Forum: 2010 - HASA Birthdays

Discussing: August 2010 Birthday Cards

August 2010 Birthday Cards

Birthday folk: Is your birthday in August 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 August 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, question or suggestion, please post it here or e-mail me privately - I'll do my best to help.


August, 4th - Anglachel: What kind of story would I like? In a word: politics.

Any age, any participants, any point of conflict or avoidance thereof. Dramatic. Humorous, Philosophical. Sexual politics. Local politics. Grand conflicts. Small negotiations. Within clans. Between species. Earnest diplomacy. Darkest duplicity. This is all good. Just remember - I use "Machiavellian" as a compliment.

Extra points for using an OC from one of my stories.

 

 

Re: August 2010 Birthday Cards

My birthday is August 4th.

What kind of story would I like? In a word: politics.

Any age, any participants, any point of conflict or avoidance thereof. Dramatic. Humorous, Philosophical. Sexual politics. Local politics. Grand conflicts. Small negotiations. Within clans. Between species. Earnest diplomacy. Darkest duplicity. This is all good. Just remember - I use "Machiavellian" as a compliment.

Extra points for using an OC from one of my stories.

Anglachel

 

 

Re: August 2010 Birthday Cards

It's the fourth here, so Happy Birthday! And here's a little AU tidbit touching on the avoidance of conflict (just about, if you squint at it from the right angle *g*). Enjoy!

Helob

A draft of cold air.

A faint echo of footsteps at the entrance of the corridors he must call home.

Both were out of place, and Helob wondered what was going on. He'd barely dared venture outside his cave to hunt lately, for the Orcs had taken to only moving in large troops and they were too wary to allow him to pick off stragglers. He did not yet starve; he still had a few silk-swathed meals hanging about, but the foul taste of Orc meat and this barren land in which the air itself carried poison had begun to wear on him, and he yearned for deep, dark forests and still air.

Had it been worth it? He had survived his siblings in the nest trying to kill him and each other; only the fastest and the strongest survived, and he might be smaller than his sisters, he was faster, and had always been. He had also survived being hunted by bright, horrible Elves; and somehow he'd ended up in this cave, far away from the Great Forest, cut off from good, juicy food and breathable air.
     
Another draft, and now it carried a scent. He hissed; he knew that scent. A quick skitter and he was away from his lair. Immediately he slowed down again. The creature that approached had ears as sharp as a black squirrel's and it moved as silently. It had been here before, and he knew it only too well. It was dangerous, tricky, more than half spider in mind, even if to the eye it looked a bit like a Man, but small and wasted, like and yet unlike one of their plump younglings; he knew well what those tasted like, nice and juicy. Alas, there would be only a sparse meal off that one if he ever bothered to take it.

But he would see what the sneaking one was doing here this time, and not let himself be distracted by thoughts of food. He knew the corridors of his own home well and soon he had found a place to watch from, unseen and unheard. Yes, it was the creature, but it had not come alone. There were two others with it, of the same kind, though not so wasted away. Plump, juicy. Food, a part of his mind whispered, and he tensed for an attack. Trouble, another part countered.

The other two did not look or smell dangerous, but there was a hidden threat about them that he did not dare cross. He remembered the black hill in the Great Forest, and its ruler, the same One who ruled the barren land beyond the pass outside. Whatever it was these creatures carried, it was His.

Helob slumped back down and started to edge back towards his cave. He wanted no part of any of this. Let them go unhindered to whatever awaited them, doom or a hero's welcome.

Let the Dark One deal with them.

 

 

Re: August 2010 Birthday Cards

A rather dark birthday tale... but I did use an OC!

Main story is a drabble -

'Only your family, myself and him (know). I told him I'd cut out his tongue if he ever breathed word.' Otho said this with such vehemence Lobelia believed it.   Unfair by Anglachel.

She's Mine Too

He thinks I'm cowed. I'm no tween. I know what he wanted; I saw his eyes and got to her first, and now he's miffed, wanting me to stay away. Well, I've stayed away for long enough. The lass' mine too. I deserve some return for letting her be. I could force them to let me have her some days, once she's old enough to tend house for me. I think that idea's pretty good. I'll come forward in about twenty years and tell him I wants her. I can see Lobelia's face. It'll be worth it just for that.

 

 

Re: August 2010 Birthday Cards

I think that idea's pretty good. I'll come forward in about twenty years and tell him I wants her.

And a touch of Gollum to boot. Even better!

Thank you for this. It is a perfect bit of Shire politics. The assumption about Lobelia's helplessness is cruel and selfish, and would be unbearably dark if we didn't know how bold Otho intends to be.

Ang

 

 

Re: August 2010 Birthday Cards

Hi, Ang!  Here you go!  Sharpen your swords, o Elves of Nargothrond.  Happy birthday!

maeglin

 

 

Re: August 2010 Birthday Cards

Hi, Ang!  Here you go!  Sharpen your swords, o Elves of Nargothrond.  Happy birthday!

Oh, this is marvelous! An excellent, tense and ever-so-political exchange. Favorite line: "It is only your enemies, those who disagree with you, and those you love, who need fear you. " Ouch, ouch, ouch...

Thank you, maeglin!

Ang

 

 

Re: August 2010 Birthday Cards

Glad you liked it, Ang!  Always wanted to write a Celebrimbor story, and after your prompt it pretty much wrote itself

 

 

Re: August 2010 Birthday Cards

For Anglachel - Marital politics in the time of the Lamps:

"Have you seen my newest butterfly?"  Vána asked, eagerly, "Look, it is all in shades of green, to blend in with leafy glades, but I made subtle patternings of tint, here and here and here." 

As she held the Green Hairstreak forth, satisfaction filled her, enhancing her native beauty beyond tolerance, and she smiled, setting her glamour rebounding.  In response, he ached for gifts denied their kind:  their marraige would never be blessed with children.

"Why, no, love, I had not seen it," Oromë replied, praying his tone might sound sincere.  He adored her beyond all reason, but how many flying worms did Vána intend to create? "Hand it over then, that I might admire it more closely."

 

 

Re: August 2010 Birthday Cards

"Why, no, love, I had not seen it," Oromë replied, praying his tone might sound sincere.

Bwhahahahahaha! You've been to my house, haven't you? Wink

Thank you, Cuinwen, for a lovely and light-hearted drabble, with just a tiny touch of sorrow that keeps its sweetness in balance.

Off to add it to the other presents...

Ang

 

 

Re: August 2010 Birthday Cards

LOL, glad you liked it!  Happy birthday!

 

 

Re: August 2010 Birthday Cards

Here, Anglachel--I hope you like it!

I Shall Not be Supplanted!

             The Steward's son went still as he found himself listening to the talk in the adjoining room.

            "There are those who would see the King return again and wear the Winged Crown."

            "And there are those who would refuse to bow the knee to any whose claim upon the Throne of Gondor could not be verified—and with good reason."

            "You are obviously of good Dúnedain blood."

            "Am I?  There are those already who will swear that I am the love-child of the Steward, and thus obviously illegitimate and so barred from claiming even the Rod and the Black Chair.  Yet you would somehow see me sit at the top of the dais, crowned in mithril and mother of pearl?"

            Lord Meredorn of Langstrand gave a great snort.  "You—the fruit of an assignation between Ecthelion and some Rohir's daughter?  Were your eyes green or blue, or your hair a lighter brown—perhaps.  But you could be the very brother of Denethor."

            "I assure you that I am not."

            "Then who is your father, or your mother?"

            "No one you have ever heard named, I am certain.  Remember--not all who bear full Dúnedain blood are automatically of the Line of Kings of Gondor."

            "Where do they dwell, your parents?"

            "My father died when I was little better than a babe in arms.  It was another, a distant relative, who took my mother into his home and saw me raised among his own sons, and who saw me trained to serve as I can."

            "You would stand to inherit from him when he dies?"

            "There is no question that his sons are legitimate and much older than I.  No—I look to inherit nothing from him.  I have no claim to anything that is his save the love he gave me for the sake of my fathers.  As I said, we are kinsman from afar."

            Meredorn dropped his voice, but Denethor could still hear him.  "But if we were to claim that you were from among the Lost, and were the Heir to Isildur?  Would you not be tempted to reach for the Winged Crown?"

            "You would risk civil war?  And for what?  To see an untried stranger made King to supplant Ecthelion and his son?"

            "None seeks to supplant Ecthelion.  He is a genial enough soul, and a good one to have as Ruling Steward.  But there are few who look forward eagerly to the time when Denethor succeeds his father.  He is given to rigidity, we find.  He has been a good Captain of our forces in the past, but he is much given to the study of lore.  One with his attention ever in a book too oft fails to see dangers or advantages to be found right beneath his nose."

            Thorongil's voice became cold.  "Have you not heard that I, too, am learned in ancient lore?  Such was my kinsman's interest in such things that he has seen to it all who pass through his house are entertained nightly with ancient tales and songs, and I read freely all I could find in his library regarding the histories of Middle Earth.  Even now, when naught else puts calls upon my time I spend what time I can in the great archives, ever seeking to add to what I learned as a child and youth.  I doubt that in the end you would find me preferable, as you appear to see it, to Lord Denethor.

            "And there is the fact I have sworn myself to his father's service.  I will not betray that oath by standing against Ecthelion's son when it is his time to accept the White Rod.  Tell me, my lord—why this interest in preferring me?  Do you think me more easily swayed to your arguments than Denethor?  You will find I am master of my own mind, and I have been known to speak against those I love most truly when I have felt it right and proper to do so."

            Meredorn's voice cooled to match that of the mercenary.  "Is that your way of warning me you consider my talk treasonous?"

            There was a pause before Thorongil answered, "I question the motivations of those who would advise against following the legal succession of power within the land."

            "If the rightful King were found, and could substantiate his claim to the Throne, would you deny him?"

            "He would have to prove his lineage and his claim, and even then I would not wish to see the authority of the Ruling Stewards blindly set aside."

            "Would you give your oath to Denethor as you have to Ecthelion?"

            "That is not a question that needs to be answered at this time, Lord Meredorn."

            "But if you could become King of Gondor----"

            "My lord, you press me too closely.  If you continue, I must make my report to Lord Ecthelion that you speak, if not against him, at least against the rightful succession of his son.  I will leave you now.  I give you good day."

            He heard the door to the next room close with far more force than he had ever heard from Captain Thorongil.  Denethor considered going into that room to confront Meredorn when he heard the inner door to the chamber open.  He heard Meredorn ask, "Then you heard all?"

            Denethor was surprised to hear his father say, "Well, he told you no more than what he has told me.  And he stands for Denethor's succession, which puts the lie to what has been said by many.  A most mysterious soul, my young Captain."

            "He is able to keep his temper."

            "And he is able to be as angered as is true of any other.  I heard him all but slam the door as he left."

            "He did not say, though, that he would swear allegiance to Denethor as he has to you."

            "No, he did not.  But he answered well.  He is a politic soul, I deem."

            "That he is—I will drink to that."  There was quiet for a time, before Meredorn asked, "Would you not see your son succeed you as Ruling Steward?"

            "I would see him serve as Steward, but would not be adverse to seeing him serving under the rightful King's rule, should the King choose to return in my time."

            "But there is little enough to indicate that this is any more the Heir to Isildur than is any other from among the Lost."

            "Save that when he enters a room all come to attention—even I."

            "Pelendur did not accept the claim of the last Heir to Isildur to put it forth, even though Arvedui was married to the one remaining child of Ondoher."

            "Fíriel was his daughter, and no woman has ruled Gondor."

            "Other than Berúthiel," muttered Meredorn.

            "Pelendur could rule against the Heir to Isildur when it has ever been the Heir to Anárion who has ruled Gondor since the day Isildur ceded that position to his brother's son.  But the descendants of Fíriel might be the Heirs to Isildur, but also are the Heirs to Anárion as well.  If the current Heir to Isildur could be found and it is shown he is also descended from Fíriel and thus from Ondoher and Anárion, it would go far to making the argument that the proper King has been found."

            "But if he refuses to name himself Isildur's heir----"

            "We shall do nothing until a claim has been put forth.  He is wise—it is never good to start a rule by inciting civil war.  But the shadow within Mordor grows ever stronger, and my son, as much as I love him truly, is not an easy man to love and honor to the point of freely given obedience.  It will be well enough once he and Finduilas are married.  When those within Minas Tirith see how deeply she adores him it will be easier for them to realize there is a side to him that does draw fealty based upon affection.  But a strong King of pure blood from both lineages could command more easily than ever will Denethor.  And if, as I have foreseen, the great battle comes within my son's lifetime, Gondor will need one who can command loyalty with a glance, as Denethor cannot."

            There were approaching footsteps along the hallway, and both men within the next room went still.  There was a knock at the door, and Ecthelion could be heard calling, "Come."

            "My Lord Steward, Lord Meredorn—I am sent to tell you that Lord Adrahil's ship has just arrived at the Harlond.  He should be within the City within two hours."

            "Good, good!"  Ecthelion's voice sounded ebullient.  "Then shall we away, Meredorn, and prepare for the arrival of our beloved Prince of Dol Amroth and my son's prospective bride?  The announcement this evening at the banquet of their engagement should do much to assure the Lords of the Realm that all is in hand for the peaceful succession of rule within Gondor, don't you think?"

            "Indeed so.  Lead on, my Lord."

            Denethor could hear the three sets of footsteps leaving the other room behind the Hall of Kings, and he set the book he'd been reading down into his lap.  They thought that his devotion to learning weakened him as a leader?  And even his father thought to deny him his rightful place as Ruling Steward when his time should come?  His father would put forth Thorongil as a possible candidate for the Throne and Winged Crown?

            He'd begun to resent Thorongil's penchant for being better versed in the histories of the First and Second Ages than himself, and better, too, at weapons.  But where before he'd suppressed his feelings of disenchantment as being beneath his dignity, he would do so no longer!  "No man has the right to supplant me in the heart of my father or my people!" he murmured to himself.  So saying, he closed the book with a decided clap! and never opened it again.

 

 

Re: August 2010 Birthday Cards

Cuinwen, Agape, and Nath--loved them!  One more butterfly?  And a Helob to match Shelob?  And Lobelia as a bone of contention?  Heh!  Excellent!

 

 

Re: August 2010 Birthday Cards

Here, Anglachel--I hope you like it!

I Shall Not be Supplanted!

Squee! Another present! Grin

I've already added it to the story set. And the reference ot Prince Adrahil's ship - an oblique mention of Seabird? Wonderful political wrangling and an intriguing OC in Meredon.

Thank you, Larner!

Ang

 

 

Re: August 2010 Birthday Cards

You are so welcome!  And hope that it was a wonderful one!

 

 

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