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Author Topic: as vulgar as an excess of tears  (Read 203 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'

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