Arda: A World of Dreams - Free RP

The fair valley of Rivendell, upon whose house the stars of heaven most brightly shone.
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Fuin
September 3, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith - First Circle


Fuin heard the boys teasing Rada about what was happening and was about to step in, the young boy though was fantastically adept at defending himself and his sisters... name. She smiled and stepped towards Rada looking the boys up and down, figuring they were children and she shouldn't overly punish them for what their parents were teaching them. However the sight of an elf was certainly enough to give the younger pause. She held out her right hand "Come on Rada we need to get going, we've a river to visit and a forge to build." She raised her eyebrows and then glanced at the grate that lead to the sewers having heard their boasts about how things would never happen.

She could see that Radaron was angry and stomping though, she was sure her stepping in in the small way she had would make him a good bit happier. Once they were far enough away from the boys she squeezed his hand gently. "Are you alright, they said some pretty mean things... You know that they aren't speaking the truth?" She was soft spoken knowing that up until she had come along he and his sister had very much been on their own. Rada for his part nodded and pulled his hand away and wiped his face angry tears on his cheeks.

"Yeah we'll show them" He said in a small determined whisper, before looking up at Fuin and giving her leg a hug. "Thanks for backing me up!"

"I think the little one is scared of having to go into the sewers. Next time you see them ask if they are going to be brave and wear alligator repellent." Fuin said with a wink.

"THERE's no alligators in the sewers here... ARE there?" His eyes went wide and Fuin laughed merrily.

"No there are not, but they don't know that, and the next time you see them I hope that we will have the forge up and running for the most part even if we are only making basic tools and supplies that lots of people need. It'll take a bit before we get to the fancy items but I will bet before the year is up that your sister will be well on her way through her apprenticeship and since it's with an elf..." Fuin bent down and whispered to Rada "She'll probably be better than half of the full smiths here in the First Circle."

Laurelin the Golden
Laurelin the Golden
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@Revered Grandmother
Calaerdis and Radaron



September 3, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith - First Circle

After a few minutes, Cala had emerged from the pottery workshop and rejoined Fuin, pulling the cart along with her. “We-" She paused, looking around as she saw that they were not where she had left them. The girl frowned, a bit confused, then had several fleeting worries race through her mind, the last being that Fuin had taken Radaron off to get him more sweets. That was definitely the least worrisome of the worries, but still was not something she wanted to deal with; Radaron was plenty hyper enough without sweets.

Cala looked around only a moment before they returned, and saw right off that Radaron looked upset. She frowned a bit and was preparing to rush over and ask him what was wrong, but he lit up as soon as he saw her(or, more likely, the cart) and ran to her. "Come on, hurry! We gotta go get bunches of rocks so we can make your forge quicker!" He said excitedly. "Come on, come ON!" He bounced up and down as if he had no limit to his energy.

Cala laughed a little, deciding it was probably just some minor dispute; possibly, Fuin had told him he couldn't have any sweets or wouldn't let him run off on his own, or something like that. "Well, we have the lady's permission to use her cart, on the condition that we bring her plenty of clay as well. She's old, so she has a hard time getting enough clay for her work, so I told her that would be fine... I hope that's alright?" She asked, glancing at Fuin for confirmation, hoping she hadn't overstepped her bounds in agreeing to such a deal.

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Fuin
September 3, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith - First Circle
@Rillewen

Rada perked up the moment he saw the cart, something Fuin was grateful for, she did not like seeing him upset because someone didn't believe him on something that was, for the most part perfectly true. The only thing she didn't think was was the bit about learning to use a bow, mostly because she didn't know how he would even go about learning such a thing with only one arm. She would absolutely make sure he could use the hand held ballista. She hoped that would be close enough. She was so engrossed on figuring out how to make the tiny ballista to show up those boys that she had almost missed Calas question.

She blinked and took a moment she'd heard her she just hadn't been paying full attention to what she'd said. "Bring her clay as well?" Fuin smirked, "That is an absolutely brilliant trade, perhaps in the future we can continue get ourselves some nice plates and bowls in exchange for more clay rather than buying them." Fuin said as they headed out of the Main gate.

The walk to the river was long, with Rada in tow Fuin had thought they might need to stick him in the cart because it was a good distance to the river, - a short ride by horse a long walk otherwise but the boys and their words clearly had him fired up to get this forge made. He was talking about how he was going to find a HUNDRED rocks and they were going to make a giant forge, and FUin had to slow him down, that they wouldn't need a hundred rocks with the type of forge they were building, that the clay would be more important and the rocks would just be to hold the clay in place more than anything else.

This of course made him curious he'd never seen a clay forge before they were almost all stone, and Fuin smiled and said that was one of the secrets of an elven forge, the clay kept the heat more even throughout the forge and had less risks of 'popping' as long as it was done correctly. Of course this led to a thousand and one questions, which Fuin didn't mind answering as it would help Cala learn about the type of forge she was building as well. Things like how much clay were they going to use? How were they going to get air to it? Was he going to have to use a reed? How big was the forge going to be over all? How long would it stay warm at night?

Laurelin the Golden
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Calaerdis and Radaron



September 3, 2615 - TA
River Anduin

Cala let Radaron ask all the questions he liked, because a lot of them were things she would like to know as well. When he finally seemed spent on questions about forges, she allowed for a brief pause before asking a few of her own, more in-depth questions about building the forge, so that she'd have an idea of what sort of rocks to look for, and how they were going to be putting it together.

At last, after what felt like half the day (probably not that long, but seemed longer due to having to hear Radaron talk excitedly the whole way and ask questions) they finally reached the river. Cala had to catch her brother's arm to stop him from rushing down to the water. "Be careful! It might be slippery, or deep, or swift. You promise you'll only go where we tell you it's safe, or you'll have to stay right here by the cart." She told him sternly.

"I promise, now can we get some rocks?"
"You promise what?" Cala asked, suspicious.
Radaron sighed. "I promise I'll only go where you and Fuin say it's safe."
Cala nodded, more satisfied with that. "Alright then. First, I think we'll need to get the cart as close as is safe to get it, and then put some smaller rocks behind the wheels to stop it from moving, wouldn't you think?" She asked Fuin. She was quite eager to get the forge built, but trying to make sure she didn't forget anything important. It would be terrible to get the cart all loaded up with rocks and then have it roll off into the river!

Finally, it was time to get to work gathering the stones. Cala made sure to look for only the ones matching whatever Fuin had said to look for, and gave Radaron the jobs of helping them search, dig out any that were partially stuck in the mud, and then assist in carrying whichever ones were a little too heavy for Cala by herself. She secretly hoped this might burn through some of his excess energy, so that maybe, with any luck, he'd be too tired to chatter and run around on the way back.

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continued from here
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Rembina
Alqualondë. YT 1495-99.
(Private with Frost)

Anxiously Davos watched the surface of the water from the deck of the small ship, bobbing gently in the minor swells below which Finnbarr dove. Keen as his eyes were, they could not penetrate the depths of the water that covered the boy, and so he waited on tenterhooks. His ward was a child of perseverance, and had pursued his drive for diving with rigor; Finnbarr needed the sea, and no one understood that better than Davos. But Davos also knew well the dangers of diving too greedily and too deep, and how the sea could trap you in her embrace forever if you didn’t respect her danger. He drummed his fingers on the rail, watching. When Finnbarr had first proclaimed his desire to find the otter he had lost, Davos had wanted to protest. Who knew where it might be, carried by current and tide, such a small thing? He could carve another, hundreds more, to replace it. But he knew it was not merely the idea of possessing the trinket that drove Finnbarr, and held his tongue. Time had continued to pass slowly in the endless starlight, and they had made many expeditions upon the water together for Finnbarr to dive. The boy was dutiful in all things, but always longed to be at sea, and Davos could not refuse him. He too was weary of the land. At the sound of swirling water and a splash, Davos looked around. The bodily form of Ossë condensed upon the rail at the prow of the ship, amusement in his face as he looked at Davos.

“Shall I help him?”

“No!” Davos snapped, and flicked one hand at the maia, “He has to do this himself. Either he’ll find it or he won’t, but he’ll do it himself. But,” he paused, narrowing his eyes at his old and tempestuous friend, “if you let him drown, I’ll never forgive you.”

“So fickle, Seaworth,” Ossë drawled, “first you don’t want my help, and then you do. Make up your mind.”

“Don’t make me come over there and slap you silly.” Davos returned to watching the water. Ossë rolled his eyes.

“He’s fine. He’s just about at the reef and will probably be out of breath soon, the little cuttlefish. Oh,” Ossë paused, cocking his head to one side, “oh, this could get interesting.”

“Shuttup, fishbrains,” Davos growled, making a rude gesture at Ossë without looking at him. The maia snorted, but fell silent. Davos waited. And waited. He restrained himself from looking over to Ossë, and waited. Then, at last, a dark shape emerged from the deep and into the water penetrated by starlight. Rapidly it approached, gained the shape of the boy, and burst from the water in a triumphant leap that sent Finnbarr’s whole body breaching like a whale as he screamed his triumph.

YES!!Davos roared, throwing his fists in the air as with a splash behind him, Ossë vanished, “Yes!!” He vaulted onto the rail and hurled himself into the water, splashing down with a boom next to Finnbarr. He pulled the weeping boy to him in the water in a crushing hug. “You did it, Finbarr! You did it!! The sea herself couldn’t outsmart you! Not the sea herself!” Pride burst from Davos and he hoisted Finnbarr out of the water, his own legs beating furiously beneath the surface, and whirled him round, crowing, “Finnbarr the otterman! Swift as any otter, and twice as clever!”


***


After that day, time had seemed to speed up again, taking on a greater life. The starlight stretched on, but it seemed brighter. Finnbarr grew in both mind and body, voracious for adventure. He continued his studies at Davos’s insistence- Seaworth himself had been born into a world without letters and the written word, and still considered himself (probably somewhat self deprecatingly) scarcely literate; reading and writing did not come naturally to him, and he wanted Finnbarr to have every advantage. His ward obeyed, but always they returned together to the water. Davos trained Finnbarr in the art of sailing, of reading the ocean and her tides, of the creatures that inhabited her waters and the shores beside them, of all the songs and stories that lived in his memory, of the shipwright’s craft; he had taught Finnbarr all he could of the art of freediving, of how to stretch your existence below the waves to its utmost limits, but here the young Falmar had found his true calling, and it was not long before student became master. They sailed out in all weathers, laughing and singing, and in all weathers Finnbarr dove, seeking ever-deeper in his quests among Ulmo’s realm.

Somewhere along the way, Davos had stopped worrying about Finnbarr. He no longer paced at the rail when his ward was beneath the surface, fearing he might not reappear. And he no longer spent nights in sleepless dread that the boy might give in to despair. He still kept careful watch, of course, but in the early days of what had become their partnership, the ancient mariner had not known how Finnbarr might react to life going on without his parents, and with the echoes of the Kinslaying all around them. He had not known what to do, but always tried his best. He, too, felt a great despair, and had spoken to truth to Finnbarr on that first day when he said they both needed a friend. But with the boy’s continued presence, his house had grown more crowded, and his heart more full. After a time, Davos had expanded his modest dwelling, adding on an extra room for Finnbarr’s own, thought when at home they still spent most of their time in the central room by the fire. The house became as much Finnbarr’s home as his own, and Davos was gladder than he could have imagined. The despair faded, and a new kind of happiness grew.

Finnbarr was still very young as the lives of elves were concerned, but he was nearly full grown now as they sailed out on a dark that was dark and stormy, the stars blurred behind stormclouds, the sea even darker than usual, her swells tossing with temper. Davos piloted his craft with skill, tacking it out to a location they had stopped many times. There was something beneath the waves here; deep, deep below the surface, deeper than anyone had ever dived before and live to tell, that Finnbarr was determined to find. He had tried many times without success, scouting and searching and stretching his breath further and further. Davos commiserated with him each time, in an echo of the much younger Finnbarr’s quest for the otter he had lost. This time, there was nothing lost to recover, only something new to find. Finnbarr had stepped over the side today with a cheery wave, and disappeared beneath the angry black waves with scarcely a splash to add to their fury. He had been gone a long, long time. Not long enough for Davos to fear, but he had broken from his other tasks to stand by the rail as the ship bucked in the grip of the storm, twisting the end of one silver braid around his fingers as he watched the crashing swells, and waited, heedless of the lashing rain against his face.
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Rembina
Alqualondë, YT 1499

(Private with Moriel)

He stood on the deck of a ship, pacing with nervous excitement. He’d managed to convince Davos that this was not, in fact, just another way for him to find a way to kill himself, and that they would both gain from this little adventure. He removed the soft cotton shirt and tossed it aside with over practiced casualness. He smiled as he leaned over the prow of the ship, watching his reflection grin back at him with warbling turbulence. It would be a while before the ship was over the precise location Finnbarr wanted to search, but the urge to simply jump in was starting to get overwhelming. He gripped the side paneling of the deck, dug his fingers into the wood, trying to ground himself in the moment. The more excited he got, the more impatient he became, the more impatient he became, the more mistakes he was liable to make. He closed his eyes and inhaled the salty air. Focusing on his presence on the deck of the ship, the young Falmari spread his conscious awareness around him, imagined the ship in his mind, sleek and fast, one of the many that had been rebuilt in the last five years since... since everything happened. He saw the soft, muted colors, felt their cool touch on his skin as he wavered through the air in his mind. He felt the wood beneath his feet, strong and firm. He bent at little at the knees and flattened his feet so that they covered as much area as he could. When he opened his eyes again, when he looked up at the great twinkling stars, he felt at ease again, he felt himself. He looked back down at the water and smiled; his reflection smiled back. The air was cool, there was a smell of storms on the breeze. Even at this distance, with just the light of the stars, he could see the storm brewing. Dull flashes of lightning appeared in the sky, obscured by clouds taller than the mountains. Occasionally, one of those bolts split the sky in two, ruptured the very air, and sliced through the ocean. Along with the nervous excitement, there was a genuine worry that something might go wrong. But not even this fledgling gale could dissuade him from his dream.

He'd seen them in a dream months and months ago. Thirteen massive black pearls, floating at a depth no starlight could reach, drifting in a sea of inky infinity. He’d awoken from that dream with a sense of absolute clarity, something he’d never experienced unto this point in his young life. He was determined to find these pearls and claim them as his own. Finnbarr had immediately told Davos this dream and theorized that it must a be a dream sent to him by Ossë. There was no other explanation that made sense to the young elf. He would not hear Davos’ more logical, reasonable explanations and theories. He once overheard the old one saying to himself that he was going to have to have a hard talk with the water spirit; Finnbarr dismissed it as a man talking to himself. Finnbarr’s desire burned on the border of fanaticism. His desire to find and possess these pearls overtook him at every point. His studies, those long hours he was forced to endure not being on the water, were spent daydreaming. They appeared in his mind’s eye every time he closed his eyes. They haunted him with their tenebrous beauty. He’d never seen a black pearl before that dream. Never imagined that anything so wonderfully macabre and transcendent could exist. He badgered Davos again and again until finally the ancient nér relented and showed him some sketches that others had made, theorizing their existence and where they might be found. As it turns out, that decision would drag Davos on the deck of his ship more and more as Finnbarr firmly believed that he would find them by simply diving at random spots, doing his best to map the area (as well as a vast expanse of open ocean can be mapped) in his mind. He learned to free dive from Davos. Aside from a roof, clothing, food, and education, this was the most valuable thing Davos had ever given Finnbarr. Despite his constant trips into the water to find his marble otter, there was something about the sea that terrified him, had terrified him the night the Ñoldor came and he had nearly died in the water. He saw it as something wonderful but something with sinister intentions. He would never have told Davos this, that shame would be his to bear as long as he could bear it. It was not before he began to crave the ocean, began to love it more than the solid ground he slept on, that he understood that he could love something and be terrified of it at the same time. As he learned the art of free diving, he learned to trust the oceans, feel the currents and learn their moods and movements. He learned to trust himself, to know when he was pushing himself just enough and when he was going to push himself too far. There was no way he could repay Davos this debt. There was no way he could repay any of the debts he owed to Davos. As he watched the storm grow closer, he realized the true extent of all that he owed him, this man that found him floating in the sea and took him in.

Finnbarr truly had grown to love this man. Without him, Finnbarr surely would have drowned, but even beyond that, without Davos, Finnbarr would never have survived the waves and waves and waves of grief. More terrifying than the blackest seas, the most tempestuous oceans was grief. And Finnbarr had lost everything to it. He still could not bear to see his parents’ little fishing boat, though it lay in the harbor, calling for him to come and sail. The first year with Davos was spent crying himself to sleep, blaming himself for what happened, desperately and futilely trying to make a deal with Mandos to trade his life for theirs. Nothing helped. Davos, stars and seashells bless him, did everything he could, gently coaxing the little boy Finnbarr had been until he was ready to face the world again. He did not have any family of his own, neither of them did. Instinctively, Finnbarr knew that he could never be a true son to Davos, but he wanted to be, he wanted to do everything to make him proud. With such little to offer, the young Falmar decided that everything he tried, he would try to the fullest, to let Davos know he had not made a mistake drawing that little drowning boy from the depths of the sea, and from the depths of despair.

The storm was close. Thunder and lightning, wind and rain, it was all around them know, cocooning them in a shell of pelagic fury. And yet, Finnbarr could not help but feel exhilaration. He laughed as the lightning burst from the clouds, as the winds nearly tore the sails. He had never felt so alive! He was already soaked to the bone, but he barely felt it. He closed his eyes again and opened his arms wide, welcoming the squall’s power, taking it as his own. The boat rocked back and forth underneath him, but his balance remained true. Finnbarr had found that place of peace and serenity amidst the raging winds. There was nothing that could take his dreams away now! He laughed again, roaring with triumphant, ecstatic fury. “Come on now! Is that all you have to offer!” A bolt of lightning burst in front of the ship in answer, a wave surged forward and nearly knocked him back. “That’s more like it!” he beamed a hungry smile. He wiped his face and looked toward the helm. Davos stood there, a figure cut straight from the old stories, from the mythology of the sea itself. He was a tall and proud, roaring his defiance at the sea. Finnbarr waved and with the grace of a swan, leapt over the prow of the ship. He folded his legs together in a pike formation and pressed his upper body tightly against his lower half, turned a somersault, then blossomed and hit the water with barely a splash.

The world below the surface almost utterly different. The sky, the surface of the waves, shimmered in a hundred different shades of blue and purple and green. He’d never seen anything so beautiful. The sky burst with color and vibrancy as lightning flashed overhead. Finnbarr, the otterman, treaded water for a moment, watching the sky, allowing himself to acclimate to the feeling of weightlessness. He let out his breath slowly, sending clouds of bubbles to the surface just ten feet above him. As he felt his lungs start to burn, he burst upward, scissor kicking his legs until he breached. The sound of the storm struck him like a bell. The world above was in chaos, the ship was drifting this way and that as the winds buffeted the sails. Were it any lesser man than Davos Seaworth, Finnbarr would have been worried, would have called the dive off, but he trusted him, knew this storm was nothing he couldn’t handle. He inhaled, sucking in all the air his lungs could handle. In the many months before this dive, all his training had given him a greater lung capacity than he could have imagined. His dive to find the little otter figurine seemed like child’s play now. He touched the pocket on the shorts he wore instinctively. There was a hard lump there, one that shifted with the weightlessness of the water. He smiled. His lucky otter charm was still intact; he checked his other pocket, the knife he was bringing, too, was safe and sound. As soon as he had taken in all the air he could, he plunged beneath the waves.

Reorienting himself, Finnbarr pointed himself toward the great black abyss, filled with purple darkness. He closed his eyes and began to swim. Down and down and down he swam, making sure to make haste as he plunged down past the starlight, but doing so with measured patience. He’d tried that the first time he was learning the art of free diving and nearly got the bends as a result. Every few moments he let out a tiny bit of air, sending bubbles into the blackness back toward the surface. There was a sense of utter calm down here, utter silence and serenity. The tempest that raged and tore at the world above could never reach down here. This world was one of quiet emptiness. This was the world Finnbarr craved. He loved Davos and the others as much as he could, he loved his people and his home, but more often than not, it was too much for him. He needed a place to escape. This abyssal world of thalassic wonders was that escape.

Here, Finnbarr was not the boy whose parents had been murdered. He was not the orphan that the entire city doted on. He was not the sad little boy who had nearly died. He was not the little fisherboy the greatest founder of the city had taken in out of charity. He was just Finnbarr, a boy who loved the water, who embraced the sea as if it was his own.

He closed his eyes. He wanted to cry he was so happy. He never knew how much he needed the solitude until he was utterly engulfed by it. He loved it here, loved it more than words had been created to say. No song, no ballad, no poem, no epic lay could fully express how he felt down here, so far below the world. He felt alive down here, where no elf dared to tread. Their fear was his delight. He swam further and further down. He looked up, a timely flash of lightning far above him gave him the scope of his depth. He was far, far below the surface. He was in a world no elf had explored. The only beings down here were the denizens of the sea, and Ulmo himself in some sunken palace. Finnbarr closed his eyes and imagined it. A great towering, singular piece of coral, down at the uttermost depths of the sea, where the pressure was so immense no person could ever hope to go without his blessing. The entire thing would be lit with a great luminesce, the same he’d seen on some of the fish down here, a bright, almost blindingly beautiful, alluring sight. He knew there was no chance he’d get to see it, but his heart burst with longing for it nonetheless. Down and down and down he swam. He could feel the pressure starting to build, his ears popped and his lungs began to feel tight. He was getting closer; he could feel it. He couldn’t see, but he could sense it.

He nearly ran into it before he was able to slow himself down. He left a burst of bubbles out of surprise. Too many bubbles, he realized in a panic. He looked up. There was nothing but infinite void above him and all around him. He was far, far below the surface now, farther and deeper than any elf had ever gone. He was lone, standing on a mountain of impossible depth. He could have gone further, but with that burst of air coming out of him, he realized his time was growing short. He felt around the stone, blindly fumbling with his fingers for any sign of the oysters, the creatures he’d seen in his dreams, the keepers of the black pearls. He did not find the oysters, instead he found a hole, a tunnel into the rock. In the utter darkness, he smiled and like a serpent, he wiggled his slender body into the hole without a thought of the myriad dangers that could come from such an impulsive action. The tunnel was narrow, just wide enough for him to slide through without scraping and cutting himself along the sides. He lost track of time as he crawled further down, down and down and down into a world unknown even to him, Finnbarr the otterman.

The tunnel gave way and opened to a large cavern like structure, a void. He swam along the surface, his arms moving like spiders beside him. Then he was struck by something. There was something, something strange ahead of him. Heedless with curiosity, he swam forward, moving faster and faster until he found himself breaching the surface. There was a moment of confusion. How was there a surface so far down here? Not looking a gift ship in the sails, he inhaled deeply, tears of joy and exertion streaming down his face. He pushed his long hair back. There was no like, nothing to see, but he gasped in amazement nonetheless. He could see it, just not with his eyes. He could sense the entire cavern around him. It was not large, and the air inside it was not overly plentiful, a left over, a remnant of bygone ages of creation. It filled his lungs, filled him fuller than any other breath of air ever had. His skin tingling with energy. He plunged below again diving to the bottom of the little cave. He crept along the walls of the cavern like the great leviathan crawling along the bottom of the sea. It was not long before his fingers felt something that was not a stone. Excitement and jubilation filled his heart. Months and months and months of searching, training had finally come to fruition! Not a moment of time had been wasted in preparing himself for this great moment. He clutched the oyster with a tight fist, refusing to let it slip away. He produced the knife and, with expert precision, wedged the blade’s tip between the lips of the shell and forced it open. A moment later, his fingers closed around something large and round. He smiled in the darkness. He found another, and another and another. In all, Finnbarr found twenty pearls. He could not see a single one of them yet, but he was certain beyond a shadow of doubt they were the black pearls of his dreams, the dream Ossë himself had given him, the child of the deeps. Finnbarr floated as he pocketed the last of the pearls, fitting all of them in a woven silk pouch he bought just for this occasion. The pouch was bulging from the measureless wealth inside it now. Finnbarr, still under the water, shouted as loud as he could, exhausting all the air in his lungs as he roared his triumph in a place that had never heard the sounds of an elf for thousands upon thousands of years. He was almost a king here, in this tiny cavern, a king of a realm none other could lay claim to. His pride swelled and chest was full of airy light. He came up for air once more, took a deep breath of this vibrant, sacred air and felt power enter his lungs, power like nothing he’d ever experienced before.

Why had Ossë sent him down here? Could have just been to find the pearls? What was the point? Was the water spirit trying to tell him something, give him a message, a lesson? He had no idea, but he knew he could not ruminate on it for long. Davos would be worried by now. Finnbarr had gone down further than any elf ever and had been gone for longer than any living elf could have been gone. A pang of guilt struck Finnbarr in the chest suddenly. Whilst he was down here playing Prince of the Deep, Davos would be pacing the deck, fretting and worrying about him. The image did not sit well with Finnbarr. He loved the old mariner too much. It was wrong to keep him waiting so, no matter how much Finnbarr loved it here. He was a boy of two worlds: the surface and the waters. They each pulled at him, begged him to stay with him, until he was torn asunder. Was this the message Ossë meant for him? That he was a boy of two conflicting worlds and if he did not find a way to reconcile them, to make peace with both sides of himself he would kill himself? The thought was a cold one, as cold as the waters around him.

His ascent was slow and methodical. Every few meters he swam up, he let out a bit of the sacred air, releasing it back to the world, and hovered. As much as he longed to see the shark swim and hear the whale’s song, he was glad this little stretch of oceanic desert was empty right now. He could only tell which way was up from the bubbles as they spiraled toward the surface. The shadowy seas were beginning to take their toll on Finnbarr, the Prince of the Deeps. He was a lad of two worlds, and he needed both to survive. He could not survive in one alone, no matter how hard he tried. So, he swam, ever higher and higher. The light, ever so slight at first, began to filter into the darkness. The storm was still raging above. He could feel the waves and their intensity. He was one with the sea as it roiled and crashed, as it beat the shores, beat the sides of Davos’ ship. He picked up speed, arms and legs moving a perfect aquatic union. Finally, just as a burst of thunder shook the world, he surfaced.

"Davos, atar! I found them! I found the pearls! Atar, I did it!"
Everything Stays | I heard that wise man said from presence to silence we flow

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Rembina
Alqualondë. YT 1499.
(Private with Frost)

Finnbarr’s obsession with the pearls concerned Davos. Not because he doubted the boy’s determination or his abilities, but because he knew too well how it felt to pursue a dream and have it shattered. Yes, one day Finnbarr might fall prey to the same fever that gripped those who climbed high mountains and dive too greedily and too deep in his quest. One day, he might never return from the deeps. But that chance worried Davos less that the possibility that Finnbarr might not find the pearls before the gnawing, driving desperation to do so consumed him. He had lost so much already in his young life, and Seaworth was not entirely sure he could surpass such a failure, as he might be twisted to see it. It had not become desperation yet, but obsession could last only so long before it became so. Davos had been more than lucky to have Ossë, and then Ulmo, to help break him from his own desperation in long years gone by. He did not know if he would be able to do the same for Finnbarr, if it came to that. How much could one young heart, one young soul, possibly bear? Even in the star-fire of Cuiviénen that had sustained Davos in his youth, had such things come to pass when he was Finnbarr’s age, would he have been able to bear it? He did not know.

The ship heeled and lurched beneath Davos feet, but he paid it no mind. It was no danger yet. Still he watched the churning surface of the water, and waited. In the storm, it would take even longer for the shadow that always preceded Finnbarr’s return to appear, for even his own keen eyes could only penetrate so far into the wine-dark sea. So focused was Davos that the cacophony of the storm seemed muted. The splash that always announced Ossë’s arrival when he wasn’t trying to be clever, however, crashed against him like breakwater. Davos glanced sideways, then flicked his eyes back to the surface.

“How’s it going?” Ossë asked, and there was something off about the question.

“What do you mean how’s it going? You ought to tell me how it’s going,” Davos muttered, drumming his fingers on the rail. “What, did you just come up here to torment me about being a worrywart?”

“I can’t see him.”

“What?”

“I can’t see him,” Ossë’s voice was stricken as he moved up to the rail beside Davos, peering over the edge alongside his friend. “One moment I knew exactly where he was, and now I can’t see him! Something’s wrong, Davos!”

“Something’s wrong?” Davos seized Ossë by the shoulders, yanking him back from the rail to face him, and he could see no lie in the maia’s pale face. “You sent him this dream, you sent him down there, and now you’re coming to tell me something’s wrong?!”

“I was trying to help him!” Ossë shouted, bridling back at the Nelya, swelling in both his fury and his fear. But before he could say or do anything else, Davos did something so unexpected he had no time to forestall it. Ancient friend or no, maia or no, Seaworth coiled his fist and lashed out, striking Ossë across the face in a blow that carried the full weight and rage of his being behind it, sending him sprawling to the deck timbers.

“Get off my ship!” Davos bellowed, snatching a belaying pin from the fife rail and advancing on the fallen maia with it upraised. Ossë did not wait around to argue, but staggered to his feet and with a lunge, dove over the side. Davos hurled the pin into the water after him and spun sharply on his heel, fisting both hands in his hair, covering his face with both arms as his mind raced with what to do next. What could he do? What could he possibly do from up here? There was no way he could reach Finnbarr now. Not even Ossë could reach him, and if not him, then who? There was only one being upon whom Davos could call now. Both his palms slapped down on the rail of the ship and he threw back his head, his face pelted with the lashing rain. Only Ulmo could help him, could help Finnbarr, could help them both, now. He gathered his scattered thoughts, seeking some sense of stability, and began to send out his thought.

Please…

He stopped. “No,” Davos breathed to himself. He knew now what the right thing to do was, and it wasn’t about him, or his fear. He took a deep lungful of salt air, and closed his eyes before continuing. “Ullubōz,” he called in a calm and thunderous voice, intoning the Valarin name of the Lord of Waters, “I do not ask for your help this day. Do not interfere. Let his life be in his hands and his alone. I believe in him as I believe in you. Let him find himself in your depths, and return if he so wills.” He looked up sharply, and in between one stretch of darkness and the next, a bolt ran across the sky and illuminated the enormous figure of Ulmo’s fana, seeming to float aloft on the waves, the white of his beard stark and his inscrutable face swept by the storm. Just as suddenly he faded into silhouette, and then nothingness, as though he had never been. But Davos knew his request had been granted.

He waited. Whatever other waits he might endure in his life, he knew this would be the longest. Was it moments, or hours? Davos could no longer tell. Did he draw breath? It hardly seemed to matter. If Finnbarr did not return, it would be his fault. Though he knew he had made the right choice, if it did not end with the boy’s return, the guilt would be his alone. How many more elven bones could this ocean hold? He waited, and tried not to think of the time passing. He waited and stared, willing the shadow to appear. Then, at long last, the breath caught in his throat- was that it? The faintest of darker darknesses beneath the choppy surface, disrupting the faint reflection of the stars. He squinted, brow furrowed, lower lip clenched between his teeth, convinced he had invented it. But, no! It moved, ascending rapidly now, a dark blur that all at once formed limbs and hair and broke the surface of the water alongside a thunderclap, proclaiming his victory.

“Yes!!” Davos wept, relief and elation flooding him in equal measure, pounding his fists on the rail as Finnbarr bobbed on the swell, and all the words he comprehended were that he had done it. Davos threw both his fists overhead and yelled with triumph, beckoning Finnbarr back. He bent his hip over the rail of ship and slung his arms over the side, reaching out to clasp arms with Finnbarr as he launched himself from the water. Their wet skins smacked together with finality, fingers gripped arms, and with a mighty heave, Davos hauled him back onto the deck of the ship.

“Of course you did!” Davos roared, pounding Finnbarr on the back as het set him on his feet, as thought it had never been a question. But the Nelya’s wild excitement belied his words and he let out a whoop, his feet dancing a jig of their own accord as he punched the air. “You did it, Finnbarr! You did it! In the storm and all, in the deepest waters any elf has ever seen, against all odds! No one else could have done it!” His dancing feet had brought him back to Finnbarr again, and he seized him by both sides of his face and proclaimed, “Truly, you are Finnbarr Galedeep, son of the sea, friend of the fathoms!” Davos named the young Falmar from his heart, in the heart of the storm, in the sight of the Sea-King, a name without forethought but full of Fate. Exhilaration swept through him and he released Finnbarr, bounding to the rail to leap upon it. Davos stood for all the world as though the ship sat becalmed, though it bucked and rolled in the raging swells, and shouted to the sky, to Ulmo, to Ossë, to anyone and everything that would listen; to the sea herself, who had become both wife and mother to the Nelya mariner in his long years alone- but he was alone no longer.

“Do you hear? No one can do what he does! No one!” Davos howled his pride to the tempest-tossed heavens, throwing his arms wide against the flash of lightning that cut the sky, lighting him up in a blaze of diamond, his voice rising in sonorous harmony with the thunder as it rolled from the clouds and into his chest until he thought he would burst. “My son! My son, Finnbarr Galedeep!”

He had always been careful, so careful never to say or do anything to make Finnabrr think he was trying to replace his parents; to treat him as family, without laying any claim to fatherhood, or asking the boy to think of him that way, and indeed he had tried to think of himself that way. It was only as Davos sprang laughing back down from the rail that he realized what he had said, and as he juddered to a halt before Finnabrr, there was a flicker of apprehension in his ancient eyes.
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Rembina
Alqualondë, YT 1499

(Private with Moriel)

There was a sense of loss as he climbed aboard the ship, an emptiness that he had never noticed before. He spared a moment in the exaltation of his feat to look at the roiling ocean, so dark and cold and hostile. There was something, something different about it now, or was there something different about him? Finnbarr only had a moment to ponder this metamorphosis though. He was brought back to the present moment when Davos called him Galedeep. He smiled broadly, too proud in that moment to blush or feel any sense of embarrassment or reticence. Galedeep. The word echoed in his mind, wreathed in a crown of lightning and shadowy waves. He was not cold, despite being soaking wet in the midst of a tempest. But when Davos named him Galedeep, a chill ran through him. He had a surname now. He was more than just Finnbarr the Orphan, the boy everyone pitied. He was Finnbarr Galedeep, the nér who went to the fathomless depths and returned. He was somebody now. His chest swelled with pride. The shouts of acclamation were infectious. As Davos carried on, Finnbarr whooped wordless, laughing as the heart of the storm rolled over them.

What Davos said next though, stopped him in his tracks. For a moment, the young Falmar thought he might have misheard the ancient Nelya. He swiftly turned and looked at him and, in that fraction of a second, realized it had not been a trick of the thunder and lightning. Davos had called him his son. Something more than a chill ran through him then. Davos had called him his son. How did he feel about that? Finnbarr was taken aback in that fraction of a second. He had never allowed himself to think of Davos as his father. Not because the man was not worthy of such a title or that he had not done the required “work” to earn it. He had never thought of Davos as a father because he thought it would shame Davos and dishonor his real father. But, if Davos had just called him his son, did that mean that, that such a thought would not shame him? That it would not dishonor his real father? The idea spread a warmth through Finnbarr’s limbs. The idea of “found family” was an uncommon but not utterly alien concept in Teleri society. They experienced a closeness with their fellows that the Ñoldor and the Vanyar (as far as he knew) did not understand. Bonds of loyalty and duty were one thing, but the bonds of friendship, love, and affection were something else entirely. Finnbarr had lost all the family he had 4 years ago. His parents were both only children and his grandparents had not made or survived the Great Journey. By now he had lived his life longer without his parents, without his blood. But what did “blood” really mean? Why did that matter so much? Finnbarr was cognizant enough to realize in that moment that he would not have asked such a question if his parents were still alive. But they weren’t. Davos was. Was Davos his father? Was he Davos’ son?

Yes. In eyes of the storm and all Davos’ crew. Yes.

Tears flooded Finnbarr’s eyes. Tears of joy, exhaustion, fear, pain, love, exhilaration, bliss, contentment, hurt, freedom, and most of all acceptance. He had a father again. He had a father! He gave Davos the biggest, tightest hug he could manage with his tired muscles (still managing to life the ancient one off his feet) and laughed in tune with the storm. “My father! Davos Seaworth!” He shouted as loud as he could, contracting his diaphragm to be heard over the roar of the winds and the rain. He wanted everyone in all of Arda to hear him, the traitorous Ñoldor on the shores of distant Beleriand to the Vanyar seated at the feet of Aran Einior, the Elder King. He wanted every whale, every otter, very fish to hear him too. He had a father again! A kinetic feeling rushed through Finnbarr, a feeling of euphoria, wild ecstasy. For half a moment, he wanted to either run around the ship a hundred times or dive to the bottom of the sea again. He’d never felt this kind of energy. There had been a similar feeling when he found the otter all those years ago, but this was different. This felt more permanent, wilder, a more savage joy. Instead of running or diving, Finnbarr took the mast, climbing like a bear despite the slick rain. Once he was at the crow’s nest, he unleashed his voice.

Upon one summer's morning
I carefully did stray
Down by the Walls of Swanhome
Where I met a sailor gay

Conversing with a young lad
Who seem'd to be in pain
Saying, darling, when you go
I fear you'll ne'er return again

“My heart is pierced by Ossë
I disdain all glittering gold
There is nothing can console me
But my jolly sailor bold”

Their hair it hangs in ringlets
Their eyes as black as coal
My happiness attend them
Wherever they may go

From Pelóri to Túna
I'll wander, weep and moan
All for my jolly sailor
Until they sail home

My heart is pierced by Ossë
I disdain all glittering gold
There is nothing can console me
But my jolly sailor bold

My father is a merchant
The truth I now will tell
And in great Alqualondë
In opulence doth dwell

His fortune doth exceed
300,000 gold
And he frowns not upon his child
Who loves a sailor bold

A fig for his riches
His merchandise and gold
True love has grafted my heart
Give me my sailor bold

My heart is pierced by Ossë
I disdain all glittering gold
There is nothing can console me
But my jolly sailor bold

Should he return in pov'rty
From o'er the ocean far
To my tender bosom
I'll press my jolly tar

My sailor is as smiling
As the pleasant month of May
And often we have wandered
Along this crystal bay

Many a pretty blooming
Young girl we did behold
Reclining on the bosom
Of her jolly sailor bold

My heart is pierced by Ossë
I disdain all glittering gold
There is nothing can console me
But my jolly sailor bold

My name it does not matter
A merchant's child fair
And I shall ne’er leave my parents
My memories forever share

Come all you pretty fair maidens
Whoever you may be
Who love a jolly sailor
That plows the raging sea

While up aloft in storm
From me their absence mourn
And firmly pray arrive the day
He's never more to roam

My heart is pierced by Ossë
I disdain all glittering gold
There is nothing can console me
But my jolly sailor bold*

It had been a long time since Finnbarr sang a song that filled his heart with longing, with joy and anticipation for the future. His voice was loud and clear, yet soft and melodic. His voice waivered between a tenor and baritone yet during the song it seemed to match the pitch and timbre of the storm. He climbed back down the mast, the ecstatic energy ebbing from his muscles. He realized how tired and spent he truly was. Still, he closed the distance to his father, his father, took his hand, and knelt. “I can never thank you enough, atar, for what you’ve given me. More than a home, more than food, more than shelter. I owe you so much. May all the world know the kindness you have shown a little orphan boy you found floating in the sea, and may you be blessed by all who know because of that. I am proud to be your son. I am proud to be your family.”

OOC: (*song adapted from “Jolly Sailor Bold” from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, performed by Gemma Ward)
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Rembina
Alqualondë. YT 1499.
(Private with Frost)

Finnbarr rushed towards him, and for the merest fraction of an instant, Davos thought exclamation had caused something to snap within the young Falmar. But as quickly as this thought had come it had gone, as Finnbarr caught him up in the hardest embrace he could ever recall being part of, lifting Davos off his feet in his exuberance. The Nelya returned the hug in kind (much as he could from his position), and thumped Finnbarr on the back with delight as he found himself laughing again, full of a feeling he did not fully understand as Finnbarr proclaimed him his father. It was something like joy, but more, deeper, more profound; it filled him up from his toes to the ends of his hair, and he had never felt anything like it before. Finnbarr deposited Davos back onto the deck and his feet had scarcely hit the boards before his son (his son!) was flying up the mast as though it were dry and warm, to the crow’s nest where he raised his voice to the thunderous sky. At once Davos joined Finnbarr in song, in words he knew well, well-trodden and polished. Where the younger nér took the melody, and proclaimed himself to sea and sky, the ancient provided a bass harmony, underscoring and uplifting the youth’s voice with his own.

”My sailor is as smiling
As the pleasant month of May
And often we have wandered
Along this crystal bay,”


As he sang a vision of Ramyanér misted before Davos’s eyes: at the prow of this very ship, slenderer than his ancient companion, but strong and capable, laughing in Laurelin’s light as they skimmed over the swells. He blinked, and the vision was gone. But Ramya’s laughter echoed in his ears, and tears again slid with the rain down his face. Davos sang out the stronger, until they had finished and Finnbarr returned from the nest aloft. He turned to face him, and was astonished to see him kneel. But he stayed his impulse to bid him rise, and allowed Finnbarr to speak. His heart swelled to bursting, and Davos reached out, laying one calloused hand on Finnbarr’s head in a kind of benediction. When he spoke, his voice was thick. “You are all the family I have, Finnbarr Galedeep. And I could never be prouder of anything than to be called your father.” With a mighty pull of his arm, Davos squeezed the hand Finnbarr had taken and drew him to his feet, throwing his arms about him in the same kind of crushing embrace he had earlier received.

That night (or what should have been night), long after they had returned to shore, and after the exhaustion of his efforts had finally permitted sleep to claim Finnbarr, Davos went down to the shore. The storm had blown itself out, and he seated himself on the tip of a rocky promontory, where the waves’ crash was gentle. He waited for a moment, then spoke. “Come on out, you limpet.” A larger wave arose, and even as it seemed that it would crash over Davos’s head, it dissipated, and with his habitual splash, Ossë materialized, seated at his side. He held out the belaying pin.

“You dropped this.” Davos took the pin.

“I’m sorry.”

“So am I. I didn’t know that was going to happen,” Ossë shook his head ruefully, “I didn’t know he was going to leave my sight. I never would have sent him down there if I had, Davos.”

“Oh yes you would, you just might’ve told me first. But it all turned out well in the end.”

“He’s quite something, isn’t he? Your son.”

Davos’s face split in a broad grin, and he slapped Ossë on the back with his free hand.

“You’re damn right he is! Come on, let’s go get a drink, and I’ll dice you for tomorrow’s weather.”



late 1499


The smallest of the black pearls ringed Davos’s front door, studded in among the common white ones he had dived for himself in long years gone by. Their mortar had dried and weathered in the time since he had proudly plastered them there with Finnbarr. For though it was scarcely short of a year since his son had made that epic (now legendary) dive, as time would come in later days to be counted, nearly ten had passed. Finnbarr’s growth continued in so many ways, as did Davos’s pride in him. The joy of their mutual adoption infused every part of life, and their partnership as father and sone grew only stronger. They sailed, swam, dove, worked, sang, and generally passed the days largely occupied in things they enjoyed- though Finnbarr still studied, and Davos fulfilled his duties as a city founder. He began to bring Finnbarr with him to occasional council meetings, to listen and observe. So too did he begin to bring the young Falmar with him to the taverns of Alqualondë, judging him old enough to learn to drink and gamble- being the son of Davos had to come with a few extracurricular perks, after all. It was strange and wonderful to have family again, and the companionship that came with it. Ossë joined them now and then, whether at dice or aboard ship, making his first appearance in front of Finnbarr as if he had done so every day, and pushing Davos overboard by way of greeting and introduction. But despite all his good fortune, a restlessness had begun to creep up on Seaworth, stringing itself about his ankles like long weed, ensnaring him before he had realized it was there.

Still the starlight stretched on. More and more often, now, Davos found his thoughts turning to Cuiviénen, the starlight and waters of his birth, and all he had left behind. So much time had passed in the light of the Trees since then, that he scarcely thought of Cuivienén, or only thought of the happy times there. The loss, heartbreak, pain, and desperation of the later days on those shores, and the Great Journey, had long since faded- or perhaps they had just hidden themselves, waiting for the right moment to re-emerge. Something had begun to itch beneath Davos’s skin, and though it was nearly complete, the rebuilding at Alqualondë had begun to weary him. Not in body, but in spirit; something about this endless starlight lacked the spark that the unending starlight of Cuiviénen had, as if the stars too were in mourning for what had happened when the Noldor came to the Swanhaven. They did not sustain him as once they had, and something seemed to have fractured within Davos, deep inside the ancient mariner, in a corner of himself he did not care to look at.

On one wall of the dwelling he now shared with Finnbarr, Davos kept a number of drawings, tacked unadorned to the surface. The newest of these was a portrait of Finnbarr, drawn by Davos’s favorite street artist, but the rest had been there since long before the young Falmar was born. Among the rest of these was a quick sketch by the same artist, of Davos and Ramyanér, standing companionably close, their arms about each other’s shoulders, looking highly amused at something or another. A different hand had drawn busts of two other elves, with the same sort of unfinished-looking faces as Davos. There was a wild, profound sort of beauty about them, nís and nér, and though the lines with which they were drawn were not as skilled as the other pictures, they seemed to stand out from the page as if they might spring to life. There were seascapes, drawings of ships, studies of sea animals, even a hasty sketch of a decidedly grumpy-looking Ossë.

But at the center of the wall’s arrangement was another portrait, by far the most elegant and accomplished of the lot. It was a fine ink rendering of a nís, and her face was finished perfection, all symmetry and rounded points, with a straight nose turned up just slightly at the end, a jaw that was strong but not too square, full lips turned up in a hint of mischief, and large eyes that seemed to squint just slightly, as if she were about to laugh. Youth and energy radiated from her; her head was tilted slightly to the side, and her hair had been drawn with a toss, as if she had just been caught in a gust of wind, the lines fading into obscurity on the page. The artist of this portrait had gone one step further, and here and there among the lines of the nís’s hair, had laid lines and flakes of gold leaf. Curiously, her eyes, too, had their irises patched with this material. In recent months, Davos had found himself standing before this wall on occasion, staring at the pictures, or studying them for hours as he sat beside the fire, and his eyes were drawn to nís and nér, and always at length back to the nís at the center. One day as he stood contemplating them, his hand reached out of its own volition, and brushed one fingertip along the golden-eyed maid’s face. Abruptly he turned and strode from the house.

Many of the Unbegotten were odd in one way or another. Magarric and Trawyn were among the odder. They had been part of the second set of elves claimed by Enel for his people, those that had awakened themselves before the elf-fathers came to call, and bathed and sang without words in the light of the stars and rushing falls of Cuiviénen. These two had been some of the last to adopt spoken language, though they listened to and learned all the words of the rest of the hundred forty-four who had awoken on those shores. By the time they began to speak, their son had been born, and the first language he knew was song without words. Though they were accepted by the rest of the community and those who would become known as the Nelyar in particular, there always seemed to be a slight separation between Magarric, Trawyn, and their kin. All gazed at the stars, but Magarric gazed more intently, seeking something beyond. All explored their surroundings, but Trawyn wandered further afield, alone, under black skies when clouds obscured the stars. It was this separation, perhaps, that had made them more susceptible to the affliction of Melkor’s resonance- or perhaps that was the cause. It was after the spies of Melkor had begun to haunt the elves that Trawyn had had her vision. Davos could still feel his mother’s fingers pressing into the sides of his face, and the otherworldly look on her face as the eyes rolled back in her head and she spoke his doom, full of words he did not understand.

The song had come to him on that first voyage, across the wide water to Valinor alongside Tol Eressëa, on the first ship he had ever built. Many of the unknown words of his mother’s prophecy had gained meaning during Ossë’s teachings of shipcraft, but still it was full of ominous unknowns, and the song had pushed itself out him in a strident sort of drone, a layering of many tones of his own voice. Davos had given it to the wind and the water from the bowsprit of that ship as the stiff wind whipped him onward, and Ossë’s unease had radiated through the timbers. Now down in the shipyards of Alqualondë, Davos worked on a new vessel, and again the song came from him like thick foam lingering and rolling in the aftermath of a wave’s collapse; now its many layers were laced with the bitter tinge of reality. But still it insisted on being sung, and the shipwright’s hands moved and his back bent with the rhythm of the words, the vibrations of his voice running through the wood he planed, and their radiant energy warned away the casual passer-by from stopping to chat.


“My mother told me
Someday I will buy,
Galley with good oars
Sail to distant shores.
Stand upon the prow
Noble barque I steer,
Steady course to the haven;
Hew many foe-men
Hew many foe-men.”


(song: My Mother Told Me (Song of the Vikings), Perły I Łotry)
Evil is a lifestyle | she/her

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Alqualondë, YT 1499

(Private with Moriel)

Time passed on. The world of Finnbarr Galedeep largely settled into a routine of study (both land and sea based) and leisure. He’d never taken notice of how his life had changed since his adoption by Davos after the events of the Kinslaying, he’d been too swept up in grief or in an obsessive pursuit. The night that they proclaimed themselves as father and son though, the world slammed to a halt. The declarations made him think. Who was Finnbarr Galedeep? What was he? Was he different from Finnbarr the fisherman’s son? What parts of Finnbarr the fisherman’s son survived in Finnbarr Galedeep? What parts of Finnbarr Galedeep existed in Finnbarr the fisherman’s son? While he was able to maintain a mask in public, these questions plagued him in private and in his dreams. The only times he ever felt truly at peace was beneath the surface of the water and, try as he might, that sort of peace could never last. Dreams of being a fish, able to swim to the uttermost ends of the ocean were his favorite, yet he would often wake crying. He was two people, two people so much that he was no one. It took a long time for him to find a way to reconcile who he was and who he had been. He lived a very fortunate life now, the son of one the city founders, he knew he had a fortunate life. He felt terrible pangs of guilt, though, when he realized how he knew he was living a fortunate life. His family, his first, real, blood family, was gone and were never coming back, had been ripped away from the world in a cruel stroke of unimaginable cruelty and lust for glory. He was given a new home, a new life, at the expense of his family. They were murdered and he was able to study oceanography, language, art, and sailing. It was horrifically unfair.

But what was he to do? Wasting the life he had been given as a result of his sparring would have been an even graver insult, wouldn’t it? It was not as if he could go back to his old home, a tiny one-bedroom cottage on the edges of the harbor. He stayed there one night, years ago now. It was so cold and lifeless and hollow that he ended up sleeping in a little raft he found on the water. The house was no place for him anymore. It was the home of ghosts. He sold the house and the land. He would have sold the boat as well, but he couldn’t. It was not as if he couldn’t find a buyer, or that no one wanted it. It was a betrayal, he realized. But the boat couldn’t stay here in Alqualondë either. It did not belong here anymore. One night, he unmoored the boat and set it adrift. Whoever, or whatever, might find the little fishing boat would have his blessing, and the blessings of his parents.

Finnbarr adapted to life though. He was young and he was resilient. He learned. He was voracious. No matter how much he learned about the sea and the craft of sailing, he wanted more. More, more, more. He began studying not just the sea, but the animals that lived there. He learned of the sea otters, whose image he’d been so fanatically interested in, of cuttlefish, of flying fish, and giant crabs. He learned the migratory patterns of the great whales, toothed and baleen. He’d even caused a stir when he, rather violently, stopped a ship from hunting a small pod of grey whales by ramming his skiff into the side of the boat and causing a breech. He learned about sharks, collecting dozens and dozens of teeth from a score of specimens. He learned about the coral reefs and the myriad forms that life took there. He studied the octopus, the strange and brilliant creatures of the rocky depths, and dominate residents of the underwater caves he had found the pearls in. He studied the squid, alien creatures of the abyss. He studied them all, and loved them more and more.

He went out with dozens of teachers and scholars and naturalists, but he loved his time with is father. They would sail under the starry sky and make up stories to fit each and every twinkling star. Davos taught Finnbarr how to dice and how to play cards. Finnbarr was miserably poor at it, but he loved the time he spent doing it nonetheless. One day they were dicing and, miraculously, Finnbarr was winning when Ossë’s aqueous form appeared, scattered the game, and tossed Davos overboard before Finnbarr could take a single step back. His exact words of greeting were “Eyyy whaddup kiddo your old man isn’t crazy after all, he really does talk to me” as if they were, in fact, old friends. Finnbarr did not take the introduction in the same stride, falling over himself in an attempt to speak with the maia. He noted a remarkable resemblance between himself and the water spirit that set his mind spinning down a thousand new pathways of fantasy.

It was Ossë that had the idea for the pearls. For months and months Finnbarr struggled to decide exactly what he wanted to do with them. After giving some to Davos to add to their home, the rest of the treasure began to collect dust. Ossë, as a throw away comment, suggested the elf put them in a piece of armor. The next months were filled with Finnbarr, obsessively as he always was with a newfound hobby, studying the art of metallurgy and ironworks. He forged himself a breastplate of gold and steel and set 11 of the black pearls in the armor in a circular pattern around the largest of them. He called pearls after this “the Tears of Mother”. He learned to fight too. There had been a surge of martially minded individuals that wanted revenge, wanted answers, wanted justice. Davos, if he had known about Finnbarr’s activities, would have likely disapproved; or perhaps he did know and did approve. The two never spoke of it either way. Finnbarr was passable with the trident, but he was a shark with boarding axes, lightning quick and dangerously agile.

Finnbarr was aware of a change in Davos’ behavior after a while. He would stare into the east with a look that Finnbarr couldn’t interpret. Was it nostalgia? Anger? Longing? Or something more? He wanted to broach the subject with his father, wanted to delve into the mind and inner workings of his mind, but there was a part of him that always assumed there were parts of Davos and his past that Finnbarr was not welcomed. Take the drawings. Finnbarr was endlessly fascinated by them. He would often sit and stare in awe of the skills and details. Some of them were rough and rudimentary, but they still captured Finnbarr’s imagination. Who were these people? Why had he never seen them with Davos? He recognized the picture of Ossë, who looked most annoyed for having been caught in a pose, but the others were as strange to Finnbarr as any random person off the street. Yet the detail and care and attention put into these images meant they were people of great import. But who were they? Again, Finnbarr was loathed and embarrassed to try to bring it up. What right did he have meddling in Davos’ affairs? Especially in the matter of people that may or may not be here anymore. There was a sadness in these pictures. The artists might not have intended it when they created the works, but Finnbarr could see it nonetheless. Perhaps it was the way they were displayed, in a place of reverence but set apart from the rest of the house. Who were they, and what did they mean to his father? Davos’ life before Finnbarr was a mystery, one he assumed he would never uncover.

The restlessness turned to action; Davos feverishly began to construct a new ship. He worked at it at all hours as if he were afraid of not being done in time. Finnbarr wished he could ask his father what was on his mind. Instead, as a show of solidarity (or at least what he saw as solidarity) Finnbarr began to make his own vessel. It was a tiny thing, a simply faering big enough for Finnbarr and maybe one other person. He called his tiny vessel, the one he carved and crafted with his own hands, the Pearl Queen. He even carved a figurehead for the vessel, a sea otter, the image rapidly becoming associated with him around the harbor city.

The sail, a simple spritsail, was woven by his first female companion, an elleth by the name of Redhedis. The intention had been to sail out on a maiden voyage together and dine of fresh caught fish beneath the ceaseless skies. Those plans, however, were dashed when he met her parents for the first time. They were affluent and ancient, not quite so as Davos in either respect but enough that they had a very high appraisal of their legacy and importance. Finnbarr, despite being the adopted son of Davos Seaworth, a founder of the city, one of the first generation of elves to be born, was not worthy of their daughter’s attention. They did not hide this fact behind backhanded compliments or passive aggressive observations. Before the second course was served, they told Finnbarr in no uncertain terms that he was the son of fisherfolk, no adoption would change that. Redhedis, torn between her parents and her companion, retreated both physically and mentally. She left him a final note telling him to think of here when he unfurled the sails and to have fish and say her name.

Finally, when he was finished, he was ready to set out. But there was something sad and wrong in having a solitary maiden voyage. Who better to ask to join him than his father? He raced from the dock to the house, bounding like a panther along the cobblestones until he arrived nigh completely out of breath. He rounded the corner into the house and came upon his father, again, gazing at the sketches and drawings with a look that, seemed alien. “Atar? Are you alright?” he crept closer until he stood next to Davos. “Who is she? The woman with the golden hair? I’ve never seen a drawing like that. She must be someone special. But I’ve never seen her before.”
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Tilion
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Rembina
Alqualondë. YT 1499.
(Private with Frost)

It was another one of those days. Upon awaking he had stepped outside, thinking that a breath of air might help, but the starlight was oppressive, as if the sky itself had sunk lower and lay with crushing weight upon his shoulders, and Davos could scarcely bear it. While Finnbarr still lay sleeping in the hours that had once represented late night and early morning, Davos walked for hours along the coast, his bare feet turning up small ridges of sand, washed rhythmically into smooth obscurity by the waves that crashed and lapped about his ankles. The chill water beckoned to him, its glassy depths with their comforting embrace of pressure and silence a seductive temptation. Many times he had walked into the sea. Always he had returned. What if he did not? What if he walked into the sea, and simply kept going? What would Ulmo say to that? But he didn’t. Instead Davos walked at his lover’s edge, allowing her whispered caress to tingle his skin as he marched, away from or towards what, he did not know. A long way from Alqualondë, he came upon a vast rocky promontory which he had scaled many times before, and found he did not have the will to do so. Davos skirted its edge instead, treading carefully upon rock and sea-lichen until he came to the promontory’s tip, thrusting out into the sea, and seated himself there upon a flat stone. His feet dangled down into the water, washing the caked sand from his ankles, and he stared into East.

Somewhere, far beyond the glassy sea and endless blackness of the horizon, lay the land of his birth. Far Cuiviénen, where once had been nothing but sweet waters, the bright light of young stars, and no knowledge of anything but peace. Davos knew it was no longer the same; of course it wasn’t, it hadn’t been since before he and his kind had marched through the Great Journey. But the memories tugged at him, and he was sure that Cuiviénen itself must remain unspoiled, despite the changing world. What all had changed since his departure across the sea? What had become of those who remained behind, willfully or otherwise? How would they receive the Noldor, if those who had fled made it to those shores? This splintered his thinking onto darker paths, and Seaworth brooded, his face darkening as he gazed across the dark water. What had become of his parents? And what had become of her? A rich, cascading laughter erupted suddenly into his memory, subsuming all of his senses, and Davos inhaled sharply, closing his eyes. He could almost smell the hint of anise that always seemed to accompany her, and feel the ends of her hair tickling his face in the breeze as it came off the water. Involuntarily his hand slowly curled in on itself, grasping, almost full of her fingers in his. Her eyes filled his mind’s eye from close range, and her lips whispered words he could almost hear. With an explosive exhalation, Davos opened his eyes, and the vision receded.

When Davos returned home, it was to see Finnbarr just getting ready to head out to the shipyards, brimming with excitement. He was so close to finishing his first vessel of his own, and his son’s enthusiasm couldn’t help but bring a smile to the ancient mariner’s face. He had clapped Finnbarr on the back and waved him on his way, but it did not take long for his own bolstered enthusiasm to fade once the young Falmar had gone, and the weight to return- to his shoulders, to his chest, to the pit of his gut. Davos moved about the house, tidying up, preparing and consuming a meal without tasting it, splashing cold water from the barrel onto his face. He circled about, avoiding the fireplace, until inevitably he washed up before it. He sat in his chair, slumped against its high winged back, legs stretched out before him, staring and the portraits with his face propped sidelong on his hand, until Finnbarr returned. It took a moment for Davos to realize he was not alone, but then his son’s voice broke his reverie, asking after him. Asking after her. Who is she? Finnbarr asked.

“Sombelenë.” Davos said, his voice curiously empty. Then he straightened in the chair and turned to face Finnbarr, forcing his face to assume a smile. “I’m fine,” he lied, “Now tell me, have you finished that boat yet?” This was of sufficient distraction to spur Finnbarr into telling him of how he had just completed the vessel, and would his father like to accompany him on the maiden voyage? Davos sprang to his feet and immediately began to make preparation, exclaiming over what a wondrous maiden it would be, catching up lines and poles and various other sundries they might need. Finnbarr led the way to the dock where his little vessel lay, and Davos watched with pride as he made it ready, climbing aboard when beckoned. Just before they set off, Davos brought out the shell of an enormous conch, and set it to he lips. He blew the shell three times, the strident sound echoing out over the docks and shipyards nearby, attracting a few cheers from shipwrights still at their work. Finnbarr unfurled the sail, and they were off, gliding out to sea. The salt air whipping his face refreshed Davos in the way only it could, and he managed to do his part in their shanties with a will, as Finnbarr steered the craft, and he minded the fishing poles, trailing along behind. One twitched at last, when they were far enough out that the lights of Alqualondë twinkled, and Davos reeled in a fat fish. Holding it up on the line, he turned to Finnbarr with a grin.

“Well, what do you think? Will this do?”
Evil is a lifestyle | she/her

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Fuin
September 3, 2615 - TA
River Anduin
@Rillewen

She spoke about the rocks, flat river rocks normally white were best that didn't have visible cracks in them where moisture could get in as heating them would cause them to pop and explode, though there would be clay between them and any direct heat the clay would be getting extremely hot and could still heat them too much. When they got to the river Cala put rocks behind and in front of the wheels to keep the cart from rolling and they started the task of picking rocks.

She looked at Rada who was bouncing around digging out as many rocks as he could that fit the description and soon they had all the rocks they needed and the cart was quite loaded, but they still needed to get the clay, fortunately they had several baskets to fill from the old woman. Fuin and Cala worked hard to get the cart back towards where the river had cut its banks sharper and was showing a nice layer of river clay. Fuin pointed out where they wanted to start getting the clay, where it had been out of the water for a while and was not fully saturated with water. They filled the baskets quickly and set them aside, they'd fill the cart with loose clay that they would take out and work on one of the dough benches in shop that they had purchased and they'd put the baskets on top of the clay so that they could drop those baskets off before they took the rest up to the forge.

Fuin of course was a bit curious if they were making Rada work too much, after all they still needed to get all the way home. Fuin had a feeling that she'd end up carrying him, which was not something she was use to but had no doubt she'd be able to do if needed. She had no doubt that it would take all three of them to get the cart back up from the river, no wonder the little old woman was having a hard time. Maybe they'd carry the baskets up to the top of the riverbank first then load them.

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Calaerdis and Radaron



September 3, 2615 - TA
River Anduin

Cala listened with great interest, and was very excited to begin searching for white rocks. White! Her forge was going to be beautiful! Made of lovely white rocks, and clay, there would be no other forge to rival it. Of course, she realized that was Fuin’s intention, but it was very exciting to imagine how beautiful this forge would look when it was finished. She tried to imagine what sort of wonderful things she might learn to make, once they had it built. How long would it take to build it, she wondered? A day, or two? Three or more? She tried to keep from feeling too impatient to get it finished, but it was so hard.

After they had all the beautiful white rocks that Fuin said they needed, Cala was intrigued to learn how to get the clay. She'd never really thought too much about clay, it just seemed like mud to her, before. But now... she listened as attentively as she could to her mentor as the elf explained what to look for, and how to dig it up, and what sort of texture they needed. Cala was eager to see what the forge would look like once it was finished. It was hard to imagine, having never seen a forge like this before.

Pausing to rest for a moment after gathering up a bunch of clay, Cala watched in amusement at Radaron's attempt at trying to dig up the clay. He was getting it all over himself, and more playing in it than anything. Having removed his shoes, he seemed to enjoy squishing his hand and feet into the wetter mud, and trying to make shapes of it. Cala deposited another clump of clay into the basket near her, then flicked a little bit of mud at her brother.

Radaron looked up, confused as a speck of the mud landed on his nose, then saw Cala trying hard to look innocent, struggling to keep from giggling. "Hey!" He grabbed a handful and flung it at her in retaliation.
Cala gasped and tried to wipe it off of herself, then threw some back at him, and in moments they were having a little mud fight, laughing and trying to duck the flying mud, while getting it all over themselves, until Cala finally lunged across the gap between them, tackling her brother and tickling him as he squirmed around, laughing. "No, stop!" He laughed harder.

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Fuin
September 3, 2615 - TA
River Anduin

@Rillewen

Fuin laughed as Rada played in the clay both her and Cala were getting a good amount of work done, soon they would be finished when she saw the first attack launched. Not by Rada as she had almost expected it to be but from Cala. Fuin looked on in abject horror as a mud war broke out between the two, she didn't want to scold them they were having fun they were playing, something Fuin figured Cala didn't get to do often enough. She bit her lip and shook her head as the two of them squirmed about in the mud Cala tickling him as he gasped and struggled to get away. They didn't have a bath tub to clean up after this mess. She looked at the Anduin and decided it would have to do and if it was going to do, well, she wasn't about to let them suffer in it's cold waters alone. She quietly undid her quiver and bow and set them aside as well as her over tunic while the children were utterly preoccupied with their mud war.

She picked up a giant handful of clay in each hand - not the sort that they were collecting but the wet goopy stuff that would run and slime down the back of ones neck. She walked up to the two of them very calmly very slowly her eyebrows raised and looking very very serious.

She cleared her throat, and when they both looked up at her sheepishly for not working she plopped the giant gob of clay on the top of each of their heads before sprinting back towards the cart.

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Calaerdis and Radaron



September 3, 2615 - TA
River Anduin

Cala momentarily forgot their whole mission here; solely focused on having fun and tickling her brother at the moment. She was covered in mud, but not quite as badly as Radaron, and didn't even notice that Fuin was watching, much less whether the elf might be shocked or amused or anything. The girl was therefore a bit startled when she heard her clear her throat. Suddenly remembering why they were actually here, Cala was a little nervous as she glanced up, worried.. would she be annoyed? Had Cala been acting too immature? She was an apprentice, perhaps she should have been more mindful of that... and now she was acting like a silly kid, rolling in the mud and playing when she was supposed to be doing something else. Was she in trouble?

Just as she was about to get up and apologize, she was surprised to have Fuin dropping mud on top of her head, and then racing off. Cala was so stunned by this totally unexpected action, she just stared after her for a few seconds, then laughed (partly in relief) and scrambled to her feet, trying to scoop up a bunch of mud to throw back at her. Radaron was still laughing from the tickles, but squealed in surprise at the blob of mud on his head. He watched Cala go to chase after Fuin, and cheered. "Get her Cala!" He grinned, grabbing up a handful of mud, himself, then tried to decide where to throw it.

Cala was definitely not as fast as Fuin, but she tried to catch up to her anyway. When she got within a reasonable distance, she tried throwing her mud at her, giggling as she enjoyed the unplanned fun, though she was rather glad they were wearing their old clothes, so she didn't have to worry about the nice new ones getting dirty. She noticed, earlier, a nice shallow pool-like area of the river that would make a nice swimming spot. She figured they could just toss Radaron in there and wash him and his clothes at the same time before returning to the city. As well as herself. And Fuin, too, it seemed, would be joining in on the fun.

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Fuin
September 3, 2615 - TA
River Anduin

@Rillewen

Fuin laughed as Cala threw a glob of mud at her, as did Radaron though it might have been at Cala Fuin wasn't entirely sure. Radaron missed both of them but was quick to grab more handfuls of mud, Cala scored a glancing blow with the mud as Fuin slid across the slick mud reaching down to grab a few more handfuls and lobbed them back at Cala and Radaron, deciding that perhaps it would be good to get the siblings united against her in this mud war. After all Cala was young and had been acting like a mother for so long perhaps it would be good to remind her that indeed she was his sister, and that at least while Fuin was there with them she did not have to have the weight of the world on her shoulders to make sure her brother was safe.

Radaron squealed as he was pelted by a big handful of mud, Fuins aim was quite good from years of battle, though normally she fought with a bow and arrow, Cala too had to deal with handful after handful of goopy mud om the battle for mud supremecy. The laughter of all three of them rang across the River bank as did the squeals as cold dripping mud slipped down backs or front or necks when a particularly good strike was successfully made. Indeed by the end of the mud battle they were all going to need to have a swim in the river even Fuin. Eventually they were laying in the soft wet clay laughing hard enough they were crying at the fun that they had had, recounting the look on Cala and Rada's face when Fuin had given them their mud crowns, and when Fuin going to fast near the end of the fight ended up sliding in the mud on her side.

"I think it's time we go for a swim so we can get back home." Fuin said with a sigh as they finally stopped laughing.

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Laurelin the Golden
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Calaerdis and Radaron



September 3, 2615 - TA
River Anduin

Cala lay catching her breath, grinning still. That had been lots of fun, more than she'd had in... she couldn't remember how long. Probably before she and Radaron came to this city, at least. She was absolutely covered in mud, all over.. It was under her clothes, and her clothes were soaked in mud, and it was all in her hair. As much fun as this had been, Cala was definitely not looking forward to trying to get all the mud out of her hair. At least she didn't have to worry about getting any more muddy, as she lay there resting her head in the mud. She gazed up at the sky, smiling. The clouds were so pretty and puffy up there, she pointed up at one of them. "Look, what does that look like?" she asked her brother, laughing when he said it was a big dragon breathing fire.

Soon, Fuin brought up the suggestion of swimming. Cala sat up, glancing around. "That's a wonderful idea. I wish we'd thought to bring some soap along." She laughed. Standing, she slipped a little in the mud, but managed not to fall down again. Her clothes now felt all icky and clung to her, feeling very uncomfortable with the mud all over them.

"I don't know if I remember how to swim," Radaron said, tilting his head as he got up too. "I was still just a kid last time we did that. Remember, it was before we lived here."
"Of course you remember how." Cala rolled her eyes. "It's easy, you'll remember as soon as you get in the water."
"But what if I don't?" He asked, frowning.
"You don't forget how to swim, Little Brother."
"But I might have forgotten anyway." He pointed out. "That was a lonnnng time ago."

Cala looked at him, deciding he was probably just stalling so he wouldn't have to clean off. She smirked, then grabbed him around the waist, carrying him over her shoulder with a grin as he yelped and squirmed. Once arriving at the shallow spot, she glanced to make sure there weren't any rocks under the surface that might hurt him, and tossed him, knowing full-well he knew how to swim.

Radaron managed to take a quick breath before hitting the water, and soon came up splashing and spluttering. "That wasn't nice!" He accused Cala, who was giggling as she watched him tread water just as naturally as if he'd been born a fish.
"Looks like you remembered how to swim, Little Brother." She grinned, then jumped in, landing near him. The water felt amazing; cool and refreshing. It was a bit startlingly cold at first, but before long she adjusted to the temperature and it felt very nice to cool off after all the hard work they did, followed by all the running around and playing.

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Fuin
September 3, 2615 - TA
River Anduin

@Rillewen

Fuin shook her head as Cala threw her brother in the water and then joined him - probably for the best if Fuin had of gotten there first she'd have tossed her in the same way. The elf followed suit though she wasn't QUITE as muddy, it was almost as bad she couldn't imagine being in a dress that covered in mud, and as they splashed around in the cold water the mud began to wash away.

The cold didn't bother Fuin but she knew that it could bother both Cala and Radaron fairly quickly she worked at cleaning the mud from her long dark brown hair first and splashed Radaron giving his dark hair a tussle as she moved to dunk him helping him to wash up without him even realizing he was getting washed up. Cala was splashing around as well and the three of them were staining the pool a clay brown colour as it washed out of their clothing. Eventually they were almost entirely clean or at least as clean as they were going to be able to get in the Anduin anyways and Fuin had to call an end to their fun as Radarons lips were starting to turn blue pointing that out to Cala and Radaron she grabbed him like a sack of potatoes and flung him over her shoulder leaving him laughing and having fun even as she climbed up out of the river. Once he was on the banks and near the cart he was still shivering like a leaf his teeth absolutely chattering and the heat of the day was unfortunately behind them. Fuin helped him strip off his wet shirt and rung it out putting her over tunic that she'd taken off before the mud fight on him. She'd done that more for her but he needed it more than she did. It was dry and would be warmer for him on the long walk back home.

"We should probably get going" Fuin said wringing water from her own under tunic looking at the cart and her bow and arrows which she set on top the wet shirt she'd peeled off of Radaron if she could find a rabbit on the way back that would be a perfect end of the day as any water fowl that had been near by were likely scared away by their mudfight and then splashing in the water.

Laurelin the Golden
Laurelin the Golden
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@Revered Grandmother
Calaerdis and Radaron



September 3, 2615 - TA
River Anduin

Cala was having a lot of fun, splashing and playing in the water. She soon began to have less mud on her, and her hair felt normal again, eventually. She was a bit cold but could keep swimming for a while. But then, Fuin pointed out how cold Radaron was getting, and Cala felt bad that she'd not noticed. She had noticed things like that a bit more when he was little. But as he had pointed out, it had been years since they got to swim, and he was bigger now. She had forgotten that it was a thing to be mindful of, and now felt a bit bad for that. And they didn't have any blankets, of course, because they hadn't planned on swimming when they set out this morning.

She climbed out onto the riverbank, water pouring off of her. It was going to be a rather cold walk back to the city, she realized. At least Fuin had something dry to put on Radaron, and she was very grateful to her for doing that. "Little Brother, we're going to need you to help us push the cart, alright?" She told him, figuring that doing some physical activity would hopefully warm him up, at least. She had initially thought to have him ride on top of the cart if he was tired, but that would only leave him sitting there shivering while they did all the work.

After wringing out her clothes as best as she could, Cala got ready to push the cart. She could see her little brother shivering as he nodded, waiting for them to say when to start pushing, and felt a bit concerned for him. Hopefully, he would be warmed up from the effort of helping them push before too long, and then she had another job in mind for him. As she began to help roll the cart, she wondered how long this was going to take. The rocks and clay inside made it quite heavy now, and she wished they had thought to ask someone about borrowing a horse or donkey to pull it for them.

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Fuin
September 3, 2615 - TA
Plains of Pellenor

@Rillewen


It took a good bit of work to get the cart up the river bank and Fuin was glad she had as much strength as she did from using her bow. At least once they were on the level field it was much easier Fuin did a good portion of the pulling though she kept an eye out for anything that she could hunt with her bow and arrow for supper a small flock of ground hens caught her eye and she picked up her bow, her under tunic still damp but she motioned that she'd seen something to Cala and Rada then to be quiet.

She drew a few arrows out and slipped away from the cart closer to where the hens were before pressing one arrow into the ground and drawing back the other. She let fly and there was a flurry of feathers and the hens took flight, she grabbed the second arrow and snapped off a shot quickly picking a second bird out of the sky with a puff of feathers as the arrow knocked it through the air.

"Well we'll have plenty of food tonight." Fuin said and headed to get the birds quickly bleeding them so the meat didn't spoil and hunging them by their legs on the cart.

For a while Rada seemed to warm up with the work of pushing even though Cala and Fuin were taking on the majority of the work, eventually though he did start to get tired and the cold started to creep back into his bones and Fuin didn't think Cala had the strength to pull him along as well as Arien started to dip towards the horizon and it started to cool off even more. She scooped the young boy up telling him to put an arm around her neck that she'd carry him. She could feel him shivering but soon that stopped and he ended up falling asleep on her as they neared the main gate of Minas Tirith.

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Laurelin the Golden
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@Revered Grandmother
Calaerdis and Radaron



September 3, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith

Cala grew a bit more worried about Radaron as he continued shivering. She shouldn't have let him stay in the water so long. She watched him, a bit anxious, noticing how exhausted he was. He was barely pushing, and soon he was just as cold as before they started, it looked like. Cala was trying to decide how to best warm him up when Fuin took over and picked him up. Cala could not have carried him for long, he was far too big now for her to carry him around like she used to when he was little. Tossing him in the river was one thing, after just a short distance. Carrying him a long ways while also exhausted would have been far too much for her. If Fuin hadn't been there, Cala thought, she would have stopped and tried to get a fire going or something, and camped right where they were.

Lucily, with Fuin carrying him, and also helping with the cart, Cala was relieved that they would likely get back to the forge before the night was too late. And further, Fuin had caught some supper! The girl worked hard to push the cart along, as Fuin pulled it, and before too long, she saw the gates of the city before them at last. She couldn't wait to get changed into warm, dry clothes, and sit before a fire. Luckily they already had a supply of firewood; those old chairs and broken things would be far more useful in that capacity than what Cala had originally intended to do with them.

She hoped very much that they had enough clay for themselves as well as the potter woman, because she sort of hoped not to have to go back for more, tomorrow. That was exhausting, however much fun it had been at the time! She was quite ready to crawl into bed, after a good hot supper, but she wasn't quite sure how long it would be before they could do any of that. She started thinking, as they entered the city, about how they would go about it. Probably, they'd have to go up to the forge, unload the stones and clay, and then take the cart and rest of the clay back to the first circle for the woman, then return home...

Home was a very nice word, Cala thought with a smile. All of that other stuff sounded like an awful lot of work, and she wondered if Fuin would suggest waiting until morning to do it. She was cold and hungry and tired, but also knew that if Fuin decided they needed to accomplish it all tonight, she would comply without a complaint, because she wanted to be the best apprentice ever, and prove that she was capable and that it was well worth giving her a chance. Soon, Cala thought with a small smile, she would get to heat metal on her own real forge, and make wonderful things, just like she'd always dreamed of doing.

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Fuin
September 3, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith

@Rillewen

They were let in quickly Fuin still carrying Radaron as they marched slowly around the circle and towards the second gate and Fuin was trying to figure out the best way to do everything, eventually she decided on a plan once they were to the second circles gate and they were on their way to the forge.

"I'm going to put your brother to bed, you can start unloading our portion of the clay and the stone in the forge area while I do that. Then I"ll be down to help." Fuins said calmly. She wanted to get the cart back to the woman they hadn't talked about having it over night after all. "Once it's all unloaded I'll take the cart and the clay back to the woman in the first circle since I know the password, while you start on making dinner if you're up for that." Fuin said calmly. They wouldn't be doing any more work aside from the unloading tonight. She had no doubt her apprentice was tired and that the amount of work though it had been fun today was more work than she was use to.

Fuin unlocked the front door of the forge once they arrived so that Cala could begin the work of unloading the cart and Fuin slipped around to the stone staircase that led upstairs it was dark and the house was cool and needed a fire going for it to warm up but that would happen soon. The elf slipped the little boy into his room pulling off his wet shoes and pants and tucking him under the linens on his bed still in her over tunic, he curled up tightly and murmered still half asleep that it was cold.

"You'll warm up soon little one." She said softly and sat with him a moment more before hanging up his pants to finish drying as they were still damp as was all of her clothing. With that she headed down stairs and helped Cali with the wagon. "Rada is in bed, once we're done unloading our portion you take the hens upstairs and start on making supper. I'll take the cart back to the woman with her clay. Her amount isn't as bad as what we had with the rocks." Glancing at the baskets that had been unloaded already since they'd been set on top of everything else that they'd filled the small cart with.

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Calaerdis



September 3, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith - Second Circle

Cala nodded as Fuin gave instructions. It was not what she wanted to hear, but she had halfway expected something like that. She glanced after the elf as she set off upstairs with her brother, still a bit worried about him. He would warm up soon, she was sure. She'd managed to keep them both alive at times when it was much colder, and he was fine. She only hoped he wouldn't come down sick or anything; something she hadn't thought about until after noticing how cold he was.

Trying to push her worries out of mind, Cala got started unloading the cart, at least the best she could. The clay baskets weren't too hard to move, but some of the stones were quite heavy, and she had a bit of trouble moving some of the heavier ones to get to those that were easier to lift. She'd had help with some of these, putting them in the cart, and now with her exhaustion, they all seemed a lot heavier than before. Still she struggled and toiled on with her task until at last, Fuin returned to help. Now, with her help, the cart was soon unloaded of the large stones. Cala paused to rest, leaning against a wall as she nodded to Fuin, a bit too tired for much talking.

She would have almost been alright with going straight to bed, except that her stomach protested that thought. Still, she'd gone to bed hungry before, and could do it again... but then Fuin had told her to start on it, so she wasn't going to not do what her mentor said to do. She rubbed her sleepy eyes and found the birds, getting to work on plucking them. It was tiring, tedious work and soon she was struggling not to fall asleep at it, determined she would do all that she could before Fuin returned. Though, having never really been very successful at hunting, Cala was quite unfamiliar with just how to go about this thing. Pulling feathers off was fine, but what about the other stuff? She frowned a bit and wondered on that. If she'd been on her own, and somehow managed to catch one of these, she'd probably have just stuck the whole thing on a stick and held it out over the fire. But was that what Fuin had in mind?

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Fuin
September 3, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith Second Circle

@Rillewen

Fuin helped moved the heaviest of the stones leaving them in the shop. She could tell Cala was tired, and the hens needed to be cleaned she hadn't wanted to dress the hens on the road it would be far to messy and would delay them and Rada had already been showing signs of exhaustion when she'd gotten them. She gave Cala a nod "I'll be back as soon as I can to cook them" She gave the young woman a squeeze on her shoulder knowing that she was tired as well. Fuin could feel that she needed a rest, not the same way the children did as an elf but she knew Rada would very likely sleep in and she would let Cala sleep in late to make up for the late night of work.

She came up to the old womans home and pulled the cart right up to the door and knocked softly. She heard a bit of shuffling and a call that she was coming and opened the door. "Hello ma'am I've brought your cart and clay back would you like me to carry the baskets in?" She poked her head in and the little old lady stopped.

"You're not the same girl -"

"No ma'am she's my apprentice I have her working on getting the supplies we gathered for ourselves ready." This wasn't entirely the truth but it was close enough Fuin didn't mind the little white lie of it.

The old woman looked at her. and the basket in her hand filled with clay. "Alright come one in I'll show you where to put the baskets." With that she was in and soon the baskets were all unloaded so that she could move the cart around to the back of the work shop for the little old lady. "Thanks again for letting us use the cart it saved us a lot of trips." Fuin said with a bow to the little old lady.

"Thank you for getting me the clay honestly I've been paying some young men to get me clay but they don't get nearly as good clay as you normally get." The little old lady said as she looked over the clay. "This will make it so that I can work for a good long while. If you and your girl need more clay you come back and ask we can do the same again!"

"I'm not sure we'll need more clay but perhaps we can work something else out." She said with a smile. "I thank you again I should get going though it's my apprentices first day and I think I've exhausted her utterly with getting clay today."

Fuin returned to the second circle and slipped upstairs, she could see Cala half nodding asleep and gently picked the hen out of her hand. The birds were plucked which was a good start Fuin went to her room and grabbed one of her knives and headed back out to the main room and sat in front of Cala with the plucked birds.

"We need the insides out." Fuin said and slit the lower abdomen of the bird and removed the guts using her hands. "Didn't want to have blood and guts on my hands all the way home, that's why we need to cook them tonight so they don't spoil because they had the innards in them for longer than they should have." Fuin said quickly treating the second bird the same way the guts she tossed into the fire. the easiest and cleanest way to dispose of them for now before washing her hands and the birds one last time and putting them in the pot that they'd purchased over the fire.

Fuin looked at Cala who was dead on her feat it seemed

"Do you want to go to sleep now, I'll make sure the birds are cooked and then we can have them cold for breakfast with some bread." She had no plans on waking either of the children early tomorrow.

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Calaerdis



September 3, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith - Second Circle

Cala sat up slightly straighter when Fuin took the bird from her hand. She had been very close to nodding off, and now felt a bit embarrassed about that. She wanted to do a good job, and here she was dozing off. Forcing her eyes to stay open, she watched Fuin remove the insides of the birds, wondering a bit about what she said about them having those in them for too long. But she was too tired to ask about it right now, and contemplated the question. Her stomach did want some food in it, but she could put it off for now. "Yes," She said after a moment. "I think I would rather just sleep, now." She decided, unsure whether she could stay awake long enough to eat, let alone wait for the birds to cook.

"Will Little Brother be alright?" She asked, worried about him having been so cold... and realizing that this might be the first night he would have ever spent sleeping alone. She was so tired she didn't even quite realize she'd called him that instead of his name, when speaking to Fuin, as she was still so used to calling him little brother. After being assured that he would be alright, Cala nodded slightly. "Good night, Fuin." Tired as she was, she went first to check on Radaron, making sure the blankets were tucked up around him, then kissed his forehead lightly before slipping off to her own room for bed.

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Fuin
September 4th, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith Second Circle
@Rillewen


Fuin nodded and smiled. "I think your brother will be all right Cala, he warmed up while sleeping on my shoulder he wasn't to pleased with being put on to cool sheets" She watched the young woman slip away to Radas room first and then to her own. Fuin stayed up tossing the odd chair leg onto the fire and sat watching the flames dance, she could smell the fat from the hens rendering and tossed in some salt with it now that was starting to cook. She wandered into elven dreams waiting for the ground hen to finish cooking. When it did finally finish she made sure the doors were locked up and slipped into her own room and fell asleep. leaving the chicken in the pot so thaat the rendered fats around it would cover it and protect it once it had cooled and firmed back up.



The next morning broke early and she groaned and rolled over happy to stay in bed for a while longer they didn't need to wake up and do anything in particular today, yes they would need to start on getting the forge built however it wasn't something that couldn't wait until the children woke up on their own. She stayed laying in bed on her back eyes shut stretched out enjoying the peace and quiet of the forge even as she could hear people on the street beginning to get ready for the day. Today they would work the clay so they'd be in their old clothing again and then they would start laying out the stones and building the forge itself. They would have to wait for the clay to fully dry before they put fire in the bed but but as long as they did it in smooth layers there shouldn't be an issue at all. With a sign she decided it would probably be a good plan to get up and see if there was anything else that they would need to get now that they could use. A bathing basin would be good, as well as candles and lamps to have in both the house as well as their shop. She walked around silently making note of the things the could also possibly do today, including fixing up the table with the top and some of the legs that were available so the could eat at a table instead of from their laps. She sat down on a chair and watched the bustle in the street below. Eventually they too would be a part of that bustle in a week or so when the forge starting to put out work, primarily to stock their own house and create the rest of the tools that they would need to do the work. Of course, they would need an anvil. She wasn't looking forward to buying one of those but she would likely get one from another blacksmith. Just not the one that she had gone to in the first circle where she'd found Cala.

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Calaerdis



September 4, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith - Second Circle

Cala awakened, a bit confused for a moment about where she was. Waking up for the first time in her new room at the forge, it took her a moment to place where she was, and remember all that had happened yesterday, and the day before. A big smile spread across her face as she remembered, and wondered what time it might be. She started to get up, then looked down and realized that Radaron was snuggled up with her. He must have gotten lonely in the night and come to find her. It didn't surprise her much, being the first time she could remember that he would have slept alone. Ever since he was a baby he'd always slept curled up with her, and she carefully slipped out of bed and tucked him back in, smiling slightly.

She went to have a look out the window, feeling a surge of happiness to remind herself that this was home now. No longer would she and Radaron have to sleep on the streets, or take refuge wherever they could find it, or hide in abandon houses hoping no one came to claim it and evict them. They wouldn't have to leave this city to find another, more hospitable place to live. They had a home now and would never have to leave it. That was a wonderful feeling that she couldn't have put into words if she tried.

Unsure what the plan was for today, Cala decided to hold off on getting dressed just yet, and instead went to find Fuin first. Her stomach was already beginning to remind her very persistently that she had neglected to fill it the night before, and she remembered the ground hens that Fuin had shot. She could hardly wait for it to be time to eat, and it was strange to remember, suddenly, that they had other food supplies besides those. Cali took a look in the larder, wondering what sort of food might go nicely with the hens, thinking it might be sort of fun to surprise Fuin by cooking up something for everyone.

Just as she was looking through the supplies they had in store, she heard a knock that startled her. Hesitating a little, Cala glanced around, then cautiously went to the door, a little uncomfortable as she was still in her sleeping gown. But when she opened the door, no one was there. Glancing around in confusion, Cala then noticed a bottle of milk at the door, and picked it up, a little puzzled but figured perhaps it was something else that had Fuin behind it. Shrugging, she went back inside with it, and looked thoughtfully at the milk before thinking of an idea.

Digging out the battered, dented old pan she'd rescued long ago from somewhere, and had used for a few years now, she cracked a couple of eggs in it, added some milk, stirred it the best she could, and then got a few slices of bread, soaking it in the egg mixture. Soon she had the egg-soaked bread cooking on the fire, thinking it would go nicely with the hen meat, and perhaps some cheese.

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Fuin
September 4th, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith Second Circle

@Rillewen

Fuin heard someone up and figured with how quiet they were it was Cala, Rada wasn't so good at being quiet she sat for a while longer until she could smell food cooking, she put on the same clothing she had on the day before, simply because they would be working with the clay today . She slipped out into the main room so see Cala was making something fancy.

"I feel like some of the first things we should do is make ourselves some more pans and cooking utensils." Fuin said with a smile wondering how much Cala enjoyed cooking when there was plenty to eat and she wasn't having to wprry about stretching the food until they could find or afford more. "I see the milk came in." She headed to the kitchen area and narrowed her eyes.

"And cups, we need some cups." Fuin said shaking her head, she'd forgotten to buy plates and glasses figuring they'd be able to make them soon enough. Not that she minded using her fingers or eating out of a pot. "Do you think Rada will mind eating with his fingers for a week?" Fuin retunred watching as she flipped the bread frying it the chicken was still in the pit re heating a bit from the fire being near by. "I figure we let your brother sleep he was quite exhausted yesterday by the end and we'll be down stairs working on building the forge itself today if we can get it built today it should be ready to go in about a week hopefully as we want all the moisture out of the clay before we fire it." She said calmly.

Yes there was a risk of clay exploding and breaking but that was only if there was still moisture in it. Moisture would be their enemy which is why they needed to get the forge built today so that it could have as much time as possible to dry.

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Calaerdis



September 4, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith - Second Circle

Cala looked up as Fuin entered, noting how she was dressed, took a guess that that was how she ought to dress today as well. She smiled a little. "I thought this would go nicely with the chicken," She explained, then nodded at the milk comment. "Yes, it was a little...confusing at first. But I figured it had to do with you." She paused, tilting her head. "Won't they expect money though, in return for it?" She asked, not quite sure how the milk system worked. "They just left it..." She added in explanation.

She decided the bread was cooked enough, and then smiled a bit at the plate question. "He's not likely to want to stop using his fingers once we do have proper dishes and everything. But I do have some... not very nice ones, but..." She shrugged, and pulled out the sibling's old tin plates, which were a bit misshapen and uneven, but had smoothed edges, which she had carried with her for a few years now. They were at least flat, and fairly round. A bit awkwardly, she added, "I only have two... but since Radaron is still asleep, it should work out alright."

Offering Fuin a plate with a couple of the cooked breads, a slice of cheese, and set her own plate in the seat of a backless chair which she'd decided to use as a table. "I... also have some cups, but..again, they aren't the best." She added, with a light blush as she pulled out the odd looking cups, also made of tin and a bit misshapen. The edges, at least, were filed smoothly so not to have any snags or rough parts. All of these tin dishes bore little hammer marks all over them. "I..um..." She almost wasn't sure she ought to admit to this, but figured it ought to be said. "I made them..a few years ago.. I know they aren't very good.. I..I didn't have much to work with."

She was thrilled to hear her mentor say they would be building the forge today. At last! She grinned at that. "I can't wait to get started." She was a tiny bit disappointed to hear that it would be another week before they could use it, but at least it would only be a week! She knew that it would feel like an eternity, having to wait that long on it, and she'd have to be very patient about that, but once it was ready... she could finally start to learn some things! She wondered what they might do in the meanwhile, and considered the thing Radaron had mentioned. "Do you think that cave Radaron told you about would be something we might use? Or would it be better to buy the coal?" She wondered, frowning a bit as she tried to picture how to find it again, just in case.

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Fuin
September 4th, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith Second Circle
@Rillewen

Fuin smiled and waved her hand "No not for a while. I prepaid for the milk and it's delivery, I've better things to go out daily or send you or Rada trotting out absolutely first thing in the morning for milk for the day." She said "In a month or so we'll run some more money down to the grocer that we went to to pay for another month or so."

Of course she was pleased to see that there were plates, and she gave Cala a gentle pat on the hand. "Two that are rough and made years ago with what you had, are better than what I've provided thus far." Fuin said taking a plate with cheese and bread and pulled a bit of meat off of the chicken. "Don't apologize for doing what you can with what you have. We'll get better plates and enough of them so that we don't have to eat in two sittings in the future." She said biting into the breakfast meal that Cala had prepared. It was excellent all together. She poured a bit of milk into one of the cups and sipped at it something she'd not had for a while.

"Well once we have the forge and the bellows set up, we'll need to purchase a proper anvil, and we'll buy some coal, as well as some metal supplies. But that won't take all week so we'll go and see if we can find that cave you spoke of perhaps we'll go on an adventure so that we can find the coal and secure a supply that we won't need to pay for. If not well we'll be able to afford coal with ease."

She finished up her meal and washed up the plate and the cup quickly so that when Rada woke up they would be ready for him.

"We can also perhaps see if we can find some scraps that we can get for free for our own uses in here once we've gotten the major things set up." Fuin returned to her chair.

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Calaerdis and Radaron




September 4, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith - Second Circle

Cala smiled a bit, feeling better about her poorly made cups and plates, listening about the grocer and delivering milk and everything, things she had never really given much thought to. She had assumed that people went to get what they needed, just like she'd always done when she had money for things. "It's so strange, learning all about this stuff, how everyone else probably has done things for..forever.." She mentioned quietly, thoughtful. "Me and L-Radaron have never really had what people around here would call a 'normal' life." She hesitated as she took a bite of food, taking longer with hers than Fuin. "Our mother died soon after he was born." She mentioned, figuring that Fuin might have wondered about that by now. "I don't..know what ever happened with our father. He went...somewhere.. he was supposed to be back before mother had the baby, but.." She shrugged. "I don't remember now if he went to get supplies from town, or maybe he went to hunt.. or what. He meant to come back. He just never did."

She was a bit surprised at herself, talking about that. She hadn't spoken of any of that to anyone except to tell Radaron what she could about their parents. She poked a bit at her food, then proceeded with eating, trying not to let those thoughts drag her down. Fuin had spoken of getting an anvil. A real anvil! That thought cheered her up again, and she smiled a bit. "I know where to get scrap metal. I'm...fairly good at finding that sort of thing." She said, with another little blush. "So is Radaron; often when he'd go out playing, he would keep a lookout for anything metal that was scrap or trash, and help me gather things to melt down and make into..whatever I could."

Finishing her food after a bit, she went and washed her own dishes, and plated up another portion for when Radaron woke, but left it near enough the fire that it ought to stay warm. "He ought to be awake before too long, but I think I'll go and change so we can get started." She said, eager to begin, and also very curious how this was going to be done. That said, she went off to her room and gathered up her clothes, then woke Radaron, sending him to go and eat his breakfast while she changed into her old clothes.

Radaron was still a bit sleepy and confused looking as he wandered out to find his breakfast, rubbing his eyes with his hand. "Are we gonna go out and play in the mud again?" He asked hopefully upon seeing Fuin. He grabbed the plate that Cala had told him was there for him and sat on the floor with the plate in his lap to eat, not at all bothered by the lack of forks or anything.

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Fuin
September 4th, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith Second Circle
@Rillewen

Fuin listened to to Cala as she spoke about her parents, her mother dying shortly after giving birth to Radaron, she had figured out that they had never had a really normal childhood. Normal for them, was probably a scramble of terror and chaos for others, it probably had been terror and chaos for them. She wondered for a moment as Cala spoke about her father just not coming back. That would be hard, especially for Cala, she assumed that Rada didn't really understand, he'd never met his father, him having gone before the boy was born. Making it all harder on Cala. Fuin had to stop herself from feeling pity for her. Cala was not the sort to want pity she already knew that from the few days that she had known her.

"As long as he's not taking the metal like he took the cart, perhaps we should get him running around today having some fun on his own and talking to people about the new forge going to open." Fuin said with a shrug of her own "He could go and talk to them, he likes talking from what I've found and could let them know that if they want to get rid of metal items that have broken we are just opening up and will be making items that they can use. I feel like he would absolutely enjoy doing that." She said before Cala slipped away to get dressed sending Rada out to her while she dressed.

He came and plopped himself on the floor still tired, but suddenly excited to see Fuin. "I'm afraid not, we've got enough mud so we won't be going out to play in it, but your sister and I will be working the clay we have and getting the impurities out of it, like rocks and reeds and shells." Fuin said watching him eat happily. With what Cala had told her she wondered if this was the first time that they had had four days in a row when they had this much food regularly? Probably. And without worrying about if they were going to eat. She wondered how they would do now that they didn't have that fear to worry about anymore. Or worrying about where they were sleeping or if they were safe.

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Calaerdis and Radaron




September 4, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith - Second Circle

Cala returned, dressed once again in her old clothing, and found her chair again. "Little Brother, we have a very important job for you today." She told him, liking Fuin's idea. Radaron looked up, excited to hear what sort of job he could do. "Remember how before, you used to go and find me metal things that no one wanted, so I could make things with them?" she asked.
"Yeah!" He looked like he could hardly wait to get started, and jumped up to rush off right that second. Cala laughed, catching him. "Hold up. Finish your breakfast first." She told him, pushing him back down gently. "We need as much metal things as you can get for us, and of course.. make sure that you only take things that aren't wanted by anyone."
"I know." He assured her. "From the trash and everything, right?"
Cala nodded, pleased to know that he remembered that, after having seen how he borrowed an entire cart without asking.

"And while you're doing all of that, you can do the other very important job, too." She added, smiling.
Radaron looked intrigued. "Another job?"
"Yes, we'd like you to tell everyone you can about the new forge that's going to be here.. in about a week or so?" She glanced at Fuin to check on that.
"Can I tell them it's my sister going to be making the stuff?" He asked hopefully.
Cala hesitated. "Maybe..tell them an elf will be running it..for now." She glanced again at Fuin, a bit unsure, but that seemed better..people would come to see the elf, out of curiosity, and learn afterward that Cala was her apprentice. She hoped that would be a good plan, but gave a pause to let Fuin say anything she might want to add.

"And while you're doing all of that, we'll be making the forge and getting it ready."
Radaron grinned. "This'll be fun!" He said happily. "Do I have to wear the old stuff like you are, or can I wear my new clothes?" He wondered, also thinking of whether he'd be doing this in the place they used to live, or in this new place, which seemed like an entirely other city to him. He knew all the good places to get metal stuff in the old place, but this new place would be fun to explore and a bit more challenging. Hopefully, they'd let him do both. And if he got to go down to the other place, with his new clothes on, then those other two boys would finally see he wasn't lying...

Cala paused, thinking on that, weighing the different possibilities.. he could potentially get dirty, gathering the metal, in which case it might be better for him to wear his old things. But then, if he was advertising for them, it might be better if he wore the better clothes. She glanced again at Fuin, deciding to leave that up to her. When Radaron finished eating, she took his plate and cup and washed them for him so he could go on and get dressed accordingly.

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Fuin
September 4th, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith Second Circle
@Rillewen


Fuin listened to Cala telling Rada the plan for the day he seemed exceptionally excited about the entire prospect of getting to adventure and help advertise that there would be a new forge.

"Yes for now for now state that it's being run by an elven mastersmith from Imladris and we'll be open in a fortnight or two weeks." Fuin said calmly, "And that your sibling has gotten an apprenticeship as I'm sure they will be curious why you're talking about it." She said with a smile.

"A fortnight will give us time to get you started, and some premade items ready for sale without us needing to rush or struggle." Fuin said calmly. "We'll be working before then but not open to the public." Looking at |Cala, indeed she was excited to get started and be making money but if anything went wrong with the forge or it needed longer to dry before they fired it they would be hard pressed to have much more than nails and utilitarian item that would not impress or draw a crowd. No Fuin knew they would need something better than that, she would have to forge some swords and armor to display which would be for now beyond what Cala could do though she would certainly be helping during the process.

Rada asked about his clothing and for several moments Fuin debated on saying his old clothing, but he was going to be advertising for them which meant that Fuin did want him to look the part.

"Your new clothing." Fuin said finally, "but I want you to be careful with it and try not to get it too dirty. You may find that asking people for their broken metal items may work better on this circle - you are also welcome to tell them to come and speak with me if they would like compensation for the items they no longer need." Radaron was almost finished his breakfast. "For now though I do want you to stay to the second circle, I don't need you getting in trouble trying to slip past the gates without the password in either direction that would be something where the guards would arrest you and I'd have to come and save you."

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Laurelin the Golden
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Calaerdis and Radaron




September 4, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith - Second Circle

Radaron nodded eagerly, trying to remember all the instructions so he'd do well with his important job. After a moment, he tilted his head and looked at Cala. "What's sibling mean?" He wondered.
"Um, it's like a word for a brother or a sister... so, that leaves it a bit vague. So people won't just..automatically decide against the forge because they heard there's a girl going to be working it. They'll probably assume brother.. but you won't be actually saying brother..." She explained, smiling a bit at that bit of cleverness on Fuin's part. Though, she hoped people wouldn't find it odd that the little boy would say sibling.

Radaron grinned, eagerly hopping up to get dressed once his breakfast was done. "I can't wait to get started!" He declared, also hoping he might perhaps make a few friends. "I'll try not to get dirty, I promise." He added, then ran off to his room to get ready.

Cala laughed lightly. "He'll have the whole city eager to come see the new forge before the week is over." She grinned, knowing how well he'd build them up to others. "And that ought to keep him out of our way.. good thinking." She added. And now without anything further to stop them, she couldn't wait to get started on her own task. "Is it time yet to start on the forge?" She asked, excited. "I can hardly wait to see it finished."

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Fuin
September 4th, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith Second Circle
@Rillewen

Fuin smiled as Cala asked if it was time to start on the forge. "Rada let us know when you are heading out!" Fuin called loudly and once she heard a 'OKAY!' she gave a nod to Calaand they slipped down into the shop portion of the building that they had purchased, the step still wasn't fixed, they'd have to do that today as well Fuin thought reminding Cala to be careful on that particular step. The shop was cooler than upstairs was though it still had all of it's windows shutters and the stone walls kept it cool for now.

They opened up the shuttered windows letting light filter in on the shop, it was nice perhaps needing a bit of paint but over all it was in good shape and the pile of clay and the stones that they had gathered. It took her a few minutes to pick out the most sensible placement for the forge itself - it would be against the outside wall in front of the window that was the furthest back from the street, made of stone it would not cause any heating issues to their neighbour and allow for venting easily. There was a heavy table that she had at first thought was made of wood but was in fact only the top of it was wood with it's legs made of stone making it even easier for them.

"Alright so we're going to lay out the stones for now and then we need to get started on cleaning the clay and getting the impurities out of it once it's good then we can start layering it onto the stones. and we'll use the table top as a form. The wood MAY char over the years but the stone and clay will keep it from burning and it will mean that we don't have to fight as much to keep the bottom level as the wood will hold it in place." Fuin said with a smile.

The stones were quickly placed on the table laid out so that aside from a few circular holes that Fuin left on purpose stating they would be drilling through the table and installing the billows piping in that line to allow for air flow over a greater section of the forge itself. The forge itself was massive looking easily two and a half feet deep and 3 feet long with the holes spaced one every 8 inches in the center along the three foot span it was going to be an impressive forge, that many blacksmiths would be jealous of.

Now they needed to get the clay ready and start applying it to the stones.

Laurelin the Golden
Laurelin the Golden
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Calaerdis and Radaron




September 4, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith - Second Circle

Cala nodded, listening to all of the instructions that Fuin gave. "So look for any sticks or grass or pebbles or things that might be in the clay... got it." She helped Fuin arrange the stones how she wanted them. When Radaron came down, he looked very nice in his new clothes, and declared he was off to go and get them customers. Cala laughed, reminding him that they wouldn't be ready for customers for about two weeks, they just needed metal right now, but to let people know the forge was going to be open in a couple weeks. After watching her little brother set off, Cala turned her attention back to the clay.

She worked very carefully sifting through the clay to try and eliminate anything that didn't belong there. It was tedious, but she reminded herself that it would be well worth the time invested, for the end result would be an amazing forge that no one in all of Gondor could match. She smiled, imagining how it would look finished, and kept working on the clay until all of it was finished, and she felt quite confident that there was nothing there that Fuin called 'impurities'. Next, came the part of applying it to the stones.

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Fuin
September 4th, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith Second Circle
@Rillewen

The clay was cleaned and now it was time to start building it into the forge itself the first thing she did was roll a snake of clay and put that around the gaps in the stone that she had left on the bottom to give an edge for where they should stop. Slowly the clay was built up pressed and level across the entire area except the three circles that were left showing the wood now almost three inches below, an inch of stone, and then two inches of clay. Then they began making a lip another two inches high all the way around the forge squaring it off until finally the forge was done, at least what they could do for now. Currently it looked a muddy grey and not as pretty as one might think it should for an elven forge, however when the river clay dried it would lighten up until it was near white entirely making it stand out compared to many black smith shops with their sooted dark forge beds.

Perhaps eventually in years not yet come to pass it would darken until the white clay and stone was lost to layers of black soot and coal dust, but while Fuin was here it would gleam, and she had a feeling looking at Cala who seemed amazed at the forge she would do the same as a matter of pride.

"Well I'd say we are done with the messiest part of this for now." Fuin said with a smile, now they needed to patiently wait for it to dry, they would need to get an iron set of bellow pipes and the material to make the bellows and the covers to go over the openings in the clay so that the coal couldn't fall down into the iron pipes. "Shall we change into some nicer clothing and go see if we can find a smith that will sell us an anvil?"

Laurelin the Golden
Laurelin the Golden
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Calaerdis




September 4, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith - Second Circle

Watching the forge begin to take shape, Cala was a bit surprised it didn't look quite as pretty as she had imagined, but hoped that once it was dry, the white stones would show a little better. She had no idea how the clay would look dried, but she still felt extremely proud and excited to have such a wonderful forge, far nicer than any she'd ever seen, let alone worked. And to have had a hand in building it was even more exciting! It was going to be very hard to wait for the clay to dry, and she hoped it wouldn't take more than a week. She also wondered if there was any danger in Radaron poking at the clay and messing anything up before it was dry, but hopefully, he wouldn't do that.

"Do you think they will? I mean..won't we be competition?" She asked, frowning a bit. "And... we won't be going to that one, I hope.." She added with a small frown. "I don't like him very much." She remembered how rude the man had been; she'd never forget that. Hopefully, they'd find someone who would be willing to sell them one. "If we can't get anyone to sell us an anvil, would it work to use a large stone?" She wondered, heading upstairs with Fuin so they could change. "I used to use a stone...well.. you know.. before I met you.." She added, a little embarrassed. Why'd she mention that? She should have kept quiet. "I didn't have anything else, then." She explained.

Once she had cleaned her hands and changed into one of her new dresses, she was quite eager to head out on the errands Fuin had in mind, eager to see if they could get an anvil, and hoping they'd get lucky in that. Another thought crossed her mind as they set out. "Couldn't we just make an anvil, once we get the forge ready to fire up?" She wondered. "If we got enough metal?" It seemed logical, though she wasn't entirely sure how to go about making one, surely Fuin did... and then they'd have a much better anvil than anyone around here could provide them.

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Fuin
September 4th, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith Second Circle
@Rillewen

Fuin smiled. "Indeed they will probably make us pay out of our noses for an anvil, and while we could make one, the amount of work it would take without one already would be prohibitive. It is a lot of welding and a lot of shaping and sadly a rock will not do. Most rocks can not stand up to repeated hard strikes with metal that is so hot its half way to molten." Fuin said as she cleaned up as well switching to a different set of her clothing. She also thought they should get a large wash basin while they were out so they could do laundry and give themselves quick baths as they wanted to even if they wouldn't be as nice as the large copper tubs at the Inn.

She rolled her eyes though she didn't let Cala see that when she said she hoped they wouldn't be going to THAT smith, referring to the smith from the first Circle. "No the only way we'd get an anvil from him was if we planned on stealing it, I'd not give that man a half a copper if he cut his right hand off for it." Fuin said coolly "No, we will get a basic anvil from someone, and then when we need a fancier one, or one that can do specific tasks we will forge one then ourselves." Making anvils was long drawn out work often taking weeks to do, even for basic ones. There is at least one more forge on this circle so that will probably be our best choice, we may even get lucky and they have an anvil they no longer need as they've replaced it with a better one but that will be a stretch and we'll likely need to pay them an insane amount to get an anvil the would otherwise be using." With that Fuin came back into the main area. He first instinct was to leave a note for Radaron but realized he likely wouldn't be able to read it easily, given how hard of a time Cala had writing.

She'd see about getting a tutor for them perhaps. That seemed the most sensible thing.

Laurelin the Golden
Laurelin the Golden
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Calaerdis




September 4, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith - Second Circle


Cala was a bit relieved that Fuin said they would absolutely not be going to THAT smith. She hadn't thought she would but wanted to be sure. She laughed a bit at the comment that she wouldn't give him a thing even if he cut off his hand for it. "Good." She listened thoughtfully to the information about how a stone wouldn't work. She supposed, before, that her little joke of a forge just hadn't gotten hot enough for any of that, which explained why her stone hadn't ever cracked. A few pieces had chipped once in a while, but she hadn't thought too much about that. Now, she was pretty glad that she never had any further troubles with it, because it might have been quite dangerous, she realized. More things that none of those others had warned her about.. more info she might have known if anyone had been willing to help her learn before now.

But now she had a teacher, and perhaps the best teacher she could have hoped for. "I hope someone will have one then, that they don't need. Will it be heavy? How will we get it here?" She said, also wondering just how much expense Fuin was anticipating for an anvil. She had long since lost track of how much money was going into this, though she was still trying to, in her head. It was hard though since there were some things she didn't know quite how much cost, and then other things that she got a bit confused on as she tried to add it, having had little experience with anything more than basic adding and subtracting.

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Fuin
September 4th, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith Second Circle
@Rillewen

The two of them headed out and Fuin gave a shrug at Cala's question about how they would get the anvil back. "Well normally the rule is you are not allowed to have an anvil you aren't able to carry yourself." Fuin said as they headed towards where Fuin knew there was another blacksmith shop was. "In this case we're getting what we can get so I'll carry it rather than you. There won't be one for sale that's so big that I can't carry it that far." Fuin said calmly.

She was glad to see though that Cala was no longer commenting on how expensive things were as she caught sight of the sign that marked the other blacksmith shop in the Circle. She pushed into the shop with Cala following close behind her.

"Just a moment." Came the call of the blacksmith.

"Alright." Fuin responded and looked about, it was a simple smith shop but efficiently set up as far as Fuin was concerned there wasn't much in the way of premade things that people could buy but it looked like he was busy with custom orders so that would be just fine. Fuin wasn't worried that they would be damaging this mans livelihood with their shop. When he came out he seemed shocked to see two women, an elf and a young girl but he seemed to recover quickly enough.

"Are you lovely ladies looking to purchase something for your husband or house?"

"No not quite, we're needing an anvil and was wondering if you had a basic one that you would be willing to part with for an appropriate amount of coin." Fuin said with a small smile that caused him tilt his head as if trying to make sure he had in fact heard the elf right.

"An anvil?"

"Yes, I'm wanting to teach her how to smith but I don't have an anvil on hand so I'm hoping to purchase one." Fuin said calmly. The look on the smiths face told Fuin that he thought she was joking, but he was at least being civil so far about not believing her.

"An anvil is mighty expensive miss, besides smithing isn't really... well.."

"It's not a girls job no, but then I'm not a girl, and I am not asking for your opinion on it, just the price and an anvil." Fuin said crossing her arms to keep herself from grabbing the tongs sitting nearby.

The smith went quiet and glanced back he did have three anvils that Fuin could see one was odd shaped probably the first one he'd gotten in a similar vein to how they were getting it or it had been passed off on him from his own mentor. "I can give you this one for 50 gold coin."

"I have 40 gold coin on me now." Fuin said calmly yes she could get more technically, but she didn't really want to. The smith blinked shocked at the counter, and hummed and hawwed, Fuin knew it was too much to pay for it technically but it would secure their ability to work for a bit until they could make a better one. Before he nodded and offered her his hand.

"It's heavy fifty five pounds you'll probably want to get some strong lad to carry it for you."

"My anvil at my forge in Imladris is larger and I can move it on my own thank you." Fuin said taking the pouch off her belt that head her coins and pouring the coins out all forty of them. Before heading to pick up the anvil.

"Cala you're in charge of opening doors." Fuin said pulling the anvil and popping it off of the base it was on, they had not paid for that after all. With that she picked it up and made a motion with her head to the door before looking the smith in the eye.

"Good day."

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Rembina
Alqualondë, YT 1499

(Private with Moriel)

Finnbarr was young. That was a fact that. In time, it would no longer be the truth, but for the present, he was young. Being young, there were many things, many things that he did not quite understand. The more he understood the ebb and flow of the waves and the creatures that filtered through the thalassic depths, the more he realized he did not understand his fellows. Crabs and jellyfish were easy to understand. His neighbors? His father? More often than not they were mysteries to him. Most of the time, young Galedeep was able to brush off that feeling of uncomfortable unease that washed over him when someone did something or said something that didn’t make sense to him. He was able to toss aside the strange acidic feeling some interactions left on the tip of his tongue. He’d grown quite good at it too. Yet when it came to the moods of his father, Finnbarr found himself more and more perplexed. Perhaps it was the familiarity they shared. Davos was not some passing acquaintance that Finnbarr could avoid after a few moments of polite chatter. Davos was his father, an ever-present pillar in his life. Every so often though, his atar felt more like a ghost than a pillar, a shade rather than a foundation. Finnbarr never knew or understood what he was supposed to do when his father drifted. He never knew where he went in his mind or to whom he would go. It distressed him, as it would any child to see their parent focus more on the clouds than on the cobblestones beneath their feet. Yet what could he do? Finnbarr was, and always would be, young.

“Sombelenë…” he repeated the name at a whisper. The way his father had said it, the emptiness with which he sounded the syllables, there was something there, Finnbarr could tell and if he spoke that name too loudly, the whole world might crack up. The sky might rip apart or the sea drain out in the abyss. It was a beautiful name. If the mood had been more jovial, he would have said the name was much more beautiful than “Davos” could ever hope to be. It was melodic, a flowing sound like the breath of night across the still waters of morning. It was sweet, like honey but sharp like a bee-sting. She was someone. She was more someone to Davos than anyone had been. Finnbarr was young and did not always understand the workings of world around him, but he knew that much. And he knew that his father could drown in the name of this person alone.

Still, Finnbarr knew that Davos was a taciturn man when he wanted to be. Finnbarr had better luck trying to coax a mussel to open up to him and chat about the weather when he was in a mood like this. The declaration that he was fine was a lie so poorly constructed and delivered that Finnbarr had no real recourse but to accept it. So, he went on about his boat. He was quite proud of it. It was small in comparison to the ships the Falmari had had stolen from them, a far cry from the majestic swans that glided on the water, scarcely touching it. But it was his little craft. It was his and he’d built it with his own hands.

They went down to the water. There were bigger, more expertly crafted and carved ships in the harbor, but Finnbarr could only see his. As he went on about the processes he used to build the craft (processes that Davos more than likely knew by heart already) he began to realize that, despite the way some of the more affluent, more “noble” Falmari looked at him, he had achieved much in his span of years. His dreams and goals were not as lofty and ethereal as some of his fellows, but his dreams and goals were tangible. He touched the smooth wood on the prow of his vessel. The tactile sensation reinforcing in his mind the reality and the closeness of his happiness. He looked back to Davos, who still seemed distracted. He hid it well, but Finnbarr was his son. There were certain things one could not hide, not from someone who’d loved you at your darkest. When he brought the conch shell out and blew the notes, notes that sounded as though they came straight out of the depths of Ulmo’s watery halls, Finnbarr felt a chill, an exhilaration. He remembered that feeling he first made his dive into the depths during the storm. It was a feeling he knew he could lose himself to, could spend the rest of eternity trying to chase. His chest swelled, filled with pride. This was glory, this simple act here. The Ñoldor did naught but chase phantasmagoria and shadows.

They pushed out the sea, Finnbarr’s eyes eastward as he rowed them far from the shore. Finally, they reached the spot. Finnbarr had never been here before, but there was a feeling in his gut that this was the spot they needed to be in. They fished for what felt like years. Finnbarr let his mind wander this way and that. He watched the sapphire waters lap against the boat, listened to the sweet whispers on the wind. He remembered the place he went that night, the dark waters so far from the light that it was naught but a distant memory, the great, vast emptiness that let him process his grief. He remembered the cave with the pearls and the primordial darkness, the waters untarnished by starlight. This feeling of weightlessness and ease was somehow akin to those feelings. It felt nice to be able to share it with his father.

The stillness was broken when a fish finally decided it was time to take the bait.

Finnbarr laughed and help him pull the fish in and retrieve the hook. It was a big, silvery blue fish, a gorgeous bluefin tuna. “How in the hell did you manage that! Did Ossë help you?” he leaned over the side of the boat and made as though he were trying to search out the mercurial water spirit. “There’s no way you could have pulled that in on your own! Did he give you some song that makes them find you irresistible? Did he tell you to cover yourself in seaweed to attract them?” He leaned back over onto the boat and sniffed the air. “I do smell a lot of seaweed…”
Everything Stays | I heard that wise man said from presence to silence we flow

Laurelin the Golden
Laurelin the Golden
Points: 572 
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@Revered Grandmother
Calaerdis




September 4, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith - Second Circle


Listening as Fuin answered her question, Cala was a bit curious why such a rule existed, but decided to wait until they had left the other smith's shop before asking about it. She looked around curiously as they entered, thinking how she might have once tried to get a job here, had she ever managed to get up to this circle. But judging by the way the man looked at them when they asked about an anvil, she guessed that would have gone just as well as all her other previous attempts to work with a smith. It was stupid and frustrating the way all these men liked to act as if she couldn't possibly do well at this, simply because she wasn't male. She stood quietly by Fuin as she did the business part of it all, but couldn't help a partial eye-roll as the man just assumed they had to be buying something for a husband, or else some household thing. Still, she tried her best to act as adult-like as possible and appear professional, or as much as she could.

At the mention of fifty gold coins, her eyes widened slightly but she bit her lip, glancing briefly at Fuin and wondering whether that was a normal price. And then struggled not to grin as Fuin talked him into accepting only forty for it. She wanted to give the impression that this wasn't all new to her... after all, this would be her competition, right? She didn't want him to think she was totally inexperienced. Which she very much was, but hopefully he wouldn't realize that. She watched with some surprise as Fuin took it off of the stand, without the least bit of trouble. Nodding, she hurried to open the door. "Good day sir." She said with a smile, then followed Fuin out, finally grinning once they were outside.

"Is forty the usual sort of price for one of those?" She wondered, catching up so she walked even with her. "And why is there a rule about only having an anvil you can carry yourself?" She asked, that question had been burning in her mind all this time. She looked at the anvil in Fuin's arms, wondering if it was really as heavy as she imagined. Fifty-five pounds, she tried to imagine how heavy that was. It couldn't be much heavier than Radaron, right? She wondered if she could carry it, if Fuin hadn't been there. Hurrying ahead a few steps as they neared their own forge, she opened the door for Fuin and waited for her to go through before following her in. "I think Radaron has been here, look." She smiled, pointing to a pile of metal things in one corner. Broken metal things, rusted things, and old things that were worn out had been dumped there. It looked about like all the little boy could carry in one trip, and she figured he'd gone off to find more once he'd deposited these.

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Fuin
September 4th, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith Second Circle
@Rillewen

Fuin gave a shrug as she walked carrying the anvil it wasn't the heaviest one she had ever carried as Cala asked about the price. "I have never bought one before I assume it was probably a little high, but we need it. Every forge I've worked in has already had an anvil already I've made more anvils but I've always had one." She said calmly "I didn't found the Imladris forge, it was created by others, and working in Hollin was also interesting but again I never had to buy an anvil. And elves... we don't tend to sell to each other, we" She shrugged. "We barter, mostly in elven jewels, metals, whatever we need for the forge or for the smith that is doing the work." She set the anvil down on one of the heavy wooden tables. "And that rule isn't a hard fast rule, it's more of a guideline. It's that way because you need to be able to lift that amount of metal in order to forge an anvil, so you have to be able to lift it. If you can't make an anvil big enough for whatever you are making then you shouldn't be forging something that large." Fuin said calmly as she looked towards the corner of metal things.

"Looks like Radaron has been quite busy indeed." Fuin said heading over to the pile of metal, she walked over to the pile and picked through it looking at the items he'd brought. Some of it was rough, but rough could be worked with. There wasn't anything there that they couldn't use, there wasn't anything they could make anything exceptional with but they would most certainly be able to make utensils and other items that they might need as well as a few small items that they could start selling as well. She nodded. "He's doing an excellent job we should get him a tart as a reward." She glanced towards the forge there were bits of the clay that were finally starting to dry into that nice creamy white colour.

Laurelin the Golden
Laurelin the Golden
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Calaerdis




September 4, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith - Second Circle


Cala nodded, listening thoughtfully. "I suppose that makes sense." She watched Fuin set it down. "Is it heavier than Radaron? I wonder if I could've carried it." She was extremely excited to be finally getting the forge looking like a forge. It seemed like the day would never come when they could finally use it, yet at the same time, it was fast approaching! Looking at the forge itself, she was thrilled to see how much nicer the clay looked than it did yesterday. She went over to admire it, but was careful not to touch. "How much longer until it's dry?" She wondered, excited by it. It looked like it would be much prettier once dry, than when they first put the clay on, and that was very exciting.

Looking around, she thought for a bit. "He'll probably keep bringing more metal all day," She added. "What's next for us to do, in the meanwhile?" She asked, figuring there must be tons of things to be done in preparation for their new forge. Perhaps get a few other supplies and equipment? She remembered a few of the things the other smiths had in their workshops, but didn't know what all of them were called. "What else will we be getting?" She asked curiously, aware she'd asked several questions now, and hoped that Fuin wouldn't tire of answering them.

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Fuin
September 4th, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith Second Circle
@Rillewen

Fuin nodded. "Aye a little bit. Not a lot, but I don't think you would have enjoyed carrying it down the street." She said calmly. "You're welcome to try to pick it up if you like." She wasn't sure of Cala would be able to have carried her brother home, in fact she was fairly certain she wouldn't have but it was a much longer walk than it had been from the other blacksmiths shop. "It'll be a while unfortunately the clay needs to dry all the way through so at the very earliest we're looking at four more days, so we will hopefully have a good amount of time to go looking for that cave with the coal while we wait for that."

"Him bringing metal all day will be good, we will be able to use a good amount of it to make small items to sell and use without a lot of overhead cost to us." She said and leaned against a table. "We should probably do a complete accounting of what tools you have, I didn't know you had plates or cups so perhaps we'll be able to use those to make more tools we need instead of simply buying them, though I feel like we will need to go and get some higher grade metal than this so I can make a sword or armor to bring in soldiers while you take care of the common customers with small items while you learn to make things like swords and armor."

Laurelin the Golden
Laurelin the Golden
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Calaerdis




September 4, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith - Second Circle


Cala debated going over and picking up the anvil, to see if she could. But she also wasn't sure if she could, and didn't want to fail at it while anyone was watching. Especially her mentor. She decided not to, though maybe she'd slip down in the night and see if she could do it, when no one was awake to see her do it, in case she couldn't manage it after all. She nodded a little at the talk about the cave, hoping she could find it. "I sort of..remember the general area where it was?" She mentioned. "I remember it was when we were at the house we used to live in.." She paused. "Well, some of the time. It's..where..mother died." She frowned a bit, thinking on that. "And we'd gone way out into the forest to find a tree.." She remembered that utter failure and blushed lightly, before deciding not to tell more about that. "Um...the tree thing didn't quite work out, but along the way, Radaron started playing in this stream and started playing in it, and then found little bits of the coal.. which led us to the cave."

She had nearly forgotten about her silly attempt at making coal herself, and how the ax had broken off when she tried to chop down a tree. Still thinking a bit about that, Cala was a bit surprised when Fuin mentioned something about finding out what tools Cala had already. "Oh.. sure." She paused, wondering if her 'tools' really counted. "I... I don't have a whole lot. But I'll get them." She hurried up to her room to find the bundle she had, and soon brought down a small collection of tools, some of which she'd made, some she'd repurposed into 'smithing tools'. The only hammer she had was an old rusty one meant for driving nails, not hammering metal or making nails. Her tongs were some she'd made after borrowing some from the other smith one night, early on, so that she could both study how to make them, as well as use them in making the tongs. She'd returned them before he got up the next morning, and he'd never known the difference. There were a few other things that she laid out on the table to let Fuin see, a little embarrassed about her pitiful collection of makeshift tools.

"I suppose we'll have to have new ones, of course. That was..all I could get, really." She shrugged, then looked up, rather interested in the mention of making elaborate things like swords and armor. "Where would we get higher quality metal?" She wondered, a bit confused by that. "Isn't it all just..steel or iron?" She pointed to some chain that had some rust and broken links, piled in the corner. "Like that? It's iron, isn't it? Would that work for making a sword?" She wondered, thinking it looked like plenty of metal to make a sword with, though she really had no idea. She'd never been given an opportunity to see a sword be crafted from start, all the way through to the finish, but was very intrigued and couldn't wait to actually learn how to do that.

Elder of The Mark
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Fuin
September 4th, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith Second Circle

@Rillewen

Fuin nodded listening to Cala state she knew where the cave roughly was, that it was near the house they used to live in, likely brought up some painful memories for the child. She raised an eyebrow at the mention of the tree thing not quite working out. What that meant she wasn't sure, perhaps she hadn't been strong enough to actually fell the tree with whatever axe she had? Or it had been dull. Dull was better for splitting rather than chopping a tree down. She wasn't sure she wanted to ask but that the cave was near a stream meant that it would be easier to find if Cala remembered where her childhood home was.

Of course Cala's tools were not... what she would call smithing tools but a hammer was a hammer, she'd been taught that by her own forge master. tongs were tongs some were better some were worse but if they worked they worked. Fuin gave her a pat on the back. "You work with what you have until you can get better. My teacher told me any hammer will work well enough if it is all you have the same can be said for tongs. Don't feel bad for working with what you can get your hands on. We most certainly can work with these and make you a better hammer, and better tongs. As for getting better metal, we get those from miners."

Fuin looked at the chain and shook her head. "No it is already oxidizing more than will be good for making a weapon or armor the chain is probably the best and will make a good hammer which needs to be at least mid quality metal, there are levels of quality with iron and steel. You need the best iron and steel to make a armor or a sword. If it can't be heated properly and tempered it won't harden right and will bend. This metal while it's alright to work with - won't temper or harden right." Fuin picked up the chain and another piece of iron that was rusted, it looked like a broken spoon handle or something like that. "The easiest way to tell how high quality a metal is is to heat it. If the pieces are the same size they will heat at different rates, the poor iron will heat faster and the best quality will take a while."

Laurelin the Golden
Laurelin the Golden
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@Revered Grandmother
Calaerdis




September 4, 2615 - TA
Minas Tirith - Second Circle


Cala smiled slightly, feeling a bit better about her tools. She listened with much curiosity as Fuin explained about the metals, and as she spoke about the different metals heating at different rates, an expression of realization came across her face. "Oh! That explains it then!" She said excitedly. "I always wondered about that! Why different things got to different colors at different times..." She thought back to those nights years ago when she used to sneak and toss things into the fire at nights, to watch them heat and experiment with how long it would take each thing to reach yellow, red, white, and any other colors it might achieve, all without ever letting the blacksmith know she was doing so.

Realizing she'd spoken that out loud, she blushed faintly. "I... used to experiment a bit, but I never could figure out any reason for why some stuff heated up different than others, when they looked about the same in size." She explained. "I..um, did all that when the smith was gone home for the night, so he wouldn't yell at me for sleeping in his workshop." She added. "I didn't want him to run me out again.. it was cold outside." She still remembered those cold nights she and Radaron spent, when he was much younger, and they'd had no home to sleep in. The nights when she couldn't get them into the warm smith shop had been the worst.. but the nights they'd spent inside, where the coals still held some warmth, those had been the nicest. She remembered coaxing them back to life, and then scouring the shop for various little pieces of scrap metal to experiment with, which wouldn't be missed if it got ruined somehow. Those had been...interesting times, to say the least.

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