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Neither Good nor Bad

Tags: Arathis,  Elphir

Short Summary: Arathis interrupts Elphir reading in Mithrellas' Garden.
Date (real-life): 2014-03-25
Scene Location: Mithrellas Garden, Imrazor Castle, Dol Amroth

Dol Amroth: Prince's Castle - Mithrellas' Garden

High among the spires and sloping rooftops of the Marble Citadel is the rooftop garden, built by Princes gone by in memory of Imrazor's beloved elfmaid, Mithrellas. Slender columns and arches of white marble are hung with ivy and flowering vines, riotous with bright trumpet blooms to draw darting hummingbirds. Though the space is hardly vast, there are trees of rowan and olive, orange and lemon, all lending the scent of fruit and bloom to the sea air pervading the atmosphere. All about the slender boles are set elanor and niphredil, small lovely blossoms of white and gold.

In the very center of the garden is a marble figure, Mithrellas herself. The elfmaid faces the sea, her stone hair ever blowing about her as she reaches out to Belegaer, visible beyond the westernmost precipice. A simple table of the same white stone is set near the railing, surrounded by chairs of lebethron, simply wrought and unadorned. Patches of light alternate with dappled shade, and all is serenity, filled with the song of nightengale and lark, and the tinkling of chimes hung amongst the foliage.


Obvious exits:
Prince's Spire <PS>, Ivriniel's Spire <IS>, Elphir's Spire <ES>, Erchirion's Spire <ERS>, and Amrothos's Spire <AS>


Paramount to these gardens is Mithrellas herself -- a statue full of sorrow and elven beauty.

A young knight sits in her presence oblivious to both the statue's sorrow and its beauty. Perhaps he has seen it a time too many for it to draw his eye. His nose is planted firmly into the thick of a tome dedicated to, surely, a subject of some pressing concern. Its pages are turned, generating a momentum of their own. For one is turned, then the next quicker and another quicker after that. Only a sudden wind would break his cadence, which a wind does; he blows his hair back into its place. The whoosh of wind is tangible, his response too, but Prince Elphir does not seem to be distracted. He reads and reads.


Yet the same wind bears Arathis of the Isilrim, tall and black-bearded, stalking through a spire’s door to the garden, whence then the airs rush to fill the open port. He is unarmored, but he is dignified: a crimson sash puffs martially upon his breast betwixt two golden badges, and furs robe him. He is also of blade, held aloft sheathed in his hand instead of hanging at his hip.

The captain pauses upon the Imrazor heir in silence, looking first to Mithrellas. “Hir Elphir,” he calls out distinctly at length, “though ye are rightly the pride of fair Amroth, and I hear now a mighty knight, perhaps ye still read too quickly.”

He smiles softly beneath his kempt beard, and gestures a request to join Elphir atop the fortress of the Imrazor.


"How many times must--", so this young Knight begins to speak.

Though the winds will not will it, the young Prince's attention is drawn from the tome. It is the voice of a Guardsman, yet not. He need not look.

A familiarity settles upon the Prince as he snaps shut the words-on-page.

"Captain Arathis," corrects Elphir, drawing twain eyes once tangible to other worlds, "You are here to see my father.”


“I am here,” confirms the Isilrim, raising the sheathed blade to broadly wave across Mithrellas’ garden, intaking then a long but agedly shallow breath -- “I am here, Hir, to enjoy again thy sea herbs & flowers. I shall meet the Prince later.” He exhales thus into the air’s mix of salt and spring sweetness.

 “I have been too long gone.” He approaches the youth, and takes seat next to him. “How fares thy city, good prince?”


Prince Elphir says to the question, "It is..."

Here he pauses to search for a word unaccustomed, then finds it: "Afraid."

He continues, steadier now, "It knows dark shadows, dark words, dark men. Sees Caldur, Tolcrist, Edhellond. War, constant war, blood and death and betrayal." The Prince breaks his own musing to address Arathis directly, "But direst of all, Captain..."

The young Prince looks to his own hands, to the aged tome within them, then to Arathis.

"It has forgotten too much."


Some gulls squawk below. Their cries are, however, unhurried and infrequent, leaving the sea’s faint roar and its occasional strikes upon Amroth’s solemn rock to resound mellowly, when the garden is left undisturbed by speech. Arathis looks and so lingers upon the Imrazor with an overstill visage.  

“And do ye fare likewise, Elphir?” he inquires, interspersing the words with slow and stately pauses.

The round pommel of the admiral’s sword, held still upward, angles slightly toward the prince’s tome. The man follows it, as if to assess the script.


Elphir laughs a laugh so bright it might be considered mocking; only once this young Prince has forgotten it, only then does he answer simply, "I do not forget." Unperturbed by the Captain's pommel and offering plain view of the tome, he continues, "Words upon the page...Lords and ladies of noble houses.

"Banners, colors, heraldry..."

"Great battles and great defeats..."

"Ships and swords and swans and sorrow..."

"Deeds both fair and foul..."

"One may call it a curse," sighs Elphir to himself, "To remember so much."

"But not I. Not I."

"See you the stars above? For amidst the blanket of night, I remember their names too."


Arathis glances upward, heeding plainly the firmament, ere his interest settles decidedly downward, and he again comes to consider the heir of Amroth in the Imrazori garden.

"Ye sound fey and look paled," observes the captain, then rising. "I shall leave thee to thy book, though I would suggest a hunt for the benefit of thy Constitution."

The elder swordsman steps backward and bows lightly, lowering Calardan's blade in tandem. "Elphir, I commend thee in thy victories against the Pretender, for though thy people are afraid and distrustful, not all wars are bad, when they are won.

"I am here only briefly. If I may perform thee any service, bid and I shall do so gladly."

Thus Arathis turns to depart.


And thus does the young Prince's hand move to turn open the tome before it hesitates and then withdraws. Elphir speaks instead.

"I think our war not bad, Captain," he says plainly. Lost is the wistfulness, the star-glazed meandering. "Nor do I think it good."

He glances one last time to Arathis and then opens the tome, peering downwards at the pages.

"My father will send me to convene in Minas Tirith."

"Need I ask that you come to hear my words?"


"I shall hear thee," assures Arathis, "whether now or then. Perhaps ye shall have it sooner, and join me before thy father.

"Yet if ye would fain study thy tome for the present, perhaps ye shall reconsider ere the council, dear Elphir, whether it is best to then attest to the people and men-at-arms, who mean to soon aid in throwing a worshipper of Morgoth from southern coasts, that our war is not good.

"Perhaps it is best if ye, few among the victors against the Pretender, say instead that it is good."

Arathis invites Elphir inward and bows shortly. "And it is good, faithful knight." He returns into the castle.



Date added: 2014-03-25 21:49:13    Hits: 67
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