So Dírmaen is, after all, learning to read Dwarves; to temper his reactions to them, the Elves and to Saelon; and to exercise patience. Saelon's (for her) effusive praise took me by surprise also – small wonder Dírmaen is overwhelmed. Hopeless romantic that I am, I loved: ... or was it that his soul no longer dwelt wholly in his body, circling Saelon's as heedlessly as a moth about a flame?
A tiny bit more on Dírmaen's past, too! That's always a treat. :) And thank you for giving us some insight into Saelon's current thoughts about Dírmaen. The alternating PoVs are great.
Saelon's rejoinder to Calennae over the Silmarils – I was whooping and cheering. Believe it or not, I'm looking forward to seeing more of these two together. Even as I dislike many of your Elves personally, I love the complexity and wholly believable range of behavior and attitude that you've introduced. Truly excellent characterizations. And it looks to be quite the interesting return journey...
Delightful writing and turns of phrase, and marvelous descriptions, as always. I'm ever-thrilled to get an update notice for your chapters!