Tear Maiden - The Story of Nienor-Niniel

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Postby Guruthostirn » Mon May 05, 2003 12:29 am

Nin, I've read your writing, and am amazed at what you have done! I love the idea of writing down what your character does, independent of an RP. You have complete control here, and it is amazing what you have done with it!
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Postby nienor-niniel » Thu May 08, 2003 6:11 am

Thank you for the various comments. <BR><BR>Eari, I know this place, where nightmares are born... (((hugs))<BR><BR>Next part:<BR><BR>Time went by. Day after day, season after season, year after year. Five years. In the middle of the second winter, the horse she had been given in Rivendell died. Nienor-Niniel had never named it, and did not mourn it. It was just another remnant of the past to go. From that day on, she travelled by foot. She sought not to search for another. Never again, she stayed as long in a place as she had done in the first winter. She was restless, but less desperate than before. In the evening, wherever she was, she played music. And throughout the years, she had become a master that almost nobody could equal. But never anybody listened to her, and when she visited the villages, she never played, although it could have been a way of earning her life. The music was only for her, to rescue her. <BR><BR>And slowly, Nienor-Niniel changed. Nothing more was left from her maiden dreams in Rivendell, nothing was left but the bitterness of loss. Only the remorse and the feeling of guilt did not diminish with the years of wandering. She had become very quick in all her movements, the only way of hunting for a small and tiny woman, living alone. She owned a sword now, and was no more afraid of using it. She had bought it during the second winter, when she had been more able to control herself in her visits of the villages and managed to keep some of her earnings behind. <BR><BR>Nevertheless, she did not get along to spend an entire season without visiting some village in the only intention to get utterly drunk, to forget, to dive into the fogs of her mind, where she could see for a second Liudares smiling at her again, where it was over. <BR><BR>The winters were often harder to bear than the summers, too dark and feeling the cold bite often. Food was then more difficult to get, and sometimes she did not make the effort to hunt, to search, to light the fire. She was then looking for the sensation of starving, for the illusion of dying and leaving the pain and the regret behind. Each time, she came back to herself in time and Elrond’s judgement was echoing in her mind: You will have to live with it, every day of your existence. Your crime shall haunt you. Do not try to die again, or the pain shall be unbearable. You have to live this out.<BR><BR>Never she could have gotten over those words. <BR><BR>It was the fifth winter since her ban. In the autumn she had stayed for a while with a group of mercenaries, as long as their cause seemed to fit her. It had not been the first time and her fighting skills were more than she ever thought she could expect from herself. She did not use her own name and told nothing about her life or where she was coming from, she spoke hardly at all. One morning she had left, without a word, finding suddenly the company of others unbearable. <BR><BR>But now, that the winter had come, she realised that she had lacked time to prepare herself, that she was lacking warm clothes and supply of dried food, of plants that could be medicine, of fur. It was one of the coldest winters in year and already by the and of the autumn, she had been sick for a first time. By January, Nin realised that she would need to spend a part of the winter in a village, even if she did not have the slightest idea what to do there and how to make a living. Nevertheless, at the rhythm her supplies and her strength were diminishing, she would not survive an entire winter in the wild. Yet, she hesitated. Why keep on struggling and fighting? <BR>By the end of January, she began to feel very weak. Her sleeves were hammering in the morning, when she got up and often she needed a long time to be able to think a clear thought. When she tried to rise, sometimes she fell, or at least searched for something to find hold on. Often she felt cold, and then within a blink heated from the inside. Breathing became painful again and for the first time in years, she felt the scar in her throat.<BR><BR>After a few days, she began to cough and could not play the flute any more. It seemed to her that no air entered her lungs, when she tried to breathe or that when it entered it became a knife in the very moment. Sometimes, when she coughed, she spit blood. NN was not a healer, but needed not to be to understand that her condition was serious. She knew that she was somewhere in the mountains near the Eastfold of Rohan, and tried to move on towards to the country, to find people and maybe help. But weak as she was, she moved slowly only, nothing more than mile per day and often she did not know in which direction she was moving. She knew she had fever, and often could not tell what she had been doing in the moments before. But she was alone, never meeting anybody. <BR><BR>One morning – in fact it was the 27th of the first month of the year, she rose slowly, her bones were aching. She tried to make a step and grab for her bag. and fell down, right forward, face into the snow. The pain paralysed her; she just stayed there, lying on the ground, closing her eyes, waiting for the end.
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Postby PrincessofNumenor » Thu May 08, 2003 8:37 am

Oh no! She's not going to die is she? Because of what Elrond said.. Eee! I can't wait to see what's going to happen next! I hope she doesn't die, and someone will help her! Poor Nienor-Niniel!<BR> -Alassë
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Postby Anarmírë » Thu May 08, 2003 2:52 pm

<BR><BR>Hey again Nin,<BR><BR>Tu as vraiment plus d'une corde à ton arc mademoiselle <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>.<BR>That really is brilliant and freaky; she won't die I know it but yet I am troubled<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>. you really are a wonderful writer<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>See ya<BR><BR>
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Postby Eyriel » Thu May 08, 2003 6:49 pm

Wunderbar! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> <BR><BR>I'm so glad to finally be reading more of this...I can't wait to find out what happens, this is just amazing!
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Fri May 09, 2003 12:34 am

Dang computer!, Sorry for the double.
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Fri May 09, 2003 12:37 am

<BR>Wow!<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-shocked.gif"border=0><BR>N-N,<BR>This is really good writing, I love it. I can't wait to read more, I wish others would do this too (You know write about their characters) This is really good, I can't waite for the next part.<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby nienor-niniel » Thu May 15, 2003 3:00 am

Thank you very much for the comments - and no she won't die, she'll even have a bit of good time - soon (not yet...). <BR>Princess of Numenor - I don't know you from any other place and wanted to thank you personnaly for your faithful reading. <BR><BR><i>Eolynd was tired of being closed up in her house. There was still a month before the baby should be born and she felt just a bit more tired than usual, not exhausted at all, and the warnings of the elder women to gain strength for the time when the child would be born, seemed exaggerated to her. It was her first child, she was young and healthy, and felt like this should never change.<BR><BR>But most of all, she felt lonely. This winter, she was the only pregnant woman of the village. It was also her first winter as a married woman, no longer living in the house of her father, where the noise from her brothers and sisters covered the silence of the evenings, where music was played and stories told. Where even the smell of the air was familiar.<BR>Her father had warned her not to marry a soldier, who would be on duty parts of the year, just like her brother Theadon, he was opposed until the last moment to this marriage and if now she would come to the house, he would triumph. I told you that this man would not make you happy, my child - she could almost hear the words. So she did give him the triumph, and stayed alone in her new home, waiting sometimes for friends to knock on the door, while she was knitting the children's cloths. <BR><BR>Leodred’s orders had called him on winter’s patrol, but he should be back soon, soon enough for the birth of his child and then be able to stay for a while, maybe throughout the spring, if the situation of the country was stable and neither Theodred nor Theoden would claim for more guards on the borders. If only the king’s men could stay at home! Their house was only small, and when Theadon was home, he stayed often with them, sharing memories with his brother in arms as well as with his sister. And Leodred’s presence was enough; she needed then nobody else, listening to his voice only, when he told about their adventures as Riders of the Mark, not feeling the silence as a weight any more. <BR>Everybody told her to stay at home. The winter was cold and long, and any baby could be early, but today Eolynd could not stay at home any more, it seemed to her that the walls were shrinking down on her, and that she could not breathe any more. She had tried to make herself some herbal tea and be calm. The visits to sick people were her only distraction, but she had not yet the full skills of a healer and all that could be contagious was to be kept away from a pregnant woman, then people asked for her mother instead. The tea had not helped, and Eolynd started to walk around in her little kitchen, turning on her heals, not knowing what to do with the day. It was a clear and cold winter day, the sky was deep blue and a heavy wind was blowing over the country. Finally, she decided to go for a walk in the woods, avoiding to be seen when she was leaving the village, avoiding the comments about the risk she was taking, even if she admitted that she should not ride. <BR><BR>The walk had calmed down some of her nervosity, and she had decided to pay a little visit to her new family and see her sister in law, who had already two children and might give her some advice. The forest was quiet; no animals were to be seen. Yet, all of a sudden, she spotted something, in the snow that intrigued her. Maybe it was he body of a deer that had died from cold, a little spot in the snow, half covered by it. She went over to have a look. <BR><BR>On the frozen ground lay a young woman, her face half covered with long strains of blonde hair, pale almost white and completely motionless. She wore dark brown leather cloths and boots and seemed to have broken down on this very spot- her footprints could still clearly be seen in the snow. Light footprints. A pack was lying beside her, but also a light pack, not holding a lot of things. <BR><BR>First, Eolynd thought, that the stranger might be dead, but when she put her hand in front of the woman’s mouth, she could feel that she was breathing. Only a flicker of a breath, but still a breath. Then, Eolynd turned her around to have a look on her face. The woman was small and very thin, but looking even younger than she had expected. She must be barely older than myself, thought the young Rohirrim, or maybe even younger. <BR><BR>She tried to wake the woman, but she did not move. Eolynd panicked a little moment: she could not bring the woman to her village on her own, but she feared that any delay might mean her death. Eolynd looked once more at the face of the stranger. She was very thin, but her features were noble and expressive and even unconscious, she looked like someone who had had a hard time, light wrinkles of grief were around her eyes. Her hands were not in gloves – she had long and thin fingers, which showed signs of intense handwork, broken nails and rough skin. Those were the hands of a wanderer, a ranger maybe, but not of a maiden. <BR><BR>The Rohirrim could not bear the idea of letting the young woman lie here and let her die. She hurried, almost ran back to the village. Now, she felt that she was pregnant and that it had become difficult to move quickly and to hold an effort, be it for short while. The cold air was cutting in her lungs, but the sense of emergency gave her the strength to keep up her speed until the village. Instinctively, she headed for her father’s house, where she was sure to find someone, at least one of her younger brothers. <BR><BR>She flung the door open, breathing heavily. Three heads turned towards her: her mother, Weolf and Idreard, her younger brother and sister. </i> <BR><BR>I have found someone in the forest – a young woman; she is unconscious, but not yet dead. She needs help and warmth – and.... <BR><i>Eolynd was searching for her breath, and searched for support on the door.</i> <BR><BR>Be calm, my dear child, <i>said Cealynd, looking at her daughter, this child that had suddenly grown and was standing there, eyes wide open and holding her heavy womb with her hand.</i> We will help you, Eolynd. <BR><BR><i>Weolf prepared his horse, while listening to the description where his sister had found the stranger. </i><BR><BR>Bring her to my house, <i>said Eolynd,</i> I have place and knowledge, I can heal her. <i>And she thought, I would not be alone any more. <BR><BR>Weolf came back less than half an hour later, he had laid the light body over his horse, and in front of Eolynd’s house let her glide from the saddle, carrying the unconscious woman into the tiny house.</i> <BR><BR>She looks so very young, <i>he said to his sister.</i> Will she live?<BR><BR>Yes. <i>answered Eolynd, without a moment of hesitation.</i> I will take care of that.
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Postby PrincessofNumenor » Thu May 15, 2003 7:15 am

Nienor-Niniel, you're welcome! I really enjoy this story, and it's a pleasure for me to read it! And thank <i>you</i> for posting it here!<BR> As for where I'm from on TORC.. hehe, anywhere and everywhere. Mostly I'm here to read and post my own fanfics in the RR. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR> I'm so glad Eolynd found her!!!!!!! Maybe this will be just the thing for Nin!!!!! And I hope Nienor will stay with Eolynd.. Ooh, Eolynd would be brokenhearted if she left! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-crying.gif"border=0><BR><BR> Excellent work, as always!!!! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR> --Alassë
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Postby Teherin » Wed May 21, 2003 4:29 am

This is brilliant Nienor-Niniel .. I am so enjoying reading this account <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR>Please do keep it going when you have the time ...
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Postby Jaeniver » Sun May 25, 2003 11:51 am

dear Nin,<BR>you've got an amazing story i've already told you that. it is brilliant, just brilliant!! <BR><BR>i hope i once will be able to write my bio this way.<BR><BR>*hugs* ma grande soeur, je t'aime.<BR><BR>Jae
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Postby nienor-niniel » Sun Jun 15, 2003 11:58 pm

<i>When Nienor-Niniel opened her eyes, the first thing she saw was the light of a fire, the flames flickering and cracking. She tried to move and doing so, moved the blanket that had covered her, a thick wool blanket, and she saw that she was wearing clothes she had never seen before. The room she was lying in, was visibly the main room of a small, wooden house, a most usual place. Her mind was clear, and her head not hurting any more, but she did not remember how she had come here, nor recognize the place. There was a strong smell of plants in the air, the only one NN recognised among the others was garlic, but also peppermint, as if it had been spread into the air to ease breathing. <BR><BR>At the table, close to the fire place, sat a woman, turning her back on Nin, leaning against the back of the chair, obviously pregnant. When she heard the sound of the blanket falling, the woman turned around - looking at the stranger she had found four days before in the woods. NN was sitting on the bed now and for a short moment, the two women were facing each other and scruting their eyes for a mutual recognition. <BR><BR>Nin had never really had a friend in her life - the elves in Rivendell had always been somehow to different, and since her ban, she had not sought for any contact beyond the exchange of marchandise. Eolynd was the first human woman, whom she mustered from so close, and would be her first and only friend for many years, and much more than that. Her pregnancy was touching its end, even Nin could see it, so the usual strong but slender body of the Rohirrim was heavy, and her face a bit swollen, larger and less expressive as in normal times. Eolynd was blonde, like most of the Rohirrim, but her hair was a bit darker and shorter than Nin's and very slightly curled. She had attached in in a tail. Her eyes were dark green, almost brown, and she looked friendly and concerned at the young woman of whom she had taken care the last days, without even knowing her name.</i> <BR><BR>« Bitu rewak? We bitu? Furht hantu us matten, thenket ihan, dat nit levetu wed. » <i>The young Rohirrim continued to speak in her language of which Nin did not understand a single word. She only listened to the voice of the woman in marvelling - it proofed indeed that she was alive, and not dreaming at all. Never she could have dreamt in a language that she did not even know. <BR><BR>All of a sudden, the other woman stopped speaking, aware that there was no reaction. For a short moment, she stared in doubt at Nienor, wondering if she still had fever. <BR><BR>Nin cleared her throat - whoever this woman was, she clearly owed her her life, the last thing she remembered was the snow coming closer to her face as she had fallen.</i> <BR><BR>« My name is Nienor-Niniel. What is your name? » <i>Nin was speaking clearly and slowly, making an effort to accentuate every letter. Not for a second had she thought of using a false name as she had done so often before - maybe she was too weak and surprised too to think her future and actual behaviour clearly over. Then she repeated slowly once more, pointing on herself</i> « Nienor-Niniel ». <BR><BR><i>A smile of understanding appared on Eolynd's face: the solution had been so easy: the stranger just did not speak or understand Rohirrim. Her own Westron was limited and a bit rusty, but she had understood what Nin had told her. <BR><BR>Eolynd smiled widely. She answered as slowly as Nin had spoken.</i> « I am Eolynd. Eo-lynd. » she repeated slowly and heard how NN tried to pronounce her name. You are in Rohan. You were been very ill, but now a lot better. » <i>Then Eolynd too tried to repeat: Ninor-Ninel - and Nin did not have the heart to correct her. Later almost all the village would call her Norlin, double names were rare among the Rohirrim, and she liked it well too. None was speaking elvish, so the meaning of the words did not have any sense any more. <BR><BR>Those first words spoken, however trivial they were, laid the foundation of the friendship between the two women, both of them happy to find someone to talk too. Nin was still a bit shaky on her legs for the next days, and wildly hungry. She spent two more days entirely in the house, mostly eating and sleeping and starting to learn Rohirrim words. She had quickly understood that Eolynd was waiting for her husband to come home and to see the baby born. Not knowing how long they would be only two, she preferred to use ever second of this time, fearing how the other villagers would treat her. <BR><BR>Outside the little house, a lot of talk had been going on about the stranger that Eolynd had found - too much folk on the roads those days to be quiet about it - but as it had been a woman, and looking weak and inoffensive, it was decided that she could stay and more than one villager hoped that she could tell the tale of some adventures in the long evenings of the winter around a fire. She was not contagious, Eolynd was up and in good form and if ever Leodred did not make it back in time for the birth, it was good that someone should be with Eolynd. Nin's fears were thus unbased - when she got out for the first time, six days after Eolynd had found her, everybody welcomed her friendly. Little did she know then, that not even a month later she would fight one of the hardest battles of her life so far to save this village which would be her first home later, the first place of which she would think back after Rivendell.</i>
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Postby nienor-niniel » Fri Jun 20, 2003 1:12 pm

<i>No news from the soldiers had come so far, and Eolynd was getting more and more nervous that Leodred would not be home for the birth of the baby. Talking to NN had done her a lot of good and distracted her most of the time, but today she felt restless. She turned around in the little house, lifting every item and wiping off imaginery dust. She folded and unfolded every piece of clothing that had been made for the baby, cleaned the windows, and the pots and pans, refusing every offer of help that Nienor-Niniel formulated with harsh words. <BR><BR>Since four weeks that she had stayed, Nienor-Niniel and Eolynd had gotten along rather well. Both of them had made a lot of progress in the other's language, bust most of the time they were speaking Westron together and only the contacts with the other villagers had given Nin the opportunity to use the first sentences of Rohirrim she was able to say. She was no longer used to speaking often with people and was silent most of the time. Only to Eolynd had she told a bit more, mostly about her life on the roads and in the forests of Middle Earth. In return, the Rohirrim talked about her home country, her herb lore, her husband who did not come back as soon as he was supposed. Eolynd was talking a lot more, introducing Nin to all her family and to most of the rest of the village. The skinny, silent, blonde woman followed her rescuer and everybody got used to the two of them - and Eolynd felt comforted by the idea that if Leodred did not come back in time, she was at least not alone. <BR><BR>If Leodred did not come back in time.... Today it looked as if he would indeed not come back in time. Eolynd rose from her chair, holding her heavy womb and then suddenly turned pale. A tearing pain had gone through her body and for having assissted other women in childbirth, she knew that her labour would start soon.</i> « Go to my parent's house and tell my mother to come » <i>said the Rohirrim to NN, although Eolynd was still hoping that it was a false alert and that she would have another few days of rest and that Leodred would come hom. Leodred........ Eolynd had tears in her eyes, when she thinking of him. <BR><BR>NN walked through the light snow on the streets of the village. The air was cold and it was almost unnaturally silent. It must not be later than six in the afternoon, but it was dark already. Nienor had understood that maybe Eolynd's time had come and felt the worry because Leodred had still not come back. Of course, she had never seen her friend's husband, but the concern of the healer had been enough for her to make her concerned too. He should have been back already, as far as she had understood. Apparently, something was going in Rohan and many of the conversations seemed to turn around attacks on other villages, and often it was question of women vanishing, of lost troups. She did not understood it all, but enough to be frightened. <BR><BR>Cealynd left immediately for her daughter's house, when NN came to catch her, but Idreard offered her a cup of tea to warm herself up, before she would go back and help. Idreard was as curious as the rest of the village about the stranger her sister had found, but speaking only very little Westron, she had not been able to know more about her. So it came that Nin was not with Eolynd when the alarm was risen and did not assist the birth of her future niece. <BR><BR>Idreard had put the water to boil, and chatted quickly about first names, Nin following her with her eyes, trying to understand each and every word of the flow of Idreard's ideas. All of a sudden, the loud and clear sound of a horn resounded in the air, and Idreard dropped the cup that she had hold in her hands, the tea was spilled all over on the ground, and the cup broken in hundreds of pieces. Only then the Rohirrim screamed. But not Nienor-Niniel. <BR><BR>Outside, the few men left in the village gathered, around the rider who had just arrived, covered with strains of blood and holding the rests of a broken lance in his hands.</i> « Hurry » <i>he managed to say,</i> « hide and hurry. They are hundreds - mostly orks - ten minutes and they will be here. <i>He almost fell off his horse of exhaustion.</i> <BR><BR>« We cannot leave » <i>said one of the villagers</i> « time is too short and we have women, children and elderly people. » <BR>« No » <i>said Nin, loud and clearly in Rohirrim</i> « we cannot leave, but we can defend ourselves ». <i>Heads were turning towards her - she thought of the time she had spent with the mercenaries the preceeding automn- and she nodded - </i>« yes, we can defend ourselves. We can't defend all the village, but put the women and children into two houses close to Eolynd's house. Eolynd can't move out and then all effort can be concentrated. It is close to the forest and we will have to defend only one side. And - <i>she added, already gone to search her sword - </i>« light some fires. It will not be daylight, but all of the orcs hate all form of light! »<BR><BR><i>The barely had the time to rise a defense line. NN posted herself close to Eolynd's house and behind the close shutters, she could faintly hear the voices of several women talking and Eolynd moan. So indeed her time had come and the baby was to be born this night. <BR><BR>The attack arrived quickly and with a strength that few had suspected. The orks were by foot and some of the men had formed a circle of riders around the houses that they had decided to protect, of whom most were hidden behind other houses. The first vague of assaliants mostly fell under their arrows, coming from above. But then in the yellow light of the fires, Nin saw them coming closer, they were groaning and yelling, there were so many it seemed to her that a black wall of hatred was walking towards to them. Just before she could distighuish them clearly, she stretched her hand out for a torch, raised it high and from the depth of her mind came a scream, a yell, in which she put all her energy, all her wrath, all her fear. Holding the torch in one hand, her sword in another, yelling, she ran towards the attackers, she did not think any more, she just knew that she wanted to survive this night to see the baby, that she wanted this village to be entire - the first place where none had asked questions and where she had been welcomed. <BR><BR>She was the first to run towards the assaliants, but a lot of others followed her, all of them screaming with the same wrath. The first few orcs she hit, she almost did not feel them, only from time to time she could feel their fell breath, see their cat-like eyes glimpse and before she knew her clothes were soaked with blood - the black blood of the orcs. To her surprise, none of the attackers seemed to aim to kill her - or any of the other women who had taken the defense of their village. In fact, what would have been a disadvantage in usual times, turned out to be an advantage, the mission of the orcs had been like so often lately to try grabbing some of the Rohirrim women for a purpose none was speaking about. Arms stretched out to try to reach her, but she fiercly defended herself. When she felt for the first time the touch of a hairy hand on her arm, tearing her away from the battlefield, she lifted her blade almost in a reflex, sinking it into the forearm of the creature, and with a swift movement cut the claw from the rest of the body - the blood was squirting out of the wound, covering her face, and the hand was still there, cut off, but still grasping at her. She threw it down, not even thinking about it. <BR><BR>The air of the village was filled with the moans of the orcs and their filthy language, and their black blades seemed to come right out of the night as if the night had made them. Only, they had not expected any resistance. They always attacked the villages at the fall of the night, when all was quiet and most people home and rarely had they been warned before. Thus, they could walk back to their lair in the shelter of the darkness. As their aim was not to kill, but to take, they were used to hide, grab and leave, but not to fight. Regarding only numbers, a victory against the huge troup of orcs seemed impossible. But between those fighting for their homes and families and those just obeying an order which did not make them sense for them, the difference was not made in the amount of strikes, but in their strength. <BR><BR>The battles took less than the night, even before dawn the last orcs were running back to whatever punishment would expect them form their master. Nin was almost in trance now, tired, dirty, covered with the blood of the fallen orcs, of her own wounds, and still weary after her illness. She had been close to Eolynd's house all the time, hearing her sometimes moan, sometimes scream of pain. Now, that the quiet had almost returned, another sound rose from the tiny wodden house - just before dawn, the sound of a little new tender yet strong voice. The voice of a newborn baby. <BR><BR>Nin was tottering, opening it, searching for something to hold on. Cealynd was standing there.</i> « It's a girl, » <i>she said</i> « a beautiful, healthy girl, born in as much peace as anybody could have this night » <i>She turned to Nienor-Niniel, watching the young woman, covered with blood, dirt and sweat, and heavily breathing. Then, in a sudden impulsion, she took Nin in her arms.</i> « Thank you. » <i>was all she said.</i>
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Postby nienor-niniel » Thu Jun 26, 2003 5:53 am

<i>Nin had never seen a newborn human in her entire life before, and felt not ready for it now, at least not immediately. She felt too dirty, too violent stepping like this out of a battlefield. She only nodded to Cealynd's words, a bit dizzy from all the emotions of the night. She had not even realised that her left arm was hurt and that blood was dripping from it. She wanted to get washed- and she wanted to sleep - but she did not know where to go, Eolynd's house had been the place where she had stayed since she arrived in the village. But now it was the house of a family. <BR><BR>Cealynd watched the tired, young woman carefully. Whenever she had looked out of the room during this dreadful night, she had seen Nin, like a war goddess almost. Many of the Rohirrim women had some skill with the blade, but Nin had fought like someone who wanted to die, rather searching for the ennemy than avoiding him. She looked dark now, in her blood covered clothes, only her eyes were clear and wide open and the expression was wonder. Cealynd was aware that the entire defense of the village had been focused around her daughter's house, so that the baby could be born in peace. And most of it had been Nienor-Niniel's deed. <BR><BR>Another of the Rohirrim women who had helped with the child birth, took care of NN now, leading the tired woman to another house, heating water for a bath, preparing a dress for the stranger, whom she had seen so often those last days in Eolynd's company. Nin's Rohirrim was by far not good enough to understand everything that was said, but she would have been too tired to follow the words anyway. She did not remember, when she fell asleep. <BR><BR>When she woke up, a pale winter sun was shining into the room, which she had never seen before. Astonished, she looked around and then at herself - she was wearing a dress, made of light brown wool, and inmidst all this it made her smile. She did not remember the feeling that a dress or a skirt made on her legs. The house was empty, and when she stepped out, the village seemed rather empty too. But the few people on the streets, turned their head when she went out, and began to talk. Now, she only wanted to see Eolynd and the baby. She did not listen to the words, but if she had, she would have understood that her status in the village had won a lot of prestige after the preceeding fight. She was known to all now. <BR><BR>Eolynd was lying in her bed, still pale, but with a smile in her eyes and on her face that gave her a beauty far beyond her usualy nice, but ordinary appareance. The baby was lying beside her, her head so small, that first Nin had not seen it. </i><BR><BR>« Do you want to take her » <i>asked Eolynd, seeing the hesitation of her friend. Nin nodded and then, very carefully, took up the little package, which was surprisingly warm, and heavier than she had thought. In wonder, she stared at the tiny little nose, the small, closed eyes. As she touched the hands of the baby, they opened and before she knew, Nin found her own fingers firmly closed in the warm little fist of the girl. </i><BR><BR>« Isn't she beautiful? » <i>whispered Eolynd, as if she was afraid to break the spell.</i> « Without you, I was told, she might not be here, the orcs might have killed us. Or taken us. »<BR><BR>« Everybody was fighting. » <i>answered Nin in a strangled voice.</i> « I have not done more than others. » <BR><BR>« But this the home of all the others, and you had no reason to defend it. » <i>Eolynd paused for a moment, looking at the tiny creature in the arms of this tiny blonde woman whom she had come to like so much in so little time.</i> « I would like to name the baby after you. She owes you her life. »<BR><BR>« No! » <i>Nin's answer was louder and quicker than expected.</i> « My name is no good gift. It is too heavy to bear. She owes me nothing » <BR><BR>« We will see that when Leodred comes back. » <i>Eolynd was smiling now and stretched out her arms to take her child back. </i> « You know what you look like in this dress? You look like a Rohirrim! » <BR><BR><i>They chuckled.</i> « No, I am too small to be a Rohirrim. »<BR><BR>« A small body, but a great courage... » <BR><BR><i>Nin was reluctant to give the baby away- even to its own mother, and even more reluctant to leave. She did not know where to go.<BR><BR>But the villagers had found a house for her - one of the men who had fallen in the attack had lived alone. A small delegation waited for her in front of the door, and in a slow and stuttering conversation, made her understand that they would want to give her this hut. When she stepped in, a fire was already burning, someone had put food on the table, a blanket was lying on the bed. <BR><BR>Nin stopped amazed. She felt tears rise in her eyes. This was the first place which would be hers in all her life. People had prepared it for her - people she did mostly not know personnaly. It was the most beautiful gift she could have expected. For a while, she just stood there and watched, and then sat down at the wooden table, put her heand in her hands and cried and cried and cried as if the tears could wash the past years away. </i>
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Postby nienor-niniel » Tue Apr 27, 2004 2:16 pm

After such a long time, I don't think anybody will read this.... <BR>if ever anybody does, I'd be pleased to know it. <BR><BR><em>The image in the mirror was familiar - and yet it was not. After several months in Rohan, Nienor-Niniel had got used to mirrors again, to the possibility to look at herself to study her features. It was her image that she saw there, no doubt about this, she recognised her long, blond hair, which was open today, lying over her shoulders, her slim face, her shoulders which had gained some substance and of which the clavicles peeked out less than most of the time in the last five years. She had got used to the expression in her clear eyes, this expression of being lost and lonely, always a question in her eyes, always a regret. She had laughed more than in years during the last summer, but the wondering echo in her glance had never really disappeared. <BR><BR>Yet the image was not familiar. The flowers in the hair, the beautiful white symbelmine of Rohan, the light lines and the soft tissue of the ivory dress - it could not be her. Amazed she looked at the stranger in the mirror, moving her arms up and down, to see the sleeves falling, to be sure that it were her arms, her sleeves. And she tried to smile at the mirror. The woman she was looking at was unmistakeably a bride. So she was a bride. And today was her wedding day. <BR><BR>Nin closed her eyes as if it could wipe off the image in the mirror. It seemed strange to her to be this woman. And she was not sure that she would be able to do what all those people, including herself expected from her - walk in the centre of the village under the eyes of all of them, smile and promise herself to a man, as long as she would live, be kissed as the bride, pick the rice out of her hair... Would she be able to do that without running away? And what would be her life after this day?<BR><BR>How had it all come? <BR><BR>Leodred had come back, when the baby was ten days old, arriving at dawn, after having ridden all the night. Now Eolynd's house was the home of a real family, the parents and their child, the little Nolynd - Nienor-Niniel had refused all attempts to give the little girl a name close to hers, and finally Eolynd had chosen this one. It was still far too much alike to be a chance, but still so much Rohirrim, that Nin could not refuse. <BR><BR>Leodred never forgave himself that he had not been there to protect his wife and daughter, even many years later. He was the one, who made the proposition to adopt N-N formally in their village, even though he was then the one who knew her least. A real delegation had arrived at her house one day, asking her to be adopted, to become a member of their community, a horse standing at their side, a fine, Rohirrim beast, even in Nin's eyes who did not know a lot about horses. Yet, she hesitated. Then the images of the life she could live here rose in her mind: Eolynd was her friend, maybe her first friend in all her life, she could teach her a lot in herb lore. And as far as she knew no one in the village had ever met the elves, written their way, known their legends and songs of old. She could teach them. And if the air became too thick, she could still take the road again, coming back for the winter. She thought, how ill she had been, how weak and how alone. She thought of the faces of the few people for whom she had already played music when they had gathered in her small house, the eyes of those whose soul were still like blank sheets, open for the miracle of music, innocent minds. And she had said yes. <BR><BR>Théadon had arrived after Leodred, even if he was serving in the same eored as his brother in law. He had taken upon him to ride to Edoras and to report at court about the attacks of orcs, multiplying slowly but steadily all around the March. When he had arrived, the preparation for the party for Nienor-Niniel's honour and acceptance were almost ready. It would not be a great ceremony, but the winter was not yet fully over and many of the inhabitants were enthusiastic about a reason to celebrate when the days were still short and the memory of the attack on the village fresh enough to be glad to be alive. The horse had been given to Nin as a gift, which she could keep as her one, it was named Gedeon. But Nienor was not used to riding a lot, and she thought that she would need lessons in the early days of spring to become a real Rohirrim and to feel as sure on a saddle as everybody else. <BR><BR>Others gifts were prepared of which she did not know - curtains for her house, siblings for her future garden, garden tools, paper and quills, knitted socks and gloves, a summer dress. Everybody knew that she owned little, and for the villagers it was not a lot to give away, but for her it was a lot to receive. <BR><BR>She had met Théadon very quickly after his return, and both Eolynd and Leodred had already told a lot about this brother who was also the husband's best friend - and the region's finest smith. When finally N-N had met him, she did not have the impression of meeting a complete stranger, but rather a long lost relative, although Eolynd had often managed that her brother was « special » and that he held many surprises, even still for her. But first Nienor did not find anything particular about the brother of her friend. He looked very much like most of the other villagers, blond, blue-eyed, tall and well built and like the other men he had a short beard. And more than the other Rohirrim, he was not talking a lot, often silent, like herself, weighing each of his words, and not telling much of his adventures as a soldier. Before the party that was foreseen for her, N-N had not seen him more than a dozen times and exchanged less than a few sentences. She had been surprised, when he offered to give her riding lessons, but not really thought about it. All those events and emotions had been too much for her, unprepared, as she had been to live again among people, and for the first time in her life, among humans. <BR><BR>Théadon was a good teacher, and in fact N-N was a good student, never complaining, never questioning, never tired. After all her years of living alone, she had become so used to doing everything by her own that just the company seemed luxury for her. They did not talk a lot, at least in the first weeks, and Nienor had not realized that she was looking forward to their meeting every day. Slowly, the winter had come to an end, and spring had come. <BR><BR>For a long time, Nin had not even realised how used she had become to those daily meetings and how, slowly they had begun to be longer and longer – one day they had exchanged a few words, and then every day a few more, both of them like blind people carefully stretching their hands out in the dark to find their way. There had been a day; N-N remembered it very well in the early days of spring. It had been raining heavily, and Théadon arrived soaked already at her house. Although she was used to difficult living conditions, Nienor easily accepted his offer to go to his forge instead and to see some of his work. Not that she had any particular interest in weapons or smith’s work, but she did not want to be impolite, and it was one of the few things she had never been able to make by herself. Théadon had only very few objects in his forge, and while she was listening to him, explaining why, how and for whom he had made each of them, Nin admired every word. This silent man put all his devotion in the weapons he made. Each of them had a history, had been chosen, and made with care. And for the first time, maybe she had gotten a glimpse of the reason why Eolynd had always referred to her brother as someone special. In return, she proposed to play some music for him. He had already heard her play, but it had been in a group, when she had played some dancing music. NN carefully chose a piece of music, an elvish melody of the story of Nimrodel. </em><BR><BR>“You learned that from the elves, didn’t you?” <em>he asked when she had finished.</em> “Yes,” <em>answered Nienor, astonished – never before any of the Rohirrim had asked her about the elves.</em> “Have you ever met one of the Eldar?” <em>Théadon shook his head.</em> “No, but it had a beauty beyond anything that I have experienced so far. A beauty more than human. I thank you, Norlin, and hope to pay you back for what you have given to me.” <BR><BR><em>Yet, she was surprised when less than a fortnight later, he had made a sword for her. They had gone for a ride, as usual, although from day to day Théadon repeated that soon he would have nothing more to teach to her. And in fact, Nin knew that he was right. She would have never imagined that riding would be so natural to her. But it was shorter than usual, and in the end, he asked her to come to his house, just for a little moment. Beside the door, wrapped in a blanket, leaned the weapon he had made for her. At first sight, it seemed typical Rohirrim, only that it was shorter and lighter than the usual swords, even those used by women. Then, when she looked at the grip, she saw that the ornaments were different – one represented her flute, and the other a miniature of a sword.</em> <BR><BR>“What you do best, and what I do best, put together.» <em>said Théadon and Nin felt that she blushed.</em> “You will not need me any more to be your teacher. You must have Rohirrim blood in your veins to learn so quickly.” <em>Nin did not know what to answer – she had told the village that she was an orphan, a found child, but that now the people who had sheltered her as a child were dead and that having no one else, she had taken the road and wanted to stick to that version. When he handed her the sword, their hands touched, and although it had happened before, this time was the first that NN remembered, even years later. His hands were rough, like her own and not thin and soft like those of the elves, and a bit hairy, so different from what she had known from Liudares. She held them for a moment. Just a short moment, when she felt they were warm and the blood pulsing within, and it were the hands of a man, strong, yet tender, who might hold a woman, or a baby within them. She was confused.</em> <BR><BR>“I don’t deserve your gift, Théadon.” <em>She stuttered.</em> <BR><BR>“Of course, you do, mysterious stranger. You have fought for my village, when I could not. My niece owes you her life. And she is not the only one. I could never make anything as beautiful as your music. But I tried to make something for you – as light as you are, and able to mark as deep as you are.”<BR><BR><em>Nienor lowered her head, unable to hold back the tears she felt rising in her eyes. She remembered Rivendell. Had anybody ever taken the care to create something for her, speaking of her, meant for her? Before she knew, she cried, even if trying to avoid it. Théadon had obviously not expected her reaction, and for a short moment just stood there, his two arms hanging at his side. But then, he stepped to her, lifted her chin and looked into her eyes. And he took her firmly in his arms, her head not even reaching his shoulder, and leaning against his chest, she sobbed for long minutes. Under the wet tissue of his shirt, she felt the warmth of his skin and the slight taste of salt, only partly from her tears. <BR><BR>In the night, she could not sleep. She remembered Liudares… She thought of the morning light on his perfect face, shimmering on his raven black hair in the morning hours when, every time again and again he had sent her away, with a tender word whispered in her ear, in his melodious elvish voice. She remembered how he had kissed her, always closing his eyes, and always with the same tenderness and distance. How beautiful he had been: a living perfection. She remembered the feeling of sleeping in his arms; it was just like as if it was the only place where she had ever meant to be. <BR><BR>The next day, early in the morning, she went to Théadon’s house. He was up already, or rather looked as if he had not slept at all. And maybe even as if he had been expecting her.</em> <BR><BR>“ I wanted to apologize for my tears, Théadon. Your gift made me very happy. I have never received anything so fair, made just for me. Thus, a bit of you and your village will always be with me.” <em>NN hesitated with her words, not knowing how to speak, not knowing what she wanted to say.</em> <BR><BR>“Norlin, this is your village now.” <em>Théadon spoke slowly. He looked down at this small, thin woman, who had shown such strength and now seemed to struggle so hard for a few words.</em> <BR><BR>“But it is summer soon, and if I take the road again…” <em>Nin did not finish her sentence. Théadon had moved towards her, bent towards her, his face was so close that she could feel him breathe when he answered her:</em> “If you take the road again, I will follow you, foolish little woman. I will find you and bring you home. And you know where that is, don’t you.”<BR><BR><em>Nin stood there, in front of his house, staring into his dark-blue eyes, seeing the stubbly beard on his face, feeling lost, when all of a sudden, the Rohirrim shook his head, smiling, almost chuckling. In a sudden movement, he took her in his arms, tearing her towards him, first just holding her tight, then kissing her, hungry, eagerly, closing her lips with his, and she could feel him smile. He pressed then her head against his chest and whispered through the strains of her long, blonde hair:</em> “I will never let you go. Look at us, behaving like idiots. Marry me, Norlin. Make me a happy idiot, with a place to go home to and make your music the language of my life.” <BR><BR><em>Trembling, amazed, Nin was almost shaking in his arms. Never before, a human, a man had been so close to her, never before had she been so lost in the taste of someone else’s flesh and skin. For a moment, she wished the world could just vanish, and he could take her away, kiss her again with those hungry lips, carry her away, make love to her, and make her body forget the grief. Later she would be able to put a name on what had kept her awake: the desire of being loved, of being cherished, of being touched. The desire to hold a living, breathing body in her arms, to be alive. <BR>And standing on her tiptoes, she answered his kiss, whispering her answer in his mouth.</em> “Yes.” <BR><BR>“Finally” <em>said Eolynd, when they told her the news. Not even a week later, the confection of the ivory dress had begun. And a date at the end of the summer had been fixed. <BR><BR>And now it had arrived…</em>
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Postby nienor-niniel » Wed Apr 28, 2004 1:24 am

<em>Eolynd and Nienor had discussed so often during the summer days and Nin had learned many things about her future husband. His sister, like all his family had believed he would never marry.</em> <BR><BR>“My brother is an artist in his soul, you know. I always thought, he’d stay alone, longing for a woman like in the stories, who is fair and enigmatic. Well, in the end you have arrived and you’re just perfect for his romantic soul which he tries so well to hide. Théadon is a good man, Norlin. You must promise me to take care of him.”<BR><BR><em>Sometimes when she heard those words, Nin was scared. None of the villagers had ever been exceedingly curious about her origin, and Théadon did not ask any questions. But often, she wondered what he would want to know and what she was ready to tell. Yet, she knew that her future sister in law was right and that he was a good man. A man, who deserved a good wife. And she would do her best to be it.<BR><BR>Théadon and Nienor spent a lot of time together too, speaking and speaking. His words often flew out of him, desiring to share every moment of his life with his bride. Nin spoke a lot less, but played a lot of music. Still, there were a few things she wanted to tell him, before he took her as his wife. It was not easy for her, but there was no use in hiding. One day, at a break during a ride out, they sat in the green summer grass and Nin decided it was the moment to speak.</em> <BR><BR>“Théadon, please listen to me. There is something I want to tell you. Please do not interrupt me, listen till the end. Eolynd has found me on the road – but I have not always wandered, and I have not always been alone.” <em>Nin took a deep breath. It was hard to concentrate, while she watched him playing with a bit of straw, holding a flower between his lips.</em> “I am not that young any more, and well, I don’t know how to say it to you… I am not a maiden any more.” <em>Théadon slightly lifted his shoulders:</em> “And so what? Nienor” – <em>and for once he used her real name</em> - “I know you have lived before. I am an idiot, a fool maybe, but I am not stupid. If I hd want to marry an innocent girl of my village, I’d have done that years ago. Is there anything else you’d want to tell me?” <em>Nin hesitated for a second – if there had ever been a moment to tell the truth, it was now. But then she thought that he might refuse her then, or want her to tell the truth to the rest of the village. And she could not.</em> “No.” <BR><BR><em>The moment was over.<BR><BR>While walking down the ally of the village, holding her bouquet in her shaking hands, feeling the scent of the flowers in her hair, Nin thought of this moment, like of many others this summer. The air was warm. At the end of the walk, Théadon was waiting for her. And if he looked at her, she would surely find the strength to overcome her doubts, to promise herself to this man and to stay. And maybe even one day, to love him as much as he deserved.</em>
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Postby earendil81 » Thu Apr 29, 2004 9:18 am

<BR><BR><BR>of course somebody will read this my friend, I have a subscription to that thread <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif"border=0><img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>.<BR><BR>I'm so glad you wrote this.<BR>C'est superbe, j'en avais presque les larmes aux yeux. Tu es formidable <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>.<BR><BR>Bravo!!!!!!!!!!!<BR><BR>
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Postby Eyriel » Thu Apr 29, 2004 5:36 pm

Oh yay, I've been anticipating more to this for months! Thank you for the updates. This is wonderful, as always.<BR><BR>*click* And I am now subscribed to this thread as well, so you're now accountable for further updates. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>
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Postby TheDean » Fri Apr 30, 2004 2:09 am

My dear Nin,<BR><BR>Ditzy me couldn't find a thread for your 2000 post celebration but instead I stumled onto this! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> Much better! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif"border=0><BR><BR>POZDRAVI on your success and it has been wonderful to get to know you! I hope I can call you a dear friend and I am looking forward to plenty more sessions of RPs, IM's and "you know what"... <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> <BR><BR>You are very creative and I am sure you will take all your aliases to new heights...and as a mini-present, enjoy this simple recipe:<BR><BR><BR>GRILLED HAMSTER SALAD:<BR><BR><BR>* For the Dressing<BR><BR>* 1/4 cup fresh lime juice <BR>* 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped <BR>* 1 tablespoon chipotle peppers, chopped <BR>* 2 large garlic cloves, pressed <BR>* 1 cup olive oil <BR>* salt and pepper <BR><BR>* For the Salsa<BR><BR>* 2 ears corn, husked <BR>* 4 plum tomatoes <BR>* 1/2 cup red onion, chopped <BR>* 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped <BR><BR>*For the hamster<BR><BR>* 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice <BR>* 1 tablespoon chili powder <BR>* 3 large garlic cloves, pressed <BR>* 2 pounds hamster embryo, 3 inch thick <BR><BR><BR>For the Dressing:<BR><BR>Whisk first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Can be made 1 day ahead, cover and refrigerate. <BR><BR>For the Salsa:<BR><BR>Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roast corn for 12 minutes. Cool. Cut corn from cob. Transfer corn to large bowl, Add tomatoes, onion, and cilantro; mix. Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill. <BR><BR>For the hamster:<BR><BR>Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl, Spread spice paste over both sides of steak. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours (and up to 6 hours). <BR><BR>Assembly:<BR><BR>Prepare barbecue (medium high heat). Grill hamsters to desired doneness (about 5 minutes on each side). Transfer hamsters to cutting board and let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add avocado and 2 tablespoons dressing to salsa and mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place greens in large bowl and toss with enough dressing to coat. Fan some nectarine slices on outer edge of salad. Top each salad with 1/2 cup salsa.<BR><BR>And enjoy.<BR><BR>The Dean<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR> <BR>
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Postby nienor-niniel » Mon May 03, 2004 1:48 am

I will certainly keep on writing - if I survive the Dean's cooking <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>
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Postby Herger » Sat May 22, 2004 1:58 am

Nin! My precious friend. I do not come here that often (as in the Script) but when I see your threads recently added to and skimming the top of the forum, I can't help but be drawn once again into them and into your world.

The stories you weave with not words, but feelings and impressions, hints and enticements, pull me ever deeper into the reality you convey.

I pray you never cease your creations.
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Postby Dimamarthiel » Sat Aug 07, 2004 11:48 am

Nin, I have so enjoyed reading this grand tale so far. I haven't posted here before but I wanted to tell you how wonderful I find this story. I hope that you write more of it soon. Thank you!!!! :)
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Postby nienor-niniel » Sat Aug 14, 2004 2:37 pm

Thank you for that comment, Herger and Dima. I will write more... slowly...
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Postby nienor-niniel » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:59 pm

Bumped for myself in order to write again.
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Postby Frelga » Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:46 am

Nin, I'm so excited to see you writing on TORC again! :hug:
Impressive. Every word in that sentence was wrong.
Luke Skywalker, The Last Jedi
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Postby nienor-niniel » Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:07 pm

Frelga, so far I write in disguise.

And I don't know how long it will last...
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Postby nienor-niniel » Sun Dec 27, 2009 9:52 am

After all those years, I just picked the story up where it was.


A few months after the wedding, Nin began to doubt first that she was pregnant. Little Nolynd was to be a year old soon and crawling around in the house. Leodred and Eolynd were all about her and whenever they came to visit them, Nin could see the sparkle in Théadon’s eyes and she knew he was hoping for a child of his own, a son maybe, an heir.

But she waited for a while when she began to have doubts, wondering how she felt. How could she be a mother? The first child that had been meant to be hers had died by her own deeds. She had been so young then, not knowing that Liudares off-spring was growing in her, not caring for anybody but him, him and him. But Liudares was dead and that too, by her own hand. Only, Theadon was alive and well alive and he reserved a child and a devoted spouse, a family, a normal life. Nin remembered the word’s of his sister: He is a good man. She had promised to take care of him. But a child? He deserved happiness – but did she? Was she not doomed to pay her entire life? Has thus not been Elrond’s judgement?

In the night, she dreamt of Liudares. He turned his beautiful, perfect face to her, smiled like he had done, lifted her chin to look up to him. The dream was so real that she almost felt his touch on her skin, his gaze so clear and his face calm and powerful. The he opened his full, red lips to talk and a swall of blood came out of it, soaking her, leaving her hair, her dress, her face, everything covered in blood. Nin woke up, yelling, hitting around her, screaming in elvish. Théadon jumped to his feet beside the bed, trying to get hold of her, to make her cease and gain control over her body back, His arms wrapped tightly around her, he held her firm, calling her Rohirrim name again and again.
Norlin. After a while, she emerged from her nightmare, realising that he was there, holding her, staring at Théadon as if he had saved her from a pit of despair.

Norlin. He whispered. What has happened to you. I have never seen you like this. His hands kindly wiped strains of hair out of her face while she was still shaking. Norlin. Calm, my darling. I am here. I am here for you and will always be. During that night, Nin could not talk. She was too frightened, to shocked: would the past ever come back and haunt her? She decided that no, that she had a future.

The next day, she told Théadon about the baby. He was, of course, overjoyed. So was Eolynd and Cealynd and the rest of the village. Never had she received so many congratulations. But the most important: the dream did not come back. And after a fortnight of going to bed with fear, Nin started to believe that it would not and that she could be a mother and a wife and happy.

Like most of the Rohirrim, pregnancy did not keep her from riding and together with Eolynd and the little Nolynd she went to pick up all kinds of plants all over the spring while her body became heavier and her womb round. They exchanged the use of all herbs and what they knew about it. The tow women watched Nolynd making her first steps, laughing at the clumsy toddler. For some weeks in the early spring, the men were gone again, hunting, mainly orcs, some lending their hands to king Theoden of whom was told that he wandered in darkness and age. There were still as many rumours about orcs and bad folks around Rohan, about the darkness rising, but to her own surprise, Nin did not care any more. She left the village little and used her time to teach some of the children music and some of the elvish letters, she sewed for the child to come and before long, Théadon was back. It was a good summer approaching and her child would be born when it was warm.

Bliss fills the days just as sadness does, but it is hard to tell for nothing wrong happens.
In the laste of july, 11 months after her wedding, Nin felt a short glow of pain in her belly. She know that her child was coming.
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