I’ve been addicted to J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” for many years now. The book and movies have become classics for me, and I have even joined the computer game with the same name, in order to plunge even deeper in this fantasy world. This story is an attempt at creative writing and it is about my two characters in the game (after all, it is mostly role-playing and people should have a background). I will publish Part 1 first, since the whole story is too long for one post.
Disclaimer: Professor Tolkien owns the characters and locations in this short story. However, the two main characters (Muriel and Perenduin) are created by me.
This story began in the Third Age of Middle-Earth when the Darkness hasn’t spread all over the world yet. The White City of Gondor, though near to the Shadow, was still safe. However, as safe as a moth may be when it is flying to the fire… The citizens were hoping that the guards of the Citadel would protect them come what may and the nobles were preparing either to the siege or to death if the worst occurred – fleeing was not discussed, as this would be shame for anybody who cared about reputation.
…Muriel Amrodel of Gondor went out to the balcony of her room. The sun was rising in the east, lighting up the mountains around and the valley ahead. “Another reception tonight… Again! Why celebrating when danger is so near? Same faces, same conversations… But there may be some guardians invited, bringing the news about Osgiliath or Rohan…” Her heart was filling with hope, though on her face sadness laid. Alone. So alone! Her twenty-fifth spring – and still, no one dared yet to talk to her more than a moment, let alone invite her to dance or hold her hand. Her father’s character, his glory and position in the society prevented young men to seek Muriel’s company. It was told that Lord Arsael Amrodel was hard to make glad – no man he considered good enough to be by his daughter. She was his only child and his precious one, he only wanted the best for her (what father would not?) However, he did not pay attention at her wishes and hopes. Muriel’s mother Lady Mereniel would not do anything against Lord Amrodel’s will – her role in the family was minor, although she was herself from one of the noblest of Gondor’s houses. It was breaking her heart to see her daughter suffering in silence, but what could be done to change it?
In the evening festivities have started. The house of Amrodel was full of nobles and guardians who were sitting at the round table in the great hall drinking wine and discussing the matters of Gondor. Steward Denethor was also there, but his sons were not present – Faramir had been sent with a mission to Osgiliath, and Boromir had disappeared – no news had come from him for months. After dinner it was announced that the dances were to begin. For Muriel, however, it was not a reason for joy – in vain she was looking around for anyone who would ask her to join in a dance, though many young men were gazing at her with admiration and bowed deeply when she passed by. For she was, indeed, beautiful. She had dark brown wavy hair and green eyes, was neither short nor tall, walking with grace among the guests. Tonight she was wearing her favorite deep violet dress with silver ornaments which reminded one of the frost on the windows in winter.
She was standing by the wall, looking at dancing people when suddenly…
Muriel felt as if struck by a lightning – there was a man standing next to her, asking her something and he did not intend to leave. Her eyes widened in surprise, she was curious as to what would happen next.
“My Lady, let me introduce myself. Captain Perenduin of Gondor, at your service”.
“Captain?” she caught a breath before answering because her heart was now beating faster, this experience was new to her.
“I beg your pardon, if I am distracting you, my lady” continued the man. “But I noticed that something is troubling you. Such deep sadness on such a beautiful face…” he was looking right into her eyes and she felt a bit confused. Muriel did not know what to answer, though she realized that it was up to her now to send this stranger away or…
“Captain… Perenduin, you said? I haven’t seen you at our palace before. Are you new here in Gondor? You are also not yet accustomed with the rules of this house,” she replied, smiling politely. “Your way of talking is most strange, I find. It requires much courage, addressing somebody you have not been introduced properly to.”
“I am deeply sorry if I offended you, my lady,” Captain Perenduin said. “I dare not stay longer if my presence is annoying.”
Muriel was expecting this. Courage… But what else? Was there attention to her wish, though she has not pronounced it aloud? Obedience? She was looking at the captain with interest now. Probably in his forties, dark-haired, wearing fashionable costume in Gondor colors (dark-blue and silver). A fine sword on the left she noticed… Everything in his look pointed at a noble man, yet something in his manner and speech was a riddle for her.
“Please do not leave, Captain. You are the first man who has addressed me this evening. I admire courage – but most of the men here, however fearless they are, would not try to talk to me,” she sighed. “I am Lady Muriel Amrodel, daughter of Lord Arsael”. Captain Perenduin bowed deeply.
“I am most delighted to make your acquaintance, my lady. I was not fully enjoying the evening until I saw you,” he said with a smile that made her heart beat in sudden joy. No one had talked to her like that before and she was charmed by his words and appearance. But what is going on with me? she thought. Where does this feeling come from?
“May I ask you to dance with me, Lady Muriel? That would be an honor.” Captain Perenduin was offering her his hand. Could she refuse? Not tonight. Suddenly the world looked different to her. She smiled at him and agreed.
To be continued…