Volume One - Who Were The Silent Minority?
If the presence of dwarves and hobbits amongst the membership of The Silent Minority is surprising, the presence of elves is nothing short of astonishing. The Last Alliance, as its name suggests, appeared to mark the point at which cooperation between the elves and other peoples died.
With a few notable exceptions – trade between Mirkwood and the men of Laketown, and cooperation between the Rangers and the elves of Rivendell, to give two examples – elves generally hid themselves away from the affairs of Middle Earth during the Third Age, focusing their energies on maintaining their few remaining bastions.
Perhaps as a result of the turmoil created by the passage of the Ring through Eriador, or possibly because of the increase in the Enemy’s aggression throughout Middle Earth, many elves seem to have become active in the War of the Ring. That this was happening outwith the elves' own borders is a revelation.
Amillion...The Oddly Shaped Elf by Amillion LightwhisperIt wasn’t that she disliked Rivendell or the other areas that her kind come from, it just didn’t feel like home to her.
All the spiritualism and the soft music and the low talking in a flowing language kind of.... bored her?
After talking to one of Rivendell spiritual inhabitants for more then five minutes she always felt she needed to do a wild dance and smoke her pipe to get her energy up again.
At the orphanage in Bree they said she was from Lindon but she had never been there.
Didn’t even know where it was to be honest. And did not really care.
Even thou Bree was home to her, the small town of Michel Delving had always been the home of her heart, even since her first visit. And when the first inhabitant of MD pointed out how tall she was, she found herself surprised. She hadn’t noticed any difference in her appearance and that of the locals. Perhaps that she had an unusually good view of their hats, witch some of them found utterly useful.
But sitting in the Bird and Baby, smoking her pipe and having a beer, belly full of wonderful pie, she started thinking about it more carefully.
Did she not feel like a stranger meeting other elf’s?Did she not have odd feet for an elf, bigger and hairier then any other elf she’s seen?Hadn’t everyone looked at her extremely strange when she danced her usual wild and bouncy dance at the last celebration of seasons in Rivendell? Someone even suggesting she needed isolation and spiritual healing.And they also seemed to think she had an obsession with pies. Since pie have always taken up over 75% of Amillions thinking for as long as she can remember she found it strange to hear that the rest of the elf’s did not seem to think of pie at all. Except when they wanted something from a Hobbit......And unlike all other elves she did not find her self at home in the forest. It did not speak to her besides whispering scary things to her in the dark. She wasn’t graceful, at all. Falling down, stumbling and dropping things was more of a rule then a exception with her.And she was the only elf she knew who has a beer/pie-belly. And loving it.
She had taken the name of Lightwhisper a few years back just to make her sound more elf-like. Lightwhisper sounded like something an elf should be able to do. Her first choice was Pastrybottom, but the people of Rivendell frowned at that so she felt she’d better not.
She always thought a name should reflect who a person was, but now it seemed it should reflect who a person should be. This all puzzled her but she followed as she did long to fit in somewhere. And Rivendell was the only real town she had seen who was filled with her race.
After a short stay in Rivendell, witch felt way to long for Amillion, she left determined to find her true roots. Being alone once again, she roamed the lands, helping where she could just to make people giver her information. But she felt more lonely then ever.
Travelling within the Shire she hears tales of an Hobbit female who gives birth to a giant.
This is an old tale that she heard as a young girl at the orphanage. And for some reason it had always sounded familiar to her. Where there perhaps some truth in the story, was it perhaps more then just an old children’s story?
She decided her new mission should be to find out more about this. Could the giant being born perhaps just be an hobbit with some elvenblood in it’s veins?
‘Go on, fuck off!’ roared Annundril as he flung the Breelander out of the door. ‘If I’d wanted fucking poetry I’d have fucked a hobbit.’ He aimed a bare foot at the young man’s equally bare arse, diverting his aim from the bullseye at the last moment. ‘Maybe a good thing I threw him out when I did,’ Annundril muttered to himself as the door slammed, ‘that didn’t look too healthy.’
Moments later he opened the door again to toss a handful of coppers at the would-be poet, who was still fumbling with his breeches in the Inn’s hallway. Less chance of him babbling to anyone about the encounter if he’d been paid. The elf didn’t relish the prospect of being chased out of another town – he’d barely escaped with all of his instruments the last time.
Archet suited him just fine for the moment. It was as far from other elves as he could get without leaving some semblance of civilisation, with the added bonus that hobbits and dwarves weren’t too much in evidence. Men, with their weaknesses of mind, body and spirit were more to his taste. The perfect company for an elf in exile.
‘Beren and Lucien!’ he chuckled to himself as he lay back on the bed, ‘It’s a funny title, I’ll give the little prick that. Shame he wasn’t joking. He should’ve stopped there, nothing less attractive than sub-adolescent poetry, and I should know.’
Annundril had a ‘gift’ for music and poetry, which he’d exploited mercilessly to keep himself alive in recent years. He hated music, and he hated having to come up with the asinine gibberish that people seemed to like smeared on top of their nauseatingly winsome melodies, but it had provided him with an easy life. A long, boring, easy life.
Until he wrote ‘The Lay of Lord Celeborn the Coward’.
That hadn’t gone down well at all, nor had his unrepentant attitude when hauled in front of the Lord and Lady to explain himself. Why couldn’t they see that their long years of inaction had all but handed victory to the Enemy on a plate? Why hadn’t they done something, anything, sooner when the shadow first fell on the Greenwood? Why were they, and virtually everyone else in Lorien, content to wait within its borders for the end of days? Why wouldn’t anyone fight, even if they had already left it too late? Anything was better than an eternity of whining about the fading beauty of Middle Earth. Being ostracised from his own people had almost come as a relief in the end. Over the years that relief had become anger and bitterness.
He often wondered whether there was something wrong with him, whether he’d been born lacking something. His time amongst men had shown him that members of the younger race were often born with deficiencies, whether mental or physical. Perhaps the peculiarities which marked him out from other elves were a result of something similar, but manifested in more subtle ways due to the Firstborn’s differing physiology. Or maybe he was just an arsehole.
A crashing noise from outside roused him from his self pity. Sitting up, he took a swig from the jug of wine on the table next to the bed, wincing as the sour liquid hit the back of his throat, ‘I swear this stuff is getting worse.’ he spat, before hurling the jug at the wall. Another crash from outside answered his own effort, closely followed by the sounds of violence and panic.
Groaning, he dragged himself from the bed to the window and opened the shutters. ‘Oh, that is just typical.’ he muttered as he surveyed the scene below, oblivious to the fact that he was still naked. Brigands were rampaging through the town, cutting down anyone who got in their way, burning buildings as they went. The sensation of heat from the buildings already ablaze reminded Annundril that his clothes still lay where he’d thrown them earlier. Not for the first time, he dressed in a hurry and grabbed the tools of his trade.
By the time he made it through the inn to the street Archet was practically in ruins. Across the road a soldier from Gondor who had been in the common room of the Mad Badger the previous evening was being dragged from a burning building. Nearby, the strange young widow he’d seen hanging around with that insufferable Ranger, Amdir, was fighting for her life against several brigands.
His only means of escape barred by the melee in front of him, Annundril sighed and began to pluck on his lute. He’d never understood why, but whenever he played in the vicinity of battle his music seemed to inspire unlikely and heroic deeds in those who would aid him. He began to sing in Sindarin, twisting the words for his own amusement into as many filthy rhymes as he could manage, confident that no-one nearby would understand a word. Even when in mortal danger Annundril was nothing if not puerile.
‘Just what do you think you’re playing at, you insufferable cretin?’ said a voice from the alleyway behind him. It was a familiar voice, an elven voice, and one that made Annundril’s heart sink and leap simultaneously, making him feel altogether queasy. Putting on his most charming smile he turned, just in time to meet the blunt end of a spear which was swinging towards his forehead.
Maegnar was doing him a favour, he just didn’t fully appreciate that as he slipped out of consciousness.
Lunethriel lay quietly in the bed that she had come to call hers. She and her brother, Tanthalionn, had been staying at the Prancing Pony for a couple of weeks now. Though, this night, he was not there. She was alone... well… as alone as she ever is.
Tossing and turning, unable to sleep, she finally sat up and stretched a bit, then slipped out of bed to sit by the fire. Perhaps some music would soothe her mind enough to let her sleep. As she picked up the harp and rested it to her shoulder, her mind wandered to her encounter with Melethron earlier in the day. He had told her that they would leave for Imladris soon. The thought made her smile. He… made her smile.
It had been many years since her husband's death. She had been so close to him. It had nearly killed her when he died in her arms that fateful day. She had held tightly to him, even in death. Her heart bound by is memory... locked away, shattered and torn. Had it not been for Tanthalionn, she would have surely wasted away to walk the Halls of Mandos, hand in hand with Faelorian when he died. Instead, she remained... a shell of who she once was. She did not speak. She did not smile. Only recently had she found her voice again after twenty years of mourning. Only recently had she found the strength to let go and live again. And it was all because of him. He... had taught her heart to sing again.
The music that flowing from her fingertips floated softly into the air around her. Her emotions turned into the magical, soothing melody of her heart's song. Her thoughts lingered on him, thinking of how things might be when she was finally free.
As the thought passed through her mind, a hollow whisper reached her ear. "You still belong to me." She could feel the warmth of breath on her neck as the words lingered and echoed around her. It made the hair on the back of her neck prick and a shiver run down her spine. Her fingers faltered on the strings as her heart's song came to an abrupt ending.
There was no need to turn and see who was there. She knew the voice and knew it well. It was Faelorian, her lost love. When he had died, his spirit did not pass on as it should have. Perhaps he remained because he clung to her just as she did to him. He had been with her in spirit since the day that his he drew his last breath.
At first had been a comfort to her to have him still near her even if it was just in spirit. But, time has a way of affecting things... twisting the mind of those who linger past their time, no matter the reason. A once kind and gentle soul had turned bitter and confused in time's grasp. She could feel his anger… his unwillingness to let go even though she was trying to move on.
The voice came again as the air around her began to chill even in the warmth of the firelight she had been basking in. "Your place is beside me, Lunethriel. Your love... your devoted.. Take your place by my side once more." She began to tremble, her breath turning mist now from the cold. Her eyes focused on the fire. "Come to me, Lunethriel. We will be together again as we once were."
She swallowed hard, gathering her courage. Melethron's face flashed in her mind, seeming to give her the strength she needed to speak. Her voice was but a whisper. "I can not join you, Faelorian. I will always love you, but our time has passed. Please release me. Take your place within the Halls of Mandos as you should have so long ago. Do not linger here for me. You harm yourself by doing so..." She could feel the tears welling in her eyes as she spoke. It tore her heart to know that she'd had a part in making him what he had become. She was frightened of him now.
For a long moment, save for the sound of her quivering breath and chattering teeth, there was no sound in the room. Even the crackle of the flames within the fireplace went silent. Frost began to form on the chair she was sitting in… the harp that had belonged to her once devoted... her clothes... her hair. Her cheeks began to sting with the bite of it as a thin layer of ice crystals kissed her skin. His voice came again, filling her with terror. It hissed and grated at her mind like stone grinding steel. "You will join me!"
She stood, raising her voice in fear. "No! I will not! My heart no longer belongs to you!" With that, she threw the harp that she had cherished for so long into the flames. As the strings popped and the wood began to char, the spirit shrieked and spoke again. "Fool girl! You are mine! If you will not join me willingly, I will take you myself!"
Suddenly, the chill of icy fingers closed around her throat. She struggled with the hands that were not there, gasping for air. The room began to spin and fade, the crushing grip bringing her to her knees. She gasped and attempt at a scream, but it only came out as a whimper. Stars filled her vision and she could no longer struggle. As she fell to the floor, blackness consumed her. A barely audible whisper was heard by only an empty room as she slipped into nothingness. "I am sorry Melethron."
Lunethriel awoke to the sound of birds chirping outside her window, as the morning sun crept in. She was still in bed. Blinking sleep away, her eyes regained their focus and took the room in. All was as it should be. It was a dream... wasn't it?
She rolled to her side to find a single white flower lying on the pillow beside her. Her eyes widening, she backed away. It was the same kind that Faelorian would bring to her when they had argued or disagreed. She stared at it for a long moment as though it were a deadly serpent waiting to strike. Her hand moved to her throat, causing her to wince with pain as hoarse whisper escaped her lips. "But it was only a dream…" Her eyes moved to the fireplace. The remains of Faelorian's harp lay there, still smoldering on a bed of glowing embers.
Cerridwen, a Music Anthropologist by Mintjelly
Sitting at a roughly crafted table close to the hearth of the Bird and Baby, Cerridwen tapped her quill on the side of the page. If she continued to be distracted by these day dreams she would never complete this thesis, concentrating on her work she started to write the next sentence, then stopped.
Once again her mind drifted to the day she elected her topic. Gwrtheyrn had given them all a week to decide where to complete their music history field work study. Most had already decided upon the various masters within the Elven kingdoms, a few more adventurous types had opted for study with Men and Dwarves.
Dwarves were an uncomfortable choice due to their preference for underground accommodation, but many overcame this inconvenience to gain insight into their music, they had preserved a long history of music culture meticulously across generations.
Similarly, though for very different reasons, only a few would select to work alongside Men. Their unpredictable, often volatile nature being as it was, Men also retained a wealth of musical history despite much having been sadly lost through the various wars they appeared prone to occupying themselves with.
Cerridwen had taken a long walk that day outside the city to visit her favourite thinking space, a beautiful and delightfully remote forest glade. She sat amid a sea of tiny white flowers, gently swaying to a silent rhythm. None of the obvious choices seemed terribly exciting to her, she desperately needed a topic that would re-ignite the fire of learning within her. Since her close friend went missing she had felt little motivation to study, numb to everything, even her great passion for healing music.
She had recalled her friends skilfully crafted, yet wholly inappropriate, tall tales. They had become a constant irritation to their tutors, one had even involved Hobbits. Elves did not frown upon Hobbits per se, but they took little interest in them, seeing them as being essentially inconsequential. Hobbits were known to seldom leave their small farming communities, so to write a song about an adventuring Hobbit heroine was seen as a mockery of the tutors instruction.
Always a well behaved, unremarkable student herself, Cerridwen had taken a secret delight in her friends antics and the subsequent uproar that often ensued. Now lessons seemed quite dull in comparison.
Perhaps she needed to get away from her peers for a while, the problem was she really didn't like the idea of spending time in the draughty halls of the Dwarves or in the rowdy company of Men. It was then the notion came to her, she smiled to herself, they would be shocked and no doubt blame it on undue stress. Of course it was nothing to do with stress, it would be a tribute to a great friendship. 'One day my friend, you will hear tell of this and smile widely' she spoke into the empty glade.
Later that day clutching her submission for her proposed fieldwork study she strode into Gwrtheyrn's library. He sat pouring over the other student submissions piled upon his desk.
'Good evening, Cerridwen' he said without looking up, whilst holding out a hand for her paper.
'It is a fine evening isn't it.' She said cheerfully, watching him closely as he began to read her proposal. She did not have long to wait.
'Hobbit's?' He boomed at her, which was quite a shock, given his usual mild demeanour.