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Seeds of the White Tree

Chapter Text


 

Et Earello Endorenna

utulien

Sinome maruvan

ar Hildinyar

tenn' Anbar-metta

OoOoO

Out of the Great sea,

to Middle-earth I am come

In this place I will abide,

and my heirs,

unto the ending of the world.


His first memory of his father was of singing.

Both of his parents loved to sing, and they did so often. When the long days of faces, voices and duties were over, both his mother and father would sit with him and sing songs of times gone by. Sometimes they would recline around the hearth, the warm glow of the flames dancing across their faces. Other nights when the air was warm and the skies were clear they would carry him out onto a balcony and sing in the starlight. Thus Eldarion, Prince of the Reunited Kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor grew to love both firelight and starlight equally.

King Aragorn Elessar and Queen Arwen Undómiel were so much to so many people. To the soldiers of Gondor, Aragorn was their brother, their captain, their king. To the people of the realm Arwen was their beloved lady, the Star of the White City. To Eldarion they were simply Mother and Father, or sometimes Adar and Naneth, depending on which language they felt like speaking that evening.

It was something of a game their family played, to explore the many nuances of words and songs together. That was how Aragorn and Arwen taught first their son and then their daughters the many languages they would need in life. First came the easiest and most necessary; Westron, or the Common Tongue. Next was Sindarin, meshing swiftly and easily with the words of Men like strands of silver in a tapestry. After that followed the dictions of Adûnaic, Rohirric and Quenya as the children of the royal household grew up. Words were their toys, languages their games, all taught by the rich crooning voice of their father and the bell-like musical tones of their mother.

The children of Elessar and Evenstar grew swiftly and strong, known and loved by all the folk of Gondor. Eldest and the lone prince, Eldarion embodied all that was strange and beautiful in both his parents. From Aragorn he inherited the lean, coiled-wire frame of a Dúnedain ranger. That razor sharp readiness of a ranger was softened in Eldarion by a liquid grace that could only have come from a daughter of elf-kind. Likewise Eldarion took greatly after his father in shape of face and shade of hair. There was a light to the prince's dark grey eyes and a slant to his high brow that no man of pure mortal blood could have possessed. Eldarion may have been of the race of Men by all measures, but the mark of the Eldar still lingered as a ghost in his eyes and voice.

After Eldarion, Aragorn and Arwen had three shining daughters. First and eldest there was Eruthiawen, as noble as any queen even as a young girl. Only two years Eldarion's junior, Eruthiawen and her brother were near inseparable. She favored more their father in almost all ways, exempting her long wavy hair that shone like beaten copper and often prompted Aragorn to speak of his mother Gilraen. In manner however, Eruthiawen was indisputably the daughter of Arwen Undómiel. Always Eruthiawen seemed to understand things that many thought beyond her years, her clear grey eyes reading the character of all whom she met like the pages of a book. From time to time the queen would tease her husband that their daughter was better at diplomacy than he was.

Then there was Túrien, fey and unconquerable as a summer storm. Eldarion's earliest recollections of his second sister were of a tangled mess of black hair and incessant demands to join the boys in their play. Túrien and Eruthiawen often conflicted as sisters as prone to do when the demands of growing up shape expectations. For his part though King Aragorn loved his wild middle daughter with the fierce joy of one who meets and recognizes a kindred spirit in another. When Túrien reached her thirteenth birthday she received a bow and a quiver full of arrows, as well as a promise from Aragorn to teach her himself every third day. That gift from their parents had pleased Túrien more than any hoard of gold or jewels in all of Middle-Earth ever could have.

Last and certainly not least loved came Almárëa, the littlest princess of Gondor with five years between her and Túrien. Almárëa was everything that Túrien was not and vice versa. That did not stop the two from being completely and utterly devoted to one another. The king and queen almost had to compete with their second daughter for the right to adore Almárëa. At nearly twelve years of age Almárëa was still a child at heart, and no one in all of Minas Tirith was in any hurry to see those precious years end for her. From time to time though that did mean Almárëa could be a bit juvenile, but Eldarion would have been among the last to begrudge his youngest sister for it.

Beyond the household of the House of Telcontar, the city of Minas Tirith and the realm of Gondor slowly rediscovered the days of long-lost kingship. The city of Osgiliath was returned to its former glory, and once again arts and poetry came to flourish in the 'Citadel of the Host of Stars'. In the north the city of Annúminas on the shores of Lake Evendim was retaken from the retreating forces of darkness, and King Elessar made it his northern capital. From there he reached out to the remnants of the scattered Dúnedain, reuniting his people once more. The king would often bring his growing family there to Annúminas when time permitted, and it was there that Prince Eldarion and his sisters met the folk of their paternal ancestors. All could see the pure joy and sense of relief in Aragorn's eyes when he met with the Dúnedain in Annúminas. It was not until he saw his people reunited in peace and safety that at last Arathorn and Gilraen's son felt he had fulfilled his duty as the Heir of Isildur.

On their journeys to and from Gondor to Annúminas the royal family would often stop in Rivendell, there to visit the Lords Elladan and Elrohir. Eldarion remembered little of his early stays in the Hidden Valley, except that it seemed a quiet, almost reverent place. Ghosts of memory walked there, and always their mother seemed both happy and sad to be there. Arwen would walk long hours with her brothers, speaking of people Eldarion had never met and touching this bookshelf or that rose bloom. When he had voiced the sense of strangeness he felt in Rivendell, his sister Eruthiawen had taken on a pensive look much like the one their mother wore.

"There is history here, Eldarion, long years of love and memory that are now but echoes of the past. Mother lived that past, and being here I think she lives it once again. Now come, Father is telling the story of Beren and Luthien to Túrien and Almárëa."

Much more lively and full of energy were their visits to Ithilien and occasionally Rohan. The hills of Emyn Arnen on the borders of Ithilien were but a day's ride from Minas Tirith, and they saw a great deal of Faramir, Prince of Ithilien and his wife, The White Lady Éowyn. Their son Elboron was very close in age to Eldarion, and as the two boys grew into youths they pursued one another's company to no end.

As often as they saw Faramir, Éowyn and Elboron, they also saw Legolas, the elf-lord of Ithilien. The colony of Silvan elves from the Greenwood that Legolas had established there after the War of the Ring flourished, and the delight Faramir took at their presence was as obvious as the delight of the land itself. The once shadowed land on the doorstep of Mordor bloomed as clean and pure as white roses, and the perfume of growing things hung heavy in the air. Aragorn and Arwen were as welcome in Prince Legolas's home as he was in theirs, and it was all too easy for Eldarion and the princesses to come to think of the golden haired elf as kin.

On not-so-rare occasions Gimli, the Lord of the Glittering Caves was also present on such visits to Ithilien, having come to see his friends all the way from Helms Deep in Rohan. Almárëa loved the grumbling dwarf with a wild abandon, throwing herself at Gimli for a hug of greeting even as she grew older. Gimli for his part tried so very hard not to let anyone, Legolas least of all, see that the 'wee lassie' had gotten under his thick skin. Almárëa was near impossible to refuse though; anyone in Minas Tirith could have told him as much. Most visits ended with both the dwarf and the princess sporting an impressive masterpiece of braiding in their coppery beard and glossy brown hair respectively.

Although visits to Rohan were somewhat less common, the distance being greater and Rohan being an independent nation from Gondor, Eldarion always enjoyed the time they spent among the horse lords in the Golden Hall of Edoras. King Éomer was a gracious host, and the sounds and smells of Edoras were a never-ending source of adventure to Túrien. On one occasion she had snuck away from the watchful eyes of Aragorn and Arwen toward the stables. With Éomer and his queen Lothíriel's adolescent son Elfwine as her accomplice she had managed to get mounted on the back of a particularly spirited filly and go riding off at full speed through the streets of Edoras. In the end it had taken Haleth, son of Háma mounting up and chasing them down to get Túrien safely back to the Golden Hall. King Aragorn had been thoroughly amused by the whole episode, until a warning look from Arwen reminded him to deliver a sound scolding to Túrien upon her safe return. So great was the glee behind Túrien's contrite apology though that King Éomer had made a gift of the filly to the princess upon their departure. One of the first things Túrien had done after they brought the horse home was to take Almárëa for a ride at full gallop across the Fields of Pelennor. Eruthiawen had almost beaten the queen to it when it came to scolding Túrien for that.

In the heart of all these comings and goings bloomed a single white tree atop the Citadel. Eldarion would often stop to look up at the branches of the tree, and recall how his father had planted it from a sapling found on the slopes of Mindolluin behind the White City, discovered with the help of the long-departed wizard Gandalf. The dead tree which had presided over the long absence of the line of kings was even now sealed in the Tomb of the Kings. Every time Eldarion looked upon the White Tree, he felt a sense of deep, unspeakable pride well up deep within his heart. It was the symbol of his house, the symbol of his people, their long and noble ancestry. He, Eruthiawen, Túrien and Almárëa were the fruits of all the long years of struggle that the folk of the West had faced against the dark powers. They were not the only ones too. All throughout the lands of Gondor, of Ithilien, and of Rohan young people were everywhere to be seen. The laughter of children filled the streets of the White City where once there had been cries of war and sorrow.

Here follows the account of the Fourth Age, and the realms of the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth. This shall be the tale of heirs, of new chapters, and final journeys. The time has come for the dominion of Men.