What follows is an older story I wrote introducing my main, an elven rune-keeper named Elaureth. You can click the picture below for her character profile. I only made minor edits before posting.
Fire crackled in the hearth causing light and shadow to bounce around the room. It spilled across a desk filled with piles of books, a few scrolls, and some rubbings. Elaureth bent over the pages, her wheat-coloured hair framing her work and spilling in random tendrils along the desk.
Absently, she brushed one side of the curtain behind her pointed ear and over her shoulder. Her vision fixed on the contest of light and shadow dancing with the runes.
The markings were similar to many she had seen, but were older and unfamiliar. Nearly lost to the earth, she found these single-runed stones at the base of a wall overgrown with ivy. Her mind obsessed on what brought the area to ruins, what it was like when it still stood. The images were all too clear, latching on to her own memories and the world’s fragmenting past, too many grand works left in broken ruins like this.
Flickering firelight and grasping shadow made the pieces of lost history look as though they were struggling against burial…haphazard burials in a ruined town spotted with dirt-streaked survivors. Eldar laments haunted the scene with ghostly echo though she could see no one person mouthing the words. One of the Eldar pushed earth over a small mound, her mud-streaked hair concealed her from view until she turned her face to look directly at Elaureth. The resemblance was almost like looking into a reflective surface. Elaureth brushed the other side of her hair behind her ear, absent mud was only a minor comfort. The eyes of the other caught hers so fast, the distance between them closed without either moving. The stale wind carried evasive whispers.
A sizzled pop startled her; attention on the hearth for a few moments before awareness settled once again. Elaureth closed her eyes and rubbed at them before stretching. A small crick in her neck forced her back forward with a soft exclamation of pain.
“The surest sign of a needed break.” The soft Sindarin stole the edge from anxiety and pain.
“Sister–” Elaureth partly turned in her chair, her protest squelched by a cup of hot tea offered only inches from her nose. “Vivia–”
“I will not have no for an answer,” Vivianel returned with a soft smile.
Elaureth accepted the cup but looked back at the rubbings over her shoulder.
“Elly.” Vivianel stressed the ending of the childhood nickname in warning. “They have waited this long.”
Elaureth sighed as she set the cup and saucer down on one of the closed books to push the chair away and get to her feet. When she picked both back up and turned, it was to see Vivianel’s smile of triumph.
“It is nice out tonight, come sit and have tea with me in the yard?”
“As if I had some choice?”
Vivianel’s smile grew more amused and she simply turned and walked out of the room, leaving Elaureth to follow her down the stairs and then out of the house.
Both of the sisters settled comfortably beneath the flowering cherry, the sweet fragrance held just a hint of fruit and though faint, it caused the tea to taste divine. Elaureth closed her eyes as she sipped, enjoying the background of brook and crickets nearby.
Elaureth could hear the pleased smile in her sister’s voice. “Mmhm. I suppose I needed a break more than I realized.” She opened her eyes and returned the smile. Remembering her vision was difficult amongst the pleasant surroundings, but the decimated town pushed at the fringes of her memory.
“You have spent longer on these runes…” Vivianel mused, trailing off as she leaned against the cherry tree and stared up into its blossoms.
Elaureth studied her tea, wiggling the cup just enough to set the remnants in a gentle swirl. “They are very different. I cannot seem to find any reference to them. And…” Elaureth trailed off, thinking once more about what she saw. Was she simply tired?
Elaureth shook her head again. “I…saw something. I think it was my imagination though.”
Vivianel’s smile was patient. “Words have power, Elly, you know that…runes all the more so.”
“Yes, I know that.” Elaureth frowned at her glass before gulping from it in a stubborn attempt at enjoying it as much as before.
“Must have been some vision to turn you so sour…what did you see?”
The small grave and whispers made her arms and neck prickle. “I would rather not revisit that.” She used the tea to push the memory back down.
“Perhaps those runes were best left buried, then?” Vivianel’s teacup made a soft clink against the saucer as she set it on the ground beside her.
“Perhaps,” Elaureth echoed, though she did not really agree.
Sindarin=most common language of elves
Eldar=generic reference to elven people more commonly used by elves to refer to themselves
Those who don’t know: This is a Lord of the Rings Online fanfic based around a character of my creation in middle earth as laid out in the books, but primarily as laid out in the online MMO based heavily on the books.