Ealdric is an OC belonging to my gwathel-Kelly and used with permission.
"In Dwimordene, in Lorien
Seldom have walked the feet of men,
Few mortal eyes have seen the light
That lies there ever, long and bright.
Clear is the water of your well;
White is the stars in your white hand;
Unmarred, unstained is leaf and land
In Dwimordene, in Lorien
More fair than thoughts of Mortal Men."
Theodred sang softly to himself, an old song he had learned from his father.
Theoden had learned the song when he was a boy, when he still lived in Gondor,
from his father, Thengel. But never till now had Theodred really understood it.
"Theodred! Will you wait a minute?" Theodred's liegeman and sword-brother,
Ealdric, skidded to a halt when the Prince stopped. "Well. You told me to wait,"
was Theodred's unapologetic comment.
"I did. What in Bema's name has you in such a hurry, anyway?" The two
seventeen-year-olds matched each other stare for stare, and Ealdric groaned.
"Bema! Don't tell me SHE's here again. Wasn't SHE just visiting your Aunt
Theodwyn and Uncle Eomund? Have the littles come to visit? Or is Lord Eomund too
"Don't let Grandmother hear you speak of her that way, Ealdric. You know what
will happen if you do," Theodred cautioned. He smiled wryly and looked out over
the wall of the Golden Hall. "Besides, there's only one 'she' I'm concerned with
"Oh?" Ealdric's interest was piqued. "Is she pretty?"
"Beyond description. 'Pretty' is too mild a word."
"Are you going to marry her? What's her name, Theodred? Why haven't I met her
"I want to, I don't know, and because I haven't met her, only just seen her."
Theodred pointed out over the plain. "They passed that way, and I saw her."
"But...that's Dwimordene. You know...the *Enchanted* Wood," Ealdric stressed.
"En-chan-ted. You go in and never come out. We've both heard the stories from
Theodred grimaced. "Nursery tales, brother," he pointed out. "Unless you're too
scared to go with me to find her?"
"With the Queen around? Are you crazy?"
Theodred smirked. "Do I really need to answer that?" At Ealdric's groan, he
laughed, and assumed a lordly tone. "My cloak, Ealdric. And saddle up Brego.
"Yes, Theodred. Yes, you're crazy." With a roll of his eyes, Ealdric loped off.
He would do as he was told, but he didn't have to like it. And if they didn't
come back alive...he hoped they'd blame it on Theo. If they did...well, Theoden
would kill them anyway. It'd be Theo's funeral.
While he waited for his brother to join him, Ealdric fed Brego and Baldor each
an apple. At least the horses didn't worry about doom.
"In Dwimordene, in Lorien