Into the Land of Men

October 6, 2019

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A curiosity: Elrond has sent me east, to a stronghold of Men called Bree-land. He has instructed me to meet there with a man called Strider. I do not know if such a name is a common quirk among Men, but it makes me feel as if this is some sort of ruse on Elrond’s part. A noldo in Bree-land? A man named Strider? Whither does he stride, and why?

I am not to meet with the man for a few days yet, and so have been exploring the town to get a sense of it (with a hood to cover my ears). There are similarities to Elven settlements, but they are few. Bree-town is a chaotic jumble of life. The town has been destroyed by war and fire so often that one need only walk down the street to see architecture from four or five different eras. There is something charming about these half-timbered huts tucked into the bones of ruins that are nearly as old I am. In fact, the whole town seems to have one foot planted firmly in the past, and one stretching impatiently toward a future that I, of the Eldar, cannot begin to fathom.

I have genuinely enjoyed perusing the market stalls. Bree-land is within trading distance of The Shire and Lindon, of Evendim, Forochel, Thorin’s Hall, and Rivendell. Abundant curiosities pass through these colorful tents, many of them far more valuable than the people here realize. This morning, I glimpsed a ring suspiciously similar to my own, and am confident it was Eregion-forged. I contemplated purchasing it, but I wonder if it is not better for some legends to fade into obscurity.

I am not certain I have much else positive to say. Life’s very existence here is an assault on the senses, and though most of the people seem happy, I do not think I could endure it here for long. The roads are a dangerous bustle of carts and carriages, the gutters strewn with refuse. Vendors clamor to be heard over the clang of hammers, the barking of dogs, and the discordant tunes of buskers. And the smells… The smells, the smells!

I am trying to be adaptable. But oh, how I miss my bed of feathers.

 

The Lure of the Lhûn

August 25, 2019

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The Elves of Celondim look at me with awe, as if standing beside Glorfindel and Gil-galad in battle makes me as great as they. I have not the heart to tell them how wrong they are, that I am barely more than a child waving a wooden sword.

Elrond, I am certain, could have imagined a task for me anywhere in Middle-earth. But he has sent me here to Celondim, where the River Lhûn slips silver down toward the sea. This is no accident.

He is testing me, to see if the shores of my homeland still sieze my heart. I could have simply told him that they do.

But I will not go to Lindon, not yet. I cannot face the towers, nor the ships, nor the glittering sea. I cannot go there and see, undeniably, that my parents are no longer there. Even the thought of going raises a panic in me so strong, I feel as if I might faint.

I will stay, and play the hero Elladan and Elrohir so passionately believe me to be. Perhaps in time, I can even convince myself.

What World Is This?

August 25, 2019

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I still cannot fathom how long I slept. Three thousand years is an eternity, even among my kin. Though I am ashamed to admit it even privately, Elrond’s recounting of what has happened since makes me glad I was not there to witness it. I do not think I could have borne the ruination of Arnor, or the sullying of Greenwood. I can hardly bear to hear of it now.

The Last Homely House is a haven, as it always was. I could sit here and listen to its fountains murmur for another Age, but I suspect Elrond already has other plans for me. I can see it in his tactician’s gaze.

It is a comfort to know that my friend has not changed.

I wonder if Prince Thranduil survived the battle. I wonder if he ever took a wife.