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A/N: Hope all are safe and well! ((hugs)) I hope you enjoy this! :-))
Ch. 12 - Promises Fulfilled
The midday sun rose to its zenith filtering down warm autumn sunlight as Master Taethion made his way from the third level to the Citadel and the King’s House on the seventh level of Minas Tirith. “Keep up, Telion! We must be quick I do not wish to keep the Lady Éowyn waiting!”
“But how can we keep her waiting if she doesn’t know quite when we are coming? We only told the courier that it would be ready in the afternoon.” Telion asked innocently.
“Stop asking such fool questions,” Master Taethion ignored the common sense of the question. “She said before the wedding day and that day is tomorrow. So therefore I don’t want to her wait any longer than she has to!”
Telion opened his mouth, but shut it again, discretion saying that there would be no getting any sense out his master while he was in this mood. It was true that there has been sleepless nights since the impromptu Royal visit, which could excuse the master’s temperament and Master Taethion had allowed him to work in partnership with him on the commission, rather than telling him what needed to be done. Taethion had talked with Telion about his own ideas on the work because he had been so favoured by the Lady Éowyn. He was proud of the work he had had a hand in creating and it was why he had been allowed to come along to deliver the commission to the Lady Éowyn.
They arrived at the gates of the Citadel. Rarely had Telion ever been this far up on the tiers of the White City. On the day of Aragorn’s coronation had been the first time and this was the second. He was awestruck when he saw the new sapling of the white tree planted in the middle of the great courtyard. It gave him such a sense of hope and of new beginnings. He looked up from the sapling and saw that Master Taethion had already reached the entrance to the King’s House and Telion had run to join him at the entrance.
The Tower Guardsman asked Master Taethion his name and business. “I am Taethion, Master Jeweler. Here to deliver a commission to the Lady Éowyn for her wedding day. I am to deliver it to her hand.”
The guardsman looked at Taethion with an air of questioning and crinkled his nose and mouth, appearing to mull over what Taethion had imparted. He looked Taethion over in a way Telion did not necessarily agree with. He almost said so when the Guardsman called a squire over, “Dartmir, can you inform the Lady Éowyn that Taethion, the Master Jeweler is here to see her.” The boy nodded and set about his errand.
The guardsman motioned for them to wait in the alcove while the squire scurried off to perform his task. “It should not be too long. If you would not mind waiting.” They sat in a little waiting area where a few cushioned chairs were placed. Telion looked around, he gulped and snatched his hat off. This little waiting area was nicer than his mum’s best sitting room. He and the master sat. He tried not to fidget overly much for he felt it was somehow not polite.
After ten minutes or so the Lady Éowyn appeared. “Master Taethion! Telion!” She reached out her hands to both of them, “So lovely it is to see you! I am so sorry I was delayed,” her eyes sparkled, “It is done?”
Master Taethion bowed his head smartly, “Aye My lady. It is done!”
Telion could not help himself, “I helped with the designing my lady! Master Taethion asked me to help!”
“And he had some very good ideas, if I do say so. My Lady!”
Éowyn looked at Telion smiling and he felt bashful all of a sudden. She was so beautiful. The Lord Faramir was such a lucky man to be marrying someone so beautiful. She said looking at them both, “I’m sure that I will find your creations beautiful.”
Telion said, “Aye, my lady. Anything for you, My lady.”
Taethion smiled at the awestruck lad shaking his head just a little and continued on, “Would you like to see, my lady?”
“Yes, of course.” Taethion made to extract the case from its velvet bag. “Oh, but not here! Come, let us retire to the Queen’s rooms. She will want to see them as well.”
As Éowyn lead them towards the Queen’s apartments, Telion could not help but look back at the Guardsman who had doubted the Master, to give him a look that said, “See, we were welcomed,” but the look fell flat because the Guardsman was no longer taking notice of them.
They walked through the King’s house and Telion was slacked jawed at the opulence he saw. Thick rugs on the floor. Beautiful hangings on the walls. Carved mahogany furniture. Soon they went up a staircase and arrived in a room that seemed to be made of glass and windows with a more magnificent view of his city than he could have ever imagined. He walked to a window and looked out. He could just make out the second level where he and his mum lived. After asking for some refreshments to be sent up the Lady Éowyn came up next to him. “It is indeed a breathtaking and beautiful view.”
“I think I can almost tell where my house is.”
“Where?” she asked curiously.
“You see that pole on the second level almost straight down to the left of the prow.”
“I think so.”
“Right next the line with pink underwear. That’s our neighbor, she always forgets her laundry on the line!”
“Telion! That is not a proper thing to be discussing with her ladyship!”
But Éowyn laughed, “I am unfazed, Master Taethion. I am made of sterner stuff.” She walked back the middle table and started clearing a space for the master to display their work. The tea service was rolled in, “Ah Good! Nariel, can you tell me if the Queen will arrive shortly?”
“Aye My lady! She said that she would be here directly.”
“Thank you, Nariel.”
“Aye, My lady. Is there anything you require?”
“No, Nariel. That will be all, thank you.”
Nariel nodded and as she took her leave she looked at Telion, shyly smiling. Telion stood there a little shocked that she had. Girls did not usually look at him. He was usually pretty much invisible.
The Queen and Dolthiriel arrived, “Now then, I hear our commission is done!” she enthused.
“Aye My Queen.” Master Taethion announced, nodding with hand on heart and motioning for Telion to do the same. Telion quickly complied. He proceeded to extract the leather hinged box from its velvet encasing. He opened the case. Éowyn’s eyes fell on a man’s ring. The stone was oblong and the band that held it was a combination of silver and gold. Silver on one side and gold on the other wrapping around the stone in tiny sculpted leaves. On the oblong black stone with carnelian coloured stripes was an intaglio relief of the Rohirrim standard of a horse with a flowing mane carved. Such deft and fine craftsmanship.
“May I?” Éowyn asked as she reached to pull it out of the case.
Master Taethion deferred, “They are yours.” Éowyn smiled and pulled the ring from the box. On one side there was a stylized “F” and on the other, a stylized “É”. She replaced Faramir’s ring and then examined her own. The same silver and gold wrapped around a more triangular black stone with a ring of white striping with an intaglio relief of the White tree and stars of Gondor and again an “F” on one side and an “É” on the other. Arwen picked up the bracelet and noticed that the stones chosen had been replaced by two silver plates with an engraved gold monogram of “F” and “É” on each and it was now joined by a clasp made of two joined hearts.
“This work is exquisite!” Éowyn looked at the pieces with tears in her eyes, “It is all so beautiful beyond words.”
Telion could not contain himself any longer, “Did you notice? Your ring has the tree of Gondor and the Lord Faramir’s has the Rohirrim horse. That is to symbolize that you are now part of each other’s world. Also the gold of Rohan and the silver of Gondor meeting and interweaving to make up the band. That was my idea.”
The tears spilled down Éowyn’s cheeks as she hugged Telion and then Master Taethion, “Thank you, Thank you, for such thought and care that was put into the crafting. It is all so beautiful. I must say thank you in more than just words. You must allow that.”
“We have already received payment, my lady.”
“Beyond payment,” Éowyn declared. She paused, “It would be my distinct honour that you should attend the wedding as my guests.”
Master Taethion deferred, “Oh my lady, we could not impose.”
“Nonsense! You will be my guests. And bring your families.”
Telion immediately asked, “Can I bring my mum?”
“Yes, of course. Please. Now I must find a hiding place for this before the Lord Faramir can see it. It is to be a surprise for him.” With that she put the two rings in her dress pocket and shut the leather case. Tea was promptly served and Telion ate his fill of pastry. Again he caught the eye of the shy maid and began to think that maybe for once in his life he was not invisible. And what a story he would have to tell his mum when they had their tea. It was a tale past imagining. Later as he and Master Taethion were walking down the tiers, Telion was chattering away and Master Taethion simply let him go on. True happiness the old master surmised was a rare enough thing even in these burgeoning days of new hope that it should be allowed its full expression. He looked at his young apprentice, he had done very well and it had been a good day indeed.
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