Forum: HASA Birthday Cards Forum

Discussing: May 2008 Birthdays

May 2008 Birthdays

"Alles neu, macht der Mai..." says a traditional German folksong. In the spirit of this - May making everything new - this month offers new chances for HASA birthday folk to request birthday cards, and for their fellow HASA members to give a little gift.

State your request here in this thread. Then collect your birthday cards by creating a workshop story for the birthday cards workshop, which gives you the opportunity to enter the May Challenge.

If you need help, or have questions, please state them here, or e-mail me - I'd be pleased to help.

====================================================

May, 6 - RiverOtter: I would like to see the Fourth Age of Middle Earth. Any place, any character is fine.

May, 18 - Nath: I would like anything related to 'time', any characters and any rating, though my current favourites are the Northern Dúnedain.

May, 25 - Dwimordene: ...I realize that it can be tough to write an AU in only 100 words, but give for my birthday, I'd like to see you give it a shot. Choose your time, your incident, and your desired divergence. Alternately, if the AU idea is just too big to be reducible to 100 words, I have to teach a socio-political philosophy course next term. So fics dealing with political situations would be welcome. (Especially if they have to do with the Kin-strife in Gondor.)

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

My birthday is May 18, and I'll turn 40. I would like anything related to 'time', any characters and any rating, though my current favourites are the Northern Dúnedain.

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

It's May, and I'm feeling in an AU kind of mood. I realize that it can be tough to write an AU in only 100 words, but give for my birthday, I'd like to see you give it a shot. Choose your time, your incident, and your desired divergence.

Alternately, if the AU idea is just too big to be reducible to 100 words, I have to teach a socio-political philosophy course next term. So fics dealing with political situations would be welcome. (Especially if they have to do with the Kin-strife in Gondor.)

Dwim

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

I've added your birthday request, Dwim. That would be the 25th - unless the date has changed since last year (hur, hur )...

Imhiriel
...feeling silly...

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

I've never written a drabble before, but the AU proposition was too interesting to resist. Now I kind of want to make it a series. Briefly: Sauron won and is consolidating his new realm. A force from Lugburz approaches the Shire.

-.-.-.-

It is Autumn when they come to Bree and the inn is filled with half-Orcs, who fawn on them. One tries to be cavalier. "Ho lads, but you took your own time getting here. We've held this fat land two years now and thought to be relieved before." Norgush, who is not friendly this way, smiles, motions the fellow closer, and breaks his neck with an easy twist. The room is quiet as the corpse hits the floor.

In another room a woman is weeping.

"We have heard of your Sharkey in the Southeast," says Norgush. "We come to rendezvous."

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

My birthday was May 6th.  I would like to see the Fourth Age of Middle Earth.  Any place, any character is fine.

 

 

Happy B-Day, RiverOtter!/Re: May 2008 Birthdays

I'm going to cheat a little bit; and use this tri-drabble that I wrote for my informal "Faramir Creation Day Challenge" on the H-A email list and posted on 5/7. It fits your requirements exactly - and you were born on what I call "Faramir Creation Day" - i.e. May 6, the day that Tolkien first mentioned Faramir (at least in his letters), so the piece is obviously meant for you.

Happy Birthday, RiverOtter!



Seeds Under Stone

It was small and new, pink and perfect. Faramir touched it with a careful finger. The blossom, less than half the size of his palm, poked sturdy pink petals toward the walls of glowering rock that rose above them. Clumps of pale yellow grass spurted around the worn stones of the path that had once led two hobbits and their treacherous guide into a monster's den.

Faramir looked down at the rubble of Minas Morgul. Twenty-one years had passed since Frodo and Samwise had hurried through the terrible place, and watched the Black Riders lead the fell host out from the cursed city. Twenty years he had labored, with the aid of men and Elves and Dwarves. They had pulled down the Moon Tower, harried the fell creatures who had lingered in the tunnels and cells; cleansed the sickened stream and winnowed the corpse-flowers beside it. And scores of years of labor still lay ahead.

Now, this sprig had arisen, likely the first true flower to bloom in the Morgul Vale in 1038 years. It was Stonecrop, Faramir realized; not yellow as at the Crossroads, but pink as the dawn skies. How did the flower come here, he wondered. Had stonecrop seeds been borne on the cloak of one of his own men, or upon one of the two hobbits who had passed through the Crossroads on their fateful journey?

He laughed ruefully. Aragorn had found a far greater treasure on a mountainside, the new White Tree standing untouched in a hidden grove free of the Enemy's sorcery. Faramir had found only one small flower, easy prey to mischance.

Small it was, yet still a brave harbinger of change. One day, this and other flowers would reclaim the darkened valley, Faramir swore, looking over the land with a gladdened heart.

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

For Nath--a story that's been working at me ever since I saw the challenge. Happy birthday to you!

Written for Nath's birthday.

The King's Time

Tick tock tick tock tick tock....

The Dwarf-made clock Gimli had given him a century ago tomorrow quietly but steadily marked the passing seconds as the King finished straightening all that lay upon the desk that had been his since the day he had accepted the Winged Crown. He finally pulled out the book that was his personal coronation gift to his son, a volume of poems Frodo had copied, illustrated, and bound for a friend within the city who'd been an artist, a book that had in time come into Aragorn's possession; and set it in the center of the desk. As he did this the clock struck six times, its chime clear and warm, a chime that had marked his time as he'd worked in this, what had been his personal office, for most of his years as King of Gondor and Arnor.

He'd dismissed his scribes and clerks and his personal secretary some time ago, preferring to set the room in order by himself. If it was to be for the final time....

He glanced at the Shire calendar that Frodo had drawn up for him shortly after he was made King of Gondor and Arnor; it indicated that today was the thirtieth of Solmath. Tomorrow.... At last he sighed, then caught himself rubbing at his left shoulder in a way that reminded him again of his beloved friend. He thoughtfully pinched out the candles, turned down the oil lamp, and quitted the room at last, closing the door one final time.

The door to Lord Hirgion's office was open, and he could hear the faint sputter as the time candle the current Keeper of the Keys always kept burning on the back of his desk flickered, allowing a drop of wax to roll down its side, obscuring one of the blue rings that marked the passage of another hour since the candle was lit.

Aragorn was restless, but he found that now he still wished to be alone. Arwen had closeted herself in the chambers he and she had kept on the second floor of the Royal Wing since Eldarion had married his Loreth and King and Queen had surrendered their former rooms to the two of them; and most of those who had gathered for the King's birthday tomorrow were meeting with the future King of the combined realm.

He walked through the entrance hall, and heard the soft plop, plink, plop of the waterclock that had been a friendship gift sent by An'Ma'Osiri of Harad shortly after he became Farozi of that land. It was a beautiful piece, and one that Aragorn had treasured even as it fascinated each new generation of pages within the Citadel.

As he approached the front doors, the Guardsmen waiting there saluted him and immediately thrust them open to allow him out into the chill of the evening air. By the light of the flickering torches mounted before the Citadel's main doors he could see the sundial markings reportedly worked into the pavement between the Citadel and the White Tree by Ondoher; the Sun had set already, so his shadow, should he stand on the proper place marked by a pair of blue stones where the most of the rest of the pavement was white, could not indicate the proper time, but he knew that tomorrow his grandson Valandil, as he so often did, would probably spend a quarter mark or more watching his own shadow move sunwise along the arc.

He approached the White Tree, gave it a bow, then moved forward to set his hand against its trunk. It was tall and remarkably beautiful. He could feel the rhythm of its growth as it sleepily acknowledged him. That rhythm had been slowly increasing over the past few weeks, again waking gradually from the sleep that characterized it throughout much of Minas Anor's winter, even as mild as that season was here compared to what he'd known growing up in Eriador. There were new buds forming along its branches, buds that were now silver that would open into clusters of silver-green leaves and pure white blossoms. When he'd found it its main stem had been as thin as a finger; now it was a great tree, and the folk of the land did not seem to remember that it had ever been merely a sapling--but, then, of those who lived within the city only he and Arwen had seen it that way.

"Grow and bloom for my son and grandson as you have for me," he whispered softly. "And bear my respects to the tree that stands on Tol Eressëa and all who stand beneath it. And I thank you for sheltering us and blessing us with your presence."

The awareness of the Tree grew somehow sharper, and he could swear he heard an echo of a Humph from Gandalf, and that he felt his beloved mentor's regard.

"Namarië," he murmured to that faraway presence. "I will be following Frodo and Sam and Pippin and Merry, Boromir and Faramir, Éomer and Halbarad soon enough, and will take them your greetings."

He could almost feel the old Wizard's hand on his shoulder, and was comforted.

As he started back toward the Citadel the bells of the city chimed to mark the first hour of the night. He stopped and looked upwards at the face of the building that had been his primary home now for so long. Over the door was a balcony that he'd seldom visited but that was a favorite refuge for his son. Indeed, he saw that Eldarion stood there now, looking southward across the length of the land of Gondor, looking over the lit villages and isolated steadings upon the Pelennor and the faint glow of the Anduin as it wound its way toward the Sea--the Sea that tomorrow would no longer sunder him from those who'd crossed it. Tomorrow the welfare of Gondor and Arnor would be fully Eldarion's responsibility, and he smiled to know that he'd done his best to assure that his son was up to the task.

My time may be ending, he thought, but here in Middle Earth the time of peace shall continue under his guardianship. He took a great breath, then smiled the more broadly. He left Gondor and Arnor in the best of hands.

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

Larner, that is beautiful, even if sad as well.

Thank you! 

 

 

Re: The King's Time

The King's Time

Oh, Larner, this is the first thing I saw as soon as I got to my computer this morning... what a treat!

Aragorn is facing his death with the wisdom and courage of the early Númenóreans. Though it is sad that he is dying, he can take pleasure in the peace that he is handing to his beloved son.

I love how you used time technologies from many cultures; I have been fascinated by ancient inventions, where mechanisms like celestial calculators were invented many centuries before we could ever have imagined in many widely-scattered places like China, the Arab countries, and Europe. 

And I like the hints of how Aragorn made peace with former adversaries, too.

And the skillful mention of so many different ways of telling time... priceless!

I really enjoyed reading it!

- Barbara

P.S. Are you planning to make it into a standalone story? *hint, hint* 

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

Ooh, I like it! Yes, that line of Gimli's, about how it is such a pity that Mordor and Isengard can't duke it out without trampling across friendly nations, is extremely suggestive.

And now, here comes the victor, predicted well in advance, to claim his prize and put down Saruman's forces. Nicely brutal and ironic delivery by Norgush.

Thanks, thelauderdale!

Dwim

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

I'm glad you like this.  I suppose it can stand as a prequel to my story "Light on the Way."  May your birthday be a joyful one.

And I did do a small amount of editing.

 

 

Re: The King's Time

Thanks, Barbara.  I'll be adding it to my "'Neath Anor, Ithil, and Gil" collection on the other sites, now that I've done some editing and have it ready to send to RiverOtter.  Now, to finish the one for her!  It's being more difficult.

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

Well, here it is, Dwimordene, although it's slightly too long to be a double drabble.  Hope you like it anyway!

A Treasure Retrieved

            "What has it got in its pocketses?  Well, now we knows, doesn't we, Preciouss?" Gollum muttered to himself as he sought the one he was certain held his treasure.  "Thief!  Where is Baggins?"

            Suddenly he heard a cry of surprise and pain; and although he could not see the one with whom he'd shared riddles in the dark, he had a good idea as to where he might be.  He ran toward where it sounded as if a creature might have tripped over a fallen stone, and found himself stumbling over an unseen body.

            "So, we has you at last, has we?" Gollum said, wrapping his hands about the neck he might not see but could certainly feel.  "Thief!  False!"

*******

            Some hours later, his stomach full, he murmured, "Ah--much sweeter meat than orcses!  Must try this again, perhapsss.  Yes, we likes Hobbitses very much." 

            He sat back, then pulled the leather pouch he wore fastened to his rope belt loose, untying the coarse gut that usually held it closed.  "Here," he said as he picked up a now-visible object and examined it.  "You're a tricksy one, aren't you, my Precious?  But look--you have a finger now, all your own for when I can't wear you."

            He smiled as he dropped Ring and finger into the bag....

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

I'm glad you like it, Dwimordene.  And I have to say, Larner is amazing every time.  I especially liked "A Treasure Retrieved."  "You have a finger now, all your own for when I can't wear you..."

Awwww! Birthday present for the birthday present! Grin

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

I'm tickled you like this, and Gollum's gift to his Precious!  I can so imagine this happening!

Thanks, thelauderdale!

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

Outstanding work, Larner!  The King's Time is a gorgeous piece (one of your best), and A Treasure Retrieved a rather nasty bitter mouthful but excellent in its execution. 


 

RAKSHA

 

 

Re: Treasure Retrieved

Muahaha, I love it! As you say, Larner, this is entirely too plausible. And if Gollum ever ends up Dark Lord of Middle-earth, I suspect the hobbits would've had just as hard a time under him as under Sauron, now that Gollum has decided that yes, he likes hobbits <i>very much.</i>

Nice line for the Ring, too - very clever and nasty!

Thanks, Larner!

Dwim 

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

Happy birthday, Dwim, and a double drabble to celebrate the day:

---

Amends

The air in his lungs burned as he dove even deeper. In a reflex he closed his hand in a fist around the Ring.

Making sure the Ring was secure on his finger, he scrambled on to the western shore of the Great River, automatically checking for enemies. Where was he? The current had taken him further than he thought it would.

Evading the Orcs he knew were there, he at last collapsed to his knees in exhaustion. He had escaped, but at what price? Elendur, Aratan, Ciryon; lost to his arrogant folly. Weregild, he had said, weregild the Ring, now drenched in the blood of his sons, would be for his father and his brother. Precious, he had called it; paid for twice-over now in what was more precious than any gold could ever be. He should have listened to Elrond and Círdan.

He nearly turned around to fling the Ring into the river, but that would be folly compounded. Should he go on to Imladris? He already knew Elrond's counsel.

With a strangled sound halfway between a sigh and a sob, Isildur, High King of Arnor and Gondor, turned south and started the journey back to Mount Doom.
 

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

Ooh; that's a beauty!  Isildur keeps the Ring, lives, and finally makes the right choice, and changes practically everything!  Well done, Nath!

RAKSHA

 

 

For Nath and Dwim/Re: May 2008 Birthdays

This for both Nath and Dwim - 800 words of AU. I was sorely tempted to call it "Days of Denethor's Lives" (anyone who has ever heard the intro to the American soap opera Days of Our Lives would understand why) - but I resisted, since I'm doing enough damage to the son of Ecthelion as it is.

Brownie points to anyone who sees what sparked Denethor to change his mind about the pyre....

RAKSHA



Prisoner of Time

In the house that the heirs of Steward Mardil have held for hundreds of years in the first circle of Minas Tirith, the twenty-sixth and last Ruling Steward sits behind marble walls, watching the sands of the hourglass trickle down the moments.

He refuses to go to the window, or even to have it opened. Outside, the cries are loud enough to hear all too well. The usurper rides through the streets of the White City. The City that had entombed his lady, the City his son had died for, now throws open her broken gates to Isildur's upstart heir like a giddy strumpet opening perfumed knees. Faithless, thinks Denethor, all are faithless. Not for the first time, he wonders if he should have shut his heart against the wizard's words in the Hallows, and lit his own pyre.

"You are needed," Mithrandir had said. And, for Faramir and their City and Gondor itself, Denethor had shaken off despair and reclaimed his duty. He had led the defenses on the south wall, fighting in the front until the Morgul-spawn retreated, caught between the hammer of the captains of the West who scoured the Pelennor and the anvil of Minas Tirith itself. He had seen the return of Captain Thorongil in a captured Corsair fleet, the palantír's last terrible vision of the proven both true and utterly false.

Denethor had bade that Captain, now calling himself Chieftain of the Northern Dúnedain, stay outside the City walls, and returned to the Houses of Healing. Mithrandir had begged him to let the so-called Heir of Isildur come and heal Faramir; but Denethor would not suffer the outlander to lay hands on Faramir on the strength of an old woman's doggerel. Hands of a King indeed!

Denethor had only allowed the removal of the sick perian, Meriadoc, and the dead Theoden's stricken niece, to the tents of the Pelennor, because young Éomer had asked to take them, and they were under his command. Then, exhausted, Denethor had sat by Faramir's bedside as the hours wore into the morning, and the healers and nurses and herbalists strove vainly to save his only remaining son.

Faramir had died as the sun had risen, never waking to forgive or even speak to his father.

In the dark days that followed, Denethor had returned to the only thing he had left, the Stewardship of his land. He could offer no comfort to the white-faced Éowyn of Rohan, who had been brought back to the Houses of Healing for further care. She had fled eastward, never to return, following the Armies who had hurled themselves into the Enemy's maw. Still, Denethor had labored with all his strength to fortify and rebuild and succor the White City. Finally, word had come of the Enemy's downfall, and with it, the claim of the northern upstart to the Kingship of Gondor.

Denethor had sworn to hold the City, and Gondor, against the usurper. But his Council, that band of recreants, had refused him! Some, like his kinsman Húrin, had been seduced away by fancies or Elvish glamours; some had feared the thousands of Rohirrim commanded by the young king who called Thorongil "brother". And some, like his own brother by marriage, had doubted Denethor's own soundness of mind. The Council had turned away from Denethor. They had taken away the Steward's Chair, saying that the new King would decide whether to name a new Steward to sit on it. Denethor had gone once more to Rath Dinen, broken the white rod of his office, and laid its remnants upon Faramir's tomb.

They had not taken Denethor's ancestral lands, his family accounts, or the heirlooms of Ecthelion and Turgon and so many others. No one had come to demand that Denethor swear fealty to the man who had stolen Gondor from him as well as his father's love. They had just left him alone, behind the sable curtains, surrounded by the servants who had once dutifully borne Faramir to the pyre, in the cool dignity of the ancient house.

Outside the windows, the people sing a song that Denethor does not recognize. He hears the trill and clang of bells, the clop of horses' hooves. If he were to open the windows, he would see the man who took his place swaggering through streets where once Denethor's own sons had so proudly walked. He wonders idly if they are throwing flowers down upon Thorongil's unkempt, and now crowned, head.

No, he will keep the windows closed. Perhaps he will call for tea, or wine. Denethor really does not care much about eating and drinking anymore; but he will keep up his strength, if only to spite those who might prefer him gone.

The sands run their course. Slowly, Denethor turns over the hourglass.

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

I'm honored you feel that way, Raksha.  As for Gollum--we knows our Preciousss fairly well, after all!  It only seems too likely he'd be this way.

Thanks so much for your feedback.  I'm just glad my writing continues to touch others.

 

 

Re: Treasure Retrieved

I can so see the one reported to have regularly slipped into homes through windows to rob cradles finding the idea of feasting as much on Hobbits as fish from the Sea a pleasant  one.  And am so glad you like his gift to his "Precious"!  Happy birthday!

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

It cost so much--that Ring!  And he lost father, brother, and now sons to keep it.  I so rejoice that he has learned from his mistakes and is set now to right them.  May It not take him again!

Wonderful, Nath!

 

 

Re: For Nath and Dwim/May 2008 Birthdays

Ah--poor Denethor--assured that the nation still needs him, but unwilling to allow the King Returned to save his son--and so both the House of the Stewards and the House of Eorl is robbed of their last jewels.  And by refusing to accept his former rival he loses all in the end.

If Heaven works backwards to turn our greatest griefs to our most shining blessings, then the despair of our personal hells must work similarly--he led the forces of the city in its defense, but now allows that victory to crumble to naught, even in his own heart.

Alas for this one who was meant to be a great one indeed!  Yes, a prisoner of time--and a spiritual suicide as dreadful in its way as the pyre would have been.

Well done, Raksha.

 

 

Re: Amends

Ooh, thank you, Nath! I love the possibilities that open when Isildur's story is targeted. One wonders: will he last? Will he get to the edge and be able to throw it in? Hmm? Maybe you should extend this... 

Devilish

Dwim 

 

 

Re: For Nath and Dwim/May 2008 Birthdays

Ah, pride - Denethor's defining trait! He may have nothing left, he may be slowly strangling himself, spiritually, but he will by his existence throw in Aragorn's face that there is one person he cannot sway. That by itself is all he's living for - another turn of the hour where Aragorn or somebody has to know that he exists and isn't going to bow. 

Of course, this assumes anyone is even thinking much about him...

Thank you, Raksha!

Also, I've entered a story into the Birthday Cards Workshop, so if you've written a story for me, you can deposit it there at your leisure.

Dwim 

 

 

For RiverOtter

A snippet of ordinary life in the Fourth Age: an OC Ranger's musings.

Peace

Who of his old comrades would have believed it? Him, a farmer? He himself certainly wouldn't have. Though he had taken to a Ranger's life like a duck to water, he was Minas Tirith born and bred, and had grown up surrounded by stone and paved streets. But then, after the War, he had finally married his Linneth, and now that it was safe again in Ithilien she had wanted to return to the farm her great-grandfather had lost there. 

No, he didn't miss the old days, Herion thought, even if farming was hard work; it was done in peace.

 

 

Re: For Nath and Dwim/May 2008 Birthdays

Ah--poor Denethor--assured that the nation still needs him, but unwilling to allow the King Returned to save his son--and so both the House of the Stewards and the House of Eorl is robbed of their last jewels.  And by refusing to accept his former rival he loses all in the end.

If Heaven works backwards to turn our greatest griefs to our most shining blessings, then the despair of our personal hells must work similarly--he led the forces of the city in its defense, but now allows that victory to crumble to naught, even in his own heart.

Alas for this one who was meant to be a great one indeed!  Yes, a prisoner of time--and a spiritual suicide as dreadful in its way as the pyre would have been.

Well done, Raksha.

Thanx for commenting, Larner.  Poor Denethor couldn't bear to have less than all of what he believed was his due.  What a bitter fate it must have been to be left alone, unwanted and unregarded, as his rival assumed center stage.  And yes, Denethor is spiritually moribund.  I'm not sure he can ever recover, or if he even wants to...

RAKSHA

 

 

Re: For Nath and Dwim/May 2008 Birthdays

Ah, pride - Denethor's defining trait! He may have nothing left, he may be slowly strangling himself, spiritually, but he will by his existence throw in Aragorn's face that there is one person he cannot sway. That by itself is all he's living for - another turn of the hour where Aragorn or somebody has to know that he exists and isn't going to bow. 

Of course, this assumes anyone is even thinking much about him...

Thank you, Raksha!

Also, I've entered a story into the Birthday Cards Workshop, so if you've written a story for me, you can deposit it there at your leisure.

Dwim



 

Yes, Denethor was the poster boy for Pride.  And that's all he has left, aside from property and servants.  Unfortunately, I think he's become, in part of his own will, pretty much irrelevent in the shiny new Reunited Kingdom.  And Denethor would hate not being needed or regarded by anyone. 

I could actually see Aragorn, content and busy, coming to see Denethor sometime in the next year or two, to see if he could do anything for him; and Denethor refusing to see him. 

Hope you have a wonderful birthday, Dwim!  I'll try to put my story in the Workshop (for some reason, that processs is always scary to me)....


RAKSHA

 

 

Re: For RiverOtter

A snippet of ordinary life in the Fourth Age: an OC Ranger's musings.

Peace

Who of his old comrades would have believed it? Him, a farmer? He himself certainly wouldn't have. Though he had taken to a Ranger's life like a duck to water, he was Minas Tirith born and bred, and had grown up surrounded by stone and paved streets. But then, after the War, he had finally married his Linneth, and now that it was safe again in Ithilien she had wanted to return to the farm her great-grandfather had lost there. 

No, he didn't miss the old days, Herion thought, even if farming was hard work; it was done in peace

This is quite lovely and credible, Nath.  I can imagine the city-born Ranger happily farming in the newly settled Garden of Gondor. 


RAKSHA

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

and A Treasure Retrieved a rather nasty bitter mouthful but excellent in its execution.

even if it seems Gollum thinks it a rather tasty morsel ROTFLMAO

Sick

 

 

Re: For Nath and Dwim/May 2008 Birthdays

Poor, proud Denethor... but a very nicely bitter story.

And no, one cannot see him pulling out of this, or accepting any comfort from anyone. 

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

Ooh; that's a beauty!  Isildur keeps the Ring, lives, and finally makes the right choice, and changes practically everything!  Well done, Nath!

Thank you, Raksha! 

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

Thank you

May It not take him again!

I don't think it will. There is nothing left for him to be tempted with. All the Ring can do now is to attempt to weaken his resolve.

 

 

Re: Amends

Ooh, thank you, Nath! I love the possibilities that open when Isildur's story is targeted. One wonders: will he last? Will he get to the edge and be able to throw it in? Hmm? Maybe you should extend this...

*g* Yes, maybe I should... 

 

 

Re: For RiverOtter

Thank you (again ;-) ) - I think quite a few veterans must have taken the opportunity to settle down in peace.

 

 

Re: For RiverOtter

I can see several veterans realizing that now they have choices to pursue their interests and former hobbies as a living. Perhaps there will be new tradesmen and merchants as well.

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

As my story for RiverOtter is a bit longer than I feel comfortable posting in this forum, I will place the link to it instead:

http://www.henneth-annun.net/stories/chapter_view.cfm?stid=7482&SPOrdinal=1

I hope that it is pleasing to all.  I know she likes it!  Happy birthday (if somewhat belated), my faithful beta reader! 

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

Happy Birthday Dwimordene!
I was just browsing through this forum when I got inspired by your request and thelaudedale's drabble. Please have patience: this is my first time writing!
Situation: The fellowship has failed; Sauron regains the Ring.
Mercy

NOOOOOOOO!

The captains' heads had barely snapped up before Celeborn had whipped out of the council chamber. Up, up he ran, long legs flashing, past the maidens hurrying new bandages to the wounded. He couldn't let himself think, he couldn't...up, up, past the startled guards...

And burst into the bedchamber. There she was, collapsed onto a chair, screaming as her mind was laid bare. Already, his hand had drawn the knife, and he watched it sink, unerringly, into that beloved throat. The screams abruptly stopped.

Far off in Valinor, Celebrían crumpled into a ball, her eyes turned, unseeing, East. So passed the Ring-bearers from Middle-Earth.

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

Illereyn, wow!  What an amazing short piece!  And so disturbing...but that's exactly what he'd have to do.  I love the last line with Celebrian at the end, completing the triangle of their family unit.

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

Dwimordene -

Now I actually have ended up starting a series about Sauron's Orcs coming to the Shire. It's beta at the moment and viewable to members: "Orcs in Hobbiton" (suggestions welcome on the title). The first was that single drabble I posted, the rest have been double-drabbles. I have four so far, adding them as I go, and they're all over the place time-wise, but they follow on the basic AU premise of the first. I'll post one here but then I'll leave it alone since I don't want to crowd the birthday thread.

-.-.-.-

Our Lily

Gershit has never milked a goat before. He doesn't want to now. He swore at the old grandmother but she is deaf and palsied; besides, this is her son's job. "My Brogo is a good boy. He never forgets our Lily." They hanged her Brogo yester-noon but he can't make her understand. "It's not like him to be late. He knows my hands aren't what they were."

Our Lily's white-rimmed eye rolls at Gershit around the stanchion corner. It was a business getting her into it and he rubs his bruises ill-temperedly. "Old bitch," he tells the imprisoned goat, "I'll make you smart for those." One long ear flicks and he knows she wants to kick him, but Norgush will have something to say if the milk does not make tally. Gershit takes the mottled teats in his gray hands.

Old Lady Hobbit stands by, stooped and smiling, gnarled hands folded before her. "You are a good friend to my Brogo to come here in his place." She is blind as well as deaf. Her eyes are cloudy with cataracts.

Our Lily fusses in her wooden pillory and Gershit mutters obscenities. Squeeze pull, squeeze pull. Milk hissing into the pan.

 

 

Narn I Hîn Elrond

A combined Birthday Drabble for River Otter (Fourth Age), Nath (Time) and Dwimordene (AU).

A double drabble.  Happy Birthday to you all!

Narn I Hîn Elrond

(The Tale Of The Children Of Elrond)

1st March, FA 120

As Arwen left the House of the Kings the great doors closed behind her with a final, fateful thud.  She came down the time-worn steps and it seemed to her brothers that all the ravages of age and time had fallen on her in an instant.  No longer their little sister, she looked older now; her face worn with sorrow and lined from a life lived with both great joy and an even greater loss.   Her head seemed covered with a cap of silver lace and frosted strands threaded the braids of her dark hair.

Elladan and Elrohir had already made their own parting with one they loved like a brother, leaving her to make her own final - and eternal - farewell.  As she emerged into the silent street they stepped one each side of her, enfolding her with their love and comfort.  Elladan cast his cloak about her shoulders to ward off time's bitter embrace.  "Come, little sister,"  he urged.  "Our ship awaits.  Will you sail with us?"

The light in her seemed quenched as she nodded sadly, leaning against him for support; as frail as a wilted flower.  "Yes.  There is nothing here for me now.  We will sail."

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

Happy Birthday, Dwim! Have a wonderful year!

(The prodigal lurker returneth, bearing a double drabble, an AU dealing with political strife in Gondor, though not directly Kin-strife related.  Featuring some mutual favourites as characters with speaking parts.)

cheers, Maya 

AU scenario: What if Eärnur had left an heir, after all, and there were no reigning Stewards in Gondor?

Council of Gondor, 15th March 3019 (King Minardil III has fallen at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, earlier in the day):

Halbarad, emissary of the Dunedain, said: "In this hour of peril, I urge the council to recognise the claim of  Aragorn, son of Arathorn, Isildur's Heir, and heir also through Firiel to the line of Anárion."

Denethor, the Steward, said, "Such claim as he has, we do not recognise. Gondor belongs to the heirs of Meneldil Anárion's son, to whom Isildur gave this realm. In Gondor, the descent of Kings is reckoned through the sons only, and we have not heard that it is otherwise in Arnor."

Faramir, the Steward's son looked troubled, and spoke, "And yet, Lord, Isildur Elendil's son was High King of both realms. He never formally relinquished the rule of Gondor, and Anárion's son Meneldil was his regent, merely. Surely he did not intend the kindred realms to be estranged?"

Denethor frowned at his son. "The wizard's counsel, yet again, but from your tongue, Lord Faramir!" Then he raised his hand to silence Prince Imrahil, who had started to his feet. "Peace! This is no time for such debates. My King, who died heirless, is but a few hours cold in his tomb, and grief has dulled our reason. Lord Halbarad, your company has ridden fast and far, and you are weary. The hour grows late - let us seek our rest while we may, for tomorrow's need will surely be sterner."

 

 

Re: Narn I Hîn Elrond

Jay, thank you! But it is heartbreaking. Poor Aragorn... and what will there be for Arwen in the West?

 

 

Happy Birthday, Dwim!

Hi Dwim!

My muse woke me up with this in my mind... I hope it's AU enough for you!

'The Corsairs of Umbar!' men shouted.... 'The Corsairs are upon us! It is the last stroke of doom!'

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 6, The Battle of the Pelennor Fields

Last Stroke

Watchmen on the walls tolled the alarm: a menacing armada foaming against the stream — dromunds, galleys of great draught — black sails bellying in the stiffening breeze.

He took a stand atop a green hillock, letting blow the horns to rally the battle-fit; for he thought to fight there on foot till all fell, though none be left to remember.

His ancient sword he lifted high in stern defiance.

Upon the foremost ship a black standard broke, and the wind displayed it as she turned towards the Havens:

The Red Eye.

The Straight Way now blocked, Círdan faced his people's doom.

 

 

for Dwim

Happy birthday to you, Dwim!

Especially for the Halbarad fangirl, I present:

Imhiriel

[edited to make it a little clearer, I hope]

~*~

Least Expected

Soon after crossing the Fords of Isen a sharp challenge disturbs the night.

“Halbarad Dúnadan, Ranger of the North I am,” I call back. “We seek one Aragorn son of Arathorn, and we heard that he was in Rohan.”

One rider comes forward from the shadowy host facing us. No warrior, this: a wizened figure, face oddly pale by starlight.

“You won’t find him here; unbidden stranger that he was...”

Too slow to react to his furtive hand-signal, the lethal arrow quickly robbing me of all senses but pain, the last I hear in life his mocking words:

“...like you.”

~*~

A/N:
- “Of all joys this is the least expected!” – Aragorn’s words in RotK, The Passing of the Grey Company.
- Halbarad’s dialogue is taken from the actual scene ibid.
- Gríma’s appearence is as described in TTT, The King of the Golden Hall.
- “We welcomed guests kindly in the better days, but in these times the unbidden stranger finds us swift and hard”, says Éomer in TTT, The Riders of Rohan.

 

 

Many thanks from Dwim

Wow, I come back from vacation to find a wonderful collection of birthday presents! Thanks, everyone!

Let's see, I shall begin at the beginning, since that is the acknowledged good place to start...

Illereyn: If this was your first piece of fanfic, you're off to a terrific start! My tastes run towards the tragic, so I quite liked the choice of topic. The fate of the Ringbearers, should Sauron retrieve the One Ring, has always seemed to entail more than simply that Sauron would know what their plans and designs were, and how to breach the defenses of their lands. I can all too easily imagine this kind of scenario, which looks a lot more like a kind of mental rape. Your Celeborn is tragic, his response that of both commander and husband called upon to do the last, most awful duty by his beloved wife and lady – mercy-meting. Celebrían's reaction, too, is well-portrayed, and with Galadriel in mind, we know what must have become of Elrond, and I like that you left that to us. Celebrían's reaction is enough, in light of Celeborn and Galadriel. One wonders, though, who will provide mercy for Elrond, bereft of wife and sons, both.

Thelauderdale: "Our Lily" is fantastic! I'm so glad you were inspired to write more, and what an interesting and unlikely (but perfectly plausible and dramatic) setting: an orc milking a cantankerous old she-goat, while a blind, deaf old hobbit woman prattles, unaware of her circumstances. What I really like about this, aside from the fantastic, bloody ironic juxtaposition of Gershit (nice name – makes me think of a verb: you've gershitted yourself, son... sorry, my mind just runs that way) and the old woman, is that yes – even in the empire of the evil overlord, work has to be done. Armies have to be fed. There are chores, and orcs have to be made to do the mundane, boring, daily tasks that put food in their mouths, not just destroy things or build war machines.

Jay: On the bright side, at least Elrond will see all three of his children again, and so will Celebrían. It is perhaps a kinder fate for the family as a whole, but I wonder whether Arwen will eventually come to regret sailing in the end, since it will mean that she has only a few scores of years with Aragorn. Either way she chooses, she will lose someone permanently, unless there is some final reunion beyond the M-e equivalent of Ragnarok that is supposedly waiting in the wings. A very sensitive, sad portrait of the children of Elrond – thanks very much for it!


Maya ar: A) Welcome back!  B) Okay, where's the rest? Come on, I want to see Denethor and Aragorn face off after this! What a great AU possibility – if both royal lines had survived up until Pelennor, you're right, there's no way Aragorn would've had quite as easy a time of getting his claim affirmed as he did in the books. Even in the books, it was only Denethor's premature death (and possibly Boromir's, too) that put a Steward sympathetic to him in place, able to proclaim him the rightful king. Of course, now that they are in these straits, there's no way, short of Mordor winning the war, that this succession dispute will end in an unfinished chain of letters. Even more tantalizing, from my perspective, is that with a king in place, Denethor might well not have had recourse to the palantír – he might be just as vigorous and in possession of himself as Aragorn. Now that would be a political battle to end all battles! (Are you sure your muse can't be persuaded to write this? Or at least the following closed-session interview between Halbarad and Aragorn, since you've so kindly allowed my second-favorite Ranger to live through Pelennor?)

Thanks for a lovely birthday present!

ET: Gosh, you all are hitting the lovely, dark chocolate tragedies! I love it! Cirdan often gets forgotten, hanging about the fringes of the story as he does, but this brings the former Ringbearer back into a rightfully central position: if Sauron had won, would he have been able to make it to Valinor? I loved the allusion to the ironic (and triumphant) reversal of expectations in Return of the King, and the skillful incorporation of themes like fighting bravely, though no one be left to witness it (poor, poor Éowyn). I especially loved the last lines, though:

"Upon the foremost ship a black standard broke, and the wind displayed it as she turned towards the Havens:

The Red Eye.

The Straight Way now blocked, Círdan faced his people's doom."

Again, great reversal of a reversal: where the breaking of the standard on Pelennor brought hope beyond all expectation, here, it is exactly what it seems to be, signaling the last stand of the Elves in Middle-earth. Well done!

Imhiriel: The Halbarad fangirl in me is, indeed, grateful for this all too suggestive ficlet, if saddened that once again, Halbarad must die. Poor man! There are so many possibilities here: has Halbarad encountered Saruman and a few remnants of his guard on the run from the triumphant armies of Ents and Rohirrim? In which case, will Aragorn take the Paths of the Dead, assuming Saruman's men kill the entire escort, Elladan and Elrohir included? If he made it to Gondor, how would he signal his claim and suggest proof that he is the rightful heir, if he doesn't have Arwen's standard (although presumably, he must have thought of that, since he wasn't expecting the standard in the book...)?

Or is it worse than we think? Is Saruman on the move because he has triumphed at Isengard, maybe even at Helm's Deep? Is there anyone left for Halbarad to bear help and a message to?

Thanks again, everyone, for your lovely drabbles and ficlets – they were great to return home to!

Dwim 

 

 

Re: Many thanks from Dwim

Imhiriel: The Halbarad fangirl in me is, indeed, grateful for this all too suggestive ficlet, if saddened that once again, Halbarad must die. Poor man!

I'm glad you like it, despite the sad content. I confess I was cackling evilly when I got the idea Grin.

There are so many possibilities here: has Halbarad encountered Saruman and a few remnants of his guard on the run from the triumphant armies of Ents and Rohirrim? In which case, will Aragorn take the Paths of the Dead, assuming Saruman's men kill the entire escort, Elladan and Elrohir included? If he made it to Gondor, how would he signal his claim and suggest proof that he is the rightful heir, if he doesn't have Arwen's standard (although presumably, he must have thought of that, since he wasn't expecting the standard in the book...)?

Erm, Halbarad's opponent isn't Saruman, but Gríma: my description is taken from Tolkien's description of him when we see him in Meduseld - perhaps I should add this to my Author's Notes? (what do you think?) [EDITED: Done! And I also changed a little bit in the drabble itself]

They are meeting just the same as in the books: Halbarad and the rest on the one side, just having crossed the Fords of Isen, and the Riders going to Isengard on the other. Now why Gríma would be riding to Sarum is anyone's guess. Perhaps he wants to tell him of his successful mission in Rohan - having got rid of the strangers that threatened to thwart his plans, heal Théoden and bring the rightful order to the Mark again? Aragorn dead, Gandalf perhaps, too, and Éomer disgraced and in prison...

And I had intended Gríma to imply that Halbarad's fate as an unbidden stranger is the same as that of Aragorn before him. So yes, it's even worse than we think...

Imhiriel ...who fears she has been too obscure in this drabble...

 

 

Re: Many thanks from Dwim

Erm, Halbarad's opponent isn't Saruman, but Gríma: my description is taken from Tolkien's description of him when we see him in Meduseld - perhaps I should add this to my Author's Notes? (what do you think?) [EDITED: Done! And I also changed a little bit in the drabble itself]

D'oh! I should've paid closer attention to that "unbidden stranger that he was" and 'pale face' reference! I was basing my guess on the fact that Saruman is also an old man, a wizened figure, although also powerful and crafty. But now that you point it out, the allusions are there to see, and yes, it is now much much worse than I'd thought!

Dwim

 

 

Re: Many thanks from Dwim

D'oh! I should've paid closer attention to that "unbidden stranger that he was" and 'pale face' reference! I was basing my guess on the fact that Saruman is also an old man, a wizened figure, although also powerful and crafty. But now that you point it out, the allusions are there to see, and yes, it is now much much worse than I'd thought!

Although, in your defence: It was only after your first post that I added the "that he was", after I removed the "old" from my description of Gríma - we don't really know how old he was, the text only speaks of "wizened figure of a man" (which, IMO, could also "merely" mean that he was prematurely stooped and greyed or bald); and after much fumbling and juggling around with single words I was able to add this half-sentence which makes things clearer regarding Aragorn's fate (I already had had it in an earlier draft, but had to remove it due to the word-count).

Imhiriel

 

 

My collection

Hi everyone,

I've been collecting my birthday drabbles and ficlets under my birthday story entry. If you would rather post them there yourself, so you have instant editing control over them, without having to go through me, just go ahead and post your drabble and e-mail me to take down the entry I made.

Thanks again, everyone!

Dwim

 

 

Happy belated birthday, Nath!

It's late, but hopefully not unworth the wait!

I hope you had a lovely birthday.

Dwim

[Edit: Gosh, don't I feel awful for getting your name wrong! Eep! Sorry!]

The Stitch in Time

Even in war, life had a rhythm that men lived by. It inhabited them, like they inhabited old clothes – gave them life, moved them, stretched them tight and wore them out in time. Sometimes, it grew swifter, and sometimes slower, and throughout there was the constancy of orders. Few broke with that beat, made up of ordered living, unless it were to die. And in time of war, to die was nothing exceptional. He had expected to die soon, and so follow his young lord, but a voice and a small, brave face had called to him:

"You must choose between orders and the life of Faramir."

Then Peregrin was gone, and Beregond of the Guard stood rooted like a stone a long moment. Break with orders? He looked back up upon the way to the Silent Street, the word 'madman' ringing in his ears still. Time inhabits Men like a smooth thread that ravels at its end, and they pass along it unhindered and unwitting. But sometimes, one makes a knot – and then a past and future open that does not belong to Time's straight arrow.

Beregond felt desire well up in his soul like blood from a wound, a sharp, resounding No. The knot was tied – he abandoned his post, and raced for the Hallows.


"You must choose between orders and the life of Faramir." - "The Siege of Gondor," Return of the King, 111.

 

 

Re: Happy belated birthday, Nath!

The Stitch in Time

Dwim,

I can never resist a good Beregond story, and this was a wonderful look at him in a pivotal moment. 

I loved how you used the theme of thread/stitch/knot, but especially this:

Time inhabits Men like a smooth thread that ravels at its end, and they pass along it unhindered and unwitting. But sometimes, one makes a knot – and then a past and future open that does not belong to Time's straight arrow.

Makes me hum with pleasure because it's sooo right and such a poignant observation... 

Imhiriel 

 

 

Re: Happy belated birthday, Nath!

Ah yes, one of those moments where one can almost see the choices stretch out before one (and AUs splitting off too Devilish ). Very shiny, and definitely worth the wait (I'll even forgive you for getting my name wrong *g*)

 

 

Re: for Dwim

Imhiriel, as another Halbarad fangirl, Eek is about all I can say to this very grim scenario... and everything else it implies. Very dark. Excellent.

 

 

Re: for Dwim

Imhiriel, as another Halbarad fangirl, Eek is about all I can say to this very grim scenario... and everything else it implies. Very dark. Excellent.

Thank you, Nath. I was feeling horribly guilty for killing Halbarad off even earlier than he does in canon (and for what the drabble implies about what else has gone wrong), but I couldn't help chuckling evilly at the same time at the idea...

Imhiriel 

 

 

Re: Happy belated birthday, Nath!

Hi Imhiriel,

I can never resist a good Beregond story, and this was a wonderful look at him in a pivotal moment.

Beregond is fun to play with, poor man. He's probably lucky no one has made him star in a tragic AU yet...

I loved how you used the theme of thread/stitch/knot, but especially this

The ironic thing is that I totally mixed metaphors at the end of that (from clothing to implements of war)! I guess that's the power of figures of speech. I am glad you liked it and that it made sense - Nath's request managed to fall right into line with portions of my reading list. Lots of things on time in there, so I decided to put some of that to fictional use!

TTFN,

Dwim

 

 

Re: Happy belated birthday, Nath!

Hi Nath!

Ah yes, one of those moments where one can almost see the choices stretch out before one (and AUs splitting off too Devilish ).

Yes, yes, AUs. Don't suppose you'd like to pen a short one and untie the knot?

I'll even forgive you for getting my name wrong *g*

*grovels* Thank you! I had another thread open at the same time, and somehow, the wires in my head just got completely crossed.

Dwim

 

 

Re: For Dwim

Ok, so its a double-drabble, the before and the after--AU if Sam had remembered a bit of rope, what unintended consequences might have ensued...

"Fly, you fools!" the wizard cried, as he clutched at the stone. And then Sam's rope was there, next to his aged, trembling fingers, where Boromir had tossed it with a shout.

"Mithrandir!"

Gandalf reached. He had it! The Company joined in to pull. The remaining bridge broke and Gandalf vanished. The rope went taut.

"Now!" Aragorn cried. "Everyone, pull!" Slowly, the rope passed up. Gandalf's hands appeared at the edge. Aragorn and Legolas leapt forward and dragged him up.

"Sam," Gandalf said as he got to his feet, "Thank the stars you remembered to bring a bit of rope!"

Fifteen years passed since the Ring went into the Fire. Gondor had an heir, but no Queen. A year ago the children of Elrond had sought the Havens.

From the depths of Moria the Balrog had emerged in a rage and wrought havoc in the North. Lorien was a charred ruin, Mirkwood aflame. No one survived. Only Arwen had escaped. Elrond, Glorfindel, Thranduil, Celeborn, Galadriel, uncounted others—all lost.

Gandalf had accompanied Frodo and vanished into Barad-dûr. The Ring-bearers succeeded but could not escape and were engulfed in Orodruin's fury.

Elessar gazed at Eldarion and pondered the price of victory.

Happy B-day, Aiwendiel

 

 

Re: Happy belated birthday, Nath!

/Ah yes, one of those moments where one can almost see the choices stretch out before one (and AUs splitting off too Devilish )./

*Yes, yes, AUs. Don't suppose you'd like to pen a short one and untie the knot? *

- author leans down and with a resigned expression routinely removes the cute little rabbit with the undead eyes from her ankle and plops it into the nuzgul pen -

Really, I wish people wouldn't be so careless about letting them roam free...    

 

 

Re: Many thanks from Dwim

Hey Dwim!
Glad you liked it!  Once again, Happy (belated now) Birthday!  I hope you had a nice vacation too.
I think the ultimate source of the idea is Marnie's inspiring 'Battle of the Golden Wood', where there's a wonderful scene when the Ring is destroyed, but Celeborn and Galadriel aren't sure whether it's that or Sauron reclaiming the ring.
One wonders, though, who will provide mercy for Elrond, bereft of wife and sons, both.
I always thought Glorfindel or, more likely, Arwen would.  Not being a warrior, she'd be in the house, and she would have the presence of mind and strength of character to do so...it'd make for an interesting scene with Celebrian in Valinor if she takes ship after Sauron's victory...  Dwim, I think you're in danger of inspiring me to write more! Embarassed
illereyn

 

 

Re: For Dwim

Hey Aiwendiel!
That's such a lovely drabble - a very Tolkien reminder that all things, even bad things, happen for a reason!  I especially like how you contrasted the 'good' relief that Sam 'remembered to bring a bit of rope' and Gandalf is saved immediately with the 'bad' consequences of 'Gondor had an heir, but no Queen'.
Elessar gazed at Eldarion and pondered the price of victory.
Sorry for being slow, but I was just wondering: if Arwen has left who is the mother of Eldarion?
illereyn

 

 

Re: For Dwim

Hi Illereyn, glad you liked it; I've started a WIP that fleshes out this thought. I'm big on unintended consequences of what seem like good ideas, like rope--metaphorical or otherwise. Thanks for the feedback and pointing out the lack of clarity. Since fifteen years had elapsed (and I think I worked in that the children of Elrond left "a year ago") I figured 14 years would be time enough for her to get pregnant and deliver...and then sail away in grief with her brothers. Perhaps I give the Powers too much generosity; maybe they wouldn't allow her to make the journey, mortal or not. So here's another version of "the after" with one other clarification:

From the depths of Moria the Balrog emerged in a rage and wrought havoc in the North. Lorien was a charred ruin, Mirkwood aflame. No one survived. Only Arwen escaped.

Elrond, Glorfindel, Thranduil, Celeborn, Galadriel—all lost. Gandalf distracted the Eye from Frodo and vanished into Barad-dûr. The Ring-bearers succeeded but could not escape and were engulfed in Orodruin's fury.

Fifteen years passed. Gondor had an heir, but no Queen. Her grief for her losses outstripped her love for motherhood, husband and life itself. Now mortal Undomiel's light was extinguished.

Elessar gazed at Eldarion and pondered the price of victory.





Clear (and dark) enough? Aiwendiel

 

 

Happy Birthday, Nath!

Hi Nath!

My muse has been strangely recalcitrant on the subject of 'Time', but I was polishing a pair of drabbles that I wrote early this month for my Fell and Fair series, and realized that time is, indeed, an underlying theme... and one of them, quite by accident, even sports a passing reference to a couple of northern Dúnedain!

I hope you can forgive me for sharing your birthday gifts with my drabble series? (Of course, given that I still have 20 in-progress drabbles for that series, it might take a while to post them there.... )


Some moments stand out over a lifetime... even an immortal one.


Cerin Amroth

Down and through, under and across, up and over. Fine, neat stitches marching an orderly row.

Like suturing the cheek of the Dúnedain maiden who tried to quell her toddler brother's exuberant assault on imagined Orcs — after he had pilfered a knife from his father's boot.

The long seams closed at last, I bid Elladan come to kiss our Evenstar one final time, before I forever veil her pallid face in the ashen wool... spun, woven, and now sewn anew with hands of love.

For what better shroud to wrap the granddaughter of Galadriel than her grey cloak of Lórien?

~*~

Push straight down, lever upwards, toss aside. The shadow of Amroth's mallorn, muted by lowering clouds, creeps past while I toil.

When done, Elrohir passes our beloved sister's frail shell down into my aching arms. I lay her out tenderly, and — with a last, regretful caress — grasp his outstretched hand to climb out.

We replace the soil rapidly and array cut turves on top, hoping the impending rain will revive the wilted clumps of pale moon-bells — her favorites! — and bright sun-stars adorning her green grave.

For three full days do we stand vigil, shoulders touching, under the weeping Lórien sky.

 

 

Re: Happy Birthday, Nath!

Yes, it's right that Elladan and Elrohir should be with Arwen at this time and prepare her grave themselves - and I particularly like the image of Elrohir stitching her shroud (it actually ties in with a vague idea I've had for a long time about Elladan teasing his brother for learning to sew as a child!)

Beautifully poignant, and and I love the final image of the twins standing together in the rain.

Jay

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

Most disturbing indeed, the thought of what might have happened had the Ring again come to Sauron.

This is one possible outcome, as is the idea that the hand or finger bearing the ring might have been sacrificed.

Alas for Celebrian, who has lost her mother this day, and has felt the passing of the last of the Ringbearers.

 

 

Re: Happy Birthday, Nath!

*sniffle* and thank you A lovely interpretation of that sad scene.

For everyone who's written me birthday presents, thank you all Smile , and as we come to the end of the month I'm still in time (!) to set up my birthday workshop here: http://www.henneth-annun.net/members/workshop/chapter.cfm?wsid=1&stid=7504

 

 

Re: Happy Birthday, Nath!

Hi Jay!

Yes, it's right that Elladan and Elrohir should be with Arwen at this time and prepare her grave themselves

Oh, yes, definitely! Even if she wanted to be alone in Lórien, they would have stayed nearby and kept a watch over their beloved sister as she waned. Tolkien said that the mallorn leaves were "falling", which I interpret as "not yet fallen", so there would have been places for them to observe her discreetly, if she really didn't want their company nearby.

I particularly like the image of Elrohir stitching her shroud

Good! I think that, in their time of grief and loss, they would take comfort in the time taken for simple, repetitive tasks, lovingly done for the benefit of their cherished sister. And, in the case of Arwen's grey cloak of Lórien, Elrohir was continuing a family tradition of personal handwork for a family member.

it actually ties in with a vague idea I've had for a long time about Elladan teasing his brother for learning to sew as a child!

Sounds intriguing... I'd like to see what you write...

Beautifully poignant, and and I love the final image of the twins standing together in the rain.

Thank you, Jay! I actually stole some words elsewhere so I could add "shoulders touching" at the last minute... I think Elladan and Elrohir would be very much comforted by each other's presence.

Thanks for your kind comments, Jay!
- Barbara

 

 

Re: Happy Birthday, Nath!

Hi Nath!

So glad you enjoyed this!

*sniffle* and thank you

You're very welcome! I'm pleased that it gave you an emotional reaction....

A lovely interpretation of that sad scene.

Thank you! Sorry that it was so melancholy... but it just demanded to be written that way....

And Happy Birthday!
- Barbara

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays - for Dwim

I couldn't quite manage 100 words, but I did it in 200!

It's dark and, er, odd, but I hope you enjoy it!

Winnowing

"You were right, Gaffer. That crop made me a lot of money."  Bilbo mopped his red, sweaty face.
 
Hamfast Gamgee straightened, leaning on his shovel's handle.  Of course he was right.  Bilbo cared more for tales than crops and Ham knew more about farming than Bilbo ever would.
 
"Good job, m'boy. Here's something extra for you."
 
Bilbo flipped Hamfast a coin that flashed gold.  Ham caught it and tugged at his forelock.  "Thankee, Mr. Bilbo," murmurred from his lips but his heart burned with the injustice.  His ideas, his skill, and his labor kept Bag End profitable.  Why should Bilbo lord it over the tenants and train up his namby-pamby foreign heir instead of making Ham his bailiff?  It should be his place.  It would be his.  Young Frodo would be easier to manage.  Played right, the whole estate would be his family's someday.
 
The shovel whistled as it came down with a wet crack on Bilbo's skull.  Crouching down over the still form of his former master, Ham pulled a pouch heavy with gold and a thin chain from Bilbo's weskit pocket.  Hamfast slid the chain through his fingers.  It was all his now.  He slipped on the ring.
 

Happy birthday, and have many, many more! 

Gwynnyd 

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays - for Dwim

This one sent a shiver right down my spine! Never mind that it could have easily happened this way - what really delighted me was that it all felt so natural and (somehow!) quite hobbity. If you're going to kill your boss, I'm sure a hobbit would do it with a whistle and a smile.

Nice job!     

 

 

Re: Happy Birthday, Nath!

Hi Nath! My muse has been strangely recalcitrant on the subject of 'Time', but I was polishing a pair of drabbles that I wrote early this month for my Fell and Fair series, and realized that time is, indeed, an underlying theme... and one of them, quite by accident, even sports a passing reference to a couple of northern Dúnedain! I hope you can forgive me for sharing your birthday gifts with my drabble series? (Of course, given that I still have 20 in-progress drabbles for that series, it might take a while to post them there.... ) Some moments stand out over a lifetime... even an immortal one. Cerin Amroth



 

What a pair of beautiful, haunting drabbles!  Poor twins, bereft of their closest kin; but at least theirs are the hands that laid her to rest.

RAKSHA (going off to cry now)

 

 

Re: Happy Birthday, Nath!

Hi Raksha!

What a pair of beautiful, haunting drabbles!

Thank you so much! Sometimes, I find myself working through a real-life fit of melancholy by writing melancholy drabbles.... when it works, I feel better.... until I read the results, which usually makes me weepy....

Poor twins, bereft of their closest kin; but at least theirs are the hands that laid her to rest.

Yes, indeed! I think they would find it comforting to perform these last tasks for their beloved sister with their own hands... and, especially, to do them together.

Thank you for your very kind words, Raksha!

- Barbara

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays

Here's a belated attempt for Dwim -- in fact two belated attempts. I've seen several Boromir!lives AUs, many of them where he takes the Ring, but there are two possibilities I've never seen addressed. And that couldn't be allowed to stand. :-)



THE LEAST OF RINGS

The perian and the man fought--though in truth fought seemed too weak a word--in the woods near Amôn Hen. Frodo had offered the Ring to Gandalf, and to that elf-witch. Why not to Boromir of Gondor?

Yet they had not struggled for a gold trinket. Boromir had taken it three nights past, left his wedding band in Frodo's pocket instead. His lady-wife lay dead, buried with the daughter she had died birthing. And Boromir guessed she would have understood.

Still, he had longed for the hobbit's trust. They might have marched south, and so have saved Gondor together.

********

"As a small token only of your friendship Sauron asks this," he said: "that you should find this thief," such was his word, "and get from him, willing or no, a little ring, the least of rings, that once he stole. It is but a trifle that Sauron fancies, and an earnest of your good will." (from "The Council of Elrond," LOTR)








A NEW ROAD OR A SECRET GATE

Meriadoc lay under the trees and watched the band of uruks move off. He'd tried so hard to save his cousin! The scout had aimed his bow and Merry had dived without thinking, taking the arrow meant for Pippin in his chest. But of course it hadn't mattered. They'd carried Pip off to--to Isengard, or Mordor, or heavens only knew where--and they'd left Merry there alone. Thought him dead, most like.

He sobbed just once, gurgling on the blood in his throat, and bit his lip against the pain. No, he'd not die with tears on his face.

*************************

Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate;
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.
 (from "The Gray Havens," LOTR)


 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays - another for Dwim

A happy one!  All this gloom and doom was getting to me, so I wondered  
what would happen if the timing of an event got changed just a little...

A *Happy* Birthday to you, Dwim!

Inevitable

Honeysuckle always bloomed on the terrace.  Elrond gently fingered one of the fragile blooms that had darkened to gold and leaned in to breathe the sweet scent.  The vine was old.  Celebrian had laughed and suckled their sons and daughter under its arching stems. Surely it was an allowable use of the power of Vilya to keep her memory alive here under the flower that echoed her blend of gold and silver and sweetness.

His family would be gathered together again soon: Arwen, returned from a sojourn in Lorien, where he hoped she would have regained some of the joy that drained from her as the Age darkened; and his sons, the young son of his heart being taught by his twin sons the ways of war and Men in the wild, had come home. 

Firm footsteps sounded, and he turned to see that, in the months he had been gone, Estel had put off the child. He would be greater still in mind and body, but now a fine man approached him, tall, fair of face, grave of mien but with a wellspring of joy within, strong and kingly as was fitting in a descendent of Elros and Elendil.

"My son. Welcome home!" He held out his arms for an embrace.

Estel stopped short of hugging range and gave a deep reverence.

"Sir."  He straightened and Elrond saw him square his shoulders and take a deep breath.  "Returning to Rivendell from the Wild, we fell in with a party from Lorien and I met your daughter."

A cold qualm settled in Elrond's heart and he let his arms drop.

"She is all that is most fair. I loved her from the moment I saw her, and, against all my expectations, she loves me as well.  We stood on the pinnacle of the High Pass with all of Middle-earth spread out below us in the gold light of sunset, and she made her choice to marry me.  Life is short for Men.  We spoke our vows then and there."

Elrond closed his eyes and bowed his head, staring into an abyss, until he felt Arwen's gentle touch and voice.  "Father?  I knew we should have come together to tell you of our happiness.  Estel feared you would be wroth at our impetuosity, but I know you wish all your children to find the same joy you found with mother.  And I - and we have. "

He opened his eyes and saw that she had one hand entwined with her… husband's hand.  There was no mistaking the ties that bound them nor the joy in his daughter's heart.

"We have taken thought for the future," Estel said.  "I know I am only Gilraen's bastard, but I have some blood of Numenor from her, and I found this trip that Men will follow me."

"He did great deeds," Arwen insisted.

Estel shook his head.  "There are many in the Wild who turn to darkness because they have nowhere else to go. Arwen and I will forge a new kingdom along Anduin to give them hope and show them the right cause to fight for.  We can do this and will be your ally in the dark times ahead."

It was done and could not be undone.  The scent of honeysuckle grew stronger and a fleeting moment of warmth and love touched him.  He knew Celebrian would not expect Arwen to be at his side when he finally sought the West.  Elrond clasped Estel's - Aragorn's - shoulder and gave a rueful smile.  "There is something you should know about your father."

Gwynnyd 

 

 

Happy unbirthday, Dwim...

Will someone please close the door on the Nuzgul pen? Yet another AU; it may or may not be dark...

At the Sign of the Prancing Pony

-------

Suddenly Frodo noticed a weatherbeaten stranger watching him from a shadowy corner. He was sipping from a tankard of ale, and an unlit pipe lay on the table in front of him. He wore a patched brown cloak.

"Who is he?" Frodo asked the innkeeper when he had a chance. "You didn't introduce him."

"Him?" Butterbur whispered in response. "Just one of the wandering folk; Rangers. Funny you should ask."

As Butterbur was called away, the stranger caught Frodo's eye and waved him over.

"My name is Halbarad," he said softly. "I am pleased to meet you, Master … Underhill."

 

 

Re: Happy unbirthday, Dwim...

At the Sign of the Prancing Pony

Ooh - what a clever twist!  How different things may have been ...

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays - another for Dwim

Inevitable

I really like the image of the honeysuckle, the memories it brings Elrond, and his use of Vilya to preserve it.

This version of the meeting of Estel and Arwen is interesting - it could so easily have happened!  I'm curious about where Elladan and Elrohir were, and why they didn't prevent the meeting - and what they thought about events!

 

 

Re: May 2008 Birthdays - another for Dwim

"There is something you should know about your father." 

*g* That's a different AU indeed, and a lovely closing line too. Of course one wonders whether this one will be really happy once events start unfolding differently ...

 

 

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