King's Commission, The
38. Lord Frodo's Stone
Lord Frodo's Stone
The next day was to be much as the previous, although Ruvemir had carried both one of the logs of wood from Bag End and a block of clay to the site for Ririon and Pando and Celebgil to work with during the time he would be laboring alone.
Today Celebgil did much of the supervision on the second stone, observed much of the time by Orin. Now and then they saw the folk of the Citadel coming and going, and once Ruvemir spotted a figure in a familiar stained cloak following Lord Hardorn, Prince Faramir, and two guards around the Citadel, apparently to question again the prisoner from east of Rhun.
Ruvemir was making much use of his measuring cord and pot of paint this day, as he planned out where the features of the figure must lie within the still imprisoning stone. Then he plotted the angle of the arms, the length of Trolls Bane, the width of the shoulders, the length of the torso.
Finally he began actively shaping, coming gradually closer and closer to the body of the Hobbit held imprisoned in the marble before him. From time to time Pando or Ririon would bring him a cup of water, but now he had started he did not wish to stop. He worked through the luncheon period, his attention focused on the block before him. Finally at mid-afternoon Orin and Dorlin, whose arrival he'd not noted, came forward to force him to set down his tools and take a well-needed break.
He was tired now, but it was the familiar, pleasant tiredness that accompanies accomplishment. The three youths now came forward to see what he'd done, to examine how the stone had been shaped, how the removes had been angled. He instructed Celebgil to explain and demonstrate the angle of mallet and chisel he'd used. He sat with a flagon of ale and watched and listened, and looked on what he'd completed with the feeling of awe he found he often felt after such periods of intense carving. Finally, after consuming two slices of bread with thick slices of beef and cheese between, he rose and stretched, and turned to check on the progress made on the second block. Mostly he was pleased, although he saw that in one area the removes had gone deeper than he'd intended for the day, although still not so deep that they endangered the integrity of the figure of Sir Meriadoc. He opened again the pot of paint, saw he needed to replenish it, and used what was left to mark those sections he wished removed next, then indicated he must return to his rooms and rest for a time, then would work on the last of the diagrams for Lord Samwise's figure. With Orin's assurance he would make certain the three apprentices would not carve anywhere near the section Ruvemir wished left as it now was, the mannikin started off toward one of the guards at the top of the ramp, asking him to communicate to the Lord King he had no need of the pony cart at a later time. The guard nodded his understanding and wished him a good rest.
He paused at the shop in the fifth level to pass a few moments with Master Iorhael, who greeted him pleasantly and asked after his progress, then he started on down through the rest of the circle. He heard the clopping of hooves behind him and pulled to one side, but was hailed by the rider.
"Master Ruvemir?" called Lasgon. "The Lord King heard you had done what you could for the day, and sent me to carry you down to your lodgings, if such pleased you. I think I must somehow have passed you twice, for I have been down to the Fourth Circle and then back again to the Sixth and did not see you, yet the guards denied seeing you lower in the city."
"I paused briefly in a shop," the sculptor explained. "It helped me to rest some, but I would gladly accept the ride down the rest of the way. My muscles are tired from work."
"So I was told, although Masters Orin and Dorlin appear impressed by your stamina."
Ruvemir laughed. "From Dwarves, that is, I suppose, a high compliment. It was one of those days when I knew each placement of the chisel was right, when each blow was truly struck. I have the stone far closer to the final shaping now."
Lasgon assisted him up into the saddle, then walked, leading the horse slowly down through the Fourth Circle, saluting the guards as they passed the gates.
Ruvemir found himself telling Lasgon of the pictures he'd been shown by Sir Merry and Lord Samwise, the discovery of the signature sign in the Lord Frodo's drawings and paintings, and of the shells of the water worms in their crystal cases. Lasgon, who'd been raised always within the walls of the White City and who had been in wilder country so rarely, listened with awe.
"Are there truly such things in the world?" he asked. "I hope one day to see them, then."
Ruvemir smiled. "We have small crabs in Lebennin that do not grow shells of their own, but will steal the shells left by dead snails to protect their bodies. They live near the river, and as a child I would watch them for hours. I am told there are similar crabs that live in the sea which again live in the shells left by other sea creatures, and that they will even fight one another for possession of a pleasanter shell."
"Well," said the young man, "I will now look into the pictures given me by Lord Frodo and see if I can find the dragonflies. You learned much of him, there in the land of the Pheriannath?"
"Yes, very much. And the more I learned, the more I came to honor him and Lord Samwise, as well as Captain Peregrin and Sir Meriadoc."
The young Guard nodded. "They are full worthy, sir," he said solemnly.
In the third circle they passed through an open market, and suddenly Ruvemir spotted a stall with woven straw hats. He asked Lasgon to stop and help him down, and walked over to the stall to examine them. Lasgon remained with his horse and watched with interest as the small sculptor carefully checked each one, finally choosing one that he was certain would fit Ririon's head.
"But this will be the wrong size for you, Master," said the woman minding the stall.
"It is for my son," Ruvemir explained, then smiled to realize how he had named Ririon. Yes, Ririon had become more than ward and apprentice to him. "For my son."
Seeing the look in the mannikin's eye, the woman smiled. "May he be worthy of your pride, then, sir," she said as she accepted his coin.
Back at last in his rooms, Ruvemir bathed and lay down for an hour, then began working again on the diagrams for Lord Samwise's figure when Miriel came in. Miriel's eyes were dancing with delight as she asked him to stand up and she took some measurements with her own measuring cord.
"What is this for, then?" he asked.
She laughed. "You, who are to be married in less than two weeks' time, and by the King himself, must ask? Will you wear the Lord Faramir's mantle?"
"Yes, I'd planned on it," he said.
"Good, then. Now you can go back to your drafting. But be ready for dinner, as we will be joined for it in a private parlor." With that, she disappeared back to her own quarters.
Ririon, Celebgil, Pando and Joy soon appeared, and Ririon was well pleased with the hat. "The cloth hat was fine in the cold of winter; but this is better for spring and summer," he said.
"That, my son," Ruvemir replied, "was what I thought, too."
Again, at the title of "son" the boy brightened, and suddenly Man and youth embraced. "You are like a father to me, Ruvemir," Ririon said softly. "I think my own parents must be full glad I am with you and Miriel."
"Then this must make you my grandson as well as my apprentice," said a voice from the doorway.
Ruvemir straightened in surprise and delight.
"Adar!" he exclaimed, breaking from one embrace to hurry into another. "My father! How glad I am to see you!"
"Did you truly think I would miss the wedding of my only son, particularly as I could not come to that of his sister?" Mardil the Carver held his son out from him to examine him thoroughly. "You look very well," he said. "Although your hair could be shorter and become you better."
Ruvemir laughed with pleasure. "Have you seen Miriel and Folco, then?"
"Not yet, but I hear your sister coming now."
Master Beneldil smiled at the reunions, then led the way further down the passage to the room for the father of his current guests. Son, daughter, Ririon, Joy, and Pando followed behind to see where he would be quartered, then all returned to Ruvemir's room where Elise had just arrived to deliver the tea and seedcakes.
Elise looked on the tall Man with his hand on her love's head and knew him immediately, for the features were similar, the color and shape of hair and beard identical, the high brow the same. Miriel had received his smile, a gentler form of his nose, and the color of his eyes. "Master Mardil?" she asked, curtseying. "Then you have indeed arrived at last."
"You knew, then?" Ruvemir asked.
She flushed but laughed. "Yes, for Miriel told me it was to be a surprise for you." She set her tray upon the table, and he moved to assist her. Once it was unburdened he took her hand and drew her to his side.
"My father, I present your daughter in all but blood, my beloved Elise daughter of Curion and Lisbet."
Mardil looked on his son's intended, saw the slight build, the observant eyes, the mouth made for smiling, the hint of pleasant stubbornness in her carriage, and the delight in her expression as his son took and held her hand, and approved. "I greet you then, daughter. Welcome to the family. I come to find my son embracing one who is to be as grandson to me, and my daughter obviously happy in her marriage to her lord husband--"
Ruvemir and Miriel laughed. His son cautioned, "You will find that expression one which will shock him, Father. Pheriannath almost bristle at any mention of implied nobility. He will tell you of how he has farmed his land and will expound on the beauty of his home; but you will learn how well read he is, how important he is within his homeland, how much he has done for others, how closely he was related to the Lord Frodo, and so on as if it were of no importance. And I believe the Lord Frodo himself shuddered at the use of his title, as does the Lord Samwise. By the way, Miriel, where is he?"
"Gone down to the tailor shop with Master Gimli for a fitting, who was expounding on some of the mischief Captain Pippin indulged in on the quest. He should be back any time, as he appears to have an instinctive awareness of when the tea and cakes are to be delivered."
"And I am keeping you from that, Beloved," Ruvemir said, stretching up to kiss Elise's smiling lips. "I apologize for keeping you."
Elise returned the kiss, then flushed happily, curtseyed, took her tray, and left.
Mardil looked after her approvingly. "The kiss was truly given. Good, then. I am most pleased." He looked about, and asked, "Now, shall I be introduced to these?"
He sat in one of the tall chairs and accepted the bow of his children's ward, Pando Proudfoot, and Celebgil, gracefully bowing his own head in return to each. "And this is my dog Joy," Ririon added, "who is my friend and helps guard my steps. The children of Brandy Hall in the Shire gave her to me."
"Ah, well enough, then. Never too many beasts about our home, you will find. Now let me see your work."
Ruvemir noted that Celebgil had stoppered the bottle of ink and rolled up the diagram while they saw his father's room, and now quietly thanked him for the forethought. He noted the youth was startled by this courtesy, and that he was pleased as well that his efforts had been noted and approved. As Mardil looked over the work done by Ririon, Ruvemir sat upon his bed and watched, and gestured for Celebgil to join him--and noted a contrary expression that quite startled him. A hint of an idea of what bothered the boy tickled his mind. He quickly indicated Celebgil should sit in one of the other taller chairs, and saw the definite relief in the young Man's eyes. He noted he would need a long talk with his borrowed apprentice.
Pando had gone to the table where he was helping himself to the tea and cakes--and dried apples, which had been added on Ruvemir's request since his return. Mardi Cook had happily adjusted the schedule of when she prepared the bounty offered by the Ernil i Pheriannath to accommodate the work schedule of their guests, and Ruvemir had noted that this hint of home gave a lot of comfort to the young Hobbit. Then Ruvemir realized with delight that Hobbit courtesy had taken over, and that the lad was preparing a mug and plate for not himself but their guest. He felt an abundance of pride as Pando came forward to offer food and drink to the carver, and his father's surprise and pleasure at the courtesy.
"This is typical Hobbit fare, Adar," Ruvemir explained. "The inn was endowed to offer it to those guests who take the Pheriannath rooms. Pheriannath must eat more frequently than do Men, for such is their nature."
He saw that his father was considering this information thoughtfully. "I see," he said. "I thank you, young Pando. Now I suppose you should get your own plate and cup." He set the plate upon the folding table and drank from his mug as he examined Ririon's work carefully. Finally he smiled. "It is with pleasure I accept you as apprentice, Ririon. Your gift is quite apparent. What other materials have you worked with, then?"
Pando brought Ruvemir a cup of water and a seedcake, then offered the same to Miriel and Celebgil before taking his own share. Celebgil smiled after him. Ruvemir rose and quietly suggested the youth bathe quickly once he'd finished, then approached Pando to do the same once Celebgil was done. He doffed his own second smock and brought out his surcoat from the wardrobe and donned it. His father watched with approval. "I noted you were working on a diagram for a figure. Will you show it to me, Son?"
His father finally bit into the seedcake as Ruvemir, hastily assisted by Celebgil, brought out the rolls of paper holding the diagrams for the figure of Lord Samwise Gamgee and unrolled the first. Ruvemir gave a meaningful glance at the apprentice, who smiled wryly, gave over the paper and withdrew to the bathing room as Mardil examined the diagram with interest. He then compared it to Pando, who sat at the low table with his own plate of seedcakes and mug of tea before him. He finally looked into his son's eyes.
"This is one of the four, then?"
"Yes, the Lord Samwise Gamgee, close friend to the Ringbearer, who went with his Master all the way to the Mountain."
His father's eyebrows rose. "He must indeed be uncomfortable with the rank bestowed upon him."
"He is, Father. He flushed whenever I forgot and gave him his title. He would accept me calling him Master Samwise, though."
The carver's mouth twitched with a smile. "What is he like then? He looks, on the surface, to be a simple soul, but I suspect there are great depths to him."
"Indeed there are. I do not have time tonight to explain them all, but I will tell you that he is one of the wisest individuals that was ever born to mortals, at the same time he is so self-effacing it is drives his loving wife to distraction."
Mardil examined his son's face closely. "You have come to respect him deeply, then?"
"Yes, Adar, very, very deeply. So do all who allow themselves to come to know him well. The Lord King loves him second only to his Master, I think, although he loves and esteems all four."
At that moment there was a knock at the door, which opened to admit Folco Boffin, a mug of tea in one hand and a seedcake poking out of his pocket. "Is Miriel here? Yes, I see you are, Love. Gimli has returned to the Citadel, for the Lords Elladan and Elrohir have just arrived with Lords Celeborn and Glorfindel to attend the birth of the Queen's child."
"There was a party of Elves who arrived as I did, riding from the North," Mardil commented.
"Yes, the brothers to our King and Queen," his son explained. At his father's raised eyebrows, he added, "Foster brothers to the King, actually. After his father was killed when he was a small boy, the Lord Aragorn was announced to have died of a fever, but was spirited to Imladris where he was raised as if he were son to the Lord Elrond. The Lady Arwen was not there when he was growing up, I understand, having spent many years east of the Misty Mountains with her mother's parents in Lothlorien. She returned to her father's lands only after the Lord Aragorn came to manhood and learned the truth of his birth and lineage."
"Why did they lie about his death?"
"The Enemy had destroyed the other royal lines in the north, and sought to destroy that of Arthedain as well. It was a ruse that worked well."
"I see. I find the idea of this King from the wilds of the northern wastes to be intriguing, although all I have seen and heard indicates he is markedly wise and worthy."
"There is no question of that. Wise and worthy indeed."
"What does he look like?"
"Oh, you've already seen his image, Father, in Casistir."
"Yes, I wrought it there in the statue to the Lord Captain Thorongil."
"I've never known you to put the image of another in place of one whose image you could gather from others, my son."
"Oh, but you see, he was the Lord Captain Thorongil." Ruvemir started to smile broadly at his father's expression. "Remember, Father, that he is of the Dúnedain of almost pure lineage. But I, too, was shocked to realize that Thorongil and the King were one and the same."
Once again he produced his sketch booklets, showing the images he'd obtained from the Lady Endeth and the servitors of Dol Amroth and some of the now elderly men who'd served under the mysterious captain, then the image of the King as he'd appeared, sitting by his bedside when he finally awoke in the Houses of Healing. His father held the booklet and flipped back and forth between the two images, then shook his head with wonder.
"By the way, Father, you have failed to acknowledge the arrival of your daughter's husband. Mardil the Carver of Lebennin, may I present Folco Boffin of Overhill in the Shire."
The tall Man set down the booklets hastily on the mantel and rose to bow deeply to the Pherian, who quickly set down mug and cake, flushing as he bowed in return. "Folco Boffin, at your service, sir."
"Let me see the one who has won the heart of my beloved daughter." He examined the guileless face, the intelligent eyes, the capable hands that showed the effects of hard work, and he smiled. "I welcome you to the family, Master Folco, and greet you as my second son. I am told you have been both farmer and scholar."
"Yes, sir. I don't think any of us who were raised near our Uncle Bilbo and Cousin Frodo escaped becoming scholars in one way or another. But farming tends to be more honored among our people."
Celebgil appeared from the bathing room wearing the clean clothes he'd brought down that morning, and Pando went in to take his turn.
"And you have sold your farm to follow my daughter here?"
"No, sir, I didn't sell the farm. I sold our home to one of my kin, but never the farm. I get less of a share, since I no longer live there to help work the land, but I'll still have an income from it and the other business interests I've gathered. Our children, if we have any, will have a claim on the Shire."
Even Ruvemir was surprised to hear this. His father looked at his daughter's husband with surprise and growing respect, then smiled widely. "My son has tried to tell me of the sagacity of the Pheriannath, and I think I now begin to understand. So, the land has more meaning than the home?"
"Yes, sir. I know little about raising beasts, but I'll learn well enough. But I can turn any crops you grow to a profit."
"Then we will see to it, then, once we return to Lebennin. I look forward to it. Are you related to this one?" he asked, indicating the diagram of Sam's statue.
"That's Sam. No, not to Sam. I'm second cousin to Frodo, and more distantly related to Merry and Pippin. Any relationship with Sam is so distant that even Hobbits don't keep track. But he's a wise one. I feel honored to have known him all my life. Has more than the usual gift of growing knowledge, too, although his primary love is flowers." He smiled. "Has he shown you the model yet, sir?"
"Not yet, but then I arrived here only shortly before you did," answered Mardil.
Ruvemir turned to where Ririon sat, fondling Joy's ears. "Ririon, get clean clothes and ready yourself to bathe, once Pando is done."
"Yes, Ruvemir." The boy followed suit readily, and was ready when Pando came out.
"Then I will go and do similarly, and then we will go to our meal," Mardil said, smiling.
They were led to a different private parlor than before, and the table was sufficiently lower than usual that Miriel, Ruvemir, and the two Pheriannath were well enough accommodated while things were not made too difficult for Mardil. This room was decorated with stonework and a large stone fireplace, with a great bearskin on the floor.
"This room is usually used by parties of Dwarves when they visit the inn," Beneldil explained. "I understand there will be one more joining you?"
"Yes," Mardil smiled.
"Very well, then we will serve after all have come."
Goblets and cups and pitchers of wine, ale, cider, and water were on the table, and soon all were served with drinks. Ruvemir was wondering who the other guest would be when the door opened to admit an elderly Man, elderly yet still tall and straight and fully aware. "Master Faragil?" he exclaimed, deeply surprised. He rose and hurried forward to make his bow. "Master! It is an honor!" He turned to the table and explained, "I did my own apprenticeship under Master Faragil."
"Once the indenture was transferred from your father, that is," the old man smiled. "You still refuse to grow, then?"
"I guess I might have had my chance returning from the north, but the Ents did not offer us any of their draughts."
Folco laughed. "No, they didn't. Pity--I might have passed up Merry and Pippin, for I was taller than both before they left."
Introductions were made, and Elise and Beneldil and Benril came in to serve the meal. Soon all were talking and laughing, and Master Faragil was questioning Celebgil about the type of work he did with his usual master.
After they were done they returned to Ruvemir's rooms, and at last Celebgil took his leave. "My parents knew I was to dine with you this evening, but will worry if I am much later."
They all bade the youth good night, and Ruvemir accompanied him to the door of the inn. "You will have tomorrow and the High Day free, for I have other arrangements I must make on the morrow. If you wish, you may come down to the warehouse in the evenings and watch the progress on the Lord Frodo's stone, though."
"Thank you, Master Ruvemir. May I go to the site and work on my practice piece?"
"Yes, but we will not do any more work on the figures until I return to the site. I'll need to get more of the marking paint as well. I will also try to stop by your father's workshop tomorrow to introduce myself, so that he has an idea of the one with whom you are to be traveling south."
"Thank you, for he will be glad of that. I will see you, then." Celebgil wrapped his cloak loosely about him and headed up through the streets of the city to the Fifth Circle.
An hour later Ruvemir took his second smock and the key, and led his father and former master down to the First Circle to the Dwarves' warehouse. The door was unlocked, and inside they found three Dwarves sitting about a block of stone planning out how they would replace a damaged stone midway on the facing of the wall to the Third Circle. They recognized Ruvemir and greeted him and his guests courteously, then indicating the newcomers would be of no bother to them, they continued their discussion. Ruvemir led the way to the screen and gestured the others past it, and carefully lit the circle of lanterns about the shrouded stone. He then uncovered it gently, and folding the tarp set it aside. His father was examining the diagrams with curiosity, while Master Faragil watched him with interest and approval. He then approached the stone, then suddenly paused and looked at his former pupil.
"This stone is not to be approached without care."
"So I have sensed, Master."
The taller sculptor nodded, then gently approached, giving a slight bow. Mardil turned to watch, surprised and intrigued. Faragil finally laid a hand on the stone, firmly but with respect. He began to feel for flaws and inclusions, and at last straightened. "Not too deep, but it is good this stone is housed inside until it is worked. You learned well." He turned to the diagrams himself, and began examining them. "Did he agree to this pose, then?"
"I have had to reconstruct his seeming from the tales of those who love him, for he has gone to the Undying Lands."
Both taller Men turned in surprise. "To Aman?" his father asked.
"To Tol Eressëa. The quest cost him very, very much."
The father noted the deep respect and sorrow in his son's voice and attitude. The old sculptor nodded. "I see," Faragil said softly. "Even the Valar do him honor." He looked at the block with even more respect. "No wonder this stone is so defensive, holding such an image within it."
"His kinsmen and Lord Samwise all agreed to the model, as has the King, the Elves you saw this day as you approached the city, those of the King's kinsmen who saw both him and the model, the King of Rohan, the Princes of Ithilien and Dol Amroth, and all remaining members of the Fellowship. Even the Ents have affirmed it."
"There are indeed Ents in the world?"
"Yes, we have seen and spoken with them near Orthanc."
His father examined the diagram with interest. "He has a physical as well as a spiritual beauty. Did he marry?"
He was surprised by the resentment he heard in his son's voice as he replied, "No, he never did. The Ring robbed him of the ability to love that way." There was quiet for a time. "He wished to marry, to have children. He loved children very much, did all he could throughout his life to care for them, to nurture them. His parents were the same, apparently, and grieved that he alone of the babes they gave birth to survived. And as he was early born, there was question when he was a babe if he himself would live." Again there was a silence. "All who came to know him loved him. And I met women among the Halflings who did desire him, and who grieve that they did not take him as husband, though they are joyful in the marriages they have come to. It is the Lord Samwise he left all to, including the hope of a large and happy family." Finally he added, softly, "Even the children of the Shire miss him and mourn his leaving."
"And now, even though you never met him, you, too, love him?" asked his teacher.
Ruvemir looked solemnly up into Faragil's face. "Yes, I, too, have come to love Frodo Baggins. He is the brother I never met, I feel." He straightened. "Will you watch the first remove, sir?"
"No, I think we should leave you to that. I think we will return to the inn. I, at least, am tired after my journey. But I would not miss your handfasting for the world."
Ruvemir smiled and embraced both taller Men, watched them pass the screen and heard their courtesies to the Dwarves, who also were apparently leaving, Ruvemir was left in the darkened and empty warehouse, contemplating the block of stone. Then he heard the door open again and quiet footsteps enter. At first he was surprised, but seemed to note a shining in the outer room. He called out, "Here, behind the screen, my Lord King."
Aragorn son of Arathorn, dressed in a simple silver surcoat over a creamy bloused shirt and dark trousers, came about the screen, and bowed uncertainly. "I was feeling crowded in the Citadel, and truly the Elves wish tonight to speak more with Arwen than with me. Glorfindel sent me here."
"No bodyguard tonight?"
The King smiled. "Eregiel accompanied me down through the city, and sits at an outdoor table at a nearby tavern, waiting till I am ready to go back." He sat on the floor, drew up his knees and clasped his hands about them. "I hope I do not intrude."
"No, sir. I think I may indeed have been awaiting your coming."
Ruvemir son of Mardil, once apprentice to Master Sculptor Faragil of Lebennin, chose a chisel and took up his mallet. With a prayer to the Valar he approached the stone, gave it a bow of respect, and struck the first blow. He then gathered the wedge, which had fallen away and presented it to the King, who accepted it with both surprise and respect. The two, much on a level now, looked at one another, and then Ruvemir turned seriously to shaping the stone.
Ruvemir worked for two hours, and the King sat quietly watching for a time, then began to sing a song in what Ruvemir realized was Quenya, an ancient and powerful song of what appeared to be shaping and forming. The work went more swiftly while the King sang, and as had happened above while he worked on Pippin's stone, each time the chisel was at the proper angle, the mallet just the right force....
Finally after two hours Ruvemir drew back, wiped his face with one of the kerchiefs Miriel had edged for him taken from the pocket of his smock, and he set down his tools. "It is enough," he said quietly. The King rose with that beautiful grace so much a part of him, and reverently assisted in the draping of the stone, then searched about for a broom and pan to sweep the chips and wedges away, placing them in a large wooden crate he found. Ruvemir stood looking on as the King offered him this service, and finally took from his pocket the letter he'd put there the previous night. "I thought you should read this," he said as he held out Rosie's letter.
The King accepted it with surprise, then read it with a smile on his face. "It appears that Rosie is as wise as Sam," he commented at last, returning it. "Shall I accompany you back to the inn and a well earned drink?"
"Gladly, my Lord," Ruvemir smiled, and he turned out the last of the lamps, and locking the door, they left the stone in its solitude. Eregiel joined them as they walked up the now quiet street to the Second Gate.
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.