The Young Prince

The Elf-maid tried to calm him with soothing words, that he would find another, but the young man from Gondor would hear none of it. They stood on the dock in Celondim, she about to step aboard a boat bound down river to one of Cirdan’s ships. She had determined it was her time to take the Straight Road and had sailed first to Celondim to say farewell to friends in the Falathlorn. Driven by an enthralled heart, he had followed her, and he was now on his knees pleading with her to stay or take him with her, his voice raising in desperation, drowning out her calm and quiet tone as she tried to reason with him.

“I am honored by your interest, mellon”, she tried to say, “but never have I meant to give you reason to believe it returned. I must go now to the true home of the Elves, and you may not attend.” Her words were calm, her tone sympathetic. “You have a good heart and come from a fine House in Dol Amroth. There must be many fine young ladies of your kind….”

He interrupted, pleads becoming vindictive spitting as his heartbreak flamed his Mortal ire. He began to accuse her of things that she did not deserve, call her vile names, and when he drew close to her in a threatening manner, Teahesto joined Laenin of the Watch, stepping in to restrain him. She turned away in tears, he continued to shout pleas and accusations through his own tears, and soon the boat with her aboard departed. His cries echoed from the cliffs on the far shore of the river.

When her boat disappeared, he collapsed, a limp rag doll in princely attire, moaning. The two Elves released their grip as they stooped to comfort him and he suddenly flung their hands away, rose and ran. They pursued, but the young man was fast. He ran to the stable nearby and threw himself across his horse, spurring it to the north. Teahesto and Laenin exchanged silent and sorrowful looks. Mortals often drew such reactions from Elves. Laenin returned to his post, and Teahesto mounted his own horse, starting back for Torech Besruth. Along the way, Teahesto looked for some sign of the young Gondorian, until at last he came to the bridge crossing the river Lune. Having no indication of where the young man went, Teahesto continued across the bridge and returned home.

A week later, Teahesto was again in Celondim picking up supplies for Cutch in preparation for the upcoming Mereth Hannad feast. As he was preparing to leave for Torech Besruth, he saw the young man again, but this time he was dead, lain across his saddle. His horse was being led by a young woman, ahorse, and bearing some family resemblance to the young man. Laernin strode from his post to meet her.

Overhearing their conversation, Teahesto determined that the young woman, Firalwen, was the young man’s sister, also from Gondor. She had sailed in pursuit of her brother to try to convince him to come home. Laernin had advised her to ride north, to a Dwarven hunting lodge, to begin her search. Apparently, her brother got no farther than Thrasi’s lodge, for she found him there hollowed by his heartbreak, and drunk, a state he had been in for days. She convinced him to ride back the next day and arrange passage, and he sullenly agreed, but that night he crept out of the lodge and hung himself.

Laernin offered his assistance in arranging for their return to Gondor, but the next ship would not leave for several days. He offered to help prepare and store the young man’s body for the trip, and Firalwen agreed. She was barely holding up under her ordeal and seemed to be heavily asea. Teahesto stepped forward to assist.

Firalwen was too exhausted to refuse the offer from a stranger, and Teahesto’s compassionate manner further encouraged her. She would be welcome to stay at his small house in the Falathlorn, and although a Feast may not be something she would wish to attend, she would certainly be welcomed to do so. He felt certain Seregrian would approve.