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Minas Tirith Forums » The Green Dragon » The Lost Inn (Page 3)
Author Topic: The Lost Inn
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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Barufiniel was glad of Whitesnake's intervention, which gave her some time to think about what she should tell Amarië about her husband's death. When she had finished translating for Whitesnake, and he had excused himself, she turned back to the other woman.

"Your husband killed a werewolf who would have killed one of his friends," she said. "He was mortally wounded in the fight, though. So - I suppose he did suffer somewhat ...
Strange thing that you should ask about the second-born, though. His friend was one of the Edain - a mighty warrior among the mortals. Yes, it is true that they stay but for a short while, and that they then leave Arda.
I really should get you that book of mine to read for yourself - your husband isn't only exposing on his theories, you see, he is discussing them with a mortal woman, and she tells him about the views of her people.
Her name was Andreth - she and Findarato's brother Aikanaro loved each other, but he didn't think that marriage between the two kinds of Children would be a good thing - except perhaps in special cases. She was sad, nearly bitter, that he didn't consider them special enough ..."

Barufiniel smiled sadly, thinking about the woman of old.

"And I'm not married," she said. "Where I've been staying, only my own family have been of the Eldar. I have never met a male Elf other than my father."

She smiled again - this was relevant to what she had just told about Amarië's brother-in-law.

"All my friends have been mortals."

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Amárië
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Citizen # 5498

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"I am sad to hear these things," Amárië said in a small, sad voice, her words certainly an understatement in comparison to the depth of emotion she felt. To hear that Findaráto, her dear Findaráto, had suffered in his last moments was nearly more than she could bear, but her Elven visage had felt enough sorrow that she did not betray her emotion but in her eyes, from which the fire seemed to drain.

"It also saddens me to know he never met his son..." she said, half to herself, then turned to Barufiniel.

"Marriage is the greatest gift of Eru, besides children. I am sorry that you have not had a chance to experience it. I should like to read my beloved's words. Perhaps they can bring my memories of him closer to the heart. Time fades all memories, even those that we do not wish to lose. I fear I am forgetting the sound of his voice."

The last words were nearly broken, and Amárie stopped speaking, afraid of losing her composure if she continued.

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Hamfast Gamgee
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Whitesnake returned to the table. He then replied in perfect Quenya. 'Sorry for my abscence back there call of nature you know! Yes, you were talking about your husband, Amarie. I would guess that his death would cause you pain. But then, that's love for you. Don't go near it, that's my advice. But you were saying. Dark Tower, over an enchanted river across a evil stream. Hmmm reminds me of someone. No, it's gone. Still, your wine-glasses are nearly empty, there's more than half a bottle left, you can have a refill if you like.' Well, actually, it wasn't quite perfect Quenya. He did get an Ó and a Ô confused at one point. But good for a mortal man.

[ 09-19-2007, 12:16 AM: Message edited by: Hamfast Gamgee ]

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Amárië
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"Your advice is foolish!" Amárië cried passionately, her eyes dark with pain.

"Never love? Never go near it? My dear sir, life is not worth living until you have known love. Without love, we are only a shell of ourselves. Only a half of what we could be. Yes, I am deeply wounded to hear of what happened to my husband, but with all the pain that I am feeling I would never once regret that it happened."

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Hamfast Gamgee
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Whitesnake paused for a bit. 'Shall I be subtle?' thought he. But then decided that he couldn't be bothered. He chuckled
'Love. What a stupid idea. Nothing more than a sweet old fashioned notion. A device by the weak to lure the strong. If the strong are daft enough to fall for it. Causes nothing but problems. Which is why I never go near it. And I've done all right for myself. Just about to do better as a matter of fact. I could tell you a rather amusing recent tale I know about love if you'd like.'

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Amárië
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Amárië's face softened as she listened to his words, forming her delicate features into an expression that looked very near pity.

"A device of the weak?" she said softly, raising her delicate hand to cover his on the table. "How little you know of the world; how little you know of life. There is no stronger power than love - it can defeat even death itself."

She sat back in the chair, looking almost otherworldly in her beauty, her eyes filled with depth and wisdom gained in her many centuries of life. She would never be as mystical as her beloved, perhaps, but their fëar were indeed one. She squeezed Hamfast's hand. "Perhaps someday, you will know. Perhaps someday, you will see."

With that, she released him, and turned back to Barufiniel.

"I shall not despair from your news," she said, smoothing out the creases in her gown. "Estel shall see me through, and I shall pray for the mercy of Mandos on this matter."

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Amárië
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Silence fell on the inn as Amárië retreated into her thoughts. After a moment, she stood, and taking her leave of her companions, returned home.

A short while later, the sound of boots could be heard crunching the entrance walk to the Inn, and the door was thrown roughly open. The creature standing in the door was clearly Eldar, but of a type that had not been seen in these parts for more than an Age. Standing over six foot five, with broad shoulders and powerful arms in an overall lithe frame, he made an impressive and slightly intimidating picture. Ebony hair curled slightly around his ears, and his grey eyes flashed in a way usually unknown to that neutral color. His hands were strong and callused, and small burns were visible on the exposed parts of his hands and arms.

He wore a deep red tunic that was intricately embroidered in bold and colorful patterns, with black leggings and red cross-garters. A sword was at his belt, and at the unfamiliar situation, his left hand unconsciously grasped it.

His eyes searched the Inn, landing finally in the corner where Barufiniel and Whitesnake sat talking. His eyes dismissed Whitesnake as though he were little more than a dog, but lighted upon Barufiniel, and he strode towards her.

"What is this place?" he asked in Quenya, his voice soft, but with an arresting tone that commanded attention.

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
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So who's this? Barufiniel thought. Another First Age elf? This is really a strange Inn ...

She answered him in Quenya, aware that Whitesnake had only tried to mislead her, and that he would really understand all that she said.

"This is the Lost Inn, mylord," she said, sensing the authority in the other.

"It is a place not connected to any particular location, strange as that may seem - and even more, nor is it connected to any particular time. For myself, I live in the year 2758 of the Third Age. It is possible that this would be in the future for you.
I don't know why this Inn allows for people to come in from different times, I've just seen that it does - a great-great grandaunt whom I met here, said that it must be one of the strange gifts of the Valar."

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Amárië
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The tall elf crossed his arms across his chest and looked at her with disdain.

"The Valar call many things gifts that are little more than chains, so forgive me if I do not immediately believe your relative."

His voice was of the type that did not need volume to command attention or to demand authority. He looked at her unblinkingly for a long while, his whole body coiled and tense.

"I am not sure how I have come to be here. I do not know what these 'Ages' of which you speak are, but I am certain that you must be from another time. Your speech is understandable, but it is obvious that there has been a lingual shift between your time and mine. And lingual shifts take a great sundering of distance or the passage of many years."

He stared at her a moment longer, his eyes boring into her in a manner that was not quite benevolent.

Finally he sat beside Whitesnake, barely casting a look in the other's direction, although he indicated the Man to Barufiniel with a casual movement of his hand. And this - it is one of the Second-Born, I assume? Does it speak?"

[ 03-05-2008, 05:27 PM: Message edited by: Amárië ]

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
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First Age indeed. When he didn't know about different Ages, he must be from the First. And when he noticed the language development as well, that would support the theory.

Barufiniel felt uncomfortable. She had a feeling that this Elf didn't like her.

Then again, she had a feeling that this Elf didn't like most of those around him. At least not when he felt superior to them. And he must be in a position to feel superior to most of those around him. There was this natural authority - he must be used to be obeyed.

Even though she had begun to have her misgivings about Whitesnake, she began to bristle at the other's referral to him.

"Yes, he" - she emphasized it - "is a Man, another of the Children of Illuvatar."

She noticed that her own tone of voice was sharper than usual.

"He speaks Quenya, in fact - and there has been no major lingual shift between his time and mine," she continued.
"Is this the first time you have met any of the Second-Born, since you know so little about them?"

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Amárië
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The Elf sat back in his chair and looked at her for a long moment, then spared a quick glance at Whitesnake again.

"No, they haven't awakened yet. There are only the Valar, the Maiar and the First Born."

He looked at Whitesnake rather distastefully again, before turning his attention back to Barufiniel.

"But you are Elda. What is your name?"

[ 03-05-2008, 07:36 PM: Message edited by: Amárië ]

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
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"I am Barufiniel, daughter of Rameldir," Barufiniel answered.
"If your time was before the awakening of the Second Born - then he will not have been born yet at that time."

And how far back will that be? she thought. Perhaps even before the beginning of the First Age?

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Amárië
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He looked at her for a long moment before responding.

"I do not know him, but there are many in Valinor who do not come to my attention. Perhaps one of my sons knows him. I will ask if I remember. Or perhaps Nerdanel will know. She spends more time with people than I do."

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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Nerdanel? Barufiniel thought. His wife? She was sure her father had mentioned that name.

And suddenly she remembered.

"What - then you are Fëanor - Fëanáro?" she gasped.
"The Fëanor - who made the Silmarils - and the Tengwar?"

Too late she realised that she might possibly have said too much. She didn't know the details of his time - perhaps he hadn't made them yet?

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Amárië
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Fëanáro raised an eyebrow imperiously.

"Of course I am. Who else would I possibly be?"

Suddenly his eyes narrowed dangerously.

"How do you know about the Silmarils?"

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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"I've been told about them - they're famous," Barufiniel answered, her voice not quite steady.

Now I've really done it, she thought. At the time he's from, they shouldn't be known yet. And if he asks - how much should I tell him about their future - and about his?

"The loremasters tell about them, how they were made by the most skilled craftsman of all the Noldor," she added. "My father has told me some of that lore - he has lost most of his books, but he remembers much of the old lore without books. Or remembered, rather - he has left now, with my mother, to go to Valinor."

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Amárië
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Fëanáro did not blink an eye as she referred to his skill. He took it as a statement of fact, and it did not affect him much one way or the other. He continued staring at her suspiciously for a moment before his eyes relaxed slightly - even if she did have evil designs against his greatest work, she was not so terribly big or strong in appearance, and certainly he, his sons, and his father could defend them from her.

"Indeed, they are nearly finished..." he said slowly, watching her for any sign of reaction.

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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Barufiniel nodded, satisfied. That placed him in time - well before the darkening of the Trees, and before most of the strife among the Noldor.

"Trust me, they will be remembered," she said. "Even down to my time, far into the future from your time. The loremasters - probably rightly - deem them your greatest work.
But as a scholar, I sometimes wonder if, doing so, they don't underestimate your art and craft in making the Tengwar.
I have been to many - lands, and seen many manners of writing. But the Tengwar is by far the most beautiful type of script I've ever seen.
And most of all I'm intrigued by the systematic nature of it. Not just random elegant signs, but signs that vary according to how the articulation of the sounds vary. And still flexible, for languages that vary their sound patterns in different ways."

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Amárië
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Fëanáro straightened a bit, and the fire shone brightly in his eyes, but this time it was a passionate and interested fire, rather than a dangerous one. He sat forward, moving closer to her, his eyes boring into hers.

"Yes, I think they were a definite improvement on Rúmil's script, which did not allow for the same type of flexibility. It was a good start, of course, but far less useful in many ways than the Tengwar. I am glad to hear it is still in use."

He looked at her for a long moment.

"Your accent...you are not a native Quenya speaker, are you? My father has spoken of Elwë, who remained in Middle-earth. I would assume that the language is greatly sundered?"

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Amárië
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As Fëanáro talked intensely with Barufiniel in the corner, the door opened again, more softly this time, and a golden-haired Elda entered the room. Of average height for an Elda, he lacked the agressive stage-presence Fëanáro commanded. Nonetheless, he held himself with an innate dignity, and his presence, while not agressive or intimidating, had a noble quality that could not be hidden.

Slender and lithe, he was fair of face, his golden hair held out of his face by two tiny braids that met in an intricate silver clasp at the back of his head. His tunic was of deep blue, and was of fine quality, with silver embroidery ornamenting the garment. He wore leggings of a slightly lighter blue, with silver cross-garters tightly laced over his shoes and lower legs. Looking at him, one was attracted most to his eyes, which were the same blue as his tunic, and as deep as the deepest sea. There was intelligence in those eyes, but also something more - something gentle, kind, and most of all, good. He was one to be trusted.

Scanning the room quickly with his fathomless eyes, he chose a place in the opposite corner from where Fëanáro and Barufiniel sat, talking animatedly. His gaze drifted to them, his superior hearing catching the words and looking slightly in suprise as he identified Fëanáro. The fiery Elda was his kin, but they had never met, and he had mixed feelings about him. He had grown hearing of the Kinslaying, and had been greatly pained at the telling. That Elf could slay Elf was to him the greatest horror, and it was beyond his ability to understand such hatred as that. And yet he also felt sympathy for Fëanáro - yay, even empathy. He himself had grown to adulthood with only one parent, and was well aware that the path was not an easy one.

He sighed, his mind trying to decide what kind of place he had come across. It was certainly no place he had ever been, and if Fëanáro was here, it was perhaps someplace outside of time and space. Eru was capable of great wonders, he knew, and perhaps this inn was one of them. At least it did not seem in the least bit evil.

Reaching into a pocket of his tunic, he drew out a scroll and a pencil and began to unroll it. The profile of the elf to which Fëanáro spoke faced him, and he found himself intrigued. Much could be understood about people by an artist's hand, and while he was not as talented with wood or stone as some of his people, he found that on paper he could reproduce not only a Elda's physical likeness, but perhaps a glimpse of their fëa as well.

Listening to their words while watching her with an artists' eye, he began to draw.

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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"I grew up in an area where there were no Elves other than my parents," Barufiniel answered.

"Apart from at home, I only spoke the local language. My father was a native Quenya speaker - but the language is indeed somewhat sundered.
And Elwë's language even more so - that's not even the same language any more.
His people were called the Sindar. And their language is a separate language now, Sindarin.
My mother was a Sinda - descended from Elwë's brother Elmo, by the way, but half Nando as well - so I learnt both Quenya and Sindarin at home.
I suppose all those factors may contribute to giving me what seems to you a strange accent."

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Amárië
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Fëanáro watched her for a long moment, his eyes burning with interest and the inner workings of his fiery fëa.

"Do you speak this 'Sindarin' language? My father had spoken of Elwë, and I gathered it must be different, but it interests me that it has become a seperate language entirely. The Teleri, you see, have been greatly sundered from the Noldor, and yet their language, while different, is still understandable. Perhaps you would speak to me in their language, so that I might understand the difference?"

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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"I will tell you some more about my language background, then," Barufiniel smiled. This was getting interesting.

"Barufiniel is not either my father-name or my mother-name," she said in Sindarin. "It's an epessë which was given me by some squirrels that I used to play with in that area where there were no other Elves than my own family. It is a Sindarin name, and it means brown-haired maiden, which the squirrels thought was a much more sensible name than the one I'd got."

"That's Sindarin," she finished, turning to Quenya again.
"In Middle-earth in my time it is far more commonly used than Quenya - so I'm happy whenever I come across another Quenya speaker."

[ 03-08-2008, 12:16 AM: Message edited by: Varnafindë ]

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Amárië
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Fëanáro pulled a piece of folded scroll and a pencil from his pocket, and listened in silence as she spoke. He continued writing after she finished speaking, his attention focused singlemindedly on the piece of parchment on the table. He wrote something, then scratched it out, then wrote again, running a finger through his hand in frustration.

"Squirrels?" he said under his breath in Quenya, then turned back to the sheet, and shook his head, writing something furiously on the paper.

A few moments later, he thrust the paper at her. It was covered in very neat and intricate Tengwar script - far more beautiful that the standardized version currently used.

"The top is what I heard you say in 'Sindarin.' The second is my attempt at translation into Noldorin Quenya. How close am I?"

[ 03-08-2008, 12:18 AM: Message edited by: Amárië ]

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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Barufiniel stared at him. He had taken down what she said - just like that?

She read his text. It was a piece of perfectly correct Sindarin - he had even picked straight on the standard way of writing the "B" sound, even though the sound itself was unknown in Quenya.

It was only to be expected, after that, that the translation was accurate, too.

"You're not only close, you're right there," she told him. "This is probably what I would have written if I had translated it myself.
I can see that you've immediately grasped the transition between the two languages. Like the change from V to B. My name in Quenya is Varnafindë."

She dared another smile.

"And they really were squirrels."

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