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Upon the River

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Long before men came into the world, the Firstborn, those later called elves, claimed the land for their own. Splendid and fair, these folk were, and none more so than Galadriel, direct kin of Finwë , a true scion of that line. She oft strode the fair paths of Lórien , letting her feet wander as they will. Many years she spent in peaceful rumination under its green canopy, basking in the balm of the forest's serenity. Her wandering explorations eventually brought her to the river Nimrodel, as it is now called - then nameless, no label upon its crystalline brilliance. Many a day she darkened its bank, musing over the rushing of the water, singing with the soft tones of its music, silently observing the creatures who call it home.

Gradually she became aware that another graced these shores with their presence, and her curiosity grew, for when queried, none of her people confessed to straying along the borders of that singing river. The Lady of Lothlórien could see the gentle touches of another's hand, could sometimes sense a beneficent presence, and her wonder grew. She began to linger there, more than was her wont, to seek out the author of these near invisible cultivations. As was bound to occur, a fortnight after Galadriel began her quest, she at last spied the object of her seeking.

There were not yet so many of elvenkind upon this world that she could not recognize the slight form drifting through a clearing as her eyes alighted upon the movement. The brilliant golden of the woman's hair dazzled in the shine of the warming sun, warmer than her own paler shade mixed with the silver of her line. Galadriel, wise Lady of Lórien, stayed in her concealment, merely observing the actions of the lady of the river, for such she was, Nimrodel by name, a woman apart from her kind, choosing solitude and tranquility over companionship. The Lady of the Galadhrim knew of the antipathy the fair Nimrodel had for her people, heeded the unspoken wish to be seperate from the trials and tribulations of other elvenkind, and did not approach.

Galadriel keeps watch from then on, allows a soft smile to grace fair lips when she happens upon a seedling that has known fair Nimdorel's light touch, fills her mind with the song of the river upon the Nandor maid's visit – somehow brighter, and respects the golden-haired woman's chosen dwelling space. She begins to feel an affection for the solitary Nimrodel and when a particularly lovely and unusual stone is in her wandering path, the Lady of Lórien curls it into her palm. She leaves it upon the doorstep of Nimrodel's modest dwelling, and peers from concealment as the elfmaid crouches and lifts the stone from its prominent place before her threshold.

Nimrodel runs a thumb across the unique markings and then lifts her gaze to seek out the gift-giver among the trees. But the Galadhrim woman has slipped away and there is no one upon whom Nimrodel's eyes can alight. She considers the stone a moment longer, and then, turning, she takes it into her home, accepting the precious find.

The lady of the river will find more gifts over the next few years, seemingly no pattern to them, but it becomes clear that one of those who have invaded Lothlórien must be the progenitor. The mystery gnaws at her until she must ascertain the identity of her benefactor. Nimrodel casts a seeming upon her domicile and slips away, climbs high into a tree to await the next offering. She does this for many days, until at last, the object of her search comes slipping through the trees.

Galadriel, for it is she who lays a particularly well-wrought brooch upon the stone before her door, is known to Nimrodel, for she is not as isolated as most believe. She knows the stories of the Lady of Light, bearer of the ring Nenya, wise Celeborn's Lady, but knows not why the Galadhrim leaves her these trinkets.

Nimrodel, she of the solace who only deign to use the tongue of her fathers, drops the concelment as stands forth, studying the gift-giver intently.

”Why do you do this?” she asks, staring down with piercing eyes, as if to ascertain the truth of the Lady Galadriel's heart. Startled, she must have been, but the Lady of Lórien's poise is absolute, calm her demeanour as she turns to face her accuser, caught out in the act itself. There's a stretched out moment where silence reigns, excepting only the gently whispering river that would bear the Nandor elf's very name, until at last it is broken by the wise Galadriel, bowing her head to acknowledge the golden-haired maiden.

”Wandering these woods, I came across the traces of your presence. They brought me a delight that I wished to share.” She responds in the tongue of the Nandor, aware that it is said to be the only language Nimrodel will let touch her lips. The lady in question drifts closer, curiosity warring with her distaste for companionship, and she only comes to a halt a mere arms reach from the Galadhrim woman.

Nimrodel inclines her head, accepting that wise elf's response, hearing the truth in her words, and then she offers up her soft thanks before extending the invitation of her hearth, which startles the Lady of Light enough that her composure indeed shows the affect, but fair Galadriel accepts with lowered mien, that she not give insult with her surprise. Nimrodel prepares a tea, after the manner of her kind, an affect which the Galadhrim lady finds most delightful, and lingers over the refreshment, drawing out her enjoyment. A gentle peaces descends upon the house once the repast is complete, Nimrodel also providing soft, sweet cakes of berry and honey she prepares as her mother had. Galadriel makes mention of pressing errands, but the Nandor elf bids her stay yet longer, and then reaches out to clasp hands with the fair Lady of Lothlórien.

”I have been alone long,” says she of the sun-gold hair, ”and I would hear of my people.”

And thus, Galadriel shares her stories, of all the happenings weighty and frivolous, until she has no more to tell, and only then does Nimrodel release her to her duties, though offers an extended invitation to her home. Galadriel knows the honor she's been bestowed and treasures it accordingly, always bringing a special thing with her, a gift for her hostess. They come to know each other, and wise Galadriel values the Nandor's insight on matters of her kind. The grow intimate after sharing a rare gift of fermented honey from faraway lands, and Nimrodel is no longer able to resist the growing warmth in her breast towards her ever more frequent companion. They tangle together, golden locks mingled with Galadriel's paler version and clever fingers explore one another, similar yet not the same, and when the Nandor is brought to the height of bliss, she finds herself wishing to keep her lover with her always.

Fate, though,makes her own plans, regardless of the wishes of even the elves, and they are sundered, by other loves, by fear, by darkness, and by distance as Nimrodel flees the shadow growing in Moria.

To the end of her days upon Middle-Earth, the Lady of Lórien would oft visit that softly murmuring river and a rare smile would grace her lips as she revisited her memories, and reclaimed the peace and wonder of her time with the golden-haired Nandor elf.