Unrest in Ithilien

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Unrest in Ithilien

Postby Ranger~of~Ithilien » Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:28 pm

Prologue: Year 1311 of the 4th Age

It had been well over a thousand years since the great Aragorn had been crowned King of the united kingdom of Arnor and Gondor, and his line had continued forth to this day. The people prospered and commerce was opened into the lands to the south and east. Roads were rebuilt and towns and settlements flourished along the roads and rivers. The crossing at Tharbad had grown and prospered with the rebuilding of the bridge and the dredging of the river to the sea, allowing large ships to port there. In the north, to Dale, the great east road was extended, and beyond to the Sea of Rhun did it now stretch, and trade with the Easterlings flourished. To the south at Pelargir, the seaport was rebuilt and a great bridge was built across the Anduin River. Its road pushed onward to the new crossing of the River Poros and from there tied into the trade roads south and east. In the years after the pacification of Harad, the trade of spices and medicinal plants flourished and flowed into Gondor. Most everywhere, life was good.

But one place, a place of such beauty and glory in the days of old, tarnished in the days before the war by its close proximity to the evil of Mordor, no longer fared so well. Ithilien this land was called. Trusted to the House of the Stewards who ruled Gondor for so long in absence of the King before the war, Prince and Princess of Ithilien, Lord Faramir and Lady Eowyn of Rohan made it their home. For long years the new trade routes brought goods from the south and goods from the north moved south from Osgiliath. But the years and centuries had caused a slowly spreading rift between the heirs of King Aragorn and the heirs of Prince Faramir. And while the Heirs of King Eomer of Rohan stoutly stood with the heirs of Lord Faramir and Lady Eowyn, they never could come to rescind the ancient ties between Rohan and Gondor as set in the Oath of Cirion and Eorl, and so therefore, stood back with increasing unease at the deterioration of relations between the two great houses of Gondor.

Central to the problem was the construction of a great high bridge of Pelargir and the road to the Crossing of the Poros. Under pressure from the sea traders to modernize the ports, the King signed a decree that allowed for the rebuilding of the port of Pelargir. Hidden in this decree was a clause that also called for the construction of a great stone bridge across the Anduin. The contract for this was given to the Iron Hills Construction Company, who had built and re-built many roads and bridges for the kingdom through the years. The dwarven craftsmanship was unmatched by men, who never again claimed such mastery as they had in the days of Numenor. Likewise the shipbuilders of Anfalas and Befalas were called on to rebuild the port, and when all was completed, Pelargir was the pride of Gondor as the kingdom entered its second millennium. Almost immediately the effects could be seen. The bridge was high enough to allow for the river traffic to pass under, and this remained a steady trade route to the north, but it had its limits. More and more, commerce from the south shifted over the new bridge and continued north by road. The old Ithilien Road, which had been reworked shortly after the war, was still long, winding, and narrow. Long have attempts been made to widen and straighten this road, but the Lord Stewards would deny them, saying it would ruin the beauty that was an ingrained part of Ithilien. But as the commerce that did use the route began to wane, so too did the stationhouses along the way. The road slowly fell into disuse, and finding for maintenance from the King dwindled. Now, it was only a viable road for foot traffic or maybe one or two horses. Downed trees made it near impossible for cart or wagon traffic, and the forest and wild life slowly reclaimed it.

So but for the small part of South Ithilien near the River Poros and the road west to the east end of the Pelargir Bridge, Ithilien fell into a slumber. The house of Ithilien stood still in the hills of Emyn Arnen where Prince Faramir and Princess Eowyn had it built. And here the heirs still lived. This is the setting for this tale, when a wanderer from the north came to the House of Ithilien...
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Unrest in Ithilien

Postby Ranger~of~Ithilien » Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:31 pm

Chapter One: Kaladir

Kalidar was a young man who was raised in the north, near the city of Fornost. He was an only child, and his line was well respected among the families of Arnor. But he had wanderlust. Hearing as a child tales of old about elves and adventures of his ancestors. Rangers they were called, and stories of their deeds were spoken of much to children. But Kaladir had heard other tales as well. His mother spoke of another line, one who had come north after the war after marrying one of the Dunedain Rangers who had gone south to fight in the war. She was a daughter of another ranger... a Ranger of Ithilien!

Kaladir was alone now. Both his mother and father had passed on. He had the house and land, but had no desire to work it. So he negotiated a deal with a friend, and he set out for the south... to Gondor, and Ithilien... lands he always wanted to see...

It was spring when he set out south. Lingering for a time at Bree, and even longer time in Tharbad. He had never been south of the river there, having served a bridge warden for a couple years. There he caught up with some old friends from the warden days, and enjoyed the company much. But after a week he set out south for the River crossing of the Isen.

He was given passage by the Rohirrim to go to Gondor, and as summer waned and the first days of fall drew breath. He came to the City of Osgiliath. It was there he found his first real trouble. It seemed some political issues had temporarily closed the bridge to Ithilien. Armed guards stood at each end, their armor the same but their standards somewhat different. So Kaladir found a nearby inn to stay the night.

Settled in and cleaned, Kaladir joined the crowd in the pub and ordered ale. A mug of dark foamy drink was placed before him, and he took a drink. Bitter, and not that easy to drink like the smooth Shire ales he would drink in the north, Kaladir for a moment considered maybe opening a proper brewery here in the south. His silent thoughts were interrupted by the sudden loudness of banter at a nearby table. As one patron got up and swayed out yelling, the other told him where to go and shook his head. He saw Kaladir alone at his table and quickly turned his chair about.

"What do you think of all this influence from the south? We pay taxes and build roads and bridges, and they come north in evermore numbers. I hear it said Lebannin is nearly overrun, and those old families there have freely intermingled. This kingdom will fall because of it I tell you...Wha... what do you think hmmm?'

Kaladir sipped down a lot of his ale before saying,

"Do you not read the histories? Ere long ago there were the Northmen, and your kind of attitude nearly ended the kingdom way back then."

Wha?"

The man was taken aback by Kaladir's northern accent. He went on...

"This is different..."

The man started to say as an olive-skinned, foreign woman cleared the table where the man had been sitting. Kaladir cut him off by continuing,

"The influx of other peoples indeed caused the blood of Numenor to dwindle, but in the long run it saved the Kingdom of Gondor. Up north, the Kingdom of Arnor waned and failed even though they strived to keep their Numenorean blood pure. You should be happy men of other cultures want to come here."

The woman looked at the two men and catching Kaladir's eye, smiled slightly. She turned to take the empty tankards away when she bumped into the man's chair. He stood and was about to slap the woman as he started to say,

"Dont touch me you lousy hara..."

Kaladir's hand went around the mans mouth and pulled him back. He whispered in the man's ear...

"You really don't want to do that..."

Increasing pressure convinced the man to settle down. The place had quieted a bit at the trouble, but was back to its normal loudness in moments. The man sat down and so did Kaladir. The man said,

"So northerner, what is your business here in Osgiliath?"

It?s not yours...."


Kaladir replied, taking down some more ale before continuing...

"... but if you know a way across river I'll pay you."

The man studied Kaladir closely, and finally nodded.

"I know of someone upriver who can take you across. May cost some though, being the relations between the houses has soured in recent weeks."

Kaladir nodded, and the man settled into a less sour mood. He explained over another ale about the troubles between the line of Aragorn and the line of Faramir. It sounded like Gondor had put some sort of blockade on Ithilien. The House of Ithilien could not take on the might of Gondor because they lacked the numbers. Besides, war between the houses would be disastrous for both.

Kaladir bade the man goodnight and retired to his room, agreeing to meet him out front at sunrise. It would come soon enough.

(Chapter 2: House Ithilien - Coming shortly)
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Thu Apr 26, 2007 6:13 am

Ranger,

I just read some of your other work. I like the dialogue in this one. It keeps the plot moving and develops the characters. I am looking forward to reading the rest of this. Writing so far into the Fourth Age should give you ample opportunities for creativity!
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Postby Ranger~of~Ithilien » Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:11 pm

Thanks for reading my stories and the nice comments! :)
I do plan on continuing this and the other one, but real life has managed to barge in. Worr not though, these will not be forgotten! I'll likely work on the other one a bit more before posting to this one as its giving some background to the state of the House Ithilien. I did add what I had on the third princess. It may be a bit before I post to the fourth as she is a complicated character.

Thanks again for reading. :)
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