Challenge: Tree Challenge - Leaves, Trunk // Sap
Characters/Pairing: Almarian (Aldarion's mother), Veantur (Almarian's father); Ancalime (Aldarion's daughter), Beregar (Aldarion's father-in-law) // Isildur, Elendil, Anarion
Warnings: troubled families // general doom.
Book/Source: Unfinished Tales, Silmarillion (Akallabeth)
Disclaimer: The Professor wrote; I squeezed in a footnote
A/N: Hoping to make the series slightly more coherent: another drabble about oiolaire (the Bough of Return), another about the White Tree, and another (sort of) about the woods of Nisimaldar in the west of Numenor. More Aldarion-centric than originally intended, but that does happen to be the period described in most detail in the sources.
The first time she carried the Bough of Return to her father’s ship, she got to wear a brand-new white dress. Her mother gave her a gentle push and she walked solemnly up the pier, balancing the big branch with its evergreen leaves.
‘Well done’, said her father, the great captain, and her mother smiled.
Now her husband has forbidden her to carry the Bough to her son. Having made his own sacrifice to duty, he expects sacrifice from others. Is she so fond, so foolish? Surely, the one thing worse than her son’s leaving is his not coming back?
‘My father has planted many trees,’ says Ancalime. ‘I have seen his plantations in the Hyarrostar.’
The look she gives her grandfather is calculating.
‘True,’ Beregar says carefully. ‘Aldarion has introduced forestry to Numenor. But our woods here are not the same as those. In the plantations, tree trunks are already destined to be ships’ masts—or rafters. Here trees grow at their own will. I think maybe there is need of both.’
‘I see’, says Ancalime.
Beregar’s heart sinks. His granddaughter is clever enough to follow any argument but all she listens for is: Whose side are you on?
The End is Not the End
(Sap: White Tree)
In Armenelos, the fire crackles. On its pyre, the White Tree begins to smoulder. The remaining sap, sizzling in the heat, evaporates, the flames catch and, as foretold, the blaze heralds the end of a line of Kings.
In Romenna, Isildur lies in a high fever. Elendil sits at his bedside, wringing out cloths in cold water, attempting to cool his son’s burning brow, while Anarion swears the physician to silence on the nature of his brother’s wounds.
Well hidden, the fruit that Isildur stole merely awaits the right time for the White Tree to grow and bloom again, elsewhere.