~Elenya, Quellë 41~
There were no dwarves at today’s market. Yet, I did see an elleth – Falthariel is her name – who I have not seen in a very long time. She was one of the first elves I met when I arrived in Duillond. As she seemed a kind and friendly sort, I remembered her fondly and was happy to see her again. She told me how she was away most of the years, sailing along the Lhûn to trade among both dwarves and elves. I do envy her lifestyle, spending days at a time on the sea. But I suppose it would not be an efficient way to deliver letters since the ship does not always dock at all harbors and certainly does not go inland where letters need to be delivered.
Falthariel works with wood and I presume she spends her hours on board the ship carving when there is nothing else to do, for she laid out a grand collection of carved driftwood today at the market. There was a carving of a dove, even, that looked much like Faun. I saw Glorendir admiring a carving of a swan ship. It was quite remarkable! In truth, I wanted to acquire them all for I knew just which carvings would be appreciated by some elf or other that I know. I must say, my basket of decorated parchment seemed a pitiful craft to be selling compared to Falthariel’s carvings. And oh, when she pulled out her oyster shells, in which she had carved into the mother-of-pearl…, I was even more dejected at the prospect that she most likely would not want to trade her fine shells for anything I could give her. Yet I dared to ask, for nothing is gained when nothing is ventured. To my surprise, she was willing to part with them for less because they were her first shell carvings and she doubted the ingenuity of her skill! I know as soon as the others in Ered Luin get a glimpse of her craft, she will not be able to keep up with the demand.
One shell is carved with the image of a ship, and this I shall gift to Father, for he loves sailing. Another is carved with the moon and stars, and this I shall gift to Mother, for she loves poetic beauty and stares into the night sky for hours. The last is carved with flowers, and this I shall gift to Aeriaeth, for she is pretty like them. I think it will be just the thing for her to lay on her table at home and lay her jewelry or other trinkets upon.
Everytime I come to the market, I see so many fascinating wares that I feel I will soon run out of item to barter with. I understand why Mother is such a patron of others’ arts; there are so many talented elves and dwarves who craft such unique things that you cannot find elsewhere. I suspect my hand will grow fatigued with the huge stack of parchment I will have to decorate in order to repay Falthariel for the beautiful shells she gave me.
I also learned something intriguing at the market today about my friend Glorendir: he is actually very ancient. I found this out, for there was an elleth named Calarial, whom I had never met before at the market. She was quite tall and serious. After some conversation, she told us that she was from the fair city of Gondolin, which is mentioned in tomes of the First Age. To my surprise, Glorendir stated that if Calarial was from Gondolin, then they were kin…which means that he is from Gondolin as well. And then it all came together: his height, his noble bearing, his remarkable scholarly aptitude…it is as they say of the Eldar in old books and tales. I suppose I might have met some other elves of bygone ages but never realized it, for ancient elves do not quite go around announcing themselves as such. The only points of reference I had up until this point were from books I had read. They are few in number in Arda, having all passed or sailed West, so it is a rarity to have met two in one market day!