Watcher of the Stars by the Sea - Part 9

Two months passed before Tiriel left on a cool spring day. Even though the weather was fair, it was a sad day in Brithombar, especially for Cirdan. When Tiriel went to the stable to put her things on her horse, Cirdan was there and he helped her put her things on Raesta, her grey horse. They were the only ones in the stable; the company from Nargothrond had already saddled their horses.

"I am very proud of you and you need to know that whatever you do I will never prevent you from doing something. You are your own person now-make your own decisions and live the life you want to live. I will miss you very much, but I want you to be happy wherever you go and not to worry about me."

"I know you are proud of me, Father, and I will live my own life, but my mind will always return here. I will miss you very much, Father," said Tiriel as they were walking out of the stable to meet the company.

"Are you ready to leave, Tiriel?" asked Finrod

"Yes, I am," she said as she turned around to give Cirdan a hug and kiss before she mounted, "I love you very much, Father."

"I love you very much, my beautiful daughter! May the Valar protect you! Goodbye Finrod, Aegnor and Angrod!"

The company rode towards the woods and Tiriel looked back and waved goodbye.

"Tiriel, please put your hood on so we will not be seen," Aegnor whispered to her as she saw the rest of the company putting their hoods on as well. The entire company blended into the forest and bypassed Eglarest and Nargothrond without encountering any Elves or orcs. It took the company fifteen days to reach the River Narog, and another fifteen days to reach the River Esgalduin. When the company approached the river, Tiriel saw three riders near the bridge. She noticed that Aegnor, who was riding next to her, appeared very excited to see the riders. She wondered who they were and Aegnor answered her question before she asked it.

"The riders are Beleg, Celeborn and Galadriel. Beleg and Celeborn are both excellent archers and Galadriel, like yourself, is very good with weapons and few people know of her skills."

"How did you know that I know how to use almost every weapon?"

"Your father told me before we left and he also asked me to help you master the weapons."

As they approached the riders, Tiriel saw that one of the riders was riding towards them.
"Welcome to Doriath, sons of Finarfin and Daughter of Cirdan. King Thingol and Queen Melian are waiting in the Great Hall for you," said the rider.

"Thank you, Beleg. Galadriel, Celeborn, Beleg it has been a while since we last spoke."

"And since you came to Doriath," said Galadriel with a smile on her face, "It is an honor to finally meet you, Tiriel; Aegnor has told me much about you."

Tiriel noticed that Galadriel's voice and eyes were full of pain, suffering, grief, love, longing and wisdom. She felt that she had just met the person who would help her in many ways. Galadriel rode beside Tiriel as they crossed the bridge.

"You look just like your mother, Tiriel daughter of Cotume. I hoped you would come to Doriath. Cotume was very fond of Doriath."

"What I have seen is very beautiful, but I have never been inside a cave before."

"You may dwell wherever you like; in a flet or cave. Cotume enjoyed both the caves and trees," said Beleg, who was riding behind Tiriel.

As they crossed the bridge and dismounted, Tiriel saw many Elves standing at the entrance to the Great hall. They entered the Great Hall, but they did not remain there, instead they entered a small chamber where two individuals were seated-a grey haired Elf and a beautiful woman who had a light in her eyes that Tiriel did not recognize. She realized that she was looking at Melian and Thingol.

"Welcome to Doriath, Tiriel," said Thingol who sounded as if he did not want to speak to her.

"Thank you, King Thingol. I am happy to be here."

"You came for a reason, Finrod. I hope you do not waste your time here," said Thingol to Finrod.

"Yes, I did come for a reason. Are you prepared to help us if the Enemy attacks? Or will you remain here and not help defend Middle-earth and the innocents that you claim to protect?" said Finrod in a cold, upset voice.

Galadriel gave Finrod a look that could scare a dwarf into hiding. Aegnor and Angrod also gave Finrod cold stares.

"No, I will not help you fight the Enemy unless he threatens Doriath and the innocents that are here I will protect, but I will not worry about the others in Middle-earth."

Tiriel could not contain herself any longer, but she did not need to speak.
"Doriath's defenses will be broken at some point in time and one will come who can pass through my Girdle without my knowledge," said Melian, whose voice sounded like a musical instrument that Tiriel had never heard before.

A few moments later, Thingol asked everyone to leave the chamber and to enjoy their visit. Tiriel was about to leave when Melian walked up next to her and spoke to Tiriel.

"Tiriel, will you come with me-I would like to show you to your room and speak to you."

"Of course, Queen Melian."

"Please call me Melian."

Tiriel followed Melian as she watched Galadriel talk to her brothers and saw Aegnor give her a look of encouragement and approval.

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