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Thread: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 30/11/2020]

  1. #221
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Sick Baby of TWC
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 07/03/2020]

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    Top notch writing, indeed! In the previous chapter, I particularly like the moment when Frégol saw a connection between how most hobbits see the folk of Buckland, and how his people see those who live around the bend in the river. In the latest update, it was good to see a different fate for Khazad-Dûm and the detail of Balin's loyalty to Dáin II. I wonder what the Lord and Lady will say.
    Thanks very much Alwyn! I really liked writing the Chapter: A Most Peculiar Encounter. I feel it is one of the strongest chapters I've written for this AAR and am very fond of it. I always wondered what it would be like if Balin had succeeded in his quest. Luckily in DaC he does, and in this particular game they did very well for themselves, however they did not blob out like they sometimes do. Onto the Golden Wood!

    Chapter XXX: A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed
    #JusticeForAkar #JusticeForCal #JusticeForCookie #JusticeForAthelchan



  2. #222
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Sick Baby of TWC
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 19/03/2020]

    It's been two years to the day since I started posting this AAR in the Writers' Study. It's unbelievable how fast time flies by. Here's to two years and two more years, to Chapter number 50 (if you don't count the Epilogue and Prologue), here's to almost 45.000 views, and here's to you, dear reader!

    Cheers!


    Book II, Chapter XXV: The Lord and Lady of Lórien

    Rúmil brought them through the Northern Fences, the northern border of Lórien with the Outside. Rúmil and his men were quiet and secretive, and their behaviour rubbed off on the usually enthusiastic hobbits, who now had fallen silent. The Elves would converse only briefly amongst each other, in a language closely related to Sindarin but alien to any of the Company, including Gandalf. These were Elves of the folk of the Nandor, Teleri Elves who had started the Great Journey to Valinor but had halted at the sight of the Misty Mountains. Many of the folk of the Teleri had then become frightened at the sight of the high mountain range and while on their journey West they had fallen in love with the streams and rivers and forests of western Rhovanion. A large part of those who would become the Nandor forsook the Great Journey then and remained in Rhovanion, living in spread out communities, spanning from the Vale of Anduin all the way to Greenwood the Great – Mirkwood of old. Countless years later a group of the Nandor, led by an Elf lord named Denethor, journeyed across the Misty Mountains all the way to Beleriand where they became known as the Laiquendi, or Green Elves, of Ossiriand. There they performed great deeds in the fight against Morgoth and would eventually return east after the destruction of Thangorodrim and Beleriand during the War of Wrath.

    The Nandor were a much simpler folk than their cousins, the Sindar, in Beleriand, even more simple than the Laiquendi who eventually came to Beleriand. When that part of Middle-Earth sunk beneath the waves many of the Sindar and Ñoldor ventured east in search of new realms. One of these Sindar was Amdir, first king of Lórien. Oropher was also one of the Sindar who ventured into Rhovanion and established the Kingdom of Greenwood the Great. Both Sindar ruled over a mainly Nandor and Silvan (those who stayed behind after Denethor's departure) population. These Elves had no great leaders nor strong realms, they merely lived in peace, happy to ignore the tidings of the world. The Sindar Princes longing to rule their own kingdoms once more took these people under their wing and governed them as they willed. These Wood-Elves learned much from their Grey-Elf masters and in kind the Sindar adopted the Nador and Silvan culture, meshing the two Teleri branches together. Long these kingdoms prospered until the shadow returned to the north.

    After Amdir, who fell in the Battle of Dagorlad during the Last Alliance, came Amroth, Amdir's son. He ruled for a while before he and his lover Nimrodel went south to sail into the West from the haven of Edhellond, in Belfalas, southern Gondor. Amroth met a tragic death at sea and Nimrodel's fate remains unknown, but forever Amroth's name was carried in remembrance by the Princes of Dol Amroth who were said to share blood with Amroth and Nimrodel's folk. With Amroth gone, Lórien was without a king. This is when Celeborn and Galadriel came to be the Lord and Lady of Lothlórien.

    Celeborn too was a Sinda and kinsman to Elu “Thingol” Singollo, the oldest of the Teleri. For a wife he had taken Galadriel, daughter of Finarfin. She was not of the Grey-Elves but of the Ñoldor and a woman of great beauty and power, born in the Blessed Realm of Aman, in the latter days of the Light of the Two Trees. Together they had lived in Doriath for many years where they were married and content to stay at the court of Thingol and Melian. After the fall of Beleriand they went to live in Lindon, where most of the Eldar gathered who wished to stay in Middle-Earth, led by their last High-King, Gil-Galad. For many years they wandered the lands of Eriador until at last they came to Eregion, where Celebrimbor dwelled, the maker of the Rings of Power. Before the War of the Elves and Sauron, Galadriel and her daughter Celebrían relocated to Lórien, where Amdir ruled, while Celeborn remained in Eregion. When Sauron came to the land of Hollin he demanded Celebrimbor to give up the Rings, staking his claim because it had been his knowledge that had made Celebrimbor and the Ñoldor able to create the Rings in the first place. Celebrimbor refused, now aware of Sauron's deceit, and Sauron laid waste to Eriador and brought fire and death to Eregion. Celebrimbor was killed and his lifeless body paraded around Eriador, and the Nine and Seven Rings, safe the one of Durin III, whom had been a close friend to the Ñoldor of Eregion and was said to have received his Ring from Celebrimbor himself and not from Sauron, were taken by Sauron. Celeborn was among those that escaped the sacking of Ost-in-Edhil, the capital of Eregion, and together with Elrond Half-Elven, the Herald of Gil-Galad, he went north to the founding place of Rivendell and stayed there for a while, helping build up this secret refuge of the Eldar, and was later joined there by his wife and daughter who returned from Lórien in search of him. When Sauron was defeated at the Battle of the Last Alliance, the lands of Middle-Earth became easier to traverse and for a great number of years Celeborn, Galadriel and Celebrían explored Middle-Earth east of the Misty Mountains, as far as the borders of Mordor before returning back to Rivendell where Celebrían and Elrond wedded. Afterwards Celeborn and Galadriel returned to Lórien where they lived at the court of King Amroth. When he perished and left no children, Celeborn and Galadriel took up the mantle of Lord and Lady of Lórien, leaving behind the royal name. Together they ruled Lothlórien and Galadriel planted the great mallorn trees, a gift from Gil-Galad, for which Lórien is famous and by the power of Nenya, the Ring of Water, Lórien was a blessed place. But when a Shadow returned to Dol Guldur and began to loom over the Golden Wood once more, the Galadhrim's leaders began to look to fortify Lórien. As the counter of Dol Guldur on the eastern bank, the Lord and Lady built Caras Galadhon – City of Trees – on its opposite bank, and there they dwell still, ever at war with Sauron and his servants.


    Celebrimbor being paraded by Sauron's host

    They entered Caras Galadhon during the night and the city shone bright like radiant starlight captured in stainless glass. It was beauty like no mortal could ever imagine and both Eldarion and the hobbits looked in amazement at the huge trees in which the Galadhrim, the Tree-Folk, lived. In the centre of the city stood an enormous mallorn in which the Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel lived, along with their household. Eldarion thought he had stepped into a magnificent dream of light and music, such was the magic of Galadriel. The city was abuzz and filled with song and laughter for Elves do not rest like mortals do. They wander into dreams fully awake and their bodies rest with meditation and song. So they were brought to the Lord and Lady of Lórien and they were welcomed heartily. Radiant they were, the Lord in silver and the Lady in gold. This was how Eldarion met his distant kin, for he was born of Arwen Undómiel, daughter of Celebrían who in turn was the daughter of Celeborn and Galadriel, and he was humbled in their presence. The Lord and Lady granted them quarters to live in and gave them permission to explore the city. Eldarion spent much time with his hobbit friends, a spring in his step like a second youth had been awoken in him. The Prince felt young and joyful, all his cares, fears and doubts washed away by childlike curiosity and enthusiasm. Together they searched every corner of the city and they were often seen resting in the sun after a long day of exploration or singing under the starlit heavens when night had fallen. They did not spend much time with the Elves of Lórien for not many spoke the Common Tongue or wished to speak in it, though they would look at the five friends with gladness in their hearts. Meanwhile Gandalf spent much time with Celeborn and Galadriel, discussing important matters. The growing power of Sauron, the darkening of southern Mirkwood and the Company's quest. Elrond had sent messengers to Lórien to announce the Company's coming and of their important errand.

    One day Gandalf came to see Eldarion and the hobbits, and said he was going away for a couple of days, White Council business. More on his quest he did not say and Eldarion, his mind still in dreams, did not bother to ask. The rest of the Company continued their blissful time in Lothlórien but soon after Gandalf's departure a feeling began to grow in Eldarion, a feeling that the time soon would come to leave this place and return to the real world and their quest. Days passed and Gandalf did not return. For this reason the Prince went to Galadriel to ask where he had gone and when he would return. The Lord said that he was getting worried for the wizard and that he should've returned yesterday but the Lady remained calm and confident that whatever kept Gandalf it must be important yet none divulged of the wizard's supposed whereabouts. Three more days passed slowly and still Gandalf did not return. Again Eldarion went to see the Lord and Lady of Lórien. They too now seemed tense. “I will speak plainly to you kinsman” said Celeborn, “Gandalf was on his way to the fortress of Dol Guldur in hopes to uncover what the source of the evil is that has re-entered that dark place. Our scouts lost his trail a couple of kilometres across the Anduin.” Eldarion's hopes were shattered. Galadriel diverted the conversion to the Company's quest. She told him all she knew, what Gandalf had told her, that he carried the Ring and what the Council of Elrond had decided what should be done with it. “The time has come for you to choose, son of Arwen.” said Galadriel. Eldarion knew of what she spoke and he dreaded it. “For a while now I have, I will not say wasted but rather spent my time in the wonderful land of Lórien and it has been like a dream,” said Eldarion. “but I know I can't stay here forever though my heart desires it, having seen but a sliver of its wonder and a certainty that I will never return here. With Gandalf gone and no hope of him returning soon I know what I must do.” Eldarion's head sank to his chest. In a second a vision of the horror that was to come had been revealed to him and without Gandalf he felt alone and vulnerable. For a moment his heart was filled with anguish. Galadriel took his chin between her slim fingers and raised his head so their eyes met. A light shone in them and she smiled, instantly lifting his spirits. “You carry the power of the Elves in you, Son of the Eldar.” said Galadriel. Confidence rose again in Eldarion's heart as it banished the despair that had filled it. He then thought of the hobbits. He could not take them any further knowing what lay ahead. He would have to tell them though. It was decided then, he would continue his journey alone. It was as it should be, as it always should have been. He would go to Mordor alone.


    On the Elven Peoples


    As you may or may not know, the Elves awoke at a lake called Cuiviénen (literally means The Water of Awakening), far in the east of Middle-Earth during the Sleep of Yavanna (this was the period before the First Age, also called the Years of the Trees yet it was only named thusly after the Eldar moved to Valinor). All Middle-Earth lay in darkness but for the stars in the heavens (the Sun and Moon had not been created yet, ushering the First Age). I'm not going to recite the entire history of the Elves, for that would be too long and irrelevant. If you wish to know all about that I suggest you to read the Silmarillion. This is merely an explanation to make it easier to understand the things I've said in this chapter, if you so wish to understand more of the lore.

    The Elves were divided into three distinct peoples. The Vanyar, the Ñoldor and the Teleri. The Vanyar were the lesat numerous of them, followed by the Ñoldor, the Teleri being the largest. When the Vala Oromë came with the Valar's summons for the Elves to come to Aman all of the Vanyar and most of the Ñoldor and Teleri accepted the offer. The remainder of the Ñoldor and Teleri that refused would become known as the Avari – The Unwilling. Now the Vanyar and Ñoldor were very eager to leave Middle-Earth and reach Valinor as quickly as possible, the Teleri were more reluctant and tarried long in many places. They did not travel in one host like the other two did but were split in many groups and some forsook the Great Journey at various points for various reasons. One of these groups were those that would become the Nandor, they stayed in Rhovanion, afeared to cross the Misty Mountains (there were other groups of the Teleri like the Sindar who forsook the Journey further to the west, in the forests of Beleriand in search of their King Elwë or the Falathrim who settled near the seas and became very skilled in shipmaking).

    As I said in this chapter some of the Nandor, led by Denethor, would eventually cross the Misty Mountains and became known, in Beleriand, as the Laiquendi. The Nandor that stayed in Rhovanion after Denethor's departure would become known as Silvan Elves. These Elves were the main body of the population of Lothlórien and the Woodland Realm during the Second and Third Age, though in Lórien the mixture between the refugee Sindar (from Beleriand) and Ñoldor (from Beleriand and later Eregion), and the native Silvan populace was higher during the Third Age than in Thranduil's Woodland Realm where less of the Sindar and none of the Ñoldor went. Thus it can be said that the Galadhrim of Lórien are mostly Silvan Elves mixed with some Ñoldor and Sindar.

    This schematic should provide some clarification on the classification of Elves. Do not mind the numbers on top by the clans. Tolkien, in my knowledge, never provided exact numbers on how many of the Elves took the Great Journey and those that didn't. (yet Tolkien's written work is immense and sometimes contradicts itself so who knows.) The primary source I'm using, The Silmarillion, state the following:

    [QUOTE;The Silmarillion, Of the Coming of the Elves]
    “Then befell the first sundering of the Elves. For the kindred of Ingwë (Vanyar) and the most parts of the kindreds of Finwë and Elwë (Ñoldor and Teleri), were swayed by the words of their lords, and were willing to depart and follow Oromë; and these were ever after known as the Eldar.”

    “But many refused the summons, preferring the starlight and the wide spaces of Middle-Earth to the rumour of the Trees; and these are the Avari.”[/QUOTE]


    Note: Minyar, Tatyar and Nelyar mean Firsts, Seconds and Thirds respectively and are directly linked to Vanyar, Ñoldor and Teleri. I didn't use those names previously because it would only confuse people more with so many strange names already present.

    Chapter XXX: A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed
    #JusticeForAkar #JusticeForCal #JusticeForCookie #JusticeForAthelchan



  3. #223
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 19/03/2020]

    Good chapter, you convey well the long history and slowly fading splendour of the elves. Eldarion's decision sounds like a dangerous one, I wonder if the hobbits will disagree.

  4. #224
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 19/03/2020]

    Loving this entire AAR, especially the extra parts on the Elves and so forth, can't wait to see more. Subbed and have some rep!

  5. #225
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Sick Baby of TWC
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 19/03/2020]

    Quote Originally Posted by McScottish View Post
    Loving this entire AAR, especially the extra parts on the Elves and so forth, can't wait to see more. Subbed and have some rep!
    Thanks very much, McScottish! Great to have you with us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    Good chapter, you convey well the long history and slowly fading splendour of the elves. Eldarion's decision sounds like a dangerous one, I wonder if the hobbits will disagree.
    Thanks Alwyn! All your questions (meaning the one ) will be answered in the next update.

    Chapter XXX: A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed
    #JusticeForAkar #JusticeForCal #JusticeForCookie #JusticeForAthelchan



  6. #226
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Sick Baby of TWC
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 19/03/2020]

    Book II, Chapter XXVI: Anduin the Great
    March 3024 T.A. Anduin the Great

    Eldarion traded his horse for a small boat. The horse he had been riding had come from Rivendell and it would be cared for in Lórien before it returned to Elrond's House with one of the Elven parties travelling between the two strongholds of the Eldar. Eldarion had chosen to take the route south by river. The tiny boat would carry him south faster than any legs would be able to carry him. The river could carry him as far as the Falls of Rauros. There was a way down from the waterfall's top to the bottom. Stairs had been hewn inside the rock during the hey-days of Gondor's might, that one could take and thus re-enter the Anduin at the bottom of the falls. Eldarion though would not be able to take that route. Although the boat was light and small, one man was not enough to carry it down the stairs, however strong he be. Whether he chose to follow the river all the way to Nen Hithoel, the lake before the falls of Rauros, he still would need to pick a route: West or East.

    Before he left he had to say goodbye to his friends and the hobbits were distraught to hear of Eldarion's decision to venture forth on his own. They would not be parted from him, not even for the light of lovely Lórien. They were stalwart, defiantly saying: “that they would follow him lest they be tied down”. Eldarion was touched by his friends' loyalty and he would miss them dearly but they couldn't help him anymore. They argued the entire night and their bickering could be heard throughout the city. When morning came so did the Lady of the Wood. Galadriel bade Eldarion to go pack while she beckoned the hobbits to follow her. Eldarion knew not what the Lady said to his friends but when they returned, a couple of hours later, they no longer argued and were just sad. That evening the entire party, bar Gandalf, enjoyed dinner together with the Lord and Lady and, though the hobbits were saddened, the evening was still somewhat joyeus, with here and there a few laughs, the Company members reminiscing their journey so far. The next morning, however, came swiftly and with tear-stricken faces, the hobbits soon found themselves bidding Eldarion farewell and they told him how much they would miss him. That moment by the banks of the Nimrodel Eldarion would always remember as a harsh and bitter goodbye. The Lord and Lady had also come to bid him farewell and wish him good luck on his perilous journey.

    The Nimrodel was quick and, without much effort from the Prince, the boat swiftly carried him from the Golden Wood, into the grey Outside. The golden leaves were left behind and had been replaced by the first green leaves of March, the first signs of spring. Autumn had gone and winter was already letting go, and the more south he travelled, the more this became apparant. Eldarion was startled by this. How long exactly were we in Lórien?, the Prince asked himself. Time in the Elven realm of Lórien passed differently than in the outside world, or so it seemed for mortals, or it was merely a sliver of how the Elves experienced the passing of time. Eldarion did not have the answers for such grand questions and banished them. It doesn't matter how or why, he thought, we're here now and we'll have to deal with it. We've lost precious time.

    Soon the wooded areas gave way to grasslands on the western bank and dark plains on the eastern. Those dark plains were known as the Brown Lands. Whether they had always been known as such, Eldarion did not know, but, from his position on the river, it seemed like a desolate place, having harboured no creatures whatsoever for many an age. The open plain looked dangerous and a dark cloud, coming from the north, hung over it. Eldarion shivered each time he looked in that direction. Eventually he turned his gaze away, focusing on the water that carried him.

    Come the evening of the third day he had reached a shallow, called the Undeeps, and, seeing it was getting late, decided to set up camp on the western bank. Rolled up in his cloak, sitting next to his fire, he lit his pipe. If my calculations are correct, he thought, this, looking around him, must be the field of Celebrant and that, his head bobbing towards the shallows, must be the point where Eorl the Young, with his army of horsemen, crossed the Anduin hastening to the aid of Gondor so many years ago. The battle of the Field of Celebrant had been a turning point in the Balchoth invasion of Gondor. It was here that a host of Easterling tribesmen and Orc raiders had been defeated by the timely arrival of the Éothéod, saving the retreating Gondorian forces from total destruction. For their services the Northmen had been rewarded the plains of Calenardhon, establishing the kingdom of Rohan, which they called the Mark, and they were evermore friends of the people of Mundburg (their word for Minas Tirith).

    As Eldarion recalled the history of that particular battle his thoughts wandered towards Gondor. Every day he was being carried closer to that place and he was very conflicted on what he should do. Eldarion knew he should not expect to be welcome in Gondor, none of the Arnorians were. It infuriated him, the stubbornness and blindness of the Steward. The greed. The embers of his pipe lit up his hooded face and a fire shone in his grey eyes. It was an insult to the Dúnedain of the North, it was an insult to his father, it was an insult to him. Gondor would only be saved by the actions of Eldarion's people, their blood, their lives. His thoughts black and his pipe empty, the Prince layed himself to sleep.

    The following days his mood did chill considerably as the never changing shores flew by. Eldarion did not hasten towards his destination but neither did he tarry. Steady and surely he made his way south and the decision of where he would go next was nearing. The uncharted lands of the east would take him swifter to friendly forces, if only he could find them and traverse the rugged, unexplored terrain, which was questionable. To the west waited the plains of Rohan, taking him away from his goal, and further down that road, Gondor, where he was unsure how they would receive him. Eldarion wondered if he would be able to cross the Anduin at Cair Andros fairly unnoticed and without attracting too much attention to himself. Both routes held risks, both known and unknown, but soon a decision would need to be made: West or East.

    Chapter XXX: A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed
    #JusticeForAkar #JusticeForCal #JusticeForCookie #JusticeForAthelchan



  7. #227
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 04/04/2020]

    A sad parting, indeed - and a difficult choice. I look forward to finding out which way Eldarion will go, and how he'll navigate the obstacles he'll find.

  8. #228
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Sick Baby of TWC
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 04/04/2020]

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    A sad parting, indeed - and a difficult choice. I look forward to finding out which way Eldarion will go, and how he'll navigate the obstacles he'll find.
    Thanks Alwyn. Hardship will only increase with every step southward. The journey is long from over.

    Chapter XXX: A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed
    #JusticeForAkar #JusticeForCal #JusticeForCookie #JusticeForAthelchan



  9. #229
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 17/04/2020]

    Book II, Chapter XXVII: The Choice
    March 3024 T.A. Nen Hithoel

    Ten days since he departed from Lórien, Eldarion reached Nen Hithoel, the lake leading to the sheer drop of Rauros. Mere moments before, he had been greeted by the Argonath, the statues of Isildur and Anárion, guarding the entrance to Nen Hithoel, that marked the borders of Gondor of old. They stood, after almost two-thousand years, indomitable, unwearied by the passing of time. Skill in stonework, of the Númenóreans in Exile, that long since has been forgotten. When Eldarion had looked up to them, he had felt the majesty of the Kings of ancient times, his kin, untainted. Sailing in their shadow, however, brought a chill to his bones and suddenly he found that the monoliths loomed over him, axes brandished, as if ready to strike down at him. Eldarion started paddling faster and the feeling of unease passed when he entered the lake, the sunlight washing over him.

    The journey from the Golden Wood had been peaceful for the most part. Eldarion had almost been trapped in the Sarn Gebir, rapids that were said were no boat could live. Twilight had fallen and it had only been by Eldarion's good hearing that he was saved from smashing against the rocks. Sarn Gebir started after a small bend, without any warning but the noise of splashing of water. Carrying his small boat across land hadn't been an easy task. Luckily the terrain didn't rise and fall that much but nevertheless it took the Prince a whole day to get back to the river. Eldarion didn't want to imagine what it would be like to carry that thing down the North Stairs, the bypass that led to the bottom of Rauros. Once back on the river, Eldarion had encountered neither friend nor foe and continued his lonely journey. Not sure on what to do, the Prince glided towards the place where he would have to make a decision, Nen Hithoel.

    Eldarion led his boat to the western shore of the lake, where he set up camp for the night. It was only just past midday but the Prince wanted one night to decide where he would go next. He also wanted to take a look at the old guard post of Amon Hen, the Hill of Sight. Galadriel had recommended doing so, should he reach the Falls of Rauros, for the Hill would grant one visage over many places. The boat, he dragged on the shore, into the cover of the undergrowth. That way it was concealed but not too far away from the river, should Eldarion decide to take the eastern road. In the boat he left most of his supplies and equipment, save his battle-gear, before entering the wooded hills of the western Emyn Muil, in search of the Seat of Seeing.

    The woods were peaceful and on this beautiful spring day, the Prince enjoyed his walk. Travelling by boat was far from comfortable, he had found out, at least when you are in one for most of the day, walking would do good for his sore legs and back. Not far from where he had made his camp, Eldarion found an old, overgrown stone path, leading up the hill. He reckoned this must be the old road to the watchpost above, and started following it. Gradually he climbed and the higher he climbed, the more the trees started to fade away, until they disappeared entirely. On the bald hill stood a stone structure with on it a throne, at least it could've been a throne given its size and appearance. It was made from the same stone as the hill but unlike the Argonath, it had been worn down by the ages of time and whathever symbols or ornaments it might have beared, long gone. Eldarion seated himself, closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Firstly he turned his gaze east, towards his destination.

    The eastern Emyn Muil was nothing like its western counterpart, the only similarity being they were situated on the same plateau, high above the surrounding lands. Where the west was soft and leafy, the east was hard and rocky, the craggy, sharp rocks rising from the ground like a jagged crown. It too had a hill, like Amon Hen, rising above the landscape, the Amon Lhaw – the Hill of Hearing. Together with Amon Hen and Tol Brandir, the stone spire in the middle of Nen Hithoel, they formed the three peaks looking over Rauros. The Emyn Muil looked deserted and Eldarion saw no sign of enemies on the eastern shore, nor friends for that matter. Eldarion turned to the south-east, towards the Black Gate, there his father and kinsmen were meant to be, but he could not see any sign of them. The Prince sighed, he wanted nothing more than to join them but knew he couldn't, shouldn't. He remembered Gandalf's words, and Elrond's. “This errand is most secret, none may know of it.” Eldarion knew Elrond, and Gandalf to an extent, didn't trust Men, especially those of non-Númenórean descent, and even those that were, they did not trust completely. A not really unfair observation, from their perspective, though Eldarion disagreed. Either way, Eldarion would have to come across them if he was to enter Mordor and perform his task. There was no avoiding that.

    Eldarion turned away from the east and started inspecting the west. Beyond the woods of Emyn Muil, he could see the grassy plains of the Emnet, where the herders of the Rohirrim were guiding their animals from their winter-quarters, near the mountains, to the free-bound pastures of the north, to graze. The lush green plains were a stark contrast to the eastern wasteland. It was also the way back home, where Elenien sat. Eldarion had started missing his wife from the moment he left but the feeling of loss had abated in the prospect of adventure and the company of the hobbits and Gandalf, but mostly the company of his four little friends, who's undaunted spirit had left a permanent mark on him. Now he was on his own and the loneliness hit him hard on that bald hill. A part of Eldarion wanted to abandon the quest there and then. He felt weary and conflicted. His hand grabbed the Ring.

    His gaze was drawn south, towards Minas Tirith. Eldarion thought he could see the White Tower of Ecthelion on the horizon, glinting bright in the waning sun. Anger rose in his chest. “The Fool in his tower.” he spat. Anger washed away the moment of weakness and Eldarion was filled with resolve once again. He would succeed in his quest and then that fool will have to bend to our will. Having seen everything he wanted, Eldarion descended from the Seat and made his way back to his encampment. He had made his decision.

    Chapter XXX: A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed
    #JusticeForAkar #JusticeForCal #JusticeForCookie #JusticeForAthelchan



  10. #230
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 17/04/2020]

    I'm enjoying Eldarion's continuing journey, the way accounts of his reaction to the Argonath and his longing to join his kin and the company of the Fellowship are particularly good!

    This looks like a long and lonely journey and the temptation of the Ring will surely grow stronger. I wonder if Eldarion will make it on his own, or if he will need to find a companion or companions to navigate the dangerous paths ahead and share the burden.

  11. #231
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 10/12/2019]

    So after a long sabbatical I'm back! And definitely not to steal the ring. I've just read the way to Mordor and Passage.

    The way to Mordor: Great writing about Gandalf! Plus I'm always glad to see more hobbit action, but movie aside I really wonder what they're going to bring to the table now. Also I now have to ask if this is supposed to parallel the movies or act as a prequel? I'm abit lost there, pardon me

    Passage: I suspect would probably enjoy this much greater if I had more knowledge of the lore, but this was a tense and exciting encounter. Definitely thought they were going to duke it out. Strange the hobbits are this excited too. Well done!

    Will certainly be back for more

    Swaeft's Scribblings (Library)| Swaeft's Snaps (Gallery)| My Blog (The Lensation)

  12. #232
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Sick Baby of TWC
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 10/12/2019]

    After being on a long vacation I am finally back. I've had many personal issues that prevented me from continuing this story. I do intend to finish this AAR. So thank you all for your patience and I hope you continue to follow To earn a Kingdom. Now let's to another new update!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    I'm enjoying Eldarion's continuing journey, the way accounts of his reaction to the Argonath and his longing to join his kin and the company of the Fellowship are particularly good!

    This looks like a long and lonely journey and the temptation of the Ring will surely grow stronger. I wonder if Eldarion will make it on his own, or if he will need to find a companion or companions to navigate the dangerous paths ahead and share the burden.
    Thanks Alwyn! For the support and great comments. I'm trying a more character-driven and detailed approach with Eldarion's storyline. Glad to see it is working. The journey is long and the dangers aplenty. Let's see what happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swaeft View Post
    So after a long sabbatical I'm back! And definitely not to steal the ring. I've just read the way to Mordor and Passage.

    The way to Mordor: Great writing about Gandalf! Plus I'm always glad to see more hobbit action, but movie aside I really wonder what they're going to bring to the table now. Also I now have to ask if this is supposed to parallel the movies or act as a prequel? I'm abit lost there, pardon me

    Passage: I suspect would probably enjoy this much greater if I had more knowledge of the lore, but this was a tense and exciting encounter. Definitely thought they were going to duke it out. Strange the hobbits are this excited too. Well done!

    Will certainly be back for more
    Always a pleasure to see you here Swaeft! This story plays out in a parallel universe. This is the Quest for the Ring if it had happened in the timeline that has been created in To earn a Kingdom. I hope I can continue to enjoy you with my story. You've had some time now to catch up so I'm counting on your appraisal of the next chapter.

    Chapter XXX: A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed
    #JusticeForAkar #JusticeForCal #JusticeForCookie #JusticeForAthelchan



  13. #233
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Sick Baby of TWC
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 07/10/2020]

    Recap
    Eldarion, Son of Aragorn has it taken upon himself to take the Ring to Mordor in hopes to destroy it. Having faced the dangers of the Misty Mountains and the treacherous Vales of Anduin the Prince and his Company reached Lothlorien. Here Gandalf left them in search of the Dark Power that seems to reside in Dol Guldur. With the wizard gone and no sign of him returning Eldarion made the choice of travelling south by boat on his own. Leaving the hobbits behind in Lorien to pursue their own story Eldarion now stands upon Amon Hen having made a decision on where to go next – east or west.

    Book II, Chapter XXVIII: Rohirrim, The Horse Lords
    March 3024 T.A. Eastfold, Rohan

    With a steadfast pace the Prince came back to the river to retrieve his gear. Having seen all that he wanted on the Hill of Seeing Eldarion was excited to set forth on his newfound path. The boat, with all that he couldn't take with him, he pushed onto the lake. The water took the boat pulling it, first slowly but increasing in speed, towards the waterfall. Eldarion watched as the boat from Lórien vanished over the top. There was no going back now. Eldarion gathered his things and moved away from the water, towards the west.

    It was already well past noon but Eldarion reckoned there would still be a couple of hours of sunlight for him to use. The weariness that had plagued him when he had arrived at Nen Hithoel was all but a fading memory with energy and purpose coursing through the young Dúnadan's veins. Each step was strong and filled with confidence as if he was guided by a higher power. Not a doubt plagued the Prince and for the remainder of the day he made steadfast progress towards the plains of the Rohirrim.

    The forests of the western Emyn Muil were pleasant to traverse through. The oak trees that grew there were not too dense and light often reached the forest floor giving warmth to the many crawling creatures that lived there. The ground was soft and indented slightly at the man's weight only to bounce back easily after Eldarion's foot had left the spot. When nightfall came Eldarion set up his camp in a nice grove of trees that had formed a small enclave, closed off from the rest of the forest save one entrance. Tomorrow he would have to descend the eastern wall of Rohan, the end of the plateau on which the Emyn Muil lay. It was a rocky formation with a rather steep fall until it hit the grasslands of the Rohirrim. Eldarion had reached the place where the plateau abruptly stopped with the setting sun stinging in his eyes. To try and climb down the treacherous path this close to night would've been too dangerous so the Prince reluctantly drew back into the woods to wait for the morn. In the shade of the trees he made a fire to keep himself warm during the night. When it was no more than embers Eldarion wrapped himself in his cloak and let a dreamless sleep take him.

    The following morning he woke at dawn's first light. After a brief cold breakfast the Prince bounded for the end of the Emyn Muil. Eldarion came to the same spot he had the night before. With the sun at his back he could see the plains of Rohan open up before him. Vast swathes of grassland as far as the eye could see. This was the home of the Horse-Lords, the Rohirrim. Shielded by the White Mountains in the south, the plains stretched far to the north, where they bordered with the hilly region of the Wold, and to the west where they narrowed between the Ered Nimrais and the Misty Mountains and became the Gap of Rohan. It was unlike any of the lands of Arnor and Eldarion thought it beautiful. It symbolised freedom from bonds, a land of simplicity. The Prince took a deep breath of the fresh morning air. Sadly he would not be going across the plains of Rohan. Once he set foot on them he would turn south towards the White Mountains. In the shelter of the mountains the journey would take him east, towards the Isle of Cair Andros where, the Prince hoped, he could cross the Anduin unseen. Eldarion looked down the drop and all thoughts of his greater journey were washed away by a single entity: Let's first try and get down here without breaking my neck.

    Eldarion had been right to not risk the descend in the fading light. More than once his feet found themselves slipping on the loose gravel. His hands were sore and had accrued multiple small cuts in preventing him from sliding all the way down. Dust had entered his nose and eyes and he didn't want to know how the rest of him looked. He felt a sneeze building up. Eldarion looked down. He still had a ways to go. He had to focus to keep the sneeze in. Another step and then another. The Prince could see the grass below him. Suddenly he sneezed so fiercely he lost his footing. Violently he crashed down the remainder of the path. With a painful thump Eldarion landed on the plain. His face buried in the grass he thought the landing would've at least been softer, but the ground underneath had been hard and firm. Groaning the Prince rose patting off the dust, quite unsuccesfully. Eldarion stretched all his limbs. Everything seemed to work just fine, he hadn't broken any bones. He did feel he was covered in bruises. Those would sting come the morning. He looked up to the wall he had just descended and produced a weak smile, to say: I have beaten you.

    At the sound of whinnying horses he turned around. A troop of armoured horsemen were galloping his way. There was no way he'd be able to escape them. Eldarion sat down and waited for them to arrive. They closed him in against the rocks, the tips of their spears not yet lowered but ready. One man with long golden locks flowing from his helmet cried something in a foreign language. Eldarion gave no sign he had understood the man and remained silent. “Halt! In name of the King!” the blond man cried once more, this time in the Common Tongue. Eldarion started to rise. “Stay down!” the man shouted. “Who are you and what are you doing in our lands?” he asked. Eldarion sat down again and had to look up to see into the man's shielded eyes. He had a savage face, weathered by the sun, a well kept reddish beard underneath cold blue eyes. The man's helmet covered parts of his upper face, including those cold wells. His hand was on his sword, ready to strike. Surely he was intimidating to behold and looked a formidable foe. Eldarion didn't really know what to say. He had hoped the Rohirrim would be friendly to his people but they clearly thought him some vagrant. “I am Thorongil of the North” the Prince ultimately said “and I am trekking through these lands.” The Rohirric man wasn't too pleased by this answer and he moved his horse closer to Eldarion. “The King does not permit strangers to cross his lands without permission.” he said, eyeing him. It was clear they didn't trust him. “I have been sundered from my brothers on the other side of the Anduin and I'm trying to reach them.” Eldarion told them. They all looked at him, skeptically. “You don't look much of a soldier.” the horseman said after a moment of silence. “Nor have we heard of any recent battle” he added “which means you're either a deserter or a spy.” The man dismounted, hand still on his sword. “Lay down your weapons and come with us.” Eldarion looked around and for a moment he felt rage boiling up in him. The thought of fighting entered his mind. As soon as it came the feeling went and he sighed. The Prince rose and the Rohirrim tensed, lowering their spears. Eldarion did not look at them as he ungirded his sword and dagger laying them on the ground. Next to it he placed his bow and quiver of arrows. Undone of all his weapons the Prince raised his hands in a sign of defenselessness. The blond man motioned one of his friends over to collect his arms and another to pat him down. “I hope you can ride otherwise we'll strap you on the back of one of our horses.” Eldarion nodded. “You can ride with Wala here.” Two men grabbed him by his arms and bound his hands together. They then hoisted him on what Eldarion could only guess was Wala's horse, a robust white speckled brown horse. The leader of the Rohirric troop shouted something in their language and the pack began to ride. Eldarion had to be carfeul not to fall down and grabbed hold of Wala as best as he could with his bound hands. With every bump the Prince felt pain shoot through his body as his bruises had gone cold and sore. It was going to be a very unpleasant ride.
    Last edited by Turkafinwë; October 10, 2020 at 10:38 AM. Reason: fixed several typo's

    Chapter XXX: A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed
    #JusticeForAkar #JusticeForCal #JusticeForCookie #JusticeForAthelchan



  14. #234
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 07/10/2020]

    Your descriptions of Middle-earth's places and people are effective, I feel as if I'm walking beside Eldarion on his journey. Travelling alone seems dangerous - he has no-one to keep watch, no-one to help if he's injured and no-one to vouch for him to strangers. You've got me interested in what will happen at the end of the unpleasant ride with this particular group of strangers!

  15. #235
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Sick Baby of TWC
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 07/10/2020]

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    Your descriptions of Middle-earth's places and people are effective, I feel as if I'm walking beside Eldarion on his journey. Travelling alone seems dangerous - he has no-one to keep watch, no-one to help if he's injured and no-one to vouch for him to strangers. You've got me interested in what will happen at the end of the unpleasant ride with this particular group of strangers!
    Thanks Alwyn! Many hours of my youth spent in "studying" Tolkien's universe instead of doing something remotely useful is surely a big help in bringing Middle-Earth to life. Glad to see it's working. (it is one of the main reasons this AAR exists, to explore Middle-Earth and to bring it to life). Indee. Eldarion is reminded of the dangers of his choice. One man alone is very vulnerable as we've seen with his easy capture by the Rohirrim. All of your questions will be answered in the next update.

    Chapter XXX: A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed
    #JusticeForAkar #JusticeForCal #JusticeForCookie #JusticeForAthelchan



  16. #236
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Sick Baby of TWC
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 14/10/2020]

    Book II, Chapter XXIX: Aldburg

    Imprisoned. They had arrived in Aldburg two days ago after a miserable five-day journey. Eldarion had learned that the Men of Rohan were courteous but not friendly, at least not to those they considered enemies. They hadn't mistreated him during their ride, granting him a hour of free movement of his limbs before tying his hands and feet together before bedtime. His bruises had turned purple and the bumpy horseriding did nothing to alleviate the tension in his body. Even if he had been completely fit Eldarion knew there was no escape. The Rohirrim kept a serious watch on him, not leaving him alone. Even when he needed to react to nature's call there were at least two Men lurking over his shoulders. The Rohirrim avoided contact with him as much as they could, their only interactions being the food they provided him with and the tying and untying of his bonds. Eldarion tried to talk to his captors but none of them were really talkative and mostly ignored his requests. On the second day of his capture he had asked Wala were they were headed, that at least he had some idea of what was happening. Wala's response had been curt: “To Aldburg.” Eldarion later found out that Aldburg was one of Rohan's oldest settlements and the seat of the Third Marshal of the Mark. It was also the administrative headquarters of the region Eastfold, the easternmost region of Rohan. For now he only knew it as the place of his captivity.

    The leader of the squad that had captured him had told him they would soon come to collect him, to be brought before the Third Marshal. He would decide what should be done with him. That was two days ago and Eldarion was fed up. He was fuming once they finally came for him and they brought him to the Great Hall. The Hall extremely bright in comparison to the dungeon where he had sat for the past two days blinded the Prince as his guards guided him towards the throne. When he looked up he saw a tall and grim gentleman sitting on it. He was not much younger than Eldarion himself was, in his forties. He was girded for war, a helmet with a grand white plume on his head and a sword laying bare on his lap. “My men tell me you are a deserter from the Royal Arnorian Army. How do you plead to these charges.” he said. He doesn't beat around the bush this one, Eldarion thought. “Not guilty. I plead not guilty.” the Prince said, raising his chin. “Moreover I ...” “If you're not a deserter then you must be a spy. Are you a spy?” the man interrupted him. “I am not a spy. Not for the enemy, nor for our side.” Eldarion replied. The man on the throne remained silent for a moment eyeing his captive. “Then who are you?” he simply asked, hunching over towards Eldarion. Eldarion had thought a lot about that inevitable question during his captivity. He had concocted an elaborate backstory for his character, Thorongil, and had practiced it until he knew it by heart. Yet being in that room, being questioned by this man who looked down on him, the court already convicting him made Eldarion take another route altogether. He was the Prince of Arnor, Heir to the Northern Kingdom of the Dúnedain and noone, noone, would treat him this way. “I am Eldarion, son of King Elessar of Arnor, Lord of Cardolan, Prince of Arnor and heir to the Northern Dúnedain Kingdom of Arnor. My business is my own and I order you to unhand me at once!” Eldarion spoke with such power that the room fell completely silent. The Lord of Aldburg rose sword in hand. Eldarion looked him right into the eyes with a fury and conviction few could withstand. The Man of Rohan calmly sheathed his sword and approached the Prince. When Eldarion could look directly in the Man's blue eyes he removed his helmet and immediatly Eldarion recognized him. This was Éomer, King Théoden's nephew. The two of them had met at Aragorn's coronation almost 20 years ago. Both men had aged but Éomer more significantly than Eldarion although they were roughly the same age. The Third Marshal looked at him for awhile, his visage telling the Prince that he was unsure. “To wage war is not difficult, what is difficult is” Éomer started. “to live with the consequences after.” Eldarion finished. It had been a memorable conversation they had once had. The two of them had talked much about war, something they had found a soulmate in. “Apologies my friend.” Éomer said grabbing Eldarion's hand. “I didn't recognize you and I mean, look at you.” Eldarion looked at himself and understood what he meant. He did look like a mess. His clothes covered in stains and filled with dust. His hair unkempt and his beard untrimmed. Éomer whistled for some servants. “Prepare this man a bath worthy a Prince at once. After you have cleaned yourself we shall talk. You will sit on my right side during the banquet tonight and you'll have your own quarters in the Great Hall. Your bath awaits.”

    Eldarion groaned as he slid into the hot bath. The servant girls who washed him were careful not to hurt him seeing his bruised body. They must've been no older than fourteen and they fawned over him in that youthful adoration the young and innocent possess. They were pretty and Eldarion could see they would become beautiful women once they reached adulthood. For now he sat back and relaxed as the caked filth was scrubbed from his body. The Prince closed his eyes and would've fallen asleep were it not for the giggling girls. Eldarion smiled, now this was the way a Prince should be treated he thought. It took about half an hour to scrub him clean after which the girl's job was done. Eldarion stayed in the water for just a little bit longer enjoying the heat. He could see there was a basin and a mirror at the other end of the room. There also lay a razor. He reckoned it was time to get out now. He was about to rise when he noticed the servants standing in the doorway, waiting expectantly. The Prince was saved by the girl's matron. The burly woman shooed the girls away. Eldarion could hear their disappointed groans as they left the room. Eldarion chuckled. The matron had brought some fresh clothes for him to wear. Eldarion thanked the woman as he rose. She handed a towel to him and he started to dry himself. Once dry it was time to shave. Eldarion sat down and looked at his own reflection. He did indeed look like a vagrant. His beard poking out in every other way. Eldarion took the razor and got to work.

    Fresh-faced the Prince sat at the table for dinner. The last time he had eaten this well seemed like a hundred years ago. The Rohirrim demeanor had changed completely. In friendship Eldarion found them a hearty and friendly people. On his left sat Éomer and to his right sat the man who captured him, a man called Léofric. Léofric was Captain of the Third Marshal's Guard. He showed to be a pleasant companion. A part of Eldarion wanted the Rohirrim to prostrate themselves before him in shame. A voice of reason within him said that was ridiculous and the honest display of the Rohirric people was suprisingly refreshing and enough to make him forget about his hurted pride. They deemed they had done nothing wrong, and perhaps they hadn't from their perspective, and treated him with all the honour that he could wish for now they knew who he was. For them his imprisonment was a thing of the past. In Arnor such a misunderstanding was the basis for a lifelong enemy. Perhaps it is better to look past old grievances faster and live more in the present, Eldarion pondered as he took a sip from his goblet. After dinner Éomer and Eldarion found a quiet corner near the fire to discuss several things.”So what brings you so far from home ?” Éomer asked. The Third Marshal was very curious to know why Eldarion was found on their eastern border, a strange place for him to be. Eldarion couldn't tell Éomer the same ruse as they did in Arnor, that he had been summoned by his father to fight in the war otherwise he would've just travelled through Rohan's territory. There was no ban on Arnorians coming through Rohan like there was in Gondor. Because of his warlike behaviour Éomer was often thought of as a brute with the intellectual faculties of a caveman. Nothing was less true. Eldarion found him an intelligent and shrewd man, his guesses closer to home than the Prince wished for. Eldarion felt compelled to be true to Éomer, the loneliness of his quest weighing heavily on him. He needed to talk to someone, trust someone. “I am on a secret mission.”

    Chapter XXX: A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed
    #JusticeForAkar #JusticeForCal #JusticeForCookie #JusticeForAthelchan



  17. #237
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 14/10/2020]

    I like the way that you describe Eldarion's frustration and how he emerges from the darkness of his cell to the unfamilar brightness of the Great Hall. There's a nice parallel (at least, in my mind) between his movement from confinement and darkness into bright light, and his shift from prisoner to honoured guest.
    Last edited by Alwyn; October 25, 2020 at 11:47 AM.

  18. #238
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Sick Baby of TWC
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 14/10/2020]

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    I like the way that you describe Eldarion's frustration and how he emerges from the darkness of his cell to the unfamilar brightness of the Great Hall. There's a nice parallel (at least, in my mind) between his movement from confinement and darkness into bright light, and his shift from prisoner to honoured guest.
    Thanks Alwyn! I will be honest with you and say that I didn't plan for it to be that way. It's a nice touch that came naturally or it's just a happy coincidence. Who knows.

    Chapter XXX: A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed
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  19. #239
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 30/11/2020]

    Book II, Chapter XXX: A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed

    Eldarion told Éomer everything. Of Gandalf's coming, his departure at Fornost, the Company's encounter with the Nazgul, the Council of Elrond, the journey across the mountains, the Beornings, the Holbytlan, Lórien, his lonely journey on the Anduin. Everything. Éomer hadn't spoken once during the Prince's tale. It was relieving for Eldarion, as if an enormous weight had been lifted from his shoulders. Silence descended between the two when the Prince was done. The noise from the last residents of the Hall came crashing in, their chortling laughs and drunken ruccous was painful after the silence. Éomer remained still, a pensive look on his face as the crackling fire was reflected in his bright eyes. “That's been a great journey you've been on so far and an even greater burden to carry.” he said softly. The Third Marshal looked into the Prince's eyes. Eldarion could see compassion and determination in Éomer's. Éomer sighed. “I'm not getting any younger and I have little purpose here. My sons are fully grown and peace, mostly, reigns across the lands of my Lord's realm. My Lord is growing old but his son is strong and wise and will make a great king one day and his sons after him.” The two men sat in silence. “Perhaps you were brought here for a reason. Let me come with you.” he continued. Eldarion's heart leaped, a darkness manisfested itself deep within, a dreadful feeling that was gone as soon as it had appeared overtaken by joy. “Yes!” Eldarion shouted jumping from his seat before he could control himself. A couple of heads turned towards the two of them in curiosity. Eldarion fell back to his chair and the men returned to their business. A wind flickered the braziers and hearth. Eldarion looked and just saw someone closing the door of the Hall. It must've whipped open by the wind. The Prince shook his head and looked at Éomer. “Perhaps this is the will of Manwë.” Eldarion smiled. Éomer quizzically looked at him “Who is Manwë?” Éomer asked. Eldarion was a bit stunned by this question. “Have you ever heard of the Valar?”he asked, Éomer shook his head. “They are the Gods on Arda under Illúvatar and Manwë is their leader.” Eldarion said, Éomer nodded in recognition. “I know of whom you speak now though I have never heard the name Valar or Manwë before. We have our own names for the Gods. I've never been one to believe in divine comings and prophecies yet I must admit that your coming feels more than mere chance.” Éomer said. Eldarion clasped his hands together. “It is settled then. We shall bring salvation to the world of Men, the House of Eorl and Elendil united.” Eldarion was reinvigorated by the prospect of travelling with Éomer. Going on his own had been harder than he liked to admit. “When do we leave?” Eldarion asked, the energy radiating from him. Éomer sighed. “I'm afraid I still have some work to do before I can leave. I have to talk to my uncle, the king, and my family. Give me a week and I'll be ready.” Eldarion's shoulders sank. He was impatient to continue on his journey. “In the meanwhile you are free to roam our city. I'm sure Léofric will be happy to show you around.” Éomer said.

    The first days of the week moved painfully slow with a brooding Eldarion pacing through the Great Hall of Aldburg. Nothing could satisfy the Prince despite the best efforts of the servants. There was nothing they could do to help him for they could not give him what he wanted. He was prone to locking himself in his room. In his discontent he often grabbed hold of the ring, marvelling at its shine in the candlelight. In the dark of the night the ring spoke to him in dreams, dreams of grandeur and majesty. During sleepless nights his thoughts would wander to the piece of jewelry. On the fourth day Léofric dragged the Prince outside his room. He had said it was time to pick a horse for the coming journey. The Rohirrim were said to have the finest steeds in the West and that they loved them dearly. Rarely they would give one to a stranger for they treated the animals like family. Léofric took him to the stables in the upper ring of the city, where the more wealthy people lived. The stables were tidy and clean with men and women running around tending to their horses. Léofric took him to the end of the room where a black mare stood. Her coat was rough and dull, her mane was wild and blonde. She snorted as she saw the two men approach. Eldarion could see she was a rather short and stocky horse, at least in comparison to the graceful and large horses the Rohirrim mostly preferred. The Prince looked at the horse with skepticism, as if Léofric was trying to sell him the runt of a litter, which Léofric noticed. The Rohirric man laughed. “Don't judge her before you've ridden her. She's a fiesty one and has the heart of a mountain lion.” he said. Eldarion remained skeptic. “Where you're going you don't need a graceful horse but a strong one. One that can handle herself in rugged and mountainous terrain.” Léofric gave the horse a treat and spoke to her a couple of words in Rohirric to which she snorted as if in laughter. “What do you say we go for a testride?” Léofric's eyes glistened in enjoyment. Eldarion looked at the horse and shrugged. “Why not.” He hadn't anything better to do and it actually felt good to be outside.

    They led their horses through the streets of Aldburg towards the plains of the Eastfold. Exiting from the north gate and the hills at their back both men mounted and started riding northward. The black mare was very compliant to Eldarion's orders so he didn't know what Léofric was on about her being fiesty. Probably just trying to scare him. Eldarion decided to press her a bit. She accelerated accordingly. Léofric fell behind and had no intention to follow him. If Eldarion had looked behind he would've seen a smirk on the man's face. Let's see how fast you really can go. The Prince kicked the horse's flanks and she sped forward. Eldarion was impressed. She was much faster than her stature would have you believe. Perhaps this horse was the perfect match for him after all. Time to get back to Léofric. Eldarion pulled the reins but the horse just kept running, accelerating even. He kept tugging at the reins but she would not react to any of his commands. She started making sharp turns and jumping over rocks all on her own. All Eldarion could do was cling on to her neck and hope they didn't crash. He could hear Léofric's laughter on the background. The Rohirric man had caught up just to make fun of him. Léofric shouted something and the mare stopped near instant. Eldarion had to muster every ounce of strength to remain in the saddle. Léofric stopped beside him. “I think she likes you.” he said grinning. Eldarion righted himself in the saddle. “She sure is special.” was all the Prince could say but internally he felt glad. The mare merrily shook her head and Eldarion patted her fondly on her flanks. ”Now that I know what kind of rider you are I have no problem with lending her to you. She's one of my own herd so I want you to be careful and treat her well.” Léofric had become very serious. Eldarion looked at the strange mare and she looked at him. Those deep brown pools of eyes were filled with a fire and desire to match Eldarion's. “I'll take her.” he said, Léofric nodded. “I did not make this offer lightly. I know she is a strong-willed girl and a daredevil, but I want her safely returned to me. I want you to promise me.” Léofric gazed intensely into the Prince's eyes. Eldarion didn't hesitate. “I promise I will return her safely.” The tense atmosphere dissipated and Léofric loosened up. “Then Cynegyd is yours. At least for a while."

    Chapter XXX: A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed
    #JusticeForAkar #JusticeForCal #JusticeForCookie #JusticeForAthelchan



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