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Old 04-27-2003, 11:44 AM   #41
Cuthalion
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Sting

A heavy pall fell over Melost as he and the others rode east toward Imladris. Today was a day that rankled in his heart. He had stood on one of the many landings of Elrond's home and had pledged to Anwanelme that he would return to her, to take her as his wife. In stead of the smile he had hoped would light her face, she had turned from him when he had told her also of his duty to his King. "Duty" he thought bitterly. "What has it gotten me? Too many cold nights in an empty bed and more scars on my soul."

He took to his fellows who cantered at his side and wondered why he had asked them to come. As he looked over at Arthain, a chill clawed its way down his spine as though a premonition of evil was trying to make itself known. Melost shook his head to clear it. "How could I think evil of him? He is my dearest friend. I must be tired." He thought ahead to his re-union with his beloved, knowing she would take it ill when he told her he would be continuing on with Gil-Galad rather than remaining with her. He touched the stone tucked next to his heart and his thoughts turned grim. "Better not to think on this any further, for it is more than even odds that I will not survive, yet if she were to give me the smallest hint that she yet loves me and will have me, then I will kill Sauron myself if that is what it takes!" His eyes kindled to flame and he urged his horse faster, eager to find what awaited him, the fulfillment of his desires or certain death.

[ June 30, 2003: Message edited by: Cuthalion ]
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Old 04-27-2003, 11:59 AM   #42
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Sting

Thelian urged his horse faster to keep up with Melost who picked up his pace. Thelian thought on what would await them in Imladris. A comfortable bed and a homely meal no doubt, but Thelian believed there was no need for the four of them to ride foward. A single messenger would suffice surely, he thought over and over. He knew the real reason of course, Melost wanted to see his love again.

Thelian felt Melost's pain, he had loved and lost himself, a long time ago. Anwanelme would wait, Thelian knew she would, but that did nothing to ease the pain of Melost. Thelian shook his head free of the troubles and looked over at the youthful Dorlas. He smiled in return whilst yawning.

"You'll soon be a master of night riding young Dorlas!" Thelian shouted across to the boy.

"One more disturbed night, Thelian, and I will have forgotten what riding under the sun is like!"
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Old 04-27-2003, 02:30 PM   #43
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Sting

"And still the Elves never seem to tire. They excel at both night and day riding," Arthain called over to the squires as he urged his horse to pick up the pace.

"That's good for the Elves, they can keep their unhindered excellence. I prefer my sleep," Dorlas answered, and stifled a yawn. Dorlas didn't mind going to Imladris before the rest of the company, but riding at night still hadn't caught on well with the boy. Besides, riding to Imladris now only meant more waiting later. The up side to this midnight ride was that Dorlas might be able to see his two brothers.

"When we get there, you shall have plenty of time to catch up on your sleep, I'm sure," Thelian reassured Dorlas with an amused chuckle.

"I certainly hope so," Dorlas grumbled and rode ahead towards Melost, who was speeding over the ground like a mad man. Arthain and Thelian were close behind, and the four made their way closer towards Imladris, the home of Elrond.
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Old 04-27-2003, 04:27 PM   #44
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Silmaril

Menelya tracked Anwaelme a good way through Imladris before her daughter stepped out into a chilly rain. Menelya looked as her daughter passed through the tiny droplets as she paused under the awning. She pondered the idea of following Anwaelme out into the rain, curious as to where her daughter was going on this gloomy day. She then looked down at the rich green material of her dress and thought better of that idea. It was no use ruining her dress just to follow the child wherever she was going.

Menelya took an exhasperated sigh and walked back down the hallway, making as much noise as was possible in her light slippers, satisfied at the small ringing sound that was just audible above the rain in the abandoned corridor.

***************

Menelya attempted to busy herself in a meeting with her friends for the rest of that day. All of the women were fellow Elf matrons of some power in Imladris.

Upon going for an afternoon meal, Menelya noted that Anwaelme had returned and was sitting alone at a table. The girl was still soaking wet, but did not seem to note this uncomfortable predicament. She seemed to still be morose in attitude, however. Menelya sat so that she could see Anwaelme, who did not even acknowledge Menelya's entrance.

Menelya ate quietly, only half-listening to the banter of her friends, keeping both eyes on Anwaelme. She pondered how she could get out of this social circle should Anwaelme choose to leave, as Menelya planned on shadowing her daughter again. Menelya did not like that Anwaelme wandered off as she did. It was not proper for a young lady to do such things, nor was it safe. Menelya hoped that once Anwaelme was married to Melost, she would settle down and act in a more respectable fashion for one of her rank.

"Is that not so, Menelya?" one of the women asked. Menelya blinked and gave a brief nod of affirmation to whatever gossip it was that was being twittered about at the moment, then went back to watching Anwaelme sit alone, not touching the food in front of her.
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Old 04-29-2003, 06:54 PM   #45
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Sting

A watery sun rose as the companions journeyed east. Sometime back Melost had been forced to slow his pace, as the horses of Arthain and Dorlas were unable to keep up with the Elven horses he and Thelian rode. At first he had wanted to continue on alone, but after a few moment's reflection he decided better of his decision. Anwanelme would still be there, no matter how hard he pushed to get there. Having calmed himself, he rode closer to Arthain, who glanced up and him and smiled a greeting.

"Your squire seems more than a little irritated, mellon. The first campaign is always the worst." Arthain raised an eyebrow at him. "It would be easier on all of us if you could only ride in something other than this accursed dark! You will owe me the price of a new horse if he founders!" Melost nodded in agreement."I deserved that! Forgive me for pulling you from your warm tent, but I have other reasons for bringing you along. Not only did I want your companionship on the road, but I wanted you to be with me when I see Anwanelme again." As he hesitated, Arthain looked at him, startled. "What? Do you think she will not see you? In that event, what help will I be?" Arthain had never seen Melost anything other than confident and it shook him. He thought perhaps once they reached Imladris, he would would corner Thelian and try to find out what had happened to his friend.

Suddenly Thelian gave a great shout and Melost's head jerked up. He looked ahead and beheld the pass leading to Elrond's home. He too cried aloud and the Elves glanced at each other, smiling. Dorlas shaded his eyes as the sun rose fully. "Master Arthain, what is it? Why are they suddenly so happy?" "Imladris, boy! Their eyes are far keener than ours. We're there, at last!"

[ April 30, 2003: Message edited by: Cuthalion ]
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Old 05-12-2003, 09:53 AM   #46
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The Eye

Anwanelme was sitting by the table in silence, knowing her mother was there but refused to look at her except a quick glance now and then.
She was waiting. Waiting for the right time to get away and she smiled lightly to herself as one of the ladies addressed her mother. Menelya was obviously irritated with being disturbed while watching her daughter and to Anwanelme, that was a very pleasing sight.

Suddenly, like with the help of the Valar, one of the ladies touched Menelya's arm and Anwanelme saw her other turn her full attention toward her friend.
This was her chance. Swiftly she got up and before her mother could react, Anwanelme was gone.
Quickly she strode to her room, making sure no one was following her and she dropped onto her bed, cold and soaked and her mood as foul as ever.
He would never come back for her, she knew that now.
He is not coming back!, she thought over and over until she fell asleep, not noticing the tears that was sliding down her face.

****************************
The sun was shining brightly as Anwanelme opened her eyes, awakened by shouting and a lot of activity outside. Curious as to what was going on, she rose and realising she had fallen asleep fully dressed, she quickly washed and changed her clothes, making herself presentable before leaving her room.

Once outside, she heard the words, "Elven riders" and her heart skipped a beat. Could it be...?
Swiftly as the wind she ran up on one of the many landings facing the only path into Imladris and she held her breath as she beheld four riders, two of them Elven, quickly moving toward the house of Elrond.
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Old 05-15-2003, 05:35 PM   #47
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Silmaril

Menelya awoke to hear shouts from outside. She groaned and rolled over, trying to shut out the noise and catch a few more minutes of sleep. Suddenly, she heard a few words that caught her ear.

"...rochbin...anglennar...adminnar Imladris!"

Menelya sat bolt upright in bed at the few words she made out: "riders", "they approach", and "they enter Imladris again". She quickly scrambled out of bed and got dressed. She ran out and leaned against the railing, trying to see who was coming. She found Anwaelme and stood next to her and, to her surprise, her daughter didn't protest. Both were too excited to see if the warriors had again returned to continue their petty squabbling and power struggles.
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Old 05-16-2003, 02:25 AM   #48
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Sting

His eyes on the balcony above, Melost beheld Anwenelme. He flung himself from his horse and ran up the steps two at a time, intent on reaching her. He entered through the open front doors and saw her standing at the top of the stairs. He paused, then walked to meet her. With a glad cry, she raced down them and into his arms. He lifted her as she nestled her face against his neck. Melost closed his eyes, almost weak with relief. He had been certain she would reject him, having been made to wait so long.

Their re-union was interrupted by the sudden appearance of her mother, who, upon seeing the two of them in a close embrace, fluttered down the stairs to greet Melost with obvious delight. Anwenelme sighed loudly as her mother took Melost's arm and led him through to one of the balconies over-looking the valley below. Behind him, Melost detected the sound of Thelian chuckling to himself, seeing his kinsman's plight. Melost shot him an irritated glance, then allowed himself to be fussed over by Menelya.
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Old 05-16-2003, 11:53 AM   #49
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Eye

Melost threw himself off his horse and ran towards his beloved, or Arthain hoped it was his beloved, grabbing her and embracing her tightly. Then another elf woman came out and began fussing around him. Thelian grinned and chuckled as Melost was led inside, dismounting himself, and a few seconds later emerged on the balcony.

"Who is that?" Arthain asked quietly. The elf looked up, surprised, and looked at the man for a moment as if he wasnt sure why he was here.

"Oh...thats Menelya." He rolled his eyes jokingly. "Anwaelme's mother."

"Ah. Anwen...right." Arthain was certain he was going to forget the names. From above, he heard Melost call Thelian at Menelya's request, saying that she would like to reaquaint herself with the squire. Thelian shot a panicky look at Arthain before obliging and running up the steps at a dignified pace.

Arthain dismounted slowly, and Dorlas did the same. The captain saw his squire look at him and smile nervously. Arthain nodded to him, attempting to return the smile, before their horses were whisked away by a pair of fair-haired elves, both of whom looked as if they were about Dorlas's age, but who Arthain knew were no doubt decades older. He looked around, fiddling with the ring on his finger and wondering what to do next...

[ May 20, 2003: Message edited by: Amanaduial the archer ]
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Old 05-19-2003, 04:26 PM   #50
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Sting

Thelian stopped before walking on the the balcony where Menelya waited. He took a deep breath, faked a smile and made his way in.

"Good Menelya," Thelian said bowing in front of her.

"Thelian," she replied passivly.

"How are things in the House of Elrond in such times?" Asked Thelian politely.

"Fine, just fine," she said beginning to walk and expecting Thelian to follow, which he did. "How is Melost?"

"He has been ancious to reach here, with good reason."

If looks could kill, Thelian would have died a thousand deaths at that moment. Menelya stopped walking and bid the squire farewell feining polietness. Thelian made his way back to Dorlas and pretended to shudder as the boy asked him how his meeting with Menelya had gone.

"Come Dorlas, let me show you some of Elrond's home" said Thelian.
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Old 05-19-2003, 05:51 PM   #51
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Silmaril

Menelya gave an exhasperated sigh as Thelian left, her cold eyes watching him leave. She rolled her eyes and looked around for Melost and Anwaelme. She saw they were now nowhere to be found. They had obviously gone off to be alone. Menelya gave another sigh of indignation and walked up towards her friends' rooms. She changed her direction halfway, however, and decided to stroll through the woods.

She made her way to the outskirts of the woods and slowly made her way through, hoping she would meet someone to converse with along the way.

Finally, Menelya made her way to a rock. She sat on the rock and began to hum a song, soon muttering the words:

Mar aduial tolant
Mar meleth nîn eriant
Nîn neithel, guren nîn
Nîn neithel, be cuil
A gurth
Be meleth a be achas...


Menelya sat alone and making up the song in Sindarin as she went along, not bothering to put it into Quenya, the language more commonly used for songs, as this was just a simple melody she was making up, and wishing she knew where her daughter was so that she could keep a closer eye on her.
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Old 05-20-2003, 11:19 AM   #52
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Sting

Anwenelme's eyes shone as she looked up at Melost and her lips curved in that smile that had captured his heart so many years ago. He loved this woman and as he looked down at her, he could feel his heart clench knowing he would likely hurt her with what he had to say. He intended to put it off as long as possible.

As they walked, she talked of her plans for their wedding, for their children and of nothing at all. He led her into a shaded grove and pulled her closed, kissing her as though he might never see her again. Beware the thoughts your mind conjures, Melost!
He pulled sharply away from her and glanced around, his hand on his sword. She looked at him, puzzled. "My lord? What troubles you? Come, sit here beside me and rest from your travels. Soon we will be together and I will let nothing trouble you." She held out her hand to him and smiled prettily as she leaned closer to him. Melost inhaled deeply as her perfume drifted enticingly. He smiled at her and kissed her hand. "How can I refuse such an invitation from so lovely a creature?"

He pushed away the heaviness of his heart as he drew her down beside him in the shadows and took her in his arms.

[ May 20, 2003: Message edited by: Cuthalion ]
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Old 05-20-2003, 04:47 PM   #53
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Silmaril

Menelya sighed and arose as her song ended. She suddenly heard quiet voices not too far away.

"How can I refuse such an invitation from so lovely a creature?" came Melost's voice. Menelya's ears perked up and she drew nearer, seeing her daughter and her daughter's betrothed in a nearby glade, talking and embracing. She quietly watched them for some time. Soon the couple got off and walked further into the woods. Menelya did not dare to follow, as she would most definitely be found out.

Menelya walked slowly back towards the castle. As she approached, she gave a sigh as she saw Thelian come towards her. He engaged her in some typical low-class banter, and she soon tried to escape.

"I apologize, Thelian," she said, "But I have business to attend to."

"Do you need help, m'Lady?" Thelian asked, looking at her.

"No!" Menelya said quickly, then she brought her voice back under control and repeated, "No. Thelian, you are not needed for this activity. It is more social duty than anything else."

"All right, m'Lady," Thelian said, bowing and turning away. Menelya missed the raised eyebrow he gave Dorlas, as Menelya further proved the description he had given of her.

Menelya flounced off away from Thelian, only to be confronted with Arthain nearby. Menelya was no doubt lower than Arthain, so she dared not pass by without a quick bow and a compliment to the captain. Arthain smiled absently at Menelya, obviously thinking of something else. This gained Menelya's interest. She remained by the good captain Arthain, chatting with him and trying to see what worried him. Although she could clearly see that he was trying to dismiss her, she did not give up so easily. Arthain, unlike Menelya, was too polite to push her away, so he entertained Menelya and they spent a good while making small-talk. Finally, Menelya could not it any longer.

"Tell me what bothers you, my Lord," Menelya commanded, rather abruptly. She looked on the captain's astonished face, awaiting an answer, determined not to leave until she found a gratifying answer to her query.

[ May 27, 2003: Message edited by: VanimaEdhel ]
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Old 05-27-2003, 07:04 PM   #54
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Sting

Dorlas chuckled as Thelian returned from his near-death experience with Menelya. The elf walked back towards Dorlas and humorously and dramatically wiped a hand across his brow.

"Come Dorlas, let me show you some of Elrond's home,” said Thelian. Dorlas brightened at the chance to take a greater look at such a wondrous place.

“This place is so magical even without having seen much of it,” Dorlas replied, in a strange acceptance to Thelian’s offer. With a graceful, dramaturgic sweep of his arm, Dorlas motioned for Thelian to lead the way.

Dorlas was shown through the hall that led inward from the porch steps, and towards the bell tower. There, the hall split into three other directions, going left, right, and straight forward. Thelian showed Dorlas one of the rooms, once they mischievously opened door after door looking for an empty room to explore.

Then Dorlas was led to the opposite end of the House of Elrond, where, down the porch steps the two squires were able to explore the garden. Many beautiful things bloomed there, flowers, fruits, and plants that Dorlas had never seen, and was not likely to see anywhere else. Around the north eastern edge of Imladris Dorlas was allowed to enter the forge, and then the stables. The stables were full of beautiful horses, ranging from full-grown mares and stallions to tiny ponies, all in a wide range of breed and color.

Walking back towards the eastern porch of Imladris, Dorlas and Thelian talked merrily and jovially of Imladris and their exploration. “Have you been here many times, Thelian?” Dorlas asked his new friend.
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Old 05-27-2003, 07:32 PM   #55
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Sting

Anwenelme smiled to herself, pleased that he was so attentive to her. He did seem to be distracted but that was only to be expected from one who had so recently seen combat. As they strolled among the trees it seemed that she might at last be able to find some measure of peace...away from her mother, away from here!

Melost felt like a deceiver as he saw the contentment on her face, a look that he could never remember having seen there before. At that moment he would have gladly thrown himself in front of an enemy's on-rushing horse than tell her what he kept hidden in his heart. Up ahead he heard voices and welcomed the chance to escape for a little while longer the inevitable.

They emerged from the trees to see Menelya and Arthain engaged in conversation. As soon as Arthain saw them, a subtle look of desperation flew across his face and Melost had to grin. Well he remembered long nights spent in the home of Menelya when he first began to court Anwenelme and he knew that his friend needed to be rescued. He whispered to Anwenelme that he would call on her at dinner, then kissed her hand. She sighed, exasperated. Why was it he always had to leave her just when she had started enjoying his company? She gave him a wintry smile, then gathered up her skirts and walked away without looking back.

Melost sighed, then froze as he saw the look on Arthain's face as he watched Anwenelme walk away. Jealousy flared in his gut when he saw the appraising gaze of his friend. For a moment he stopped, aaghast at his own thoughts. He looked down and saw that he was trembling, his hands clenched into fists. Melost instantly calmed himself and strode to Arthain's side. Menelya stood and greeted him effusively, kissing his cheek and fussing over him. He took her hand and kissed it absently, trying to blot out what he had just seen.

"Arthain my friend, I see you have made the aquaintance of my lady's mother. Nothing happens anywhere in the Elven Kingdoms but that she hears of it, is that not right M'Lady?" She laughed, flattered. They engaged in light banter for a short time, then at last Melost put his hand on Arthain's shoulder. "M'Lady, I regret that I must steal away your companion. May I beg leave?" Menelya cocked her head to one side as if thinking, then slapped him lightly on the arm. " If you must, scoundrel! But I do expect your company this evening" He kissed her hand once again, this time lingering ly. "Lady, short of your daughter's company, nothing would bring me greater pleasure!" He glanced at Arthain, who's look of disbelief nearly caused him to burst out laughing. They both bowed to her, then took their leave.

"Quite a performance, Melost!" He looked at his friend in amusement. Melost returned the look half-heartedly. "Arthain, we must speak. I have sensed turmoil in you since leaving the camp of Isildur. We go to war soon my friend and I would not have us at odds with one another." Arthain shrugged him off, but Melost restrained him. "Do not do this. I covet your friendship, even though there are...many things on both our minds."
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Old 05-28-2003, 10:37 AM   #56
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Eye

As Menelya fussed around him, speaking words he did not really hear, Arthain's mind was far away. He nodded politely, smiling and laughing, or occasionally making a comment where appropriate, but despite wanting to find Melost, or Dorlas, he was too courteous to push away the elven woman. Many things rested on his mind, and since he had seen Melost and Anwenelme together, it had just added more. He hadn't seen much of Anwenelme before, just a flurry of skirts before Melost had enveloped her in an embrace and Menelya had attracted Arthain's attention, but Melost had been so happy as he was reunited with his beloved, whereas Arthain would never be reunited with his own wife. Yilsa had been taken from him by wild men in a wild, impersonal raid, along with his son, Endraen. He would never rush to embrace Yilsa again, and Endraen would never take his place as Arthain's squire...

"Tell me what bothers you, my Lord."

Menelya's imperious voice shook him from his thoughts, and he glanced into her haughty face. He recovered from his astonishment quickly though, forcing a charming smile onto his face. "My Lady, what is't that prompts you to ask such a question?"

"Oh, come Captain, I can see something is troubling you!" She gave a small laugh as she spoke, tapping Arthain's arm lightly, then withdrawing her hand quickly. Not willing to touch a human...

As Arthain sought desperately for a way to answer this elven woman without letting her know of what truly troubled him, he saw Melost emerge from a courtyard nearby, and caught his friend's eye, is eyebrows rising slightly and his eyes rolling to the side, just very small movements, but ones that subtly showed his desperation. He saw Melost stifle a laugh, then turn and whisper to Anwenelme, kissing her hand. Arthain turned his attention to the elven woman...and wondered why he had not noticed her so clearly before. Her smile, though wintery, was perfectly formed through bright, cherry lips, set in a pale, slim face, framed by a waterfall of silky hair. Hair not unlike that of Arthain's own Yilsa...he had a sudden urge to stroke that hair, to run his fingers through it and bring it to his lips, feeling its fine texture against his skin. As she turned, her fine skirts swirling behind her, walking away, Arthain could not stop his eyes from following her. Yes, Melost had chosen well...

He stopped, looking away quickly, shocked at his thoughts. No, what was he doing! Think of Yilsa...think of Melost...

"Arthain my friend, I see you have made the aquaintance of my lady's mother. Nothing happens anywhere in the Elven Kingdoms but that she hears of it, is that not right M'Lady?" Melost's voice brought Arthain back from his troubled thoughts, and his grinned at his friend, but was careful not to let the haughty Menelya see his relief. Melost talked with the elven woman for a while, his voice light, until he politely excused himself and Arthain with some sugared words.

Arthain's amusement at this, and his relief, faded as Melost next spoke. "Arthain, we must speak. I have sensed turmoil in you since leaving the camp of Isildur. We go to war soon my friend and I would not have us at odds with one another. Do not do this. I covet your friendship, even though there are...many things on both our minds."

"What is on your mind then, Melost? And what is't that you think rests on my mind?" Odd, how alike your thoughts are to that of Menelya...

Melost raised an eyebrow and gave a small, half hearted smile. "You are avoiding the question, Arthain. Tell me what is on your mind."

"Tell me what is on your mind..."
"Tell me what bothers you, my Lord."
Menelya's words once more echoed, and again it seemed that the elves minds were very close. Arthain knew it was stupid, but he felt alone again. He shook himself back and met Melost's eyes. "I was just thinking about...well, of late I have just been thinking and you, and Anwenelme-" he stopped. Something had flashed across Melost's face, an angry flush of jealousy. Surely Melost didn't think that he...but why not? Said a little voice in Arthain's mind. Why not?

"Are you alright, Melost?"
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Old 05-28-2003, 05:00 PM   #57
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Menelya walked away, somewhat in a huff that she was rebuffed in such a manner. She wondered what troubled the Elf and the Man. She also looked at the hand she had used to touch the Human. Menelya rubbed the hand on her gown and gave a small exhalation of disgust.

As she rounded a corner, she saw Anwaelme chatting with one of Menelya's friends, looking as though she wanted to leave the conversation. Menelya quickly took this opportunity to catch up to her daughter.

"Daughter! You rejoice at the return of Melost, do you not?"

"Should it really matter to you?" Anwaelme said, loosing what what left of her cheerful nature. Menelya's defenses were already up, and she retorted.

"All you do matters to me daughter. I only have your best interests in mind," she said, automatically, "All I do is for your comfort and happiness."

"Please, Mother, spare me," Anwaelme said, glaring at her mother. It was obvious that Anwaelme was not in the mood to argue, but Menelya did not care. She needed to have a good fight to make up for the way she had been treated by the others.

"You have no right to say that after all your father and I sacrificed for you!" Menelya said. Anwaelme simply turned on her heel and left Menelya standing alone in the hallway.

"Stupid girl," Menelya muttered as she went up to her room, where she decided to pass the afternoon reading by herself.
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Old 05-28-2003, 05:23 PM   #58
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"Stupid girl," Menelya said as she quickly ran up the stairs.

"I think its safe now Dorlas," whispered Thelian walking into the corridor and out of his hiding place. Across the way Dorlas did likewise.

"Quite a strained mother-daughter relationship I would say!" He said looking up at the stairs where Menelya had headed.

"You have no idea..." Said Thelian in almost a whipser looking up at Menelya's door. "Still," he said trying to change the subject, "better for you, and I too, not to worry about such matters." Thelian looked at Dorlas who nodded in agreement. The boy seemed quite shook up about the whole argument, on the whole he had only seen elves being majestic and wonderful, if only in battle and speech. "Come, let me show you the unrivaled beauty of the waterfalls here," said Thelian leading away the awed Dorlas.

"Before the interuption I asked you if you have been here before Thelian," said the young squire.

"Ah yes! My apologises, I forgot all about it!" The two of them stood on a balcony overlooking the silver river and a waterfall so tall that one would have to point their nose vertical to see its top. "I have been here once before, to be healed actually."

"What happened to you?"

"I was with a small group, around fifteen, when we were attacked by orcs on the eastern side of the Misty Mountains, we managed to fight them off and get to Elrond's House but an orc arrow pierced my left shoulder." Thelian lifted up his sleeve to reveal a thick scar. Dorlas made a wincing sound. "I stayed here for almost five years after I was cured but that was before the threat of Sauron loomed as thickly as it does now." Thelian paused, for thought or dramatic effect Dorlas knew not. "I believed that I was right to leave."

"Are you sure it was not Menelya who convinced you to leave," asked Dorlas, "and not the war!"

"Ah some may say so Dorlas!" Laughed Thelian.
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Old 05-28-2003, 07:59 PM   #59
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"Ah, Arthain...so you would answer a question with a question? Very well. You seem ill at ease as though heavy things were on your mind. When we go into battle, we cannot afford to be distracted by our emotions. It would be better for you to share the burden, if burden it be." He watched Arthain's eyes closely, but he seemed shut away, closed to Melost as he had never been before.

Melost gestured for Arthain to follow him and they walked silently for a time out across the balconies and down the multi-tiered levels of the gardens gracing the western face of Elrond's House. Arthain gasped in wonder as he beheld the beauty of the valley in which this Elven refuge lay. Melost glanced at him side-long, hoping the sights and smells of this peaceful place would soothe Arthain's troubled spirit and his own as well.

Suddenly, the memory of Arthain's covetous stare sprang into full relief into Melost's mind and he had to stop. Arthain continued on down the path, oblivious to his friend's pain. "How like a human to desert a friend in need..." a small voice in the back of his mind whispered, planting a tiny seed of poison in his soul. Melost himself was totally unaware of the small shift within him as he straightened, watching Arthain suddenly notice he was alone, then turn and look back up the path for his friend. With long, swift strides, Melost caught up to him. "What ails you, Melost? I have never seen you this solemn." Melost gave him a long look, then bowed his head. "I haven't yet told Anwenelme that I am not going to marry her yet. How can I when we go to war, possibly not to return?" Arthain looked at him, stricken. Then a thought blossomed in his mind and he held his peace.
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Old 05-28-2003, 11:04 PM   #60
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"You have no right to say that after all your father and I sacrificed for you!"

Menelya's words felt like a slap in the face and Anwenelme turned on her heel and left, furious at her mother. How did she dare mentioning her father like this? They both knew very well that he sacrificed everything for his king when others were afraid to do so and Anwenelme had always been proud of that. Using her dead father against her was below what she had expected from Menelya.

But soon!
Melost had come back for her and soon she would be his bride and she would no longer have to listen to her mother.
The thought brought a measure of peace to her mind and she even smiled a little to herself, as she remembered the look on her mother's face when she had been talking to the Man. Menelya disgusted the race of Men, finding them barely more than animals and the fact that her own husband had been killed on a quest for helping a mere mortal, had long been a thorn in her side.

"Maybe I should have chosen to wed a Man instead of Melost", Anwenelme chuckled lightly to herself, finding the thought of what that would have done to her mother very pleasing.
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Old 06-01-2003, 10:55 AM   #61
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"So you would answer a question with a question?" The anger which had flitted across Melost's face for a moment was now gone, although concern still reigned on his face. "Very well. You seem ill at ease as though heavy things were on your mind. When we go into battle, we cannot afford to be distracted by our emotions. It would be better for you to share the burden, if burden it be." He looked closely at Arthain, but his friend looked away. He did indeed have many things on his mind, but would Melost understand? Understand? How could he understand? Do you always understand him?

Arthain tried to cut the little voice off, and kept walking down the path, exclaiming about the wonders of Rivendell, although truly his brain was sinking back into his own troubles. He decided to tell his friend of them, and turned to where he had been walking beside him. “Melost, I—“

He stopped, feeling foolish at talking to mid air, and, puzzled, turned back to see Melost standing some way back down the path. Once again, the angry look flashed across the elf’s face, and Arthain’s thoughts of telling him almost went out of the window. Why was his friend in such an odd mood? Usually they understood each other so well, but today he seemed so turbulent, and so far away from Arthain, even when they were right beside each other. He frowned, but resolved to close the gap; he had to, as Melost himself had said.

"You ask what ails me? Very well, I am...well, it has just been a very strange day," He was half-stalling, as he tried to make up his mind whether to tell Melost. "And...I've just been so nervous about coming to Rivendell, of meeting the fair folk?"

Melost looked almost relieved, and for a while, at least, his boyish grin returned. "You have met the fair folk before- you have met me!"

Arthain raised an eyebrow, his face mock-disdainful as he exaggerated the action of looking Melost up and down. "Well, you're certainly folk." He conceded, then also grinned, as a look of indignation spread across Melost's face.

"Why, you-" He marched up to Arthain, as if about to cuff him or pretend to fight with them, as they had done so often in the old times, but Arthain stepped back, wagging a finger at him.

"No, no, no, what would the lovely Anwanelme say?" He remonstrated. Once again, that shadow flitted over Melost's face, but was gone once more as quickly as it had come, although maybe not as quickly as the last time. What am I doing wrong?!

"You say lovely-" Melost cut himself off, stopping and lapsing into silence. Arthain looked at him curiously, but Melost would not return his glance. He suddenly spoke again, his voice seeming overly bright to Arthain. "So, that's all that has been troubling you, just a few quibbles about seeing the immortals, the ones who-" Once again, he cut himself off, then carried on, hurriedly. "Dinner is at sundown, it is a formal occasion," He smiled at Arthain, but as he did so his eyes seemed to miss him, to go past or through him rather than at him. "Do try and drag up something suitable to wear.

They both laughed, and Arthain punched Melost playfully on the arm, but it was all fake. It wasn't right. The laughter was put on, the playful punch incredibly light, only lasting a moment, and Melost's last comment before he went, which would have been so normal usually, made Arthain wonder about how sincere Melost had been.

As the elf departed, leaving Arthain alone, he left the captain with one more thing to think about. As Arthain had watched Melost leave, he couldn't help but notice his tightly clenched fists.

[ June 01, 2003: Message edited by: Amanaduial the archer ]
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Old 06-01-2003, 03:59 PM   #62
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Melost had only gone a short way before he realized how foolish he had been. Arthain was his dearest friend, how could he react this way over something so trivial? Before he allowed himself another thought, Melost turned and ran back up the path. Seeing Arthain walking ahead, he called out to him to stop. Melost ran to side and took him by the shoulders. "Arthain, forgive me! My mind has been so consumed by dark thoughts and imaginings that I have forgotten that you and Dorlas are adrift here." Arthain covered Melost's hand with his own. "We both have too much on our minds, think more no more about it."

The Elf stood back and sighed heavily. "I am relieved, for to lose your friendship on the eve of war would break me." Arthain looked at him in surprise. "Why do you say that? What difference could it possibly make?" "What differnece say you? A warrior wants a friend at his back in battle and yes, I know I have Thelian who is normally like my own shadow. But how can than that compare? You and I, we have fought and laughed together for many years now and I would find it unsettling not to have you at my side."
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Old 06-05-2003, 07:35 PM   #63
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Dorlas nodded, considering Thelian's words. Dorlas had rarely seen Elves before meeting Melost and Thelian, and he had never talked to any before either. From a distance, without knowing much of them, Dorlas had always thought or considered Elves to be extremely beautiful or graceful. Now that he had seen them more up close, they seemed much more human than Dorlas would have ever imagined.

"Arthain and Melost have known each other for a long time," Dorlas began, breaking the silence that had come with the awe and beauty of the waterfall. "Why do you think they became such good friends?"

"I'm not entirely sure," replied Thelian. "Perhaps the fact that they could teach each other so much. I'm sure there are tales and such that I would have never known if I hadn't met you."

Dorlas nodded. "I suppose. There's so much I wouldn't know right now if I had just been content with seeing Elves. Talking to one is a different matter altogether, I've found."

Dorlas grinned momentarily at his own words. Typically, Dorlas was carefree and lighthearted, but somehow the waterfall...and the feeling of Rivendell altogether...made him sound like he was ready to know everything. Like he was ready to take on Middle-Earth like it was nobody's business. He felt strong in a place like Rivendell.

"Are all Elven women like...how do you say her name?" Dorlas questioned, chuckling at the remembrance of hiding from the Elven woman.

"I don't think so, or at least I hope that not all women in general are like Menelya," Thelian replied, and the two openly laughed about Menelya's persona. "Her daughter doesn't seem anything like her, as far as I can tell."

"Is there anything else to see in this grand place?" Dorlas asked suddenly, changing the subject.

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Old 06-08-2003, 07:57 PM   #64
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The western skies glowed brilliant orange and red as the sun disappeared below the horizon. Elves began to gather beneath the magnificently carved beams of Elrond's Great Hall. Food filled the laden tables, for it was rumoured that the armies of Gil-Galad and Isildur would arrive very soon and Elrand wanted to show himself a gracious host, despite the fact that they would all being going to war in a matter of days.

Melost entered the Hall and looked everywhere for Arthain, still concerned at the rift between them. He spied Anwenelme in a lovely silver dress and strode across the room to meet her. The icy expression on her face bespoke a recent confrontation with her mother and he grinned at the relieved look when her eyes met his. He kissed her hand, then murmured "Difficult afternoon, beloved?" She sighed, then kissed him lightly. "Melost, just find us some place where we can eat in peace...please?" Melost smiled. "Of course! Come, my lady, let us adjourn to the far corner, where we shouldn't be disturbed.

He noticed Arthain, Thelian and Dorlas as they entered, looking the tables over hungrily. Melost waved to Arthain, indicating where they would sit and Arthain nodded acknowledgement. Anwenelme's lips tightened. She hadn't wanted to be with anyone but Melost and now she would have to share their table with Men! She wondered if he would always be this unfeeling...

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Old 06-09-2003, 04:06 PM   #65
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Menelya heard many ladies go by her door, twittering to herself. She looked out the window and saw the beautiful colors of the sunset appearing in the sky. It was time for dinner. There would be a great feast in the hall. Melost would attend, which meant that Anwaelme would also be there.

Menelya quickly jumped out of the chair she was in and quickly changed into a dark red velvet gown. She quickly checked her hair and was satisfied with her appearance. She made her way down the hallway, nearly at a run. She stopped when she was nearly at the hall so that she would not appear out of breath when she entered.

With an icy-cold face, much like that which Melost had commented on of Anwaelme but a short time earlier. She entered the hall and silently noted how most people stood away when she walked in. However, her lady-friends came running up, twittering like chickens. Menelya smiled at them and wondered why she put up with such idiots. She made a biting remark about one of the dresses worn by one of the Elves, causing them all to fall silent. She quickly scanned this room in this momentary pause of shock. Off with some of the other men she saw Anwaelme and Melost. Anwaelme did not look to be happy to be sitting with the men. Menelya stole a brief moment to smile at her daughter's misfortune.

The women finally came back around, shrugging the insult off and continuing to babble on about palace gossip. Menelya smiled and followed the women to their table, keeping her eyes on Anwaelme, who was too absorbed in her misery to notice the eagle-like stare from her mother.
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Old 06-09-2003, 07:15 PM   #66
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Sting

Out-riders from the armies of Isildur heralded his arrival, along with that of the Elven High-King and their personal guards. As they rode into the valley the men who accompanied Isildur gasped collectively at the beauty that surrounded them. Servants came and took their horses to be fed and watered as the leaders and their retinues followed Elrond, who had come out to greet them, embracing them in fellowship.

A magnificent table had been set with fish and fowl, fruit and breads of all kinds. The troops settled down to enjoy the repast before getting down to the business of planning their strategy against the legions of Sauron. When at last they found themselves pushing away from the table, Elrond stood to address the assembled leaders. "In this time of greatest need, here we find ourselves forming a grand alliance in this, our most desperate hour. We welcome all those, both Men and Elves who have chosen to stand against Sauron Bauglir. My troops are even now readying themselves for the march. Tomorrow, by your leave, I wish inspect the armies that will march with the Elves of Imladris and Lothlorien, so that we might better coordinate our efforts." Isildur stood as Elrond fell silent. "You have proven yourself a masterful host, Lord Elrond. You can survey my troops at will and you will find them ready."

Elrond inclined his head, then turned to Gil-Galad. "Lord, I have a request to ask of you. Their are many Elven women here in Imladris than I would have taken to safer ground, for we will empty this land of all my warriors and they would be left defenseless. Have you anyone who might be willing to lead a small escort to Lothlorien and the safety of Galadriel?" Gil-Galad smiled. "I have just the one, Elrond. Send a messenger to the Great Hall and have him bid Melost and Thelian to my side. Melost is my close kinsman and his betrothed, as you know has long dwelt here under your protection." A messenger was summoned and he walked swiftly along the corridors, his mind on his errand.
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Old 06-10-2003, 11:42 AM   #67
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Arthain's outwardly composed image was very different from what he felt inside as she came into the hall. His lifestyle hadn't given much oppurtunity for dressing up and attending such splendid meals as this one. I stick out like a sore thumb... He thought uneasily. But he bore himself with dignity and grace all the same.

Looking around he caught Melost staring at him, trying to get his attention. The elf smiled and beckoned him over, with Dorlas and Thelian. Arthain breathed a huge sigh of relief inwardly- he had been worried he would be left on his own, making him stand out awkwardly even more, as Thelian and Dorlas were getting along famously, and the elven squire seemed to have a talent for fitting in, with his easy, friendly nature.

As they came to the table, Arthain bowed slightly to Anwenelme. "You are looking lovelier than ever, Lady."

The elven woman returned this with a blank stare, followed by a smile with all the warmth in it of a cold day on an ice cap. Arthain was slightly put off, but then smiled at Melost. His friend returned this with a friendly grin of his own, and Arthain seated himself safely on the other side of his friend from Anwenelme.

"I feel like a sore thumb," He muttered to Melost. The elf's grin widened.

"Of course not, Arthain, you look splendid. Come, enjoy the meal."

And what a meal to enjoy! The table seemed to be laden with every tasty type of meat, fish, poultry, bread and vegetable, and Arthain attacked it hungrily, but still careful to mind his manners. His hands almost seemed to be shaking he was so nervous.

As they finished the meal, he sat back, placing his knife and fork neatly on the plate. He sighed and raised his eyebrows. "Well, let no man say that the cooks of Rivendell are not among the best in Middle Earth!"

"Few men have had the pleasure of dining here, and so would not have the chance." Anwenelme cut in, her voice polite, but icy. Ouch. But Arthain did not have time to dwell on her sharp words, for a messenger, a young elven soldier, appeared at Melost's arm.

"Gil-galad desires a word with you, sir, and with your squire." He murmered respectfully.

"A word?" Melost inquired, but he had already begun to stand.

"I don't know why specifically, I'm afraid, sir."

"I see." Melost stood, folding his napkin onto the table. "Is it just myself and my squire?"

"That is all that was mentioned, sir."

"Right." With a sigh, Melost turned to those who sat at the table, addressing them. "Well, I am sorry to have to leave you now, but, well, business calls."

"Business!" The resentful hiss came from Anwenelme, who had her arms folded and was looking away angrily. Melost winced, and leant low towards his beloved, murmering to her a few words that Arthain and Dorlas could not hear. Then, with a nod to Arthain, he and Thelian left...leaving Dorlas and Arthain alone with Anwenelme.

Oh, Vala...so you thought you were uncomfortable before, hmm?

Arthain shot a quick, panicked glance at Dorlas, before turned to Anwenelme. To his surprise, and worry, a thin, malicious smile had crept onto her face. Arthain scrambled for some form of acceptable conversation.

"So..." He said, keeping his voice even, and trying to seem calm and relaxed. "How did you and Melost first meet?"

Of all the topics you could have picked, you chose that?

Arthain just hoped he wouldn't say something wrong.

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Old 06-10-2003, 04:02 PM   #68
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"Well, I am sorry to have to leave you now, but, well, business calls."
Melost's words cut like a knife in her mind and Anwanelme looked away and let out an irritated sigh.
"Business!" she heard herself say, once again thinking aloud. It had become a rather bad habit.
"I will be back with you as soon as I can, beloved" she heard Melost whisper to her, but angry and hurt as she was, she refused to look at him as he left with his squire.

The silence around them was deafening and Anwanelme leaned back in her chair, gazing straight at Arthain, a satisfied smile appearing on her lips when she saw his obvious discomfort.
He struggled to find something to say, but finally he leaned in over the table, trying to appear relaxed.

"So...how did you and Melost first meet?"

Anwanelme blinked.
It took her a moment to regain her composure, surprised more than she would admit by Arthain's question, then her eyes narrowed and she seemed even colder than before.
How dare he ask such a question?
Her thoughts were rushing through her mind and she started feeling angry over this...Man's insolence and she was just about to tell him what she thought about his kind, when she heard Menelya's voice from another part of the room and she bit her tongue. That was exactly what her mother would do...

Turning her face in the direction from which she had heard her mother, Anwanelme saw her staring at her and knowing how displeasing it would be for her mother to watch, she suddenly flashed Arthain and Dorlas a bright smile and leaned a little closer.

"We met in Lindon, Master Arthain. I believe that was your name? I was very young when I first met Melost and he had just joined Lord Gil-Galad's army. I think that it was nothing more but a childish fascination of a shining armour and a glinting sword, but he soon became a good friend, someone I could turn to when my mother...."
She looked away for a moment and sighed, the thought of how long she had been in her mother's clutches making her sad.

"Eyeing a chance to better her own status, since Melost is of Lord Gil-Galad's kin, my mother soon made an arrangement, that Melost and I were to be betrothed. And he accepted."

Arthain's brow furrowed for a moment as he thought about what he had just heard, no longer feeling as uncomfortable as before, but curious as to why his friend had never spoken of this... An arranged marriage? Melost never told me that.

"And you? Did you accept?"

Anwanelme looked at him, surprised and a little confused by the concern in his voice. He seemed genuinely interested in what she was telling and that was something unusual to her.

"Our wedding should have been long ago, but then came the war and he had to leave. Not wanting to make me a widow just when he had made me his wife, he postponed the wedding. And has done so ever since."

Seeing the thoughtful look in Arthain's eyes, she suddenly smiled brightly.
"So tell me, Master Arthain, how and where did you meet Melost? I do not recall him ever telling me about you and yet you seem to be close friends."
In fact Melost had never told her that he had friends among the race of Men and she couldn't help but wonder if there was more he hadn't told her yet.

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Old 06-12-2003, 02:19 PM   #69
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Melost and Thelian entered the chambers of Gil-galad after the guards recognized them. Gil-galad, standing at a table with a large map on, greeted them smiling and beckoned them to approach.

"Ah, you have come. I am pleased to see you. Melost, I have a job more, that I think you and your squire can do the best."

Thelian, tried to look at the map without moving, whereas Melost stood expressionless. The past hours had not been as joyous as he had hoped, and right know he did not care if Gil-galad sended him to Orodruin. It seemed like Gil-galad guessed his state of mood, for his smile faded away and was replaced by a more serious expression.

"Imladris is not a castle, nor is its location a remote place far from danger. The enemy has always been interested in Eriador, and Elrond fears that orcs will once again march in Eriador, with both our soldiers and Elendil's marching south. I deem he is right, which is why I wish for you to escort many of those here that would be in potential danger from an attack. I doubt any of us wish to return to homes burned down. The destination would be Loth-lorien, to live with Galadriel until the war is over. You and Thelian can then march with Malgalad and Celeborn, when they and their army leave Loth-lorien to meet us at the Anduin."

Still Melost did not move nor did his face reveal anything.
"Anything else, milord?"
"No, you are dismissed."
As Melost and Thelian left the room, they heard Gil-galad's voice:" I will have my servant bring you a copy of the map, Thelian." And then they heard the laughter of their lord as the doors closed.

[ June 14, 2003: Message edited by: Daniel Telcontar ]
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Old 06-12-2003, 06:11 PM   #70
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Melost and Thelian left the leaders to finish their conversation. Melost's heart held a sense of fore-boding and in that moment he would have given anything to be leagues away from this place. He sat down wearily on a bench in the hall-way leading back to the Hall and let his head fall abck against the wall. He knew he hadto tell her he could not marry her as yet. He also knew that she would never understand. Melost was certain that this night would be a turning point for them both. Alas for him that he was to be proven right.

Thelian sat down next to him and placed a hand on his shoulder. "By Elbereth herself, what ails you Melost? I have never seen you like this? All we have been asked to do is see to it that the women are safely taken to Lothlorien, where is the difficulty?" Melost closed his eyes as though in pain. "Thelian, I have to tell Anwenelme that I cannot marry her until this war is finished. How else is it fair to her? I will never wish to be parted from her once we are married, why then should I keep her in hope? I do love her, Thelian. I love her enough to have her choose another if she would, but I cannot and will not make her wait any longer should she wishes not to."

Melost got to his feet and started to walk away, but Thelian restrained him. "And what of you, Melost? What of yourheart?" Melost grinned at him sadly. "It ceased to matter a long time ago, kinsman." Together they returned to the Hall and there Melost beheld Anwenelme and Arthain talking avidly to one another and she laughed as he told her one of his many witticisms. Thelain watched as the blood drained from Melost's face. Melost took a deep breath and approached the table. They both smiled up at him as he pulled out his chair to sit down, little knowing that they had started down a very dark path indeed.

[ June 13, 2003: Message edited by: Cuthalion ]
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Old 06-14-2003, 08:28 AM   #71
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Sting

In a chamber in Rivendell, four people were gathered around a table, if you did not count the many guards. On one side stood Gil-galad, High King and Commander of the elven armies. With him stood his most important councillor, Elrond.
On the other side of the table stod Elendil, High King and Commander of the human armies. With him stood his son and second-in-command, Isildur. On the table lay a map.

"Our soldiers will march down on the western side of the Misty Mountains, and in Loth-lorien meet with the soldiers Malgalad has promised me. Also Oropher has promised several thousand soldiers that are on their way to Loth-lorien." Gil-galad ceased to speak, and waited if any had something to add. Elendil was quick to speak; he was clearly disturbed by something.
"In Gondor, my son Anarion is holding back the enemy, but I am not sure for how long he can stop them. And also, with these troops moving from Mirkwood to Loth-lorien, Sauron will guess our intentions. Let us march now and quickly, before he can gather an army and attack our allies in Loth-lorien. If he can catch us while our armies are still divided, we will have great losses. Let us march south as planned, and after Loth-lorien we will march towards Morannon. Anarion will meet us north, on these plains, with all the troops he can spare from Gondor."

Gil-galad guessed that Elendil was deeply concerned for the attack that Gondor was suffering, yet it did not cloud his mind. His advice was spoken in wisdom, and Elrond nodded, approving of what had been said. Isildur did not move, nor speak; but when his and Gil-galad's eyes met, he could read the same desperation in Isildur's eyes. He knew what it was like, to have your home and realm attacked by the armies of Mordor. When it had happened to Gil-galad, the númenorians had aided him, and now it was time to return the favor.

"We will march south immediately. Elrond; tell the officers to prepare the men for departure. We will not spend more time here than what is necessary."

Elendil bowed before Gil-galad, as one equal to another, and left. Isildur nodded his head, and followed his father. Elrond bowed deeply before his lord and then went out to issue the orders of departure.

"So the war has begun," Gil-galad thought to himself. "Few will return, but many will gain from it. If not, then has it all been in vain? I hope not. But do the dead care?"

[ June 14, 2003: Message edited by: Daniel Telcontar ]
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Old 06-14-2003, 10:35 AM   #72
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Eye

Arthain found conversation between himself and Anwenelme becoming more easy. At the beginning, he had thought that maybe he couldn't have chosen a worse subject when the elf's face darkened and her glare became even icier when he asked about how she and Melost had met. But now they seemed to have slipped more easily into conversation, and Arthain wondered if perhaps he had misjudged her, and maybe Thelian had been a little harsh. But other things were coming out- Melost had said naught of an arranged marriage. He had always implied they both loved each other equally and that was the reason for their betrothal. Arthain shrugged it off- he had simply assumed too much, and what did it change, for both elves were easy in the company of the other, and Melost's love for Anwenelme was obviously strong and true. No matter what it had started out with at the prompting of Anwenelme's mother, what it had become was quite different. Melost was devoted to his lady, and she enjoyed his company it seemed- Arthain had seen the eager, overjoyed manner in which she had run into his arms when they had first ridden in. Arthain was pleased for both in the way it had turned out, and the origin little seemed to matter.

"Our wedding should have been long ago, but then came the war and he had to leave. Not wanting to make me a widow just when he had made me his wife, he postponed the wedding. And has done so ever since." Sure enough, a melancholy note crept into Anwenelme's voice, and her smile faded. She obviously could not wait for a time when they would finally marry. Then her smile returned as she asked her next question.

"So tell me, Master Arthain, how and where did you meet Melost? I do not recall him ever telling me about you and yet you seem to be close friends."

He never told his own fiance about his best friend. And he never told me about the nature of their marriage. Arthain held back the frown which threatened to give away these odd thoughts, and he smiled back at Anwenelme.

"I am surprised at that, my Lady, but no matter. Melost and I have been friends for a long time, before ever I was a Captain, and before these dangers which we now face seemed so close. We met when I was, well, I suppose when I was just a boy really. I was about...say fourteen years old when Melost met me? I was enchanted with the elves, but Melost did not shake me off like the others, just a pesky human child. Rather he told me stories from elven yore. We became friends, before losing touch once more, but only for a few years. I was eighteen or nineteen when I next met him, and had the pleasure of fighting by his side. He was a good teacher in the ways of the sword, as well as being an excellent drinking partner!" Anwenelme laughed engagingly, and Arthain grinned back, pleased he had not bored her. Her expression had been interested in what he was telling her, and she leant across the table, her hands close to his where they lay clasped in front of him.

"So you have fought together for many years?"

Arthain sighed. "No. No, I am afraid we hadn't even seen each other for what may only be a few years by the reckoning of elves, but was many years for me."

"I'm back." Melost's voice shook Arthain from his story and he looked up, along with Anwenelme, smiling at Melost as he pulled back his chair and sat. His face was pale, and Arthain reckoned he could not have missed the last few sentences. It was unlike his friend to miss up on an oppurtunity to make a witty comment of some sort in such a place, but instead all they had recieved was 'I'm back'. Odd. Was he angry at Arthain for telling his beloved of their past? Arthain withdrew his hands slightly from where they rested near Anwenelme's, and she did the same, smoothing her dress- or was she wiping them on her dress? The thought hurt Arthain, but he brushed it aside, reckoning he was being paranoid. Thelian also sat again, beside Dorlas, and they began to talk together. Arthain smiled to see that they had become such fast friends, like an image of Melost and himself so long ago.

"You have done your business with the king?" Arthain inquired.

"What was it he asked?" Anwenelme asked at exactly the same time.
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Old 06-14-2003, 11:19 AM   #73
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Sting

"Aye,Arthain. It seems Thelian and I are to escort the ladies of Imladris to safety in Lothlorien." Melost turned to Anwenelme and kissed her hand lightly. "Beloved, have your mother and her ladies make ready, for we shall leave at first light." She looked him in disbelief, then her face assumed a look of tolerance. "Yes, my lord, of course. It shall be as you say." Her thoughts turned to ice. "Will it always be thus? Am I never to be asked, merely commanded?" She smiled glacially at Melost, then rose gracefully from her seat. Melost stood as well and drew her close. "We must speak later, Anwenelme. Shall I call on you in your rooms shortly?"

She inclined her head, turned and walked toward her mother's table, anticipating the outraged diatribe she would not doubt have to listen to. She smiled, amused by the discomfort her mother would have to endure.

Dorlas slumped disconsolately in his chair. If Melost was leaving, then so was Thelian. This bothered the young man, for friendship had never come easily to him. To his surprise Arthain leaned forward and began to speak urgently to Melost. "You can't seriously be planning to escort them by yourselves? Dorlas and I would be deli.... we would be proud to assist you." Melost looked at his friend appraisingly. "No doubt.." he thought cynically, but instead he smiled graciously at Arthain. "It would be good to have you at my side again. so be it! Clear it with your captain and make ready." Dorlas leaned forward and winked at Thelian, who grinned back.
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Old 06-14-2003, 11:31 AM   #74
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Eye

Arthain thanked Melost, not noticing his slightly guarded expression. He saw Dorlas wink at Thelian and the elven squire grinned back, and couldn't help smiling himself.

Standing, he nodded to Melost. "I will do so now. Thankyou again, my friend."

Leaving the room, he went to ask Isildur whether he could go, although he didn't doubt what the answer would be. For men and elves to escort the ladies of Rivendell to Lorien would further be a proclamation of the friendship and trust which had grown between the two races, and would no doubt bode well for the relationship between the two leaders as well. As he passed Anwenelme, he heard Menelya spluttering, outraged while still trying to remain dignified. Melost's beloved grinned at him as he passed, rolling her eyes, before turning back to her mother, a look of impatience on her face as she tried to get a word in. Arthain smiled back, winking at her.

He didn't notice the way Melost's expression darkened when he saw this as he left the room, where the elf sat, alone. The elf's thoughts were as dark and uncomfortable as his expression and, curtly making his excuses to the two squires, he left the room through a different door from Arthain.
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Old 06-14-2003, 01:57 PM   #75
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Sting

Arthain entered the chambers of Isildur, and waited until the King bade him spoke.
Arthain explained that he wished to accompany the elves escorting the ladies to Loth-lorien. Isildur looked at him long before replying.

"You wish to accompany these elves? And, no doubt, be treated as one of them."
Isildur's words stung, but Arthain said nothing.
"Will these elves ever treat us equally? Ever admit that we are children of Eru as much as them? Has any of them ever been saved by the One, ever been protected by his hand?"
Again, Arthain said nothing. Not only because it was Isildur who spoke, but also because he was in doubt. Had Isildur seen the truth, and Arthain was blind?
"Very well. It cannot harm anyone. Besides, we will march to Loth-lorien as well, and you will join your company there again."
After saying this Isildur took a deep breath, and seemed to change attitude.
"Take care, my young friend. The roads are always dangerous in times of war, and especially for the company you will travel with."

Arthain did not respond, merely bowed and left. He looked around, and suddenly it seemed to him that the elves in the hallway were laughing secretly of him; the tapestry on the wall were made to mock men; the building itself was merely to prove how better elves were compared to men.
He shook these thoughts of him, knowing they were just illusions of his mind; but they remained in the back of his head.

[ June 15, 2003: Message edited by: Daniel Telcontar ]
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Old 06-14-2003, 04:12 PM   #76
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Sting

Later on that evening, after seeing to his horse and supplies, Melost walked back along one of terraces that over-looked the streams which flowed through the heart of Imladris. He breathed in and filled his lungs with the pure, clean air as he leaned against one of the railings. "Eru, Mighty One, I know that you are all-seeing and that you know the purpose for which many of us will fight and die in this great war. Ease my heart, take all my doubts, my fears and make them of no consequence." He bowed his head as he wrestled with himself, "It has been said that you care nothing for the affairs of this world, but I do not believe that. Therefore, grant that my friend Arthain will pass through unscathed, that he may live long in peace."

Having thus spoken the thoughts of his heart to the night air, he pushed away from the railing and went inside to spend sometime alone with Anwenelme. As he passed through the hall-ways, he heard up ahead the sounds of feminine laughter, followed by a man's low voice. Curious, he glanced around the corner and saw Anwenelme sitting next to Arthain, her face merry and her eyes bright with laughter. Melost ducked back before one of them could look up and returned to the room he shared with Thelian, only to find he and Dorlas sitting by the fire,sharing a companionable jug of wine. They glanced up as he entered and shut the door behind him feeling for the first time in his life, totally alone.
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Old 06-15-2003, 02:53 PM   #77
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Feeling cold as ice inside, hurt by Melost's words, Anwanelme looked forward to giving her mother news that would ruin her sleep and cause her ladies to have reason to flee before her.
Waiting patiently for the stream of words from Menelya's mouth to cease, she focused on a spot on the wall in front of her, as usual not listening to her mother's talk. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed Arthain and she turned to look at him, unable to keep from smiling when she saw the look on his face as he heard Menelya's angry hissing.
Anwanelme turned back to her mother, just wanting to make her quiet so she could get back to Melost and she leaned over the table, looking straight a her mother.

"It is Lord Gil-Galad's wish, mother. If you want to complain, do it to him!"

Anwanelme turned away from the ladies before her mother was able to say more and she looked for Melost at the table, but he was gone. Only Thelian and Dorlas were left and they seemed busy talking.

Having left the room in order to escape her mother's prying eyes, Anwanelme walked for a bit, hoping she would find Melost somewhere, but he was nowhere to find.
Just as she was heading back to her room in order to make ready for the journey, she noticed a figure sitting on a bench.
Recognising Arthain, she went and warily sat down next to him, trying a careful smile.

"Is anything wrong, master Arthain?" she asked him and he flashed her a smile, trying to hide his thoughts. It seemed to her that there was something in his eyes but she was unable to determine what it was.
They talked for a short while but then she excused herself and left, trying once more to find Melost. He had said he wanted to talk with her and she was curious why.

[ June 16, 2003: Message edited by: Maikadilwen ]
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Old 06-15-2003, 03:21 PM   #78
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The women still sat in the hall speaking, although the plates had long been cleared and nearly everyone had retired for the evening. Menelya had excused herself from her friends and was sitting alone at an adjacent table. Her book lay open on the table, but she was not really reading it. Anwaelme had left the room long ago, before Melost had even adjourned for the night. Melost had left somewhat later, probably to be with Anwaelme.

There was a small clatter as one of the servants dropped one of the remaining goblets. The girl blushed as Menelya gave her a wicked stare, quickly picking up the goblet and leaving as quietly as she could. Menelya slammed her book, continuing to look after the door the servant exited with an evil glare. She stood and left the hall in quite a foul mood.

Menelya snapped at one of the guards on her way to her room. She saw a light in Anwaelme's room as she walked. She saw her daughter through the window, but did not see any sign of Melost, surprisingly.

Menelya silently let herself into her room. As she was undressing, she realized she had left her book on the table in the dining hall. No matter, she thought, no one would dare touch the book. She had put her name in it, and everyone knew not to steal her property.

Menelya dozed in her large bed, thinking of Anwaelme and Melost, her book, her friends, and all the gossip she heard at the dinner table.

**********

A few hours later, Menelya awoke with a start. The sun would come up soon and Menelya still had packing to do. The Elf jumped out of bed, quickly dressing and running to the quarters of her maidservants.

"Up, girl!" Menelya said, "We have packing to do! I will need everything packed in a few hours! Oh," she added as an afterthought, "I suppose you should pack too, as you will be coming."

The girl gave a startled look, but was used to Menelya's antics. She quickly rose and dressed under the watchful, judging eye of Menelya. The poor girl trudged as fast as her sleepy legs could carry her back to Menelya's apartments. Menelya sat on her bed, watching the girl and criticizing her nearly the whole time.

"No! Do not pack that pink dress, you silly girl! I have so many new gowns, there is no need to pack the old ones. Why do I even have that? Why have you not thrown that out?" Menelya's steady stream of comments continued until she was finally packed.

Menelya observed the girl's work, making a few more biting comments.

"Quick now! Back to bed! I must sleep some more until the sun comes up!" Menelya barked. The girl quietly left, going to her own room to pack up what little she could before it was time to leave.

Menelya lay in bed in her clothing, trying to catch a bit more sleep until the sun rose fully.

[ June 16, 2003: Message edited by: VanimaEdhel ]
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Old 06-15-2003, 05:43 PM   #79
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Thelian had remained sat next to the fire as Dorlas had begun showing him a ridiculous dance from his younger years. Slurring his speech the lad spun in circles. Thelian you should be ashamed, he thought to himself. This boy is sixteen, you shouldn't have let him get so drunk.

"I feel the effect of the wine has hit you quite hard Dorlas," he said cutting off his dance. "The sun has almost risen and we are to set off soon- perhaps you should get some rest while you can."

Dorlas nodded with eyes half closed. It had been a magical day and night for him, surrounded by elvish beauty at every turn.

"I suppose you might be right Thelian," he replied slumping into his seat next to the fire. "And I want to be on my best behaviour for all the elf maiden's we will be escorting!"

Thelian almost spat his mouth full of wine out in laugher but managed to swallow it before allowing himself to chuckle.

"So Dorlas shows his true colours when the wine speaks eh?" He said sarcastically.

"Ah let me have my fun," Dorlas replied lightly puncing Thelian's arm, "I am young after all."

Thelian sunk deeper into his chair and allowed his smile to fade as his mind drifted to the issue of Anwenelme.

"Last night Dorlas," he began, "when Melost and I met with Gil-Galad, I trust that Anwenelme did not make the atmosphere too... intimidating for Arthain and yourself?"

"Intimidating?" Dorlas asked. "Not at all!"

"Really?" Thelian raised an eyebrow. "I sometimes fear there is too much of her mother in her."

"She was fine, didn't speak to me much but she was speaking at length with Arthain."

Thelian rubbed his temples. Arthain, perhaps thats what is troubling Melost. There was a lot on his mind. The war was looming, Gil-Galad had given them a new mission and it seemed that Melost was beginning to become jealous of Arthain? You just haven't slept, that's all Thelian thought to himself. He turned back to Dorlas but he had fallen asleep due to the drink.

"Wonderful, to top it all off I got a tennage human drunk the night before we ride to LothLorien!"

[ June 15, 2003: Message edited by: Mattius ]
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Old 06-15-2003, 06:46 PM   #80
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Sting

Melost shook his head at the two of them and scowled at Thelian, who merely leaned his head aginst the chair-back and shrugged. "He is young, Melost. Let him be. Come and have a cup yourself, you look like you've seen a ghost!" Melost raised an eyebrow, then took the proffered cup from Thelian and pulled a chair over beside him.

"Have you ever felt as though no matter what you do or how well you do it, it is of no consequence? That is how I feel at this moment. I have served my King to the best of my ability and nearly died doing it once. And for what?" In anger he threw his wine into the fire. Thelian leaned forward in concern and Dorlas jumped, coming fully awake. "Wha...what's wrong?" he asked blearily as he struggled out of the chair. Thelian put out a restraining arm and stood in front of him, almost divining Melost's thoughts.

"Thelain, take him to his rooms. At this moment I cannot bear the sight of him, or of any man right now!" Shocked, Thelian took Dorlas by the arm and left with him without a word to Melost, but the accusatory look in his eyes said it all.

********************************************

The rest of the night found Melost seeing to all the details that normally he left to Thelian, cleaning his sword and his knives, re-fletching several of his arrows and, when there remained nothing left to do, he paced. He paced the hall-way outside their chamber and when Thelian returned at last, his face cold and distant, he made an attempt at an apology. "Thelian, I..forgive me. I should never have spoken to you or to the boy in that manner and I crave your pardon."

Thelian cocked his head and looked at him pointedly. "Melost, I have always respected and admired you, not only for your skill in arms, but for the openness of your thoughts. Tonight, you have done more to harm Dorlas than any weapon could do. It is young men like him that can bring greater understanding between our people, but will he now?" Melost turned away, sick at heart. "There is truth in what you say, as always." he said softly. "I must go to Anwenelme. I promised to speak with her before we depart. I have seen to eveything, so if you can, get some sleep, otherwise, go along to Menelya's rooms and make sure she is ready to travel light. If I know her, she will want to bring her last possession with her!"

With that he clapped Thelian on the shoulder and went to see if Anwenelme had returned to her chamber. The memory of Arthain sitting close to her, his face lit by her presence rankled him and Melost strove to put it from his mind, bearing in mind that their friendship had been valued by both of them and that with any luck, it still would be.

[ June 16, 2003: Message edited by: Cuthalion ]
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