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~Orehtelë - Formerly Fëanor’s Rotelë Quendu (man-cave) of Formenos~
Fëanor was a happy elf! Puttering away in his forge, smithing away and inventing this or that. Mostly toys these days as his four wed sons had all been reunited with their estranged spouses and were busily making him grandbabies. His own wife had finally forgiven him and they had renewed their marriage-bond and she’d recently gifted him with silver-twin daughters. The Ambarussa were thrilled! So was Celegorm!
They were his only unwed sons and for some reason they were the most pleased with these little princesses. The twins because they were twins. And Celegorm because he wasn’t the only silver oddity. It hadn’t mattered to the child how many times he'd been assured he had the same hair color as Fëanor’s own ammë, he still felt like the child found under a rock.
This was probably because that is what his brothers all said to him when they were annoyed with him - which was quite often. Now there were three of each! Three brunettes, three gingers and three silver haired blessings! Fëanor’s world was complete and for the first time in his life he felt content with his life.
And then as if to mock him, a chill had shivered down his spine and he looked up from his work as a ghastly shadow touched his fëa. “Oh no!” he whispered in dread and his son, Curvo looked over and saw his atar’s face and dropped what he was doing to rush over to him.
“Atta! What’s wrong?” he asked fearfully.
“Something bad is coming.”
And Curufin fearing the worst, simply took the tools from his father’s limp hands and led him over to a chair while he got his father a cool glass of water. Being up in the mountains, they had the best water in all of Aman!
Fëanor was just taking a nice deep pull when the door burst open with a crash and the tall shadowy figure let out a loud whoop, saying, “Ha! Found you!” and a grinning Fingolfin stepped into the smithy.
Fëanor choked on his water, sputtering and spraying it about wildly. Looking up unhappily to his son, he said, “Told you!”
~Fëanor's Dining Room~
Nerdanel was busily spooning food into the plates of the five-year old twins, a frown on her face as she digested what her brother-in-honor was saying. “So….you want Fëanáro to leave with you? Whatever for?”
Patiently, for he’d explained it twice already, Fingolfin said, “I wish to take Náro with me to the Enchanted Isles - which aren’t really enchanted anymore - so we can free my grandson and his wife.”
“Nelya and Kana will wish to go too.” Fëanor said, absently picking at his dinner and Nerdanel turned to look at him in surprise and exclaimed, “You’re not thinking of going, are you?” and then, “It’s that silly stone again, isn’t it? Are we going to start that nonsense again?” she scolded and the twins just looked on wide-eyed, for this was a different side of their ammë.
But Fëanor looked up, surprised and said, “No, of course not. Though, I’ll have to figure out a way to strap it to the ship to keep it flying in the Ilmen.”
“I’d suggest either the crows nest or just tie it around the head of the swan figurehead.” Fingolfin offered.
“If we did that I’d want to chop down the mast. Then it’d just be a swan flying with a beacon.” and then tilting his head, he added, “I rather like that idea, actually.”
Smiling, Fingolfin said, “I do too.” and then, “Then all we need to figure out is how to keep it up there without its captain.”
“I’ve been thinking about that too. The way they sail it is impractical. I think they did that just to be assholes.”
Nerdanel hissed out, “Language!” giving her husband the evil eye which encouraged the twins to both start using the word like it was a precious discovery. Especially with the reaction they got from their ammë.
Chuckling, Fingolfin said, “I tend to agree. I don’t have your expertise in calculations, but it’s already set on a course by Varda herself. Wouldn’t there be a way to keep it in that course, but continuously?”
“That doesn’t make sense. It launches and berths every night.” Nerdanel said, frowning.
“Yes, and when the world was flat it made sense to rise and set every night. But the world is curved now. There may not be anything but endless sea on the other side of the world, but as long as the velocity is properly set it should keep to the same course during the same hours on the Endor side of the world every evening with no interruptions.” Fëanor said, thoughtfully.
Sighing, but satisfied her husband wasn’t scheming to get his silmarils back, Nerdanel said, “I really don’t like the idea of you tearing off to get into more mischief,” and here she gave Fingolfin the vessë glare of disapproval and doom before continuing, “But the thought of those poor people being imprisoned and cut off from their kin for no crime at all except being peredhil outweighs any qualms I might have regarding said mischief.”
“I think that means you can go!” Fingolfin grinned.
“It does, but you can’t take the boys. If anything I’d want you to pack up and leave first thing in the morning before they find out.” she said.
“That actually suits my plans nicely.” Fingolfin smirked, adding, “And I brought the grandkids.”
“What grandchildren?” Fëanor asked, frowning.
“Their grandchildren. Elladan and Elrohir. You remember them. I know they spent a few seasons here.”
“Yes. They were capable. Had some real talent, but they’re undisciplined. Rebellious.” Fëanor said in disapproval.
“I found them much the same way, but I don’t think it’s rebellion. I think it’s boredom. I learned to just let them go about it in their own way. The thing is, they both have magic and every time they’d come across a problem or a mistake they’d just take shortcuts and solve it with their...talents.” Fingolfin agreed, added, “I actually think they’d be happiest near the sea. Lots of Teleri blood in them.”
“Well, I don’t think it’ll be up to us to find their life paths for them. We gave them a chance to know what they don’t like and I suppose that is something.” Fëanor mused.
“They are young yet. I’m sure they’ll find their path.”
“But why did you bring them?” Nerdanel asked in disapproval.
“They are blood kin. I really feel we’ll need them. I just wish I knew where their atar is.”
And when he saw his wife was still dubious, Fëanaro shrugged and said, “Just go with it. I’ve learned to trust his feelings.”
“Do you have the Sight?” she asked.
“No, I just get…..feelings. Intuition if you like.”
“Didn’t you get the feeling it was a bad idea to pick a fight with the strongest vala of them all? But I suppose if you’re going to go out in a blaze of glory you couldn’t have chosen better. They still write prose about you, you know.”
“Meh. I didn’t do it for glory. That was me losing my temper. I will concede I don’t think clearly when I’m in a rage. Of course, I really don’t recall being in such a rage before or after.”
“You were dead. How could you be in a rage in the Halls?”
“I was mightily pissed at our treatment in the Halls, if you’ll recall.”
“If that was you annoyed I really don’t know anything at all about you.” he said dryly.
Bilbo, Frodo, Sam and Gimli had been greatly enjoying their time living on the Lonely Island in fellowship once more, joined often by those they’d known in Endor. Gandalf, as Olórin, The Lady Galadriel, Lord Elrond and his kin from time to time, and of course, their friend Legolas. They’d realized this realm had affected them in ways they hadn’t thought possible.
While Frodo had been relatively young when he’d sailed, both Bilbo and Sam had been quite aged. And when Gimli and Legolas had arrived it was clear Gimli was feeling his age, as well. But the longer they stayed the more invigorated and youthful they’d become to the point that after several years they’d all begun to look to be about the same age and in the prime of their lives.
But it had been when the ships approached that Legolas said he must go to meet them, for it was his father. They had all insisted on accompanying him and when they’d stayed back to give him a semblance of privacy, they’d seen for the first time a rather large gathering of people who looked a lot like the prince. And who seemed to treat him like…..was Legolas married? We’re those people his kin? His children?
They’d looked to Gimli and the dwarf colored a bit and hemmed and hawed, coughed a bit and then walked off to stand alone, though he had a soft smile on his face as he watched his friend. Hmmm - There was a mystery here!
And then, surprisingly, the ships had not come to Tol Eressëa like all the others have done since, well, forever! Rather, a sloop was dispatched to pick up the prince and his….kin. And when it had gotten close, Legolas became excited and those who had followed their friend could see there were more on that ship who looked a good deal like the prince and they just couldn’t stand it another minute. Marching straight up to him and the Hobbits looked reproachfully at him like he’d taken their last tart.
But the prince would not be shamed, and laughing merrily he introduced his wife and children to his friends and called his friend Gimli over and introduced him as well. And when those introductions were done he then introduced his brothers - Belegon, his elder brother and Reuel, his younger brother. The three were obviously brothers, but unlike their golden sibling, they both had pale red highlights in their golden hair which gave it a subtle rose-gold shimmer. Very rare for elves and surprising to the friends of Legolas, who thought their friend was unique among elves with his golden locks.
And his kin were very pleased to meet the dwarf and hobbits and asked if they were coming along? And seeing the confusion on their faces Belegon said, “Did you not know, brother? Adar has brought the last of the Hobbits and dwarves with him from Endor.”
Shaking his head and chuckling, Legolas said, “Of course he has. Well, what do you say, my friends? Are you coming?”
The Hobbits agreed at once, “Oh yes, if you please.” and “Of course! Won’t it be nice to see sensible folk again?”
“Aye, laddie, I would. Much as I value your company and friendship, I see that I’ve been taking you from your own kin. And I find I agree with our Hobbit friends. It would be nice to be among my own kind again. Not that I haven’t enjoyed our fellowship, of course.”
“Well, come along then!” and they all boarded the sloop which took them away from the Lonely Isle and out into the open sea, until the scattered islands once known as the Enchanted Isles came into sight. And oh my! There appeared to be hundreds of them! and after passing through several dozen, the waters opened up again and to their eyes there was one that looked every bit as large as Tol Eressëa. And surrounding this isle was a vast fleet of ships. Once they docked and disembarked, they walked but a short distance before Legolas cried out and ran to greet a group coming to meet them.
They could see his father, Thranduil was amongst the group, but the others they didn’t recognize. Those with them identified them as their mother, sister and grandparents. People Legolas hadn’t seen for a long time, as they had been preparing this place for their people. And now, it looked like they would be sharing it with dwarves and Hobbits and they couldn’t be more pleased. For it would be just like home!
Once they’d gotten settled, Bilbo, Frodo, Sam and Gimli had gone to meet with their respective peoples and were shocked by what they’d found. Hearing their stories - which eerily mirrored the other when it came to the encroachments of the mannish kingdoms - saddened them, but their people were joyous to see those who had been as legendary heroes to them.
The Hobbits were grieved to find that the Banks, Browns, Grubbs, Haywards, Noakes and Ropers had all died out. The Chubbs and Sackvilles were also gone, though there were still Chubbs-Baggins and Sackville-Baggins represented. There were no Gamgees, but plenty of Gardners and Fairbairns, which pleased Sam. And of course they were pleased to learn there were plenty of Tooks and Brandybucks!
Still, while there were still Baggins, Boffins, Bolgers and Bracegirdles. Cottons, Goodbodys and Greenhands. Hornblowers, Longbottoms and Maggots (thank goodness!). Oldbucks, Proudfoots and Puddifoots. Smallburrows, Twofoots and Underhills with a few Goodchilds, Mugworts, Gammidges and Proudnecks thrown in, Alas! They were, nonetheless, a greatly diminished people! And thin! Oh Goodness! They looked as though they hadn’t had a good meal in years!
And when they’d settled in to enjoy pipe and pint the conversation turned to how they’d come to be there.
They were shocked to discover that centuries had passed and now there were none among the newcomers that were known to them. Not even remotely. Sam had at least hoped to see that his great grandchildren were grown to adulthood. Even to old age. But no! Those years were already remote to these and the hard times they’d fallen on had actually interrupted their favorite pastime of keeping their genealogies. This had occurred when their lands had drawn increasingly steady traffic by men to the point that severe disruption in their living standards had occurred.
Worse still, they’d learned that after King Eldarion had passed on, the new king had disregarded the grant of land given them by King Elessar and had annexed the Shire as part of Arnor. As a result, the Hobbits had been turned out of their home so the fertile land could be used to grow additional crops for their growing population. The Hobbits had gone to the only place they could - the Undertowers within the Tower Hills of Westmarch.
And it was here that King Thranduil had found them on his way to check on his fleet of ships to one day take his people to Aman and learned of their displacement. And finding they were about to be evicted once more as the men of Arnor had informed them this land was theirs and they needed to leave. The Elvenking had told them to gather their belongings and to follow him as he was taking them to Mithlond which was still the territory of the elves and the men wouldn’t dare bother them while they remained.
There they settled into the abandoned Elven city and found it wasn’t quite so abandoned, after all. For the king had manned it with both his own people and the last known dwarves of Middle Earth. He told them to take what lodgings they wished and told them he would be taking them with him, along with the dwarves, for this was now a world that had no place for people who were not men.
This initially frightened the Hobbits, until they mingled with the dwarves, who also had no enthusiasm to board ship to sail out into the unknown. Both peoples had huddled together in their misery, but the city was also filled with Woodelves. These had assured both Hobbits and dwarves that they also had no desire to leave Middle Earth. So it appeared to those in Mithlond, that they were a city of the unwilling, but recognized their need to leave as they now lived in a world where they were no longer welcome.
When some asked why they couldn’t just remain where they were if the men wouldn’t bother them here? One of the Woodelves answered with a sad smile, saying, “They are leaving us this city for a time, but only to encourage us to leave. If we showed the least inclination to stay they would make war on us in an instant. And we no longer have the numbers to resist them.”
And so they had resigned themselves to leave the only home they’d ever had. All of them.
The Hobbits returned and ran into Gimli who was returning from his visit to his people. They shared their news and found their people had the same tale. This was disheartening to them as they’d all hoped with the end of the Ring War and Sauron defeated, the world could settle down and live in peace.
Legolas, seeing their concern, said, “Fear not, my dear friends. We will not allow your people to waste away from want or neglect. Adar has said that Lord Celeborn and Lord Elrond are already organizing food supplies to be delivered. And from what adar has told me, he thought to bring everything from the Halls with him. It should be no hardship to set your people up with cooking stations, supplies, clothing...everything that can at least give you a proper start.”
Proud as they were, the Hobbits knew they had to accept this act of charity from their friends. At least until they were able to stand on their own. Planting and bringing in their own crops would go a long way towards lifting their spirits. And distilling their own ale and mead would also lighten their spirits! Gimli hoped he wouldn’t have a hard time selling the idea of accepting the offer of supplies. Then again, they’d left their Dwarrows and sought shelter with elves. And had boarded ship to sail to Elvenhome. Maybe not such a hard-sell after all.
Frodo looked rather depressed and said, “I had no idea that the memories of men would fade so fast.”
“Indeed, Lady Arwen must never know about this!” Sam exclaimed.
“I don’t think there is any reason to feel she needs to be protected from that knowledge. The mere contemplation of such usually guarantees her learning of it.” Legolas said.
“What does that mean, my dear elf?” Bilbo asked, confused.
“He means if we try to keep it a secret it will grow wings and fly to her ear.” Gimli said.
“That is one way to look at it. But it’s also foolhardy to think she didn’t already know of this. Before Estel left us the people already thought of elves and dwarves as mythical beings. It didn’t matter to them that their queen was eldar.” Legolas said sadly.
“Aye! And if dwarves and elves were make-believe you can bet that Hobbits were as fanciful as dragons!” Gimli said.
“But how would they explain the resting place of Merry and Pippin?” Sam asked, perplexed by the short memories of men. Especially with evidence right in front of their eyes.
“Who is to say? Perhaps as children cut off before they reached their prime instead of well aged Hobbits.” Legolas said.
“Has work begun to build smials for them?” Bilbo asked.
“I believe so, though it looks as though some of the Valar are quietly assisting.” Legolas’ younger brother, Reuel, said.
“Aye and the Noldor brothers are sending in an army of stone and metal crafters.” Legolas added.
“How are elves better at delving than dwarves?” Gimli frowned.
“Well, they’ve been trained by Lord Aulë, himself.” Reuel said.
“Ah, yes. Mahal. Greatly had I looked forward to seeing his great halls and I was overjoyed to meet the great lord himself. But I have to admit that I was rather disappointed in his lack of curiosity regarding my folk. Am I wrong in thinking he just doesn’t care?”
“I think so. I think it’s probably more likely he gave up guardianship of your forebears to Ilúvatar long ago and wishes to honor his promise.” Legolas said.
And rolling his brilliant green eyes, Reuel, said, “But that is what I’m trying to tell you! Great mountainous islands are inching their way towards this island. I think those are for you. And there are also islands of rolling hills that would be perfect for the building of Smials especially if they connect to the western edge where the fertile plains are. You’d have a nice little valley with plenty of room to grow your crops and your population. And I think it has to be the Valar who are managing this, which also means they’ve accepted adar’s argument on the legality of your peoples being here.” he ended happily.
“Am I the only one who thinks these Valar are a strange folk?” Sam asked.
“No. but it’s generally thought to be impolite to say so.” Legolas smiled.
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