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Author: Subject: [Subforum: JulNoWriMo Progress Reports] LotR fanfiction: Where the Grass Grows Green
Ragnelle
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JulNoWriMo Title: Where the Grass Grows Green book II

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[*] posted on 7-6-2010 at 06:27 PM
LotR fanfiction: Where the Grass Grows Green


I am quite new to this. While I have heard of NaNoWriMo before, I have not attempted it, mostly because November is a really bad month for me. So when I heard of this, I thought I would try.

The story I am writing, is an AU fanfiction of LotR in which Sauron won. I began planing September last year and have written a fair bit, but it will be long, and I thought this might get me a fair bit further, even if I don't make it. I have 8 chapters and more than 50 000 words already on it (I have long chapters), and the story has just started! I need the plot moving.

I've started on chap 9 for this, and hope to perhaps get the first part if the story finished during this month. So far I have 3857 words, including a childhood story for one of my original characters that I hope I will find a way to include in the final story, but I don't know where to fit it yet.




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[*] posted on 7-6-2010 at 09:13 PM


What's your basic Plot Line?

I'm not really much into the whole FanFic ordeal. But I did love LotR.




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[*] posted on 7-6-2010 at 10:20 PM


Sounds interesting. Are you using all the canon characters, creating a whole new set, or a combo of the two?



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[*] posted on 7-7-2010 at 02:08 AM


Thanks for the interest! I am using a mixture of canon characters and new ones. At the point of the story I am right now, the new characters are in majority, but that will change around depending on the need of the story.

Basic plot-line... Hm. For this part of the story, the basic plot is a rescue.

I have let Éomer being able to escape from the battle at the Black Gate - which is the point in time where my story "beaks off", so to speak, from the canon story. He then fled to Minas Tirith and from there back to Rohan, taking with him those that would follow him + his sister and Merry (who did not quite want to flee). Faramir remained to try to hold back the armies of Mordor for a while and give them more time to escape.

The City fell and Faramir surrendered at the demand of the Mouth of Sauron, who brought with him Aragorn and Imrahil as hostages. Both captured alive at the Black Gate. As a mockery, MoS has Aragorn crowned before he is taken back to Mordor and Faramir is left to rule as Steward at Sauron's whim. The MoS conquer Rohan and rules from Isengard, but Éomer withdraws to Fangorn where the Ents and the Huorns help create some sort of refuge. It becomes the gathering-point of the resistance, and survivors form other part of Middle-earth gather there as well. Including some of the people of Rivendell and he Rangers of the North.

The Elven realms have fallen, the Elven Rings and their bearers captured - this was Sauron's first priority - and the Havens destroyed, cutting the Elves off from escaping over the sea. Hence the refugees for Rivendell ending up in Fangorn.

That is, more or less, the background for my story to start. It takes place some ten years later, when Éomer receives news about Aragorn and see a chance to mount a rescue. I plan to have more later, but the whole thing will be quite long and complicated. As I said, I am not chapter nine, and the plans are barely set in motion. Éomer did not make a final decision on whether to risk a rescue or not until chapter eight; and at that point I had some 50 000 words already. I hope to have them in Minas Tirith by the end of July. Then I plan to leave a nasty, evil cliff-hanger and go back to see what happened to Aragorn in the meantime.

I managed to write some more last night, and am now at 4580 words XD. And they finally are getting moving, a little...




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[*] posted on 7-7-2010 at 10:27 AM


Ooh... I like it. Can't wait to read it.



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[*] posted on 7-7-2010 at 10:43 AM


*ergasp*

ARAGORN LIVES?! O.O

My friend wrote a fanfic in which EVERYONE except for Faramir, Eowyn, and Sam died at the battle at the gate. And, ah, one mysterious person from the battlefield who turns out to be Aragorn. ^.^

I want to read this. Like really badly. *wants*






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[*] posted on 7-7-2010 at 06:58 PM


I have the first four chapters posted on FF.net ;)

I wrote a little over 4000 words today! If this keeps up, I really will be able to make this goal!

Snippet from today's writing. It is one of the characters (small canon-character) telling his story from the fall of Minas Tirith. Some of the things will make more sense (or the clues will be more clear) in context, it refers back to events told in the first chapter, and ten years have passed, but I thought did not turn out too badly.
...

“The sky was dark,” he said. “Even like the Dawnless Day where we against all hope triumphed. But we had sent our allies away, the Riders away; the black ships away, and no King would come and drive the darkness away.

“We had asked for the place of honour and peril: to hold the damaged gates against our foe until we could no longer fight, until we could no longer breathe, for those, we vowed, where one and the same. And it was granted us.

“I stood inside the gate, where the attack would come when our archers had shot their last arrows. Two rows of men stood before me, shields raised, and I was ready with my spear, to stab at the enemy from behind the shields.

“We heard when the attack began. The blowing horns, the wailing blasts of trumpets and the cries of orcs and men. How long the archers held them off, I do not know, nor do I know how many they felled, but far too soon, with far too many, the enemy was upon us.

“We held.

“For a time we held, and the clashing of arms and the cries of wounded deafened me until I could no longer hear it. I stabbed, and stabbed and stabbed again. I twisted out of reach from their weapons, and I stabbed again. I knew nothing else, could not feel the cuts and scrapes I received. The only warning of the wound that scarred my face was the blood that blinded my eye; I did not feel the pain.

“The pain came later, when the enemy passed and I lay half buried beneath my fallen companions. I could not move, but I could see them pass unchallenged. To this day I do not know what pain was worse; the one that held my body or the one that racked my soul.” He stopped and coughed. The Mayor held a cup of water to his lips and he drank.

“I do not know why I was spared. I saw them kill the wounded, but they passed me by. Perhaps I looked dead to them. With my face covered in blood, I guess I could have looked dead. I lay still, and watched them pass.

“I lay there for a long time. Many passed, but I had no strength to rise. Far above me, I could hear the fight continue, further and further away, and still their soldiers passed by, until the din of battle was weak. Then, last of all, their Commander came, the dark Lieutenant of Barad-dûr. Around him, the orcs was still, so eerily unlike their kind. I was sure that they would hear me breathe, and find me; I half prayed it would be so, that I would die among my fallen friends. But they, too, passed, and I was left alone.

“I might have dozed, too tired to stay awake. I do not know how long, but I heard feet, running down from the upper levels of the City. ‘this one of the boys,’ I thought. ‘Running errands for the healers, they will find me. They will take me away.’ I did not think clearly then. All the boys were gone, as I well knew, but I had forgotten.

“Two runners came– small, whining orcs. Their black tongues hanging from their mouths. They passed. I listened for more, hoping, since I could do nothing more, that they were but the first to flee, and knowing they were not. Then back they came, with others of their kind.

“I could not understand their shouts, but one stumbled and fell to his knees, right before my eyes. It was no Orc, I saw, it was a Man. His hands were tied and blood had crusted at his side, dark and old. It stained his clothes of Blue and White. His face was pale and drawn. Then he was dragged to his feet and pushed along. Behind them they dragged a second man, bound as the first with a hood drawn over his face; I could not see it, but I saw the gem.”

He paused again. His strength was almost spent.

“When they found me, the Steward had surrendered. The healers patched me up so I could live, but I have ever after worn the scars.”




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[*] posted on 7-9-2010 at 10:50 AM


*ergasp*

BTW, if you ever need any help with accuracy as far as keeping to Tolkein's world and such, I'm the local expert on LOTR. >.>

*has just about every book/movie/map/'extra'book associated with LOTR* :P






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[*] posted on 7-10-2010 at 09:59 AM


Thanks, I will keep it in mind if I get stuck.

I do, however, have a quite firm grasp on Tolkien's word myself, having frequented Tolkien-forums and discussed his work long before I had even heard of fanfiction, so hopefully I have avoided (and will continue to avoid) deviating more from his world than the AU demands.

But I can, of course, make mistakes from time to time, and are always happy if people help me catch those. And there are aspects I don't know all that well. The Elven languages, for instance, I keep away from as best I can; I was never interested in learning them, and so I know little about them.

*must get back to writing*

[Edited on 10-7-2010 by Ragnelle]

[Edited on 10-7-2010 by Ragnelle]




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[*] posted on 7-10-2010 at 06:50 PM


I had hoped to write some 10 000 words today, but too much procrastinating resulted in barely over 2000. Better than nothing, but I am too far behind to be happy about it. :(

Since I gave Targon's death-scene, I thought I would post this snippet: his burial.


They buried Targon and Gwidor the next morning. Apart from the gravediggers and those that carried the dead, few people from the town came to witness it. Borondir was there, and the cook. She had worked for the mayor since he and Targon came, and had come to know the servant as well as any could, that did not know his true purpose and his task.

She had brought twigs with budding knots of green. No flowers grew yet.

The mayor spoke only those words required of him, and none of the townspeople offered to speak words of remembrance for the dead. Not until Asteth, the widow, stepped forward. She had come as the body of the guard, of Gwidor, was lowered into the ground and the earth was about to be shuffled down into the ground to close the grave.

“The dead should be remembered,” she said. “Regardless of what they did in life.”

The men stepped back, shoves still in hand.

“The man that lies here, was a stranger,” Asteth began. “He came in autumn, and winter was his domain. Like the winter he seemed to us, cold and cruel. Deadly enemy that makes life hard and dangerous as if it was not already cruel.

“Now spring comes, when the cold and snow must pass. Deep in the ground the seeds of yesteryear have lasted, sleeping safe from harm. The cruel snow has sheltered them and made them strong, and now the melted water from the ice give life to all that grows.

“Therefore, do not curse the winter and the snow, for when, in spring, it dies, new life will grow. So may this winter-stranger find his rest, and our hearts regret the cold he met.”

She fell silent, and at a nod, the men came forward with the shovels. They filled the hole, then Aduiar, the mayor, spoke again. The words for Targon’s body – familiar to them that had seen too many deaths – and he was lowered next. The mayor moved to speak, or so it seemed, but no more words came.

“He was so cold, so uncaring,” said some, when the event was spoken of by those that came. “No words for his servant, who had served him loyally so long.”

But none could hear the silent song, winding from his heart and up, up, up beyond the rooftops and the trees, flying on the air and further, to the darkness that is there, up beyond the circles of the world. They only saw his face, as blank and empty as when they lowered Gwidor to his grave.

The cook spoke. Short, with little art she told that he was ever so polite to her. Helpful to reach the shelves too tall for her: a pleasant man to work with.

And Asteth spoke again. She talked of loyal dogs that die in service of their masters. Guarding, fetching, keeping track of all that could harm or hurt their master. In the end, she wished him rest. She said that they should not forget a loyal heart, faithful to the last.

The earth was filled, and the little group dispersed, drifting away to tend their other work: the fields that still must be prepared, and tilled and sowed before the spring-wet passed.

Aduiar remained.

No one saw him stand alone a long time by the grave with eyes lowered to the ground.

“Namarie.”

The word was whispered, and the sound barely reached his own ears, not beyond. It could not pierce the ground and reach the cold, deaf ears that slept below.




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[*] posted on 7-11-2010 at 05:56 PM


Just below 2000 words today. I would like to write more, but if I keep that number up, I will get there in time :)

A small sample today, a little scene I liked rather well. Hopefully it will stand the test of being re-read when it is not so late, and not so fresh...

***

They had been given straw to keep warm, and soften the dirt beneath their heads. Above the stars wheeled in their eternal dance and the soft horse-syllables that came from horses happy to be out in the night-air, drifted over them as they lay down to sleep. Éomer, stretched out on his back, looked at the sky. Still beautiful, the dark between the stars held not the terror of the earth-bound Shadow, and the lights were fair and strong. In that moment he could almost hear the song the elves had said gave all things birth. And all things dances to it. All but Men.




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[*] posted on 7-15-2010 at 02:01 AM


A new snippet. I have not been able to write as much as I have wanted, but I still have a chance to make it if I get the daily wordcount up to about 2000. That is doable.

This comes directly after the last snippet.

...

With a last look at the sky, Éomer closed his eyes and dreamed.

He dreamed of a field sown with death and a dark sky. In the East tall mountains. In the West forbidding trees. The field stretched out between them, a wide sea of grass.

He began to run.

He ran and he ran and he ran. He ran for hours. He ran longer. He ran for days, he rand for weeks, months; yes even years. The dream stayed the same: under him the earth, above him dark sky, and all around him death and life, mixed and intertwined.

Then, when his run had lasted countless years, he saw a man standing in the middle of the field. He knew that man, had seen him once before, but where? He could not recall, and the man was too distant to see. But in the manner of dreams, all at once he was there; the man stood before him. In his face the resemblance of a face he’d seen before – fleeting – in another Age of the world. He could put no name to those eyes or the angle of the jaw. He held a staff, and from it flew a banner Éomer had seen before. And knew.

Black cloth, White Tree, and seven stones flashing like stars strewn above it. And hanging above all, a crown wrought of mithril and gold.

The man spoke. “I am dead,” he said. “Dead that he might live.” He turned to Éomer, pierced him with his eyes.

“Darkness lingered long – lingers still – a dark where not even the gentle stars may shine. The banner, our pride, crumbles from the lack of light.

“But I am dead, and cannot carry it away. I cannot even move it.”

And Éomer could see that the man was slowly being covered by a flowing grey; his skin turned to grey stone, cold and unmoving. Above them darkness churned while the stone spread until the man was enclosed, statue-still and cold. And still it spread where the hand held the staff; up it crept, up towards the flowing fabric, and down, down towards the grass. Spreading the stiff greyness where it went.

It touched his feet. It crept over his boots, fusing them to the ground, trapping him in place while the stone spread across his boots, his clothes, his skin; and trapped him alive inside its shell.

“What can I do,” he cried before it closed his mouth.

“Break free. You are alive.” The echoed voice from stone-silenced lips followed him to waking.

Éomer gasped. He struck out with his arms and legs, struggling against the stone that disappeared with the dream. And hit the Ranger sleeping by his side on the ground. Hit him hard.

Éomer was strong.

A moment later they were all awake. All ready to face a foe, but none showed. Bádon was slower than the other two, and Éomer stood there confused from the dream. From behind the fence Firefoot came to see if there was any danger, and the other horses stirred, uneasy because of his concern.




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[*] posted on 7-21-2010 at 07:19 PM


The last couple of day have been slow, but I have been able to write something at least. I have, for almost the first time so far, jumped ahead a little and started writing on a scene that is probably some two-three chapters away. At least. But I thought i'd share it. Be warned that I am describing a scene that is intended to humiliate a man that has already been subject to torture earlier. So it is not very comfortable.

...

The procession mirrored the one ten years before, but this time even more banners from the Dark Lord and his allies were displayed, and even richer were the finery they wore. The Master of Isengard had secured a steed from the Mark, one of the rare black ones. Éomer hurt to see it. Once a proud animal, now its gaits were exaggerated and unnatural. It was foaming at the mouth, fighting the bit and its neck was arched too much, its head curled almost to its breast. But worst than the sight, was the cheers from the lists as if at some feat of riding.

The men of Gondor truly can not know horses.. He dared not voice the thought, lest he be overheard.

Before the Gates, the commoners that had did not represent a village or a town, had been allowed to gather so that they might catch a glimpse of the king. Among them Bádon and Echil had taken their place; their role was to stay outside the City and secure a route of escape, but they could not be kept from the chance to see their Chieftain at least once, should their attempt fail.

Though many were eager to see, few were as determined as them. They stood at the front, separated from the participants only by a rope, and the guards lining the road.

They marked him well when he came.

He had been put on a cart, lifted up so that the people easier might see him. He was standing, but it was hard to see whether he was standing on his own or not; he was bound to a pole in such a way that he could not do anything but stand. A crossing beam held his arms bound, and him standing.

Echil was too young to have known his Chieftain very well, but both he and Bádon could see that his hair was streaked with more grey than it had been, and his face was set in a stern mask they had rarely seen – there was something about his mouth they could not really put their fingers on. He kept his head bowed and if his eyes were open, they were just a small line. As if he was squinting against the sun, even though his eyes were shaded from the position of his head.

He was dressed in black. On his breast was embroidered the White Tree and the Seven Stars, but above them no crown, instead it showed the Eye.

They dared not call to him, lest the soldiers would hear. They could not draw attention to themselves, and so they watched in silence as the cart rolled by.

They did not pay attention to the long line of banners and soldiers that followed; they had seen what they came for. In silence they waited until it ended and they could leave. They did not, like some many others, follow the procession into the City, but turned and left, going back to the Grey wood and their camp.

But the procession continued. Just inside the Gates, Damrod stood. He too, marked well the King. He saw that the face was drawn in pain, and tears were in the corner of his eyes. He was breathing through his mouth, and the lips seemed swollen or shafted. His eyes were closed, but he would turn his head this way or that after the murmur of the crowd.

The cart went on.

Up the levels it went, and as ten years before the murmur of the crowd followed it through the City, and it rose as it passed upwards. Then, on the fourth level, it stopped. There the representatives form the towns was placed along the route; the poorest or those with no power to their name first. More sparsely spread, one’s mumble could be heard and identified; they dared not even whisper. Not at first.

At the fifth level Húrin stood.

He saw his Chieftain raise his head and squint against the light. He saw a scar above his eye that had not been there when he left. He saw that he strove to breathe, strove to keep his face strong. He saw what he had never though he’d see.

He saw that he might break.

The procession moved on. Past Húrin, past Ingold and Borondir there they stood before him. Ingold looking for the King he remembered, and seeing what he wished. Borondir seeing just the mockery the Enemy had devised. And Bragloth, who never told a living soul what thoughts that came to him when he saw the King. He was quiet ever since the cart drove past. Up, up the levels, slowly, it passed so that all could see and mark the King. The prisoner of Sauron.

At the last level, the cart lurched to a stop and Aragorn held up his head. That was where Aduiar and Fastred saw him for the first time. And both recognized him, though they had never seen him before that day. Fastred knew then what he had suspected; here was the Man he had seen in his dream. Aduiar saw something else. He saw the King hidden in the magistrate’s mural, and in that in his own house. The features might have differed, but he was the same.

And Éomer, Éomer saw a friend, rising from the grass. A friend, found on the battlefield after fighting through all foes, laughing at the predicted meeting that came to pass. A friend, lost in the dark wave of foes too numerous to beat, and now found again. And he vowed that his friend should be freed, whatever cost be paid.

He did not hear, paid no attention to the words that were spoken by the Steward or the hated man, the Master of Isengard. He watched his friend strive to stand, to keep his head high, and even his wildest fears had not prepared him for the sight – such a small thing – of a lock of hair that had stuck to his face, close to his eye. It must have tickled, and he could not move it aside.

Caught,, Éomer thought. Caught and bound. As if encased in stone.




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[*] posted on 7-23-2010 at 11:09 AM


AARRRAAAGOOOOOOORRRNNNNNNNN!!!!!!! *glomps Aragorn repeatedly*





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[*] posted on 7-25-2010 at 05:54 PM


I think he is going to need all the glomps he can get. Poor man...

I have gotten them all (or almost) to Minas Tirith now. Finally: it only took 13 chapters... But they'll have to camp outside; the gate is closed until the morning. I was accused by my writing-group of being an evil author :D




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[*] posted on 7-26-2010 at 11:55 AM


I'm going to marry Aragorn. *announces this*

And Dustfinger.... And Bowen...






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[*] posted on 7-26-2010 at 12:26 PM


I'll leave you to fight it out with Arwen. Then, when you two have killed each other off, I'll step in and console him :D

This little snippet is when they finally reach Minas Tirith. Than I have to get back to writing: I am far behind, and have not written as much as I planned today :angry:


Éomer rode in front. Firefoot did not want to leave his mare, but Éomer would not accept any disobedience. In the end he made him canter off along the road, hoping that the speed and energy, as well as distance, would help. It did, somewhat, but Éomer continued to be in a bad mood. Firefoot sensed that, and it woke the fight in him. For most of the day, the stallion would not walk calmly, but would prance and trot. A few times Éomer took him into the slow, cadenced trot that would tire him quickly, but even that worked only for a time. After some hours’ travel this way, Éomer was relived to see that the Road seemed abandoned for a long stretch. Not only could they move quicker, they would also leave the stranger behind. Éomer hoped, and expected, never to see him again. Minas Tirith was large; they would probably not run into each other again.

In this Éomer would prove to be mistaken, but for the rest of the day their most pressing concern was to reach the City before nightfall.

A few hours swift canter brought them to another stop. There were too many people on the road to get past, and they could not see the end of them. Éomer wanted, for the most fleeting of moments, to use the horses’ strength and push trough the crowed. But no, that would not do. Instead he took Fastred with him to scout ahead, riding on the side of the road where fields stretched on either side. The soil was not tilled yet that close to the road, and they managed to find a path they could follow without damaging the land.

Firefoot did not make any trouble once he had his mare alone, to Éomer’s chagrin. Fastred did not comment on it; he knew well enough that his mare often made life a little harder both on her and the horses around if there were any stallions. At least in spring. Usually not this much though, and he began to wonder if she indeed had taken with the first mating. Unusual as that was.

They turned back before long. They had not spotted the end of the line, but they figured that they would be able to pass more quickly on the side. Aduiar’s status should stop anyone from hindering them – any other mayor would probably just have his men force a path through the crowd. They would have to go slower than they would have been able to, had the road been empty, but it was still faster than to wait.

Two hours later, they saw the reason for the stop. A slow-moving cart blocked most of the road. Some dignitary from the South was bringing his wife, and would have none of the rabble – as he saw it – pass too close to her. As luck wanted it, the Road went through a small cluster of trees where they caught up with the cart. The trees were tall, with little undergrowth or low-hanging branches. Éomer had Húrin lead them between the trees and they passed with little problems. Once past, the Road was almost empty and they rode on as quickly as the horses could manage.

Even so, they were late.

The sun had set when they reached the White City. Only a lingering glow of red shone upon the walls, making the name seem wrong. Éomer looked up on the tall walls, saw the Gates rebuilt and from the Citadel flew something he had hoped never to see: the white banner of the Stewards hanging side by side with the Red Eye. He turned away from the sight. It was almost as bad as seeing that sign in Edoras. Almost.




Practising Dyslexic. Do not let ortographical digressions interfere with the intentions of this statement.

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[*] posted on 7-28-2010 at 05:06 PM


Woho! I managed to write more than 5000 words today and am now ahead for the first time. I believe I am going to make it, even though I do not think I will be able to get anything written tomorrow.

And to celebrate, a snippet from today's writing. The character here, Fastred, is one of my OCs. One of Éomer's scouts, and the only Eorling that accompany him on his mission to rescue Aragorn. They have arrived in Minas Tirith but have had to leave their hoses in a stable outside, and Fastred has been sent to check on them. And to contact two of their men camped outside. But the horses are a good excuse :D And it gave both Fastred and me a chance to indulge a little. (I miss my own horse right now, so I have to comfort myself with writing about them. I should, had all things been to my wishes, have been with my horse now, attending a clinic with a very good rider - and former World Champion in Working Equitation. But RL did not work out as I would wish right now, so I have to wait until he comes back for another clinic :crying: - but enough chatter and self-pity: here is the snippet)


The horses had settled somewhat. The geldings clustered in one corner of the enclosure, not daring to move closer to Firefoot. His mare was eating, undisturbed. Fastred shook his head.

“You cannot have taken that quickly,” he said. She lifted her head at the sound of his voice and gave a small nicker in greeting. But she did not come to him. “Be that way,” he said. “You always were,”

“Shall we move the horses, master?” one of the stable-hands asked.

“Has there been any trouble?”

“No, master, not as such, but the stallion will not let them move out of that corner. They seem afraid of him.”

Fastred regarded the stable-hand. His was a young man, hardly more than a boy, and he did not look like he knew half as much of horses as any child half as young did in the Mark. He looked more afraid of Firefoot than any of the geldings. Húrin’s horse even looked as if he considered whether flirting would get him closer to the food.

Do not get your hopes up, Bereth, he thought. He does know the difference between you and a mare; whatever we might tease your owners about.

“Have you ever handled a breeding stallion before?” he asked out loud. The boy shook his head. Fastred had thought as much.

“Just leave them be. Make another pile of food in the corner so they might get something to eat. Unless they get into a fight. If they do, unless I or Master Rodhaer are here, move the geldings out. They will be easier to handle.” He turned to Firefoot: “And you good sir, behave. I know her well and she will not abide a bully.” Firefoot did not even turn to look at him. Fastred sighed, and went inside the stable to look at Aduiar’s mare.

She had been given one of the larger stalls, despite her size. It was large enough for her to turn and lie down, with doors to close that she did not need to stand bound. She looked like most horses used to be held indoors; calm enough, if not a little bored.

“Hello, little lady,” he greeted her. “Do they treat you well?”

The mare danced around a little in her stable, she did not look as if the had been travelling the last few days, and that far and hard. She looked quite fresh and eager to be let out. Well, Aduiar did say to take her out. Perhaps it was more than an excuse for him to seek out Bádon and Echil?

“How long since she was fed?” he asked another stable-hand. This man was older, and he looked as if he at least would know what a child half his age would know in the Mark.

“When the bells struck,” was all the answer he received. It took him some time to figure it out, but they would be fine, he guessed. He would have to take it easy first, that was all. He nodded to the man, and prepared her to be taken out. Some exercise would do her good if she were dancing around like that.

She was a good ride, he decided after they had come some distance from the stables. Fleet-footed and quick, and with a very smooth gait. A true little palfrey. She did not trot, not willingly, but her tumbling gait was so pleasant to sit on, that he guessed none had wanted her to do anything else. Her hindquarters were a little stiff, though, and she held her tail too high. He could hardly feel her back moving. Not good. The best way he knew to remedy that was in the trot, so trot she had to try.

She changed the minute he asked. First she stopped. She backed. She stamped her feet and snorted her displeasure. He nudged her on. “Forward, girl,” but she would not. She danced around. She kicked. It did not help. Then she tried to rear, but Fastred turned her head and forced her down. She planted all four legs on the ground and refused to budge.

“Look here, little lady,” Fastred said. “This is for your own good; I promise it will feel better if only you will try.”

A snort of disbelief.

“Well, then,” Fastred told her. “Have it your way.” He stood up in the stirrups and broke off a twig from the tree above. She saw it, and seemed to know what it meant. She kicked and bucked. He let her; he was a Rider, he could keep his seat. When she stilled once more, he asked her again to move forward.

She did not budge. Again.

He took the thin stick and tapped carefully at her right hind-leg. She kicked after it, then she began to run.

“At least you move the right way round,” he said. “But this is not what I asked. Perhaps I need to ask another way.”

He stopped her and dismounted.

“See here,” he said. “I do not ask for much, only that you lift your leg and move it forward when I do this.” He tapped her leg again. She tried to rush part him, but he stopped her. “No,” he said. “Try again.” Again the same, and then again, until she calmed, and moved her leg forward and underneath her body.

The snort that came was of a different kind that before. It was as if her body let go of some tension and said: “At last! Why could I not do that before?” Her head lowered and she shook her whole neck. Her ears were loose and it sounded like she would explode in snorts and grunts.

“There: that was not so bad.”

She did not deign to look at him, as if insulted that he had proved right. He smiled, he almost laughed; this was what he loved above all else. Too little time to train the last ten years, too many missions and evil things the scout. People to keep safe. Never just a horse and him, finding out what had gone wrong in the training, and figuring out how to fix it.

He was too happy, he did not hear the twigs that broke beneath soft boots behind him.




Practising Dyslexic. Do not let ortographical digressions interfere with the intentions of this statement.

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[*] posted on 7-29-2010 at 12:14 PM


OOOH. I liked that excerpt!





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[*] posted on 7-30-2010 at 04:16 PM


Thanks! I really liked writing it, so it is good to hear that you liked it too :)

I now have a little under 1000 words left to make the 50 000 word goal! And that I will manage, perhaps even before I get to sleep today. I will not have finished the story, but then i did not expect to either. I will have come much, much closer to the end of part 1 though, and my evil cliffhanger that will not be resolved until the end of part 2. *insert evil laugh* Don't blame me for it though, I am only following Tolkien's example :D Will get back with an excerpt later. Must find one I like.




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[*] posted on 7-30-2010 at 04:16 PM


May as well use the double post for something useful:

I made it! The story is far from finished, but I made the word-count with still a little under a day to go! *am very proud*

[Edited on 30-7-2010 by Ragnelle]

[Edited on 30-7-2010 by Ragnelle]




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[*] posted on 7-31-2010 at 03:34 PM


An excerpt to celebrate that I made it! Aduiar (one of my OC, he is half Gondorian, half Corsar) have been called to meet the magistrate of Linhir and Éomer goes with him, Éomer under the alias Rodhaer (a translation of his own name into Sildarin, imperfect as it is I like the sound).

....

The servant showed Aduiar into the hall where the magistrate gave audiences. Having worked his way upward from being a lesser officer among the Corsairs, the magistrate aimed ever higher, and he had assumed all the finery and trappings of power that he could get away with.

The hall resembled the audience-chamber of the Citadel in Minas Tirith with its stone columns and row of statues of great men. On a dais at the far end of the hall, the magistrate throned on a great chair carved from one whole block of wood and gilt so that it shone like gold. Behind the chair, a mural covered the whole wall, reminiscent of the one in Calembel. It, too, showed an image of Minas Tirith, but its motif was not the Coronation of the King; this mural depicted a moment from the battle of the Pelennor.

Against a dark sky the White City towered and in front was painted a fallen horse, white against the dark earth of the field. So great was the picture, that the image was as large as a horse would be in life – or even larger. Underneath the horse lay the body of a man, felled by the fallen horse. A crown was on his head. Beside him, on the ground, lay a banner that was tread into the mud. White Horse on Green. A great shadow rose above the Fallen, taller than the towers.

It took Éomer all the self-restraint he had to not react, not even bat an eye at what he saw. He stayed two steps behind Aduiar, staring straight ahead. He had never thought he would one day owe Wormtongue any thanks, but this day he did. If not for all the times he had had to bow and listen to the Worm’s words in his uncle’s mouth, and nod, and say nothing, he would not been able to seem undisturbed now.

Aduiar, who had never seen his sister lying slain on the field, nor knew the truth of the scene that here was shown to be a triumph of the shadow, walked calmly up the length of the hall to greet the magistrate. His sharp eyes, that ever noticed the small signs that others overlooked, saw – and his mind noted – the Black Fleet coming up the river that the artist had put in the background. Small, and banished into a corner where only those eyes that would not be blinded to the splendour of the central image would see them.

He smiled, and bowed his head in greeting.

“Lord Magistrate,” he said. “I am honoured that you still remember me, and that you would so graciously grant me a moment of your time. How may I serve?”

The magistrate did not reply at first. He looked at Aduiar and Éomer with a look that was meant to be intimidating and stern. His head hunched forward, and his shoulders were rounded and slumped. Éomer stayed clam under that stare, and he assumed the stance of a soldier on guard; shoulders straight and relaxed, feet his shoulders’ width apart, eyes looking forward without ever meeting anyone’s gaze. Not deigning to meet the magistrate’s eyes.

But Aduiar met the gaze and held it, and waited until the magistrate would speak. And as the silence grew, it was the other that felt the pressure of it. His eyes began to wander.

“Yes, yes,” he said. “Good of you to come, and all that.” The magistrate floundered a bit, then he spoke again. “I do not recognise the face of your servant – or guard, or whatever he is…”

“Of course,” Aduiar said. “This is the Master Rodhaer, a hunter by trade, but he has graciously agreed to escort me and the men chosen from Calembel to come with me to this year’s celebrations in the White City, and with him two other men of which he is the leader. Their trade has been slow, and Master Rodhaer himself did me a great favour just a few days ago. It is a profitable arrangement for us both.”

“If I recall correctly, I sent to you a guard, most loyal and true, this autumn. Why would you need to hire new guards, and strangers at that?”

“Yes, you did,” Aduiar said. “A good question indeed, and one I would have asked myself. Gwidor was a loyal guard; I would have trusted him to watch over Calembel until my return. Alas, that could not be.”

The magistrate was taken aback by this reply.

“You would?”

“Yes, if fate had been kinder.”

“How so?”

“As you said, my lord; he was a most loyal and true guard.”

The magistrate frowned. “I mean: what do you mean by saying ‘was’ and ‘if’ and ‘it could not be’? If you have not left him in your town, where is he?”

“He is dead.”

A mixture of worry and relief washed across the magistrate’s face. He did not voice neither relief nor fear, but asked instead: “By whose hand? What was the manner of his death?”

“You know, Lord Magistrate,” Aduiar began, “that Gwidor was most eager to serve the Eastern Lord, and to route out any man or woman that harboured any treacherous thoughts against him. Be they great or small. In this work lay all his talents.

“He long suspected that a rebel group, as group of those that call themselves ‘the Faithful’ – never was a greater lie conceived than this; that they who faithlessly would work against the Benefactor of us all, would claim to be the faithful ones. But I digress; Gwidor thought that one of these groups of rebels that pester our land, had taken refuge in my peaceful town. But it proved most difficult for him to sniff them out.” The mayor paused to gauge the magistrate’s reaction to his words. He only waved him on in a gesture Aduiar knew to be in imitation of the one he himself used when urging someone to continue their speech. He almost smiled.

“My lord,” he continued. “Two suspects were arrested since Gwidor came at the falling of the leaves. Both proved innocent, and we could get no lead on any of the rebels. It was as if they had a spy in our midst. A spy most dangerous, we feared.

“We found the spy a day before we left, and he proved most dangerous indeed.”

“How so? Where is the spy now?” The magistrate leaned forward, eager to learn the news. “Why have you not brought him here to be interrogated?”

“Lord, Gwidor was killed by the same spy that he revealed; this man, Master Rodhaer, witnessed it, and helped us stop the danger to us all.”

At that the magistrate turned to Éomer. “Step forward,” he said. “I would see the eyes of those I speak to.”

Éomer complied. He stepped forward and met the magistrate’s eyes. “My lord,” he said.

“Tell me what happened; who was the spy?”

“Lord Magistrate,” Éomer said. “It was revealed that one close to the Lord Mayor has in all these years been one of those that call themselves Faithful. That I came to witness the fight between him and the guard, Gwidor, was sheer chance, unless fate played a part. The faithless traitor had captured one of my men, a young man hardly grown, and threatened him. There was a fight, and the guard was killed, but not before he stabbed his opponent. I distracted him, and that became his demise; the rebel died the same night. He bled out from the wound that Gwidor inflicted.”

“And who was this rebel that you did not know, Aduiar?” the magistrate asked. His voice was filled with glee. “This rebel close to you that you did not detect?”

“My servant, Targon. The only thing I learned form him, was that he had been a rebel since before our Lord took this land of Gondor underneath his wing to protect her, even against herself. He was among them that held the gate against the Lieutenant of Barad-dûr before the Steward surrendered. He never accepted his Lord’s rule.”

“He has been with you for many years.” The glee grew stronger with each word. Taunting. Mocking.

“He has, my lord. And I considered him to be most loyal and true; no doubt he has learned much in my service. I have not learned how he did pass the information on, but I think his contacts do not live in Calembel. I can not say for certain, but it seemed from what little he said before he died, that he would rely his tidings to rebels that passed through my town in the disguise of travellers.” Aduiar stayed calm. His voice was even, but his head was bent a little, as if in shame.

“No doubt, my lord, I will be reprimanded for my trust in one so little deserving of my trust. I can only hope the damage is not too severe, and that my mistake will not reflect on those that appointed me to my position, and whose approval of my servant was one of the reasons that I gave him my trust.”

The magistrate grew pale at those words.

“I do not think that you are much to blame; the man was clever, and a skilled deceiver. And even less should those that did not work beside him daily, be blamed.” All glee was gone from his voice, and Éomer looked at him and thought: A coward, fearing for his skin where he at first rejoiced in the misfortune of those under him in rank. He did not pity him.

”How very true, my lord,” Aduiar replied, as if he had seen or heard no change. “I hope the authorities in Minas Tirith feel the same. But one thing has puzzled me, and perhaps you can shed some light on that mystery. When first he arrived, Gwidor seemed content to watch and listen, and to slowly try to gain his suspects’ trust. But then it changed, and it changed suddenly as if he over night had been made aware of a constraint; that he had a date before which he had to catch the spy. This haste, I fear, made him reckless and led to his demise.”

“When was this?” the magistrate asked.

“In the spring, just before the month of March began.”

The magistrate sat up in his chair. “Leave us,” he told Éomer. “You can wait outside; I must speak with you master alone.”

He knows something. Éomer bowed and left.

The distance from the far wall and the door made it impossible to hear what the two talked about, and Éomer resigned himself to wait. Aduiar would tell him all he needed both of what the magistrate had said, and what he had not said.

Time passes slowly when all to be done is to wait, and even more slowly you never know how long the waiting will take. There were no chairs to sit in, and little to do. Not even many ornaments or images to study. The thick stonewalls in the hallway outside made it seem narrower than it was, but light fell in from large, open windows. From them Éomer could see the square outside, and quite far down the streets. People moved there, and on occasion a clerk or servant would cross the square, going from one door to the next. Éomer tired to trace the time by watching the sun’s movement across the sky, and how the shadows moved over the walls and floor. At one point he gave up, and climbed into the niche of the window that faced the door. It was, at least, somewhere to sit.

“I am not allowed to sit there.”

Éomer scolded himself, he had allowed his thoughts to drift and had not paid attention to his surroundings. Húrin would have had something to say to that. And he had none around him to keep watch in his stead.

“Why do you sit there?”

It was a small boy, no more than ten years of age, if Éomer guessed right. Perhaps less.

“Who are you?” Éomer asked the boy. “And what are you doing in this place? Is this a place for children to play?”

“I live here,” the boy said. “And my father sometimes lets me stay with him when he works. I am big enough, he says.” And in the manner of children, the boy did not let his question lie until it had been answered. “Why do you sit there?”

“Because, little boy who lives here,” Éomer replied, “there are no chairs to sit on, and this windowsill is much better than to sit on the floor.”

“Oh,” the boy said. “I did not think of that. But why do you not go somewhere else? There are lots of chairs in the rooms.”

“Ah, but I am waiting for a man. He is inside that room to talk with the magistrate.”

“Why?”

“The magistrate wanted to speak to him.”

“No,” the boy said, patient with this grown-up that did not understand. “Why do you wait for him here? There is not much to do here.”

“True,” Éomer said. “It is not much to do here.”

“I would be bored. Are you bored? Is that why you climbed the window? I like to climb, but my father says that I am not allowed to climb the windows. Or to climb at all. He says that only commonbrats climb anywhere. Do you know what a commonbrat is?”

Éomer did have some experience with children – his sister-son was nine this winter – but where to begin with so many questions?

“Strange man?”

“What?” The boy thought him strange?

“Why does your hair look funny?”

By the mearas, what was wrong with his hair?

“Why is the colour all wrong?”

“What do you mean ‘wrong’?” Éomer frowned. Asteth had ensured him that the colour covered all and that no part was left blonde.

“I don’t know,” the boy said. “It looks all wrong, as if it was not yours.”

“It is,” Éomer said. “It is all mine – look!” he took a fistful of his hair and pulled on it, “it is stuck to my head.”

The boy looked down. He fiddled with his shirt and rocked a little on his feet.

“What!” Éomer said.

“My nanny says not to be rude.”

He could not remember his nephew to be like this.

“I am sorry,” the boy continued. “Sometimes, in the streets, there are people that look all wrong; they have no legs, or no arms, or something else. Nanny says I must not tell them so; it makes them sad. I forgot. I am sorry I said your hair was wrong. Don’t be sad.”

Éomer wowed that if ever he had children of his own – and he knew he should get some as soon as he could to pacify Elfhelm – they would learn how to keep their thoughts straight in their head as soon as they could talk.

“Listen,” he told the boy. “I did not choose my hair, it just is that way. Why don’t you run along and find some other boys to play with?”

The boy shook his head. “My father does not want me to play with them. They are commonbrats.”

“Commonbrats?”

“Yes. My father says: ‘Don’t run around like those commonbrats; you are far better than them. Don’t climb the trees, don’t play in the pond – that is for commonbrats, not the mag’strate’s son.’ What is a commonbrat? He never told me.”

“Common brats, you mean?”

“I don’t know. My father always says commonbrats, but he don’t tell me what it is.” The boy seemed to think. “Are you one?”

“Neither common nor brat, not anymore,” Éomer said. “Why did you think so?”

“I just thought,” the boy said. He picked at a scab on his nose. “My father says they climb, and you must have climbed up into the window.” He looked said. “I am not allowed.”

“Wait a moment,” Éomer said. His ears must be slow, only now did the boy’s words connect. “You are the magistrate’s son?”

The boy nodded. He looked at Éomer with big, brown eyes, not unlike a puppy begging for a treat.

“Do you want to see how the square looks like from up here?”

He lit up. “You’d let me?”

Éomer jumped down. He lifted up the boy in his arms. He was small and light, far lighter than his nephew; perhaps he was wrong. Perhaps the boy was much younger than he thought.

“You see,“ he said, “a boy should listen to his father.” The boy nodded and worried his lip. He would not be allowed upon the windowsill after all!

“And what did your father say?”

“Not to sit in the window?”

“What that what he said?” Éomer asked. “What is not something else? Something about common brats?”

“Only commonbrats climb.”

“Exactly,” Éomer proclaimed. “And so we will not.” And with those words he lifted the boy up to the niche so that he could sit there safely. “And now it is my turn.” He jumped and heaved himself up beside the boy. “See, now we are here, and no climbing was involved.”

The boy laughed. “I can see the whole town!”

He chattered on about all he saw, naming servants that he knew, pointing at the streets and houses and the animals he saw. Éomer listened with half a ear and kept his arm around the boy, lest he should fall. And time went faster when they were two.

A bell rang. A little later a voice called: “zzz! Where are you?”

“That was nanny,” the boy said.

“Is she looking for you?” Éomer asked.

“Probably. Wait until she can see me up here!”

“I do not think that is wise,” Éomer said. “We should go down. Nannies always worry far too much.” He pulled the boy close and then: “Hang on.” He jumped back to the ground with the boy in his arms.

“That was fun, “ the boy said. “Thanks.” He grinned, and Éomer grinned back. The door opened behind his back, and he turned quickly.

Aduiar stood there. He was alone.

“Now, Master Hunter,” he said. “I hope you were not bored; it took far longer than I had suspected, and now we must hurry.”

“I was most graciously entertained by this young man,” Éomer replied. He turned back to the boy. “I must leave now, my friend. I thank you for the company and bid you farewell. Remember to listen to your father, just like we did today.” He winked at the boy, and the boy giggled.

“Bye!” And with no more talk, the boy turned and ran along the hallway, towards the calling voice.

“We have to run ourselves,” Aduiar said. “Or close to it. The magistrate kept me long, and would gladly have kept me longer, I think. We should have left two hours ago.”

“Fastred will be beside himself,” Éomer said. “He has picked up the bad habit of worrying about me; he did not do that when he rode with me before. He left all the worrying to...”

Aduiar cut him off. “We better go.” In a voice so low that Éomer almost missed it, he added: “Some people are better not named inside where other ears can hear.”

“Yes, lord Mayor,” Éomer replied. “As you wish.”




Practising Dyslexic. Do not let ortographical digressions interfere with the intentions of this statement.

Ever tried? Ever Failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. - Samuel Becket
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