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Rhyselle's Library  by Rhyselle

Disclaimer: “The Lord of the Rings” and any familiar characters, places and descriptions are copyright to the Estate of J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien and New Line Cinemas, and any other licensees, and no monetary reward has been taken for this work, which was written solely for the enjoyment of the author and the readers.


By Rhyselle

Faramir awoke from dreams quickly forgotten as the sun peered over the mountains to the east, the rosy golden light no longer having to struggle through the fume and fug of Mordor's making. He lay in the bed that still sometimes seemed too soft after so many years of sleeping rough along with his beloved, lost Rangers, and gazed out the window that he refused to mask by draperies; never again to waken in darkness. The jagged rims of the shattered land were limned with radiance, and fingers of light stretched out over his greening land of Ithilien beyond the Anduin. Beside him lay the light of his life, breathing softly, her hair mingling with his on the pillow she insisted on sharing with him, even though there were a good half dozen more scattered on the broad bed. He smiled as the shafts of dawn light gradually moved to catch the pale tresses and paint them glowing gold. Outside of the Citadel, the bells of morning were calling the city to waken and be about its business, but he would stay here, bathed in light and holding his beloved close, thankful that the shadowed times were finally, truly over.

A/N: Inspired by Fiondil's Valar fics on this site, and offered as an Easter gift for my fellow authors and readers. May God bless you this Easter-tide, and may we always remember the greatest Gift He has given us.... Himself.


"I don't understand why we were to leave the scars," Estë said, stroking her fingertips over the hair of the occupant of the couch she stood next to. "Re-embodiment has always removed the evidence of injuries from the prior life."

Slightly behind her, his arm around her waist, Irmo's attention was focused on the sleeping Reborn, as he urged the fëa to awaken in the body.

On the other side of the couch, Námo did not remove his amaranthine gaze from the face of the Reborn, but Manwë looked up at the Valië. "Atar wishes it so," he said simply.

All four, as was true of the other Valar who stood behind them, appeared calm and serene. And yet, there was a sense of excitement and awe that underlay the peacefulness of the cottage in the Garden of the Reborn, and infected all in the near vicinity.

The figure on the couch stirred, breathed deeper, and then the eyes opened, to meet the waiting gaze of the suddenly kneeling Valar.

He smiled gently, and raised His hands towards them, and the brilliant light of Anar that streamed through the window of the chamber clearly illuminated the nail-prints in His wrists.

Resurrection II

Námo stood by the mithril-bound doors of his Halls, which opened only to admit the fëar of the dead. His elf-braided hair was crowned with asphodels, and his light of being shone brightly, but not as brightly as did that of the One who stood next to him.

Clad in purest white, the Man embraced the Vala, and pressed a kiss to his forehead. "Thou knowest what thou must do, my best beloved child. Rejoice that this day has come. I look forward to the day that we are all united in the Timeless Halls when all of My Themes are accomplished."

Námo reveled to be held in the arms of Love as he had never been before, for not even before the creation of Eä had Atar held him as an incarnate, and the feel of the arms around him comforted and strengthened him for the work that he had now to do.

Filled with Joy unmeasured, he stepped back from the embrace and turned towards the doors. "It is time," Námo said, and pushed the panels open to Light and Life, and bowed as the Resurrected Lord departed the Halls of the Dead on the Third Day.

A/N: This is the other half of Resurrection, which actually was in my head as a mental image long before that ficlet made itself known to me. I guess I needed the first part to make this part come clear in my head as words. He is Risen! Rejoice!

Author's Note: I awakened one night and this was in my head, although I do not recall dreaming anything before I wakened in the darkness. Recently, I have been listening to Martin Shaw's reading of THE SILMARILLION on audiobook CD-ROM, and all I can think is that the cadences of Professor Tolkien's history of the First and Second Age stoked my imagination.

Disclaimer: This work is not intended to infringe upon the intellectual property rights of the Tolkien Estate, or any of it's licensees. I am receiving no monetary recompense for this piece of fiction.

The Beginning of the War of the Ring

by Rhyselle

After the taking of the Ring at the hands of Isildur, Sauron's feä had fled his maimed body for a time; leading the leaders of the Last Alliance of Elves and Edain to presume him dead.

They'd left the corpse on the slopes of Orodruin, as carrion for whatever fell beasts still survived in Mordor, hurrying to speed their way home to lighter, cleaner lands, certain that their future was safe--despite the misgivings of Lord Elrond and Lady Galadriel about Elendil's surviving son's insistence on retaining the Ring as weregild.

When the hosts of the light had withdrawn from the desolate wasteland of Gorgoroth, beyond the gap of Morannon where watchtowers would eventually be constructed; life of a sort returned to Mount Doom.

Orcs who had managed to flee southward from the victorious hosts crept back, under the dominion of the greatest of Sauron's servants, the Nazgul Angmar; who, although weakened when the devastating blow by Narsil removed the Ring from the Dark Lord's hand, was still bound to the fallen Maia. One by one, the Nine regrouped and searched for their Lord's body, commanding the remnants of the evil forces to paw through the piles of hideous dead until it was finally found.

Remarkably, the cold flesh had not decayed in the days and weeks since the disastrous skirmish that had turned incipient victory into astonishing defeat, and they bore it hence from Mordor by secret ways, to a place of hiding beyond the Mountains of Shadow, on a mount in the southernmost reaches of Greenwood the Great.

The Witch-King commanded his fellow Nazgul, and the magics and sorceries they did there began to darken the forest, corrupting the living trees and poisoning the very land upon which the tower of Dol Guldur stood. In time, the wounded Dark Lord's feä found its way back to the nine-fingered body that his servants protected, and he began to plan. His desire for vengeance against Men and Eldar consumed him almost as much as his desire for the recovery of his Ring and his Power.

But in order to fight back against the heirs of Elendil and the rulers of the Elven kingdoms, he would need armies. And so, in the ever growing corruption that crept outward from the shadowed tower to ultimately change Greenwood the Great into Mirkwood, he began to breed replacements for the thousands upon thousands of orcs who had perished in the first war.


Disclaimer: This is a work of fan fiction, written solely for the enjoyment of the author and her readers with no intent to profit materially or financially from its publication on this website, and is not intended to usurp any rights held by the Tolkien Estate, and any corporation or organization that hold licenses pertaining to The Lord of the Rings and other works written by J.R.R. Tolkien.

A Time to Speak

by Rhyselle

"Be hush, child," the king tiredly said to the grizzling elfing cradled in his arms, "and listen to the forest." He paced back and forth along the balcony, and the thin streams of early morning sunlight that made it through the thick canopy above caught the mithril thread that decorated the infant's garments; sparkling and reflecting from it, casting rainbow flecks up against Thranduil's silk-draped chest and the green enameled leaf that hung pendant from a heavy gold chain about his neck.

"Hear your naneth's voice in the breeze through the branches, feel her touch in the sunlight," he whispered and then went silent, closing his grief-shadowed eyes, and tilting his face upwards as his heart sought in vain for his lost love, his feet finding their way from well known habit the eight paces back and forth from railing to railing.

His son, his last born, crammed one fist in his still toothless mouth and gnawed on it; seeking to stop the painful pressure on swollen gums. Blue eyes opened and focused on the moving flashes of rainbow light and the baby's free hand grabbed at them, only to entangle delicate fingers in the chain that held the pendant gold-rimmed leaf just above the Greenleaf's face.

Determinedly, Legolas dragged the leaf towards his mouth, removing drool-wet fingers from between his rosy lips to make room for this new toy. He gummed at it enthusiastically, and gurgled, suddenly happy, drawing Thranduil's attention with the unfamiliar sound.

It struck the elven king that he had never in the two and a half months his son had been on Arda heard the babe laugh. It seemed that from the moment the babe had been drawn from his dying mother, his little Greenleaf had done nothing by cry. Legolas had wailed as he was placed at the breast of the wet nurse elleth; screamed as he was laid in the cradle that had held the scions of Oropher's line; howled as he was presented to the court; and grizzled unceasingly when cuddled by his father. Thranduil's only consolation was that if anyone other than the King held him, Legolas' crying would transform into shrieks that made elves a dozen rooms away cringe. It seemed that nothing would comfort the child.

As nothing had comforted Thranduil in his loss.

Until now. The king of Mirkwood gazed down into his son's blue eyes and felt his feä lift, and he smiled for the first time since his beloved Pharin had gone to Mando's Halls.

Legolas gazed up at him and let the leaf pendant fall from his mouth. A glimmer of white was briefly visible within on the lower gum, and he smiled back. Thranduil cuddled him closer and lifted him to rest upright against his shoulder after bestowing a kiss on the smooth forehead. Silken tufts of golden hair tickled the king's earpoints as his son nuzzled against him, and then the baby arched his back and neck so as to look at his father's face, clutching at the folds at the shoulder of Thranduil’s robe for balance.

A giggle, another smile--and a word.


The End

A/N: This ficlet was written in response to a challenge from the Royal Mirkwood writers group to take a phrase from Ecclesiastes ("For everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven"). I chose "A time keep silence, and a time to speak" for my inspiration. I realized after this was written that it also could fit "A time to mourn, and a time to dance". I also admit to taking liberties with just how early an elfling learns to say his or her first word. They are described by the good Professor Tolkien as being able to dance and sing at age one--and to me that implies an extremely early ability to vocalize words. Also, the sounds that make up the word ada are used by most babies in their earliest random vocalizations, so it doesn't seem too far-fetched to me that Legolas would be able to call Thranduil 'father' at two and a half months of age.


[Written for the Leaf and Stone Yahoo Group's The Tolkien Tango Prompt #13: Courage]

Finrod turned the ring he had given to Barahir about in his fingers as a sudden flash of foresight followed hard upon the words that Beren spoke unto him, of the conditions that the ruler of Doriath had set ere the mortal and the fair Lúthien could be wed. When the images stopped, his voice was heavy with wisdom and sorrow. "It seems that Thingol doth desire thy death." He gazed upon the beryl and the flower-crowned snakes as he spoke of the Sindarin King's foolishness in thinking that he could keep the Silmarils uncontested.

He looked up again into the grey eyes of the Man and added, "Lo! Celegorm and Curufin here dwell within my realm, and although I am king, they have won much power and many of my people now follow their sway. They have been my friends in need for many long years, yet that will avail not once they know of this dreadful quest. They will show you no mercy."

Beren could but nod, his sword-calloused hands winding in the robe of fine material that Felagund had bestowed upon him, having insisted that the worn Man cleanse and refresh himself ere they conferred in private, away from the curious eyes and ears of the court. "Aye," he finally said, his shoulders drooping, thinking that the words presaged rejection of his request.

Finrod slipped the ring onto his finger and got to his feet. "Come, my friend, let us rouse my people and kin to win back from Morgoth that which he stole." The hope that flowered in Beren's eyes smote Finrod to the heart, and he prayed that the elves of Nargothrond would not let him down.

* * * * *

They stood in the anteroom of the vast hall where Beren had first approached Finrod, calling upon him to remember the oath made to Barahir, holding forth the ring. Silent servants surrounded Felagund, arranging his robes, and smoothing the bejeweled braids that hung down on each side of the Noldo's face. A grave-faced ellon stepped forward accompanied by an equally solemn elleth. They each bore an intricately carved coffer, and offered them to the king.

Finrod gently stroked the polished wood and opened that which the elleth bore. Beren gasped as he lifted out the most beautiful necklace the Man had ever seen. The King smiled at his companion and, placing the golden carcanet about his neck, said, "It is the Nauglamír, the Necklace of the Dwarves which they made for me when my kingdom was formed. It is my… second-most precious possession."

The uncounted gems which he had carried forth from Valinor flared with a glory that Beren had never before beheld and, awed, the Man asked, "How can such a thing not be your most precious possession?"

Turning to open the other casket, Finrod paused and held out his hand. The light of the Nauglamír's jewels and the lamps that lit the anteroom caught the beryl and made it flare greenly. "This is the most precious thing I own." He smiled then lifted his silver crown to his head, settling it upon his fair hair, as his attendants bowed to him.

* * * * *

The audience hall was filled to capacity, ellyn and ellith standing and whispering curiously about the Adan who stood at the side of Felagund's throne, the rich robe of the King's colours draped about him, his weathered face grim and stern. Finrod gazed out upon the throng, nodding to his nephew, before passing his eyes across the rank of senior lords who stood surrounded by those who supported them. The sons of Fëanor were apparently joking with each other, as Celegorm laughed and slapped his brother on the back, and the elves around them were also quietly mirthful.

He signaled his herald who called out, "Hear the words of your king this day." The babble of conversation swiftly faded, and Finrod rose to his feet.

He held up the Ring of Barahir, and spoke eloquently of the Dagor Bragollach when Beren's father saved his life, and of the oath that he, Finrod, had made to the scion of the House of Beor. Then he spoke of Beren's geas. "It is laid upon me to aid Beren Barahirion in anything he should ask of me, and I ask you, my captains, to arm yourselves to wrest the Silmarils from the crown of Morgoth, who should never have claimed them, and help my oath-brother fulfill his quest."

A cry of affirmation was followed swiftly by others, and Finrod could practically feel Beren relax at his side in relief.

Then, suddenly, Celegorm stood forth, drawing his sword, and cried out, silencing the others, "Be he friend or foe, whether demon of Morgoth, or Elf, or child of Men, or any other living thing in Arda, neither law, nor love, nor league of hell, nor might of the Valar, nor any power of wizardry, shall defend him from the pursuing hate of Fëanor's sons, if he take or find a Silmaril and keep it. For the Silmarils we alone claim, until the world ends."

Finrod sank down on his throne and closed his eyes as the fiery-spirited ellon continued in the same vein as Fëanor had long before roused the Noldor to rebellion in Tirion. There came protests from some of the captains but they were silenced as Curufin joined his brother, and in words more soft but with no less power, set fear into hearts that had only shortly before been courageous.

He felt Beren's intake of breath as the man's hope was crushed, and reached out to touch Beren's arm, wordlessly. He knew what he had to do, and as he heard his people murmur that their king was no Vala to command them to war, he rose again to his feet.

He reached up and pulled his silver crown from his head, and flung it at his feet, to clatter ringingly, piercing through all of the frightened and angry words that filled the hall and silencing everyone.

"Your oaths of faith to me you may break, but I must hold my bond. Yet if there be any on whom the shadow of our curse has not yet fallen, I should find at least a few to follow me, and should not go hence as a beggar that is thrust from the gates."

Finrod looked from one of his captains to another, and most of their eyes fell away, unable to meet the fell light in his. But one by one, ten out of the multitude stood forth before him.

"I will follow you, my king, wherever you oath takes you." The chief of them, Edrahil, pushed back the hands that would have held him back and ignored the voices that sought to dissuade him, and stooped before Finrod, picking up the crown and offering it back to him. "Yet do not relinquish your reign, but give to us a steward to rule in your stead until you return. For you remain my king, and theirs, whatever betide."

Finrod hesitated a moment then bowed his head before his friend, who placed the silver crown thereon again. The ten Eldar went to their knees before him, and he looked over their bowed heads to find his nephew, who stood near to the sons of Fëanor. "Orodreth," he summoned, and the pale-haired ellon came forwards to stand before his uncle.

"Brother-son, will you take my people into your keeping while I do that which I must do, holding them safe and secure, through prosperity and peril, until I return to take them back into my keeping?"

Orodreth swallowed visibly and went to his knees, raising his hands to his liege lord. Even as the younger ellon spoke the words that affirmed his willingness, Finrod could see a trace of shame in his eyes, and as the king again removed his crown, as he set it upon his nephew's head, Finrod touched Orodreth's mind. 'Be true to thine oath, brother-son, and understand the burden that thou has taken upon thyself. May it be for the right reasons.'

He withdrew from the osanwë before Orodreth could respond, and reached up to unclasp the Nauglamír from about his throat. "In memory of Valinor and of me wear this until I come again." Finrod hung the Necklace of the Dwarves about his nephew's neck, then raised him up and turned him to face the populace. "Here is my steward. The oaths that you have given me are now oaths to him until I take again my crown."

Finrod gave his people one last long look and went to Beren, who had stood speechless throughout the entire scene. "Come, my friend. Let us prepare all needful things to carry with us on this quest." He led the mortal from the hall, beckoning for Edrahil and the other nine to follow.

He did not see the expressions on the faces of Celegorm and Curufin as Orodreth hesitantly took his seat upon the throne, nor the smiles they gave as they departed by another way.

The End

A/N: Some of the dialogue is taken verbatim from THE SILMARILLION in the chapter entitled "Beren and Lúthien," particularly Celegorm's words reactivating the Oath of Fëanor.

Also, I am going with Christopher Tolkien's correction in regards to the relationship between Finrod Felagund and Orodreth. Although, in the SIL, Orodreth is described as brother to Finrod, Christopher Tolkien admitted later that he had misunderstood the relationship and that, in fact, Orodreth was the son of Finrod's brother, Angrod. Orodreth was the father of Gil-galad and Finduilas.

Many, many thanks to Fiondil for the beta read, and encouragement!

A/N:  "The Search" has won third place in the 2008 Middle-earth Fanfiction Awards for Poetry: Late Third Age.  :)

The Search

by Rhyselle

It hurts us, Precious, the stones under feet and hands,
Rough surface scrapes, sharp edges cut,
Gravel slips underfoot and we clings tightly,
Far away from cool dark and moist mud.

Searching, seeking, hunting, looking...

The bright up above burns us, Precious, it burns us,
Like flame and pitch and red hot irons,
Burning us up like fish skin and bones
When sweet juicy meat is gone, gone.

Tracking, trailing, chasing, pursuing...

It calls us, it does, Precious, silent and yet so loud
In head and heart and sinew and bone.
Must follow and find it and take it back.
Back from Thief Bagginses, back to me.

Stalking, shadowing, following, finding...

Over hill and under hill, through water and dust and pain,
I'll find you, Precious, take you and hold you,
Cherish and keep you, in secret places hide you
And never lose you again.

Seizing, taking, holding, hiding...

Forever, my Precious.

A/N: This was written for the Leaf and Stone Yahoo Group's The Tolkien Tango Prompt #12: WANDERING. When I first saw the prompt, the first thing that popped into my head was the map of Middle-earth as seen in the film... and then I noticed there were little footprints wandering about between Mordor and the misty mountains, heading north and west... kind of like the way the footprints appeared in the Marauders' Map in the Harry Potter movies, and I realized it was Gollum. I didn't want to write about Gollum, so I pushed it away and tried to write something else. Something else never showed up... and I kept seeing that map in my head. Soooooo... this is what Gollum wanted to say.

Ingwë's Choice

"Me? But--," the golden-haired Quendi began to protest, but was silenced when Imin, the first of the Firstborn, laid the tips of his fingers on Ingwë's lips, hushing him.

"You will be the best one to do this. I know that you will… be objective when you report back to us. You will not let your personal feelings unfairly colour what you must tell us about where you are going."

Elindis, Ingwë's wife, moved beside her husband, and softly said, "Lord Oromë is waiting to hear if you are coming."

He respectfully bowed his head to the Vala. "Yes."

A/N:  Inspired by my research into the Great Journey of the Elves to Valinor for another unpublished work-in-progress.  Also fits the Tolkien Tango Prompt #16:  APPOINTED.

Sam tried to stifle a cough as he knelt beside Frodo and offered him a sip of the brackish water he'd taken from the cistern on the edge of the road running east towards Mount Doom.  "Boromir was right.  The air here is a poisonous fume."

The ringbearer made a face at the taste of the water, but swallowed it anyway, his eyes red and swollen in his dirty face.

Sam blinked back tears and took his own drink, not bothering to hide his grimace.  He corked the water bottle and slung it back over his shoulder, and coughed again.  "What's odd, Mr. Frodo, is that I could swear I've smelled this before.  An' I don't see how I could've."

The cistern was long behind them, and the waterbottle gone along with his pack and pans, when he remembered.  

As the molten stone crept closer to the small hill upon which he and Frodo had taken refuge, the sulfurous fumes brought back a memory of watching in awe as a dragon made of light exploded into being over Hobbiton. When its broad wings had faded into ash, there was only a waft of brimstone-scented smoke to prove it ever existed.

A/N: A true double drabble inspired by the word "Fireworks" (and the fumes that were drifting into my bedroom window last night from the idiot neighbors, who were trying to rival in their own back yard a professional fireworks show).

Elladan Elrondion peered at the masses of bound and scrolled parchment, a puzzled expression on his face. "But you always tell me the stories I want to hear."

The Peredhel scooped Elladan up into his arms, nodding. "Yes. But they are here as well. Stories about things that happened long ago. Some are from far away places and some are about things that happened right here. And, little one, these can tell you stories even when I'm not able to stop what I'm doing to tell you one."

"Really, Ada?" Bright grey eyes widened, and a grin appeared. "Show me!"

* * * * *

A/N:  Junomagic proposed a drabble challenge for International Literacy Day (September 8, 2008).  Write a 100-word drabble that begins and ends with the same letter.  I chose E, obviously.  I still recall that wonderous day that I realized that I could read.  The awe, joy and excitement I felt then are still clear in my memory and I can't help but smile as I open a new fic file to read or the cover of a book for the first time.

by Rhyselle

For NiRi

"Do you remember what day it is?" Gimli tapped the second cask of ale and filled his tankard, then motioned towards the one that Eómer-King held propped on his knee.

Eómer looked up from where he'd been staring at the fire that danced on the hearth and blinked at the dwarf. "What?" He belatedly handed the empty vessel over to be filled and sat up straighter.

"I asked if you remembered what day it is today." Gimli handed the refilled mug back to the king and took a swig of his own drink.

They were in the Lord of Aglarond's private chambers, their attendants dismissed, leaving the two rulers to be merely man and dwarf. Gimli knew Eómer liked visiting the Glittering Caves; there was little need for the formality that his wife had brought to the golden hall of Meduseld, and the underground realm was one place where his bodyguards had no need to hover about him.

Eómer was a bit tipsy from the portion he'd already consumed of the first cask of ale and he grinned and took a sip of the malted brew before answering, "Of course. It's the High Day."

Gimli shook his head. "That's not what I meant. Here, there's something I want to show you." Still carrying his tankard, he stumped towards the door, beckoning Eómer to follow.

The King of the Riddermark was slightly unsteady on his feet as he stood and followed, ducking his head as he passed through the door, even though the dwarves had made all of their portals suitable for Men or Elves to pass through with ease. "Have you discovered a new grotto or some such blazing with jewels and light?"

"You'll see." Gimli refused to say more as he moved along the main passageway that led from the surface into the heart of his realm, Eómer following, until they came to an alcove on the right hand side that held a door made of ironwood, and bound in mithril.

"This is new," Eómer observed as Gimli fished a large key from his belt pouch and carefully unlocked the door.

"Aye." Gimli turned to brace the door closed with the heel of his boot, preventing it from swinging open. "What happened seven years ago today, Eómer? I know you're not drunk enough to forget entirely."

Eómer closed his eyes for a moment then looked down at Gimli. "I don't think there's enough ale in Arda to wash away the memory of the Battle of the Hornburg."

Gimli let the door swing open and a swath of golden light temporarily blinded Eómer. The dwarf continued, "You told me back then that your people carry their history in song, and have done so ever since Eorl the Young rode into these lands for the first time." He ushered the King inside and stood for a moment, cradling his ale tankard in both hands, looking not at the chamber in which they stood, but at Eómer's face.

He knew every one of the hundreds of mithril horses inlaid on the glittering walls, having put most of them there himself. The names that were engraved on each ran through his head in a litany of the households of Edoras and the Westmarch. They ran in a continuous spiral about the round chamber, beneath a deeply engraved frieze that showed old Theoden-King's restoration and the events of the battle from the army's arrival at the Deeping Coombe, to the riding of the old King and the new one along with the remaining members of the Fellowship to the tower of Orthanc.

He reached out and rescued the forgotten tankard from Eómer's hands, and placed it on the highly polished stone floor as the Man stared in wonder.

"Every one of the men and boys who fell here that terrible day and night before Erkenbrand brought in his reinforcements, the night the wall fell, are here. When the walls up above are rubble and ruin from time's hand; they will be here, imperishable, long after all of your songs are forgotten."

The End

Olwë wrapped his arms about himself, weeping, his head bowed as he walked the edge of the surf. The salt water lapped about his feet, as if trying to draw him into the sea. Behind him lay the island which was to transport his brother's—no, now his people—to Aman. The stars above were masked by a low bank of clouds and it seemed to Olwë that the land itself mourned along with him.

He had to take them onwards; there was no choice. The Light of the Trees had shone in Elwë's eyes, but the Sea itself called Olwë, and he could no longer resist it.

Yet his heart was torn, for still Elwë was missing, and he dreaded stepping forth into the unknown without his brother, next to whom he'd grown at Cuivienen.

"Why weepest thou, child?"

Olwë started, and whirled to face the one who had spoken, just as a wave caught at his ankles. He stumbled and ended up on his hands and knees; the wet sand sliding back towards the sea with the retreating tide dragged at him insistently.

He looked up to find the Lord of the Waters standing before him, sea green hair and beard streaming with water, the Ulumari suspended from a baldric slung across Ulmo's chest, and a gentle smile on his face.

The Teleri bowed his head in respect before stammering. "I—I miss my brother, lord."

An odd expression crossed the Valar's face for a moment and Olwë thought he heard the words As I miss mine, in his head.  But Ulmo said nothing, and the Eruhin decided that he had imagined it. He hesitantly continued, "Until now, I could hope that Elwë would find his way back to us who love him. But," Olwë sat back on his heels and looked past Lord Ulmo towards the headland where the Teleri campfires flickered, "now we leave these lands forever, and he is not here." Fresh tears trickled down his face. "Will I ever see him again, lord? Will I ever embrace my brother again?"

Ulmo raised Olwë up and drew him into a comforting embrace, gazing down into tear-wet grey eyes. "That I cannot tell, child, for there are some calls that are even stronger than the call of the Sea. However, that does not mean that you should give up hope. Remember that all will be as Ilúvatar wills it." He bent his head and kissed Olwë on the brow.

Olwë's knees buckled and only Ulmo's arms kept him upright as a wave of love and reassurance poured through his fëa. When he came to himself, the tide had turned. As the foam-tipped waves soaked him to his knees and retreated once more, it seemed to carry away at least some of the pain of parting.

"Come, child," Ulmo said gently, "it is time to start your voyage."

* * * * *

A/N:  Written for The Tolkien Tango Prompt #15:  WOUNDS.  I haven't found any fics that address Olwë's perspective on having to take over when Elwë went missing.  The muse kindly decided to provide one! :)

Young Ingwion Asks a Question (a double drabble)

A/N:  Written for The Tolkien Tango Prompt #48:  CHILD

WARNING:  Do NOT eat or drink while reading.   Really!

Ingwë rested on the shore, half in and half out of the water, his eyes glazed as he dozed. The gentle surf teased his thighs, while the warm breezes played with his golden hair, drying it after his swim.


He blinked then smiled as his young son splashed through the water and settled beside him. "Did you have fun playing with your friends, Ingwion?

"Uh-huh. Atto, may I ask you a question?" Ingwion pushed his wet hair out of his bright grey eyes then picked up a water-polished stone and began to rub it absently as he bit his lower lip.

"Of course, you may." Propping himself up on his elbows, Ingwë turned his full attention to the child.

"Ammë says I will look just like you when I grow up."

"That's right." Ingwë reached out and gently touched the tip of Ingwion's nose. "Already your face looks very much like mine, and eventually you and I will look very much alike."


The youngster sat in silent thought for a time, and Ingwë settled back on the warm sand once more.


"Yes, my Ingwi?"

"Does that mean when I grow up, my belly button will go away?"

A/N 2:  Inspired by my youngling asking whether Adam and Eve had belly buttons. *grin*

CROOKED:  Talking with Atto


The fair-haired ellon who was leaning back in his chair gazing out the window that overlooked the family garden and the rolling green foothills of the Pelori beyond, a quill resting idle in the fingers of his right hand, turned his head towards the door and smiled at the small fair-haired elleth who peeked in through the open door of the sunlit study.

"Is it time for luncheon already, my Melinarë?" Glorfindel turned in his chair and laid down his pen before opening his arms in invitation.

"Ammë says soon but not yet." She scrambled up onto his lap and snuggled against him, batting one of his warrior braids out of the way so she could lean her head back against his shoulder.  "What are you doing, Atto?"

"Oh, just writing a letter to Lord Elrond and Lady Celebrian."  Glorfindel shifted her slightly so he could pick up the document and held it before her.  "Can you read it for me so I can know if I forgot to say anything?"

He listened as his daughter painstakingly sounded out the tengwar, enjoying the childish piping of her voice, and nestled his chin into the soft unruly curls on the top of her head.  Once Melinarë proudly recited the last word, he took the parchment back from her and laid it on the desk.

"You need to sign it now, Atto."

"Well, so I do." Glorfindel picked up the quill and, carefully loading the tip with ink, signed as Melinarë directed, allowing her to sprinkle the sand from the pounce shaker over the glistening letters before wiping the pen and dropping the quill into the rather lopsided pottery beaker that rested next to the inkwell.

Melinarë wrinkled her nose. "Atto, why do you keep that thing? It's… well… it's not… it's…"

"Ugly?" he suggested mildly, sitting back in his chair and turning her to face him.

She blushed a bit and nodded.  "It's crooked.  Uncle Sador made me squish up my crooked bowl and start over again until I got it right."

"Oh, I squished up a lot of clay before I could do it right too, but he made me keep this one just as it was and insisted that I glaze and fire it to keep."  Glorfindel smiled as the memory of that day came clear to his mind.

"But why?" Melinarë asked plaintively.  "It's… " She tilted her head endearingly to the side, glancing sidewise at the beaker, "It's got pretty colors but…."

"It's still all crooked."  He kissed her on the forehead.  "Well, dear one, it's to remind me to do something important."

"What, Atto?" He reached forward, tipped the quills out and put the beaker into her small hands.  The light from the window made the glaze shimmer, and the colors of the sunset—or sunrise, as he preferred to think of them—glowed warmly between them.

"To remember that something--or someone--doesn't need to be perfect to be loved."

A/N:  Written for Leaf and Stone's The Tolkien Tango Prompt: CROOKED. Thank you to Fiondil for letting me borrow Sador from his Valar-verse. :)

The Cake, a double drabble for Aragorn's Birthday

Gilraen glared at the cook and stamped her foot in frustration.  "I am not asking you to make a cake for tonight; I am going to make the cake myself.  I just need a bit of table space, flour, sugarloaf, leavening, eggs and some soured milk, a baking pan and to be left alone to work."

"You are Master Elrond's guest—"  The ellon protested, wiping his hands on the linen towel that was tucked into the top of his apron.

"I am Estel's mother, and today is his birthday!"  The mortal took a deep breath.  "He cannot have what he wants most, but I will make today special for him none the less."  Bright tears glimmered in her eyes as she remembered her young son wishing on the stars the night before that 'papa would come home soon'.  "If you will not grant me space in your kitchen, I will go down the valley and find a farmer's wife willing to loan me the use of her hearth."

That night, when Gilraen presented the soft white cake that was drizzled with honey and sprinkled with finely powdered sugar, Estel sat in his new Ada's lap and clapped his hands.

Tree Duty (a double drabble)

I've been told ever since I was small what an honor it is to be chosen to be one of the Citadel Guards who stand watch over the White Tree.  I couldn't wait to grow up to be big enough to go to the military academy, and to be commissioned so that I could wear the coveted black and silver uniform marked with the White Tree, and the winged helm that hearkens back to ancient Númenor.  My father would take me to see the Tree and would tell me the history of our land; but I only had eyes for the tall, grim-faced men who protected the Tree from any harm.

I grew up, earned my commission, and finally my name came up on the watch list for Tree duty.  I reported to my post, my uniform pristine and my armor shining from many devoted hours of polishing.  I took my place, proud to serve.

By the end of the second hour, standing in the hot summer sun, staring outward, unable to see my four companions even in my peripheral vision, and not allowed to speak to anyone who approaches, I am completely and utterly bored out of my mind.  

A/N:  Back to Middle-earth Month Prompt #2:  
What is the most tedious, routine work that you have to do? Write down a few tedious or routine tasks that you're sometimes required to perform. How does doing routine work make you feel? Would you like to have somebody do it for you?

Now write a story, poem or create an artwork where characters have to deal with tedious jobs.

A/N:  Prompt for March 3rd:  In two or three sentences, write about the happiest moment you've experienced in the past two days. 

Create a story, poem, or artwork based on the circumstances, experiences, or feelings associated with that moment.

A Queen's Duty

The ladies of the court are scandalized when they see me sailing paper boats in the fountain with my young son and his slightly older sisters, my skirts caught up like a peasant woman washing her linens in a stream, my feet bare on the grass and my hair blowing in the breeze, unbound by crown and veil. 

"Leave them to the nurse," they tell me. It isn't proper for one of my rank to kneel beside the tub, scrubbing behind my children's ears and spoiling my gown with soapsuds. It shouldn't be me who pulls the linen shifts down over their tousled, dark heads and tucks them into their beds, ready to tell them a bedtime story. Their childhood years will swiftly flee as minutes, hours and days go by, and all too soon they will be adults taking up their destined responsibilities, and my arms will be empty of their linden-scented warmth. 

So tonight I will fulfill my most cherished duty, and be rewarded by hugs and kisses and loving laughter, seeing my beloved Aragorn in their soft features as they snuggle into their down pillows. I blow out the lamp and stand in the doorway as the nurse clucks her disapproval, burning the image of them all, innocently sleeping, into my memory. My lord husband comes to find me, to bring me back to my guests; but not before he, too, kisses them and sings softly of sailing the night away on Vingilot with their great-grandfather, Eärendil.

    A/N: B2MEM Prompt: March 4th: What is a role model for you? Do role models require certain qualities for you? How should people relate to their role models? Write a story, poem or create an artwork based on characters who are role models for their people.


    "Meriel, what are you doing with your brother's toys?" Adanel wiped her hands on the dishrag and tucked it in her apron as she looked at her daughter.

    The dark haired girl grinned up at her mother, gap-toothed. Around her, the brightly painted wooden troops lay scattered across the floor, along with a faded stuffed toy horse. A battered figure lay beneath the horse, and in one hand she brandished another that had a bit of yellow-dyed yarn attached to the head . In her other hand, a tattered bundle of dark rags menaced it.

    "Lady Eowyn is killing the Witch-King!"

    (100 words)

    B2MEM Prompt for March 5th: Consider something that you regret: something that you did and wish you could undo, something you didn't do and wish that you had. Think or write briefly about what you would do if you had a second chance and how you think your life might be different without that regret. If your character would have a chance to start anew and with a clean slate, what would he or she do with such a chance? Write a story, poem or create an artwork where this is offered to them or how they execute such a chance. 

    B2MEM March 5: Regrets and Resolve  

    The Elder King stood on the east-facing balcony, staring out over the Pelori to the Sea beyond, searching his mind as his far-seeing eyes sought out the borders of Middle-earth. The waters, so recently crossed by the mariner Eärendil, glittered in the sunlight, but he saw them not. He finally sighed, "I should have realized that he would never change, Atar." 

    From the Timeless Halls, Eru Ilúvatar spoke to his vice-gerent with compassion, *Thou madest the choice thou didst out of love, my son. Thou hadst hope for thine elder brother when all others believed him irredeemable.* 

    Troubled, Manwë said, "But because I believed that he had repented of his evil deeds, I caused Melkor to be freed, to be able to work his will on the Children. He poisoned Fëanor's mind against us, and led them to raise blade against each other. He has caused so much pain, Atar, and the Doom that I bade Námo speak has sundered us from those whom you put in our care. We—I—have failed." 

    *What is it that thou wouldst do, my child, to redress what thou seest as thy failure?* 

    The Vala closed his blue eyes and thought of the plea that Eärendil had made of the Valar. Regardless of the choice that the half-elven made, there was only one path that Manwë could choose. "We will make war once more upon Melkor, and remove him from Arda once and for all." He bowed his head in grief and resolve.

    (250 words)

    Variations on a Theme by Eru

    A/N:  B2MEM Prompt for March 6: "Music can name the unnamable and communicate the unknowable." - Leonard Bernstein, American composer.  Write as story, poem or create an artwork where this quote is validated.

    She remembered the glory of singing before the throne of Ilúvatar.  Harmonies grew and swelled, softened and whispered until the theme was interrupted by Melkor's intrusive melody.  She shuddered at the memory, pushed it from her, concentrating on the lilting phrases that adorned the third theme, the notes blossoming like the flowers in the water meads of the Timeless Halls.   

    Yavanna smiled, then breathed upon the grass a mere whisper of the tune that she had sung before Time began, and the gleaming drops of niphredil unfurled amid the verdant blades, minute lights, like Varda's stars on the green hill.

    (100 words) (Thanks to Meriel Greyvale for the title!)

    A/N: B2MEM Prompt for March 5th:  Imagine this! You are walking in the woods and sudden a tree whispers to you ...  What does it say? What is your reaction?  Capture this moment in a story, poem or piece of art.

    One Rainy Day in Fangorn Forest

    Gimli huddled at the base of an immense tree, grumbling through his beard at the persistent drizzle of rain that was making its way past the dense forest canopy.  "Couldn't even find a nice little cave to get out of the wet!"  He grimaced as he tried to flex his left foot; the fall he'd taken along the stream bank had left his ankle swollen inside his boot.

    Alone, for the elf was searching out suitable pieces of wood of which to make splints, he tipped his shaggy head back against the tree's bole and closed his eyes.

    *Greetings, elf friend.*

    Clutching his axe, Gimli shot to his feet.  He overbalanced as his injured limb protested, and fell hard on the damp ground, now facing the tree, just as Legolas appeared through the lesser trees that seemed to defer to the giant beneath which he sat.

    "Gimli, I told you to stay put," the elf scolded as he knelt down next to the dwarf. "If your ankle is broken, that’s going to make it even worse."

    "I thought you'd gotten lost and needed to be rescued," he replied gruffly.  There was no way that he was going to admit to Legolas that he'd heard a voice in his head; a rich, fecund voice, echoing with light laughter, underscored with strength and great age, just like the oak beneath which they rested.

    *Ah, so stubborn, just like my beloved spouse.  Aulë would be proud of you, Gimli Gloin's son.*

    Gimli dropped his axe and jaw in awe, staring over the oblivious Legolas' shoulder, as she stepped forth from the tree, green gowned, with vines and blossoms entwined in her hair, more fair than Lady Galadriel. 

    Yavanna put a finger to her lips, smiled at him, and then faded from his sight.

    (300 words)


    Bregos looked into the ruin of the face he had loved since his first sight of her and laid his twisted hand along her darkened cheek, gently stroking what had once been skin of the fairest white. “Let me release you from your torment, Nirloth,” he whispered in her claw-torn ear as he held her broken body close, despairing as the weight of endless evil hours in the pits of Utumno threatened to finally overcome the fading memories of love and joy and mercy that were all that was left of the elf he had once been.

    For a moment, the madness in her grey eyes retreated, and he could touch again, briefly, the remnants of the bond forged between them at their first awakening.


    It was at once, the hardest and the easiest thing he’d ever done as he closed his fingers about her throat and gave a single sharp twist, freeing his beloved to death even as he knew he had forever cut himself off from redemption by her murder.

    The fire of the balrogs’ whips on his orcish hröa was nothing to the pain that filled his fëa, knowing that he would never see her again.

    A/N: Exactly 200 words according to Microsoft Word.


    A/N: Exactly 100 words per Microsoft Word.

    Elrond swallowed, focused on Eonwe's ageless face. "I choose to be accounted among the Eldar." His choice was made.

    "And I choose the fate of Men."

    Elrond bit the inside of his lip as Elros confidently announced his decision. It had not been a surprise. After much soul searching and earnest, painful discussion, both had promised that neither would press the other to change his mind.

    He was hard pressed to keep his promise as the Herald of Manwe intoned, "So be it."

    When Elros embraced him, Elrond finally understood the sorrow that lived in the eyes of the Eldar.

    For the Want of a Hand

    (exactly 100 words)

    Maedhros leapt to the top of the turnpike stair in pursuit of his prey. "Give it to me, Elwing!  It's rightfully mine!"  

    The bloodstained sword in his hand caught the light of the blazing Silmaril as she whirled about to face him from the middle of the chamber.  "Never!" she cried, backing towards the open window. 

    Step for step, he stalked her. Behind him, his brother, Maglor, appeared in the doorway. 

    He lunged as she leapt to the sill, and reached for her.  

    The moments it took for the sword to fall from his fingers stole victory from his grasp.

    Last Yule
    (Exactly 100 words)

    Elrond Half-elven carefully wrapped the wooden figurine in a soft cloth and set it into the small, velvet-lined casket that lay on the writing table. A snuffle and sneeze from the armchair closest to the hearth caught his attention. "Bilbo?" He abandoned the gaming set he was packing, and stooped down to check on his house guest, "How are you feeling?"

    Bilbo blew his nose and answered, "Much better, actually. I thought I might venture to the Hall of Fire tonight, despite this infernal cold. It's my last Yule in Rivendell, and I don't want to miss a minute of it."

    (Written Christmas night, December 25, 2009)

    A/N:  Posted in honor of Aragorn Elessar Thorongil Estel on his natal day of March 1st.

    Another year gone by.  When I was young, this day was greeted with joy, laughter, cakes and gifts.

    Not so today.

    Another four seasons in the Wild on a search that seems to never end. How long now? Thirteen years?

    It seems that I am no closer to accomplishing that which I must to gain my dearest love. 

    Another year has passed.  But a new one rises before me even as spring creeps into the dreariness of aged winter.  As the buds swell with the promise of warmth and light, I choose to look ahead with hope and not despair.

    Sam's Arrival (a true drabble)

    Lord Námo stepped through the Gates of Mandos, and looked at the dripping burden held gently, reverently, in the Master of Waters’ arms. “Why did you allow this, my brother?”

    Almost defiantly, the bearded chin went up, and Ulmo held the sleeping feä more closely to himself. “It would have been cruel for him to arrive at Tol Eresseä, only for the hope which drew him to the Straight Road to be shattered.”

    Námo reached out to touch the elderly hobbit on the forehead. “Wake, Samwise Gamgee. Frodo has been waiting these many years in my halls for thine arrival.”

    A/N:  Inspired by GamgeeFest's essay"Ring-bearers, Aging, and Life in Aman" at

    Author: Rhyselle

    Title: Sing All Ye People

    Challenge: November 2010 "Pairs". My words were "High" and "Low".

    Rating: G

    Beta: None

    Summary: In Gondor, music is common during times of celebration--even when some individuals would wish it were not!

    Word Count: 100 words

    "The sun was low in the western skies, when Manwë's wind did cleanse the air--"

    Arwen winced as the high note cracked, and only by strength of will didn't cover her ears. She quickly put on a pleasant expression as the singer appeared around the corner, heading for the dining hall.

    "The troops all cheered Sauron's demise, and--Good morning, Mother!" Eldarion interrupted the song to greet her. "Happy Cormarë!" He gave her a hug and continued down the hall. "--And eagles brought the Ringbearers home from there!"

    She would be so glad when Eldarion's voice finally settled!


    (exactly 100 words/April 5, 2011)

    When you hesitated on the pier and looked back towards the Tower Hills and the lands beyond, I thought my heart would stop.  Had you changed your mind?  We have never been apart, not since Ilúvatar placed us together in our mother’s womb.

    Your hair hid your face, and I couldn’t tell what you were thinking.  I feared that even as the Sea had called me to sail West, Middle-earth called you to stay.

     Then you turned, leapt to the moonlit deck. 

    You’ll never know the relief I felt when you smiled and told me, “Cast off! We’re going home!”

    A/N:  For Dancingkatz.  Happy 50th Birthday, dear twin!

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