Featured

Chapter I: Awakened (Pt. III)

mirkybluecreds

Once we were ready to leave our sanctuary, we emerged to an eerie calm. Nothing seemed out of place. Couplings surrounded the trees as we made our way to a sparsely occupied place where my new household held an audience. When we were noticed, Galadhon approached us with another elf close behind.

“Orothôn,” he began. “I do not believe you have met Denethor, son of Lenwë.”

“No,” I answered, bowing to him. “It is an honor.”

“For me as well,” he said gleefully, turning to wife. “Lady Mîrwen, you are looking more beautiful than before. Love agrees with you.”

“And with you,” she answered. “May I inquire about Arethuil?”

“She is with Mother,” he said, his demeanor changing. “Both are with Orowen.”

“Then I shall join them,” Mîrwen said. “I will leave you to your ways.”

Galadhon and Denethor bowed as she left my side. I felt lonely—even with Galadhon standing beside me.

“Come, Orothôn,” he said. “As one of us, it is your right and obligation to attend the council.”

We made our way toward a clearing the forest where I could see Elwë, Elmo and Lenwë sitting with other elves—Galathil among them. As we grew closer, we heard discussions.

“We must leave as quickly as we can,” Elmo said. “Beyond these mountains above us lies our path to Eldamar.”

“I do not understand why we must hasten westward on hope alone,” Lenwë argued. “If it was of urgency, we would have followed Ingwë, Finwë and your brother Olwë beyond this wood.”

“Our minds are our own, Lenwë,” Elwë answered. “This much is true. But we are not alone. As the chosen of our people, it is to them our thoughts must belong.”

“Whatever is decided,” Galadhon said. “May it be soon as Celebriel is quick with child.”

“That is wonderful, brother,” Galathil said upon our approach. “I am proud for you.”

“This is cause for celebration,” Elwë said smiling. “My dear brother has started a legacy. May it last the ages.”

As we gave our blessing to Galadhon, I could see Lenwë fuming to himself.

“Enough,” he finally said. “I will give you my decision upon our audience next.”

He stormed away, her his son did not follow. After a moment of silence, a voice broke through the tension.

“So, my firstborn son is to become a father,”

It was Orowen with Taurëa, Nárwen, Mîrwen and two other maidens with whom I was not familiar.

“Yes, Nana,” Galadhon said as he took the hand of one of the three.

Celebriel was an elf of great beauty—her flawless skin was kissed by golden tendrils that fell effortlessly to her waist. The one Denethor went to was Arethuil—equally as beautiful with long golden hair and eyes clear as water. They seemed lost in each other; as they were the only ones in the world. Mîrwen approached me with a smile on her face.

“Arethuil, have you met Orothon,” she asked. “I know Celebriel has yet to do so.”

They bowed reverently as Taurëa came to me.

“You are Orothon,” she asked.

“Yes, My Lady,” I answered nervously.

“I see many great things that will come from you. A great many things.”

I had no words to say—her presence was overwhelming as Elwë’s.

“It is good to see you, Taurëa,” Elwë said.

“You are too kind, Elwë,” she said bowing.

“Where has Lenwë gone off to,” Orowen asked. “Was he not with you? Elwë? Elmo?”

“He was,” Elmo said. “He has taken his leave for a time.”

“You must go the way of the Eldalië,” Taurëa said. “No matter what may come of us.”

“What are you saying, Mother,” Denethor asked concerned.

“Your father has made his decision,” she said. “I will remain with him as his wife.”

“You know these things to be true,” Elwë asked her.

“I know my husband, Elwë. I have made peace with the part of him that will not be moved. For better or for worse.”

“Then I shall stay with my parents,” Denethor said angrily.

“No,” Taurëa answered, “You will go forth beyond the mountains as it is your destiny.”

Taurëa looked around—as to remember something long lost.

“When you leave,” she began. “Do not return to look for me.”

She turned away and left briskly in the direction of her husband. When she was gone, everyone seemed like they were searching for words to say.

“Go your way for now,” Elwë said. “Soon we shall depart for Eldamar.”

Saying no more, we turned away. I felt Mîrwen take my hand and I could feel her fear.

“Have you spoken with your mother,” I asked after some time.

“Yes,” she began. “She knows.”

“Pardon,” I asked. “What does she know?”

“That I carry our son, Orothôn.”

I stopped walking as I felt my breath get caught inside my chest.

“Our son.”

She smiled at me.

“I saw it,” she answered. “I have been him many times.”

“That is not all you have seen to be sure,” I said thinking out loud.

“No, it is not,” Mîrwen said, her face crestfallen. “And I do not wish to speak of those things. I must rest now—alone.”

She walked away toward our sanctuary. Before I could follow her, Iarûr, Êlengolas, and Valdôr were standing before me.

“There are whispers among the elves,” Êlengolas said. “None of them are good.”

“What have you heard, Orothôn,” Valdôr asked sternly. “You are close to the leaders. You are part of their circle, are you not?”

“I am,” I said. “But not a great one.”

“You can speak,” Iarûr said. “I woke beside all the leaders, Orothôn. If you speak truth, then you have nothing to fear.”

“Lenwë will pass no further beyond this wood,” I said abruptly.

“So it is true,” Êlengolas said. “And his son will remain behind as well?”

“No. His mother wishes for him to continue on.”

“He will,” Iarûr answered. “He is close to Taurëa. I cannot say the same for his father.”

“Finëar wishes to journey with us,” Êlengolas said. “He has great doubts in his heart about Lenwë and I as well.”

“What concerns you, Êlengolas,” I asked. I knew him to keep a close eye on the world around us.

“He seemed all too willing to remain by Nen Echui where some have made their home.”

“Elves left behind,” I asked.

“Oh, yes,” Iarûr added. “The Avari, they are forever known. Theirs will become a fate most unpleasant. Their will, like ours, is their own but destiny is written in starlight. What direction we choose will determine our path toward it.”

“I think all paths taken are difficult,” Valdôr said. “Much depends on who is walking with me.”

Where is Finëar,” I asked looking around. “I do not see him nor Nenduriel.”

“They will be along shortly,” Êlengolas said. “I do not presume to know their whereabouts, but something tells me they are attempting to persuade others to come with us.”

“Something tells me you know exactly where they are, Êlengolas,” Iarûr said. “Let no one doubt your knowledge of anything.”

“Or his uncanny ability to hear everything,” Valdôr said smiling.

“It is curiosity, my friend,” he said. “As it is, Iarûr, you know far more than any of us. You saw the great Orowë.”

“You have seen Orowë,” I asked in awe.

“I am called Iarûr for a reason, Orothôn,” he said smiling. “If you will pardon me. I must see about Nimríel.”

We nodded as he went his way.

“What does his name have to do with anything,” Êlengolas asked.

Valdôr and I could not help but laugh.

“I must tend Mîrwen,” I said. “Perhaps your curiosity will lead you to the answer.”

I made my way to our sanctuary hoping Mîrwen was no longer angry with me. As I stood before the entrance, I took a deep breath and drew the cover. Once inside, I could see Mîrwen resting.

“Forgive me,” I said quietly. “I should not have said those things to you.”

“You have said nothing that to be forgiven for,” she said as she looked up at me.

“I would never hurt you,” I began as I sat down beside her. “Please tell me if I have done so.”

She smiled at me and I felt calm.

“I give you my word that should you ever say or do anything to bring me displeasure, I will not hesitate to let you know so you may ask for forgiveness.”

“Thank you, Mîrwen,” I said smiling back at her. “Why were you angry?”

“I was not angry,” she said. “I was remembering.”

“What did you remember,” I asked.

“While I was with mother,” she began. “Taurëa was unusually silent. She and mother have always been close. They have no secrets between them.”

“She has much on her mind,” I said. “Perhaps you mistake silence for thought.”

“She was not thinking about her circumstance, Orothôn,” she said. “She was thinking about you.”

“Me,” I asked nervously. “Why would Taurëa think of me? Have I somehow offended her?”

“You have nothing to worry about,” she said. “She is rather fond of you.”

I sighed in relief, but concern turned to curiosity. I remembered what she had said to me earlier and wondered what they meant and what she had seen.

“I am grateful for it,” I said. “Even if I do not understand her reasons.”

“I do not know her reasons, either,” Mîrwen said. “But before we came to you, she told me never to forget the land upon which I stand. In time we would return and lead the last of our kin home.”

“She is very wise,” I said reaching over to caress her face. “I know I shall remember this land fondly.”

I leaned over and kissed her—never would I feel so wonderful as when our lips came together. I lay beside her and we were soon lost in one another’s arms. After a long while, I rose quietly while Mîrwen rested. In the cool, damp still of twilight, I noticed a bloom of the tree upon the earth. A small round cupule lay undisturbed clinging to a small yet sturdy branch. I picked it up and observed what I could beneath the dim starlight. I decided to take it on our journey west—something to remind me to keep our word to Taurëa.

While I dressed, I heard the sound of voices outside grow louder and more frantic.

“What is happening,” Mîrwen asked as she sat up. “Orothôn?”

“Stay inside,” I said. “I will see.”

I stepped out—nearly running into Iarûr and Galadhon.

“What I sat matter,” I asked watching elves rushing around with looks of terror on their faces.

“Uncle has left,” Galadhon said calmly. “Nothing to fear.”

“How can you say such a thing,” I said. “It is madness out here.”

“Oh, them,” Iarûr said just as calm. “They are with us. We are to leave shortly.”

I stood in wonderment attempting to understand the calm of my companions amidst such chaos. I saw Valdôr, Êlengolas, Finëar and Galathil approach as Mîrwen peeked out.

“Do not tell me you have not noticed this chaos, Êlengolas,” I said to him.

He glanced around for a moment.

“So it is,” he said. “Has Valdúmîr passed this way?”

“I saw her last with Lothluin and Nenduriel,” Valdôr answered.

I remained perplexed at how they seemed unaware of the activity surrounding us. Then, as quickly as it had begun, the chaos ended.

“It stopped,” I said to myself.

“What stopped,” Galathil asked handing something to Iarûr.

“The…never mind.”

“You mean the elves running about,” Mîrwen asked. “They are with us.”

“So I was told,” I answered.

“They are some of Lenwë’s kin coming with us,” Iarûr said. “Rather spritely they are.”

“I see,” I said, relieved calm had resumed. “When do we leave?”

“When father gives his word,” Galadhon said. “It should be soon.”

“Why has Elwë gone before us,” I asked.

“No one can say,” Galadhon answered. “He left soon after speaking with Lenwë.”

“It was not civil, I can say,” Iarûr added. “There was much anger in Lenwë. He is not of the Avari, but he has been touched greatly by their presence.”

“I fear for Taurëa,” Mîrwen said. “I cannot bear to leave her behind.”

“But you will, dear sister,” Galadhon scolded. “It is the command of your elders. You will not disobey.”

“I had no intention of it, Galadhon,” Mîrwen hissed, her voice darker than I had ever heard it. “But even you should show some sympathy for her plight, dear brother.”

She stormed away from us in the direction of her mother’s quarters leaving us looking at one another. Before we could say anything, Elmo and Denethor appeared to us upon a mound above us.

“The time has come,” Elmo said. “Prepare to journey westward.”

As he and Denethor descended, things seemed to fall into place. Galathil and Galadhon moved me toward my place as the others followed. By the time I was beside Mîrwen, everyone I had come to know was in line ready to begin our march. I noticed what Iarûr was holding—it appeared to be a hollow form.

“What is that,” I asked him.

“Our story,” he said smiling. “I will tell it for generations to come.”

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

We began our march—forward we stared into the twilight from where we had awakened without even a glance backward. It was upon the request of Taurëa and her kin. For many miles, we walked in near silence with sporadic lilting voices uttering songs of the Eldalië. I looked at the stars above us—sparkling their approval of our existence. After a time that seemed a short eternity, we stopped near the range of mighty mountains that hid part of the sky. We heard voices conversing.

“Come with me, Orothôn,” Mîrwen said.

I followed her toward the voices which belonged to Elmo and an elf I did not recognize.

“What do they call you,” Elmo asked the elf.

“I am Eäros”, he said, his voice trembling. “I mean you no harm. Me and my kin are lost.”

“Lost,” Orowen asked stepping forward. “How have you come to be lost?”

“I am afraid I do not know,” he began, his long golden hair disheveled from wandering. “I was far behind the leader of our kin when our march ended without cause.”

“Your leader was Elwë,” Elmo asked as to already know the answer.

“Yes,” Eäros said looking down. “He has gone on without us.”

He motioned toward four other elves cowering in fear behind the beginnings of another forest. For the first time, I realized the land from whence we came had changed—the sound of waters I reader and the sky was no longer hidden behind great mountains.

“Surely Elwë ventured farther than this,” Elmo said to Orowen. “He left us long before.”

“There are more of us,” Eäros said. “We went looking for the others.”

Denethor and Arethuil joined us.

“How far have you come,” Denethor asked. “You are quite young to venture in the wild without guidance.”

“From there,” he said pointing.

We all looked where he showed us. In the distance, we saw another range of mountains.

“Celebriel will surely give birth long before we get there,” Mîrwen whispered to me. “As for me, I shall make it farther.”

“You will stay with us,” Elmo said to Eäros. “My brother is still with us. We will see him once more. We shall rest here for a time before we move on. Iarûr, a word.”

Iarûr made his way to Elmo as the rest of us prepared the camp. When everyone had settled, I noticed Eäros and his four companions had become friendly with Galadhon and Celebriel. We stayed but a short time before once again journeying toward home. As we marched, I began to notice Mîrwen had begun to show her condition. Little by little, our child grew inside her.

By the time we reached the mountains, her prediction came true. In what would be called Ossiriand, Celebriel gave birth to her first child. Orowen was delighted—for upon the birth of this child, Galathil and Nárwen announced they were expecting one of their own.

While Mîrwen joined the ladies to care for the infant, I went away from the camp to think.

“What are you thinking about,” I heard Valdôr ask as he approached. “Soon you will have a child of your own.”

“Yes,” I said. “But it will not be a girl.”

“How do you know,” he asked.

“Mîrwen is convinced otherwise. She is usually correct.”

“Of course,” he laughed. “Are they not always? That is why we marry them. They know we would be lost without their intuition.”

“What has Lothluin said to you,” I asked.

“The same,” he said quietly. “Expect a son.”

“That is great news, Valdôr.”

“It will not be if we remain lost in the wilderness,” he said.

“You wish to remain here,” I asked.

“No,” he said. “But Denethor grows weary and has decided to stay.”

“Perhaps it’s for the best,” I answered. “How much longer will we march before we are home?”

“Iarûr says we will remain,” Valdôr said. “Most of us. This world does not seem too dreadful.”

“We are Eldalië,” I said. “We belong in Eldamar.”

“If we belong in Eldamar, then why were we not born there,” he asked. “Why have us march to the home we belong?”

“I try not to question the Creator of all things,” I answered. “There must be a reason we must discover for ourselves.”

“Oh, Orothôn,” he laughed. “I knew there was a reason I liked you. You are wise.”

“Not as Iarûr,” I said.

“You do not need to be,” he said. “Wisdom comes in many forms.”

“Do you think Êlengolas wise?”

He laughed harder.

“I think Êlengolas is something,” he said. “I have yet to discover what.”

“You amuse me, Valdôr,” Êlengolas said as he approached. “May your son be cursed with nothing but girls.”

“What is wrong with girls,” Valdôr asked. “I am quite fond of maidens. I am married to one.”

“So am I,” he answered. “But the tiny ones leave much to be desired. Valdúmîr attends to the one Celebriel bore. If my wife has a daughter, I’ll go mad.”

“What are they calling her,” I asked.

“Níndi,” Êlengolas said smiling. “She is quite lovely when she is at rest.”

“I can hardly wait to see her,” I said.

“Yes you can,” they said in unison.

“Gentlemen,” a voice said from behind. We turned to see Galathil.

“Yes,” I said. “Something amiss?”

“No,” he said. “I was sent to tell you that we will leave here as soon as Celebriel and her daughter are able.”

We nodded, then he went on his way. Looking into the sky we left each other to our own thoughts.

© 2015. “The Kingdom of the Woodland Realm Trilogy—Book I: The Epic of Eryn Galen” by Jaynaé Marie Miller. All Rights Reserved.

Advertisements

Chapter III: Doriath (Pt. III)

pjdwarfunexpectedcreds

We were alone together—lying in our bed holding one another for the first time within the walls of a palace. Oropher was no longer sleeping at the end of our bed to hear his parents whisper their love to one another.

As we lay, our chamber doors flew open startling us. It was Êlengolas and Valdôr.

“Orothôn! Mîrwen!”

“Valdôr, what is this madness,” I asked.

“Celebriel is about to give birth,” he answered.

“If you would be so kind,” Mîrwen said.

“Oh,” Êlengolas said. “Of course.”

They stepped out of the room. She turned to me and kissed me.

“I will see you later,” she said. “We have much to talk about.”

She got out of bed and covers herself with her robe and rang for the servants. They came quick and left far quicker. Mîrwen smiled at me and left to perform her duties. I rose from our bed and walked over to our window to watch the falls. The doors opened and Êlengolas entered alone.

“You could have spared me the lurid details,” he said ringing the servants. He grabbed my robe and threw it over my shoulders.

“I apologize, but you do realize this is my bedchamber?”

“We are expected in an audience with King Thingol.”

Suddenly, several elves entered and dressed me in white and silver chain. When they were done, they dispersed.

“What is this,” I asked.

“That is what will protect you in battle if it comes to it. Come, now.”

I started to feel afraid for the first time in my life. By the time we reached the throne room, it was filled with elves. Among them were Valdôr, Fineär, Galadhon, Galathil and, Denethor. Elmo stood by the side of the throne awaiting the king. When he arrived, all fell quiet.

“Darkness surrounds us,” Thingol began. “It wishes to destroy this world and all within it. We must protect all that is good and pure; as the first-born of Eru Ilúvatar, we must prevail. Go and make ready for that day—for it will come.”

At the command of the guard, we followed our masters out of the palace, across the bridge and upon the training field. As we learned many techniques, I came to prefer the bow to the sword. Êlengolas would master everything and seem to delight in being a quick study.

Valdôr seemed overwhelmed though he managed to form a more strategic way to fight; one that depended more on his wits and less on hand-to-hand combat. After our first lesson, I looked forward to the next.

Upon our return to the palace, there was excitement in the air. Mîrwen came to me. She looked at me in horror.

“What is the matter,” I asked.

“You are dressed for war,” she answered.

“Not yet,” I assured her. “Tell me, what has everyone running about?”

“Celebriel has given birth to a son,” she said flatly.

“That is wonderful. What is he called?”

“Celeborn,” she said. “His name is Celeborn.”

With that, she turned and walked away. I knew the thought of me going to fight a war had stolen from her any joy she might have had. As the hall emptied, I noted Oropher with Eldôr, Nimeithel and another elfling. She was an unusually beautiful child with the fairest of skin and the darkest of hair.

“Orothôn,” I heard Denethor say. “Did you hear of Galadhon’s son?”

“Yes,” I said. “Who is that elfling with Oropher?”

“That is the daughter of Thingol and Melian. Her name is Lúthien. Come. Time to get out of this chain.”

I followed him away but I could not get that name out of my mind—Lúthien.

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

I returned to my chambers after washing and dressing in clean clothes. Mîrwen was with Oropher.

“Ada,” he said happily as he ran to me. “I saw you today. Are you going to be a warrior? I want to be one!”

I could see my wife was not as enthusiastic as our son.

“One day, Oropher,” I said. “But not yet. Go find Eldôr. I need a word with your mother.”

“Yes, Ada.” He ran out of our chambers. Once we heard the doors shut, the tension grew thicker.

“I knew this day would come, Orothôn. You will go into battle and die.”

“Mîrwen,” I began.

“No,” she interrupted storming over to me. “There is nothing you can say to me that will take this pain away!”

“I know,” I whispered

“How could you,” she yelled as she began to cry. “How could you do this to me? To your son?”

“I was not given the choice,” I said. “You know I would have chosen you and Oropher.”

“Would you have? Would you have chosen us over war?”

“You know I would have,” I said.

I felt my own tears began to fall. I headed for her, but she pushed me away.

“Do not touch me, Orothôn,” she wailed. “I do not want you to touch me.”

I was shrinking—no taller than a  blade of grass.

“How will I live without you?”

“I am with you now,” I yelled. “Is that not enough? If I am to die, why spend the time we have left this way? Please, do not do this to us.”

Mîrwen’s expression softened. I took her into my arms.

“Forgive me,” she whispered.

“There is nothing to forgive,” I said.

We kissed passionately. We lost ourselves in the moment—our love proved to us its depth.

“I never want to live in this world without you,” Mîrwen said. “Promise me I will never have to live in this world without you.”

“I cannot promise you that,” I said as I began to cry. “I can only promise my love for you will never die.”

“Neither will mine for you,” she answered.

“Then we will always be together,” I whispered.

From then on, after I gave my preparation for war to the kingdom, I gave myself to Mîrwen thereafter.

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

Time for us was measured by our children. AS my skills in the art of war improved, I barely noticed the changes in my son. He grew taller it seemed, yet he was still quite young. Not long after Eäros wed his beloved Níndi, I came across time itself in the hall near the throne room.

Before me stood a radiant beauty—not quite of age but still a young lady in the making. Her hair was nearly white, flawless skin so fair it seemed to glow. Her eyes were a pale blue. I almost did not recognize her until a prepubescent boy called to her by name.

“Nimeithel, have you seen Eldôr,” he asked as he stepped into the hall. It was Oropher. Even as his father I was taken aback.

“Why would I know where Eldôr is just now,” she asked.

“You know everything, Nimeithel,” he teased. “You and your sister both.”

“If that were true, then I would know where you were coming from and where you were going next.”

“You know where,” he said quietly. “I told you, remember?”

She smiled at him—I could see she was having fun with him.

“I know now where, but Celeborn wishes to go with you. He looks to you as a brother as much as Galathil.”

“I know,” he said.

“If I may, I will go my way,” she said.

As she left I could see my son’s demeanor change.

“Oropher, something the matter,” I asked approaching him.

“Nothing, Ada,” he said, his face flushed. “I was looking for Eldôr.”

“Were you?”

“Yes, of course,” he snapped. “Have you seen him?”

“No,” I answered.

“Are you going to combat,” he asked.

“What you would you know of it?”

“We have seen you,” he began. “From the keep. When will I get to be a warrior?”

“There is no hurry, Oropher,” I said as we walked together toward the throne room. “You are still young.”

As we approached, we met Valdôr. He seemed distracted.

“Something amiss,” I asked.

“Where is Eldôr,” Oropher asked.

“He seeks your company in his chambers,” he said. Oropher went on his way swiftly.

“Valdôr, you are not yourself.”

“I am,” he said. “Who else would I be?”

“You know what I mean,” I said. “What has you distracted?”

“I caught sight of the naugrim.”

“I beg your pardon,” I asked. “What is a naugrim?”

“They are rather small,” he said lowering his hand. “Such as this.”

I stood before him puzzled.

“They are hideous,” he added.

I stared at him thinking he had gone mad. I stopped Iarûr as he was passing.

“Iarûr, what is a naugrim?”

“Oh, the nogothrim,” he said. “They are small.” He lowered his hand.

“So I hear,” I said. “What are they other than short?”

“They created all that you see around you. They are the masters of stone and the weapons of war.”

“They are hideous,” Valdôr said.

“Now, Valdôr, they are as they were meant to be,” Iarûr answered. “No more and no less.”

“Where are they now,” I asked beginning to fear what I might see.

“Somewhere around here,” Iarûr said. “Valdôr was fortunate to have met one of them more majestic of their kin.”

Valdôr gave a weak smile as Iarûr laughed and continued on his way. I pat Valdôr on his shoulder and went into the throne room. I thought nothing more of the naugrim as I met Êlengolas with Galathil and Galadhon. I looked around and noticed there were no others with us.

“Where is everyone,” I asked.

Before they could answer, Thingol and Elmo entered the room with a small creature with so much hair I could barely see its eyes.

“Is that…,” I began.

“A nogoth,” Êlengolas whispered. “I see you have spoken to Valdôr. He has yet to get over how short they are.”

We towered over this creature yet it did not seem to fear us.

“Orothôn,” Elmo greeted me. “It is good of you to come.”

“This is Ónarr of Nogrod,” Thingol said. “He and his people are the wielders of stone and smith work.”

This creature walked over to us—his clear blue eyes now visible beneath his unruly black hair and beard.

“It is a pleasure to meet Your Highnesses,” he said bowing to us.

“For us as well,” I said. I looked at Êlengolas, Galathil and, Galadhon—their faces aghast.

“I have seen you wield a sword,” Ónarr continued. “I am impressed by how easily you have come to know it.”

“Thank you,” I answered. “If not for its craftsmen, it would not have the ease for which to wield.”

Ónarr smiled as an elf entered the room.

“Your Majesty,” he said to Thingol. “Might I speak with you in private?”

“Of course, Cúthalion,” Thingol answered.

We bowed as they left us.

“What is happening, Father,” Galadhon asked Elmo.

“There is nothing for you to concern yourself with,” he said. “We are well protected in this land.”

“If we were so protected, what need would we have for weapons of war,” Galathil asked.

“There are rumblings, within the mountains in the North,” Ónarr said. “My people have known of it for some time.”

“What lies there,” Êlengolas asked.

“I cannot say for certain, but it is dark in nature.”

Elmo seemed concerned at Ónarr’s words. We stood in silence—our imaginations alive with visions of the unknown.

© 2015. “The Kingdom of the Woodland Realm Trilogy—Book I: The Epic of Eryn Galen” by Jaynaé Marie Miller. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter III: Doriath (Pt. II)

bluehallsofthranduilcreds

As we walked toward the distant tree line, I noticed the world around us. It seemed to change before my eyes. The colors were more vivid than ever before as the starlight burned brighter. Shapes became shadows as we passed by figures of nature. I felt things unknown lingering in the darkness. I felt a tug on my robe.

“Ada,” Oropher chimed as he struggled to keep up. “I am afraid.”

I picked him up and he put his arms around and buried his face into my chest. Mîrwen looked at me—her eyes filled with fear. She took hold of my other hand tightly as the low hum of voices began their familiar tune. The closer to our destination we came, the louder the voices.

We walked together slowly—every step anticipating a remarkable moment that would reveal paradise or send our souls into darkness. I could feel my heart rising into my throat and my thoughts failed me when our march ended abruptly at the edge of the forest.

“Aúrion,” Eäros called as he came forward with another of his kin. They stood quietly before us looking or listening for someone. Suddenly several elves came out of the trees armed with strange accouterments I would come to learn were weapons of war. They whispered among themselves briefly before one elf emerged. He was nearly ethereal—his long golden hair framed a shocking face as strong as it was delicate. He bowed to Elmo and Orowen.

“We have been expecting you,” the elf began. “Your brother the king awaits you. I am Daeron. If you will, follow me.”

Elmo nodded and we followed him into the forest. In an instant of crossing the threshold, there was an overwhelming feeling of calm. There was an enchanting beauty far different from where we had come. I wondered if we had finally come into Eldamar. There were creatures I had never seen wandering beneath a canopy of mystical treetops. Higher still, the Heavens seem to shine brighter for the light of the stars were as countless lanterns of endless light.

Beneath our feet the ground was soft; we walked on air. Our journey seemed worth the years of unknowing. Before long, I noticed a familiar face.

“Greetings, my friend,” he said joining me. “It has been quite some time.”

“Denethor,” I said. “You are here?”

“I am,” he answered. “I wished to see you to King Thingol.”

I was happy to see him again but I felt there was something he was hiding. I said nothing—I did not want to alarm my family.

“How is Arethuil,” I asked.

“She is well,” he began. “We have little ones of our own. What do you call your son, if I may inquire?”

“He is Oropher,” I said proudly.

Oropher looked at Denethor—inspecting him carefully. When he approved, he nodded.

“Oropher. What a noble name,” Denethor said. “Fit for a king.”

I smiled as we continued on our way. Mîrwen said nothing—her mind elsewhere. When we came upon a long stone bridge over a powerful raging river, two guards stood ready to lead us across to the magnificent gates that secured all that lived within.

Slowly we made our way across—a band of wanderers hardly prepared to meet anyone, much less a mighty king. As we moved closer to the gates they were opened to us. The halls were dim—lit by lanterns throughout save the Great Hall of Thingol. It bore the light of lanterns with the natural light of the stars high above. The breath-taking elegance was made greater by the appearance of Elwë known as King Thingol.

He wore a robe of silver and white. It was in this light I could see the beauty of my kin around me. He came to us joyously.

“Elmo,” he said embracing him. “How I have missed you. Orowen.”

She smiled and paid obeisance as the rest of us did obediently.

“It is good to you again,” Elmo said. “If not in Eldamar where our brother resides. I must ask what reason have you found to stay?”

Thingol motioned to Daeron. He left us as Thingol’s smile grew wider. He turned a glance to his left as Daeron returned escorting the most beautiful creature anyone had ever seen.

“This is my wife and queen, Melian,” Thingol said taking her hand and kissing it.

“Welcome to Menegroth,” she said. Her voice had a sound from eternity that rang from knowledge of time. She had long dark hair and eyes of a color that could not be described as they defied all things earthbound.

“You must be tired and hungry,” Thingol continued. Daeron, show my brother and his court to their living quarters. Once you all have rested, we shall feast.”

Daeron once again led us away. The few of the court—made up of Iarûr, Êlengolas, Valdôr and their households—came with us. In that, I felt better about making this my new home. After traversing through endless stone paths, we were shown our quarters. Guarded by two elves, they opened the doors and we entered. The ceilings were vaulted—carve with such detail I wondered how the artisans found the time. There was a large hearth and fireplace beside a wardrobe. To our delight, a door beside our bed let to another room for Oropher.

“Shall I take Oropher to bed,” I heard Amareth say.

I looked to see that Oropher had fallen asleep. In all the enchantments I hardly felt him in my arms.

“Thank you, Amareth,” I said handing him to her. When they were gone, I turned to Mîrwen. She was sitting at the end of the bed looking into the hollow fireplace.

“Talk to me, Mîrwen,” I said joining her.

“She is quite beautiful,” she began softly.

“Queen Melian,” I said. “She is.”

“She is not one of us,” she said.

I did not say a word to her. I touched her face gently. She looked at me. I could see she wanted to speak but I shook my head. I kissed her lips.

“We will speak after dinner,” I whispered.

She nodded and put her head on my shoulder. Before long, servants arrived and dressed us for dinner. When we were ready, we left our room and made our way through the winding paths to the banquet hall that was even more magnificent than the throne room.

The table was the length of the room and elegantly dressed with plates and utensils of the finest craftsmanship. Everyone was present—including Denethor and Arethuil. We sat near them as well as Galadhon and Celebriel who was visibly with child.

“When are you due,” Arethuil asked her.

“Quite possibly after dinner,” Galadhon teased.

“That would be far too much to wish for,” Celebriel said as she sat down. “But I know he will come into this work inside the safety of this palace and for this I am grateful.”

Before another word could be said, Thingol and Melian entered the hall with Elmo and Orowen. We stood for them. Once they were seated we sat down to be served. Galathil and Nárwen found themselves near us.

“Where is Níndi,” Mîrwen asked Galadhon. “I have not seen her since we came into Doriath.”

“I suspect she is with Eäros,” Galadhon answered. “She thinks her father is unaware of her love for him.”

“So you approve of him,” I asked as Êlengolas, Valdôr, Finëar and, their wives joined us.

“Do I have a choice,” Galadhon asked. “I have little control over the heart. I think her too young to marry but her mother thinks otherwise. I am not fool enough to disagree with my wife. I must live with her for eternity.”

“You are wise,” Celebriel said smiling.

“Tell me, Denethor,” I began. “You have children, you say?”

“Yes,” he said. “A boy and a girl. They are young; not quite old enough to be betrothed.”

“Be thankful,” Êlengolas said. “I have girls and I wish nothing more than for them to stay as they—repelled by boys. Though I believe my Nimeithel has found a friend in Orothôn’s son Oropher.”

Mîrwen laughed for the first time in a long while. That made me smile.

“I am curious as to why you are so far from where we last saw you,” Galathil asked Denethor. “What brings you into Beleriand?”

“Something lingers in darkness,” he said softly. “I cannot say what it is but for the safety of my people I asked for refuge and King Thingol gave it willingly. For that, I am indebted to him.”

“What darkness,” Valdôr asked curiously. “What else is out there but elves?”

“Not just elves,” Thingol said from the end of the table. I wonder how he heard us. “There are many things out there beyond these caverns. Some are harmless and some wish to do harm. The world is changing and it grows darker. But for better or for worse I remain here for there are some things in this world greater than fear.”

He took his wife’s hand and kissed it. I turned to Mîrwen—she was no longer smiling. Everyone at in silence.

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

After dinner, Mîrwen decided to return to our quarters to see about Oropher. I decided to wander the halls of our new home. Its long labyrinthian passages seemed to have no end to them until another corner appeared to lead me elsewhere. At one particular turn, my journey was interrupted by Daeron.

“Are you lost,” he asked.

“I am not quite sure,” I answered.

“Well, let me be of service and help you find your way,” he said sharply. “These corridors can lead to places you do not want to go.”

“Of course,” I said, my curiosity growing. “I would not want to go where I am not welcome.”

“It is not that you are not welcome,” Daeron answered. “It is dangerous to roam Menegroth alone. One can easily disappear never to be seen again.”

We began walking toward a familiar hallway.

“If I may ask, what is it that you do for King Thingol?”

“Whatever his majesty wishes,” he said. “My main function is the keeper of lore.”

When we came to my quarters, we stopped.

“Is there anything else you care to ask me,” Daeron asked.

“No,” I answered. “Not at the moment. You will forgive me if I have offended you in any way. It was not my intention.”

“You have not offended me,” he answered. “If I may, I will take my leave.”

I nodded and he walked away swiftly. I wanted to return to discovering other caverns but I knew I needed to speak with Mîrwen. She had become more distant and it concerned me greatly. The guards opened our chamber doors. When I entered, Mîrwen was sitting by one of the vaulted windows I walked over to her and looked out. There were gigantic waterfalls flowing into a dark abyss—their roaring waters were a lullaby. Mîrwen looked at me. I could not find the words to say.

“How is Oropher,” I asked.

“He is sleeping peacefully,” she said.

“Very well,” I said. It was all I could think to say.

“Uncle is entranced,” she said.

“I beg your pardon?”

“He has fallen completely under the spell of his wife and queen.”

“Yes,” I said perplexed. “They seem quite enamored with each other.”

She glared at me.

“Why does this not bother you?”

“Why does this bother you,” I asked. “You will excuse me if I find no fault with it.”

“Of course you would find no fault with it. Why would you?”

“That is the very question I should ask of you,” I answered.

“You only see what you want to see, Orothôn,” she growled. “Can you for once see what I see?”

“No,” I yelled. “I cannot see why you see! I am quite thankful for that! What is wrong with your uncle being in love with his wife, Mîrwen?”

“She is not one of us,” she said.

“What does that mean,” I asked. “What does that have to do with love?”

“Queen Melian is a maiar,” she said.

I looked at my beloved and wondered what she was talking about.

“Oh,” I said. “That changes everything.”

“You do not know what I am saying.”

“Mîrwen, you are my wife,” I began. “Of course I do not know what you are saying.”

“I never thought they existed,” she said. “I thought they were tales told by my mother to explain the creation of the world.”

“So they exist,” I said. “We can move on to other matters.”

“What would their children be,” she asked ignoring me.

“I would think they would be small at first, then grow as any other child. What does it matter?”

She stood up and came to me.

“Why does this not bother you, Orothôn?”

I looked at the wonder in her eyes.

“You want to know why it does not bother me,” I asked.

“Yes,” she answered.

“Because I do not care.”

She frowned at me and I smiled at her.

“Be happy for him,” I said. “The nature of being has little to do with how we love; much less with whom.”

“I suppose you are right,” she whispered.

“Of course I am right,” I answered, embracing her.

“There is always a first time for everything,” she said.

© 2015. “The Kingdom of the Woodland Realm Trilogy—Book I: The Epic of Eryn Galen” by Jaynaé Marie Miller. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter III: Doriath (Pt. I)

lothloriencreds

Darkness enveloped me. There was not a sound to be heard until a gentle familiar voice spoke to me.

“Orothôn,” it said. “I know you hear me.”

“Yes, Mîrwen,” I answered. I opened my eyes to see her leaning over me as I lay in our bed.

“What did you hear,” she asked. “I know you heard something.”

“What do you wish me to tell you,” I asked. “You are the daughter of Elmo. What could I tell you that you do not already know?”

“I do not know what you overheard my father say to my mother.”

“How would you know I overheard what was spoken if you had not yet spoken with your mother?”

“Orothôn,” she said, her face stoic.

“I heard much but understood far less,” I answered. I caressed her face and it softened.

“Are we to remain where we are,” she asked. “Will my son never see Eldamar?”

“Perhaps someday,” I said to her. “Just not now. Not before our son is of age.”

Tears rolled down Mîrwen’s face though she remained quiet. She lay down beside me motionless.

“I am afraid,” she whispered. “For us all.”

Now it was I that leaned over my wife in comfort, kissing her forehead then her cheek—the taste of her sweet tears filled my heart with despair.

“As long as I am with you, Mîrwen, you have nothing to fear.”

Mîrwen smiled weakly trying to give me hope that my words meant something. Her lips found mine as she gently touched my face. Soon we found ourselves in each other’s arms—closer than we had ever been before.

Time was kind to us for our love would not be quenched. Forever the voyeur, time stopped its course to allow its eye to wander and fall upon our souls as to give an eternal blessing.

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

It was not long after that word came of our departure. Though I longed for a home I never knew, I was growing fond of the mysteries of this world. We remained under starlight but the faint hues of the landscapes had begun to be revealed.

There were many times I found myself wandering further away from our home to see what lay beyond our encampment. Keeping the faint light of refuge within view, often I was joined by Êlengolas, Valdôr or both. We saw great walls of stone erupting from beneath the earth—mountains. There were variate trees gathered together randomly around us—forest. Over time we discovered more living things other than ourselves. The world was changing and us with it though we were not always aware.

I was with Valdôr and Êlengolas watching our children play. They were more of this world than we were—even as we awoke here, they were born.

“The time grows nearer to our departure,” Valdôr said. “Lothluin has started to prepare to leave with such abandon I wonder where she expects us to be going.”

“Perhaps she has heard something,” I said without thinking.

“Tell us, Orothôn,” Êlengolas began. “What is it that you know.”

“I know very little,” I answered.

“You mean you will say very little or nothing,” Valdôr said.

“What little I know is not for me to say,” I said softly as I watched Oropher playing with Nimeithel. They seemed rather fond of one another.

“It matters not if you say a word,” Valdôr said. “It is how Elmo has changed that has everyone a twitter. He seems distracted by his thoughts.”

“His thoughts are precisely why Iarûr worries,” Êlengolas said.

“Why would Iarûr be worried,” I asked incuriously. I feared what the answer would be.

“There are creatures amongst us,” he began. “Some beyond description. It is a secret to be revealed in due course.”

“If it is the same to you,” Valdôr began. “Iarûr can keep his secrets. It is my wish to go home and raise Eldôr properly.

We said nothing for a long while—each of us left to our own imaginings of what the future would bring. When it was time to return home, I called to Oropher and we went our own way.

“How was your time with your friends,” I asked, taking Oropher’s hand.

“Fine, Ada,” he said.

“You found a new friend, I see.”

“Nimeithel is not a friend,” he said. “She is a girl.”

“I think she is quite capable of being a friend, Oropher,” I answered trying hard to keep my laughter.

“I will think on it, Ada,” he said.

As we approached our home, Amareth approached us.

“I am to take Oropher to his supper,” she said to us. “If I may.”

I nodded and let my son go his way. When I entered my home, there were several elves putting our belongings away.

“What is this,” I asked angrily. “What are you doing and where is Mîrwen?”

They all ceased their work to bow One of the young elven courtiers stepped forward.

“Your Highness,” he began timidly—his grey eyes fearful. “We were sent by Lord Elmo. The Lady Mîrwen just departed to speak with her ladies.”

I did not have anything else to say.

“Carry on, then,” I said.

Immediately they returned to their work and I went in search of Mîrwen. As I approached what was the home of Elmo and Orowen, I heard something unfamiliar to my ears. It was coming from the wood beside their house. I cautiously followed the sound. As it grew louder, I recognized the sound of voices that seemed to be gasping for air. When I finally found the source of the voices, I paused in wonder.

Níndi’s back was against a tree as Eäros stood before her—so close a blade of grass could not pass between them. They were locked together as they kissed each other deeply.

“I love you, Níndi,” Eäros said breathlessly.

“And I you, Eäros,” she answered. They kissed again. It was then I realized how much time had passed. Níndi was becoming a young lady.

“I want you to be my wife,” Eäros whispered.

“I want nothing more than to be your wife,” she said. “I long for it.”

Before they could continue, Níndi noticed me.

“Oh no,” she said desperately as she pulled away from Eäros. “It is my uncle Orothôn.”

They were both petrified as they approached. Níndi’s long golden hair was braided behind; her eyes began to fill with tears.

“Do not be afraid,” I said.

“Please, do not speak a word of this,” she said. “My father thinks me too young to know my heart.”

“What do you have to say, Eäros,” I asked.

“I love her,” he answered. “That is all I can say.”

“That is all that you need to say,” I began. “But not to me. It is Galadhon you must ask for his daughter’s hand.”

“I will,” he said. “As soon as we are settled in our new home.”

“I beg your pardon,” I asked.

“You have not heard,” Níndi asked as Eäros took her hand.

“I am afraid not,” I said. “Perhaps you could tell me and save me a journey in search of my wife.”

“We are no longer than a day’s journey from the Eastern Borders of Beleriand,” she said.

“Beleriand,” I asked.

“Yes,” Eäros answered. “I have seen it with my own eyes. It is where I will ask for Níndi’s hand and marry her. With her father’s blessing and the approval of the King.”

I was speechless. I could not feel my body as it had lost all feeling.

“Are you well,” I heard Níndi ask.

“Yes,” I answered. “Go your way. I will not speak a word to your father.”

“Thank you,” she said cheerfully. She kissed my cheek and the lovers made their way toward home. As I began to feel myself once more, I thought on what I heard from Níndi and Eäros.

I looked around—the word was new to me again. It seemed a lifetime I was there in that place thinking of all that had happened to that moment. I knew a truth my heart could not deny.

“Orothôn,” I heard a voice say. I turned to see Mîrwen. “Níndi said I would find you here.”

“When do we depart,” I asked.

“Not long.”

“Do you know where we will go?”

“Yes,” she answered. “Mother has told me.”

“Just now,” I asked.

“Yes, Orothôn.  Learned of it just now.”

She came to me cautiously—my demeanor seemed to frighten her. I looked at her—her beauty glowing beneath the stars. I reached for her, but she stepped away.

“No, Orothôn,” she said. “Tell me you are not mad.”

“I am not mad,” I said. “I do not know what I am but I am not mad.”

She smiled and moved closer to me. Embracing me, I held her.

“Tell me what I long to hear, Mîrwen.”

“All will be well, my love,” she whispered.

I kissed the top of her head. I felt I could leave this place for another. Mîrwen kissed my chest gently. She looked up at me. I kissed her.

“Shall we go now,” I asked.

She nodded as she took my hand. Before we reached the encampment, she pulled me close and kissed me passionately.

“They wait for us,” she whispered. “Once we cross this threshold, we will leave this place forever.”

I nodded. She nodded in return. We stepped out into the clearing. Our people were standing in line—a caravan prepared for one last journey. We made our way toward Elmo and Orowen. Once we took our place, a voice before us spoke.

“To Beleriand.”

© 2015. “The Kingdom of the Woodland Realm Trilogy—Book I: The Epic of Eryn Galen” by Jaynaé Marie Miller. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter II: A Son is Born (Pt. II)

gatesmirkwoodalanleecreds

I was resting in bed alone—Mîrwen left to attend her mother as she often would. I was lost in thought of nothing in particular when I heard quiet chatter nearby.

“This is my room,” a voice said. “I sleep here. They sleep there.”

“Mine, too,” another voice said. “Your ada is still in here.”

I slowly turned my head toward the voices. I saw two little heads coming towards me.

“Oropher and Eldôr,” I said softly. “To what do I owe the pleasure of your company?”

“I am showing Eldôr my room, Ada,” he said looking up at me.

“It looks like mine,” Eldôr added.

“I can imagine,” I answered. I felt myself trying not to laugh at their curiosity. They were starting to grow quickly in this world under starlight—yet they seemed oblivious to the skies under which I awakened.

“May I ask why you are not with your mothers?”

“Nana is away,” Oropher answered. “She is with the others.”

“They are with the elfling,” Eldôr added.

I thought myself for a moment. I could count on my fingers the newborns.

“Do you speak of Nimeithel,” I asked.

“No,” Oropher said teasing me.  “The new one.”

“There are two,” Eldôr said. “Remember?”

“Yes,” Oropher nodded. “Two elflings.”

“Might I enter,” asked a voice from outside.

“Enter, Valdôr,” I said.

“I see you have visitors,” he said as he entered. “Eldôr, your mother has been looking everywhere for you.”

“I am in here,” he answered.

“I had not noticed,” his father said. “Off with you.”

“And you as well,” I said to Oropher.

They ran out quickly.

“Were you looking for me?”

“Really, Orothôn,” Valdôr began sitting nearby. “There are two elves I can find at any moment if need be and neither one of them is my wife and son.”

“I hear there are newborns,” I said sitting up.

“Yes, Celebriel has had a son,” he said. “Valdúmîr a daughter.”

“Oh,” I said with a smile.

“Not a word,” Valdôr scolded. “Êlengolas cares not he now has two daughters; only that they are the most beautiful elflings he has ever seen.”

“Of course,” I answered. “Have you see either one?”

“I have Galathil,” he said.

“Galathil?”

“Yes, Galadhon named him after his brother at the behest of his wife.”

“They are close,” I said. “None closer I have seen.”

“Nor I,” Valdôr said.

I could tell something was on his mind.

“What are you to telling me,” I asked.

“Iarûr has said our time is nigh,” he whispered. “We are not long to leave this land.”

“And this displeases you, Valdôr?”

“That is not my concern,” he answered. “What concerns me was how he said it. As to say peril was upon us.”

He turned away as I rose to dress. When I was done he turned back.

“You know Iarûr has known things we will never comprehend, Valdôr. He would never lead us astray.”

“I know,” he added. “But that brings little comfort. Not since we long left Denethor behind.”

“Come, let us find Êlengolas,” I said.

He rose and we walked outside making our way toward where Êlengolas resided with his family. He was outside holding his newborn daughter while his firstborn pulled on his leg.

“I want to see,” Nimeithel said.

She was beautiful—her hair nearly white and her complexion just as fair.

“Quiet,” Êlengolas said. “You will wake your sister.”

“Might we have a look,” I asked

He proudly showed us a tiny bundle—barely a feature to behold waiting for time to reveal them.

“She is beautiful,” I whispered.

“I want to see,” Nimeithel cried. I bent down and picked her up. She gazed in wonder at her new sister.

“What do you call her,” Valdôr asked.

“Valdúril,” Êlengolas said. She takes after her mother as Nimeithel takes after me.”

Nimríel came out of Êlengolas’ dwelling.

“Give her to me,” she said.

Êlengolas carefully handed over his daughter to her as I put down the other. They went inside as we walked away.

“You told Orothôn of Galathil,” he asked Valdôr.

“I have,” he answered.

“He told me what Iarûr said,” I added.

He stopped abruptly and looked at me. His eyes seemed locked on me—his face stoic.

“So you have heard we will leave this place soon?”

“Yes.”

“Did Valdôr tell you why?”

I looked at Valdôr.

“I thought it wise for you to tell him, Êlengolas.”

“Tell me what,” I asked. I started to fear the answer.

“Círdan has moved on from here,” he began. “He left alone—the others remain with us.”

“He left without a word,” I asked.

“Yes, but not without direction.”

“Elmo believes he will lead us to Elwë,” Valdôr said.

“Do you know for certain,” I asked.

“Eäros said he is very close with Elwë,” Êlengolas answered. “If anyone would know where Elwë can be found, it would be Círdan.”

“But if he has gone, how will we find either of them,” I asked.

They looked at one another knowing the answer would frighten me.

“Elmo knows where his brother resides,” Êlengolas said. “He remains tethered to this world.”

“He waits for us, then,” I  asked.

“No,” Valdôr said. “He waits for no one.”

“I do not understand,” I said.

Êlengolas looked toward the west.

“We are about to come into his kingdom.”

He looked at me and I knew we would never see Eldamar.

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

It was not until later I would have a moment to speak with Mîrwen. My mind lingered on what Valdôr and Êlengolas had said and I had questions she could answer. As I entered our home, Mîrwen and another elleth were trying to dry Oropher after his bath. When he saw me, their task proved futile.

“Ada,” he said running to me. “We saw a wilwarin!”

“You did,” I asked as he leaped into my arms.

“Yes, and it went up,” he said pointing upward barely missing my nose.

“Amareth,” Mîrwen sighed. “Please.”

The golden-haired maiden rose up and came to retrieve my wet sone from my arms. I sat in the corner watching them prepare Oropher for the night—with great trouble. I tried to keep my amusement to myself but was given a sharp glare from Mîrwen.  When Oropher was in his nightclothes, Mîrwen stood up and motioned for me to follow her outside as Amareth put our son down.

“I see my struggles amuse you, Orothôn,” she said beneath her breath.

“On the contrary,” I said trying not to laugh. “I found our son’s exuberance entertaining.”

Mîrwen gave me such a look, I could feel the point of a blade run through me.

“What have you done save wonder about with Valdôr and Êlengolas.”

My mood began to turn as dark as hers.

“What I did was learn what you failed to tell me, Mîrwen.”

“What have I failed to tell you,” she asked. “You are my husband. I tell you everything.”

“Except that we are not leaving this world.”

She looked puzzled as she sat down on a seat I made for us.

“I do not understand.”

“You did not know Círdan had left seeking Elwë?”

“No,” she said. I could tell she was telling the truth—she looked worried.

“Valdôr told me that Elwë lingers in this world and your father knows where he resides.”

He has said nothing to me nor a word to Mother.”

“Nothing to Galadhon or Galathil,” I asked as I sat down beside her.

“I would not know, but they do not seem to know any more than I do.”

“Forgive me,” I whispered. “I am sorry I doubted you.”

She smiled.

“You are not sorry about my trouble with our son.”

“How could you think I would find that amusing?”

“Orothôn.”

“Perhaps a little,” I said. I kissed her. “Very little.”

Just then, Amareth emerged from our home.

“Oropher is sleeping, My Lady,” she said.

“You are dismissed for now,” Mîrwen said. I will call upon you at his rising.”

She bowed to us and left swiftly.

“Might I inquire about his maiden?”

“You might,” Mîrwen began as she rose and took my hand. “For now, I wish to spend some time with my husband.”

I followed her inside. Behind a divider, she paused to kiss Oropher’s forehead as I prepared for bed. Shortly, she appeared on the opposite side of the divider and joined me. I took her in my arms.

“I am afraid, Orothôn,” she whispered.

“What frightens you?”

“I fear what comes,” she answered. “What will become of us should we linger in this world?”

“Tell me what you see,” I said. Her eyes were filling with tears and her lips quivered.

“Darkness and death,” she said crying softly. “I do not want to live in this world without you.”

“I would never leave you and Oropher,” I said wiping her tears away. “I could never leave you, Mîrwen.”

“Not on your own,” she sobbed. “Someone will take you from me.”

I held her closer—desperately trying to console her.

“Mîrwen,” I whispered. “Please.”

She looked into my eyes as she tried to smile for me. Our lips met between wisps of anticipation.

“Orothôn, take these thoughts from me.”

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

As we lay in each other’s arms, I could not help but feel something stood watch over us. I slowly turned my head.

“Ada,” Oropher said loudly enough to startle me.

“Whisper, Oropher,” I said.

“Ada,” he repeated softly.

“Yes,” I asked.

“What are you and Nana doing?”

“Resting,” I answered. “What are you doing?”

“Waiting for you to stop resting,” he said smiling.

“Oropher, how long have you been waiting for me and Nana to stop resting?”

He paused to think as I began to worry.

“Not long,” he said. “Just now.”

I sighed deeply and reached for my robe nearby. As I rose from bed, I quickly replaced the linens with the robe. I looked to see Mîrwen quietly resting motionless. I picked up Oropher.

“What are we to do,” I asked him.

“I am hungry,” he said.

“So am I,” I answered placing him on a table as I reached for my clothes. Once I was dressed, I noticed my son was still in his nightclothes I looked around when Mîrween appeared holding a neatly folded shirt and trousers.

“Looking for these,” she asked.

I said nothing as she began to dress Oropher. Not long, Amareth entered and bowed.

“Go with Amareth,” she instructed Oropher.

Obediently, he jumped down from his perch and left with our lady.

“Mother said I required ladies to attend to our household,” she began as she embraced me. “Amareth was appointed to the task of caring for Oropher.”

“All well and good,” I began. “Why would you require ladies?”

Mîrwen’s cheery expression melted away as her gaze fell to the ground.

“What are you keeping from me,” I demanded.

“We are expected to dine with Father and Mother,” she said.

She looked toward the door. “Enter.”

Four elves entered—two maids and two men. In a whirlwind, they separated us and went to work dressing us. When they were finished, they bowed and left swiftly. Without noticing what I was wearing, I became spellbound by Mîrwen’s beauty. She wore a long white dress with silver detail that seemed like the stars above us. Upon her head was a circlet of silver. It was then I realized my attire resembled hers and I, too, wore a circlet.

“Shall we leave,” I asked.

She nodded and we walked into our world. No sooner had we left our doorframe did elves appear on either side of us begin bowing. They had created a long path by which to follow. As we came closer to its end, I noticed Elmo and Orowen overlooking their court. Beside them stood Galadhon and Galathil with their spouses. Dressed in white and adorned with silver, they proudly awaited us to arrive. At the very end stood Iarûr, Valdôr, Êlengolas and Finëar and their spouses. We stopped before Elmo and Orowen and we bowed reverently.

“Come, let us dine,” Elmo said smiling.

We followed them to an elaborate dining hall within an enormous thicket. Lanterns from branches shone as stars come to earth. Once seated, elves brought to us fantastic dishes I had never tasted until that moment. There was much merriment for a time when the atmosphere was interrupted by a single voice.

“Where is Elwë?”

It was Mîrwen. All fell silent.

“Pardon,” Elmo asked.

“Where is your brother, my uncle? I know he remains in this world.”

Orowen looked at Elmo—her stare felt around the table.

“It is true, Mîrwen,” Elmo began. “He remains here but for good reason.”

“What good reason could there be,” Orowen asked angrily.

“Father, “ Galadhon said. “We are not to leave this world?”

Elmo stood up and looked around at us. I saw sadness in his eyes.

“He is my brother,” he said softly. With those words, he left us. Orowen quickly went after him as Galadhon whispered to me from across the table.

“Celebriel is with child again. I had hoped one of my children would come int the other world, but now it is not to be.”

Celebriel took his hand. I rose from the table and made my way into the eternal twilight I had awakened. It was still—no breeze blew. I heard voices near the home of Elmo and Orowen. When I saw them, I hid behind a tree.

“You could not tell your wife of your plans,” Orowen asked.

“I had to know the truth,” he said, his voice distraught. “I needed to know where he was so that I might convince him to leave with us.”

“He will not leave this world, Elmo,” she said. “This you know too well.”

“How would I know,” he asked. “I do not have your gift of foresight, Orowen.”

“Nor do you have the gift of hindsight! You will condemn generations of the Eldalië over one lost soul that you know will never join the other that he has forsaken.”

“How would you know what is in his heart,” Elmo growled.

“What is in his heart is not you or Olwë,” she answered. “We both know he remains for love but glory as well. That will bring a darkness that will plague this world. If you wish to brave such folly, you will do it alone!”

“Please, Orowen,” he begged. “I cannot bear the thought of eternity without you.”

She paused a moment—she sensed my presence but said nothing of it.

“I will remain as long as you wish,” she said. “For as long as it takes to convince Elwë to leave this world.”

“Should I fail,” Elmo began. “Then I will leave this place with you and our family. You have my word.”

Orowen nodded as Elmo kissed her hand and made his way toward the banquet.

“Come to me, Orothôn,” she said.

I slowly came from behind the tree and approached her.

“Forgive me,” I whispered

“What have you done to ask for forgiveness?”

“I do not know,” I said meekly.

“You are the bearer of kings, Orothôn,” she said to me. “Perhaps there is hope for this world even as I shall not see it. For this, I am glad.”

She kissed my cheek and smiled. I bowed to her and she turned from me and entered her home. I felt light-headed and heavy-hearted. What I had heard left me with dreams I could not find hope to have.

I made my way toward home alone—the path I once took was empty and dark save dim lanterns from elven homes. I stopped when I noticed Oropher at play with two little elven boys. Eldôr I recognized but the other was new to me.

They seem mesmerized with the nature of darkness and its wonders that years had taken for granted. I stood watching them for awhile—their innocence replacing my fears.

“Thinking,” a voice said to me. It was Galathil. “Mîrwen said I would find you wandering in thought.”

“I have found myself doing that more than usual.”

“So have I,” he answered. “Often after my son had found his sleep and all is quiet. That is him with Oropher and Eldôr.”

“What is his name,” I asked.

“Amdir,” he said proudly. “I am afraid he is rather quiet for his youth and his manner far older. Nothing like me or my brother.”

“He seems to be doing quite well with Oropher.”

We watched as they laughed and romped as if in another world all their own. I wondered what their lives would be growing up in this world with the lore of another told to them as myth. I found a sense of peace in the darkness for a moment. It was safe for now.

© 2015. “The Kingdom of the Woodland Realm Trilogy—Book I: The Epic of Eryn Galen” by Jaynaé Marie Miller. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter II: A Son is Born (Pt. I)

FOTRcredsblue

We remained in this land longer than anticipated—long enough for a number of elves to give birth to the next generation shortly after Celebriel—including Lothluin. Valdôr’s joy could hardly be contained once he laid eyes upon his newborn son.

“Is he not the most handsome infant you have ever seen,” he asked anyone within view.

“Valdôr, please,” Lothluin said for what seemed the thousandth time from the entrance of their home. “Give me Eldôr so he may rest.”

Valdúmîr took the sleeping elfling from his doting father and returned him to his mother. Valdôr sighed deeply.

“I miss him,” he said.

“How can you miss him,” I asked. “You live with them both.”

“I know,” he mused. “But he sleeps more than he is awake whenever we are all together.”

“Be thankful,” Êlengolas said. “There will be plenty of time to hear the melodic wailing of elflings.”

“When are you around so many to complain,” I asked.

“I have the misfortune of residing beside them as my wife tends to nearly all newborns. She has help now, thankfully. Herself being heavy with child, I worry for her.”

“As I worry for Mîrwen,” I whispered. “She says not to worry but I cannot.”

As we spoke among ourselves, I noticed two young elven maidens following Nárwen into my sanctuary. My demeanor changed enough to be noticed.

“What is the matter, Orothôn,” Valdôr asked.

“Nárwen just entered my sanctuary,” I answered. “Pardon me.”

I nearly ran the short distance and entered. My beloved was pallid—her entire body damp with perspiration. One of the maidens had covered her as the other held her head in her lap.

“Mîrwen,” I yelled.

“You must leave now,” Nárwen said calmly as Orowen entered.

“I will not,” I said desperately. “Tell me what is the matter with my wife?”

Orowen motioned to Nárwen to go about her duty to attend Mîrwen.

“You wife is about to give birth,” Orowen said smiling. “Do not worry. She will be fine. Go, now. I will send word to you.”

I slowly walked out—the sight of Mîrwen seared into my mind. I sat beneath a towering tree and waited. It was not long before I heard Mîrwen screaming then no more. There was a deafening silence that brought me to my feet as Elmo, Galathil, and Galadhon joined me. We stood together waiting—our hearts beating in a terrible rhythm over light breezes. I looked around to see concerned faces—their eyes glowing as earthly stars surrounded by the stillness of twilight.

Suddenly there was a cry—soft at first then shrill and pulsating as if struggling to breathe. As quickly as it came, it began to fade to a gentle murmur. Orowen emerged and everyone bowed. She looked at us and smiled as she approached.

“How is she,” we seemed to ask together with fear in our voices.

“She will live,” she said mocking us. “Come, leave Orothon to see his wife and son.”

As they left me, the curious eyes turned away as Nárwen and the two maidens stepped out.

“Mîrwen wishes to see you,” Nárwen said.

They went their way, but my body remained suspended in time—afraid of what I might see. After what seemed an eternity, I slowly entered our sanctuary. Mîrwen was motionless. She was upright with bedding supporting her. Her eyes were closed—she seemed as soon, her hair still wet from her ordeal.

In her arms, she held a bundle hidden from view. As I made my way cautiously toward her, I heard a sound I never heard before. When I was close to Mîrwen, I looked to see the little bundle was moving. He had found his mother’s breast and had started to suckle. She remained motionless as the baby suckled. When he looked up, he stopped and glanced at me. I was mesmerized—in awe at this tiny wonder. I leaned over and kissed the top of his soft head.

“Would you like to hold him,” Mîrwen said softly as she began to stir.

“Are you well,” I asked.

“Yes,” she whispered. “I am fine. I was resting. Birth is wonderfully exhausting.”

I took our son into my arms and he gave me a stern look then seemed to smile.

“Oropher,” I whispered. “I will call you Oropher.”

My son cooed as he reached out and took a lock of my hair. Even as a newborn his grip was strong. I lay him down in a small cradle at the end of our bed and he fell asleep almost instantly.  I lay beside Mîrwen. She smiled as she caressed my face. I kissed her.

“Thank you,” I whispered.

“Thank you, Orothon,” she whispered back.

As we lay in each other’s arms, I knew how true happiness felt. I never wanted it to end.

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

What seemed a moment showed itself to be greater; before long things changed even as the twilight lingered. Life beneath the starlight flourished. We had ventured only a short distance when we stopped again for our generation was giving birth to another. Oropher had no sooner been born when he had begun to crawl and then walk—spending time with Mîrwen and Orowen; oft with his new friend Eldôr.

I was speaking to Iarûr when Eäros approached us—behind him wandered Níndi. She had been enamored since she first laid eyes upon him.

“What word do you have for us, Eäros,” Iarûr said almost gleeful in anticipation.

“The Lady Nárwen has given birth, my Lords. To a son, they call Amdir.”

“That is indeed good news,” I said.

“What news of Valdúmîr,” Iarûr asked. “Has she been blessed with a son as well?”

“No,” Níndi said shaking her head. “Girl.”

I remembered what Êlengolas once said and nearly laughed.

“Why Princess Níndi,” Iarûr continued. “You have grown quite a bit since I saw you last.”

She smiled shyly, hiding behind Eäros.

“A daughter,” I finally said. “How are mother and child?”

“They are as to be expected,” Êlengolas said as he approached with Valdôr. “Eäros, your sister seeks your company.”

“Where is Anadriel,” he asked.

“With Celebriel, of course.”

He bowed and hurried away with Níndi close behind.

“There is a coupling if I have ever seen one,” Valdôr said as he watched them leave.

“I am more concerned with whom Êlengolas’ daughter will wed,” I said mockingly.

“You heard,” he asked—a wide grin on his face. “She is the most beautiful elfling I have ever seen.”

“And what do you call this beautiful elfling,” Iarûr asked.

“Her name is Nimeithel,” he said proudly.

“Have you gone mad,” Valdôr asked.

“You amuse me, Valdôr,” Êlengolas answered. “It is a wonder seeing as you are hardly witty. If you must know, my daughter is well behaved and blessedly quiet.”

Iarûr, Valdôr and I burst into laughter. Êlengolas shook his head.

“Iarûr, Elmo wishes a word,” a voice said. It was Galadhon. Iarûr nodded and went on his way.

“Something the matter,” I asked him. His expression was pensive.

“Father is worried,” he confided. “He will not say why. We should have come upon uncle by now.”

“Does he think he has gone from this world,” Êlengolas asked.

“Perhaps he is in Eldamar,” Valdôr chimed in.

“He is hidden,” Galadhon said. “That is what mother says. Bewitched, perhaps. It is no matter. We shall remain here for now.”

We stood in silence awaiting a respite. It came in the form of three of the elves that had been with Eäros. They were at play with one another. Of their party, there were three elven boys and two elven maidens.

“Have they told you nothing,” I asked. “For they saw Elwë last.”

“See that lad there,” Galadhon motioned, pointing to the taller of the boys. “He is Círdan. He said before uncle left them, there seemed a changed around them—like the air was no more. After a moment, they were alone.”

“Surely he remembers where,” Valdôr said. “How far away can we be from where he once was?”

“Perhaps,” Galadhon began. “If he knows he has yet to say.”

“I would give him time,” Êlengolas said. “They are young and came to us in fear.”

“May their memories come to them soon,” Galadhon said quietly. “This world is not long for a time of true darkness.”

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

Returning home, I was shaken by Galadhon’s words. I looked at the stars—unnumbered points of light shining down on us, each one twinkling as they hung onto the shadow of Heaven that was the sky. I imagined each one fading away; to leave us in darkness.

I sat down beside a large tree and continued to stare into the sky. Before long, I found myself drifting into a familiar place I had never been before. There were scenes of joy and terror; love and hate—light and dark. Each moment in time as a thread that was woven together into a tapestry of hope and despair. As the scenes grew more vivid, I felt a tug on my arm that jolted me out of my visions. I turned to see Oropher standing beside me.

“Oropher,” I began happily. “Where did you come from?”

“From Nana,” he said. I looked up to see Mîrwen smiling at me. My worries faded at the sight of them. She joined me as Oropher became fascinated with a flower nearby.

“What has your mind wandering,” Mîrwen asked. “You seem lost.”

“It is nothing,” I lied knowing she knew better. “Just thoughts.”

“Galadhon told you of Elwë,” she said.

“Yes,” I conceded.

“He saw the coming of darker days,” she said.

“You know everything,” I said.

“I do not know everything,” she said. “I know my brothers. Galadhon’s wife is quick with child again. He worries for Celebriel. He very much wants to reach Eldamar soon, but it will not happen.”

“What do you mean,” I asked. Her face had become stoic and her voice low.

“Many shall never leave this world,” she began. “Not as they should. The lure of this world is too great.”

“What could be in this world anyone would want? I see very little to desire.”

“What lies beneath the earth can grow things that are sweeter than nectar. One taste can claim the soul of anyone.”

I took her hand and kissed it.

“I am quite content with what is above the ground. I have little desire for anything more.”

She smiled—her face becoming gentle once more. Our lips met and the world disappeared.

“Nana,” Oropher said, toddling over and falling into her arms. “Now, please.”

“Very well,” she said, cradling him in her arms. He curled up close as she began to feed him.

“Do you worry, Mîrwen,” I asked returning my gaze to the stars.

“I worry about many things,” she said. “But I fear nothing for the sake of our child.”

We sat together quietly until Oropher fell asleep. I rose and helped Mîrwen to her feet. Together we entered our home. Mîrwen placed Oropher in his cradle. When she turned to me, she kissed me. Together we sat down on our bed.

“You know I will protect you both with my life,” I whispered.

“I know, Orothôn,” she answered. “And I will protect you both with my life.”

We kissed again. When our lips parted, she looked at me knowing my every need, want and desire. With great care, she leaned against the bed board as I lay my head on her lap. She stroked my hair until our son woke from his long rest.

© 2015. “The Kingdom of the Woodland Realm Trilogy—Book I: The Epic of Eryn Galen” by Jaynaé Marie Miller. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter I: Awakened (Pt. II)

lothlorienbluecreds

Emerging from our sanctuary, there seemed a flurry of excitement as elves wandered around the forest. When we caught the eye of Iarûr and Nimríel. We went to them to ask.

“Iarûr,” I said as a few elves swiftly passed between us. “What is amiss?”

“Not a thing,” he answered.

“Elwë comes forth,” Nimríel said, motioning aside.

We looked to see three majestic elves standing higher than all others.

“Father,” Mîrwen said excitedly. “He is with Elwë, his brother.”

“Yes,” Iarûr said curiously. And with them is Lenwë.”

“Elwë stood between the others—his presence indescribable. Shoulders broad, sharpened eyes of endless depth set upon a strong yet delicate face as a wave of golden hair that even in starlight there could be little doubt of its color or of the importance of the elf from which it had the privilege to originate.

His brother was no less magnificent though his countenance seemed more sanguine at the moment. Elmo shared his bother’s looks save his eyes were quiet and far less restless. Lenwë seemed overwrought by his companions—with hair darker than the others but gold nonetheless. He seemed distant from his equals; his eyes darting here to there with little purpose.

“Where is Mîrwen,” Elwë asked, his voice reverberating around us. It was then I noticed the mountains rising above us in the North.

“I am here, Uncle,” she yelled happily, pulling me with her toward the greatest of our kin. I noticed Galathil and Galadhon nearby with another elf trying to hide their amusement. When we were before them, I felt a fear I never had before—one stronger than when the Earth shook. Elwë and his brother looked at us—their faces stoic and frightening.

“Daughter,” Elmo said smiling. “Is this the one you have chosen?”

“Yes, Ada,” she said proudly. “This is Orothôn.”

“You have chosen Mîrwen,” Elwë asked me.

“I have,” I said. “I loved her the moment I saw her.”

“Elmo,” he said to his brother. “What say you?”

Elmo came closer to us, a look of happiness was in his eyes. He embraced me—something I never expected but found soothing.

“I say to you both, I give my blessing,” he said. “This is truly glorious.”

“If Elmo has your blessing,” Elwë began. “Then you have mine.”

There was a rise of cheers among the elves as Elwë nodded toward us then disappeared with Elmo and Lenwë. Galathil and Galadhon nodded with their companion and quickly went away with the others. I did not understand what had happened until Orowen came to us.

“You have been joined, my daughter, my son,” she said kissing us both on the cheek. “I am pleased for you both.”

She took her leave alongside another elven maiden of her stature and beauty with earthen hair; her eyes carried a sadness that was out-of-place among others.

“I am pleased for you,” I heard Êlengolas said.

“As am I,” Valdúmîr said embracing Mîrwen. “I know you are happy and so you will remain.”

I was overcome with every emotion that resided within me. Valdôr and Lothluin, Iarûr and Nimríel, and Finëar and Nenduriel came with their words of praise until the crowds had subsided. Mîrwen made her way back to our sanctuary. I took my time—wondering what would happen if anything.

Once I was with her, I heard a rustling at our entrance. It had been covered—the world outside shut out of view. I looked at Mîrwen and noticed her white gown for the first time. It was different now as it revealed her figure to me. I began to feel that desire for her but feared it had grown too strong.

“Orothôn,” she began. “Are you afraid?”

“Yes,” I said quickly. “Very much afraid.”

“So am I,” she said almost relieved.

She walked around our sanctuary, moving gracefully around. She placed her hand on the trunk of a tree whose tops were well above us.

“I had a vision,” she started. “I saw many things that frightened me. There were battles and a great suffering that would last far beyond this age we come upon. But I also saw joy and happiness. From our love will come great kinds and one that will bring peace to this world. All will come from our union and from this land we stand upon.”

“When did you see this, Mîrwen,” I asked.

“While I was with mother,” she answered. “She said this was a gift; to see things to come.”

“Then it must be as she has said.”

Mîrwen looked at me, her face troubled. She turned away then back to me. She placed her hands upon her sleeves and slowly pushed them from her shoulders and to her waist. She let it fall from her waist to the ground baring to me her body and soul. I went to her cautiously. I touched her face and kissed her lips. I felt her undress me until I felt the coolness of the air on my skin.

“Do not be afraid, my love,” I whispered. “I will protect you with my life and love you with all my heart and all my soul forever and longer.”

“I am never afraid when I am with you, Orothôn, my love, my husband,” she whispered. “I give to you all my love with all my heart and all my soul forever and longer.”

We moved closer together and began to kiss. As we felt our love rise to the surface, Mîrwen pulled away. Looking into my eyes, she led me to our marital bed and lay down. I joined her and it was in that moment our love would bring forth our greatest treasure—Oropher.

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

“I love you,” Mîrwen whispered to me at long last.

I had found myself staring at her face while she rested for a time.

“I am glad,” I said. “I love you, too.”

“Are you as happy as me,” she asked.

“I am not sure,” I said. “I do not know how happy you are.”

She kissed me tenderly and I felt a quaking run through my body.

“I am extraordinarily happy, Orothôn,” she said quietly.

“Then I am afraid I am far happier than you, Mîrwen.”

She smiled—her eyes seemed to sing to mine a love song only I could hear. Our gaze seems to take us away to a paradise beyond what was promised until it was disrupted by an elven maiden I did not recognize coming into our sanctuary.

“Many pardons,” she said. “I was set by the Lady Orowen.”

“Nárwen,” Mîrwen said. “You have not yet met Orothôn. Nárwen is the wife of Galathil.”

I nodded uncomfortably as I had not risen to cover myself properly.

“I was present at your joining,” she began. “It is a pleasure to meet you.”

“Likewise,” I said softly as I tried to keep myself covered.

“What does mother want,” Mîrwen asked.

“She only said to send for you and your husband,” Nárwen said. “There are whispers among the Eldalië. I do not know what they are saying but it must be of great importance if it concerns Elwë.”

“Tell my mother and father we will come shortly, Nárwen,” she said, her voice trembling.

Nárwen bowed and left quickly.

“You are worried,” I said.

“Yes,” she whispered. “I know what is on the lips of the Eldalië.”

“Do you wish to tell me,” I asked.

“You have seen one whose sadness lingers in your mind even now,” she answered, as her gaze on me felt chilling. I did remember the maiden with pain in her eyes

“The one that walked with your mother,” I said.

“She is Taurëa, wife of Lenwë,” she said. “Their son is Denethor. He is close to my brothers. Not all is as it seems, Orothôn. Not all of the Eldalië wish to go beyond the mountains.”

“Êlengolas spoke of that,” I remembered. “Long before we left the shores of Cuiviénen.”

“Many of us did leave,” she said. “There are some that remained. Something has hardened the heart of Lenwë causing discord between father and son.”

“I can see how that would pain Taurëa,” I said thinking.

Mîrwen took my hand and kissed it. She looked at me; her eyes full of tears.

“What will become of us, Orothôn,” she asked.

“Whatever comes, we will face it together,” I whispered as I kissed her forehead.

© 2015. “The Kingdom of the Woodland Realm Trilogy: The Epic of Eryn Galen” by Jaynaé Marie Miller. All Rights Reserved.