Set before and during the
events of the Revenge of Rhudaur RPG
"The name Calselda's father gave
her was Raulíra, which means Lionsong in the
the High Speech of the Noldor."
~ Aimira Mordagnir - a sage of Oiolossë
and the mother of
Tavari, Arasoron, and Aigronding, c. Fourth Age 3194,
from The House of Itanoeva: A Family History
- (Source: Elle Fanning, HERE) -
Calselda Dimrel / Raulira Mordagnir ~ An elf-girl, Aigronding's illegitimate daughter. Elmarya's best friend.
Elmarya Ancalënóna ~ An elf-girl. Telkelion's daughter, Calselda's best friend.
Anne Crown, called Melimakris ("Faircleaver," Sindarin) ~ A mortal Elf-friend and Nathan's wife.
A Hill Watcher. Accompanying the elven girls to Imladris.
Nathan Crown ~ A mortal. Anne's husband. A Hill Watcher. Accompanying the elven girls to Imladris.
Carl Speedwell ~ A young teenage Hill Watcher. Accompanying the elven girls to Imladris.
Matt Rogers ~ A Hobbit bounder. Friend of Aigronding and Telkelion. Accompanying the elven girls to Imladris.
Tourmaline Ashlock~ Matt's half-sister, a hobbit bounder. Friend of Aigronding and Telkelion. Accompanying the elven girls to Imladris.
Gilnir, called The Oarman once upon a time in Noonvale - An elven frontiersman. Rilya's husband. Fostered Calselda for Roina.
Rilya ~ An elf-woman, a healer. Gilnir's wife and Edan's daughter. Fostered Calselda for Roina.
Edan Amrun ~ A High Elf. The father of Rilya. A close friend of Roina and Aigronding.
Aigronding Mordagnir ~ A High Elf. The Herald of Elrond. Roina's lover and Calselda's father.
Roina Nilthoron ~ A High Elf noblewoman. Aigronding's lover and Calselda's mother.
Telkelion Hender ~ The Arhesto of the Lindon Guard and the chief physician of Círdan's court. Elmarya's father.
Girion Coruben ~ An elven sailor. Telkelion's friend.
Elrond Half-Elven - The Lord of Rivendell.
Aileen Camlost ~ A young Morgul sorceress. Beren's daughter and the Princess of Rhudaur.
Ruffians and vile things.
*The black wolfhound of Valnor nuzzled Elmarya Ancalënóna awake.
Chapter Two: The First Debate
Calselda Dimrel and Elmarya Ancalenona
the Northfarthing of the Shire
"Good morning, my friend," said Calselda Dimrel cheerfully. She sat astride Polodren, her beautiful blonde hair shimmering lustrously in the sunlight streaming through the tangled woods. "We have breakfast!" she said happily, nodding at the two dead hares Polodren had dropped from his mouth.
Elmarya rubbed the sleep out of her green eyes. "Those look certainly more appetizing than the blue jay my cat's eating," She said, glancing at the bird Nimmirel was gnawing on.
The elf girls roasted the hares and ate them with the juniper berries and Blushing Wood Mushrooms Calselda had found while Elmarya was sleeping. They cautiously drank what little drinking water they had left, careful not to take too much.
"So what are we going to do?" Elmarya asked, looking at her greasy hands, wishing she had napkins to use. Lacking those, she wiped them on her tattered dress that was already filthy.
Calselda took the Arnorian map out of its leather case and spread it on the grassy earth. "We are here, of course." She pointed at the western environs of Bindbale Wood. "There is a fairly large town called Needlehole not too far away." Calselda moved her index finger from the forest to a town in the Westfarthing of the Shire; between the spaces was open country and there was a long road running through it southeast toward Hobbiton, a village Elmarya knew was located near The Hill where Frodo Baggins lived. "We could get a boat there, one big enough to transport ourselves and Polodren through Rushock Bog." She brought her finger low toward the marsh. "We would continue along the Water," Calselda further explained, tracing the current of the Shire's main river, a tributary of the Brandywine, "until we reach Hobbiton." The tip of her finger came to a pause at the city in the heartland of Hobbit country.
"If it weren't for three major flaws this would be a brilliant plan..." Elmarya bit her lower lip, seeing how crestfallen Calselda looked. "One, we have no money," she said, starting to count their problems on her fingers. "Two, the halflings regard rivers and boats with deep misgivings, and not many of them can swim. Three, many hobbits are afraid of elves-"
"Didn't you say you have a friend named Matt Rogers in the Shire?" Calselda interrupted quietly, downcast.
"Well, he stays at Michel Delving but his sisters, Pam and Tourmaline, dwell in Hobbiton and Dwaling. They are Fallohides like Matt."
"Fallohides?" Elmarya asked, arching a flaxen brow.
Elmarya blinked. Wasn't this subject common knowledge to Elves of Eriador? "Hobbits are divided into three kindreds: Harfoots, Fallohides, and Stoors. Fallohides, the least numerous, are a northerly branch and are more friendly with Elves than other halflings. Matt's family have known my parents since the Wandering Days and they visit me and my parents in Lindon sometimes."
"The Wandering Days?" Calselda repeated, shaking her head in confusion, an understone of frustration slipping into her honeyed voice slightly.
Elmarya gritted her teeth, tugging on her dirty golden hair. How sheltered is she? Elmarya almost regretted not asking Lothwen to come along, risking Lindariel's pursuit. "It's a term used by Hobbits referring to a centuries-old period when they journeyed from the upper vales of the Anduin into Eriador. Anyways. Matt usually vacations with his sisters in the spring so I was hoping to find him at Dwaling or Hobbiton."
"Dwaling seems far away," Calselda said dismally.
"Then we'll make for Hobbiton, taking the road southwest for part of the way before heading directly south through the country," Elmarya decided. "We'll ride Polodren together, if that's alright?"
The wolfhound of Valinor whined, looking away almost guiltily.
"That's fine but you'll need to get a horse in town because Polodren only lets me mount him, I'm sorry," said Calselda, blushing.
"That's quite alright, I understand," said Elmarya, reaching to stroke the dog's thick sable fur. She knew from stories that wolfhounds of Valinor were as noble and sentient as Great Eagles; they did not like to be ridden. Even Huan himself reluctantly allowed Lúthien Tinúviel on his back. "Halflings don't ride horses much but I'm sure Matt or one of his sisters can let us borrow some money and I can get a pony in Hobbiton...if they don't me call me an idiot and demand I return to Mithlond."
The girls readied themselves to leave the forest. "Nimmirel, it's time to go," said Elmarya, opening her backpack. The cat hissed furiously at her owner, white hair standing on end as she arched her back threateningly. The sudden, unexpected display of anger frightened Calselda who probably had never seen a cat before in her life, making the elf girl stand rigidly in terror, blue eyes bulging wide. "Get in the bag, you pettifogging nuisance!" Elmarya yelled at her stubborn pet. Nimmirel showed her claws, shrieking in warning when Elmarya approached. "Look, grumpy cat, I know almost all my dirty clothes smell utterly foul -" Nimmirel yowled in agreement "- and that I haven't bathed in a fortnight, but you must tolerate my terrible hygiene for a few days longer at least. Please. Soon you'll be able to walk around as much as you want and when we travel you can stay in a clean, comfy fleece-lined saddlebag all to yourself, okay?" The cat, loosing a loud piercing cry of sadness and distress, hopped reluctantly into the Elmarya's backpack and settled herself on the reeking, dusty, sweat-stained clothes.
"Capalda, we're leaving!" Calselda cried to the sunny forest ceiling as she sat atop Polodren with Elmarya. The soft and silky violet squirrel of Evendim appeared, alighting on the teenager's lap with a blue juniper berry still clamped in her mouth. Calselda glanced over her shoulder at Elmarya with a lopsided grin, barely restraining her laughter.
"Oh, go ahead," Elmarya muttered, rolling her eyes, "laugh it up!"
Calselda loosed peals of silvery laughter as they raced out of the sun-dappled woods and into the light of breaking dawn.
T.A. 23, Lairë ("Summer", Quenya)
Three Days previous
"I can surely lead you, yes," Valion replied to Rilien, guiding his horse across the bridge.
"It will take us hours to reach the Hoarwell," Roina mentioned grimly, following her friend and Aigronding's son. "Are you sure you can find Almarëa's tracks? It's rained recently. You do know that, Rilien, yes?"
"I wish you were more positive about his this," Aigronding muttered. He was calmer now but he was still in a sorrowful mood and Roina's pessimism wasn't lifting his spirits much.
"I wish you were being sensible about this," she snapped, "and Rilien and Valion, too. Let Almarëa have some time alone. Neither of you are respecting her privacy. Each home she ever had in Middle-earth was destroyed, her brother was killed, and her parents are gone. Let the woman grieve, for pity's sake!"
"We will find her," Aigronding said stubbornly, ignoring everything she just said. "We can go with Almarëa. She needs our protection."
"You know she can't cook decently. Almarëa will burn the first forest she encamps in."
"Following a trail of torched earth, an easy way to locate Almarëa," Meril Duvain commented wryly, drawing throaty laughter from Eilianthel.
"It seems Roina's pessimism is catching," Valion remarked with a chuckle.
"I didn't mean to start a joke-"
"I was quite serious," Meril, interrupting her father-in-law, responded with a light trace of humor in her voice.
The company journeyed across the East-West Road and reached the the Last Bridge without incident, luckily. A red and purple kingfisher patiently waiting for a fish to swim near his nest saw the elves as they dismounted at the riverbank and sang melodiously to them. Aigronding stood still to enjoy its pleasant msuic for a moment, smiling wanly. "Come on, let's get this over with," said Roina softly, steering Aigronding urgently away from the halatir, trying to be kinder. Roina loved him deeply. Although she didn't agree pursuing Almarëa was a wise decision, she did feel sorry about upbraiding him so rudely.
"This is where Almarëa's trail went cold," Valion told Rilien, leading the older elf northeast of the ancient bridge. Meril interlaced her fingers with his tenderly, hoping she could cheer her melancholy husband as he faced the direction of the Ettenmoors.
"Please tell me she didn't head that way, Rilien," Aigronding pleaded with him. The mountainous region was rife with trolls, especially Ettins, the brutal two-headed sort. They were stupid but fought their prey viciously.