Namesakes

Wainriders

1. Wainriders

   
“Wainriders!”

He woke with a start, disoriented until he heard her whisper.

“Hush, love. ‘Tis but a dream.” She watched him return to her as her fingers pulled away the hair that sweat had plastered to his face.

They lay in darkness. The bed’s drapes had been tied open to allow the breeze in, but the moon had set. The fresh salt air brought the sea to her, usually soothing her during these last days of her lying-in.

He turned to her, “I’m sorry. I hate that I woke you… again.” His arm wrapped around her swollen belly, fingers caressing their unborn child as the babe kicked.

Her fingers twined with her husband’s as she patted her distended stomach. She could at least allay this worry; the child always woke her before her husband’s dreams might. “No need for apologies, our young knight here has been restless for some time now. He believes that because he needs no rest, neither do I.” They lay in silence for a time. “You know, I’m the one carrying, the nightmares should be mine.”

He appreciated her effort at humor, “Since he never lets you sleep more than twenty minutes at time, I decided to take over that particular duty. Consider it my small way of sharing this pregnancy with you.”

A wave of affection for the man swelled within her as she cast back dryly, “Hmm, ‘twas your gallantry that won you my pledge, my lord.” His sudden sharp laugh thrilled her.

“Is that what it was? Because if memory serves, ‘twas my…”

Blushing, she too laughed and unsuccessfully tried to pull her hand from his, “That, sir, was after we were wed. And had I realized the size of your ego sooner, I would certainly have reconsidered.”

Chuckling, he acknowledged the lie for what it was, “Of course you would have.” The stillness of the night replaced their banter and memories of her as a child trailing along after him, constantly in his shadow came to him. He recalled his irritation and frustration. Yet each morning when he saw her face on the pillow he thanked fate for her persistence.

She had always loved him, there was no time before. Even as a child he exuded strength and kindness and honor. But in the five years they had been married, there were still moments when she was surprised at how deeply she had grown to like him. His passion robbed her of her mind, for which she was ever appreciative, but his laughter touched every part of her. Even to her, it seemed strange, yet jesting with him was more intimate than sharing a bed. And each night she acknowledged the grace of his friendship.

Lying next to him she could no longer ignore the dark bruises under his eyes. Squeezing his hand she chose to simply face it head on. “There are no Wainriders, Angelimir.”

“Liri, ‘tis always the same. I know the truth of that in my head, but my heart, Liri… there the truth is…” How could he explain this to her when he was still so baffled. At a loss, he sighed, “Liri, there it is otherwise.”

He was usually so practical, so literal. She loved his rare quixotic moments, but the nightmares went beyond the obscure superstition or romantic gesture. These dreams were new, they seemed eerily momentous and because she could see they genuinely worried him, she worried. “It has been centuries, love. The Battle of the Camp was almost a millennium ago. They were completely defeated, there has never even been the rumor of talks of another alliance.” Having said the words, she was uncertain which of them she was trying to convince.

“I know my history. One of my own was there; he defended Ithilien when… He stood with Eärnil at the last. Even in victory Liri, I feel naught but his grief in my dreams.”

They lapsed back into silence.

“There is no logic in this, yet I need to prepare; to take some measure that may ensure our safety.” The baby kicked again, this time not stopping, demanding notice from both of them.

“Ah, our little knight seems to agree with you. So, is there to be a call to arms, Captain?” Her smile told him that she was making an effort to lighten the mood yet again. But, the dreams were coming so often now and as unlikely as it was, it had become vital to convince her that they may be an actual portent, foretelling of another rising of the Eastern Realms. He watched them gathering. He watched them marching; great carts of men with their siege engines. And he watched the tattered banner of Dol Amroth flying amidst legions of knights fighting on a great bloody field.

“Liri, the Banner of the Ship and Swan didn’t fly at The Battle of the Camp.”

He saw her eyes sharpen their focus and felt her body become alert as understanding came. “Then we shall prepare.” Her words finally brought the solace he needed.

As they held each other, they felt their unborn son settle between them, as if their decision appeased him as well.

*******

In the Great Hall, banners had been hung. Guests had come from lands to the North and West. As ever, the East was unrepresented. The court was festive and in their finery as Prince Aglahad led the ceremony. Before the Prince stood his heir, his son’s wife, and their newborn son. The three were dressed in the blue livery of their House and the emblems of their station.

The jubilation of the occasion could be felt throughout the room as Aglahad took his Grandson and briefly cradled him. Lifting the infant high for those assembled, he asked, “Angelimir, what is the name you have chosen for this fine son of Dol Amroth?”

Liriel took her husband’s hand, if any close enough wondered the look of determination that passed between them, no one questioned it. Turning at last to face Aglahad and their young knight, together they avowed, “Adrahil.”

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

   

In Challenges

Story Information

Author: Chris

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Rating: General

Last Updated: 06/12/06

Original Post: 08/10/05

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