"For long had Curinor held one tradition for himself even having retreated from the world into the uttermost west.
Away east where the road took travelers back to the circles of the world were mountains rising from the sea.
And there was the ground under which his best memories now rested."
~ Narrator,The Voyage of Nenmiriel
"Trystan and Galadan were descendants of one of the Dark men of the East named Travis;
Much of his life was dedicated to hunting the usurpers of his master's will. In the end
though, he was redeemed by a vision of light and from then on became a leader of his kin
into the west, forever leaving the darkness behind. The Dunlan brothers were adopted by their aunt in
the four hundred and twenty-fourth year of the First Age when their father went missing,
never to return. The two endured many hardships together but were not alone; there was Nathaniel
of the Galerida clan, an orphan as well, and his sister Tinuwen, who were good friends all the years of their lives.
~From the histories of the Dunlan family.
Ages of Arda : The Untold Chronicles
[ Ages of Arda Theme, Serenata Immortale :HERE ]
- Emyn Himring -
"...the Edain dwelt in the lands of the Eldar, some here, some there, some
wandering, some settled in kindreds or small peoples; and the most part of them soon learned the Grey-elven tongue, both as a common speech
among themselves and because many were eager to learn the lore of the Elves."
~ Tolkien, The Silmarillion : Of the Coming of Men into the West
[Private with Aig and myself]
Chapter III : The Brothers
The Dunlan Family; Trayvan, Trystan, and Galadan
FA 424. Ladros, Dorthonion
"The people of Beor came to Dorthonion and dwelt in lands ruled by the house of Finarfin"
~ Tolkien, The Silmarillion: Of The Coming Of Men Into The West
The sun shone down through the leafy branches of the lofty pines that two boys played under that warm day. The floor of the forest was covered with fallen foliage but for the most part it was clear of thickets and brush which made it a great place for brothers to pass their time.
"Trystan, pass it over here!" The smaller of the two, a young lad with curly dark locks that covered his ears cried to his older brother who held a leather skinned ball in his hands.
"Go long, Gal!" The elder brother cried as he aimed the ball to throw across the distance between the two. Galadan chuckled to himself a bit as he ran out to catch his brother's throw. "Go long, Gal" was a sort of slogan he and his friends had been using when they played ball with the other kids around the countryside of their home. It was usually accompanied by a lot of shouting and then someone heaving the ball as hard as they could down the field towards the end where Galadan made a point to be. He might not have been the biggest kid in the group but few could say that he didn't have the most heart.
The ball was thrown and it soared high in an arc that went a little left of Galadan who dove to catch it. Unfortunately, the move led him to land in a patch of damp soil, more or less face first. Seeing this from yards away, Trystan ran over to where his brother landed to see if he was okay. Peeking down into the patch of earth, he saw his brother there, still in one piece and holding the ball.
"You didn't pop the ball did you?" Trystan asked. Galadan got up slowly and attempted to wipe his clothes free of the grime, ball still in hand.
"No, don't worry, I'm just fine." Galadan replied half heartedly, rolling his eyes and sticking his tongue out at his brother. Trystan made an audible "pfffft" noise with his mouth but still held out a hand to help his brother out of the patch.
"I've seen you take worse hits, you'll be fine." Trystan assured him.
"Uh huh." Galadan replied, further wiping the dirt off his pants and standing back up straight. "Your turn, go on and I'll throw the ball."
"You hear water?" Trystan asked before doing anything else. The two were silent for a moment, listening. "didn't you say there was a stream around here somewhere?"
Galadan had been out here earlier on his own, it was a part of the woods the two brothers hadn't yet explored and later he'd convinced his older brother to play ball with him out here.
"Yeah, but its still a long way off. I'll tell you when we get close."
Trystan just nodded and ran off to catch his brother's throw. When he got a little way out he turned back.
"Farther! This is gonna be a big one!" Galadan cheered waving his brother out with one hand while the other got the ball ready to be thrown. Trystan obliged him and ran a bit farther.
"You sure you can throw that far?" He shouted back.
"Yeah, just a little bit farther!" Galadan replied and laughed, he watched his brother go even farther back until he almost couldn't see him past the trees...
Trystan ran just a little bit farther, he and his brother were always trying to outdo each other in whatever they did. He would just have to try harder when his brother made this-- He stopped dead in his tracks, the sound of water running had gotten much closer with each passing step, just a few yards beyond him a bank dropped off sharply and descended into a wide, pulsing stream below. Trystan's eyes widened, he turned to shout to his brother but it was too late, he watched his ball sail over his head and into the water below where it disappeared amongst the white rushing depths. As he stared blankly down at the water, his brother quickly joined him and the two stood dumbfounded, trying vainly to spot the ball but to no avail.
Galadan swallowed hard as he looked at his older brother's uncompromising glare. He'd just sunk their new ball with no way to get it back and was now privy to an undeniable fact...
He was dead meat...
Galadan's legs worked furiously, his feet seeming not even to touch the ground as he helplessly attempted to escape his brother's wrath, all the time heading back towards their house and his only salvation.
"Get back here!"
The call only made Galadan run all the harder, yelling "Sorrysorrysorrysorrysorry!" all the way back.
The house was quiet as Trayvan sat at his desk. He was, like most of the men of the clan, dark haired and fair skinned and even a bit on the tall side. His boys were outside somewhere playing in the backyard where the woods surrounded their house. It was a nice little home; not at all luxurious but down to earth and big enough to house a family. He sighed, his family had been broken for years now, it was hard on him, all of them really. The boys still had their aunt but it wasn't the same, it never would be.
Stirring his mind from these dread thoughts, he looked back down at the parchment in front of him. A friend of his had come by a few days ago and spoken to him about a job the lord of the land had offered to the hardy men of the area. They needed scouts to venture north to the borders of the kingdom. Reports had come in of the movement of vile things that way. It all recalled Trayvan to the days of his soldiering when he had fought such things. He rubbed his temples in a bid to wipe away the memories. Oh to be young again like his sons and to feel once more the blissful ignorance of youth. Still though, it was a job that the Lord was paying well for and Trayvan always needed money to help raise his boys. He'd already made his decision, he just had yet to tell them. He was waiting for them to get back--
Suddenly, rapid footfalls echoed through the rooms of the house and the slamming of several doors told him that he need not wait any longer. In just a moment the door to his study was thrown open and a panting Galadan barged in and ran to dive to his father's side, soon to be followed by Trystan who looked completely livid.
"What's going on here?" Trayvan asked, perplexed. They had obviously disagreed about something, as brothers were wont to do.
"That little twerp lost my ball in the stream!" Trystan yelled as angrily as he looked, glaring at his brother spitefully who hid his face half behind his dad's large arm.
"I said I was sorry." Galadan replied meekly. Trayvan sighed again, he always had to play mediator between his boys, it was the burden of being the father to two brothers.
"From the beginning you two, what happened?" He said, trying to calm the both of them with his even voice.
"Me and Trystan were playing ball in the woods and--" Galadan began before he was cut off by his belligerent older brother.
"And he threw the ball in the stream on purpose!"
"Nuh uh! It was an accident, I promise!"
"Now, I'm sure he didn't mean to lose you ball..." Trayvan began in vain. This argument was quickly getting out of hand but for the moment he was powerless to stop it save perhaps shouting over the both of them and he hated to do that.
"That's what he always says about anything he does!" Trystan protested loudly.
"Its not my fault!" His brother replied, the battle had reached its breaking point and Trayvan was about to end it with his own voice but his oldest son replied before him.
"It is so your fault! Everything's your fault! ITS YOUR FAULT MOM DIED!" He yelled with a face contorted in child like rage. The statement hit Galadan like a flurry of blows but it was their father's reaction that got Trystan's attention.
"QUIET, NOW!" He bellowed as he rose out of his chair, towering above his son with a severely displeased expression. Galadan ran off to the back of the house towards his room, sobbing all the way, and slamming the room door behind him.
Trystan looked down away from his father's eyes, he could hardly look at the man in his anger. If looks could kill, Trystan would have been cut down where he stood. Trayvan breathed deeply and exhaled audibly, trying to control his anger at his son's hurtful words.
"Come with me." Trayvan commanded in a voice that offered no room for arguments as he walked off down the hall toward Galadan's room. Trystan walked behind his father, slower and in defeat, hanging his head and rubbing the back of his neck nervously.
Why couldn't he just keep his big mouth shut?
Trayvan arrived at his youngest son's door. He turned to Trystan who was standing behind him anxiously in the dark hallway.
"Stay here." His father admonished. Trystan only nodded somberly, unwilling to open his traitorous mouth anytime soon. Turning back to the closed door, Trayvan could hear his son's muffled sobs. He knocked softly but no answer came. Opening the door as gently as he could manage, he entered, finding Galadan sprawled on his bed, face buried in his pillow. Trayvan walked over and sat next to him on the bed and was quiet for a moment, trying to find something to say to reassure his child. The boys' mother was always better at these sort of things...
Suddenly, Galadan stopped his crying and said something, his face still buried in his pillow. It was so muffled though that Trayvan didn't hear him.
"Sit up, son." He asked gingerly and helped Galadan sit up next to him as the boy wiped his tears away from his puffy red eyes and flushed face.
"I said he was right, it was my fault..." The young boy trailed off, wincing again as tears rolled down his cheeks. Trayvan hugged his boy tight to him and Galadan buried his face in his father's side.
"No, son, don't say that. It wasn't your fault. Trystan doesn't understand what he is saying." He said as he held his son close to him.
"I don't even know what she looks like, dad. I feel so bad." Galadan replied, sobbing once more, next to his father. He felt a hand on his cheek and gently Trayvan lifted his son's face to look into his own. Galadan was surprised to find that his father was also crying but did not sob as he did. He looked into the man's eyes and saw the light of memory in them, both good and bad.
"You had just been born when she...passed on. It is not your fault you cannot remember her." He looked ahead, as if thinking of something and then looked to the door that had been left open and called for Trystan to come in and sit down next to him which the boy did.
"You two are old enough now to know what happened to your mother." He began. Taking a deep breath he looked out as if to see the past with his sons looking up at him, hanging upon his every word. His father had never talked about their mother openly, and this change of practice filled them with curiosity and even a bit of awe.
"She was so fair; pale skinned and dark haired. But her eyes were what enchanted me when I first laid eyes upon her. Deep and amber, brown as fall honey and her voice like that of the angels that live in paradise."
"She must have been pretty." Trystan said softly. He sometimes had dreams of his mother, they were all he had left of her.
"She was the prettiest of all the women I've ever seen and she always will be. She was my night and day...my everything, and for a long time I didn't know what I'd do without her." He looked down at his sons that he hugged next to him and chuckled. "But she gave me you two and she loved you even more than I do, if that is possible."
He looked to Galadan who was now smiling. "She gave you your name before she fell asleep for the last time. One of the last things she told me was that she had never seen a child more beautiful."
"But how did she die then, dad?" Trystan asked timidly, he still didn't understand. Trayvan sighed, how to explain this in a way they would understand?
"Sometimes people die and it is nobody's fault, Trystan. Sometimes there is nothing we can do to stop it no matter how much we tell ourselves we should have been able to. It is neither of your faults that your mother is no longer here, so I'll have no more of this talk about whose fault it is, understand?"
"Yes sir." The boys both said at the same time. Trayvan hugged them both close to him and smiled.
"Now listen, I've been summoned to serve with the forces of the king once more, I'm sending you two to live with your Aunt Braida for a while until I return."
Galadan laughed, his tears now forgotten. "Hey Trystan maybe you can try to push over another calf." Trystan sighed, the story of how he had snuck into a ranch field near their Aunt's home the last time they visited her was infamous. The story went that he had tried to push over an unsuspecting calf for a bit of sport but had run into an irate mother cow who quickly showed him the way out of the field via the airborne route. It had been hilarious to Galadan but their aunt had thrown a fit as she felt Trystan could have been hurt.
"You two get your things ready, we're leaving this afternoon so we can get there before nightfall." Trayvan said to them and left while the two went about it. Before he left he heard Galadan call to him.
"What was her name?"
Trayvan smiled. "Elan...her name was Elan." He said as he headed back towards his study.