Full of Wisdom and Perfect in Beauty: 19. Departure

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19. Departure

A.N: Thanks a bunch to the people who replied to my latest chapter – you gave me heart for a bit longer. ;)

Interlude - Departure

"In the name of the King, do not resist!"

He did not move. The soldiers had made a circle around him, but they did not advance, as if held back by an invisible wall.

Away in the distance, he heard his grandson´s voice. He was telling them not to harm his wife and Artanis -lonely, unfortunate Artanis, how she would miss the golden trees-, but he knew that they had been told not to touch any of them. It had been like this the other time, before any of them had been born.

Now, they would be brought to the Palace. There would be a trial. And later in the night they would be taken East, to the shores where his own life had begun in exile so many years ago. The proud Merchant Princes, newly allied to the Royal family, would suffer no opposition either in trade or politics.

With the first indice of anxiety that he had felt since they broke into his house, Eärendur wondered for a moment how Inziladûn would face these new circumstances. For years he had taken great pains to impress the nature of their respective duties in the mind of his young, royal kinsman; asked, entreated him to never betray himself no matter what happened to them in the future. Their own roles in this drama were secondary, fleeting lives of dedicated service and constant incertitude until their time came. And he thought that Inziladûn had understood – yes, he told himself with a small allowance to pride, he had taught him well.

His role was now over.

A young child sat upon the ground, listening to the distant cry of the seagulls.

"Mama, are those the birds from home?"

His mother shook her head in sadness.

"No, my dear. We have no home."

The first cry of surprise came from behind his back. Another followed almost at once, and suddenly he saw nothing but confused faces, the clank of metal and a shuffle of feet running towards him. Cold hands grabbed at his arm, trying to pull him up, to force him to stay with harsh threats, but this, he thought with a smile in triumph, was the only thing that the proud King of Men would never be able to command.

Eärendur closed his eyes, willing back to his mind the memories of the first time that he had leaned on the prow of a ship to see the majestic cliffs of the Bay of Andúnië. Once again, he sought the secrets embedded on the grey lines with the enthusiasm of a child, until he found the city of his ancestors, carved in stone and cradled by rock like the nest of an eagle.

We have a home, mother, he muttered. Far in the distance, someone shook his body as if it was a broken puppet. And no one will take it away from me again.

A light shone in the West, white and radiant like foam under the sunlight. With a last, pitying glance at his loved ones, Eärendur rose, and began the travel.

----------

"Father..."

His voice broke. A weak grin flickered for a second over the emaciated face, before it contracted in a renewed spasm of pain. The cold hand gripped his harshly, drawing nails against his flesh.

Gimilzôr did not feel the pain.

"Father, listen to me." he repeated, this time in a firmer, more composed tone. Still, somehow, the treacherous anguish managed to seep through, and a part of his soul cringed at its haunting sound. When had he come to this humiliating weakness? "Númenor is safe now. The rule of the Western lords has ended. The merchants of Sor and Gadir are our friends, and we will keep things under control. One day, a new ruling family will be born from this alliance." He paused to swallow the knot in his throat. "Inziladûn´s line is broken. We have saved Númenor, Father, do you see? We did what had to be done. You - understand it now, at last, do you not, Father?"

Ar-Sakalthôr´s huge, wide eyes stared at him in incomprehension. Little by little, the pull began to subside, and a feverish hand tried to find its way to clean the sweat from his brow. Gimilzôr sought for a handkerchief and wiped it himself, while his father watched his every movement in some tension and a slight wariness.

Suddenly, the old King broke into a short, raspy laugh.

"Who are you?" he said. Gimilzôr took a long breath. He was delirious.

"I am your son." he said. "Your son, Gimilzôr."

Ar-Sakalthôr shook his head, but did not answer or show any further signal of recognition.

"I have no sons." he muttered a long while later, as he studied the glazed tiles of the wall in quiet disdain.

----------


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.

Story Information

Author: Maeve Riannon

Status: General

Completion: Ongoing Serial

Era: Akallabêth/Last Alliance

Genre: General

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 08/02/12

Original Post: 02/23/07

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Comments

WARNING! Comments may contain spoilers for a chapter or story. Read with caution.

Full of Wisdom and Perfect in Beauty

Aganaphel - 05 Sep 07 - 12:35 AM

Ch. 19: Departure

Sorry Maeve – I have been away so I couldn't keep up with your story. But now I have read all the brilliant chapters you have posted – loved them all.

The description of the festival in Gadir-Pelargirwith all those funny songs (Ahh… the ditty about Gimilzor's love life!) and the Merchant princes –very interesting and unusual.

The match – I couldn't understand why did Gimilzor chose such an unlikely bride as Zarhil, until there was this part about the curse of the northern line: that they never have sons. Cunning – wasn't it? However, Zarhil and Inziladun seem to get along better than it could be expected. Zarhil is actually quite nice, interesting woman – I understand Gimilzor who likes her. The man should have married her himself as he is now a widower… It would have made his dull life so much more interesting *grin*.

Curious wedding … so alike and in a way so different from that of Inzilbeth. The choking veil – ha-ha: one of the rare cases when Gimilzor felt at a loss.

Sad that about Artanis…I guess she will die an old maid.

Loved that visit to Sorontil. It is another chapter where a place – a mere name in Unfinished Tales – comes alive. Good touch with this mallorn leaf and the vision.

Ar Sakhaltor's piteous life and end are very touching, Maeve. Poor old King! What is this breast-feeding merchant girl, "Child of the Mother", needed for – a future bride for Gimilzor?

Some questions:

Hmm…I wonder about Inziladun's beard. Why did he choose to wear one? Just to be unlike all the others? Strange, that… I think his goal should have been just the opposite - to blend better into the crowd in Armenelos, to cede minor points in order to better preserve his major differences and secrets. Also, wouldn't his strong Elven heritage make him beardless – as the prince of Dol Amroth in LOTR?

Another thing I wonder about is Gadir – it seems that this city is totally opposed to the Lords of Andunie: "When trade with Elves was forbidden, and the Western line was exiled for the first time, annals said that there had been long and magnificent festivities in Gadir." But in the Appendices and the Sil, Pelargir is just the opposite – the abode of the Faithful, while Umbar is the city of the King's men.

And finally, Maeve, please don't get disheartened when you get no comments. I know for sure that I am not alone reading your story. I also have a story here and not a single review. Some people never have time or don't feel in the mood to leave a comment. For a lot of people a story that is based not on the well known Silm and LOTR plots is simply difficult to understand and hard to comment on. I hope you will continue updating. It is getting more and more interesting.

Warmest wishes, Aganaphel

Full of Wisdom and Perfect in Beauty

Maeve Riannon - 05 Sep 07 - 6:47 AM

Ch. 19: Departure

Hi back, Aganaphel! Been missing your detailed reviews enormously.

The match – I couldn't understand why did Gimilzor chose such an unlikely bride as Zarhil, until there was this part about the curse of the northern line: that they never have sons. Cunning – wasn't it?

Well, you said most of it already: Gimilzôr liked the woman, and it was believed that she couldn´t have sons. The third reason was that she belonged to the line of Elros.

Hah. It´s kind of symbolical, really. Couldn´t marry her to his father, couldn´t marry her himself - so he married her to his son.

Ar Sakhaltor's piteous life and end are very touching, Maeve. Poor old King!

Thanks. I strongly wanted him to be pitiful, not hated. Pity that I had to pile more crap upon Gimilzôr in order to achieve that.

What is this breast-feeding merchant girl, "Child of the Mother", needed for – a future bride for Gimilzor?

Gimilkhâd.

Hmm…I wonder about Inziladun's beard. Why did he choose to wear one? Just to be unlike all the others? Strange, that… I think his goal should have been just the opposite - to blend better into the crowd in Armenelos, to cede minor points in order to better preserve his major differences and secrets. Also, wouldn't his strong Elven heritage make him beardless – as the prince of Dol Amroth in LOTR?

Well - precisely! He was infamous because he had visions and saw the feelings of people. He had Elvish features (which almost got him killed when he was born). Wouldn´t it be advisable to wear a beard to hide them from the others and look inconspicuously human?

Also very important: Keeping his beard was a choice he made when he was a rebellious teenager, as a mark of austerity and a show of distance from the new ways of the Court. Later, he might have been keeping secrets, but he was still the leader of the political opposition. Wearing a beard was a discreet symbol for the policies that he advocated (returning to the old ways, favouring landholders over courtiers and intellectuals over priests).

Those things happen when people have to be careful about what they say. In Rome and Byzantium, you couldn´t go yelling your political support for someone in the streets without getting killed, but you could cheer for his team in the chariot races. Here it´s the same - just wear a beard. ;)

But in the Appendices and the Sil, Pelargir is just the opposite – the abode of the Faithful, while Umbar is the city of the King's men.

My version of that city has yet to change its name and its location. This announces a really big upheaval, doesn´t it? Smile

I also have a story here and not a single review.Some people never have time or don't feel in the mood to leave a comment.

What? You have a story here? I checked months ago and I found no stories under your name. Dear... I´ll check it again as soon as I am able!

Thanks for your encouragement!

Full of Wisdom and Perfect in Beauty

Elrûn - 06 Sep 07 - 5:15 AM

Ch. 19: Departure

Just a quick comment from me. I am one of those who are fascinated by your story. Both the interactions and the events you describe shed an interesting light on one Arda's more obscure episodes. Please let me tell you how grateful I am for the efforts you make. The only reason I did not comment before is a general reluctance due to my limited linguistic skills.

Thank you once again,

Elrûn 

Full of Wisdom and Perfect in Beauty

Maeve Riannon - 06 Sep 07 - 1:58 PM

Ch. 19: Departure

Hi, Elrûn!

Thanks for the praise! (bows) I feel honoured by your words, and glad that you are liking my story.

Oh, and don´t worry about your linguistic skills, they look quite fine to me. Is English a second language for you, too?


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