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The Quest Continues...
Frodo and Sam have destroyed the ring, Sauron is defeated, evil has been overcome. Right?
Perhaps. That however, is beside the point. Aragorn, Legolas and co. are coming back for the sequel, and this time, we're in charge. Please feel free to read and participate. (Note-the beginnings of the story are actually in the archives. It's reverse order- archive 1 is the most recent. Confusing, I know.)

To join, please visit the Quest website, where all necessary details can be found. From here you can also access the rules and character lists, view the story so far, and much, much more. (Ok, a little bit more).
N.B. The rules etc. are being constantly updated, so you should check back every now and again.

To skip straight to the bottom of the page, click here.

To talk with other writers, visit The Quest Soapbox. Alternatively, go read The Extended Adventures of Gimli for an, errrm, less serious spoof.

Important announcement: On August 3rd, Quest was picked up by Gamejag, a gaming and writings group. We can now be found on www.gamejag.com, in the Middle Earth forum.

This site is a member of WebRing. To browse visit here.

Subject: Around the Fire

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Date Posted: 18:35:56 04/26/02 Fri

Arwen tossed her head back and laughed. Her hair cascaded down her back, and for the first time in too long, she laughed.

It was just the three of them. Her, Arracus and Rhylin. Although she did not know Rhylin well, her and Arracus had known each other for years, even before the Wars of the Rings. He was like a brother for her, after Elrohir and Elladan had left for the un-dying lands. Aragorn did not know of the faeries. It had nothing to do with him. It was something purely, Elvish. That was how she felt. Elvish. Like the Arwen she had once known, the Arwen who had not been in forest for nearly two years. That had been her last visit. Two years ago.

They told stories, and sang. All jovial and happy. Not how she felt, but puting on a cheey face was easier than trying to explain to Arracus what was wrong. That afternoon she had told Arracus everything. The arrow, the child, the dreams, and the despair. Despair of gazing into the palantir, knowing what she saw she could not have. The images haunted her. "Arracus," she said through the flames of the small fire, "It has been a long day, I am still confused and weary. I shall see you in the morning." Rising from the fallen tree on which she sat, she returned to the room. But she did sleep. Consumed in front on the images in the palantir in front of her, she lay, until sleep finally overtook all of her tired limbs.
Subject: In the royal chambers...

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Date Posted: 20:56:18 04/26/02 Fri

The water stung, lion fierce in the shallow gash across his forhead. Quickly he drew back and looked with unseeing eyes at some ornament of Arwen's.
"Stand still!" He smiled, it seemed their positions were reversed, she the queen, he the poor serving man. Her eyes and words spoke of anger but the hand that cleaned his wound was gentle and spoke differently. Dark orbs watched him carefully with a healers attention to detail and Aragorn examined her once more: every feature perfect in it's place.

He felt the cloth being drawn away, "is it over doctor?" he asked, eyes twinkling with mischief.
"Yes. You'll carry that scar for the next few months and don't call me doctor, I haven't earned it yet."
"You saved me."
"From a cut and grazed knuckles."
"More than that...you saved me from myself."

The girl's face was puzzled and as she stood thinking this over Aragorn raised his newly bandage hands to face, pushing back a strand of loose hair that fell over her eyes with a lover's care.

"My lord..."
The sentance was left unfinished however. Before reason could interfere again, he brought his head down and kissed her softly, his lips brushing hers lightly but with a definate purpose.

Quickly he pulled back from the kiss, tingling from the embrace, her expression unreadable.

Resisting the temptation to wrap his arms around her and kiss her soundly once more he waited for the inevitable rebuke that was about to come thundering down but it didn't come.
[> Subject: Re: In the royal chambers...

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Date Posted: 21:24:40 04/26/02 Fri

Namün's heart stopped. Anything he could say to her, anything he could do, she'd been ready for. But not this. Temporarily at least, she was floored.

Not for long though. Brief though the kiss had been, she had enjoyed it. Namün cast caution to the winds. Slipping her arms around her King, she pulled his head down to meet her own, kissing him fiercely. Immediately, she felt him respond. Strong arms wrapped around her body, pulling her close to him. She gave herself up entirely to the kiss, losing herself in the feel of his body and taste of his mouth.
Distantly, she felt him unpin her hair, letting the dark locks fall free. His hands followed its trails down her body, and she shivered sensuously beneath his touch. Her own fingers clutched at the soft fabric of his clothing and the powerful body beneath, brushing upwards to run through his hair. In those few seconds, Namün was his, and his entirely.
Subject: Unwanted Memories

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Date Posted: 10:47:23 04/27/02 Sat

As the dark sky became tinged with the first pink and golden light of dawn, Anawiel sat rewatching the two elves. The girl had spent most of the day outside the city walls, showing off to a crowd of male warriors and a young valet. It had been quite comical watching their conversation. As for the other elf, Legolas, he was still searching for his little lost faery. Lauriel had hoped he would follow her squirrel - but Anawiel had not seen him say a word to any wild animals. Not even Faeirex.
While she carefully watched the image of Legolas in her mirror, Melmonu's face drifted into glass.l
"Anawiel!" cried Melmonu "What are you doing!"
Anawiel sighed. Melmonu could not leave her be while she was in Minas Tirith.
"Are you listening to me?! I asked you a question!" Melmonu was over-reacting already.
"I'm recounting the days events. Fascinating really." Anawiel replied, annoying her teacher even more.
"You should be working - not lusting after some Mirkwood elf." Melmonu cocked an eyebrow in the mirror and stared at the slightly girl on the bed.
"I was not lusting!" Anawiel was indignant.
"No, you could never ever lust after someone could you. You have no feelings, have you" Melmonu's voice became harsher.
"Exactly," Anawiel began "I would never do anything so stupid as to fall..to fall..." But she trailed off. She knew as well as Melmonu did that it would be a lie.
"To fall in love? With an elf?" Inquired Melmonu, "Yes, well. You weren't very good at that lark were you?"
Anawiel's temper began to fray. It was a sensitive subject and brought many memories with it.
"I loved him." she whipered.
"You cannot love, Anawiel! Neither could he love you back!"
A few tears spilt onto the apples of Anawiel's cheek. She wrapped her arms around herself, swaying gently and shaking her head. Trying to block it out. Hold back her tears.
'I loved him,' she thought desperately, 'I loved him .'
Still Melmonu watched in the mirror. She kept a stern expression on her face, but inside she was crying with Anawiel. Her daughter, whom she had hoped would be everything that she could never have been or could be.
"He dosen't love you Anawiel" Melmonu whispered softly.
"GO AWAY!" Anawiel suddenley jumped up from the bed screaming at the looking glass. The woman in the mirror looked shocked. "JUST GO AWAY! Leave me alone! You've done that before - why is it so hard now?!"
Anawiel hurled a dagger at the mirror, but it merely rebounde of the surface and wedged itself in the opposite wall.
The image of Melmonu faded and Anawiel collapsed to the floor, sobbing mournfully. Melmonu had a way of doing that. Bringing up old painful memories. Unwanted memories from the most secret place inside Anawiel.
Her heart.
Subject: The flute and the necklace

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Date Posted: 12:31:53 04/27/02 Sat

The king lay in the darkness, under silken sheets, Namün next to him breathing softly.

Night had come and it was silent, save for the calls of owls out hunting.

Rolling towards the girl he whispered her name "Namün?" but she was asleep, a curl of lusterous hair clasped in one hand, a slight smile upon her face.

He did not feel like smiling; the enormatity of their actions striking him for the first time, the guilt overpowering.

He still wore her necklace, it's mithril chain seemed to be choking him, in anguish he rose from the bed and unclasped it. The opal winked at him and Aragorn fought down the urge to throw away this last reminder of his wife's love.

Instead he dressed quickly, quiet as the shadows that lurked in his soul, careful not to wake Namün who moaned softly in her sleep. Rumaging through the drawers he found what he was looking for and left the room, almost running down the unlit passages until he reached the courtyard where the white tree stood, its blossoms closed against the night time chill.

He sat beneath the slender branches and pulled the necklace from his pocket, Arwen's face and Namün's appeared.

Namün had saved him from destroying himself due to despair at Arwen's absence but she had introduced a new threat, one far more deadly. He heard the leaves swish above him, the sound of a woman's tears, the hoots of a passing owl, the squeak of its prey, the tears again. The delicate object in his hand sparkled in the moonlight and he reinstated it to its rightful place around his neck.

Even if Arwen did not love him he could not deny what was in his heart: he loved her. He loved Namün too but in a different way, the desparate love the springs up when faced by conflict and saddness, the love that disobeys reason and throws caution to the wind. But with Arwen...the deep bond of husband and wife...the alignment of their spirits...Aragorn, I'm pregnant.

He lifted the flute he had taken from the drawers in his other hand and started to play with a practiced ease. The sweet eyrie music caught on the night's breeze and was carried away across the courtyard and into the darkness beyond.
Subject: "All I'll do is hurt you..."

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Date Posted: 12:43:02 04/27/02 Sat

"All I'll do is hurt you." The words seemed to ring in his ears even now, hours after the confrontation. She had cast him aside as he had known she would. He had prepared for the rejection yet the pain was the same, his heart cleaved in two as she walked away from him, leaving him alone in the void.

He was hurt, that was true but he was so much more than that. His feelings ripped from him, his emotions split, his anger building.

Pacing around the small chamber that was his home the rage built inside the manservant. What right had she to dismiss him without knowing anything about him? Love and a lifetime of happiness was staring her in the face, offering its self freely and yet he was not good enough for her.

She was an elf and possessed the overwhelming sense of supierority common to all of that race. It was that that had deprived her of all that could have been and so he schemed in his room.

Things would change.

He would be good enough.

And she would thank him for his love.
Subject: Awakening

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Date Posted: 16:38:27 04/27/02 Sat

Namün woke from a deep, dream-filled sleep. Sleepily, she tried to remember where she was, what had happened.

The memories came back in a flash. Oh no, what had she done? Whatever had possessed her? Forcing tired eyes open, she glanced to her side, saw the empty space.

Fear filled her. What if he was like all the others- just using her for her body? A brief moment of passion, then casting her out like used linen. He'd taken what he wanted now, she could be thrown out on the streets! Surely he wouldn't...would he?
She sat up, the sudden movement causing the covers to fall from her body. A sharp pain shot through her. Glancing down, Namün saw the bruises that were the legacy of her encounter with the drunk. On each of her sides were the clear marks of fingers, vivid shades of red and purple. Gingerly, she touched one, whimpering at the pain it caused. Waves of nausea shot through her.

Carefully she eased herself from the bed, the silken sheets brushing her skin. She dressed quietly, doing her best to avoid touching the painful bruises on her arms and body. In the secret places of her heart, Namün was already lost. Aragorn had made her feel like no man ever had before. This was a man she knew, with total certanity, she could love. But he was married- he belonged to someone else. Nothing could change that.

She left the room, closing the door behind her, and trying to shut all her feelings in there as well. Automatically, she headed for the courtyard. It was cold, and she shivered beneath her thin clothing.

Someone was already there. Aragorn. Was it just a coincidence that they both chose to head for the same spot? Namün wasn't sure. She drew quietly back into the shadows.

And then stopped. She would have to face him sooner or later. Summoning up all her courage, she walked quietly over and sat down, regarding him seriously. It was one of the hardest things she had ever had to do.
Her eyes dropped, unable to take his glance. Instead, she studied the bruises on her arms, trembling inwardly and waiting to hear her fate.
Subject: Farewell

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Date Posted: 12:50:50 04/28/02 Sun

Lily stood in the doorway, waving as hard as she could as Sam, Ryna, Merry, Pippin and the man set out, the waggon in which in hobbits rode, creaking dangerously.

The man's name was Bergil and he had come, so he said, to fetch the 3 companions and escort them to Minas Tirith where the king waited. Lily had not wanted Sam to go, it was too soon after the revolation but he seemed so happy at this chance to escape and visit the White City again and when the others had arrived, Meriadoc and Peregrin, Merry's smile kindly, Pippin's mischeivous, she had not had the heart to ask them to stay.

Sam had introduced her as Frodo's daughter and though their eyes betrayed shock, none questioned her for which she was grateful.

The cart trundled away Ryna, whom Sam could not bear to be parted from, almost falling out as she waved to her mother, Pippin whooping loudly until the others shushed him, Bergil walking his tall gelding alongside obviously feeling detached from this scene.

She had been asked if she wished to accompany them, but had polietly declined once Rosie had said she could stay for as long as she wanted in Bag End: It was time to build a new life here in Hobbiton.

Subject: A discision

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Date Posted: 13:33:11 04/28/02 Sun

He finished the song, the notes dying away under the sound of the wind.

The night chill washed over him and Aragorn pulled his coat tightly around him and pondered returning to his warm bed, where Namün waited.

Disturbingly during their love making he had felt the same joining of souls that he had felt with Arwen. It was strange that he should feel so similar over two very different women.

Holding his head in his hands Aragorn tried to decide on a course of action. Namün, attractive, passionate, intelligent and avilable against Arwen, beautiful as the stars but flighty and irrational, the wife who had abandoned him.

I doubt she'll be coming back. The words of her cousin. If they were true then there seemed only one choice, but if they were not... He paused, the decision falling too heavy on his shoulders. There was no concievable reason for Anawiel to have lied and so the king had to accept the awful truth, Arwen was gone.

However this realisation brought him another, he was free. He loved Arwen yes, but more than Namün? Searching his heart Aragorn could find no answer and then she arrived.

Sitting submissivly at his feet Namün waited, unspeaking. Obviously she had guessed that he might regret last night's hasty actions and so now she sat shivering under the White Tree waiting for her lover's decision.

Drawing his coat off Aragorn lay it around her shoulders. She cringed against his touch and he felt a tug at his heart. This must be the right choice.

Taking her hand he helped her to her feet. "Let's go back inside, it's freezing out here."
Subject: Guilt

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Date Posted: 17:45:45 04/28/02 Sun

Faeirex walked away from Vomyr fighting back obscure feelings of guilt. She hadn't encouraged the man, it wasn't her fault that he had fallen for her. And in refusing him she had acted in his best interests. So why did she feel so bad about the look of hurt that had swept over his face?
Picking up a long staff, she savagely swung it into a punchbag. The target swung uncontrollably as she hit it again, then again. Love was for fools. Love made people get hurt. Love from her got people killed...

Wheeling, she directed a kick into the training bag. Expertly holding the staff, she span, hitting the bag again and again. Kicks and blows thudded into the unoffending object time after time. The grace and precision with which she moved gave the appearance of an endlessly complex dance, but the anger with which she hit the punchbag spoke of far more.
Faeirex continued well into the night.
Not again. Haven't you taken enough of my life away already? I won't do this. I won't lead all these people here to their deaths.
But she would, and she knew she would. In this, Faeirex knew she was as helpless as the rest of them. She was in far too deeply now to escape.

Frustrated, she flung the staff away from her, falling back on her fists to fight with. All the people she would like to have in front of her right now, all the people she needed to hurt...
But they weren't here. And, face it, it wasn't them she needed to fight. The person she had to fight was herself.
Subject: Daylight

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Date Posted: 20:26:50 04/28/02 Sun

Namün lay in his arms as the sun rose over the trees lighting the bedroom in a warm glow.

Her eyelids were shut so Aragorn didnt disturbe her. They had stayed up talking, let her sleep a while longer.

A servant knocked on the door, "my lord the palace is stirring."
"Thankyou Cannyc. I will rise presently."

He nuzzled the nape of Namün's neck, her hair smelled of violets and blew softly on the side of her face. She smiled slightly and brushed away the hidden tormenter. He grinned and blew at her again. She giggled and turned over to kiss him on the nose. "Morning," he whispered, "you look lovely." Drawing her close he tried to kiss her back but she flinched away. "Are you alright?"
"My arms..." The purple marks along her limbs stood out against her bronze skin and Aragorn cursed loudly.
"I will kill, Deollyn!!!" getting up swiftly he pulled his clothes back on. "Wait till that oaf feels the wrath of a king."
Subject: Numb

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Date Posted: 07:41:31 04/29/02 Mon

Her feet barely registered to grass on which she walked. All her senses were numb, like they could not focus on the world around them. Arwen as walking. She was not sure where, but it was as if she were trying to escape something. Her mind was so focused, it took a few moments to realise there was a friendly hand on her shoulder. Spinning around, "Rhylin! I never heard you come!" Rhylin smiled at her, and simply replied
"You would not have heard an entire army behind you." This was what she needed. Someone to talk too, someone who could be fair and get everything in perspective. "You used the palantir then?" Rhylin asked, knowing that the answer was yes.

Arwen managed to nod. She knew now that if she opened her mouth, everything would come rushing out. Surveying the faery next to her, she realised exactly what he knew.
"Who saw it then? In a vision, I mean?" She asked. As much as she enjoyed their company, Arwen did not want everybody to know.
"Arracus, he told only Cellius and I." There was a pause, as they walked further. "What are you going to do?"
That was something Arwen had not considered yet. What did she do?
"I still love him. Until last night, I thought him to be dead. But then...,then." Her voice trailed off, and all the pain and anger that had so far been kept inside surfaced. "I love him Rhylin. I gave up my life to be with him." The words were barely audible through her desperate sobs. "He wore the necklace. My necklace. The whole time, it was around his neck. He didn't even take it off."

Rhylin had no answer for that. He knew the she-elf very little, but there was something inside her that touched him.
"Come on. I'll get you back. Arracus will wonder where you've gotten to." Putting his arm around her shoulders, he guided her back to the fire.

Before they sat down on arrival, Arwen had decided what had to be done on her part.
"I must go back." Taking a deep breath to compose herself she explained. "He has my heart. And my necklace, which shows my love for him. If I can get it back, maybe, I can start to reclaim my heart." Finishing her words with two silent tears, she left the faeiries company, to use her palantir again.
Subject: The White City

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Date Posted: 07:49:41 04/29/02 Mon

It was the guards at the gates who were the first sign of life Faramir had seen. It had been a long journey- trying to ride carefully, for Eowyn's sake, and with the horses tired as well! As the doors to the city were opened to their Steward, he rode through, his wife still limp in front of him. He wasn't sure what was wrong. There was more to this than simply exhaustion, or she would have woken by now. Still, the palace was aproaching, and they had the finest healers there.

Pulling into the courtyard, there was a rush of activity towards him. He was impressed. Before even giving orders, the horses were stabled. Running up the steps, carrying Eowyn gently in his arms, he entered the palace. Home. At last
Subject: Calming words

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Date Posted: 17:01:56 04/29/02 Mon

At his words, Namün's sleepy mind awoke. She raised herself up on one elbow.

"What do you mean by that?" she asked sharply.

"Aragorn, please don't make a scene about all of this. It's not worth it. You stopped him, that's all that matters."

Her tone was warm, but there was pleading in her eyes.

"All you'll achieve will be to make him angry with you, and with me as well. There's nothing you can pin on him. Here, I'm little more than a slave. I don't have rights. No court on earth will rule in my favor. Save yourself the bother, and find a worthier cause to campaign for."

Try as she might to keep the bitterness out of her voice, she couldn't hide it. She slipped from the bed, enfolding him in her arms.

"I'm right, you know that. Let it slide. There's more important things to worry about."
Subject: Retrospection

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Date Posted: 17:13:56 04/29/02 Mon

Legolas reluctantly pulled his mind from a world of dreams. He had eventually found Lómódë, but she'd been surrounded by admirers and he hadn't approached her. Instead, he'd watched from a distance, seen the transformation from distant she-elf to sunny, charming girl. Even now, he was still surprised at the stab of jealously that shot through him. Why didn't she respond in that way to him?
He'd felt oddly guilty in fact, watching her. She'd believed she was alone- she'd shown parts of herself that she kept private. The fighting talent was odd, few elves had been given intense enough training to be that good in combat. Yet another sign that she was a lot more than she seemed.

He'd waited a long time that night, until eventually the desparate rage that was in her seemed to subside. It was then that he'd approached, loudly enough to let her hear him before he arrived.
"I think it's dead now." he'd told her gently, giving her his usual quirky smile.

He'd watched the emotions scutter across her beautiful face, flicking through anger, surprise, apprehension and embarassment before breaking into peals of laughter, the mood over as quickly as it had set in. Lómódë was a mystery, that was for sure. And with every bone of his body, Legolas wanted to solve the puzzle.

Rising, he left his room and went to find her, hoping that today she might choose to let him see and understand more of the enigma that was herself.
Subject: Justice

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Date Posted: 19:57:51 04/29/02 Mon

"You called me, Aragorn" his eyes softened and the anger faded slightly from them. "That's never happened before." Her only answer was to snuggle in towards him but it was a plan doomed to failer as it gave him a better view of the finger marks down her arms and once again his blood boiled.

"You are not a slave." She seemed to ignore this so he held her at arms length and repeated, "you are not a slave and if creeps like Deollyn think they can get away with abusing girls then this kind of thing will just get worse. I can't let that happen, especially to you."

He bent down to kiss her, to try and soften the blow but she turned her head sideways letting his lips land on her cheeks.
"I'm sorry but this is the way it has to be. Justice will prevail and you forget, I am the court." Pulling imperial garments on he started for the door, "and i know what is right. Be in the throne room in 2 hours."

He closed the door on her and turned to the servant, hovering alongside it. "Would you be so good as to locate the Lord Deollyn and inform him I require his company for a formal hearing in the throne room in an hour. Oh and Cannyc?" the man turned. "Make sure he attends won't you? The good lord always seems to be suffering bouts of illness at such times as this and I wouldn't want him to miss out. Thankyou."

Cannyc scuried away and Aragorn started to walk towards the Great Hall where breakfast awaited.
Subject: The Healer

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Date Posted: 21:52:42 04/29/02 Mon

No-one had really noticed Faramir. Or at least no-one of enough importance to do anything about it. His arms ached, and his body was sore all over from the long ride. "Please," He called over to a passing servant, "Can you help me get her to her chambers, and send for the doctors?" There was little the woman could do than help the Steward, after all, he was the second most important man there.

Eowyn's rooms were situated in one of the towers, which was cetainly not ideal for this. The winding stone steps went on forever, until at last, there was a soft bed and a doctor with his wife.

Faramir sank into an over stuffed chair. Although he was concerned about Eowyn, he knew she would be alright, and there were other matters pressing on hs mind. "It's no good." He thought out loud. "I'm no use here, and I must speak with Elessar. It is a matter of some urgency." The doctor spun round.
"I can't help you there. I was in his bedchamber before I was called here, and Elessar wasn't there. I needed to change the dressing on his wound, you see. I expect he's gone down to breakfast..." The doctors voice tailed off, as if there were more to the story than had been told.
"What is it?" Faramir inquired, wanting to know everything, "You're hiding something. Is it about Elessar?" And come to that, what wound needed it's dressing changing?
The Doctor was obviously un-comfortable with the story, but a tone in his refusal made Faramir sure, that with a little pressure, he would find what the doctor looked so smug about.

"Oh well." He did not want to give the satisfaction of letting the man informing him with news, "I am sure Elesssar will tell me what it is you seem determinded to hide." With that statemet, he turned to leave. Aware he was indanger of losing his audience, the Healer called to him.
"I doubt he'll do that." There was a pause. "It's not the kind of thing you publicise, spending a night with another woman."
Subject: Orders

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Date Posted: 16:15:35 04/30/02 Tue

The dismissal implicit in his words was clear. Aragorn- no, the King- considered the subject closed. She had no more say in the matter. Angrily, she watched him leave, the closing of the door had a note of finality to it.

Left alone, she quickly collected her clothes from where they lay discarded on the floor and dressed. She had only just finished when a knock came at the door.
"Your majesty?"
The door opened. A healer stood there staring at her, light dawning in his eyes. A flush rising on her cheeks, Namün hurriedly brushed past him, leaving the room. She fled through the palace to her own quarters- a tiny room which she shared with another girl. It was small, dark and cramped, containing little more than two narrow beds and a chest of drawers. Collapsing onto her own, she curled up into a tight ball, trying to gather her thoughts.

Some time later, Kirya came in.
"Namün!" She spoke sharply, "Where on earth have you been. I haven't seen you since last night. Mirwan's going crazy. You'd better have a good explanation- she's going to give you such a whipping."

Namün sat up, exhibiting the marks on her arms in reply.
"Oh..." Kirya's voice softened in sympathy. "Who was it? He didn't...?"

"Deollyn. And no. He was stopped." Namün looked at the other girl, the closest thing she had to a friend here.
"Kirya, I've got to go before the court!"

"Namün, whatever possessed you to do such a thing! You know what it means. You'll lose your job over this, and make things worse for the rest of us besides. Those nobles all stick together. How could you have been so stupid?"

She cracked. "I tried to stop him, he wouldn't listen. I don't have a choice."
Tears came into her eyes for the first time. Kirya observed her in a buisnesslike manner.

"How do you always manage to get yourself into such trouble Namün? The rest of us manage just fine."
Calm hands pushed a clean skirt and blouse into her hands.
"What time do you need to be there? Neaten yourself up a bit at least."
Obediently, she changed clothing, then sat while Kirya ruthlessly combed her hair back and pinned it up neatly.
"You'll do."
Kirya stood up and walked towards the door. "I'll make your excuses to Mirwan, but you know she's not going to like it. For god's sake, hurry up and get back to work. She's got a grudge against you already. Don't give her an excuse to sack you." She left, sending one parting shot back through the door. "Remember Namün, don't trust any of them. They don't care about anybody but themselves."

Namün watched her leave. She wondered if Kirya was right. Could she trust any of them? Reluctantly, she rose. Much as she disliked the King's orders, they had to be obeyed. Slowly she walked to the Great Hall. Taking a deep breath outside the door, she paused for a moment to gather her courage, before pushing open the door.
Subject: Deollyn

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Date Posted: 18:47:24 04/30/02 Tue

Once more he sat upon the hard backed throne, once more he felt the crown slipping dangerously over his eyes and once more Aragorn felt his anger rise as Deollyn stepped into the room, accompanied by two guards, his ankles in chains.

Nervously the other courtiers tittered around him, the look he shot them silenced even this soft background noise leaving the Throne Room in eyrie stillenss.

"The Lord Deollyn, your majesty."

Surprisingly the man did not look that bad, Aragorn had expected him to be nursing a hangover from the previous night, but there was a definate spark in his eye and a merciless set to his jaw.

"Deollyn, how long have you served under me?"
He muttered something impertinant and got cuffed around the ear by one of the guards. "What was that?"
"Four years, my lord"
"Thankyou. And in that time you have served faithfully as my master of arms and have never been called before me is that correct?"
"Indeed it is my lord." The man straightened his shoulders, obviously feeling this meeting was not going to go as badly as he had anticipated.
"It was a serious error of judgement on my behalf and for that I apologise. Over the last couple of weeks it has become clear to me that you are incompetant and entirely unsuited to the job in instated you in. But that is not why you are here.

"It has been brought to my attention that last night you indulged in acts unbecoming of your station or rank. The young woman in question will be arriving shortly," the door moved open, "and here she is."

But it was not Namün who entered.

"The Lord Faramir" called the herald. It was a completely pointless gesture however as the steward was striding up the room towards him, an odd look upon his face
Subject: Elessar

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Date Posted: 21:13:40 04/30/02 Tue

This was ridiculous. Why no-one else could see it, Faramir was unsure. Why should the king take an interest in an attempted attack on a serving girl? Admittedly, he had stopped it before any more damage had been done to the girl, but Elessar could not pretend that this was the first time he had heard of these things.

All eyes turned to him. It actually felt right, going in there, knowing that the justice system was corrupt. Elessar was certainly suprised, if the look on his face was anything to go by. News of his arrival had obviously not reached the preoccupied king.

"Elessar. I must speak with you. Now. It is a matter of great importance." Faramir did his best to glare at the king, but his eyes were not met. As if Elessar was focusing on other things. A moment passed, and Faramir repeated, "Sire, it is a matter of some urgency. Please."
It was as if Elessar had snapped out of a trance, and finally Faramir was noted. The Steward stood there, up in front of the court, waiting for an answer. As much as he was angry, he would try to give Elessar some dignity by revealing his knowledge in private, but if he had to, it would be told to the all the nobles present.
Subject: Arwen and Rhylin

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Date Posted: 21:26:33 04/30/02 Tue

They were close to the campfire when Arwen turned aside, her face distracted, her eyes weeping.

He wanted to say something, a word of comfort, some gesture that would've helped her, but it was his weakness.

He could charm the birds from the trees with a voice worthy of a lark, debate passionately, fight with the strength of many men, think like the greatest philosophers of the age and saw more visions than any other but when it came to connecting to other beings he was at a loss. Often he watched with awe as Arracus easily charmed those who surrounded him, faeries flocking to their youngest prince. Some turned to his friend, dark and handsome standing distantly a little way apart, and tried to engage him in conversation but Rhylin would mouth a few pleasentries and then sink into silence, soon even the most persistant of companions would grow bored and move away. None spoke to him a second time even with the prospect of his wealth and connections. None save Arracus who had followed him, tried to draw out the person he saw lurking behind the shy exterior and eventually they became friends. In Arracus' company Rhylin became animated and alive and Arracus grew to love his quiet friend as a brother as he was loved back.

But with other people Rhylin remained detached, he could not connect with Arwen, could not feel her pain as she turned away from the campfire, tears running from her face.
As her slender form moved away from him Rhylin was reminded of another woman who had walked away from him.


A picture of her beautiful face appeared in his mind and his heart stopped. If only he had been able to say something, anything to her before she had left on her rediculous quest, the result of his vision. As princess she had over-ruled him when he had insisted on warning Elessar, saying that he was too valuable to loose, saying that she would go instead. That would've been the time to tell her, to tell her he loved her that it was she who was too valuable to loose. But he had not and she was gone.

A wave of agony hit him and the vision came. Fighting down the sickness that always accompanied what he saw Rhylin concentrated on the vision at hand. There was Laeriel...

Subject: A New Day

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Date Posted: 21:44:46 04/30/02 Tue

Faeirex stared down at the gown a serving maid had just pushed into her arms. It was a mass of soft icy blue silk and delicate embroidery. The court women had worked fast, she had to say that for them.

Curiously, she tried it on. It fitted her perfectly, clinging to her limbs. The bodice was covered in intricate beading with a low neckline, the sleeves flaring gently around her wrists. When she turned, the skirts swirled about her, the silk rustling gently. How much would a dress like this cost?
There were shoes to match, then a beautiful filigree necklace. Finally, she found a note, crushing her illusions.
Methinks in this you will be the brightest star at court. Be strong. Soon the time will come that you will rule the fate of many. Do not disappoint me Earthchild.

Faeirex crushed the note in her fist.
Don't feel you have a hold on me that easily. I may be under your command for now, but don't think this hold will last forever. I will be free of you if it's the last thing I do.

With a heavy heart, she placed the necklace around her slender throat, fastening the chain. To her, it was as weighty as a manacle. She stepped in front of the mirror.
However she might feel about the 'gift', she reluctantly conceeded that the sender had taste. It gave a beautiful contrast to her dark hair and creamy skin- Faeirex looked as regal as any queen. That was the point, she supposed.

Lightly, she stepped to the door. Legolas waited outside. With a thrill of pleasure she watched the way his eyes widened when he saw her. The actress in her took over. Giving him a charming smile, she took his arm, eyes sparkling with a mischief that was almost genuine.
"I'm ready. Let's go greet the assembled multitudes. I'm sure they're made desolate by our absence."
Gratifyingly, he laughed. She smiled back. This was going to be easier than she'd thought.
Subject: Regaining Strength

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Date Posted: 01:28:50 05/01/02 Wed

It had been days and no one had come for her. Even the man who brought her to the healing house had not checked on her. For some reason, though, that did not trouble Laeriel.

Since the night before nothing troubled Laeriel, for she felt something drawing near, something coming that would take her trouble away.

She sensed her, she knew she was coming.

She saw her in her dreams, she heard the bird's whisper of her on her windowsill in the morning. She had to be coming.

The very thought of her made Laeriel get goosebumps. They had been together since birth, eachother's most faithful and trusting friend, always there for eachother, one never letting the other down.

Laeriel's sister Sahrien was coming, she was sure of it.

Laeriel's twin, her other half. The one that kept her grounded, the one that gave her sense and reason. The one that calmed her when she was excited, the one who brought her to earth when Laeriel's heart was soaring in the heavens. Her twin sister, Sahrien.

Laeriel was sitting by the window, on a chair one of the healers pulled up for her. Her sickness was almost completely gone, it was probably just a result of being under stress, everyone said. Her only problem now was that she was weak from being in bed. That soon would not be a problem, though, she was regaining her strength quickly. Ever since she heard of her sister's coming, she dramatically improved.

She took in a deep breath, the morning air filling her lungs, reaching to the depths of her soul. As she exhaled she let all her cares flow from her body and float away on the wind, she would worry no longer. She figured Legolas had not come for her because he knew not where she was. She had told the squirel to lead whomever was looking for her to the tree, only the birds knew where she was now and they would have nothing to do with humans. She once tried to pursuade a swallow to help her, but he insisted that there were no elves in the palace and flew away. She sighed, it was useless to ask birds for help.

Laeriel watched the new sun climb above the trees, the healers would bring her breakfast soon. Her hungry stomach grumbled slightly, she hadn't had a proper meal in days. Everytime the healers brought her breakfast she didn't eat it, humans had such strange eating habbits. They ate almost no greens, their diet consisted mostly of domestic pig and cattle meat, and bread. She ate the bread, she liked the bread, but she wouldn't touch the meat. They would not bring her rabbit, though she begged them to. She ate the eggs sometimes, but she much prefered wild chicken or robin eggs to that of a domestic chicken. She sighed, the first thing she would do when she was well would be to go into the woods and find herself a decent meal.

Laeriel heard a bird's song rise high above the trees in the distance. Song, she handn't sung since she arrived here. That's what she needed, a song. She took a deep breath, and broke into a tune as old as the trees.

By the stream, by the stream
Where cool water flows
We sit ever singing by the stream

By the stream, by the stream, the grass grows green
And the trees are ever in bloom
Our children play in the hills all day
And we sing our immortal tune

By the stream, by the stream
Where cool water flows
We sit ever singing by the stream

The faeries play in the forest all day
In the forest that grows by the stream
We sing, we sing, our voices rising high
And our eyes with mischevious gleam

By the stream, by the stream
Where cool water flows
We sit ever singing by the stream

By the stream, by the stream, we shall always be
And we shall never stray far
It flows in our veins and gives us life
And keeps our voices rising to the stars

By the stream, by the stream
Where cool water flows
We sit ever singing by the stream

Laeriel finished her song just in time to see one of the maids walk in, carrying a tray of food.
"Her you go, dear, we finally got some rabbit for you. We were worried because you haven't been eating," She said as she set the tray on a small table before her, "Was that you singing?" She asked. Laeriel nodded. "That was some of the most beautiful singing I've heard in a while, save my daughter, perhaps. Maybe you'd like to hear her sing sometime? You two would sound beautiful together," the maid said.

"That would be lovely," Laeriel said.

"Well then, I'll leave you to your food. I'll have to bring my daughter to meet you sometime. My name is Anilla, by the way," The maid said, extending her hand. Laeriel shook her hand.

"My name is Laeriel," she said.

"Well then, Laeriel, it's very nice to meet you. I'll be going now and let you eat," Anilla said, and she turned and left the room.

Laeriel looked down at her food, finally, a decent meal. Some thick rabbit stew and bread with butter. It smelled positively delicious. Laeriel smiled a little, and proceeded to eat her breakfast.
Subject: Discussion

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Date Posted: 08:01:41 05/01/02 Wed

Pushing the palantir away, Arwen tried to control her rage. She did not want it here. She would rather Elessar had, and then at last she could be free of the pictures. Leaving the circular sanctuary of her room, she strode back out to Arracus, who was watcing Rhylin intently.
"Arracus," she whispered, "is he alright?" She nudged her head in Rhylins direction.
"Another vision. It'll be over in a minute." Arracus returned to watching his friend closely.
"Does he get a lot then, I mean, more than others?" Arwen asked. Arracus did not seem to mind her question.
"Yes. Many. Some of us can go hundreds of years with only a few, but Rhylin cannot go a week.I do not know why, it is just something that happens to him."

Now the conversation turned to herself, and she noticed Arracus glance down to the slight swelling at her waist. "How long of you carried the child?" He asked.
"A little over five months." Came the reply. Arracus looked shocked-
"Five months! Then how long before birth?" He sounded so suprised, that Arwen was quite worried.
"A little under four months." Her voice was laden with aprehension, why was he so shocked at these facts?
Arracus shook his head.
"I am sorry Arwen, I just forgot. For us, it is not practical to bear a child for that kind of time, and therefore solved the problem." Arracus eased her nerves, but now it looked as if it was her turn to be suprised. "You see, we have a draught. It speeds up the time- why, if you have carried the child for a few months, you could give birth within two weeks!"

Arwen was amazed. Two weeks! As much as the idea sounded appealing, was she ready to be a mother in two weeks?
"I am un-sure. Maybe. But first, I must return to Minas Tirith. I need to speak with Elessar, I have un-finished buisiness, and the sooner that I can straighten affirs with him, then I will consider it." Arracus thought she would have jumped at the chance, but it was clear she needed a little persuasion.
"I say this only because I am your friend- but there are hard times ahead, when one would not wish to be heavy with child. After your visit to Elessar, please take the draught."

Arwen nodded. It was agreed then, Arracus would take her to see Elessar, and on her return, she would take the draught.
Subject: A Long Journey Ahead

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Date Posted: 17:18:05 05/01/02 Wed

Bergil stood watching everyone bid each other farewell. Standing beside him was his gelding, Ildar. Bergil looked at Ildar and smiled, the look on his face was so confused. The poor horse was not exactly sure what on earth was happening. He was obviously curious of the strange little people that surrounded him. He snorted the first time he saw Pippin and he balked everytime a strange hobbit came walking round the corner. He seemed to be calming down though, his big brown eyes now just quietly surveying the situation. Bergil admired his deep bay coat. It was so bay, it was almost black. He had nice, healthy dappling across his hips and shoulder, and his legs were so dark it was hard to tell when his black points ended and faded into a deep red. He had a single white sock on his right hind leg, and a broken stripe running down his nose. Other than then he'd no white markings. He was a tall horse, easily 16 hands, and he had long, strong legs. Bergil scratched his forehead and Ildar sighed with content, He was very fond of Ildar. Ildar reached a long, crested, neck over towards the waggon where Ryna sat. He sniffed her hair and lipped it gently, testing if it was good to eat. Ryna giggled and stroked his nose, then she reached down into her pack and pulled out a carrot. Ildar's ears perked up and he nickered, now this was something he recognized! Ryna giggled again and fed him the carrot, Ildar muched on it happily. Ryna was now his new best friend.

Finally, when they were all done saying their goodbyes, the company set out on the road. The little pony pulling the waggon couldn't keep up with Ildar's long legs, so Bergil dismounted and lead Ildar beside the cart.
"Are you sure you'll be able to make it all the way on foot?" Pippin asked Bergil.
"I'll be fine, my friend, a long walk'd do me some good. I've been idle at home far to long," he replied.

And so they walked along, Bergil leading Ildar on foot and the hobbits in the cart. Bergil listended to the racket they all made. The cart creaking incesently, Ryna humming a childish tune and Ildars hooves pounding the dirt road. It was a good thing no one was following them, Bergil thought to himself. Bergil took in a deep breath of the afternoon air, they had a long journey ahead of them.
Subject: Awake

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Date Posted: 21:00:36 05/01/02 Wed

Eowyn groaned. Slowly, her eyelids fluttered open. She winced as the harsh light from the large windows met her eyes. Propping herself up on her elbows, she tried to lever herself into a sitting position. Her limbs were stiff and, hard as she tried, she could not move more than a little. A warm hand clasped her shoulder.
"Faramir?" she croaked. No. It was just a healer. He wore a white robe and a friendly smile.
"You need rest" he told her. Eowyn frowned. Whatever her situation was, no one was going to tell her what she needed.
"I don't need rest," she said stubbornly. "What I need is to get out of these rags I'm wearing, a decent meal and my husband by my side." As she said it, pains shot through her body. She ached all over and her head span.
"What's wrong with me?"
"Nothing," the doctor said reassuringly. "You're just a bit stiff and sore - you'll be back to normal in a couple of days. The maid will bring you a meal."
Before long, a plate of steaming meat and a glass of water was carried in to her. Eowyn's lips were dry and chapped, but she took a long gulp of water. The liquid made her throat burn and her head stang even more.
She took a bite of meat. She couldn't keep it down, however. Rolling onto her side, she retched.
A maid immediately came to clean up the mess, not looking to pleased. Using all her energy, Eowyn pushed the tray aside. So that was it. She was stuck in a bed, weak and useless. And alone. Suddenly she became angry. Why wasn't he here? Didn't he care enough to stay with her?
Closing her eyes, she tried to forget everything and fall asleep. In the morning, it would be alright. In the morning, she would get up and go for a ride outside the city.
In the morning, he would be here.
Subject: The steward

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Date Posted: 21:08:35 05/01/02 Wed

Faramir was standing infront of him talking, but Aragorn wasn't really listening; he was concentrating on Namün who had just sidled in, lingering at the back of the room. Her hair was tied back securely and her blouse in stark contrast to her bronze skin. For him there was no one else in the chamber.

"Sire, it is a matter of some urgency. Please."

He focused on the angry steward infront of him, "yes?" he snapped irriatably. "I am holding court at the moment, this is really not a good time."
Faramir refused to move however so he sighed, called for a break and turned his attention towards the steward. "Alright. What is it? Trouble at Helm's Deep?"
Subject: A Lecture

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Date Posted: 07:34:38 05/02/02 Thu

It was only when the nobles began to talk amoungst themselves, that Faramir spoke. Not wishing to be over-heard, he stept nearer the king and spoke in a harsh whisper. "Do not think I am as blind as they. I may only just have returned, but I am fully aware of the situation. There are matters at Helm's Deep, but you know I would never interupt court for that. I am not a fool, and I will not let you corrupt this courtroom with your biased and impartial judgements." Faramir stopped, and it was apparent that the king still did not follow his words. "Alright. Let me put it this way. You would not show any favouritism to this particular servant girl, would you? This trial has nothing to do with the fact you spent last night with her, does it?" He could tell by the look on the King's face, he was on the right tracks. "Two days ago, you suffered a near-fatal injury, after or during which the Queen dissapears. You make little or attempt to find her, and the next night you share with another woman!" His voice was getting louder, and he knew he would have to be careful, or others would hear. "And," He finished off, "you have the nerve to wear her necklace. I have always admired and respected you, but now I realise that I will have to act as I see fit." He paused again, and then finished, spitting the words with venom, "You disgust me." Before turning away to address the crowds.

"All of you." People turned to see the speaker. "All of you, I see this court will never give an impartial judgement on this case. I would disregard all sentances on this matter. However, the only one to overrule me is Elessar, and I would ask him to very carefuly consider his options and motives before continuing."

So Elessar knew that he knew. But would he listen? Would he just ignore the steward, or would he at least take some of his advice? There was only one answer, and only the king could give that.
Subject: Trial

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Date Posted: 17:31:19 05/02/02 Thu

Aragorn gripped the arm rests of the throne, his knuckles turning white, the wood digging into the fragile skin of his newly healed hands, his eyes blazing with barely concealed anger.

How Faramir knew he could only guess, but that was not what had filled the king with this rage. It was his choice to come down here and accuse Aragorn, to thrust his morals and opinions into a situation that he not only knew nothing about but was also none of his business.

So what if he had spent the night with Namün? Justice was still justice and to allow coutiers to terrorise the servants mearly because of their rank was not justice.

He had not searched for Arwen that was certainly true but then how could he have carried out such a search? The palantir was missing and knowing his wife she could be anywhere and whatever Faramir might think it would be almost impossible to locate her and a total waste of resources.

Biting down anger filled responces Aragorn rose sedatly from the throne, trying to keep his voice steady he spoke. "The Lord Faramir speaks well but I fear that the facts remain the same.

"Many of you know Deollyn and I would ask you all, do any believe he is suitable for command?"
A nervous silence filled the room.
"It is for my people's safety that I strip him of his rank rather than any other sinister motive." He paused again, for dramatic effect and to compose himself.
"The Lord Steward calls me impartial and I must confess him to be intirely correct." Another pause and his voice rose." How can one be anything but biased when the choices are to support truth, justice and virtue or to support a drunken fool, who disgraces his title and position?"

Deollyn pulled against the guards and started to shout insults at Aragorn, who stood breathing heavily in front of the throne.
"What did you call me?!"
"A drunken fool and a disgrace. There is nothing more to say on the matter therefore I sentance you to a 5 year excile. Consider yourself fortunate in this, for at this moment I can think of nothing I would like more that to cleave you limb from limb, such is my anger."
His blood pressure high Aragorn turned to sit back down on the throne when Deollyn called "why don't you try?"
Slowly he turned back towards the assembled couriters and the struggling Deollyn, "I'm sorry?"
"Trial by single combat. As the son of a nobleman I have the right to whatever trial I choose." He paused thoughtfully before throwing the king's words back at him, "it is only justice."
Quivering with bareley supressed fury Aragorn answered as calmly as he could. "Very well. As the accused you can chose the weapons, time and place."
"Today, late afternoon, the training grounds, broadswords."
"Whatever you wish. Justice will of course prevail."
"Of course," Deollyn answered as he was escorted out of the room into a cell where he could prepare for the duel. "I hope your majesty is in good shape," he sneered and was pulled forcefully out of the door.

Sinking into his throne Aragorn felt the depression sweep through his body. How would he survive this?
Subject: Pleas

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Date Posted: 18:38:16 05/02/02 Thu

Namün watched the scene unfold before her with horror. This shouldn't be happening.

Fear filled her. She knew better than anyone that the King was in no condition for a fight. The wound to his back was not yet fully healed, and added to that were the cuts on his knuckles which would stiffen his grip. He'd be hurt, maybe killed...

She plunged forwards, stopping just in front of the throne. Despite the trembling of her hands and lower lip, when she spoke it was in a clear enough voice to be heard by everybody in the room.
"Your Majesty, I don't want this. Enough hurt has been done already. Please don't add to it. Let the man go."

Standing beside him, she could see the man who had interrupted proceedings. Dimly, she recognised him as the Steward of Gondor. He had been eyeing her with undisguised hostility, but she saw him start a little when she turned towards him, giving the man a clear view of the bruises on her arms and the swelling by her lip where she had been hit.

Again, she looked at the King. Judging by his expression, he was immune to her plea. The fury on his face was clear, softening only slightly when he met her eyes.
"Please," she whispered in a voice quiet enough not to carry to the rest of the court.
Subject: Weakness

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Date Posted: 19:05:54 05/02/02 Thu

"I'm sorry Namün but the decision is not mine to make. It left my control when he challenged me to single combat, now I must go through with it whatever my personal feelings on the matter."

Aragorn winced a little as he gingerly lowered himself back down into the throne. She was right. He shouldn't fight. He wasn't well.

And yet in the heat of the moment, as Deollyn had called out his challenge, there had seemed only one choice: to accept. Even the thought of the insolent courtier sent the blood racing through his veins. He deserved to be thrashed within an inch of his life, to know the fear that one felt as someone stronger stood over you, knowing they held your life in their hands. And you are the man to do this? asked his common sense. Tactfully Aragorn ignored it but it still remained nagging at him from the back of his conciousness.

He focused again on the two people in front of him. "The trial will go ahead as Deollyn requested. I apologise if either of you believe that I can not win, but then," here he turned to Faramir his voice cold, "that is what you wanted isn't it? After all who serves a king who disgusts them?"
The steward looked shocked and Aragorn felt a twinge of dark pleasure at this small conquest.
"If you'll excuse me I must prepare for the duel. I trust I shall you shall attend?" He raised his voice so it could be heard above the courtiers gossiping. "I bid you all farewell. Court is adjorned."
Subject: Duelling?

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Date Posted: 21:55:07 05/02/02 Thu

As Faramir left the room, he was confused. The man he had just seen was not the Elessar he had left. Before, he had been wise, rational and understanding. Now he seemed rash, acting on impulse, with no principles, or by the look of things common sense!

Deollyn could fight well enough. He was younger than the aging king, and had chosen his weapon carefully. With Elessar injured, it was more than probable that Deollyn would win. Where would that leave Elessar? So many questions, needed so many answers, that it was a short time before Faramir remembered the problems at Helm's Deep. In any case, he was now too proud to ask Elessar for assistance. He had more authority than he used, and was now prepared to do so.

As much as the king seemed arrogant and biased in the courtroom, Faramir would not allow him to be injured in the duel that afternoon. Not really knowing Deollyn worked to his disadvantage, but he was sure with a little persuasion he would be easy on Elessar, and get off with a mild penalty. Yes, he would visit Deollyn later, and then visit Elessar, for the changed man he may be, there were still things he wished to discuss with him. First, however, he would visit Eowyn, see if she was awake. Talk to her, and try and clear his head. And again, Faramir appreciated Eowyn's straight thinking and practicallity. Not many nobles could turn to their wives when in need of advise.
Subject: A rustle in the bushes

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Date Posted: 16:25:18 05/03/02 Fri

The company had been on the road for half a day now, and they were making good time. Bergil walked briskly, leading Ildar slightly ahead of the hobbits. The sun was now low in they sky and the day was growing old. The dying sunlight filtered through the trees and made yellow and orange mosaic designs on the dirt road. Bergil took a deep breath of the afternoon air, they would have to find a place to camp soon. Bergil turned to address the hobbits when Ildar suddenly stopped. His ears perked up and he sniffed the air.
"What's wrong, Illy? Hear something?" Bergil said, patting his neck. "There's nothing there, come on then," he said, he pulled on Ildar's reins. Ildar refused to move, his hooves planted firmly on the road. He raised his head and gave a loud whinny, silence followed.
"There's no one there, Ildar, your friends are far away," Bergil pulled on his reins more firmly, Ildar still would not move. Once again, he raised his head high and whinnied, but this time, an answering whinny came from somewhere far off in the forest. Everyone was silent. The pony pulling the hobbit's waggon whinnied, another answering whinny came, but closer this time, right off the road. Bergil reached for his bow, horses did not wander alone, not to mention in the forest alone; the horse must have a rider. He handed Ildar's reins to Ryna, "Hold on to these tightly, don't let him wander off," He told her. Then, He walked towards the side of the road the whinny had come from.

He held his bow tightly, pointing his arrow directly in front of him. There was a rustle in the bushes, off to the left. Quickly, Bergil turned to face the sound. He slowly walked towards it, "Who goes there?" He asked, his voice cracking a little. No response. Wait! Another rustle, further to the left. Bergil rushed towards the sound. He aimed his arrow and the cluster of bushes, poised to shoot, "Who goes there? Tell me now or I'll shoot," Bergil said, a little more confident.

"Don't shoot, I will not hurt you or your friends," a voice in the bushes said.

"Show yourself!" Bergil demanded. His arrow still at the ready.

"If you promiss not to shoot me, boy, I'll be happy to show myself," the voice said. It was definately a female voice.

"Stand up slowly, with your hands in the air, then I shall decide whether or not I shoot," Bergil said, feeling very manly and grown up.

The female voice laughed, a light, musical laugh. "Alright then, if that's the way you want it," She said. Then, she stood up.

Bergil was breathless.

She was beautiful. Long raven black hair, so long it fell past her waist, but it was curly at the ends despite its length. She had dark olive skin, with no imperfections. Her eyes were a dark, piercing emerald green. Her lips were full, but not large, and they were the color of red rose petals. She was short in stature, but decidedly older than Bergil. She wore a sleeveless tunic like dress made of a bone colored, muslin like material. Her dress would've had no shape, but she had a thin, golden rope criss-crossed around her midsection and tied neatly around her waist. It was mid-thigh length, and had slits up both sides of skirt, probably for easier movement for climbing trees or riding. Wait, riding, Bergil remembered, where was the horse? Ildar still seemed to be upset about something.

"I thought I heard a horse," Bergil said to the girl, "Where is it?"

"My loud mouthed horse," She said with a smile, "Is right over here," and she brought her fingers to her lips and gave a clear, loud whistle that echoed through the forest. Momments later, a horse came bouding out of the forest. The horse was small, only about 15 hands, but it was built sturdily. It was coal black, as black as the girl's hair, and had no white markings. It had a small, refined head that tied nicely into a highly crested neck. It's eyes were large and expressive, and, Bergil noticed, sky blue. In all Bergil's years with horses, he had never seen a black horse with blue eyes; until now he thought it was impossible. The horse carried it's head high, it's nostrils flared and it's tail raised. It looked around nervously until it spotted Ildar. It strode up to Ildar with a proud, springy trot and put it's nose to his. Bergil watched as their ears twitched nervoulsy back and forth, their noses next to eachother and their necks arched; as horses who are meeting for the first time normally do. They seemed to like eachother, niether of them squealed. Then, the strange horse when to the pony pulling the cart. Immediately the pony squealed and bit the new horse. The defeted horse squealed and shied away, returning to Ildar, head hanging low.

Bergil laughed, it was clear who liked who. He turned back towards the girl, "What is your name?" He asked her.

"My name is Sahrien," She said. "And yours?"

"Bergil, Beregond's son," Bergil replied, extending his hand. "Your horses name?"

"Salypsiné," She replied, shaking his hand. "The loud mouthed and pig headed."

Bergil laughed. "My horse is Ildar, the stupid," He said, with a smile. Sahrien laughed. He turned to look at his horse. Ildar was happy to have a friend, the pony wasn't very nice to him (or Salypsiné, either). Bergil was guessing from the new horses name that it must be a mare. Although Ildar was a gelding, he still enjoyed a lady's company. Bergil smiled to himself. He turned back towards Sahrien. "You both have strange names, from whence do you come?" He asked.

"That does not matter, for now," Sahrien replied, "What matters is where we are going. You are going to Minas Tirith, no?" She asked.

Bergil looked stuned. "How did you know?" He asked.

Sahriend smiled. "May we journey with you?" She asked, avoiding the question with tact, "We are also journeying to the White City."

Bergil thought for a momment. She refused to tell him where she came from and how she knew where he was going, but she seemed nice. The hobbits didn't seem to mind her and Ildar liked her horse.

He made up his mind.

"Alright," He said, "You may come with us, on one condition," he paused. Sahriend looked on expectantly. "You must walk your horse, the pony can't keep up, and, you must eventually tell me where you come from," He finished.

"Isn't that two conditions?" Sahrien asked, smiling. Bergil huffed.

"That is beside the point," He said.

"Alright, alright!" She said. "I will agree to your two conditions," She smiled.

"It's a deal then," Bergil said. "Let us waist no time, we must keep moving if we want to get somewhere before nightfall," He said, addressing the hobbits as well as Sahrien.

Ryna liked the new horse, she fed Salypsiné a carrot. Salypsiné munched it happily. Pippin gathered up the pony's reins, Bergil took Ildar's reins in his hands. Salypsiné and Sahrien walked side-by-side, a little ahead of everyone else. And the company set off, the sun sinking slowly behind the trees.

Subject: Everything and nothing

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Date Posted: 19:53:28 05/03/02 Fri

Hfäinién. It is no more than a whisper, a flutter on the breeze. When your soundless sleep is disrupted by dreams, Hfäinién is what you see. When you slip from reality and your mind drifts free of your body, Hfäinién is what you imagine. When a murmuring wind breaks the stillness of the air, Hfäinién is what you hear.
Hfäinién is everything. Hfäinién is nothing.
Hfäinién is the truth, it is false, it is fact, it is fake. It is reality, it is imaginary.
Hfäinién is the past. Hfäinién is the present. Hfäinién is the future.
Subject: Watching

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Date Posted: 21:43:26 05/03/02 Fri

Anawiel sat in the corner of Elessars throne room. She had heard everything. Including what Faramir had said.
Faramir had changed a lot since she had last seen him, many years ago of course. But still, it had surpirsed her the differences.
She had intented on following the Steward, but after what he had said - if it was true - her plans were falling into ruins. Now she swiftly moved away from her seat.
The king was making his way out of the room and she had to catch up with him.
"Court is adjourned" the king's voice rang out across the room.
Anawiel followed him, ducking through the door he exited from, her temper rising with every second.
Out of the court room, Anawiel called out.
"Your Majesty!"
But Elessar simply turned, barely acknolodging her prescence.
"I said 'Your Majesty'!" Anawiel yelled behind him and the kings steady pace picked up, gradually getting faster.
They were nearing a door.
Throwing out her right arm a ripple of violet power seemed to burst from her outstrected palm, slamming the door in the king's face.
Elessar spun round shocked. Anawiel marched forward, grabbing his neck, pinning the pale man against the wall. With her free hand she slapped him, hard and sharp, across the cheek.
" Now , will you listen to me, Your Majesty?"
Subject: Anawiel

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Date Posted: 08:48:58 05/04/02 Sat

As he walked down the corridors towards the Aryante, the healer's chambers, Aragorn could hear the girl behind him.

"Your majesty."

He turned, allowing her to see that while he recognised her, he had other important things to attend to, please would she reschedule this interview for another time. But she kept calling.

"I said your majesty." The healers door was in sight. Aragorn started to walk faster. Obviously the girl was not going to be detered and in the mood he was in a confrontation would likely begin with "My majesty is busy," which was not a good start.

Suddenley he found himself picked up and flung around violently into the wall, one of her hands choking him the other swinging across his tender face. It was Anawiel, Arwen's cousin, behaving like one insane.

"Now, will you listen to me your majesty?"
Aragorn tried to reply that it seemed he really had no choice but her grip on his neck was too tight and instead all that came out was a unaudible mumble. Realizing her mistake Anawiel released him and the king fell panting to the floor.

"What in the name of the gods is wrong with you?! Are you trying to kill me?"
Subject: Witchcraft

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Date Posted: 14:01:56 05/04/02 Sat

Faeirex felt the surge of power instantly. A sudden sour note in the air which made her teeth ache. She looked at Legolas.
"Did you feel that?"
He nodded. As if following some unheard instruction, they both quickened their pace, tracking the source of the power. She dropped deep into her consciousness, already weaving complex counterspells.

They emerged into a hallway, and she gasped. The red-headed girl stood there, apparantly attacking the king.
"Dain, morier!*" she cried, automatically slipping into elvish.
"Mani naa lle umien, lle amada! Lle ilsint mani tyalle yassen! Sina templa naa ‘ksh.*"

Everyone fell silent, staring at her. ta naa amin ya naa I’amada* she thought briefly, before continuing. Slipping back into the human tongue, she raged at the girl.
"Witchcraft is not like Elven magic. Elves use the power of the earth, witchcraft uses power borrowed from dark places. It is evil magic; it will consume you. The hold that the dark creatures have on you grows stronger each time you use the power, and what you have taken from them they will claim back tenfold. Do not have the arrogance to believe you can fight them, this is out of your control. You have brought chaos magic here! Naa dolle lost?*"

She trembled with fury. This foolish mortal could destroy everything with her games!


*1.Be silent, dark one!
*2.What are you doing, you fool! You know not what you play with! This magic is dangerous.
*3.It is me who is the fool
*4.Is your head empty?
Subject: Watching

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Date Posted: 20:34:38 05/04/02 Sat

No! What was she doing? Leave him alone! Arwen screamed silently at the palantir. All of you, leave him alone! A hunger crept through her body. Incredible desire, longing, craving, yearning. For one man. One man who did not love her. One man who, the moment she had been away had shared his bed with another woman. One man who did not care for her. The one man she had forsaken an immortal life to stand beside. Now, the one man, her reason for being here, not to go to the undying lands with kindred, had disregarded her.

Her voice was gentle, shaking slightly with the fresh tears that spilled from her eyes. I have shed more tears over you than anything that has ever threatened me. You are my life- force, my reason for staying. I love you, I loved you, and this will never cease. You may disregard me, and no longer care for me, but you still have my heart. Love is like a wound. It carries a scar- and I doubt I shall ever be free of the pain. I will die without you. I love you, Aragorn, Elessar, Dunadain- whatever name you choose, you shall always carry my love.

Brushing away her hair, which had mingled with her tears, the image faded. He would probably not receive the message, because he did not want to. He held her in no favour, and the channels of his mind would not be open to her voice. How she wished he carried another palantir, how she wished that somehow he could hear her words, know her feeling. Why should this message work? But could it...?
Subject: The vision

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Date Posted: 18:17:10 05/06/02 Mon

He stands on a wasteland, no wind blows but the air is alive with the shouts of men, dwarves, orcs and faeries.


Their presence startles him for a moment until he remembers his vision and Laeriel's mission. Obviously Elessar has accepted the offer of assistance. An army of snarling orcs bare their teeth within rows of rusty steal.

The vision takes him closer to the action and he can see the leaders of the free people. Elessar, wearing his winged helm, Anduril clasped in his outstretched hand calls for the charge. The elf Legolas riding beside him, head low over the horse's neck. Gimli the dwarf, leads the armies of the glittering caves. King Eomer responds to Elessar's shout and the men of Rohan gallop towards the goblin army. Laeriel, on foot, surrounded by faeries, one of whom he recognises as himself.

The vision grows faint and Rhylin strains against it, desparate to see more but the colours of the battlefield grow dim and are lost as a new picture appears.

He sees himself standing with the elf.
"Arwen, I'm so sorry. If there's anything I can do..."
"There's nothing you can do."
Then this too fades.

This time in courtyard, shadowed in night's cloak, stand Arwen and Elessar. The gentle scent of the white tree floats on the breeze as does the sound of raised voices.
"I thought you had gone; that you didn't love me. What was I supposed to do, spend the rest of my life as a hermit?"
"You could've looked for me!"
"How did you expect me to do that? You stole my palantir!"
"Well you didn't have to lie!"

He feels the faint touch of embarressment upon the cheeks of his spirit and is glad when this scene is pulled away from him and the battlefield forms again.

Laeriel's slender figure huddled over, her tears staining the dusty earth. He can almost feel the misery radiating off her yet the cause of her grief is not obvious. He stands there detached, a transparent form and she looks up, as if she sees him. Then finally this vision fades and he is hurled roughly into the comforting weight of his body.

Shakily he rose to his feet. Arracus and Arwen stood not 4 feet away from him and the prince ran to his friend.
"They are getting worse," Rhylin whispered. "I don't know how many more I can stand."
He turned to the she elf who stood alone where Arracus had left her. He would not tell her what he had seen, it would only serve to make matters worse. Yet as Arracus led him away, still trembling, Rhylin's heart swelled with compassion. Many ordeals awaited her. He could only hope she would have the strenght of spirit to survive them.

Subject: Rhylin

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Date Posted: 18:48:21 05/06/02 Mon

The creature was strong. His name, Rhylin, was nothing, and his physical strength was not great. But he had an amazingly strong spirit. His body flowed with thoughts and feelings and passions, and Hfäinién. He fed on these visions, but they fed on him. Before long, they would be the end of him. His body could not cope with the immense power that surged through him and sooner or later his body would give up, or his mind would.
A Hfäinién as powerful as those which he suffered, and so often, would drive him mad. He would lose the weakening grip he had over them and they would consume him. It was highly dangerous, but he could not stop it. He was one to be pitied, for when one is not in control over their fate, they live a condemned life, and all they can do is wait.
But Rhylin was important. More important than he knew. His visions could change the fate of others. The past can not be changed, but through him, people would be able to alter the course set out for them. It was a curse, but also a gift. The gift would not always be there, however, and it's power needed true recognition, before the flame went out. Hfäinién would be his end.
Subject: A message

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Date Posted: 16:41:51 05/07/02 Tue

The High-elf and Legolas where there now.
The High-elf had called her a fool, accused her of not knowing of her own magic.
" Antolle ulua sulrim!*" Anawiel replied back in Sindarin Elfish, startling the two elves. She turned to Faeirex and spoke in Quenya - high elven, hoping that Legolas may not understand all the words, being of Mirkwood.
"Lle sinta il en'amin templa *. Lle n'rangwa'amin ar lle n'sinta'amin dethola menle. *"
Aragorn was still standing, stock still against the wall, puzzlement and terror etched on his face.
Anawiel spoke again in the Common Tongue. "My magic is not evil. Have you forgotten Gandalf the White? A wizard may choose their path and witches alike! My magic is as black as yours. I am human, though elfish blood runs in my veins. Arwen is a relation of mine by her long-dead uncle's side. He chose mortality, yet was still elven. Amin sinta ya lle naa, Cala'quessir *. Manka lle irma lle essa a'erin olin san'lle lond a'rangwa amin beth *. Please, " She added, sinking to her knees, her hands clasped as if in pray. Begging . The woman looked down at her in disbelief and suspicion. The change in Anawiel's character had been sudden to say the least. Was it just an act? But Anawiel's tears were real and they choked the words that tumbled from the soceresses' lips.
"Surely, you a High-Elf, must believe me. You have wisdom beyond all others and I could not deceive you with words or magic. So many have thought as you do now. I wish merely to speak with the king. I meant him no harm, I swear. I was angry. He betrayed my cousin and I owe her so much. But have never repayed her. Now I know I don't have long. The darkness is coming and it will take my soul. It is my fate as a witch. We are to be wiped out - good and evil. Magic of our kind will disappear from Middle-Earth. Too many of Angmar betrayed Sauron. My mother did. I came here as I am in danger and require the king's help. The king also is in danger - but now is not the right time to tell. It can wait."
Rising from the floor, she dusted herself down and muttered a healing spell for the nail marks in Aragorns neck. She hurried away, head bowed, back to the darkness of her tower room.


1= Much wind pores from your mouth!
2= You know not of my magic.
3= You don't understand me and you don't know my choice (i.e- chosen) path.
4= I know who you are, High-Elf
5= If you desire your name to remain a secret then you have to understand my word (i.e-You have to believe me)
Subject: Investigations

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Date Posted: 20:15:14 05/07/02 Tue

Almost before the witch had finished speaking, Faeirex's mind was racing. She needed to know more about the strange new player in her everlasting game- had to know, if she were to win.
Hfäinién. Hfäinién would have the answer. Hfäinién was past, present and future.

She was not Cariale though. And, truth be told, she was scared. Scared of what it would do to her. Yes, Cariale had explained to her what to do, long ago. But never had she had to use that training in this way. When one meddled with the elements, there was a price to pay. Hfäinién was knowledge, and knowledge was power. But put too much power into a person and it would destroy them. Hfäinién was death.
And Cariale had died, another helpless victim in the endless struggle between good and evil. But her knowledge lived on.

Carefully, Faeirex opened her mind, merging it with the vast presence that was Hfäinién. Knowledge swamped her as she had known it would. If she wasn't careful, it would drive her insane.
Following the directions that Cariale had given her long ago, she didn't fight. She became not a separate entity, but part of Hfäinién itself. The being flowed through her, and as it went she sifted through the vast memory of the world, lifting out everything about the witch.

And in a second, she knew. Anawiel. She saw her life from the day she was born, saw her every action, saw the girl's death. All that had been, and all that would be. But one moment, and she knew Anawiel better than she even knew herself. And knew-
"Melmonu!" she gasped, letting the bond with Hfäinién drop. She opened her eyes. The man and the elf both stood there, eyeing her curiously. She forced a smile.
"If you would excuse me, your majesty."
She bowed her head to him, leaving swiftly and gracefully. Keep up the act. Melmonu complicated things further still. She should have killed the woman while she had the chance. Instead, she had let a rare moment of pity stay her hand. And now she would pay for it. As she would pay for all her actions, come the final day of retribution. And that day was coming, every second she brought it's passage nearer. On this game, the timer was drawing to a close.
Subject: Hfäinién

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Date Posted: 20:51:48 05/07/02 Tue

The elf had checked up on her. Anawiel knew that. She could feel the power being drawn from the air. The elf would know - but would she understand? The witch doubted it.
As long as the king and the two elves kept their mouths shut she would be fine. But Melmonu wouldn't. Her mother was her opposite - everything Anawiel had never wanted to be, but knew one day - if she wasn't careful - she'd become. A high elf could destroy Anawiel even getting a chance to repent. Even to live.
Hfäinién would have shown her things that the sorceress could never know about herself.
But the young witch was not stupid. She knew the dark was too strong for any of her race to fight. Sauron's will would eventually take her soul.
And Faeirex would be watching when it did.
Subject: Frustration

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Date Posted: 20:53:08 05/07/02 Tue

Rising to his feet Aragorn tried in vain to brush off as much of the dust as possible. It remained, firmly fixed, to his state robes and he resisted the urge to curse loudly.

What had just happened?

The elf-maid and Anawiel had spoken angrily to each other in a form of elvish he couldn't understand. More shouting had proceeded before Anawiel had backed down, wimpered something about needing his help and ran off.

Then, stranger still, the beautiful and mysterious elf had spoken one word: "Melmonu" before making her excuses and hastily exiting as well.

Melmonu? It meant nothing to him and Aragorn experienced the frustration a child feels when it is surrounded by its elders, talking rapidly about a subject the child cannot comprehend.

Leoglas still stood in the hallway. "Did you get any of that?" Aragorn asked hopefully but the blond elf shook his head. "Did that woman arrive with you?"
"She did."
"And am I allowed to know her identity?"
"When the time is right."
The anger that had not fully evapourated overflowed once more. Why shouldn't he know who this strange elf was, wandering around inside his castle? Legolas looked about to speak but Aragorn interupted him.
"If you're about to tell me to call off my fight with Deollyn you can forget it. I am Elessar, the king and I do not back out of a challenge."

He stormed through the healers door, already regretting his hasty words to Legolas, sank into a nearby chair and waited for Aryante.
Subject: Watching the Sleeper

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Date Posted: 21:28:07 05/07/02 Tue

At least the healer had gone. Faramir did not like the man, who was not even the King's personal healer, yet had taken the responsibility of tending to the kings wounds. No doubt soon the revelations that Faramir had received from the man would be all over the castle. Yes, the womans injuries were bad, unsightly certainly, and Faramir wondered what had possesed the King to choose a scarred serving girl over an elegant queen. Not that he had eyes for anyone else.

His hand softly stroked Eowyn's hair as she lay in a troubled sleep. She did not seem well, exhaustion he had been told. However, Faramir was not so sure. There seemed more to the sleeping womans pain than just lack of sleep. Something was wrong. He could sense it, and he almost had half a mind to approach the king, see if anything could have troubled her while he had been away. Still. He had dignity, and while he was up here everything that had happened in his leave seemed clearer. And he did not like it.

There was a groan from the bed, and the covers shifted slightly. Still no Eowyn to converse with. Who was there for him now? Elessar- the changed man? Legolas- ever faithful to the king? Even the Queen was not there! Currently he felt humiliated and lonely, confused and powerless.
"Wake Eowyn, wake." He called softly to his wife, "Wake Eowyn, I need you."
Subject: You Cannot Win

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Date Posted: 18:33:14 05/08/02 Wed

She walked through to the main room of the healers suite and met Aragorn slumped in a chair as she'd expected. He looked weary and weak, not in any condition to fight and she meant to tell him just that.

"Aryante, i need your advice."

And he did. Even if the healer said exactly what he had refused to hear before, he might just have to take it.

"Can I win? I need to be sure, i just dont want to look foolish and back down."

"No. Elessar, you are weak and not fit to fight. Trust me, your country will respect you more for backing down than for dying. Adead king is no good for anyone"

He sat, disappointed in the armchair by the fire. He knew Aryante was right, her elvish wisdom and human strength told him that. Making his excuses, Aragorn made to leave.


Aryante held out a purple flower, of elvish beauty and elegance. An aara loote, 'dawn flower'

"Take this, it will help you"

She turned and was gone.
Subject: Voices

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Date Posted: 19:00:19 05/08/02 Wed

Eowyn did not dream anything while she slept, but voices kept whispering to her. Some of the things that they said she recognised, and it brought a flutter to her heart as her mind was taken back.

...I shall sicken anew, if there is naught that I can do...What do you wish? If it lies in my power, I will do it...Wake Eowyn...I say to you that you are beautiful...Joy to see you...I need you...Do you not love me, or will you not?...You are a lady beautiful, i deem, beyond even the words of Elven-tongue to tell. And I love you...Wake Eowyn...I will wed with the White Lady of Rohan, if it be her will...I need you...

A bead of sweat ran smoothly over the curves of her forehead and she lifted a shaking hand to wipe it away. Her now open eyes focused on the figure sitting by her bedside, stroking her hair gently.
Though her lips were dry and her throat was parched, she whispered to him:
"No houses could be fairer, for those who desire to be healed. But I cannot lie in sloth, idle, caged. I looked for death in battle. But I have not died, and battle goes on..." She trailed off, watching his face. The scene was clear in her mind, the words she had spoken many years ago still fresh on her tongue. Did he remember as distinctly as she? Standing alone in the gardens of the Houses of Healing. The first words she had spoken to him, the first answer she had recieved.
Wake Eowyn, I need you.
Subject: Walking in the Garden

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Date Posted: 16:38:13 05/09/02 Thu

Flowers filled the air as Laeriel walked through the garden. The cool earth felt wonderful under her bare feet, and she was thankful to be outside. The healers treated her as a child. They kept her locked away in that house for days, she had to beg to get a chair by the window. And when she got that chair, she spent everyday sitting there, wishing she were outdoors. Now as the late morning breeze danced through her hair, she was grateful the healers had let her leave her room at the least. She smiled when she thought of them. The main healers were men, but the women took care of her most of the time. They were round happy women, plump and well into their 40's, with many children. They treated her as a child's doll, she had borne many different types of clothing since she arrived, everything the healing maids could get heir hands on. Today she wore a loose flowing silver dress, with a shimmery silver rope around her waist. Her sleeves were long and loose, and moved down her arms when she raised them. They all thought her very beautiful, but somehow, none seemed threatened by her. Either that, or they fancied her for her infectious personality, so much so that her beauty did not frighten them or make them insecure. It could just be that they were all older, lower class women, with happy large families. Either way, Laeriel loved them all. The very thought of them made her smile.

Laeriel felt the wind blow through her hair and rustle her skirt. She smiled, if only she had a friend to talk to. Even someone who wasn't a friend. That made her think of Lómódë and how unkind Laeriel had been. She let her temper get the best of her, again. Sahrien often told her she was too quick to judge. She sighed, everyone always had some sort of criticism for her, something to tell her so that she may "fix" herself. Even her beloved sister and most trusted friend couldn't resist the temptation to criticize Laeriel's quick temper and harsh judgment. Now Laeriel remembered why she was so keen to leave. Perhaps the only person she didn't need to get away from was Rhylin. He never had any harsh words to say to her. Actually, he had few words to say at all, he wasn't much for talking. Laeriel smiled at the thought of him. Poor, dear old Rhylin. He was probably lonely without her there. She was gone and Arracus often became so entangled in his own matters, and Rhylin had few other friends. Slient Rhylin, one of her most dear friends.

A friend, and nothing more.

She didn't think that to be a problem for years. Rhylin was her friend, they had known eachother since before most could remember. They'd always stay that way.

That's what she thought, at least.

Sahrien was the first to point it out to her, how much Rhylin cared. He would seek her out, and only her. He'd do anything for her, at whatever cost to himself. And all the time, Laeriel walked foward, blind to the way he looked at her. She didn't want to see it. It would ruin everything. She, being so beautiful, had had many admires before, but none of her friends. Thinking about it made her angry.

She was so angry that she didn't notice the disterbance in the air right away. It was so subtle. Then she felt it, it moved through the trees, it made the ground shake. The trees screamed and the animals hid. It was coming closer. Not for her, though, for someone near. It was coming closer every second. Beads of sweat formed on Laeriel's forehead. Her breathing became labored and her heart beat a thousand beats a second. She didn't know what to do, she did not want to be anywhere near it. It made her weak, the very thought of it drove her to madness. Why was it here? Who called it? Who in this palace would dare to call Hfäinién? Hfäinién often came to faeries, but never to her. It couldn't come to her. Nor any women before her. The women in her family were too sensitive to it's power, it overtook them. It drove her mother into madness. Laeriel feared it more than she feared the wrath of a thousand armies. She trusted no one here to control it, no one anywhere, save Rhylin, perhaps. She wished at this momment Rhylin was here. She looked around, no where to hide, no where to go. She didn the only thing she could to, she ran.

She didn't know how long she ran, or how far. She just knew when it was over she stopped. It's presence was gone, the air was still. Laeriel was still shaking with horror, how could she have acted so? Hfäinién was not new to faeries, she need not be afraid. Despite that, she still could not stop the tears that blurred her vision, and her shaking hands. All at once she colapsed under a tree, she curled herself up in it's large roots. It was cold, despite the fact that it was close to noon. The autumn air blew, and chilled her to the bone. Then, Laeriel knew why she had been so afraid. When she felt Hfäinién was the only time she remembered her mother. And those memories were one's she'd like to forget.
Subject: Frightened

Aragorn and Namün [joint etc]
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Date Posted: 17:15:01 05/09/02 Thu

A dead king is no good to anyone

It was true, but after all that had happened today, he could not accept the wound it would be to his pride. Backing down was the sensible thing to do, he was wounded and every muscle ached with fatigue and yet as Aragorn left the room and headed back to his quarters he knew that he would fight that afternoon; sensible or not, it was his decision to make.

In his chambers the king picked up the glass of water that always lay beside his bedside and crushed the purple flower, watching its essence diffuse through the liquid. It tasted foul and he grimaced but kept drinking: Aryante had said it would help him and he trusted her.

His hand moved to his neck where Anawiel’s nails had dug into his neck; there were no marks, it didn’t even hurt; strange. While he sat, gingerly fingering the place where marks should be, Namün entered.

She couldn’t control herself. The anger rose in her again, and this time spilled over into a furious tirade.
‘ How could you be so stupid ? I warned you against this, I begged you not to make an issue of it. But you ignored me, and now look where it’s got you. He’ll kill you ! You’ll risk your own life, and mine too if you fail, just to prove a point…’
She continued for quite some time, disguising her fear for his life as anger and frustration, which she vented on her lover. He stood silently watching her. For some reason, it made her even more angry.
‘..and you don’t even care, do you ? You’ve sat in that room for so long, you’ve forgotten what it’s like to be a normal man. You-‘
‘Namün, be quiet.’
The order stopped her dead.
‘Yes, your Majesty’ she said icily. How dare he ! He couldn’t have it both ways. Either he wanted her as a lover or as a servant, she wouldn’t be both. What kind of a relationship would there be if he felt he could order her around as he pleased.
They were getting nowhere. She turned to leave.
Aragorn reached out as she passed him, catching hold of her. He held her away from him, arms firmly clasping her shoulders, preventing her from leaving.
‘Namün…wait. I’m sorry. I realise this is not what you wanted, it’s not what I wanted either but I cannot back out now, can’t you understand?” He kissed her, lips lingering on hers. She drew back, anger fading now, resolve weakening.
‘That’s cheating.’ She protested weakly.
‘I know,’ he smiled, kissing her again. “Do you object?”
All pretence at anger dropped, Namün stepped into his arms, burying her head in his shoulder.
‘I’m sorry,’ she told him, voice barely more than a whisper. ‘I’m being ungrateful. You tried to help me, it isn’t your fault. I’m just not used to having someone to look out for me.’
She looked up.
‘I’m scared, Aragorn. I’m scared that he’ll hurt you.’

So am I he thought, nestling his face in her hair, so am I.
Subject: Words of comfort?

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Date Posted: 18:03:59 05/09/02 Thu

Almost dreamily, Faeirex walked through the gardens. Her mind was still reeling from the sheer force of that presence. Relief filled her- relief that Hfäinién had not obliterated her mind the instant she made contact, as had happened to so many. There was much to thank Cariale for. She had not deserved her untimely death.

There would be a price to pay later, there always was. But for now at least, she was safe, and free to ponder on the significance of Melmonu. Why had she chosen now to emerge?

She was pulled from her reverie by the sound of tears. On inspection, it turned out to be the faery, Laeriel. Silently, she watched her sobbing. Her dislike of the faery race had not lessened over the years.
Strangely enough though, the sight of the girl's misery did not cheer her. Rather, it brought on a flash of remorse. What had she become, that she would ignore such distress? The cold hand about her soul could control her actions, but not her heart. And no matter what faeries had done in the past, Laeriel was blameless. Her suffering would not lessen Faeirex's own.

Flashing defiance at the ever present shadow in her mind, she walked forward. Drawing on her power she bid the wind stop and the clouds leave, bathing them both in sunlight. It was oddly appropriate. In some small way, she was chasing away part of the shadow over her own heart as well as the shadows in the sky. Perhaps there would be hope for her after all.
"Naie' seere.*"


*Be at peace
Subject: Aryante, at the fight

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Date Posted: 19:05:12 05/09/02 Thu

As soon as Aryante had left the room she knew he would ignore her advice. He was too proud as a king and the battle would be a chance to make himself more popular. It was also a chance though, to lose his popularity or even his life.

Aryante knew she would be in the background, at the fight. Just to check, to be on hand, should any thing happen to him, Aryante would be there, she could help.
Subject: Dried Tears

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Date Posted: 22:33:52 05/09/02 Thu

"Naie' seere."

Laeriel knew what these words ment. They were elvish, a launguage Laeriel had not heard since her early child hood. The words rang in her ears, Naie' seere... She turned to see who was behind her. Laeriel's heart almost stopped. Lómódë was giving her comfort? Or at least, trying to. The words were said akwardly and at a tone barely audible, but they were spoken to her from Lómódë. Laeriel smiled, comfort was comfort, no matter the source. And it did make her feel better. The clouds floated away, revealing the sun. The rays shone on her face and penetrated to her soul, she felt the own clouds in her heart being driven away. "Thank you," she said, "I will try to be at peace," She dried the tears from her eyes with the sleeve of her dress. Slowly, she stood up and walked towards Lómódë. "I'm sorry for the way I've been acting towards you," she said, "I was too quick to judge your intentions. Though I don't know what to think of you yet, I can't help feeling that deep inside, you are trying to do the right thing. Thank you for your words of comfort, and I hope you except my apology," she said, extending her hand for Lómódë to shake.
Subject: Questions needing answers

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Date Posted: 16:33:10 05/10/02 Fri

Legolas watched Aragorn leave in puzzlement. Fight? Deollyn? In the short time he had been absent, so much had changed. Himself included.

Regretfully, he thought again of Lómódë. She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. Flawless as the stars themselves. But it was a destructive beauty, as she had already shown. She burned with an almost incandescent flame, attracting people to her like moths to a light.
But get too close and she could burn. And unwittingly, she was already driving him and Aragorn further apart.

All this he knew. And yet it did not stop the way he felt. He was already helpless under her spell. However much pain she may cause, he had seen the person she really was. Seen that person, and cared for her.
She was the forbidden fruit. The ultimate. Probably the single most unsuitable woman for him in the entire palace.
And gods, how he wanted her.
Subject: Captured

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Date Posted: 16:52:46 05/10/02 Fri

Groggily, Gimli awoke. Stared at the ceiling. Stone.
Confused, he tried to piece together events in his mind. He had been riding back to the palace, certainly. What then?
There had been a fight, he thought. He remembered the smell of blood on his face, the feel of the smooth wood of his axe handle under his fingers.
The faces in his mind were blurred. Screwing up his face in concentration, he searched his memory.

And then he remembered. He had been attacked on the road by a company of orcs. He remembered uttering a fierce war cry and riding into them, sending heads flying. But his one axe against a band of orcs had not been enough. One of them had hit him, he thought.
Why wasn't he dead?

Groaning, he tried to sit up. Long enough for him to take in the cave, the fire, the laughing orcs.

Before one of them hit him again and he lapsed into unconsciousness.
Subject: Travelers

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Date Posted: 18:25:53 05/10/02 Fri

Sahrien walked silently beside Salypsiné. Her bare feet padded soundlessly on the dirt road. Her eyes barely strayed from the path ahead. Occasionally, she'd glance at Bergil, making sure of his whereabouts. She'd smile at him, or make a bit of small-talk, then turn back to face the road. All she could think of was reaching Laeriel.

In thousands of years, this was the longest and the farthest she had ever been away from her sister, she couldn't wait to see her again.

Suddenly, she saw it in the distance, Minas Tirith. The city was so beautiful, it took her breath away.

"There it is," said Bergil, "Make haste everyone, we're almost there."

Sahrien smiled, she would see her sister before the end of the day.
Subject: A long awaited return

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Date Posted: 18:47:23 05/10/02 Fri

He had packed his bag and kissed his family goodbye, Merry knew it would be a long journey. Tears were in his eyes as he walked briskly to the gate at the end of the garden. The hobbit prepared for his second trip to the South.

He looked forward to seeing Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli so much but he had a feeling things may have changed rather more than they had in The Shire. It was so sheltered from the outside world, even though trade with Bree had increased since the great war, people and traditions had remained for the most part the same.

Now he had left The Shire, it had taken him just under two hours. Bill, the pony he had taken to greatly at Bree was suffering his load well, despite his age.
He had come to the Bridge over the Brandywine long before dark and that night he stayed at The Prancing Pony. Many faces recognised 'the hobbit from the shire' and he had a lively night before he finally retired to his room.
The next day he would attempt to make it to Rivendell but it would be a long, hard ride.
Subject: Reassurances

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Date Posted: 18:52:28 05/10/02 Fri

Secure in Aragorn's embrace, Namün felt safe as she had never felt before. The fear at the impending battle flowed away from her until it was only a distant tremor. There were more important things she decided, almost absently.

She turned her head slightly from where it lay buried in his shoulder to gently kiss the base of his neck. His beard tickling her face, she traced the line of his throat upwards with her lips until they met his own. They kissed once, a long, lingering touch of their lips and souls.

She drew back, studying his face. Saw the cares there, and the self-doubt that had invaded his thoughts. She felt a flash of guilt. She had done this. Putting her heart into her voice, Namün tried to repair the damage she had wrought.

"Try not to kill him. It is right that he should be punished, but I don't want him to die."
From Aragorn's expression, he clearly didn't believe her attempts at reassurance. One hand caressed his face.
"I mean it. You will win. You've had a lifetime of battles, how could you fail? You will beat him, and you will prove to the world that you are still as strong as ever you were. Trust me."
Subject: A refusal

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Date Posted: 19:11:47 05/10/02 Fri

Faeirex stared at the hand being offered to her. The faery's change of heart was more than a little confusing.

And decidedly unwelcome. She needed to dislike faeries. She needed to be able to cling to the idea that they were determined troublemakers with no regard for anybody but themselves. It gave her strength, kept her going. It helped her to be able to pretend that the doom they had placed upon her wasn't real.

Abruptly, she turned away from Laeriel, so that the faery couldn't see the regretful expression on her face.
"I don't need your apologies. I don't need anything from you. I'm glad you feel better now, but that doesn't mean I'm prepared to befriend one of your kind."
She almost spat the words. They were harsh, cruel even, she thought. But they were better than tears. Better than sobbing her heart out at her own fate.
Subject: here at last

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Date Posted: 20:59:42 05/10/02 Fri

There it was. At last. The wonderful sight of the palace. He couldn't wait to see everyone again. It was going to be so much fun.
"Is that it daddy? Is that where we are staying?"
"Yes Ryna it is, that is where my friends are."
"Wow, I can pretend to be a princess! I'm going to live in a real palace!"
"Yes darling you are" said Sam now smiling down at his awed daughter. Then to himself "We are here at last"
Subject: Hurt Feelings and a Reunion

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Date Posted: 22:04:06 05/10/02 Fri

So that was it. Despite Laeriel's efforts, Lómódë would not change her mind. Laeriel smiled to herself, despite her crushed feelings. She still may change someday, she told herself, and she may not. Laeriel did not let this bother her, she had more important things on her mind.

"I'm sorry, it has to be that way, then," she said, "May we at least call a truce, though? I don't wish to continue this fued forever," she finished, looking at the back of Lómódë's head. She wished she'd turn around and face her. The least you can do is look at a person when you're talking, she thought to herself, ignorant of the fact that this was hard for Lómódë.

She was about to speak again when she heard a voice behind her.

"Laeriel," it said.

It was a voice more familiar to her than her own face. She froze, she daren't turn around. It couldn't be, she thought, no, it has to be. Slowly, she turned to face the voice. She screamed with joy before she even saw the face, it was her. Without thinking she turned and ran to her, her sister, Sahrien. Sahrien welcomed her with open arms.

"It was you in my dream, wasn't it? I knew you would come," Laeriel said, throwing her arms around her sister.

"It was me, I knew you'd be waiting. Never leave home again," Sahrien replied.

Laeriel hugged her sister tightly, and suddenly all the loneliness and pain she'd been feeling melted away. Everything that Lómódë said today, or that she ever said, didn't matter at all. Nothing mattered, Laeriel was with her best friend.
Subject: An unpleasent and unwanted meeting

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Date Posted: 10:48:27 05/11/02 Sat

A river of spectators jostled him down to the training grounds. Fighting to stay upright, Vomyr pushed his way through them as best he could but it was no use. It seemed that everyone and his cousin had turned up to try and get a glimsp of the famous warrior king in action. They would be in for a big surprise the manservant thought gleefully. If Elessar was still able to walk by the end of the fight he would be much surprised and 2 pieces of gold shorter.

The betting had started shortly after the duel had been announced and while most bets were placed on the king, there were some few, like Vomyr, who had actually seen his Elessar in the week after his attack and had put their money against him.

Knowing he looked a fool Vomyr jumped above the heads of the crowd, trying to see if anything was actually happening. Nothing was. The arena was set out but there was no one inside it. Moving through the press of bodies he made his way towards and alley way that would lead him closer to the action.

It was deserted as he had suspected. The sounds of the jeering onlookers penetrated through the flimsy houses of the working classes but it was subdued and now only minorly irritating.

A man stepped out of a doorway surprising him momentarily. He started to speak, "If you don't mind..."
"Oh, but I do Vomyr. I do mind." The cold hiss escaped from the dark hood and the valet cursed himself for allowing this meeting to take place.
"Look I have to hurry. The fight will've started by now and i need a good view."
"Then why not return to the palace," the watcher suggested. "I hear from the tallest towers there is a spectaular view. Especially," he lent on the word, "from the east wing."

Subject: Always vs changed

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Date Posted: 16:14:43 05/11/02 Sat

Just trust her, that's all he had to do. It sounded so simple. Trust me.

The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

Gandalf's words flew back to him. The old wizard seemed to be reaching out to him across the waters, offering the comfort that no one else could. I am Aragorn, he thought. Namün was right, he hadn't changed since the rhyme had been written. He was still the same man, still Strider, still Estel. Still Aragorn.

And yet, as he cast his mind back to the courtroom scene, he relised that he was wrong. Yes, he was still Aragorn, but he had changed. The anger that had filled him was a new and disturbing experience as was the incredible sense of self worth.

What is wrong with me? he thought. He looked down at Namün who was still held tightly in his arms. While she had solved many previous problems he doubted that she could help here. He needed someone who had known him before the change, someone impartial.

Wracking his brains, the image of Eowyn surfaced. The beautiful but lonely stewardess was the closest to impartial he was going to find in this palace that teamed with intrigue. It occured to him that he could also inquire about the apparent change in her husband. Faramir seemed to have undergone the same process as he, himself had. Maybe understanding Faramir's problem would help him understand his own.

Kissing Namün he set off towards Eowyn's tower.
Subject: Palace Gossip

Faramir & Eowyn (collaboration)
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Date Posted: 17:10:35 05/11/02 Sat

"What do you wish? If it lies within my power I will do it." A wry smile flicked across his lips as his mind flashed back to memories of earlier days. "Are you alright?" He let his hand run down her cheek, over her soft pale skin, her golden hair strewn over the pillows.

Eowyn's cold cheeks tingled beneath his touch. It seemed that the blood had began to flow properly and a light colour rose in her face. Her tired limbs loosened up a little and she clasped his hand with her's.
"Better now", she whispered. She raised her face and let her lips brush his, but she couldn't help noticing a slightly worn out, far away look in his eyes. "And what of you? For you are here in body, but I fear your mind is elsewhere. Tell me what troubles you?"

"Alas! A great trouble has befallen upon Minas Tirith. The Queen left the city some days ago, amidst many rumours. For it was also on that day which an assault was launched upon King Elessar. He was brought down with an arrow which was near fatal. It was after this she departed, but the reason is not apparent. Since then..." Faramir paused, uncomfortable, "Since then he has already take another to his bed, merely the night after. He seems so different. Like a different man. And now he's going to fight. Trial by combat. There's little hope for him I fear, and if anything were to happen, then I could never forgive myself. He has no heir, and the blood of Isildur would be spent. The end of the race of kings." He stopped, lines of distress breaking his face.

Eowyn was shocked. She found it hard to take in all this information, and for a moment she said nothing, trying to make sense of the events that had unfolded while she was away. "Assault?" She did not understand what she was hearing. "The queen has left? But..." she realised that Faramir didn't know. She shouldn't know herself, and if it was discovered that she had been eavesdropping outside the King's door, she would be in great trouble. Not only with the palace officials, but she didn't think she could cope with how Faramir would react.
It wasn't eavesdropping, she tried to reassure herself. You over-heard their voices, nothing more. Nothing more.
But the reminder of why she was outside the door in the first place made her shudder. What had she been thinking? She looked up into Faramir's face, her hands twisting nervously. He was waiting patiently, but at the same time she could see that he was desperate to know what she found so hard to say.
"There is an heir. The Queen carries his child, and he knows it. And he does nothing?"

The Queen carries his child. But the king did do nothing. Still, Elessar was to be a father. Now any doubt had been erased in Faramir's mind. His own words cutting his soul he agreed, "He has done nothing. It seems he does not care. Eowyn, you understand I cannot let him fight, not now." He turned, and rose, his travelling cloak still on his shoulders. After gently kissing her forehead, he made for the door.

"Where are you going?" Eowyn called. Her confusion had turned to fear. Fear for her King, fear for her husband. Faramir turned and looked at her, but he did not answer. He just held her gaze.
"Where are you going?" she asked again, her voice wavering. Still he did not answer her. He looked down, and then turned round, his back to her.
"Please!" She was desperate. "Please - look at me. You're heading off to danger, aren't you? Weak as I may be, there is strength in me yet. And I will follow you. Until my body gives out and I cannot walk another step, I will follow you. Do not think that I have lived all my life not being able to cleave a sword. If there is need for me to, then I will do it. And I will do it well. I wouldn't rather die then be left alone without you, and if death is what you seek, then go. But I will follow you."
Fresh tears rolled down her cheeks and she was choked with emotion. Unable to say another word, her body shaked with silent sobs. Faramir was still, and the tension in the room was thick. But then the silence was broken. Not by Faramir, for he had not moved, and not by Eowyn, for she lay weakly under her sheets. By a loud, strong knock on the door.
Subject: Restless in Carenina

Derrion and Arracus
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Date Posted: 23:02:27 05/11/02 Sat

Derrion and Arracus sat atop the hill, watching the rising sun. In the Valley bellow them their people were just begining to stir. The white ruins of their city glowed a pale yellow bathed in the rays of the young sun. Derrion sighed deeply. "What wonders Mother earth has created for us to look upon," He said to Arracus, his brother.

"What wonders indeed," Arracus replied, "Yet no matter how beautiful this may be, I am still troubled, brother," he said to Derrion.

"What could trouble you on such a beautiful morning as this?" Derrion asked, concerned.

"I feel restless, Derrion, as if something is calling me away," Arracus replied, "I miss our sisters dearly."

"As do I," Derrion replied, "We have never been so far apart."

"I had a dream last night," Arracus said. Derrion perked up, faeries felt dreams to be very important.

"Of what did you dream?" Derrion asked, very interested.

"I dreamed I heard Mother earth calling my name," Arracus said, "I asked what she need from me, she said she wanted me to be wary and ready, she said something was coming," he stopped, there was something more.

"What else?" Derrion asked.

"She said our family should not be seperated, and that we need eachother now more than ever," Arracus answered, "I think Laeriel should come home," He finished.

"Are you sure? She left but three weeks ago," Derrion said, "The journey there is long, she has only just arrived."

"I'm sure of it brother. If not that, then we should at least go to her for a while. Something may be coming. No, something is coming," He looked at Derrion, "You feel it too."

"I do, but us faeries feel more than any other creature on this blessed earth, and we should be careful with that. There is never a need to make rash decisions. You should be sure, Arracus, sure with every bone in your body," Derrion looked Arracus in the eyes, "We may be needed here, you know father may need us," he finished, still looking at his brother. His brother's green eyes flickered with excitement and adreneline, his curly brown hair tossed carelessly in the morning breeze, he had been idle far too long. His brother's spirit called for war, but he lived in peace. Derrions brown eyes looked seriously at his brother. He spoke calmly, "If you feel you need to go," he said to Arracus, "Then I shall follow you to the end."

Arracus sat up straight, his face beamed, "Thank you, dear brother," he said, "Thank you, my friend," and he embraced his brother, just as the last of the sun's rays climbed above the trees.

"Shall we go alone?" Derrion asked, "Or should we bring someone with us?"

Arracus thought hard, who would come along with them? His face brightened, he knew the one person who come with them in a heartbeat, if they were to see Laeriel, that is. He smiled at Derrion, "Make ready," He said, "I'm off to find Rhylin."
Subject: The truce

Aragorn and Faramir
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Date Posted: 12:01:48 05/12/02 Sun

Aragorn hovered outside uncertainly. The sounds of voices had filled the hall as he approached but had stopped, just as he had reached the door. He knocked again, but still there was no invitation into the room. Obviously Eowyn did not wish to receive visitors, or rather did not wish to receive him, as there was definitely someone else in there with her.

Turning, about to go he heard the almost imperceptible sound of the door being opened. Slowly he spun to face the figure in the doorway. It was Faramir.

This wasn't the scene Faramir was expecting outside his wife's door. It was clear from the look on Elessar's face that he had not expected to see him. So why had he come to her chambers? He knew not for her injury, and there seemed not logical reason. Mind, Elessar didn't seem to be using logic recently.
He wouldn't mind, if it were not for the fact that she hardly looked presentable. Maybe in different circumstances, but with Aragorn with another woman? He was certainly apprehensive about this.

"May I come in?"
"If you wish."

Tactfully Aragorn ignored Faramir’s obvious discomfort and focused instead of Eowyn who was lying like an insubstantial shade in the bed, her face chalk white, her lips pale, her breathing shaky and erratic. “Dear gods, what happened to you Eowyn? Are you all right? I hope it is not the result of the lord Faramir’s return,” he grinned slightly to hide his distress at her condition.

Obviously Faramir was uneasy about Aragorn’s proximity to his wife, after their history and what had happened with Namün so he moved backwards towards the steward.
“May I talk with you outside?”
“Of course,” Aragorn replied. Nodding farewell to Eowyn and wishing her better health he followed the other man out of the door.

There he waited for Faramir to begin to apologise for his behaviour in court but the expected apology didn’t come. Instead Faramir just stared at him as if he couldn’t think of the right way to phrase whatever it was he had drawn the king out here for. After a few unsettling moments the steward began to speak, but the words “I’m sorry” never passed his lips.

“You intend to go through with this ridiculous trial?”
Aragorn overlooked the lack of apology and the intended snub and answered out of curiosity, “I do. But then you know that so I wonder, why am I here?”

“You must understand that you cannot triumph. Deollyn is strong and uninjured. He will best you with the broadsword that I doubt you can lift, weak as you are. I know that you will find it hard to back out of a challenge yet I offer myself in your place. If this is merely a matter of justice then you must agree for I can beat him where you will certainly fail. If it is not, well, then you are free to refuse at will but the city needs a king. Let me fight Deollyn.”

He had been pushed into a corner, either way he lost. Subdued Aragorn moved to a window that looked over the city, its streets thronging.
“Look at them,” said quietly. “They are my people. Out there they gather, ready to watch Elessar, the warrior king defeat his foe once more. They have all turned up, out of love. I cannot disappoint them. I cannot crush their faith in me.”
Just as softly Faramir replied, “what do you think will crush that belief more than watching you fail.”
“Your words ring true but I cannot accept them.” He turned to face his steward. “I’m sorry Faramir but I cannot accept your proposal either. The fight will continue as planned. I thank you for your gallant offer but I think you already knew I would not take it. Now if you’ll excuse me I must go and greet my subjects. I would mean a lot to me to know you didn’t despise me.”

Was that really how he felt? Faramir wondered. He would never understand the path the king had chosen, Namün over Arwen, but it was something his words would not influence. He knew only too well that Elessar's stubbornness would only become more so, if he tried to presuade him otherwise. "Elessar. I do not despise you. Indeed, those words have never crossed my lips. I may not have meant all which I said earlier, but I do not approve of what you are doing. That is all. I can only suggest that we agree to disagree on this matter, as it is inconclusive, and we should not let personal matters affect our ruling capacity." There. He was offering a truce. One the King should hopefully accept.

The king nodded and moved slowly back towards his quarters to fetch Anduril and prepare for what could be the last battle of his life.

Subject: Loneliness

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Date Posted: 15:31:47 05/12/02 Sun

Staring resolutely ahead of her, Faeirex didn't turn at the sound of the faeries greeting each other. She regretted her harsh words, but there would be no changing them. It was better for all concerned if she had no dealings with Laeriel.

She couldn't help the gnawings of jealousy though. Laeriel had someone to love, someone to take care of her. She had nobody, and couldn't ever. One by one, she had watched the people she cared about die, and Cellius had seen to it that there would never be any others.
That was the real reason she hated faeries. With a few words, he had effectively brought an end to any relationship she could ever have had. He had severed her link with the rest of the world, condemned her to a lifetime of loneliness.

The saddest part about it was that she couldn't even hate him, not properly. In that way, she had not changed from the child she had been thousands of years ago, full of light and love, but with no capacity for hate. Since then she had put up so many barriers, the ruthless exterior a mere illusion to spare herself from further hurt.
But hurt she would be, again and again and again. She was caught between two worlds, lacking the power to pull herself from their deadly tug of war but fighting all the same. And hurting others in the process. Destruction fell from her fingers like rain and where she walked, death would follow.

The images flashed into her mind unbidden.
"I'm sorry," she whispered, eyes filling with tears. He couldn't hear her now. She couldn't hurt him any more. He was safe.
And she was spiralling out of control, into a future filled with uncertanity and torment. She sat down on a nearby bench, burying her head in her hands and blinking back the tears.

She would not cry.
Subject: Before the Fight

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Date Posted: 16:27:55 05/13/02 Mon

The stands to the south of the main arena in the training grounds were already beginning to fill with courtiers. On the other three sides, merchants, paupers and townspeople alike clustered, eagerly awaiting the duel.
Keth himself sat with neither group. The warriors of Gondor stood, sat or leaned against the fences below the banks of raised seating, secure in their own domain. Dust hung in the air, raised by scuffling feet.

His group of about ten friends was joined by Targan, a broad grin on his face.
"Care to make a wager on the outcome?"
Madjael laughed. "It's easy money. Everyone knows the king will win."
Targan's face took on a shrewd expression. I think not, my friend. My sources tell a different story."
"Who are your sources?" asked Keth, his curiosity roused. Targan may not be trustworthy, but he always had the latest news. Right now, he was clearly bursting with the need to share the information he carried. Sure enough, it didn't take much more prompting to get him to talk.

"Well, I was visiting Reanna this morning- "
Enough said really, Keth reflected. Reanna was a competent healer at the palace, but with a tongue that never stopped moving. Any palace gossip she would be sure to know, and so would anybody else in her vicinity. She was pretty enough, but Keth didn't like her. Targan was apparantly less picky.
"- and word in the healing houses is that the real reason King Elessar is going to duel Deollyn is because the fool made a pass at the new royal 'playmate'."

Innuendo-laden laughs greeted the news. Merrian could be heard saying "...well it didn't take him long, did it?"
Keth brushed dust from his face, turning round to fix Targan with piercing hazel eyes.
"You can't be serious?"
"Well, Reanna's probably exaggerating as usual. But the basic facts are there. One of the healers saw her."
He paused smugly.
"It gets better."
Madjael was helpless with laughter. He looked up, still shaking with mirth.
"How could it possibly get better?"

Targan looked at him seriously now.
"Does the name Namün mean anything to you?"
Madjael stopped laughing and began to choke. The warriors around him began to laugh harder. The story of how she had dared to leave him was a popular one.
Personally, Keth had thought Namün to be far too good for Madjael, and been pleased when she had ended things. He hadn't seen her since though, and was more than a little surprised at the situation she now seemed to be in. She hadn't seemed the type to be interested in Royalty at all.

Recovering slightly, Madjael sat up. Only Keth, who was watching him, saw the brief look of anguish in his eyes. Clearly he wasn't as over Namün as he pretended. Nevertheless, he was quick to join in with the other men's banter. They all knew the rules. Never show weakness, never show pain.

"...if he's bedded Namün, there's no chance for him. The man's going to be exhausted! Deollyn will run him through in a flash."
"On the other hand though, if he's still walking, he's clearly got a lot more stamina than he's letting on. Give him some credit. I think he'll win." First one man, then another gave his opinion.
The men crowded around, placing their bets. The still watching Keth looked up at the stands. He saw Namün entering, flanked by two burly guards. She looked a lot smaller than he remembered, small and scared. They deposited her in a corner seat, well out of the way of the nobles. She sat there alone, bruises clear on her flesh even from this distance. Feeling a flash of pity, Keth turned back to Targan.

"Three gold pieces on the king to win."

Targan looked surprised, but took the money. Keth looked out over the dusty arena.
I hope you do win Elessar, for her sake as well as your own.
Subject: Anduril

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Date Posted: 17:24:43 05/13/02 Mon

The cheering of the crowds wafted in through the open window of the study; they were baying for blood.

Trying unsuccessfully to blot them out he concentrated on stretching. The movements felt odd in this room but as his muscles loosened Aragorn felt some of the fear and worry fall away. He lifted Anduril off the wall and swung it, listening to it swish through the air.

Twirling he executed a crisp turn and winced as his back cracked painfully.

The people bayed outside.
Subject: A choice

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Date Posted: 17:46:49 05/13/02 Mon

Arracus walked through the streets of his city, Carenina. Though the city was small and had few residents, it seemed busy as you walked the streets. Everywhere there was sound, movement, something happening. Words being spoken in the beautiful Faerien tounge. Yet Arracus walked passed it all, he had grown occustomed to the city streets. The ruins crawling with vines, the people jumping from branch to branch in their huge trees, as if it were as simple as walking. He did not stop to look, however, he had only one thing in minde: find Rhylin.

The sun had grown high in the sky before he found his friend, he was sittting on a fallen tree by the ashes of last night's great bonfire. They had one every night. The faeries loved to sing and dance, and tell stories. Rhylin looked deep in though, a bit mournful. Arracus walked up to him. Rhylin hardly looked up, not unusual, now that Laeriel was gone.

"Hello, Rhylin," Arracus said, sitting beside Rhylin, "I've a question to ask you." Rhylin looked up, interested. Arracus continued, "Derrion and I have decided to travel to Minas Tirith, the reason is a long story I shall not bother you with now. I came to you, though, because both Derrion and I were wondering whether or not you'd desire to come with us. I know how much you miss Laeriel," he said, looking straight at Rhylin, saying things that he couldn't with words, at the momment. He was saying I know how you feel about her. He waited for Rhylin's answer. Rhylin opened his mouth to speak.
Subject: News at last

Aryante and Legolas
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Date Posted: 18:16:29 05/13/02 Mon

She would be late for the fight but Aryante had other things to do. She was angry with Aragorn for so blatantly ignoring her and at that moment she couldn't care less if he was hurt.

"Someone else can deal with it" she told herself as she strode down the corridor towards the throne room. She turned the corner and saw Legolas waiting as she had expected.

"Aryante, you came. I thought I'd picked a bad time. You could have been at this fight"

"No Legolas, Aragorn has ignored me. I will not help further."

"Could you explain? No one has told me anything. Why is Aragorn fighting Deollyn in the first place?"

Aryante explained, Deollyn and Aragorn's argument seemed news to the elf and as he let her explain the astonished look never left his face. When she had finished Legolas said,

"Do you mind if we see the fight, I am worried for Aragorn. Anyway, you would regret not helping him if he was hurt i fear"

The healer nodded and the pair made their way to the arena where the fight would be held.
Subject: Madjael

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Date Posted: 19:26:39 05/13/02 Mon

Anawiel stood in the west of the arena at the back. She had been watching the various warriors in the lone stand, taking in their faces cafefully as if she wished to know them as she knew herself.
But how well she knew herself - she was unsure.
Most of the warriors seemed drunk, laughing pointing at maidens as they past a whistling and making vulgar comments causing many shouts of laughter. Anawiel was glad she did not have to walk there. Not that they would've taken much notice of her.
Few seemed to be genuinley interested in the fight. They were all gossiping about the circumstances that had led to it, swapping extravagant rumour with even more extravagant rumour. Pathetic.
One face seemed to stand out. That of a man called Madjael. She had seen him before, not in Minas Tirith. Not anywhere to before to be exact - but in her mind. In what Melmonu called 'a vision quest'. Basically when a witch went looking for trouble. Anawiel hated them.
But still Madjael stood out. He was handsome, yes, all the men of Middle - Earth were, but he shone. He radiated light. In the vision quest she had seen hurt and pain. A sorrow like a wound that refused to heal.
'He is in love.' Anawiel's mind whispered to her. 'But one that will never be. One that will devour him.' She swallowed painfully as a lump had formed in the base of her throat. Anawiel grabbed at a tankard of mead from a tray in front of her, drowning her sorrows or something similar.
Across the ground a pair of eyes met hers. Was it accident or purpose? - Anawiel could not guess. Dark eyes bore into her skull.
Subject: First Steps

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Date Posted: 19:53:11 05/13/02 Mon

Eowyn felt uncomfortable. She had heard Faramir and Elessar outside her door, but she heard nothing more than murmurs. Aragorn's brief joke, though at first slightly offending, had lightened the air, and she desired to talk with him. Faramir had seemed guarded however, and there had been an air of tension between the two. Obviously the had some matter of great importance to discuss, of which she would be told nothing.
The corridor outside her room was now quiet. So that was it - Faramir had just gone.
"Arhal!" she called out. Within seconds, her maid appeared, carrying a tray laden with steaming soup and fresh meat. Seeing the meal, Eowyn shook her head.
"I do not wish to eat. Pray, fetch the healer who came to see me this morning."
"Yes mistress," Arhal replied politely, bowing to leave.
"And," Eowyn added, "a clean gown. I will be cooped up no longer." The maid looked suprised and opened her mouth to speak, but Eowyn waved her hand in the direction of the door.

Before long, the healer Braîthe had arrived at her rooms. Immediately, he rushed over to her bedside and felt her forehead with the back of his hand.
"I honestly do not recommend that you leave your bed my lady. You are not yet well enough to go rampaging around the castle."
Eowyn brushed his hand away impatiently. "I do not wish to 'rampage'," she told him fiercly. Softening her tone, she said to him, "I did not call you here to ask for your permission. I simply would like your help. I have duties and I am no use to anyone lying up here doing nothing, so I would be most grateful if you would help me get up and give me some 'support', if you will. If you will not, then I will just have to manage on my own."
The healer sighed and, grudgingly, held her arm firmly as Eowyn levered herself from the bed. Her legs were shaky but she soon steadied herself.
Arhal brought in a long red dress for her to wear. The soft velvet tickled her delicate skin as she was helped into it, the material falling delicately over her curves and hiding her trembling limbs. With her hair brushed and plaited elegantly behing her head, Eowyn looked almost well, despite her pale skin. Holding her head up high, she took Braîthe on her arm and walked forward, taking small, firm steps.
They made slow progress but Eowyn was determined and kept going, without any falter or hesitation. She could hear much hustle and bustle going on and, stopping to look out one of the many windows, she saw hundreds of people milling around the castle grounds.
"What is going on?" she asked inquisitively.
"The King. He is preparing to fight Lord Deollyn. Had you not heard of the trial?"
"It is now?" Eowyn was shocked. She had not taken in all that Faramir had said earlier, and now it came back to her.
Trial by combat...near fatal...little hope
"But what of his injury?" she asked, concerned. "He surely is in no state to fight."
"He is not fully recovered from his injury, and something like this could prove very dangerous for him. But he will not back down, and the fight starts shortly." The healer sounded like Elessar had already died. He was brief and morose sounding, and did not offer her any more information than that.
"Please take me down there," Eowyn asked.
Subject: A journey

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Date Posted: 20:35:04 05/13/02 Mon

He sat staring into the ashes. Like the faery city, it had flared, beautiful and alive for a short time but was now grey and lifeless. Sitting here in the stillness of morning he could almost hear the voices of last night, raised in song, almost see the silloettes of faeries, twirling in the flickering light.

He heard Arracus approaching but did not look up, knowing the prince would discuss whatever he had come to talk about in good time and not wanting to cease his train of thought.

"Derrion and I have decided to travel to Minas Tirith," he had suspected as much; the royal family were close and handled separation badly. "Derrion and I were wondering whether or not you'd desire to come with us. I know how much you miss Laeriel." He looked up shocked, his face flushing slightly. Muttering, "I don't know what you're talking about" he turned back to his contemplation of the fire. Arracus might be his best friend, but his feelings for the prince's sister would remain private until they were returned which seemed unlikly. They were friends, that was all and so he kept quiet.

Once he felt the embarressment fade from his cheeks he turned back to his friend. "I would like to come though. It has been one of my fondest wishes to see Minas Tirith since your sister spoke of it. The white city has inspired so many of our songs and legends I would dearly like to visit it." They both knew this was not the reason Rhylin would travel to a city full of strangers he would find it hard to communicate with but Arracus was enough of a gentleman to avoid the issue.
"We leave at noon."
"I'll be ready."

An idea struck him as Arracus walked away. "Are we taking the elf, Arwen?"
"She cannot fly."
"We could carry her in that harness we found last summer in your father's tree. Besides I think she needs to return. She has unfinished business there and you know she cannot stay here forever."
"Do you think that wise after what you saw in your vision?"
"You know as well as I the future cannot be changed."
"Whatever you feel is best."

He rose and brushed the ash from his tunic. "I'll go and speak to her now. I'll see you at noon."

Subject: Straightening out her Head

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Date Posted: 22:11:50 05/13/02 Mon

She had pushed the palantir away long ago. Her desire to run down the water and throw in into the depths was flattened, when she realised it was her only link to the world she had become accustomed to. But it was not her world. Not anymore. She had no links to Minas Tirith now. No reason to be here, Rhun. No reason to even be in Middle- Earth.

A sharp pain flarred across her chest, it left her bent double, gasping for breath. Within moments it was gone. Yet a deep pain linged on inside her. Cutting, cruel, and yet somewhat bearable compared with the pain of her own thoughts.

It was as she lay in her room, that realisation dawned. This was no ordinary pain. Her heart was breaking. The love was gone. He did not love her. Any doubts she might have had were disregarded. He did not want her. He did not love her. All the time she had spent with him, the days, the nights. She loved him more than life its self, for she had give her life to be with him.

He had taken all the love, all the hope, that she had given him, and kept in for himself. Nothing in return. Except the pain that would take over her body, see her until death. He was killing her. Slowly, each memory another turn of the knife. He must have loved her once . The season in Lorien they had spent together, where she had made her choice. To spend all the days of their lives together, and in turn she would forsake immortality to die and be with him again. They would walk in the green gardens of Middle- Earth, and then, leave for acros the seas. As was the way of Beren and Luthien. She had once said herself that she may be bound to the fate of Luthien. Now she was wrong. Beren's love for her had never wavered.

Love. Pure and strong. Yet terrible, painful. Destructive and creative. Like the child inside her. Aragorn may reject her. But he could not reject his own son.

An heir. An heir to all of Gondor. She would not let this heir fall to corruption and ruin. She would not let Elessar take the baby from her. If she lived until then.

She would return. How, she knew not. Her only hope was that somehow her horse had been brought here, and she could ride back. Claim what she could for her son. He would need it, if he was ever to return to the city as a prince.

And the broach. A sign of hope. She had given it to Elessar, but the truth was, she would need more hope than even that could give her. She would speak to Rhylin, or Arracus. She knew not how, but she would return, only briefly. For soon, the worst would be upon her, and it would be too late.
Subject: Rhylin

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Date Posted: 23:06:15 05/13/02 Mon

Laeriel and Sahrien walked through the city streets, observing the hustle and bustle going on about them. They stopped a woman on the street to ask her what was going on.

"Haven't you heard?" She asked.

"Nay, we are strange to these parts and know nothing of the goings on of the city," Sahrien answered.

"Well then, I'll tell you! You wouldn't believe it but..." The lady told them the entire tale, the coming fight with Deollyn, the supposed love-affair with Namün, everything. It was quite lucky for them, but the person who they were talking to was actually a servant in the palace, and a friend of Namün, and her story was free from embelishments and exaggerations. Still, it was quite an amazing tale. Sahrien and Laeriel were astonished. They bid the lady goodbye and went on their way.

"Do you believe her?" Laeriel asked.

"Dear sister, I don't know what I believe these days," Sahrien replied.

"Should we perhaps go and watch the fight? It would be something we don't want to miss, I think. It is important to us, since we still need to speak with Elessar," Laeriel said. Sahrien agreed, and they turned around and followed the crowd of people, who were obviously heading to see the fight. Laeriel was busy listening to snippets of gossip and people betting around her, but something else was on Sahrien's mind.

"What did you say the last time you talked with Rhylin?" Sahrien asked. Laeriel looked suprised.

"I bid him farewell, you were there. Why do you ask, sister?"

"You know why I ask. He's been lonely without you. Arracus often wanders off and forgets about him, and loves to talk to you. You change him for the better, Laeriel. When will you be able to see that?" Sahrien grasped her sister by the shoulders, Laeriel tried to look away, "Look at me, Laeriel," Laeriel turned to face her sister, "He loves you. With all his heart and soul, he loves you more than the trees in the forest, more than the mountains of our homeland, more than every creature mother earth has created. He needs you more than air, food, and water. You are his food, Laeriel, you're what gives him life. When, Laeriel, when will you see that?" Sahrien loosened her grip on Laeriel. Laeriel turned away, and walked on, slightly ahead of Sahrien.

"What makes you think I don't see it?" she said, after a long silence. Tears began to fall, and Sahrien embraced Laeriel.

"I do not mean to cause you pain, I just believe you shouln't ignore it," Sahrien said. They joined arms, and followed the crowds rushing to see their kind fight. Laeriel did not stop crying, silent tears fell as she thought about her friend, Rhylin.
Subject: Old friends

Sam and Legolas
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Date Posted: 21:54:35 05/14/02 Tue

Sam stood in the palace, feeling rather neglected. Bergil had disappeared almost as soon as they arrived, as had Sahrien. Pippin had vanished to renew old acquaintances, and Ryna had been swept away by a crowd of giggling children in the custody of a nursemaid.
A friendly woman who didnt appear to know who he was had escorted him to a small room, telling him that the king was busy but would see him when he had the chance. Perhaps he would care to speak with Lord Faramir or Lady Eowyn instead?
To this Sam had declined. A Hobbit at heart, he was uncomfortable in the company of Men. Now, waiting in vain, he went to the window.

Glancing down into the garden, he spied legolas speaking to a tall female. Filled with joy at the sight of his old friend, he hailed him excitedly, the sheer exuberance of his waving almost propelling out of the window. "Heeey, Legolas, miss me?"

Legolas looked up at the noise, surprised. On seeing Sam, his jaw dropped. They were here already?
Remorse filled him- he and Gimli had been supposed to make the trip. Instead, he had been distracted by Lómódë. Gimli he had not seen since. It was not unusual for the Dwarf to disappear for days at a time, but normally he gave some warning first.
Another pang at his lack of concern for his friend's whereabouts. Pushing the feelings to one side, he returned Sam's grin.

"With all my heart, my friend. The world is returned to rights now that you have returned. Come down and join us."

"Hey" said Sam his grin becoming wider. "I would come down there to meet you but i'd get lost in this maze of a palace." Sam grimaced. "You think you could keep me company?"

"I'll come up." Legolas replied instantly. He turned to Aryante. "Do you mind?"
She shook her head. Bidding her farewell, Legolas turned and sprinted through the corridors to where Sam waited. As he stepped into the room, Sam stepped forward to embrace his old friend, noting as he did so that the elf was not even out of breath.

"How are you, you rogue?" Legolas asked. "How's the family?"
"I'm fine thanks and the family is great. Ryna is here with me but she has disappeared off with the other children here." Sam tried to hide the fact he wasnt hurt...unsuccesfully. "What has been going on here?"

Legolas' face fell. Even with Sam, it appeared there was no escape from the current troubles. Grimly, he recounted the events of the last few days. Sam's face went through many emotions as he listened.
"All that has happened in a week or so? Poor Aragorn, what was he thinking. I wonder where Arwen has gone. Their love was so..." Sam trailed off.
Legolas nodded, the same thoughts in his mind.
"And now, if you're in agreement, perhaps we should stroll down to the training grounds. I feel this is a battle that shouldn't be missed."

"I agree. I think he will need our support."

Somberly, the two friends rose and left the room, ready to be beside Aragorn in what could be the most important fight of his life.
Subject: Time passes...

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Date Posted: 15:58:51 05/15/02 Wed

About two weeks pass. Aragorn slowly recovers.
The newcomers to the palace keep to their rooms for the most part, settling in. Arwen, Eowyn and Faramir continue to travel.
Subject: The fight

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Date Posted: 22:03:00 05/15/02 Wed

"That's not a broadsword."

The king looked down, Anduril in his hand. "Two handed grip, long blade. If it is not a broadsword what is it?"
"It is the flame of the west, Anduril. The odds are unfair."
Aragorn raised his voice, "bring me another sword then."

The crowds whispered frantically. The sword was the edge the king needed after his injury, if he was denied it; "I said another sword!"

The man Cannayc hurried over, eyes like a deer in a warriors bowsight, a massive blade in his hands. "Where's Vomyr?" Aragorn muttered.
"I do not know my Lord," mumbled the frightened man, gazing fitfully around the stadium.
"Alright Cannayc, you can go."
"Thankyou my lord. And my lord?"
"Good luck, your majesty."

He turned back to face Deollyn. The new sword heavy in his hands.
"Now before the fight commences I must ask you; is this the course you wish to tred?" The words of custom fell from his lips, feeding him their strength.
"It is my lord."
Aragorn sighed. He had hoped that Deollyn would back down but he had not placed too much on this fruitless hope. With no other options Deollyn could not afford to change his mind.
"Assume the guard posistion," the voice of Beregorn rang through the grounds. Aragorn raised the sword, its tip brushing his nose.
"The fight is till first blood," the captian called. The king frowned; usually trial by combat was till death. Deollyn's face betrayed his shock too, and more frightening a dark anger at this statement. "The winner shall be declared on the side of justice. Let this trial begin.!"

He swung his sword and the sound of metal upon metal echoed over the awed masses.
Subject: Anelwien

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Date Posted: 23:50:16 05/15/02 Wed

Bergil walked towards the training grounds, steel reeling from the shock of everything he heard when he came home. What happened to the king he left? The king he had left would never gotten himself into this situation. The thing that stuck out most was the piece of gossip his mother added to the story: Namün. A servant girl, the king's-supposed-mistress. He had heard of other kings in other kingdoms doing such things to their wives, but he would've never thought his own king would do this. He also thought, though, that Arwen loved the king, and he couldn't imagine what would push her to leave. It was all too much for a still young Bergil to understand, yet.

Bergil entered the training grounds, the seating was near full already. His eyes searched the crowd for some of his friends. Suddenly he spied her, standing alone against the fence. Anelwien. Her brown, curly hair was pulled carelessly back into a bun, stray whisps framing her roundish ivory face. Her radiant blue eyes looked about the crowd, until they spotted Bergil. She then smiled beautifully, and gracefully pushed a strand of hair away from her face. Bergil swallowed, he hadn't seen her since he left. He did not get a chance to say goodbye to her before he went away, and he missed her so. He tried to casually walk up to her, but all that resulted was an akward gate that made him feel even more idiotic. He leaned against the fence beside her, "Good afternoon," he said, his voice squeaking a bit, "Lovely day."

"Yes, it is," She answered quietly, looking away slightly. She never looked him in the eye, she apparently wanted nothing to do with him. Bergil opened his mouth to speak, but the sound of his friends calling him away interupted him.

"C'mon, Bergil, the fights about to begin!" They yelled.

"I'll be going, then. Se you around, Anelwien!" He called as he turned and ran off to see his friends. Trumpets sounded and the crowd went silent as Bergil found a seat among his friends. The fight interested him no longer, though, his thoughts were with Anelwien. He stole a secret glance at her as she sat next to her mother, how he wished she would look at him.
Subject: Bergil

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Date Posted: 00:07:53 05/16/02 Thu

Anelwien leaned against the fence, waiting for her mother. She was nearly 15 minutes late, and the fight was to begin at any momment. Her eyes darted around the crowd, she saw a few of her friends scattered about, sitting with their families. She was about to give up and go find a seat when she saw him, walking into the stadium.


He walked casually and with confindence. His dark hair moving a little in the breeze. Anelwien's heart leaped when she saw him. Suddenly, he spied her. Anelwien was mortified, what would she do? She didn't dare utter a word, she didn't trust her own voice. So she smiled, weakly, and quickly stuffed some of her unruley locks behind her ears. Her hair was pusshed messily behind her head up in a untidy bun. Her sickly white skin was smudged with dirt on her cheek, and freckles ran helter-skelter across her nose and cheeks. Anelwiel couldn't believe that today, of all days, she would have to be seen by Bergil. I must look utterly horrid to him, she thought, No wonder he wants nothing to do with me. He walked casually towards her, as if she was any other person in the world. He carelessly leaned against the fence beside her. She swallowed, he seemed so confindent.

"Good after noon," he said, she ignored the slight squeak in his voice, "Lovely day."

"Yes it is," she said, shyly. She felt so incredibly stupid, she didn't dare look him in the eye. She wished for him to say more, but his friends called him away. Her heart sank when she heard them call him. Every bone in her body wanted to ask him to sit with her, to ask him to stay, but she choked back the words in her throat and kept quiet. Just then, her mother came walking up to her.

"Sorry I'm late, dear, the crowds are terrible. My goodness, look at those seats fill up! We better find ourselves a place to sit," she said.

"Yes, mother," Anelwien said quietly. Her eyes almost strayed toward Bergil, but she fixed them straight ahead. don't fool yourself, he'd never look at you, she thought as she took a seat beside her mother.
Subject: Awaking

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Date Posted: 18:03:24 05/16/02 Thu

Awaking again, Gimli felt once more the hard, cold unforgiving stone beneath him. The ceiling too was becoming familiar as he hadn't moved in days, left by the orcs under their careless presumption that he was dead. The wind, whistling outside was all he could hear, no voices, no footsteps. Attempting to move his legs, the Dwarf reeled in frustration, every waking hour he spent trying to move. The strict binds around his ankles and wrists enabled him only to wriggle and in this way he exhausted himself. Having had no food for days was also having its effect. Weak and helpless he became and it would only be a matter of days until... he couldnt bear to think about it. To raise his spirits he sung, a deep Dwarvish song of the mines. Singing softly to himself he waited, for sleep and a new day.
Subject: The Fight (at last)

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Date Posted: 18:42:09 05/16/02 Thu

Trust Reanna to try getting at him like that. Namün was still a sensitive subject. She'd thought that he didn't love her. But he did. He had.

The other fighters had been more than eager to try finding him a new sweetheart. All the girls - beautiful as they were- had not caused his heart to beat any faster than normal. He disliked the maids who purposefully walked past the warriors and then compared the amount of whistling with their friends. They were pathetic.

So was Targan who was currently making vulgar comments towards a red-headed woman in the stands. She didn't look like a servant or like a courtiers wife. The girl looked up and saw Targan. She moved away from her place near the make-shift fencing. The other men were already too busy to notice her sidling into the stand where they sat. The fight had begun, but not exactly thrilling.

Suddenley beside him there came a splash and the sound of Targan cursing. Madjael and Keth looked around at their friend who was now soaking wet. Laughter exploded from the surrounding seats as men turned to see who the fool was this tim. The red haired girl was standing over him holding an empty pitcher of water. The girl was not as beautiful as a she-elf, but she seemed to radiate a soft moonshine as they did - but it was almost darker and more mysterious.

"I would appreciate it, my lord," the girl spoke with a Mirkwood accent in a quiet yet firm tone, "If you'd be so kind as to not talk about me as thought I am your personal entertainment." She paused for a moment and watched Targan's temper simmer in outrage. "I'm sorry to disturb you, sires."

The girl curtsied and turned walking calmly away as if nothing had happened. Madjael could not help but stare at her retreating back - not to mention her long fiery hair and slender waist.

He shook himself mentally and returned to watching the king's fight, almost hoping the king may win and take Namün out of Madjael's life for good.
Subject: The bolt

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Date Posted: 19:37:39 05/17/02 Fri

From the window in his tower Vomyr watched the bolt fly into the young courtier, narrowly missing the king who stood, statue like above his still form.
Subject: The fight

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Date Posted: 10:59:34 05/18/02 Sat

Minutes had passed and yet the fight continued, neither one of them making any progress. Aragorn could feel his tired muscles calling to him, the massive sword weighing heavy on them, the sweat building on his forehead.

"I don't want to hurt you," he managed.
"Well then you're in luck." Deollyn called maliously as he brought his sword up in a crescent cut. Hurridly the king blocked it and swung his own blade in definance, the edge grazing the courtiers upper arm but no blood was drawn, the fight was not over yet.

They were both breathing hard now and both sets of eyes were wary as the circled each other slowly, waiting for an opening. Suddenly the man moved, whirling the enormous blade in a lightning fast arc, Aragorn staggered back, the blood running from his forehead.

He had lost.

Turning dejected from the courtier he started to walk back to the stands, trying to block the flow with his sleave.

He had lost. Aragorn's mind was numb as the shout came "Sire, look out!" The king turned in time to see Deollyn lunging foward, manic glint back in his eyes. Quickly Aragorn raised his sword deflecting the blow. Faintly he heard Beregond call "foul!" but no one entered the ring, where the two men circled each other once more.

Aragorn could feel the blood trickling down from the weeping wound. Soon it would obscure his vision but he didn't dare to wipe it away, knowing that in those vital seconds Deollyn would pounce again and this time it could be fatal: there were no rules any more.

Deollyn feinted to the left before sweeping another crescent a Aragorn's right side but the king was prepared and the lethal stroke bounced harmlessly off his own sword. He swept it up and under Deollyn's own, trying to disarm him but the other man knocked his blade away lunging forward towards the kings heart. Neatly Aragorn sidestepped but once again he was not fast enough and the sword whispered in, spliting the king's shirt, creating another line that leaked blood, sapping the strength from his sword arm.

Swiftly he switched the sword to his left hand; it was time to end it. He brought his sword down, under and up, catching Deollyn's hilt and yanking the sword from his hand. It went flying. Swifly Aragorn discarded the sword he could hardly lift and struck out at Deollyn with his left fist. Blood dripped from his broken nose and Deollyn reached up and touched it, staring at his red stained fingers. Aragorn nodded grimly and lashed out savagely with his foot, winding the other man. However he had not time to gloat over this success for soon Deollyn was back on his feet.

A silence filled the grounds.

A silence broken by the whistle of a crossbow bolt which lodged its self firmly in Deollyn's chest.

He stood looking at it for a moment before falling to the ground, the blood from his nose staining the dust.
Subject: lost

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Date Posted: 13:00:58 05/18/02 Sat

Ryna was happy, almost. She had been walking into the palace with Sam when she spotted a group of children playing games. The children had seen and waved, calling her over. So, after asking her father, she ran off to meet them.
They had all started running running so Ryna tried to follow them. But being so small and not knowing where she was going, she was very soon lost.
Ryna, feeling very sorry for herself, started to wander around.
Moving slowly along the corridors Ryna heard a sound. Moving towards it Ryna hoped she might find someone to help her. More sounds came from the door next to her. Ryna slowly opened it and there, sitting on a stool, was a healer. She was caring for a little boy on the bed next to her. "Ello," said Ryna shyly. "I seem to have lost my way."
Subject: Aftermath

Namün (and Keth)
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Date Posted: 19:24:14 05/18/02 Sat

Dust and silence filled the air. Shock was written on every face. For several long seconds, nobody moved, nobody spoke.

Gradually, like the humming of bees, murmurs started up. They spread in number and volume, a gradually swelling crescendo, until the air reverberated with angry shouts.
Townsfolk began to swarm over the barriers, seeking vengeance for the money lost on wagers. Many warriors rose quickly and, drawing their swords, formed a protective ring around the King and Deollyn. Others stopped more commoners from entering the fray.

Trembling, Namün rose to her feet. In the packed stands, she had nowhere to go. Nowhere but down. Forcing her way forward she lifted her skirts and climbed over the sturdy guard rail that prevented Minas Tirith's rich and important from falling forward into the arena. A young warrior lowered his sword and caught her as she jumped, setting her gently down on the ground.
"Thank you." she told him distractedly, eyes already on where Aragorn stood motionless over the body of his foe.
Then she turned back, scanning the face of the man who had helped her. He looked familiar.
"Keth?" she asked.
He nodded. "It's been a long time, Namün."
"It has." she said guardedly. "I'm sorry, I can't talk now. I have to get to him."
Without bothering to explain she turned away, trying to force a path through the ever gathering crowds. Someone took her hand.

"Let me." Keth smiled at her, using the tip of his sword to part the mob. She followed him through, the gap closing up again behind her. Finally they reached the front, and a new obstacle. Madjael stood there, huge and impressive, an impenetrable barrier.
It was the first time she'd seen him since she’d left, and the circumstances could have been better. The hurt expression in his eyes when he looked at her showed all to plainly that he knew why she was there.

"Please Madjael," she whispered, "let me pass."
He stared at her for a long time, face hard as stone. The seconds ticked by, the sound of the mob grew distant.
Finally, reluctantly, he lowered his sword enough for her to get past. She gently touched his arm, conveying her thanks. It must have been hard for him to let her go, knowing she was on her way to another man.

Stepping into the circle was like stepping into a new world. On the outside, anger and chaos reigned. The inside was motionless; even the dust lay still now. Now that she was here, she wasn’t sure what to do. Every instinct wanted to go to Aragorn and hold him close to her, but she couldn’t. She was his mistress, not his wife. Unless he chose to recognise her publicly, she assumed he wanted to keep her a secret.
To mask her confusion, she went to Deollyn’s side and knelt. Feeling the side of his neck, she felt a pulse. It was just a flicker, but it was enough. He was still alive.
She looked up. "Aragorn!" she said urgently. He was staring straight ahead, unseeing and unreacting. Reaching over Deollyn, she tugged insistently at the base of his tunic.
Subject: Flight

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Date Posted: 20:11:50 05/18/02 Sat

It was the only thing he truly joyed in during Laeriel's absense.

The clouds passed below them, sheep in a blue field. The air rushed over his face and Rhylin's soul exulted in the freedom of flight.

He looked over to where Arracus and Derrion carried Arwen between them in a rough harness; the strain of their effort gleaming on each face. It would be his turn soon, allowing Derrion a short rest so Rhylin somersaulted in the air, exciting glares from the two princes. Rhylin grinned and circled around them, weaving close, pulling away before angry hands could snatch his tunic.

The elf herself looked serene in the leather seat. Her heart was troubled but she kept it from her face enjoying the sensation that few other than faeires could share.

Once more Rhylin set his mind to the puzzle the harness presented. Why did it exist? The faeries were a solitary race, not taken with communications with others and yet here was a harness made for someone who couldn't fly, someone who wasnt a faery. When they had found it the previous summer Arracus, Rhylin and Laeriel had taken turns to sit in the harness and be drawn into the sky, but they soon tired of it. Even the lightest person weighed heavy on the slender muscles of the fay folk and there was never the same joy being carried as there was when you flew under the power of your own wings.

Some birds joined them, chirping and zooming round the odd group. Rhylin smiled and allowed them to rest on his shoulders, gently reaching up to stroke downy heads. Arracus signaled to him and the faery sighed: another hour strapped into the harness.

If Arwen's problems had not been so immediate he never would've suggested the trip but his vision had convinced him it was necessary. Wishing the birds good flight he circled down to the field where the company waited.
Subject: No longer lost

Reanna and Ryna
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Date Posted: 20:29:21 05/18/02 Sat

"Hello," said Reanna "You are lost aren't you. You are quite far away from the nursery."
"Oh, I don't live here. I've come with my dad who was summoned by the king himself." Ryna puffed up her chest importantly.
"So you are from the little prosession that turned up this morning? Well I expect you want to get back to your father so why don't you come with me down to the fight. I expect he is there with everyone else."
"Fight?" said Ryna confused
"Yes the king is fighting, dont worry about it. Come on this little man here can sleep." Ryna took Reanna's hand and they walked out the room. "By the way, my name is Reanna."
"I'm Ryna" Reanna smiled down at her before they carried on walking.
Subject: Reminiscing

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Date Posted: 21:47:43 05/18/02 Sat

Rosie was standing outside the house in the coolness of the night air. It had been a week since Sam had gone and Rosie was already missing him terribly. She was starting to wish that she hadn't said he could go, but that was being selfish. He did miss his friends. Rosie remembered the first time they met. It was at a hobbits party, she couldn't remember exactly which one, and Sam had been a bit down...

Rosie had drank too much and being the good girl that she was at that time, she knew that it was time to start stumbling home. Slowly walking in diagonals she stumbled along the track home.
"Excuse me miss." A voice came out of the darkness.
Rosie yelped and whirled around to meet the man that had just spoken. But this was not such a good idea as she was still light headed from the drink. So, she lost her balance and fell over at the man's feet.
"Oh, I'm so sorry, that was silly of me. I shouldn't have startled you. O dear. Let me help you up."
Rosie was pulled up easily and placed on her feet. Red with shame Rosie pulled her eyes upwards, to find the kindest eyes she had ever seen.
"Oh, that's ok," Rosie gave him the biggest smile she could muster and batted her eyelashes at him "I think I have drunk too much anyway." Rosie chuckled and for all her efforts the nice man smiled and chuckled back. The nicest smile, so warm.
Then she realised. This was Sam, the very guy that she had once followed around for years but to no avail. He never even noticed her and then of course he had left. For such a long time. A year. She had forgotten all about him, how on earth could she have done that? He was still as nice as ever.
"I'm so sorry, look, let me walk you home, it's the least I can do."
"Well okay, its just up the hill" and beaming at him they walked on.

...and that was their first meeting. Rosie treasured that meeting, so much. They were never seen apart after that.
"Be quick Sam, I can't live that long without you." And with that Rosie turned and walked back into the house.
Subject: Carrying that harness...

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Date Posted: 02:13:07 05/19/02 Sun

Derrion struggled with the weight of the harness. He was strong, but not strong enough to bear the weight for an entire journey. His muscles were burning slightly, all throughout his arms and his back. He turned towards Arracus. Arracus was lasting twice as long as him. He flew foward with purpose and speed. Derrion's eyes drifted towards Rhylin, he smiled. Rhylin was dancing through the air, carelessly twisting and twirling. Flying was one of the only things that made him happy, since Laeriel left. Derrion knew one of the reasons Rhylin was so happy was because he was going to see Laeriel.

Derrion looked down at the landscape moving slowly beneath him. Minas Tirith wasn't really that far away, Laeriel had journied on foot. If one flew, it only took a few days. Flying made Derrion nervous, faeries were not supposed to be seen. They had made the exception because Arwen was traveling with them, and they did not want a woman with-child to travel so far on her feet. Arwen was already quite worn out from the emotional journey she had taken, and that journey was still not over.

Derrion once again looked toward Rhylin, it would be his turn soon. He hated to do it to Rhylin, flying freely gave him so much joy, but Derrion felt the aching in his muscles and decided it was his turn to be free. Derrion called to Rhylin,"Rhylin, hate to break up the party but I'm afraid it's your turn," he said, "My arms are about to drop off." He said the last part only loud enough for Rhylin to hear, so as not to offend Arwen. He knew women of all races wouldn't take kindly to a comment such as that. Rhylin's face fell. He sighed deeply, and with a heavy heart, he took Derrion's part of the harness. Rhylin's eyes widened in suprise at the harness's weight, it was heavier than one would think. Rhylin was stronger and a bit taller than Derrion, though, though all three of the faeries were above average hight, and Derrion was sure Rhylin could handle the weight longer than he could. Arracus was the strongest of the three, though, and stil he flew on, the strain of the weight barely regestering on his face.

Derrion sighed contently, it felt good to be free of the weight. He flew a bit lower than the rest of the company for a momment, peering through the clouds, trying to figure out where they were. The scenery rolled slowly by underneath him, his eyes searched for familiar landmarks. He flew back up towards Arracus and Rhylin.

"Not too far now, we should be pretty close," he said to them. Rhylin's face brightened and he seemed to gain the strenght of two faeries, suddenly increasing his speed by twofold. Arwen, on the other hand, failed to conceal the nervous look on her face, for a momment anyway. For her, the arrival at Minas Tirith would not be an entirely happy one. Derrion smiled at Rhylin's obvious excitement. He turned towards the horizon ahead of him, flying above the clouds just ahead of the rest of the party. In a little less than a day, their family would be reunited.
Subject: Death

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Date Posted: 10:33:30 05/19/02 Sun

So now, after death had come, Aryante realised how foolish she had been. The arrow had so narrowly missed her king, and she knew that Legolas had been right. She felt compelled to help, picking her way through the crowd from the very back of the arena however was not going to be easy. Apologising at first for pushing through, the healer slowly made her way past the common public. They did not know who she was so many would not let her through and the first few rows she past seemed to take forever. As she got closer to the centre of the crowds and nearer to the nobles and warriors, more people recognised the slim but strong figure of the kings healer and parted to let her past. As she drew to the ring around Aragorn and Deollyn she could hear the voice of Namun.

"Aragorn, Aragorn"

Breaking the circle, Aryante glanced at Elessar. Staring, unanswering, the shock must have been great. She bade to a warrior to help the king sit on the dusty floor and turned her attentions to Deollyn. The arrowshot had pierced the courtiers side and the force of its entry was lethal, even without the wound being on the left side. Aryante knew that this man was dead even if he still had a faint pulse. The flint of the arrow would have penetrated his heart and there would be no saving him, she rose from his side and shook her head.
Subject: Recognition

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Date Posted: 20:02:50 05/19/02 Sun

Eowyn stood leaning against Braîthe. A circle of soldiers faced her, blocking out the fighting ring. Peering between them, she saw Elessar standing motionless. Clearly he was still in a state of shock. Eowyn had seen how close the bolt had been from connecting with Aragorn rather than his opponent, she had heard the universal intake of breath from the crowd.
A woman was kneeling on the ground, calling Aragorn's name. Eowyn recognised her, but she could not think who she was. She knew though, that she was a servant up at the Palace.
...he has already take another to his bed...
Faramir's words came back to her, and she stared at the woman. A dark scar that broke her perfect beauty traveled from her neck and disappeared down into her blouse. Namün. She had been employed as a servant a few months ago, and she had been in a terrible state. Eowyn remembered her now. So the rumours were true?
Deep in her thoughts, she whispered Namün's name to herself. The burly warrior standing in front of her suddenly became rigid. Looking up at him, she smiled meekly. Taking a last glance at Aragorn's still form, she signaled for Braîthe to walk on.
Subject: Death?

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Date Posted: 20:56:30 05/19/02 Sun

In his haze Aragorn watched Namün and Aryante rush into the ring the soldiers had created around him.

It didn't seem real.

Someone had tried to kill him again.

They had failed but that was of little consequence.

He hardly heard Namün's call but he saw the elven healer shake her head. Deollyn was dead, or as good as.

He looked down at the man at his feet, his life blood pooling around him. "Is he alive?"
Namün looked up at him. "Barely but he will be gone soon. The bolt pierced his heart he has but minutes to live."

He processed this information slowly. Deollyn had violated the first blood rule and the man deserved to die for his offences but then so did many others for they too had commited the same crimes, they had just had the good fortune not to be discovered.

That arrow was meant for me.

"Pick him up. Carry him to the healing houses," he called as a darkhaired warrior slipped his arms under the unconcious courtier. "Follow me." Striding through the masses of commoners he turned back to yell at the party who followed him "and will someone get me some athelas."

He walked on ignoring the people who pawed at his garments. It was time to become the king he had started out to be.

Deollyn would not die.
Subject: An unseen assassin

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Date Posted: 21:45:47 05/19/02 Sun

Almost before Deollyn had hit the floor, Legolas was on his feet. Shading his eyes, he looked in the direction that the bolt had come from.

The only way it could have struck the man at that angle would have been for it to be descending from high above. The only place in the right direction and of the right height was the palace. The palace towers to be exact. He stiffened.

The man trying to kill Aragorn was in his own home, perhaps on his payroll. In the palace core, something was rotten.

With a shout to Sam not to wait for him, he began to run. Most of the court had been watching the battle. Few of the servants had the training to use a crossbow. He would probably be to late to catch the killer, but he could at least try.
Subject: An Arrow in the Sky

Sahrien/ Laeriel
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Date Posted: 17:49:07 05/20/02 Mon

They were both breathing hard now and both sets of eyes were wary as the circled each other slowly, waiting for an opening. Suddenly the man moved, whirling the enormous blade in a lightning fast arc, Aragorn staggered back, the blood running from his forehead.

He had lost.

A hush fell over the crowd as the blood dripped down Elessar's face. Laeriel grabbed tight to Sahrien's hand. She did not know the king, but knew his subjects depended on him to win, for their sake. They needed an image of a strong king, a victorious king.

He had lost. Aragorn's mind was numb as the shout came "Sire, look out!" The king turned in time to see Deollyn lunging foward, manic glint back in his eyes. Quickly Aragorn raised his sword deflecting the blow. Faintly he heard Beregond call "foul!" but no one entered the ring, where the two men circled each other once more.

Sahrien grabbed Laeriel's arm, Laeriel looked up just in time to see Deollyn lunging towards Elessar, Sahrien had seen it before it happened. The crowd watched helplessly as Deollyn continued to go after the king. Laeriel shook her head, there was hatred in his eyes. He wanted to kill Elessar.

The air changed, something whispered in Laeriel's ear. Everything seemed to stop, as if time itself had halted. Laeriel became suddenly aware, no, she thought, don't... She grabbed Sahrien's shoulder, they both looked towards eachother, Sahrien saw it too. Laeriel looked behind her, as she did, she saw an arrow fly from some window high in the castle down towards the training grounds. The air began to smell black, death hovered near. Laeriel followed the arrow with her eyes, through the sky, and straight into Deollyn's chest.

Laeriel sat still, holding Sahrien's hand. She heard not the crowd, nor Sahrien speaking to her. She only heard those black whispers that haunted her dreams. She let go of Sahrien's hand, and raised her own to her ears, trying to block the sound, but it still came. Sahrien, too, struggled against the sounds and smells of that horrible blackness. They both had to get out of there. Without speaking, they rose from their seats, and made their way oppisit of the crowd, out of the training grounds. When they left the training grounds, they kept going. They made their way silently through the empty city streets, neither daring to speak. Suddenly, Sahrien thought of something. She grabbed Laeriel's hand, slowing to a stop, "Come with me," she said, "I have something to show you."
Subject: The search for Athelas

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Date Posted: 18:09:55 05/20/02 Mon

She heard his words, and not thinking, fled. Bolting into the palace stables the healer took the fastest horse she could find, Telkontar*. Mounting, she left the city turning to the wood. To anyone passing, it would have been a strange sight. Aryante, bowed low poring the ground for the healing herb Athelas, or Kingsfoil on the tall swift horse.

As she rode it began to rain and the sky grew dark, the drops were big and warm. All sorts of new smells were released into the heavy air and though not being unpleasant Aryante wrinkled her nose. The atmosphere was changing though, as she rode on the air was light, fresh and had a healing smell.


She exclaimed shattering the peace and serenity of the summer rain. Birds flew from the trees and animals were unsettled but she had found what she wanted. Dismounting and clawing the ground, the healer relied on her sense of smell enormously. Grabbing a few leaves, she carefully folded them into her saddle bag.

The flight back to the palace was nerve racking because she knew that Deollyn would be distant and almost dead when she ran through the door and every stride made would make a difference.

Bursting into the room, Aryante was breathing heavily. Handing the valuble leaves to her king she bowed and left the room. She would wait outside with everyone else.

Subject: Suspcion

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Date Posted: 20:38:11 05/20/02 Mon

Chaos reigned down in the practice grounds and Vomyr saw the golden head of the elven prince start towards the palace.

He was looking for the assasin and his search would eventually lead him to the east tower. The situation would not look good and so the valet exited hurridly and ran down the stairs two at a time until, panting, he reached the study where he collapsed in his familiar chair and waited for the elf to appear.
Subject: Going

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Date Posted: 21:59:13 05/20/02 Mon

Faramir shiethed his sword. One of the last warriors to in the protective circle.

A few women were scraping around in the bloodstained dust, trying to take some away with them. The blood of their King.

Taking a deep breath, and recovering from the shock which had overcome him, Faramir noticed the grounds were almost empty.

Running swiftly over the sandy floor, if Elessar was going to heal Deollyn, he would need to be healed himself. Athelas could do many things, and indeed, Faramir owed his life to it, and to Aragorn.

The healing houses loomed nearer. There were concerned faces around him as he stepped inside.

The hands of the King are the hands of a healer.
Subject: Healing hands

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Date Posted: 22:17:09 05/20/02 Mon

Deollyn's face was ashen and his breathing shallow.

Apart from the injured man and the king, the room was empty.

Breaking the fresh athelas leaves into a bowl of steaming water Aragorn waited for the crisp scent to fill the room before examing Deollyn's wounds.

The bolt still clung to his flesh. Carefully Aragorn removed it, trying to leave as little damage as possible, trying to leave the courtier as much blood as possible: he had lost so much already.

Desparately the king tried to stop the flow with a towel soaked in the athelas water but it soaked through again and again.

The hands of a king are the hands of a healer he reminded himself. I can do this.

In a hand that shook, he picked up the already threaded needle that lay beside the man's pale arm. Swiftly he sewed the wound shut and bandaged it cleanly.

"Wake Deollyn," he called softly but the courtier didn't stir. Aragorn's heart lurched. "Deollyn?" The man's face was motionless.

"Aryante!" the king yelled before falling into a chair.

Deollyn was dead.
Subject: Mirwan

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Date Posted: 16:59:34 05/21/02 Tue

Namün sat in silence outside the room where the king struggled to save Deollyn's life. The only sound she could hear was her heart beating, drumming louder and louder inside her head. Try as she might, she couldn't shake the thought that if Deollyn died, it would be her fault.

A hand fastened firmly round her arm. She cried out in pain at the pressure on her bruised skin, attempting to pull away. Her captor didn't let go, if anything, the pressure was increased.

She looked up into the malicious face of Mirwan.
"You've been loitering up here for long enough Namün, shirking your duties. Get back below stairs where you belong."
Sharply, the woman jerked her to her feet. Mirwan was closing on 50. She was in charge of all the domestic servants, and ruled over them with a rod of steel. Deceptively strong beneath her meek exterior, she was free with whippings, and had disliked Namün ever since she had entered her service. Namün was well aware that if it were not for the fact that Lady Eowyn was in charge of who was hired, and it was to she that Mirwan would have to go to get rid of her, she would have been thrown out on the streets long ago.
"Ara- the King said I wasn't to work today." she protested.

Mirwan slapped her about the face, hard. Gasping, one of her hands flew to her stinging cheek. The assembled nobles and healers in the room looked on, making no move to help her.
"Don't tell falsehoods! Get back to work right now, or I'll give you such a whipping..." Mirwan hissed. Although she was not a tall woman, right now she seemed to top the Argonath, and Namün cowered beneath her. There was no doubt that she would be as good as her word.

Helplessly, she stopped struggling and stood submissively still. Mirwan released her arm and gave her a push in the direction of the door.
"Hurry up girl. Time waits for no man. If you want to hold on to your job, you'll do as I say from now on. Don't let me see you above stairs again."
Subject: Melmonu

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Date Posted: 18:55:40 05/21/02 Tue

Anawiel made her way out of the swarming crowd. The many peasants were following the king's crowd up to the castle with Deollyn. The warrior would not survive, even she knew that.

Anawiel pulled her cape's hood over her head as she made her way towards the Great River. At the edge of bank there was a small glade. As she entered the glade she saw a fire that seemed to be burning out of pale white rocks and the flames that licked around them were a deep violet-blue.

Over the fire stood a tall woman with long black hair that reached past her waist, nearly to her knees. Melmonu
Subject: The white city

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Date Posted: 20:39:24 05/21/02 Tue

It was dark as they approuched the city which glowed with the light of thousands of torches.

Gently Rhylin and Arracus set Arwen down on the courtyard. He pulled the harness off as soon as she stepped out of it and stared around in amazement. The only city he'd ever seen was Carenina. Even in his youth when it had been whole it had never looked like this. The walls seemed to reach the sky and leaned over threteningly, enclosing them in its white cold grasp.

Rhylin shivered and turned back to Arwen; her eyes seemed to gleam but in the semi-darkness he could not be sure.

"I'm going to sleep outside the walls" the other faeries nodded but Arwen started to walk towards the castle her shoulders slumped.
"Should we go after her?" he asked quietly.
"I think she needs to be alone."
Rhylin agreed, closed his eyes and extended his wings again.
Subject: Walking

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Date Posted: 20:59:35 05/21/02 Tue

The last fiery tongues of day had long sunk beneath the horizon and darkness was upon them. Soft silver starlight shone down, piercing the pureness of the black skies.

It was only now, after the party had left her that she could relax. As the palace loomed nearer, the pain that shot through her body increased. Arwen knew not how she would face Aragorn, whether she was able to say anything.

The wind lifted her hair, and it trailed out behind her, moonshine reflected in her eyes. Casting aside the emotional woman she had become, Arwen asserted an aura around her. No longer a Queen Arwen, but the Lady Arwen of Imladris and Lorien. An elf.

The grey flagstones were cold underfoot, as she made her way across the maze of paths around the palace gardens.

All the time the pain worsened. All the time, a new crack appeared. Every moment was slowly consuming her. Heart broken.

There was a soft scent on the air in the small courtyard. Soft white petals blossomed on the great tree, and their fragrance carried on the light breeze. Flowers in pastel shades filled the beds of soil, but the colours were barely visible in the faint light.

Two crystal tears tumbled down the smooth pale cheeks, and fell soft on the dewy grass. Brushing the light cloth of her dress, she settled down under the shadow of the White tree.

If he loved her, he would come, he would feel her presence. If he loved her.
Subject: A fruitless search

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Date Posted: 21:18:23 05/21/02 Tue

Legolas threw open the door to the study with a crash. The normally easygoing elven prince was in a foul temper. From one hand dangled the crossbow that a thorough search of the castle had resulted in.

He had known that he was unlikely to find anybody, it was just the way the bow had been left casually on the floor in the East Tower that angered him. A mark of defiance from an unknown killer. Looking round the study, he saw Aragorn's manservant sitting primly and self-righteously in a chair. The sight angered him further. A proper servant would be by Aragorn's side, doing what he could to help. Was everyone in this palace rotten?

Walking over, he slammed the crossbow down onto the desk, seeing the man jump as he did so.
"Someone just tried to kill your king. What are you doing here?"
Subject: long day

sam and ryna
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Date Posted: 22:25:16 05/21/02 Tue

What a thing to happen on his first day here! And he hadn't even met the king yet who had summoned him.
A healer woman had brought Ryna to him, explaining that she had got parted from the other children, before going off again to watch the fight just like everybody else.
"Yes darling?" Sam replied.
"What is happening? I can't see."
"I don't know," Sam lied "we'll find out soon enough. Come on lets try and find someone to help us find our rooms for the night. You're tired and we need our sleep. I predict a long day tomorrow."
"Okay daddy." Ryna took his hand and they walked off in the direction of the palace. Weaving their way through the silent crowd.
Subject: Plot

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Date Posted: 00:03:16 05/22/02 Wed

someone give me a summary of all that has happened.
[> Subject: Re: Plot

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Date Posted: 12:11:57 05/22/02 Wed

Ok Ecthelion, here goes.

I'm Becca by the way, and the roleplay is technically mine, as it's in my name. However, kt regards it as equally hers, which I have to agree with as it was her idea and she pestered me until we got one, then she wrote the opening post etc.

On my website (ok, our website) we've written a story so far page, which is a basic summary of what's been going on, providing it's been updated recently. [ok, I've just checked and it's been updated to the point of the post named 'loneliness', which is almost half way down this page and written in purple]. Go to this page to read the story so far.

I realise that this is a poor substitute for the actual writing, but I also know that we've written too much for it to be an easy read. Hope it manages to fill you in on some things anyway.

Subject: The Staff

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Date Posted: 17:48:21 05/22/02 Wed

Her mother had somehow escaped and was now standing before Anawiel. The rock fire that had burned steadily before, had small jets of green fire spurting from the the outer rim.

"What are you doing here?" Anawiel's voice quavered, partly through shock yet also through fear, "You shouldn't be here."

Melmonu threw her head back and laughed. It was an evil high laugh - like artic wind and it froze the younger witch at that moment.

"Yes, my dear," Melmonu began with a sardonic tone, "but you shouldn't be here either." A knowing smile marked with a sarcastic quirk passed across the woman's face. Her daughter was clever, but still carried with her part of her youth's naivety.

"I have every right in Middle-Earth to be here!" Anawiel's paitience was wearing thin and she almost shouted the words.

"You should be dead, Anawiel! You should've been dead long ago and you know that! You cannot live a life that is not rightfully yours! You will be too weak when He comes and He wil take you like He did before! Can't you see that?" Melmonu's eyes became a liquid silver colour and fire seemed to flare in the pupils. She spat the words out at Anawiel.

A white snakewood staff lay near the foot of a tree. The orbe was glowing. Melmonu's staff often revealed her thoughts, as it did now. It caught Anawiel's eye. The globe glowed brighter with every word Melmonu spoke. Getting hotter, until it boiled like the centre of a star and hotter still. A small smile hinted at Anawiel's thin lips.

"Are you finished?" she asked Melmonu. Without waiting for an answer she raised her left hand and willed the staff towards her. Her right hand clenched itself into a fist

"Amin hiraetha. " She whispered. Then her voice rose almost to a screaming.
"N'tess uuvanimo y lietha guldur!"

Shards of glowing crystel spun into the air and a wave of energy rocked her. Anawiel saw it, like the downrush of some great explosion, as part of her witch heritage. It was like a sixth sense and it washed over her, leaving her teeth with a hard metallic feeling. The Power blew her hair back and it streamed behind her like a banner in the wind.

And it was over. As quickly as it had started the sensation was over. The staff and fire were gone. Ash littered the clearing and Melmonu had vanished.
Subject: Dreams

Faeirex and Hfäinién
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Date Posted: 20:22:59 05/22/02 Wed

Faeirex walked silently back to the chambers that had been designated to her. Like clouds across the sun, her melancholy had fled from her with the first breath of wind, of change.

The fight had been interesting to say the least. She would know more when she battled Aragorn herself of course, but for now what she had seen was enough. In the secret places of her heart, she smiled. Everything was slipping into place.

The fingers of night were only just beginning to touch the sky, yet already she felt the urge to rest. It must have taken more effort than she had thought to contact Hfäinién. She slipped easily from the liquid-like fabric of her dress and laid her head down on the soft pillow, the feathery mattress of the bed enfolding her willowy form. Carelessly flinging the door shut and the shutters open with a single word, she let the world of dreams take her.


She knelt on the ground beside Eriále. Blood flowed freely from the deep wound in his chest. Picking up the dagger in her bloodstained fingers, she carefully wiped it clean on his clothes, then replaced it in her belt. Eriále groaned. He was not dead yet.

"Amin hiraetha," she said quietly. "Utuaa'lle i'seere e'gurtha lle uum'cael e'coia."

He opened his eyes. Blue as the sky above her, and deep as the ocean. And she was drowning, struggling for breath.
He didn't attempt to speak, just looked at her with an expression of incredible sadness on his face.

And she did nothing, just watched as the light slowly faded from his eyes.

It was done. Eriále lay dead before her. Gaelan to his left, Sienal to his right. It was done, and she had begun. Her path lay open before her, and there could be no turning back now.

Nothing would ever be the same again.


Faeirex sat up in bed with a gasp. Tears streamed from her eyes as freely as blood had streamed from Eriále's body so long ago. It had killed him then, and her guilt would kill her now.

Cariale's warning was suddenly clear. Hfäinién was taking it's vengeance upon her, and in a truly terrible way. Hfäinién was showing her her past.

Old agonies relived themselves as she remembered those first three deaths, clear as the stars outside. How many more would she have to watch? How many more people dying slowly in front of her? So many deaths, so many wasted lives. So much pain.
Hfäinién would kill her.


*I'm sorry
*May you find the peace in death you could not have in life
Subject: A talk

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Date Posted: 20:37:16 05/22/02 Wed

"Could you lay the table for me Lily please?"
"Of course aunt rosie." Rosie smiled, Lily had started calling her that shortly after Sam had left and she thought it sweet. To be honest it did sound good, not having any sisters and brothers would mean that she wouldn't be called that anyway. She liked the sound of it.
"You remind me of the time that Sam had started to call me by my first name. It was ma'am always until I began to insist that he call me by my first name. I thought that if he didnt start calling me by my name we would never get anywhere," Rosie slyly smiled and winked at her, "and even then he called me miss rosie." Rosie chuckled at the memory.
Lily sat down and patted the chair next to her indicating Rosie to sit with her."So Sam was a polite kinda guy then." Lily asked with a smile.
"Oh very, he was always so unsure of himself. He even asked my parents whether I was allowed out everytime we went somewhere together."
"He didn't!" Gasped Lily
"Of course my parents never said no but i'm sure that if they did he would have turned around and left straight away." They both laughed. Rosie suddenly turned very serious. "I miss him Lily. More than you'll ever know. I'm not even sure if he loves me. I was his second choice you know, he asked me to marry him on the rebound. I think he's regretted it ever since."
Lily looked at her before they both got up and began to get tea ready again. This time in silence.
Subject: Athelas

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Date Posted: 18:56:58 05/23/02 Thu

She heard a shout and then the muffled sound of a chair creaking. Hurridly she entered the room and seeing Aragorn slumped in a chair, made her was across the floor to him. She knelt at the side of the chair and smiled into his aging face, she stroked the cut which Deollyn had made and the king flinched. Tending the wound Aryante was as gentle as she could be but Aragorn still had a look of pain on his face. He was silent even as she placed the butterfly stitches over the gash, Aryante finished and smiled again.

"Better, Your Highness?"

"Much, but why did the athelas not work? Am I failing as a king? Am I no longer worthy?"

She looked sympathetically at him and then at the dead courtier.

"No, Aragorn. It did not work not because you are no longer worthy but because your mind must be clear. You must be free from pain and be able to concentrate on the casualty. You were hurt physically and emotionally yourself and in my personal opinion you should go now. Take a walk to relax and then rest awhile. Go now"

The king rose from the place where he sat, graciously thanked the healer and made his way out of the room. Aryante smiled at his back as he walked away.
Subject: Sleepy

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Date Posted: 22:03:11 05/23/02 Thu

The darkness outside was mirrored by the unlit passage. There was no-one to ask to light them, and other than Deollyn, Aragorn and Aryante there was no-one in any of the rooms along the corridor. Faramir, Aryante and that girl had stood outside in silence, waiting to see if anything was to be reported- none brave enough to step inside, and ask.

Then there had been the small scene with Mirwan. He knew not the name of the girl who had stood outside with them, but he knew exactly who she was. The mistress. Indeed, he had not been the warmest towards her, but who could blame him, not now. After all, it was her fault there was this mess in the first place. She was the one who had stirred all the trouble with Deollyn. Not that what Deollyn had done was right- just that, everything was so much easier swept under the carpet. Hidden. Avoided.

But now both women were gone, and Faramir was left alone in the passage. He lent his back against the wooden panels and yawned. It was late. His eyelids felt heavy, and slowly he was becoming less alert. Straightening up, and rolling his shoulders back he tried in vain to wake himself a little. It was, of course, to no avail. Sleep had nearly overcome him, and he knew it.

He would find Elessar in the morning. Shaking his head to try and keep himself alert he made his way, in the darkness, to his own rooms. There he sank into a deep sleep
Subject: Blossoms

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Date Posted: 12:03:44 05/24/02 Fri

Aryante's words brought hope to his heart that lay like lead in his chest. It would be so easy to accept this excuse; it was not his fault and yet a part of him nagged that it was.

He cast his eyes over the limp form of the man who had been alive just hours ago. You should not have died.
He had not liked the man and yet as he looked at the lifeless body that had been Deollyn a tear blossomed from his eye and rolled down his cheek.

Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends.

Gandalf's words to Frodo surfaced in his mind. They were spoken softly to the small hobbit but Aragorn sitting not two metres away had heard all. Oh that Gandalf were here now.

Outside the room no one waited for him.

He sank deeper into depression, alone in his time of need once more.

In the distance he could see a servant placing torches in brackets, swiftly he turned and walked the other way towards the gardens. The courtyard where the white tree stood was close but he didn't feel worthy of its company at the moment so he sat down in the abandoned gardens under a willow and brought the flute out of his pocket. It was always with him now; as if its very presence calmed the storm in his soul.

For a while he sat, the flute resting gently on his knees, the rough bark of the tree against his back, soothing.

Then he played: his anguish becoming notes on the breeze that echoed in the empty gardens.
Subject: The elven prince

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Date Posted: 12:31:02 05/24/02 Fri

Vomyr paled visabily and tried to keep the stutter from appearing in his voice. The crossbow that lay on the desk within piles of unfinished letters twinkled in the flickering light of the rooms only torch. It seemed to be winking at him, mocking him silently.

Well my boy, how are you going to get out of this one? You're really in trouble now.

He glared at its shining form and stood up so he could almost look into the eyes of the fuming prince.
"My orders were to remain in this room. I apologise if you feel I should've disobeyed his majesty and attended the fight but I felt it wise to attend to his wishes, after all he's been so tempramental recently."

Inside the valet cringed, waiting for the blow that would surely come. He had just insulted the king and mocked the elven prince in one breath. He cursed himself and the mouth that would not remain silent.

The elfs lips were white with anger.

"However if you believe I would better serve his majesty by attending him in the healing houses I will of course comply." Almost falling over discarded books and his own feet in the rush to escape Vomyr looked once more at the bow resting lightly on the table and the tall warrior standing rigidly beside it.

He could almost hear the unspoken words: this isn't over yet.
Subject: Watching

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Date Posted: 17:17:54 05/24/02 Fri

The soft notes travelled gently on the wind. He had not seen her, she wanted to watch. He carried many cares insid his heart, his face showed his emotions. She loved him. She loved him more with each note, which rose and fell, like the throbbing pain inside her chest.

He was partially hidden by the long green branches, laden with leave, which hung from the branches of the willow. Pouring his soul in the music.

She loved him.

And he was breaking her heart. Each note another wave of pain. But she loved him. More than she loved life.

Silently, she rose to her feet. Plucking a blossom, she moved out from the cover of the White Tree. Her voice was soft, yet strong.

"You have felt the bitterness of mortality. You could have done nothing more. Why do you suffer?"
Subject: Suspicions

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Date Posted: 20:44:26 05/24/02 Fri

Legolas watched the retreating back of the valet thoughtfully as he tried to get himself under control. Vomyr had said he had never left the room.

Yet he knew of the fight. Well, that was possible. He could well have been told of it beforehand.

What was far more suspicious was the man's careless agreement to go wait on Aragorn in the healing houses. All he had told him was that someone had attempted to kill the king, not that Aragorn had been hurt.
Also, if the king had been hurt, he would automatically be taken back to the palace to be seen by Aryante, the king's personal healer. He would have no reason to go to the healing houses themselves.

Unless, of course, he was there to attend to another. If he had not left the room, Vomyr couldn't possibly know that the arrow had struck Deollyn. So why did the man know that that was where the king would be?

Vomyr clearly knew a lot more than he was letting on. The first fragments of suspicion began to grow in his mind. There was not enough to prove anything as yet, but Legolas would be watching Vomyr very closely from now on.
Subject: "Your'e back"

Aragorn and Arwen
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Date Posted: 22:03:08 05/24/02 Fri

The notes died on his lips as Arwen's voice rang through the still air. He drew the flute back from his lips and looked up. The slim figure of his wife stood under the branches of the white tree. His heart flew to his throat and he whispered "you're back."

"I never really left you, true be told." She took a sharp breathe, for the pain within each of her spoken words. "For my heart remained with you."

He rose to his feet and moved towards her, his footsteps sounding loudly in the empty courtyard. He stopped when he stood a metre away from her. "You ask me why I suffer." He paused and looked into her perfect eyes. "You. You are the reason my soul stands in agony. Without you...I have been so alone." He moved forward and tilted his head, gently brushing her lips with his own. "I have missed you so much."

Just for a second, everything was perfect. She was at home in his kiss, like everything fitted into place. She felt at ease, like a great burden was lifted off her heart. Crystal tears soothed her sore eyes. Just for that moment, but it could not last. The great weight was dropped again, with such force that she suddenly recoiled from his kiss, and cried out with pain.

He drew back, concern in his eyes. "What's wrong?"

She let her eyes meet his. She knew the pain that flickered across hers. But she would not show her weakness. She turned away from him, not letting him see the tears that cascaded down her face. Her voice had a twist of bitterness. "It is nothing. Nothing that anyone can do. Not even your athelas could help me."

Gently he reached up to stroke her hair, a pained smile on his face. "That is well, for even if I could I cannot harness its strength in this state. I would not want you to lie as Deollyn does in the healing houses."

"You could not have saved him. Nor could any. I do not think that my father..." Her voice died, and her eyes became distant. Recalling memories. "My father was right." Her tone was strong, "He knew this would fail." Arwen turned away from him, a few steps, under the shelter of the White Tree.

He stood alone under the pale blossoms. "It would fail?" He stood incredulous as his brain refused to function. "What did Lord Elrond believe would fail?"
Subject: A Goodnight Kiss

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Date Posted: 22:57:34 05/24/02 Fri

After the fight, Eowyn had walked through the gardens with Braîthe by her side. With every step she took, more energy seemed to seep into her body. It was strange how she should be gaining strength in bed, but she felt stronger and far more alive when she was up. Dusk had slowly began to fall, and she realised how long she must have been just whiling away the hours. She sensed that Braîthe was becoming impatient and his support of her was lessening greatly, not because she know longer needed him there, but because he was lacking himself in strength and will by now. Turning, she steered him back towards the palace.

The sound of Eowyn's footsteps reverberated in the silence. Stopping outside her door, she bid Braîthe good night. The healer slumped off, not troubling to hide his reluctance. Eowyn almost smiled to herself as she saw him gently massaging his shoulder. Perhaps she had pushed him a little to hard? It was, in a way, ironic.
Sighing, she turned from her door and walked down the corridor. She halted when she reached Faramir's rooms and knocked gently. There was no sound from inside and quietly, she pushed open the door.
Faramir was lying upon his bed, turning over in his sleep. She noticed that he was still wearing his clothes from the day, and his shoes were just lying on the floor. His chest rose and fell beneath his shirt and, leaning over him, she kissed him lightly.
"May the darkness swallow your troubles and let the light of dawn brighten your soul," she whispered.
Subject: Reuinions

Laeriel/ Sahrien
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Date Posted: 23:13:09 05/24/02 Fri

"Can I open my eyes now?" Laeriel asked Sahrien impatiently.

"No," Sahrien replied, "Wait a momment, I'll be right back," Sahrien slipped away, her feet making no sound on the cool earth of the pasture. She doubted she had fooled Laeriel, her nose was good and the smell of hay and grass betrayed their location. Still, though, Laeriel stood next to the barn with her eyes closed, waiting for Sahrien to tell her she may open them. Sahrien walked a few paces away, into the barn. Salypsiné stood out against all the other horses in the stable. She was much smaller, and her black coat was so deep ebony that she was the envy of even the blackest crow. Her unusual blue eyes no other black horse in the barn possesed. Sahrien hurried quietly to her stall, whispering to her in faerien. Salypsiné's ears stood straight up, her nostrils flared as they normally are.

"Shush," she said as she quietly opened Salypsiné's stall door. The horse slipped quietly out, her shoeless hooves making little sound on the cobblestone hallway. The horse and the faery tiptoed out of the stables, Salypsiné standing behind Laeriel.

"Now?" Laeriel asked.

"Now," Sahrien said, a smile on her lips. Laeriel opened her eyes and turned around. Her face lit up with a thousand lights. Salypsiné whinnied happily at the sight of her master. Laeriel ran towards the horse, throwing her arms around her neck and burrying her face in Salypsiné's soft mane, Salypsiné nickered happily.

"I hoped you would bring her," Laeriel said, tears of happiness spilling from her eyes and running down Salypsiné's ebony neck.

"She hasn't been the same without you there, none of us have," Sahrien said softly, walking towards her Laeriel. Laeriel lifted her face from Salypsiné's mane and turned to look at her sister.

"I feel so happy now, Sahrien. All my life, I've wanted to leave, now I cannot wait to come home again," She said, smiling slightly. She had always wanted to leave. Ever wondering what lay beyond the woods of her home. Now that she had seen the world that existed outside her own, though, she desprately wanted back in. But for now, the desperation to return had subsided, she had everything she needed right here- almost. She said not, though, who it was she missed, for fear of what it might mean. But she missed him, and she knew he missed her.

Thinking this now, you could only imagine how suprised she was to hear the quiet voice behind her.

"Hello," it said, so soft you could barely hear it. Yet so happy, the speaker seemed he could burst at any momment. Laeriel's heart lept. She turned around, nearly fainting with suprise.


Her face lit up once more, as it did when she laid eyes on Salypsiné momments ago. She ran towards her friend, and threw her arms around his neck, nearly knocking him over.

"I've missed you so much! I've so much to tell you!" she said, laughing a little. She looked up into his eyes, smiling broadly. "You can't imagine how lonely I was without you."
Subject: Tears and lies

Aragorn and Arwen
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Date Posted: 13:27:50 05/25/02 Sat

Arwen kept her voice low, and her back turned as she spoke. "He told me, that just because we had chosen the same path as our ancestors, we should not expect the same end. For he believed that, he knew, the hearts of men are easily corrupted. Except...it took a ring of power with Isildur."

Neither one of them moved and yet he felt the distance between them grow. "I don't understand," he murmered. They stood there in silence, the void increasing with each moment that neither spoke. Searching his soul for the answer that would redeem him, he started "what do you mean..." but then he stopped. Namün. In the joy of their reunion he had forgotten the lovely servant girl who had shared his bed and his heart after he had accepted the truth-Arwen had left him. His mind protested that the facts didn't fit. There was no way Arwen could know of his weakness, his infidelity. Added to that hadn't Anaweil said the woman who stood before him was never coming back. Unless, his heart cringed as his brain realised the truth at last, unless the girl had lied to him and Arwen had had every intention of returning. Still his mind reasoned she could have no knowledge of Namün unless he chose to tell her. He stood, watching her back. Even in this light he could see the tears falling softly from her eyes, would the news he had betrayed her destroy what was left of her fragile spirit? It was not worth the risk. "Arwen I love you but I do not understand what you talk of. What do you mean by this?"

"If you told me that everything had been a lie, that nothing had happened, I would believe you. Aragorn, tell me the truth. What's happened between us?" She held unclasped her hands, showing the swirling blue mists inside the orb. "I also think you had forgotten about this."

He stared at the palantir in horror. The mystery of its disappearance was explained, partially at least. "Where did you find it?" he asked his voice breaking slightly.

"Maybe find is the wrong word. I borrowed it. After you had, after you had, I thought you were dead." A kind of anger rose in her voice, although vicious, it was more at herself. "You carried no pulse, and you did not breathe. I thought..." She faltered, familiar pangs of pain, "I thought I had lost you."

"You thought I was dead?" he stared at her. "You thought I was dead so you took my palantir and ran away?" He felt the anger growing inside him and he welcomed it as an alternative to the iron weight of the guilt that hung around his neck. "Couldn't you have waited? Checked I wasn't alive or something?"

"If you were not dead, you were beyond my help. I know not how you stand here now, for you were beyond the power of any elf to heal." She stopped, and reasserted the aura of calm around her. "I have dwelt in Middle Earth many years longer than you. Do not take me for a fool Aragorn, do not try and shift that which you blame on yourself unto me. I have always loved you, and that is more that can be said for you."

"And what do you mean by that, my lady?" he made his voice cold to hide what his heart knew: somehow she had found out.

"Do not pretend. I know what has happened here. Just because I am absent, I am not blind to the world. Do you love her?" She swallowed, not wanting the answer, for fear it would break her completely.

"Do I love her?" he paused considering the question. "I do not know. I believed I loved you and yet you abandoned me when I needed you most. Obviously I am not a worthy judge." He felt the words twisting in his own soul and yet he continued wanting to hurt her as much as her desertion had injured him. "If I love her you have only yourself to blame."

"Did you honestly believe I did not love you? When I chose a mortal life, did you not realise that I loved you more than life itself? I gave up everything to be with you. Still, it will all be over soon. What do you bid me do now?" He did not love her. Her heart seemed to crack inside her very chest, and there was taste of warm blood in the back of her mouth.

He found himself shouting "I thought you had gone; that you didn't love me. What was I supposed to do, spend the rest of my life as a hermit?"
"You could've looked for me!"
"How did you expect me to do that? You stole my palantir!"
"Well you didn't have to lie!"

He fell silent once more. Behind the form of his wife he could see the wind wracking the boughs of the white tree, pulling its blossoms away so the tree itself appeared to be weeping, feeling the pain of those who stood under its branches. "Arwen, I'm so sorry. I realise I can say nothing to make this better, but I would try. Tell me what I must do.

I love you."
Subject: The meeting

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Date Posted: 12:16:02 05/26/02 Sun

He felt himself almost fall backwards as she flung herself into his arms.

"You can't imagine how lonely I was without you."

I can, he wanted to tell her. If it is mearly a hundreth of what I have felt in your absence then I can imagine that pain.

He looked down at the beautiful girl, her face just inches away from his own. We are friends. Nothing more.

He made himself smile paternally and disentangled her arms from around his neck. "Your highness, it is good to see you well. All Carenina will rejoice that you have reached your journey's end successfully."

He swung away from her to gaze at the walls of the city. This morning he had made a pact with himself, he would not reveal his feelings to Laeriel. Ever. It was time to move on. However much it hurt him to do so, he had to acknowledge she would never feel for him what he felt for her: they were friends, nothing more.

"A beautiful night," he commented, rather for something to say than for any paticular love of the darkened sky. He turned back to the two faeries who stood beside the tiny horse, Salypsiné.
"I trust princess," he said trying to keep the tears from his voice, "that you have talked to his majesty, king Elessar about the mission that brought you here."
Subject: A nice night...

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Date Posted: 19:58:39 05/26/02 Sun

Laeriel felt Rhylin pry her arms off his neck. She looked at him, puzzled. His smile was cold and restrained, as if a sudden coldness swept over him and was pushing her away.

"Your highness, it is good to see you well. All Carenina will rejoice that you have reached your journey's end successfully," He said, the same restraint in his voice that had shown in his smile. She knew he was happier than this to see her. If it were but 20 years ago he would picked her up and spun her around in the air, or whispered in her ear how happy he was that they were together again. Inwardly, she cursed herself, for everything. It was perfect before, when he wasn't in love with her. This somehow must be her fault, it had to be. She looked into his eyes, trying to understand what he was trying to say.

"A beautiful night."

A beautiful night? That what all he had to say. Her best friend other than her sister or brothers, and that's all felt after being reunited, after they had been appart for over a month.

A beautiful night, like hell it was.

Anger swept up inside her, anger at herself and everyone else. She hated her mother for being so beautiful, she hated herself for looking like her mother, she hated Rhylin for loving her. She wished she was an old ugly, mean hag, perhaps then she could have a friend who'd never fall in love with her. Love complicates everything, she said to herself, I shall never fall in love. A taunting inner voice rose up inside her, it seemed to mock her pain,but you already have, it said. No, she said again to herself, love wouldn't hurt me like this. He pulled his gaze away from hers, and her heart broke into a million pieces.

"I trust princess, that you have talked to his majesty, king Elessar about the mission that brought you here."

"No," she replied, swallowing hard and trying desprately to hide her pain, "The king has been very busy, I have not had a chance to speak with him. I was hoping that he would find the matter more pressing with all of us here now," she finished. She continued to look straight at him, trying to will his eyes to turn back towards her's, "Have my brothers accompanied you here?" She asked. He opened his mouth to answer her when she saw Derrion, standing in the distance. She smiled broadly, the sorrow in her heart momentarilly disapearing.

"Hello, there!" He said, trotting up to them, "We've been looking all over for you, it's easy to get lost in a place like this. Looks like you beat us here, Rhylin," he said to the faery, he looked at him harder. Neither him nor Laeriel seemed very happy at the momment, Rhylin's gaze distant and cold and Laeriel's shallow smile. Laeriel walked up to her brother and embraced him tightly.

"Where is Arracus?" She asked.

"A bit behind," Derrion said, looking at his sister, then he looked towards Sahrien, "Why Sahrien! I didn't see you standing there," he said.

"I've always thought you quite blind," she said, laughing as she ran towards Derrion. Laeriel stepped back as Sahrien hugged their brother. Just then, she saw Arracus emerge from behind the stable.

And so, they hugged and cried, and talked a little about the journey here. They mentioned Arwen only briefly, they all knew the situation between her and the king. And through it all, Rhylin managed to keep his eyes focused on everything other than Laeriel. Laeriel tried many times to catch his gaze, but he would turn away, instead focusing on a tree or the pallace wall. Each time he looked away, it hurt Laeriel a little more deeply. Tears came to her eyes, they used to be the best of friends, and now he couldn't even look at her.

She was about to excuse herself, she needn't cry in front of him, when she was struck with an idea. She looked at the darkening sky, the night was young. Perhaps they needed to speak alone. She smiled a little, maybe he would be warmer if others weren't watching his every move. She walked up to him and took his hand, "Come with me, I'd like to show you around the palace," she said. Before he could answer her, she was pulling him away from everyone in the direction of the pallace garden. She hopped taking him to a quiet place like an empty room in the pallace or the garden would draw him out of his shell. She walked quickly ahead, laughing a little and pulling him along by his hand, she daren't let go for fear he would find an excuse to slip quickly away. He had been doing that to her lately.

Once they had walked a little ways away from everyone else, she slowed to his pace and walked beside him, still holding his hand tightly. She looked up at him and smiled, "Now," she said, "We can have some time alone. I have missed you so much, and I want so much to show you about the city," she fixed her gaze ahead of her, "So, how has life been while I've been away?"
Subject: Uneasy friendship

Rhylin and Laeriel
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Date Posted: 21:41:55 05/26/02 Sun

He wanted to draw away from the tiny hand that grasped his own fiercly. With each second their hands stayed intertwined he felt his resolve weakening. What had life been like while she was away? Grey and meaningless; "the same as always. The fires continue each night and I believe the dancers grow more skilled each time the sun goes down. Of course you know the elf, Arwen visited us and she has been staying with your family in one of the more inhabitable rooms. The anual fair occurs next week. I am sad to miss it but I felt a journey to the legendary Minas Tirith to be worth the sacrifice. Your father seems to be missing you greatly," as I did. he almost added. "Is that enough news princess?"

His tone was cold and restrained, and he never once looked at her. Most of all, he never once said he missed her, the words she was longing to hear. Still, though, she held his hand tightly, hoping for a change, "Yes, that is enough news about my family and the city," She said, "I am curious, though, Rhylin, what have you been up to?"

Sitting alone, living the misery of life without you. "Not alot, certainly nothing of interest. I'm sure you have far more important things to do..."
There was something behind his voice, some truth he would not speak, and she knew what it was. She remembered what Sahrien told her He hasn't been the same without you...

"Well, I've missed you terribly! And I have nothing better to do than to speak with my best friend," she said, pulling closer to him and resting her head on his shoulder, "What part of the palace would you like to see?"

He felt his muscles tense as she leant against him. The subtle fragrence of her hair reached his nose and he fought the conflicting emotions that raged inside him. One side of him wanted to gather her in his arms...the other had heard the fatal "my best friend." He forced his face into a smile that hurt him more than her words had. Gently he squeezed her shoulders in as much of a brotherly way as he could manage. "Come then princess. Lead me where you will. I am your humble servant."

Laeriel brightened at his words, he was still restrained, but he didn't pull away from her this time. She suprised herself, though, with a strong urge to slip her arm around his waist. Why the thought crossed her mind, she didn't know. She suddenly felt a bit uncomfortable. She was so close to him, she could hear his breathing if only she was a little closer... No, she thought lifting her head from his shoulder, I won't let myself think that way. She cleared her throat, "Well," she said, I'll start by showing you the throne room," she tried to hide the slight shakyness in her voice, a bit unsucessfully. Her own thoughts scared her, what made her behave so? She tried not to think of it, instead focusing on telling Rhylin of what she had been up to while she had been in Minas Tirith. As she spoke to him, telling him the stories behind the interesting paintings, or what this or that room was for, she eventually forgot how uncomfortable she had been before. But no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't help but think that her friendship with Rhylin would never return to the way it had always been.
Subject: The evenstar

Aragorn and Arwen
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Date Posted: 10:53:54 05/27/02 Mon

The silver light from the moon shone in his eyes. I love you. It was more than she could have wished for, more than she could have believed would happen. The deep pain vanished, and she felt as if someone had given her new life.

He loved her; that was all that mattered. Aragorn did not always show his emotions, and it had been to long since she had heard those words.

"You love me?"

She moved closer until she could feel his warm breath on her face. "I love you too." She found herself in his arms, her hands in his hair; his round her waist. They clung to each other desparately. Delighting in this moment of closeness Arwen moved her hands down until they rested lightly around his neck, where her necklace no longer hung.
She stepped back, her eyes never leaving the empty space where the Evenstar should had lain.

Trying to keep back the tears Arwen bit her lips, the salty taste of blood filled her mouth, but she did not notice that small pain. She could not speak. Everything had been so perfect... Why? "Why do you tell me you love me?" Her voice shook violently with each word. "Why are you doing this to me?"

"I told you I loved you because I do. Arwen, I'm sorry but I don't understand. What's wrong?" He looked down at his wife's eyes which were fixed just below his chin. Involentarily his hand flew to that point and his heart started to race again. "It's not what you think..."
"Isn't it? That was a sign of our love Aragorn. In disguarding it, you disguard me and your son!" Breathing was difficult for the great pain inside her had returned. "You have a choice: her or me." Tears streaked down her face, "I can't do this. My fate is your decision- whether I live or die, it is your choice." She could barely see him amid the swimming world, "I fear your answer could kill me. Aragorn, if you love me, I dwell in Imladris with Lord Celeborn." She was shaking as turned, merging with the blackness of the courtyard. "Goodbye Aragorn for I do not think I shall ever see you again." Silently, she left that place, her heart broken, feeling her death near.
Subject: Trapped below stairs

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Date Posted: 17:44:13 05/27/02 Mon

Namün suppressed a yawn as she carefully chopped up sweet smelling herbs with a sharp knife. As the minutes ticked by, the blade moved closer and closer to her small fingers. Her eyebrows were lowered in concentration, yet she had to struggle to stay awake. A night of little sleep, followed by a day fraught with nerves had taken their toll on her fragile body. At the death of the day, she was wilting like a rose deprived of water.

A bell rang overhead- a summons. Glad of the chance to leave the cloying air of the kitchens, she began to rise.

Mirwan appeared behind her, pushing her down again. Startled, the knife flew from her fingers, the carefully shredded herbs scattered.
"You're going nowhere, Arainamün Girion."
Uh oh. The use of her full name. This did not bode well.
"I meant what I said. You're not to go near the nobles any more. Gethra can take over your duties of serving the ladies."

Automatically, she opened her mouth to argue. Then she regretfully shut it. Nothing she could say would change Mirwan’s mind. The woman was clearly determined to keep her as far away from the courtiers- and Aragorn- as possible.
And it’s working, she thought, he hasn’t bothered come find me. Does he even care?

"As you wish Mirwan" she uttered obediently, too tired to fight any further. She picked up the knife again and continued her work.
The woman bent and hissed in her ear spitefully, "Don’t try to fool me, Namün. I know your game. You’re too proud for your own good, sitting there, thinking only Royalty is good enough for you. Well you’re just like the rest of us- worse even. You’re a fallen woman."

The cruel reminder cut her deeply. She muttered under her breath, more to reassure herself than anything else, "I’m not like you. I’ll never be like you."

She felt Mirwan stiffen behind her. She’d heard. Biting her lip, she waited for the explosion, and what she knew was to come.
Distracted, the knife slipped and cut into her finger. Wincing, Namün tried to stop the blood. Not that it mattered anyway. There would be more blood tonight, when she felt the bite of a whip on her back.
Subject: The Search For Gimli

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Date Posted: 18:09:32 05/27/02 Mon

She rode in a slow canter to the forest, where ahe was sure to find Anawiel. Aryante had expressed her concern for the absence of the Dwarf to the witch previously but now she felt the need to search for the king's friend. Never had she met Gimli and this was a sign that he had been missing too long. First though she must meet with Anawiel and make any arangements for the journey and now increased her pace. Crossing the border of light into dark, Atyante entered the close trees.
Subject: Arwen's life

Faeirex and Aragorn
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Date Posted: 20:49:14 05/27/02 Mon

Finally giving up on all thoughts of sleep, Faeirex went to her window. Through tortured dreams, she had watched a dozen deaths, relived the blood on her hands and on her soul. Hfäinién may exist, but it had no soul. It had no concept of mercy. It would send visions upon her until all she saw was bathed in blood, stained with the horrific evils in her past. And she could not fight it. All she could do was wrap her heart in ice until it numbed the pain, until her frozen spirit could no longer hear their screams.

Cold fingers touched the solid stone. It was reassuringly constant and unchanging. It called out to her. She was stone, untouchable, unemotional…

Voices from below drifted to her keen ears. She recognised the pained melody of Arwen’s voice.

Arwen thought she was dying.

So you will, Evenstar, if you stay here.

Through the dark, she saw the soft glow of the queen’s pale skin leave. Saw the indecision of her husband. A thought struck her- if she acted now, she could at least save Arwen. One less death on her conscience. It may not save her when her time of reckoning came, but it may go some way towards appeasing Hfäinién.

She slipped into a long chiffon robe, knotting it loosely at her waist. It really was astonishing how many clothes had appeared in hr room once the maids had realised she intended to walk about the castle in a short tunic and boots. Gliding smoothly through the door, she skimmed through the palace, along paths now familiar to her mind.

She stopped feet from Aragorn. The Autumn wind blew her hair from her face, and the light fabric of the robe around her bare legs. Artfully, she had stopped in the moonlight. With the white gown softly accenting her pale, luminous skin, she looked like a Goddess.

"Let her go."

Aragorn stood in the courtyard below the boughs of the tree watching Arwen walk out of his life. He wanted to run to her, to tell her the reason he no longer wore her necklace was that the chain had broken and that it was at present in the possesion of the master blacksmith who would return it during the week, but some force held him back. Something stopped him from following her out of that place. And so he watched her leave feeling his heart break as she did so. He had to choose, but how? It was an impossible thing she asked of him.

The moon shone and a woman's voice commanded "Let her go." Turning he faced the tall white clad woman who had it seemed appeared from nowhere. "I'm sorry? And you are?"

"It doesn't matter who I am" she replied. "you will find out soon enough."

They will all find out she thought briefly. And when they did, it would be as the breath left their bodies for the final time.

Not for Arwen though. She could save Arwen at least. And to do so, she would lie.

"Nothing you can say will change her mind. Her anger at your actions is too great. Rest assured that she will not die."

He watched her in amazement before shaking his head. "I cannot take that risk. This is my wife we are talking about. Without knowledge of who you are I cannot trust her life to you. I am sorry."

"But is she your wife? In name yes, but in mind? She goes now to Rivendell. She goes back to her own kind.

She is not happy here. She has changed from the person she once was. Maybe with her own people, she will be her true self again."

She smiled, seeing the doubt in his eyes. She spoke softly, not to his ears, but to his heart.

"Know me as Lómódë, a High Elf."

"You arrived with Legolas did you not?"
"I did."
"Then it was you who healed my wounds?"
"It was."
"Then I owe you my life." The saddness in his soul subsided and was replaced with the ever growing anger. "But that does not mean you can just show up and tell me my wife is unhappy living with me. I love her, isn't that enough?"
"Not for you."
"What do you mean by that?"
"I mean nothing by it, save that you took another woman to your bed just 2 weeks after you believed her to have vanished. Think on it."

She turned leaving him alone once more.
Subject: Decisions

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Date Posted: 16:57:27 05/28/02 Tue

The rage he had discovered inside himself scared him.

“I love her!” he shouted to no one in particular.

No one heard. No one came to help him in this moment of indecision. “I love her,” he murmured again in the vain hope that saying it aloud would make it all the more true.

But what had the elf said? Arwen would die if she stayed here. No, it couldn’t be real, but what if it was?

And what about Namün?

Did he love her too? Was it even possible to love two women at the same time?

Silently he cursed the gods of fate and before bellowing at the night sky, “why me?”

If they were listening they chose not to answer him. It seemed this was something he would have to decide on his own. Very well, he would.

It was late and Namün, he reasoned, would probably be tending the wealthy ladies in their chambers. His decision made, at least partially, Aragorn sprinted towards the palace and up the stairs towards the corridor that housed the nobles. A dark haired servant girl carrying a bowl of steaming water was backing out of one of the rooms. He rushed over and laid his hand on her shoulder, “Na…” but recoiled as the girl turned around, “excuse me. I must’ve been mistaken.”
“Your majesty?”
He was about to turn and leave but this had to be resolved sooner or later.
“You wouldn’t happen to know where one of the other servants is?”
She looked at his quizically.
“Her name’s Namün. I don’t know her surname. Have you seen her?”
“I know who you mean, sire. She’s being kept down below stairs.”
“Gethra, your majesty.”
“Thankyou Gethra.”
He started down the hall once more.
“Sire theres one more thing you should know.”
“What’s that?”
“She’s scheduled to be whipped.”
Subject: A Shadow and a Threat

The Black Riders
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Date Posted: 17:27:52 05/28/02 Tue

The wind whispered of this new presence. For the first time since the falling of the dark lord, the sound of hooves that struck terror with every step rang out on the hard surface of the road. The very air had become frozen still with fear and anxiety.

As the swish of the black cape passed, it seemed to bring with it a shadow. The threat had lessened greatly, but it was still there, and still strong. The riders would fulfil their purpose, their destiny, and they would bring a coldness over the hearts of their foes. They knew no mercy.

The Nine rode from Minas Morgul. They had sensed the call of their Master, and they would answer it and promote him to become more powerful than ever before.
He would rise again.

The time had come...
Subject: The girl.

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Date Posted: 18:26:42 05/28/02 Tue

The fight had long been over as Madjael stumbled clumsily through a narrow alleyway. He had spent the last few hours at the local inn where he had enjoyed the company of the new bar maiden. A young thing with mid-length flaxen hair.

A cheeky smile reached his lips as he thought of her. So deliciously trusting. Not many women trusted Madjael these days.

Behind him he heard the soft tap-tap of wooden heels against the cobbles. He looked round trying to focus on the figure that was coming behind him.

It was the red-haired girl from the fight.

She wore a long dark cape that whipped around her and rustled the ground. Her head was bent forward and her steps were quick and light.

Madjael grinned. Perhaps he'd get lucky for the second time that night. He leaned against the stone wall, arms folded across his broad chest.

"What's a girl like you doing wanderign the streets at this time? Surely it can't be safe." his tone was mocking.
Subject: A whipping

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Date Posted: 19:10:06 05/28/02 Tue

Namün gritted her teeth as the whip struck for the final time. She refused to make a sound. She wouldn't give Mirwan any more satisfaction.
Straightening up with a grimace, she lowered her blouse again. The blows stung, but they would cease eventually. All that mattered for the moment was finishing her tasks, so she could escape from the kitchen without any more altercations.

Kirya gave her a sympathetic smile as she passed.
"How does it look?" Namün whispered.
"Not too bad. Only two of the scores are bleeding."
Kirya stretched out one slender hand and gently touched the spot where blood was creeping through the white cotton of her blouse.
"Those should be dressed."
"I'll do it myself later, when she lets me leave."
"Well, for your sake, I hope it's soon." Kirya looked at her closely, a look of concern on her face.
"Have you eaten today? You look terrible."
"Thanks a lot." Namün replied wryly. "I haven't had the chance."
"You should take better care of yourself. There's no way you'll ever manage to become a healer if you get sick again. You-
hush, she's coming."
Both girls turned quickly as Mirwan approached. Kirya gave her a fleeting embrace, then fled back to her own work. Doing her best to ignore the throbbing pain from her lower back, Namün bent her head and continued with her task.
Subject: In the servants quarters

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Date Posted: 20:29:57 05/28/02 Tue

Aragorn raced through the corridors that led to the servants quarters. He had never been this far below the palace floors before. In the back of his mind the voice nagged that he was lost but Aragorn ran on, following the smells of the kitchen.

The corridor opened onto a large wooden door, behind it he could hear the sounds of a woman's voice raised in anger. He stopped to compose himself before pushing into the room. Namün sat in a corner her back towards the enterance, blood staining her shirt: he felt his anger rise and pushed it back down.
An older woman moved towards him. "Sire you honour us with your presence" she simpered, curtsying obsequeciously. He stood impassivly, his face regal for a time until she became uncomfortable. "Does your visit here have a specific purpose your majesty?"
"Indeed it does."
"And what might that be?"
"It has been brought to my attention that you have taken it upon yourself to distribute thrashings amoung the serving girls." Out of the corner of his eye he saw Namün start to rise to her feet but he shock his head almost inperceptably. This woman must be delt with in the only way she would understand.
"Not taken it upon myself, my lord. When I was hired the Lady Eowyn made it clear that I was to handle all areas of life below stairs, including whatever disiplining I believed to be necessery."
"And you believe beating young girls within an inch of their lives to be necessery?"
"In certain cases."

The woman was sweating now and well she might.

"Know that if it were not for your past services to the crown I would be stripping you of your position here. As it is you shall be fined 3 gold coins..."
"3 in gold for that whore?"
"I suggest you hold your tongue if you do not wish it to be removed from your mouth," he said, his tone icy. "3 coins will be payed to the crown. I shall then distribute them amoung the servants as I see fit. Furthermore if I ever hear of another servant under your command who has been whipped you will find yourself unemployed. Do I make myself clear?"
"Crystal clear, your majesty."
"Excellent. Now if you don't mind may I request that all the servants who have suffered beatings have the rest of the day off?"
"Your majesty's wish shall of course be obeyed."
"Thankyou. I hope I shall never have to speak of this again."

He swung out of the room, fuming. Suddenley the prospect of a long night's sleep in his room seemed incredibly attractive. The day had been long.
Subject: Drunkard

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Date Posted: 21:10:51 05/28/02 Tue

The youth - for that was what she saw him as - before her reaked of ale. He stood, shaking slightly, against the wall.
"You're drunk." Anawiel stated the obvious, not wanting to be procrastinated for long. The night was already an inky blue sky.
"And what, m'lady, if I am? Will you care for me?" the young man replied. 'Cocky fool' she thought. She searched the edges of his mind for something, anything to be found with her dying power.
Names. He was Madjael and a warrior. Anawiel remebered him now from the battle. His mother was a servant. Mirwan? He had worked his way up from the deepest pit. He'd struggled against the king, against the hierarchy of prison life and against his heart which was layered in ice. Much like her own.
Of course he chose to conceal these things from other people around him. 'Quite sweet, really' she thought to herself.
"I will do no such thing. And please refrain from calling me your lady. I am no lady of your own or anyone else's in Middle-Earth." Her voice was cold and cutting, and her eyes bore into Madjael's. "Come with me Madjael." she added.
He started at the sound of his name and opened his mouth to inquire how she knew who he was but Anawiel silenced him with a dismisive wave.
"I'll take you back up to the city where I shall leave you. You will not follow me once I have bidden you good night and we shall talk again some other time." Anawiel slipped her slender arm through his musclular one and began to walk the alleyway.
"Who are you?" Madjael's voice seemed to gasp the words out. He looked confused. 'Obviously it is normally he leading a young one away.' Anawiel's mind stirred.
They had reached the inside of the city walls now. At a fork in the corridor, she dropped his arm.
"Good night sire." Anawiel said moving away swiftly.
"But wait!" a voice behind her cried, "Who are you?"
But Anawiel was already gone.
Subject: Choices and the truth

Aragorn and Namun
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Date Posted: 22:09:32 05/28/02 Tue

Namün’s eyes widened as she listened to Aragorn speak. Once again, he had arrived to defend her. She dreaded to think of what the consequences would be though.

As soon as he left, she stood up sharply, knocking her knife to the floor. She felt Mirwan’s accusing eyes on her, alight with malicious intent. Edging past her before the storm could break, she fled.

She arrived at Aragorns room, then stopped. She had no idea of what to say, how to act. When he had looked at her before, it had been a glance filled with anger. Anger at Mirwan, or at her as well she was not sure. She was not sure of anything. Exhaustion left her mind a tangled mess of threads, with no beginning and no end. Perhaps later she would be able to unravel them, but not right now. Not in this state.

Raising one trembling arm, she knocked timidly on the door.

It seemed they would never leave him in peace. "Go away!" he yelled. "Isn't it possible to sleep in this palace anymore?"

"Fine, I'll leave then." came the reply from outside
"Namun? No wait, I mean come in please."

Nervously, she pushed open the door, then waited in it's shadow for him to speak.

"Don't just stand there like..." he stopped about to say servant, "stranger. Please come closer. I'm sorry if I appear rude. The day has been infinately longer than I imagined it would be and Deollyn died on me."

Almost unwillingly, she came away from the reassuringly solid safety of the door, standing in the centre of the room like a small golden wraith.
“You couldn’t save him?” she asked, concern in her voice. “I’m sorry.”
"Not as sorry as I am, I assure you. He died for my faults." He srutinized her carefully. "Something has changed between us. You...fear me."
"It's not that I fear you." she tried to reassure him. "It's just-
I don't know what I think."

Suddenly worried that she was going to faint, she crossed quickly to a chair and sat down.
"Are you alright?"
"I'll be fine." she said weakly, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.

"I'm sorry I couldn't come sooner. I'm sorry Mirwan got away with a simple fine but she had some powerful friends in court." He lashed out at the wall in frustration before adding quietly, "gods, I'm sorry for everything. This wasn't how it was meant to be."
"What else do you have to be sorry for?"
"Nothing...and everything. This is all my fault. The whole city turned rotten before my eyes and I ignored it. Maybe if I had not you would not bleed today. Maybe if I had not you would look at me as a man rather than the king I have failed to be."

She crossed to him and enfolded him in her arms, pulling his face in towards her body. When he was sitting, she could rest her head on top of his. Blinking back tears she murmured, "You are a man Aragorn, and you have not failed. You may have been late, but you still came. You came for me. That means more than any material goods. Your true wealth is in your heart."

Reluctantly he pulled her away. "Then I must be a poor man indeed. Namun there is something I must tell you...but...the consequences are too terrible to even contemplate. Even as it stands I think we should keep this distance between us."

"Whatever you wish, my lord. But please, anything you wish to tell me, do. All I ask is that you're honest with me."
"You ask of me the one thing that I would hold back. Very well, if the truth is what you require then you shall have it, though it breaks my heart to say it." He took a deep breathe. "Arwen returned tonight. She wants me to choose."

"Then choose you must." Her tears flowing unrestrained now, she looked into his eyes. "She's your wife, and I can never compete with that. But know that I love you, and nothing you can say will change that. I'm involved too deeply now, whether you return my feelings or not."

Breaking away from him, she faced the wall. She couldn't look at him as he made his decision.

He collapsed on the bed. If only she had been unreasonable but she had not and the choice lay before him once more.

"I don't know what to think any more," he mumered softly more to himself than to the woman who stood her across the room, her back to him. "Once this choice was easy now it consumes me. What my heart does or does not know is a mystery. But I know that I love you also. Yes Arwen is my wife and I love her dearly but she has abandoned me once more and I cannot take much more of the agony our separation is causing me. If I have to choose let my choice be you."
Subject: Visitor

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Date Posted: 08:24:33 06/01/02 Sat

The wind was fiercer now. Soft rain descended from the skies, settling like gems in her dark hair. The elven air around her seemed stronger now, she was Lady of Imladris and Lorien, and every right to be there, as wife or …
It was easier to block everything out, instead of trying to come to terms with exactly what had happened.

The beasts in the stalls were sleeping soundly. The stables were the place she needed to go, now she had taken the few final belongings that she felt remained at the palace. One creature was restless. Arwen could hear the shuffling of straw beneath hooves, her horse. An elvish horse, breed in Rivendell, it had sensed her coming.

She slid back the well-oiled bolt on the door. The animal needed not to be lead from the stall; instead it came and stood, waiting to be harnessed. It was as Arwen ran her hand over the horses back, she hear footsteps behind her. Please don’t let him have followed me, please She prayed under her breath. It’s hard enough for me already. Yet it was not Aragorn who stood before her.

“Rhylin. What are you doing here?” She asked, sighing inwardly at her relief. She did not wait for him to answer; instead she turned again to face the horse, smoothing down his damp coat. “I do not intend to return to Rhun. Tonight I go to Rivendell, from there I do not think I shall ever return. I am dying Rhylin, I feel it deep inside my soul. My heart is breaking.”

“ Arwen, I’m so sorry, is there anything I can do?” Came a tentative question. It was as if she were a little un-well, the way the phrase had been worded. Still, he cared enough to ask.

“There’s nothing you can do.” She fell silent. Mounting the horse, she smiled down on the faerie. “Nothing anyone can do. Goodbye Rhylin, for I know not if I should ever see you again.”

The dappled grey horse speed out of Minas Tirith.
Subject: The winds of change

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Date Posted: 12:07:51 06/01/02 Sat

The days and nights of two months rise and fall.

An air of unease rests over the whole palace.

Arwen reaches Rivendale without incident where she finds the Lord Celeborn who resides there still. She takes with her the ring of Barahir and the elfstone to give to her as yet unborn child.

Aragorn stays with Namün but it as if a part of him has died. She notices this change in him but has not confronted him about it.

Rhylin, determinded to keep up his charade, remains distant and aloof with Laeriel who is hurt by the change in him.

Gimli remains trapped in the orcs custody. The others begin to worry about his absence.

Legolas continues to brood about the unseen bowman and his growing love for Faeirex. The elf herself becomes more and more agitated as each day in Minas Tirith passes and her quest remains unfullfilled.
Subject: From the land of Rohan.

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Date Posted: 15:47:17 06/01/02 Sat

The group had been riding since the sunrise the previous day. The horses had become weary, as had the riders, yet still Minas Tirith was not in sight.

Eomer looked over at his wife, Lothriel, who rode tall and proud upon a pure white stallion. Her long brown hair framed the perfect symmetry of her face and rippled over her shoulders down to the small of her back. Before her sat Elfwine -their young son. He was alseep, curled up against Lothriel's delicately swollen stomach, one small hand grasped her mantle. A golden curl sat upon his brow.

Lothriel looked up and Eomer smiled gently, a small smile which she returned with almost a nod of thanks.
"Are you tired? Do you wish to stop?" Eomer asked her, concern on his face. But she merely shook her head in reply.

The afternoon sun shone brightly through the green leaves of the woods and bounced back of the blue waters of Anduin. To his right lay the dark mountains of Mordor - a dead country. Event he sight of the place made Eomer shiver inwardly. But soon they would reach the nearby country of Gondor.

There were many people at Minas Tirith who Eomer wished to see. Mainly his beutiful sister, Eowyn. Elfwine had never seen his aunt or his uncle - Faramir the Steward of Gondor. Among them, Elfwine would also see all the character's out of his father's adventure stories - Legoalass the brave elf, whose skills with a bow surpassed elves and men alike; Gimli - the proud dwarfven warrior who had slain countless orcs with his mighty axe. And Aragorn and Arwen. The king and queen, whose story was that of Beren and Luthien. A human and a she-elf who had forsaken everything to be together.

A grin light up Eomer's face as he thought of these people, and so he rode on.
Subject: The black youth

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Date Posted: 20:17:34 06/01/02 Sat

Aragorn stood in the courtyard of the white tree, his minesters surrounded him in a swirl of brightly coloured silks. A young man clad in black pulled out of the crowd. "Your majesty, could I have a word with you in private?"
"Of course..." he replied, leaving the youth room to supply his name but he offered nothing more. An uneasy silence followed so Aragorn smiled kindly, "my doors are always open. Please, follow me." He excused himself from the bustling crowd that enveloped him and led the man towards the palace doors. Namün detatched herself from the courtiers, "don't go with him."
"There's something about him. I know him, I just can't think from where."
"I'll be fine." He kissed the top of her head. "I'll be right back."

The room they occupied was plain and unadorned.
"So, what is it you wanted from me?"
The youth made no reply except to smile coldly at the king.
"There must be a reason you sought me out."
"Oh, there is." The smile again. "I'm going to give you the chance you never gave me."
The metalic whisper of a sword slid from the scabbard. "I'll give you a chance to arm yourself before I destroy your life."

Aragorn pulled Aunduril from the belt around his waist. He almost felt sorry for the young man; almost. Even at his current age the king remained unbeaten.

Their swords came together in a clang of steel. Aragorn leaned his weight his weight behind it, trying to push the younger man to his knees. A faint tinge of surprise coloured his eyes as the dark haired youth pushed him back. Aragorn broke out of the encounter and staggered back.
"What did I do to you to deserve this?"
"You killed my mother."
The king shock his head slowly, "I have never killed a woman."
"Think again old man."
"Who in the gods name do you think you are?"

In reply the young man pealed off the glove on his right hand and dropped it at his feet. Then slowly and deliberately he removed the golden ring that adorned his second finger and through it at Aragorn who caught it deftly, the blood running from his face as his examined it.
"You are my son?"
"Aren't you going to welcome me home father?"

Aragorn awoke, the sweat cold on his face, Namün lying next to him the morning light colouring her face a deep gold. It always finished the same way: aren't you going to welcome me home father? If only it went further he would know where it ended and the dream wouldn't haunt him so. What would he do if his son returned and demanded answers? What if Arwen died?

What if...what if....
Subject: A silent city

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Date Posted: 02:25:11 06/04/02 Tue

Laeriel walked through the silent passages in the castle, bitterly cold air blew against her face, and perfectly contrasted the cloudless sunny sky. If one were indoors, one might have thought it a beautiful day. Laeriel's heart new better, the change in the air signified only one thing-- the coming of winter. Laeriel paused to look out through one of the glassless castle windows onto the garden. The trees were dressed in beautiful shades, ranging from red to golden, honey to sienna. Every time the wind rustled, a few orange hued leaves would flutter to the ground in a cascade of fall colors. But as most were enjoying the autumn foliage, the faeries were growing more heavy hearted and introverted with each passing moment. Though they loved all seasons, winter's coming meant Laeriel's people would be lethargic and quiet, a contrast to their usual jovial nature. Winter signifies not sadness, though, but ending. A time to rest and reflect, a time to prepare for what the new year and what spring might bring to them. A threat loomed in the air, though, and Laeriel feared whatever they were facing would strike soon, and strike hard. She new, also, that this meant their enemy was smart, and knew faeries were involved. And may an enemy meet a faery in winter, for he has a better chance then if they were to meet in spring.

What worried her most, however, is how this enemy would know that faeries were a threat. At first, she had thought perhaps they has seen her or one of her siblings journeying to Minas Tirith, that would be logical. She new, though, that there was another way they could know. But it meant they had something so terrible, so destructive, she didn't dare speak it, or even think it. All she knew was that in her present state, she was powerless to defend herself against it. She prayed this power had not fallen into the hands of evil, but deep in her heart, she knew it already had.

Another bitterly cold breeze blew through the passageway. Laeriel shivered and pulled the sides of her cloak more tightly around her. Her quick footsteps echoed in the empty stone halls, Laeriel had grown accustomed to the sound. The halls were usually empty now. The entire city was silent. Now that word had spread about Arwen’s leaving, and the King’s interest in a servant girl called Namün, the people of Minas Tirith did not know what to think. A cloud of sadness and confusion had descended upon the city, all who resided their could feel it. No one knew what to think of the King, not even the King himself.

Laeriel’s spirits continued to sink. The King had been unavailable for the past two and a half months entirely. The faeries kept to themselves, primarily, and the residents of the castle paid them little heed. Laeriel thought the coming of her siblings would lift her spirits, but still her heart felt heavy. Rhylin was cold and uncomfortable around her, and she could do nothing about it now. Before, if she tried, she could bring him around for at least a small time. Enough time for them to feel the essence of their old friendship slowly returning. But even the shadow of the way the once were had disappeared entirely over these last months. Laeriel avoided him, for the most part. It was time to stop fighting and accept it, they will never be friends again. The very thought of their lost friendship brought tears to her eyes, they trickled down her cheeks and tasted salty in her mouth. She fiercely wiped them away with one hand, but they continued to flow. She walked quickly ahead, her head fixed on the floor, her sobbing so silent it could not be heard over the echoes of her footsteps.

Laeriel continued to walk forward, trying her best to stop crying. But it was to no avail, she still tasted bitter, salty tears. She continued walking, not thinking about where she would go. She didn’t care, maybe she would walk forever, mourning her lost friend. Perhaps she would walk all the way back to Carenina, maybe she would walk even further than that. She could live in the mountains, with the trees. And spare herself and Rhylin all this pain. Maybe… maybe…

She had been paying so little attention to where she was headed, she ran straight into someone else in the passage way. They hit shoulder to shoulder, so hard it spun Laeriel almost clear around. She turned to face the other person.

“I’m so sorry, I must not have been paying attention. Forgive--” the other cloaked figure turned to face her. A wave of emotions swept through her, primarily, happiness.

“Rhylin! I haven’t seen you in days!” she said, flinging her arms around his neck without giving second thought. For a moment, she was happy.

Then, she felt his muscles tighten, he did not return her embrace. She let go of his neck, looking up at him, her eyes filled with hurt. He looks as if he was about to say something, she didn’t care. She took a step backwards, and then another, and another still. All her thoughts came rushing back to her at once. It was time to stop fighting and accept it, they will never be friends again… She shook her head. No, we’ll always be friends…I can’t loose him, he means so much to me…, she repeated it in her mind, he did mean so much to her. Her eyes clouded with tears, she spun violently on her heals, and ran.

She ran faster than even she knew she could run, truly not caring where she was headed, this time. She faintly heard Rhylin’s footsteps behind her, she ignored them. She turned and ran up a stairway, Rhylin close at her heels. She didn’t care if he followed her. She kept running up, up, the stairs seemed to go on forever. Finally, she felt the cold wind on her face, she was outside, on some sort of tower. The expansive land stretched out endlessly before her, she could see for miles. She walked to the edge, peering over the stone wall that guarded one from falling. Bellow her, she could see the city, silent and still. No one was happy there, not a single man in the castle or the city could boast of happiness. Her tears began to fall again, she collapsed on the ground, her back leaning against the stone wall. She drew her knees up to her chest, and closed her arms around them tightly. She watched the entrance to the tower, wondering if Rhylin had followed her.
Subject: A new day dawns

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Date Posted: 22:20:33 06/04/02 Tue

Namün awoke to the harsh chill of a winter morning. The pale glow of the sun was on her skin, but it was a weak light, and ineffective in providing warmth against the touch of the seasons. There to be seen, but not to be felt. Briefly, she wondered how true that was of her own life. Aragorn told her he cared for her, and to all eyes it seemed to be so. But observing the change in him since his wife left, she couldn’t help but wonder if he felt it in his heart, or if he was simply playing a part. She would always be second best, and she knew it. And it hurt.

Turning to regard him with eyes heavy with sleep, she saw the tension in his body and the cares on his face. Sympathy overcame her. He was hurting too, and from a wound far deeper.
But wounds heal, she reminded herself. The scar on her body could testify to that. Time had faded it’s angry red to a hair-thin white line surrounded by new pink skin which had yet to darken to the natural colour of her body. In time, he would heal.
And love was the best healer. She could help him, as he had helped her. Shifting her position in soft sheets, Namün stroked his face until the furrowed brow eased and she coaxed a smile.
"Good morning," she whispered.
Subject: The Wind

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Date Posted: 08:43:25 06/05/02 Wed

"Something has changed. I sense it on the wind." Arwen spoke, her voice thin and weak. The Lord Celeborn turned.
"You have not fallen completely then, although you are too weak to read what it says."

That was true. When she had arrived at Rivendell almost two months ago, her body had almost given out. Arwen had remained in a death-like sleep for some weeks, until final the Elven magic of Imladris, and the powers of Celeborn had enabled her to wake. Slowly, her health was increasing, but to no avail. She had but a few weeks until the birth of her child, and after then her strenght and her body would give in.

"There is evil abroad," He continued, "but we do not have the power to fight it until absolutely necessary. Even then, now without the Elven rings, we cannot protect this place other than our Elvish presence, and the very Elvish spirit of Imladris." Great sadness filled his voice, and Arwen felt he knew more than that of which he had spoken.

Her power was weak, and she knew that is anything were to happen, she would be useless, a burden. She had not the strenght to stand, and for most days she wuld rest inside, in her deathly slumber. One day, simply, no-one would be able to wake her from it.

She was dying, her only love killing her.
Subject: Somewhere on the tallest tower...

Rhylin and Laeriel
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Date Posted: 21:54:48 06/05/02 Wed

He could hear his own heartbeat, muffled slightly by the noise of his boots on the marble stairs; he ran on. At the top of the tower Laeriel waited, hunched over, cowering against the wind beneath the feeble shelter the ramparts offered. He pulled off his own cloak and slung it round her shoulders. "Why did you run from me."

"You know why I ran from you," she said, her eyes still fixed straight ahead, "And you know why we haven't seen each other in days." By the time Rhylin had found her, Laeriel had stopped crying but each time she spoke, the tears came nearer. She tried to hold them off for as long as she could, the lump in the back of her throat growing larger every minute. "Why have you been avoiding me, Rhylin? And why have I been avoiding you? Why have we been treating each other so? I--" Laeriel had lost her battle with her emotions, tears began to fall freely down her raw cheeks. The cold wind continued to blow. Laeriel looked into Rhylin's eyes, "Please, don't treat me this way. What have I done to you? Tell me what is wrong, and I will fix it, I can't loose you"

"You can't loose me, do you really mean that? Or rather do you mean that you can't loose me as a friend? No, don't even answer that for I know what you would say. I have been avoiding you..." The visions agony hit him swiftly and he almost collapsed into her arms. Please, not again: not now.

She felt him grow weak, another vision. Although no faery had ever been able to recieve a vision on command, he was the closest any ever came to being able to control his power. She wanted him to continue talking, she wanted him to say it. She wanted so badly for him to tell her he loved her. She slipped her arms around him, and pulled him close. She brought her lips to his ears, "You mean so much to me, no matter what you are, a friend or-" she paused, "-or lover. No matter what, Rhylin, you mean as much to me as my brothers or sister, or even my father. You may even mean more than that..." she let herself trail off. Her own words suprised her. Maybe he did mean more...

He shock himself out of the vision sickness too late to hear her last words. His legs gave way and he tumbled to the floor and sat looking up at her stupidly. "You love me?"

His words shocked her. Was that his vision? She thought for a momment; did she love him? The realization came like a flood, all at once she knew it, that's what was wrong, that's what was wrong between them. That was why her heart ached so-- she loved him. A smile spread across her lips, "Yes," she said, "I believe I do. I love you, Rhylin."

He grinned broadly; a smile that had not seen the light of day for many long months. "Not as a friend? You love me as I love you?" He pushed himself to his feet and kissed her forehead quickly, amazed that he could get this close to her. "Oh my darling girl, you have made me..." he kissed her again on the tip of her nose; every nerve tingling, "I will make you so happy, I promise. It is the least I can do. I love you so much. The last two months have been unbearable. I'm so sorry for everything."

She pulled him close to her, finding joy in even the slightest touch. Her heart felt so full it could burst at any moment, "I love you more than anything, Rhylin. I don't know why I couldn't see it before. Don't be sorry, it was my fault for putting you through such agony for so long. Let us put the past in the past," she said, looking into his eyes, "Just love me now."

"I will love you always." He grinned again, "but surely you know that by now." He had imagined their kiss for so long. In none of his day dreams had the fireworkless sky been a dull grey, swept with a cruel wind that threatened to knock the faeries from their high tower and yet as he stood, his arms wrapped around Laeriel, Rhylin could not imagine the moment could be more perfect.
Subject: A New Day

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Date Posted: 10:10:28 06/06/02 Thu

The sun gave the clearest light, casting a beautiful dawn over all of Gondor. That was why he loved the mornings. Fresh, waiting to be filled with happenings.

In his tower, he could escape palace life. The Prince of Ithilien often longed for the days when he had lived with his companions protecting the city. To have a purpose. Their lives had been so busy recently, him and Eowyn barely had time to see each other. But Faramir made time.

Since the Queen's departure, and Aragorn had publically taken to the girl Namün, work had been neglected by the king, in favour of spending time with his new love. Faramir had been left to take control of everything.

The band of soldiers had returned truimphant to Minas Tirith, after squashing the Orc attacks of Helm's Deep. The warriors were training well. He was keeping the kingdom, until the King returned to duty.

Meanwhile, he was drifting away from his wife. The piles of papers dominated his days, leaving little time for love. He loved Eowyn with his very soul. She was perfect in every aspect- her beauty outshone any other woman, her great courage, her caring and gentleness. He loved her, and he would not fail her.
Subject: In the light of day

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Date Posted: 13:51:42 06/06/02 Thu

He could feel the gentle hand stroke his face.

"Good morning"
"Good morning Arwen."

He opened his eyes slowly and then wishing he had not closed them again quickly, for it was not his wife who lay across from him. The last two months had not been a dream; she was gone.

He had slept again after his seriel confrontation with his unborn son. Yet it was that which seemed reality, that meeting made sense, his lying here did not.

He blinked into the sun once more. "Namün, forgive me. For a moment I forgot myself. I am back once more." He smiled at her. "Did you sleep well?"
Subject: A bitter-sweet morning

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Date Posted: 18:56:07 06/06/02 Thu

Eowyn watched through her palace window. The morning wind blew auburn leaves across the courtyard and circled the castle, lashing her face. The harsh breeze and bitter air brought a wintery element to the dawn, but the sun still shone and there was a feeling of contempt.

Eowyn had found the last few months at the castle very dull. She thought that with Faramir's return things would start to liven up for her, but he was kept constantly busy with a heap of work that didn't seem to stop coming. She thought that he was given more than was perhaps neccessary, and a voice at the back of her head told her that perhaps he just didn't feel the need to make time for her. She shrugged off this thought and turned from the window.

Hurriedly brushing her wayward hair and arranging the folds in her dress, she left her room and walked down the corridor to Faramir's quarters. Trying the handle, she was pleasently suprised to find it was not locked.

The Steward stood facing her, his arm held out as if he had been reaching to open the door himself. He moved aside to let her enter. Any anger she had felt over his absence dissapeared immediately and a cheeky smile spread across her face.
"It's been a while" she stated, leaning into him and letting his arms warm her from the chill. She lifted her face and gently pressed her lips against his, feeling pressure back and fingers running through her long hair. In that moment, any fears or worries she had were gone. They were there, they were together, and nothing else mattered. Now, nothing would break them apart.
Subject: Daily life

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Date Posted: 22:15:32 06/06/02 Thu

She looked up from her spinning as Mirwan entered. Anawiel had been roped in to help with the servant's duties as her stay increased in length. Arwen had still not returned and she began to regret obeying Melmonu's wishes in the case of the King. Arwen would now be heavy with child, while Aragorn's affair became more and more permanant.

Spinning was the only thing Anawiel was useful for, and as far as Mirwan was concerned that was all she would ever be any good for.
"Stop day-dreaming child! The king does not give up his beds for those who do not re-pay his services. Get back to work this instant." Mirwan had crept up behind her like a poisonous snake.
"Yes, well," Anawiel muttered,"Maybe I should move to a different bed and attend to the king's more personal services. I hear that is popular among many of the scullery maids these days. Stupid wench." She was unsure who the wench was in this case. Mirwan definately had a strong dislike for Namun. Madjael had said something about it yesterday during archery.

Madjael had become Anawiel's only real friend in the palace. He had begun to teach her to bow and handle a spear when he had free time. Of course every night he went to the tavern and drowned his many sorrows between the young barmaids legs. Anawiel made a mental puking noise as she thought this. She wasn't jealous.

How could she be when she could still picture every pore of Galáril's face? His soft jet-black hair that fluttered in the wind like ravens wings, that shone with a radiant blue sheen. And his eyes. Green like glacier ice rimmed with glittering turquoise hoops, and danced beneath long dark crescents of lash.

A bell tolled somewhere deep in the city walls and Anawiel left her seat in search of lunch. The chalk white of the outside walls sent shivers of light through the castles many corridors. Her sea green skirt whispered across polished flagstones like a song she remebered from long ago.

The leave were long the grass was green
The hemlock-umbels tall and fair
And in a glade a light was seen
Of stars in shadow shimmering
Tinuviel was dancing there
And the light of stars was in her hair
And in her raiment glimmering......

The story of Tinuviel. It was the story that Elrond had told her the first day she had been to Rivendell, when she was 5 years old. She had cried while he sung it in a low melancholy voice that tore at her heart - despite her age. That was the first time she had envied Arwen. Arwen would find love - but Anawiel would only lose it.
Subject: Morning

Aragorn and Namün
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Date Posted: 12:31:42 06/07/02 Fri

His slip over her name hurt, but she quickly hid the look which flashed over her face. It was only to be expected. Conjuring up a smile to banish the shadows from her mind, she wriggled deeper into the sheets in an attempt to evade the creeping cold of the morning. "I always do." A light frown creased her forehead. "But you're troubled. What's wrong?"
He considered telling her about the dream but the look on her face was not lost on him. "How could anything be wrong?" He kissed her forehead gently. "I am here with you; that is all that matters."
She stuck her tongue out at him and pulled the covers up until only her laughing eyes showed peeping out from the mounds of fabric. "Do you really think that was enough to fool me?" she asked in a muffled voice.
"Of course," he smiled at her. "My dear, I am your monarch and as such I should be accepted as a god and consequentally am infallible. So," he grinned wolfishly, "if I say I am fine then I am where as you on the other hand," nimble fingers snaked under the covers to tickle her mercilessly "are about to feel the wrath of your king."
Shrieking and writhing in an effort to evade his fingers, she giggled helplessly. Eventually he ceased the torment momentarily. "Do you surrender?" he asked, lips close enough to her to brush her skin.
She batted her eyelashes at him in a deceitful gesture of acqueiscance before telling him sweetly, "Wouldn't it count as treason to submit to the enemy?" and beginning to tackle him with a similar ferocity.
"You...win" he gasped for breathe. "Cease this infernal tickling."
"I win?"
"And you won't just start up if I let you go."
"My cunning plan is foiled but no I shall not. You have my word on it." She released him grudgingly and he pounced on her once more. "Never trust a politician," he laughed. "Even if they are infallible."
Their tussle was interrupted by a nervous knock on the door. Rolling over, Aragorn pinned her body beneath his and held on to her arms to prevent her resuming the attack. The ghost of a smug expression on his face, he raised his head and called, "What is it?"
"My Lord, it is time you were rising" came the apologetic voice from outside. Namün suppressed a smile, wondering how long the man had been waiting outside listening to the sounds from within before summoning up the courage to disturb them.
"What o clock is it?"
"Nine, my Lord."
"Thankyou Cannyc. If it's not too much trouble could you draw a warm bath for me."
"Of course, your majesty."
"And alert the Lord Faramir I shall be calling on him in 2 hours."
"Very good my Lord." Aragorn rose stiffly from the bed and brushed the top of Namün's head with his lips. "You'd better leave before the bath gets here, love."
"I could grow to hate that man." she said petulantly. "Why must you always go when they call? You're the king, you don't have to do everything they say. Stay a little longer?" She rolled into the warm hollow left by his body, shivering now that he was no longer there to cuddle up to in the cold.
"Precisly. I am the king and as such I owe a duty to my country; it won't run itself." He pulled on the deep red robe that lay discarded on the floor. "You know I would rather stay with you; but duty and the Lord Steward call."
"You called him."
"Not really. Now you really should go. Look, you're cold. Here borrow this." He handed her another robe and kissed her again to soften his words. "I do need to work."
"I know," she said exasperatedly, "But I didn't think it was always going to be like this. You're busy all day, and by the time night comes, you're already tired. If anything, you work harder than I have to."
"If anything? My dear girl, I work much harder than you do. Anytime you wish to trade just ask: I think I could handle a day of chopping herbs."
Angrily Namün swept up the robe and wrapped it round he body, disapperaring almost instantly into its too-large folds. Upset, she hissed at him "You really have no idea, do you?" before storming out of the room.
Subject: Forever.

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Date Posted: 19:15:59 06/07/02 Fri

He ran his fingers through her hair. Freeing an arm from the embrace, he slid across the heavy iron bolt on the door. Seemingly together, they ended the kiss, speaking no words, but saying so much.

I love you.

A deep understanding between their souls, their spirits knowing each other, reading each other. They kissed again, stronger, more powerful. Gently, Faramir pushed Eowyn back a few steps, until the his force had them both lying upon the soft sheets.

He wanted their flesh to mould, become one person. A great fire burnt inside his heart, fuelled by passion and great love.

Few people ever find the one who truly hold the key to their hearts, marrying for conveience. Yet, Faramir had found his. This was the woman he craved, needed. Eowyn was the reason he lived. He loved her.

Subject: Nagging

Madjael & Anawiel
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Date Posted: 20:34:05 06/07/02 Fri

"You sound sure of yourself! Not getting a little cocky perhaps?"

Madjael nearly blushed at Anawiel's words. She was looking at him with one eyebrow raised slightly holding a walnut archery bow in her hand.

"None of your business. Savinia is easy - everyone knows it. Even Targan managed!" He sniggered and shot a series of arrows at a target on the other side of the training field.

Anawiel shook the hair out of her face and raised her bow to aim. Madjael's arrows formed a perfect ring around the bullseye. He smiled cheekily at her, causing her to narrow her eyes slightly at him. Dropping the bow and looking around for any watchers, she quickly swiped her hand through the air - drawing the arrows out of the target and back to her open palm.

"Beat that young sire!" she did a small mock curtsy towards Madjael.

"That's cheating," Madjael crossed his arms defensivly and trying his best not to look sulky. "Anyone could have seen you - anyone in the castle you know."

They began to walk back across the field to Minas Tirith. Nearing the walls they heard a woman's shrill giggle followed by a low moan. Madjael smirked at Anawiel.

"Bet they didn't see me. That's the Lady Eowyn's room is it not?" Anawiel looked concerned.
"I wonder who else heard them? There may be interesting gossip if that story got twisted." she nodded her head towards Namun who was walking through the courtyard.

Madjael remained silent and Anawiel blushed deeply. "It is alright. I still have my lovely Savinia remember?"

At that moment Mirwan rounded the corner. Madjael and Anawiel both gave an inward sigh. They were in for some nagging. They had not supposed to have been over to the training fields.

"And just where do you two think you're going?" Mirwan signalled at Anawiel, "You. Kitchen. Now. And you," she rounded on Madjael. "I have a bone to pick with you my son."
Subject: Reflections

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Date Posted: 12:15:03 06/08/02 Sat

Strangely pensive that morning, Legolas looked unseeing out of his window, contemplating many things, bith past and present. Between he and Lómódë had developed a kind of unspoken agreement not to speak of her past. He gave her friendship and companionship on the days when her eyes danced with starlight and she drew light and happiness to her like moths to a beacon, and offered her comfort in the ever-increasing times when she was melancholy. He had learnt never to question her by now, and she offered no answers for her changes in mood.

Dutifully, he had reported all that he knew of her to Aragorn, and the king himself had spoken with her. If possible, Lómódë had been even more reticent than usual. To other eyes her carriage in front of him had been self-assured, her answers, while neatly diverting all his questions, polite- almost, but not quite, to the point of being deferential. He didn't think that anybody else would have noticed the way she refused to meet Aragorn's eyes, or the all but refractory untertone that had crept into her voice when asked exactly why she had been in the forest. Predictably, she had given no concrete answers.
That gave Legolas something else to think about. Despite her appearance of respect towards him, she hadn't troubled to invent a story to explain her presence- almost as if she didn't judge the king to be a threat to her.

And when he had taken her arm, he had sensed the tension that resonated throughout her svelte figure. As soon as she'd been dismissed she had retreated to her rooms and remained there for several days, emerging only, a pale wraith, when she had overcome some private torture she chose to reveal to none.
Although lacking any explanation for her behaviour, Aragorn had had no actual evidence to suggest that she had committed an offense against him, so he had had no choice but to allow Legolas to return her palantir to her and tell her she may leave if she wished.

Strangely though, she hadn't left. Why, he wasn't sure, but she had chosen to linger on in the palace. And every day that she had stayed, her hold on him had grown. To Legolas she was a flash of light which remains on the eyelids long after the falme has died. She was the song that lived on in the head, to play and be replayed when all music has ceased. She was the scent which invades the nostrils and the mind, and endures all assaults to cling with a lingering touch. She had accepted his friendship with an almost childlike gratitude, treating him with affection, almost as she might treat a brother. And as such he had tried to keep his love towards her fraternal, rather than risk losing her by revealing his growing, and possibly unwelcome, feelings.

It really was amazing, he reflected, that they managed to find anything to talk about, so long was the list of topics that one or other of them wished to avoid. Somehow though, they did, and they would converse for hours at a time.
Lómódë had begun to teach him Quenya, her natural language. Although the words were not really that different from Sindarin, he often felt awkward as he struggled with the musical words. His impatient teacher laughed often, reverting to teasing him in a language he did not yet fully understand.

Sighing, he shut the window, trying to banish her pervasive presence from his thoughts as he did so. Taking his bow, he headed down to the training grounds. There was to be an archery competition in a few days, and he wanted to win. Attractive Lómódë may be, but that didn't mean he was prepared to be beaten by her in contest.
Subject: The Fears of Lord Elrond

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Date Posted: 15:39:26 06/08/02 Sat

The fresh winds blew across to where the Elven Lady sat. She shivered, her weakened state making her more even colder. She could not stay alive forever.

Celeborn had left her to be alone. They had argued. The Lord Celeborn had promised her father, that in his absence, Celeborn would do everything in his power to care for the Lady Undomiel.

It was not that which troubled Arwen. It was the way her father had said so much to her brothers ande grand-sire concerning herself. Lord Elrond feared that once she had become mortal, and taken her place amongst men, she would become like them. Slowly she would loose her power, and all the gifts of the Eldar.

It was her father now, who caused the silent tears gracing her cheeks. The fact the only people who cared for her, she would never see again. All for one man.

Arwen had changed. Now, in the shadow of her fathers house, sat again a beautful elven maid. Whereas in Minas Tirith, she had been trapped, caught, bound up in a love from whom she had no return emotion. She had changed. But she was changing back. She was elven once more. She would prove her father wrong.
Subject: An undying love

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Date Posted: 16:08:00 06/08/02 Sat

Faramir's gentle hands unlaced the ties down the back of her dress. A childish giggle escaped her as his lips traveled down her neck, leaving her skin tingling and her body yearning for more.

With delicacy, Eowyn unbuttoned his shirt and slipped her hand behind his waist, carressing his smooth chest with soft, sweet kisses. His strong arms held her close and his toned muscles rippled beneath her touch.

Faramir pulled back slightly and looked into her eyes, silently letting her lead the way. It was one of the small things that made Eowyn love him even more. He was so patient, so selfless, following yet never behind. It was a rareity to find someone so perfect, and she knew how lucky she was to have him.

They were kindred spirits, soul mates. They shared an undying, inextinguishable love.

Eowyn found his lips with hers and kissed him so passionately, almost with a ferocity that mirrored the compelling emotions inside her. Their hands smothered each other until their bodies joined, entwined like their hearts.
Subject: Arrival

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Date Posted: 22:41:53 06/08/02 Sat

"Good morning your Majesty. How was your journey?"
The valet's hurried around their horses, voices calling out for stables and extra food and hay. Eomer turned and lifted Elfwine down from his mother's lap, his bright blue eyes looking around in confusion. Lothriel dismounted slowly, also looking around.
"Where is the Lady Eowyn? And Lord Faramir? Should they not be expecting us?" She was sounded worried. Eomer smoothed her shoulders gently. He turned to the nearest valet.
"Yes, I should like to know that also. I sent a messenger ahead a few days before. We also require lodging - if it is not too much of a problem."
The valet bowed.
"Yes of course sire. I will be right back." Then he hurried away. Elfwine tugged at Eomer's sleeve, his small face gazing up at his father.
"Will I meet my aunt, father? You have told me about her. You say she is beautiful and brave. Like mother. When shall I meet her?"
Eomer smiled down at his son's fair head.
"We shall meet her soon. I promise, Elfwine. Now where has your mother gone to?"
The valet came running back looking a little breathless. His face was bright red. Eomer looked over, slightly amused.
"Did you find them?"
The valet blushed deeper and shuffled his feet. "Well...um...ahem. I believe they are...indisposed."
Realisation dawned on Eomer's face.
"Ah. Indisposed. I suppose we shall see them later then..."
Subject: A confrontation

Madjael and Namün
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Date Posted: 18:25:18 06/10/02 Mon

Namün clutched the robe about her body, wishing now that she’d stopped to get dressed before storming out. Of course, that would have defeated the point of storming out, but it was still cold, and she wasn’t wearing anything but an oversized dressing gown.

His mother stared disapprovingly at Madjael, her eyes darkening into a fiercesome glare. "I've been hearing some rather interesting things about you, my son." Madjael gulped - unsure where the conversation was headed. Whatever it was though, he thought stating the obvious, it was not good. He looked at the ground and gulped. His mother wasn't the nicest of people to start off with, and she nearly always seemed to treat him as though he himself was a servant. He felt Anawiel slip her hand into his, squeezing the tips of his fingers. It was comforting and he smiled gratefully at his friend.
"Yes mother - what is wrong now?" he asked reluctantly.

She spotted Madjael with the red headed girl whose name she didn’t know in the courtyard, but didn’t acknowledge them. Tears were too close now for her to embroil herself in some new conflict. She was half way to the opposite door and back into the warm when she heard Mirwan.
"...my son."

"What is wrong!? What is wrong!? I'll tell you what's wrong! You and the local barmaid - that is what's wrong! What do you think you are? Some sort of male whore?! Flinging your manhood around like that! You ought to be ashamed of yourself! Obviously that something has rubbed off of that Namün girl!"
"MOTHER! Please!" his eyes flashed to Namün's retreating figure, begging silently 'maybe she didn't hear, maybe she didn't hear, please don't let her have heard what she just said!'

Namün stopped in her tracks. No, no, please no!
But it was true. Mirwan was speaking to Madjael. Mirwan was Madjael's mother!!!
A thousand thoughts rushed into her head at once, as sudden realisation dawned. The blood drained from her face, blanching the golden skin and turning her lips white. She saw Madjael's eyes flick towards her stunned figure. Giving him one accusing glance of hurt and betrayal, she turned and fled.

He saw Namün's look and it bore right through him. Nearly brought tears to his eyes. A voice echoed around his mind. 'Go Madjael. Or you'll lose everything. Even those things you never had. I'll keep your mother busy.' He knew it was Anawiel, but Madjael did not wait to thank her as he began to run after Namün's flailing black hair. "Namün! Please stop! Please! Let me explain! I'm sorry! Please just stop!" He called after her, but it was no use. Namün was either too stubborn or too upset to talk to him. He grabbed at the sleeve of her robe, pulling her round to face him.
"Namün, wait. What's wrong?"
"How could you, Madjael?" she asked him tearfully.
"How could I what?"
"She's your mother! I'm sorry if I hurt you, but did I really deserve all this?"
"All what?"
She faltered uncertainly, for the first time unsure of Madjael's position as the enemy. "You didn't know?" she whispered. "You didn't ask her to have me beaten?"
"What?! What do you mean, she beats you? She'd never do that! I know sometimes she's unfair and....well," Madjael searched for the right word, "a little testy - to say the least - but beating a servant? Beating you? She wouldn't......" He trailed off. Of course she'd beat a servant. She'd done that to Madjael when he was younger - but it was only because she cared about him and didn't want him to make mistakes. It was banned, wasn't it? Mirwan wasn't the type of person to break a rule, let alone a law.

"Are you trying to tell me that you have no idea of what's happened?" she shouted through her tears. "Don't you ever stop thinking about yourself long enough to find out what's been going on?"
"I beg your pardon! Forgive me if I'm wrong - but you aren't exactly the Valar's gift to Middle Earth! I do actually have feelings, even though there is only one person who bothers to find out what they are! I am not going to let you make me feel guiltier than I already do! In case you'd had forgotten - it's your fault in the first place I'm like this. What's you're excuse? You just packed your things and disappeared. Where have you been all this time? Why are you working here?"
A pause, and then, "And where did you get that scar?"

Suddenly, fighting with Madjael didn’t matter any more. There was no point in more childish sniping. All she wanted was to get the encounter over with and escape to somewhere she could cry in peace.
"I was raped." she told him flatly, in a shaking voice. She glared up at him resentfully. "Happy now?"
He stared at her for a long time, seemingly uncomprehending. "You...were..." he said slowly.
She nodded.
"Oh, Namün..."
There wasn't anything else he could say. He had no idea of how to deal with this. He drew her in towards him and wrapped his arms around her.
Overwhelmed by ghosts from her past, shock, anger, and upset at Aragorn, Namün finally broke down completely. Confused by the way Madjael was acting, and not knowing how to react to him, she simply let him hold her and sobbed into his chest, crying her heart out.
"Who did it? Do you know? Have you told anyone else? You're not...um...you know - are you?" Madjael had begun to babble out every thought that came into his head in a blind panic, "Gods! It wasn't the king was it?!" Namün just shook her head furiously into his shirt. He looked down at her and noticed the fold of her gown. It was a little more open than normal - and not leaving all that much to the imagination. He tried as discretely as possible to hide her modesty but he seemed to be shaking a little and his hand didn't quite go in the direction he had originally planned..

Realising what was happening, she pushed him away. Furiously, she wiped tears from her eyes and said shakily, "You just can't resist it, can you? Not even now."
"Namün, I'm sorry!" he called after her, but it was too late. She was already retreating from him, and the iron curtain dropped into place behind her.
Subject: An argument remembered

Legolas and Aragorn
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Date Posted: 18:49:47 06/10/02 Mon

Releasing his bowstring, Legolas watched the sixth arrow fly straight and true, to land in the centre of the target with a satisfying ‘thud’. This was the way to live, he decided. Out here he was a warrior, pure and simple. It was a life free from complications and the palace intrigue.
And it was growing more intriguing by the day. A slight flush grew on his sculptured cheeks at the thought of Aragorn and Namün. She was barely more than a child! Unfortunately, Aragorn did not agree with him. She had been the cause of yet another dispute between the friends, once so close.

"All the palace is alight with gossip of you and one of the servants," he had said quietly, not wishing to be drawn into another argument. "Tell me, is it true?"
"Gossip; a king's bane," Aragorn smiled wryly. "Aye. It is true." He turned to Legolas, "but you knew that, did you not? This conversation is just a way for you to tell me how much you disapprove."
"How well you know me" he said quietly. It was good to see Aragorn smile- his life had been far too solemn of late- but that could not erase the words which had to be spoken. "And you're right, I do disapprove. You're married. Arwen gave up her immortal life for you. How could you betray her in this way?"

"Betray her? You think I've betrayed her?" he spluttered indignantly. "Who left who?" Legolas's face remained impassive which was somehow worse that if he had exploded. Looking into his friend's eyes Aragorn could see a minute reflection of himself, the fire raging in his own eyes; it died and he swung away. "You're right, of course. It's my fault I know it's just..." his voice cracked painfully,
"Legolas, how did this happen?"

Legolas ran one hand through his blonde locks, always a sign of distress in him. "You were tempted," he said as gently as his voice would allow, "It happens to all men."
But his sense of what was right would not allow him to leave it at that. Something compelled him to continue speaking, a part inside of him that saw the danger, but would not let the matter rest. Slowly and deliberately, he added, "But 'tis one thing to be tempted Aragorn, another thing to fall."

"I am just a man Legolas, for all I am a king. If I fell it is only because my flesh is as weak as the rest of my race. I can understand if the elves do not possess the human emotion of love. I suppose it is too time consuming for you," the last line was said with such contempt that it was almost a sneer. Once again Aragorn recognised his weakness and fought it down.

At his words, Legolas looked down, struggling not to show how much it hurt him. He did love, and deeply. But whether he would ever feel the love of another seemed doubtful. It distressed him that he might live all his life never feeling the touch of another’s lips on his, or experience that joining of souls that others did. Would he be cursed to look forever after Lómódë, so fragile looking and so perfect, yet seemingly unperceiving of his feelings ?
As if sensing the change in him, Aragorn stepped back. "Oh dear gods. What is it about you that inflames my spirit so? Can you not leave me be?"

"How can I leave you be? Have you given any thought to this at all? What about the girl, have you stopped to consider what this is going to do to her? How old is she- 19, 20? You're old enough to be her father!" The word 'grandfather' hovered unsaid, but the thought was there.
"How old are you, Legolas? Two thousand, three? Does that mean we cannot be friends? Age means nothing when faced with love, you should know that by now."
"Do you love her then? Or are you just using her to hurt Arwen?"

"I can't believe you would think I have sunk to that depth. I know I have changed Legolas but do you honestly believe I would sleep with a woman I didn't love?" He broke of once more for it was impossible to say what would come out of his mouth while his blood was up. "Legolas I know you and Arwen were close, but I cannot live my life waiting for something that will never return. You must understand this."

Sighing, Legolas turned back to his friend. "I can't pretend that Iike what you're doing, because I don't. But I don't think I can change your mind on this either." He took a deep breath. "Can we at least call a truce. If we can't agree, at least let us speak of it no longer. I do not like the discord it creates. And Aragorn-" he broke off, resuming only when he saw the questioning look on the king's face, "I hope she makes you happy."

He had meant it, in fact. He genuinely did want his friend to be happy. And they had talked since, many times. Their comradeship had grown again. But always, they had carefully avoided the subject that was sure to spark off another argument. And would continue to do so.

Sighing, he dismissed the memory. Cold it may be, but the crisp winter morning, the pale fingers of the sun streaking the earth, was too beautiful to waste in contemplation of a situation he could not change. Narrowing his eyes purposefully, he raised a seventh arrow to the bow.
Subject: Love Remembered

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Date Posted: 16:44:16 06/11/02 Tue

The walls of the valley seemed to protecter her, strong and unchanging Rivendell was older than she, and in some ways, wiser. Deep ran the elven magic in the trees, the waters and the very air seemed to ease you.

From where Arwen sat she could see so much of Imladris. The small footbridge which crossed the ford, the great trees, the most delicate flower. So much of it held memories- whether of her family, or the one she truly loved.

There was so much she didn't understand. The very fact that the King could still draw breath after his injuries. The way he had been so loving...The kiss. None of it made sense. You cannot expect to understand love, only to accept the lot it gives you. If her time was over, there was little she could do to could do to change that. She could not make Aragorn love her, even if she had the chance.

Yet she could not control the way she felt either. Elves can choose to love, or not to. She had taken love, and now was paying for every moment she had spent with Aragorn.

What right did he have though, to come into her life, change everything for her, and then to leave her, dying, as if it all meant nothing? But did it all mean nothing to him? That was what hurt. It did. Everything had just been something that you could disguard in moments, and then lie about. It meant nothing.

With those thoughts, another wave of grief swept through her body, and her mind passed again into painful dreams.
Subject: Walking In the Garden

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Date Posted: 19:14:29 06/12/02 Wed

Laeriel wandered through the garden. The autumn leaves fell softly from above and clung to the coarse material of her cloak. A few golden leaves decorated her sandy colored hair. Her brown eyes looked almost reddish amongst the range of autumn colors. The events of the day were still rushing through Laeriel's head in an intellegible jumble. The day started out cold and unfriendly, and now it was warm and invitingly beautiful. And it was only mid morning, the sun still hung low in the sky. Laeriel took a deep breath of the cool air, breathing was so wonderful. Walking was so wonderful, everything was wonderful. Life had a new fulness and meaning.

Laeriel wished she was with Rhylin. They both parted shortly after their kiss. Laeriel had needed to find her sister, and she didn't want the prying eyes of the palace to see her with Rhylin. In fact, she didn't want any eyes to see them together. She had to have time to adjust, this was a new and strange thing for Laeriel. She had never been in love before, and was not exactly sure what she should do about it, or if she should do something about it. Half of her wanted to keep it locked away forever, and the other half wanted to shout it from the highest mountain. Both halves agreed, though, that for the time being, it would be kept quiet.

Laeriel looked up at the cloudless sky. Wondering what Rhylin was doing right now.
Subject: 'Combat'

Faeirex and Legolas
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Date Posted: 22:04:40 06/13/02 Thu

Robed from head to toe in pale green, a slim band of gold at her brow, Faeirex stood looking over the White City. The gleaming icicle walls shone in sunlight, an almost dazzling brilliance.
But they were brilliant like a glacier. Bright white from a distance, cold and untouchable. But up close they were dirty, they held treacherous cracks. They were freezing.
The White City was beautiful, but the beauty was a façade. Underneath, it concealed all the problems of any other city. Except in this city, the heat was about to be turned on.
And it would melt.

She moved through the city, walking the same paths as its people, passing the same buildings, smelling the same aromas. Yet she did not move there really, she didn’t belong. No matter how long she stayed there, she would never be like they were. In some ways, she was glad. She could leave all this squalor behind if she wished, and escape. They couldn’t. In some ways though, the thought made her sad. She had never belonged anywhere, and never would. She would always be set apart.

The close-set buildings gave way, opening out into a large expanse of space at the foot of the city. It nestled into the no-man’s land between the houses and the wall. The training grounds. Now one of the most familiar parts of the city to her, it felt safe, almost like the home she didn’t have. The warriors here accepted her as who she was. They didn’t expect her to dress up in unnecessary finery, or behave as a noblewoman. It was a place where she could be herself. Legolas was here, as she knew he would be. Treading quietly, so he wouldn’t hear her, she approached.
“Lle desiel voristim?”

Legolas jumped at the sound someone speaking. He knew who it was instantly- even if he hadn’t recognised her voice, who else had a light enough step to sneak up on him? He released his grip on the bowstring turned to face Lómódë. A light frown of concentration came to his face as he tried to work out what she had said. Finally, comprehension dawned. “Uma.”
“Quel. Lle merna aut n’ataya yamen’?”
Oh no, more words. Some familiar, some less so. The frown this time was one born more of aggravation. He hated not knowing the answer. Eventually, he was forced to give in.
“I’ve got ‘Good’, and ‘Do you want to go’, but I don’t understand the rest.”
“Do you want to go to a different place,” she supplied. “The training grounds are all very well for archery or swordplay, but they may lack something when it comes to studies of language. I thought somewhere quieter might be more appropriate.”
“Amin naa lle nai, arwenamin.” He bowed, a teasing grin coming to his face.
“Auta miqula orqu!” she responded quickly, the usual look of embarassment at being addressed by him in such a formal manner leaping into place.
“Ah, we’re down to feeble insults now, are we? I’m disappointed in you, revered teacher. You know, if you spent as much time teaching me as you did insulting me, I might actually learn more.”
“Ar’ manka lle mone vee’ sailuume’ no’ hiraya vee’ umlle no’ tiln’nur bethtyal, lle nauva queln hirao. Nan’ amin caelaya mani amin merna?” she flashed back, secure in the knowledge that he would not be able to translate her words.
“What did that mean?”
“You don’t need to know.”

Legolas smiled wryly. He couldn’t win here, they both knew it. Unless…
“So what’s Quenya for ‘I can’t stop thinking about you’?” he asked, staring coolly into her eyes. “ ‘Your beauty and your vulnerability touches my soul in ways you cannot imagine.’ ” he added, determined to push this as far as he could. He watched in satisfaction as she blushed and averted her eyes.
Score one for him.

Smiling self consciously, Faeirex backed off in defeat. “Ok, you win this round.” she admitted, raising her hands in a gesture of surrender.
“I’m delighted to hear it, arwenamin.” he told her, with a courtly bow. They stared at each other for a what seemed like an age, before dissolving into laughter, the episode forgotten, from her mind at least.
For Legolas however, it had given him an idea…


And the conversation goes as follows:

"Are you ready to continue to learn?"
"Good. Do you want to go to a different place?"
"I am yours to command, my Lady."
"Go kiss an orc"
"And if you spent as much time on studying as you did on pointless wordplay, you would be a better pupil. But will I have what I want?"
Subject: Fire and water

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Date Posted: 16:49:34 06/14/02 Fri

Curled up in a tiny ball on the hard mattress of her bed, as if by making herself as small as possible she could shut out the rest of the world, Namün cried softly. Her tears were now reaching their end; her sobbing had abated. Yet that did not mean that she had in any measure calmed down. Where before her agitation had been dissipated into tears, it now began to focus, growing into anger. Namün was familiar to anger. The emotion had lived with her through much of her life, from almost as soon as she had been old enough to understand why she was different from the other girls in the slums. She could use anger, become strong through it, in much the same was that fear can evoke bravery in the darkest of hours.
And I need to be strong. I have to be strong. Never give up.
She repeated the mantra to herself, trying to gather her thoughts and work out exactly what it was that had upset her so much. Her emotions had been stronger than usual lately, and she cried and raged far more easily, but today she had cried with a passion that had surprised her. Strange as it may seem, it wasn’t just the conversation with Madjael and memories of the attack. She had been upset before then, near to tears.
Because of Aragorn.

When it came down to it, Namün had never been the type of girl who was willing to be a shadow. She’d been educated- she had her own opinions about things. She liked to be independent. Aragorn was a king, and used to having his own way. He wasn’t used to compromising about anything, let alone listening to her point of view. He would indulge her objections for a short time, nevertheless expecting to be obeyed in the end. And she wasn’t used to that. For two months now she had been dutifully obedient, but he wasn’t showing any signs of a change in behaviour, and she felt trapped.
Even worse, she was beginning to feel like a performing pet. She was supposed to come when she was called, perform on command, and then leave again to be kept out of sight until the next time she was wanted. Her short bursts of tantrum were laughed off as if she was little more than a wilful child, while good behaviour was rewarded with hugs and kisses. It would probably not be long before he patted her on the head.
Then there was “My dear girl.” That made her angriest of all. She didn’t belong to anyone, and hated his assumption that she did. Namün hated being patronised. Things were going to have to change.

Mind finally clear, Namün sat up and dried her reddened eyes. The crying spell had done her good- she now knew exactly what she had to do. Rather than dousing her fire with tears, the anger that had followed had inflamed her spirit, burning even brighter than before. He wouldn’t win her over with carefully timed kisses this time.

She loved Aragorn, and desperately wanted to be with him. But not so much that she was prepared to sacrifice her beliefs to please him. If remaining his mistress meant that she had to stifle all her passion and become a dutiful shadow behind him, she wouldn’t do it. And if he wanted her to, then he couldn’t truly love her. Not if he wanted her to become someone she wasn’t.
Subject: Interview with the king

Aragorn, Faramir and Eowyn
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Date Posted: 17:01:50 06/14/02 Fri

Reluctantly Aragorn pushed himself out of the rapidly cooling water. He towel dried his hair swiftly and was pulling on his shirt as Cannyc entered. "I'm sorry your majesty but it seems the Lord Faramir will be unable to attend you."
"Oh really?” Aragorn asked, fetching a pair of trousers from the floor as he did so. “Why?"
"He is...ah...indisposed."
"Is he now? Well I suppose I'll just have to go undispose him then." "My lord, I'm not sure if that is a wise..." the man broke off guiltily. "Most of my decisions these days have been less than wise, Cannyc. Why break a tradition." He strode out the door, purposefully the servant spluttering behind him: "Yes sire, I'm sure..."
"Go and sit down man before you give yourself a heart attack." As he walked on Aragorn could hear Cannyc's footsteps falter then stop. Aragorn grinned quietly to himself and bounded up the stairs bounded up the spiral stairs that lead to the steward’s apartments. He almost walked into the person who was slowly making their way down the same stone steps. "Sam?"
"Strider, it is you. I thought it was."
"How long have you been here?"
"Two months, it's just you've been so busy and we didn't want to disturb you."
"The distraction is a welcome one I assure you. It's so wonderful to see you again Sam." Aragorn hugged his diminuative friend impulsively. "Come by my study later today. I would love to stay and talk but I have some urgent business to attend to. I'm sorry." Sam assured him that it was no problem and Aragorn continued his climb. Faramir's door stood dark and forbidding. I'll give him indisposed, he thought a tinge of a smile appearing at the corner. He banged loudly on the door. "Faramir are you in there? This is your king. Open up!"

Faramir turned softly, almost asleep. His disturbance can from the door, and he turned expecting to see it blown off the hinges at the force of the knock. "What the...?" He muttered underneath his breath as he sat up. It was as he did this that the woman next to him stirred also. "Eowyn," he hissed, although now, the incident seemed more amusing than menacing. "Eowyn," Faramir’s eyes flashed with a kind of laughter, "Elessars here, at the door!" He threw himself out from under the sheets, and pulled on clothes frantically. Calling out, his voice still laden with sleep, "I'm coming, wait a moment!"

Eowyn giggled and dived under the sheets, then realising how the shaking of her laughter did nothing to conceal her. Faramir's words that Elessar was outside the door suddenly sunk in. Elessar. She quickly jumped from the bed and pulled on one of Faramir's shirts that was lying over the back of a chair and slipped it on. Running to kiss her husband before leaving she hastily whispered "good luck" and then slipped through the hidden passageway that led to her room.

Outside the door Aragorn tried desperately to wipe the smile, that threatened to break out, off his face and arrange his features into some semblance of noble outrage and dignity. The door was flung open. “Faramir, such a pleasant surprise. Follow me please.” He was vaguely aware that the steward had buttoned his shirt incorrectly but their errand was far more important than the opportunity to snipe at Faramir. “I don’t know about you but I think those assassins have spent long enough rotting in my dungeons. They must’ve had time by now to conceive some believable excuse for why they tried to kill me.”
Faramir trailed behind him quietly and Aragorn, uncomfortable with the silence spoke again. “You do remember me talking to you about this?”
“Of course.”
“Then lets go."
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