Character: King Elessar and OC
Source: Post-Ring War
Disclaimer: Tolkien created the wheel of Middle-earth... Kortirion’s small cog.
The tattoos were noted by the King’s groom, discreetly placed just behind the hip-bones, only visible when small-clothes were removed for the bath, the man couldn’t help but be curious. The work was fine; the best Rohirric ink if he be any judge... eventually curiosity overcame discretion.
“Are they m’lady’s symbols, lord?”
King Elessar smiled, placing his hands briefly on his hips.
“This one... the blossoms are a reminder of my northern home. Cherries were a favourite of ours... In a good year we’d surfeit on sweet juicy flesh... so we had to bathe to rid ourselves of the stickiness...”
Elessar remembered... Halbarad’s words before he’d journeyed south at Gandalf’s bidding. In the orchard, sweet cherries ripened against the south-facing walls of the garth; they’d hugged close, body to body, jaw to ear; Halbarad whispered ‘Speed you well’. Aragorn had clapped his shoulders, replied, ‘I’ll be back to see the cherries blossom...’ ...a favourite time of year.
They’d both admired their delicate beauty, all too easily ruined by frost or cruel winds. Halbarad had composed verses, written in his fine calligraphy, inked around with branches bearing blossoms and fruit together.
Strider had one copied, inked on his hip in remembrance.
The King drifted in reverie, his eyes unfocused, misted by thoughts of times past, a half-smile curving his lips. The groom stood patiently, holding the plain linen shirt his lord preferred to wear under the heavy silk robes his courtiers expected on occasions of state.
Eventually he cleared his throat gently, and the king came back to the tapestry-lined walls of Minas Tirith’s citadel, forsaking to memory pale blossoms tiered against northern stone walls.
“And the other, sir...?”
Estel’s hand brushed the slender, inked tower, wreathed by a knotted rope holding an anchor to its base.
“Ah... that’s another story...”