Just a Girl in Hard Times

Just a Girl in Hard Times - LOTRO FanFictionWhat was she even doing here? Was this just another fruitless endeavor or was there tangible merit in it?

She sighed and pulled Athearyn[1]Name made up of athea, meaning “helpful” and ryn, meaning “chaser” or “hound of the chase” – See the Sindarin reference I use, her hound, close. The water rippled gently down the Fords of Bruinen, softly lit by the setting Autumn sun, its surface reflections broken up by the receding, monotonous drizzle.

Brushing her tattered hair away from her face, she shifted restlessly, the fallen leaves crunching gently under her. She had removed her boots some time ago, to feel nature underfoot and to remember what “just feeling” was like. She had reluctantly requested leave from some of the skirmishes taking place in Rohan, pledging to return as swiftly as possible. If she was honest with herself she was exhausted and, her usual place being the first line of defence, that would not serve her, or her people, well at all.

Too Many Names, Not Enough Identity

For a week or so, she needed rest and time to think.

Glinmaethor, Guardian, Defender of Annùminas, “that Elf girl”, Wanderer of Lórien. She had been called so many things over the years. Her straight, tawny hair usually covered her ears, so it amused her when she had to unveil them to those who thought she was Elven. But she felt now that she had too many names and had, to some degree, lost her identity.

Even the name she went by now was not her birth name. Galadriel had undone her, as she was so easily capable of doing, in reminding her that she should rightly be called “Hana”.

“Or more precisely, Hanawyn,” she murmured.

Such an ordinary name, she pondered. It didn’t shout the prospect of fame, nor recognition or heroism. Not that, even now, she had any use for those things, which she saw as the transient trappings for the introspective and egocentric.

Creature Comforts

There was a slight breeze now and, as the clouds became pinker, the silhouettes of crows flying overhead cast shaky, temporal reflections on the passing water.

Athearyn gave a low moan and licked her cheek, making her giggle, briefly breaking her cyclical thoughts.

“Ha, what is it boy? You only just ate that rabbit, so you can’t already be hungry!” She laughed.

He wriggled and pulled from her embrace, his tail wagging excitedly. Turning to face away from the Ford, he seemed to show her the direction in which she should look.
Hanawyn looked around and saw a Raven flit up to her, before settling on a nearby rocky outcrop.

“You’re Ayrthir’s Raven, aren’t you, friend?” She asked, briefly remembering hers was yet to return.

The bird cawed gently in reply, which was followed by a quiet mew as a Lynx appeared in the grass behind her.

“And you are Ayrthir’s stealth-kitty!” She smiled, stroking her behind the ears, “which can only mean…”

The Brother’s Intervention

“I am indeed here, friend,” Ayrthir[2]I created Ayrthir well before learning anything about Sindarin. Knowing the family’s playful spirit, however the name can be retrofitted.
ai, meaning “oh!”, yr meaning “course” and thir meaning “face or expression”. So it could mean his expression is “of course” – i.e. he shows how he feels. This is a fudge, though, I accept!
confirmed as he purposefully strode up to where she sat. “You are hard to find sometimes you know?”

“I may often find myself in the heat of battle, but that doesn’t make it home. And while I am strong for many people, I still need my own space sometimes,” she protested.

“I meant no offence,” Ayrthir gently chided, sitting cross-legged on a rock, pulling his robe around him and falling quiet.

What Do You Want to be Called?

After a few moments pause, Hanawyn frowned.

“If you sought me out…”, she started, trying to break the proverbial ice.

Ayrthir nodded.

“What do you want to be called?” he asked, tilting his head slightly in enquiry.

“I didn’t know you could read minds. I thought that was a rare gift,” she complained.

“Alas, I cannot claim such power,” Ayrthir explained, “but my Eagle it was that found you, some time ago. And you didn’t keep all thoughts unspoken.”

“Ah,” she hollowly replied.

“So?” Ayrthir prompted. “What do you want to be called?”

After a moment’s silence, she realised she understood.

“Titles have no meaning. Killing isn’t something I’m proud of, even if it’s just an Orc. I belong neither to Man nor Elf. I’ve been estranged from the Dùnedain since I was a girl. That’s all I am. Just a girl in tough times, trying to get through. None of it matters if I can’t be called… his,” she sighed.

The Undeserving Deserving

Repressing a tear, she blinked into the fading light of the hills of the Trollshaws.

Ayrthir nodded.

“Does he know?” He asked.

“He…suspects but…” she started.

“He doesn’t think he is worthy?” Ayrthir asked, completing her thought.

Hanawyn nodded.

“Bang on.” she confirmed.

Ayrthir considered that for a moment.

“Do you think you are worthy of him, an Elf, while you are but mortal?”

The question surprised her.

“I’ve never thought about being worthy or deserving. Love doesn’t care much for status.”

Two Can Play that Game

“Well answered,” Ayrthir replied, “I take it you intend to intercept him at Rivendell?”

She smirked.

“And don’t even think about telling him!”

Ayrthir held a hand up defensively.

“You and I both know he would run away if I did. But, while you are between wars, I feel you need to be at peace with why you fight. And before you ask what I know of war,” he added, “I have faced Dol Guldur and, like you, been caught up in the pointless wars raging in Moria.”

Hanawyn nodded.

“I never said you were an aimless wanderer, Ayrthir! If I had thought it, I would have said it!” she laughed.

Ayrthir took a deep breath.

“Indeed. All levity aside, I also bring news from Annùminas. You can have it when you arrive at Imladris.”

He stood and beckoned to his creature friends as he prepared to depart.

“Wait, Ayrthir. You are purposefully making sure I follow through my own plan aren’t you?” She grinned.

The Elf smiled with something akin to satisfaction.

“You’re not the only one who can play games, my friend. Just promise you’ll teach my wayward brother to loosen up and play along?”

Hanawyn laughed.

“I do try, you know!”

Into the Night

Ayrthir bowed.

“I am aware. Just to warn you, my news is not uplifting. But without first being called ‘his’ you will not understand the reasons the event has come to pass. Resolve your heart, then the truth will heal, not hurt. Farewell.”

With that he turned, strode across the Ford and seemed to disappear into the hills. Stars twinkled overhead and the girl shivered.

“Come friend,” she said to Athearyn, “let’s find a friendly camp for the night. Ayrthir both encourages and cautions me. Cheeky Elf. But, by the Valar, he sees through me. Caethir’s not made it to the Lone-lands yet, so we can go slowly.”

Picking up her meagre provisions, glad to be free of plate armour for a while, she beckoned to her hound and shoeless, stepped slowly across the Ford and vanished into the night.

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1Name made up of athea, meaning “helpful” and ryn, meaning “chaser” or “hound of the chase” – See the Sindarin reference I use
2I created Ayrthir well before learning anything about Sindarin. Knowing the family’s playful spirit, however the name can be retrofitted.
ai, meaning “oh!”, yr meaning “course” and thir meaning “face or expression”. So it could mean his expression is “of course” – i.e. he shows how he feels. This is a fudge, though, I accept!

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Fibro Jedi

A 30-something Shadow Jedi, married and have a small daughter. By that I mean "young", not just "short". I have a chronic pain condition called Fibromyalgia andI play LOTRO, SWTOR and FFXIV and blog about two of them. Social Media has connected me with so many people and some of those have become amazing friends too! As a hobby I am relearning drawing, which you can see on my DeviantArt profile.