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Brothers in Heart

Turgon

Ghost-King of Gondolin
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This is RP is set against the backdrop of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men, and is by invitation only.

Please don't join without permission.

Brothers in Heart; a Tale of the Last Alliance.

'Tall ships and tall kings,
Three times three,
What brought they from the foundered land
Over the flowing sea?
Seven stars and seven stones
And one white Tree.'


The AkallabĂȘth tells of the downfall of the Island of NĂșmenor and of how its people were corrupted by the cunning of the Dark Lord Sauron. In the wrack of that great kingdom Sauron perished from Middle Earth, or so it was said, for none were spared save the followers of Elendil the Faithful.

'Nine ships there were: four for Elendil, and for Isildur three, and for AnĂĄrion two; and they fled before the black gale out of the twilight of doom into the darkness of the world. And the deeps rode beneath them in towering anger, and waves like unto mountains moving with great caps of writhen snow bore them up amid the wreckage of the clouds, and after many days cast them away upon the shores of Middle-earth.'

Elendil came ashore in Lindon, where he was succoured by Gil-galad, last King of the Noldor, and a great friendship grew between the two. Travelling east, beyond the Ered Luin, Elendil entered Eriador, and took up lordship in the north. Many great works he built there, and the craft of the DĂșnedain seemed a wonder to the wild-men that beheld them. AnnĂșminas he built, on the shores of Lake Nenuial, and there he made his capital; and upon Amon SĂ»l he commanded a great watch-tower to be raised, for from that place it was said that a man could look out across all the wide lands of Eriador. Arnor this land was named, the Land of the King, for Elendil was counted as high-king of all the DĂșnedain in Middle-earth.

Elendil's sons, Isildur and AnĂĄrion, came ashore at the mouth of the great river Anduin. In days gone by the Faithful had much traffic with the men of southern coasts: indeed the Blood of NĂșmenor flowed in the veins of many who dwelt there. So it was that Elendil's sons received great welcome, and they too began the building of a Kingdom. Minas Anor they built, at the feet of Mount Mindolluin - it was here that AnĂĄrion made his home; in the east, on the very foothills of the Mountains of Shadow, Minas Ithil was raised, and it was here that Isildur dwelt. Yet perhaps the fairest of their works was Osgiliath, the Fortress of the Stars, high-capital of the Realm of Gondor. This city was a marvel indeed, straddling the River Anduin in glory, and it was from here that Isildur and AnĂĄrion ruled as joint Kings of the Southern Realm.

Thus from great evil came great hope, or so it seemed - yet it was not to be. Ere long the fires of Orodruin spewed forth anew, for Sauron had not been lost in the wrack of NĂșmenor as had once been thought. But sat once again in the Tower of Barad-dĂ»r; and as he looked out upon the glory that the Men of the West had wrought in his absence, a bitter hatred welled up inside him.

He prepared for war...
 

chrysophalax

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Banners and pennons flying, the Host of Gil-Galad rode forth to join forces with the armies of Isildur. Their armour glittered in the sun as the stars above Arda in the night. Here, among those of his House and those of all the great Houses of the Eldar rode Gil-Galad and his heart was high as he urged his kindred onward, for Amon Sul was in sight and Isildur was waiting.

Among those waiting for the arrival of the Elven-Host was Alduric, a warrior mighty in arms, close to the ear of Isildur himself. As he looked out over the land, he watched for a certain banner, for beneath that banner rode his friend Ithildin, an Elf of surpassing skill with the bow, messenger and cousin of the High King. Too long it had been since they had last sat together, telling tales by firelight, Alduric prodding Ithildin for more details of the West.

The Elf in question found himself hard put to remain at the High King's side as his eyes eagerly scanned the promontory that rose before them. A grin formed on his normally stoic face as he remembered past visits with his human friend...and of his friend's obsession with elven drink, a flask of which Ithildin had brought with him as a present. A feeling of anticipation began to well up within him and Gil-galad spared him a flashing look. "Bear in mind that we ride to war, kinsman. The price we may yet pay will not be a small one." Ithildin nodded silently and schooled his features, but still his eyes searched ahead for his friend.

Above, Alduric strained his eyes out over ther field. At last! There it was! Gil-Galad's banner and Ithildin proudly bearing it up the slope to the fortress, announcing the High-King's arrival in a clear, ringing voice. Alduric turned and ran to greet him...
 

Turgon

Ghost-King of Gondolin
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Alduric stood upon the brow of Amon Sûl looking westward towards the setting sun. Below him, the Elven-host arrayed in splendor, their arms glittering in the last blush of daylight; above, a luminous sky slowly fading, east to west, into a deep blue twilight. His heart was soaring, never again would such beauty be seen in the wide lands of Middle-earth, some moments happen only once and then are gone forever.

Ithildin! There he was, carrying the banner of his lord and king. Gil-galad all could see, his shining helm drew all eyes to it - like the first star of even. Yet to the DĂșnadan no sight was more welcome than that of his friend in a place of high honour.

'Elen sĂ­la lĂșmenn' omentielvo!' Alduric ran to greet his friend, clasping him in a warm embrace. 'It's been too long... But come, tell me how you've been!' The two friends sat in the shadow of the great watch-tower and soon found themselves deep in talk. Above them in the high firmament the first stars had been kindled, when the sound of a myriad elven voices were suddenly lifted in song, echoing about the the barren hills with a haunting melody. Alduric began to murmur softly...

A Elbereth Gilthoniel,
silivren penna mĂ­riel...
 

chrysophalax

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Ithildin mingled his pure, clear tenor with Alduric's resonant baritone...

o menel aglar elenath
Gilthoniel, A! Elbereth!

Alduric looked at the Elf in wonder, for in all the long years of their friendship he had never heard him sing. "Mellon, why have you never sung with me before? Your voice has such purity!" Ithildin gazed at him, a wry grin on his face. "One must never reveal all one's gifts. How ordinary I would appear in your eyes if I couldn't amaze you now and again." He stood gracefully, stretching his legs. "Ai! I am used to travelling afoot. Light-footed though she is, my Estel has tried my muscles this day!" He looked up into the early evening sky and broke into a radiant smile. "Alduric, there strides Menelmacar low on the horizon before us." Long he stood, gazing upward, lost in the beauty of the coming night. Alduric shifted, moving nearer the fire. He was used to Ithildin's reveries.

After a time, Ithildin resumed his place at Alduric's side. He reached into the pouch hanging from his belt and brought forth a small though heavy bottle. "Is that...?" Ithildin laughed aloud. "Aye, my friend. Indeed it is, miruvor, a favourite of yours if I remember rightly?" Alduric took the bottle almost reverently, then looked around eagerly. "Where is Dorlas when I need him?" he mumbled. "He will turn up soon, I feel certain. As to my travels since last we met, I have been busy in my king's service, making certain of troop numbers and carrying messages to and fro that assure Gil-galad the Alliance is strong and secure." Ithildin looked about the camp. "If these troops are anything to go by, we will stand a fair chance against Sauron once we are at full strength." He then leaned forward, his voice low. "What thinks your king of the outcome of this war?"
 

Turgon

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Alduric smiled sharply at the elf, and slipped the bottle beneath the heavy cloak he had draped around himself. Taking a brief look at Ithildin's face he marvelled again at how little the firstborn changed. The DĂșnadan's own face had gathered a few more lines since their last meeting, and yet his friend looked as if he had not aged a day. Running a calloused finger down a small furrow that had plowed itself into his brow, Alduric nodded, gazing down at the host camped in the lowlands around Weathertop. Weathertop? This was the name the common footsoldiers had given to the great heights of Amon SĂ»l, and the DĂșnadan had grown rather fond of it.

'It is a splendid sight to be sure.' Alduric said proudly. 'And it will grow greater before the year is out. There are still many companies to be gathered and many plans to be made. It will be sometime ere we are ready to set out eastwards. News still has to reach us from the Elves of the Greenwood and Oropher their king. Long has he fled from the encroaching darkness, ever northward into the fastness of his forest. My lord believes he will join us once news of our armies reach him, and there are many more like him who could, perhaps, be won over to our cause.'

The DĂșnadan grinned and clapped his arm to Ithildin's shoulder.'Mighty bowmen the wood elves. I dare say they would give even you a contest at the butts. Ere long we will set out for Imladris, there the rest of the Northern Army will meet us, and what other allies dare join us on this march.' Alduric reached a hand down to his cloak and threw it, gleefully, over his shoulder; revealing a shining hauberk of silvery mail, though strangely his sword was absent from his side. In its place hung the bottle Ithildin had presented to him earlier. Alduric patted it, letting loose a throaty laugh.

'But first there will be feasting, for not since the Elder Days has there been such a meeting as this. Elves and Men, together, marching forth against the shadow. I tell you Ithildin, a new age is dawning, and this host shall be its herald. So let us eat and be merry, for even in the deepest darkness the stars shine on.'
 
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chrysophalax

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"You seem in fine fettle this night. In fact, I can scarce recall ever seeing you so merry. Is it the prospect of war that gladdens your heart, or knowing that you will soon be surrounded by some of the most beautiful women in all of Arda? In Imladris you will discover many things to delight your senses. Good food, the finest drink, tales of unsurpassed heroism and heart-rending sorrow. I am certain you will never wish to leave!"

More ale flowed as they talked, until one of the Elven guards came through telling them it was time to get some rest, for they would be on the move shortly after first light. Reluctantly, Alduric rose and stretched, his jaw cracking as he yawned mightily. Ithildin grinned. "Come now, we have yet many miles before we reach the hidden passes of Imladris and I'll not have you falling from your horse. If you wish it, I will break bread with you at daybreak and if your leader allows it, you may ride with me in the Elven host...if you can find the wayward Dorlas, that is. Rest you while you can, mellon-nin. I will go and see to the king before it is my turn to walk the perimeter."
 

Turgon

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The great tower of Amon SĂ»l had been built by the DĂșnedain not long after they had settled in Arnor, and though it had been built in the elven manner it was clearly a mannish work. Constructed of great stones, and rather squat and sturdy (at least to elvish eyes) it stood sentinel over the lands hard by. The banners of Elendil and Isildur hung from its walls, snaking out into the winds which had given the great hill its name and which, from nowhere it seemed, had come to play about its heights. Not five minutes since, one of Elendil's stewards had attempted to hang Gil-galad's own banner in place of honour next to that of the dĂșnedain king's only for it to be pulled from his grasp; the bright stars upon its field falling in a melancholy dance down into the dirt below. This had seemed like a bad omen to those who had beheld it. Yet when rumour of this reached into the great feasting hall, Gil-galad had simply smiled, raising his cup high in a toast the assembled throng. Saying, in a clear, ringing voice. 'Even my banner, it would seem, is eager to be gone!'. If for a moment a shadow had fallen, the light in those eyes had quickly dispelled it.

Alduric had not retired as Ithildin had suggested. There would be no sleeping for him on this of all nights. After leaving his friend, he had made his way into the great hall, and sat silently in the shadows, his cloak drawn about him once more. The elf had come close to the mark however, for it was the thought of the coming war that had lifted Alduric's spirits so. His soul still burned with the humilation he had suffered before the walls of Minas Ithil, when he had led the royal guard of Isildur into battle against the forces of the Dark Lord, and had been utterly defeated. The DĂșnadan knew that it was he and he alone who bore the guilt of that great loss, his men fleeing in panic before some unknown terror, his own heart clenched in cold, steely fear. How many men fell screaming before orcish blades that day? How many men fell cursing his very name as he stood there, Dagorlin, his great battleblade, rising and falling, seemingly oblivious to its master's fear? All those men lost, all of them depending upon Alduric to bring them victory? It took Isildur to save them. That great warrior burst from the great gates of Minas Ithil with the fury of the Valar, and with only a few beardless squires to guard his back. Yet save them he did, his raven hair streaming behind him, a dark banner calling those who remained upon the battlefield to his side.

Redemption was close, however. Alduric knew this, the Alliance would be his salvation. Dagorlin would sing again, but this time it would be a song of its master's choosing.
 

Narya

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'Ithildin...manen nalyë meleth nín ? Melin ceni hin lßn síla i 'eladhach.'
(Ithildin, how are you my love? I long to see the laughter in your eyes.)

The light from her lamp was steadily getting brighter and the breeze that blew soft, warm wisps all day began to get colder. Through the gaps in the trellis of vines that weaved above her, IlĂșvĂ«nis saw a velvety burgundy sky slowly turning to deep purple as the sun fades to the west. She can see the main hall from where she sat, writing her letter to Ithildin. The light from the lamps inside, shattered by the varicolored glass of the windows, glimmered like hundreds of fireflies dancing on the trees during summer. She could hear the singing and the laughter and knew that the wine will last for many hours. She despised such merriment and felt much loathing for those who indulge in frolic while many suffer war and death outside the bounderies of this haven.

The falcon beside her gawked and tilted his head. Smiling at the winged messenger, IlĂșvĂ«nis brushed his white crest gently then she gave him another piece of meat before continuing her letter.

'Mar bedithach Ă­ Imladris? Man gonoded eraid derithach?'
(When will you leave for Rivendell? How long will you stay?)

She knew what they fought for and logic made her accept their long separation. However, IlĂșvĂ«nis was born here and not once had she set foot outside its walls. She had not seen nor experienced any of the worries that befell the world outside. What she knew about war and death and suffering were stories handed down to her from many sources. Their descriptions were consistent and a clear picture was painted in her mind, which was why she could not understand why Ithildin chose to fight instead of leaving Middle Earth for good.

'AnĂ­ron gwanna...bedithach Ennorath...ĂŹ le....'
(I wish I could leave...leave Middle Earth...with you....)

She had asked him before and he chided her for such a selfish request. He tried to reason with her, tried to make her understand why he had to stay and make sure that they win the war. Though his words made sense and there was much wisdom in his reasoning, IlĂșvĂ«nis could not bring herself to accept it fully. On the eve of his departure, she begged him again.

"The darkness is growing, you said. The power of evil is much stronger today than it was before, and getting stronger still as the days pass by. Am man harthach, Ithildin? Ú-chenion!"(Why do you still hope, Ithildin? I don't understand!) She cupped his face with both her hands and said, "You profess your love to me yet would not stay when I ask you to. Ithildin, gerich veleth nín, anno nin meleth le!" (Ithildin, you have my love, give me yours!)

The memory of that parting was still bitter and it made IlĂșvĂ«nis bite her lip. She ached for him everyday and her heart would break everytime Ithildin showed no such longing for her. She knew that it was the war that kept his mind adrift. Now, they would be coming to Rivendell and at last she would meet them and thus learn what had kept Ithildin's heart divided.

'No in elenath hĂźlar nan hĂąd gĂźn,'
(May all stars shine upon your path)

She ended the letter bound for Amon Sûl, rolled the parchment, and tied it around the falcon's leg. She whispered to the winged messenger and watched as it flew into the deepening night sky.
 
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chrysophalax

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"I should have known."

Alduric couldn't stop the lurch his stomach gave, but he had been around Elves often enough to have schooled his reflexes, though still he gave his friend a sharp glare. "What must you have known, Ithildin? And for the sake of the Valar, must you slink about like an assassin?" Only a dry chuckle answered him as Ithildin settled at his side. "Ah, ah! You grow touchy in your old age. I walk as I have always walked. I cannot help if your senses fail you already." Alduric muttered something about sanctamonious Elves, but had to grin as Ithildin looked back at him in mock-horror.

"Such thoughts are unworthy of one who so loves the beauty, charm and grace of the Eldar, of which I am a shining example." A choking sound greeted these words, but Ithildin pressed on. "Nay, my good Edain, what I was referring to earlier was that I should have known I would find you still here, listening to the old tales, not getting your rest and drinking far more ale than any other mortal I have ever encountered. Dawn draws nigh, lest you have forgotten."

A sharp retort was on Alduric's lips, when another cask of ale was brought out and broached. A cheer went up and Alduric stood. "Hand me your drinking horn, Ithildin. We may as well see the day in!" He will never change. thought Ithildin as he unfastened the drinking vessel from his belt. "As you will. Let us toast to our kings and their banners that fly above us so bravely." Ithildin inhaled deeply as the night breeze blew across the high encampment, bringing with it the scents of heather and pine forest. Suddenly he looked to the east. "The wind bears a burden this night. For good or ill, I wonder?"
 

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