Characters: OFC, Arwen, Elessar
Source: Fourth Age/Post-Ring War
Disclaimer: Tolkien’s world, Kortirion’s little entrepreneurs…
Arwen smiled encouragingly at the hobbit-lass.
“I was working at Bree’s Prancing Pony when Khali arrived with her fellows. First off, I didn’t even know she was ‘she’, but when it came to the baths, Butterbur says I’m to be available like… We got to talkin’… ‘bout Gondor, and Rohan’s wonderful caves…
I’d left my family too; truth is… they couldn’t see why I had to go to Bree - didn’t seem no matter not tellin’ them I was off with thirteen dwarves to find my fortune…
Bit like old Mad Baggins I suppose... least ways, I’m not planning any dragon-slaying!”
The Queen turned to the dwarf, who stood her ground before the tall elf, holding her gaze, eye to eye. Khali swept a gracious bow. Arwen nodded.
“Lady, I come as kin to Gimli, son of Gloin, to make settlement, and establish my own trade.”
She took from her pack a fine shawl, shimmering metal links, wrapped around black linen threads in intricate patterns… and offered it to Arwen.
“With the help of my companions, I have discovered a new way of weaving metal. Not only is it beautiful, but the denser designs will turn a blade.”
Arwen leaned forward.
Hild bowed swiftly, moving to hold the shawl out to show the design.
“Khali was making her ribbons all of metal, but I reasoned those ladies as could afford it wouldn’t want to look too military… And I showed her the linen mesh I make. Strong see? But it drapes like finest silk… if I might make so bold…”
She placed it over Arwen’s arm… it hung graceful as a fall of water.
“It is beautiful,” admitted Arwen, “but why show me?”
Melleth spoke, “M’lady, they hoped, by gifting this… the Court’s ladies might follow suit and buy their own…”
That evening, Arwen admired her new shawl’s heavy, sinuous drape in the mirror. Elessar approached her from behind…
“Beautiful as always, my lady.”
Arwen turned with a smile, “A new fabric. I believe your Melleth…”
“She found the makers, a hobbit, a dwarf and a rohir…”
Elessar raised an eyebrow.
“Yes, I was surprised too. But I agree with the Woman – it’s an unusual enterprise, and to endorse such co-operation is good. And… it is a lovely shawl.”
“Fortunate they found an advocate.”
Arwen smiled wryly, “More likely she found them... your spy-mistress has eyes everywhere.”