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DOL AMROTH: A Prince's Audience

Tags: Elphir,  Niphredil,  Indoron,  Maedwen,  Menelglir,  Lominzil

Short Summary: There are those who would seek an audience with Elphir.
Date (real-life): 2014-02-25
Scene Location: Dol Amroth
Dol Amroth: Prince's Castle - Hanging Gardens

A burst of verdure tucked in the space between the citadel to the north and the cliffs leading down to the sea on the south and west. The Gardens are surrounded by a slightly raised terrace, in which grow trees of all sizes and descriptions, from magnificent ancient lebethron to youthful rowan, their boughs and branches overhanging the periphery of the garden. Interspersed in the interior are massive chiseled cubes upon which rest pillars as tall as the trees while smooth stone arches between. Plants and vines spill from these arches in green cascades, birds and insects flitting among them. Sparse grass clings to the ground under this canopy, unable to grow thicker in the shadows beneath.
The air is heavy with the scent of flowers and the moisture of the Gardens themselves--a trickling sound fills the air at all hours from the water-channels dug into the archways, adding to the humidity. Beyond the trickling, birds chirp and whistle, and insects buzz, while the sea roars in the distance. Compared to this, the soft conversations of wanderers among the shadowed columns is insignificant and almost inaudible.

The Sun is marching slowly towards the distant west, as the shadows begin to grow long, reaching to the east.

Here, there is light still. Even as the sun threatens to dip under the horizon and turn day to night, there is light still. It is captured in a luminescent green, which imbibes the trees and the vines and the plants with their own special glow, and shining blue, from the flowing channels which run through the terraces of the Prince's gardens. Those that wish to sit within its borders need not fear a loss of light, no; but there are still insects and Prince Elphir, seated amidst this all with his nose in a tome, swats one away from his eyes. He sighs, prying his attention up to a Guardsman not too far away.

Elphir says, "These bugs have no regard for the pursuit of knowledge, Hir. What do they know? What if my readings here today discovered for them a secret to longer life. What then?" As if an answer, the young Prince is forced to defend himself from another offender.

Indoron is here this day surveying the palace and its defenses. The Hostman looks suitably impressed with certain features as he walks along the white walls. Now with evening coming on, the captain has found his way to the hanging gardens, a wonder to behold. Looking around, pleasure is evident as he smells the air and savors the scents present.

Lord Telumehtar notes the guardsman and approaches to see whom the man holds vigil over.

"I should think," says the Guardsman, who is in this case is nearly the same age as the Prince's son, "that they should then be thankful that they gave their lives in the pursuit of a noble cause, that of the understanding of nature."

"But it is strange," continues the Guardsman Menelglir, slapping at a bug, "that they should be so willing to die for such a thing. Or that the Valar set these things on us." 

He looks up, all joking gone a moment as he focuses on the approaching figure--then relaxes his stance, but only slightly, as he recognizes the man.

[Maedwen(#10685)] Two women, both young but obviously beyond their teenage years, walk togther through, murmuring quietly. Both are attired similarly--in white underdresses with grey overdresses. After a few last words, they separate, one wandering deliberately away and back indoors. The other remains, gazing lightly around the garden with an uncertain smile.

Maedwen, having looked about, takes a deep breath and sighs while reaching to touch the braid that runs along the left side of her head.

Indoron approaches the guardsman with a narrow smile once he sees who the man is. "Menelglir of the High Guard. And a young man who needs guarding. A fine evehing for such a duty for one so esteemed."

Elphir laughs.

Absorbed as he is with Hir Menelglir's wit and his own retort, the young Prince is not first to catch the coming of Lord Telumehtar. He is second, or perhaps even third, were the nearby maiden also be in line to catch sight of the man's approach.

Elphir closes the tome and rolls his neck in a circle before standing to greet the Hostsman.

Yet he does not rise as a tall lebethron but instead, rather unspectacularly. He is of average height, an inch or two shorter than Hir Menelglir and bears no obvious musculature. There are only the too-bright stars that he has for eyes that mark him his father's son and which look towards Indoron.

Elphir laughs.

"Oh, we unfortunate souls who bear the burden of their wra--?"

Absorbed as he is with Hir Menelglir's wit and his own retort, the young Prince is not first to catch the coming of Lord Telumehtar. He is second, or perhaps even third, were the nearby maiden also be in line to catch sight of the man's approach.

Elphir closes the tome and rolls his neck in a circle before standing to greet the Hostsman.

Yet he does not rise as a tall lebethron but instead, rather unspectacularly. He is of average height, an inch or two shorter than Hir Menelglir and bears no obvious musculature. There are only the too-bright stars that he has for eyes that mark him his father's son and which look towards Indoron.

"The High Guard serve the Prince and his family, as I am certain you know," Menelglir answers the Telumehtar. 

"Your Grace," he now directs his attention to the man beside him, "this is the Lord Telumehtar. Though I do not know the young lady yonder," he says, with a quick quirk of a suppressed smile.

"My Lord, I present to you His Grace, Prince Elphir," he says to Indoron, choosing to somewhat shorten the young man's full title.

Maedwen glances towards the gathering of Gondorian knights and lords, a short and uncertain breath following. The young woman chews on her lip and checks her left braid once more before remaining still, another quiet presence enjoying the garden.


Now it seems the Prince is lost again, his musing not contained to a tome but within the recesses of his own mind.


Then his speech is quick, stoked by a fire of sudden recollection.

"Silver and Blue. A Star of Elendil argent, the Swordsman and his winged sword. You are a Captain in the...Silver Ship. Well met, Lord Indoron."

Then his eyes turn, if only for a second, to the maid. They are not unkind, instead rather welcoming before they return to the Hostsman.

The Last Willow has come.

Her footsteps are sudden and her approach abrupt -- through the archway strides her black-garbed limbs, her stare as hard and passive as the tiles she stomps across. It is purpose that creates such tension in her bones -- her shoulders are straight, her left hand hooked familiarly around the dagger in her belt. To those who would know, they would perhaps see the brand of Isilrim upon the hilt; the Hlorithain's ornament is a gift. 

Stepping to a swift stop, she scans the gathering with a light frown -- the frown of a humorless someone searching for something, or someone. As her face turns right, the movement upsets the thick fall of her braid, and it loops forward from behind her shoulder, to in front of it, laid down beside her chest like a rope.

The chitchat seems not for her. Casting her weight onto her left leg, leaving her other to take on a small bend at the knee, Niphredil's stare stops when she finds the Prince -- and then turns again, to the new-met Lord Telumehtar, to Menelglir, to the maid. For them, Niphredil inclines her brow.

"Your recollection is impressive, Your Grace." Indoron's smile remains. "Your teachers have taught you well. Learning by rote is tedious, but effective." The captain looks around at where Elphir is looking and notes the young lady. "Ah, Maedwen." And then he sees Niphredil and his smile only grows. "My prayers have been answered already."

[<#17324>] 'Your Grace,' Menelglir says, turning swiftly to the Prince as the Hlorithain woman draws near. His voice drops to a well practiced whisper. "Would ... ... ... deflect ... Lady's ..., ... ... ... ... ... before your father's ...? ... ... ... ... ... ... say ... ... ... death ... ... ...--... ... ... ... ... ... ..., ... ... .... ... ... ... ... ... this ... now, ... ... ... ... ... ... that whatever ... ... ... say ... ... ... formal ...."
The booted footfalls of Lominzil Girithlin are silent as leaves. For a time and times again, they have brought him to Imrazor's gardens -- and this empty seat beneath a downcast tree. Here he stands as observer, and insects gather.

[Maedwen(#10685)] "Lord Telumehtar," replies Maedwen politely, approaching closer and bowing appropriately. "I did not wish to disturb this gathering while partaking of the garden. Allow me to give you the privacy you require." The woman appears prepared to leave.

Does this Prince notice two entrants to his father's gardens? Surely not, for he is already replying to the Captain even as his Guardsman whispers to his ear.

"We are of the same mind, then, Lord Indoron. I have studied many methods of learn--"

Here is where his speech is interrupted.

To Menelglir, the Prince replies: "... ... ... ... heard ... ... ... .... ... ... right to ... ... ... ... ... we."


Finally does Elphir's attention come to Maedwen, and here he seems most troubled.

"No, Lady. That is not so. Stay if you will. We are discussing the subtleties of education-- do you have an opinion on the matter?"

The Prince looks expectantly to her.

If Elphir does not seem to notice the new arrivals to the garden, his guard certainly does, steely grey eyes snapping immediately toward Lominzil in an attitude not often seen from Menelglir--then again relaxing, with ever so slight a nod to the squire. 

Another nod is spared to the Prince, as well. "Very well, Your Grace. I will see to it that Hir Elyan is aware of that," Menelglir says, his head inclined toward the white cloaked Guardsmen now coming into the gardens, apparently for a change of shifts. "And I will speak to the gardener to see if something can be done about the insects plaguing this place today." He slips off toward the back to speak briefly with the arriving Guardsman.

To the Lord Telumehtar, who speaks kindly of her arrival, Niphredil's attention lingers -- but briefly.

Shaking her head as she glances away, the girl says, plainly, "Now is not the time to speak of prayers." 

She is silenced by the hum of whispers. Stare narrowing on the Prince and his knight as they trade hidden words, Niphredil's jaw tightens and loosens, her teeth pressing together in a tight clench. But then she smiles -- grimly, but brightly -- and surely the girl knows she has been mentioned. When Maedwen is posed a question, an offer to entertain the men in conversation, her free hand extends to making a snapping sound between her middle finger and her thumb. "Oh, you better speak, girl, Your Grace is discussing the subtleties of education," she says -- and her voice is even, low, and -- perhaps? -- sarcastic. "Such important business the House of Imrazor entertains while their Knight Marshalls succumb to treachery. Perhaps if he likes what you have to say, he will ask your opinion on whether it would be best for him to dine on chicken or beef next. What an honour that would be."

Quick as a whip, the Hlorithain adds, her brows lifting with expectation: "Perhaps he will stun us all and choose lamb."

Like an apparition, Lominzil finds himself in the presence of Imrazor's heir.

"Pray, continue," he says quietly, bowing once.

Maedwen nods in response to the invitation and her posture relaxes, though it is still formal. "Education?" she repeats, somewhat in surprise and further shock in light of Niphredil's words. "I study to be a healer...but..." She politely closes her mouth into a thin line, apparent recognition that some unfamliiar affair is unfolding.

Indoron follows the turn of the conversation as Elphir breaks off from Education and then returns, asking Maedwen her thought on the subject. The captain turns to listen and then Niphredil speaks.

With a soft snort, Lord Telumehtar betrays some amusement beneath is calm exterior. "Lady Niphredil..." He just shakes his head and then turns to the hereditary prince. "Your Grace, I must be about my business. Good evening to you and good luck with your studies in the future." Then to Maedwen, he turns and nods. For her alone, he has raised eyebrows, a silent comment on this situation.

There is a vision of a sort to the Prince-- of the Knight-Marshall, one of two known to him. The wars still so new to a young mind. Curses, fire, death.

Yet he remains speaking, to Maedwen, and asks her, "But?"

Niphredil's attention follows the same direction as the Princeling's question, to the young healer. Men make their leave -- the Lord Telumehtar, again, refers to her by name -- but she responds only with the lowering of her chin, a small motion that might take the place of a calm and gracious farewell, though her demeanour seems fairly deprived of gentility. The storm in her gaze fixates on the girl's grace, her gown of fine cotton, her leather shoes. Her smile does not reach her eyes, but it is there -- a tight, close-lipped bow.

"Continue," she encourages her blandly. "You study to be a healer -- but what of the /subtleties/? Your Grace must know."

She waits -- she does not move. The willow springs roots, and though an unimpressed figure she may strike, she seems prepared to wait. Absently -- almost -- she interrupts to ask, "Do you treat many burnt men, my lady?" 

[Maedwen(#10685)] "But...healing is an art where experience dominates--though one many learn much from books. As to other arts, I only know that each is different and must be taught in a different manner..." Maedwen eyes Niphredil uncertainly, as one might eye a dangerous creature waiting to strike. "Burnt men?" she asks in response to the abrupt question. "Some I have seen, but not many. Few injuries arise in Minas Tirith that require treatment of that kind." Her voice is level and calm, though with an unsettled edge.
"Amroth learned," says the Blue Squire upon the side.

When his ire is risen, Elphir looks nothing like his father. His wrath is fresh and young, cooked by its closeness to birth and nearness to campaign. He positively growls before Hir Elyan and his perfectly white cape put a hand to the young Prince's shoulder. He retreats back, only to say, his tone composed.

"Her father suffered death by a flame, Lady Maedwen. It is why she asks of you this question."

Turning his eyes, he addresses Niphredil at last: "My lady, I mourn as you."

Niphredil is calm as Maedwen speaks of healing -- and of the rarity of flame-given injuries in the Stone City. Musing on that, the girl does not speak, but inclines her head toward the blue squire when he speaks instead -- and to him, she nods twice in light-hearted agreement. "If only Amroth were as fortunate as Minas Tirith, hm?" she asks, quite amiably, but the assumed leave-taking of Imrahil's oldest son captures what more she may have had to say on the subject. Instead, she watches in silence as his large guard dresses him in his white cape, her lips pursing into a hard, disapproving scowl. 

He leaves; he returns; he speaks.

The Hlorithain extends her hand, palm out, toward the young healer, as though this motion might stop the Prince's words on their march to her ears. She corrects him: "Her father suffered murder by a flame, Lady Maedwen."

And then her arm returns to her belt. Her chin rises, and she regards the Prince and all his mourning with an even look. "Your Grace -- no, you very much do not. And I would prefer it thus; I do not want your mourning, your tears. What would I do with either of these trinkets?"

"But your words and your actions, I would have those," she concludes, and her gaze lowers to his boots, and then rises again with challenge, "if the Imrazors were the sort of men to repay the blood of their servants with their own efforts." 

Placid she may appear, but as she finishes this last sentence -- the breath she takes in is long and deep.

Tense as a bowstring, the Blue Squire moves little -- breathes less.

"In the Halls of Healing," Lominzil offers to Maedwen with effort, "perhaps you will learn much."

Surely it is an escape, this dismissal from the battlefield.

[Maedwen(#10685)] "I am deeply sorry for your loss," Maedwen manages softly to Niphredil. "And..." She hesitates but Lominzil has fortunately come to her recuse. "There are some matters I should address in the Hall. Yes..." She offers a momentary smile and bows, before moving away at a deliberate pace--but faster than a normal lady's walk.

"Forgive us, Lady Maedwen," says Elphir regretfully.

His turn is swift when it is back to Niphredil. He says, "My words are my Prince's words, lady. Have you not heard them already?"

As the maid departs the gardens, Niphredil's unreadable stare trails her -- but only for a beat, for the Prince's response is soon to come, and as he turns back toward her, it is only appropriate that she should be waiting to observe him in all his royal rainment.

Has she not heard them already?

There is a great pause between his final word, and her first one -- but the girl breathes deeply and sharply in the haze between, the effort of her calm evident in the unstable rise and fall of her chest, but nowhere else. Her expression is resolute -- shifting only when a quick look is sparred to the squire, and then upon its return to its original source, her mouth stretches into a sneer. 

"Your Prince has no words -- so neither do you," she says, at length, and in her voice is something close to a surrender -- but not quite. But her disappointment mixes into a sour amalgam with her spite, as she gestures out with her hand; her fingertips drawn together, and then pushed outward, like a starfish, as though she may have had water to flick across the Prince's white cape. Alas, her hands are dry. "Weak men in ivory towers rewarding the death of good knights with their silence. I am sure that will inspire those you still have in your company. But I am thrilled, of course, to be in the first stronghold of Gondor where murder goes unpunished."

"Perhaps that will make my path easier," Niphredil says -- and now she is a jester, chuckling bitterly at her own joke. She pivots on the heel of her boot, and as quickly as she arrived, she departs. 

A second time does the white cloak of a Guardsman drape his Prince, but is in vain--

For Elphir looks at Niphredil simply and says, "Look for me on the morrow's passing."

Thus, relieved of company save for Hir Elyan, the young Prince settles back onto the ground and reopens tome. "I was telling Hir Menelglir..."

Date added: 2014-03-03 21:51:01    Hits: 56
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