?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

By The Light of Roses--Chapter Nine

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

By The Light of Roses--Chapter Nine

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
muses
Last week's chapter we became acquainted with the sad and sordid past of Eressetor. This week, we return to the present day, where Carnistir is getting ready to celebrate his begetting day. Fëanáro still has yet to receive word as to whether his estranged wife will be in attendance, but in this week's chapter, he will get his answer.

Please remember that this story is rated for adults only for reasons of sexuality and mature themes and contains slash. My thanks to everyone who is reading along! As usual, all comments are welcomed.


By the Light of Roses
Chapter Nine

The Message


After supper and chores, Terentaulë and I drifted to the parlor in an uncomfortable silence. Tyelperinquar whimpered in her arms, perhaps expressing what we would not: a sudden tension, discomfort, as though the unspoken words between us had created a pressure, forcing us apart. I should have made my excuses, gone off to my chambers alone to begin packing my things. If Terentaulë knew of my “trouble,” who else knew? Curufinwë? Vingarië? Telvo?

Fëanáro?

Perhaps they all knew and rightfully despised me.

We passed the stairway to our chambers, and I should have taken it. If I worked all night, then I could have my trunks packed by tomorrow. Slip away during the height of festivities, without causing a scene, bidding farewell only to Fëanáro, pleading homesickness or word of a family emergency or anything to get me out of his doors with a minimal inquisition.

I should have bolted for the stairs at first chance, but I did not. The thought of my chambers—a lonely box so like that into which my father would have had me placed, if he could, if not for Fëanáro saving me with this invitation to “apprenticeship”—repulsed me. The thought of silence broken only by the soughing of my heartbeat in my ears made my nails dig my palms. I would go mad, I feared, if forced to spend another moment alone.

I wasn’t ready to let go yet: of this place, of this disjointed family, of Fëanáro. I wasn’t ready to go back to Tirion or to acknowledge that the same disdainful pity that I’d received there might also await me here.

I had this bizarre image in my mind like the farces to which my mother would take me when I was small, acted out by puppets made of bright cloth with glittering button-eyes, the voices obnoxious caricatures of speech: There was me—a pale-faced puppet with somber black robes, a portrait of dignity, haughty almost with a pointed nose and clipped manner of speaking—being chased by an imp of Ornisso with wide insincere buttons for eyes and a speckled face, chasing me endlessly through the whole of history. Waiting until I was settled, gasping and bent with hands upon my knees, in a place of peace, then springing upon me again, his freckled cheeks upraised in a mockery of joy, of laughter. And off I ran again, until all of the corners of Aman were exhausted and everyone whispered of me from behind their hands and snickered: That Eressetor! An oddity; an aberrant! Applauding as they did, so grateful to laugh at my expense, my darkest secrets exposed with the same brutality of clothing torn away, flesh bared. How glad they were—laughing, clapping their hands together—that it was me and not them.

Even to cold, secluded Formenos, Ornisso had followed me. I cursed him.

And, defiant, I resisted him.

I followed Terentaulë past the stairs and to the parlor, where the five elder sons of Fëanáro were gathered before the fire (for nights were growing cold), their voices not as loud and brash as usual. I was reminded of the way that the trees will lie still—leaves obediently turned over to reveal their silver bellies, unmoving and submissive—as a thunderstorm gathers overhead. It is as though they are waiting—not necessarily yet afraid—but waiting to see if they shall need to be afraid, their voices low and hesitant, ears cocked for the first sign of trouble.

Vingarië lay in the arms of Macalaurë, who was having elaborate plaits put into his hair by Maitimo; Tyelkormo squinted in the light of a lamp at a boot that he was mending while Curufinwë sat at his side, book open upon his lap, unread; Carnistir lay on the floor, stretched upon his back with his head tilted, watching the fire leaping in the grate. His hair lay spread in a fan upon the floor—unfettered by plaits or bonds—reflecting the light of the fire like black glass.

Tyelperinquar squirmed in Terentaulë’s arms, emitting whimpering moans that threatened to explode into sobs, and Terentaulë placed him upon the floor and he took off in a flurry of chubby legs to race into his father’s arms.

Terentaulë perched on the sofa next to Vingarië and opposite her husband. I took a chair in a shadowy corner, hoping to escape notice, but Maitimo nodded in my direction: “Eressetor,” causing the other brothers to glance my way in coincident obedience, the way one of a flock of birds rising in a flurry of wings can cause the others to follow. As one, they looked away and back to their tasks.

Tyelkormo drove the heavy needle into the tip of his finger and cursed quietly. Carnistir sighed and shifted to his side, arm folded beneath his head, unblinking eyes fixed on the fire.

“According to some lore,” he said, interrupting the murmur of conversation between the brothers, “one can read the future in fire.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Carnistir,” said Maitimo without looking up from where he was affixing silver thread into Macalaurë’s plaits with nimble, twisting fingers.

“Did I say according to me, Nelyo? No. I said ‘some lore.’ ” But his gaze never left the fire, writhing more fiercely now as though rebuking Maitimo for his doubts.

It was Macalaurë who spoke next, his voice soft and uncertain: “Do you think that she is coming?”

“No,” said Curufinwë harshly, from across the room. Tyelperinquar was drifting to sleep with his head on Curufinwë’s lap; though his voice snapped like a whip brought down upon naked flesh, the fingers that twined through his son’s fine black curls were gentle. “She is not coming ever again.”

Beside him, Tyelkormo, defiant: “You do not know that.” Biting his lip, the needle driven into his fingertip again.

“She’s left us, Turko.”

“She left Atar, not us.”

“She left all of us.”

Ponderous silence fell, the likes of which I’d never imagined could settle between the sons of Fëanáro, who so easily charged the air with their unflagging energy, their voices striking the walls of a room with such force that one imagined they might knock them aside, as though they could be contained only by the open air and the bounds of Varda’s stars, not to be constrained by structure and architecture, the constructs of simple Elven minds. The fire whipped and twisted; Maitimo yanked Macalaurë’s hair hard enough to elicit a gasp and a hand flown to his head, wincing.

“You neglect to consider your mother’s perspective in all of this.”

Terentaulë.

A brave voice, not necessarily loud but forceful, rending the silence, startling me to the degree that I flinched in my seat, though the sons must have been better accustomed to such adamant outbursts: As one, they raised their heads to glance at Terentaulë; as one, they returned wordlessly to their tasks.

Except Curufinwë, whose smoldering eyes fixed upon his wife. She stared defiantly back.

“There is nothing to ‘consider,’ Terentaulë. She had the choice to stay with her family, and she left. It is that simple. She left Atar; she left us. Nothing about that is worthy of consideration.”

“You have reduced your vision to see only from your father’s perspective,” Terentaulë retorted. Her apple-green eyes were livid, aflame. “But a marriage is made of two people and the desires of two, not one. There is no domination, no obligation, in marriage. It is a consensus, a bargain, and if one fails to uphold half—his half—then the other is under no obligation either.”

“That is like you, Terentaulë, to view marriage as you would buying shoes. You fail to consider the union of spirits. It is unnatural to break that.”

“It is not breaking it to live apart.”

“Then you fail to consider her children!” Curufinwë’s precarious composure was lost, snapping like a branch under weight, pouring forth such a rage that Tyelperinquar was startled from sleep with a shriek. “We are expected to endure or be torn in half by her selfishness? Her inability to give her husband—her family—the loyalty that he deserves?”

“Some might logically point out, Curufinwë, that the exile was applied only to your father, so it is you who left, not her.”

Curufinwë’s gray eyes blazed with a white-hot heat; in his lap, Tyelperinquar was trying to wriggle free, but his father’ s grasp had tightened and held him with a fierce possessiveness, pressed to his body. I could see the frantic rising and falling of Curufinwë’s chest even from where I sat. A vein pounded at his temple.

“You,” he said to Terentaulë who leaned forward to meet his eyes, unafraid, “you disloyal, treacherous—”

“Curufinwë!” It was Maitimo who shouted. “Enough! In front of your son?” Disgust and despair twisted his fair features. Beside him, Macalaurë watched Curufinwë with wide, pitying eyes; Vingarië had buried her face into her husband’s chest and Macalaurë stroked her hair with such force as though seeking to prove, we are not like them!

“Exactly,” said Curufinwë, rising and gathering a wailing Tyelperinquar into his arms. “My son should not have to listen to his mother so lightly speak of dissolving a family. As though she admires what our mother has done.” He stormed from the room and the sound of Tyelperinquar’s unrelenting sobs plotted his progress down the hall and up the stairs, where the door slammed with a thunderous bang that made us wince as though a jolt of electricity had gone through each of our bodies in turn.

Tyelkormo had set aside his mending; his fingers twisted in his lap. Maitimo resumed plaiting Macalaurë’s hair, but his fingers quivered and fumbled the silver threads he was weaving into it, and Macalaurë reached back, caught his fingers, and squeezed them. “I am sorry,” Terentaulë said, to no one in particular, but her square-set shoulders and the proud lift of her chin said differently.

Carnistir was the only one unmoved by what we’d just witnessed: a fight between husband and wife, that which is supposed to be kept secret and tucked away, as squeamish when revealed as stirring another’s bloody wound with a finger. He gazed into the fire, hands folded upon his chest. “The fire says that she is not coming.”
~oOo~

We departed for bed not long after, although it was still early, content to heed Maitimo’s advice that we all try to sleep in order to enjoy the next day’s festivities. “For it is a celebration,” he said to our sullen faces, his false-bright voice fooling none of us, even I, who had known him only a short time.

I lingered in the shadows, feeling like a guilty witness, and waited for his brothers and sisters-in-law to file from the room. Maitimo dawdled also, picking up the boot that Tyelkormo had been mending and left lying unfinished, inspecting it and smiling at the fumbling stitches, folding it to take with him, probably to be fixed and finished by the morning, knowing Maitimo.

“Good night?” I called softly, my voice turning the salutation into a question at the last moment. Maitimo turned to meet my gaze, and I had to look away. So different from his father in both appearance and mood, but his eyes burned with the same fierce fire. “Eressetor,” he said, “I am sorry that you had to witness that. Our family—” His voice broke; he smiled, as though to cover his distress, fidgeting with Tyelkormo’s boot, picking at the awkward stitches—“our family is broken. Hurting. And we are fighting to fix ourselves but…it is hard. And whenever it seems that the wound is closed, something careless reopens it, and we all bleed anew.” He tucked Tyelkormo’s boot beneath his arm and laid his hand upon my shoulder as he passed. “Good night, Eressetor. Pray that she comes tomorrow.” His penetrating gaze fixed upon my eyes, appraising but not seeing.

I need to leave this place.

I need to leave this place because the next time, Maitimo will look into my eyes and he will know:
I don’t want her to come back.

He will know that I am—

I fled the room before I could even admit my next thought to myself.

I lay in bed that night, wakeful, fretting. My trunk in the armoire beckoned me, but I lacked the fortitude. Just as I’d lacked the fortitude to resist the gentle temptation of Ornisso’s kiss, refusing to see what had been obvious to all until it was too late, until all were irreversibly hurt, marked by the incident. So would I be hurt here, I feared.

Unless I kicked free of the bedclothes, packed my trunk, and waited until Fëanáro was drunk and joyful tomorrow to tell him that I would be returning to Tirion, to my home. My father.

But I lacked the fortitude. Because I loved—

I loved it here. Why? I did not know…or would not admit, at least.

Outside my bedroom door, the floorboards creaked furtively; matched voices, speaking in a whisper: The twins had returned, from their separate excursions, at the same time. “Your ring…” I heard Pityo say, and Telvo’s nervous laugh. “Oh. Of course,” their voices receding as they moved down the hallway to their adjoining bedrooms.

The mystery of this family, with its allegiances forged and dissolved—feelings fractured as easily as fragile porcelain dashed against stone—and quickly mended, a family over which Fëanáro presided, the fire in his spirit annealing the bonds between his sons even as his fervor threatened also to destroy them, reduce them to ashes. And like anything subjected to such unrelenting heat, his sons became at once stronger and yet threatening to erupt into conflagration, bowing and melting with too greater a heat and pressure, the madness in their eyes looking a lot like fire.

I needed to leave. But I would not.

In the bedroom next door, Terentaulë paced, trying to soothe a restive Tyelperinquar to sleep. I heard her singing gentle lullabies, her voice tremulous with tears. The floor creaked with heavier footfalls, and I heard Curufinwë’s low voice. “Here. Let me.”

Seamlessly, his smooth, baritone voice took over singing, and Tyelperinquar’s fussing subsided. I heard their mattress creak and Terentaulë’s soft weeping replaced that of her son.

Curufinwë’s voice, sketching a path from where I knew the cradle lay to the bed he shared with his wife. “Hey. Terentaulë. Don’t do this.” Another creak and I imagined them joined, arms wrapping the other, upon the bed. His lips drinking her tears from her cheeks. “I love you, you know?”

“I-I know. And I’m so sorry for—for what I said.” There was a long, heavy silence; I imaged his hands caressing her, melting the clothes from her body. Lips pressing flesh in answer to her apology. “I don’t want to ever leave you.” So faint a whisper that I barely heard, but their heads were right behind mine with only a thin wall between. I heard.

Curufinwë answered, much more adamant, “Then don’t.” To which she had no answer that I heard, only a soft gasp of passion.
~oOo~

The next day was a flurried rush of fighting for the bathrooms and ironing good robes and plaiting hair and keeping a lookout for guests upon the path. It was Carnistir’s begetting day, and he was flushed with pleasure, accepting handgrasps from everyone and hugs from his brothers. Dutifully, I gave my good wishes, and he surprised me with a quick, painful embrace. I smelled wine on his breath and, beneath that, a scent of scorch, of green life left too long beneath the merciless fire of Laurelin.

Just after the Mingling of the Lights, Fëanáro shouted up the stairs: “We need to sit together for a minute for breakfast!” and I trudged down the stairs—having been sleepily pondering the trunk in my armoire and wondering if I could pack it before the feast began—in a throng of his sons and daughters-in-law. Breakfast was cold bread with jam and fruit, with each of us expected to set his own place and pour his own juice. Curufinwë and Terentaulë were adamantly hand-in-hand—even when it hampered their progress in setting their places for breakfast—eager to prove their reconciliation. Tyelkormo looked grumpy and had his hair twisted into a towel, still wearing his nightclothes. Both twins were tousle-haired and sleepy, and they whispered together in a rare show of friendship.

Only Maitimo and Finwë were fully dressed, and Maitimo was nervously picking at his fruit salad and Finwë was smiling too widely as though hoping that joy was in fact contagious.

Fëanáro plunged into our midst, grinning and pushing more food onto our plates than we could eat. “Atar—” Tyelkormo protested as his father lavished his plate with piles of grapes.

“Oh, don’t complain. You need your energy!”

“But I don’t even like grapes.” Annoyed, Tyelkormo tossed his plate aside and rejoined the line to begin again, as though it would have been too much effort to pick out the grapes from amid the cubes of melon and toast with marmalade that he preferred.

Eventually, everyone was served and seated around the table. From his trouser’s pocket, Pityo withdrew a small object and plunked it onto the table: a tiny hourglass, set to measure a single minute.

Tyelkormo snickered. Fëanáro looked aghast. “Pityo—”

“You always say ‘one minute!’ You know that I hate breakfast and sitting around like a bunch of fools eating bloody grapes and toast, but you insist ‘one minute’ and argue when I declare my minute expired, so here you go: inarguable proof of ‘one minute.’ “ The table fell into silence except for the nearly inaudible hiss of the sand spilling through the hourglass; we all watched, our flatware suspended between our fingers, caught between plate and mouth, and waited.

“Well,” said Pityo when the last grain had dropped into the bottom chamber with its brethren, “that’s it. One minute undeniably up.” He plucked up his hourglass and shoved it back into his pocket, passing Carnistir on his way out of the room and pausing to hug him from behind, around the neck, planting a kiss upon his hair. “Blessings on your begetting day, Brother. I love you.”

“I love you too,” Carnistir answered, but Pityo had already released him and was hustling from the room. Fëanáro sighed loudly and Telvo—who’d weaseled in to sit beside him—leaned on his arm as though trying to make up for the boorish behavior of his twin brother. I’d avoided his glance or nearness to him out of horror of yesterday’s incident, and he’d remained ignorant of me, choosing to mutter to his twin brother and then cling to their father. But with all the room’s attention upon him, he glanced bashfully up through the fringe of his lashes.

And he looked at me.

He smiled.

And Pityo burst back into the room. “Atar!” he cried, breathless with excitement. “There is a messenger coming up the path. And—” his face breaking into a smile, as though even his usual sullen, dismissive demeanor couldn’t contain his joy—“he is clad in Amil’s colors.”

There was a rush for the door, and I was caught up in it, my blood pounding as I tried to convince myself that it was because I was happy and excited like the others, that the roar of impatient footsteps and the bright exclamations crashing in a cacophony like cymbals being smashed around my head was a thing of beauty, of joy. I dismissed the voice that said, But if she returns, then you have no reason to stay. For that was foolish, and I knew this.

There was a crush through the door, but we relented to let Fëanáro through first and the rest of us piled behind him to wait on the stairs to the house, a bedraggled throng half-dressed and still tousled from sleep, wide grins showing unwashed teeth, hands clenching each other’s in hope.

Except mine. I stood among them as a stranger, and no one thought to hold my hand.

Pityo had been right: A rider was making his slow, careful way into the valley, bearing the unmistakable crest of Nerdanel. My father had been fond of decrying Nerdanel’s crest before she’d separated from Fëanáro; afterward, the crest was the cause of their estrangement, to hear him talk. The audacity of a wife to assume a crest—as though assuming a house—separate from that of her husband! It was portended from the beginning, he would say in ponderous tones, that their union should sunder, nudging me with his toe and saying, “Never marry a woman who insists upon her own crest, Eressetor!” as though that was something about which I would ever have to worry.

Her device was the star of Fëanáro upon the shield of her father’s design and around it stood seven stars. Gold on red: the colors also of Fëanáro’s heraldry, but her red was deeper and less harsh on the eye, closer to maroon, and the gold subtle also, the hue of harvest wheat. His red was the color of freshly shed blood, with the gold glinting as bright as Laurelin upon the restless sea. Side by side, the eye was drawn first to his, wandering to hers only as an afterthought. I wondered if she’d planned it that way.

Seeing all of us waiting on the steps, the messenger reined his horse and dismounted, looping the reins around a tree and loosely enough to give the animal freedom to graze. He jogged towards us, a rolled scroll already produced from his pouch and held loosely in his hand.

Fëanáro stepped forward to welcome him, and the messenger kneeled. “Greetings, my lord. I come bearing a message from your wife, the Lady Nerdanel of Tirion.” The parchment, though, stayed neatly rolled, clasped tightly in the messenger’s hand.

“Well,” said Fëanáro with a quavering laugh, “have out with it then.” Holding out his hand, wiggling his fingers as though to summon the message to him: the long-awaited reply from the estranged wife.

“Begging pardon, my lord, but the Lady Nerdanel specifically directed that the message is not to be given to you. It is intended for Prince Carnistir, your son.”

The messenger’s eyes remained politely averted and, with his back to us, none of us bore witness to the countenance of Fëanáro, as his hopes were quashed before the whole of his family. He took an unsteady step back from the messenger. His shoulders remained straight and proud, rigid, but his hands hung empty at his sides, sad, somehow, as though he did not know what to do with them. The hands of Fëanáro, from which wondrous creations were born, that had held his children and made love to his wife, now empty. Purposeless.

Beside me, Carnistir had frozen, his dark gray eyes wide as though with fright and his feet fixed firmly to the ground, the last traces of a hopeful smile still teasing his lips as though longing to prolong the joy that had seized them for a single meaningless minute. It was Finwë who stepped forward and gave Carnistir a gentle nudge. “He has a message for you,” Finwë whispered, and with his arm around the shoulders of his grandson, he led him forward, to hold out a trembling hand and take the parchment that the messenger proffered. And Finwë went to Fëanáro’s side, to take his son into his solid one-armed embrace, a show of strength and solidarity. Even though Fëanáro was taller than his father and his shoulders were proud, he seemed diminutive and pitifully helpless in the circle of his father’s arm.

Carnistir fumbled open the seal on the paper and unrolled it. We waited, waited for word. At last he spoke. “She sends her regrets for not being able to attend,” he said in a bold, trembling voice. He stood with his back to us, the paper stretched so mercilessly tight between his hands that I feared it would tear. “She names my begetting day as one of the six greatest days of her life. She sends her love—‘seven times,’ it says—to us. Her children.”

Carnistir’s hands crushed together then, crumpling the paper between them and casting it into the dirt of the path. Uncombed hair shielding his face, his eyes, from our scrutiny, he stalked up the steps as we parted to make way for him as though repelled. The messenger bowed once more to Fëanáro and hastened away, mounting and roughly reining his horse back up the hill.

One by one, we returned to the house in a solemn procession. I followed Maitimo, feeling a torrent of emotions that I could not yet untangle from each other long enough to decipher their precise meaning, only that I felt on the verge of both laughter and tears and could not quite name why.

Behind me, I heard a furtive sound and turned to see Telvo scurry to retrieve the crumpled message from the dust, smoothing it and folding it into a neat square, to be tucked into his pocket.

Maitimo held the door for him, and the brothers exchanged a solemn glance. Maitimo shut the door behind him, and my last sight before the latch clicked into place and barred the front path from sight was Fëanáro turning to fully receive his father’s embrace, strong, pale hands clutching at Finwë’s shoulders with the same desperate need as a drowning man clinging to a rock to save his life.





~oOo~


On a personal note, Bobby and I will be leaving for Ocean City tomorrow morning and will be away until Sunday night. Per usual, I am denying myself Internet access, so I will answer all forthcoming comments, emails, and reviews on today's postings of BtLoR and AMC on Monday. My fondest regards to everyone and hopes for a pleasant weekend!

(Me, I'm looking to ride the Crazy Dance now that my ribs don't feel like they're exploding. And beat my high score in LotR pinball. And coax the muses out on the beach. And....)
  • Aw, that's so sad--I totally sympathize with Nerdanel for not going, but it's still hard to watch even Feanaro's reaction. :( And gah, is it hard to "know the future" sometimes, like when Curufinwë and Terentaulë are fighting and making up.

    Though on a happier note, the image of the family fighting for the bathrooms is funny--I know that's bad enough with just four children in a family, but seven! That'd be awful :D And you'd never think of that as being one of that family's problems from reading the Silm... ("There were Celegorm and Curufin, whose might and swiftness of body made them masters of getting to the bathrooms first, though many said after that they never put the lid down when they were done...")
    • One of my concerns with this story is that because I stay in one PoV and we never actually meet Nerdanel, that people would think that Eressetor's low opinion of her is also Dawn's low opinion of her. (I have less a fear of this on LJ--since my flist is a pretty intelligent lot--than when I post this in "other places." *cough* ff.net *coughcough*) Anyhoo, I feel bad for her because Feanaro is putting her in a difficult position and then kind of pointing the finger at her for deserting her family. *slaps Feanor around a little*

      ("There were Celegorm and Curufin, whose might and swiftness of body made them masters of getting to the bathrooms first, though many said after that they never put the lid down when they were done...")

      LMFAO!!! Man, if I was still writing that stupid Silmarillion play, I might ask to borrow that. :^D

      I like to believe that my Elves did face some of the same problems that we mere mortals face. And seven Elves who need to pee and one bathroom poses a problem, immortal or not, I would think!
    • Yeah, I think Feanor acts sufficiently like a spoiled brat and we see Eressetor's irrationality in his thoughts enough that it's hard to really blame Nerdanel, though it's been a while since I've been exposed to FF.net readers... (and I'd also have to say that Nerdanel's kind of my favorite female Tolkien character at this point (yay for having virtues without being the most glowingly gorgeous female Elf around for a change! :P), so it's kind of hard for me to want to blame her to begin with...)

      I like to believe that my Elves did face some of the same problems that we mere mortals face. And seven Elves who need to pee and one bathroom poses a problem, immortal or not, I would think!

      Haha, yeah... I thought I read in one of the books that biologically, Elves might be considered the same species as humans--their main difference in their "immortality." (Though they also are said to have different gestation periods and reproductive habits, but you never know what's just idealistic and what isn't in those kinds of writings. And the debate over pointy ears continues...) So why shouldn't they face a lot of the same problems we face?

      I hadn't read about any special Feanorean toilets in the Silm that would solve that problem, either! :D
      • it's been a while since I've been exposed to FF.net readers...

        *snerk* Actually, I can't complain too much. I've gotten some really great reviews over there (though I've never posted in the LotR section--just Silmarillion--and I maintain that if one can make it through the Sil enough to understand what's going on, then s/he must have at least two brain cells to rub together). I did have someone mention that a friend of hers who had read "Return to Me" had made the profoundly stupid (imho) statement that it was "OOC to have Feanor jump into the water to rescue his drowning little half-brother Finarfin." And the alternative was to...let him drown? But that reviewer even agreed that it was stupid, so that was stupidity through...hearsay?

        Strangely, my biggest problem over there was with a particularly pompous reviewer who assumed that s/he knew my motivations as an author and that They Were Not Good, i.e. that I write to entertain the fluffy masses, i.e. you all. (I sometimes think that I must have one of the least fluffy flists in the fandom, but that's just me.) The funny thing was that this person put on a very condescending air, but some of his/her points completely lacked in logic. So maybe it was a typical Pit of Voles review! :^P

        I'd also have to say that Nerdanel's kind of my favorite female Tolkien character at this point (yay for having virtues without being the most glowingly gorgeous female Elf around for a change! :P), so it's kind of hard for me to want to blame her to begin with...

        Me too! Glowingly gorgeous FCs tend to get on my nerves, at least when the glowing gorgeousness is made central to their characters, as though female characters are really nothing beyond their shiny hair and pimple-free skin. :^P Actually, I was so in a rut of writing bland or unattractive FCs that I had to throw a few pretty ones into the mix. Taryinde--the eventual wife of Caranthir--was rather unlovely, but I changed her to be a bit prettier since the wives of the Feanorians in the Felak!verse were becoming quite a yucky lot. :^P

        I thought I read in one of the books that biologically, Elves might be considered the same species as humans--their main difference in their "immortality."

        I've always assumed them to be the same species because they can mate and produce viable offspring. And frankly, pretty!perfect Elves get on my nerves, those that never get a spot of dirt on their clothes and glide about in satin robes all day. I see Elves as liking the same comforts as we do, and nothing's nicer than to kick back in an old set of clothes or run about barefoot and get one's feet all grimy. And I also can't believe that after ten hours in the forge, Feanor would smell like a bundle of roses either. :^P
    • And seven Elves who need to pee and one bathroom poses a problem, immortal or not, I would think!

      *snickers madly at the thought* Although one should hope that a rich and famous craftsman like Fëanáro could afford to have more than one bathroom in his house with so many people living in it...
      • One would hope! But if not, I don't think it's the only illogical and possibly destructive thing that Feanaro might have done. ;)
  • Oh... literally, tears in my eyes at the end of this chapter. My poor baby Moryo. And on his own begetting day? I rather hate Nerdanel for doing that to her sons, although I certainly see why it would have been bad if she had come.

    I loved this chapter especially. I think Eressetor's story is an interesting one, to be sure, but for me the best parts are the glimpses over his shoulder at the Feanorian family in their uneasy existence in exile. I particularly like how you're setting up Pityo and Telvo as totally different from each other, which is unique in fanfiction, which tends to portray twins as being two parts of the same person. Very nice with that.

    Anyway, beautiful writing, as usual! I hope you have a lovely weekend. :-D
    • I rather hate Nerdanel for doing that to her sons, although I certainly see why it would have been bad if she had come.

      I blame Feanor. He posed to her an impossible question and raised his children's hopes so that when she (inevitably) refused, he could point the finger at her and blame her. Of course, he's hurting himself, so I sympathize with him too. I guess it's like any family conflict that there are no easy answers. :^/

      I think Eressetor's story is an interesting one, to be sure, but for me the best parts are the glimpses over his shoulder at the Feanorian family in their uneasy existence in exile.

      So I guess that I'm a Feanatic is rather obvious? :^D They put their dirty little fingers into everything!

      But really, it was deliberate, because they are part of the setting with which Eressetor has to deal. His strange feelings for their father might make him a little uneasy.

      Plus, they're really fun to write. ;)

      I particularly like how you're setting up Pityo and Telvo as totally different from each other, which is unique in fanfiction, which tends to portray twins as being two parts of the same person.

      I tend to think that canon kind of supports the idea that the brothers were close. (Although that hated!HoMe story about one of them dying aboard the ships makes me wonder. The other twin seemed far too nonchalant. "Oh, you set my brother on fire. Eh." Anyway....) But I'm so tired of Weasley-twin Ambarussa at the same time that I sort of challenged myself to write closeness without requiring them to be breathing down each other's necks all of the time or identical in every way. I wanted something more profound between them. Don't know if I got it, but I tried. :)

      Anyway, beautiful writing, as usual! I hope you have a lovely weekend. :-D

      Thanks so much! It was quite wonderful. :)
  • Sorry I didn't get around to commenting last week. I hadn't gotten iGor set up in the new apartment yet.

    Eressetor continues to have a fantastic observational eye, as always. He's extraordinarily perceptive, and his quiet, reserved nature tends to enhance that. People seem to forget that he's there, and go about their business. Eressetor sees them and draws his own conclusions. With the experience of a lifetime of being on the outside looking in, most of his conclusions appear to be pretty accurate.

    On the other hand, there are some qualities about Eressetor that I've been liking less and less as the story develops. He certainly can be a drama queen -- last week's chapter was almost stereotypical in that regard. He tends to wallow in self-pity, and he doesn't get angry when anger is clearly called for.
    • Sorry I didn't get around to commenting last week. I hadn't gotten iGor set up in the new apartment yet.

      No worries. :) You're so good and helpful with comments that I would not dare to complain! (Besides, we're all entitled to a bit of real life.)

      As for Eressetor, I'm pleased to hear that his observations seem to be spot-on to you!

      As for his drama-queen tendencies...exactly. I would agree with you. He is becoming quite a little ball of angst. But in his defense, this is the second time now in a short span that he has had his dreams and purposes thwarted by what he perceives as his aberrance. And he certainly does not know how to deal with his emotions.

      I hope by story's end that he has moved past this, past his insecurity and his general doormat attitude. Feanor will certainly try to provoke him as much as possible, of course. And it will also help when he begins to think of himself as part of the family instead of a not-so-welcome outsider...and an aberrant one at that.
  • Vingarie kind of seems like a pansy in this chapter. Maybe that's just me...or maybe it's just because she's completely the opposite of me, I think.

    Yay Terentaule for having some balls! :)

    I probably have *never* mentioned this before but, I <3 Carnistir!!

    I really like this chapter! And I'm glad I waited to read it, because Friday I was just so drained, and had done enough reading/writing that I clicked on the cut, read half a sentence and closed the page. Then I watched Phantom of the Opera. At any rate, I enjoyed this 493 times more than I would have on Friday. It would have been sad if I had only been half-heartedly into things when I read it. I think this is one of my favorite chapters.

    Two other things. One is extremely silly. The whole "as one" movement stuff...well, maybe it was half being a perfection geek, and half from watching Phantom, but, I just had this image of all...six? people doing the exact same movement at the exact same time (instead of generally the same time). It made it feel (look?) contrived, which I doubt you meant it to be. I'm probably the only one who read it this way though.

    Number two. I can't really picture a feasible way to loop reins over a tree branch while still allowing a horse to graze. Horses like to wander when they graze (and pull you along, when you are hand-grazing them. Clu has no manners), so the reins would either be too low, or the horse could only barely reach the ground. If the reins were low, the horse could step on/through them, and freak out, have a meltdown, break the reins, etc. If they're high, the horse can't reach the ground (heck, they have to bend a knee to graze without being tied). Plus, you probably wouldn't want to use reins as a tie, because if the horse throws his head for whatever reason, they'll most likely break (or the branch could break, depending on its size). Probably the best thing here would be to keep hold of the reins (either thrown over the neck as they would be when riding or not), since the messenger's stay is short. If it were long, he should take the tack off, or the less nice thing would be to put a halter on over the bridle (with the reins thrown over the head), and tie him with the lead rope.

    Phew. That was long, especially for me. Still, this is my favorite yet! (I wonder if it has some kind of bias to do with Carnistir's appearance...)

    Also, I have decided that you two go to the beach WAY too often. Seriously. Stop it.

    Also, the muses wonder how there can ever be a joint muse vacation if you yourself are always on vacation and bringing the muses. ;)
    • Vingarie kind of seems like a pansy in this chapter. Maybe that's just me...or maybe it's just because she's completely the opposite of me, I think.

      See, I see Vingarie as being one of the wiser ones. She knows that fighting and harsh words will mend nothing and will only drive everyone further apart. There is nothing that she can say to change things, so she holds tight to her husband and hopes that that will make a difference. No matter what, they are going to take Feanor's word above hers (or Terentaule's), and Feanor wants them to believe that Nerdanel chose to leave and not the other way around. I think that she recognizes her limitations and does what she can within them.

      Yay Terentaule for having some balls! :)

      *snickersnicker* I'm not sure that Curufinwe agrees.... ;) But, yes, she's more a Feanorian than her sister-in-law. So is Taryinde, the eventual wife of Caranthir. But Vingarie too is half-Teler (and very Telerin in appearance, talent, and temperament), while her sisters-in-law are both Noldor. So it's inevitable that she's softer, I think.

      I probably have *never* mentioned this before but, I <3 Carnistir!!

      :^O <--*shock and awe*

      I really like this chapter! And I'm glad I waited to read it, because Friday I was just so drained, and had done enough reading/writing that I clicked on the cut, read half a sentence and closed the page.

      Ick. I know how that goes. And I'm glad too that you waited so that you could enjoy the chapter (and your review was one of the first things in my inbox this morning!)

      Two other things. One is extremely silly. The whole "as one" movement stuff...

      Yes, I will look over this because I can completely see your point (and the image is weird indeed). Thanks for pointing it out!

      And also for the horse thing, which I will fix. You are officially my horse-beta and you catch my boo-boos. *lends you Carnistir to do with as you please* Just don't tell Finrod, or he'll want in too....

      Finrod: What?

      Dawn: Shoot.

      Also, I have decided that you two go to the beach WAY too often. Seriously. Stop it.

      *snicker* Well, we hope one day to make "going to the beach" and "going to work" one and the same, so I think that it's fitting! It's one of the hazards of living only a couple of hours from the ocean.

      Also, the muses wonder how there can ever be a joint muse vacation if you yourself are always on vacation and bringing the muses. ;)

      Oh, I don't bring the muses. They force themselves along, sometimes stowing away in the luggage. :^P Finrod can fold himself into some pretty impressive positions....

      Finrod: Damn right.

      Dawn: Shoot. He heard me. Again.

      Anyway, the muses would like me to tell you and your muses that they are tapping their toes and waiting impatiently for you to have a show in DC so that the muses can all go to the beach together....
      • I think that she recognizes her limitations and does what she can within them.

        I agree with your reasoning, and I completely understand what it's like to stay out of an argument that is futile. I might be imagining her a little different from you, so my interpretation must have her come across a little more dramatic in her non-drama reaction. Or something. Does that even make sense? I just woke up so...;)

        *snickersnicker* I'm not sure that Curufinwe agrees.... ;)

        I think it secretly turned him on. He certainly didn't complain about the make-up sex!!!! >;)

        At any rate, I think I like her better because she is closer to my personality in some ways and Vingarie is closer to some of my (flute) friends - love them but sometimes...AHH! If you know what I mean.

        :^O <--*shock and awe*

        *giggle* Don't hurt yourself over there...*probably too much to ask*

        Ick. I know how that goes. And I'm glad too that you waited so that you could enjoy the chapter (and your review was one of the first things in my inbox this morning!)


        Hooray!! Yeah, and I uh, missed class and took a nap today...Bad Tarion.

        Yes, I will look over this because I can completely see your point (and the image is weird indeed). Thanks for pointing it out!

        Lol, no problem. It's probably the only time perfect synchrony will bother me. Usually it's the opposite! ;)

        Also, always willing to catch people's horse-related errors! It'll make me feel better when I come to you whining, "Dawn, will you beta this?" ;)

        *lends you Carnistir to do with as you please* Just don't tell Finrod, or he'll want in too....

        :D Don't worry, my lips are sealed. (*And belatedly realizes the not-so-innocent implications of this statement, but doesn't change it* ;)

        Finrod: What?

        Bye Finrod! I think that red-haired prettie you were wanting is in Poudre Valley...

        They force themselves along, sometimes stowing away in the luggage. :^P Finrod can fold himself into some pretty impressive positions....

        Lucky. Mine might be around in the car, but they mysteriously disappear when I have time/means to write...

        And yes, I imagine he can. Wait. No. I do not imagine those things. Besides, sometimes those positions look really uncomfortable.

        Anyway, the muses would like me to tell you and your muses that they are tapping their toes and waiting impatiently for you to have a show in DC so that the muses can all go to the beach together....

        I'm working on it...it'll be a couple years at best. The internship might be faster. Although I am still worried about the...consequences of such a trip! ;P
        • At any rate, I think I like her better because she is closer to my personality in some ways and Vingarie is closer to some of my (flute) friends - love them but sometimes...AHH! If you know what I mean.

          I do! And you might remember from AMC that Vingarie plays...the flute. :^P

          Also, always willing to catch people's horse-related errors! It'll make me feel better when I come to you whining, "Dawn, will you beta this?" ;)

          Awww...I hope that you know that if you ever need a beta, I'm happy to do it! :)

          I'm working on it...it'll be a couple years at best. The internship might be faster. Although I am still worried about the...consequences of such a trip! ;P

          Hehe...for us or the muses? Actually, I'm more worried about the consequences of such a trip for Bobby! (Although he'd probably have too much fun teasing us to notice!)
          • I do! And you might remember from AMC that Vingarie plays...the flute. :^P

            True. And really, flute players all have the same universal personality...;)

            Hehe...for us or the muses? Actually, I'm more worried about the consequences of such a trip for Bobby!

            Haha, Both! For the muses mainly...and mainly mine! And I'm totally used to be teased, so...

Powered by LiveJournal.com