The Lineage of Amroth [III / VI]

<p><em></em> &lt;!-- @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } --&gt; <p>&lsquo;<em>...Where now she wanders none can tell,<br />In sunlight or in shade;<br />For lost of yore was Nimrodel<br />And in the mountains strayed.<br /><br />The elven-ship in haven grey <br />Beneath the mountain-lee<br />Awaited her for many a day<br />Beside the roaring sea...'</em><br /><br /><br />The light came gold through the eaves of Lothlorien. Ivriniel basked in it as she walked through the forest; for she would often take to strolling leisurely alone through the trees rather than constantly remain in the lofty heights of Caras Galadhon. For over four years she had remained here, though she still remembered the day she arrived as clear as the lamps of the Silvan folk.<br /><br />Innocently and precariously she had tread through the bronze foliage of the forest floor so long ago, her white steed beside her, both alarmed and intrigued by every rustle, every sound. Her own sounds, however, did not go unnoticed themselves.<br />&ldquo;Outsiders should not so lightly wander the borders of our homeland,&rdquo;had said a silky voice that seemed to have no earthly form.<br />&ldquo;Pardon me, whomsoever you be,&rdquo; gasped Ivriniel, holding her hands upwards in peace, though she had no point to look at. &ldquo;I have been searching long for the land of Lothlorien, where the White Lady is still said to rule.&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;Then you have found it; but it remains to be seen whether you are fit to look upon the tall trees of Caras Galadhon, or bask in the raiment of the Lady Galadriel. Whenceforth do you come from, maiden?&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;My home is beside the waves of Belfalas, within the strong walls of Dol Amroth, city of the Prince Angelimar, whom is my grandfather. My name is Ivriniel.&rdquo;<br />At this, the figure who had been speaking fell into vision &ndash; leaping down from a high perch in the trees where he had evidently been hiding. Two other hooded figures too dropped down next to him.<br />&ldquo;Lady Ivriniel,&rdquo; said the speaker, &ldquo;we have been waiting for you &ndash; the maiden from the land of our long sundered and forgotten kin. I am Haldir, and these are my brothers Orophin and Rumil; we are marchwardens of the Galadhrim. I am afraid I am the only one of us who knows the Westron.&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;I know the Sindarin tongue,&rdquo; she offered, a little startled. &ldquo;My uncle Gilant is a great researcher into the Elven languages, but I am afraid my accent may sound unlovely.&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;Do not worry,&rdquo; smiled Haldir. &ldquo;The Common Speech is very well. Perhaps universal tongues should be spoken more often in these darker times; besides, few among Men can speak Sindarin with any convincingness.&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;You said you had been waiting for me,&rdquo; Ivriniel said, moving closer to her horse as if for comfort. &ldquo;How did you know I was coming?&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;The White Lady knows and sees much,&rdquo; Haldir said. &ldquo;She had sent messages to you, but feared you may not have heeded them...&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;Then the dreams were real!&rdquo; exclaimed Ivriniel.<br />&ldquo;Her dealings can be strange to some,&rdquo; the Elf agreed. &ldquo;But those with heart and faith can see them clearly, as you have so done. Come, we must take you before her, as she has commanded of us. We would usually blindfold outsiders on the road to Caras Galadhon &ndash; but for one so clearly with the blood of the Silvan folk of our lost Prince Amroth, we would wish to enact no such displeasure. Your horse may find the way hard, but there shall be healing for you both once we meet our journey&rsquo;s end.&rdquo;<br /><br /><br />As she recalled her past beginnings in the Golden Wood, Ivriniel heard an anxious cry somewhere on the forest floor &ndash; but not from Elf or Man. A thrush lay in the undergrowth, fallen on its back, with one of its wings bent unnaturally. As it chirped in pain, it looked up at Ivriniel with a fearful glance.<br />Closing her eyes in concentration, she crouched down and spread her open palms over the bird, feeling her energies flowing into it, and then back into her like a soothing wave. After a moment she opened her eyes, and slowly raised herself back up, and gave a contented smile as she watched the thrush fly away, singing.<br />&lsquo;You have learnt much from us, Ivriniel,&rsquo; said a calm, but strong, and immeasurably ancient voice behind her. She did not turn with any speed, for she knew whom it was.<br />&lsquo;You are good teachers,&rsquo; she smiled to Celeborn, and then bowed. &lsquo;It is good to see you, my lord.&rsquo;<br />&lsquo;Even I must wander away from my duties within Caras Galadhon from time to time,&rsquo; he said. &lsquo;But as you are here, I would speak with you, if you would not hinder it.&rsquo;<br />&lsquo;Shall we talk as we walk through the trees?&rsquo; Ivriniel suggested, and Celeborn nodded.<br /><br />&lsquo;For more than four years you have been living amongst us, Ivriniel,&rsquo; the Elven Lord spoke as they walked through the leaves. &lsquo;But you shall know full well by now that within the Golden Wood, it can seem to the mind as if time ceases to exist.&rsquo;<br />She did not reply, but indeed reminded herself that it had not been a lifetime since she had come here, but under half a decade.<br />&lsquo;For us of Elvenkind, such Lorien is as we would have all things, preserved and protected, even the decay of time shut out from the borders,&rsquo; Celeborn sighed. &lsquo;Yet it cannot be so for the Children of Earendil. You must do what you can with what time you have here on Arda, and not let the years pass by unnoticed.&rsquo;<br />&lsquo;Are you asking me to leave, Lord Celeborn?&rsquo; asked Ivriniel, a little hurt. &lsquo;Have I overstayed my welcome?&rsquo;<br />The tall Elf smiled, but sadly. &lsquo;Of course not; to us, you are a part of this forest now &ndash; that is why I would advise you to go; before you cannot bring yourself to.&rsquo; <br />He paused for a moment, and then began to explain. &lsquo;You see, news has come to us recently of the plight of Dol Amroth; and it is not glad.&rsquo;<br />&lsquo;News?&rsquo; questioned Ivriniel. &lsquo;Who would bring such news all the way here?&rsquo;<br />&lsquo;You know whom. You told me you had spoken with him on your journey here when we first met. He has been travelling for a long time, and aided the Steward Ecthelion of Gondor.&rsquo;<br />&lsquo;Where can I find him?&rsquo; Ivriniel anxiously asked.<br />&lsquo;I shall not say, for he has waited long to return here, and today should not be a day that he would fill others with sorrow,&rsquo; Celeborn retorted. &lsquo;But he told me everything concerning your people once he knew you were here.&rsquo;<br />Ivriniel begged him to speak, yet she could not ready herself for what he was about to say. <br /><br /><br />Though the journey from the boundaries of Lothlorien to Caras Galadhon was by no means short, it had been wondrous. Ivriniel had marvelled at all she had seen under the golden boughs and up and down the green hills, until at last Haldir&rsquo;s company had beheld the high malinorni in the distance, like towers of nature, radiating with the care of the White Lady.<br />To this day, she could not clearly remember her first steps through the City of the Galadhrim, for she had been as one who strays from the dark terrors of night into a fair and wondrous dream. The fair fountains, the statues, the lights... Ivriniel had heard of stories of the Undying Lands, and she knew that Lothlorien was a small piece of it on this earth.<br />Several of the Elvenfolk had watched her with curiousity &ndash; for many had been unsure whether she had indeed been of Men or of the Firstborn, such was her appearance. Ivriniel however, had caught the glance of one of them, a maiden, and she seemed to recognise something familiar, but long lost, within Ivriniel&rsquo;s face. She came rushing forwards excitedly.<br />&ldquo;Can it be?&rdquo; said the Elf-maiden. &ldquo;Have you returned at last, Mithrellas?&rdquo;<br />Ivriniel had looked at her in confusion, &ldquo;I am sorry, but I believe you must be mistaken &ndash;&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;Nerellas,&rdquo; Haldir said, &ldquo;what is the word of your mistress?&rdquo;<br />Nerellas tore her inspecting eyes from Ivriniel and turned to Haldir. &ldquo;She is waiting. Come, we shall go to her.&rdquo;<br /><br />As they had walked the high steps circling around the great tree in which the meeting place of the Lord and Lady of Lorien was based, Ivriniel tried to ask Haldir of what the Elf Nerellas had said.<br />&ldquo;She called me Mithrellas,&rdquo; mused Ivriniel. &ldquo;We in Dol Amroth know well of an Elf-maiden with that name.&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;What do you say of her?&rdquo; Haldir queried.<br />&ldquo;In the Legend of Amroth, when Nimrodel strayed in the mountains, her handmaidens were scattered, yet one of them, Mithrellas, found her way to Belfalas, where she was taken to wife by the Prince of Belfalas, Imrazor the Numenorean, and from their son Galador was begun the renewed line of the Princes of Dol Amroth. She, however, slipped away from Imrazor in the night, not to be seen again. If the traditions are true, she is my great ancestor.&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;Yes,&rdquo; retorted Haldir. &ldquo;You look almost exactly like her.&rdquo;<br />As Ivriniel thought on this, she looked up ahead on the stairs, where Nerellas led them far in the lead. Haldir caught her stare.<br />&ldquo;You must excuse her haste and concern. She is a handmaiden of the White Lady, and does all in her ability to see her will done as soon as possible.&rdquo;<br />Ivriniel had nodded at this, but knew there was something about this Nerellas that had not yet been revealed.<br /><br /><br />&lsquo;Since you have been here,&rsquo; started Celeborn, recalling what had been said to him to Ivriniel, &lsquo;there have been two raids of Corsair Fleets. In the first, they were rejected successfully, but the Captains Cemendur and Orodreth were both slain.&rsquo;<br />&lsquo;Yes, yes I know of them,&rsquo; she said, shocked and sad. 'They were brave men.'<br />&lsquo;Before that however, your younger sister married the son of the Steward Ecthelion, Denethor, and two years ago gave birth to a son, Boromir. Your grandfather, however, Angelimar, passed from age, and now your father bears the Princeship. I apologize that I must tell you these things all so close together...&rsquo;<br />&lsquo;Do not worry, I would have you tell me all now, though it be a lot to take in. But I am glad for Finduilas,&rsquo; and even as she said that, she remembered how much she missed her family, especially with the death of her grandfather.<br />&lsquo;The next Corsair attack, however, was much more devastating. They came swiftly and unlooked for, it is said, just two years after the first, and ambushed the town of Sarlond, slaying many, before attempting to slip away. After the death of Orodreth, his son, your old escort, Galador, had taken his title as a Captain, and he attempted to block the Corsair escape &ndash; but he was killed. I am sorry. This year, an ambush was led on the quays of Umbar to stall another attack; but I fear it could do nothing to heal what has already passed.&rsquo;<br />Ivriniel&rsquo;s face was already drenched in sorrow when Celeborn, crushingly, spoke again.<br />&lsquo;There is something that I did not tell you, but to keep it from you would put me to shame. When the Corsairs attacked Sarlond, your parents were there in recreation. Your father Adrahil survived, but...your mother, Irilde, was counted among the slain.&rsquo;<br />Ivriniel turned, and, without a sound, walked away through the trees of Lorien, where grief had found her at last.<br /><br /><br />Like a vision of Laurelin and Telepirion had appeared the Lady and Lord of Lothlorien to Ivriniel&rsquo;s eyes. In silent awe she stood, with Haldir and Nerellas beside her, but Ivriniel had focus only for the piercing glance of the White Lady, Galadriel, who seemed to look through her very soul like an open window, and she was as terrible as she was glorious. Ivriniel was so amazed she could barely bring herself to bow.<br />&ldquo;Welcome, daughter of Princes, to Laurelind&oacute;renan. This is the Lord Celeborn of Doriath; and I am Galadriel.&rdquo;<br />Ivriniel had looked up from her crouched figure with continued amazement, speechless, yet the White Lady smiled, and her face was now no longer terrible and queenly, but fair and youthful, telling of days spent in the bliss of the world&rsquo;s youth.<br />&ldquo;You may stand, unless you be so weary already?&rdquo; she had said.<br />&ldquo;Your pardon, my Lady,&rdquo; Ivriniel returned, awkwardly. &ldquo;I thank you for allowing me passage into your land &ndash; I am Ivriniel, daughter of Prince Adrahil of Dol Amroth.&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;We know whom you are, Ivriniel, for long I have watched you, and spoken to you. I had feared that you may not have come, yet I am glad that you have.&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;Yes &ndash; yes, the visions...&rdquo; Ivriniel had stammered.<br />The Lord Celeborn had now turned to his wife. &ldquo;Do you judge this to be truly right? Perhaps it is too trusting to allow a stranger into our lands in such a time of strife.&rdquo;<br />Before Galadriel retorted, Ivriniel remembered the stranger she had met upon the road here. &ldquo;I was told I would have better favour with you, if I told you I had been shown the way by the Elfstone.&rdquo;<br />Celeborn looked at her in puzzlement, but Galadriel smiled once again. &ldquo;I am glad that your paths have crossed, Lady Ivriniel. Indeed, it shall not be the last time that it does. But I see in you that you are doubtful as to why you have come, or rather, why I have seemingly asked it of you?&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;Yes, my lady.&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;It is no lie that the Princes of Dol Amroth are intertwined with the Elves of this land. I remember well the land of your birth, Ivriniel, for before we came here we dwelt at the haven of Edhellond, and close to us was your city, yet in those days your rulers were named the Princes of Belfalas, and your city was called Lond Daer. This was until the loss of the last King of this land, Amroth.<br />&ldquo;During the time of our stay in Belfalas, the blood of our people and yours became mingled, until we returned here to take Amroth&rsquo;s place as stewards of the Golden Wood. As the years have worn on, I have been glad to see Dol Amroth continue to prosper, yet it does no less to ease the sorrow I feel at the separation of our two races. <br />If indeed, war is coming soon, then we should not forget the old alliances and friendships. You have come here to become a message of goodwill to your people, and be the vassal of our aid to them. If you are to so choose it, Ivriniel, you will become a handmaiden and a pupil under me, and I shall teach you what I know.&rdquo;<br /><br />Ivriniel turned the words of the White Lady over in her head, waiting some moments before she spoke. &ldquo;Why was I chosen for this, my Lady? Why not my father, or my brother Imrahil?&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;Their paths are set upon the battlefield, and it is to that domain they must stay if they are to be prepared for the dark days ahead. Yet you have a strength in you that they do not; you have a great will, and a spirit untampered by age, and in you I feel the blood of Westernesse and Lorien flow unhindered.&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;Thank you, my Lady. But, if I am to learn your magics, and your powers, would I not simply be turned into a weapon against the enemy? What would become of me?&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;You are very perceptive,&rdquo; Galadriel had said, troubled, &ldquo;but this is not the truth. There is a difference between a sword and a shield, Ivriniel. You would never become a weapon unless you were corrupted by the power you shall have, which I know you shall not, because of your strong spirit. You shall protect and preserve your people and your city, to be a light undimmed when the light of the west begins to falter.&rdquo;<br />Ivriniel bowed her head in thought again, and her face darkened. But then she held her head high, and looked at the almighty figures that stood before her, and she perceived that they, many times in their lives, must have sacrificed something, perhaps even in themselves, in necessity, and in sacrifice of good.<br />&ldquo;If you shall indeed have it, my Lady, I shall be your pupil, and you shall be my mistress.&rdquo;<br /><br /><br />No comfort now would Ivriniel find among the golden trees of Lorien. She ran through the forests as if it were a trap, or a labrynth, her face cold and streaming in grief and rage. Why had she come here, chasing her childishness? Why did she not stay at home and be with her family?<br />And then she stopped. Her wit returned to her, and she knew that she was not running away from the truth, just the Lord Celeborn. She collapsed in a heap, crying still, unable to control herself from the news of those whom she had loved slain by the barbarity of Umbar.<br />She heard footsteps behind her, and a hand upon her shoulder. It was soft, and familiar, and had comforted her many times in the past. Her fellow handmaiden, whom she had met when she first came to Caras Galadhon, and her great friend, Nerellas, spoke.<br />&lsquo;Why do you cry, Ivriniel?&rsquo;<br />&lsquo;I have been from my home &ndash; my true home &ndash; for too long, Nerellas. My people are in strife, and my family has suffered greatly. The Lord Celeborn is right &ndash; it is time for me to go home.&rsquo;<br />Nerellas held her tightly. &ldquo;I had heard that the Lord Elessar had returned from his ventures in other lands, yet I did not know he had news about your kin. I am truly sorry, Ivriniel.&rsquo;<br />Ivriniel paused amidst her grief. &lsquo;Thorongil? The Elfstone is here?&rsquo;<br />&lsquo;Yes,&rsquo; smiled Nerellas, &lsquo;it is why I have come into the forest, for I have heard of why he has come here. Will you follow me to Cerin Amroth? It is not too far from here.&rsquo;<br />Ivriniel took Nerellas&rsquo; outstretched hand, and they ran into the trees once more. <br /><br />The two handmaidens stood behind a bush close to the famed hill where King Amroth once made his home, eagerly looking about the area. Ivriniel and Nerellas had an unusually close friendship for those of alien race &ndash; Ivriniel often told her that she reminded her of her younger sister, Finduilas; and Nerellas had said that she had reminded her of her sister &ndash; yet Ivriniel did not know whom she was.<br />&lsquo;Here they come!&rsquo; giggled Nerellas, and ducked down with Ivriniel. As they watched, two figures emerged from the trees onto the hill.<br />&lsquo;The maiden &ndash; is that - ?&rsquo;<br />&lsquo;The Lady Arwen?&rsquo; finished Nerellas. &lsquo;Yes!&rsquo;<br />As they watched, Ivriniel felt sadness creep up on her again. &lsquo;Nerellas, you know that I will have to leave soon, don&rsquo;t you?&rsquo;<br />Nerellas turned to her. &lsquo;Yes, I do. But Ivriniel, you should also know that I will have to leave soon as well.&rsquo;<br />&lsquo;What? No, Nerellas, your home is here, not with me!&rsquo; Ivriniel said, shocked.<br />&lsquo;Do you remember that I said you reminded me of my sister?&rsquo; asked Nerellas.<br />&lsquo;Yes, of course.&rsquo;<br />&lsquo;And do you remember what I called you when I first saw you in Caras Galadhon?&rsquo;<br />Ivriniel&rsquo;s mind wandered back, to the strange Elven maiden running across to her, calling her &ndash;<br />&lsquo;Mithrellas! Your sister is the Elf who began the line of the Princes of Dol Amroth?&rsquo;<br />&lsquo;Yes,&rsquo; Nerellas said sadly. &lsquo;And now she has gone, whither I know not, but I deem she has gone over the sea, sailing from the shores of Belfalas, where her children now rule. May I not travel with you, Ivriniel, to see the land where my sister was lost, and see the great city where her far descendanets rule?&rsquo;<br />Ivriniel looked upon her in a different light now, and smiled. &lsquo;How could I ever say no to that, Nerellas? Of course you may come with me; and it gladdens my heart that you shall do so!&rsquo;<br />The handmaidens embraced in the growth below Cerin Amroth, even as Aragorn and Arwen plighted their troth upon it, neither he nor Ivriniel that their fates from hereon in would be bound.</p> </p>
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