, trying to think of something to say. He looked down at her innocently. “It is a pity Finduilas is to marry Denethor,” Adrama said cruelly, “for I still love him very much.”

“Yes, it is a pity,” said Addruran calmly, but Adrama thought she saw his back straighten a little. His eyes turned to Finduilas and those gathered around her. “Now I must go greet the lady who is Denethor’s betrothed.” He said those words coldly, trying to hurt her. As he departed he took one final shot. “She is beautiful, isn’t she? So perfect for Denethor.” Adrama burned with rage, and the tears sprung to her eyes. She turned and ran from the hall. She could no longer bear to look at Finduilas. She had ruined her entire life. Oh, Denethor.....

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Old 06-25-2003, 05:56 PM   #19
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alaklondewen´s post

Pelien looped her right arm through her husband’s as they watched Denethor’s new bride enter the hall. As Finduilas crossed the floor, Pelien roughly squeezed Sador’s bicep. “What do you think?” He whispered. Her answer was a disparaging look accompanied by a raised eyebrow. “She’s nothing special,” she spat calmly.

Turning toward her daughter, Pelien touched the small of her back. “Stand up straight, Adrama,” she said shortly through her teeth. The girl immediately straightened her back and raised her chin. That should be Adrama, Pelien thought as she turned her attention back to Finduilas.

“Perhaps we should go greet her.” Pelien stepped forward and waited for her daughter to fall in line. Sador leaned forward and whispered, “Be nice, dear.” Pelien just grunted. She would not do or say anything that would cause an unpleasant scene. Snapping her head around, she shot a warning at Adrama to step forward, but the girl shook her head. That’s fine…I’ll go myself. Straightening her navy dress, she strode across the room still holding Sador’s arm toward Finduilas.

Several ladies surrounded the young woman, but Pelien paid them no attention and interrupted the talk by holding her hand out to Finduilas. “Welcome to Minas Tirith. I am Pelien and this is my husband, Sador.” Finduilas slowly reached out, took the woman’s hand, and said, “It is a pleasure to meet you, Madame and Sir.” Pelien put on a courtesy smile and looked the girl in the eyes. “I’m sure it is,” she said rather curtly then smiled warmly. “Please, if there is anything at all that you need…” she trailed off purposefully leaving the just ask off. Turning her back on Finduilas, Pelien walked away proudly.

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Old 06-25-2003, 05:56 PM   #20
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Novnarwen's post

He followed his wife Pelien to greet the coming wife of Denethor, Finduilas. She was surrounded by a number of ladies all dressed in beautiful dresses with golden thread and other decorations. Pelian reached out her hand, and greeted her. “Welcome to Minas Tirith. I am Pelien and this is my husband, Sador.” Sador gave a nod and smiled. Finduilas took Pelien's hand and seemed to be quite nervous. "I't a plesure to meet you," she answered and two red roses in her cheek appeared. His wife gave a short reply and walked away proudly.

Sador wasn't able to follow her quick move and was lost in the crowd of ladies, and felt quite embrassed. He tried to sneak out, but then, when he finally did, he had lost sight of his wife. "Pelien," he sighed.

All around there were ladies and men talking merrily. Sador had got the impression that his wife wasn't that pleased. Why? he didn't know. Or well, he knew what she tought of Denethor marrying an outlander. Sador didn't really mind. But then it was his daughter, she wanted to marry the coming Steward. While half running in the big room to find his wife, his eyes fell upon Addruran. Why not Adrama? He was a nice fellow, always in a very good mood, Sador tought. He continued back towards the hall and left the pretty decorated room.

The golden hall, Sador called it. It was so bright beacause of all the windows. And the ray of light flooded in. It was not so crowded here, and the people who were gathered here didn't talk that much. Almost complete silence. Wonderful, Sador tought. all those people in there, I am not sure I am going to last.

He stirred out of one of the huge windows. The sun was still up and its' red-golden colours were beautiful. He stood there for a while just admiring and thinking of what a nice day it would be for fishing. "There you are darling!" It was the voice of his wife, Pelien.

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Old 06-25-2003, 05:56 PM   #21
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Aylwen's post

Jacinth nodded and curtsied elegantly on her aged knees as she walked down the line of welcomers. She was in the midst of Finduilas' entourage, following the future lady of Steward-to-be Denethor. Jacinth looked up from a young man she had been chatting to and looked at Finduilas. Jacinth had been governess to Finduilas and her sister Tessa for such a long time, for what seemed like ages. Nothing made the older woman more proud than the sight of Finduilas that day, though Jacinth still thought that she would have made a better choice of dress for Finduilas.

But the girls were growing up, or perhaps it had been even longer than Jacinth realized and the two sisters were already grown up. Jacinth pushed this thought away, thinking it foolish when just the other day she had helped Tessa with her hair and Finduilas with finding proper earrings. No, Jacinth knew that the girls still needed her. Otherwise Jacinth would not have insisted on going along with the Progress to Minas Tirith.

During the party Jacinth milled around, taking special note of the decor of the room and the style of the local girl's dresses. On more than one occasion, Jacinth would discreetly wipe a gloved finger over a dresser or table and scowl at the dust that gathered on the white glove. Perhaps Jacinth could show the maids around here how to properly clean and dust.

The only words that Jacinth really spoke during the party consisted of, "Oh, I just adore your dress!", "Oh yes, I am here with Finduilas...don't you just love her hair?" and "What was that, sweet?" Jacinth was rather hard of hearing, and on more than one occasion she had jumped to the wrong conclusion thanks to her ability to only hear bits of conversations.

At one point Jacinth had meandered her way through the crowd towards Finduilas, and once the girl was done speaking to one of the ladies of Minas Tirith, Jacinth enveloped her in a light and proper hug. "I'm so proud of you, sweet." Jacinth whispered in her ear before being whisked away by one of the other Dol Amroth girls to speak to some other Minas Tirith noble.

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Old 06-25-2003, 05:57 PM   #22
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Sophia’s post:

Síriel pushed through the crowd excitedly, weaving in, out, and around the finely dressed men and women who had come to welcome her brother’s future wife. A rather harried looking man in Gondorian military uniform followed in her wake, holding a turquoise feathered fan in one hand.
Reaching her goal, Síriel reached eagerly for her sister’s hand. Tíriel reached out and grasped her hand with a glad cry. “Ah, Sister, what a happy day!” she exclaimed. Síriel held her sister at arms length to look at her. Cream was a very flattering color on Tíriel, the floor length gown and elbow gloves accentuating her dark hair and large blue eyes. A white stone gleamed at her throat and her hair was loose down her back.

“Sister, you are beautiful!” Síriel exclaimed. Her husband seemed to agree, refusing to relinquish Tíriel’s other hand.
“Not as beautiful as you,” Tíriel responded wistfully. Síriel knew she looked especially good that day, she’s chosen her clothing carefully, intending to put every woman in the room to shame. Her long gown was a brilliant turquoise and her long dark hair was twisted up on her head, glimmering with silver pins. So far, she hadn’t seen any real competition. She was anxious to meet this Finduilas that Denethor was to marry, anxious to prove that though she was yet unmarried, she was no old maid.

A pair of hands came to rest on her shoulders, shaking her abruptly from her thoughts. Spinning, Síriel saw Feredir, her escort, standing behind her with a rather red face and her fan clutched tightly in one hand. She took the fan from him, holding it just under her eyes to mask a grin at his expense. Tíriel, who noticed her furtive sport smiled extra nicely at Feredir. “I see you’ve brought a handsome young man from our navy with you, Síriel,” she commented playfully.

“Oh yes, Feredir’s a gem.” Síriel assured her sister. “He’s done nothing all day but run about after anything I’ve wanted, have you Feredir?” She turned her grey eyes on him and he nodded politely. Tíriel’s eyes widened.

“All day?” she asked, in mock surprise. Feredir nodded. “Well you must be positively exhausted. My sister can be impossible to please.” Síriel’s cheerful face took on the look of one grievously wronged. Tíriel nudged her playfully. “Why don’t you go on with Gaerlin now and have some drinks?” she asked, pushing her reluctant husband forward with one hand. “Have some ‘man-talk’.” Síriel giggled at this, and a look of intense relief came over the face of the unlucky Feredir. The two men departed in the direction of the bar and Síriel slumped with relief.

“My land, Tír, that man is such a bore.” She gasped. “I’ve simply run him off his feet all day, to keep from having to talk to him!”

“Oh, but so very good looking!” her sister exclaimed, with a sly grin. “I know you, Sister, can’t stand to be shown up.” Síriel blushed to a shade of red that most tomatoes would envy and turned her attention to straightening the feathers on her fan.

“Well, I simply must look good in front of Denethor’s new bride.” She whined, touching her hairstyle lightly to be sure all was still in place. Tíriel rolled her eyes at her younger sister’s vanity and scanned the room.

“Well, Sister,” she said as her sharp eyes spotted a group of nervous young women entering the hall. “It seems your escape is short lived, I think the group from Dol Amroth has arrived. I should find Gaerlin.” Síriel squealed with delight.

“Do you see Finduilas?” she clamored in Tíriel’s ear, “is she pretty? Is she good enough for our Little Brother?” Tíriel swatted her sister in irritation that was only half pretended.

“How am I to know which one she is? Really, Síriel, do try to act like an adult.” Síriel drew herself up to her full height and attempted to look serene and mature. Tíriel shot her an approving glance, as Gaerlin and Feredir rejoined them. Linking arms with their respective escorts the Steward’s daughters made their way over to where their father, Ecthelion stood. The whole family should greet this new addition together.
From where they stood at the far end of the hall they watched Finduilas come up the line, greeting every man and every maiden alike, down to the lowest. Tíriel smiled with admiration for this woman. She remembered the time before her own wedding, the nerves and the tiredness. Finduilas, she judged, would make a fine wife for her brother.

Síriel too was watching Finduilas’ progress across the room. She was indeed as lovely as they said, and so young. Síriel felt a small twinge of jealousy at this thought. She shoved it out of her mind as the girl approached them.

Finduilas held one small hand out to each of them. “And you will be my new sisters,” she said softly. Tíriel smiled at her as they nodded.

“I am Síriel.” The younger of the two said brightly, “and this is Tíriel, my sister, and her husband, Gaerlin.” Feredir coughed from behind her. “And Feredir of Pelargir. He is in the Gondorian Navy.” She added, as an afterthought. Finduilas smiled at this introduction, but remained disconcertingly silent. Feredir’s hands moved back to Síriel’s shoulders, and she shrugged with irritation. His hands refused to be dislodged. Síriel almost didn’t mind, as his possessive touch gave her something else to think about during this awkward silence.

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Old 06-25-2003, 05:57 PM   #23
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Gaerlin bowed respectfully as Siriel introduced him to Finduilas. The young girl was lovely; but seemed painfully shy. Gaerlin fell back, allowing the family to welcome the girl. Feredir drew back a pace as well.

"A beautiful young woman," Feredir said. "Denethor has good taste."

Gaerlin only nodded in reply. He had no intention of voicing any opinion on that at the moment.

It was good to see Denethor had chosen a bride at last. Many in the crowd seemed surprised that he had not chosen one of the girls in the City; but Gaerlin thought that Denethor could not have made a better choice.

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Old 07-03-2003, 11:38 AM   #24
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Adrama sipped her wine as she walked swiftly back and forth, and, her eyes riveted on Finduilas, didn't notice what was going on around her... or in front of her. She felt herself colliding with someone, and she hit the ground rather hard. Brushing some strands of hair out of her face, she passed her hand hastily across her eyes, trying to see past the blur of tears, for tears had been in her eyes thinking again of why Finduilas was there. A hand was offered and she took it, standing up and trying to see who it was that was standing in front of her. At last the tears had dried up a little so she could make out a woman... but who was it?

Adrama knew she had met this woman before. Her face was vaguely familiar. Adrama felt herself blushing as she realized she was in the situation where she knew the person standing in front of her, but she had absolutely no idea who it was. Desperately searching her mind, she nodded her head in a polite, friendly way. How horrible it was, to bump into someone you saw nearly every day of your life and yet not remember who it was or what she was called?

"Adrama?" the woman said, concern in her voice. "What's wrong? You look horrible." As soon as she spoke the words, Adrama realized who it was and her head shot up, tears coming to her eyes once again.

"Oh, Emilia!" she cried. "It's so good to see you. I can't stand to look at Finduilas another moment."

"Why not?" Emilia hesitated, not sure what to say. "Adrama, do tell me what's wrong."

And so Adrama told her the whole story. Her love for Denethor, her mother's ambitious plans, that news of Finduilas, and she even went so far as to tell Emilia about Addruran's cold words. Emilia secretly thought that Addruran was rather justified from the way she gathered Adrama had behaved, and that Addruran would make her a finer husband that Denethor, but she did not say so. Instead she just listened, not saying a single word until Adrama had finished her tale.

The latter raised her chin and spoke in a defiant voice. "I don't care what my mother and father say to me," she said in a haughty voice. "I hate Finduilas, and I will not behave to her otherwise. She's absolutely ruined my life, and I won't forgive her for it."

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Old 07-03-2003, 01:44 PM   #25
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With the serving of the familiar wine to Finduilas and the gentle eye contact, it bacame quite obvious to Ränne how easy it would be. The soldiers nearby only observed Ränne's subtle movements with the tray, and they suspected nothing. But yet has Lady Ruiel wished anything to happen, so Ränne just took note of her, and her royal guardsmen and their movements and demeanor, remembering every detail.
With the Lady Ruiel, and her lovely daughters Dryea and Alethea each side of her presenting themselves to the court of Lady Finduilas in introduction, Ränne watched as the subtle movement of Lady Ruiel's eye as she walked away told her to do as she was... gather information. Ränne looked down to acknowledge her, and kept on with her duty of serving wine.

The formalaties of introduction was quite the affair, and it was seemingly obvious that Lady Finduilas was somewhat overwhielmed by it all, but for her court....

Ränne took note of each as she served refreshment, and always she would respond with a smile and her eyes turning down. There was much going on here, and Ränne felt the tensions at times when she passed certain people. Pausing where Lady Ruiel stood, Ränne with a subtle turn of her eyes let her know there was much to tell of the arriving party, and it would indeed add to the social intrigue of Minas Tirith...
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Old 07-03-2003, 06:54 PM   #26
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Meirelle's head was spinning. She had never worked at a party like this before. Not even the Lady Ruiel's birthday celebrations had been this busy. She could not get a moment to sit down and catch her breath. When Meirelle had finally delivered a towering stack of soiled dishes to the kitchen, she felt a tap on her shoulder. It was Ranne.

"You're to take a ten-minute break. No longer or you'll be skewered," she reported. Meirelle sighed in relief and gave Ranne a quick smile of thanks. Ranne nodded as she walked briskly off for more duties.

At last! A break! thought Meirelle happily. Now I can get down to my real business. Which was, as she had been instructed, 'to thoroughly investigate the area and collect information.' Meirelle slipped out of the hall and walked purposefully towards a door on the right hand side of the corridor. She was just about to open it when a hand landed heavily on her shoulder. Whirling around with a gasp, she saw an armed and uniformed guard standing behind her.

"Excuse me, miss. What do you think you are doing out here?" he demanded.

At a loss for words, Meirelle remained silent. Think, girl, think! her brain screamed. Finally, she stammered out an answer. "I-I-I was just looking for the, ah, the banquet hall!" she blurted. The guard looked at her through narrowed eyes. "Right, then. This way, miss. Right through this door," he said, pointing the way she had just come. Meirelle curtsied and thanked him. Stepping back into the hall, she mentally kicked herself for being caught.

When she got into the hall, she peeped around the door. When the guard was gone, she crept back into the corridor, this time making sure to look for people coming and going. Meirelle reached the door and turned the handle. Ah, luck! It opened! Quiet as a mouse, she slipped inside.

Once she was in the room, she shut the door quietly. Looking about, she saw that the room was decorated beautifully. It looked like a study of some sort. Ah, a desk! Meirelle stole over to the desk and opened it quietly, searching for possible information. Unfortunately, she found nothing.

Peeking through the glass in the study door, she made sure the coast was clear. Opening and shutting the door silently, Meirelle ran back to the hall and slipped inside. Nothing, she sighed.

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Old 07-03-2003, 07:35 PM   #27
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The swish of skirts and the empty chatter sifted through the hall as Dryea nodded and politely riposted questions and comments tossed her way by other guests of the Citadel.

“Finduilas seems lovely enough,” said one young lady lazily as she sipped her wine. “Though I hope her personality proves more enduring than her hasty smile.” Dryea had retorted immediately, defending the Lady’s honor.

“Haste is usually made during first impressions,” she chided. “Remember though, an undeserved smile could very well be satire incognito. One must watch what they say in court. Even the tapestries will see to it that their master, or mistress, hears of unkind words directed to their backs.” She winked jovially though her words had silenced the outspoken maiden and received grunts of approvals from the few listeners. Ruiel was speaking with other guests and Dryea did not see her younger sister.

As she looked around the room a small sensation crept across the back of her slender neck as though she was being watched. The lady immediately decided to ignore it and turned away from the direction where she suspected the unknown watcher stood. Elena stood amidst a group of younger nobles come to further their education, in facile discussion. Dryea smiled. She liked Elena. Her love of reading impressed Dryea and she always welcomed their talks which were more profound than her talks with other noblewomen. Smiling, she excused herself politely and made her way to the scholar’s group. When she reached Elena, Dryea touched her elbow lightly and the brunette turned, in good spirits as she saw who it was.

“Ah! Well met Dryea!” Lady Morthaniawen nodded her head respectfully to each of the scholars and slipped at once into their conversation.

“Denethor does wisely to connect Minas Tirith with Dol Amroth, what with enemy threat lingering on in the coastal towns,” Taren, a young man newly arrived for tutoring in astrology. Dryea let the indirect referral to her people seep into her memory and jumped in mildly.

“I agree. I fear that at any time the threat may be upon us and sooner than we believe.” Others nodded with their agreeing beliefs and one, being instructed in mild psychology, spoke up.

“I have spoken, though briefly, with one of the accompanying maids. The blood that has arrived from Dol Amroth is cunning, loyal and bold. They will do our steward justice.” ‘Here here’s were passed around and the circle drank to their future leader. Conversation dwindled into the late evening when dinner was officially served and nobles who were specifically invited to stay were seated upon the long tables in the dining room. It was here, while sitting between her mother and sister across from a couple of Minas Tirith nobles where she first saw her maids at work. Ranne and Meirelle were bustling in and out of doorways carrying trays and platters, dwindling beside nobles for tid-bits of important conversation. Gwen could be seen dusting the last of the window sills, and Rheaite had been sent to relight doused candles and replaced broken ones in the multitude of candelabras.

Dryea mentally commented the maids on their persistent vigilance towards their cause. Never was it obvious to anyone watching for their actions were mirrored perfectly by other maids, who listened to conversations often out of their own curiosity. Their faces were masks of politeness and not even the most cagey of nobles could identify them as spies.

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Old 07-04-2003, 04:05 AM   #28
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Emilia smiled as Adrama catapulted into her. Now that was something you would never catch Emilia doing. As she helped Adrama up she noted creases in her gown and hair which looked in need of brushing.

"Adrama, what's wrong?" she asked with a note of sympathy injected into her voice. That was the best way to deal with her. Adrama and Emilia might not know each other that well, but she was one of only a few women Emilia would count as friends and that was sometimes important.

"You look horrible" she added, with her nose wrinkled.
"Oh, Emilia!" Adrama said with great drama. Emilia tried to stop her lips twitching at the thought of how appropriate her name seemed.
"It's so good to see you. I can't stand to look at Finduilas another moment."

Emilia smiled wider. This seemed like gossip, and gossip was her greatest passion. Well, she recollected, her second greatest.
"Why not?" she asked, considering her words with care. A trembling lip and full eyes showed her that Adrama clearly needed even more careful handling than she had realised. "Adrama, do tell me what's wrong."

"I-I l-l-love him" Adrama stuttered. Emilia sighed. Perhaps the gossip would not be as good as she had hoped. Still, she would be meeting that cook later, to see what had been picked up below stairs and that might provide something of more import than a love story. With divided interest she listened to Adrama's story. So she loved Denethor? That would explain irrational hatred of his bride-to-be. And the fact that Emilia had first been drawn to Adrama because, unlike every other female at court, she did not appear to be competing for the eligible males.

I don't care what my mother and father say to me," Adrama completed her tale. "I hate Finduilas, and I will not behave to her otherwise. She's absolutely ruined my life, and I won't forgive her for it."

Emilia considered. Where should her loyalties lie? In the complex spider-web that was court life; one girl's hatred for another meant little. However Finduilas was the more important of the two, as the bride of the future steward. Still it was important for Emilia to keep her friend, for there were times female companionship was necessary. There was Dryea, of course, but Adrama in this state would make it easy for Emilia to be in control. With Dryea it was sometimes disconcertingly the opposite.

"That's terrible" Emilia said, reaching a decision. "Denethor should have chosen from Minas Tirith. What is the world coming to that he has to choose a foreign girl? She's not even that pretty."

Yes, for now at least, Adrama was the right choice. She would calm her down and then go into the party for Finduilas. If she was lucky Adrama would return to her rooms and then Emilia would get the chance to speak to Finduilas. Oh, and perhaps do a little husband hunting for herself- maybe the party from Dol Amroth had included some guards? She understood that there were noblemen, but they would probably be little different to the ones already here, soft and weak. An image of the city guard floated into her mind. With a grimace Emilia banished him again and turned her attention back to Adrama. She needed to think of an excuse to leave her.

[ July 04, 2003: Message edited by: Lyra Greenleaf ]
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Old 07-04-2003, 10:30 AM   #29
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Seated next to her sister, Alethea was positively content with how the first meeting of Findulas was going so far. Everyone seemed gracious enough to the new arrivals at the court, even if some felt hostility towards them within. Gazing around fleetingly she saw that the maids were doing there jobs, spying that is, with the up most conscientiousness and she was glad of this. No doubt that they would have acquired some imperative, and certainly rewarding information during the course of this nights proceedings. Herself for now would outwardly enjoy the night and the new appearance of a firm risk would not impede her performance, otherwise she would have her mother and sister to answer to. And so delicately reaching for her glass, which was now filled with a cherry wine she immersed herself into conversation with the sister that sat beside her.

“Dryea, and how goes this splendid night for you so far? Has the meeting of the Lady infuriated you?” she laughed quietly , so only her sister could hear.

“Why Alethea, no of course not!” she smiled, but Alethea could see the insignificant bit of sarcasm, concealed by her captivating eyes, “She lived up to my expectation. She is everything I thought she would be.”

“Beautiful? Smart? A perfect match for Denethor?” Alethea sipped the wine from her glass.

Dryea nodded, “She is more than that.” Alethea did not ask what the ‘more’ consisted of, she already knew. The two looked over to where she sat and they both smiled politely to her, this was nature to them of course. A private situation and maybe they would not be so thrilled with her presence. “Why do you ask any way?” Dryea turned back her eyebrow raised.

“Oh, well I overheard some people discussing the Lady, some do not seem as pleased at her emergence as others of the court do.”

“Well that is expected,” their mother turned to them, evidently in earshot of their conversation, “He is a popular man, many of the ladies her would gladly have is hand.” Her two daughter nodded and the trio looked over to Findulas again. She was surrounded by admirers, laughing, chatting, wide smiles upon their faces. Maybe they should enjoy it now, she thought to herself wondering what her mother and Dryea had in mind for Findulas.

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Old 07-04-2003, 11:03 AM   #30
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Having hurried to her room to change her crumpled clothes and improve her appearance before meeting Finduilas, Elena entered the hall with some elegance. She was wearing a flowing blue gown, stitched with silver embroidery, and her soft dark curls were half pinned up with an elaborately decorated silver clip, the rest falling down her back. She fancied she looked rather well, rejoicing in a proper occasion to get herself dressed up and have some fun.

But first, she supposed, she should greet the Lady Finduilas. Nudging gently through the crowd gathering about this woman, she exchanged some brief words with Dryea, promising to return for a chat later, before finding herself in front of Finduilas. Curtseying low, she smiled warmly.

“Greetings, Lady Finduilas. Welcome to the court of Minas Tirith…I am Elena.” The beautiful woman in front of her smiled in response, and Elena left. Truly, Finduilas looked beautiful, in her white dress and her dark hair piled on her head. This was one in the eye for all the ladies around the court who had sought to win Denethor as a husband!

Stopping for a moment to pick up a drink, she glided through the crowd for another few minutes, smiling good naturedly at both those she liked and those she disliked. It was a funny thing when people got together in a court – outwardly, all these signs of friendship and warmth, but seconds later, people were gathered together, exchanging gossip about the person they had just been talking to. Elena was generally friendly to newcomers, but it seemed the popular feeling among the court was one of mistrust for Finduilas, and Elena did not like to go against popular opinion. Elena moved over to Dryea, Alethea and their mother.

“So,” she said, sipping her drink, “What is your opinion of our new arrival?”
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Old 07-04-2003, 11:23 AM   #31
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Adrama shoved her glass into Emilia's hands. "I think I'll go up to the washroom and change," she said in a shaky voice. "I see Addruran coming and I don't want to talk to him right now. Do you know where my mother is?"

Emilia shrugged vaguely. "Look about," she said. "I'm sure she's around." Then, putting a hand on Adrama's shoulder, she added, "Don't completely ignore Addruran. You may not want him as a husband, but he could be a valuable friend." Then, irritated, she snapped her hand back quickly. What had compelled her to say that? Had it been Adrama's tear-filled dark eyes, so lost, so hopeless, and looking as though she had no friend in the world?

Adrama took it in an entirely different way. She flushed and stood up straight, her eyes becoming distant and cold. Emilia was trying to urge her to forget Denethor... to marry Addruran! Just because she said 'friend, not husband' didn't mean that she meant it. "Thank you, Emilia," she said. "I think I'll go up to the washroom for awhile now. I'd like to get dressed in proper garment for the occasion, anyway. If you see my mother or father about, tell them where I am, and tell them I hope to speak to them soon."

Then, her back straight and her chin high, she left the room. Emilia waited until she was out of sight, then slipped off in the direction of Finduilas. Now was her chance.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Adrama stood in front of the large oval mirror in the room, smoothing down the skirts of her long, white dress. It was embroidered with silver along the hem of the skirt and also around the waist. The sleeves went down to her wrist, and then were cut back at the bottom side in a triangle to hang down. She had put it on unconciously, as if she didn't realize exactly what she was doing. Sooner or later she would find with a shock that she had put on the dress Addruran was always saying was his favorite of hers. Adrama hadn't wanted to admit it, but it was her own favorite, as well. And that was probably the reason Addruran said so. That man would do anything to gain her favor.

Smoothing out one last crinkle in the skirt and straightening the sleeve, Adrama bent a little to survey her head and make sure her hair was in place. It had been done in three braids. One on either side of her head, and on in the back. The braid on the back was brought up to rest on the top of her head, but not completely tight. There was a little slack where a white ribbon had been tied in a pretty knot and the tails of it hung down to the middle of her neck. The other two braids and been twisted around the first braid and around each other to fashion a little crown.

Adrama reached into a bag she had brought with her and pulled out a glittering white stone set in a necklace of silver. It had been a gift from her father... and engagement gift, when it had been almost certain that she would be engaged to Denethor. Surprisingly, no tears came to Adrama's eyes, but instead they glittered coldly. The woman in her came out and she fastened the necklace around her throat, looking at it carefully in the mirror. The stone was of great worth and one of the most beautiful she had ever set eyes upon. She would see if Finduilas' jewels could outshine her own.

Reminding to herself not to give Finduilas any cold stares, and to speak politely to her if the woman came to talk to her, Adrama gave a light-hearted laugh and left the room gracefully. At least she could speak to Denethor again. And then and there she made up her mind. Just because Finduilas was there didn't mean that the ball was spoiled. Balls were grand occasions, and Adrama was going to enjoy herself.

[ July 04, 2003: Message edited by: Child of the 7th Age ]

[ July 13, 2003: Message edited by: Nurumaiel ]
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Old 07-04-2003, 11:46 AM   #32
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Vern stood back from the fish before her, hands on her hips, with a satisfied sigh. It seemed that she was on schedule for the tonight's feast, and all the food and drink before that had been taken care of in the early hours of the morning. The robust women let out a long yawn at the memory of how early she had risen from her bed, but she returned to smiling immediately. She loved this feeling of accomplishment. But as she surveyed the rest of the kitchens, with the men and women, all clad in white linen and covered with aprons, sweating as they bustled around the narrow rectangular room, there were not smiles on their faces, nor any looks besides that of exhaustion. With a shake of her head, Vern ripped of her apron, revealing a plain, light blue gown of a material she did not know, but knew with a smirk that it was an imitation of silk.

Vern was halfway to the Hall before she realized she still wore a scrap of cloth tied around her finger, blood dried into it. She pulled it off quickly, looking around to see if anyone was near then slipping it into a pocket concealed inside the skirt of her dress with her dagger. Her father had told her to keep a weapon with her at all times at court. It was a dangerous place, he had said, but in all her years in the courts of Minas Tirith, Vern had never run into the least bit of trouble. Still, it was not a bad habit, and she knew it. She took a right down the corridor, and soon came to the great oak doors, covered with gold workings and, of course, the White Tree.

Vern scuttled into hall and was immediately hit with the low rumble of a hundred different quiet conversations. Working her way along the wall, keeping quite out of the way and hidden, she scanned the crowd, searching for the Lady Emilia. She found her with the Lady Adrama, who was looking quite flustered. Vern went to walk toward the two Ladies, only to find her feet rooted to the ground, her insides squirming with apprehension. She always felt a bit uncomfortable talking with the nobility, but now... Lady Adrama looked miserable, and Lady Emilia a bit exasperated, and besides, they were in the middle of a conversation, it seemed. Who was Vern to cut into the middle of it? Still...this was important information for the Lady Emilia. She would understand...perhaps...

Vern crossed the hall over to where the two Ladies stood with heavy feet. For a moment she simply hovered behind them, and Adrama left, handing her glass to Emilia. Vern let out a sigh of relief, smiling for a moment at the floor. She would only have to talk to the Lady Emilia. But, when she looked up, Emilia was walking off...toward the Lady Finduilas... No...she couldn't talk to Emilia and...Finduilas! Vern took off in a run to catch up to Lady Emilia, and was a bit flustered when she reached her, though she knew it was worth it.

"Excuse me, m'Lady," she began, glancing expectantly at Emilia and Adrama. "But I have something important to tell the Lady Emilia, if it is a good time for me to do so?" She said this questioningly, looking at Emilia humbily but hopefully. Then the Lady Emilia smiled, to Vern's relief, even if it was a bit of an exasperated one. "Of course," she said to Vern, "If it is important."

Emilia followed Vern slowly out of the hall, stopping sometimes to greet those who knew her. When they at last made their way through the crowd and out the large oak doors, Vern took Emilia over to stand by the wall near the door. "M'lady, I thought you'd be interested in what I had heard. You might be aware of the rumor, but it is quite new. You see, the Lady Dryea, you know she is from Dol Armoth..." Lady Emilia nodded her head a bit impatiently, and Vern began again, speaking a bit more quickly. "But, the Lady Dryea does not think they are from Dol Armoth, you know, the Ladies with Finduilas. And she isn't sure about the Lady Finduilas herself! You would think that Lady Dryea would know, being in such a place of power...wouldn't you?" She paused, frowning thoughtfully at the floor, then raised her eyes to Lady Emilia again, and gave the woman a curtsy. "Well, I thought you ought to have known, my'lady..."

[ July 04, 2003: Message edited by: Durelin ]
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Old 07-04-2003, 12:32 PM   #33
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"Good heavens, this court seems to be made of ladies!" Tessa told her sister, grinning maliciously. "All those dresses, and look at their faces- they must think they´re the top-notch!" She made a face closely resembling the one of a lady that had just been introduced to them. "Honestly, let´s hope it doesn´t rain. With their noses stuck up like that, they may drown!"

"Tessa!" Finduilas made a calming gesture. "Yes, this court is full of ladies. But don´t make them your fiend. Women may not sword-fight, but they´re as dangerous as honeybees..."

"Honey, I know. I was joking! I promise to be a good girl, and try to get along with them." To show off her good will, she smiled nicely at th young lady across the table- a beauty, but overshadowed by her speldid sister. Quite like me! Tessa thought, nodding pleasantly. Only I´m not really pretty, AND I don´t mind that Finduilas is. Wonder if she does...

She then turned her head, examining the other girls and ladies assembled around them. Some where pretty, some not; some wore dresses of the latest fashion; some where babbeling about, discussing news and such.

People kept staring at Finduilas, and the looks on their faces closely reminded Tessa of the faces of the farmers on the spring market, when they were buying horses. They´re estamating her value. Is she pretty; is she rich, young, fertile?

"Finduilas!"Tessa giggled. "Sister, your a prize horse!"

Finduilas stared. Delightedly, Tessa burts out laughing loudly- thelook on her sister´s face had just been to much to bare. People up ad down the hall stopped and stared while she laughed on, unable to surpress it. And then it stuck Tessa, that she may have little to laugh about the next few weeks.
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Old 07-04-2003, 05:51 PM   #34
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A smile tugged at the corners of Emilia's mouth as she watched Adrama stalk away like an angry cat. She was full of anger, hurt and unrequited love. Only a fool would allow themselves to love where the feeling was not returned. She had little fear that Adrama would remain angry with her for long. Emilia held her secret, which put her in a position of power, as well as making her the best person to turn to if she wanted to talk. Shaking her head she began to scan the crowd for Finduilas.

"Excuse me, m'Lady but I have something important to tell the Lady Emilia, if it is a good time for me to do so?"

Emila turned at the interruption. It was that cook- Vernatia? Vernathita?- and she had a worried expression. Emilia sighed again, frustrated. She wanted to go to see Finduilas, but this contact was important. Rumours past fastest and best through the servants, and if there was a rumour Emilia wanted stopped or started, this cook was the key. That was to say nothing of the information she had received through her frequently.

She smiled at the woman as calmly as she could. It was important not to anger the famous temper she possessed. Emilia had little time for any servants, but she held this cook in a grudging respect. She had a strength which Emilia intended to emulate- although combined with looks and money, of course.

"Of course," she answered, adding warningly "If it is important."
The cook nodded and began to walk towards the door, to where it would be quieter. Emilia's lips twitched as she noted the contrast between the old woman in the old, worn dress and the ladies at the ball.

"M'lady, I thought you'd be interested in what I had heard. You might be aware of the rumor, but it is quite new. You see, the Lady Dryea, you know she is from Dol Armoth..."
Emilia nodded. Everyone knew that- Dryea's mother would not let them forget if they wished! This was not the news.

"But, the Lady Dryea does not think they are from Dol Armoth, you know, the Ladies with Finduilas. And she isn't sure about the Lady Finduilas herself! You would think that Lady Dryea would know, being in such a place of power...wouldn't you? Well, I thought you ought to have known, my'lady..."

Emilia stood silently as she digested this information. It seemed prepostorous. Surely Denethor would not be so lax in choosing his bride? Yet all reports said that he was infatuated, and love, Emilia had heard, was blind. Perhaps they had blinded Denethor to the fact that his bride to be was an imposter?

With a start Emilia realised she was chewing her lip, and frowned. That was silly, for she did not wish to cut herself. She took a deep considering breath.
"Thank you" she said with a distracted smile. "You certainly did right to tell me of this. Now, there is no proof of this, but equally we have no reason to distrust the Lady Dryea. I believe that as long as it is known this is merely rumour, it will do little harm. After all if Finduilas is genuine she will be able to poduce proofs enough for anyone, but if she is an imposter, or being tricked herself, it may offer a chance to find out the plot."

She pause and smiled genuinely at the cook.
"Thank you"
The woman bobbed a curtsey and walked away. Emilia stood for a while, thinking. She had given permission, no doubt, for the rumour to be spread throughout the city. Still, at the very least it would be interesting to see what happened!

Well well well, she thought with a lazy grin. Perhaps Adrama will get her chance after all! Now I must not dream in corridors. I should talk to Dryea herself, to see what she says and I still haven't seen Finduilas. She sighed. At this rate I will have no time to find a husband at all!
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Old 07-04-2003, 10:03 PM   #35
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Dryea was on her third course--thinly sliced lamb wrapped in lettuce and marinated in a tangy sauce--over finely roasted potatoes when Elena joined her at the table with her wine.

“So what is your opinion of our new arrival?” she asked, sipping her beverage and glancing imperceptibly in Finduilas’ direction. Dryea gave a thin smile.

“I don’t wish to jump to conclusions. I have only introduced myself thus far. She is a very beautiful and an undoubtedly well-learned woman. I have reason to believe she will do Denethor honor.” It was true that only a few noblewomen had not ever pined over the steward-to-be, Dryea and Elena included. They had been contented to sit and watch as the other maidens made fools of themselves before him, chuckling quietly behind fans. Now that Denethor was soon to be married to a foreigner, it would appear as though no one was laughing.

“I do however,” began Alethea, lowering her voice as she continued, “I am however a bit nervous. We had barely a warning that she was coming, and not even until a few days ago her purpose for coming. It seems a bit hasty.” They all nodded.

“We should not let our guard down. She is from a coastal--our town at that though it has been long, and now that I think back on it, I don’t recall any Finduilas.” Ruiel trailed off as she glanced towards the head of the table. Her eldest daughter nodded.

“Though she is young. We might have missed her…” Dryea trailed off, hoping to keep Ruiel’s intended rumor alive: Was Finduilas truly from Dol Amroth? The more suspicion towards her the better until the Morthaniawens could find out what they were to do with her.

“Still,” added Alethea, “we must be careful and stick together. I don’t want to see our Citadel fall into the hands of an enemy.” A universal conformity was shared and the fourth course was served as Elena returned to her seat only a few chairs down.

Dryea scanned the room for one face in particular she hadn’t seen yet and wished to speak with. The Lady Emilia was always one to glean mongering whispers from. It was through Emilia that Dryea began some of her most successful rumors. I wonder, Dryea thought, if Emilia would be interested in a high position of power after we take Gondor. She would make a very useful ally...
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Old 07-04-2003, 10:20 PM   #36
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Vieana was broken apart from the rest of the group by several Minas Tirith courtiers, as were the other ladies. Soon enough she found herself in the middle of a group of Minas Titith guards, all telling her how they had served with Dol Amroth... Vieana gave an innocent laugh, "then you must know my husband Dardanir, he is the general's son." The guards were dumb struck. "Sorry m'lady." one said. "No, not at all." said Vieana in turn.

She had lost count of the times she had said "Good day to you... My name is Lady Vieana of Dol Amroth... Yes, oh i have known Finduilas for ever so long.." that her head was beginning to spin. Excusing herself she made her way past one of the maids Lessawen who seemed a bit lost. "It is a wonderful place, isnt it?" Vieana said linking her arm through the young maids. "You must stay by me, I do not wish to find myself alone." she said in her usual kind tone. Vieana was well liked among sevants, because she always treated them as equals.

Lessawen seemed relieved, "Yes m'lady" she replied. Vieana smiled, "now, lets find Averyll and Elen, If i have any idea, they will feel as swept up as i do now." she sighed. Vieana glanced over Lessawen's shoulder to see one of the Minas Tirith girls in tears. "Oh, I do hope she is alright." she said in a dreamy tone. "Excuse me m'lady?" Vieana turned back to Lessawen, "Nothing, look, they are over there, Elen and Averyll. As soon as we can we shall aske Finduilas how she likes this place, what do you think?" she said as she found the other Dol Amroth ladies.
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Old 07-05-2003, 10:34 AM   #37
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Eleniel spent her time mingling with the guest. She had to repeat the line ‘Hello I’m Eleniel of Dol Amroth but you can me Elen” and then she smiled politely. Same old same old. Every once and a while she got in to a polite chitchat with some of the ladies. The conversations were mostly about Finduilas. Averyll and Elen politely excused themselves from a young woman and headed over to where Finduilas stood crowed by many ladies of Minas Tirth. They all seemed nice and polite but Eleniel guessed that most of them were just acting. Even though everyone seemed sweet something didn’t seem just right. As they headed over to Finduilas Elen could feel the penetrating stares of the young woman judging them, waiting for a flaw to show. It didn’t seem like this court welcomed strangers as much as Eleniel wished they would.

Vieana and Lessawen soon joined Averyll and Eleniel. Vieana said something about asking Finduilas about how she liked it here and Elen thought that would be a good idea.

"I like it here," volunteered Elen. "Of course, Dol Amroth will always be home, but this looks like a wonderful place... it's so big. And busy. She can't possibly get bored here." It was of course never going to take Dol Amroth’s place but there was something so wonderful about the great stone city. The other girls agreed and they decide that it was time to pay Finduilas a visit. They headed in her direction were she was once again surrounded by woman. They weaseled their way into the group until they stood right next to Finduilas.

“Hello I’m Finduilas of Dol Amroth. It is a pleasure to meet you” she said greeting a young woman. Tessa stood next to her smiling. She looked wonderful to, but it seemed that Finduilas overshadowed her. The girls greeted the girls standing next to Finduilas with a polite smile, before turning toward Finduilas and Tessa grinning.

[ July 06, 2003: Message edited by: elven maiden Earwen ]
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Old 07-05-2003, 11:10 AM   #38
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The welcomig party was going quite well. Finduilas looked astonished of course and so did all the guests.

Betuli was a bit heavy-hearted though, beacause she couldn't join herself. But that didn't really stop her! They had all been peeking on turns so she and the other maids were now discussing The Lady's beautiful dress. "But it isn't only the dress," Betuli told the others. The Lady herself is very beatiful. The other nodded and gave other signs that they agreed. "What do you all think of Denenthor then," one of the other asked, giggeling. "He looks very handsome," Betuli answerd quickly.

It was quiet for a little while then Betuli broke the silence. "I think I'll go and take another peek," she said delighted. Before the others could say anthing she had ran through the door.

She went down the hallways, hearing chatting voices at the end of it. She had now reached the opening and was looking at the guests. They all looked so beautiful in their dresses, and the lads so handsome and sweet. The whole room was decorated and the tables were filled with good food and drink. The guests seemed to enjoy themselves, lauging and chatting. "Oh, I would give anything to be in her dress," she thought while studying a dress that one of the guests were wearing. Then she gave a short laugh. "That was complete nonsense." She continued. She was perfectly happy and loved to serve the Lady. As the thought sunk in, she knew it was a lie. It wasn't a lie that she loved serving her, but she'd rather be the one who'd be served. Anyone would. "Don't think that way!" She snapped at herself. She forgot her stupid thoughts and they never returned.

Her thoughts were suddenly interrupted, a nice looking lad was coming right towards her. She fixed her hair and put up a cute smile. Then a shadow from nowhere appeard. One of the butlers had noticed her and was now shooing her off. The nice looking lad stopped and gave a short blink. "Was that a blink?" She asked the butler without thinking, while she turned and started to walk back in the hallway.

"I really think that was a blink!" She added quickly.

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Old 07-05-2003, 11:37 AM   #39
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Quickly scanning the crowd Emilia spotted Dryea eating. Quickly she walked over to her.

"Dryea what is all this about Finduilas?"
"Hello to you too Emilia" Dryea returned mildly. Emilia blushed, it was unlike her to be rude.

"I'm sorry" she said. "It's good to see you, you look beautiful. It's just that it seems suddenly everyone in this city wants to talk to me about something...do you know I haven't even had anything to eat yet?"

Dryea motioned to her to sit down, Emilia shook her head distractedly and began to pace in front of Dryea.

"So, what is this about Finduilas? Is it true that she isn't from Dol Amroth at all?"
Emilia turned and stared at her friend, who took a while to consider.
"I haven't heard anything of that sort," she said evenly. "But I did not hear of her during my residence in that city, which is saying something if she is supposed royalty." Emilia's eyes widened.
"How likely is it that you are wrong?" she asked breathlessly.
"It is possible..." Dryea answered vaguely.

A smile began to spread it's way across Emilia's face.
"There would be honour for anyone who saved Denethor from an imposter?" she said casually, eyes gleaming. Dryea nodded imperceptibly. Emilia hugged herself with glee.
Better and better! she thought excitedly.

[ July 25, 2003: Message edited by: Lyra Greenleaf ]
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Old 07-05-2003, 12:51 PM   #40
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Having heard all that she needed to hear, Elena returned to her seat. Her eyes glanced about the room, settling upon Siriel and Tiriel, who were nearby. Pushing her chair back, she walked over to them, her eyes gleaming and her mouth desperate to tell this new gossip.

“Listen...”she said, appearing before them and turning so that they could see Finduilas. “Have you heard that our new arrival from Dol Amroth may not really be from there at all?” An expression of surprise flickered across their faces as they looked Finduilas up and down, and turned back to Elena.

“Who did you hear it from?” Siriel asked her.

“Dryea. They don’t remember ever seeing or hearing of Finduilas in Dol Amroth…they did say she might have been too young then, but it seems a little suspicious…” Elena replied. This news duly given, Elena departed the small group, returning to her seat to eat.

She sat at the table, sipping some wine, while watching Finduilas’ movements through the room. The woman seemed to be confident and friendly enough…but surely Dryea, her sister and their mother would have known who she was? And Finduilas didn’t seem to be lying…still, she knew Dryea better than this stranger who had come into their midst, and she trusted her far more.
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