Feather on the Wind – Part 8: To Tol Falthui

Between Dol Amroth and the Mouths of the Anduin, the Cape of Belfalas spreads out into the sea, its western bluffs forming the eastern shoreline of Belfalas Bay. More than just an interesting terrain feature of Western Gondor, it was also haven to many of the kingdom’s prosperous and privileged. The road following the Cape’s scenic shoreline was gated and guarded at both ends, effectively making the elite villages along the coast a separate province within the Belfalas fiefdom. The choicest properties, however, were the islands off the Cape’s west coast, one for the Lighthouse, and the other two, named Tol Falthui and Tol Lochul, each held an exclusive mansion of many rooms and exquisite views. Most recently, the former became home to Lumenire, a High Kindred mistress of rune lore and Cutch’s great aunt.

After returning from Edhellond to Dol Amroth and spending their last night at the Talk of the Walk Inn, Cutch, Ardanion, and Teahesto rose well before dawn and prepared for the ride to the Cape, hoping to make Tol Falthui before nightfall. Cutch took them on a brief detour to the hill to which he’d fled many years before. They looked back on the still slumbering port.

“I hope we get to return there someday, Ada”, Ardanion sighed. “The city still has so much to explore.”

Cutch chuckled, thinking back on the long-lost Den. “Aye, there is, Ardanion. Perhaps our course will lead back there on our return to Her Ladyship’s Lair.”

“But there is still so much more to see in the world”, Teahesto commented, “and I believe you will find your Aunt Lumenire and her island worth the time to visit.”

The glow of the waning half-moon angled across the paved road, and shadows from the shoulder’s low western walls snaked easily along the gently rolling ground. As the rosy dawn slowly slid across the sky, night insects quieted, hurrying to shelter from awakening and hungrily chirping birds. “Another lovely day”, Cutch commented; the weather continued to cooperate with the trio’s travel plans.

Their road lead them closer to the coast, where the sea air and cawing white gulls on the wing drew their attention to an endless seascape, where, looking westward, three islands were the last sentinels of dry land.

Cutch pointed to the one on the right. “According to Lumenire’s directions, that should be Tol Falchui.”

Ardanion studied the islands for a while, then said, “I suppose we will ferry out to it?”

“Aye”, Teahesto affirmed. “We and our horses. That should make exploring the island a bit easier.”

“What could possibly be explored?”, Ardanion asked. “You can see the entire island from here.”

Cutch chuckled. “There is more to exploration than just what one can see from a distance. You can’t tell from here where the best fishing spots are. A closer look often yields the most important details.

The boy shrugged and nodded with a “We’ll see” look on his face.

Over the road’s next rise, they came to the western gate of the Cape’s coastal road.