Gilraen - The Story Continues - Chapter 1 - Gilraen
We have all heard of the time of the fight against Sauron, the Fellowship of the Ring with its 9 companions. But after Frodo, Bilbo, Gandulf, Galadriel, and Elrond, had all taken their leave of Middle Earth, after Aragorn had died, after Legolas and Gimli had left, what then happened? For still lived the descendants of Aragorn and Arwen, ever ruling over all of Gondor and Arnor.
It was a hot morning, nothing out of the ordinary, and young Gilraen stood on the seashore looking out to the seeming endless rolling waves. "What are you thinking about little sister?" Valandur asked, as he walked up next to her. "Nothing much." Was her only reply. Valandur looked at his sisters' face. Her face was totally expressionless, but her eyes spoke volumes. "She's thinking about the Third age and the Fellowship of the Ring." He thought.
Gilraen had always been a thoughtful baby. She had been born when Valandur was 15, and he could remember her as being unusually quiet. Even now, when she was 10 years old she was quieter than anyone he knew. But no one could surpass her knowledge of the past. She knew all that there was to know about the second and third age, and she quickly soaked up all knowledge about the first age that she could find. But it still wasn't enough. She was constantly down in the archives reading all that she could lay hand to. It had been hard to convince her that she had needed to come with her brothers and sisters to Belfalas. But after Valandur had talked to his father, Aragorn III about Gilraens' current state of health she had been told that she was going whether she liked it or not. Now that she was there in Belfalas she had developed a new interest. Valadur had noticed that whenever anyone mentioned anyone from the tales of old, Gilraen was completely absorbed in thought.
Valandurs' train of thought was suddenly broken when their sister Casinlou shouted at them. "What are you two doing down there?" She yelled from across the beach. Valandur turned around and replied, "I found Gilraen standing here and we've been talking." Valandur knew that Casinlou knew better than to believe him that they'd been talking all this while. He turned back to Gilraen. It is near noon sister. Will you not come eat? Gilraen was silent. Valandur sighed and started to walk away. Gilraen slowly turned around and walked after him. After a couple minutes Valandur stopped so as to let his little sister catch up. They walked on together for a while, silent as could be. Just as they were walking up the hill to the manner Gilraen spoke. "I was thinking about the elves of Lorien. They walked their last on middle earth on these shores." "It is very interesting." Valandur replied. He opened the door, and they went in. They were met by Casinlou who was just on her way out. "Lasindal and Arindon have already left on a picnic." She said. "Then we had best follow as quickly as possible." Valandur replied. "I think I'll stay here today." Gilraen quickly said. "As you wish." Casinlou replied, who was slightly offended at Gilraens' manner. Casinlou walked out the door, and Valandur asked before leaving, "are you sure of this?" Gilraen nodded and Valandur went after Casinlou.
As soon as Gilraen was sure that her brother had left she raced up the staircase and into her chamber. She went up to the family crest that hung above the dresser, took it down, and pressed an image in the engraven wall panel. A piece of the wall swung out to reveal a small square compartment. It was full of parchments neatly rolled and stacked. Gilraen removed the top two, closed the panel and re-hung the crest in its former position. She then turned her attention to the parchments she had removed. She walked over to the small writing desk that stood right in front of her window, which looked ever westward and to the sea. Gilraen gazed awhile at the seashore and turned slowly to the papers. She carefully unrolled them and started to read.
Here follows the account of Meriadoc Brandybuck, member of the Fellowship of the Ring, friend of Frodo Baggins.
I, now old, and knowing that my years are numbered here impart the tale of the after years, when Mordor was overthrown and King Ellesar on his throne with the Queen of elves and humans, Arwen.
The years of 1420 and 1421 were indeed years of rebirth, but also of loss. Our good friends Gandalf, Galadriel, Elrond, Bilbo, and most especially Frodo, left the Gray Havens over the sea. Pippin and I knew not of this event until Sam came back to the shire after traveling with Frodo to the Gray Havens. Pippin and I were off at Bree at the time, and when we returned a week later, Frodo had gone, and Sam seemed heavy hearted. At first we did not believe that such a thing could have happened. Finally we resolved to ride to the Gray Havens and to look out from the towers. We did, and bade Frodo good speed in our hearts. We were much aggrieved. Six years later Pippin got married. Shortly afterwards I became the master of Buckland, and sometime after that Pippin became the head Took and Thain. We went to Bree many times, and visited Tom Bombadil as often as we could. Years later I received word from King Eomer of Rohan that he wished to see me once again. I and Pippin then handed our offices and titles over to our sons and left for Edoras. We reached it a few weeks before the King died. Then Pippin desired once again to see Minas Tirith once more and King Ellesar. So we departed with much sorrow from Rohan and entered Gondor. There we have lived until now. Just now sorrow is very near to me as my good friend Peregrin Took, or rather Pippin, died a few days ago. I feel that my days are numbered also. I must make one more trip before I die however, to hide my elven cloak, and this parchment in some remote place. I will no doubt go to Ithilien.
Gilraen had found this parchment in the archives just before she and her brothers and sisters left to come to Belfalas. She was intrigued by the fact that although Meriadoc hadn't been able to go and hide the manuscript and cloak, that only the manuscript had remained in the box made to keep both safe. She would dearly love to find such a thing. Knowing much from what was said of elves, there was a large chance that the cloak itself would be in an excellent condition. But most of all, Gilraen loved the fact that Merry, as his friends had called him, was a traveler. "Most of the people I know think that I'm perfectly content to sit in the archives all day and translate manuscripts. I love to do that yes, but what I really long to do is to go travel. I want to see what is left of Lothlorien, touch the towers in the gray havens, visit the ruins of Rivendell, explore the kingdom under the mountain and see the ancient buildings of Dale. I long to see Edoras, and sit on Amon Hen." Gilraen said to herself. In her heart she longed to go and see middle earth, now that she knew of all the history. "I don't want to be the perfect princess of the people any longer. What I want to do is travel and have adventures such as Frodo, King Aragorn, Merry, Pippin, and Eowyn had. I want to see an elf, if there are any left alive in Middle Earth. I long to speak to a hobbit, and converse freely with the Ents. I am board just sitting around, doing nothing." Gilraen sat around daydreaming and thinking for another half-hour, when suddenly there were loud voices, a trampling on the stairs, and footsteps coming toward her chamber. "They must be back early." She muttered to herself, as she quickly put the manuscripts back into the hidden door and replaced the coat of arms. Gilraen turned around and walked toward her door. She opened it. No one was in the hall, but Valandurs' chamber door was open, and she could see Arindon, Lasindal, and Casinlou standing around his bed looking worried. Gilraen walked calmly in. Arindon turned swiftly around and his tense faced relaxed slightly when he saw it was just her. "What is the matter?" She asked. Lasindal burst out into tears. Arindon looked grim as he said, "Valandur was hit by an arrow while we were supping together. We don't know who shot it, but whoever it was, its gone now." "Casinlou turned and hugged her sister and whispered in her ear, "It is most probable that he will die." Gilraen looked at Valandur lying on his bed, saw his pale face, the blood, and turned away, fists clenched. "May I see the arrow?" She asked Arindon, who picked it up from the bed where it had been lying. Gilraen recognized it at once. It was an orc arrow. "Where was he shot?" Gilraen asked through clenched teeth. By the cliffs, where we have gone every day." Lasindal sobbed.
"I will be back, I promise you." Gilraen said and walked of the chamber. She ran across to her own, shut the door and bolted it. After throwing most of the clothes out of the drawer, Gilraen carefully lifted the mens' traveling clothes that she had kept hidden for years, and put them on. She took her brown cloak, and buckled her elvish sword Slaisou on. She took off her delicate slippers and put on her best boots. Gilraen then walked over to her writing desk and put on her signet ring. She crept over to the door and looked out. Valandurs' door was still open, and her brothers and sisters still there. As she was creeping down the hall however, she turned back around to look at Valandur. Suddenly he looked toward her. Their eyes met and Gilraen turned and fled down the stairs, afraid that Valandur would tell Arindon and stop her. She raced to the stables, her heart somehow giddy from mere excitement, and all the while raging with anger for the hurt done her brother. She quickly geared up her horse, and led it around the back of the manner, and went in the kitchen door. Only the old cook was there, and she fast asleep. Gilraen quickly gathered food and rations for a month and went back out. She mounted her horse after putting the provisions in her saddle bag, and raced off in the direction of the cliffs.