Lothíriel had not regained the protection of the rose walk when the imperious command stopped her. If it hadn't been for the fondness she had for Faramir she would not have heeded the raised voice. Grudgingly Lothíriel turned around. Lady Éowyn had reached the middle of the lawn; she came to a halt and stretched out her uninjured arm in a gesture that looked like an invitation to peace.
'I am a little bad-tempered this morning. I did not ask for you to come and that annoyed me. But I should not have been so rude. '
Lothíriel inclined her head briefly, and held those cool grey eyes in a steadfast gaze. If Lady Éowyn thought she would try and placate her, she thought wrong. 'I imagine neither of us is used to rudeness, more to deference, Lady Éowyn. But you do not need to be polite to me, for I do not have to be here.'
Suddenly Lady Éowyn let out the ghost of a laugh. 'You are obviously stronger in will than one would have imagined, Lady Lothíriel. A trait you share with your cousin.'
'I have never had any doubts about Faramir's strength, Lady Éowyn, but I agree others have been fooled by his scholarly inclinations.' As for herself, her parents had brought her up to face any fear confidently. So she would not be intimidated by an angry lady, however fierce and brave she might be. For a moment Lady Éowyn didn't answer her, she looked far away, a soft smile giving life to the pale face. Lothíriel dropped her shoulders and let go of her irritation – this woman had faced down an evil no man could have stood against, she deserved some allowances. 'Shall we start our acquaintance again, Lady Éowyn, in a more friendly manner?'
The slayer of the Witch King nodded, looking relieved. 'I would like that. To be honest I thought Faramir was sending me a mealy-mouthed princess to try and keep me happy.'
'Do you need to be kept happy? I would have thought your recovery, the incredible part you played, and our victory would have made for happiness.' Then Lothíriel remembered King Théoden. 'Is it that you grieve for your uncle?'
Lady Éowyn shook her head. 'No, I mourn Théoden, of course I do, but I am glad he went to dwell with his fathers as one of their finest sons. At the end he made sure that the House of Eorl did not lose its greatness, and for that I am thankful.'
A proud warrior indeed. Hadn't Mildis passed on Elphir's same pronouncement about Lady Éowyn's brother? Perhaps the Rohirrim were generally of haughty nature. Lothíriel put the thought aside and gave her attention to her companion. She would at least try to form some kind of relationship for Faramir's sake. 'Then why are you so discontented, Lady Éowyn, for I can see that you do not rest easily here, yet Faramir tells me you do not wish to join your brother, King Éomer, in Cormallen.'
The brave shield-maiden let out a deep sigh. It sounded like a wail on the wind, and in it Lothíriel sensed a hidden cry for help. Lady Éowyn crossed her arms round her slender body, hugging herself as though deeply chilled. 'There are some things that do not mend easily. Wars and battles give us chance to put an end to heartache and despair. I thought to end mine by death, but I am still here and my heart and my mind are now more confused.'
Despair? Who had rent this proud lady's heart asunder? What had made her seek death, Lothíriel wondered. 'You have lost a lover?'
Éowyn shook her head sadly, her face drawn and strained; she hesitated for a moment and then spoke softly as if to herself. 'No, I did not lose him, I never held his heart. He is not dead, but lost to me, for someone else claimed him long before we met. I thought the love I felt for him would never wane, but now...I have met another and...' she dropped her voice further and Lothíriel could barely hear the desperate words... 'he comes no longer.'
'Who comes no longer?' Lady Éowyn didn't answer, but the truth came to Lothíriel instantly – Faramir. It explained why he was so solicitous of Éowyn's welfare. Surely that meant her feelings were returned. But the lady looked so dejected that Lothíriel hesitated to say anything, fearful that she had made a mistake and Faramir was just been being kind to one who had brushed with death. However Lothíriel knew she would have the opportunity to gauge Faramir's mindset when they met at supper that evening. So instead she took a step forward. 'I cannot mend your heart, Lady Éowyn, but I can be a friend and help to ease the loneliness I sense in you, if you would allow me.'
Her companion seemed poised for flight, and Lothíriel thought she was going to reject her offer, not wanting to admit to any weakness, but then that wistful smile touched the proud face again. 'I don't know why I have already said so much; perhaps it is because you remind me of your cousin. He is so easy to talk to.'
'And you miss his conversation now he is so busy.'
Lady Éowyn nodded reluctantly. 'The days pass slowly. Especially now Merry has gone to Cormallen.'
Something really upsetting must be holding her back from joining her brother. Did it concern Faramir? Or not wanting to meet the lover that had spurned her for another? Lothíriel thought Lady Éowyn must be a few years older than herself but her upbringing had always added maturity to her young years and she decided to take the lead. Probably it would only be for a short time until Rohan's most noble lady regained her equanimity. But Lothíriel now understood Faramir's concern – the court would be a bewildering place for someone outspoken but delicate in mind.
'Shall we walk together in the gardens, Lady Éowyn? We can perhaps tell each other a little about our homelands.' Innocuous conversation would hopefully ease their restraint with each other until they felt comfortable to talk about important things.
They ambled along the walkway that hugged the wall. Geraniums and stonecrops tumbled over the path, white-tailed bees buzzed over the flower heads and small sparrows hunted for seeds amongst the foliage. The gardens were a calm and beautiful place, but inside the Houses those that had fought for Gondor's deliverance now fought to recover their own lives. Farther on a number of men were sitting in a group in the sunshine, outside one of the wards. Mostly blond men, although there were some dark heads amongst them. One bearded warrior raised his hand which Éowyn acknowledged with a wave.
'I talk to them most days,' she said. 'But it is hard to know what to say. Perhaps I will take you with me sometime. That would be a treat for them – a real princess.'
Lothíriel laughed; by that time they had dropped their titles and conversed easily. Éowyn spoke Westron with no hint of a harsh accent, which she attributed to her mother's early teachings. Soon Lothíriel had heard about the loss of her parents and her love for her uncle, such love that Éowyn had not considered that her defiance of the Witch King's vehemence would lead to a living death, her only thought to protect her uncle's body from desecration.
'Have you ever lost someone close, Lothíriel?' Éowyn asked when they sat down to enjoy the view of the hills of Emyn Arnen. Their wooded slopes ran down to the far bank of the river and were bathed by the afternoon sun.
'My betrothed died on the Pelennor,' she answered, waiting for the inevitable show of sympathy. But Éowyn looked at her shrewdly. 'You do not look heartbroken to me.'
Plain spoken indeed. 'No,' she agreed, and was soon telling Éowyn of her relief and hope that she would be allowed to have her say on any further prospective matches.
'You seem capable of standing up for yourself,' Éowyn remarked. I don't see why you have to accept any other choice but your own.'
All very well, but Éowyn didn't know her father.
Lothíriel left when Éowyn went to take a rest before supper, promising to return in the morning. After the initial bad start she felt they had made considerable progress and hoped to be able to persuade Éowyn to walk in the city in the next few days. Strolling through the cool passages towards the main doors of the Houses Lothíriel mulled over what she might say to Faramir that evening and did not notice the Warden approaching until his voice startled her from her reverie.
'Lady Lothíriel.' He bowed his head slightly. 'I was told you were visiting the Lady Éowyn and hoped to catch you.'
'Yes, Master, I have spent the past couple of hours with her. Lord Faramir thought she needed some company.'
He nodded, pausing as though to decide whether it was wise to speak of the matter on his mind and talking slowly when he at last opened his mouth. 'I thought so too. A while ago her full recovery looked certain, but these past days her spirit has waned and her face is pale again. I have already made an appointment to see Lord Faramir later today...for I feel he might know the cause of her malady as they spent much time together when he was here. But if you think it not necessary and perhaps it better for you to speak to him...'
'No...if you have noticed, Master, then I think you should keep your appointment. I will add my concerns when I see Lord Faramir tonight. It appeared to me that Lady Éowyn's welfare is important to him.'
The warden held her eyes for a moment, understanding reached between them. 'Exactly, my lady.'
But Faramir, pleased that she had established some rapport with Éowyn, only nodded thoughtfully when Lothíriel told him she felt Éowyn's recovery had stalled and she had relapsed into melancholy. He assured her that the Warden had spoken to him and he would try and find time to visit Éowyn. Not very satisfactory, but she had no further chance to talk to him as he fell into deep conversation with her mother, eliciting from her a promise to oversee the preparations being made to house and cater for their new king and the other important people who would be staying in the Citadel. Her mother accepted graciously, with a little smile of satisfaction playing around her mouth – always happy when she had something to organize.
Not expecting Faramir to have found time to talk to Éowyn before she arrived at the Houses in the middle of the next morning, Lothíriel hurried straight to the niche in the wall where she had arranged to meet her. But she came to an abrupt halt when she got halfway across the lawn. Two figures stood on the wall, outlined against the sky. Two figures locked in a passionate embrace. Faramir and Éowyn! She had been right, and her heart sang for them. So would many others, for they were in full view of those citizens who cared to look upward.
Not wanting to intrude, Lothíriel quietly slipped back inside, passing a few moments with the Warden who seemed as hopeful as she that Éowyn's malady would finally leave her. Hearing footsteps approaching, they turned to see Faramir and Éowyn, hand in hand. Already the anguish she had seen on Éowyn's fair face the day before had been replaced by joy. Faramir smiled blissfully at them both and said to the warden.
'Here is the Lady Éowyn of Rohan, and now she is healed.'
Lothíriel's heart jolted; like a lightning storm in summer, the power of their love seemed to cause the very air to crackle. Envious of their unashamed happiness determination rage through her – whatever trouble she unleashed, however hard she had to fight, she vowed she would only wed one of her choosing. They were entering a new age and some of the old traditions should surely be put behind them.
Éowyn wished to stay lodged in her room in the Healing Houses until her brother returned, although Lothíriel persuaded her to walk every day, and took pleasure in showing her the city. She introduced Éowyn to the noble ladies returning from their refuges, but the shield-maiden had no time for gossip and irrelevant chitchat. Most excused her indifference and only a few snooty looks were flashed her way – a woman who had ridden to war and had slain a Nazgûl could not be expected to conform totally to the niceties of court life. However Éowyn agreed to join Lothíriel's family for the occasional meal and managed to make polite conversation about the preparations being made to welcome a king to Gondor in between telling them a little of her homeland. But most of all Éowyn loved hearing Lady Arneth recounting stories of Faramir's childhood as he had often visited them at Dol Amroth.
Oh yes, Lothíriel knew Éowyn was going to marry Faramir. But apart from her mother no other officially knew, as Éowyn's brother had to be consulted before anyone else was informed. Éowyn seemed surprisingly nervous about telling him, and it took a few days for her to explain why.
'He will think me...unsteady...that I do not know my own mind.'
They were sitting under the tree in the courtyard of the Dol Amroth town house, drinking lemon cordial, something Éowyn had never tried before. Lemon was a sharp fruit only palatable when sweetened with honey, a bit like Éowyn, Lothíriel mused silently – except she had been sweetened by love.
'Is this something to do with your lost lover?' Lothíriel prompted as Éowyn had dried up, looking down into her lap.
Eventually she nodded. 'Lord Aragorn fought with us against Saruman. I lost my heart to him, right from the beginning. But he was...merely kind to me, which only made my anguish worse. Éomer knows I rode to war to seek relief in death, and now I have to tell him I love another. He will not understand.'
'I see.' So the shield-maiden had lost her heart to Gondor's new king, no wonder she had not wanted to go to Cormallen. And she supposed King Éomer would want to be sure she knew her own mind this time, be certain she was not clinging to Faramir out of pure misery. Lothíriel could certainly understand that if he cared for his sister, and she was sure he did from the clues she had gleaned from her conversation with the shield-maiden. 'Excuse me, Éowyn, may I ask if you are now sure your passion for Lord Aragorn has passed, and you truly love Faramir?' He was her favorite cousin after all and she did not want him to be hurt.
Éowyn's eyes were unreadable and Lothíriel waited, wondering if she really knew the answer. But then Éowyn gave her wan smile. 'I behaved like a fool, it was nothing but hero worship, I realize that now. Aragorn's so strong and brave and...noble... and he helped save us. I waited on an old man, one becoming more withered and wasted with every day. And our people, once so proud and bold sank slowly into despair. I thought all hope lost and then Aragorn appeared like he had stepped out of one of my dreams, breathing new life into our struggle. What I felt for him was only a stupid wish to lift myself from the mediocrity of my life and ride to glory as my brother had done. But I am not sure if Éomer will accept that.'
Lothíriel certainly did, it made perfect sense. But she wanted to shake Éowyn from her gloom so said, 'It must be a womanly trait to fall for heroes. From what I have seen of my brothers, men's first loves are usually of the disreputable kind. Amrothos fell for a woman who was not much more than a ...' she hesitated but Éowyn supplied the word.
'Yes." She chuckled. "Although he couldn't see it until Erchirion offered her money and she accepted. I agreed to marry Berenor because he was handsome and upstanding, and a bit of a scholar as well as being a reasonable swordsman. But I didn't realize how much of a bore he was. I hope to make a wiser choice next time as I abhor the thought of a life of tedium and monotony.'
Éowyn laughed, the apprehension had gone from her eyes and they sparkled. 'I'll remind Éomer of his first love, I think she was a barmaid. But if that doesn't work I'll get you to plead my case.'
Sure that would not be necessary now she had heard Éowyn's explanation, Lothíriel laughed back. Éowyn had convinced her that the love between her and Faramir was real and ardent, and if King Éomer truly wanted his sister's happiness he could be nothing but pleased.
Éowyn opening her heart to her had encouraged their relationship to flourish. Like herself Éowyn had no sisters and had grown up living amongst men of war. Both of them had been a little short of female company of equal status to themselves, and maybe because of that they soon formed a friendship, one that Lothíriel hoped would be lifelong, as marriage to Faramir would make Éowyn her kin. She had not learnt to wield a sword as Éowyn had, her father drew the line at that, but Lothíriel was not ignorant of warfare and her brothers had made sure she could use both bow and knife. And she could ride, Dol Amroth being the one place in Gondor where horses were used to get quickly to any conflict, usually raids along the coast, as well as carrying their knights into battle.
They didn't go riding though, the Pelennor still being a gruesome place best avoided until the clean-up had been finished and the trenches all filled in, but besides that Éowyn needed some riding dresses. She had arrived garbed as a man in breeches and hose. Lothíriel had spent considerable time in Minas Tirith over the years and was well aware of the conventions that abounded in the high circles of the city. In spite of her slightly irregular upbringing compared with most ladies of Gondor, she would not recommend bucking them. Éowyn accepted reluctantly that Faramir's future wife could not be an instrument for gossip, and as she was so tall Lothíriel could not lend her anything, so they spent a great deal of time amongst patterns and pins.
Two dresses for riding, one in green the other in grey, with suede leggings to wear under the voluminous skirts. Éowyn's own cloak would suffice for the journey home, but besides that Faramir had given her a beautiful dark blue mantle arrayed with silver stars that had belonged to Lothíriel's aunt Finduilas. It looked stunning over the simple white dress Éowyn had been wearing and Lothíriel suggested they bespoke another couple of white dresses in richer materials suitable for her to wear to the celebrations. The seamstresses were only too eager to produce clothes for such a famous lady, working long hours to get everything ready.
So much to do. Lothíriel's mother threw herself into turning the King's House into a dwelling suitable for their long-lost sovereign. King Éomer too had to have quarters fit for their most revered and trusted ally, and Éowyn gasped at the size and richness of the chamber prepared for her. Beautiful carved child beds were found for the hobbits, and rooms with access to the gardens for the three elves. Her mother had no idea what a dwarf would require so made up one room near the hobbits and then one near the elves when Éowyn told her Master Gimli and Prince Legolas were rarely apart. Mithrandir had a chamber with a dome in the roof through which one could see the stars.
All got done, thanks to the efforts of legions of willing servants as well as some of the returning ladies, keen to establish themselves in the new court. Even Mildis found time to go through the storerooms picking out curtains and bedcovers that looked rich enough for royalty. Lothíriel helped all she could, discussing menus and recipes with her mother and the housekeeper for the royal guests. Wagon loads of food were arriving every day from the coastal lands, tons of grain, fish and meat needed to feed the returning armies. Everywhere clerks ticked lists and checked sacks before distributing the stores to the temporary mess-halls that had been set up in newly-opened buildings. But she and her mother also sent out for baskets of foraged greens and herbs from the lower slopes of the Ered Nimrais, seeking to lighten the diet and create some tasty meals for the lower ranks as well. Lothíriel could only be thankful that all the Mûmak meat had been sent to Cormallen, she didn't even want to contemplate how to make that palatable. But she had to laugh at Lord Húrin's outraged face when he recounted an earlier meeting with Lord Elfhelm: his tentative suggestion that they feed the troops horsemeat since there were so many dead Rohirric warhorses had nearly got him disemboweled.
'I still don't understand his anger,' Lord Húrin grumbled to her mother. 'A dead horse is a dead horse, and there would have been less to bury.'
'I am sure we will manage without upsetting the Rohirrim,' her mother soothed him.
Then at last came the evening when they stood on the walls looking out over the Pelennor at the pavilions being erected outside the city. In her mother Lothíriel sensed excitement, but also great relief: how blessed they were that all their family had survived.
Lothíriel reached for her mother's hand when they saw the banner bearing the Ship and Silver Swan flying over one of the big tents. 'We will see them tomorrow. It seems so long since they all rode away.'
Her mother nodded, her eyes wet with unshed tears. 'You know, my love, I never believed we would win. I pretended I did for all our sakes, but I thought I would never see your father and brothers again.' She turned and smiled at Éowyn. 'We owe you a debt that we cannot ever hope to repay; you, your brother and all your kinsmen. I cannot thank King Théoden, but I wish to thank King Éomer personally as well as Mithrandir, our new king and the hobbits, of course.'
Lothíriel had rarely seen her mother so emotional – always the perfectly controlled lady, she normally hid her feelings. Éowyn was having trouble hiding hers, excitement and pride mixed with anxiety of her brother's reaction to her news. Lothíriel couldn't believe there would be any problem once he got to know Faramir, no finer man existed.
The First Day of May, and even before the sun rose above the Ephel Dúath the walls were lined with people and those of rank and importance clustered around the barrier that had been erected in place of the gates, waiting for their new king. The pageant and the words of the ceremony all but passed Lothíriel by, so intent was she in feasting her eyes on her father and brothers. She and her mother stood hand in hand, joy flowing between them like a fast-running tide.
Éowyn had taken a place the other side of her – standing tall and noble, her golden hair lifting in the breeze. Truly the 'White Lady of Rohan' as many had taken to calling her. She took in what was going on silently, her grey eyes darting between Faramir and her brother. Faramir was absorbed in his duties, but King Éomer smiled in her direction more than once. Quite handsome, Lothíriel noticed, his hair of darker gold than Éowyn's, and he was very tall. Not slim, but muscled and broad-chested. An imposing man. However, apart from observing how effortlessly he kept his stallion calm and in line, she gave him no more thought, running to meet her family as soon as the official proceedings were over.
What a day! Surely the most wonderful of her life: how easy they fell into laughter. The months before that terrible hour when her father had led their troops out of the castle and to battle had been increasingly frightening; grey and grim days as the Shadow fell on them. But their victory promised that every day would be full of light.
So much to celebrate, but once the initial euphoria was over her mother had duties;
Having organized so much, the housekeeping and hospitality for so many could not be left entirely to others. Éowyn would be sleeping in the King's House for the first time that night, so after checking the kitchens were functioning properly, Lothíriel offered to go and make sure she was happy and had everything she required.
The usually quiet passages were full of servants, so many needed to look after the exalted guests. They moved silently along the corridors, well trained anyway; her mother would have made sure only the best served the royal apartments.
Surprising then, that Lothíriel heard raised voices as she turned onto the passageway that led to Éowyn's room – a man and a woman were having a fierce argument. After a moment she recognized the guttural tones of the language of the Rohirrim, but could understand little of what they were saying. It had to be Éowyn and her brother. Anger welled up inside her when she distinguished Faramir's name amongst the irate words. Éowyn had been right: her brother was obviously questioning his sister's judgment. How dare he! After all she had suffered! And surely Éowyn must know her own mind. But Lothíriel could do nothing and reluctantly started to make her retreat, vowing to kick him on the shins if she got the chance. A pity she could not dance, that would have afforded all sorts of opportunities.
Before she took two steps away the shouting stopped and she heard the door being flung open.
'You, girl! Fetch some wine!'
The arrogant command had her gritting her teeth to stop the cutting retort on her lips. Mastering the urge to really be rude, she turned slowly. 'I am not a servant, my lord. But if I were I would expect to be treated with courtesy and respect. I will ask someone to bring you wine, and hope that you will be grateful enough to thank them politely when they do so. Good afternoon, my lord.' Lothíriel gave him a quick nod, allowing no time for him to reply, before she spun round and marched back down the corridor. He was worse than his sister for bad-mannered behavior.
So hot, and so full, Merethrond needed expandable walls. But stone didn't stretch and the result of so many people crammed into the hall was that there was hardly room to sit, let alone dance. Already Lothíriel felt sticky in the layers of silk, and wished they could have celebrated outside. Mildis, unfazed by the crowds, was determined to carry on with the task of finding her a husband, and pulled her into a small alcove near the dais while they waited for the king to arrive.
'What about that one?' Mildis motioned towards a tall, rather lanky man, who was talking to Amrothos. 'He's the new Lord of Lebennin, not too far from home, and Elphir said he's become real friends with Amrothos. Your father would be bound to approve of him.'
Lothíriel was not sure being friends with that particular brother was a recommendation, his friends usually drank too much and indulged in practical jokes, but besides that, he was too thin. 'I think I'd prefer a bit more meat. There would be nothing to hug.'
Mildis stifled a giggle and surreptitiously pointed to another young man with thick black hair and an untidy beard. 'Angbor's heir,' she whispered, 'but I don't think you'd fancy him.'
Mildis was right: she didn't. Just for fun Lothíriel nudged her as a vacant looking man glided past, dressed in plush red velvet. His face was clean shaven and one had to say rather beautiful, in a soft sort of way. Mildis looked at her surprised. 'Don't tell me you're interested. True, he's rich, but he's reputed to have sawdust between his ears.'
'But lovely looking, don't you think. And he would be unlikely to cause me any trouble if he's not very bright.'
'I...' her eyes widened, 'Oh, Lothíriel, you are funning me.'
Lothíriel laughed with her, it was so good to be able to give way to mirth and enjoy being alive. But suddenly they heard the commanding rap of a rod being banged on the floor – the king and his entourage were ascending the dais.
After catching her father's eye and smiling proudly at him, Lothíriel studied the mixture of people on the raised platform. King Elessar certainly looked regal enough now: his fine clothing would satisfy even Mildis. Four Hobbits, looking like children dressed up to meet with a fusty relative, a wizard garbed all in white, an elf in silver, two in grey and a dwarf with a beard that reached his waist, made it the most unusual gathering most of them had ever seen. Her eyes slid deliberately past King Éomer, but Mildis grabbed her arm.
'Now I would hate to think of you disappearing to Rohan, Lothíriel, but he is something to look at. And even if he's a bit rough around the edges, he comes with a crown. The unattached ladies will be hovering around him like flies.'
A cursory glance was all he got from her. 'In my experience one tends to find that flies buzz around the most unsavory things.'
'Lothíriel, that's most unlike you,' Mildis exclaimed. She searched Lothíriel's face, accurately reading her frown of contempt. 'Has he upset you? I didn't know you'd even met him.'
Lothíriel shrugged. 'Not properly, but I believe that is going to change.' Her father was beckoning her from the dais; it seemed unlikely she would get away with just meeting her own king. She smoothed down her dress and tried to pretend she was not as hot as she must look. And she did want to meet them all, at least all of them but one. No chance though, because after she had enjoyed a few interesting words with King Elessar, he grabbed King Éomer's arm. 'You haven't met Imrahil's daughter have you, Éomer. Lady Lothíriel, I understand you have become friends with Éowyn, let me introduce her brother.'
Dark eyes flickered recognition, but he bowed over her hand as if he had never seen her before. 'I have heard much about you from your father and brothers, Lady Lothíriel. Let me thank you for befriending my sister, she says you have offered her good counsel.'
'I imagine Éowyn is well capable of making up her own mind about anything that concerns her, my lord.' Let him think on that!
'Indeed.' She thought he was going to contradict her, but instead he gave her a charming smile. 'Allow me to pass you some wine, my lady. It is exceedingly good.' King Éomer took a goblet from a passing server, thanking the man profusely as he did so, and challenging her with a quirk of his brows to make comment.
It crossed her mind that Rohan's king would make a good sparring partner, had she been so inclined to enter the bout. And she had no doubt he could turn on the charm when needed, but the ladies of Minas Tirith could fight over him for all she cared. He would be leaving in not much more than a week and hopefully she need never set eyes on him again.
To be continued.
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.