1. The Celeblas
Faramir stood in the garden staring out over Minas Tirith and Pelennor fields. Finally his eyes rested on Osgiliath. The view blurred and shattered… As if from a distance he felt his knees strike the stone edge of the flowerbed, the shock jarring through his bones.
The voice was quiet, gentle… concerned. Ordinarily Faramir would have jumped out of his skin and swung around in defense. Now… now he just couldn't care less if the stranger planned to kill him.
"What is there to live for anyway?"
"I chiril nimp, i aran, i nost dhîn" The voice answered and Faramir realised he's spoken aloud his inner thought. Gently hands gripped him, pulling him back to his feet and guiding stumbling steps to a stone bench. He sank onto it and bowed his head, letting tears pour down his cheeks and the sobs yank at his lungs. Feeling an arm settle on his shoulders he rested against it, leaning into the body sitting next to him
"Am man theled níniodh?"
A hand stroked his hair slightly, pulling it away from his face. Automatically he froze as he felt fingers working the temple strands into an intricate braid. To his surprise he felt the fingers stop in the same instant, then lift off.
Slowly, cautiously, Faramir pushed himself back upright, reaching a hand to his hair speculatively. Before he touched it the voice spoke again, this time in slightly accented common
"I apologise for offending you".
He frowned "Pardon?"
The figure next to him reached up and tapped its own temple, though clearly meaning his "I nairdh nost" He, for the voice was clearly male paused, clearly seeking a translation "Kindred Knots?"
Faramir tilted his head "How should that offend me?"
Finally the elf turned to face him, revealing his identity. Startled out of his wits Faramir fell back on courtly behavior and rose to his feet "Lord Celeborn, forgive me"
The Lord of Lothlórien frowned at him, gesturing sharply "Sit Firion, I came here to get away from all that posturing, not to subject myself to more of it."
Silently Faramir did as he was ordered. Celeborn shot him an askance look "You're wondering what I'm complaining about, when Elves have the reputation of being courtly… You're thinking of the Eglanath, Firion. Not my people or those of Cirdan. The elf turned away, staring blindly at the sky.
Faramir sat silent next to him, having been rebuked enough times in his life to know a warning insult when he heard one. Now, instead of asking questions, he too turned his eyes outward, back to the city. Slowly he felt his eyes draw away from the celebratory lights on the lower levels, instead roaming out across the land until they settled on Ithilien.
"Ah land of silver
Land of herbs
Green and fragrant
Land of the moon
Be my guardian
Let Tilion ward my sleep
In the moon-lit garden
And Irmo send me dreams
Upon the silver light"
Silver land, silent land
Once you rang with song
Of bird and of maiden
Of life and of love
Now it is battle
Of danger and war
The thrum of a bowstring
The beat of a drum
The swish of a sword
And the screams of the dying
Where has peace gone
Call back the thrush
And her morning song
Call back the kingfisher
To the river's run
The war is won
The soldiers gone
No-more shall rangers march
Come back come back
Oh silver land
And be as you once were"
Faramir stopped, dropping his head and flushing to the roots as he realised the words in his head had been spoken aloud. Celeborn continued, apparently not noticing, or politely ignoring, his embarrassment "We are much alike I think, Firion…Both of us are happier among plants, and both of us mourn the loss of our land."
Had he not paid attention in history and read so many books Faramir would have assumed the elf spoke of Lothlórien, and perhaps he did. But there was another layer of meaning to it
Celeborn nodded "Doriath… Eglador, the Kingdom of Thingol and Melian… My home." His eyes darted away, north and west "But gone now, lost under the waves after the War of Wrath, no more shall I walk among i mrethil Neldoreth, or hear i dhúlin sing…"
The elf's voice was wistful and Faramir hid a tiny smile as the accent he'd noticed became stronger and stronger as the speech went on. Then his cheek seemed to prickle and he glanced up from his unconscious contemplation of the ground to meet Celeborn's eyes
"Why do you smile?"
He thought quickly, guessing that telling the truth was not a smart move on this occasion "I was imagining Doriath as you spoke of it, and thinking what a beautiful place it must have been… Though I think I added rather too much of my own dear Ithilien into it for it to be truly accurate"
The Elf smiled "I shall not contradict you, nor will any within these shores." He turned slightly, eyes brightening "You speak of Ithilien again, as I speak of Doriath, tell me of it in exchange."
Faramir forced himself not to duck his head "All I told you would be but a dream. The land I have served in is a battlefield, with little of its beauty left…" He sighed, lowering his head again.
Perhaps you would let me be the judge of that…" There was a gentle hand on his shoulder once more "I swear I shall not judge it harshly against Doriath"
This time he rose to his feet and bowed, forcing himself to merely touch his forehead with fingertips in the woodelven style, rather than a fist, as was Numenorean custom "I would be honored Lord Celeborn… He paused, uncertain which of them would set terms
"Dawn, at the stables then?" Celeborn's voice had an almost merry lilt at the prospect.
Faramir nodded "Yes, and my lord, wear breeches and a shirt rather than those," He gestured at the robes "We will be on foot for much of the time, so good boots would also be a requirement…" The he paused, bowing again "Goodnight My lord"
The voice came quietly as he walked away "Sleep well Faramir"
Faramir stood by his chestnut horse, waiting patiently but inwardly quailing. It was only when he'd gone to bed and tried to sleep that the full audacity of his behaviour had struck him with as much force as a battering ram to the chest. He, lowly second son to the Steward of Gondor had instructed, nay ordered, an Elf in what to wear. And not just any elf, but one of those who had been born before the first age and lived in Middle-earth in all its forms. An elf for whom he should have knelt on the floor with his fist to his forehead, an elf of far greater woods than he could ever walk.
The quiet voice made him start again and immediately he felt a hand rest on his injured shoulder, holding it gently
"Or should I say forgive me…"
Faramir drew a deep breath, forcing himself not to turn around, and to blank the fear from his eyes before he did "Good morning Lord Celeborn, shall we ride?" Without waiting he led his horse forward down the aisle, swinging on to its back at the last moment before they exited and pulling up the hood of his cloak in almost the same movement. Distracted as he was by the tug of his shoulder wound, he paid little mind to a small noise somewhere behind him that sounded rather like a chuckle.
The streets were still a dull silver grey, lit only by the dying torches and early daylight. What houses were occupied on the lower levels had their shutters slammed tight, and most likely double bolted too. Grateful as he was that there were no prying eyes to spot their exit, it grieved him as well. So much of the city destroyed, so much of history heritage and homeliness lost. As the chestnut tripped slightly he swayed, accidentally forgetting all lessons and gazing at the cobbles. There, crushed between the stones, was a long sprig of blue flowers. Memory caused him to freeze and the gelding beneath him stopped, as it had been trained to do.
Finally Faramir wrenched his eyes away and urged his horse on again, then sucked in his breath as the obedient animal broke into an awkward jog trot, jarring his shoulder and risking a dangerous fall. He quickly reined him in, hissing soothingly through his teeth
Thankfully the chestnut slowed with little complaint, only to spook at a square of wood in its path. This time Faramir came close to falling, but felt a hand pull him back into the saddle. Twisting around he nodded his thanks, receiving a silent head tilt in response.
"Oh-no." He felt Celeborn's eyes settle on him. "Iorlas is captain on the gate today. He'll want to know why I'm out of the Houses…"
Without a word the tall elf took the lead, marching down to the gate with such authority that Faramir knew he was supposed to follow. Glancing warily around he tugged his cloak further over his head, shielding his face then nudged Cannor on.
"Ho there" One of the guards stepped forward and placed a hand on Celeborn's bridle "Who are you and where are you bound outward from our city"
"I am Celeborn, lord of Lothlórien … I am bound to Ithilien, with one of the Rangers as my companion" The Elf's voice was surprisingly calm, Faramir realised he'd expected affronted dignity.
The guard stepped back and signaled. Slowly, with much squeaking, the gates ground open. Celeborn nodded to the men, a slight smile on his face, before letting his stallion trot out.
They raced easily across the Pelennor, and despite the most recent memory of that journey Faramir found himself enjoying the sun on his face and the wind that snatched his cloak. It reminded him of boyhood games and carefree times, doubling his reluctance to draw rein and cross the river. But he'd promised he would and the thought of seeing Ithilen in moonlight was enough of a temptation. It would be enough to get him through the ruined city, to pass the square where so many of the garrison had been cut down, and, more immediately, to make him ride that last distance, across the turf where every solider with him had perished, where the southron arrow had sunk into his shoulder and knocked him off Cannor's back.
Without him realising it the pace had slowed to a stop, leaving Cannor standing exactly where the volley of arrows had hit their line, shattering it like a piece of glass.
Screams, of men and horses mixed together. His own final, desperate yell, loud enough for the City behind to hear, to let his father know that he was doing his duty… to the last
Then a searing pain in his shoulder, and another in his ribs.
Celeborn watched as the man doubled in his saddle, shoulders shaking with sobs. After a moment he nudged his grey forward and took the chestnut's loose reins, leading them both onward. He had known enough grief himself to understand that an interruption wouldn't be helpful, however much he wished to offer comfort. There were some wounds that only time could ease, those made of guilt, which would never truly heal. Shutting his eyes briefly he recalled the map he had seen in what had been the Steward's office and pointed the horses noses northward, up the Anduin towards Cair Andros.
Faramir came to himself a while later, only to realise that Osgilath was far behind them.
Celeborn nodded, but said nothing.
It was nearing mid morning when they finally neared a familiar rock outcrop on the edges of Ithilien. Faramir drew rein and dismounted
"We walk from here… there's grass and water from the horses." Then he spoke with a more questioning tome "Can you make your stallion stay here?"
Celeborn nodded "Of course." Then he glanced questioningly at the packs behind the saddle.
Faramir smiled, it seemed there were still some things in which he was the teacher. Then he tugged the leather strap securing one of the packs to the saddle, re fastening it a different way moments later. Then he held up the bundle, with its trap now done so it could be carried diagonally across a man's back. There was a brief flicker of a smile on Celeborn's impassive face, then it was blank again. But the elf lord dismounted, with far greater ease than he had, some detached part of Faramir's mind noted, and held out his hand
"I will carry both packs… You have your bow and quiver to manage, and an injury besides."
He nodded, seeing the sense in the words, realising argument would be futile, and feeling a wash of gratitude all at the same time. As lightly as he'd filled the pack meant for himself, it was still a relief not to have to carry it. Waiting until Celeborn had arranged the bundles to his satisfaction he tilted his head slightly in the direction they would go and tapped his chest, giving the elf a questioning look as he did so. A flash of surprise crossed the grey eyes, then Celeborn nodded. Smiling to himself Faramir led the way into the trees that stood nearby, his practiced eye spotting the concealed path easily.
Carefully measuring his stride so as not to crowd Faramir Celeborn had time to muse over what he'd seen so far. The ranger captain knew old forest hand-signs, dressed in the muted colors of the land…
And moves as silently as one of my own.
He froze briefly, though knew he'd been moving soundlessly, and waited. There was the smallest crackle of dead leaves under Faramir's boots and half a whisper of a rub of boot leather against a fern, but they were faint to his sharp ears and would be undetectable to mortal ones. To all intents and purposes the ranger was silent, and nearly invisible in the dappling shade.
Suddenly Faramir stopped, freeing his bow and dropping to one knee as he knocked an arrow, drawing the string back in a single fluid movement. Then, to Celeborn's surprise, he shook his head, relaxing the string and removing the arrow. Not a stray orc then. Slowly he edged forward, peering over Faramir's shoulder. There in the clearing sat a rabbit, ears twitching, dark eye showing nervousness but no outright fear.
Celeborn was so intent on his study of the rabbit that he startled slightly at the noise, his eyes flicking around the edge of the clearing in an instinctive search for the source. They rested on Faramir, who held a broken stick in his hands. Slowly the ranger rose to his feet and walked into the centre of the clearing before pausing and looking back at him, then forward to the trees, then back once more, a frown on his face.
"Is there some custom regarding this place?"
Faramir nodded "No stranger goes beyond here seeing where they walk… It is what protects our outpost."
Celeborn stepped forward, pushing back a wayward strand of hair that tried to blow in his face "Blindfold me then."
Faramir met his eyes, his expression indicating he wasn't sure if this was a lure, a jest or actual truth "You would not be offended?"
He smiled back "We have the same custom in Lothlórien."
The man nodded and stepped forward, pulling a strip of dark cloth from his cloak.
"I assure you Faramir, I cannot see a thing"
Experimentally he flashed his hand across the Elf's face. No reaction. Satisfied he placed the elf's hand on his shoulder, waiting until he felt a very slight pressure before setting off.
The path twisted and turned, doubling back on itself. Faramir smiled as he picked up his feet over the tree roots. To be honest no-one but a ranger would call what he followed a path. One small gap in the undergrowth showing dirt, not even wide enough for a boot. But it was enough for those who knew what to look for. He glanced at the sky, noting there was still a decent amount of light left. Only weeks before there had been no sun, now it seemed like Anor doubled her rays to make up for lost time shining. The warmth too seemed to be growing, he paused briefly to sweep a thin line of perspiration from his brow, scanning the horizon. In the distance water glinted and a rock formation peered above the trees and bushes, yet was part of them. He sighed, and feeling a slightly nudging thumb moved on again.
Celeborn could tell when they reached the caves, what light he could see through his lids changed colour and there was the brush of stone cooled air on his face. Then he felt Faramir pause.
Down and down they went slowly, bending in spirals. It was almost silent in the tunnel, except for the elusive song of a waterfall in the distance… and Faramir's tired, shallow breathing. He frowned slightly at that, then wondered why he had.
He did so, blinking slightly as the cloth was pulled away from his eyes. Then he slowly turned in a circle.
Faramir watched the elf turn, saw the grey eyes take in every inch of the rough rock that made the hall of the Ithilien rangers. Only then did he realise how crude their home seemed. Cold stone for a floor, only blankets or cloaks to soften it, supplies in barrels in the deeper caverns, all long lasting travel food; Hard biscuit, cheese, perhaps some potatoes or partly dried onions strung in ropes. Normally there would be some fresher food at the start of a duty period, fruit and sweet things they had brought in their packs. They'd all run out by the time he'd been recalled to Osgiliath and there wasn't anything in the packs, he hadn't considered it…
Celeborn stared at the figure in front of him. The man's face was wraith pale, yet flushed red, and he swayed, grey eyes wavering with dizziness. With two strides he was at his side and forcing his companion down with a hand on his shoulder
"Sit before you collapse." The ranger's legs buckled obediently. Celeborn dropped down beside him, lifting Faramir's chin so the man looked at him "You haven't stopped walking all day have you?" Faramir swallowed hard, then shook his head "Nor have you been drinking much." Celeborn pressed his water skin into Faramir's hand.
"I'll be sick" the voice was weak.
"Sip it then." The elf knew he was being too sharp as Faramir gave an involuntary flinch at his tone. Silently he stood up and moved to the edge of the cave. Standing as close as he dared to the falling water he gazed through it and out onto the green land. He looked, but didn't truly see After a moment he felt eyes resting on him.
"You aren't the first, Faramir…"
In a single movement he swung on his heel and paced across the cave, perching on a convenient ledge of stone.
"Have you heard of the Celeblathrim?"
Faramir shook his head
"They were very much like you; loyal to their fellows, brave, enduring… They were a group apart." He paused "Beleg was one of their number, as were the other elves who met Turin on the borders."
"They were march wardens?"
"Some yes, others formed the King's personal guard… All were skilled in wood-lore and listened to the trees and forest animals."
A slight 'chuff' sound came from Faramir "Then I am no closer to being like them than a snake can be an eagle, for I cannot say a word to the boughs I walk between, nor do I have the ears to hear what they may whisper over." The final word was nearly swallowed by a yawn.
Celeborn kept his face carefully blank "Sleep if you wish." As Faramir's body relaxed he eased the man so he lay on the floor, freeing the cloak from his neck so it became a blanket. Briefly he placed a hand on the man's forehead, noting that there was less sweat and his colour was plainer, more inclined to rosiness than dual extremes. Then, slowly, knowing the man was in a sleep of pure exhaustion, the deepest naturally possible, he let his focus drift through skin and bone, to his mind. Carefully he drifted into the consciousness, not exactly seeking, merely hoping to find.
By the time he came back to himself he was shaking, not with exhaustion but with sorrow and rage at what he'd found. His jaw locked against the insults he wished to throw forth, and tied a string in his temper. It would help nothing. Instead he slowly tilted Faramir's head to one side and let his fingers be the fount for his feelings.
Light. That was the first thing Faramir became aware of as he stirred. Soft gentle, morning light, shining away from him and distorted by the waterfall.
Then sound. The half crackle of a wood fire the bubble of a cooking pot and the almost silent humming.
Slowly he sat up, blinking. Through the curtain of falling water Ithilien sparkled green, wearing its summer best in new gloss. Then he turned his back on it, eyes settling instead on an extremely puzzling sight. There knelt Celeborn, next to a small fire, stirring a pot. Not so unusual except for the contents of the pot
"I wouldn't want to put you out of breakfast with my habits."
The elf glanced up "If you refer to the bacon, which I presume you do, what makes you think the Sindar eat only fruit and leaves?"
He paused before answering and caught a flicker of a laugh in Celeborn's eyes.
"Because you spend so much time in nature, it seemed sensible that you wouldn't like killing the animals."
The elf nodded "Correct on all assumptions. As a general rule there is little hunting in Lórien, though I believe Thranduil is slightly more relaxed on that regard. special feasts are the only time we kill anything but orcs… But I would be rude to deprive you of your food simply out of my own choice. As such, I make an exception." Celeborn paused, then rose to his feet and slipped into the store cave, returning moments later with two of the wooden bowls. Numb with surprise Faramir gripped his only on instinct, but woke up when the stew was ladled in. Glad for the distraction he tucked in, concentrating only on eating rather than other thoughts tickling his brain.
But eventually there was no distraction. Looking up he found Celeborn watching him and sighed slightly
"I'm sorry you missed the moon rise" The reply wasn't what he expected
"This and Dol Amroth are the only places you feel safe aren't they Faramir? That's why you were so keen to bring me here, Minas Tirith is full of ghosts… Even in the Houses."
Ghosts and formality he muttered, it's less structured here. You're not known for rank but for skill" Then he gave a wry smile "I was a captain on sufferance at 16, put here because I was the Stewards son. The men muttered until we got out here, until I could gracefully make myself apprentice to the true leader… Then I just became one of them, earned my place through knowledge and skill."
Celeborn was nodding, a smile on his face and knowing expression in his eyes.
Faramir decided to test the waters "Was it the same for you?"
Surprisingly the Elf shook his head, "No, despite being the King's second cousin I was never in such a position, or perhaps it was because of that."
"I wish I was an elf" Then Faramir realised he'd spoken his thoughts aloud and hastily began to summon an apology, realising how silly he must have sounded
"Avo drasto" Celeborn's voice was gentle
Faramir glanced up to find himself being towered over, a hand extended from the figure. Understanding the implication he pushed himself to his feet, sucking breath as his shoulder complained again. In the same instant he instinctively acted to bat away any help.
As much as he wanted to give comfort, seeing pain in Faramir's eyes, Celeborn knew that offering aid would only damage matters. He'd seen that look before, the look that denoted a deeper pain than could be mended, a guilt wrongly given yet still un-eased. Instead, forcing his eyes to stay as impassive as they had for almost two Ages, he gestured
"Might we go?"
Faramir nodded, his face still hidden from sight.
Ithilien in the sun was even more beautiful that it had seemed during his moonlight vigil the night before. Yet Celeborn found it hard to remember to see the landscape, so often were his eyes and thoughts drawn back to the ranger who guided him. Every second he found himself seeking for more, as if what he knew wasn't enough.
It is more than enough, as is the knowledge that if I offer him his just deserts he will refuse them
Still, there was one more test. Silently he reached into his pocket, then raised his arm and threw. As an object flew through the air he whistled, a command that every archer knew. As he watched Faramir dropped to one knee, his draw arm coming back as smoothly as a tree branch in the wind. Once, twice, thrice. Then there was a soft thump in the undergrowth opposite them. He watched as Faramir crept forward and disappeared into the bushes. Moments later he reappeared, holding something in his hand.
"A potato?" The voice was quiet but carried as the ranger closed the distance between them "That mark you whistled was an old potato?"
Celeborn hid his amusement "You shoot well, almost as well as Beleg."
Somehow Faramir managed to ignore the compliment, or do an admirable job of not reacting. Instead he seemed fixated by the potato
"Probably the best use for some of them… We'll have to sort the stores on the next ranging."
They'd climbed many rock steps to get to where they were now, a small ledge on the outside of the cave that formed Henneth Annûn. But, Celeborn mused, as he hung his legs over the side it was certainly worth it. Below and west ward Ithilien stretched out, glowing silver in Tilion's light. A sight beyond compare even to he, used to the grand mallorns of Lórien or the timeless trees that had made up Doriath at her height. This herb scented land, once tamed and now free again, inhabited only by the people who were as much part of her as any tree
"I used to sit here for hours when I was still a recruit, just watching the light and thinking. Sometimes it seemed I could see right down to the sea." Faramir gave a rueful smile "And sometimes I thought I saw beyond the sea, to a green land and a tall white tower with birds flying around it." He shook his head slightly "A silly dreamer, that's all I was."
"Dreams are special things, believe them and they take you far." The elf's voice seemed to take on a different tone as he spoke and Faramir was once again reminded of how many years his companion had seen pass.
Certainly every dated age of Arda and probably some of the Trees too
Much as he wanted to ask questions he kept quiet, turning his gaze back to Ithilien and enjoying the familiarity of the view. Celeborn was right, here was where he was most at home, in simple clothes and surrounded by nature, with no back stabbing advisers or coquettish ladies eying him up. And no father. He shut his eyes briefly as the mocking voice rang once more, then forced them open and fixed his gaze on Ithil, willing its silver light to burn the memories from his mind. Then, silently, he rose to his feet and slipped back from the edge, down the steps to the hidden entrance.
Celeborn forced himself not to react at Faramir's exit. Instead he added another tally stroke to the count in the back of his mind, while intending to continue to enjoy the view. Yet something in it had soured in the interval, beautiful as it was it no longer seemed whole. Once again he was reminded of the marches of Doriath after Beleg had wandered to seek Túrin, outwardly the same but, to those that could see, empty and shallow.
"Your gelding's still here."
Faramir gave him a look "Mortal horse he may be, but he'll wait until I return if I ask it… Unlike his mother."
Celeborn leapt neatly into the saddle and reached over to hold the chestnut's reins before realising how patronising that would seem. He quickly kept to the subject "Your mare used to wander off if you left her?"
Faramir mounted, showing only a slight stiffness and a wistful smile lit his face "In a fashion… She'd wander right at my heels wherever I went. I should have called her Sadorien, not Saelwen."
Celeborn latched onto the second name in an instant "so it was she who jumped the wall of the houses to get to you."
Faramir nodded "Yes" Then Celeborn saw his gaze turn south "When Emyrn Arnen hall is built she will come with me there, to be the Lady of the stables. I will not subject her to separation any longer."
Still apparently thinking, Faramir nudged his gelding on, down the defined track back to Cair Andros... Back to Minas Tirith and a Stewardship.
Faramir raised a hand in farewell to the party that peeled away northward from Edoras. To his surprise a single hand, robed in silver, was lifted in reply. He longed to meet Celeborn's eye for just one more moment, to talk again and find out more of Doriath. But the elves were being called in a way he couldn't even comprehend, first to their lands and thence to the Sea and the lands beyond it. The age was ending, as was a way of life.
He turned and smiled down at Eowyn "I was just thinking."
"About the Elves?" Then her eyes twinkled "Do you think Celeborn's eyes have stopped ringing?"
He nodded "They have, he heard my shout from the gate this morning." Galadriel had not been amused to find her husband had snuck off without telling anyone and stayed away for two days. However the argument, Celeborn had confessed that evening, made up his mind. He would sail West with his wife and son-in-law, Galadriel needed him at her side, and he needed her.
Faramir wasn't sure what to feel about that. He'd only known the elf a short time and knew that even if he stayed it would be in the north, in Imladris. But Celeborn had been someone he could relate to, someone similar yet with much more experience in diplomacy. Selfishly he wished the Elf would stay with him as he waded into being steward, he could use support other than Aragorn's unshakable belief in him.
Still deep in thought he pushed open the door to his chamber in Edoras and walked over to the bed. There he stopped short. Laying on the blankets was a thick bundle with a folded parchment resting on top of it. Cautiously he picked up the parchment and broke the leaf seal that held it
This is, in effect, a farewell letter, for we will not meet again until Arda is mended at the end of time. That being said and finished I will now come to the main point of my letter.
Firstly, I thank you for showing me Ithilien, in all its glory by Anor's light and Ithil's. I did not believe a place could come close to equalling Doraith, or conserving its true spirit. Ithilien has done this. Secondly I thank you and your kin and your men, unknowing as most of you were, for preserving so many old traditions.
Finally, I wish to offer you your reward for this. While we were in Ithilien I watched you, probably with more depth than you were aware. What I saw should not have surprised me, given the above, but I will confess it did. Faramir, you are a ranger the equal of Beleg, and from what I have drawn from your men on the ride here, you have his good heart.
Therefore, with a joyful heart and willing hand, I give you your just reward, to later bestow on any man of your choice before you accept the Gift. Wear your Heirloom with pride, Go-Beleg.
May your arrows fly true.
Curious, Faramir set down the letter and loosened the bundle. It unfurled to become a long green/grey cloak such as he had seen Legolas and Gimli wearing, but with strings at the neck instead of a clasp. A second piece of parchment fell from it onto the bed, carefully he opened that too, tipping it slightly.
A silver leaf brooch fell onto his palm. It was no defined shape, seeming partly like a holly leaf and partly like that of a beech.
Slowly he freed the clasp at the back and pinned it to the inside of his shirt collar. Then he folded the corner down and lifted his head, drawing a deep breath and sinking into his new rank. He nodded, he could do honor to those who had worn this token before him. He would be a true heir to those of Doriath… He would be one of the Celeblathrim.
D'alwed?= Are you well (Doriathrin form)
I chiril nimp, i aran, i nost dhîn= the white lady, the king, your kin
Am man theled níniodh= Why do you weep?
Firion = Mortal man
Linnodh vae = You sing well
i mrethil Neldoreth = The beeches of Neldoreth
i dhúlin= Nightingale
Avo drasto= Don't worry
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.