October 2006 Birthday Challenge

Laureleaf's Birthday Gifts

2. Shibboleth

Gimli watched with interest as Legolas fletched his thirteenth arrow, attaching the feathers to the shaft with the utmost delicacy and care. As he finished and placed the arrow in his quiver, he looked up to see Gimli watching and he smiled.

"Why the sudden interest in my arrows, old friend."

"Not paying attention to your strange ways, I never noticed before that you always carry exactly thirteen arrows in your quiver. Why is that?" Gimli asked.

Legolas colored slightly, "It is a superstition passed down by my father, exactly thirteen arrows to a quiver, no more, no less."

Gimli could not contain his curiosity. "But your quiver would hold much more, and you would not have to replace them so often. Why do your people believe this thing?"

"I do not know," Legolas said, "I have never questioned my father about it before, but I know he ever carried exactly thirteen arrows."

Later that day, as Legolas and Gimli sat in Thranduil's chambers, Legolas said to his father. "Ada, why is it that you always carry exactly thirteen arrows in your quiver."

Thranduil looked a bit uncomfortable. "It was a custom of my father. I always thought he did it to bring him luck in the hunt, so I carried on the tradition myself."

At that moment, Galion stepped in carrying a tray with wine and three glasses. As he set the tray on the table, Thranduil said, "Galion, do you know why it was that my father always carried exactly thirteen arrows in his quiver? Did he think it would bring him luck in hunting?"

A smile tugged at the corners of Galion's lips, a smile he quickly hid with a deep bow.

"No, my lord. The reason, I believe, is that his quiver would hold only thirteen arrows. I asked him one time why he did not carry a bigger quiver and he said if he could not bring down his quarry in thirteen shots, he did not deserve to eat."

Galion sidled quickly from the room as Legolas and Thranduil exchanged twin, shocked looks and Gimli burst into a bark of laughter.


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: laureleaf

Status: Beta

Completion: Work in Progress

Rating: General

Last Updated: 10/13/06

Original Post: 10/03/06

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