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Chapter I: Awakened (Pt. III)

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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.

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Chapter VI: The Second Awakening (Pt. V)

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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)

401p9_Rivendell_WIP

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.

Chapter VI: The Second Awakening (Pt. II)

celeborn&galadriel

As we entered the gates, the court ceased its duties as they looked upon us—especially the elegant beauty of Galadriel. Amdir had gone ahead to send word to King Thingol of their guests. We approached the throne just as Amdir returned with the king with Daeron at his side.

“Finrod, son of Finarfin,” King Thingol said. “Welcome to Doriath.”

“Thank you, Your Majesty,” Finrod answered. “Your generosity has preceded you.”

King Thingol smiled. He motioned to Finrod and his family to follow him away. When they had left, Mîrwen and Nimeithel approached us.

“Who were they,” Mîrwen asked.

“They come to us from Mithrim,” I said.

“They are the siblings of Angrod,” Oropher added. “I trust they all remain with us for a time.”

“The lady is quite lovely,” Nimeithel said.

“Quite,” I answered. “Lovely but peculiar.”

“Let us be on our way, Nimeithel,” Mîrwen said. “We must help prepare the Queen for tonight.”

Mîrwen kissed me and they were on their way. Súlwë looked on—his face tense.

“I need to find Êlengolas,” I said. “I shall leave you to your duties.”

Oropher, Súlwë, Eldôr, and Amdir nodded. I left them knowing where I would find Êlengolas. He was with Mablung and Beleg learning about Legolas.

“You are from Valinor,” I heard Êlengolas ask as I entered the hall outside the throne room.

“I am,” Legolas answered. His confidence was as crisp as his striking gray eyes and long golden hair.

“Are there others as you,” Êlengolas queried again.

“There is,” Legolas said. “He is called Glorfindel. From the House of the Golden Flower.”

I could see by Êlengolas’ expression I needed to interrupt.

“I am Orothôn,” I said quickly, greeting our new guest. “We met earlier.”

“It is a pleasure,” Legolas answered.

“How long will you be with us,” I asked.

“For as long as we are welcomed,” he said. “No longer.”

I thought his answer sounded unusual but I said nothing.

“Êlengolas, may I have a word?”

He followed me around the corner.

“The House of the Golden Flower,” he finally said laughing.

“You know our visitors are kin to the King,” I asked.

“Are they from the House of the Golden Flower?”

I hit his arm hard.

“What?”

“The ones he guards are kin to the King. They come from Mithrim.”

“They came from Valinor,” he said. “Why are these elves leaving the home we should be living in?”

“It is a long story,” I began. “I will speak of it later. Meanwhile, I expect you to mind your manners.”

Êlengolas glared at me.

“Orothôn, please,” he started. “I am not a child. Your royal duties do not require that you play nursemaid to me.”

“Only when Iarûr is absent,” I said, smiling.

“You know something,” he said.

“I do, but as I said before, I will speak of it later.”

“After dinner,” he said. He took his leave. I stood there thinking to myself as an uneasy feeling came over me. I went to my chambers to prepare for the evening.

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

When we were in the Great Hall awaiting the entrance of the King and Queen, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Everyone was in their place—some were quietly chatting amongst themselves. Soon, the sound of music filled the hall and King Thingol, Queen Melian, their daughter Lúthien entered with Finrod, Orodreth, Aegnor, and Galadriel. It was then that Celeborn became enamored. It was hard not to notice as his face was glowing brighter than the lanterns in the room.

When everyone was seated, dinner was served. On this night, there were more delights than usual and everyone took advantage. Things were going well and my mind was put at ease. The celebration went on late into the night. As promised, after dinner, I found Êlengolas and under the light of the moon. I told him all that I knew—from Nimernil to the coming of Finrod.

“Well,” he said when I finished. “That is quite a tale. Why did you not tell me this before?”

“I was sworn to secrecy.”

“Orothôn.”

“I did not know where to begin,” I said. “It was not until Finrod came that everything Súlwë said made sense.”

“When King Thingol learns of this, it will not go well.”

“You will say nothing,” I said.

“I do not have to say anything,” Êlengolas said. “I trust someone will say it to him.”

“Who would dare tell the King of such slaughter upon his brother’s house?”

“My guess would be someone from his brother’s house.”

“I do not think Súlwë will be the one to tell him,” I said. “He does not want to risk his identity to be revealed.”

“I do not believe he will be the one,” Êlengolas said pensively. “Love will make anyone tell secrets and truths.”

“Love,” I asked. “What has love to do with this?”

“I know you saw Celeborn as he looked upon the Lady Galadriel,” he began. “Did you notice how she looked upon him?”

“No,” I answered.

“It is for no one to say but her,” he said. “She will speak when her heart is ready. I do worry, though.”

“Worry?”

“What a burden to bear for ambition. Olwë is her mother’s father. What could be worth more than the life of your own kin?”

I said nothing. When he was wise, Êlengolas could make me think deeper on things. I could not imagine the guilt these elves would carry for eternity. On our way back to the palace, we happened upon Celeborn with Galadriel. They were very much in love. I knew Êlengolas was right—it would not be long before all would be revealed.

© 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. I)

Galadrieltht

It did not take long for Súlwë to become accustomed to life in Menegroth. He was introduced at court under Nimernil though whenever he was with Oropher, he was called Súlwë.

The peace of the next few years gave way to the creation of the Elven Realms from the West to the Havens of Círdan to the East where Ossiriand for the fruit of life again. The darkness in the North seemed to have been silenced; as was told to us by Angrod. In the time of peace, I wondered if Oropher would start a family, but he remained more determined to wait. He knew better than I that this peace would not last.

When the sons of Fënor, Fingolfin, and Finarfin invited King Thingol to join them in the Feast of Reuniting, he decided against it even as the remaining elves of Ossiriand quickly accepted. He sent Daeron with Mablung in his stead. Iarûr told Êlengolas that it was to without complaint. Daeron did not wish to go but he was bound by duty to the king.

When they returned, Daeron spoke to no one but Thingol and the Queen. The court did not think on it long and the routine of daily life went on. On one occasion, I was with Oropher, Eldôr, Amdir, and Súlwë outside the palace. It was a crisp day—with endless blue skies; the sun beamed upon us with a subtle warmth over a gentle breeze. The waters fo the Esgalduin sparkled as the aquatic creatures created ripples made golden by the sun.

“What was it like in Alqualondë,” Amdir asked Súlwë.

“Before the battle, it was unlike anything you have ever seen,” Súlwë said. “It seems a lifetime since then. I wonder about my family. They must think I perished.”

“Did you know well the sons of Finarfin?”

“Yes, of course,” he smiled. “Their father married my sister Eärwen. There is a maiden among them. Her name is Altáriel. She was most beloved by my sister. Like her, she is the only girl of brothers.”

“She was left behind, then,” Oropher asked.

“Not her,” he answered. “She is quite headstrong. She is here with her brothers.”

“I wonder if we will ever see them,” Eldôr wondered aloud.

“Perhaps,” Súlwë said. “If only to visit their kin. Olwë, Elwë, and Elmo remain very close if only in spirit. I heard many tales of the journey even though like my sister I was born in Eldamar.”

“You did not miss much,” I said as I remembered Cuiviénen.

“I would like to see our home across the sea one day,” Eldôr said. “Father spoke of nothing of it all my life as if he had been there. I want to know if it is real.”

Amdir hit him in the arm.

“How can it not be real,” he asked. “Súlwë just came from there.”

“Is there more than Alqualondë,” Eldôr asked Súlwë.

“Yes, of course,” he said.

“Then I wish to see if the rest of it is real.”

We continued along the way when Súlwë suddenly stopped—his face frozen in a cold stare. We looked to see a group of elves walking toward us.  As they came closer, I realized I had never seen them before. Most of them were fair-haired. Among them was the most lovely of elven maidens.

“Who are you,” Eldôr asked, taking a defensive stand with Amdir. “You are in the kingdom of King Thingol.”

One of the elves came forward to protect the most regal of them.

“It is alright, Legolas,” he said to his guard, motioning him to stand down. “Many apologies for my companion. My cousin thought it best to send us with protection. I am Finrod, son of Finarfin. These are my brothers Orodreth, Aegnor, and our sister.”

“I am Altáriel,” she said. “You may call me Galadriel.”

They bowed to us.

“You are the one that sent Angrod,” I said.

“I did,” Finrod said. “He told us great things about His Majesty’s generosity.”

“How is Angrod,” I asked.

“He is well,” he answered. “He is attending to his uncle Fingolfin just now.”

“Come,” Oropher said. “I am sure His Majesty King Thingol will welcome you at Menegroth.”

Finrod smiled at us. We turned back toward Menegroth.

“It is good to see you again, Nimernil,” Galadriel whispered to Súlwë. “So far from home. My mother must miss her favorite brother.”

Súlwë said nothing. As we approached the bridge, we were met by Mablung and Beleg. Mablung greeted us.

“Finrod,” he said. “Good to see you again.”

“You as well,” Finrod answered.

“Legolas Greenleaf,” Mablung began. “What brings you  so far away from your lord?”

“Turgon wished his cousins to have safe passage into Doriath,” Legolas answered.

There seemed an uneasy tension between them. Nonetheless, the remained cordial.

“You have done well,” Beleg said. “Shall we?”

We followed them across the bridge and into the gates of Menegroth.

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

Chapter V: The Coming of Time (Pt. IV)

deadmarsheself
We entered the Great Hall to see a group of elves—all simply dressed in white. They kept their heads bowed in silence. The court around them speaking in whispers.
“When did they arrive,” I whispered to Amdir.
“Not long ago,” he answered. “They have yet to meet the king. He was made aware just as we came for you.”
At that moment, Mablung and Beleg entered with King Thingol, Queen Melian; Elmo and Orowen not far behind.
“You come from Eldamar,” King Thingol asked as he sat on his throne beside his queen. One brave elf raised his head and stepped forward.
“Originally,” the elf said. “I am Angrod, son of Finarfin. I come at the request of my brother Finrod in Mithrim.”
King Thingol’s expression turned pensive. After a brief silence, he spoke again.
“Son of Finarfin,” he began. “What brings you into my kingdom on this day?”
“I am quite sure as sovereign, you have long known of the deeds done in this world under darkness.”
“I am,” he nodded.
“The battles endured in the North could hardly go unnoticed by anyone, for the Noldo has triumphed against the demons come forth from Angband.”
“You numbers must be great if you if you were able to send those creatures back to whence they came.”
“Of our numbers, they account for much of your kin, King Thingol,” Angrod said. “Your dear brother is our grandfather after all.”
King Thingol nodded.
“How is he,” Queen Melian inquired.
“I have not seen him, Your Majesty,” he answered. “Not for some time.”
She nodded—her expression hiding secrets I would never know.
“We have come to dwell in Arda for now,” Angrod continued. “The sons of Fëanor and the children of his brothers find solace here despite the dangers that linger here.”
As King Thingol brought down his decree, I noticed Elmo watching a particular elf that stood behind Angrod.  His gaze was uncomfortable as the elf tried to avert his stare.
“So it shall be,” I heard Angrod say at last. “I shall tell the lords what you have told me. As a guest in your land, may it be one day, you are a guest in ours.”
King Thingol nodded and the elves bowed.
“As our guests,” King Thingol began. “Please, stay with us for now. You may leave in the morning for Mithrim.”
“As you wish, Your Majesty,” Angrod answered.
“Iarûr, show our guest to their quarters.”
Iarûr motioned to the elves to follow him. I saw Elmo whisper to Galadhon. His son followed the elves as King Thingol and Queen Melian took their leave. As the court dispersed I could not help but wonder who the elf was the held Elmo’s fascination.
“Father,” Oropher began, breaking my thoughts. “I am going to attend to my wife. I will see you and mother for dinner.”
“Of course,” I said smiling.
He walked away and I found my mind wandering again. I decided I should find Mîrwen and went straight to our room. When I entered, I found Mîrwen already prepared for dinner.
“I did not see you at court,” I said.
“I was not there,” she said. “I was attending to other duties.”
“So you already knew about the elves from Mithrim?”
“Yes,” she said cheerfully. “You need to prepare for dinner. I shall call for the servants.”
As she walked toward the chamber bell, I stopped her.
“Who is the elf that your father was staring at?”
“I do not know,” she said. “I was not at court.”
“Mîrwen,” I began.
“What,” she asked.
I looked at her sternly.
“He is a son of Olwë,” she said. “His name is Nimernil.”
Olwë—a name I had not heard in a lifetime. I found myself confused.
“I do not understand,” I said. “Why would he be here?
“That, dear husband, I do not know.”
She went to ring the bell.
“Say not a word to anyone.”
Before I could ask another question, the dressers were upon me. I tried to put the events of the day behind me. We dined with little concern about anything. Nothing was amiss–save for the presence of the mysterious Nimernil. Angrod sat with King Thingol and Elmo—their conversation appeared as reminiscing. When dinner was done, I prepared to retire with Mîrwen when Orowen came to us.
“Orothôn,” she began. “Elmo seeks your company.”
“Where is he,” I asked.
“I do not know, but Galathil will take you to him.”
I looked to see him standing with Galadhon. Immediately, I knew it was about Nimernil. I went to them quickly.
“Take me to Elmo,” I said.
“This is why you should never tell our sister anything,” Galadhon teased. “She tells her husband.”
Galathil cut his eye at him and motioned for us to follow. When we reached an empty room below the Throne Room beside the armory, I noticed Elmo waiting with Eäros. He was looking far better than he had before the wars had begun. When we were alone, out of the darkness stepped the elf from before. He was as tall as elves are—his golden hair flowing past his shoulders. He looked at us—his grey eyes far less restless than they were in court.
“Are you whom they call Nimernil,” I asked.
For the first time, this elf smiled and laughed softly.
“That is what they call me, but it is not my name,” he answered. “I am Súlwë, the youngest son of Olwë.”
‘Why are you here,” Galadhon asked.
“I took leave from Alqualondë without my father’s knowledge. I had to know what was so precious in this world that would cause such destruction in the other.”
“Destruction,” Galadhon asked.
“There was an uprising,” he said, solemnly. “Led by Fëanor, son of Finwë. I know nothing of the circumstances. I just know our kin in Alqualondë suffered greatly.”
“My brother,” Elmo gasped. “Is he…?”
“No,” Súlwë answered. “He lives. But the price we paid was indeed enormous. I followed the elves out of our homeland. Those that did not take our ships from the Havens came across the Helcaraxë. It was these I followed from Araman.”
Elmo slowly took a seat on a bench in shock.
“That must have been horrible,” Galathil said.
“There were many that died on the way,” Súlwë said, his voice cracking as he tried to hide his sadness. “For those who made it, not even the rising of the Daystar could bring them light.”
We stood in silence; our voices could not find the words.
“You must go back,” I said finally.
“Impossible,” Súlwë said curtly. “Those who left are in exile. Though my hands are clean, I am afraid I am as well. What is left of home for me was lain to waste.”
“Stay with us,” Eäros said.
“Who knows of your true identity,” Elmo asked, distraught.
“No one,” Súlwë answered.
“Very well,” Elmo said calmly. “You may stay in my household but when a way is made, you will return to Olwë. Am I understood?”
“Yes, Uncle,” Súlwë answered.
Elmo nodded as he looked at me.
“He will stay with you, Orothôn. Oropher is the only I know that can keep a secret.”
“I beg your pardon, Father,” Galadhon said. “I am offended.”
“Do not be,” Elmo said. “Whatever you say to Celebriel she will keep from your mother. Same for Nárwen and Níndi. I take my leave.”
Elmo left with his sons close behind. I looked as Súlwë.
“Welcome to Menegroth,” I said.
© 2015. “The Kingdom of the Woodland Realm Trilogy—Book I: The Epic of Eryn Galen” by Jaynaé Marie Miller. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter V: The Coming of Time (Pt. III)

lightermirkwoodcreds

I do not know how long we stood watching this new light that outshined the stars rise higher and higher. It was hard to step away but I longed to tell Mîrwen our son had returned. I turned around and nearly knocked her over.

“Mîrwen,” I said, startled. She kissed me tenderly then smiled.

“Our son is home,” she began.

“I was on my way to tell you,” I said as I looked around. Oropher was nowhere to be seen.

“He has gone in search of Nimeithel,” Mîrwen said. “She will be most pleased.”

“Of course. As will Valdúril. Have you come to see what has risen?”

“I have come for you, Orothôn,” she began. “Though this new marvel beckons to us all. It is comforting.”

“It is,” I said, taking her hand. “But you are more so to me.”

I kissed her like the first time. Everything seemed as it was before we had come into Doriath. We made our way into Menegroth toward our chambers for what would be known as the first night

As we lay together not long thereafter, our moment was interrupted by a knock on the door.

“Shall we let them enter,” I asked Mîrwen.

“What would you say,” she asked. “Would you send them away? It could be a matter of grave importance.”

“It also could be nothing at all,” I answered.

The knocking continued. Mîrwen rose quickly and put on her robe. She looked at me. I sighed and got up and did the same.

“Enter,” I said.

When the doors opened, Iarûr entered with Finëar.

“You must come to the court quickly,” Finëar said. “It is a matter of grave importance.”

Mîrwen laughed at me as two ladies entered and took her behind our dressing screen.

“How grave,” I asked.

“It is nothing,” Iarûr began.

“Then why are you here,” I asked, glaring at Finëar.

“Why are you not dressed for court,” Finëar asked.

“Because it is most inconvenient to go to bed fully clothed.”

Two elven courtiers entered and began to dress me.

“Has King Things called an audience,” I asked.

“He is with Queen Melian,” Iarûr began as Mîrwen emerged impeccably dressed.

“Is Mother and Father with them,” she asked.

“Yes, Your Highness,” Finëar said, bowing. “Your brothers as well.”

“They are in the Great Hall,” she asked.

“No,” Iarûr answered. “They are outside. Your son Oropher and his wife are already there.”

The sound of my son’s name piqued my curiosity.

“Oropher,” I asked as my dressers finished and left with the ladies.

“Shall we,” Iarûr said as he motioned to the door. Mîrwen took my hand and we followed Finëar and Iarûr out of our room and toward the front gates. I noticed how silent things were, save for the echo of our footsteps. I started to fear something was amiss.

“Something must be wrong,” I whispered to Mîrwen. She said nothing as we continued on our way. Once we reached the gates, the guards opened them. A flood of bright light rolled into the hall. I was afraid to go further.

“It is alright,” Finëar said. “It is only the light of the Daystar.”

Slowly we walked into the world that once existed under the light of many stars. It was now a world filled with vivid color. Above us, the sky was a light blue as the light of the Daystar blinded anyone that tried to look upon it. I looked around—I should see other elves anew—their features distinct and even more beautiful. There were elflings playing in the crisp green grass beneath the canopy of tall trees; their branches covered in all forms of leaves of many colors.

“Nana,” I heard Oropher say as he embraced Mîrwen. Beside him was Nimeithel—breathtaking as ever in her new role.

“How is my son,” Mîrwen asked.

“I could not be happier,” he said.

“What about you, Nimeithel,” I asked.

“I feel the same as my husband,” she answered.

“How is Eldôr,” I inquired. In the joy of the moment, I found myself thinking of Valdôr.

“As to be expected,” Oropher said solemnly. “He learned of his father’s passing before the rising of the Daystar. I cannot imagine what he or Lothluin must be feeling.”

We fell quiet for a time—our own vigil to our beloved friend. He died beneath starlight—his life given so others could see this day.

It was the first day and it was received with bittersweet reflection of our existence in a world we were never meant to live. I thought of the stories of Eldamar. I wondered if it existed—did this light steal from it eternal life? Every one of us remained in the light of day until it made its descent beneath the horizon. It was then the familiarity of our first life returned as the stars began to peek out of the coming of night. The moon began another journey across the sky as we made our way int the palace.

A grand banquet was held in celebration of the coming of time. Now we would know the journey of our lives by the passing of day into night.

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

It was not long before we became accustomed to the day. The warmth of the Daystar we now called ’the Sun’ was a welcoming comfort from the coolness of the night. We learned to tell time with the passing of days. With the Sun and the Moon came seasons and weather.

One day, I was outside walking with Oropher—speaking of things in the early afternoon.

“Have you given any thought to starting a family,” I asked.

“I have,” he said smiling. “But I am hesitant of it.”

“May I ask why?”

“If you admit that Nana put you up to asking such a question.”

I laughed.

“Do you think I would have acted on my own volition?”

“No,” he answered.

“Then tell me, what keeps you from starting a family?”

Oropher sighed. I could see something weighed heavily on his mind.

“I had a vision,” he began. “I saw many things I do not comprehend.”

“What things,” I asked. I wondered if he had inherited his mother’s gift of foresight.

“I saw war,” he began. “Far worse than we have ever seen. There was death everywhere with the coming of another creature.”

“Creature,” I asked. I thought of the Orcs that I fought Ossiriand. “Such as the evil horde that came out of the North?”

“They looked like us but they did not live as long. Then I saw a wood far from here in the East. It was cursed.”

“A cursed wood,” I asked perplexed. “These visions are frightening but why would that keep you from starting a family?”

“That is what Nimeithel asked,” Oropher said.

“And what was your answer?”

Oropher looked at me—his face stoic.

“I told her I was told to wait.”

“Told by whom,” I asked.

“That is what I do not know,” he started. “All I know is they were adamant about and unwavering in their request.”

“It was just a vision, Oropher,” I said. “Do not let it determine how you will live your life.”

“Who is Taurëa,” he asked.

I stopped abruptly as a child rant through me. I had not heard her name for so long.

“Where did you hear her name,” I asked.

“In my visions,” he said. “Who was she? Did you not know of her?”

“I knew here,” I said. “She was the mother of Denethor.”

Oropher’s face lit up with curiosity.

“She was close to Grandmother, was she not?”

“Yes, she was,” I said. “What did she say to you?”

“She said only that great things will come of me. Then she walked into the wood.”

“The cursed wood,” I asked.

“Yes,” he said. “You know of what I speak?”

I nodded. I did not wish to tell him no more. I could see he wanted to know more but my rescue came in the form of Amdir and Eldôr.

“We were looking everywhere for you,” Amdir said as they approached.

“Yes,” I asked, relieved. “What is it?”

“We have guests in the court,” Eldôr said. “They have come a great distance.”

“From where have they come,” Oropher asked.

“From Eldamar,” Amdir said.

We stood there in shock for a time. We followed them back to Menegroth to greet the Eldar that had seen the home we never knew.

 

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