Skeletons in the Cupboard



When the paths of a scout of the Laiquendi and a Noldo soldier cross in the Golden Wood, it seems like they have just met the first time…

 

„Oi!“
The tall elf stops singing and looks down.
A bunch of bushes ripped apart.
Too dark to notice them.
Lórien’s nights bear no darkness, but the twilight between the trees does not illuminate everything that is growing on the ground.
„Stop growing in my way!“ growls the tall elf.
A cold voice comments:
„Put them back.“
He does not turn around.
„Who are you, and why are you following me?“
The elf lady with the hunting bag and the large bow snorts.
„What arrogance! You assume I am following you, and the bushes grow in your path just to thwart you.“
„If you wanted to shoot me, you could have done a while ago. What are you waiting for?“
„I could have, very easily. You were bellowing so loudly.“
The tall elf turns around, gazing at her. He has a heavy warhammer shouldered.
„I suppose it is too much to expect you to mend what you marred.“
The elf lady replants the remnants of the bushes, kneeling.
„You are not particularly fond of songs, aren’t you.“
„I do like music. When I hear some.“
„So that wasn’t music you just heard?“
He frowns.
She states, proudly:
„My people were mighty singers.
Your songs of war… lies. All of them.“
The tall elf answers:
„There are many songs about war, but no wars for songs.“
„The songs I like would bore you, Noldo“.
He narrows his eyes.
„You do not belong here. Just like me. Am I right?“
The elf lady inclines her head, a bit grudgingly.
„I am visiting. I was curious. I have never seen the Golden Wood.“
The slightest of grins creeps into the tall elf’s face.
„You went all that long road to visit me? I am flattered.“
But she snorts again.
„As you are a visitor as well, I could hardly have come here expecting to see you, could I?“
„Who knows. I know many stories about your people sneaking around in forests. Who knows for how long you have been following me.“
„Trust me, it is a recent development. I’d killed enough Orcs for one day.“
The tall elf raises an eyebrow.
„You?“
She narrows her eyes as she goes for a hard stare-down.
He shrugs.
„You look serious enough to hunt rabbits though.“
Her answer cuts through the air like a blade cutting through flesh and bones.
„Funny. That is what the Kinslayers who invaded Doriath thought as well.“
The tall elf with the heavy warhammer looks petrified.
After a moment, he speaks again, with a low voice:
„Dor…iath. You are from Doriath?“
„I am from the Laegrim. Of Ossiriand and Doriath, indeed.“
„Ossiriand is no more, and Doriath is no more. And the Laiquendi who once lived and hunted the Seven Rivers and Taur-im-Duinath are gone…“
„One remains.“
„There are more than one for sure.“
„Perhaps not. I have recently discovered a childhood friend. But her paths went south when I went to Ossiriand.
We came from the east…“
She studies the tall elf thoughtfully.
„You have a fancy way of talking about bitter things“ he tells her.
Therefore, I shall name you Saerwen.“
She laughs.
„I have smelled much insulting scents, but of all hard things you appear particularly bitter.
But I am not blaming you“ he adds.
„How kind“ she answers, drily.
„I do not try to be kind. I try to be honest.“
He takes a few steps.
„Shoot me, if that displeases you.“
He shows a slight grin.
„I have done with killing for today. For now. However, I do not say that sufficient provocation might not cause me to relapse.“
Her mouth curls up the least bit.
„However, if you keep bellowing like before, the orcs may find you even here, Bruidaug.“
She underlines the latter word, with a smirk.
„Let them try to find me. I am sure I will find them first“ he answers with a sinister smile.
„I shall leave you to your walk and your scuffling and bellowing.“
She inclines her head almost politely.
„Well then, Saerwen. I wish you good luck with rabbit hunting“ he eyes her large bow.
„Good luck with your orc seeking, Bruidaug! Try not to deafen the wildlife!“ she calls back, following a small road.
He turns around, and takes a few steps.
„Hmmmm.“
He shoulders his warhammer again.
„Bruidaug. Another fancy Epessë. Given names make me hungry“ he mutters.

 

 

 

 

[Translations and Notes:

Laiquendi (Quenya) or Laegrim (Sindarin) - Green Elves, mainly inhabitants of Ossiriand

Doriath - Land of the Fence (Sindarin), kingdom of Elwë Thingol and Melian the Maia.                                       After the war with the dwarves of Nogrod, Dior Eluchíl ruled the realm until he was killed by the Sons of Fëanor during the Second Kinslaying

Ossiriand - Land of seven rivers (Sindarin), in the south east of old Beleriand

Taur-im-Duinath - Forest between rivers (Sindarin). A vast forest in the southern part of Beleriand

Saerwen - Bitter Lady (Sindarin)

Bruidaug - Loud Soldier (Sindarin)

Epessë - After-name or nickname (Quenya). Given by others, the Epessë can be understood as a title of admiration and honour, but sometimes it simply describes certain features or happenings connected to the "epesse'd" person ]