10. Scene VII
The Lay of Leithian Dramatic Script Project
TINUVIEL AT BAY: A CACCIA OF BELERIAND
Half-mad or horn-mad, the lunatic believes him sober-sane,
and in his ranting plots perceiveth not the shape of his own bane--
[The royal apartments -- Celegorm is rocking back in his chair, laughing, while Curufin walks up and down before the hearth, reading from a scroll in his hand]
Oh, that's just too perfect! Oh, I wish I could see his face then -- let's have that last bit again--
"Since you haven't managed to hold onto your own daughter, it seems you're not fit to have care of her, and (just as with the rest of Middle-earth) the task of caretaking having fallen to us, we will undertake to defend her from the perils of the dubious lands we found her wandering unescorted in -- and do (no doubt) a far better job of it. After all, we could hardly do worse, seeing as you've been unable to maintain the security of your vaunted borders, against even a solitary Mortal. With all due regards -- this by me, Curufin Atarin Feanorion of the House of Finwe, for Celegorm Turcofin Feanorion of the House of Finwe, of the Dominion of Nargothrond. PS: No need to send a present, we're provided for just fine here, and we'd not care to deprive you of any of the little you've managed to" -- heh -- "hold on to. But we do expect a good dinner when we come to visit next -- Father-in-Law."
Celegorm: [wipes eyes, gesturing]
He's going to go completely critical -- absolute boilover and meltdown -- where do you come up with these things?
My favorite's the bit where it goes: "You really should be grateful to us, considering that we've taken care of the problem that you carelessly allowed to occur, and still more carelessly allowed to continue. Doubtless a little applied Noldorin ingenuity would have found a way around such an imprudent promise, but don't worry, your trespasser's out of the picture -- permanently -- and you've gained not one, but seven, sons-in-law (any one of whom far outranks the least of your subjects) so you've come out it well ahead all the same."
Or, or, what about: "If you'd wanted a Silmaril, you should have talked to us first--
Oh yes --
"--having seen your daughter's beauty and heard her voice, we would have rated her worthy of three, not one, and you could have joined our family and acquired a legitimate stake in them. But no harm done, despite your clumsy efforts to enlist our halfwit cousin (half-Teler, and no doubt a connection there) in your intrigue -- obviously it's time for some fresh blood, fresh thought, fresh power in your House, wouldn't you agree?"
Celegorm: [a little worried]
You know . . . Maedhros is not going to be happy when he hears about this. About any of it, actually.
Well, to be perfectly honest, I don't really care what Maedhros will think about it. It won't be as though he can actually do anything about it.
Celegorm: [more worried]
You're not -- suggesting -- I mean, he is the head of our family--?
[he gives Curufin an anxious look, hoping he's misunderstood]
I love our big brother dearly, but let's be completely frank here -- ever since he came back he's been, let us say, a few arrows short of a full quiver. I mean, giving up the Succession? Can one even do that? So while I respect and acknowledge him as yes, the head of our House, I don't feel obliged to consider his opinion and even his orders -- especially potential ones -- as automatically binding on me. --Or you.
Oh. --I agree.
Once it's a fait accompli, he'll be obliged to accept it, and that it's for the best -- the advantages to having Beleriand consolidated into a single powerful force under one coherent rule will be unarguable. It's the only way we'll ever get them back, after all.
What about Fingon? A lot of people -- even ours -- do accept him as the High King, you know.
Well, considering as His Highness is high up in his mountains and can't really come out of them, he's made himself largely irrelevant for all practical purposes. A nominal High King doesn't bother me one way or the other, especially given the numbers. If he wants to try conclusions with us, let him -- I'll just point out to him that a two-front war with a Dark Lord on his back porch is a really, really bad idea.
That's why I leave the plotting and planning to you. I get hung up on one detail or other and you have the gift for going around and making it all fit together properly.
Yes, we do make a good team, don't we? --So, any thoughts on who we should send with it? It'll have to be someone we can trust, people who won't talk out of turn, you might say -- but at the same time someone we won't miss too much if Elwe reacts as I suspect he might and tosses them in the lock-up.
That is a problem. Who can we spare for a couple-score years until we've finished consolidating here?
Too bad we can't send Huan -- I can't imagine even Old Shadows would dare to try to toss him into a cell! --Where is he, anyway? I haven't seen him about for a while now.
Ah, that's my plot. I've left him with Luthien, who's taken quite a fancy to him, thus winning me points in absentia as it were.
Really? I'd think he'd be the last one she'd want to see. She was terrified when we found her.
Oh, you know, girls and nature and all -- sentimental, don't y'know? -- and he's so cute when he wants to be, just like when he was a puppy.
Doesn't he get bored?
No -- he can never get enough attention, you know how it is with dogs.
Ah. She has snacks for him.
Celegorm: [grins back]
That too. Oh, and it makes a handy excuse for coming by to chat with her when I collect him.
Well, I'm glad that's going well. Now we have to figure out how we're going to get this out without Orodreth noticing -- or any tattletales noticing for him.
Oh, pfft -- him!
Curufin: [resting his arm on the back of Celegorm's chair]
It's just the kind of thing he would kick up a row about. And we don't want that. The critical thing is to minimize strife -- let our enemies fight multi-front wars, not us.
[Celegorm nods slowly in agreement.]
Now, I'm guessing it will take about a fortnight at a reasonable travel speed, allowing for at least one autumn storm in there, just to be safe. We can arrange with our chaps on the Borders to take care of provisions for the messengers, and avoid drawing attention from Household by taking supplies...
[the camera pulls away from their plotting, fadeout]
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