The Rise and Fall of Calimendil, Fifth King of Cardolan (constructive critiques are welcome!)

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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Sat Aug 02, 2003 8:07 pm

*Just a quick note before I begin posting this gargantuan story of mine here in the Scriptorium. Anyone who has ever read through the opening Appendices in the back of the RotK novel knows that Tolkien himself went to the trouble to offer us readers a glimpse (albeit a small one) into the history of the sister-realms of Arnor and the plight of the Palantiri, and the untimely demise of Arvedui, Arthedain's last king. Yet he barely even mentions the realm of Cardolan (which isn't quite fair, is it?). What I offer here is my own personal attempt to flesh out a bit of that country's unwritten history in it's final years. Though of course I know that, if he had wanted to, Tolkien could have done far better. Nevertheless, here is my offering. To clarify the order and significance of this tale's events I have come up with a little timeline for it. Note that I am not completely finished with this, and some of the events mentioned towards the final years are subject to alteration. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Timeline of Events:<BR>-T.A. 1245, Vorondil, son of Tarandil and Elanarian, born in Cardolan.<BR>-T.A. 1248, Arianna, daughter of Tarandil and Elanarian, born in Cardolan.<BR>-T.A. 1251, Calimendil, son of Tarandil and Elanarian, born at court (Dol Calantir).<BR>-T.A. 1274, Calimendil, along with Vorondil, his older brother, makes his first trip to the court of Fornost Erain in Arthedain. Celebrindor, the new king of Arthedain, gives them a royal welcome. Calimendil is befriended by the Noldor while exploring Emyn Uial.<BR>-T.A. 1276, death of Queen Elenarian.<BR>-T.A. 1277, Calimendil journeys into old Minhiriath with his brother and visits the ruins of Lond Daer before gazing upon the sea, where his sorrow is eased.<BR>-T.A. 1278, Calimendil undertakes secret journey in disguise to Fornost to see Amariel. Her father becomes aware of their meetings and persuades Celebrindor to ban Calimendil from Fornost for five years.<BR>-T.A. 1279, Amariel is forbidden to leave Fornost by order of her father. She escapes with a servant and flees, where she is met by Calimendil upon the North Downs. The two plight their troth at Calimendil's abode at Metraith. <BR>-T.A. 1280, Calimendil receives threatening letter from Girwaedh of Annùminas explaining that any marriage between the two of them would not be recognized in Arthedain. Calimendil neglects to answer him. Girwaedh becomes his enemy.<BR>-T.A. 1282, Vorondil visits Tharbad and mysteriously dissappears. He is later confirmed dead. <BR>-T.A. 1282-1283, in anger and grief, Tarandil sends Calimendil and members of his court to Tharbad to investigate the death of the King's heir. City becomes occupied by Tarandil's army. The mayor of Tharbad is officially dismissed by the king.<BR>-T.A. 1283, marriage of Calimendil and Amariel.<BR>-T.A. 1284, Great Fire of Tharbad. Much of the city is burned along with many of the guilds. Many suspect Tarandil's loyals of starting fire out of vengeance for Vorondil, others suspect the king himself.<BR>-T.A. 1286, about this time men of foreign origin are seen visiting Rhudaur and Tharbad by spys of the king. Orc activity in the High Passes increases.<BR>-T.A. 1288, death of Tarandil as celebrations for Yule begin. He is buried within the mounds upon Tryn Gorthad next to Elanarian.<BR>-T.A. 1289, coronation of Calimendil, 5th king of Cardolan, at court at Dol Calantir. Amariel conceives, gives birth to two sons, Berandil and Bregardil.<BR>-T.A. 1291, Arriana forsakes the North Kingdom and flees south to Gondor, ignoring Calimendil's plea for her to remain in Cardolan.<BR>-T.A. 1294, troubles with Rhudaur begin. Broggha, leader of the Hillmen, leads a bloody coup against the few remaining Dunedain of Cameth Brin and siezes power. Broggha soon declares Rhudaur an independant state, seperate from Arnor. Many of the Eriadorans of Rhudaur flee south into the Angle.<BR>-T.A. 1295, A Rhudauran Inquisition is formed by order of Broggha. What remain of the Dunedain and their sympathizers are rounded up and publicly executed. Acts of cruelty and pillaging ensue by Broggha's forces upon the populace of rural Rhudaur.<BR>-T.A. 1296, birth of Calimë, only daughter of Calimendil and Amariel.<BR>-T.A. 1299-1319, king Calimendil of Cardolan attempts to conquer Rhudaur.<BR>-T.A. 1309, Calimendil orders the construction of the great 'hedge' that runs some 125 miles from the great east-west road to the western banks of the Metheithel to fence out threat of invaders.<BR>-T.A. 1316-1317, trolls out of the Ettenmoors begin to populate lower and central Rhudaur and harass travelers.<BR>-T.A. 1320, Disaster of Cameth Brin. Calimendil besieges Rhudaur and is surprised by an orc host from Gundabad. They cut their way out with heavy loss of life. Calimendil and his 2 sons are slain.
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Sat Aug 02, 2003 9:25 pm

<b>*</b>.<i>Among the countless old books and tomes that lay piled upon one another in the dark and dusty corners of the royal libraries in Minas Tirith, the historical document concerning the fate of Cardolan's fifth king reserves a special pride of place among the hearts and minds of the learned in Gondor. First discovered in the year 2421 of the Third Age by a Gondorian explorer who found it in an old abandoned cave amid a pile of bones and rubbish in lower Minhiriath, the document was brought to the ruling Stewards of the White City where it was quickly acknowledged as genuine by the scholars and placed under lock and key in an upper room of the libraries, where it was eventually forgotten. After the coronation of King Elessar in the last years of the Third Age, he again removed the fragile pages of the document from the attics and had them retouched with care and honor and placed within a leather-bound binding. Long known merely as the 'Ilran Document', Elessar named it anew, calling it, "The Rise and Fall of Calimendil, Last King of Cardolan". It is a saga composed by a Cardolani scribe by the name of Ilran during the last years of Cardolan, before it's final collapse in 1409. The grandfather of Ilran was Iliandor, and was said to have been close to the king in both counsel and confidence. He was one of the few to have escaped the siege of Cameth Brin by the Hillmen and the orcs of Gundabad, where he eventually made his way back to Cardolan bearing his grizzly tale of woe and horror to the grief-stricken Queen. Ilran was told the tale of Calimendil many times in his long life by his grandfather ere he died. To his credit, the saga is retold by Ilran in a stately manner and is, for the most part, free of petty exaggerations and prejudices. Though many of the private conversations between Calimendil and Amariel may be regarded as suspect embellishments by the author, we do not begrudge him of this, as it is only through him do we have any recount of these troubled times during the hostilities of the three sister-kingdoms of old Arnor. As the kingdom of Cardolan withered away in it's final days in the wars against Rhudaur and Angmar, Ilran was said to have fled his home in Tharbad for the quieter regions closer to the western shores of the sea. He was never seen by anyone again. The scattered bones and belongings discovered in the cave long ago have been suspected to be those of the author, though that is now impossible to confirm. Here then is the document of Ilran in unabridged form.</i> <BR><BR>____________________________________________________________________<BR><BR> Tarandil was the son of Ardornil, who was the third king of Cardolan. It was to Tarandil that the kingship of the realm would one day come, for he was Ardornil's only surviving child. Two other siblings he had also, a brother and younger sister, yet they did not survive their infancy, having succumbed to the fever while very young. Thus did Tarandil receive all the more attention and love from his father, and he quickly grew into a well-learned young man with a close affinity with the land and a natural propensity for interaction among the farmers and tillers of Cardolan. In this he was his father's son, for they were both wont to wander freely throughout their wide realm in their youths; but not so in regards to the shaping and ordering of a realm. Ardornil was also a lover of conquest and glory. He was frequently the guest in the palaces and manors of the elite among the nobles in neighboring Arthedain. Under his rule, the realms of Arthedain and Cardolan came closer together in both policy and arms, and they talked unceasingly in those days of the unruly Hillmen of Rhudaur in the east and how they might beat them into submission. <BR><BR>Tarandil cared little for martial displays or feats of strength, to which his smaller physical stature may have had some part. He favored strength by wealth and other economic means, rather than brute force. When Tarandil received his coronation and accepted the kingship following the death of his father in the year 1163 of the Third Age, he quickly set about installing his own policies, and sent fewer envoys and ambassadors to Fornost in Arthedain. In his day Cardolan became more isolated from her neighbor to the north. To revitalize his nation he introduced large-scale sheep-herding, by which he won much favor among the shepherds of old Minhiriath, and one could not roam far in those days without hearing the bleating of the shepherd's flocks upon the downs.<BR><BR>Small love did he bear for large cities or other urban areas. The city of Tharbad in particular earned his disdain when he was forced to dwell there as the King's ambassador for a year, by order of his father. He therefore levied heavy taxes of tribute upon the city and earned the wrath of it's merchants and occupants, and they did not forget it, as was afterwards seen.<BR><BR>Yet in an irony unforeseen to Tarandil, it was during his time as ambassador to Tharbad that he met his future bride and queen. Elenarian she was called, her being the daughter of a cousin of his father. The love between them was very great, and it was only after his appointment to Tharbad had ended did he learn that she had been requested by the king to act as his herald and deliver tidings to his son for the sole purpose of their mutual acquaintance, for it was high time that Tarandil took a wife. Elenarian far surpassed the king's wishes in this, for ere a year had passed Tarandil and Elenarian plighted their troth and declared their purpose to the king, and Ardornil was glad.<BR><BR>After Ardornil's passing, Tarandil, fourth king of Cardolan, caused a noble barrow to be erected upon Tyrn Gorthad, the great Barrow Downs, nigh to that ancient forest that stood along the eastern shores of the Baranduin. There, many ancient kings and queens of old slept on their royal beds of stone within their barrows, yet it was said that the barrow of Ardornil exceeded them all, for out of reverence for his father, Tarandil stored it with great treasure and riches and, as was the custom, blessed it with the grace of the Valar.<BR><BR>At that time the castle of the King of Cardolan stood along the highest point along the eastern crest of the valley named Andrath, wherein the road called Greenway ran along the bottom of the valley to both the north and south. Tarandil did not sit long in his new office ere he announced that the King's Seat would be removed from Andrath. He caused a new palace to be constructed that would stand atop a modest, but somewhat barren hillock along the great southern road that ran through and beyond Minhiriath, and it was named Dol Calantir. In this, not only would it send a message to the lords of Arthedain that Cardolan was indeed master of her own domain and needed not the protectorship of a big brother state, but it would also allow Tarandil to be nearer to Tharbad, that 'Lawless Den of Thieves', as he referred to it, for he had never trusted it and even less so after his period as ambassador there, for the guild-masters and merchants therein were greedy and jealous folk and harbored many secret ambitions that were known to few, if any, outsiders.<BR><BR>In the year 1165, soon after the king and queen had settled in their new abode, Elenarian conceived, giving birth to their first son whom they named Vorondil. Much ado was made over Vorondil, the King's Heir, for he was born on a night of storm, and Elenarian's cries and birth pangs were mingled with that of the thunder and rain that smote against the window-panes of Dol Calantir. Tarandil took this as a sign that Vorondil would one day become a great king and leader of men that would not bow to the pressures of the Arthedain court, and even at last win back control of Amon Sûl and the great <i>Palantir</i> that was kept therein. But it would never come to be.<BR><BR>Two years later the Queen conceived again, giving birth to their daughter, whom they named Arriana. Unlike her brother before her, Arianna possessed hair of golden blonde that many later marveled to behold. She was greatly loved by both her parents and her brothers, but was over-protected by them for far too long and was seldom ever allowed beyond the borders of their lands, until she later rebelled and departed secretly for the South Kingdom, much to the dismay of many. <BR><BR>The years that followed passed by peacefully for the family of Tarandil and Elenarian and their court at Dol Calantir, and together they decided that they would be content with their two children, for the births of both Vorondil and Arriana taxed heavily upon the body of the queen and she no longer desired to bear the pain and stress of yet another child. Yet, another child did indeed come to them unexpectedly. <BR><BR>As he must at times, Tarandil prepared to meet the lords of both Arthedain and their sister kingdom, Rhudaur, at the fortress upon Amon Sûl in the north. Such meetings had long since become an occasion for little more than frivolous chatter over the <i>palantir</i> and disingenuine proclamations of amnesty, and Tarandil loathed having to attend them. Little did he know then that it would be the last such meeting where members of all three of the sister kingdoms would be present at once, for ere long disagreements over Amon Sûl became so great that the three countries became estranged, and Rhudaur rebelled openly with harsh rhetoric and no longer participated in the summits of the sister kingdoms. Yet these events would come later. <BR><BR>The king was of a foul mood when Elenarian revealed to him that she had become pregnant again, though it went against everything they had planned together. For many moments Tarandil stared out of the window of their bedchamber in silence ere he turned again to the queen, and he smiled, saying, "Think you that I would be displeased by such tidings as these, dearest Elenarian? Nay indeed, for long have I harbored a secret desire to sire yet another child with the fairest of the Queens of Arnor, yet I could not broach such a subject to you, considering at times your fragile health and our previous agreement to refrain from any more children. The thought of yet one last addition to the royal family gladdens my heart and will allow me to bear the unpleasant trip I must now undertake with fortitude and contentment."<BR><BR>Then Tarandil knelt to one knee and kissed the hands of his queen, and Elenarian replied with a sigh, "I had feared your reproachment of this new fortune with not a small degree of anxiety, my lord. It is not what either one of us should have foreseen, yet all the same it is upon us now. It pleases me a great deal to see you smile again, for Vorondil has often confided to me that he desires a brother one day. Perhaps now his wish shall be granted."<BR><BR>"Or perhaps he shall get the second sister that he never expected," replied Tarandil, "yet all the same, this new-found joy cannot fully replace my concern I bear for your own health, Elenarian. The birth of Arriana was painful for you. Indeed, more so than that of Vorondil."<BR><BR>Elenarian quickly placed her finger upon his lips to silence him, saying, "Do not trouble yourself! Think not of it now, my lord, for you must soon exert your strength and wisdom in matters of great importance with the other jealous rulers of Arnor. Look to the future with hope, yet think now of the present, for the common good of Cardolan depends on you."<BR><BR>Therefore, Tarandil departed for Amon Sûl to meet with the rulers of Arthedain and Rhudaur, but hastened his role in the meeting so that he might return to Elenarian as soon as may be, and when after seven more months had passed the queen gave birth to their third and final child in the year 1172 of our Third Age; a son, whom his father named Calimendil.
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Sat Aug 02, 2003 9:27 pm

<b>*</b>Of the young Calimendil it was said that he was generally a quiet and reserved lad with a natural proclivity for lore and laughter. He bore a special liking for music and himself was the composer of many a ballad in his younger days, a talent bestowed upon him by his mother. Of sport, he favored fencing, and soon became a master with a sword and rapier. Like his father, he loved the lands and countryside of Cardolan, yet preferred court and castle and the company of the pretty maidens that attended to the queen. He never acquired an appreciation of money or large amounts of wealth, yet at the same time savored the luxuries and favoritism that being the King's Son so often brought to him, and, for the most part, took it for granted. <BR><BR>Like his brother, Calimendil was a tall man, though more lean than Vorondil. They were both taller than their father. His hair was long and brown and his eyes were gray. He could at times, most commonly in the presence a young lady, exhibit a demeanor of reserved shyness, though other times this personality would yield way to unbridled enthusiasm and animation, especially while engrossed in poetic prose or plucking the strings of his lute while entertaining a crowd. Being the youngest of the children of the king and queen, he never expected to be called upon to rule, which suited his mind all the better, for, like his father, he did not hunger for power and was not greedy, and would have been quite content to live out his days as a mere Cardolani prince with limited power. Yet the course of one's life seldom transpires in the manner one expects, and the life of Calimendil would prove to be no exception to the rule.<BR><BR>The relationship between Calimendil and Vorondil was a stormy one at best. Vorondil did indeed confide to his father of his wish to have a brother as a companion in his early years, and was delighted by Calimendil's birth. Yet Calimendil was not quite the package he had bargained for, and though they were close in friendship in the beginning, it was not long ere they discovered they had little in common as they grew older. Vorondil was a lover of sport and the political intrigue of his father's royal court and secretly looked forward to the day when he would rule. He was deft with a sword and spear and became skillful at the construction of bridges, the building of dikes and the marshaling of his father's ranks. He participated in the repairs of the great bridges of Tharbad and even sketched out plans of the rebuilding of Lond Daer along the mouths of the Gwathló. If his life had not been tragically cut short by mishap he may have lived to see the fruition of his grand designs.<BR><BR>The lives of the children of Tarandil and Elenarian ebbed along in glowing comfort and leisure, and in time they were given greater privileges and responsibilities as young princes. Though a princess by right, Arriana had no mind to fulfill the role as one. Ere she reached her full womanhood she exhibited a natural beauty and grace that many a dashing Cardolani lad found enchanting. Important men from foreign lands often asked to visit her as they stayed on as guests at Dol Calantir, yet she found little interest in any of them, much to the chagrin of her father, who desired her to wed at an early age. She had a mind, rather, to roam the lands and woods of her father's realm with her two brothers, and ere long she discovered the wonders of Tharbad.<BR><BR>Vorondil and Calimendil both loved their sister dearly, and they doted upon her through the years of their youths, each in competition with the other. Arriana knew this full well and found it much to her liking, and she would play them off against one another for her amusement. Yet, in later years, Calimendil grew weary of Arriana's games and foiled her plans to visit Tharbad by betraying her to the king, who quickly took measures to ensure that she would not visit Tharbad again without his consent. But the young Arriana soon found out the identity of her betrayer and was enraged, and she did not forget it.<BR><BR>During the midsummer of the year 1191, Vorondil and Calimendil were granted permission from Tarandil to undertake their first important adventure abroad, for an invitation from Celebrindor, king of Arthedain, had been extended to them to dwell as guests in the mighty fortress of Fornost Erain. As of late the two brothers had grown apart and seldom saw one another, each dwelling in different locations in the realm. Therefore, when the king commanded that each of them make their presence before him and the Queen at Dol Calantir he refrained from informing them of their mutual errand, lest they decide to tarry on the road out of reluctance. <BR><BR>When each of his two sons came before him he spoke to them, saying, "Alas that my two sons, whom'st I love as equals, have become estranged from one another. I would not have had it so if I had my say early on, and only now do I fully regret it. The mind of a king has many consequences to weigh, not least of which is the neglect of his family, to which I now must plead guilty. Had I not been engrossed in matters of foreign policy as of late I would have summoned both of you together before me ere the breaking of the winter snows. Yet only now has the opportune moment arisen for such a summons. The time has come for you to travel abroad, for Celebrindor has invited you to his court in Arthedain as a token of friendship between our two realms (or so he claims). There you are to dwell as his guests and my own personal ambassadors to our sister realm in the north. Loath was I to comply with Celebrindor's request by sending both of you to him at once, but I will not permit my two greatest princes to become strangers, for you are my heirs and are bound to one another by blood. Not only is this for the good of your brotherhood, but also for the common good of Cardolan and it's future against her squabbling sister-realms."<BR><BR>Then Vorondil stepped forward and kneeled, placing his hands upon Tarandil's gloved hand, saying, "Father, I for one rejoice at your summons and the errand you have entrusted upon us. I have ridden far afield alongside my fellow comrade-in-arms along our northern border near Amon Sûl as of late performing thy will as I have always done. It seems fitting that such an errand as this be carried out at this time, for Celebrindor increases his share of cavalrymen there almost daily. Already the Arthedainindili out-number our own guards two to one. Like Rhudaur, they covet the Palantir, my lord, mark my words."<BR><BR>"The Seeing Stone of Amon Sûl is not a subject open for discussion for you upon this journey, Vorondil," replied the king, "nor are you to even mention it by name to Celebrindor, it being a matter of great importance among kings alone. After the years have increased you in both mind and body I shall perhaps confide in you for that purpose, but not yet. Of you and your brother I desire that you think of this as merely an adventure for your enlightenment and common reacquaintance, yet also as a hand to sooth ruffled feathers between nations of a kingdom in decay."<BR><BR>"As for your sons, oh father," said Calimendil, making his presence known, " they have always been here for you, though not always at the same time, yet this was never of my contrivance, as you and mother know very well. There was a time not long ago when I often invited my brother to my abode at Metraith, yet I seldom even received so much as a polite refusal, he being off galavanting with our sister somewhere."<BR><BR>Then Vorondil grew wrathful, though he restrained his anger before the king and queen. Turning to face his brother, Vorondil replied, "Perhaps if my young brother would set aside his lute for but a day and put his hands to a cause more fitting of a Cardolani prince he might perhaps earn back the respect of his brother and sister. When was the last time your fingers grasped the hilt of a blade, Calimendil? Was it when you tilled the soil of your garden, or perhaps when you whittled away at one of your flutes?"<BR><BR>"Do you not recall," retorted Calimendil, "that it is I, not you, that was awarded the Silver Rapier by the fencing masters of Dol Calantir, or do you now choose to forget, O brother?"<BR><BR>"That was now many years ago, before your full manhood, though as to how you might have acquired it is somewhat of a mystery to me."<BR><BR>Then Elenarian came and stood before them and urged the two brothers to put aside any strife that may lay between them, "...for such behavior from two lords of the Dunedain seems more fitting for the peasants of Tharbad. You will be representing the realm of Cardolan in foreign lands and your father and I expect our two envoys to act in a dignified manner that will be worthy of our trust."<BR><BR>"Go now and make your final farewells to whom you will," said Tarandil, "for this will be the longest length of time that either one of you have ever been away from your homes, and I do not expect to see you again for a long while. One year only shall I bear your absence from my realm, my sons, and forget not that you are both princes of Cardolan. I shall expect to hear the tale of your journey immediately upon your return. Beware the guiles of the court of Arthedain! Though they hold themselves in the highest esteem there, often times the distinction between Fornost and Tharbad becomes blurred by their mutual greed. Farewell."<BR><BR>Then Vorondil and Calimendil bowed before the king and queen and took their leave of them and sought out their sister Arriana, whom they both desired to see before their departure. Then on the second day after their summons by the king, the two brothers set out with a well-armed escort of twelve men and horses under a canopy of clouds and sun on the first day of spring.
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Sat Aug 02, 2003 9:54 pm

<b>*</b>The days passed slowly for the sons of Tarandil and their company as they went along the great road through the open fields of wild grass and cotton until they turned northwards along that highway that was to become known as the great Greenway, so named because of the constant line of coniferous vegetation that grew along either side of the road, planted there ages before by Thorondor, first King of Cardolan. <BR><BR>The company followed the road through the great valley of Andrath that cut it's way northward between the great Downs to the east and west. They halted only briefly so that they could alert the lords and princes of what used to be the old castle of Tarandil ere he removed the royal seat to Dol Calantir in the south of the realm. There they were greeted politely, yet unenthusiastically and were granted lodging for the night. Though their lodgings were a welcome respite from the irksome pests and insects of the wild, they felt ill at ease among the jealous lords there and departed shortly thereafter.<BR><BR>The following day found them in the provincial village of Bree, where they remained for two days more to allow the passage of storm clouds that marched in from the west. The rains caused the road to become muddy, and its many potholes of water were a burden upon the hooves of their steeds, for the villagers of Bree were negligent of their duties in the upkeep of the highways that ran in all directions. Yet, soon enough the Greenway became more solid once again, and the further they ventured northwards the healthier it looked, being lined once again on either side with tall trees and shrubbery. They began to meet many folk upon the roads, many of whom were soldiers and guards of the great fortress of Fornost Erain in the north, who watched closely the roads and paths through the lands, for they were now officially within the lands of Arthedain. More than once was the company of Vorondil and Calimendil commanded to halt and submit to questioning, but when they revealed to the guards their identities and purpose, they were treated kindly and escorted northwards upon the road until at last the great Fortress of Fornost became visible on the horizon.<BR><BR>Of the multitude of northern border-keeps and fortresses that were erected by the early Dunedain settlers long ago, t'was said that none could rival the strength and majesty of that of Fornost Erain. Strategically built upon the highest regions of the North Downs, Elendil had it constructed on the southern-most crest of those downs, which stood high above the lands to the south and the Greenway. It's great curving walls of solid stone stood remarkably high and lofty, and they were crowned with numerous watchtowers where the guards slept not. From it's heights the soldiers upon the walls kept unceasing watch upon the lands to the east and north where lay the seemingly unending plains of the Oiolad, where the northerly winds were especially harsh and unforgiving. As Arthedain's capital city, it stood as a source of pride, strength, culture and trade among all the Dunedain of the north. <BR><BR>Thus it was that Vorondil and Calimendil and their company entered into that pearl of a city and were greeted by King Celebrindor and his royal court before the doors of the inner courtyards. Therein they entered and dwelled as guests of the king, remaining there for eight and ninety days, seldom leaving the front gates. Indeed, they felt little reason to do so, for the brothers, despite their father's warnings, fell under the charms and enchantments of Fornost and all that it had to offer them. From it's bubbling fountains and it's intricately chiseled statues, to it's busy avenues and noisy streets lined with slender trees of rowanberry and white ash, they felt themselves at peace there; and at that time Vorondil and Calimendil became reconciled and overcame their estrangement from one another. Thus was the purpose of Tarandil swiftly achieved.<BR><BR>As the summer began to wane the brothers begged leave from Celebrindor to visit the old city of Annùminas that stood on the bay of the lake called Nenuial, which was the source of the Baranduin and lay some fifty leagues to the west, for Vorondil had at last grown restless in his idleness and desired to see the architecture of that fair city, which was renowned.<BR><BR>They arrived in the city without pomp or circumstance in four day's time, for they tarried on the road thither and took in the unfamiliar landscapes along the way. They were treated well by the lords of the city, yet, unlike at Fornost, they were left to fend for themselves without guides to lead them through the city. But the spies of the king observed them closely.<BR><BR>Vorondil spent his time marveling at the many archways, cisterns and bridges that lay throughout the city. These were matters that touched him dearly, for he wanted to return to his father again with his head full of bright ideas that he may employ in the betterment of Cardolan. In particular he most admired the cobblestone dikes that fed the lower sections of the city with water from the lake.<BR><BR>Yet Calimendil found his inspiration for enlightenment elsewhere, for though he indeed marveled at the ancientry and craftsmanship of the engineers of Westernesse, his heart was turned rather to the wide lake of Nenuial and those hills of twilight that had for ages uncounted captivated the hearts of the Eldar, where many still roamed at their leisure. Emyn Uial, they were called in the Eldarin tongue. <BR><BR>Therefore, Calimendil took his leave of Vorondil for a time and acquired permission from the city officials to go and explore those wondrous green-covered hills. Alone and without fear of molestation, he hiked the woods and waded the streams and drank deeply from the brooks of the Emyn Uial to his great contentment. <BR><BR>It was on the eighth day of his hike that he made his first acquaintance with the high elves of that land, who greeted him warmly, though not without a degree of amusement, for to them he must have seemed a proud, yet frivolous, wide-eyed youth; and when he proudly asserted to them his noble lineage as son and the second heir of the King of Cardolan, the elves smiled to one another, saying, "Look here my fellows! Here is a young princeling from Minhiriath come to grace us with his royal presence. Come, young nobleman! We shall show you why the Emyn Uial are called the Hills of Twilight!"<BR><BR>They led Calimendil to a secluded clearing amid a thicket of wood. A gray, yet fragrant mist hung over the hill in the middle of the clearing, yet standing atop the grassy hill was a stone tower of modest height, and upon it's roofless deck stood a raised dais, wherein laid a shallow pool of rainwater. Here an observer might gaze into the water and see the reflection of the stars and constellations above yet magnified many times. The elves brought him into that observatory and Calimendil gazed into the pool and descried the constellations of Varda amid the heavens of Middle-earth and he was mesmerized by them.<BR><BR>Then the elves bade him follow them into the woods, where they sat and played upon their harps of silver in unison to the delicate voices of their maidens, who sang laments in the high-elven tongue of Beleriand. Though Calimendil could not understand the words, he nevertheless sat and listened eagerly, for the art of music had always been of special interest to him, and this was his first and, ultimately, his last opportunity to hear such a performance of the Eldar in person.<BR><BR>At last the chance meeting came to a close, and loath was Calimendil to part company with them, yet the elves blessed him ere they departed, and their spokesman said to him, "Go now where you will, young prince, for we have tarried overlong. I deem that you have a courageous heart that is full of good intentions, and I foretell that the storybook of your life will unfold in many ways that you will marvel to behold, both for good and for ill, though it's final chapter is known only to the One."<BR><BR>Calimendil looked into the depths of the elven-lord's eyes and said, "Alas! You are leaving these lands forever, aren't you? For my father has often told me so. Yet why do you choose to leave when so many desire for you to remain?"<BR><BR>The elf-lord looked at Calimendil in silence with his piercing eyes and made no offer of reply to his question, but instead called to another who brought him a sheath and a sword, "Take this as a gift, young Calimendil of Cardolan! We will have little use for it now, yet one day it may serve you well in the lands of your home, where friend and foe often seem alike. It was crafted long ago during the zenith of the elf-kingdoms in the previous age of the world. Seldom do we offer men such a gift as this, yet I feel the time now ripe. Use it wisely! Farewell!"
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Postby Denethor » Mon Aug 04, 2003 1:25 am

I certainly think this story has some great potential - the general atmosphere is quite reminscent of something out of Unfinished Tales (say perhaps 'Aldarion and Erendis'). The characterisation thus far is also good. <BR><BR>My major issues with your story...<BR><BR>1. From a 'canon' point of view, I think there are problems with calling someone who died in T.A.1235 the "last" King of Cardolan. In Appendix A there is a reference to the last Prince of Cardolan dying in T.A.1409, and although I realise I'm being extremely pedantic about this, it is a problem that is probably worthy of attention.<BR><BR>2. There are a few awkward sentences. <BR><BR>e.g.<BR><BR><i>Ere long the company followed the road through the great valley of Andrath that cut it's way northward between the great Downs to the east and west, halting only briefly so that they could alert the lords and princes of what used to be the old castle of Tarandil ere he removed the royal seat to Dol Calantir in the south of the realm.</i><BR><BR>(This monster sentence could possibly be shortened a bit. I'm also not sure about the grammatical correctness of "Ere long the company followed..." Perhaps "Ere long the company was following..."?).<BR><BR><i>Vorondil spent his time marveling at the many archways, cisterns and bridges that lay throughout the city, for these were matters that touched him dearly, for he wanted to return to his father again with his head full of bright ideas that he may employ in the betterment of Cardolan.</i><BR><BR>(Though I'm also guilty of over-using "for" in its "because" sense, I think using it twice in the same sentence is a bit excessive!) <BR><BR>3. There are a couple of modernisms creeping in. <BR><BR>e.g.<BR><BR><i>Cardolan was indeed master of her own domain and needed not the protectorship of a big brother state,</i><BR><BR>(This wouldn't be T.A.1984 would it? <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>)<BR><BR><i>his stint as ambassador there, for the guild-masters and merchants therein</i><BR><BR>(I'm not sure whether a word like "stint" fits in particularly well with an archaic term like "therein". Incidentally, this sentence also reminds me of another problem - if Tarandil is so "economically minded" why does he allow himself to get so off-side with the merchants?)<BR><BR>4. I apologise if it seems that I'm focussing a bit too heavily on grammar, but there is an important distinction between <b>its</b> and <b>it's</b>. "Its" is the possessive form of "it", while "it's" is the contraction of "it is". A passage such as <i>From it's bubbling</i> should therefore read "From its bubbling..."<BR><BR>5. There are perhaps a few too many redundant words. For example, in the sentence <i>There, many ancient kings and queens of old slept on their royal beds of stone within their barrows</i>, it has already been made clear that you are talking about barrows, so ending the sentence with "within their barrows" is not really necessary.<BR><BR>Apart from this, I thought the story was impressive, and I look forward to reading the next instalment.
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Postby Carnimiriel » Mon Aug 04, 2003 5:47 am

I admit I've only had time to skim this, but it looks like a very nice beginning! I'm looking forward to reading more when I return from vacation.<BR><BR>Looks like you've put some serious work into this and it shows! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Tue Aug 05, 2003 8:59 pm

Thanks Miriel, I certainly have. This is only perhaps 25% of what I have so far, actually, and I have been working on it now for the last 8-9 months! It certainly is great fun, though <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> Nice signature, btw!<BR><BR>Denethor - Hey, thanks for your input so far! Well, I won't deny that <i>Aldarion and Erendis</i> was pretty much my model for this story, as it has always been one of my favorite stories of Tolkien. The first three posts that I made thus far is mainly intro material, so hopefully it holds the reader's interest well enough. But fear not! There is plenty of action coming soon! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR><i> From a 'canon' point of view, I think there are problems with calling someone who died in T.A.1235 the "last" King of Cardolan. In Appendix A there is a reference to the last Prince of Cardolan dying in T.A.1409, and although I realise I'm being extremely pedantic about this, it is a problem that is probably worthy of attention.</i><BR><BR>- I have to admit that I did not notice that info about the last prince of Cardolan dying in T.A 1409, however, I was under the impression that the last king perished somewhat earlier than that. After that king dies (who is Calimendil, here in my version) there is somewhat of a power vacuum in Cardolan. Yes, there are other princes in Cardolan laying around, but none can agree who is to be the next king. They begin quarrelling and a Civil War errupts until Cardolan basically implodes upon itself, which I am saying will happen around the year 1409. After that, Arthedain is on her own! At any rate, I could always just go back and change the words "Last King", to "Fifth King".<BR><BR>No need to apologize about correct grammar. I am glad that you brought those redundant phrases and monster sentences to my attention. I have since gone back and edited all of those. Thanks! However, I doubt I'll take the time right now to go back and change the 'its' and 'it's'. However, I will certainly pay more attention to that from now on <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> I'll probably add more posts gradually, say once a week, just to stagger it out. Incidently, I'm afraid I didn't really get your joke about the T.A. 1984 thing. What were you referring to?<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Incidently, I noticed you made a new post on your <i>Revenge</i> story. I will read it soon and try and see if I can come up with any insight on it!
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Postby Denethor » Wed Aug 06, 2003 2:43 am

<i>Incidently, I'm afraid I didn't really get your joke about the T.A. 1984 thing. What were you referring to?</i><BR><BR>The joke was referring to the use of the term "big brother state" (a phrase generally associated with George Orwell's <i>1984</i>).<BR><BR>Regarding the "last Cardolan prince" reference, it is located a couple of pages into the section on Arnor in Appendix A, and suggests that it might have been the barrow of this prince that Frodo came across during LOTR. There isn't a lot of further information on the subject, so I suppose you could put forward the idea of a civil war during the 1235-1409 period (as a suggestion, perhaps one of the children of Arianna unsuccessfully tries to claim the throne after Calimendil's death?).
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Wed Aug 06, 2003 7:28 pm

That's a good idea there, Denethor.<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> Actually, I was actually toying around with that idea a while ago, but there might be something else I want to do with Arriana's character later on. We'll see. I'll worry about that a bit later, though.
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Wed Aug 06, 2003 7:32 pm

<i>*</i>After the elves had left him Calimendil stood alone in the woods amid the darkness of Emyn Uial, yet he felt not afraid. Indeed, he felt calm and tranquil under the bows of the tall timbers of the hills and laid himself down for sleep, relishing the quietude of that land. Yet when he awoke at first light the next morning, he assured himself that he had dreamt the entire encounter with the elves, but when he saw again the gift of the sword and scabbard laying next to him he rejoiced, realizing the reality of it all.<BR><BR>Then Calimendil departed and returned to Annuminas as quickly as possible, for he was overdue to return thither. When at last he arrived he discovered that the winds from the north had already turned chill, though it be only mid-September. When he again found his brother Vorondil in their quarters they greeted each other warmly, both noticing a change in the other during their brief separation, and seeing his young brother wearing a new and strange blade upon his belt, Vorondil questioned him, saying, "Unless my memory fails me, you left here with naught but an ordinary hunting knife, but return with a sword worthy of a knight of Westernesse! How do you explain yourself, brother?"<BR><BR>Then Calimendil smiled to himself, as if indulging in far away thoughts, and he replied, "How shall one describe that which transcends all earth-bound delights, for the last few days have seemed but a mere dream to me. Indeed, I would have insisted that it was so, were it not for this magnificent elvish blade! For that is exactly who gave to me, Vorondil; the Eldar of Emyn Uial! I met them and spent an entire day in their company to my utter delight! Their minstrels played before me and their maidens sang such laments and madrigals whose beauty I have never heard before. I hope to make note of some of what I heard upon our return to Fornost. You should have come with me!" Then Calimendil went on to tell his brother of the old observatory in the clearing among the hills and of the stars in the mirrored water-pool, where he beheld the constellations of Varda.<BR> <BR>Then Vorondil replied, "I should think that you were again conjuring up another tall tale from your childhood if it were not for that blade you now wear upon your belt. For that reason alone I should have come with you. Yet I have not been idle during your extended hike in the woods. Elendil's old city is a marvel to study and scrutinize. Our engineers in Cardolan would do well to come here and learn a thing or two. I shall make it a point to bring it to father's attention upon our return."<BR><BR>Then Vorondil went on to describe many of the sights and sounds he experienced in Annuminas while his brother was away. The countless people and especially the five families that made up the royalty of Annuminas were a constant source of intrigue to him, but nothing captivated him more than that magnificent underground library that was renowned throughout all of the lands of Eriador. Indeed, not even the libraries in Gondor could compare with it's splendor and elegance, and of it Vorondil remarked, "If I were not a prince, and was instead a prisoner with but one wish only, I would desire no other prison than that library, and to be chained together with so many dead masters and good authors! Among old Elendil's many accomplishments, this was his finest!"<BR><BR>Then the two brothers reckoned themselves fulfilled and made ready to depart the old city of Annuminas on the following morning and begin their return to Fornost, and from there back again to Cardolan in the south where their father and king awaited them. <BR><BR>Yet on the eve of their departure from the city, a company of nobles came to call on them bearing gifts, expressing their appreciation of the visit of two fine, young princes from the south, yet at the same time requesting a' favor' from them as acknowledgement of their gratitude. <BR><BR>At last there stepped forth from among the noblemen a young woman, very beautiful to behold. Her name was Amariel and she was the niece of Celebrindor, the king. She did not speak at once, but instead stood in silence before them. The quiet and gaping mouth of Calimendil was a reaction she found amusing, for Calimendil was utterly charmed by her alluring countenance and found no words to say that would do justice to her.<BR><BR>Now Amariel was of the nobility of Arthedain, and though there were other ladies and maidens at both the courts of Fornost and Annùminas, few of them matched the delicate beauty of Amariel. Many of the less wise often said she must have elf-blood in her veins, but it was not so. Being a favorite with her uncle, she was a gentle presence wheresoever she went. She possessed flowing golden hair, starry blue eyes, a lily throat, and breasts of alabaster. As she matured she developed all the charms of young woman-hood in beauty of figure and form, sprightliness of mind, and merry grace of ways and of speech. She sang sweetly, played the lute well, spoke fluent Sindarin, and wrote poetry that many poets of the age affected to praise. In all, she would have been a prize for any of the many gentlemen that courted her, yet in the end she found in none of them the ideal mate that she sought. Indeed, her primary source of motivation for visiting Annuminas was to find a man of worth, for her residence was at Fornost Erain, yet now it was time for her to return to her home where she was expected.<BR><BR>The nobles who presented Amariel to Vorondil and Calimendil now made known their request for them to escort the young lass back to Fornost with them. With her would go two of the young men in her party, for it was not the custom to allow a maiden of royalty to travel alone with foreigners, whether they be princes or no. <BR><BR>Now this was little to the liking of Vorondil, who took Calimendil aside to express his displeasure. He reminded him that, though they were indeed guests of the king of Arthedain, not all should be trusted whom they met in friendly lands, for in those days espionage was practiced far and wide throughout Arnor, yet nowhere more so than in Arthedain, where Celebrindor brought the craft to it's zenith. From Amon Sûl, where his spies were most vigilant, to Tharbad in the south; from the crowded streets of Annuminas in the west to the rugged banks of the Metheithel in the east, where a constant watch was maintained upon the Rhudauran capital of Cameth Brin, the spies of the king watched and reported all that they saw or heard.<BR><BR>But Calimendil reminded his brother of proper courtesy and formality, and also that, though these men had only asked this of them as a 'favor', it was merely only a politely-worded order. Calimendil also desired to be near Amariel and to have her alongside him on their return journey and this seemed just the opportunity to gain her acquaintance. So they set out the following morning and slowly made their way across the great bridge that spanned the river Baranduin and departed Annuminas for what would ultimately be their last time.
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Postby Denethor » Fri Aug 08, 2003 4:22 am

I like the way you have avoided portraying the inhabitants of Arthedain as the automatic "good guys" in the inter-Kingdom squabbles, but have instead made their King quite a sinister sounding character with an extensive spy network. The LOTR appendices sometimes come across as a case of 'history written by the winners' (i.e. Arthedain gets praised, Cardolan gets ignored, etc), and so it is good to see someone trying to darken the alleged "good guys" a bit.<BR><BR>The major problem, I think, with the latest instalment of the story is that it comes across as being a bit wordy in places. I realise that you're trying to maintain a "high" style throughout, but the story is in some danger of being swamped by the sheer quantity of words you are using in descriptions. See if you can cut back on the words by inserting more powerful terms in the place of several lesser ones (the idea being to 'say more with less').<BR><BR>One possible target is this sentence:<BR><BR><i>She did not speak at once, but instead stood in silence before them, for the quiet and gaping mouth of Calimendil was a reaction she found amusing, for Calimendil was utterly charmed by her alluring countenance and found no words to say that would do justice to her.</i><BR><BR>Here 48 words is perhaps a bit much - could you find a way of conveying the same image in, say, 25-35 words?
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Sat Aug 09, 2003 11:23 am

<i>The LOTR appendices sometimes come across as a case of 'history written by the winners' (i.e. Arthedain gets praised, Cardolan gets ignored, etc), and so it is good to see someone trying to darken the alleged "good guys" a bit.</i><BR><BR>- Yeah, I agree. That's perhaps one of the reasons I decided to do the entire story as a document written by a Cardolani scribe in his own words, rather than in the standard third-person omniscient. Later on there will be a few comments directly from him (Ilran). <BR><BR>Incidently, I did make another slight goof earlier. After consulting the RotK Appendix again I noticed that I selected the wrong Arthedainian king for this point in history! I have gone back and changed all references to Celepharn to Celebrindor, who proceeded Celepharn in succession. I might also have to adjust the timeline in my first post.<BR><BR>I took up your suggestion about that long sentence, but I think I will leave the paragraph that describes the character of Amariel as is, since I may not bother to refer to her physical appearance again in the story. Thanks again. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Celebriel_Esgaledhel » Sat Aug 09, 2003 5:44 pm

I just finished reading this, and i love it! Great job, Cel!!!<BR><BR>just a couple minor things - i know i'm being picky, especially as my stories don't have the greatest grammar!! :<BR><BR><i>why the Emyn Uial is called the Hills of Twilight</i><BR><BR>should be "why the Emyn Uial <b>are</b> called...", because _emyn_ is plural for amon, and therefore the plurality makes it "are" and not "is". I don't know if i'm making sense in my saying this, but hey.....<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0><BR><BR>and when you refer to the Emyn Uial, I would personally use 'the' before it, because again, it's a plural, taking about all the hills there, but if it was the name of <i>a</i> place, you wouldn't use 'the'. well, there I go, rambling on again! i hope that made sense <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-blush.gif"border=0><BR><BR>I loved it so far! it excede what I expected! keep up the good work!!!!<BR><BR>EDIT: darn my stoopfid spelling mistakes!!!
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Sun Aug 10, 2003 9:54 pm

Thank you Celebriel. Very kind <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> I'll probably post a bit more of the story in a few days. And I also went back and changed the word 'is' to 'are'. Thanks for pointing that out. That makes perfect sense. <BR><BR>Incidently, you might want to check out Denethor's story here in the Scriptorium called <i>Revenge</i> when you get a chance. It's high quality, no doubt!(there's a plug for ya, Den <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> )
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Thu Aug 14, 2003 7:15 am

<b>*</b>For three and a half days they made their way eastwards along the road through the countryside by horse and carriage. All the while Calimendil spoke pleasantly with Amariel and gave little heed of the lands passing by around them, nor of the commoners that often approached their carriage upon the road, leaving Vorondil and Amariel's escorts to deal with them as they would. <BR><BR>Calimendil was quickly smitten with the young princess of Arthedain and listened eagerly to all that she would tell him of her life in the North Kingdom. Indeed, she spoke most openly of her past experiences at the court of King Celepharn at Fornost. From her excursions into the fair hills of Emyn Uial to her journey to the Grey Havens of the elves in the west, where she watched the ships sail out into the great Gulf of Lûne where they pitched their sail and ventured out to the great sea and did not return.<BR><BR>When at last they reached the high gates of Fornost they entered therein and remained as guests of the king for seven days. Yet on the eighth day of their stay Vorondil approached Calimendil and insisted that it was high time for them to return to Dol Calantir where they were expected to report their deeds to their king and queen. But Calimendil was now unwilling to depart, having more of a mind to court and win over the heart of Amariel than to return to Cardolan where only a cold an empty estate with his servants awaited his return.<BR><BR>But then Vorondil became wroth with his young brother and accused him of defying their king and father, saying to him, "By what right do you have to gainsay our father's orders, Calimendil? I have already given you many days longer than I should have desired in order for you to impress the young maiden with your chivalry. Your time is up! Let us be gone at first light, for we have many miles to traverse ere we reach the borders of our own realm."<BR><BR>Then Calimendil smiled at Vorondil's stern demeanor and replied, "I know that you are right, brother, yet at the same time I feel inclined to stay on just a while longer here, for I have discovered a true remedy for that which ails me inside. A panacea for an empty heart, if you will."<BR><BR>"You are a foolish young lad," retorted Vorondil, "whose judgement is now clouded by excessive drink and the charms of an incompatible maiden in a foreign land. This I will not allow. I expect you to be ready to leave tomorrow at dawn."<BR><BR>Then the smile upon Calimendil's face vanished, and he said, "No longer are you the ruffian that bullied me about when we were boys, Vorondil. Nor are you yet a king, though I doubt not thy heart longs for the day when that may be so. Our father has preserved order in Cardolan now for many years relatively untroubled. You are his direct heir to the throne, not I. If he had knowledge of my new found love here, he not only would pardon me for my disobedience, but would even encourage me to stay on here in Fornost until I acquired that which my heart yearned for.”<BR><BR>"You presume much that is unknown and even trivial," said Vorondil. "The fact that our king also happens to be our father has made you conceited and self-complacent. I might remind you that you are a prince of Cardolan, not of Arthedain. Remember our father's own words to us ere we left Dol Calantir: beware the guiles of the court of Arthedain! It seems you have already dismissed his warning as if it were idle gossip. Your heart has always been high and pure, Calimendil, yet I deem that it is well that it will be me, and not you, that shall one day be king."<BR><BR>"I do not begrudge your heirship to the throne, brother," replied Calimendil, "though I am sure you think otherwise; and for my part I judge that it is well that our father and mother are yet still in good health and have many years before them upon the throne, for your haughty demeanor is unfitting for such a high and noble office, no doubt. Yet see here, Vorondil! I do not wish to argue with you; nor do I wish to defy the king's order, and under any other circumstances I would not, but a foresight has come to me now. This entire adventure has been a complete success thus far. The two brothers of the king have become reconciled once again, my chance meeting with the Eldar in Emyn Uial, and to crown it all off I meet Amariel, princess of Arthedain, and perhaps one day, if she will, the bride of Calimendil!"<BR><BR>"Ha! Who is being haughty now?" said Vorondil, almost mockingly. <BR><BR>"Do not jest with me, Vorondil. I swear before you that I love Amariel as no other before, though our acquaintance has been short. In every scheme of happiness she is placed in the foreground of the picture as my principle figure. Take that away and it is no picture for me."<BR><BR>Then Vorondil looked at Calimendil solemnly and in silence, seeking, if he might, to comprehend and appreciate the decision of his young brother to remain behind in Fornost, though it violated the wishes of their father. When it was apparent that Calimendil would remain at Fornost, he inquired, lapsing into the Sindarin tongue, "Darthathach?"<BR><BR>"Darthathon," replied Calimendil in like manner, "dan moe badathon nu anann."<BR><BR>Vorondil sighed with disappointment, "So be it."<BR><BR>Then the two brothers parted company once again, for Vorondil left the great fortress of Fornost Erain in the morning, but Calimendil was there to see him off and they said their farewells to one another, if not in kindness and understanding, at least in empathy.<BR><BR>-------------<BR><BR><BR>...So it was that Calimendil was permitted to remain behind in Fornost Erain in the company of Amariel, and he was glad of heart. For her part, she too, grew fond of Calimendil and desired to be near him. She now turned away all others that desired courtship with her without even an initial meeting, though her father had already pre-arranged them. <BR><BR>The father of Amariel was Rathmir, nobleman of the court of king Celebrindor and one of those in the king's intimate circle of advisors. In his younger days he had been an expert tracker and ranger of the king and knew the northlands well. Many times he had led the soldiers of the king into the forests of Rhudaur and did battle with the scattered Hillmen there with great success. Yet now his limbs were older and achy and he seldom left the high walls of Fornost for very long. Amariel was the youngest of his children, her having one older brother. Rathmir was as loyal a patriot to the crown of Arthedain as any among him and he greatly desired to see his young daughter wed a man of Arthedainindili heritage. <BR><BR>One man in particular there was that he had already chosen for her; a captain of the guard at Annuminas by the name of Girwaedh. Girwaedh was the chief suitor that had called upon Amariel during her most recent visit to that city. He had ardorously courted her for many days during her visit there, though in the end he was rebuffed, much to his shock, for he had anticipated himself to be well-received by the daughter of Rathmir. But Amariel found him to be self-centered and too engrossed with personal fame to interest her. Furthermore, Girwaedh was a great lover of military conquests and feats of strength, both of which Amariel deplored as shallow displays of male vanity. It was soon after this failed courtship that a young prince visiting the city from Cardolan stumbled into her life most unexpectedly...
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Sat Aug 16, 2003 11:41 am

<b>*</b>Little did it please Rathmir to learn of Calimendil's interest in his daughter and her interest in him, for not only did it interfere with his design, but this man was a foreigner to boot! Not only this, but Calimendil was the second heir to the throne of Cardolan. Rathmir had somewhat modest opinions of that sister realm of Arnor. Though Arthedain and Cardolan were officially allies, he was mistrustful of them and regarded their loyalty to the integrity of Arnor as suspect. Moreover, if Amariel were to somehow marry Calimendil, the foot of Cardolan royalty would officially be in the door of the Artherdain court, even if only on paper.<BR><BR>When Amariel presented herself and Calimendil to her father shortly after their return to Fornost Rathmir was not of a jovial mood. He rose and greeted Calimendil with due process, but did not speak to him. He instead quietly rebuked his daughter for disregarding the wishes of her father back in Annuminas and insulting Girwaedh with her premeditated rejection. Of Calimendil he paid little heed. <BR><BR>Of the conversation that took place between father and daughter little is known, yet Amariel bore her father's wrath with patience and forbearance, though without apology, and at length she left the hall with Calimendil at her side, and together they departed the court.<BR><BR>There was much to see and do at Fornost Erain in those days. Calimendil did indeed become enchanted by the magnificence of it's sheer strength and charm. He found many of it's inhabitants both warm-hearted and high-spirited. Their hopes were high and they seemed to fear little and they put their trust in king Celebrindor and the high impregnable walls of their fortress upon the North Downs. Yet many among the nobility of Fornost were arrogant in their demeanor towards Calimendil. They scarcely concealed their gossip of Tarandil and Cardolan, yet still they pressed him with questions about the goings on in that country. But Calimendil would tell them little, save that Cardolan could always be relied upon in the defense of both the eastern and southern borders of Arnor and also in the dealings with future hostilities with the hillmen of Rhudaur. On the subject of Amon Sûl, he steered well clear of. <BR><BR>For six months Calimendil stayed on at the court of Celebrindor at Fornost, spending even more time alone with Amariel. Yet at length he began to feel restless, for he was troubled in mind by a somber foreboding that he did not understand. He realized then that he had overstayed his welcome at Fornost, and resolved himself to return to his home in Cardolan, though he was loath to part with his beloved Amariel now. Though he had not spoken as such in open words, he knew that his heart was given to her.<BR><BR>On the first evening of Autumn a messenger arrived from Cardolan bearing an urgent message from king Tarandil to his son Calimendil. Remarkably, the message was preserved in tact through the years and survives still. It was written in a grave, yet stern tone from father to son, requesting him to return home at once:<BR><BR><i>"My son, Calimendil -<BR><BR>I had at first composed this letter of command as I would have to any of my lower subordinates who dared to disobey the word of their king, and would have sent the guards to Fornost myself in order to drag ye back perforce to the land of thy kin. Yet, since thou did callously disobey my desire for thy return with thy brother well nigh a year ago, I now have disregarded that command in light of recent tragic events here at Dol Calantir. Alas! It is with utmost sorrow and eyes of tears that I must tell thee by written word that thy mother, fairest Elenarian, Queen of Cardolan, hath died. She succumbed to the fever less than a fortnight ago and expired. She was laid to rest in a great mound upon Tyrn Gorthad, where one day, if Eru wills it, I soon will join her. I leave thee now to thy good conscience to do what is fitting and proper for a prince of Cardolan, yet when thou return ye may find thy welcome less favorable than ye might have thought. Nonetheless, I will readily receive thee, though thy siblings may not. Farewell!<BR><BR>Your loving father and King,<BR><BR>Tarandil ~ "</i><BR><BR>It was said that Calimendil was certainly distraught at the tidings he received from his father. Amariel comforted him in her private quarters, for he greatly loved his mother, and rebuked himself for his prolonged stay in Arthedain which had prevented him from seeing Elenarian one last time on her death bed. <BR><BR>Then Amariel knew that it was high time for Calimendil to return to his homeland where he was needed. She urged him to do what was necessary and pay his respects to his mother and seek forgiveness from his father. <BR><BR>Calimendil immediately took his leave from Celebrindor with thanks, but few among the king's court were sorry to see him depart. Rathmir had a close following among the king's councilmen and this young prince from Cardolan had stolen away the heart of his daughter and meddled in his plans for Amariel's well-being. Now that he would be rid of this irksome foreigner he would urge the king not to allow him return to Fornost again until after Amariel was wed to Girwaedh of Annuminas.<BR><BR>Calimendil set out from the gates of Fornost the next morning at dawn, just as it began to rain. There was little cheer among his small traveling party as they mounted their horses. Amariel stood wan and sad while in the rain with her arms at her side and watched Calimendil load the last saddle-bag of his horse ere he mounted, but he paused before doing so and turned and looked again at the face of Amariel. It seemed to him then that she bore the resemblance of a tall white lily flower in a morning mist whose petals were covered with the drops of dew, for her golden hair and white raiment were soon wet from the rainfall. <BR><BR>Then they embraced one last time ere he departed, and she said to him, "When will you return?"<BR><BR>"I do not know, yet you may believe that it will be as soon as I possibly can. Nay, even sooner!" said Calimendil, "for only fools abandon their treasure indefinitely."<BR><BR>"Do what you must, Calimendil, but know this: my father may attempt to turn the heart of the king against you if he may. Returning here will not be so easily done next time."<BR><BR>"I do not fear your father's wrath, dear Amariel. Know that I will return, whether openly or in secret, for there will be little in Cardolan that I do not find cold and empty without you beside me."<BR><BR>Then Amariel touched the cheek of Calimendil in affection and forced a smile, and replied, "I will look for you in whatever fashion you are able to return. Go now and be safe."<BR><BR>"I would devour your hands and kiss your feet a million times, m'lady, if I had but only one more day here with you." whispered Calimendil to Amariel. Several moments of silence ensued before he whispered again to her, saying, “Yet when I do return you must somehow exit the city and make for the little dell we discovered together as we wandered blissfully through the woods and under the starlight upon the Downs to the north of here. Do you remember it?”<BR><BR>“I remember. It shall be long ere I forget that night, my dear Calimendil,” replied Amariel softly, “yet how shall I know when that moment arrives? For you will be unable to enter the city.”<BR><BR>“There will be one from my house that shall indeed visit Fornost again,” said Calimendil, “and they shall call on your father on behalf of myself, since I shan’t be welcome there. They will proclaim my concession to the said Girwaedh of Annuminas. That will be your sign that I shall arrive at the little dell seven days from then.”<BR><BR>Amariel found no words to say now, for she struggled to restrain her tears. Then Calimendil mounted his horse and slowly followed his companions down the long and open road to the south, looking over his shoulder many times until the trees finally obstructed his view. But Amariel watched him ride slowly away, and when the horsemen were out of sight she stood alone in the rain before the great gates of Fornost and at last released her tears, for she knew only then that she loved Calimendil and desired to be his wife. Yet Rathmir breathed a sigh of relief at the departure of Calimendil and immediately sent word to Girwaedh in Annuminas to visit Fornost Erain again very soon...
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Postby Celebriel_Esgaledhel » Sat Aug 16, 2003 2:53 pm

Great, Cel! I haven't had time to read the last one yet, bt i'm posting this now because i have to leave tomorrow. Very interesting! I've never even thought much about Cardolan or its sister realms before this, but your writing gives me a new perspective! keep it up!<BR><BR>Cuio mae,<BR>~Celebriel
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Postby Denethor » Sat Aug 16, 2003 3:15 pm

I think the last two chapters are possibly the best written so far (and this is coming from someone who generally finds romance scenes extremely dull). The pacing is good, and there is no over-use of the word "for" in its "because" sense (coming from experience, I know how tempting it is to use that particular word in archaic-style writing! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>) <BR><BR>My only issue is with Tarandil's letter:<BR><BR><i>"My son, Calimendil -<BR><BR>I had at first composed this letter of command as I would have to any of my lower subordinates who dared to disobey the word of their king, and would have sent the guards to Fornost myself in order to drag ye back perforce to the land of your kin. Yet, since thou did callously disobey my desire for thy return with thy brother well nigh a year ago, I now have disregarded that command in light of recent tragic events here at Dol Calantir. Alas! It is with utmost sorrow and eyes of tears that I must tell you by written word that your mother, fairest Elenarian, Queen of Cardolan, hath died. She succumbed to the fever less than a fortnight ago and expired. She was laid to rest in a great mound upon Tyrn Gorthad, where one day, if Eru wills it, I soon will join her. I leave you now to your good conscience to do what is fitting and proper for a prince of Cardolan, yet when you return you may find your welcome less favorable than you might have thought. Nonetheless, I will readily receive you, though your siblings may not. Farewell!<BR><BR>Your loving father and King,<BR><BR>Tarandil ~ "</i><BR><BR>Here you have mixed "thou/thee/thy" with "you/you/your". "Thou" is the familiar term, while "you" is the polite term - you can't have both in the same letter!<BR><BR>P.S. Here's a "Celepharn" reference that managed to slip through:<BR><BR><i>The father of Amariel was Rathmir, nobleman of the court of king Celepharn and one of those in the king's intimate circle of advisors.</i>
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Sat Aug 16, 2003 9:36 pm

Thanks again, Celebriel <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> Yeah, the untold history of the doomed Northen Kingdon has always interested me. And I will try and post a comment or two on your Nirnaeth Arnoediad poem before you get back!<BR><BR>Denethor - I'm glad you brought the issue of the overuse of the word 'for' to my attention a while back, as I am more conscious of it now. I had pondered over the vernacular of Tarandil's letter even before I wrote it, to tell you the truth. I went back and changed the words in question accordingly. For my part, I certainly don't mind a good romance scene here and there, though after I get into the second half of this piece there will be very little of that (more blood and guts than kissing and smooching, probably! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0><BR><BR><i>P.S. Here's a "Celepharn" reference that managed to slip through:<BR><BR>The father of Amariel was Rathmir, nobleman of the court of king Celepharn and one of those in the king's intimate circle of advisors.</i><BR><BR>- darnit! I thought I caught all of those errors. Thanks again! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Fri Aug 22, 2003 11:37 pm

<b>*</b>Yet Calimendil and his companions sped onwards to the south now through the rolling hills of Arthedain until they came to Bree once again. From there they took the road westwards in inclement weather. Calimendil would not rest until he visited his mother's burial tomb in Tyrn Gorthad, the Barrow Downs. He had little difficulty in locating it, for it was a family burial site and was, at that time, the largest of the mounds therein. He found the steel door to the mound shut and locked, and was deprived of seeing his mother for the last time. Yet there were words engraved in the Sindarin tongue upon the face of the door, and they read: "Here lieth Elledh Elenarian - fairest of Queens, selfless in life, lov'd by all, more gentle than summer. T.A. 1206-1276". The Queen had died at the age of seventy, which was reckoned an early death by the Dunedain of that age. Calimendil wept anew at the sight of the inscription and cursed himself for disobeying his father's command to return to Cardolan with Vorondil.<BR><BR>Then the riders returned to dry themselves up at Bree ere they took the southward road again. They made the cutting through the deep valley of Andrath, yet when they emerged from the valley they were met on the road by guards from the family of Hunthir, the young Cardolani prince who had taken over the old royal castle that Tarandil had forsaken for Dol Calantir, many years ago. The guards encouraged Calimendil to remain with their lord, for they had been instructed to look for his arrival very soon, but Calimendil became annoyed and refused their offer. He would not waste time and words with Hunthir, whom he loved not at all, and he replied, "Return to your prince and tell him that Calimendil wastes not his valuable time with those who seek to usurp the king's favor from his son for political gain only. Hunthir resides at Dol Tinarë only because the sons of the king elected not to dwell there long ago when given the opportunity, yet may still do so if they desire it. Let Hunthir be glad that I choose to live elsewhere in the realm, for otherwise his lease would soon be terminated and my own overlordship begin henceforth!"<BR><BR>Calimendil and his companions turned away the guards and galloped away southwards along the Greenway for the remainder of that day, but when they came to the junction of the two roads Calimendil bade his companions farewell, for he wished to make the remainder of the journey alone until he arrived at Dol Calantir.<BR><BR>Many folk were about upon the road and the fields as he rode along in silence and it seemed to him that they looked upon him with displeasure, and acknowledged him only out of necessity. Yet at length he at last arrived within sight of that road which led up towards the royal manor of Dol Calantir, where the king awaited his return. The road ran northward in an unbending line, and it was lined on either side by parallel rows of lush gardens, which were the pride of the king and queen. <BR><BR>Calimendil followed the road until he came to the great arched stone gate. Passing beneath the arch he continued up the hill until he came to the royal palace where he was greeted first by his brother Vorondil and two servants inside the veranda. He had expected a cold welcome from his brother, but Vorondil’s mood had changed upon the death of their mother, and he did not scold Calimendil, but instead welcomed him warmly, if not enthusiastically. <BR><BR>Yet for their sister Arriana, the untimely death of their mother was a devastating blow for her; an emotional scar that she bore for long years after. Of the three children, Arriana was perhaps the dearest to Elenarian’s heart, for they shared many of the same interests in life and spent a great deal of time together at Dol Calantir and in the many fields that lay about it. She never left the bedside of her dying mother in her last days and tended to her every need until the very end. Calimendil soon sought her out upon his return to Dol Calantir, but she would not see him. <BR><BR>Arriana had always favored her older brother, as many had known, but now she made it plain to all whom she placed first in her heart, as if she desired to taunt Calimendil; to punish him for his neglect and disrespect for his family. At one time Calimendil might have been jealous of Vorondil for this, as has already been told, but now he was a grown man and over the years had developed a thick skin for his sister’s behavior towards him. Yet it is said that he never rebuked her for this, even in later years when the two of them had become permanently estranged from one another. But Calimendil soon noticed that Arriana spent even more time with Vorondil, either in the company of others, such as well-to-do would-be suitors for her affections, or even at times, as he learned, alone together. <BR><BR>T’was said that late one night as he slept in his quarters at Dol Calantir shortly after his return from Fornost, Calimendil was awakened by noise outside and below his window. Rising to peer outside and ascertain the source of the noise he beheld Vorondil and Arriana returning together from a thicket of trees that stood nearby, and it seemed to him that they both looked to be in a state of inebriation, for they were clumsy as they walked and tripped over each other, giggling as they did so. <BR><BR>No one knows what thoughts or suspicions ran through the mind of Calimendil at this perplexing sight, but they may be easily guessed at. He had wondered why Vorondil had paid so little attention to Amariel when she had been introduced to them back in Annùminas. Had Vorondil already given his heart away to their sister? Such a relationship between two children of the king would create a great scandal to be sure, not only in Cardolan, but also in Arthedain and abroad. It would be a humiliation for the family of Tarandil and his court and put the entire security of the realm at great risk, whether the rumors be true or not. Therefore Calimendil buried it deep in his mind and spoke of it to no one. Indeed, who would believe it, for what proof had he that his brother and sister were up to carnal mischief out in the woods in the middle of the night?<BR><BR>Calimendil’s stay at Dol Calantir was not a pleasant one. The mood and countenance of the king’s royal court had deteriorated significantly since the death of the queen. Nearly four months since Elenarian’s passing had gone by and Tarandil grew stoically downtrodden in both spirit and in mind. It seemed to many that he struggled to regain a semblance of composure proceeding the death of his beloved wife, rejecting the company of others for more than a few moments at a time. Even his closest advisers found their time with the king rationed, much to their dismay, for they feared civil unrest and disobedience in the city of Tharbad and elsewhere in the kingdom. <BR><BR>For many days on end the councilors of the king held their tongues in check. But ere long the chief among them stormed into the king’s quarters one evening on behalf of his court and insisted that the king of Cardolan overcome his melancholia and return at once to the affairs of governing a realm, remarking, “The requisite period of mourning is long past, lord. It is essential to Cardolan’s security that thou once again engross thyself into remedying the troubles and woes of thy people instead of applying temporary patchwork over old wounds and grievances!” As a reward for his insolence the king had him jailed for one month.<BR><BR>More and more Tarandil turned to his children in his time of grief; in particular, Arriana. His only daughter not only resembled her mother in face and form, but also in mind (if not in temperament or personality). She was the only one, apart from Vorondil, who was allowed to wait on the king and speak openly with him, for she shared his grief at their mutual loss. She was a great source of comfort to him in the first weeks after Elenarian’s death. Yet when Calimendil at last arrived at Dol Calantir from Fornost she refused to see him, though he had asked for her, and it stung his heart. He felt that her treatment of him was unnecessarily harsh and unfair. Only through Vorondil would she communicate to her younger brother, and her words were brief and to the point. As the mediator between his two siblings, Vorondil found himself in an awkward position as their messenger, for the messages between Calimendil and Arriana became cold and implacable and he feared a permanent estrangement between the two. Therefore, he invited Calimendil to join him in an excursion into lower Minhiriath, hoping to give his two siblings some time apart from one another and let matters be for a while.<BR><BR>Together, Vorondil and Calimendil, along with their escort, made their way to Tharbad. There they stayed for a short time ere they traveled by boat down the river Gwathló for three days until they drew near the mouths of the river, where the ancient ruins of Lond Daer still stood, though now in ruins. They tarried together there a while before making their way further south where Calimendil beheld, for the first time in his life, the great sea. The brothers breathed in deep from the fresh sea air as the wind blew through their hair and they felt themselves refreshed and their spirits uplifted. <BR><BR>Yet they did not remain in that place for long. They had dismissed the river-men that had ferried them down Gwathló, choosing rather to hike back up through the wilds of Minhiriath on foot and explore their own back yard, as it were, greeting the farmers and landowners in friendship. The brothers discussed many important things together while on that trip, but never once did Calimendil question Vorondil on the nature of his mysterious relationship with their sister, though it was a matter of great concern to him. In time, they again returned to Dol Calantir as men reinvigorated in both body and mind, but the mood at court was still sorrowful...
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Mon Sep 01, 2003 10:24 pm

THE RETURN OF CALIMENDIL - pt. I<BR><BR>After more than a year had passed since Calimendil’s departure from Fornost Erain he desired once again to return thither to see Amariel, for he had received no word of her or what events had transpired at the court of Celebrindor. His thoughts turned to her constantly now, for he knew his heart was given to her and he would not find any peace until he had seen her again. <BR><BR>Now Calimendil knew full well that Rathmir, father of Amariel, had almost certainly persuaded Celebrindor to ban him from his court since his last visit there and would not be able to enter Fornost again for perhaps a long while. Therefore he sought the services of a trusted servant who would act as his personal spy and secret messenger and gain admittance into Fornost and get word to Amariel that Calimendil desired to call on her again. That man’s name was Herold. <BR><BR>Little is known about his earliest years, save that he was born in the city of Tharbad about ten years before the birth of Calimendil. By all accounts he seemed to earn his living there as a craftsman and wood-worker. He was fond of making furniture and musical instruments and somehow came into contact with the young Calimendil during one of his visits to the city. Calimendil took an instant liking to the fellow and commissioned several instruments of various types from Herold, who was only too willing to comply. Eventually, Calimendil offered him a position as his own personal craftsman, and thus he removed from Tharbad to reside with his new lord at Metraith on the southern hills of the South Downs. <BR><BR>Herold had lived on at Calimendil’s palace for some six and a half years as his servant and companion. With his prince becoming increasingly more scant at home and spending more time abroad in recent years Herold was required to take on additional duties at Metraith. Now his lord had asked him to perform a potentially risky errand in a foreign land as a spy, and it was said that he was reluctant to comply with Calimendil’s request. But in the end he knew that refusal was not an option for him. His prince had little time for music as of late and Herold had found himself with little to do. Furthermore, since the death of his mother, Calimendil had not only become stern, but also more remote and aloof in demeanor and he began to quarrel with his servants, accusing them of stealing this or that. Many he dismissed from his service outright, whether justly or not. Others were brought in to make up the difference only to find themselves dismissed again soon afterwards.<BR><BR>On the appointed morning in the autumn of the year 1279, Herold set out from Metraith upon the long road to Fornost upon the North Downs. Calimendil was by his side, though only as far as Bree. There he would wait for Herold to make some progress alone along the Greenway that ran due north until it eventually struck the gates of Fornost. Yet while he remained in Bree Calimendil disguised himself as a commoner of that land lest any of them should know his true identity and word of his arrival reach the ears of Celebrindor at Fornost, for he feared the presence of his spies. <BR><BR>Yet it was known that Herold arrived at Fornost soon after and brought word to Rathmir that prince Calimendil of Cardolan had relented in his rivalry with Girwaedh of Annuminas for the hand of Amariel upon condition that any ban that had been placed upon him barring his entry into the fortress be removed hence with, adding, “for my lord had taken on a special liking and love for the King’s Fortress during his previous stay and wishes once again to have the honor of being the king’s guest at times, if he so desires it.”<BR><BR>Then Rathmir was appeased, and he smiled brightly at Herold and replied, “Go and tell your prince that I will personally see to it that any ban or restrictions that were placed upon him be lifted immediately, though I do so out of royal courtesy, not out of gratitude to his kindly offer. His concern for my daughter’s well-being is appreciated, though he has taken his time in displaying it, for Amariel has agreed to marry Girwaedh by the year’s end. Tell him also that he is more than welcome to attend the ceremony here in Fornost. It will be lavish and full of pomp, to be sure. Then he shall see for himself that we in Arthedain know the meaning of the word splendor!”<BR><BR>But Rathmir sought to deceive Herold. In truth Amariel had only consented under pressure that she would merely pause and take into consideration the proposed marriage with Girwaedh, though she loved him not. For her part, Amariel was playing for time in hope that Calimendil would send her the signal that she had waited upon for many months, and when one of her maidens brought secret tidings to her that a man from Cardolan had arrived in Fornost, Amariel wasted no time in preparing herself for flight. <BR><BR>But Herold was dismayed at the news he had received from Rathmir concerning the marriage of Amariel and Girwaedh and he feared that Calimendil would journey to Fornost in secret only to have his hopes dashed and even perhaps be apprehended as a spy. He would have set off immediately to find his lord and warn him, save that he no longer knew of his whereabouts, for surely he had left Bree by now on his secret journey into Arthedain to rendezvous with Amariel. <BR><BR>Then Herold did his lord a great service. Being granted temporary lodging in the city, he abandoned all sleep for the night so that he may locate Amariel and warn her that Calimendil would arrive soon at their designated meeting place. Having located her quarters, Herold waited until late into the night and successfully slipped past the guards and infiltrated the apartment that belonged to Amariel. Rathmir had ordered her to remain in her quarters under guard during the overnight hours for fear that she would sneak out of the city. <BR><BR>When Herold entered her room Amariel was fast asleep, but Herold roused her and revealed his identity to her and his purpose. Now Amariel had already received word from her servant that one from Cardolan had arrived in Fornost the night before and that the appointed hour drew nigh, but she thanked Herold and withheld that knowledge from him, not wanting him to feel that his efforts were in vain. Then her servant took Amariel’s place under the blankets of her bed so that she would appear to be asleep lest the guards suspect her disappearance. Whether by fate or by chance they eluded the guards and slipped out into darkened streets of the city under a moonlit night. <BR><BR>Yet here the tale becomes dim, for few details have been handed down by reliable sources concerning the mysterious escape of Amariel from the walled fortress of Fornost Erain that night. Considering the sheer height of its walls and the vigilance of the guards, it would seem a near impossible task to escape from Arthedain’s new capital city, but somehow Amariel achieved it. <BR><BR>As a simple matter of policy few were allowed to enter or exit the city between dusk and dawn save in dire need or without special preauthorization so she certainly could not have hoped to slip past the guards, the three sets of iron portculli and then across the stone bridge, without being detected. <BR><BR>Yet the main entrance to the south was not the only one that led into the fortress. Two other entrances there were also; one leading out from the western wall and yet another smaller exit on the eastern side, though the latter was rarely used for entering the city, it being regulated to exits only. This exit lead to an underground tunnel underneath the downs and emerged at last not more than a mile east of the eastern walls of the city. Only the elite among the royal house had knowledge of this tunnel, or so it was said. <BR><BR>For reasons unclear, Herold opted to remain in Fornost that night and did not join Amariel in her flight, though it would have perhaps been wiser if he had, as it turned out. It is widely believed that Amariel bade him return to his quarters that night for fear of the two of them being caught together and their secret plan revealed to her father and the king. Then all would assuredly be in ruin. Rathmir would immediately point his finger at Calimendil as the original conspirator of the plan and have the king banish him from Fornost forever. Amariel would then be forced to marry Girwaedh under the watchful eye of king Celebrindor. In that event she would surely never lay eyes on Calimendil again, which would be a devastating blow for her. <BR><BR>That, of course, never happened...
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Wed Sep 10, 2003 8:49 am

THE RETURN OF CALIMENDIL - pt. II<BR><BR>The most plausible explanation that can be offered is that Amariel had assistance from someone in the guard who had foreknowledge of her plan, which in itself is a most extraordinary thing. Amariel certainly was popular among the nobles of Fornost and even had her share of sympathizers among them, but for even one of them to risk their standing at court by aiding the king’s niece in an escape from the fortress against Rathmir’s will is indeed remarkable. Perhaps Amariel deceived one of them into believing that she would return soon after she met with Calimendil. Whatever the case, she indeed fled the city under cover of darkness, most likely by means of the secret tunnel exit. <BR><BR>After a trying and difficult hike along the paths of the North Downs Amariel arrived at her destination, but she found the little dell empty and Calimendil absent. Quite probably she had arrived too early, unless Calimendil had been delayed. In truth, Calimendil found his intended route through the countryside of Arthedain more difficult than he anticipated. Though he had the luxury of a fine steed, he found himself unable to travel north upon the Greenway for the many prying eyes and ears of the many merchants and soldiery of Fornost. He therefore left Bree and struck a northeasterly route through the (then pathless) wild around the northern edge of the swamps and bogs of that region where few travelers go by choice. Passing through the woods of that land he rode with great speed northwards for three days until he at last drew near the North Downs. <BR><BR>According to Calimendil himself in later years, he was actually discovered by two of the farmers of that country as he slept under a willow tree upon the banks of a small stream. Calimendil had ridden far and secretly with scarcely any sleep, so eager was he to rendezvous with his beloved Amariel at the designated time. They looked upon him in suspicion and prodded him with questions as to his reasons for his trespass and riding across their lands, which was not a thing that was generally allowed in Arthedain. At first Calimendil would reveal little at all to them concerning his errand, but at last, deeming the two men of good character, he revealed his identity to them and his purpose. His gamble seemed to have paid off, for though the two men were not familiar with him by name, they knew full well the name of Tarandil, king of Cardolan. At length, Calimendil showed the men his royal medallion of the house of the king and the men questioned him no more. They treated him kindly and offered him food and drink, and even went so far as to provide him with a new cloak, which only the men of Arthedain wore. Calimendil thanked them many times ere he departed again upon the final stage of his errand.<BR><BR>When he at last began to traverse the paths through the highlands of the North Downs he began to encounter many regiments of the royal guards of Fornost. Always they halted him in inquiry, but soon after let him pass, for he now resembled a typical Dunadan of Arthedain. Yet he at last discovered that Amariel had fled the city and that the hunt for her was on. Then fearing that Amariel had perhaps arrived at the secret dell and found him not there waiting for her, he spurred his horse onwards upon his northward road in great haste. <BR><BR>When he at last arrived at the secluded dell it was late into the night and it began to rain. Yet Amariel was not there, or so he thought. Fearing that he may have come too late, Calimendil sat upon a tree stump in despair as the rain fell down upon him. He then began to hum one of the melodies he had heard the Eldar sing to him back in the twilight hills of the Emyn Uial, for he had committed it to memory. Hearing his tune, Amariel stepped forth from behind an outcropping of stone that lay hidden behind the underbrush, though she felt reluctant to do so at first, seeing a stranger arrive in the night dressed in a royal cloak often worn by the guards of the king. Then Calimendil leaped up to greet her in great joy and the two embraced extensively, and they cared not that the rain drenched them.<BR><BR>So at last Calimendil and Amariel were reunited again after a long period of separation, but they still had the long road of return before them now. Amariel had been hiding in the shadows of the dell for two days and more as she waited upon Calimendil to arrive. Now she was cold, wet and hungry. Being well aware of their impending danger, Calimendil would not wait for the weather to clear, nor for dawn to arrive before leaving the dell and making their way southwards along the appointed path, and their going was slow and precarious. But the at last the rain had subsided and the faint rays of moonlight penetrated the rain clouds, granting them at least a trace of light to navigate by. <BR><BR>After more than a day of weary wandering and eluding the soldiery of Fornost that were surely upon the trail of Amariel, they at last found their way back to the green pastures of the farmers that had aided Calimendil only a few days before. With their assistance, Amariel was quickly nursed back to health before the two of them resumed their southerly course, for Calimendil had now purposed to bring Amariel back with him to his abode at Metraith, upon the South Downs of Cardolan. The way was long, but in the end they succeeded in reaching the home of Calimendil after a full week of travel through the wild. Calimendil thus achieved what he believed was his honorable duty of rescuing Amariel from the ill-will of her father and the insincere ambitions of Girwaedh, her persistent suitor. <BR><BR>Calimendil and Amariel plighted their troth to one another the very next day after their arrival at Metraith in the midst of only a few friends and servants, but Herold was not there. At this Calimendil wondered much, for Herold had now had more then enough time to return from Fornost. The days went by and still his loyal craftsman did not return to him. All the while feelings of guilt began to assail Calimendil, for now he feared for the safety of Herold, either suspecting that he was being held at Fornost against his will, or that some other harm may have come to him upon his return journey. <BR><BR>Shortly thereafter a messenger from Fornost arrived at Metraith bearing a hostile message from both Rathmir and Girwaedh (though, oddly enough not by Celebrindor, the king). The message has been either lost or destroyed throughout the passage of time, but it’s content was eventually revealed by Calimendil himself. If he may be believed, the letter was a demand and decree declaring Calimendil an enemy of the crown of Arthedain; a criminal and offender of the honor and rules of civility; a kidnapper and fugitive. Arthedain was now a forbidden country to him. He was threatened with immediate arrest if he were caught trespassing upon Arthedain soil, which was recognized as extending westwards beyond the Baranduin to the Tower Hills, and to the east as far as the banks of the Metheithel. Furthermore, the letter demanded the immediate safe return of the king’s niece to her father. Any marriage that was carried out between he and Amariel would not be recognized as binding in Arthedain. Until that time, Herold would be held at Fornost as a Cardolani spy and would be treated as such. <BR><BR>Great was the guilt and sorrow that assailed Calimendil upon receiving the message. He knew that Herold did not wish to leave Cardolan to begin with, and only complied after being pressured to do so by himself. Now his friend and servant was a prisoner of the king of Arthedain with little hope of being released. Such aggressive action as this was a bold move for Celebrindor, but it was within his right to do so, under the circumstances. Yet, still they had no official proof that Calimendil had snatched Amariel away from her homeland, unless Herold had revealed the secret plot under the threat of death. The use of physical torture was not considered an honorable means to extract information from a prisoner under the old traditions of Elendil, but with the rising hostilities between Arthedain and the Hillmen of Rhudaur in the east, Calimendil feared that exceptions might be made, though in secret, naturally. But as to the official letter of Rathmir and Girwaedh, Calimendil offered no reply.<BR><BR>Then Calimendil began to second guess himself and his recent actions and even suggested to Amariel that it might be best for all if she returned to Fornost in order to avoid further hostilities between herself and her father, though his own heart would be crushed. But Amariel would not hear of it, and for her part desired to renounce her Arthedainindili heritage and become Cardolani, adding, “Calimendil, I hath already given my heart to thee. A delicate and fragile offering as such is not to be thrown aside lightly. Even were the entire realm of Arnor turned against us with threat of war, I would refuse to return thither. I would welcome a lifetime of exile with thee rather than face what would surely be a lifetime of regret and sorrow with Girwaedh, the self-righteous. We have plighted our troth in the midst of witnesses, and I would not have that come to naught, for I love thee, no matter what calamities may assail us.”<BR><BR>Then Calimendil relented to the love of Amariel, and again proclaimed his steadfast love for her, but the feelings of guilt for the current plight of Herold continued to haunt him. To assuage his guilt, Amariel insisted to him that neither her father nor the king would resort to torture in this case, for it was not the Dunedain way to resort to such cruel methods as if they were mere orcs. Nevertheless, a fear of foreboding nagged at Calimendil for long afterwards. <BR><BR>One evening shortly thereafter, as he returned to Metraith from an unsuccessful hunt with his fellows, Calimendil noticed that Amariel wept softly in their quarters as she sat alone gazing out the window. He approached her tenderly and asked her the reason for her tears. Turning slowly to face him she replied that a messenger from Dol Calantir had just arrived bearing tragic news. Vorondil, brother of Calimendil, first heir to the throne of Cardolan, was dead.
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Postby rowanberry » Thu Sep 11, 2003 7:27 am

Finally, I had time to read what you've written so far, and liked it. It's interesting to read about the North Kingdom, the history of which isn't covered much elsewhere. I especially applaud to you for not making the characters black-and-white, simply good or simply bad, but just human beings.
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Wed Sep 24, 2003 9:49 pm

Thanks, rowanberry <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> Yes, the history of the lost realm of Arnor and the North Kingdom has long been one of my very favorite epics/tales among Tolkien's works. A pity he didn't write more about the early Third Age years, as they are fascinating! So much potential for great stories <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>At any rate, here is the next installment.....
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Wed Sep 24, 2003 9:52 pm

DEATH OF AN HEIR - pt. I<BR><BR>In order to understand the unraveling saga of Calimendil and his rise to the throne of Cardolan, one must first delve into the mysterious consequences that gave rise to his unexpected ascendancy of office. He was the not the first heir to the throne, nor even the second. He was the third child of Tarandil and Elenarian, and, as with most others who find themselves further down in the family line, he was never expected to be called upon to rule. Vorondil was not only the proclaimed heir to the throne, but also the king’s favorite child, though the king sought in vain to conceal this fact from his two younger children. Not only was Vorondil a lover of wealth and court intrigue, he also had a brilliant mind for engineering. Before he reached his twentieth year he had already drawn up his own plans for the construction of his own castle. Five years later he supervised it’s final completion. He named it Dol Argond, which stood two and a half day’s ride north of Tharbad along the river Metheithel. Unlike his brother, who chose to dwell farther north, he chose a proximity that would not only allow him to be near the king’s court at Dol Calantir, but also near the thriving city of Tharbad, which he later visited, though often under dubious circumstances. <BR><BR>Unlike his father, Vorondil loved the water. He rejoiced in looking out of his tower and gazing down upon the many vessels of the merchants who sailed down the Metheithel from the Angle as they made their way into Tharbad. He would often board many a vessel and sail down the river to the mouth of the sea. In doing so he passed by the ancient ruins of Lond Daer, that once magnificent sea-port of Tar-Aldarion, sixth king of Numenor. It was upon those old ruins that he fixed his sight and heavy intentions. As the culmination of his life’s ambition he would rebuild the ancient port to it’s former glory in remembrance of Tar-Aldarion and the kingdom of Numenor. It would serve as a key haven and stop-over for all weary mariners of good intentions, for until then the nearest quay or port was at the Grey Havens in the Gulf of Lhûn, many leagues to the north. To the south the weary mariner would have to sail a great distance farther, all the way to the Pelargir and the mouths of Anduin. <BR><BR>He had hoped to persuade the king to fund his grand ideas to reconstruct Lond Daer, but Tarandil refused him, deeming his son’s plans, though skillfully designed, far too costly to the treasury at a precarious point in Cardolan’s history. The suspicions and malignity between the three sister states of Arnor had heated up in recent years, which, for the most part, were due to the mutual greed in possessing the Seeing Stone of Amon Sûl. Furthermore, such a laborious task would require the efforts of thousands of men – men whose strength could avail in being put to better use at more rewarding tasks. Little timber would they have at their disposal for the construction of ships that would surely come thereafter, for the Numenoreans of old had picked the lands of Minhiriath clean of forests long ago. True, the forest of Eryn Vorn was only a few days journey from Lond Daer, but that wood had a mysterious omen about it and few men would enter it nowadays save in utmost need. <BR><BR>Therefore, the king sought rather to pacify the restless yearnings in his eldest son’s heart by setting him to begin reconstruction on the great bridges of Tharbad, which had deteriorated significantly over the years. But for now the matter of Lond Daer was closed, and the king said to Vorondil, “Let the ghosts of the past rest in peace undisturbed, my son. I have more pressing tasks for you to undertake at this time. Go now to Tharbad and assess the condition of the bridges there. It has been in need of repairs for a long while now, for the guild masters have lodged many complaints to me about it. Let us hope that this errand of yours will pacify their hawkish complaints.”<BR><BR>At once Vorondil gathered all those builders and craftsmen of Cardolan that he deemed worthy for such a project and set forth from his keep at Dol Argond, arriving at the western gates of Tharbad on the third and twentieth day of Gwirith in the year 1282 of our present Age. <BR><BR>It was said that the taxation of the king upon the city of Tharbad had reached unprecedented extremes at this time. In particular, the new regulations imposed upon the guildsmen who produced and traded their own wool were especially severe, for Tarandil preferred for his people to be dressed in the clothing that was produced from the men of upper Cardolan, who labored in the fields of his own country, rather than the garb that was brought in from Arthedain and from Gondor in the south. He raised the taxes upon all imports from Arthedain by nearly a third at this time, in part in retaliation of the ban placed upon his son Calimendil, which forbade him from entering that realm. He raised the fees for foreigners who wished to travel northward up the Greenway through the valley of Andrath, and officially placed his own ban upon anyone who wished to travel through Cardolan who had connections in any way to Rhudaur, which he now counted as a hostile renegade state. This last regulation was difficult to enforce, for there were indeed men from the north entering Cardolan at this time, though mainly by secret ways upon the Metheithel and Gwathló, the latter river being primarily controlled by the river-folk of Tharbad. <BR><BR>It was said by many in Tharbad that Tarandil would have taxed the very traffic upon the waters of the Gwathló if he thought he could get away with it. Yet his own great wealth did not disturb him, nor his conscience, for he proved obdurately wedded to taxes, extravagance and peace. <BR><BR>The new regulations of the king were the talk of the city, though most were wary to speak too harshly about the king while his heir to the throne was there. For his part, Vorondil knew indeed of the sinking reputation of his father in Tharbad, and he regretted it, but refrained from exercising his right to reprimand them for it. His thoughts were now fixed wholly upon two specific errands. The first was the repairing of the Great Bridges<BR><BR>The second was espionage.<BR><BR>His initial inspection of the bridge was brief, yet he returned to it numerous times in the days immediately following his arrival. The old bridges of Tharbad that spanned the breadth of the river were renowned for their beauty and the many buildings that were erected upon them in the days of old, yet even the greatest of treasures must occasionally be polished and tended with care. Vorondil and his engineers surveyed both bridges rigorously, even inspecting their undercarriages by boat numerous times before beginning work on their reconstruction. <BR><BR>The final days of Vorondil have always been obscured in verbal muck and mire, and many rumors of his fate circulated far and wide throughout all of old Arnor. Not even to this day can any one account of those events be regarded as truly authentic. And it is not the part of a lowly scribe to attempt to do so here, for the speculation is endless and likely will remain forever so. Yet in brief the tale can be recounted with a reasonable degree of certainty.<BR><BR>In the third week of the third month of the year 1282 Vorondil did indeed arrive in Tharbad. The weather was cooler than usual for the beginning of spring, with winter not yet releasing it’s hold, but in the years to follow it would become the norm for the region, for the icy hand of Angmar in the north had caused the winters to become progressively worse each year, though none knew so at the time. It is impossible to ascertain the exact year that the agents of the Witch King first entered into Tharbad or even into Rhudaur, but it may be assumed with reasonable accuracy that the process was under way in the year 1282, though Angmar itself was not yet formally proclaimed, nor even the name. <BR><BR>The guilds of the smithies and river-men were very active at this time in Tharbad, but none more so than the Guild of Thieves, though it’s existence was denied by most. Not even the mayor of Tharbad would acknowledge that such a guild existed. But exist it certainly did. Tarandil almost certainly knew of it, if only by rumor alone. He secretly suspected the mayor of not only failing to abolish the guild, but even going as far to contribute to it, reaping substantial financial benefits from such a partnership, though naturally in secret. <BR><BR>Yet the king had no proof. Yet my grandfather, Iliandor, who later would enjoy the trust and friendship of Calimendil during his rein on the throne, and who was one of the few survivors of the disastrous assault upon Rhudaur several years later, spent much time in Tharbad investigating the mysterious circumstances of Vorondil’s murder shortly afterwards and came up with a highly detailed account of it all.<BR><BR>As mentioned, Vorondil loved the water and spent as much time upon the rivers of the land as he could. He even built his tower of Dol Argond upon the rugged western banks of Metheithel within close proximity to Tharbad. He visited Tharbad often and even joined the Guild of the Greyflood, a well-known guild of rivermen who surveyed all traffic upon the river around Tharbad. They imported and exported various commodities from the rural men both upstream and downstream of the city at inflated prices, much of which found it’s way into the private pockets of the head of the guild and even the mayor of the city. Those that refused to pay the rising tariffs of the Guild soon found themselves placed upon a list of names. These folk were then known to all within the Guild as ‘undesirables’ and were forbidden to use the river in or around Tharbad between the hours of dawn to dusk. <BR><BR>The headmaster of the Guild of the Greyflood was Urlin. He was a scoundrel of a man known for his shaved head and lithe frame who delighted in displaying his colorful garb from foreign lands and feasting on odd delicacies such as horse-meat and swan. He was reputed to have come from the area around Dunland in the south and was an expert boatman and swimmer. An unusual trait for the men of that country! <BR><BR>A frequent visitor to Tharbad throughout his adult life, Urlin soon resettled there and rose high in the ranks of the guild, eventually becoming it’s headmaster. He soon built the guild into one of the largest in the city, but in the process gradually transformed it into a shady and manipulative institution; a gang of river-thugs who did what they pleased with little fear of reprisal from city officials. Locals desiring to navigate the river through the Tharbad area either had to be extremely crafty in slipping by the watchers by day or else pay a sizable toll to the guild. If any were caught trying to cheat Urlin’s watchers they paid dearly for it. It was not at all uncommon to discover the dead corpse of a man floating downstream or marooned upon one of the river’s many islets.<BR><BR>Urlin made allies quickly after taking control of the guild, most notably Gelharm, the mayor himself, who took many bribes under the table to merely look the other way whenever Urlin’s guildsmen transgressed the law of the king of Cardolan. When report of their ill-deeds would occasionally reach the ears of Tarandil at Dol Calantir he would order Gelharm to imprison those offending members of the guild. Gelharm would secretly pass the king’s decree onto Urlin, who in turn would round up two or three drunken and random loiterers of the city and turn them into the mayor, passing them off as excommunicated members of the guild. If the crime was theft they were thrown into the lock-holes to rot. If the crime was murder they were publicly hanged for all to see. The latter punishment became almost commonplace in the years immediately preceding Vorondil’s visit to Tharbad; and at each public hanging Urlin would be there to voice his approval of it, assuring Gelharm before the faces of the city populace that such heinous crimes by ‘his men’ were not tolerated in the Guild of the Greyflood. Yet it was all nothing more than a pretty performance.<BR><BR>The king was no fool. Tarandil grew ever suspicious of the numerous guilds that had sprung up in Tharbad as of late, deeming them unfit and unruly for the likes of Cardolan’s largest city. He complained that Tharbad was being overrun “…by unsavory foreign elements, most of which are unworthy to clean the filth and grime away from the soles of my boots, let alone hold any office of importance in my kingdom.” Even Gelharm fell under the watchful eye of the king now...
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Postby Tiger364 » Thu Sep 25, 2003 12:12 pm

I haven't looked at very much of this, but as I scan through all you have here I like it. One minor sudjestion - You might consider editing those posts into one, but thats a little too late now. I especially like how you have taken what was but only a small thing in Tolkien's writings and turned it into a story. It shows the potential in just a name, a place and perhaps some of the characters. You can put them all together to form nearly endless possibilities.
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Sat Sep 27, 2003 10:30 am

Thanks Tiger <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> I hope you get a chance to read my tale more thoroughly at some point. I know it's lengthy, but that's why I chop it up into separate posts. It is easier to read that way....I'm not sure what two posts you were referring to when you suggested I combine them into one. At any rate, I am guessing that I am only about half-way through the story presently (at most). It gets a bit more violent and downcast from here on out, but I will make sure and keep it within the TORC guidelines! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>...Incidently, I agree that there is so much to Tolkien's works that could be expanded upon, since he never did so himself. Besides the North Kingdom I have always thought that Numenor could be delved into a bit more. Afterall, it existed for 3,000 yrs!
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Postby Tiger364 » Sat Sep 27, 2003 10:59 am

As I read through fellowship of the ring i noticed that while they are going through the wilderness there are comments that say something like "the land was silent, and only the mountains remembered the days long past when kings marched in the land" or something of the sort. Hard to exactly remember, but he takes no trouble of mentioning how long in the past that was, what ancient kingdoms were there. <BR>Through the fellowship you learn about angmar in the north, and the grey havens in the northwest corner oh and also that the barrow-wights are ancient men that dwelt in the land.<BR><BR>Its good to see people expand upon things <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR><b> as for your story</b><BR>The beggining was a little hard to grasp for me? I didn't pay that close attention to the appendix so I have never heard of Cardolan, and theres ALOT of info in your first few posts (before the story starts). I'm in no position to council, but maybe you could elaborate more on some of the things for those of us not familiar with it (or just tell me here).<BR>Based on your first post mainly<BR>Where is the kingdom of Cardolan located? Is it really a kingdom or a collection of kingdoms (or a general area, like Gondor or Mordor)? Are they elves or men (I didn't catch that either)? What (and where)is Arthedain? Minhiriath? Rhudaur? And what about Amun Sul, I don't remember what that is, but I remember hearing it in the LOTR movies. <BR>Correct me if I've missed something you wrote that explains these. Alot of info to grasp (at least for me) at the start, maybe spread it out?
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Sat Sep 27, 2003 3:18 pm

Tiger - Never read the Appendices in the back of RotK?? It's very interesting reading. I advise you to read through Appendix A, at the least, whenever you get a chance. There is a lot of info on the Lost Realm of Arnor and other things of note. Appendix B has the timelines of the Second and Third Ages. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>In brief I will answer a few of your questions so as to help you understand things a bit more. You will first have to get out your handy-dandy ME map to see where the regions in question are located....After the drowning of Numenor at the end of the Second Age Elendil came to the northern regions of Eriador and founded the wide realm of Arnor, which basically consisted of all the lands between the Gulf of Lhûn in the west to the Misty Mnts in the east, and as far south as the city of Tharbad. Later on the realm was divided into three sister-realms: Arthedain (comprising the lands from Lhûn to the Weather Hills in the north), Rhudaur (comprising the lands east of the Weather Hills to the Misty Mnts) and Cardolan (comprising the lands to the south between the Brandywine Rv to the rivers Metheithel and Gwathló and Tharbad). The primary point where all three realms met together was the great tower of Amon Sûl (ie. the hill of Weathertop). All three realms squabbled with one another over possession of the great Palantir in the tower. Rhudaur was the first of the three to fall and eventually sided with Angmar (whose main purpose was to, of course, destroy the North Kingdom).<BR><BR>As for Minhiriath it means "Land between the rivers". It is located in southern-most Cardolan. I have chosen to portray it in my tale as a largely lawless region. The tombs of the Barrow Wights (ie. the Barrow Downs) is also a part of Cardolan. 'Tyrn Gorthad' they are known as. Of the three sister-realms Arthedain endured the longest, it not being destroyed until T.A. 1979....All of the action concerning these realms concerns the men of the Dunedain. The elves play very little part in any of this. Alas, the only realm Tolkien bothered to write anything about was Arthedain <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0> That is why I chose to write a 'pretend history' for Cardolan. I hope that helps you! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Celebrimbor32
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Sun Oct 12, 2003 10:41 am

DEATH OF AN HEIR, Pt. II<BR><BR>Now Gelharm was Cardolani by birth, but was stubborn and openly resented any meddling in the affairs of his duties as ‘mayor of the most important city west of the mountains’, as he liked to refer to Tharbad. In many ways this claim was just. Yet Tarandil became ever more impatient with him throughout the years and even spread the rumor that he would be removed from his office eventually. But the king’s councilors advised against it, claiming that Gelharm brought much wealth into the realm. Tarandil, after much coaxing, at last consented to the will of his advisers, but let it be known to all of his displeasure of Gelharm and the city of Tharbad in general, claiming them to be, “…haughty and jealous of their own liberties. They are impatient of restraint and can scarcely bear the thought of being controlled by a monarch whom dwells beyond the walls of their precious city.” <BR><BR>Vorondil went about his business in the city. He took a private room in the Quarter Way Inn, located near the docks on the north bank of the river Gwathló. He did not want to stay in the manor-houses of the elite and the rich, though such accommodations were offered to him as a matter of course. He denied the offer, desiring rather to dwell near the water and the bridge, and also, we may assume, to snub Gelharm, whom was rapidly falling out of favor with the king. <BR><BR>Here a brief description of Tharbad must be related. At this time the city bore a population of over 21,000 , though that number would rise gradually over the next several decades due to the influx of foreigners from Dunland, upper Minhiriath and the regions of the Angle, the latter of which were coaxed hither by Calimendil during his rein on the throne. The city was divided into three sections: a north bank, a center isle and the south bank. The Isle could be accessed from both banks by great bridges of stone. A high earthen wall there was also that encircled the city on both banks, and it was called Rammas Nín, the Great Wall of the River. On the outside of that wall was a dug-in moat. Yet throughout the city there were grand canals that ran beneath lesser bridges. In earlier days they were very beautiful to behold, but during the reins of both Ardornil and Tarandil the canals gradually became polluted with filth and excrement and few among the city officials felt inclined to lend a hand in their upkeep.<BR><BR>Both the north and south bank sections of town housed most of the lower and middle classes. Here also were the bulk of the major establishments of Tharbad. The Isle was reserved mainly for the upper class and Gelharm, the mayor. Yet many of the most famous guilds in the city called the Isle their home. The Guild of the Greyflood kept their base there, as did many others. The dubious Thieves Guild was believed to operate out of the Isle as well. It was on this Isle that most of Gelharm’s distinguished guests would stay as they visited the city from abroad. Vorondil would have been expected to stay here as well, but we may surmise that he wanted to keep as low a profile as he could during his final stay in the city, preferring to blend in with the locals upon the north bank, out of sight from the very guilds he was to spy upon while in town. <BR><BR>It is now widely believed that many of the men in Vorondil’s service who accompanied him to Tharbad to repair the north bridge were also working as spies of the king. Some remained on the north bank of the city with him while others he sent to the south bank so that they may keep watch upon the docks of both sides of the Isle. In this they had a considerable degree of success at first and reported to Vorondil that Gelharm was seen visiting Urlin and other members of the Guild of the Greyflood almost daily. There was nothing unusual in this, save that it was almost always in the dead of night. Occasionally various boats would be descried drifting into the docks owned by the guild where men would begin to unload the vessel’s cargo in the dark, and they always came from upstream. <BR><BR>The days passed with this routine repeating itself daily. It then chanced that one of Vorondil’s engineers, a certain Gelimir, who was one of those that was undertaking his spy-work from the south bank, was apprehended by agents of Urlin one morning as he made his way across the Isle on his way back to the north bank of the city to report to Vorondil for the day’s assignment. He was treated harshly by his assailants and ushered away to the north end of the Isle, where the guild was located. There is little information to go on in regards to what was actually done to Gelimir, but it is widely believed that he was questioned thoroughly by Urlin’s assistants about his relationship with Vorondil and their ‘true errand’ in Tharbad, and they accused him of spying. Gelimir was certainly beaten by them, for the men who worked for Urlin hated the men of the north and openly yearned for the day when the city of Tharbad would rise up against the ‘petty kingship’ of Cardolan and declare their complete and total independence. Then they broke both of Gelimir’s thumbs as a warning before sending him on his way.<BR><BR>When at last Vorondil learned of what had befallen his companion and saw with his own eyes the blood and the bruises upon Gelimir’s body he became very wrathful and set out to “break the neck of the cowardly Dunlending brigand”, or so he was quoted of saying. Whatever one may think of Vorondil in hindsight one thing was certain: he guarded the fidelity of all his friendships with close scrutiny. He was as loyal a friend as any could hope for, and he regarded an attack upon Gelimir, or any of his men, as a personal attack upon himself. <BR><BR>Now Vorondil had mastered many things in life up to then, but mastery of his temper was not one of them. Instead of going straight to the king, as he should have done, he stormed out of the Inn with only three companions and made his way across the north bridge, past the checkpoints, and out onto the Isle after dusk, and he took his long sword with him.<BR><BR>Whether or not Vorondil marched out onto the isle with the intention of slaying Urlin or merely threatening him with dire consequences is another matter of conjecture now. Yet we may imagine that those who saw he and his men storm down the avenues of the city armed as if for battle during the night were easily frightened at such a sight and most likely kept clear of them. Yet it was said that Vorondil checked the various folk he met on the street and demanded to know the dwelling-place of Urlin. Some told him that he was at a nearby tavern. Others simply did not know or refused to get involved. Another account states that Vorondil and his companions made straight for the residence of the Guild of the Greyflood to seize him, and there slew the guards at the doors before finding Urlin gone (though this seems improbable now). At any rate, Vorondil and his companions somehow made their way to the tavern known simply as the Isle of Ale Tavern, an establishment Urlin was known to frequent often, for he was one third owner of it. <BR><BR>There were several eye-witnesses of the unfortunate turn of events that ensued after Vorondil entered the tavern, and though their accounts conflicted to a degree, the actual truth of the scene can be surmised well enough. <BR><BR>After entering the main room of the tavern, Vorondil approached a suspicious-looking man sitting alone at a nearby table and inquired as to the whereabouts of Urlin. The man wore a gray cloak with it’s hood cast back. Upon his head he wore what looked to be a sort of stocking cap made of fur, much like the northmen of Eriador wore. Though much of his head was covered it was obvious that the man had no hair beneath his cap, for no hair sprouted out around the edges beneath it. He sported an untrimmed beard and moustache, which were tangled and unkempt. In his hands was a knife, which he used to whittle away at his pipe. Upon his table were many empty mugs of ale.<BR><BR>The man did not reply to Vorondil’s question, nor even bother to look up at him. Then Vorondil became impatient and repeated his question in a commanding tone of voice before reaching down and seizing the knife out of the man’s hands in one quick and violent motion. The man quickly turned to face Vorondil now, replying at last, “Aye, he is very near indeed, O Cardolani!” The man seized a dagger beneath his cloak and reached up and stabbed Vorondil in his stomach as he rose up from the table, scurrying to get out of reach of his foes. The rigid leather jerkin that Vorondil wore upon his breast turned the brunt of the blade away, but not all, and the blade pierced his abdomen. <BR><BR>Fearing themselves now led into a trap, the judgement of Vorondil’s three companions was conquered by their instincts and they quickly drew out their swords and approached the scene, though whether out of defense or attack is debatable. It seems likely that they sought rather to gather around Vorondil and usher him out of the tavern as quickly as possible, though more than one witness later stated that the three men immediately rushed in to attack. Yet who can trust the testimony of the drunkards that evening? Perhaps if they would have refrained from unsheathing their blades they might have succeeded in rescuing Vorondil from the circumstance he was now in without further bloodshed and thus his life might have been spared. Then Vorondil might have returned to Dol Calantir in the end and eventually succeeded his father on the throne, as was rightfully due him, as fifth king of Cardolan. But it never happened that way, for the iron hand of fate intervened that night. By merely drawing their swords in reaction to the man with the knife these three men quite probably, and single-handedly, changed the future of Cardolan forever.<BR><BR>What resulted from the drawn blades was a disaster. The man who had stabbed Vorondil, which we may well assume was none other than Urlin, dashed back behind the counter as he called aloud for assistance, claiming that Vorondil had tried to assault him with his own knife. Straightaway several men ran into the room from an adjacent hallway, and also from outside the front door. <BR><BR>Vorondil ordered his men to retreat from the tavern, but they were quickly outnumbered, one of them being immediately cut down by the man who had entered from outside the front door. Vorondil’s remaining two companions sought to extract vengeance upon the man with their blades, but were quickly overborne by many men at once. <BR><BR>Vorondil again grew wrathful and rushed in to defend his fallen comrades. Seeing the body of his friend and colleague laying on the floor, he was overcome with a fey battle-lust and rose up his sword and drove the point of it through the shoulder blade and rib cage of the assailant with a cry, thus sealing the man’s fate. The scene quickly became a hectic frenzy as ordinary customers scurried to get out of the way of the ruckus.<BR><BR>Turning round, Vorondil was immediately met by two men who had rushed in upon him, each carrying a knife. Yet Vorondil swung his sword in self-defense, severing off the hand of his first attacker, who was quickly rendered useless as his dagger fell to the floor. But the second man leaped upon Vorondil and stabbed him in the chest. The two then fell to the ground in a struggle amid groans of pain from both of them. Yet Vorondil was unable to regain mastery of the skirmish and found himself beneath the weight of his foe, who managed to thrust his knife into the throat of Vorondil, insuring himself the final victory. <BR><BR>Vorondil was killed instantly. <BR><BR>Thus he died, Tarandil’s eldest son and heir to the throne of Cardolan. Slain in what amounted to a petty and meaningless tavern brawl in a city known for it’s wealth, crime and corruption, a city that had always been held in the lowest esteem and regard by the king himself. Soon that low regard would boil over to feelings of hatred and vengeance. <BR><BR>It is entirely likely that the man who delivered the fatal deathblow to Vorondil was completely unaware as to the actual identity of his victim until afterwards. In the eyes of this man he had rushed out into the common room of the tavern only to find four strangers threatening his master, whom, again, we can only believe was none other than Urlin. Yet the name of the man who delivered the fatal wound to Vorondil was Malbor. In truth he was actually nothing more than one of Urlin’s cohorts within the guild; an errand-runner, a lackey and a mere stooge. He certainly was not a famous man before the brawl, yet he was an infamous one now. The name of Malbor would be remembered by the king; and later.....by Calimendil.<BR><BR>The two companions that yet still lived and had accompanied Vorondil into the tavern were slain shortly thereafter their lord, for Urlin would not permit them to live, since they were witnesses to the murder of the king’s heir. Now Urlin had no love at all for Vorondil or any who had connections to the Dunedain of Cardolan, but we can imagine that his very boots shook with fear at the thought of knowing that he might ultimately be held responsible for the death of Tarandil’s eldest son and heir to the throne of Cardolan.<BR><BR>As for the few witnesses who happened to be in the tavern as the murders took place, Urlin made each of them in turn swear a solemn oath that they would pledge themselves to secrecy in regards to that evening’s tragic events and never speak of it to anyone. Not even to Gelharm, the mayor. Urlin felt sure that they would maintain their compliance in this (for such was the state of his inebriation), as he also assured them that Tharbad was no safe haven to those who were opponents of the great guilds therein, saying at the last, “…as I look upon your drunken faces here I also commit them to my memory, which is very long, you may be sure. Many of you I have seen here in my establishment many times before, and not unknown is it to me where you and your loved ones dwell here in the city.”<BR><BR>Then Urlin ordered that the four bodies be wrapped in sheets and removed from the tavern. It is generally believed that Urlin had them brought back to the household of the Guild of the Greyflood, where the bodies were stripped of any and all valuables. Foolishly, as we shall see, Urlin kept the sword of Vorondil as a keepsake, for it was well-crafted by the hands of Elendil’s smiths in Annuminas many long years before, and he coveted it. He had at first intended to merely dump the bodies in a secluded area of the Gwathló, but was dissuaded from doing so by his men, who argued that the bodies would drift ashore where they would be found by the fisher-folk. <BR><BR>Instead, Urlin had the four bodies placed in a wooden crate where they were then loaded secretly onto a boat in the small hours before dawn. The wise now believe that Urlin then joined his small crew upon the vessel and took his leave of Tharbad for a time in order to oversee the disposal of the bodies, which were taken somewhere down-river for many miles and finally dumped overboard. There they most likely lie; at the bottom of the murky waters of Gwathló. No trace of them has ever been found.<BR><BR>And so it was done. It was a disgraceful and unjust end to one of Cardolan’s most honorable and best-loved men.
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