HASA Birthday Cards 2004
5. May 2004
Three score and ten. There are too many hands on him, a terrible weight; and he falls, and the Orcs fall over him like night. And then he feels terror, for instead of a blow, ropes and shackles come. And he understands that his avowal is betrayed. Tol Morwen—Wild Iris (half drabble) There is no afterward. Each twisting path led up this hill. Even the forest that clutched at me so long has laid down its arms. My body is of nothing above the earth. My womb is a grave sealed with a stone. That mute incomprehension in the dark, wherein is our beginning and our ending. Defiance -- by Tanaqui The Men of Dor-lómin hold the way, so that a new star may rise. He is the last. Never has axe been so wielded, yet the enemy is as numberless as the tears. He falls, crushed beneath the weight of hewed hands that still cling. His thoughts fly to wife and son and child-to-be. How will they fare? His wife will be a mother to their people; his son a warrior to make his forefathers proud.; the babe’s fate he knows not. Day shall come again: from the House of Hador will spring the last hopes of Men and Elves. A Star is Born—Tenshi Androgynous Were we all so perfect when we began? His fingers, his toes, his tiny features…perfect. Do all mothers think their babes so beautiful? I wonder, for the first time, is this how my mother looked upon me? I wish I could ask her. How then can it be that we change so much? How have we fallen so far? My perfect child, my star that rises from the line of Finwë and the House of Hador. A great fall is at hand, my son - will you one day be a falling star? Or will your perfect light shine forever? RiverOtter: I would like something dealing with Dol Amroth in the Fourth Age. Imrahil has four children so there is plenty to work with. Returning from a wedding -- by Tanaqui Father and sons sat silently as dusk fell. A few brief sentences had been enough to share the day’s news. The space around the chair seemed naked, stripped of its clutter of overflowing workboxes and abandoned books. The woman paused at the door, catching the sombre mood, but the boy ran ahead, intent on his goal of asking his uncles for help making a toy boat. As the child’s laughing questions restored the customary chatter, Imrahil stood and held out his arm to his daughter-in-law. He led her to the chair. “Why don’t you sit over here now, my dear.” For Everything, There Is A Season…—Isabeau of Greenlea After the coronation and the celebration, time for a quiet family dinner and evening together. In the library, the Prince looks over his correspondence. Erchirion reads a book, while Elphir and Amrothos play a cutthroat game of chess. The Princesses Mariel and Lothiriel ply their needles together upon new clothes for Alphros, who is growing again. "There’s no reason to put it off any longer," Lothiriel says suddenly, breaking the quiet. "We really need to find the two of you wives." Aghast, Erchirion and Amrothos look pleadingly to their father for assistance, while Elphir, safely wed and heired, laughs merrily. Just A Bit Of Chop.....—Isabeau of Greenlea "Waves? No, these aren’t truly waves. Just a bit of chop," the first brother, the soldier, says. "I could tell you stories about storms off the Cape of Andrast that would curl your hair," the second brother, the sailor, says. "Besides, horses bounce up and down as well," the third brother, the scholar, says. King Eomer of Rohan lurches over to the rail and loses his lunch. Three pairs of sea-grey eyes regard him speculatively. "Could we go back in?" he asks queasily. "Not until you tell us what your intentions towards our sister are," the brothers chorus. Eomer blanches. Paranoidangel: I'd like to be totally predictable and ask for Elrond. Or failing that a drabble with Elrond in I'd also like to be unpredictable and ask for something with Faramir in - but no Boromir or Denethor or Eowyn (because it's my birthday and I'm allowed to be picky). If you can combine the two you'll have my undying gratitude! Midsummer -- by flick It was the end of Midsummer’s Day. Elrond stood on the White Tower, looking West. The sun hung on the horizon, and one star shone in the sky. The wedding was the zenith of their triumph over the Shadow. All Middle-Earth rejoiced, full of songs and triumph. Now the sun was sinking. Elrond saw, yet again, the evening awaiting his daughter and all the race of Men. Midsummer would turn to fall and withering, their brightness going down to another shadow. He heard a step behind him. Then Faramir was beside him, looking to the West. “I come here to speak with my brother. There is life beyond the shadows, though we cannot see it.” After a moment, they turned and went back to the wedding feast. ~*~ A refuge for the weary -- Tanaqui He is wise: a master of lore beyond measure of Man. And it is no great matter on which I yearn to question him. He has lived long years: since before the world was changed, before ever the Edain went Starwards. My concerns must be as passing ripples on a stream to him. He is a master of healing, yet my hurt is naught: a burden of the heart. Still, he also lost a brother in a far land, and learnt of it only later. “Master Elrond, your pardon, may I beg a moment to speak of my brother, Boromir…?” Youth—Starlight The boy is young. What foolishness, calling him a boy! He’s a full man, yet but a child compared to this world we inhabit. He regards everything with devouring eagerness- including myself. Does he find me intriguing? Perhaps. He must have heard of me, being a scholar. The Steward meets my gaze and I smile. He smiles back, and it reminds me of myself: curious, mischievous, gentle, eager, anxious- at the same time all, and none. Oh, I was young once! He approaches, shy but determined. I realize I know him. I was young once; I had a brother, too. Gronyats: I have been rather facinated by Imrahil lately. I recall that Imrahil is a dreamer. I would love to read a drabble about one of his "dreams" or "visions". Seeing -- by Tanaqui My family dream big dreams. It is the gift – or the curse – of our elven heritage. Yet my visions are small. My sons have survived the war. The laughter of their children fills my home and gladdens my heart. We have peace with Umbar, so they will never again face those same perils. My daughter has made a marriage both honourable and pleasing to her. (It is well, too, that a man should like the father of his grandchildren!) My nephew has found happiness amidst his grief. My family dream big dreams. I see the present – and I am content. The Wave—Isabeau of Greenlea The people of Dol Amroth pride themselves upon their culture and traditions, looking back to the Land of the Gift. For our land too is rich, granting us prosperity and the leisure to cultivate both grace and pretension. The Princes of Dol Amroth are prideful as well--made princes by the hand of Elendil, is it any wonder we might think ourselves greater than other men? But to the rulers of my house is sent the dream: the wave, black, devouring, all encompassing. A reminder that there is more to the story. A warning that pride could whelm us once again. A Father's Dream—Blue Iris I dreamed last night of my mother; gone when I was a boy, passing in the warmth of a summer day. I dreamed of my sister, the blazing heat reflecting off white city walls as she passed from us, her hair dark, with youth still upon her. I dreamed also of my wife; giving me my last child, as the winds of a summer storm whipped around our palace, and took her from me. My daughter went northward yesterday, and I dreamed of her; grandchildren at her knee, hair as white as mountain snow, lines of laughter upon her face. Flick: A simple request: "Remembering Boromir…" How would someone, great or small, named or unnamed, remember Boromir? It could be a thought, a letter, a conversation, or something about an actual memorial – anything. Links—Forodwaith The broken horn hung now in a place of honour in the Hall of the Kings. Frodo stood before it with a simple golden chain pooled in his palm. He twisted it around the four fingers of his right hand, remembering the mountainside. The chain dangled from Boromir's fingers, and the Man's eyes followed the Ring's slow pendulum. Standing on tiptoe, Frodo reached up to twine the links around the baldric of the horn, where they gleamed dully in the sunlight from the high windows. "The same chain bound us, Boromir. I hope you are free of it now." Houses of Healing—by Dwimordene A Ranger knows when he's watched; at the rail, Faramir turns from contemplating Mordor. From the garden gate, the Ranger-king nods acknowledgment ere joining him, but 'tis not the East he watches. "Sire." "'Aragorn'. You seem pensive." "I am." And to the expectant silence: "I'd always thought 't'would be Boromir and I on the field... to the last," he says. Aragorn sighs. They speak no more 'til duty calls the king away. *** But just ere bed, a box comes for the Steward. Within he finds the vambraces, and so nearly misses the note: To the last, son of Gondor. —A. ~*~ Dream Steward -- by ~Nessime The horse stood waiting by the fountainhead. His legs were scratched, his mane tangled. The empty saddle showed the ill effects of water. Éomer’s soft-voiced words soothed the trembling horse as Théodred ran practiced hands over the dusty coat, looking for signs that might tell the rider’s fate. There was naught. “He is unhorsed - that is all. Such a doughty man will find his way afoot if needs must.” "Twas a fool's errand - a dreamer chasing shadows," sneered Gríma, coming down the steps behind them. "Nay," countered Théodred, "he is the steward of his people’s future, pursuing hope." ~*~ Brother - by paranoidangel Faramir walked the city, desiring solitude. He tried to shake off his feelings of guilt for giving Boromir's clothes to the poor of Minas Tirith. Boromir no longer needed them, yet Faramir was not ready to give his brother up. He was not allowed to be alone, though, for Aragorn fell into step beside him. "I always wondered what it would be like to grow up with a brother," he said. Faramir gave a rueful smile. "When we were younger and we fought I would wish I didn't have a brother." Aragorn frowned. "Tell me," he said and Faramir did. ~*~ Legacies -- by Tanaqui Faramir blinked in surprise as Pippin turned his blade and stepped inside his guard. When he had agreed to spar with the Halfling, he had not expected him to be so… competent. “Where did you learn that?” he asked suspiciously as Pippin moved back. “Boromir taught Merry and me some things.” Pippin caught the pained expression that flitted across Faramir’s face. “I’m sorry, my lord–.” he stammered. Faramir raised a hand and smiled. “He was a good teacher. I should have remembered he taught me never to underestimate an opponent. Let us see what other legacies he left for us.” Shieldbearers—Alawa The end of Solmonath was a time of remembrance in the Riddermark. Standing with Eomer, Lothiriel watched the river flowing around Theodred’s resting place as around a boat’s prow. Horn-calls and grieving voices sang of the glorious Shieldbearer, his might in battle, wisdom in council; but she knew well enough the sorrow they both shared was for smaller memories than these. For cousins can be close as brothers, after all. Quietly then she remembered Boromir’s kindly arm around her shoulders, the comforting smell of oil on leather and, against her cheek, the swordsman’s calluses as he brushed away her tears. In Memoriam—Marta I stood along Anduin's now-fair banks, gazing toward Minas Anor. "Aye, it is fair, father, but I do not see…" Beregond shook his head. "Not west." He placed his hand on my shoulder and faced me toward the North. "Look to the site of Gondor's victory." Of course I had heard the stories. How the Prince of the City was pierced by many arrows. How he had fallen but not faltered. And then I understood. Our horn had been cloven, our chest pierced, but still Gondor strove on. Like Boromir. The faithful jewel had not failed; he had conquered. Spilling Buckets—Gronyats Messengers. Only ill news begotten in these evil days. Our refuge unsafe from such things. Memories. A soldier of calloused, gentle hands touched mine as I went to retrieve a bucket spilled by ruffians. “Please, my lady, let me?” Nodding. My family was leaving this place for safer grounds. Our lands were over run. His eyes were kind and sad. He was beautiful and fell, simultaneously. “At least I can help you on your way, even though I can’t spare you this, my lady.” Returning. “Boromir is dead, Boromir is dead.” Starlight:I would love a drabble about cultural exchanges. How people in Middle-earth deal with each other's differences as neighbors, friends, fellow-fellowship members... :-) and how they go about working to get over those differences (if they do). It could be a first meeting or any sort of encounter between people of different cultures. Or, I would *love* to hear about your favorite character. Write a drabble about your favorite character during a moment that moves you, doing his/her favorite activity, during a pivotial moment in his/her life. Just let me know who's your favorite! I'd be ever so grateful... Neighbors—Dwimordene If there's a wrong side of the river, as they say, they're neither sure which side it is. Blodwyn, watering her horses, hears the bleeting sheep first, then spies the dark lass among them across the ford. It's been a time since they've seen each other—when the war came, the Isenlands were cleared. The spear-ringed mound tells a too-common tale, and the Dunlending wears a shawl black as Blodwyn's. Who knows but that their men may now lie brother-buried in the Deep...? "Goddaeg, Dunlending! 'Ware for caltrops!" Blodwyn calls gruffly. The reply floats back, "Ne sees nane, Forgoil. Ge'dag!" ~*~ A good custom -- by Tanaqui “A birthday present?” Faramir frowned. “You must be mistaken. My birthday is not for some months.” “No, it’s mine.” Pippin explained. “Hobbits give presents to others on their own birthdays. It means we each get something most weeks. It’s a good custom!” “Yes, I can see that.” Faramir laughed. “I shall have to remember it.” He bowed to Pippin. “My thanks and my best wishes for your birthday.” Yet Pippin knew he had received the better gift when he saw the delight that lit Faramir’s face as he unrolled a little pencil sketch of Boromir that the hobbit had drawn. Good for the Chase—Tenshi Androgynous Nahar snorts, dancing to the side to avoid trampling it. What new game is this? It looks too spindly to be good for eating, but with those long legs, perhaps it is good for the chase… I prod it with my spear, hoping it might try to run that I may pursue it. The creature squawks at me, and amazingly in its chatter I discern words I can understand! "Who are you?" I ask. "What is your kind?" It balks to hear me speak, but answers. "Ingwë," it named itself. "Quendi. We thought you were..." Ingwë shivers, "the Other One." Begin Again—paranoidangel The day was warm and there was a breeze to speed the travellers on their way - a perfect day for sailing. Would that this was only a trip. Elrond stood on the shore, his hair blowing in his face. He did not notice because he was watching the ships as they moved further away. As his brother moved further away from him. He knew not whether he would see Elros again. It did not matter though - his brother had eagerly anticipated this day, looking forward to his new life. Now it was time for Elrond to begin his. Night and Day—Marta (double drabble) "Master Gimli!" I turned and saw the newly crowned king crossing the hall. "Éomer King," I said, bowing so low my beard brushed the floor. "At your service." "Aye, as you always have been." But the king's expression was deadly serious. I straightened myself and looked at him questioningly. "I must beg your service once more. Have you your axe?" " No. Should I send for it?" Éomer sighed, but I caught the glint in his eye. "Perhaps. Harsh words still separate us." He spoke of the lady Galadriel: first of my lady's perilous beauty, then the wisdom of her eyes and her resplendent hair, more precious to me than mithril. "And if I had but met her in different company, I would feel as you do, I am sure." His eyes trailed to the queen Arwen, and my blood boiled. Aye, the queen was lovely, but she was no match for my lady. "Should I send for my sword?" Would these fair ladies bring us to blows, then? I mastered the legendary temper of my kind, and saw beyond his words: the love we bestowed was not so different. "Nay. You chose the Evening; my love belongs to the Morning. Mirrors of the Soul—flick (double drabble) He looked down one last time upon his brother’s face. How he knew it was the last time he could not tell. He was not a visionary, like his brother. He had the practical intellect of a soldier. Yet he knew in his heart that he would never return to the White City, never look into Faramir’s eyes again. Before him he saw only darkness and death. So he looked down for one long moment, hoping to draw strength from his brother’s eyes, alight with tears. Faramir’s eyes had always held his soul in them for all the world to see. From the moment Boromir had peered over the edge of the baby’s cradle and seen those eyes, he had loved Faramir with a fierce, protective passion. He remembered the day they had made paper boats to send off into the current of the Anduin, to freedom and adventures they had both longed to share. How Faramir's eyes had shone with delight. He remembered Faramir’s eyes the day their mother died. It was the same raw pain, the same desolation he saw now. He bent down a fraction toward his brother, wanting to say some word of hope, something to erase the pain in those eyes. The words died in his throat. He saw, reflected in his brother’s eyes, the same vision of darkness and death that had come to him. He tore his eyes from that mirror and, turning his horse away, left the White City forever nutterzoi: I would also like to request an Elrond drabble. I know someone else requested Elrond and Faramir, but I'd like to request Elrond and *a* family member - blood relative, adopted - makes no difference to me. (er... if it's not too much trouble...) Letting Go - by paranoidangel "Adar." Elrond turned to her and there was a tear in his eye. Arwen stepped back - her father never cried. But he held out his arms and smiled at her, so she stepped into them. "I wish things were different," she said. "We cannot change the past." Arwen said nothing, wishing she could hold on to childish fantasies. "I should not have let your mother go, but now I must, though I do not want to." "Neither do I." But they both knew he would do what was best for Celebrían, not Elrond. He always had and always would. ~*~ Mother and Son -- by Tanaqui She comes to meet me on the quay. Star-spray amidst the mist of the sea as it frets against the stones of the Swan-haven. Two ages of the world since our hands last touched. I have been war captain and lore master, counsellor and comrade. Yet I am shy before her, wondering if my deeds will please her, make her proud. I am sad also I have brought no grandchild to gladden her heart. I fear, in truth, she may know none of them. She takes my hands and smiles, and I find I have not misremembered all these years. ~*~ Messengers — by Wild Iris I was a child when the star appeared, in the wild days of rumour. Someone said to me: it is your father, young one; he left as the herald of the Slain, and he is returned as the herald of the Valar. I knew it for truth. I spoke my hopes to Eärendil in the secret places of the night. I knew it for falsehood, when my brother died. The star was a ball of fire, and my father at the bottom of the sea. For no one who had seen those legends wrought had returned to tell the truth of them in Ennor. Until now. Untitled—Forodwaith for nutterzoi He watches Arwen as she cuts the arrowhead from her brother's shoulder, her eyes as steady as her hands on the surgeon's knife. Before she asks, he presses a cloth into her outstretched hand and she blots the blood sliding down Elladan's arm. Later, while they put the stillroom in order, Elrond draws his daughter into his arms and kisses her hair, smooth and shining as the obsidian tool she wielded on her brother's flesh. "It is well that there are two healers to care for the two hunters in this family." Her rare smile illuminates the grave grey eyes. Letting Go—Tenshi Androgynous for nutterzoi I have held the very stars in my hands, the light of the Eldar and Edain. Yet stars cannot be held forever. Though I sought to lay hands on different light, nonetheless I have come to love the light found unlooked-for. Now I must let go of what I love, and seek what I no longer want. I do too little, too late; one reparation in a lifetime of mistakes. As the Age draws near its close, so too my story – I have one more task ahead of me. Your part is but beginning. I release you. Vision—flick (nutterzoi) Elrond could see many things. He had seen them on Cerin Amroth, seen Arwen’s doom sealed as they stood entwined, elanor and niphrodel like small stars scattered at their feet. Like stars themselves, clothed in white and silver, they plighted their troth. Did they see the darkness around them? Years had passed, that shadow gone. Now he joined their hands. Those who stood by saw all the stars of that midsummer evening blossom in the sky as Estel embraced his Evenstar, hope fulfilled. Elrond saw an abyss of time between them, a marble tomb and a green grave on Cerin Amroth. Beyond that he could not see. As he held their hands in that moment, Elrond saw many things. Yet he envied them. The Heirs of Isildur—Marta The Half-elf sat up and squinted in the early-morning light pouring through the windows, now deprived of their drapes. "Aravir? Why are you...?" The six-year-old scowled at him. "My name is not Aravir." Elrond shook his head, trying to focus his mind. Of course not. Aravir had been speared by an orc-captain; that was nigh fifty years ago. "Argonui?" The child stomped over to the bed, placing his hands on his hips. "My. Name. Is. Arador." The future chieftain stormed out of the room. Why must Isildur have so many heirs? Elrond hurried after the child to apologise.
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.