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Author Topic: as vulgar as an excess of tears  (Read 424 times)

Éowyn

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as vulgar as an excess of tears
« on: May 05, 2017, 03:44:33 AM »
~a lack of compassion is as vulgar as an excess of tears

Location: Upper Level Stables
Setting: Late RotK, LotR


Though Eowyn had often observed enough of people in the past to get by as the King's regent in times when she was placed in the role that was not quite Lady of Meduseld and not quite ruler in entirely, they still never ceased to amaze her with their ignorance.

Was it ignorance though, really? That was where thoughts on the subject became murky, and though she tired of people more easily than ever at present, Eowyn could not find it in her to be so uncharitable as to dub one's involvement in their own doings, their own life, as pure ignorance. Rather, it was more a selective kind of observation, and if she wanted to truly delve into reflectiveness and reality, it seemed a sweet way of life when compared to the bittersweet taste that was over-observation and so with it, over-thought.

Over-thinking, mind you, was exactly half the reason she'd marched herself out of the Houses of Healing in the first place. And by some miracle, it seemed to have worked-- better than trying to sneak, at any rate, which she was pleased to find a tad amusing if she thought about it long enough. For though she still wished bitterly when woken from her worst dreams for the oblivion of death, though the fog that rose from the very same path her liege, her brother and their army had fled made her chafe, and though she reflected dully in her worst moments the likelihood of beloved Eomer deigning to ever consider anything that had happened as little more than rebellion on her part (and it hurt to think even as she chastened herself for it, that not even her near death would have him bend and take some of the load)...

...come morning light, things were a little brighter. She could, at least, smile a little better now. Could enjoy this little adventure even if t'was stone under her feet rather than grass, because if nothing else, it was movement, and it was life, and for a moment, she felt an easing of the tight sickness in her belly that had been confinement to a set of rooms and a garden.

The stables were not difficult to find, and it was then, to the sound of munching hay, and soft nickers and shifting hooves, that Eowyn finally smiled in full. Tightening the blue mantle about her shoulders, she braced herself almost on an instinct-- and promptly felt her heart break a little even as it filled with love for these beasts, for upon entering the well-tended barn, it was clear that there were some that bore the marks of battle and war. Some were Gondorian, some Rohirric, and it was to the latter that she gravitated closer too-- if only to see if she might recognise them.

They were surprised, the men. She didn't dare look at any man of Gondor present, but the Rohirrim, her own kin (some bandaged themselves and some not), were properly and rightly startled. And yet they recovered with admirable aplomb, and though her chest twinged with a sweet kind of melancholy for it, Eowyn could not find it in her to deny them their warmth of feeling at seeing her moving among them once more.

She hadn't even realised she'd missed it. This. Them. The horses and their men.

Of course, as men were wont to do, they fussed to irritation despite a well-placed warning to leave her be. Eowyn was somewhere between touched, amused and thoroughly infuriated with them for it...and then she was thankful, some, to be able to entertain such a range of feeling again (and despite the lingering bleakness in her shadow), for however long it lasted her.

And eventually, they compromised with her-- enough anyway to give her a seat outside a stall, with one of the uninjured mounts for company over her shoulder and her own hands put to use, rolling up dressings that had been washed of blood and wound excretion and were in need of re-wrapping for future use. It wasn't much, but it was something, and it helped with the heaviness and the melancholy's hold on her just a little more.


'i've learned that strength is something you choose'

Lothíriel

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Re: as vulgar as an excess of tears
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2017, 03:18:03 PM »
The men were going to march to the Black Gate, to face Sauron's forces head on, her family included in those numbers. Some called it suicide; others called it a distraction. A contingency was left behind to guard Minas Tirith and those left behind in the city whose injuries prevented them from entering into warfare again began work on repairing the city's defenses in case of another attack.
 
Would they survive what was to come? Was it even worth it, facing Sauron now with so little hope left behind and no knowledge of where the Ring of Power even was? The numbers were lessened by the battle, so many lost...how was there to be any hope among the warriors marching or even among those left?
 
Hope was fleeting for a time in the city, morale low as each day passed. The darkness seemed to spread, gaining power every day that the men were gone to wage a war against the Dark Lord. No one and no thing attacked Minas Tirith again, but fear lingered in those left behind, a fear that some unknown and forgotten enemy would come and destroy them while they were at their weakest. Those in the Houses felt a despair that they had not known in some time; warriors who had been left behind despaired knowing they would not die as valiant heroes in battle, and others succumbed to their wounds, unable to fight the call of their forefather's. Lothíriel's own despair deepened; she had found herself strangely regressing in her healing after the battle. It had baffled the healer's who had overseen her recovery to now see the woman’s own aches and pains return and to see that she relied once more on the cane she had put down only a week before. They had done so well with her progress and were working on gaining a lively pallor back to her face, but now...now it felt like it was all for naught. There was nothing that could be done, though. The poison was no longer in her body and her wounds were healed. This ailment was beyond the healer's ability.
 
If only the princess had known it was fear stemmed from the battle, from not sleeping well and wallowing in despair that triggered the regression.
 
The pains that had been gone for nearly a month returned, her leg aching and her chest tightening as it once had when the poison coursed through her veins. The nightmares she thought she had escaped came back the first night she finally laid her head to pillow after the battle ceased. The healers had said there was nothing they could do; this too would pass, as it had before, and so Lothíriel was left to battle the demons inside her again, alone.

The darkness was slowly passing though, a fair wind now blowing across the lands, offering glimpses of light and whispers of hope in the breeze. When the young woman noted the darkness was moving beyond, washed away by fair winds now, she refused to stay inside any longer and had found her way out of the Houses, down among the path that wound through the kingdom, a path familiar to her feet.

"We have discussed this more times than I care to admit, Berelmor. I am tired of being cooped up in the Houses. I have been in them since our arrival here in..." There was a pause in conversation as the young woman attempted to remember just when she had arrived in Minas Tirith. December. She had arrived in Minas Tirith in December, and now it was March...and time had seemed to drag on slowly, the days of mending and resting requiring her to stay under close observation and solely in the Houses. No more, though. She needed what openness was offered outside of those houses and walled gardens. She needed to see the city herself, to possibly find hope out there among those who worked to restore the broken kingdom.

"December, Princess. We arrived in December," the elder guard said, one hand casually resting on the hilt of his blade as the other arm was used to support the woman as she walked. "You should be resting though. You have been so busy in the Houses, helping others, you have forgotten to tend to yourself." His words were tinged with fatherly concern, the elder man looking at the wraith of a woman before him with a frown.

"I am fine," she lied as they approached the stables. She stopped and untangled her arm from his, looking up at him briefly. "I intend to check on our mounts. It won't take me long."

The older man eyed her warily before releasing her arm to allow her to continue on her journey into the stables alone. "I know your tricks, swanling. Remember that." He smiled though, an obvious jest, and then moved to settle outside the stable doors while the princess entered the stables.

The men of Gondor who were left behind all bowed as she moved by, deferring to the woman they knew as Princess, each sneaking secret glances as they watched her move with an obvious limp down the stall rows, their eyes questioning. Her head nodded to each in acknowledgement, but her destination was clear: two stalls down from where Éowyn was now seated the woman stopped, one hand moving out to brush the nose of a chestnut brown mare who moved forward at her arrival. "You are becoming greyer as the days progress here," she teased the mare who merely snorted at her, lipping her hand with expectations of treats.

Lothíriel had seen someone settled down out of the corner of her eye, and her gaze turned to the woman working on rolling dressings. Of course she knew who the Rohirric woman was; everyone in Minas Tirith knew who she was by now and of her deeds in battle. While she had told Berelmor it would not take long, going back inside was not something she desired to do at that moment, so she picked a different course of action. "Do you mind if I join you, Lady Éowyn?" An offer, one easily rejected if she wished.

Éowyn

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Re: as vulgar as an excess of tears
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2017, 11:41:20 AM »
"I--"

The refusal sprang to her lips easily. Far too easily, really, and though her visceral response was to shy away and back into the shell she'd taken such pains to carve for herself in recent months, her natural instincts-- the better part of her, the part of her that was Eowyn, was instantly discomfited by such an unfriendly bearing of miens, so much so as to border on the ashamed. On the other hand, the jumble that was her mind was not sure how to feel about that either, for it meant there was indeed feeling, if pained, and where there was feeling over apathy, there was hope.

Whether it was hope for herself, for others, or for the world itself was irrelevant.

The woman was lovely, as dark as Eowyn was fair. The Rohirric woman entertained, for the briefest of moments, the idea of inferiority, for this creature before her was acutely beautiful even in what was clearly weariness, and though Eowyn herself was no clout where false humility was concerned (indeed, she was so aware of herself as to have attempted to mask herself from unwanted prying in the far too recent past), she was rather aware of the fact that should she have need to greet this particular lady with a touch or a hand shake, the calluses on her hands would be acutely in evidence.

On the other hand, Eowyn didn't quite have it in her to be inferior. There was for her, if nothing else came to mind worth having pride in, the fact that her men had greeted her so warmly and so eagerly, something that had instantly made her feel more at home in this place than all the deference in the world given to her in the Houses of Healing. She did not need respect, she needed camaraderie. The Rohirrim had given it freely, purely because they had treated their Lady as one of them and put her to work, had not attempted to restrain her, and that was the only respect she needed.

"If you wish to. I am only rolling washed gauze for the horses, though." Eowyn let her head fall back to rest against the wooden pillar behind her, and though neither distant nor appraising, the frank glance Lothiriel was offered was in the tilt of the fair one's chin and the spark of curiousity bordering on the challenging despite the seated position and the disadvantage it gave in height.

"You've no need to refer to me as such, though. I am the same as my own kin when work is at hand, and I am far from my home -- my name will do me fine." Eowyn's mouth twitched, just slightly. "I can ask them to stop speaking Rohirric, however, if it risks discomfit at any point. I am not a fan of tongues I have no understanding of being spoken around me -- who knows what they might be saying about me."

Like Sindarin. She was really starting to dislike the moments it was spoken in her presence, as if the Healers didn't think she wouldn't suspect they were talking of her. Her injuries. Her mental state. Whether Faramir-- Lord Faramir had tried teaching her a word or three was irrelevant; she still found it terribly rude.


'i've learned that strength is something you choose'

Lothíriel

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Re: as vulgar as an excess of tears
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2017, 02:54:28 PM »
Talk among healers flowed freely and easily in the quiet times, discussions of the living and the dead, of the needs of those who were in their care and those who would return with needs that would have to be met if the battle they went into was folly. It was during those times that discussions of their wards turned to retrospection of those in their care - what life would hold for them after, what life had held before, and lately, just why their Lord Faramir seemed so smitten with the horse-woman Éowyn and what exactly happened to the princess to bring her to their care.

Lothíriel had little patience for idle gossip and whispered words; she dealt with it enough growing up in the courts of Minas Tirith, forced to exchange pleasantries with the daughters of lords and higher-born merchants who were foisted upon her in an attempt to better their lord-father's standing in the courts. It never worked - the princess had little care for their petty bantering and vying for what was just out of the reach of their fingertips (which tended to be the affections and attentions of her brothers and cousins).

She had always been considered strange, the daughter of Imrahil, and that was reinforced when her broken body and spirit was brought to the Houses. The healers knew she drifted in and out of darkness, but the woman was always acutely aware of her surroundings, of the ministrations to her body to cleanse the poison and the whispered stories of how she came to be in this moment. She listened to their words but did not take them to heart. The healers could prattle on as the lord-daughters did and no doubt would; they would never understand her suffering, never understand the darkness and fears that tried to grip her so tightly and keep her from pushing above the surface of the murky depths of hopelessness to see light.

The soldiers, though...they were above the petty exchange of rumors. Curious, yes, but never judging, and so the young woman preferred to spend her time among them. They were her people and yet not her people--her own were fisher folk, soldiers who sailed on the open waters and women who spent their day haggling over prices of fresh-caught seafood. Still, out of the Houses she could feel some ease come over her soul.

When the Rohirrim woman acquiesced to her joining, the Gondorian moved to settle down near to her, slowly lowering herself to a seated position in arm's reach of the gauze the golden-haired lady worked with and that she now took up to roll as well. When Éowyn made mention that her own name would do without the honorific and offered to have the men stop speaking in Rohirric, the other could only smile, shaking her head in response. "No, I do not mind their use of Rohirric. I find the language intriguing, actually." She had been trying - and failing - to pick up on bits and pieces of the language since the men arrived but it had no ties to Sindarin and little similarities to Westron so her attempts to piece it together were, thus far, futile.

"I am Lothíriel," came her introduction without her own honorific as an afterthought. She knew from experience others were more at ease around her if they did not know she was a princess - less pressure on the person to act proper and more openness to be affable with her.

Éowyn

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Re: as vulgar as an excess of tears
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2017, 11:29:50 AM »
"Of Dol Amroth..."

It was a murmur slipped so easily from Eowyn as to be rendered practically automatic, though she at least had the grace to look...not embarrassed, but something somewhere between abashed and apologetic when her gaze turned to Lothiriel once more. Though they read little, the Rohirric memory was as much bane on occasion as it could be impressive...even if Eowyn herself, ironically, had pulled the familiar notes of name and title attached from the slow, steady reading she had begun to undertake since seeking permission from Faramir to make her way through the library.

Well, unintentional or lot, at least it had been but a soft voice to speak it. The Lady--Princess (which was a curiousity in itself, how she was a Princess in this tangled glot that was Gondor's classes, but something Eowyn chose not to dwell on in that moment), clearly preferred anonymity for the moment, and wary, cautious or not, Eowyn would at least give her that.

"I've been reading the archives," she offered as explanation instead. "Remembering family trees as I glimpse them is second nature, I'm afraid. You're Faramir's--er, Lord Faramir's cousin, yes?"

The blonde maiden slipped a dried and stiff binding from the line strung up on her other side, offering it to Lothiriel. An amiable gesture, if not one replete in trust quite yet.

"As to your difficulty with the language...well. I find most struggle simply because the part of the mouth it's pronounced in is markedly different to most languages getting about." Eowyn's lips quirked upward, just a little and a mite crooked. "Dwarves, however, seem to have the measure of it, though I refuse to acknowledge Rohirrim as quite as unmusical as Khuzdul. We love to sing far too much for it to be so. Which I suppose speaks for itself, really -- Sindarin, which I'm sure you do know well, is Elvish in origin, is it not? Those are not races overly fond of one another."
« Last Edit: June 10, 2017, 11:31:18 AM by Éowyn »


'i've learned that strength is something you choose'

Lothíriel

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Re: as vulgar as an excess of tears
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2017, 02:46:28 AM »
The look that crept across the woman's face was not one of anger or malice at having the lady speak her title aloud - indeed, a smile actually tugged at the corner of Lothíriel's lips, curiosity shining in her eyes as questions now forming were held back. Had Éowyn and Faramir discussed his family already? Had the healers made mention of her presence in the city (doubtful enough since their own talk focused on the wounded, on the new King, and on the future, and so much more)? She wanted to know but too many men were milling about; anonymity kept things from becoming too stiff, too formal, too...dull.

Then the White Lady spoke and answered the questions that she was now mulling over, albeit quietly enough so the young Dol Amrothian's anonymity remained such. So Éowyn had found the books, the family trees and parentage of those of Gondor that spanned generation upon generation, sequestered away in the depths of the library for lore keepers and the more studious scholars to look at, that a young Lothíriel had learned and also looked over. "I prefer to keep such things to myself among the men. I find they are more willing to speak to me as a woman and an equal when they do not know of my title, much more affable with me in general," she responded softly in turn as explanation, taking the binding now held out to her in slim fingers and beginning to slowly work the fabric. "Yes, Faramir is my cousin. His mother was my aunt." She noted the lack of a title when Éowyn first said his name but made no fuss about it.

Many were aware of the budding romance between the Steward and White Lady. Those who weren't were obtuse.

"I am well-versed in Sindarin, yes. I have heard little Khuzdul, though, for Dwarves have not often visited my seaside town, and rarely did they set foot in this city while I was here. I think the dwarf with the company has been the first I have laid eyes on in many moons." Her mind wandered to when she had last seen or spoken with a dwarf, and in honesty she could not recall. The archives had few texts written in Khuzdul, as well, for the Dwarves were a secretive lot, more secretive than the Elves, at least. "I have heard some of the soldiers singing, quietly to themselves. I do agree your own language is quite melodious."

The princess had a desire to learn the language, there was no doubt about that. She had always been an avid and eager student and had learned Sindarin at an early age - the lack of writings in Rohirric made learning it nigh on impossible. "If you wish, I can teach you Sindarin," came the offer, an olive branch to help bridge the gap between the two women, between two houses that would one day unit as one...even if neither knew that at that moment.

Éowyn

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Re: as vulgar as an excess of tears
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2017, 10:45:24 AM »
Many moons? Heaven, how old was this Princess? Older perhaps than she looked, though Eowyn's surprise followed quickly with logic-- the logic that, given Lothiriel's place of upbringing, it was entirely possible she descended from a similar line as that of Eowyn's own grandmother. Blood, even diluted, could have some bearing on its descendants.

Bar a passing comment on her reading, though, Eowyn was not overly interested at present in the presence of family trees in conversation. If anything, the fact in itself that she had a desire to speak at length to another at present was a novelty, one she flinched at even as the very core of her soul cried out for the contact. Perhaps...if nothing else, it was some form of charm within this particular family, for it was often the same with Faramir...had been so with him when she had been sicker than she was now.

"I've never actually seen the sea," the White Lady commented frankly, though there was a hint of caution in her eyes, not quite a challenge while being so to judge such a lack of experience on behalf of another. "Oceans of grass, yes, and there is nothing else like those when the moon is high. But the sea itself? It is a story and a dream for me still. We call it farraige in Rohirric, though."

Her mouth twitched a little, the offer of the word an acquiescence, unless otherwise called into retreat, to at least rest her fingers around the proffered symbolism of peace offered. "I am not a good teacher, but I can tell you of two things I have noted already -- the languages you know, they speak...higher in the mouth. We...that is, Rohirric...speaks further back, in the throat. The other...well, what little is written of our language is hardly spelled the same as it sounds."

That, at least, was offered with a little grin breaking through.


'i've learned that strength is something you choose'

Lothíriel

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Re: as vulgar as an excess of tears
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2017, 02:02:58 PM »
While many moons may have been an overstatement of the passage of time, it had been some years since Lothíriel had laid eyes upon a dwarf - few traveled to the sea-side town of Dol Amroth, for there was no need to venture so far from their mountain ranges when trade could be had among kith and kin. She could not blame them for not straying far from home, either - as the years passed, the darkness hung heavy everywhere, the oppressive presence of the evil brewing weighing on the minds and hearts of leaders. They had to concern themselves with their people, not traveling.

As Éowyn mentioned never having seen the sea, the young woman's lips turned down into a soft frown, her eyes moving away and to the bandages in her hands. The sadness that began to creep across those delicate features was quickly banished by a small shake of her head. No more tears. No more heartache. "The sea is vast and incomprehensible. Beautiful yet deadly." Her hand moved to touch the necklace she wore, fingers delicately tracing the curves of the triskele. "It is usually called aer in Sindarin."

As Éowyn discussed the marked differences between Sindarin and Rohirric as spoken languages, Lothíriel listened intently, mentally recalling the words she had heard murmured among the men and latching onto the differences in the speech from her memories. As the Lady of Rohan offered a little joke concerning the written language and the spoken, the younger woman also smiled in turn. It felt like every language was vastly different when written and spoken, not just Rohirric. She steered the discussion back to something previously said by Éowyn, though. "Once these turbulent times have ended, perhaps Faramir can bring you to visit Dol Amroth, so the sea will no longer be a story and a dream."

Much like Éowyn having never seen the sea, Lothíriel had never laid eyes upon the oceans of grass she had spoken of. She had heard tales of the oceas of grass, yes, but she had never set foot outside of the boundaries of Gondor, rarely stepping foot outside of her own seaside home, and so those oceans were as tangible to her as the waters of her homeland were to Éowyn. She had dreams of Rohan, of the vast fields and the horses and flowing blonde hair, but that was all they were - dreams. And since the ties between Rohan and Gondor had been restored, perhaps now the two women's dreams would no longer be just dreams.

Éowyn

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Re: as vulgar as an excess of tears
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2017, 05:26:12 AM »
"Aer."

Eowyn rolled the word around in her mouth, attempted to mimic the accent she'd heard more often in the lower tones of her gently persistent companion in the Steward of Gondor, as if it deserved nothing but her fullest attention. And perhaps, in Eowyn's mind, it did. Or perhaps to give it due thought was to not draw undue attention to the shadow of sorrow that had passed through the miens of the brunette beside her -- a melancholy that, while not overt, could not be missed either by another so well versed with the steady, smothering destruction that was the deep depression. She seemed to carry it well, this one did, though Eowyn had only herself to compare, and 'herself' was not inclined to make comparisons, let alone competition, on something such as the sorrows and the sicknesses of the soul. To do so was vile; it helped nobody, least of all the sufferer who sought to survive it, and any who contemplated doing so, of casting blame on the sufferer, was vile.

And Eowyn, while considering the new word she'd acquired and the sage shade of the gauze against her fell-scarred and tremoring hand, decided in that moment that she would do her best to like this new companion. Her best was all she could offer, come what may.

"If they end. I confess I cannot remember a time that was not turbulent in my life." Eowyn placed the bandage aside, wrapped tight now, as she considered her hands once more. One fair and pale, marred only by calluses hidden as they were turned over...the other still bearing the slight, silvery stain of King's Foil, a meagre comfort to the twisted, shadowy ugliness on white skin the Witch King had left her with.

The White Lady of Rohan rather began to lose the fair paleness of her skin, though, never mind the beginnings of her composure, as her mind caught up finally with the last of Lothiriel's remark...or more, what it implied.

"I--that--I don't...maybe." Eowyn sighed, the last word the barest concession to grace. Mildly reproachful, she rubbed at the warmth in her cheeks before twinging her fingers between one another in her lap.

"Your cousin is a kind man. Not that I am not familiar with kind men." Her brow drew a little, as if puzzling something both indecipherable and tormenting to her thoughts. "I suppose 'kind' is not the word...Lothiriel. But I feel if I called him 'understanding', or anything like it, I would be implying ill of people dear to me by doing so."


'i've learned that strength is something you choose'

Lothíriel

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Re: as vulgar as an excess of tears
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2017, 04:18:05 AM »

As Éowyn worked on understanding the Sindarin aer, Lothíriel quietly attempted to grasp a fuller understanding of the Rohirric farraige. She was an astute student and quick learner of languages growing up, but the vastly different spoken dialect of the Rohirrim was barely beyond her grasp. Her mouth struggled with forming the word as Éowyn had, a tongue so used to speaking the lilting words of Sindarin now softening the harder, deeper vowels and consonants of Rohirric, tinging the dialect with a gentler spoken tongue. In due time, the young woman reminded herself as she felt frustration rise within her. Perhaps Rohirric was a language best learned through immersion. With little written, it would be hard to learn through scholarly pursuits, and even now her own memory was hard-pressed to fully recall the language she had heard spoken among the men. Night terrors often drove all her thoughts and memories away, leaving her with a dread settled within her chest that she could not shake. Such thoughts were pushed to the side, though, because now the princess was engaged, even if momentarily, in discussion with the woman at her side.

While Éowyn decided to like Lothíriel, the princess in turn was becoming more fond of the shield-maiden. Friendships were not often pursued by the Gondorian - her status kept others from approaching her, and so she held few dear to heart. Aside from family, Avariel was all she had...and now Avariel was beginning a new path in life, one that would inevitably pull the two apart yet not break the bonds of sisterhood.

As the other woman spoke of turbulence, the younger Gondorian had to agree - her entire life had been shrouded by a vague cloud, a menacing threat that caused the balance of the world to teeter, always on the precipice of chaos. Even in times that could be described as happy, there was always that fear hanging over, clouding the memories of happiness in a veil of darkness.

No more darkness. It was a reminder she gave herself often now, it seemed.

The smile that pulled at Lothíriel's lips could not be held back upon seeing Éowyn blush. The princess had not intended on making the shield-maiden blush, but it seemed her words struck a deeper chord in the woman concerning Faramir. It was no surprise the two had been seen together more often than not; every healer whispered of their garden meetings, of the hours the Steward spent with the White Lady. And as the other woman attempted to describe Faramir, Lothíriel listened. "My cousin Faramir is many things, Éowyn. Kind and understanding are just two facets to the man who is now Steward. Nothing like his late father..." Her words trailed off as disdain crept across her features. She shook those feelings away, focusing instead on their present conversation. "I know what you mean, though, when you say you do not wish to imply ill of the men you know. There is something different about Faramir...Ada says Faramir is much like his mother." A woman that the young girl never had the pleasure of meeting, only learning about through stories and memories from family. "Compassionate..." It felt like an after-thought, the way it was softly spoken, but it was the word that Lothíriel most often associated with her beloved older cousin, one she often recalled her aunt and father using to describe their own beloved Finduilas. "A noble trait, one often forgotten among men."

Éowyn

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Re: as vulgar as an excess of tears
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2017, 03:50:03 PM »
"And listens...a novelty that that is."

She was still rather pinker in the face than she'd have liked, but Eowyn couldn't help the quirk of her lips or the quip that followed on the tails of Lothiriel's words. It was said wryly, a counterbalance to her clear affection for her cousin and the esteem she held him in, but what might have been malicious was substituted instead for mischief -- the first real hint, since first they had kept one another company, of the Rohirric woman settling more into comfort. Sorrowful thing indeed, that mischief was clearly no longer a casual thing for her, and yet perhaps all the more brighter than a simple hint of it might have otherwise been because of it's newness.

It was...nice, though. To treat something that had frustrated her, stifled her, wearied her more than once in the past, with some lightness. Testing of waters though it somewhat was, and yet Eowyn rather felt she had more the measure of her fellow woman now, and so could venture humour, even the long-suffering and wounded kind so often kept for the foibles and irritations caused by their menfolk.

"Ada is 'father' though, correct? Or is it something fonder, like perhaps Papa?" Eowyn cocked her head to the side, quite happy to leave the subject of Faramir and the aforethought menfolk they called family in general behind for the moment. It was, if she examined it too long, too painful a subject for her to linger on, for she had no father left living in any way to speak of, and the raw of losing the one who had so willingly taken the place of her paternal parent by birth too raw. In short, she likely would cry if she thought on it too long, language question or not...it had not been quite long enough yet for her to think of Theoden King without heartache.

As for Eomer...well. She'd been told of his grief. He'd certainly been there when she'd awoken. But he'd left her behind once more anyway, and left with it the rather obvious, desperate need that was a good, long talk between them. And so she had little desire, if only at the present, to think too much of him. It was another kind of heartache she preferred to leave with her melancholy, back in the solitude of her rooms.

Eowyn was given only a moment to brood over what gave soreness to her heart though, for she'd barely that moment to do so before warm air startled her from her reverie. Warm air, the scent of grass and thirst on it, and it was that which directed her subconscious to keep her from starting outright-- horse breath being, odd as it sounded no doubt to the outsider, as natural a part of her life as sleep.

"Are you finally going to speak with us once more?" she offered in a gentle tease, and Lothiriel was given the briefest half smile as Eowyn turned her head, slowly, to brush her lips against the muzzle now not even an inch from her face. The horse who owned it exhaled quietly -- a large, solid beast she was, the chestnut of her coat dulled from what was evidently the richest of rusted copper despite the sweat and the muck that marred it. She seemed diminished some, though, and not simply because of the healing gash in her side (her only concession, it seemed, to human touch until now), for there was something that might have almost been called grief in a sentient being when a pale-lashed, dark eye rolled back to glance at Lothiriel a moment.

"She's had herself lodged in the furthest corner of her stall ever since they brought her in," Eowyn offered in explanation, before taking a moment to breath gently against the muzzle still proffered to her, Rohirric words softly murmured as if they were comforting nonsense to go with it. "I knew her rider...rather well."

Ebullient, dashing rapscallion that Rhaego had been, and Eowyn was forced to swallow against both the thought (and the thought of the news of his demise reaching home, among so, so many) and in the face of yet another quiet sigh from a mare she knew, full well, to be one of the proudest females she'd ever met before now.

"Though...t'is a small world indeed, really." Eowyn's mouth twitched in realisation of something or other, even as she placed the bandage she'd been rolling aside so she could stand. "Her rider was the son of a man who followed my grandsire, and came to know Morwen Steelsheen well as such. His name was Rupa, and he was a fearsome looking, gentle bear of a man. Would you...like to help me with her? I don't want to push her good will while it's on offer, and two hands means one can tend her wound and the other can take a brush to her at the very least."



'i've learned that strength is something you choose'

Lothíriel

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Re: as vulgar as an excess of tears
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2017, 03:21:03 PM »
Éowyn's joking comment about a man listening being a novelty made the young woman chuckle ever so softly. It was a foreign sound to the woman's own ears, her laughter. It had been too many months since she had last laughed. Still, the sentiment the shield-maiden expressed was amusing. The younger Gondorian had grown up in a house full of men - her grandfather, the stoic yet endearing man he was; her father, kind and gentle yet stern; and her three brothers, all of whom had quite a few years on their darling sister and thus insisted often that listening to little girls was not a skill they had learned. All of these men had listened to her, but she understood where Éowyn came from with her teasing: it often felt like men never listened.

Lothíriel nodded her head at Éowyn's question concerning the word ada. "It tends to be used as the more fonder 'Papa', yes." While the princess had not lost her own father, she had not seen him in some months now, and even discussing it made her heart twinge with sadness as well.

His arrival to the city was due in part to the impending war, and prior to the war the city was evacuated of all those who could not fight - no doubt Imrahil had assumed his own child was sent off to Lossarnach in this evacuation, and so he never ventured into the Houses of Healing to check on her. It made sense that she would be sent away, but the healer tending to her felt that the travel would be too much strain on her again - the trip from Dol Amroth to Minas Tirith had nearly been fatal for the princess, and it had taken those months since she arrived to begin the slow healing process. And so she had stayed behind and war had come. As the battle raged, the worry loomed over the woman that the men she loved would die...and that was something she was not prepared for, not yet, not again. She knew two of her brothers had also accompanied the soldiers from Dol Amroth, and the idea of losing them...it was more than her heart could bear.

Now they were marching to another war front, to another battle, and she was left behind to worry still. It was a futile endeavor, this war they were marching to, or so the many men who came through the Houses had said. Futile or not, they went to war to try to save their people and their lands from a darkness that would be all encompassing.

Those thoughts were brushed aside as the mare approached, and slowly the woman moved to look at the large beast. As Éowyn spoke of the lost rider and the horse's reticence to remove herself from the corner until now, Lothíriel felt sympathy for the animal - losing someone you loved dearly was hard, and she knew the ties between rider and horse were strong, that they ran deep as blood. When Éowyn asked Lothíriel to help, the woman only nodded, moving a hand up to momentarily brush against the mare's velvety nose. Her own whispered words came, though they slipped out in Sindarin as she rose, moving to find a brush. "Will she have a new rider once she heals, or will she take to the fields?"

Éowyn

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Re: as vulgar as an excess of tears
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2017, 10:05:17 AM »
"I honestly could not tell you at present. But as it is, horses are marvellously adaptable creatures given the chance."

A trait Eowyn had attempted to emulate her whole life, if not wholly with success. She had in her psyche the one thing horses did not possess -- complete and utter sentience, and all of the vagaries for better or for worse that came with it. The desire to adapt, to survive, to thrive and grow, could be thrown from the proverbial joust that was the human mind by the no less ardent, but infinitely more poisonous, desires that melancholy, sorrow, tragedy, envy and depression were. If anything, the latter was easier to maintain than the former because of its ravening zealousness; she knew that too, and knew now in these better moments among company the fatalism it filtered, whether slow and inexorable or swift and cutting, through a woman's veins.

Good and ill, a black fell beast and a white horse in every being. Every child learned some variant of the lesson, regardless of race, species, or merely station in life.

Of course, Lothiriel could not know the effect such a question wrought on the Rohirric maiden-- neither the thought processes that followed nor the agonised twinge that threatened to become a rending from the inside out. It occurred to Eowyn, even as she answered and her hands of their own volition stroked reassurance into the muscular neck on their way to the wounds besmirching orange-red hide, to consider taking the horse herself, should nobody else want her. Rhaego had a brother, certainly-- but Master Berlios was well into his seventies now, content to care for the children left orphaned by war and illness, not liable to have any need or desire for a war horse still in her prime.

She could go to pasture, of course. But though they were large, ugly things upon the mare's sides, the wounds were shallow things-- testament, Eowyn felt, to the implacable strength and reliability of the horse despite the loss of her rider. Thus, it seemed a waste.

Do you deserve another horse, though?

And therein lay the effect Lothiriel could not know her question had had. For it ultimately brought their conversation in full to horses and their riders and riders and their horses -- a relationship so ingrained into Eowyn's culture as to be the first and foremost symbol that came to mind when Rohan was mentioned anywhere -- and so, even as it was distraction did Eowyn's thoughts drift unbidden to her own mount-- or lack of now. Not for the first time, but the pain was no less than what she felt for the loss of her uncle and her King-- not the same, but never the lesser for it.

It took a moment. A long, drawn out moment in which the chestnut mare shifted restively at the contact of the women even as natural, primal empathy won out and so attempted to crowd closer to the woman now pressing her forehead against wiry, matted mane and silken, dusty hide -- a long, drawn out moment in which Windfola's cocoa-brown and white starred face was there rather than orange and red and a white, crooked snip, before Eowyn exhaled slowly the emotional suppressant that was horse scent. When she looked over the horse's back once more at Lothiriel, the smile was forced-- a crooked tilt of the lips and a failure in banishing what lay in her gaze, but still...an attempt at a smile nonetheless.

It was more than she'd given most people of late.

"I'd like for her-- Luceva, by the way-- to do more than go to pasture. Even if she might not wear a saddle in its entirety again or some such, she's still strong and young enough to do another man some good. Or woman. Aren't you, dearest?"

"Her grand-dam became my grandmother's horse, you know," Eowyn continued after a moment, once she was sure Luceva would tolerate her attempts to clean the gash now under her hands. Attempting, if she felt a little awkwardly, to find a little more common ground and so to give more than most had been given of late (for she had, after all, decided to like Lothiriel).

"Morwen, I mean. Her great grand-dam belonged to a man of the Riddermark; he chose to follow Thengel-King-- then Prince, I suppose -- of his own volition some period of time after Grandfather exiled himself from Rohan. I only remember him vaguely because he was such a bear of a man, a master with spear and bola, and yet so gentle-hearted that it bordered on the downright impossible to reconcile until a man knew him well. Grandmother mentioned once, after he passed, that she liked him best for it, and how he was always singing softly at some task or other. They remained close friends until old age...which is how I've had the fortune of knowing horses such as this one."

Eowyn's smile was slight but sincere now, a fond pet given to the horse's whither as she continued her ministrations. Belatedly though, it brought to mind the possibility that Lothiriel might not, in fact, have a clue in all the heavens as to what or who she was talking about, and the White Lady stifled a grimace at her oversight. The consequences of attempting to stifle melancholy and be open to others once more, it seemed, and she rallied, quite weakly though, at her mind's instinctive attempt to draw itself back inward.

"I...I'm sorry if I babbled some. It's just, your cousin has mentioned my grandmother once or twice now, and so I simply assumed you might know the same people."


'i've learned that strength is something you choose'

Lothíriel

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Re: as vulgar as an excess of tears
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2017, 03:59:54 PM »


For some reason, Lothíriel felt at ease in the current situation she found herself in - in a stall with a horse, brushing her down as another worked on tending to the minor wounds that had been inflicted upon the mare in battle. She was not unaccustomed to horses; her own soldiers trained upon horse and water, and so breeding horses for battle was not uncommon in the Bay​​. Their horses were much sleeker, though, not as large as the ones she had seen the Rohirrim ride upon. And of course the princess used to sneak off to the stables as a child when the yearlings were brought in begin the task of preparing them for rider and battle.​ She loved horses, but her own had been left behind in Dol Amroth when she ventured here. Indeed, she had given orders to gift the horse to her brother's wife and nephew - the mare was gentle enough, she would be well-suited for the young boy once he was old enough to learn to ride and Elphir's wife was suited to the mare's temperament.

As the two women worked, the Princess listened to the White Lady. She did not comment on the forced smile or the moments of silence that had passed; it was not her place to ask about whatever troubled ​​​Éo​wyn, after all.​ If ​​Lothíriel​ was uncomfortable with prying questions, she had no doubt that ​​Éo​wyn would be as well, and so she offered an ear to listen.

Luceva, a name fitting for the mare before them. ​Lothíriel​ worked on brushing out her coat with ease, making certain to rid the hair of the muck and grime that was caked upon it, her ministrations gentle. The mare had been spooked before, and while she was a warhorse, even the most battle-hardened of warriors required a gentle hand at times.

Then ​​Éo​wyn discussed the mare's lineage and her own lineage, and still the woman listened. She knew that talk was a cathartic release of emotions, and since the woman opposite her chose to speak freely of things, the Dol Amrothian chose to listen. ​When an apology was offered for babbling, the other only shook her head, giving her a smile in return. "No need to apologize, Lady ​Éo​wyn. Your grandmother is of our kin - I am well aware of Morwen Steelsheen's lineage. I do not know much of her, of course. Her family moved to Lossarnach long before my time, and so I only know what my tutors taught me concerning her lineage - her father, her mother, who she wed, the children she bore...those boring things that my tutors thought were of the utmost importance that I learn." The last bit was said with a roll of the eyes, obviously a jab at the dull times the girl spent among dusty books during her learning. Finished with the side opposite ​​​Éo​wyn was on, ​​Lothíriel​ moved to the side the woman was on, working slowly so as to not interrupt ​​Éo​wyn's work.

She ventured into territory she had previously not thought she would venture into with her next comment. "I hope Faramir has been kind to you."

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