Forum: 2010 - HASA Birthdays

Discussing: May 2010 Birthday Cards

May 2010 Birthday Cards

Birthday folk: Is your birthday in May and you would be delighted by a little story gift from your fellow HASA members? Then state your request here in this thread. Create a birthday workshop story to collect your birthday cards in one place, and enter it into the May Challenge.

Authors: Let yourselves get inspired by the suggestions - a chance to be creative and to make a fellow HASA member happy at the same time! And don't forget to add your birthday cards to the birthday workshop story the recipient of your birthday card has - hopefully - created.

In case you need help or have a comment or suggestion, please post it here or e-mail me privately.

May, 6th - RiverOtter: I would like stories about Dol Amroth preferably about the early days.

May, 11th - Erulisse: I adore stories that focus on early days - prior to the Last Alliance. Pull back all the way to the time of the Two Trees if you desire.

May, 18th - Nath: I would like either something around the number 42/the meaning of life, or 'unexpected fluff' (i.e. things/beings that are not generally considered cute, so yes to baby spiders, no to baby twin half-Elves... )

May, 25th - Dwimordene: ... this May baby would be interested in the notion of adoption. The first adoption of sentient beings occurred when Eru adopted the Dwarves; later on, Maglor adopted Elrond and Elros, Bilbo adopted Frodo, Elrond fostered and more or less served as an adoptive father for Aragorn, etc, etc. So something about the taking on of children not your own, or perhaps even going beyond kids to animals or some particular part of nature that becomes a part of the family. Make your story personal or give it a broader social reading or a cosmological one - whatever you think might be interesting.

May, 30th - Starlight: I would love M-e fairy tales or fairy tales adapted to M-e. If that does not inspire you, ?omer and Lothiriel are always very welcome :-)



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

My birthday is May 6th.  I would like stories about Dol Amroth preferably about the early days.



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

My birthday is May 11 and I adore stories that focus on early days - prior to the Last Alliance.  Pull back all the way to the time of the Two Trees if you desire.  I'd be delighted with any/all contributions to make my 5X (clears throat uncomfortably) birthday extra special :-)

- Erulisse (one L)



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

My birthday is May 18, and I would like either something around the number 42/the meaning of life, or 'unexpected fluff' (i.e. things/beings that are not generally considered cute, so yes to baby spiders, no to baby twin half-Elves... )



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Hope this counts.

Thunder rumbled, lightning flashed, and a howl rang out in the night.

Alone and afraid in the dark of the stables, it wailed in misery and fear for a mother it had been taken away from far too early.

I shook my head and headed towards the stall where the cry had come from, making shushing sounds.

They did the trick.

A snuffling, and rustling in the hay, and all of a sudden there was a snout at the bars, a tongue slobbering at my fingers as I stroked it.

"There now, my little one. It is naught but the skies at war, naught for us to be afeared of."

A mewling now, a mewling that became a satisfied rumble, and I smiled.

"There is naught for us to fear but the White Wizard, and if we do his will, what have we to fear of him?"

The Wargling closed its eyes, and I knew that all was well in the world.



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Awww... the poor thing.

Yes, that definitely counts. Thank you, and have some virtual birthday cake Smile



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Happy Birthday, RiverOtter!


"It matters not. Whether he calls himself Prince of Dol Amroth or Lord of Belfalas, Galador is still a loyal liegeman of Gondor."

"Are you certain, Lord Steward? He would not be the first to use the dea...disappearance of the King to attempt advancing his own fortunes."

Mardil shook his head. "Belfalas alone is too weak; where could he turn for support? Umbar? They'd use Cobas Haven as a bridgehead for an attack, and as soon as they were established in Belfalas, get rid of him. He may be young, but I doubt Galador is that much of a fool."



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

For you, RiverOtter, with so many thanks for your help in sharpening my stories!


The Might of the Númenorian

            They were referred to as the Númenorians, although none could say precisely why these were so called when they were no more such than was the family of the King or, say, the Steward, or a host of other lineages of the hereditary lords of Gondor.  But it was said that their own line was descended from the younger sons of Tar-Calmacil as well as the younger sister of Pharazôn, who had gone into exile in Romenna with Amandil and his family rather than to number herself among the fold of the King's Men, and so put herself into obedience under his fell advisor, known on the Star Isle as Zigur.  Pharazôn's sister had married a descendant of Calmacil, another Prince among the Faithful, without the benefit of her brother's blessing—or permission.  She died in childbirth a day before the King's Men came to bring her back to the capitol, where she was to have been given to the altar in Zigur's temple.  When they came, the King's Men were shown her body being prepared for burial, and by it lay the still form of a newborn; in reality her son Faramir had lived and had been exchanged secretly for the stillborn daughter of a servant within Amandil's household; only when he was eight years of age and his foster mother had died was the child reunited with his true birth-father and acknowledged within Romenna as a prince of the realm.

          Faramir the Númenorian was a man grown and accounted very wise when the Faithful put to sea upon the advice of Amandil ere he sailed West to lay the griefs of the Faithful before the Valar—if they would deign to hear his petitions on behalf of the people of Númenor.  His ship stayed with those of Isildur and Anárion, and he chose to settle among those who had colonized the islands off the southern coast of Middle Earth, themselves largely descended from younger sons and daughters of the line of Kings who had rather be important among the emigrants from Gondor than be merely smiled at with tolerance in the courts of the King remaining on Elenna.  Here Faramir's wisdom was honored, and he was made their Prince, and in time he built his stronghold upon the heights overlooking the Sea, near the Elven havens.  Wide lands he governed in the names of Isildur and Anárion, and he was a frequent visitor to Osgiliath where his advice was always heeded by the Kings of Gondor and Arnor, who accounted him their close kinsman and liegeman.

          And even now, when most of the remaining descendants of the Kings of Gondor squabbled petulantly with one another and held but little power in their own names, the Prince of the Southern Fiefdoms was still accounted great in the eyes of the realm and ruled second only to Eärnil.  So it was that he known as Imrazôr the Númenorian was honored more on his visits at his father's side to Minas Tirith than many who counted Aldamir or Telemehtar among their ancestors.  Those known as the Númenoreans were yet mighty while most of the descendants of Anárion had sunk to the rank of petty lords of the realm.  And Imrazôr looked upon them and shook his head at their envy and sycophancy, welcomed as he was into the personal chambers of the King while they were reduced to maneuvering against their own kindred in order to gain a seat on Eärnil's council!

          How the mighty had fallen, he thought.



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Happy Birthday, Erulisse!

Have a little entertainment:


Dark Lord on his dark throne, he watches, mesmerised despite himself. Already his minions have fallen into slumber.

I scarcely dare breathe as I move. I scarcely dare move, yet I do.

Dance! Do not think. Dance.

Yes, look at me, Morgoth. I know your thoughts. I know the price should I fail. Look at me. Am I not comely? Melian's daughter, fair Lúthien? Am I in your dreams? Do you dream of taking me? Do you dream?

Watch. Listen to my song. Follow my every move.

And dream. Let yourself be soothed, for a while.

Watch. Listen.





Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Hi, Nath.  Not #42, but another Tolkien number game.  This doesn't quite match your request, but hope you enjoy!

Stones, Kings, and Brothers

2938 T. A.

Erestor recited.  "Tall ships and tall kings, three times three.  What brought they from the foundered land, over the flowing sea?  Seven stars and seven stones, and one white tree."  

This rhyme was memorized by children from Rivendell to Dol Amroth, at least those who had chosen their parents well.  The counsellor of Imladris waited expectantly as the fosterling repeated the words.

"But that's nine kings and only seven stars and stones!  What happened to the other two?"

The Elf smiled - the boy showed promise.  "Perhaps, Estel, seven stars and seven stones were all they ever possessed.  Even kings must share some things among themselves."

"Oh.  Like Anarion and Isildur shared Gondor?"

"Yes, more or less.  One kingdom, two kings.  They did quite well, for a while.  I met them both, you know.  One day, I will tell you of them."

"Tell me now!"

"You are not quite ready, Estel.  Soon enough.  But for now, know that they were brothers, loyal both to each other and to their father Elendil, the High King.  Both did many great deeds."

"Brothers?  I guess that would make it easier to share.  I wish I had a brother."  The boy looked down sadly for a moment.  "I mean, I have Elladan and Elrohir, but they're so old!  I wish I had a younger brother."

Erestor at first held back a laugh at hearing the twins described as "old".  But then it occurred to him that the brothers Elrondion were no longer young by any standard.  Nearly twenty yeni had passed since their birth, yet he still thought of them as little more than children!  This made him feel very old, for a moment.  How time had flown...

"I too, wish you had a younger brother, Estel, but it is not to be.  However, as you grow up, you may find Men you account as your brothers, and that is almost as good.  In my youth, I had only a sister, but my best friend was as close to me as any brother could be.  And here in Imladris, I account Glorfindel a brother.  Though we argue over which one of us is the elder!"  I do hope you find such friends, young one.

Suddenly Erestor knew he would one day tell this mortal child the true tale of the seven stars and stones.  Why seven, indeed, for nine kings?  Because, of course, only seven had been made. For another set of brothers who had braved many perils, and been as loyal to one another as they were to their father.  

But he would not tell the boy that tale any time soon.  Not until Aragorn had grown, seen battle, and borne the hardship the Elf sensed was his doom to bear.  Perhaps not even before he was old and grey.



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Oh, I love it.  Thank you SO much.  My aunt was a professional dancer and I envision her grace whenever I think of Luthien.  Thank you!!!

- Erulisse (one L)



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

This is great.  As Estel grows, he may even figure this one out for himself if Erestor does his job and teaches him First Age history well.  Aragon loves Beren and Luthien, so I suspect that First Age stories are part of his repertoire (sp?).  Very nicely done. 

- Erulisse (one L)



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Thank you. And yes, I enjoyed it, even if they were the wrong numbers Wink



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

It's been awhile, I fear, but this May baby would be interested in the notion of adoption. The first adoption of sentient beings occurred when Eru adopted the Dwarves; later on, Maglor adopted Elrond and Elros, Bilbo adopted Frodo, Elrond fostered and more or less served as an adoptive father for Aragorn, etc, etc. So something about the taking on of children not your own, or perhaps even going beyond kids to animals or some particular part of nature that becomes a part of the family. Make your story personal or give it a broader social reading or a cosmological one - whatever you think might be interesting.




Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Ah, Aruthir, but that is a fully wonderful fulfillment of Nath's wish for atypical fluff!  Love it!



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

I can see why Erestor would wish to put that story aside for the future, Maeglin.  And I, too, find young Estel wishes for younger brothers!  Heh!



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Oh, Nath, how lyrical!  Beautiful!  I always wanted to dance, but was never good at it!



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Dwimordene, I'm not quite sure if this is what you were looking for, but it does deal with a situation where children are adopted. The story doesn't go into the actual "adoption process" but it mentions it...sorta. Anyway, I hope you like it. Happy Birthday!


After Sunset

Éowyn stirred uneasily. The thick fur blankets on top of her were heavy, making it difficult to find a comfortable position on the mattress. With a wriggle and a grunt, she rolled over onto her stomach, hoping that the new position would make sleep come easier.  

Somewhere in the corridor that lay past her door came the muffled thump of boots. The little girl stiffened, though she couldn't explain why. She was safe here in Meduseld; safer, in fact, than she had been anywhere else in her short life. Yet all the same, she could not shake her uneasiness.

For a moment Éowyn considered finding her brother, but that notion was quickly discarded. Éomer did not like it when she bothered him, especially at night. He worked all day practicing at his horsemanship and weaponry, and when dusk fell he needed all the sleep he could get. He could not afford her constant fearfulness.  Or at least that's what he said, though Éowyn knew that her brother went to bed hours after she did, and was seldom awake until after she had finished her breakfast. But boys were different, as she well knew, and their ways couldn't be explained.

The sound of footsteps dissipated, and the girl relaxed minutely. It always made her nervous to hear the passing of unseen bodies. It reminded her of the dream she'd had after her papa had been brought back, bloodied and broken. Invisible monsters had haunted her sleep for months, and she needed no reminder of that time.

Even now, nearly a year after Papa's death, she still had that dream. It had gotten worse when Mama had been sick, and now that her beloved parent was gone, the familiar nightmare visited her every time she closed her eyes. Which was not often these days. The wide, echoing spaces of the Golden Hall were not conducive to sleeping, and most nights Éowyn had trouble settling down. And with the constant threat of bad dreams hanging over her head, the little girl found little motivation in falling asleep.

So most nights—like this one— found her tossing restlessly back and forth. For though she did not seek slumber, her exhausted body desperately needed it. Had she cared enough to look in the mirror, Éowyn would have noticed that her once rosy cheeks had faded to a sickly white, and that deep circles limned her pale eyes. But she had no time to waste on monitoring her appearance; such things were trivial and pointless. Her pony did not care what she looked like, and that was good enough for her.

A sharp gust of wind shrieked outside, rattling the window in its pane. She shivered slightly. No matter how long she lived here, the little girl doubted she would ever get used to the terrible, moaning wind that swirled relentlessly around Edoras. It was a result of the city's lofty position compared to the surrounding plain, though there was no way she could have known this at her age.  All she knew was that the howling wind was something she had never experienced before and that she did not like it.

With a small, unobtrusive sigh, the little girl slipped from between her blankets. The stone floor was icy under her bare feet, and she hopped a little, trying to keep her toes from coming in contact with the frigid ground. Her teeth chattered in her head, and with a mighty heave, Éowyn yanked the thick blanket off of the bed and wrapped it around her small shoulders. Thus equipped, she pattered to the door and pulled it open.

A torch smoked lazily in its bracket on the wall, providing a little light for the girl to see by. With precise movements, the little girl tiptoed down the long hallway towards the great hall. She stopped outside her brother's room when she passed it, debating on whether or not the comfort she would find in Éomer's arms was worth risking his anger. Deciding against it, she continued down the passage, her footsteps echoing dimly in the empty space.

A fire crackled merrily in the center of the long room, and Éowyn settled down next to it. The reddish haze cast an odd glow over her face, and a pleasant heat warmer her shivering form. The little girl settled down for the night, knowing that she would not return to her room until dawn was breaking over the eastern horizon. This had become a common occurrence, for she did not like to sleep alone, not anymore. For some reason, the dying embers of the fire always comforted her, though she was just as solitary in the great hall as she would have been in her own bed.

A low cough startled her from her musings, and Éowyn leapt to her feet fearfully. Her wide eyes searched the space for the source of the sound, coming at last to rest on the dais at the end of the hall. Her uncle, Théoden, sat there. His somber eyes watched her curiously, and his mouth was set into a frown.

Éowyn's heart fluttered nervously. Since she and Éomer had come to Meduseld some months ago, she had never been able to get over her fear of the man. He had been nothing but kind to her, showing her every courtesy, trying every tactic to entertain her, but still she was afraid. Maybe it was because the little girl could sense in him a deep sadness, one that seemed to take precedence over any other emotion her uncle might be feeling. Or perhaps it was something else; she didn't know.

She did know that she wasn't completely comfortable around him, and that he seemed equally discomfited by her presence. But now she could hardly ignore him, and not running away would not be very polite. So, swallowing back her nerves, Éowyn padded across the floor until she stood by Théoden's throne.

"Why are you not in bed, Éowyn?" Her uncle's tone was unreadable, but Éowyn got the feeling that he was displeased. She ducked her head shyly.

"I couldn't sleep," she answered. The truth, she had learned, was always the best option, no matter who you were speaking to.

"I see," said Théoden. He ran a weather-worn hand through his bristly beard. "It would seem that you have the same problem as me, niece, for I cannot sleep either." His bright eyes looked at her closely. "Why is it that you came out here?"

"The wind was being loud," she said, "and I was lonely. Éomer doesn't like it when I wake him up," the girl added.

"Ah! Older brothers tend to be like that."

Éowyn peeked up at him through her lashes. Uncle's face was sad, like always, but there was also a bit of something in the corner of his mouth that made her feel that he did know how to smile after all. She felt right then that maybe he wasn't so frightening after all. Her small hand came to rest on his arm.

"Do you often have trouble finding sleep?" asked Uncle.

The little girl nodded, a flush coming across her cheeks. "I don't like sleeping. There's bad dreams, scary dreams."

"Nightmares? What sort of nightmares?"

"Monsters," she whispered. Her voice cracked dangerously. "Big monsters, the ones that took Papa away. They want to take me away too."

Suddenly, Théoden grasped her by the waist and pulled her up to sit on his lap. Éowyn could only blink in surprise. Wanting to stay polite, she did not squirm away as her first instinct told her to. That would hurt Uncle's feelings, and she knew internally that his feelings had been hurt too many times already.

"I won't let any monsters get you, Éowyn," he said into her ear. A strong, heavy hand smoothed her ruffled hair. "You're safe here."

She nodded, believing those words. Uncle's muscled arms wrapped around her like bands of steel, but they were gentle. She knew that he meant what he said; no monsters would get her. Gratefully, Éowyn leaned back into his broad chest, listening to the steady thrumming of his heart. It had been a long time since she had been held like this, and she had not realized that she had missed it until now.

For the first time in months, Éowyn was happy. She was able go past the horrifying memory of her papa's mangled corpse, set aside the remembrance of her mother, sick and dying. She knew that her uncle was here to protect her, and that he wasn't as scary as she had first thought. He was only sad, like her.

"I love you, Uncle," she murmured tiredly. And as sleep finally overtook her, the little girl thought that maybe, just maybe, her uncle told her that he loved her too.



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Here, Nath.  I hope this fits your desires.

Giants' Games

            Bilbo stopped as they approached the top of the pass, his gaze fixed on the hulking shapes facing one another to the south of them.

            "Mountain giants," grunted Glóin.  "Pay them no mind.  They won't bother us if we ignore them."

          But how could Bilbo ignore them as they tossed huge boulders to one another as casually as Hobbit children played with pigs' bladders?

          There's something magnificent in watching them, he thought.

          Laughter like the sound of avalanches filled the air, and he found he ached to join their play.  Then a missed toss landed nearby, and he scurried away.



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Oh, this does fit Dwim's desires so very well, and love seeing Eowyn finding her home and safety in her uncle's arms like this.  Nice presaging for the EE moment from the movie as well.



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

At last, Erulisse--a Light of the Trees story for you!  Hope it suits!


            He looked upon the Trees with hunger in his heart.  His brothers and sisters—together they had given them being.  Yavanna's song had caused them to grow, but the Light within them had been bestowed by Varda.  The colors of them had been granted by Aulë, for only in him could be found gold and silver so pure.  Nienna's tears of joy watered them; Tulkas's laughter was echoed in the rustle of their leaves; Nessa danced beneath their limbs, and Oromë's creatures sheltered there.  In their light Vairë spun her threads with her husband watching over her work.  Of their light Irmo wove dreams, and from it Estë drew warmth for healing.  Their warmth was carried on Manwë's winds, and the waters of Ulmo reflected their glory.

          Only he had had no part in their creation.

          "But I shall see to their destruction!" he vowed in his heart as he wrought his spear….



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Sorry if this half-Drabble doesn't work, Dwim- but the idea wouldn't go away until I put it down on "paper". Hope you enjoy it. Smile

Looking down at Treebeard's little not-orcs as they caper and prance with glee, I feel a surge within my sap.

They are brave, and they are bold, and they fought like little lions as they helped avenge our fallen brethren despite their small stature.

Yes, they are definitely not orcs.



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

I love it.  I absolutely love it.  The Trees are very special to me, I've been working their imagery into my art for the past year or so.  Thank you SO much!

- Erulisse (one L)



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

How cute and perfectly wrapped up in a small but perfect package :-)

- Erulisse (one L)



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Thanks, Adonnen! I like this little portrait of Eowyn trying to settle in to her new home. Nightmares and loneliness and discomfort around her uncle's mood seem just right, and I like that Eowyn brings Theoden some joy as well.




Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

What an unexpected perspective, Aruthir! I love it, and that you've pushed this unexpected trio under the notion of adoption. Thanks very much!




The Dower of Dol Amroth - for RiverOtter

Happy belated birthday, RiverOtter. Have a page from the Dol Amroth edition of the Red Book *cough*...


The Dower of Dol Amroth

Of the Princes of Dol Amroth.

In the War of the Ring, it was Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth who was instrumental in defending Minas Tirith until the Rohirrim and Aragorn could arrive to lift the siege. Afterwards, he became a great friend of Legolas Greenleaf, and Legolas it was who told us this story, which he had from the Prince, for it is a very curious thing to find in a Man the blood of the Eldar, and the land of Dol Amroth itself is said to be elven country. In such late times, it is moreover a thing unheard of, for Men to build a city in Elvish lands, or for Elves to permit it while they remained. Such a friendship must be the marvel of an Age, though as the Prince told and Legolas testifies, such wonders are often bound with grief.

The storm had left the beaches full of driftwood and long, stringy lines of kelp. The fisherfolk of Amon Alphran would not risk the sea, for each white-crested wave bore a weight of brown and tossed the ocean floor up onto the strand.

Two days, the sea swelled and churned and would not be calm. Ossë was restless, folk said; summer had been too long, fall too mild. Something strange was in the wind, and Ossë cried warning. They had seen it before, the year the South Haven emptied, and the year the Princess of Amon Alphran had disappeared, leaving their Prince with his young children to a widower's sad estate.

Yet still, they were surprised when, on the third day, a grey-swathed woman appeared upon the docks. She stood straight as an arrow upon the pier, unmoved by the wind and the spray, and silent – silent so that the sailors finally sent one of their number to the keep, to tell their Prince of the strange Elf cast up on their shore. For she could be naught else, surely, who seemed of the storm herself.

Then Imrazor came himself to the docks, though not in hope, for Mithrellas all men knew in Amon Alphran. Yet perhaps he thought her another of his wife's companions, come to seek her friend or her lost lady. For, when he came to her side and spoke, he welcomed her in the tongue his wife had taught him, but said: "I fear we can give you no news, if it is the Lady Nimrodel you seek."

The Elf-woman, hearing her own tongue from a Man's lips, looked at him then, and said sadly: "I need no news of Lady Nimrodel. But I perceive that though you are mortal, you have been bound to one of mine. Tell me, then, friend, what is this place, and whose house stands upon this hill?"

The Prince, marveling, replied: "You see as only the Eldar do, lady, for my wife was the lady Mithrellas, who is of Elven kind. But to answer you: you stand now in Belfalas and it is the prince's house that you see there, lady – my house, for I am Imrazor, the prince of this city."

"And yet this land was elven land once," she said. "I hear it from the waters and the hills tell of them – my people, who dwelt here for long ere Men came, and who called this hill Dol Amroth, for our King who dwelt upon it in his youth."

"It is still so called, lady," Imrazor told her. "We have not changed it, for 'tis said in the lore of my house that when the fathers of my fathers came here, following the swans, they were welcomed as guests by the Elves and let to dwell here, as in the king's house, for it was his very hill. But they were not let to hold it as lords of the land. Many years have passed, and we have remembered this, and so I am Prince of my people, who live in the city that we call Amon Alphran, but Dol Amroth is elvish land. For we would honor our guestship, though we are told the last of the Elves of Belfalas has gone."

Then the Elf-woman looked again to the sea, and said: "He is gone, Amroth. So the waves tell – he lies with them now, and no peace shall I find in this land." Turning from the ocean, she took Imrazor's hand in hers, and told him: "But you are come into my house, for Mithrellas was dear to me, and I see that her line has passed into your children. So be it! Since she is gone, then I must claim them, and they are all the children that Amroth's wife shall ever have in Middle-earth. Guests you were, but no longer: therefore your son will be the Prince of Dol Amroth, and from him shall descend a house of great renown – if only for a little while."

Then she kissed his brow, as one who farewells a brother, and fled – swift as the wind, and none dared to stop her, nor could have, and though Imrazor sent men to search for her, no man ever found her. And it was said afterwards that she must indeed have been Nimrodel, for her gift gave true, and her foretelling also, and where Gondor has had need, the Princes of Dol Amroth have ever stood by her and high in the hearts and memories of her people.

Author's Notes:: C. Tolkien's note 39 to "Cirion and Eorl" in Unfinished Tales goes through the problems of trying to explain how Dol Amroth, a Dúnadan city, came to be called Dol Amroth. The city evidently pre-existed Amroth's departure, but the Princes of Dol Amroth did not. Galador was the first Prince of Dol Amroth. Either the city changed its name after 1980 and Amroth's disappearance, or else it was always called Dol Amroth and the family wasn't a family of princes until Galador, though this seems to go against the idea that the Princes were granted their title by Elendil. Moreover, given the story of Amroth's demise, it is evidently impossible that any human being could have known that Amroth was even dead, so it seems unlikely that his death would have prompted the renaming of the city (assuming it was renamed for some reason).

But scrap of paper to the rescue! Unfinished Tales also contains an etymological note, that puts forward the idea that Nimrodel did actually survive her separation and lived by the river Gilrain until some unspecified time after Amroth's death and departure.

Add scrap of paper to note thirty-nine, shake vigorously and serve...



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Very late in the month, though my birthday is not until next Sunday, but, I would love M-e fairy tales or fairy tales adapted to M-e. If that does not inspire you, ?omer and Lothiriel are always very welcome :-) Thanks!



Happy Belated Birthday, Erulisse!

My birthday is May 11 and I adore stories that focus on early days - prior to the Last Alliance.  Pull back all the way to the time of the Two Trees if you desire.  I'd be delighted with any/all contributions to make my 5X (clears throat uncomfortably) birthday extra special :-)

- Erulisse (one L)


My long dormant Birthday drabble muse woke up and inspired a 300-word birthday gift for you.  It's even got two trees - not quite those Trees, but connected to them in an obscure way and it's definitely First Age.

Belated Birthday Greetings -

from Raksha the Demon


The Eye of the Beholder

They still speak of the beauties of Gondolin:  the wide ways, the fountains, the finely wrought Seven Gates, the mallorns, the flowers, and the shining towers of the Hidden City.

There is no denying that Gondolin was fair.  But on my very first day in the city that became my home, I saw fairer still.  There she was, sitting at the king's left hand.  As soon as I finished delivering Ulmo's message, my eyes found hers.  Silver and gold, white birches and yellow mallorns, the great golden form of Glingal and the gleaming silver branches of Belthil above; all paled next to the maid with the fair hair and milk-white skin.  I didn't know, then; that she was the king's own daughter; and if I had, I wouldn't have cared.  Most other Noldor stared at me, some with respect, some affronted at the nerve of a Man entering their city as Ulmo's messenger.  She was the only one who smiled; and her eyes, those grey eyes that went from soft to stormy, gave me fearless welcome. 

I hadn't seen too many women before then.  Seeing her, I didn't care if I ever saw another one.   Thank you, Lord Ulmo, I thought; knowing now that I had not come here just to warn the Elves of Gondolin of coming doom.  I had come here to find this maiden.  And now that I had, I would woo her and win her and protect her from all harm.  Didn't matter that her tall cousin glowered down at me like a thunder-cloud.  Didn't matter that her father was King of this city and a high Lord of the Noldor.   I certainly was a young fire-eater in those days, my boy, vowing to take Idril Celebrindal to wife!

But my luck, that had brought me from thralldom to the Hidden City, bore me up again.  I did win her.  Or she chose me as much I as I'd chosen her.  I've never been quite sure.  It was Idril's choice to decide; lad, and you know that once she makes up her mind, no force can gainsay her. 

Yes, Gondolin was a fair city.  I could have lived out my life there well enough, if Morgoth had let us be.  But he didn't.  And I salvaged the fairest treasures of Gondolin – you and your mother, my son.   So let's hurry; she's awaiting us at the docks."


Author's Note:

Glingal and Belthil, metal likenesses of the lost Trees of Valinor, were made by Turgon in Gondolin, according to The Silmarillion ("Of The Noldor in Beleriand").   Notes to "Of Tuor and His Coming to Gondolin" in Unfinished Tales indicate the presence of mallorns in the Hidden City.



Re: Happy Belated Birthday, Erulisse!

I truly love this, Raksha.  Gondolin has always been "my" city, the place of my dreams.  This representation of the first meeting between Tuor and Idril is wonderfully fleshed out and I love the perspective that you chose.  Thank you for a wonderful birthday gift Grin

- Erulisse (one L)



For RiverOtter

Happy belated birthday! (Hope it reads okay; I'm posting from my phone and it does funny things to formatting) Legacy "She is beautiful, isn't she?" lord Aldor whispered with unwelcome familiarity; for, though far from the proper son his parents always wished, Halaran kept away from schemers. "Rich too! Shame the poor girl's mad..." He could not hold back the laugh. He had heard of Gilmith the fey, with her fey mother's blood, since his arrival on Belfalas. What nobody talked about were her visits to the poor house, her wit, her stubbornness in holding her own... But he had seen it all, and these ridiculous people would lose whom they did not value. He vowed he'd see to that.



Re: Happy Belated Birthday, Erulisse!

I truly love this, Raksha.  Gondolin has always been "my" city, the place of my dreams.  This representation of the first meeting between Tuor and Idril is wonderfully fleshed out and I love the perspective that you chose.  Thank you for a wonderful birthday gift Grin

- Erulisse (one L)

I'm glad you enjoyed the ficlet, Erulisse.  I'd never written Tuor or anything Gondolin-related before.  Gondolin is a fascinating place; possibly the fairest of the Elven cities of First Age Beleriand; I can see why you love it so. 





Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

I always wanted to dance, but was never good at it!

Neither am I Wink Two left feet and I couldn't carry a sense of rhythm in a basket...



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Oh yes I must admit I hadn't thought of mountain giants as having the potential for fluffiness, but visualising this brought a smile to my face.



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Hope this counts as "far back" enough for you, Erulisse (one L). If not (or if it's not long enough or not happy enough... Hell, if you just don't think it's good enough...) you can always take it back if you kept the receipt.

You did keep the receipt, right?



He was the brightest and most beautiful of them all, and he only had eyes for me.

Or so he told me.

I was strong and wise and powerful.

Or so he told me.

I could have all I desired if I just helped him.

Or so he told me...



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Am so glad you like it, Nath.  It was fun trying to think up unusual "fluff" for you!

And am glad, Erulisse, that you found your gift fitting!  Melkor is ever an interesting one to imagine!



Re: Happy Belated Birthday, Erulisse!

How perfect, Raksha.  Am so glad the birthday muse showed herself for this one!



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

"Or so he told me."  What a sad refrain!  Excellent, Aruthir.



Re: For RiverOtter

Ah, Starlight--how odious is Lord Aldor is.  Glad Halaran sees beyond the vision of such as he.



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Happy birthday, Dwim!

A little snapshot from an adoptee who recalls past kindness:


Panting, Tuor fell to his knees. Even if they overtake me now, at least I will die in freedom.

It was not long before he regained his breath enough to raise his head. Still gasping for air, he laughed with delight as he saw where he had run. This was the path that led to the caves of Androth. He was home.

Life here had been harsh, growing harsher as the grip of the Easterlings on Mithrim tightened, yet Annael had been as a father to him, fostering a stray wanderer not even of his own kind, sharing what little they had. Annael and his people were long gone, but in his heart Tuor kept the memory of the kindness the Elves had shown him.

If the caves had not been discovered, they could shelter him again; it would be lonely by himself, but for an outlaw it would do.



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

For Dwim.  And I swear, Aruthir--this was in the hands of RiverOtter for beta work as you posted your story!  Great minds do tend to think alike!

For Dwim for her birthday.  With thanks to RiverOtter for the beta.

Little Brothers

            The older Ent examined Bregolad closely.  "You spend a great deal of time in the presence of the hole-dwellers-who-are-ever-hungry," Fladrif noted.

            Quickbeam smiled broadly.  "Yes, so I will readily admit.  They are hasty even for my tastes; but they are young and filled with the Creator's Light.  I find they warm my heart and give me hope.  It would appear that they are akin to us in spirit, for I feel our Mistress's gifts filling them.  They appreciate our griefs and delight in our joys.  When they examine a seed, it is with the knowledge of the plant it might give rise to; and when they caress a sapling I can feel their joy in it, as well as its contentment in their attention."

            Both turned to watch as the two Hobbits shrugged out of their clothing and splashed into the shallow pool formed by the stream that bordered the bowl where the Moot was gathered.  The older Ent was shocked.  "They shed their rinds?" he asked.

            Again Bregolad smiled as he watched them fondly.  "Yes, for it is adornment for them, apparently.  But see how they rejoice to offer themselves for cleansing and nourishment?  I have not forgotten how it was I felt when I was yet an entling and did likewise."  He returned his attention to his elder.  "I have decided to adopt them as brethren," he confided.



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

What a wonderful First-Age moment, Nath!  Love it!



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

No need to apologise to me, Larner- this is a fantastic story. Perhaps mine was just the starter to your main course? Smile



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

An appetizer, then?  Perhaps so, Aruthir!  It was a surprise to send mine off to RiverOtter for beta work and then find yours on the board, I must say!  And it is so natural an adoption of sorts to imagine.  Thanks so!



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Here, Starlight.

The Tell-Tale

            Frodo arrived at the farm at Whitwell to be greeted by an obviously distracted Eglantine Took.  "Ah, here you are, my lad!  I am so grateful you have arrived—all is at sixes and sevens the past few weeks, and perhaps you can help the other children to sort it all out.  Bilbo's gone on to the Great Smial?"

            "Yes.  He rather thought that after last year's meeting of the Family Heads there it might be better that I not go with him this time."

            "I should say so—Lalia is still certain that you must have had a hand in seeing her glued to her own chair."

            "I promise, Aunt Lanti, that it was not I who did that."

            She shook her head.  "At this point, even if the one who truly did it were to confess before the entire assembly of Family Heads and produce witnesses, still no one would begin to believe it was anyone but you."

            At that point Pimpernel came up behind her mother and pulled on her skirts to get her attention.  "Mummy, Pearl wants to know if she can come out of her room now, now that Frodo's come."

            Lanti's eyes closed in frustration.  "You can tell your sister she can simply stay put for now.  And is Pippin staying in his room?"

            "Yes, although he's in a right dither, wanting to be out here to tell his side of the story to Frodo!"

            The young Baggins gave his nominal aunt an inquiring look.  "And what sort of story does he wish to tell me his side of?" he asked.

            Eglantine threw up her hands.  "He's got to the stage when he is tattling on everyone, and he's managed to anger even his Cousin Merry, who usually will stand by him no matter what."

            "I see.  So, he's the self-appointed conscience for all, is he?"

            "You have it right there, Frodo.  And today he managed to tell about Pearl hiding out in the barn when she was supposed to be helping me with carding wool—she hates carding wool, as you know, Frodo.  So then we caught her trying to get her own back, having enlisted her cousin Linden to help her catch Pippin unawares so as to paint his hair red."

            Frodo laughed merrily.

            "It's not so funny," Lanti said darkly, "when you have to deal with this, day in and day out."

            Frodo controlled his laughter with difficulty, and his eyes were still sparkling as he asked, "So, Linden is here.  How about Bard?"

            "He's here, too.  Not too happily, mind you."

            Frodo sighed.  "Not knowing I was coming, I suppose."  He smiled wryly.  "I promise to be good, Aunt Lanti."

            "He's promised the same.  But their parents had to head off for the Southfarthing for a wedding, and they would not leave Linden at the Great Smial to the untender mercies of Lalia."

            The cheer left Frodo's face.  "Almost anything is better for her than being left in the keeping of Lalia the Fat," he muttered sternly.

            "Frodo Baggins!  Being unkind is not like you!"

            Frodo merely sniffed.  "I suppose I should go see Merry.  Is he with Pippin, then?"

            "Actually, he's in the parlor with Linden, Pervinca, and Isumbard, as Pippin has actually managed to tattle on him, too."

            Frodo gave a single bright laugh, and said, "Then I shall go there."  He leaned forward to kiss her cheek, and swinging his pack off his shoulders he headed for the room where the other younger Hobbits were gathered.

            "You brighten wherever you go, Frodo Baggins," she said softly as she watched him leave her.  He did not hear her, for he was singing softly to himself as he headed out of the kitchen, closely followed by Pimpernel.

            "Pippin just can't seem to stop tattling on everybody," Pimpernel explained as Frodo settled himself before the hearth beside Merry and accepted a biscuit handed him by Linden.  "He told Isumbard that Merry had shortsheeted his bed, and Linden that Pervinca planned to sneak into her room to sleep with her as a surprise.  He told Da that Merry had ridden Ginger even though he was told not to as she is in foal, so Merry was in disgrace for two days last week."

            "And the reason Cousin Lanti didn't go to the meeting of the Family Heads was because at Yule Pippin told Aunt Lalia that his mother had deliberately poured grape juice on the dress Lalia gave her so she wouldn't have to wear it," added Linden.  "At least we could come here and wouldn't have to stay there at the Great Smial as her guests while our parents are gone!"

            Isumbard said, rather reluctantly, "I doubt Cousin Paladin would have gone either, were he not the Heir to Ferumbras."

            The other children all indicated their agreement.  Pervinca was wrinkling her nose.  "He tells on me, too, all of the time," she said.

            Linden nodded.  "That he does.  And all the lads near his age at the Great Smials are all angry with him.  They had gotten together to steal sweets from the great larder, and of course it was Pippin who got caught.  And when he was asked who else was part of the plan he told all their names, so they were all punished."
            Frodo's eyebrows rose as he exchanged looks with Merry.  It was a point of honor at Brandy Hall that no one told on anyone else who was in on a prank or bout of scrumping, and it would be expected a similar code should be practiced at the Great Smial as well.  Isumbard confirmed this: "They shan't be including him again anytime soon, I'd think."

            "Mummy's not certain what to do," Pimmie sighed.  "She's glad he tells the truth, no matter what; but to keep telling on others all the time—even she hates to have that happen."

            "Can you fix it, Frodo?" Merry asked.

            Frodo gave his beloved younger cousin a sad look.  "One doesn't fix a tattling child quite the same way one does a broken stick," he advised the lad.  "It will take more than smaller sticks and glue and paper, you understand."

            "But he might listen to you where he won't to the rest of us," Merry said, his expression pleading.

            Frodo appeared thoughtful.  "I shall think on it," he said.  "But I can't promise anything, you understand."

            Merry smiled, apparently convinced that Frodo's prodigious brain should be able to figure out the answer to any problem, even one such as this.

            Pippin and Pearl's punishments were over at dinnertime, when they were let out of their rooms to join with the other children.  Pippin appeared to have spent much of his time peering through the crack at the bottom of his door, if the smudge on his cheek and the elbow of his shirt and the way his hair was flattened on that side had anything to tell.

Pearl had taken advantage of her enforced confinement to her room to experiment with her hair, putting it up to make herself look older and wiser.  She pointedly avoided looking at her little brother all through the meal, mostly casting what she obviously hoped were knowing glances at Frodo, who sat down at the far end of the table, and sharing whispered exchanges with Linden beside her.  Even Pimpernel was growing obviously embarrassed with her by the end of the meal, and Eglantine made certain that Pearl was the one who did the washing up by herself.  "Time to rid yourself of airs, young lady," Lanti advised her.

            Pearl glared, but obediently stayed in the kitchen as the others were shooed off to the parlor, and most especially Frodo.  Only Isumbard, who fancied Pearl himself, seemed happy at this.

            Lanti brought in some warm spiced cider and a platter of decorated biscuits for the youngsters to share, and sat down with a basket of mending.  The lasses each had her own sewing or knitting bag by her seat, and Merry had some harness he was to punch new holes for to work on.  Isumbard, who was now old enough to smoke, fiddled with his pipe while Frodo settled himself on the floor with some strips of dyed leather he was braiding together to make a lanyard.   Pippin, a slate pencil and scrap of old cloth to hand, had been advised to practice his letters, and sat leaning against Frodo, diligently drawing each letter and then wiping it off as Bard described how his father had gifted him with this pipe on his last birthday.

            "I was so pleased," he concluded.  "After all, this was once my grandda's pipe."

            Merry was looking at it with obvious envy in his eyes as Frodo looked up from his braiding with a nod of understanding.  "I understand my Grandfather Folco never took up smoking," he commented.  "I suppose one day Bilbo will give me my dad's pipes.  You are lucky to have that to remember your grandda by."

            Bard gave an abbreviated nod, not liking to admit that his rival had given him a compliment.  But his frown returned when Pearl hurried in from the kitchen, wiping her hands on her apron, checking first to see where it was the Frodo was sitting.  Finding that Frodo was seated in a place where she couldn't easily sit by him she grimaced, then sat in her usual place at the end of the small sofa to take out the bodice she was working upon, self-righteously shaking her head when Pimmie offered her the plate of biscuits.

            The room fell silent for a time as each concentrated on what was being worked upon, until at last Pippin looked up at Frodo and asked, "Will you tell us a story, Frodo?"

            Frodo looked down at his smallest cousin present thoughtfully, then finally smiled.  "Oh, but I think I shall, if your mother allows it.  It appears that you haven't exactly been in favor today."

            "But Mum has always told us we must tell the truth—" Pippin began, before Frodo held up a hand to forestall him.

            "Telling the truth is one thing; but sometimes even the truth can be dangerous to share."  So saying, he set down his lanyard and lifted the smaller lad onto his lap, and took a deep breath to prepare himself to tell his tale.

            Once, long ago, when your dad's dad's dad's dad was a lad, or perhaps before, a small Hobbit named Toto lived with his family in a small smial in the Eastfarthing, not far from the Road, or so I was told by Uncle Rory when I myself was small.  He was a nice enough child, but had taken to heart a bit too strongly the idea that one must always tell the truth, no matter what.

            One day he and the other lads slipped onto a nearby farm to do some scrumping, and only he was caught, his hands filled with carrots.

            "Who was with you?" demanded the farmer.

            Toto told him the name of the other lads, and the farmer went to all their homes, and all of them were forbidden to go on his land ever again.  Now none of Toto's friends would speak to him, and he didn't feel that was right.  He'd only told the truth, right?

            His oldest sister was being courted by a neighbor lad a bit older than she, and Toto's parents weren't certain that she was quite old enough to court at all.  Toto told them that he'd seen his sister kissing the lad, both of them behind the corn crib, and now the lad was told off not to come again and the lass was forbidden to see him any more.  His sister cried and cried and cried.  When it was learned that the lad had begun to court another lass, she cried some more.  She never married, for her heart was of the sort to be stirred but once, and her parents were sad that they had thought it only a childish fascination and not realized it was true love, and knew they'd done wrong by her.  But it was too late by then, and Toto couldn't understand why he was blamed.  After all, he'd but told the truth!

            When his mum spent more money than intended on fabric for a new dress, Toto told his dad at once, and then was surprised to find them quarreling.  When his dad bought a new pig at a time they needed more lamp oil, Toto told his mother, and again his parents quarreled.  "If you'd only not interfered," his mum explained afterwards, "your dad would have found his own way to explain, and it would have been better."  But Toto was certain that he'd but told the truth, so it couldn't be his fault!

            Then one night a ruffian of a Big Folk came along the Road, looking for someplace to hide.  He'd done something bad between the Shire and Bree, it is said, and the Rangers were after him!

            "What are the Rangers?" asked Pippin.

            "They are Big Folk who live outside the Shire, although sometimes they ride along the Road; and it is said in Buckland that they keep an eye out for bad folk of any sort and drive them away, out into the Wild."

            Pippin nodded his understanding, and went quiet for Frodo to continue his tale.

            The ruffian was apparently sufficiently desperate that when he saw the door to the smial, there on the hillside, he went to it and tried it.  Finding it unlocked, he entered the hole, even though it was the middle of the night.

            It was dark inside the smial, and he knocked over a table, awakening Toto, who came out of his room to see what was making the noise.

            "Who's there?" demanded the ruffian.

            "It's me, Toto Broadbelt," Toto answered.

            As his eyes became used to the darkness, the ruffian saw before him only a little tiny lad, and he grew more bold and self-assured.  "Can you light a candle?" he demanded.


            "Then do so."  So Toto did, and he saw the Man with all his ugliness, and was sorry he'd made it easier for both of them to see.

            "And do you have any riches?" the Ruffian asked.

            Toto wasn't precisely certain what riches might be, but he answered, "Mum and Dad have some coin put by, there in the sugar bowl."

            The ruffian looked into the sugar bowl and found the coins, and took them all, putting them into his pocket.

            "Do you have any food?" he demanded next.

            "In the larder."

            "And where's that?"

            So Toto showed the ruffian the larder, and the Man opened the door, and saw they had lots put by.  Seeing a blanket over the back of the sofa, he took it and made a bag of it, and he took all of the food from the larder and put it into the bag he'd made, and twisted it to drag it out of the smial, beckoning for Toto to go with him.

            "Have you a horse?"

            "No," Toto answered reluctantly, "we don't.  But we do have a pony."

            So the Man made him show him the stable, and he took their pony and put the bag made of the blanket over its back, and took it all away.

            Toto was weeping when his parents awoke, and he told them all the ruffian had taken.

            "But how did he know where the coin was hidden?" asked his mother.  "It wasn't obvious!"

            "I told him," admitted the little Hobbit.  "He asked, so I told him the truth."
            "And how did he find out where the larder was?" asked his father.

            "He asked, so I told him," Toto explained.

            "And that's how he knew we had a pony to take, too?" asked his sister.

            Toto had to admit she was right.

            They were all outside, looking at the empty stable, when the Ranger came by, looking for the ruffian.  Toto's father told him that the Man had been there, and what he'd taken, and that he'd only known what to take because Toto had told him about it and where it was.  The Ranger sighed, and asked which way the ruffian had gone.  This time they were all glad of Toto's penchant for telling the truth, for he was able to point out the path the ruffian had taken with the pony, and they described the pony so the Ranger would be able to recognize it.

            Late in the day the Ranger returned.  He was walking now, leading his horse, on which the ruffian was riding, his hands tied behind him and his feet lashed to the horse's barrel.  The ruffian looked most upset at this turn of affairs, and especially as the Ranger stopped to return to the family their coins retrieved from the Man's pocket, the pony, and the bag made from their blanket filled with the food from their larder.

            The Ranger knelt down to talk to Toto.  "I am glad that your parents have raised a son who appreciates the value of honesty," he said.  "But I hope you have now learned that it is not good to answer every question asked of you, or to tell everything you know, and particularly when it may well lead to you losing what you care for most.  Your family can ill afford the loss of so much coin, or all the food from your larder, much less your pony.  You are fortunate that this ruffian was being sought by me, for you are not the only one to lose all of value to him.  And had he had more time he would have possibly have stolen your life and the lives of your other family members as well as the pony and the food and the coin.  Think well before you speak from now on."

            And the child took his words to heart, and from that day he knew when it was important to hold his tongue and did so.  So it was that he no longer had everyone angry with him for speaking out of turn.

            All were silent for a time once the tale was through.  Pippin sat still for a moment or two before twisting to look up into Frodo's face.  "So," he said in a small voice, "It's not always a good thing to tell everything?"

            "What do you think?" Frodo answered in a gentle voice.

            "So I shouldn't tell you that Pearl----"  But something in Frodo's suddenly stern countenance stopped him, and Pippin took a deep breath instead.  "Oh, I see," he said.

            But what it was he'd been about to say about his sister he never told anyone.



For Erulisse and Starlight

I cheated, I'm late - I'm sorry! This is 125 words on the coming to be of Menelvagor: it's definitely a long time ago, and I hope it has a fairy-tale-ish flavor to it.

Star Sign

Ere Elves awoke, the Weaver cast her Weave across the sky, and the Kindler lit stars in its gaps: the Weaver's Net, the Sickle, the Swordsman – portents of Eru's purpose.


Purpose comes strangely, though, into the World's Circles: No Man is wholly within the Weave. Turambar will not pass – he will not, but clings beyond death to the world – to vengeance.


Such is not the destiny of Men; fate's threads ravel.


"So be it," the Doomsman intones; "His will be done."


Nine frayed threads for Turambar; the Kindler knots and hangs them high: inhuman fate, to merge with fire, unbearable purity!


The Swordsman becomes the Hanged Man, caught 'twixt heaven and earth – justice suspended 'til the End of Days.



Re: Shelter

Argh, I missed this!

Thank you, Nath! This is lovely - there's so little about Tuor's past out there. I'd forgotten that he was fostered by Elves early on in his life. I love this retrospective look at his foster-father and the kindness that he takes as his inheritance from Annael, as revealed in his own personality later on.




Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Hi Dwim--happy birthday! When I saw your request, I just had to contribute this bit of my personal canon--I know you will appreciate it as much as I do.

A Debt Owed

Flushed with sleep, awakened in the dark of night, the boy rubbed his eyes in the firelight of the King's private rooms. The Queen knelt at his side and brushed her slender fingers through his dark curls, wet from the rain that had dampened his long journey from the North to the great city of Minas Tirith.

"This is your new home," she said gently. "We are your mother and father now."

At last the lad dropped his hands from his face and smiled uncertainly. In his grey eyes, the King saw the truth and courage of his grandfather, Halbarad.



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Hello, Starlight - Dunno if you have come across my tales, but if not, they may fit your request for fairy-tales: Fairy Tales of Middle-earth I am not a very swift writer, so all the tales are, um, already in existence. Hope they fill the bill... DW



Re: For Erulisse and Starlight

Definitely a fairy tale-ish cast to it, Dwim.  Striking imagery!



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

I love this adoption of Halbarad's grandson as a child of their household, Gandalf's Apprentice.  I wrote one last year, I think, from my own story "Lesser Ring" in which they bring home a child from Harad.  But this is truly delightful!  That Halbarad lives on in his grandson is perfect!



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

I immediately thought of your stories when I saw Starlight's request, DrummerWench.  They are exceptionally good, Starlight, if you haven't read them yet.



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

I DID keep the receipt, but obviously don't need it since this is one I will not be returning - rather will be treasuring.  Thank you!

- Erulisse (one L)]



Re: For Erulisse and Starlight

This is truly wonderful, and I love sharing a birthday gift!  The stars are always a source of amazement and thrill for me.  Thank you so much! 

- Erulisse (one L)



Re: A Debt Owed

*wibble* Thank you, G.A.!

The sweetness of the moment is counterbalanced for me by the realization that Halbarad's bad luck didn't die with him: apparently, his son or daughter has died early and left an orphan for his dearest friend to care for. Poor kiddo! May he inherit only the truth and courage of Halbarad, and not the horrifically bad luck!




Re: For Erulisse and Starlight

You're welcome, Erulisse! I've been wanting to write something about that Turin-Menelvagor connection for awhile now, and your requests gave me an outlet. Glad you enjoyed the ficlet!




Re: A Debt Owed


Actually, in my !verse, the boy's parents are NOT dead. Rather, if you may remember, Halbarad was also Aragorn's heir. Therefore this (unnamed as yet) boy is in line for the throne, if Aragorn does not have a son of his own.

It was common in some societies for the nobility to foster each other's sons.

In any case, Aragorn wants to bring Halbarad's entire family into riches and power, etc., etc.

I hope that makes it less sad for you! I certainly didn't want that....



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Oh, Larner--thanks so much for the promo! It makes me feel better about offering up a mathom for a B-day prezzie...



Late Birthday Ficlet for Dwim

Here's a 250-word ficlet, conceived in five demi-drabbles of 50 words apiece, inspired by the notion of adoption, Dwim.  I hope you had a wonderful birthday!


The children of Men grow with such haste!  Isildur's Heir had been a toothless infant but a handful of years ago; and this day he had missed his lessons to take out, unbidden, my most mettlesome horse.  Mercifully, the stallion was wiser than the boy, and returned the child unharmed.   


His legs and arms are longer now; and he has risen in height.  But he is still a boy; and this day he asks me to explain the ways of men and women.   I must remember Uncle Maglor's words to me on the same subject.  Was I ever this young? 


He rides out this day to rejoin his father's people.  Isildur's Heir sits tall in the saddle, wise and kindly and valiant.  He will make a worthy King.  I am well pleased by his progress, yet loath to see him leave.  Is this what it means to be a father?


My foster-son is a King well-seasoned, with fair children of his own now.  This day, they attend my wedding, to my great joy.   In Isildur's Heir and his son, I can see traces of Isildur and Elendil, and even my brother so long lost.  How swiftly the years have flown…


Isildur's Heir has come home for the last time.  I sit at his bedside and hold his hand while the last moments of his life pass; breath by labored breath.   Eldacar meets my eyes sorrowfully as we await his father's passing.   His heart stops and mine breaks.  Valandil, my son!

Author's Notes:

Valandil, youngest and only surviving son of Isildur, was born in Imladris about ten years before the end of the Second Age; and apparently stayed there from childhood to manhood, when he took up the Kingship of Arnor.  Eldacar is the only son of Valandil mentioned by Tolkien; I have implied that Valandil might have had more than one child.



Re: Late Birthday Ficlet for Dwim

What a wonderful tribute to this first such relationship between Isildur's heirs and Elrond.  I grieve that Elrond thinks of Valandil throughout them as "Isildur's Heir" as if he would somehow distance himself from the grief to come when Valandil follows Elrond's brother beyond the Circles of Arda.  But it is not unusual, I suspect.



Re: Late Birthday Ficlet for Dwim

Thanks, Larner.  Fostering a human youngster had to have originally been a new and occasionally hair-raising experience for Elrond.   And I think it was very hard for him to raise these fosterlings, watch them mature into great Kings and chieftains, and then have the Heirs of Isildur die, all in the blink of an Elven-eye in terms of time...



Re: Late Birthday Ficlet for Dwim

That's lovely - so much told in so few words. 

Poor Elrond.  He must have seen so many fosterlings grow, age and die




Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Fantastic, Larner! oooh, thank you so much! I should just go ahead and print this story to read to my girls when the time is right ;-) I loved it! Thanks so much for writing me a b-day present, and please forgive my late reply--you'd think I could do a much better job of keeping up with all the night-waking with a new baby at home (thank goodness for smartphones). I'm curious: what age group do you teach? Have you ever had to deal with this sort of thing? Thanks again for a super lovely present.



Re: For Erulisse and Starlight

Beautiful, Dwim! I loved this piece of Middle-earth history and folklore, and what gorgeous, evocative language, as always! Thank you very much. It was fun to share! Happy belated b-day to both Erulisse and Dwim. I owe you both drabbles...



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Thank you so much for the link, DW, off to read!



Re: May 2010 Birthday Cards

Real life distracts us all, I find.  Am so glad you liked it!

I taught for over thirty years, every age from preschool to college.  I now work with disabled adults.  And, yes, I dealt with the tattlers, and have to admit that at age six I WAS the tattler!  I was an awful little thing in my older brother's view for about a year until our mother finally broke me of it--I think in much this same way.  I do remember the guilty pleasure of running into our parents' room in the morning to get in the first story of the day....



For Dwim's birthday

Ridiculously late, but it's finally finished. Happy BELATED birthday, Dwim :-)



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