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Minas Tirith Forums » The Green Dragon » Road to Rivendell (Page 9)
Author Topic: Road to Rivendell
Roll of Honor Braeden Fireheart
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 1953

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Áramuilë whinnied as the rooftops appeared on the horizon, and Lóridrê smiled knowing that her destination was very close. She wondered if she should put the mare into canter, and almost immediately Áramuilë sped up, causing the Nandorin elf to laugh loudly. Both stopped as another light became visible amidst the dark wall that barred the town of Tharbad from its northern foes. Lóridrê hopped down from Áramuilë’s back and led the mare towards the gate where whoever was holding the torch was standing.

"Good evening, miss," an elderly man greeted her. "Are you here to stay awhile or just passing through?"

Lóridrê smiled at the man, and placed her right hand near her shoulder as she answered him. "I haven't decided yet. Quite possibly just one night, yet if dear Tharbad has more than a warm bed to interest me I may desire to stay longer."

He chuckled as his cheeks became rosy, "There is little to hold a woman's interest, I'm afraid." Peering up at her, his mouth quivered, "Are you... are you one of the Eldar?" He bowed before her suddenly, and then looked at her face again, "I do apologise for my careless talk, dear lady. Tharbad has not seen a female elf for many a long while."

"No need to feel sorry, sir." Lóridrê looked towards Áramuilë, and smiled. "First, I should introduce myself before I enter the city gates. My name is Lóridrê, and this is my dear companion, Áramuilë. We wish to find an inn that will take both traveller and steed. Are there many vacancies at this time of year?"

The old man grinned, "There are vacancies all through the year, my lady. Since the bridge started to deteriorate, and nobody's willing to have it fixed... True, the ford can be crossed, but it's difficult. We don't get that many people coming from the south because of that. Most of our visitors come from Bree. Where have you travelled from?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After speaking with the gatekeeper, Lóridrê and Áramuilë found an inn that took in both horse and rider. She set the golden mare in a stall, wishing her a good night's sleep, and then went into the common room of the inn to see what kind of fare the place had. The innkeeper gave her a goblet of water, and pieces of fruit; but to the elf, nothing satisfied her stomach as much as lembas. Still, she accepted the food and drink with a smile.

It was very close to midnight by the time Lóridrê settled down to sleep. Part of her wanted to spend the night outside and stare up at the starry sky, but there had been a lot of cloud cover according to the innkeeper, and when she looked out her window his words were confirmed. The bed she was given had perhaps been the best in the establishment, for she felt very comfortable and soon drifted into a light slumber.

[ 06-04-2005, 03:09 AM: Message edited by: Braeden Fireheart ]

From: Mnemosyne's loft | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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Barufiniel realised that there were more wounds around than she had thought at first. People had dismissed their wounds as 'nothing', or - as in her own case - hadn't even noticed them at the time. Fortunately, the wound she surprisingly found on her arm was quite small, a mere scratch, and Alcaira quickly tended to it.

Finally every major wound had got its due attention, and Barufiniel wanted to move on. Folcmund, who had been keeping watch, without seeing any more enemies, agreed that it was high time to get away from the area.

The problem was what to do about Amananna. She insisted that she was now quite fit for getting back onto her horse, but Barufiniel wasn't sure that she wasn't just putting on a brave face. But there was no other way to take her along anyway, so they just helped her onto her horse, and Barufiniel decided that she would ride next to her in case she had any problems.

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Éomer
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Citizen # 2824

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Folcmund watched the others impatiently as they mounted up again. He would have said something, but telling them that they were wasting time when they already knew it wouldn't have done much good. As soon as they were ready, he led them across the river.

"We won't go far tonight," he told the group after everyone was across, turning to face them. "But we will at least pass through the Gap before stopping. I know this land well...better than I would like to, in all honesty," he added bitterly. "I know you're all tired, and some of you are hurt, but I will not allow our pace to suffer because of it; we have been slowed enough this day. Try to keep up." He didn't admit that he was wounded, as well: a Dunlending sword had cut through the armor on his left side. Fortunately for him, it wasn't very deep.

He turned Grimfola around and led the group west, deeper into the land that had been controlled by Wulf's family for generations. Fortunately the rest of the evening's ride was quiet, and they crossed the Gap of Rohan without incident. The Sun had almost completely set by the time Folcmund allowed them to stop.

"We'll be safe enough here," he told them, referring to the campsite he'd chosen. It was a small clearing in the foothills. He and his brother had used it many times before during their rangings across the Isen in the past. As far as Folcmund knew, the Dunlendings had no idea it existed. "I'll allow everyone to sleep late tonight, you look like you need it. We ride again before midday."

From: Serenity | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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It took them several days to cross Dunland. As Folcmund had suggested would be the case, the land was nearly emptied of soldiers, and they never met any. Folcmund knew of safe campsites, and occasionally he allowed Barufiniel to take some of the night's watch so that he could get some rest for himself. The various wounds were healing well, and even Amananna was feeling more comfortable after a while.

The cold was beginning to become a problem, though. It was surprisingly cold for November. Most of them had fled from burning villages and had not had a chance to bring warm clothes. Alcaira and Barufiniel shared what they had, but Barufiniel knew that this could not go on for long. When they got to Tharbad, they would need to buy warm clothes and blankets - or might even have to stay there until the weather got milder.

Barufiniel knew that she could pay for some of their needs, but it might be necessary to earn some more money. Her father had told her about the days when Tharbad was a great city, but he had also told her that it was now just a small town. The great bridge, which once had been teeming with commerce and travellers, was hardly used at all, and noone cared to repair it when the masonry was broken. She hoped that there would be inns where they could stay for a few days, though. She had no idea how far her money would go, but she could at least work at an inn, if need be. She was not so sure about Éolana, though. And she didn't know what regard the people of Tharbad would have for a Rohirric princess.

One evening Folcmund announced that he expected them to reach Tharbad on the next day. Barufiniel promised that they would spend the next night in proper beds under a roof, provided they could find an inn that would have rooms for them. This cheered them up - which would soon be needed. That night there was frost. Some of them could hardly sleep because of the cold.

The next morning was grey. A hot breakfast warmed them up somewhat - until they noticed the small, white flakes that began drizzling down.

Snow.

Barufiniel had feared this for a couple of days, and she was very relieved that the snow hadn't come until now, when they were quite close to Tharbad. They had to ride more slowly, as the horses were less sure-footed on the slippery ground.

In the early afternoon, with the ground covered in a couple of inches of snow, they approached the town. On this side of the river they could only see some ruined houses that were left. And then there was the bridge. They stopped to watch it.

It was a magnificent structure. It rose high above the river, arching well into the riverbank on both sides. Any flaws of it were covered in snow, and you could just admire the beautiful masonry that once had created this masterpiece.

The city walls came down to the other side of the river far away on either side of the bridge. Earlier the walls had continued on this side of the river as well, but they were long gone. And on the other side, a fence was now connecting the two ends of the walls, and there was a gate in the fence where the bridge came down to it.

Elyaliel started to ride towards the bridge, but Barufiniel stopped her.
"I don't know whether we can trust that bridge any more," she said. "It has needed repair for long - and with this snow we can't see where it's damaged. I know it won't be easy to ford the river - but wouldn't it still be safer? At least we will see where we're going."

After some discussion they decided to try the ford. Folcmund led them across, one by one this time, and he had to help some of them when a horse slipped on stones. Fortunately noone fell in. In the end everyone had got safely across to the northern bank of the river, and they rode up to the fence and knocked at the gate.

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Braeden Fireheart
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 1953

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The morning after Lóridrê arrived in Tharbad, there was talk amongst the townsfolk about the chill winds they had overnight. The cloud cover continued for much of the morning, and having felt she had spent too much time in the ruined city, Lóridrê wished to get back to travelling towards Rivendell. However, when she came to feed Áramuilë before the new journey, she found the light-golden mare shivering in her stall.

“My dear, you look awful. Didn’t you…” but she heard footsteps behind her, and questioned the stable boy, “Didn’t she have a blanket last night?”

“Aye, miss. But she must have been hot with it on, for I found it on the floor. I tried to put it back on her when I came in, but she would have none of that. She accepted water from me, but wouldn’t eat. I don’t know what is wrong, but she’s not the only horse with the shakes. The other two have it, and their riders are not happy either.” The stable boy looked behind him, and Lóridrê could see two men both with angry expressions.

The Nandorin elf walked into Áramuilë’s stall, and touched the mare’s nose gently. She whispered to her in Quenya, and as she did so the stable boy listened with interest, his face turning from worry to contentment. The words seemed to do the same for Áramuilë, and as she finished Lóridrê felt her mare’s coat. The elf turned to the stable boy, “She’s been sweating, and the winds have frozen the moisture. That’s why she shivers. It must be the same for the other horses.” Lóridrê smiled, “If the day stays the same, they should be well again by afternoon. If those men wish to leave here today, ask if they can wait on till then…”

“Will you do the same, miss?” the stable boy asked. “I hear you are travelling north. The winds won’t be any better up there.”

Lóridrê had made her mind up as soon as she had seen Áramuilë’s condition. She nodded, “That is the plan, but I will wait a few more days.”

The stable boy smiled, “Oh, good. I like having an elf here, and I do like your horse too. What is your plan for the day then?”

Lóridrê told him little of what she had planned, for she wasn’t so sure herself. After checking that Áramuilë was fine on her own, she went back to her room and removed her dagger from the place she had hid it. Hiding it now under her cloak, Lóridrê walked out into the street and spent much of the day with the townsfolk of Tharbad. Some remained wary of her, even though they spoke to her like any other traveller. It seemed a pity that there had not been any elves in the town while she stayed there, and as she thought over this, Lóridrê wondered if there would be any more in the days to come. I guess it’s unlikely, she told herself.

In the afternoon, she went back to the stables, and found Áramuilë in much better spirits. Lóridrê took the mare out of her stall, and allowed her to exercise within a fenced area at the southern end of the town. After that, she was invited to have a meal with the family who owned the property, and there she told some of her life tales; the one about the dragon had the young children squealing with delight. Bidding good night to the family, Lóridrê took Áramuilë back to the stables, and spoke with the stable boy. She told him to put a very thin blanket over the mare, if he should have one, and found out from him that the other two horses had left with their riders that afternoon. Now Áramuilë had the attention of the stable boy all to herself.

That night, Lóridrê slept peacefully, though she woke up much earlier than she had wanted. The innkeeper told her that there had been frost and some people had even mentioned snow. Lóridrê quickly returned to the stables, and found Áramuilë being fed by the stable boy. She took over from him, and promised her friend that they would take advantage of the new day and exercise outside the town. They did this, despite some protesting from the gatekeeper, and before long Lóridrê and Áramuilë had wandered as far as the Swanfleet. Yet there were no swans there to greet them, and indeed much of the marshland appeared to be deserted.

Saddened by this thought, Lóridrê moved away from the area and walked back to Tharbad with Áramuilë beside her. Her sorrow soon turned to joy, however, as the first flakes of snow settled gently upon her head. Covering herself with the hood of her cloak, she mounted the golden mare, and persuaded her to return to Tharbad post-haste.

They arrived as the gatekeeper was preparing to bar the northern entrance, and Lóridrê spoke to him as two of his assistants did his bidding. She learned that many of the town's residents had now locked themselves in their homes, and from the smell of things, some had lighted fireplaces too. The elf told the gatekeeper to get himself rugged up, and then settled Áramuilë in her stall, before taking a last walk around the perimeter of the town.

She had it in her mind to give a last farewell to the family who had had her over for supper the night before. The longer she stayed in Tharbad, she thought, the longer it would take her and Áramuilë to get to Rivendell. The snow did not bother her much, even though it was now falling much quicker and made the surroundings more difficult to see, but she knew how tricky it might be for the golden mare's footing.

Coming at last to the house of the previous night's supper, Lóridrê raised her hand to knock on the door...

[ 06-05-2005, 02:20 AM: Message edited by: Braeden Fireheart ]

From: Mnemosyne's loft | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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They waited for a couple of minutes, and then knocked at the gate again, louder this time.
A man's voice answered inside, "Yes, I heard you! Just a minute, I'll be right there!"

Soon the gate was opened, and a man peered out at them.
"Sorry you had to wait," he said. "But we don't have a full-time gatekeeper here down south these days, seeing that so few people come this way. I'm a dress-maker, really, and I moved my shop to the gatekeeper's house when it became empty, and usually I hear it if people knock. But I was struggling to get a fire burning when you knocked, so it took some time. I think that lady over there, outside the house across the street, was going to tell me, when I answered.
But here I am talking! You'll want to come in, no doubt."

He let them pass through the gate, and barred it behind them.

"Why," he said, "you're a whole company! Six horses! That's a large party for Tharbad these days. It was different in the old days, they say ... Are you staying for a while, or are you just passing through? I would recommend that you don't go any further today. It's already been snowing for a while, and they say the weather is likely to get even worse."

Barufiniel smiled.
"We would like to stay for a while," she said. "We need to get out of the bad weather. And we will probably need your services as well - if you can make us some warm clothes, that is? Most of us are refugees from Rohan, and couldn't bring much ...
We should need to stay for at least a week. If there's still an inn that can take such a large party as ours. I know, too, that it used to be different - my father used to talk about what a grand city it was when he used to visit it ..."

"Your father?" the dress-maker said, surprised. "Oh, now I see, mylady, you're of the Eldar, aren't you? Then of course he could have been around to see it.
The inn further up the High Street should be able to take you, I think. And my friend the weaver can make more materials for warm clothing. Some cloaks, maybe ...
And I must say we're honored to have your company, mylady. And the company of the rest of your party as well, of course - but we're all Men here, and a visit from one of the Eldar is more of a rarity, if you see? Although I think that that lady over there - the one who was about to notify me of your knocking - is another of your people."

Barufiniel looked around. Straight ahead of her was a long, straight street, disappearing into the distance in the snowy weather. Presumably this was the High Street, becoming the Greenway north of the town. On her right was a house with its door still open, where the gatekeeper-dressmaker had hurried out to open the gate to them. On her left was a fenced area, and next to it another house. A tall woman stood outside it, watching the newcomers. For some reason, Barufiniel was reminded of her mother. Could this be another Elf? She had never seen any pure-blooded Elves other than her parents.

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Braeden Fireheart
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 1953

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Lóridrê watched as the newcomers entered through the gate. Six horses there were, but seven riders, and keeping close to the two riding the one steed was a wolf-like creature. Lóridrê smiled as she remembered the tale her father had told her of Huan the hound of Valinor. Though he was but a child when his own father had passed on the tale, Naróbe, or rather, Eluréd, had not forgotten what he learned about his grandparents, Beren and Lúthien.

Lóridrê sighed as she thought over these things – such secrets withheld from her own kin, to keep her father and his brother safe from enemies. And even after Eluréd and Elurin had perished, still the secret remained undisclosed. Lóridrê wondered how Lord Elrond would take the news; he, her cousin… The fact that she had lived in Rivendell and Lindon alongside him, with no knowledge of how closely tied they were… Lóridrê almost overwhelmed herself with these thoughts, before she turned back to the group of travellers.

Yet another set of eyes had caught her attention, and she smiled down at the young girl peeping out at her from the window. Giving a little wave, she walked away from the house and nodded in acknowledgement to the dressmaker who also manned the southern gate. Then she stopped and smiled at the woman who seemed to be the leader of the group. Something about the woman intrigued her, and indeed she did seem elven, but a young elf at that. Lóridrê knew that men often thought elves were other-worldly, but this brown-haired elf appeared even more than that. Where had she been in her short life? This was the Third Age of Arda, not the First. The Lady Galadriel had witnessed the light of Laurelin and Telperion, the two trees of Valinor, before they were forever bound in jewels of darkness…

Deciding to settle the matter through conversation rather than observation, Lóridrê greeted the newcomers in the common tongue, “Welcome to Tharbad.”

From: Mnemosyne's loft | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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"I say, mylady," Barufiniel heard behind her, "is that wolf a part of your company? I just noticed him, and since he seems to belong with you, I won't try to chase him away - but he looks fierce ..."

She turned back to the gatekeeper.
"Yes, he is with us," she said. "He belongs to Raedyn here," she nodded to the woman behind Alcaira. "He can indeed be fierce if anyone attacks her, as he has proved in battle. I hope there will be no problem with taking him into the inn."

When he assured her that any well-behaved beast would be welcome in Tharbad, she smiled and turned towards the town again.

The Elf-woman approached them, smiling. Barufiniel knew that she heard an Elven voice when the woman welcomed them to Tharbad. The voice reminded her even more of her mother ...

"I thank you, mylady," she answered. "I am Barufiniel, daughter of Rameldir, and these are my friends who have come with me out of Rohan. Most of them are refugees from the wars down there ... We need to stay for a few days in Tharbad, and then if the weather gets better, we - or at least some of us - intend to go on to go further north."

She hesitated, but decided to carry on.
"Of the people I have met so far, most have never heard about Rivendell. I believe, though, mylady, that this would be different with you."

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Braeden Fireheart
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 1953

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Rivendell… Lóridrê smiled, “Indeed I have heard of the place, also known as Imladris. Rohan, you say? I had intended to travel through that country myself, until I heard of the battles. It is fortunate that you made it here, though I fear this weather will only get worse, and travelling northwards seems a trifle silly right now. Just my luck that I should have nowhere else to go but here...” She shook her head, and rubbed the back of her hand against the cheek of Barufiniel’s horse. “Yet, Rivendell is also where I wish to go.”

Lóridrê looked over the whole company, and realised that they were mostly women. One man stood proudly beside his steed, talking to his companion in whispers that Lóridrê could hear, yet not understand. She assumed he spoke in his own language, one that she had not had the opportunity to learn.

Turning back to Barufiniel, she smiled again, almost laughing as she remembered something. “You don’t know my name! I am Lóridrê, daughter of Naróbe and Olsari. I doubt you have heard of either, as you seem far too young, yet there is something about you that could suggest otherwise…” Lóridrê noticed that some of the others were now shivering as they stood there. She quickly waved to get their attention, “I will take you to that inn the dressmaker spoke of, and then perhaps we can talk in warmer surrounds.”

From: Mnemosyne's loft | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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The thought of 'warmer surrounds' seemed to cheer everyone up. The others in Barufiniel's company introduced themselves to Lóridrê and the gatekeeper as well, except for Éolana. She seemed to be disappointed that she wasn't recognized immediately, but greeted the others politely enough after Barufiniel had introduced her, and Folcmund had explained the basic details of Rohan's Royal Family.

They all followed Lóridrê to the inn she had mentioned, only a few houses north of the gatekeeper's house, but on the other side of the street. It was quite a large inn, and it had rooms for all of them, and accomodation for the horses as well. They made arrangements for staying there at least two nights.
"By then we'll see whether we want to go on north, or if we want to stay here longer," Barufiniel said to the innkeeper. "If the weather stays like this, I don't feel it would be safe for my friends here to go on. It's been a hard journey from Rohan, and their equipment is not adequate."

"We haven't heard much news from the South," the innkeeper said. "But there seems to be a full scale war going on, which is always devastating for the citizens of a country. I'm glad you made it safely here. Stay for as long as you like."

Provided we can pay for it, Barufiniel thought. She realised that her money would reach further than she had feared, but she ought to be on the look-out for ways to earn some more.

While the others got settled in their rooms, Barufiniel just left her equipment in hers and went back to the Common Room, where Lóridrê was still waiting. She sat down next to her.

"You said that your parents are Naróbe and Olsari, didn't you?" she said. "You're right that I haven't heard about them. My parents never mentioned them - although that doesn't mean that they didn't know about them. They haven't necessarily told me about everyone they have ever known. And now I can't ask them ..."
She blinked a couple of times and tried to regain control over her voice.

"I'm sorry," she finally said. "They ... left ... only a couple of weeks ago. It's still so new ..."

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rúnya Núrimehtari
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Citizen # 4053
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Alcaira was silent as they passed through the gates of Tharbad. It wasn't the lack of sleep nor the weather that pressed upon her a sense of stillness. It was the same feeling that set upon her not mere hours before. Someone was watching,and had been for the past few days.

Alcaira felt an eery shiver pass through her spine as two silver eyes peered at her from the shadows of the gatekeeper's doorway. Hrívë stamped his hooves at the mud ground as she clasped his snow dampened mane. She knew no one other then the couple dozen villagers of her home, and neither was her family name known. So what did this mysterious traveller want and how did he come to know who she was?

Swiftly, and at the perfect moment, Barufiniel and the gatekeeper finished their discussion and the group continued on. Alcaira felt the searching eyes turn away, but she knew that she would see them again, soon.

[ 06-07-2005, 06:07 PM: Message edited by: Rúnya Núrimehtari ]

From: Spruce Grove | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Braeden Fireheart
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 1953

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Lóridrê looked gently upon Barufiniel’s face. She presumed that the younger elf meant her parents had sailed to the Undying Lands, and so reassured her, “My mother sailed to Valinor a few days ago. I am missing her, but I know that she is happy there. Most of her kin had already taken the journey, and she had hoped that I would join her, yet I have… I made a promise…” Lóridrê also felt teary, but she had better luck restraining herself, “I haven’t felt the call to leave Middle-earth.”

Turning her thoughts back to Barufiniel’s family, she asked, “Did you live in the same area as your parents? You were travelling through Rohan to get to Rivendell… I can only assume you have come from Edhellond. That is where I wished to go before I heard of the wars. Some of my mother’s kin reside there.”

From: Mnemosyne's loft | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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"Edhellond?" Barufiniel repeated. "I believe my father has talked about it ... I think that was where he went once - some time back in the Second Age - to pick up some timber that the High King Gil-galad had bought from the Elves of Greenwood.
But he didn't sail to Valinor from there. He was in a different world when that happened - having stumbled accidentally into that world five hundred years ago. Oh, sorry, that would be about two weeks ago from your point of view. The time doesn't run at the same speed in that world ..."

Again she hesitated, glancing over at the other woman, before deciding to carry on.

"I was born in that world, you see - if that makes sense at all," she said. "The land was called Narnia. I lived there for five hundred years. And about two weeks ago I was sent to Middle-earth when my parents were sent to Valinor. So I miss my land of birth as well as my parents ... and I haven't seen much of Middle-earth yet, only heard about it."

She sighed and paused, waiting for Lóridrê's reaction.

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Braeden Fireheart
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 1953

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As strange and as slightly disturbing as it was to hear what Barufiniel had said… Another world? Lóridrê took her eyes off the younger elf and drank from her cup of water. She let the liquid stay in her mouth as she thought over the concept, I guess Valinor is another world. The mortals don’t know of it, and they never will… Swallowing, she turned back to Barufiniel. “Nar-nia…” Smiling, Lóridrê nodded, asking, “Is it like Middle-earth?”

Seeing the maiden’s reaction, she gasped as she remembered, “You haven’t been here that long so you wouldn’t know. I’m sorry, but I’ve never heard of this Narnia place before. Can you tell me what it’s like?”

The Nando also had a non-other-world related question for her, but she decided to keep it quiet for now.

From: Mnemosyne's loft | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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"The only thing I can say for myself is that Narnia is very different from Rohan," Barufiniel answered.

"Rohan is mostly plains - miles and miles of them. That other world is much smaller than Middle-earth, and Narnia is perhaps smaller than Rohan - and you have the whole geographical variety in the one country. There are fields, meadows, hills and valleys, forests - there are even some mountains, even though those are really on the border to the unknown wildlands in the west.

My father used to say that Narnia reminded him of the Shire. And my mother said that the Narnian forests reminded her of Lothlorien - which was her home, by the way. Her name was Glaerien.

Oh, there were such good things going on in the forests of Narnia! The dryads would dance in the glades, and often the fauns would join them in the dance. The dwarfs would dance the great snowball dance in the moonlight when the first snow had come. And of course lots of animals lived in the forests - I got to know some really friendly badgers, for instance. And I remember that I used to play with the rabbits and the squirrels when I was a child - 'Barufiniel' is the Sindarin version of the epessë they gave me."

Seeing Lóridrê's confusion, she suddenly realised.

"Oh, and of course the greatest difference!" she exclaimed. "My parents warned me about that, as they knew how much I would miss it.
There are no Talking Animals here in Middle-earth."

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Braeden Fireheart
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Citizen # 1953

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Dwarves… dancing? Lóridrê’s imagination made her chuckle. She turned her focus back to Barufiniel’s words, and smiled as she learned of her childhood, and then hearing that the animals had given her her name…

“Well,” the Nando began, “While most don’t talk in elven or human tongues, animals do still communicate with each other, and with anyone else who is willing to listen.” Lóridrê smiled as she remembered her own childhood, “Aside from the tales my father told me, my mother mentored me in listening to nature. My mother’s kin were of the Laiquendi, Nandor. There are very few of us now, most fell during the First Age, and others have sailed across the great sea. Since the change of the world, my kin have been less willing to make that journey, but the population of men keeps growing…” Lóridrê paused, and then got back onto her original subject. “Birds speak more often to elves than other creatures. I learned of the wars of Rohan from some very kind thrushes who had spoken to my… friends, Elrohir and Elladan. They’re the sons of Lord Elrond of Imladris…” Seeing Barufiniel’s face light up at that, Lóridrê nodded. “I’ve been there many a time.”

From: Mnemosyne's loft | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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"You know Lord Elrond? And Elrohir and Elladan?" Barufiniel beamed.
"They're my kin, you see. That's why my parents advised me to go there - they lived there themselves until one or two centuries ago. If Lord Elrond and his sons will accept my claim to kinship, that is - they don't know that I exist.

My father was descended from Eärendil's great- or great-great-grandfather - I need paper to work out the exact details. But my mother's father, Galathilion, was the brother of Nimloth, Elwing's mother. Her mother - my grandmother - was a Nando, by the way, called Ealcalinda. So on our mothers' side, Lord Elrond and I are second cousins. He may be second cousin of my father as well."

She laughed.
"Oh, sorry if I'm boring you, I just happen to like genealogy. Are you on your way to Imladris now?"

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Braeden Fireheart
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Citizen # 1953

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“Yes, it has been a good while since I last saw Lord Elrond. I must pass on the news to him of my mother’s safe departure,” Lóridrê frowned a little, thinking of what Olsari had told her of her own genealogy. It was definitely too soon to let anyone other than Elrond know about it, but Lóridrê knew she could at least speak of her mother’s ancestry – the very simple, single blooded, Man-less, Maia-less, ancestry that forwent the Great Journey, avoiding the mountain ranges and remained near the forests of Middle-earth.

“Your grandmother was a Nando?” Lóridrê smiled. “My mother was born in Ossiriand, as was I. My father… was a Sinda,” Lóridrê felt she could say that at least; the rest of his mixed up ancestry was not important at this time. “I don't think I remember an Ealcalinda, but then I was still very young when the wars of the First Age came to a climax. My parents and I fled over Ered Luin; yet we were pursued by the Enemy and my father lost his life to save my mother and me.”

[ 07-15-2005, 01:38 AM: Message edited by: Braeden Fireheart ]

From: Mnemosyne's loft | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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Citizen # 4097

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'In the First Age,' Barufiniel thought. She felt suddenly very young and childish, compared to the older and wiser woman.

"There's been a lot of suffering for our people," she said. "My father barely escaped from Gondolin. None of his parents did. His mother lost her life helping him to escape.
But Ealcalinda never lived in Ossiriand, so you wouldn't have met her there. Her people never left Lorinand. Galathilion came there with Celeborn, his uncle - he went with Oropher and Thranduil to fight the enemy at the end of the Second Age, and like Oropher, he never returned. Ealcalinda didn't survive the loss of her husband.
My mother stayed - partly with her brother's family - until Galadriel and and Celeborn set up their court in Lothlorien, and then she became one of Galadriel's ladies in waiting."
Barufiniel smiled.
"That's where she met my father."

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Roll of Honor Braeden Fireheart
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Citizen # 1953

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Lóridrê felt her throat go dry as Barufiniel spoke of the end of the previous Age. She blinked back a tear, trying to listen to the rest of the young elf’s story, and smiled as she heard the name ‘Galadriel’.

“I was a regular visitor to Lórien in the Second Age, but less so this Age. It has been some time since I last saw the Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn, though I have kept in touch with some of the Galadhrim. While I lived in Rivendell, Galadriel came to see Lord Elrond many a time. I never knew what for, but I suppose it had much to do with her daughter and the children. Yet there always seemed to be some other reason.” Lóridrê shrugged, and was about to say more when…

“You’ve lived in Rivendell?” Barufiniel asked.

Lóridrê nodded, “Yes, for some time. Now I am a wanderer of Middle-earth, but I am welcome in all elf-havens.”

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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"You must have met my father, then!" Barufiniel exclaimed.
"Rameldir - leader of the archers of Lord Elrond's army. He came with Elrond when Rivendell was established - he's lived there ever since, until he went to Rohan with my mother. There are lots of people in Rivendell, of course, so he might not have been someone you really knew ..."
She blushed.
"I'm sorry, I was interrupting you," she said. "I believe you wanted to say something more about Galadriel. I'm hoping to meet her too some time. I'm distantly related to her as well, besides being more closely related to her husband."

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Braeden Fireheart
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Citizen # 1953

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"No doubt I have met your father, but his name is not so familiar to me now. Perhaps I will remember him in time..." Lóridrê smiled as she noticed somebody walk through the door from outside. "And still it comes. I have not seen so much snow this far south before. It makes me wonder how Áramuilë is faring - that is my horse; she is stalled at the inn where I'm staying."

Lóridrê gently placed her hand over Barufiniel's, "It is getting late. Elves we are, yet we still need rest. You especially, my dear. I will let you see how your companions are, and then I will leave." She stood up from the table, "We should arrange to speak again on the morrow, with your whole company, if they wish."

[ 08-12-2005, 09:58 PM: Message edited by: Braeden Fireheart ]

From: Mnemosyne's loft | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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Barufiniel looked gratefully up at the older elf. She felt that at least for a little while, some of the responsibility she was carrying for her company, was lifted off her shoulders.

"I will speak to them," she said, rising also. "As long as the weather carries on like this, we can't go anywhere, and we should use the time to do something about out equipment, but if it lightens up, we need to know what we want to do."

She went to the guest rooms and talked to her companions one after another. Lastly she came to Alcaira, who was looking over her herbs to check that they hadn't got damp in the snowy weather.

They talked about next morning's meeting, and then Barufiniel said,
"I noticed something strange today. I wonder whether you might have done the same? With your Elven senses, you would be more likely to have noticed than the others ... there seemed to be someone following us. I don't even know whether it would be human or some other creature - but I got a glimpse of a pair of silver eyes."

Alcaira was quiet for a while.
"So you've noticed them as well?" she finally said. "I've felt their presence for several days. I feel they're watching me. I don't know what creature would know about me, though!"

Barufiniel was surprised.
"Several days?" she exclaimed. "You've been more alert than I have, then. If it's something evil, I just hope it hasn't crossed the river with us."

"You've been busy with caring for us all," Alcaira answered. "I've had more time to look around me. And I'm afraid it did cross the river. I last saw it after we had entered the town. We should continue to be on the outlook for it. It needn't necessarily be evil, though."

Lóridrê was still waiting when Barufiniel came back to the Common Room.

"If you agree, we could all meet here after breakfast tomorrow," Barufiniel said. "All of my companions would like to speak with you as well. We need to discuss what to do - and you should get to know some more about us, too! You only heard our names."
She smiled at Lóridrê, who nodded silently.

"And we are all interested to hear more about Rivendell," Barufiniel continued. "Someone who has actually lived there, would be a great source of information. Some of us are determined to go there, while others just need to get somewhere away from the war."

[ 08-10-2005, 09:06 AM: Message edited by: Varnafindë ]

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Braeden Fireheart
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Citizen # 1953

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“I am both,” Lóridrê smiled. “I will tell you all that I can, tomorrow, and I look forward to meeting the others properly. This weather is getting worse as each minute goes by. I will return to Áramuilë and then to bed. Perhaps I will get some sleep myself?”

Bowing her head, Lóridrê bid the younger elf maiden a good night, and acknowledged the innkeeper before leaving the building.

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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One by one the members of Barufiniel's company came back from their rooms and sat talking in the Common Room before ordering supper. Some of them were very excited about the chance to hear more about Rivendell in the morning. Others were less enthusiastic.

"I don't want to come with you to Rivendell at all," Éolana declared. "I think it is my duty to stay as close to my own country as I can. If it's safe here in Tharbad, I should stay right here, until it's safe to go back home. My father will pay for my stay at the Inn when the war is over."

Folcmund looked at her, shaking his head thoughtfully, but without saying anything.

"Yes, why don't we all stay here?" Elyaliel asked. "Apart from you who have family in Rivendell, of course. I think this is a good place. I like it already. I think I've had enough of travelling to last me for a good while."

"We shouldn't make any decisions before hearing about Rivendell tomorrow," Barufiniel answered. "But I don't want to push anyone into going. I won't take offense if you seem to love Rivendell less than I do."
She smiled.

"And if the weather doesn't clear up soon, we'll be staying here for a while anyway," she said. "I want us to be well equipped if we are to face any further journeying. And I'm not taking any risks. In this weather we're much safer here."

Elyaliel agreed, and started to tell stories about some adventures she had had while travelling in winter - "but that was in January," she said. "I wouldn't expect real winter in November!"

Barufiniel felt relieved as she went to bed that night. It wasn't so much the comfort of a real bed again, although that of course was very nice. No, what really made her relax was the fact that they needn't keep guard that night. They were inside a walled town, with guards to take care of the town safety. Even silvery eyes didn't worry her now. She slept a long and refreshing sleep.

It had stopped snowing when they met for breakfast the next morning, but before they had finished their meal, it started again. Not any heavy snowfall right now, but steady drizzling, and with no prospect of clearing up soon. They went into the Common Room together - even Éolana wanted to hear about what plans they would make - and sat talking to each other while they waited for Lóridrê to arrive.

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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