Chapter I: Awakened (Pt. III)


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.

Chapter VIII: The Rise of the Fall (Pt. III)


The discussion was long since forgotten as time became routine once more. Life took on a malignant monotony that was tenuous at best. I knew the world was changing beyond the borders of Menegroth—Oropher would speak of it whenever he had the mind to wander near them to see for himself. As duty remained my shadow while I worked  in the library, curiosity became the obligation of the younger generations.

It seemed all but King Thingol feared the loss of Lúthien, though his grief in her absence was felt throughout Menegroth. Iarûr would tell us often how fragile his emotions had become even as he attempted to appear as the mighty king he was before. Mîrwen would tell me how stoic queen Melian remained—her thoughts as distant as the stars. Whatever ancient wisdom or prophecy she knew, she kept to herself.

One day, while the ladies of the court were called to attend to Galadriel, I decided to leave the library with Súlwë for a short stroll outside. It seemed ages since we had seen the sun. The dimly lit caverns had started to remind me of the time before the rising of the Daystar.

It was a clear day—neither warm nor cool. The air was crisp but the wind still as we crossed the bridge.

“How is Galadriel,” I asked.

“From what Celeborn has told me, she is quite well,” Súlwë answered. “But I doubt either of us truly know what it is like to be with child.”

“Mîrwen says she is due any day,” I added.

“I hope so for Celeborn’s sake. His expression has been one of panic as of late.”

“How can you tell,” I asked teasingly.

Súlwë laughed softly.

“Let us hope this elfling brings some joy to Menegroth,” he said. “It is much needed.”

“Yes, it is,” I answered. “It is far too dark for the First-Born these days.”

“Darkness is everywhere, Orothôn,” he began. “I came from light that was dimmed by the very heart of that darkness. It shall linger far longer than our time.”

“Then perhaps this elfling will be a respite from it,” I whispered.

We walked in silence for a time—listening to the sounds of nature. Upon our return, we were met on the bridge by Finëar and Saeros.

“Orothôn,” Finëar said, his voice winded from running. “I have been looking everywhere for you.”

“For me,” I asked.

“You are part of the royal family, are you not,” Saeros asked.

“What is it,” I asked, gruffly.

“The Lady Galadriel has given birth to a daughter,” Finëar said. “Go on, now. Oropher has your place.”

Súlwë nodded and I took my leave into Menegroth. Once inside, Êlengolas  was waiting.

“You are late,” he said.

“How can one be late for something that has no timetable,” I asked as we began walking toward our destination.

“We are Eldar,” he said. “We know everything.”

“We are male,” I added. “You must have us confused with the elleth.”

“I do not know about you, Orothôn, but I am married to one that cannot help but speak and I am compelled to listen.”

It was not long before we stood before a door that was opened for us. I entered to see Galadriel lying in bed surrounded by the ladies of the court beside Queen Melian. I bowed to the Queen as Celeborn approached holding a tiny bundle with soft golden hair upon the whitest of skin.

It was not long before we stood before two doors that was opened for us. I entered to see Galadriel lying in bed surrounded by the ladies of the court beside Queen Melian. I bowed to the Queen as Celeborn approached holding a tiny bundle with soft golden hair upon the whitest of skin.

“Is she not beautiful, Orothôn,” he asked beaming.

“Yes,” I said. “What do you call her?”

“Celebrían,” he said as his new daughter cooed.

“A beautiful name for a beautiful elfling,” I started. “What has the king said of her?”

“He has not seen her,” he said.

“Not seen her,” I asked. “I was told I was late.”

“He did not come,” Celeborn whispered. “Perhaps the birth of a daughter is too painful for him.”

In that moment, the doors opened again. It was King Thingol with Cúthalion and Mablung beside with Daeron and Saeros close behind.

“Your Majesty,” Celeborn and I said together.

“Is this the elfling born to Galadriel,” Thingol asked.

“Yes, Your Majesty,” Celeborn answered.

The king looked upon the child as she opened her eyes. A slight smile came across his face.

“She is beautiful,” he said. “What is her name?”

“Celebrían, Your Majesty,” Celeborn answered again.

“Fitting name,” Thingol began. “You and your wife have my warmest congratulations on the birth of your daughter. Melian, a word if I may.”

We bowed as the Queen walked across the room and left with her husband and his guard. Celebrían began to cry as Celeborn returned her to Galadriel. The room itself seemed to sigh in relief after King Thingol left. Oropher come to me from is place beside the other princes.

“We did not think he would come,” he whispered to me.

“Is that what the Queen said,” I asked.

“No, Iarûr.”

“He spoke with him prior?”

“Not that I am aware,” Oropher began. “But Angband has awakened once more.”


“Something has brought it to life,” he said. “What is the question.”

I was afraid to know and knew better not to speculate. The day was good and I wanted it to remain as such. 

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

Chapter VIII: The Rise of the Fall (Pt. II)


It was much later after Eöl had left that I learned  why he ventured into Doriath. He was repaying a debt known only to him and King Things. Only a few days later would I learn more.

Iarûr had sent me on an errand to the armory to give a scroll to Finëar. Once I had arrived, I saw a familiar face.

“Ónarr,” I said, surprised. “I have not seen you since the dreaded war of the Dark Year.”

“Good to see you again, Orothôn,” he said as he took my hand. “Even one life spared among many lost is a blessing.”

“Finëar,” I said, handing him the scroll. “From Iarûr.”

“Thank you,” he said taking it and began reading.

“How have you been,” Ónarr continued. “My condolences to Eldôr on the loss of his father.”

“I will send word to him,” I answered. “It will lighten his heart to know.”

“I have not seen many of your kind for some time,” he said. “Not since the arrival of those new creatures.”

“You refer to the Atani,” I asked.

“If that is what you call them,” he laughed. “They are a cunning lot. They are quick-witted if I may add.”

“I am afraid my time with their kind is limited at best. I have not seen one in quite awhile.”

Finëar cleared his throat—I could tell he was bothered by our conversation.

“It says that the king wishes to place that gift for safe keeping in the armory,” Finëar said. “Has he gone mad?”

“I beg your pardon,” I asked.

“That sword Eöl gave to the king,” he answered. “Did he not tell you why you were sent?”

“I am afraid not, Finëar,” I said.

“You speak of Gurthang,” Ónarr asked.

“Come again,” Finëar asked him.

“The sword,” Ónarr answered. “The Elf-Smith Eöl forged it himself. I saw him do it with my own two eyes.”

“I am to assume you helped to create it,” Finëar asked glaring at the dwarf in disdain.

“My duties lie elsewhere,” Ónarr said. “Though I know my way around the fires, I am a master of stone. Mîm might have a notion.”

“There is a name I have not heard in a time,” Finëar said, calming down. “Was its creation ordered by Azaghâl?”

“If His Majesty requested such a thing be made, I have not heard of it.”

“I suppose you would not, Ónarr,” Finëar said. “I know  much your time is sacrosanct these days. How is Finrod, if I may inquire?”

“Quite well,” Ónarr said. “He sends his greetings to you.

I sensed something unusual in his voice as it grew softer. I felt he knew something but wished to keep it from us.

“Orothôn,” Finëar said to me. “Tell Iarûr I shall harbor this sword for now. When I find a place for it, let he be the only one to bring it to me. I have little doubt that such a weapon in the wrong hands could be catastrophic. Especially one so forged by Eöl. Who knows what machinations go through his mind.”

I nodded. I looked again at Ónarr.

“It was a pleasure to see you again,” I said.

“For me as well,” he answered.

I turned and left. In the hall, I nearly ran into Saeros.

“Many pardons,” he said. “Has Ónarr left?”

“No,” I answered curiously. “He is with Finëar now.”

“Thank you,” he said hurriedly as he went into the armory. Something piqued my curiosity. I leaned against the wall in the darkness to listen.

“What word have you from Telchar,” Saeros asked. “Has he not forged many weapons of late?”

“Aye, he has,” Ónarr said. “Most of which I am not privy to though one such weapon is in the hands of one they call Beren.”

“Have you seen this Beren,” Finëar asked. “Where is he?”

“I would not know that,” Ónarr answered. “It has been a long time since I laid eyes on him. Where he was going he will not return.”

“I suppose not,” Saeros said.

“You wish to know about the King’s daughter,” Ónarr asked.

“You know where she is,” Finëar asked excitedly.

“I saw her once, but no more,” he answered. “She took to the wind you might well say.”

“Even the wind has direction,” Saeros snapped.

“So it does,” Ónarr quipped. “And neither she nor the wind were going in mine.”

“What are you doing,” a voice said. I turned to see Êlengolas. I put my finger to my mouth.

“Well,” Finëar continued. “Should either one find their way anywhere near you, I suggest you send word to King Thingol as quickly as possible.”

“I will gladly do as you command,” Ónarr said.

I quickly led Êlengolas down the hall into darkness as I heard footsteps heading toward the door. The three left the armory together without suspicion.

“You realize it is unseemly to listen to the private business of others,” Êlengolas said.

“When you stop doing it, then tell me again how unseemly it is,” I answered.

“Was that Ónarr of Nogrod,” he asked.

“Yes,” I said. “He has seen Lúthien.”


“He did not say.”

“Orothôn, the whole point of secretly overhearing private business is to actually glean some useful information.”

“I believe she has followed Beren on his quest.”

Êlengolas looked at me, his brow raised.

“Could you be more specific,” he asked.


“Where else would she have gone,” he asked. “If such an event had happened, then she will return upon the news of his death.”

“You think a messenger from Angband is going to send her word to Menegroth saying, ‘We regret to inform you we have killed the beloved of the King’s daughter.’”

“It is Angband,” Êlengolas began. “They would not be so inclined to be courteous.”

“It is also a place no one returns from,” I said. “All I am saying is that she is still with us.”

“Not if she followed Beren on his quest,” Êlengolas said. “Do not tell anyone—especially your wife. She will tell half the ladies in the court and create a false sense of hope.”

“False sense of hope,” I asked.

“Yes,” he began. “If she indeed has followed him anywhere, there is little hope she will return. Not without him. Come, it is almost time for dinner.”

I sighed and reluctantly followed him toward the Great Hall. I could not help wondering what Ónarr did not say and how much he knew.

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

Chapter VIII: The Rise of the Fall (Pt. I)


The day began as usual—the court of Menegroth went about its routine catering to the whims of King Thingol and Queen Melian. On this day, in spite of the endless blue skies and nature rendered to the height of its beauty, the loss of Lúthien weighed heavy on our hearts. Then, he came—an elf of unknown origins approached the gates of Menegroth.

I was standing inside the vestibule the the gates were opened as he approached.

“What business have you in Doriath,” one of the guards asked the elf with hair as dark as night.

“I have come to see Her Majesty, Queen Melian,” the elf said softly—his crystal grey eyes startling the guard as he glanced at him. “I am Eöl of Nan Elmoth.”

Iarûr appeared from the Throne Room in that moment.

“What business do you have with Queen Melian,” the guard demanded.

“Eöl,” Iarûr said to the elf. “I did not expect you to come into Doriath. The glory of Menegroth offends you as much as the Girdle of Melian repels you from seeking the company of your kin.”

“Yet, I stand before you, do I not,” Eöl answered smiling. Even in darkness, his elven beauty was undeniable.

“Let him pass,” Iarûr commanded. “Their Majesties are expecting him.”

Reluctantly, the guards stood down and Eöl entered and followed Iarûr was as Finëar approached.

“Eöl has come into Menegroth,” he asked me, surprised.

“I do not know of him,” I answered. 

“He is kin to the King,” he began. “He was lost to us for some time; since long before the rising of the Daystar.”

“He requested to see the Queen,” I said.

“Yes, of course he would,” he answered. “She has known where he resides since the creation of Menegroth. He may live beyond these borders but he owns his life to her protection whether he admits to it or not. His time spent in the company of the naugrim has made him a master smith—if not a bit reclusive.”

He went on his way and I too my leave to find Êlengolas. I found him in the armory with Súlwë. They were overseeing the inventory of its contents at the request of Elmo.

“What brings you to the pits of darkness, Orothôn,” Êlengolas asked as he wrote on a scroll held by two young elven boys as Súlwë counted swords.

“What is there to do,” I asked sitting on a bench. “Iarûr is attending to the King just now.”

“So, you have met Eöl,” he answered.

“You know of him,” I asked.

“Of course,” he answered. “He likes the short ones.”

“The naugrim,” one of the young boys quipped.

“Yes,” Êlengolas said sweetly. “What have I said about speaking while I am working?”

“You said not to do so,” the other elf piped up.

“Êlengolas,” I said.

“What,” he asked. “My duties require complete concentration.”

“Three hundred and thirty-three swords,” Súlwë said.

“Thank you,” Êlengolas answered, writing.

“What do you know of this Eöl,” I asked.

“What I know I learned from Eäros,” he answered. “Before we came into Doriath.”

“Before,” I nearly yelled. They all stopped working and looked at me.

“Súlwë,” would you be so kind to take the boys to have a bite to eat?”

“It is about time,” one of the boys said helping the other roll the scroll.

“Come,” Súlwë said to them. “I will tell you more about Valinor.”

The boys cheered as they ran out fo the room ahead of Súlwë.

“You certainly know how to clear a room, Orothôn,” Êlengolas said.

“You know how long it has been,” I asked. “Oropher was a child then.”

“Yes,” he started. “And now he is not.”

“What did Eäros say of Eöl?”

“Nothing of great importance,” Êlengolas began. “He was with them then he was no more. Poor thing wandered off from their group before they came upon us.”

“He looks feral,” I said.

“I suppose you would as well if you only had naugrim to keep you company.”

“They are not feral, Êlengolas,” I said.

“They are wild,” he answered.

“They are stone masters and smiths.”

“So, they have a pastime,” he answered.

“You should have said something,” I said.

“What should I have said that the Queen did not already know,” he asked. “Obviously, he did not wish to be found.”

“How would anyone know what is in someone’s heart?

“I do not know what is in his heart but from what I have been told, the awakening of Angband he blames on the King.”

“N one but Morgoth woke up Angband,” I answered.

“Do not be so quick to think so,” he said. “What would have been had he remained on the path? Would we be here? Would not Valdôr still be with us?”

“No one knows the answer to that,” I said. “It is not ours to question.”

“I forgot how obedient you are to the plight of destiny,” Êlengolas said angrily. “You question nothing. You think all things happen for a reason.”

“Do they not,” I growled.

“Why do they,” he asked. “Why do they happen if we do not let them happen? Are we slaves to time and circumstance or do we not have the ability to think for ourselves?”

“We are here because we chose to be here,” I said. “We chose to remain with our kin.”

“Then, allow that same courtesy to Eöl,” Êlengolas said, calming down. “Time and circumstance gave to him the choice to become the elf he is. Nothing I could have said then would have changed what is now.”

Êlengolas was right. In his way, he had become wiser in his fear and doubt.

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

Chapter VII: Darkness Falls (Pt. IV)

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Building continued for what seemed an eternity. Whenever I was in the library, Iarûr would tell me what the princess Lúthien thought of her new chambers. Nothing and no one could persuade Thingol’s mind to reconsider—not even his Queen. Oropher said very little other than Nimeithel’s own displeasure with the future arrangement. Rather than spending their time with Lúthien together, her ladies were split to cater to her by night or by day. Nimeithel and her sister Valdúril were assigned the day while, surprisingly, Galadriel was given the evening alongside Níndi.

When construction was completed, there was little fanfare made as Lúthien entered with her mother, Orowen and all their ladies. We wondered how all of them could fit into what appeared to be a rather small space. When Mîrwen returned one evening, she told me the chambers were quite spacious. Hírilorn was a mighty tree with branches nearly as thick as its trunk. There were guards to protect them all—though I knew better.

Things returned to again to order. One evening, when Lúthien was at dinner, I could not help to notice how forlorn she seemed. She barely ate a thing even as she would engage with her parents solemnly. After dinner, while in our room, Mîrwen seemed agitated.

“Is something on your mind,” I asked, removing my coat.

“Did you see the princess,” she said from behind her dressing screen. “She was completely miserable.”

“Her father sent her beloved on what can only be called a death sentence then locked her away inside the elaborate chamber of a great tree to keep her from chasing after him,” I said. “How happy could she possibly be?”

She came out from behind her screen and sat on the bed.

“I feel just horrible for her,” she continued as she was watched me remove my shirt. “I wish Uncle would listen to reason.”

“His daughter is his greatest treasure,” I said sitting beside her. “He only wishes to protect her.”

“Would you do such a thing to your daughter?”

“I have a son,” I said.

“If he were your daughter, then?”

“Mîrwen, we have a very handsome son but I could never imagine him a daughter—not without laughing hysterically.”

Mîrwen glared at me.

“I am being serious, Orothôn,” she said.

“So am I,” I answered.

“I know nothing of mortals, but I hope he returns for Lúthien’s sake,” she said.

“Hope is all anyone can have for now,” I whispered as I kissed her lips gently.

Before we could become swept away, there came a knock on our doors.

“Enter,” I said, furiously, My anger cooled when Eldôr, Amdir, and Oropher entered.

“What is it,” I asked, standing before them.

“She is gone,” Oropher said.

“Who is gone,” Mîrwen asked.

“Lúthien,” Amdir answered. “She slipped away into the night.”

Just then, dressers appeared with my clothes.

“How does ones slip away from an impenetrable fortress,” I asked.

“Apparently, quite easily,” Eldôr said softly.

When I was dressed, I turned to Mîrwen.

“I will return,” I said.

“I know,” she said, kissing me.

We left quickly for the throne room. By the time we reached the main vestibule, there were soldiers on their way out of the main gates. We continued into the main hall where Elmo spoke with the king as he sat on his throne in despair. Galathil and Galadhon met us.

“How did this happen,” I asked Galadhon.

“No one saw a thing,” he answered. “One moment she was there and the next she was gone.”

“Love will find a way,” Galathil said softly.

“Love,” Thingol shouted from across the room as he rose from his throne. “What do you know of love? What do any of you know of love? I love my daughter—my only child who has left me for a mere mortal she has barely known a tenth of her lifetime! You, all of you, you will find her and bring her to me. I do not care how long it takes.”

Broken, he left the room leaving Elmo in his stead. He approached us, his face stoic.

“I do not expect anyone to spend a lifetime searching for Lúthien,” he began. “Just do what you can and return him when you need rest. We have plenty of soldiers to go beyond these borders if need be.”

“What will we do if she cannot be found,” Galathil asked.

“Find her,” Elmo said and left us to our task. We searched everywhere to the borders of Doriath with no sign of Lúthien. The princes of the realm returned empty-handed. Other soldiers journeyed beyond Doriath—some would return while others were lost to time.

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

Chapter VII: Darkness Falls (Pt. III)

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I said nothing to Oropher about my vision. If he suspected anything, he said nothing. I put it out of my mind and life became routine once more. We heard little of the world beyond Doriath for a time that seemed longer than it was—when we returned to the realities of the world.
I was in the throne room with Orowen and Mîrwen early one morning before I was to meet Iarûr in the library.
“This younger generation of elves are so ambitious,” Orowen said to Mîrwen. “Why do they wish to wait to start a family? Amdir wishes to follow Oropher’s example.”
“I do not know, Nana,” Mîrwen answered. “But I know Nimeithel agrees with her husband.”
“I have heard nothing from Anadriel,” Orowen said. “She keeps busy with Nimloth and Ëarmîr.”
“From what I understand, Nimeithel has her own hands full keeping up with Lúthien,” I added. “I do not know when she would find the time to start a family.”
“Have you not heard,” Orowen began. “Lúthien will have new accommodations soon.”
“New accommodations,” I asked curiously.
“On uncle’s orders,” Mîrwen said. “For her safety.”
“What could be safer than Menegroth,” I asked. “Are you sure you heard correctly?”
They nodded as Oropher approached with Celeborn.
“Good morning, Ada,” he said cheerfully.
“Have you heard of new accommodations for the Princess Lúthien,” I asked.
Celeborn looked down as Oropher sighed.
“I think you should come with us,” Oropher said.
I left with them for a short journey to a place where builders were constructing something around a tree. Overseeing the workers were Thingol, Elmo and both Galathils.
“This should keep my daughter secured and well-placed to have her ladies attend to her every whim,” I heard Thingol say.
As he turned to leave, we bowed to him.
“This should make things easier for Nimeithel,” he said to Oropher.
With that, he left with Elmo and his son.
“Galathil,” Celeborn said to his brother. “How are things?”
“Father was instructed to have me ensure things are done quickly and to the liking of the king.”
“May I ask what endangers the king’s daughter for him to go to such measures,” I asked.
“Love, I am afraid,” Galathil said. “What else is there?”
Oropher rolled his eyes.
“What is on your mind, son?”
“Nothing, Ada,” he said.
“Amdir and I overheard Saeros speaking to Iarûr,” Celeborn began. “Before you say it, Brother, I know it was bad form but they were in the hall in which we were walking.”
“You grow more like your wife every day,” Galathil said.
“As I was saying,” Celeborn continued. “Daeron informed the king of his daughter’s plans. I know not what they were, but I am quite sure it was her desire to follow the mortal on his quest.”
“Beren,” I asked. “How would anyone know where he is or if he lives?”
“There is no better way to know than to search,” Galathil said.
“So Thingol wishes Hírilorn turned into her gilded cage for her safety,” Celeborn added.
“That is rather extreme,” I whispered.
“These are dangerous times,” Galathil said.
“Made all the more dangerous by such a monstrosity,” Oropher added. “If she can get out of Menegroth, she will get out of this.”
“It is my duty to make sure that does not happen,” Galathil said sternly. “Our dear cousin is a bit unruly, as you well know.”
Oropher left abruptly and I went after him.
“Oropher,” I said as I caught up to him. “What is bothering you?”
“I can assure you, Father,” he began as he stopped walking. “Lúthien will not remain in that place for long.”
“How are you so sure,” I asked.
“There is nothing in this world that can keep the heart from what it will do for love, no matter how foolish.”
“It can be said to apply to a father for his daughter,” I answered. “We will do many foolish things for love.”
“Perhaps,” Oropher said more calmly. “But of two loves, only one will break its chains and change this world forever.”
He left me alone in shock at his words. Who was this man I called son and where were these profound revelations coming from?
© 2015. “The Kingdom of the Woodland Realm Trilogy—Book I: The Epic of Eryn Galen” by Jaynaé Marie Miller. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter VII: Darkness Falls (Pt. II)

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Two faces in time intimately attached to the folds of eternity forever linger in uncertainty.

Iarûr closed his book and put his quill aside. He looked at me—his gaze seemingly searching my soul for the answers to everything.

“I will not ask you what you are thinking, Iarûr,” I began, turning to my work. “It is always something that brings with it self-reflection.”

“For that, you should be grateful,” he said. “But today, my mind lingers on something less affirmative.”

“You worry about the mortal,” I asked.

“No more than I worry about us all,” he said. “Save what Queen Melian has seen and how best to put it down for future generations, I worry no more than usual.”

“I am afraid to ask so I will refrain,” I said, smiling to myself.

“Your curiosity is showing, Orothôn,” he said. “You do not hide it well.”

“I cannot hide anything from you, Iarûr,” I said, looking at him. “I would do well if my thoughts could whisper.”

“The world is changing, my friend,” he began. “Not for the better.”

“Êlengolas said peace is a time for scheming,” I said.

“He is right. No one schemes during a time of war. They are immersed in killing each other.”

“Hence, the scheming,” I added.

“Hence the wars that will come again to us.”

I sighed—it was the only emotion I had left anymore. The thought of battle brought uncharted memories of death and destruction. They were things I did not wish to become commonplace.

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

I left the repository to find my family. My desire to be near them was overwhelming. A feeling of dread ran through me like rolling fire—I knew this war would be unlike any other. Iarûr did not have to say a word—his eyes told me more than he could express otherwise. As I walked through the halls leading toward the throne room, they seemed darker than usual—the candlelight appeared to grow darker and the halls longer. The echo of my footsteps faded behind me as an eerie silence surrounded me.

“Orothôn,” a voice said from a distance. I looked behind me and saw only darkness—an abysmal void of despair. The voice came from everywhere and nowhere. I said nothing as I continued on my way.

“Orothôn,” the voice said again. When I looked before me, I saw Valdôr standing before me. I screamed and fell to the floor.

“Valdôr,” I whispered.

“Orothôn,” he said, smiling. “It is good to see you, my friend.”

“You died in Ossiriand,” I stammered.

“I did,” he answered. “You did not.”

I knew then it was Valdôr. He reached down to help me up. He was as real as any other elf. When I was standing, I noticed the halls had returned to their regular appearance. Valdôr was still standing before me.

“Are you a vision,” I asked.

“I know you have them,” he started. “Though you keep them from Mîrwen.”

“I do not wish her to know.”

Valdôr gave me a smirk.

“This is Mîrwen, Orothôn,” he said. “Do you think she does not know?”

“I hope she does not know. Why are you here?”

“You know well why I am here,” he answered. “The world is changing and not for the better.”

“Iarûr said as much,” I said. “You heard him?”

“Where I am, I see what the living cannot,” he said. “I know what Queen Melian has known from the beginning of time. Darkness will fall again upon this world and last many seasons.”

“Then all is lost,” I said.

“With darkness always comes light, Orothôn, Valdôr said calming. “There is hope.”

“I am afraid waiting for hope is something for which I have little patience,” I said, frustrated.

“Hope comes when it is ready,” Valdôr said. “It is not for you or anyone to command.”

“Then why have any at all,” I asked.

“Because it is the only thing you have more of than time.”

I stared at Valdôr. His words were far more than I wanted to hear but I knew he was right.

“My hope will lie in Oropher,” I whispered.

“And his will lie in his son,” he said. “And mine shall be there by their side when hope again rises in this world, Orôthon.”

Before I could say another word, my name was spoken by another voice.

“Orothôn,” it said. I looked to see Eldôr standing before me in his father’s place with Amdir. “Are you feeling well?”

I looked around and realized I was standing in the vestibule by the main gates.

“I am quite well, Eldôr,” I answered.

“Oropher was looking for you,” Amdir said. “He is in his chambers.”

“Thank you, Amdir,” I answered. “I will be on my way.”

Hoping they did not see me speaking with myself, I quickly left them and made my way to Oropher’s room.

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

Chapter VII: Darkness Falls (Pt. I)


One afternoon not long after my son and I wondered about Lúthien’s comings and goings, I was with Mîrwen taking a walk through the forest. The day was cool; the only warmth came sparsely from sunbeams finding their way to us between the infinite branches. It was a rare occasion for us—a moment away from the duties of the court—but it was Orowen that gave us a not toward a pleasant distraction.
“It is a beautiful day,” Mîrwen said. “How long it has been since I have been outside Menegroth.”
“Remind me to thank your mother for allowing such an excursion,” I said. “I know how engaged Queen Melian keeps her ladies.”
“Her mind lies elsewhere this day,” she answered. “She is concerned about her daughter.”
“The Queen has learned of her wanderings,” I asked smiling to myself. “It was only a matter of time, I suppose. Nimeithel could not keep up with her.”
“As it has always been,” she said. “I have it on good authority that the princess cast a spell over someone.”
“You know of Daeron,” I asked, surprised.
“He is smitten with her.”
“Perhaps,” Mîrwen began. “But Lúthien’s heart belongs to another.”
“Do you know the name of this elf,” I asked.
Mîrwen stopped abruptly, her face drained of its color.
“What is the matter?”
“Her love is not of the Edalië,” she murmured. “He is a mortal man. One of the Atani as Iarûr calls them.”
It was one of the lore come to life. The rumors from the East proven true. I became both frightened and fascinated.
“I know King Things will not be pleased.”
“He is furious,” Mîrwen said. “His anger will not be abated. That is why Mother dismissed us from our duties.”
“This man has been sent for.”
We looked at each other—one searching for the soul of the other.
“Whom di they send,” I asked.
“No one,” she whispered. “Lúthien went after him on her own.”
I looked toward Menegroth. The fortress loomed over Doriath with a watchful eye. I knew those eyes would turn inward; its gaze harsh in judgment.
“We need to return to court,” I said. “Now.”
Mîrwen nodded as I took her hand and walked home as quickly as we could. I nearly stumbled at the bridge but managed to maintain some composure. As the gates opened, the vestibule leading to the throne room was replete with Elves trying to catch a glimpse of the Atan. They stood silent as the voice of Thingol filled every hall. It was thine I heard another voice. Holding Mîrwen’s hand tighter, we slowly made our way through the crowd. Once within the doorway we stopped at the moment the Atan held aloft a ring that shimmered green. The court whispered among themselves.
“He is Beren, son of Barahir,” Êlengolas whispered to me. “He has the heart of the fair Lúthien but has yet to win the confidence of the king.”
“When did he arrive,” I asked him quietly as King Thingol and Beren continued to speak. I could see Queen Melian and Lúthien were troubled.
“Not long after you and Mîrwen left,” he said. “I can say this meeting has not left Daeron unamused.”
“I would think not.”
As Thingol handed down his command to the brave but disheveled young man, I glanced around at the faces of the elves. I tried to read their expressions but many remained stoic as Beren accepted his challenge for the hand of his beloved. Even I knew this was a futile bargain for Thingol would never allow anyone to take his daughter to wife he deemed unworthy—no matter his bravery.
At that moment, the elves parted to allow Beren to take his leave. The young Atan came into view. There was nothing remarkable about him—he looked like one of us, save for his ears. A determined look he had on his face as he made his way through a sea of curious elven onlookers. His countenance was noble; his gentle eyes glancing in our direction. He nodded toward us as he left the throne room and departed Menegroth.
“Should he live to see us again,” Êlengolas began. “I pray I am alive to see that day.”
“How do you mean,” I asked, perplexed.
“He seeks to claim from Angband that came from Valinor by way of Morgoth. The victor of the Noldo at Dagor Aglareb has done nothing to keep evil at bay.”
“We are at peace,” I said.
“Peace is a time for scheming in Angband,” he continued. “I am afraid this will bring about the wars of the ages.”
We said nothing more. Mîrwen looked on in despair as she embraced me. I had lived to fight again.
© 2015-19. “The Kingdom of the Woodland Realm Trilogy—Book I: The Epic of Eryn Galen” by Jaynaé Marie Miller. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter VI: The Second Awakening (Pt. V)


I took my place beside Mîrwen—I marveled at how she radiated when she smiled at me. We stood with Elmo and Orowen, Galadhon and Celebriel, Galathil and Nárwen on either side of King Thingol and Queen Melian. Oropher, Amdir, Galathil, and Eäros stood with their wives beside Celeborn and Galadriel as they stood before the court to take their vows.
“Celeborn, son of Galadhon,” Daeron began. “You have chosen Galadriel?”
“I have,” Celeborn said proudly.
“And you, Galadriel, daughter of Finarfin,” another elf said to her. “You have chosen Celeborn?”
“I have,” Galadriel said gazing into Celeborn’s eyes.
Daeron and the elf bowed to Things as he stood to address the couple.
“I say to you both, you have my blessing.”
They shared a kiss and the Great Hall erupted with cheers. Servants cleared the hall to prepare for evening celebrations as we left with the family into an adjacent room beyond the thrones. Once there, I noticed King Thingol speaking to his queen quietly across from us. The door opened.
“Saeros,” Thingol said to the elf that entered. “Come.”
I recognized him as the other officiant. Unlike most elves in the service of the king, he was a Nandor. Today was his first official duty as a member of the council. Graceful and fair, his demeanor reminded me of Denethor.
“That was a beautiful ceremony,” Orowen began. “It was indeed the respite from the goings-on beyond these walls we needed.”
“If you are referring to the sundering of the lands around Beleriand by the sons of Fëanor, Fingolfin, and Finarfin, then yes, it was,” Galadhon said quietly.
“It is your son’s wedding day,” Elmo began sternly. “There will be none of that.”
“Where has Celeborn gone to,” Mîrwen asked, looking around.
“He is probably with his brother and his cousins,” I said. “His bride was last seen with Lúthien and her ladies.”
“I am rather looking forward to this evening,” Galathil said. “How long has it been since we have found cause to celebrate?”
“Too long,” I said.


Shortly, we found ourselves summoned to the Great Hall again for feast and merriment into the night. When I was not dancing with Mîrwen, I spent my time observing my kin enjoying themselves. Even Súlwë found a measure of happiness as he danced with Galadriel. For a moment, it seemed the past was forgiven.
**** **** **** ****
One morning not long after, I lay in bed—my eyes shut with my mind drifting peacefully in tranquil darkness. I felt Mîrwen move closer to me, her lips touching mine. I opened my eyes to find her looking at me. We kissed again and soon we were lost in each other’s arms.
“How is my wife this morning,” I asked.
“She is very happy,” she said. She kissed me again, but I did not respond.
“What is the matter?”
“It is too quiet,” I answered. “Something is about to happen.”
“Do not be silly,” Mîrwen said, kissing me again.
There was a knock at the door. Mîrwen frowned at me as I smiled at her.
“I told you so,” I whispered. “One moment, if you will,” I said to the door.
Mîrwen rose from our bed and covered herself with her robe.
“Enter,” she said.
When the door opened, several ladies entered. I recognized two of them.
“Good morning, Nimeithel; Valdúril.”
“Orothôn,” Nimeithel said as she turned to Mîrwen. “Wonderful news! Níndi is with child and Galathil has asked Meriel for her hand.”
“That is wonderful news,” Mîrwen cried gleefully.
“Yes,” I began. “Wonderful.”
They all turned and looked at me for what seemed a lifetime.
“Apologies, my love,” Mîrwen finally said.
She motioned for the ladies to follow her to her dressing corner so I could properly cover myself in my robe. It was then another knock came. I sighed deeply.
“Enter,” I said as I sat down on the bed. It was Êlengolas and Finëar.
“You are not in bed,” Finëar said.
I pointed behind me.
“Oh,” he said again.
More dressers entered as Mîrwen emerged dressed for the day. She came to me and whispered into my ear.
“Until later,” she said as she kissed my cheek.
I nodded and she disappeared into the hall with the ladies.
“I do not wish to know,” Êlengolas began. “Please keep that to yourself.”
I let out a weak laugh as the dressers got to work.
“Any word from court other than Galathil’s engagement?”
“Lady Galadriel has left Beleriand,” Finëar said.
“Why,” I asked.
“It is nothing,” Êlengolas added. “She went to see her brother.”
“The king allowed this,” I asked.
“He cannot deny her such a request even as he and his brothers are exiled.”
“Did Celeborn leave with her?”
“No, he remains,” Finëar answered. “He has duties to attend to here.”
“He is the grandson of the king’s brother. Let no grudge go unheld,” Êlengolas said as the dressers finished and left.
The three of us made our way toward the Great Hall.
“Where does Finrod make his home,” I asked.
“Not far from our southwest borders,” Finëar said. “The sons of Fëanor are our north and east.”
“Do not forget Fingolfin and his sons,” Êlengolas said. “They occupy territory in the Northwest regions. All is right with the world.”
“For now,” I said to myself as we continued on our way.
**** **** **** ****
As the years went on, our world began to grow. There were noticeably more elves and naugrim walking the hills and valleys of Arda. After the birth of Eäros and Níndi’s son Ëarmîr, Galathil wed Meriel. Not long thereafter, their daughter Nimloth was born.
In the days following, my visions became more frequent and vivid. I told no one of the darkness and the despair I saw but Oropher seemed to understand whenever I became distant from friends and family.
There were rumors out of Ossiriand from the remnants of the Laiquendi still residing there. A new creature had appeared. Unlike the naugrim, they were said to be far more pleasant to look upon, yet their presence was unwelcome. Saeros would scoff at the stories of his lost people as fantasy as their plight of living under the eyes of two sons of Fëanor was less than ideal.
Queen Melian, however, took these rumors to heart. She said very little on the matter except to tell us not to dismiss these tales out of hand for creation continues under the Heavens. After a while, the rumors would be put aside and we went on with our lives—until the night when the rumors came within the borders of Doriath.
For elves, the night brought us comfort. We awoke beneath the stars so it was not uncommon for any of us to find ourselves outside on cloudless nights lost in thought. On nights such as this, Lúthien would wander out of the palace. It was unclear why—for it had started to become routine. Upon her return each time, her behavior seemed changed. Her cousin Galathil fell suspicious first—telling Oropher she was almost tolerable. Still, no one said a word. It was in her nature, we told ourselves.
One moonlit night, I went to find my son. He was on watch in the keep. When I arrived, he was lost in thought, gazing into the sky.
“What is on your mind, son,” I asked.
“Not a thing,” he said, turning his gaze toward me. “I was enjoying the view.”
I went to join him at the window. It was one of the most beautiful nights I had seen.
“What a view it is,” I said. “It is breathtaking.”
“Perhaps if we were outside,” he began. “I would love to take Nimeithel for a walk.”
“There will be other nights,” I said. “How is Nimeithel?”
“She has been tasked to look after Lúthien,” he answered. “To see where she wanders on the orders of grandmother. She thinks Lúthien has found a new place to wander but she wants to make sure it is not too far from Menegroth.”
“Has she returned,” I asked.
“She never left,” Oropher laughed. “Lúthien escaped before she could follow.”
We look out the window and saw Daeron leaving—crossing the bridge swiftly.
“Where is Daeron going,” I asked.
Oropher looked for himself.
“I do not know, but he has been often wandering out of Menegroth as of late searching for Lúthien.”
“Perhaps he goes for the king,” I said.
“The king does not know,” he answered.
“How is that possible?”
“I cannot say,” Oropher began. “But he does not know Daeron is in love with his daughter.”
“I beg your pardon,” I cried.
“It is true, Ada,” he said. “I do not know how no one has noticed how he looks upon her.”
“Everyone looks upon Lúthien with high regard,” I said.
Oropher laughed.
“He looks upon her as I look upon Nimeithel or Eldôr looks upon Valdúril. He is in love but it is unrequited.”
I looked out again to see Daeron returning from his outing. Even at a distance, I could see he was infuriated.
“He is not happy,” I said.
“How can you tell,” Oropher asked. “He always looks that way.”
“Something has him overwrought,” I said. “Perhaps I should go after him.”
“There is no need to,” Oropher said pointing into the night.
I saw Lúthien coming across the bridge and into the gates. We looked at each other perplexed. I would not be long before the answer to our questions would come walking into the court of King Thingol.
© 2015. “The Kingdom of the Woodland Realm Trilogy—Book I: The Epic of Eryn Galen” by Jaynaé Marie Miller. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter VI: The Second Awakening (Pt. IV)

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Little else was said thereafter as the court was preparing for the wedding of Celeborn and Galadriel. The proposal did not come as a surprise to anyone—they made little attempt to hide their affection for one another. The ladies thought it would be a wonderful respite from thoughts of things that still weighed heavily on King Thingol.

We had seasons now that showed the passage of time in Doriath. Leaves began to change colors and fall from tree branches to blanket the forest floor beneath as nature’s quilt. There came autumn rains and winter snow with the cooling air that chilled our breath when we spoke. The elflings enjoyed the seasons; finding new things to do outside to entertain themselves. I would catch Oropher and Eldôr building elves of snow when they caught a chance from their duties.

When all was green once more, the Great Hall was filled with flowers and adorned with drapes of matching colors in preparation for the matrimonial celebration. Celeborn spent most of his time with his brother, Galathil, Oropher, and Amdir when he was not with his father.

The day began calmly enough—I was lying in bed alone as Mîrwen had left at daybreak to attend to Galadriel. I knew the day would not be interrupted by war. We were living in a time of great peace. Even Círdan had returned to Doriath for the occasion from Eglarest. As I lay looking up at the elaborately carved stone ceiling, I found my mind drift into thoughts unknown. The room seemed to change as it morphed into the forest of my past.

There were vines twisted around the trunks of trees and creatures with several legs sprouting of their smaller bodies. They spewed a silken cord that ensnarled the treetops. Even as the sun seemed to shine, there was a darkness that fought against its light. I suddenly realized I was walking through this world—searching for someone.

Soon I found her; a maiden in a green cloak standing in a clearing where the only ray of sun beamed down. Her back to me, she remains motionless as I moved toward her slowly. When I was upon her, I spoke.

“Do I know you, my lady,” I asked.

She turned toward me. Her face was beautiful save for her eyes—only large black holes looked back at me.

“Taur-e-Ndaedelos,” she said in a raspy voice that echoed through the forest. “Taur-e-Ndaedelos.”

I screamed. I looked around and realized I was in my chambers and sitting upward on my bed. A knock came to the door.

“Enter,” I said. I was still shocked at what I had seen. Oropher entered.

“Ada,” he began. “Are you well? You look shaken.”

“I am fine, son,” I answered. “Am I late for the ceremony?”

“No,” he said sitting at the end of the bed. “It does not begin for some time. I came to see after you.”

“Did your mother send you,” I asked.

“No,” he answered. “I heard you speaking to someone. Who were you speaking to?”

“You heard me speaking to no one,” I said. “I am the only one here as you can see. Perhaps you heard someone in the hall.”

“I heard you ask someone if you knew them.”

My blood ran cold. How could he hear my thoughts?

“It was not me,” I lied. I wanted to know if he believed me.

“You said, ‘do I know you, my lady’.”

“It was nothing,” I answered.

“You were having a vision,” Oropher said. “I know because I have had the same one many times. The lady with death in her eyes.”

I nodded. I wanted to know more yet feared anything else my son would reveal. Instead, he nodded in agreement.

“We will keep such things to ourselves,” he finally said. “For now, today is for Celeborn.”

I sighed deeply. I was relieved he decided to speak of something new.

“How is he,” I asked.

“Terrified,” he answered with a laugh. “Though much of his fear comes from what Eldôr has said to him.”

“Like father, like son,” I said to myself thinking about Valdôr. “Be grateful it was not Êlengolas that spoke with him.”

“It is not too late,” he said rising. “The day has only begun. Do you wish me to stay with you while you prepare?”

“That is not necessary, Oropher,” I answered. “I thank you for your concern. I will be fine.”

Oropher smiled as he headed for the door. He paused then turned around.

“I have great hope for the future,” he said. “Even if It is filled with darkness. For every night, there is a day.”

I knew what he meant—our vision was a foretelling. I smiled at him and the was gone. I decided it was time to rise. I did not wish to have any more visions. I rang for the servants and waited impatiently for their arrival. When they arrived, I was never happier for their annoyance. When I was dressed, I left quickly for the Grand Hall.

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

Chapter VI: The Second Awakening (Pt. III)


They remained with us longer than expected with Finrod’s brothers leaving only to return with Angrod. I assumed Things wished to see all the brothers of Finarfin. Life at court became routine again. Mîrwen was determined to see Oropher and Nimeithel start a family, but Oropher remained steadfast in his resolve to wait. I spent most of my days with Galadhon, Galathil, Iarûr, and Finëar learning about the histories and traditions of our people. It was long and laborious but necessary. Even as my earliest memories of Lake Cuiviénen were starting to fade, I realized their importance. Súlwë proved quite valuable in this endeavor—sharing the many tales his father Olwë with us. Whenever Daeron was with us, we said nothing of Súlwë and he never asked about “Nimernil” while he was in the library.

One evening, I was with Iarûr putting away the scrolls when I noticed how much we had done so far.

“There are more here than I realized,” I said as I began to roll them up. “I find it hard to believe so much time has passed.”

“So true,” he began as he finished writing. “Yet time is the only thing we have so much and so little of all at once.”

“What do you remember, if I may ask?”

“I remember very little,” Iarûr said. “I think that was by design. If we knew everything, then what would we have to learn?”

“You make a very good point,” I began. “So we are learning what we already know.”

“What do we know,” he asked. “We are here. We were born and perhaps we will die—or not. All we know is what we have seen and little else. We speculate on the unknown hoping one day, somehow, the mystery will be solved. Perhaps there are some things meant to be unknown for a reason.”

“Are you looking to know everything,” I asked.

“I do not believe I want to know everything, Orothôn,” he said laughing. “Some things should remain a mystery forever.”

“True,” I agreed. “Just do not tell that to my wife.”

“The fairer of us know too much already,” Iarûr said. “That must be by design because it is inexplicable.”

As we laughed at ourselves, Finëar entered—his face flushed.

“What is it, Finëar,” Iarûr asked him.

“It is King Thingol,” he said. “He is angry. The court is in chaos.”

“What happened,” I asked approaching him.

“The sons of Finarfin revealed to him all that brought them into Arda,” he said groaning. “It was devastating.”

“Calm yourself,” Iarûr said. “What did you hear?”

“I do not know where to begin,” Finëar said as he sat on a bench. “There were jewels and fire and Morgoth…”

“What,” Iarûr interrupted sternly. “Did you say Morgoth?”

“Morgoth,” I asked

“I did, Iarûr,” he answered.

Iarûr’s face began to lose its color. He looked at Finëar again.

“Are you sure you heard correctly,” Iarûr asked him.

“Yes,” Finëar answered. “I overheard the Lady Galadriel speaking with the Queen not long ago. I was sworn to secrecy when I was discovered. But tonight, all was revealed to the king. His anger was palpable. He cast them out of Doriath.”

“Galadriel as well,” I asked him thinking of Celeborn.

“No,” Finëar answered. “For she has found favor with the queen. But her brothers have gone.”

“Morgoth remains,” Iarûr whispered to himself. “Then this is not over.”

Iarûr looked across the room to see Súlwë standing by the entrance doors.

“They attacked my family for jewels,” he said—his face stoic.

Finëar nodded slowly, barely looking at him.

“I am sorry,” Finëar whispered.

Iarûr was dumbfounded. For the first time, he seemed at a loss for words.

“This is not the end of it,” I asked.

“No, Orothôn,” Iarûr said. “This is the beginning.”

Quickly, I made my way out of the library and toward the Great Hall. There were courtiers milling within the corridors whispering among themselves along the way. I saw little in their faces of the tales that were told as they all seemed to have heard something different.

“I see you have heard what has happened,” Êlengolas said as he approached me. “So Súlwë was right.”

“What did Thingol say,” I asked.

“To the court, very little,” he answered. I am not privy to the king’s discussions beyond those four walls but whatever he said to his kin was not taken as well as they expected.”

“What little did he say, then,” I asked.

“We are not to speak of them in his presence,” Êlengolas answered. “Then he left us. He was angrier than I have ever seen him.”

“I am sure he was.”

“The Queen was none too happy, either.”

“Of course,” I said. “Why would she be?”

“She is a Maiar,” he whispered. “She knows far more than even the stars in the sky.”

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