Hyellnassë: The Glass Thorn - Ch3: A Preliminary Understanding

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Chapter 3.) A Preliminary Understanding

Tender-hearted, in your lonely sorrow
I would fain comfort you

- George William

May 7, 210 Fourth Age, Valinor

"Yes, yes, I know," Falas hopped away from Kallindo and bent down to examine a small, broken conche shell.

Kallindo smiled benignly. "Oh you do? Well then, can you tell me who ruled Eryn Galen during the second age of the sun?"

Falas' young face scrunched up in concentration then a bright smile dawned on his face as he picked up the spiraled remnant of the conche shell. "King Oropher! And he fought giant spiders."

The elfing thrust his piece of shell out into the air before him as though plunging a sword through the heart of some dangerous beast. For a few moments he darted ahead of Kallindo, felling imaginary spiders as he went.

"And who was king after him?" Kallindo called, knowing that his lesson had been largely lost on the rambunctious child that afternoon but not yet ready to give up the endeavor.

Falas turned back to Kallindo with an innocent expression, his small lips pursed tightly.

"He fought with the Last Alliance and killed many giant spiders," Kallindo coaxed, "And his name begins with a T."

Falas turned away from Kallindo once more and began shuffling down the beach, his head bent.

"Thran..." he began to say experimentally as he lifted his head once more. His correct answer was snatched away from him, however, as he spotted his sister some ways down the beach.

"Look, it's Calina!"

And without another word the young elf dashed across the sand toward where his sister was kneeling a few hundred feet away from them. Kallindo watched him go with an indulgent smile. Of a truth, he was often secretly pleased with how few details were impressed upon Falas' mind when he spoke with him. They were far away from Endórë {Middle Earth} now and there was little need for such a young heart to dwell on its sorrows.

With relaxed steps Kallindo followed after his charge, his thoughts turning to Lady Calina herself as he observed her peculiar occupation. She seemed to be scraping white sand into various leather sacks. What scheme was simmering in her pretty head now?

A wry smile flitted across Kallindo's face. He was still curious as to how she had managed to keep him for two more dances after he had determined to leave the gathering of four nights before. His curiosity was piqued even more by her strange words of that night. If it had not been for the eerie glow of the fires he would have said that her eyes held a prophetic gleam.

Kallindo shook his head. As he looked on the young maiden now he could discern nothing either ominous or mysertious about her, except perhaps her apparent need for sackfulls of white sand.

"Good morn, my lord," Calina greeted him, wiping a few errant strands of silver hair from her face with the back of her hand, trying not to get sand in her eyes. "It is good to see you again."

Bowing slightly from where he stood, still a few yards off, Kallindo approached with a calm demeanor. As he did so, Falas wandered off again with his shell in hand, scouring the sand for other hidden treasures.

"You have been closeting yourself away, I hear," he commented, "Strange noises are coming from the workshop behind your fathers house, but Falas cannot give me any sound information. Of a truth, after being inundated with your company upon your arrival I found it rather strange that you would lock yourself away so suddenly."

Calina ducked her head to hide her chagrin at his comment.

From the brief glimpse that Kallindo had of the lady's face he quickly realized his foible. "Forgive me, `inundated' was certainly an ill chosen word. You're company is of course most pleasant."

Calina looked back up with curious eyes. "Is it? I did not stop to consider the audacity of my actions during the revelries until Ránendë scolded me the next morning... not that she didn't scold me that night, I simply paid her no heed. I am sorry if I imposed upon your good will. I do have the tendency to stretch an inch into a league." A merry gleam filtered into her bright gaze. "But you appeared to enjoy yourself well enough, so I shall assume that I did no great damage."

Kallindo sat down onto the sand. "You may."

"But that is not the reason I closeted myself away," Calina continued, starting to close up her satchels of sand.

The Elf beside her merely raised a questioning eyebrow.

"I told you, my lord," Calina replied saucily, "if you decided that I was more than just an ignorant maiden you would know where to find me. I am quite willing to continue our conversation if you have come to a favorable decision about me."

Kallindo had the good grace to bow his head in regret. "I spoke hastily. Certainly, any child of Soronhín is bound to have a sound mind. But that does not mean that you could not be mistaken."

Calina smiled. "Fair enough, though I still hold to what I said."

"Fair enough," Kallindo mimicked.

A few moments of silence passed between them before Calina spoke: "But come, enough of this conversation, I must cart all of this sand back to my workshop before luncheon. Father began setting up a glass works for me as a welcoming home present and I am very eager to begin my toil anew. That is what occupied me during my disappearance - I was helping one of the servants to set everything up properly."

"You mean to continue you're work then?"

"Indeed," Calina replied, getting up from her position beside Kallindo.

Warm laughter began to flow from Kallindo's lips a moment later. Calina was quite confused.

"What is so amusing, my lord?"

"Now I understand what the sand is for," he smiled up at her, "For the firing of glass. I suppose it would befit me well to aid you."

Calina smirked. "Yes, it would."

The pair had hefted the sandbags and walked a few paces toward the green hill that rose up from the beach when Calina chuckled softly.

"What did you think I might want with so much sand - to flour myself with it? There are many strange fashions in the city, I can assure you, but that is certainly not one of them."

"I really had no idea," Kallindo replied, "It only seemed odd to see a Regent's daughter playing in the sand. You seemed a bit old for that."

"Oh, but there are few things that one can ever be too old for," Calina avowed, "Would you believe that I made a sandcastle with my sister but five years ago? And you may be assured, it was a very grand one indeed."

The two had reached Calina's small hand-cart and begun to unload their baggage as Kallindo spoke. "I thought you did not always live near the sea."

"Nay, you are mistaken. Our family did not always live here, but before that we lived further up the coast. I am an ocean child."

Kallindo turned back to the beach and called out to Falas, "Should you like a cart ride?"

The young boy came bounding across the sand with great enthusiasm and soon the elder two Elves were treking, and the young one was being pushed, steadily along the path that led up and around the hill.


Calina smiled secretively to herself. The morning was turning out to be quite successful. Ránendë had mentioned that Falas and Kallindo were off to visit the tide pool but there had been no gaurantee that they would return along the shoreline. However, her need for sand had been genuine and the fact that she was given the opportunity of accosting Kallindo on his return journey had merely been an added attraction.

Despite her ponderings over the last few days she still could not quite pinpoint why she was so interested in the elf. She had met with several of the village youths since her return home and they were all pleasant and engaging, and more importantly, they seemed to be the most logical and suitable company for her.

Her heart held no adolescent infatuation for Kallindo - of that she was certain. She was not so fanciful as to work up such an illusion in her mind. Of course, his chestnut hair was most uncommon and handsome, but certainly nothing to conjure up the feeling of ease that she felt in his presence.

Kallindo walked silently beside her now, effortlessly pushing the barrow of sand and an elfling up the path. She gazed at him from the corner of her eye, taking in his able form and strong hands. He was quite handsome.

Calina rolled her eyes and turned her head to the right, gazing back out toward the sea. She brought a thick lock of her silver hair forward and began playing with the end.

"Is something amiss?" Kallindo asked, with a touch of amusement in his voice.

Calina pursed her lips slightly, reminding her companion of the expression which Falas had recently bestowed upon him.

"I am just exasperating myself with my own foolish thoughts. I suppose you're too old to have that sort of problem."

Her tone was light and teasing. Kallindo snorted softly.

"You said that there were only a few things that one ever grew out of," Kallindo replied tightly, "Thinking foolishly is not one of them, I assure you."

Calina looked at Kallindo with a critical eye, taken in his suddenly stiffened movements. "How old are you?" she asked cautiously

"Much older than you," was Kallindo's ambiguous response.

"Old enough to have many memories, both pleasing and disheartening, I imagine," Calina whispered mostly to herself.

Kallindo did not make any effort to correct her. The small company soon came into the courtyard of the Regent's manor. Kallindo lifted Falas out of the cart and then helped Calina set the bags of sand in her workshop. He then bid her farewell and turned to meet Soronhín where he had just emerged from his audience chamber.

Calina leaned against the doorway of the kiln room, watching Kallindo's back as he greeted her father. Soon both elves turned toward the gardens. As the maiden caught sight of Kallindo's face a tiny prick of discontent pierced her heart. His face seemed more open, and he was speaking in an animated fashion with her father - his friend. She wondered for a moment if he would ever be so easy with her. Before this new revelation she had been prepared to congratulate herself on the progress she had made - she had captured several dances, engaged in insightful conversation, he had noted her absence of the past few days, and there was cordiality on all accounts between them. But she was now faced with the fact that her position was hardly improved at all. She did not know a fraction of what there was to know about this elf.

With a resolute set to her chin Calina turned away from the light and entered her worshop. It was time to go back to the drawing board.


Kallindo sat draped along a bough of his favorite tree with his eyes trained on the stars above. He often chose to sleep away from his talan. Sleeping under the stars was certainly preferable to sleeping under a dark roof, especially when he was the only one under that roof.

His thoughts had been heavy of late, churning up old hopes and wounds to go with them ever since Calina had confronted him at the betrothal celebration.

`It should have been easier by now. It was supposed to be washed away in the light of Valinor.' This was the irritating thought that kept floating amidst the muddle of his mind.

In part it had been washed away, but only in part. Having never bound himself to Oloriel, his spirit was not tied to her. He still felt that his love had been true, yet he had given it up to save her from sorrow and it was no longer the beacon of his life as it had been for several years, even after sailing West.

But he was now caught in an uncertain place. He could go neither forward nor backward. He was far past his majority and in his heart he longed to have the completion of a life mate, but he found that he no longer had the will to woo. He had never had any great skill in that area to begin with. Until his growing love for Oloriel had spurred him on he had been largely unversed in any manner of courtship. But no maiden in Valinoir had been able to reawaken that spirit. It was as though his heart was still bitter toward him, not willing to go out of its way any longer. He found much comfort in the friendships he had forged, but there seemed little hope that he would ever be married.

Of course, there was also another problem. He was quite old. In Middle Earth many elves waited to be married, but in Valinor, where peace and prosperity had reigned, elves married at quite a young age. Few were the unmarried she-elves in Eccaianórië that had reached even their fifth century. It seemed absurd to imagine that a fresh, young maiden would ever wish to be bound to a reserved, slightly bitter, war-hardened, unambitious, older elf like himself. Or, indeed, that he would ever be drawn to someone so light and carefree. Even in Oloriel he had chosen a more sober, bruised flower, who he had hoped to revive. Perhaps he had been merely trying to play the white knight to the damsel in distress. Now he found, to his bewilderment, that in Valinor no white knights were needed.

The whispering of feet on sand caught Kallindo's attention and he shifted his position, looking down the length of the beach on the edge of which his tree stood. For a moment his breath stilled as he witnessed the glowing figure of a moon-drenched she-elf pass along the cool sand. The mysterious figure was clothed all in white, with silvery hair cascading down to her thighs and dancing around her as she moved. For that breadth of time he thought he saw a lovely vision. But then the moon passed behind a cloud, and the ethereal light dimmed around the maiden enough to reveal the now familiar features of Calina Soronhíniell.

A slow breath escaped Kallindo as he tried to calm the beating of his heart. He felt oddly childish from being so entranced by the light of the moon. Without being conscious of it, he drew himself further into the shadows of the tree, hoping he could watch Calina unnoticed. A half-smile graced her face and it intrigued him. Here was one who seemed to rest in great peace of mind.

The things she had said to him since their first meeting began to drift softly through his mind. From the very beginning she had seemed to sense his sorrow. That was not surprising, he knew that it was plainly written on his face at times. But never had an acquaintance made so bold in speaking of it. And few had ever tried to goad him out of his emotional torpor. What had she said - waiting is very tiresome? It was true. It was the waiting that could not be alleviated in the West. No matter what shore he resided on he would still be waiting for something, someone, some omen to hail the end of the drought. Perhaps this candid maid was just such an omen.

This thought startled Kallindo a great deal. Could it be that the Valar were using this young she-elf, barely more than a girl, to teach him some important truth? Would he miss it if he disregarded her? How would his life change if, instead of hiding in the shadows as she walked by, he stepped out and confronted her - demanding to know the impulse behind her veiled statements and insightful remarks.

Kallindo wavered. It seemed like folly to imagine such deep significance in such a little thing. She was just another maiden: not the most beautiful nor the most learned nor the most engaging nor the most wise.

`She is the first female glass artisan I have met,' he mused with some humor, `That is something. Perhaps she looks at the world through a different lense; perhaps she sees things that I have never known before.'

As if in a dream Kallindo stood silently and walked away from the bowl of the tree, leaping from his perch to land deftly in front of Calina as she was about to pass underneath. To his astonishment she did not seem in the least be startled.

"I thought you would be here," she murmured, before walking past him and settling herself down at the base of the tree. "I found sleep to be unappealing tonight."

"Have you come to bestow more cryptic wisdom upon me?" Kallindo asked quietly.

Calina smiled, leaning her head back against the tree. "I have little wisdom to give, merely a mind full of words and a mouth to ready to speak them. I have told you what I see, and I think that I have struck near the mark, but perhaps not. I admit that I was informed of your disapointment in love by my sister, but to my mind that does not account for your air of discontented anticipation. If your heart were truly broken your eyes would be dull, not restless. But your eyes are yet alive, though they wander where you will not follow."

Kallindo stared at the maiden in wonder. "What audacity of thought compelled you to probe so unabashedly into my personal matters? You behave as though you have known me since I was a child and earned the right to speak so boldy."

Calina was slightly taken aback by Kallindo's discouraging behavior but she answered strongly: "I feel as if you need someone to unearth you a bit. I do not like to see you sad."

It would be hard to express the sensation that coursed through Kallindo at that simple admission. Slowly he sat down in front of Calina and dug his fingers into the cool, reassuring sand.

"You do not like to see my sad?" he inquired skeptically.

"Yes," Calina nodded, "It seems such a... not a pity... an injustice, perhaps?"

She gazed out over Kallindo's shoulder toward the ocean as if in thought. Giving a pretty little shrug, she sighed, "I simply do not like to see you sad, that is all - I do not know why. And mayhap I am a bit brusque and audacious in my manner, but I try as best I can."

Kallindo nodded slowly, his eyes searching her face carefully. "Well," he finally spoke, a small smile tugging impatiently at the corners of his mouth. "I suppose that earns you something, doesn't it?"

Calina looked up to meet his eyes quickly and a bright smile soon blossomed on her face. "Shall we be friends then?"

Kallindo hesitated. What was this new path laid before him? He felt the thickness in the air between them even as he spoke: "As you will."


Things to Know:


Calina (KAH-lin-ah): Q. "illuminated"
Kallindo (kahl-LIN-do): Q. "noble heart"
Falas (FAHL-ahss): S. "beach, shore"
Soronhín (sor-ON-heen): Q. "eagle child"
Ránendë (ra-NEN-deh): Q. "moon pool"

Eccaianórië (ehk-kay-a-NOR-ee-eh): Q. "outer sea region"

Endórë: Q. "Middle Earth"

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