A Different Place And Time

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A Different Place And Time

Post by Conleth on Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:31 am

She woke up to the distinct sounds of glasses and crockery rattling. When Nauriel finally opened her eyes she saw a middle-aged woman in a light blue dress and white apron directing a young woman in a yellow dress with a similar apron. The younger set a cloth covered silvered tray onto the bedside table next to her. The girl bobbed a curtsy and stepped away hastily with the elder woman looking on. She turned silently and departed as well and soon Nauriel was alone again with a large tray a food that smelled of fresh baked bread, butter and other smells that made her mouth water. As she adjusted herself to sit up she suddenly felt another presence within the room.

Arwen slowly lowered and closed the book she had been reading and set it upon the small, round table that sat near her left. From the accounts from her husband, the woman before her was, quite convincingly, not from this world. Or at least, not this reality. Being who she was, Arwen knew much about the magical nature of the world. So to her, what was ordinarily impossible could be possible if nature allowed it. She was filled however, with more than a little skepticism though. And the burning desire to seek her out had won over.

“Nauriel, is it?” She said softly. “I assume you know who I am?” She said in a questioning voice. “You’ve made quite the impression upon my husband so naturally I had to see you for myself,” she said almost musically.

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Re: A Different Place And Time

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:32 am

It was strange to sleep in this other world. Nauriel didn't dream exactly, but she remembered. She remembered her first time seeing Aragorn, their first kiss, the first time they made love out in the wilderness, their wedding in that village that was so small it didn't appear on any maps, and the birth of each of their children. Each memory, good and bad, was so dear to her that it made her heartache. At one point she felt as if she could hear even the sound of his voice...

The rattling sound was what awoke her. As her eyes quickly opened she became aware of the sunlight streaming in through the large windows in the room. Outside, she could hear the chirping of birds and the voices of people as they went about their day in the city below. As she slowly sat up, she took notice of the two women. The younger of the two had a silver tray of food and as she set it down on the table next to her bed Nauriel was hit by the smell of freshly baked bread and her mouth began to water. She didn't feel hungry exactly, but the smells made her want to eat all the same.

As the two women left Nauriel began to reach for the pot of tea to pour herself a cup, when she became aware that there was another person still in the room. Her eyes slowly looked over to the chair near the fireplace and her heart nearly stopped when she saw her. Nauriel hadn't seen Arwen since the day Aragorn, as he was called then, decided to marry her instead of honoring his promise to her. She knew that he had loved them both and she hadn't lied to him when she told him that if he chose to honor his promise to marry her that she would continue to follow him faithfully. Soon after the war had ended in her world Arwen had sailed for the Grey Havens with her father. She had no ill feelings towards Arwen, nor did she take offense at Aragorn having loved her once. His time before her had been his own and he had always been free to choose who he wanted to marry. She could not deny, though, her true happiness when he had asked her. He had had only his father's ring at the time and it hadn't fit her. She had worn it around her neck instead for close to 10 years until they finally got married.

"Yes, I know who you are Arwen," she finally replied. "I don't know how I came to be here in this world, but I am here and there must be a reason why. Please know that I mean no harm against you or your family. But I must also explain to you that in my world it is I who is married to Elessar."

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Re: A Different Place And Time

Post by Conleth on Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:57 am

Arwen’s eyebrows drew up at Nauriel’s bluntness but her face seemed to settle quickly into the curious expression she had first held upon her soft, pale face. “It is a shame that those that could find the truth of your origins or perhaps even the reason behind your appearance here, are out of our reach. So you say you do not know why you are here, perhaps if you rethink what was happening, we can discover the reason together?” She said and a small smile appeared upon her near perfect features.

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Re: A Different Place And Time

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:06 am

Nauriel felt something akin to a twinge of anger pulse through her as she looked at the small smile upon Arwen's face. She wanted to say something in response to it, but she managed to hold her tongue (only just barely). She became quiet for a long moment as she struggled to recall where she had been and what she had been doing.

"I...I was in my study responding to some letters. I do not recall what they were, but I don't think they were of importance to what has happened. Then a servant brought me a cup of tea. This was not unusual as I always had tea at that time. But now I'm remembering that the tea tasted...off. There was something in that tea...poison perhaps."

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Re: A Different Place And Time

Post by Conleth on Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:38 am

Arwen stood and gracefully she stepped up to the bed then sat upon her bedside. Her dress was unlike anything Nauriel had ever seen before. The thinnest silk, almost wispy in lavender and violet. She rested her perfect hands in her lap. “Oh yes, Elessar had mentioned that it had been some time since Gondor has had peace in your world. One of your...daughters? Was the root cause?” She asked as if she desired more explanation of that.

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Re: A Different Place And Time

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:33 am

As Nauriel watched Arwen move with perfect grace in everything she did, Nauriel felt her anger grow. Why did she have to be so perfect? Nauriel was far from perfect. Decades spent out in the wilderness and then fighting in the war had not called for the kind of grace and elegance Arwen portrayed. Over time she had become more graceful, but watching Arwen she felt...irritated by it. Was everything here perfect? However, that irritation was overcome by resentment at Arwen's accusation towards her daughter.

"My daughter was not the root cause of anything. Relations between Gondor, Rohan, and the Northmen had long since been deteriorating. Having Laenaya marry Harkim's son was our attempt at bringing about peace between us. It didn't work and my daughter lost her son. If they had stayed, instead of fleeing, the ending still would have been the same. War has been inevitable. They do not want peace...they never did."

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Re: A Different Place And Time

Post by Conleth on Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:55 am

Arwen looked to be about to say something more and then her smile grew. A knowing smile. Not smug exactly but being who she was afforded her certain...abilities. An empathy that was unmatched due to her elven heritage. Nauriel too was well versed in reading people. Her long years of experience still existed inside of her mind though her face and body appeared much younger. Something that she doubted she would ever be able to explain. Why was she really here? Had she really died? Had some benevolent force brought her here for some purpose? If so, what was it?

“If it was war they wanted, why aren’t they on our doorstep right now? We’ve made peace with the Harad as well though that was much more difficult to accomplish. After the war...so many...so many humans and elves were dead. So many...So many that Elessar...and myself, decided to make it our goal to bring humanity together. We made sacrifices to accomplish this. And forgave past grievances. The result is that we all prosper. “We’ve lent aid to the Northmen when they needed it against the Easterlings and Corsairs. My husband has sealed a bond of honor between our two peoples and besides minor disputes, the raids have ended and they communicate their needs to us and we them. The only difference was you coming into his life I think. And it has not gone well for you it appears,” She said plainly. Her eyes did not waiver or flicker as she kept them locked upon hers.

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Re: A Different Place And Time

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:18 am

Nauriel just sat there for a long moment and stared at Arwen. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. Had she really just said that to her? Could she really be implying that she was the cause of what was happening in their world? For a brief second she almost believed her. She did seem to be the only real difference between these two worlds...but then again, any seemingly small thing could have changed the courses of their worlds that could have had nothing to do with her. She didn't want to believe it...she couldn't believe it.

"How dare you?" she finally said with anger growing in her eyes. "You sit here in your perfect world and you pass judgement upon me when you know nothing about me. In my world Aragorn had a choice. I stepped back and he decided on his own. Whether or not he had chosen me I still would have followed him to the ends of the earth and back. I would have died for him...and I still would. He chose me. Perhaps if he hadn't things may have turned out differently, but maybe not. Just because I never existed in this world that does not mean that that is the reason for peace in this world. Things may not be perfect and I may not be perfect, but EVERYTHING I have ever done has been for the good of my world and for my family. And if I must die for peace to finally exist, then so be it. I will die knowing that I did everything I could for Middle Earth. And I will die knowing that I love my husband...just as he loves me."

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Re: A Different Place And Time

Post by Conleth on Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:19 pm

Arwen sighed. “You are so...adversarial. It is not a wonder why he fell for you. Even now your presence is affecting him. And yet you still do not see,” She said as if Nauriel was a novice or youngling. “If you are a catalyst. A strong influence into the shape of your world, then doesn’t it stand to reason that you, above all others, could help change it...for the better?” She asked as her hands moved down to her belly. When she did that her attitude seemed to change.

“It was difficult to have my son. And I have not yet been able to conceive another. It may well be that I can not have another and so I must do what I can to ensure that the world he inherits is one of peace and prosperity. I can see that you want the same for yours as well,” She said and another chime chimed in the distance though it was louder this time. As if it were telling her that her time here was getting shorter.

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Re: A Different Place And Time

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:55 pm

Nauriel's face softened slightly. Something in the back of her mind was pulling her...telling her that her time in this world was almost over. Her body felt weak and pain started to spread through her. It felt difficult to breathe and she started to hear other voices that were not of this world. Her body and mind, which had continued to fight for survival, began to fight even harder. When it was her time to die then she would, but she suddenly realized that now was not that time. She still had so much to live for and fight for.

"Of course, I love my family more than I could ever describe to you. I want peace and what is best for them. That is what I have always wanted for them. And so I cannot remain here...I must go home."

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Re: A Different Place And Time

Post by Conleth on Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:18 pm

In the royal bedchamber, Ithilwen began to sag. She had been using her own mind as an anchor to keep Nauriel’s linked to this world. It might be that the world wanted her to exist in both places but it was impossible to know for certain and so Ithilwen fought to keep her close to this one. The effort caused her a great deal of pain and effort though and Beren shifted onto his knees before her when he saw her face cringe.

“I know it hurts my darling,” He said lovingly as he stroked her hair. And it was then that both Laenaya and Elessar noticed what was happening. “I...I can feel her...she’s closer now,” He said as he closed his eyes and a smile grew upon his face.

A strong sensation of being pulled made Nauriel feel a great deal of pain. A sudden pain that seemed to move all across her body. “Help...I need help!” Arwen yelled and stood to see if there was anything she could do for Nauriel who convulsed as the pain hit her. “He...lll..ppp….I….n...ee….ddddd..ddd.dd,” The world seemed to shift oddly before Nauriel’s fading sight. Each motion carried a trail of blurred color until her eyesight and hearing failed altogether. In the next instant light came again into her vision and the face of an older, mature Elessar was there before her.

‘She’s coming out of it,” He said and Nauriel would detect the presence of others in the room.

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Re: A Different Place And Time

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:17 pm

The pain Nauriel felt was unlike anything she had experienced before. It was worse than giving birth…worse than being pulled off that cliff by Gollum…worse than fighting and killing the WitchKing. The ice she felt as if she had been trapped under suddenly seemed to break free and it was as though she could suddenly breathe again. She was being pulled quickly through space and time and she feared at first that she might truly be dead. But then the pulling sensation stopped. She could feel the soft mattress under her and blankets upon her. But that was not all…she could sense her beloved Elessar again…her husband. And this one was truly hers. The man she had lived and almost died for. She loved him with all of her heart and she had once again been reunited with him.

Her eyes slowly opened and she blinked against the harsh light. Her head swam and her body felt both hot and cold at the same time. Her throat burned and her mouth felt dry. But as her eyes met those of her husband none of that mattered anymore. Her eyes filled with tears, which she struggled to hold back.

“I love you so much.”

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Re: A Different Place And Time

Post by Conleth on Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:29 pm

It took an entire day before Elessar was able to get some broth down her and another 2 before her stomach was able to take in hard food though even that was bland, steamed oats. Elessar bathed her, dressed her and refused to leave her side for a moment. In that time the entire palace had been searched, researched and everyone questioned. It was discovered that a fairly new girl, Bellawin had not shown up for her duties for the 3 days that the palace was being searched. The kitchen maids were questioned thoroughly by the guard Captain and Eldarion and from all accounts, she was the only one relatively new and now she was nowhere to be found. They also found a farmer who was stabbed to death in his barn and his best horse and tack were missing from what his wife had told them. She had identified the girl but the name she gave was not Bellawin. It was all too clear now that the girl was the Assassin but where she could have gone was anyone’s guess.

Laenaya carefully spooned the stew from a small white bowl and then waited until Nauriel was ready for it. The poison had done its damage but the healers had said that their medicines were working and in a few weeks she’d be on her feet again.

“So this...uh...other place...there really was no war?” Laenaya asked again. She was amazed by the stories Nauriel had told them. And also very pleased her mother let her take care of her. It was all they could do to get Elessar to leave the room or go and get some sleep or a bite to eat. “Was she...was she really that beautiful?” She asked as if she couldn’t believe anyone was more beautiful than her own mother. In her prime, Nauriel was considered the most beautiful woman in the world after all. But elves were elves.

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Re: A Different Place And Time

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:45 pm

The recovery process was going to be long and grueling, but everyday Nauriel got a little stronger. The poison was likely to effect her in ways that were not yet known for the remainder of her life. But all that Nauriel cared about was that she was alive. Her visit to this other world had renewed her sense of urgency in ending this fighting and finally giving her people the peace they so deserved.

Her body continued to fight against the poison, which quite often resulted in strong fevers suddenly flaring up inside of her. Elessar sat faithfully by her side and was there with a cool rag to place on her forehead whenever she needed it. He read to her, sang to her, talked with her, or just sat held her silently while she slept. He had not left her side since she had awoken from her coma, leaving Eldarion and Calista to preside over court. The sense of relief that swept through the city at knowing their Queen was alive was palpable. However, the citizens were still extremely upset that she had been poisoned and wanted justice for her sake. For the sake of her health and recovery process, Nauriel was not told that they had learned who had actually put the poison in her tea, though she suspected it was someone who had posed as a new servant instead of being one of their faithful staff.

Nauriel had finally managed to convince Elessar to rest for a while. He had barely slept since she had been first found in her study and she knew he was exhausted. He had finally agreed to go rest, but only after Laenaya agreed to take his place until he returned. The stew was one of Nauriel's favorites and she gratefully allowed Laenaya to help her eat it. She took a small spoonful and then looked at her eldest daughter when she asked her about the other world she had been in.

"No, there was no war, but there also was no us. My parents, brother, sister, you, your siblings, and me...none of us existed. It was...strange being in a place that should feel like home, but did not."

She paused for a brief moment as she considered Arwen again. "Yes, she was beautiful, but beauty is not everything Laenaya. Although I was beautiful myself, that was not what won your father over to me. I asked him once what it was and he told me it was my inner strength and absolute devotion to him. Even if he hadn't married me I would have still gone with him and fought in the war and risked my life for him. We had been through too much by that point to not have been bonded and our bond was strong. In fact, even in this other world I could feel it."

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Re: A Different Place And Time

Post by Conleth on Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:36 am

What Laenaya had been doing up to this point was avoiding the difficult question...Did I cause this rift between the Northmen and Gondor? There was so much guilt and doubt there, especially now that her son had been taken. Gondor has been deemed ‘untrustworthy and having no honor’ by the Northmen but for the Easterlings and Corsairs, it was nothing more than an opportunity for revenge. Their small nations had all been devastated by the war with so few of their men coming home. Now with their numbers more or less regenerated they are on the offensive against Rohan. 6 smaller people’s in all, all working together to destroy Rohan’s forces. Until now Gondor has its own troubles with the Haradrim pressing them from the south but now that they were routed in a devastating defeat, Gondor could focus more strongly on aiding Rohan if Eomer’s forces could hold out until then.

“Should I have stayed with the Northmen mother? I feel a lot of guilt and regret for doing what I did. How many men will die because I broke my promises?” She asked trying not to cry into the bowl of stew.

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Re: A Different Place And Time

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:56 am

Nauriel could see her daughter’s mind turning and the guilt building in her eyes. It pained and angered her to know that her daughter was placing this blame on her own shoulders. She wouldn’t stand for that and she reached out and took hold of her hand and forced Laenaya to look at her.

“Laenaya, you listen to me and listen well. This is not your fault. I don’t want you to ever think that again. If you and Gulbrandt had remained things would not have ended any differently. Your father and I both believe this whole heartedly. Relations between our two peoples had been deteriorating long before you married one of their own. It was a last attempt at peace on our side, but they never wanted it. You and Gulbrandt did what was best for you both. Aslan…” she paused here as tears came to her eyes as she thought about her grandson, “…being taken was done entirely by the Northmen and you should blame them and not yourself. I know as a mother that is difficult, believe me.”

Speaking so vehemently had drained what little energy she had and she felt lightheaded and was forced to relax back against the pillows. She was quiet a moment before looking at Laenaya again. “I think you and your daughter should move here.”

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Re: A Different Place And Time

Post by Conleth on Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:03 pm

Laenaya almost spilled the spoonful of stew that was in her spoon and she quickly dropped it back into the bowl. She was silent a moment as she thought about what her mother had just said.

“I...I do too mother but...Brandt…” She began and her brow furled as she considered asking him if they could. In her heart she was always here, in this place. The palace had been her home and she loved the city and missed her family desperately. Brandt however prospered in large, expansive places. Gehanna had walls but not like Minas Tirith. In a few minutes he could be outside of them riding or swimming. She knew he’d likely say yes, especially considering the danger but she wasn’t certain if she could do that to him. But oh how much she wanted to! The strain of wanting it so much made her eyes fill up with moisture and she felt selfish.

“I will speak to him,” She said finally and wiped her eyes.


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Re: A Different Place And Time

Post by XslvrstarX on Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:33 pm

Nauriel could only hope that Brandt would realize that this was no longer just about him. He had a daughter to protect. They had already lost one child and the grief had nearly killed Laenaya. She wasn't sure if her daughter's heart could take losing another child. Her life was also at risk. If Brandt chose to stay that would be his decision. She just hoped that he would not force Laenaya to do the same. Once the dangers to them all were over Laenaya could choose if she wanted to return to Gehenna or not.

She reached out and gently wiped away a tear from her eldest daughter's cheek.

"You know your father and I are very proud of you, right? You have been incredibly brave and selfless."

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Re: A Different Place And Time

Post by Conleth on Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:08 pm

It took alot not to just break down completely but Laenaya didn’t want to, not now, not in front of her mother. She was supposed to be stronger. Like her sisters and her brother. If she had just stayed...if she had...if she...If she put the needs of her family ahead of her own, none of this would have happened. Her actions were not selfless. They were selfish and she knew that. But she knew her mother would not say that to her. With a single finger she wiped the few tears that did manage to slip down onto her cheek and she shook her head.

“No mother...I am selfish. Instead of upholding honor...instead of accepting the duty I was charged with I did what I wanted,” She said as more tears spilled down from reddened cheeks. She sniffled and looked down at her feet. “And Brandt loved me so much he did what I wanted of him,” She added. And that was what really hurt. His son was taken from him because of HER!

“I failed you, father, our family...our people. People have died due to my ‘selfless’ actions. And my son is paying the price for it,” she said as her lips began to tremble. “My son…” She said weakly and looked up to meet her mother’s eyes though her own began to well up. “There is no forgiveness for myself for that, how could there be?” She said and brought her hands down to hold her stomach. She felt like sicking up or falling to the floor and bawling like a little girl or both but managed to stay upright.

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