1. There she goes
See those fine timbers of her body, sleek and golden as the sweet nectar of flowers? I, myself, directed the felling of those trees which went to the sawyers for her timbers, and only the best of timber was used for her. Not one plank upon her is laid at fault and not a drop of water shall enter through her hull and that is a guarantee. Each plank has been polished by hand with wax and each plank has been sanded to perfection. It would take more than battering wave to break those masts which bear up her sails loftily. Those were sewn by the wives and daughters of my fellow shipwrights and only of the finest strands were they made.
Perfect she is, this working of my hands and creation of my mind. Indeed nothing as fair as she has been seen in the bays of Romenna since the days of Tar-Aldarion and even he I doubt had a ship as fair and perfect as mine, for even her sails are white as the cold snows of Mount Ever-white.
No daughter do I have and ever shall have, for I have no wife, yet I need no daughter, for she is all the pride and joy I shall ever have, she who was wrought of my hands and of my own labours.
But alas! For as a father must give his daughter’s hand to a man who wishes her as his bride, so must I let my own go and give her to whom she rightly belongs, for those timbers of which she is wrought of are from the forests belonging to the King.
Her hand now I have given to the King and as a Queen she has been set with his throne as her crown and many oars, golden and sable, with his mark, has she been awarded, as jewels of rubies and diamonds, or opals and pearls, upon a Lady’s neck. His standard he has raised amidst her sails for all to see that it is he whom my beauty, my jewel, belongs to.
A fine bride price have I been given for my design and labours from the King, but rather would I have the ship which I have made, unadorned and natural with a simple carving at her side, bearing my name. A name, otherwise to what I have called her, he has given to her, Alcarondas, the Castle of the Sea. That now is what she is called, the Castle of the Sea. His Castle of the Sea.
Many other maidens surround her in the waters, her convoy, and her escort. The trumpets of the King are sounding upon the ships and the anchors of all the ships are being raised. The sky darkens by the minute as dusk comes upon Númenor and alone I stand at the quay where once she stood majestically, before she was taken as the King’s and from here I watch her.
Long in my safekeeping has she been, but not any longer. Now she is the ship of the King, his Battleship and his convoy. The first of the ships are leaving and there is a great cheer from those remaining on the Isle, wives and other family of the King’s Men.
Another call of the trumpets…and there she goes.
For a mariners, they must feel thrilled to aboard a ship and to feel it moving across the waters with them, but for a shipwright there is no better feeling than to see your own ship leave port on her maiden voyage, somewhat how a father must feel when he first sees his child take their first step, or a mother bird watching her chick first at flight.
The mewing of gulls often I found as music to my ears but the sound of that wave of water she pushed as she first began to move was even sweeter.
I watched her and could not help but hold my breath as I saw her take flight. For her grace and splendour it looked as though she were of the hallowed timbers of Eressёa and wrought by the hands of Telerin shipwrights.
She stretched her legs and she swam, swam through the sea, with the speed of any sea bird and the grace of a swan. For the first time she breathed and her sails were filled with the wind of her own speed. The glow of the sun was upon her face and she gleamed upon the sea, golden and sable.
She was beautiful in the dwindling light. But what light there was, did not last for long. The sun went down; silence and darkness came upon the land.
What joy I bore in my heart too had dimmed with the sun and the silence and darkness was but a bitter reminder for why I had created her.
Slowly the fleets passed out of my sight and their lights faded, and the night took them. They were out of sight and they had broken the ban of the Valar. For that was the reason why I had created her, to bear Ar-Pharazôn to the West where he would wage war against the deathless and wrest from them everlasting life within the Circles of the World, or so are his reasons.
A beauty perhaps she may be within my eyes and perhaps a beauty she is only within my eyes, for though a Queen of ships she may seem, for all her glory and grace her only reason of creation is to bear the King, to bear Soldiers, to bring War upon the Valar. Though a beauty she is, she is but another warship, another war ship that will yet be sunk under attack. Though a beauty she is, she was only wrought for evil intent.
For fear of my King and for fear of the Dark Lord I agreed and promised a ship of my own design that was of grandeur and magnificence as no other ship that has sailed the seas. I have built now this ship and I have fallen in love with her for who she truly is when she purely is a ship of my own creation, not a ship made for the King and adorned with standards and slaves forced to row her under the lash, a ship of malice and war.
There she goes; the fairest thing my eyes have yet beheld. There she goes; the creation of my hands, the thoughts of my mind. There she goes; my pride, my love, my daughter I never had. There she goes; to War against the Lords of the West.
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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.