6. Ship and Shore - drabble series by Tanaqui
Such achievements! Jewels more fair than earth-gems. Seeing-stones that let mind speak to mind across the miles. Subtle scripts to capture tales of their valour.
Why waste time singing by the shores of the sea, or listening to the thrumming of wind in rope and sail, when you could have the ring of hammer on anvil, the hiss of bellows and crackle of furnace flames?
Yet it was our ships they craved, in the end. The whisper of our blood upon the stones of the Swanhaven and the roar of our burning handiwork were the music they chose. Such achievements!
The slow lift and fall frightened me at first, and I could neither eat nor sleep for three days and nights ere I grew accustomed to it. Yet the heaving of my stomach was naught to the sickness in my mind and heart when first I felt the Gift-land tremble beneath my feet.
I hear the sailors mutter: strange we should seek passage on the beasts we begged not sail. Ah, do they not feel, does the King not feel the foundations of the heavenly pillar shake? Nay, in marble-floored palaces and on ships they touch the earth no longer.
The ring sits snugly between fur and sealskin, but I feel its chill striking into my bones. So must the cold have pierced the ribs of that sea-monster when the Great Sorcerer’s hands piled ice against it.
Fragile are the things of the peoples of the South when He casts his white cloak over the land! We warned it was no time for journeying, save for seal-hunt and bear-hunt, yet they were fey and would not listen.
I will bear the cold of this metal circle. So will our young men never forget either the courage or foolishness of Southern-folk.
Strong, wise, valiant: aye, so their songs claim – and the songs of Men, over whom they cast their glamour.
Their wisdom lies in building ships. I have seen them in the harbours near my mountain home: grey timbered, white sailed. Yet their timbers are bound and their sails are set by the strength of our iron: nails, pulleys, cleats. The wisdom of the Elves lies only in fleeing these shores to seek the protection of the Great Ones
We are the ones who have the stomach for this fight, the strength to endure the Dark Lord’s might. We, we remain!
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.