ost_in_edhil: (MEFA09 Second Place: Races: Cross-cultur)
[personal profile] ost_in_edhil
For Surgical Steel's birthday. Two women -- a mortal and an elf -- meet for the first time when the elven-smith sustains an injury which the mortal surgeon then treats. In spite of differences between their peoples, the two women gain an appreciation for one another.

Warning for a couple of salty expletives from the elven-smith and for a medical examination (nothing graphic).

MEFA09 2nd CC



This story -- a blend of the Pandë!verse and Steel!verse -- started out from Mélamírë's point of view (Mélamírë appears in Risk Assessment, The Jinn, and retrospectively on occasion in The Elendilmir), but somehow switched to Serindë's. That's a lot of chutzpah on my part, "writing" another's OFC, but somehow, the surgeon grabbed me. This speaks to the strength of this well-crafted OFC. Hopefully, I have done her justice. And as always, this serves as an exercise for me to think about Mélamírë's character for the nascent novel. Plus, in spite of their differences, these two women are birds of a feather.

Here's the excerpt from The King's Surgeon 'verse that inspired the following short story.

Someone has made off with about half my needles, she thought. I’ll have to find someone who has half a clue to make more curved ones for me.

~ Serindë, Royal Wedding.






~~~~~~~~



Wood and metal snapped with a sharp retort when the trebuchet’s beam shattered. Metal and splinters of wood flew through the air. Those around it ducked, but the one closest to the machine could not avoid one missile.

“Morgoth’s balls!”

She clasped her hand over her inner forearm moments after the chunk of metal struck her skin. She was not certain which language she had used to blurt out that curse. No matter. It was just a scrape. She flexed the fingers of her left hand. Yes, they still worked so the nerves and tendons must be intact. There was no reason that she could not continue to work. Then hot fluid oozed between her fingers. She lifted her hand. A deep laceration gaped open. This was no trivial wound.

“My lady...”

She turned swiftly to meet the eyes of Haldorn, the chief engineer.

“It is nothing. Are any others injured?”

“No, just you, Saeldes.” Haldorn glanced down at the blood -- her blood -- that now stained the stone of the wall-walk. “I know your kind is stronger than mine, but that is a serious wound. Please. Go get it treated at the Houses of Healing. You can come back that much sooner. Ask for Sardos. He will know what to do.”

She opened her mouth for an acidic response to this mortal's assessment of her constitution but stopped herself, realizing it would not only be boorish but also empty. She was injured -- a new hurt added to the recently healed wound that she had suffered a few weeks ago, thanks to a poorly chosen route.

She turned and gazed out over the plain toward the ruined city on the river. She saw what was even now being built at an amazing pace: great siege engines, small from this distance, but visible to her sharp eyes. She calculated heights, lengths of levers and the size of counterweights. The things were massive. They would be able to strike from well beyond the range of Minas Tirith’s engines. She wondered about other materials, knowing what he would surely use, and silently cursing the fact that she had found nothing with which to formulate explosives in this city that had sat passively for so long on Mordor’s threshold.

Many people of this city complacently assumed their defense lay in the marvelous stonework of their walls, and indeed the craft of Númenor was apparent in them: high and thick, the outer face of the walls hard, dark and smooth. Steel and fire could not break them. Only a cataclysm of the very earth beneath their foundations might bring them down.

The walls of Minas Tirith cannot be breached, the Men of Minas Tirith said. She shook her head. Her people had thought the same in Ost-in-Edhil, and their machines had been in far better repair and could hurl missiles with greater force and trajectory than those of Minas Tirith. That hadn’t stopped him. And if he was determined to break the defense of the Tower of the Guard, these ill-maintained trebuchets would not suffice. Besides, he had other weapons at his disposal, more powerful and effective than any engine of war: hunger and fear.

How had she ended up here in a city of Men that would soon be under siege? She knew the answer to that: impulse and reckless self-confidence. The wisdom of the Eldar, she had heard Men say in reverence of her folk again and again. Didn’t they know their lore well enough to realize how rash her people could be, that they were just as prone to anger, pride and deceit as Men? Her own judgment was not so sound, she admitted as much.

Indeed beyond all reason, she had been unable to ignore the indefinable voice that had rousted her from her comfortable hiding place of so many years. Nor could she ignore the tidings brought to Bharat by the two messengers -- Morinehtar and Romestamo -- whom Lord Rama immediately admitted past the guarded borders of Bharat and had welcomed as his allies and brethren. These two Fays in Men’s form had told her that the One Ring had resurfaced and that her unique knowledge of its maker was desperately needed in the northwest of the world.

She had been inclined to turn away from them. There was nothing she could offer against Sauron's drive for domination of the West other than hollow counsel. She doubted herself profoundly, the buried memories of horrific betrayal threatening to resurface and tear at her again. She was certain the Wise of the West already had access to more measured advice. She would make no difference at all. She had lived a good life here under Lord Rama's protection. Why should she leave it?

It was then that the voice of the dying man spread from her dreams and into her conscious thought. Release me, he pleaded. Release me and give me peace.

So she had taken heed of Morinehtar and Romestamo’s message but had said nothing of the dying man’s voice. She left her comfortable life in Bharat, its demon guardians allowing her passage through the perilous mists that shrouded its borders. She had also left Lakshman and an untouched crimson wedding sari – his last gift to her -- discarded in her chambers.

She had made her way back to what she knew and for what she had yearned for over thirty yéni: her destroyed homeland – now empty of any folk, mortal or Firstborn -- and then on to the vale that lay north of it. Rumors had spoken of Imladris and those who dwelt there, among them one whom she loved and had never forgotten. He had walked in her dreams all those years, even when she had lain in the arms of another, but what if he, who could have any man or woman at his beck and call, had set her memory aside?

It was on the high moors that her lover, the one she had been torn from all those years ago, had found her searching for the valley. He had been riding forth on an errand when they had sensed one another in the black night, pulled together like two stars in orbit. He had waited for her beyond all reckoning.

They had discarded the delicacies of ritual that required others' witness, but instead spoke the ancient vows under the cold stars and then collapsed onto the bracken in fierce union, desperate for one another after years of separation, long even for their kind. Now husband and wife, they parted again: he rode away to his task while she made her way to the vale, drawn by the power of Vilya, which now covered the valley with the most subtle of shifting glamours. Elrond welcomed her beyond all expectation and hope. She had fallen into his kind embrace and wept like a child.

She should have settled into the marvelous forge that Sámaril, Thornangor and the others had constructed from Tyelperinquar’s plans. She should have continued to work with Thorno – as affable and brilliant a student as he had ever been -- to forge the hauberks and helmets for the small force of Dúnedain and the Eldar who prepared for this war. She should have been content in her new husband’s arms when she was not working.

But she was not content: the voice of the dying man haunted her. The presence of the Ring made the voice worse, and the aura of the Ring itself was pure torture. After the Fellowship left the valley, the perian bearing the awful temptation away, she had heaved a mental and physical sigh of relief, but the dying man’s voice became even more urgent and heartrending. She had no idea who he was, but somehow, she knew she had to find her way to the Tower of the Guard. So she followed impulse, leaving both the forge and her marriage bed, writing a note of love and promise to return. How angry her husband must be with her, well, she could not begin to guess.

“Saeldes, you must seek help! Here, Bellion! Take her to the Houses of Healing.” The urgency in Haldorn’s voice brought her back to the present.

She glared at the chief engineer. “I have no need of an escort.”

“But you will have one nonetheless.”

Bellion, a young journeyman-smith, stood by while she tore off the edge of her already ragged tunic and bound the wound. They set off, walking up the street toward the sixth circle of the city.

In a response as natural as her own breath, she adapted to those around her so that she would not stand out. Likely an exercise in futility, she thought, as others saw a tall young man holding the arm of a woman, clad in men’s clothing, who was not much less than him in height. That alone garnered some looks. Very few women, children and the aged remained in the city, almost all having been evacuated. She examined her makeshift bandage. It was soaked with blood and dripping again.

Spots swam before her eyes. She put more pressure on the wound.

“It is not much farther, Saeldes,” assured Bellion.

She considered using her deepest arts to anneal tissues and clamp blood vessels, but that would deplete her reserves further and put her at risk. Yet she felt so weak. The voice whispered, Be strong. Do not leave me. She felt a little better then. Whoever he was, he needed her. Perhaps the dying man was in the Houses of Healing?

Through a fog she saw the great doors and heard a commotion. Bellion sat her down on a bench. She leaned back against a hard stone wall. Mists clouded her eyes so she shut them against the confusion. Sounds became muffled and distant. She heard people talking. Bellion’s anxious voice calling for assistance. Then a male voice and a woman’s. Funny names: Fish and Needles exchanged in a brisk but familiar manner. She had lost more blood than she thought. She retreated further into her mind, slowing her heartbeat and conserving her strength. Then she felt a hand lift her arm, and an authoritative voice spoke to her.

Ammë?” she said, her mind enmeshed in a hazy dream of her childhood.

“No, I am not your mother,” the no-nonsense voice replied out of the haze. “I am your surgeon.”

The wolfishly thin woman with the scarf bound tightly over her head pushed back strands of dark hair from her patient’s forehead. She swept her shrewd eyes over her charge, quickly taking inventory of what she saw: fine-boned, long-fingered hands battered by work; a ring on each forefinger, gold on the right, silver -- no, mithril -- on the left; a man’s tunic over trousers; long legs ending in heavy work boots. The thick plait of almost black hair together with a diamond stud in the side of her nose and gold hoops piercing her ears made the surgeon wonder if this woman was an Easterling. But the pale smooth skin beneath smears of grease spoke of northern peoples. Too pale, the surgeon thought. She has lost a lot of blood.

Then her patient opened her eyes. The surgeon sucked in her breath when she saw the silvery-grey irises, ringed with sooty borders, that somehow captured light, making her patient’s eyes look as if stars had fallen into them, a disconcerting effect in an otherwise very human face.

“You are Firstborn.”

“Yes. I bleed red, too.”

The surgeon snorted, but was relieved to hear the sarcasm in the elf-woman’s voice. A good sign.

“I know that. Come then. Let’s stitch you up.”

She put her hand under her patient’s arm and helped her to her feet. In spite of the blood loss, the elf-woman still had some strength. Another good sign. It would make her job that much easier.

“I would ask why the hell any woman remains in the city, but what on Eru’s green earth is an elven-woman doing here?”

“The same thing you are. Helping as needs must.”

“Whatever you say, whoever you are.”

“Náryen. Istyanis Náryen. And you. Who are you?”

“Serindë.”

Serindë? You don’t say!” The elven-woman laughed, a melodious sound that made others turn their heads to stare at the unlikely pair who made their way to a well-lit corner of the triage room which now was quiet, waiting for the storm that would inevitably crash down upon it with screams and gore.

“In fact I do say. That is my name. You find it so amusing?”

“No, it’s a fine name. It’s just that...well, how shall I put this? It’s a family name. All too fitting, I suppose, that a Serindë should stitch my wound.”

Without being asked, Náryen unfastened her filthy tunic and pulled it off. Against her skin she wore a chemise of gossamer-fine fabric that left little to the imagination of what it covered, but the elven-woman was unconcerned. Serindë noted the muscles that rippled in the elf’s wiry arms. This woman was accustomed to hard work.

“You will wish to examine me,” Náryen stated nonchalantly.

“That I will. It’s nice to have a cooperative patient.”

“My mother was a healer. I know the drill.”

Serindë could not help but smile. The few elves she had encountered had been remote beings, detached from mortals: human but Other. Ethereal but creepy, too. This woman, though, other than those damned strange eyes, she was more down to earth somehow.

Serindë bound the tourniquet above the wound before she unwound the blood-soaked cloth. The bleeding had slowed.

“You’re lucky,” said the surgeon. “A little farther in and your ulnar nerve and artery would have been severed. How are you feeling?”

“Simply wonderful.”

Serindë’s mouth cocked into a wry smile. “Your humor’s still intact. Now let’s put the rest of you back together.”

“Have at it...Needles.”

Serindë arched a brow at that. Through her pain, the elf’s eyes danced with a mischievous glint.

“Who told you my nickname?”

“I overheard you and the Warden – that fellow you called ‘Fish'.”

“Ah yes, the keen eyes and ears of the elves. This will sting a little.” Serindë dabbed the wound and the surrounding skin with cloth soaked in a solution of iodine and alcohol. Náryen burst out.

“Námo’s cold cock, but that hurts!”

“Haven’t heard that one in a while. Sounds so elegant in your tongue.”

Náryen snorted, partway between a laugh and a gasp of pain.

“Bronwen,” Serindë called to her nurse. “I am ready for the coca-leaf infusion. And the tincture of poppy, too.”

“Yes’m.” The girl stepped forward, her eyes wide as saucers as she looked at the elven-smith.

“You may wash the wound with the coca, but I do not need the fumella,” said Náryen.

“It will help ease the pain. I must stitch deep, Istyanis. I know your folk are strong but you are not made of stone.”

“I have no need.”

“Whatever you say.”

Serindë dabbed the wound with the coca-leaf infusion.

“Are you ready?”

“I am ready.”

Serindë pierced tough integument with the thin curved needle. Náryen breathed deeply, in and out, and remained calm and quiet while she stitched the tissues. Again, Serindë appreciated her patient’s cooperation, but reminded herself that not all had the vaunted discipline of the Firstborn.

“So I have to ask again, what in the hell are you doing here?” Serindë pulled another suture through tough fascia.

“I am a smith, an engineer as some of your folk might call me. I’m here manning the war-engines – repairing them, hopefully improving them a little. Your city’s trebuchets are sadly lacking.”

My city’s?” Serindë frowned, the injustice of her expulsion from this city thanks to Denethor's machinations still stinging, but she remained fixed on her work. “I can tell you who let the city defenses deteriorate.”

“I know. But even so, their condition is deplorable. They could be so much better. Their design is inferior so the trajectories are poor.”

“We mere mortals do not have your gifts.” Damned arrogant Elves. So superior even when they are not trying. The elven-smith did not take offense, but countered:

“Ah, but you do. We are not so different, you and I.”

Serindë continued to stitch together the edges of the outer dermis. Her patient flinched a few times. Ha! So she is not invulnerable!

Serindë cleaned the wound again and taking the clean white bandages and batting from Bronwen, she wrapped Náryen’s forearm.

“Now let’s take a look at the rest of you for good measure,” said the surgeon. Immediately, her eyes fell on the angry red scar near the elven-woman’s shoulder just below the clavicle. “This little wound on your arm isn’t the first injury you’ve received of late.” Náryen hissed when Serindë probed the area around the scar.

“An orc-spear. It’s a long story.”

Under her expert fingers, Serindë felt the subtle signs of knitting bone.

“That spear broke your collarbone. Who repaired this?”

“A healer in Lothlórien.”

“He or she did a fine job.”

“He. A master healer. A surgeon like you.” Náryen gasped a little when Serindë kneaded the scar tissue, finding no signs of keloid formation. “Trained by my mother in Beleriand. He followed her to Eregion.”

Eregion?”

“Yes. A very long time ago.”

“Something of an understatement,” quipped Serindë. She continued her examination, listening Náryen’s breathing and the thud of her steady heartbeat, a heart that had beat many thousand times more than her own. Serindë shivered a little at the thought. When she nudged the fabric of Náryen’s chemise aside, she glanced at the elf-woman’s breasts. Now she knew why the elven-smith had refused the poppy.

“All’s in order,” she said. “And I suppose you know that you are pregnant.”

“I know, but my husband does not as yet. I will assume your confidence as my healer.”

“Of course you have that. Goes without saying. It’s hardly an issue given that I don’t know your husband. But I will say you are a cipher, too.” Serindë ticked off a list on her fingers: “A woman elven-smith who is manning the war engines of Minas Tirith, was wounded by an orc-spear, who is about three months pregnant, was harbored in Lothlórien, hails from lost Eregion, and has a diamond stud in her nose and pierced ears like women of the East. I would say that you must have one hell of a story, Istyanis Náryen.”

The elven-woman chuckled while she pulled on her tunic and belted it. Her movements were careful, but the color had already returned to her face.

“Indeed I do. If we get through this mess, I will tell it to you.”

“I would gladly listen to your story, Istyanis...if we get through this mess.”

“Please call me Mélamírë.” Náryen fastened the top hook of her tunic. “That is what my mother named me. You made me remember her today, and I appreciate that.”

Well, now wasn’t that something? She had given her mother-name -- the amilessë -- to Serindë. That was an uncommon gift, if Serindë remembered her lore.

“I thank you, Mistress Serindë, for your skill...” The smith took three steps before Serindë grabbed her good arm, staying her.

“Oh, no you don’t! You must rest before you return to those machines.”

“No, I am fine. I will take my leave now.”

“You apparently did not hear me right the first time with that keen elvish hearing of yours. You must rest.”

For a moment, those eyes became even more disturbing when something flared within the elf-woman. But Serindë did not flinch.

“Damnitall! I said, you must rest. I will not have my patients who should otherwise recover dropping over in a heap. Bronwen will get you some juice and a sweet.”

“Very well. I suppose I ought to listen to my healer’s wisdom.”

“You damn well ought to. Come, I’ll show you to the garden. I think you will like it there.”

With Bronwen in tow, carrying a glass of orange juice and a pastry, Serindë guided her patient to the garden of the Houses of Healing with its beds of medicinal herbs and flowers and its soothing sounds of water that flowed from a fountain into a wide marble basin. Mélamírë drank the juice and munched on the pastry but refused to sit down on one of the stone benches. She wandered along the beds, admiring the variety of plants, naming each one precisely and peppering Serindë with questions regarding their formulations. Yes, this is the daughter of a skilled healer, no doubt about that, thought the surgeon. She wondered where the smith picked up her aptitude for engineering and other like craft. Her father perhaps?

When chastised again that she should rest, Mélamírë obliged only by leaning against the wall on the eastward face of the garden. Even if she would not sit down, Serindë felt assured that her patient would not faint, judging by the color that had returned so rapidly to the elven-woman’s face, and the increased vigor of her demeanor. Mélamírë was likely humoring her by remaining in the garden, but that didn’t matter. Better safe than sorry.

The elven-smith gazed out over the plain, out to Osgiliath and beyond. She began to chant verses in sing-song Quenya, the old language of lore, which flowed from her tongue as easily as the patois of Dol Amroth’s did from Serindë. But the master healer knew exactly what she said.

Elessar? You know Aragorn?”

“And you know my mother tongue.” The smith smiled. “I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, you are Dúnadaneth...Númenórean.”

“You see that in me. Not all do.”

“I once knew many of your people. In fact, I was in love with one. He died at sea. Otherwise, I might have had a mortal husband.”

This woman really must have a story to tell! Serindë stared at the smith.

“Now about your tale...well, no, that will have to wait,” the surgeon said. “But I must ask, if you do not mind, how do you know Thorongil? We are close. He’s like a brother to me, and my husband is his kinsman. Named my son after him.”

“Ah! Then you know him better than I. Certainly longer. We met when he was in Imladris with the others, the ones Elrond named to..." Mélamírë hesitated, "...to a group of companions. If he comes to the city’s aid, you will see his new blade. I forged that for him.”

“The Blade that was Broken?”

“You know of it?"

"Yes, I know the legend of Narsil."

"The blade has been made whole again by my hands.”

The veil of the mundane dropped away from the elven-smith then, and Serindë, whose Númenórean blood still carried the faint notes of the Firstborn and the Fays, saw a vision of fire, molten metals, and a shining sword with runes tracking across its surface. Something else stirred within the elf-woman, something strange, even frightening: Serindë perceived the heat of an elemental spirit of fire as capable of destruction as it was of creation. Sensing the surgeon's rising fear, Mélamírë cloaked what lay within her and became an ordinary woman again.

“Let us hope he comes soon,” said the smith. Mélamírë then turned away from the terrace, stretching her good arm but keeping the bandaged one by her side. “You have my gratitude, Mistress Serindë. If we get through this, I’d like to speak to you more. I think you also have, as you say, a hell of a story to tell.”

“I might at that,” said Serindë. “Come back tomorrow to have Bronwen change the dressings. She can remove the stitches, too, when you are healed.”

“I will do that.”

The elven-smith left, but a week hence, just before the Host of the West departed Minas Tirith to march to the desolate plain of the Morannon, Serindë found a packet of muslin lying on her desk. A small folded piece of parchment lay by it. She picked up the note. In flowing Tengwar script, the note read:

For my good broideress,

I humbly offer you these tools of the trade. I believe your skill is worthy of these.

Signed, your grateful patient,

Mélamírë


Serindë smirked. There was nothing humble about the Istyanis.

She opened up the muslin envelope to find six curved needles in descending sizes. She extracted one, turning it over in the light. A small mark within the head of the needle caught her eye, a subtle mark, removed where it would not irritate skin, but visible to identify its maker. It was a tiny eight-pointed star in the form of a compass rose. A thrill shot down Serindë’s spine when she recalled the elven-smith’s reaction to her name, and a connection was made.

"Oh, sweet sanity...” she whispered, inspecting the other needles, all bearing the mark of the Fëanorian star. Oh, yes, if they got through this mess, she would hear this smith’s tale.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




I'm making an assumption that Serindë, by virtue of her marriage to Halbarad and friendship with Aragorn, is aware of the name Elessar and of Narsil.

I am of the non-pointy school of elvish ears. ;^)

Saeldes: the Sindarin equivalent of Istyanis which, in turn, is Quenya for "learned woman" a.k.a. "professor."

fumella (also humella) (Q.) opium poppy

I love mixing mythologies, so heads up for a reference to the Ramayana, the great epic of India. "Bharat" (also called Sakal an-Khâr) in my 'verse is Middle-earth's equivalent of India. See The Jinn for a bit more background in my 'verse.

Morinehtar and Romestamo are the Blue Wizards who went to the East. See HoMe, Peoples of Middle-earth. JRRT's later writings on these guys appeal to me.

Date: 2008-12-27 01:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lame-pegasus.livejournal.com
Brilliant. I'm absolutely speechless.

Date: 2008-12-27 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ost-in-edhil.livejournal.com
Thanks so much for having a look, bg. Writing an OFC within the Tolkienian framework is risky business, but I like to think I have no fear. :^) It was very entertaining to blend 'verses, too.

Date: 2008-12-27 08:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lame-pegasus.livejournal.com
Writing an OFC within the Tolkienian framework is risky business...

Oh, I know. And your elven smithy is a glorious example of how this can actually work.
Edited Date: 2008-12-27 08:00 am (UTC)

Date: 2008-12-27 06:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elfscribe5.livejournal.com
Hey Pande, I really enjoyed this. Strong women characters are a rarity in LOTR fanfic, as you well know. I liked these two.
Cheers,

Date: 2008-12-27 04:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pandemonium-213.livejournal.com
Thanks, 'scribe! Mélamírë's ruminations in the beginning are something of a sketch to serve as a backdrop of why she's there. For the future storyline, each one of those paragraphs serves as a seed crystal for an entire chapter (or so), but this was the only way I could figure out how to put things in context.

My take on the paucity of strong female characters in LOTR fan fic is that authors are often afraid to write them for fear of being subjected to the dreaded pejorative "Mary Sue." Sure, a lot of young writers may gravitate toward that particular characterization, and I say, let them enjoy it! I think such characters serve a purpose. Also -- let's face it -- there is not an abundance of named canonical women in Tolkien who are written as fully as some of the male characters are.

That said, there are many excellent interpretations of female canonical characters out there, among them (and I list these because I am familiar with them - I know there are more) Keiliss's Galadriel, Dawn & Rhapsody's respective visions of Nerdanel, Dawn's Lúthien ("An Ordinary Woman") and Eärwen ("Work of Small Hands"), Oshun's ("Princess and the Horse Lord") and Juno-Magic's (Lothiriel: Tenth Walker) wonderfully divergent visions of Lothiriel. I'll also add that although Gandalf's Apprentice's version of Arwen is a supporting character to the protagonist, she is nonetheless fascinating. In G.A.'s works (Sword of Elendil, Arwen in the Afternoon), Arwen definitely carries the aura of the Sidhe: perilously sexual.

As a dyspeptic old lady reading Tolkien again, the lack of so many well-realized female characters hit me hard. There are so many women that exist in Middle-earth as sub-textual ghosts (as Dwimmordene put it -- such a great term), e.g, the wives of Maglor, Caranthir and Curufin; Elros' wife; the wives of Elendil, Isildur and Anárion; the "many daughters" of Aragorn and Arwen. Granted, Tolkien had an abundance of characters in his world and thus likely did not have the time and energy to name them all. Yet I feel like an apologist when I say that. I mean, Elros' wife was the mother of a freakin' dynasty fer cryin' out loud and she was not named. The same could be said for the women of the House of Elendil: just anonymous brood mares. Obviously, I have rather strong opinions on the matter, and part of these are influenced by non-fictional writings from and about the original author (his letters and other accounts).

Upon stumbling into Tolkienian fan fiction, I learned that OFCs were frowned upon and considered anathema by many. So that made me want to write them all the more. [*evil chortle*] Some are characterizations of those sub-textual ghosts, the wives of Elendil and Isildur, for example. Mélamírë is my created vehicle for fictionalized commentary on some of JRRT's themes pertaining to technology, progress and the role of women in such matters. Yep. I have an agenda.

No matter what, there will be those among the gibbering masses who will rend their clothes and tear their hair, all the while shrieking "Mary Sue! Mary Sue!" whenever they encounter any female character that does not adhere to the Tolkienian rubrics of Canon™. To that, I say, "Feh." Give me an OFC like [livejournal.com profile] surgicalsteel's Serindë who has characteristics with which I can identify. I can only hope I can do as well with Mélamírë.

Heh. Who knew that your short and sweet remark would prompt this screed? :^D

Date: 2008-12-27 04:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elfscribe5.livejournal.com
A screed indeed. LOL. And yes, as much as I love Tolkien, there are certain things about his books that come from the 19th century, his attitudes about women among them. Thank heavens for Eowyn and Galadriel and maybe Luthien or there would be no strong women characters and even they have rather masculine traits that, in Eowyn's case she actually has to give up to become a proper woman and wife to Faramir - that whole I'll no longer be a shield maiden but the White Lady of Rohan and grow gardens and such. And you're right, for the most part the rest are invisible brood mares or silly like Ioreth.

I'm having to invent Elendil's wife out of whole cloth, including a name, but she will most definitely be a formidable woman.

And yeah, the dreaded Mary Sue. The level of anger Mary Sues elicit in many fans always made me worried that there was misogyny among our ranks. Strange that it comes from women. And who doesn't put a certain amount of themselves in their lead characters? Although, having said that, blatant self-insertion in the form of Wonder Woman is usually annoying in those fics -- probably because it is so often poorly done. But you know, many romance novels do the same thing. So, where was I? Oh yeah, keep writing your strong Middle Earth women.
Edited Date: 2008-12-27 05:02 pm (UTC)

Date: 2008-12-27 05:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pandemonium-213.livejournal.com
I'm having to invent Elendil's wife out of whole cloth, but she will most definitely be a strong woman.

Squeeeee! I'm really looking forward to reading that! I can't imagine Elendil's wife as being anything other than a powerful woman. You know, all it took for me to take inspiration for Elendil's wife was a bit by Gandalf's Apprentice about "the queen's falcons" and the character burgeoned from there. I hope we're starting a trend. :^D

When I read "The Lost Road" and the conversation between Elendil and "Herendil" (who later became Isidur), I just about screamed..."Where's Elendil's wife? You know, Herendil's mother? Or did Herendil just bleb off of Elendil's thigh!?" All that said in the fashion of Lewis Black.

The level of anger Mary Sues elicit in many fans always made me worried that there was misogyny among our ranks.

I suspect a green-eyed monster of that ilk lurks beneath the vitriolic reactions.

As long as it's written well, I'm happy to read darn near anything, including Bill the Pony/Shadowfax slash.

Date: 2008-12-27 05:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elfscribe5.livejournal.com
"including Bill the Pony/Shadowfax slash" LOL! It exists. You know that, right?

Date: 2008-12-27 05:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ost-in-edhil.livejournal.com
*Snort*! Yes. I even found it and read it. It was a hoot! I can't recall whose LJ hosted the thread (maybe [livejournal.com profile] morethmusing, but we were all carrying on about interesting pairings. I think you might have mentioned a fic about Legolas/Treebeard? :^D

Date: 2008-12-27 05:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elfscribe5.livejournal.com
I did. And even more modestly, my own Legolas/Smaug offering. *snicker* Not to worry, it was not at all squicky.

Date: 2008-12-27 06:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ost-in-edhil.livejournal.com
That was it! Smaug and Legolas!

I always wanted to see a Smaug/Shelob pairing. I'm certain that would entail a significant amount of bondage.

Date: 2008-12-27 06:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elfscribe5.livejournal.com
Smaug/Shelob oh god, why do I have visions of a Japanese Godzilla type movie - complete with high pitched screams, blasts of fire, and much waving of hairy legs. LOL!

Date: 2008-12-28 03:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] surgicalsteel.livejournal.com
Not the same, I know, but I lurked in the HP fandom for a while and once found Hagrid/Aragog and Hagrid/Giant Squid.

It was so truly awful that I couldn't stop reading (one of those 'this can't really be that bad, can it?' moments, like staring at a car wreck) and needed to bleach my brain afterwards.

Date: 2008-12-27 05:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elfscribe5.livejournal.com
Oh gad, you've written Elendil's wife? I should have known that you've already gone where I'm merely musing at the moment. I'm sure yours is awesome. *g*

Date: 2008-12-27 06:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ost-in-edhil.livejournal.com
Ha! Great minds and all that. :^)

Yep, it's on the SWG: Moon of the Sea, and she also figures in my WIP, The Elendilmir. Raksha posted a nice story, This Distant Shore featuring Elendil's wife.

[livejournal.com profile] morethmusing mentioned something that created another fanged plot critter. It was something to the effect that the civil strife among Eärendur's (10th king of Arnor) sons which led to the divisions into Rhudaur, Cardolan and Arthedain would be something she'd like to see written (still searching for that one by Angmar & Elfhild, lethe). Moreth opined it would be something out of the War of the Roses. If I were a better historian, i.e., could blend in the political history of our primary world with the imaginary one, I might tackle it...and from the women's PoV!
Edited Date: 2008-12-27 06:08 pm (UTC)

Date: 2008-12-27 11:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lethe-lloyd.livejournal.com
That's so super! I can see why the recipient was so thrilled. There is such a sense of a weight of history behind your stories. This is a wonderfully vivid portrayal of two very strong women, ( yet not without their fears and self doubts ) both with their own unique histories.

Date: 2008-12-27 04:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pandemonium-213.livejournal.com
Thanks so much, Lethe! Like I said to elfscribe (buried in the midst of my ranting comment :^D), Mélamírë's recollections are quick and dirty summaries to put things in context and to me, read a bit too "larger than life" than I'd like. I hope to ground the story more by fleshing those out.

It was quite fun to write!

Date: 2008-12-27 04:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lethe-lloyd.livejournal.com
Mélamírë's recollections are quick and dirty summaries to put things in context and to me, read a bit too "larger than life" than I'd like.

In the best possible sense, I feel Mélamírë is a larger than life character, I am not sure I could feasibly see her otherwise, considering her life/background. If you had written her as very ordinary, in an attempt ( misguided I feel with your talent ) to avoid the pointy-finger of Sue! I don't think it would have sounded as realistic.

Yes, I bet it was fun to write :D

Date: 2008-12-27 04:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pandemonium-213.livejournal.com
If you had written her as very ordinary...

Heh. None of the women I keep company with in RL or on-line are ordinary so it probably is impossible for me to write an ordinary woman. :^D No, what I mean by larger-than-life are the sweeping descriptions in those paragraphs. I like to delve into the characters and their surrounding milieu. For example, I start thinking about Morinehtar and Romestamo, what they might look like (I'm thinking one has "golden skin & almond-shaped eyes," i.e., East Asian, and the other, Indo-Persian), what their story is, etc. Or what kind of curries Mélamírë might have encountered. :^)
Edited Date: 2008-12-27 04:54 pm (UTC)

Date: 2008-12-27 05:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lethe-lloyd.livejournal.com
No, what I mean by larger-than-life are the sweeping descriptions in those paragraphs. I like to delve into the characters and their surrounding milieu.

I love those sweeping descriptions, but I am also a huge fan of characters. Of course in a short story it's very hard to spend time on both.

Date: 2008-12-29 07:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lilith-lessfair.livejournal.com
This is wonderful! I am delighted to hear the Istanyis's voice since she has intrigued me in her appearances in your other works. I am greatly looking forward to reading more about her journal from Ost-in-Edhil to the East, her time in exile here and her return. Oh, it should go without saying but I'll say it anyway, that I am desperately curious as to the identity of the dying man (yes, yes, I'll wait.) and to know where Samaril is at this time, given that you mention Thorno being in Imladris but don't let us know whether or not Samaril still is there.
It's nice to see the tough cookie Melamire is; if anyone has reason to avoid the West with Sauron rising, she does, particularly when the construction of the siege equipment must remind her far too much of the destruction of her home and the loss of her family.
I also cannot wait to see what you do with her time in the East, given that one of my issues with Tolkien's world is the treatment of the lands and the peoples outside of the (colonized) west. But, of course, that is heretical me who has read Orientalism a few times more than I ought.
Looking forward to reading more.
Lilith

Date: 2008-12-29 11:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pandemonium-213.livejournal.com
Lilith! How nice to see you here!

Thanks so much for reading this and the kind words. I'll have to finish The Elendilmir (in which you'll find out what happens to Sámaril) before I plunge into Eregion but I figured I might as well put some bits and pieces here as I develop her character. And I'm so glad that you find her interesting. She's something of a vehicle for my ranting commentary on the issues of technology and progress in Middle-earth.

given that one of my issues with Tolkien's world is the treatment of the lands and the peoples outside of the (colonized) west.

Heh. As in orcs that are "...sallow, squint eyed, and like (to the Europeans) the less-handsome Mongolians..." and all the dark-skinned troops of the Enemy?

But, of course, that is heretical me who has read Orientalism a few times more than I ought.

Oh, that's excellent! Likewise, those unknown lands of Middle-earth have intrigued me -- and other authors -- a great deal. With regard to Orientalism, one of my closest friends originally hails from South India (Madras/Chennai). Like me, she has read a lot of science fiction and fantasy, mostly the latter (she's a major mystery fan, too) and enjoys Tolkien. She especially liked the concept of the Girdle of Melian. In turn, she has introduced me to tales from the sub-continent as well as contemporary Indian novelists. So, those might just have an influence on my interpretation of Tolkien's mythology. :^)

Here's another little piece that involves the Istyanis, told in something of a "faerie tale" voice: The Jinn.

And you have a LJ account! Will scurry over there shortly.

Again, thanks so much, Lilith!

Date: 2008-12-30 03:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lilith-lessfair.livejournal.com
Thank you. You've inspired the livejournal account; I've had many thoughts, as I've mentioned in another comment on your earlier story, on the issues you and others have raised about writing myth and history that I thought it was time to join the conversation. I've quite literally started and will add more later. I also agree that the Girdle is fascinating in so many ways. On one level, it has such a gendered component (girdle! and that it is used for defensive rather than offensive purposes and that Galadriel develops a girdle herself); but, on the other, Sauron himself has a girdle of sorts, but his is, not a little ironically, the physical landscape of his chosen home. I can't help but find that odd and intriguing.
Cheers, Lilith

Date: 2008-12-29 11:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shirebound.livejournal.com
Oh my, this is a magical tale. I love it when past, present, and future are woven together. Very well done!

Date: 2008-12-30 11:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ost-in-edhil.livejournal.com
Thanks so much for having a look, shirebound, and for the kind words! Likewise, I like tying the long histories of Middle-earth together and also stirring a bit of other mythologies into the mix with JRRT's. Mine's an alternate history that -- while not canon-compliant -- is canon informed, but still (I hope!) recognizable as Middle-earth.

~pandemonium_213

Date: 2008-12-31 03:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whitewave16.livejournal.com
Thanks for sharing this "Melamire" treat. I'm liking her more and more--she's really a remarkable character plus the Feanorian fancrone in me was so thrilled when I found out about her mother's ancestry. :-)

This "installment" answered some of my old questions but were immediately replaced (in a most pleasing way) by more new questions. All the characters are very interesting, including the Maiar who sheltered her. I'm definitely interested to know who her husband is and her grandfather, but I'm very willing to wait and see--it's part of the excitement for me.

I like how the Broideress is not intimidated with Melamire, just fascinated and curious. This makes me wonder how different things/events could have been if the Valar had not hauled off the First Born to Valinor. The Eruhini could have shared a lot of knowledge/experience despite the major difference in life span.

I would like to follow this story so I hope it's OK if I "friend" ost-in-edhil so I can read any updates right away?

Thanks again for sharing this.

Date: 2008-12-31 06:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ost-in-edhil.livejournal.com
Oh, squee! You found this!

Re: her grandfather. There are very major clues in the recent chapters of The Elendilmir, i.e., the references to Lake Helevorn & Uldor. As for the spouse, just watch for those hints and details. I expect you'll be able to guess. ;^) And if you do guess or absolutely can't wait for things to unfold, you (or anyone) can always shoot me an e-mail at docbushwellATgmailDOTcom.

The Broideress is a tough, smart woman -- a combat surgeon by training. Hers is a fascinating story, chock full of very cool cultural and historical backdrops. I highly recommend "The King's Surgeon." [personal profile] surgicalsteelThis makes me wonder how different things/events could have been if the Valar had not hauled off the First Born to Valinor. The Eruhini could have shared a lot of knowledge/experience despite the major difference in life span.

Squee again! That will be a major theme of this new novel, and is in fact the underlying premise of my alternate history. To rectify this, Aulë with Ulmo's support makes a proposal for a way of injecting creativity and the drive to create into mortal men since the elves are sort of petering out in M-e. Just imagine Aulë with his snazzy laptop, flipping it open to present (Valarian Powerpoint of course):

The Business Strategy Outline for Arda: How to leverage our expertise in interfering with humans*

He finishes his proposal. Manwë rubs his chin: "Radical, but intriguing." Yavanna promptly faints.

;^)

*Title courtesy of Moreth.

Date: 2009-01-01 06:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whitewave16.livejournal.com
Re: Melamire's grandpa
I have a guess but let me check out "The Elendilmir" again (just another excuse to re-read it again--yay!) I'll email you definitely when I need "back-up". ;-D

I've read "The King's Surgeon" and I just got hooked to another strong OFC! Thanks for the recommendation. I'll read more of her work in the coming days.

...That will be a major theme of this new novel, and is in fact the underlying premise of my alternate history

Yay! That would be something to look forward to!

...The Business Strategy Outline for Arda: How to leverage our expertise in interfering with humans*

LMAO! Come to think of it the Valar do remind me sometimes of "out-of-touch" Corporate or political big bosses--the real crusty ones who are narrow-minded. (Sigh) If only the Valar did not closet themselves in Valinor with the First-born, although this is why reading Tolkien fanfiction is so rewarding for me. ;-D

BTW, your repeated references to the "East" thrills me no end. Besides the self-serving fact that I'm from the East, I've always felt that the Good Professor has "neglected" it in a way and most "villanous" people seem to come from the East and yet major stuff must have happened there, esp. since the Elves and the First Men woke up in the East. It leads me to conclude that the people in the East must have been involved in some way (or not) during the Wars in the West through the different Ages.

And there are several Eastern "legends" (other than the Indian ones) about a "fair race" of immortals inhabiting mountains or forests. Closer to home, there's a legend about a "Luthienish" goddess who supposedly lives in a mountain (some 2 hrs from the capital) who sings and combs her hair a lot and helps mortals by giving them golden ginger roots. Eeek! Sorry for the long post. I'll shut up now.

Date: 2009-01-08 05:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morethmusing.livejournal.com
How can I not love this? Mél meets Serindë... Awesome :D And truly, you have no fear ;P

(Just, ya know, when they have an argument could you move breakable things out of their way? ... Like Minas Tirith, or Imladris.)

The whole bit about Mél's homecoming made me rather misty-eyed. How romantic was that? Although the voice of the dying man rather gives me the chills - maybe I read too much into it. (No, I doubt that... *shivers*)

And ballistics! We likes ballistics... Although we are horrified by the state of the ranged weapons. WTF! is Denethor thinking??? Hah. The film made me want to defend him. Your story makes me want to slap him ;P

Date: 2009-01-09 02:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ost-in-edhil.livejournal.com
Glad you liked it! It was not only fun but useful, too, since it gave me some ideas on how I might construct Eregion and hopefully keep it manageable.

How romantic was that?

There's something else that might amuse you. Here. Let me get a key...

On the ranged weapons, I actually poured over some text in The Return of the King. Just a brief comment in there about "engines" but it was clear Minas Tirith's didn't compare to Mordor's and that they were counting on those walls. I have to admit that of all the stuff in PJ's cinematic fan fic, I loved those trebuchets, even if they stretched things a bit there (not as bad as those fell beasts which make a bumblebee look aerodynamic).

My impression in the book!verse was that Minas Tirith was kind of going to seed, a fading economic power. ;^)

ETA: Yes, no fear here! :^D I had first read The King's Surgeon months ago, then skimmed through when I was reviewing it for MEFA, and again for this. But this last time pulled me in for a re-read. Now I'm looking at this with about a gazillion ideas. :^D
Edited Date: 2009-01-09 02:50 am (UTC)

Date: 2009-03-07 09:05 pm (UTC)
ext_79824: (Dragon Rose)
From: [identity profile] rhapsody11.livejournal.com
I am coming rather late to the party, my head full of speculations, pieces of the puzzle falling into place and all of that. I do also know I'd better not voice it, at the risk of spoiling... *waves at pandemonium*

This is a wonderful piece, and yeah just what I expected if those two female characters I both have grown to love in their own verses, finally meet.

This had me, silly as I am, beaming proudly:

“The Blade that was Broken...”

“...Made whole again by my hands.”


Of course a member of the Fëanorian house could have achieved this masterpiece, well okay perhaps Sam. Pandemonium you do have my immensely curious about Samaril's fate though.

Okay, you both have me hooked, I can't wait for the novel to come. :)

Date: 2009-03-11 01:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pandemonium-213.livejournal.com
Oh, good, you found this, too! There's never "too late" at this party! :^D

If you're itching to speculate but don't want to voice such guesses publicly, do feel free to g-mail. [livejournal.com profile] morethmusing, who rivals Tevildo for curiosity, sent a guess months ago, or rather, a methodical list of evidence and deduction for one particular character based on the many clues I have scattered around like bread crumbs. What a hoot! She honed right in on the answer, too. I prefer to let things build -- weave the characters together -- rather than just declaring something. That way I might actually lure the reader into believing (or half-buying into at best) my 'verse and its heresies.

Thanks so much for reading, Rhapsy!

But for Sámaril? I'm not sayin' a thing about him. :^)

Date: 2009-03-11 02:56 pm (UTC)
ext_79824: (Cheeky Charles)
From: [identity profile] rhapsody11.livejournal.com
I will drop you an e-mail, but I am going with instinct since I haven't kept track of those breadcrumbs :)

But for Sámaril? I'm not sayin' a thing about him. :^)

Please don't, last week as I checked in at the Lizard Council and pondered if I could help out by giving feedback, I noticed that you had a new chapter ready (I still haven't figured out how to jump in, so I'll probably lurk for a while). Of course I was so bouncy, but then I also realised that I still wanted to wait for it to go up at the SWG. It has become a lil' ritual when you update, complete with a cup of tea and my feet up!

Date: 2009-04-20 11:27 pm (UTC)
independence1776: Drawing of Maglor with a harp on right, words "sing of honor lost" and "Noldolantë" on the left and bottom, respectively (Default)
From: [personal profile] independence1776
I found this via Steel's link in her latest fic.

The wisdom of the Eldar, she had heard Men say in reverence of her folk again and again. Didn’t they know their lore well enough to realize how rash her people could be, that they were just as prone to anger, pride and deceit as Men?

*snickers* Far too true!

I love this! These two interact so well. You worked in wonderfully hints of what happened in Steel's 'verse. And from the hints you've given, Mélamírë certainly has a story to tell.

Date: 2009-04-21 01:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ost-in-edhil.livejournal.com
Thanks a million, Indy! This was a first attempt on my part at a crossover between our 'verses. I have a ways to go before Mélamírë's story unfolds in full, but I couldn't resist jumping ahead so that Serindë and Mélamírë could meet.

Yep, regarding the Elves, they're very bit as flawed as their mortal brethren.

On a completely different note, I adore Tim. :^)

Date: 2009-04-21 02:27 am (UTC)
independence1776: Drawing of Maglor with a harp on right, words "sing of honor lost" and "Noldolantë" on the left and bottom, respectively (Default)
From: [personal profile] independence1776
Well, if the jumping ahead results in stories like these! :D

Wish some fanficcers realized that… (And I truly am not being specific here. I blame not reading the Silm.)

Tim? Do you mean T-i-r-n?

Date: 2009-04-21 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ost-in-edhil.livejournal.com
Ack! Yes, I mean Tirn! Forgive me. I'll blame it on being a Monday. Anyway, Tirn is wonderful.

Once I have The Elendilmir finished (squees at comment you left -- thanks! Will respond later), I'll start in earnest on Eregion. I think I'll take a cue from Oshun's Maitimo and Findekáno arc and divide it into three or four novella length parts.

The very first chapter, partially written in rough draft, involves Elrond meeting a bedraggled Noldo dragged out of the cold north sea by mortal fishermen and who claims to be a shipwreck survivor, a passenger on a ship from Aman and an emissary from the Blessed Lands who is to bring "aid" to those of Middle-earth. I think you can guess who the survivor is. :^)

Date: 2009-04-21 03:09 am (UTC)
independence1776: Drawing of Maglor with a harp on right, words "sing of honor lost" and "Noldolantë" on the left and bottom, respectively (Default)
From: [personal profile] independence1776
It's okay! You just had me a little worried if I'd have to change it because it looks too similar to Tim, but I really like the name (it means watcher). I blame it being Monday as well. :P I'm glad you like him!

*grins*

o.O You are a cruel, cruel woman, you do realize, teasing me with these hints?

Date: 2009-06-22 10:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tiggersk8.livejournal.com
How on earth did I not leave a review when I read this the first time?

Bad Tigger...Very, very bad Tigger!!

I've really got to sit down one day and get caught up on your other tales, because Melamire just facinates me. That and the couple of times you've paired up w/Steel have just fueled that even more.

I *love* this and I can see why Steel would be thrilled w/this gift fic of yours. Both characters are not only strong willed and tough ladies, but both would be attracted to the other like moths to a flame. Both are outsiders in a way and both need a friend. They can also see a bit of the other in their own make up/characters.

As for the "dying man" after reading some of your work w/Steel, I have a sneaking suspicision who that might be. Someone w/a facination for Rings me thinks.... ;o)

Anyway...Couldn't beleive it when I was going through the comments that I wasn't among them, so thought I'd better fix that little boo boo.

And on that note...Off to see if what I've been wondering about the last week is the truth or not. I've been trying to work out/get on my recumbent stationary bike every night or when I can since January. Foot Surgery in mid April w/an air cast on for nearly a month and then two more weeks after that kind of put a damper on that, but I'm back at it again. Anyway...I have a feeling that both w/my new lung capacity and also ab muscles I didn't know I had before, that I might be able to sing some stuff I haven't been able to do in awhile.

I mean Broadway BTW. Such as Defying Gravity from Wicked and On My Own from Les Mis. Call it a hunch, but I have a feeling those high notes could possibly be easier than they used to be to hit.

I hope!! :o)

I've lost close to seventeen pounds so far, so it would be nice to know there's more benefits to all of than just looser clothing.

Not that that isn't a nice side effect of course. :oD

Oh and I'm a huge fan of both Tudor History and the show The Tudors. Every time I see rhaposdy's new LJ icon, all I can do is giggle at how very true that is. At least for the TV version of Charles Brandon. :oD

And on that note...(Hee!!)...Off to sing I go!!

Date: 2009-06-23 11:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ost-in-edhil.livejournal.com
Thanks so much, Tigger! I have sort of buried these stories here for the time being so I am not at all surprised that it wasn't so "visible" to you. I'm glad you enjoyed it and in particular, Mélamírë's character.

It's always a risky business to write an OFC in JRRT fandom because inevitably, squawks of "Mary Sue" will be heard, but I believe there's room for many types of OFCs in this fandom that fit within the context of Middle-earth. So, I was thrilled beyond measure when I first encountered Steel's Serindë during the MEFA competitions last year. As I read of Serindë's life, it dawned on me that she overlapped with my own OFC and that they had traits in common. I also see them as a vehicle for exploring what Men and the Firstborn have in common as opposed to what sets them apart.

On the dying man...your guess is probably spot-on. :^) I'm not one to immediately smack a reader over the head with the nature of connections among my characters, canonical or otherwise, and tend to build these things.

Hope those bones continue to knit and that the lung strength will let you warble out those high notes! :^D Thuringwethil II (my 18 year old daughter) sings, too, and begins her annual summer theater program for teens this week. She has been at me to take her to Wicked one of these days. We do have tickets to see Hair on Broadway (I saw it in 1970 o_O) next month.

I have yet to watch The Tudors although I suspect I'd like it! More often than not, I see the premium cable series on DVDs, like Rome, Deadwood, Dexter, etc.

Thanks again for dropping by and reading...and for the compliments!

Date: 2010-04-11 09:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crowdaughter.livejournal.com
Hi, there! I found this story through a link at LC and then a bit of browsing, and I really love it. One can see the sparks of intuitive understanding fly when Mélamírë and Serindë take stock of each other, here. Thank you for writing and sharing! :)

Date: 2010-04-11 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ost-in-edhil.livejournal.com
What a nice surprise, Aislynn! Thanks so very much for the compliments and for reading.

Yes, I don't advertise this little space all that much because it's still the part of the Pandë!verse under development, so I'm always tickled when folks find it. I'm really glad you liked this and truly gratified that you enjoyed the interactions of Steel's and my OFCs, a controversial species in Tolkienian fandom. :^)

I have some more stuff that's filtered because of the high risk of spoilers for future work (however, given that you've read my stuff on the LC, some of the revelations probably will not be a surprise), but if you're interested, "friend" ost-in-edhil and I'll send you a set of keys to the Vaults of the Mírdain.
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