Character: Aragorn/Estel and ocs
Source: Pre-Ring War
Disclaimer: Tolkien created the main characters and the place, Kortirion embroidered some bits around the edges.
Notes: A drabble each for: Code/Cypher: Recipe/Formula: Letter: Poetry
There was… an emptiness within him, a lack-lustre cast of mind that left Estel feeling dissatisfied with himself and the world in general. The worst of it was, he couldn’t name the reason, other than… nothing… there was no one thing wrong, just a malaise of spirit. Fea-sick, his brothers’ might say.
“Am I a mere cypher?” Estel murmured, “Something of no value but used to occupy a vacant place? Adar plays us all like pieces on a board. Am I any different?”
From a discreet distance, Lord Elrond watched, wishing he could unravel the secret code of Estel’s heart.
The whole thing was a recipe for disaster! How could he have been persuaded?
But Elrond knew exactly why – Lady Galadriel. He did not bow to her, she kept her realm, he his…but she’d foreseen some… influence upon Estel that was neither his, nor his daughter’s. Something needing to be played out, matters of heart and duty… and about the path Estel might have trod had he remained a simple captain like his many-times fore-fathers…
Elrond mentally re-examined the formula… destiny, an empty throne, coming darkness, his daughter’s happiness… nay, Middle-earth itself at stake…
He couldn’t be wrong… could he?
Estel had been pondering over the difficult letters he must write ever since he’d left Imladris. So much… so many thoughts, questions… recriminations? He’d said his goodbyes but there was so much else he couldn’t address… not then.
He’d travelled west with three companions, two had returned when they’d received news of where Estel would meet his new… family? …A day’s ride north of Bree. That evening, he and the heavily cloaked elf remaining with him sat in the shadows of Butterbur’s tap-room. Estel started to write a letter to send back… mustn’t think of it as ‘home’… not now.
The log-fire crackled cheerfully, horn-lanterns cast a golden glow, The Prancing Pony was filling, men of Bree, travellers, some Hobbits, the first Estel had seen… all enjoying Butterbur’s ale… carefully ignoring the two cloaked figures, one watching all from beneath his hood, the other writing rapidly and frowning.
A song broke out, soon accompanied by enthusiastic clapping.
“They’ve a rough poetry to them these men” his companion mused.
Estel looked up, beyond them, a young woman surreptitiously took a fine coat from the wall-pegs. Before the thief fled, their eyes met…
“And I must learn its verses,” said Estel softly.