Hollin by Zhie
Summary: A group of Elves go on vacation. (Standalone; Bunniverse compatible)
Categories: Stories of Arda > Bunniverse (PPB-AU) > Third Age Characters: Elladan, Elrohir, Erestor, Glorfindel, Lindir
Awards: None
Challenge: None
Genre: Comedic, Historical
Special Collection: None
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes Word count: 985 Read: 1848 Published: April 20 2014 Updated: April 20 2014
Story Notes:
For OEAM Writer's Circle - Sense of Place (April 2010)

1. Complete by Zhie

Complete by Zhie
An Elven Holiday for someone living in Greenwood might consist of a season across the river in Lothlorien, or for the truly adventurous, a year in Rivendell. Those in Havens might wander inland, and some who populated areas in the East might travel towards the sea.

For those of the nobility, holidays were rare, and rarer still was the chance to partake in one without some duty to be done. When one wished a place devoid completely of documents to sign and meetings to attend, there was only one place to be found.

“I hereby crown thee King of Eregion!” Nimfannel, one of the two ladies-in-waiting who had joined the small party on this secret vacation, set a crown of holly upon Erestor’s head. It tilted down over one eye, and he lazily adjusted it while some of the others applauded his new rank and others, such as Elladan and Elrohir, simply laughed.

“I am uncertain of whether this is a good thing or not,” admitted Erestor to Glorfindel as Nimfannel pranced away to look at something that Lindir had found.

Glorfindel plucked a berry from the wreath and popped it into his mouth. “I have a feeling it will be a very short-lived reign, if Elrond expects us to return by late summer.” They were lounging in the tall, soft grasses, robes of state and damasked armor left at home. The party had traveled very light, forgoing even tents in the hopes that they would not be caught up in too many rain storms.

Oronel, the third and final lady of the party and chief scribe to Lord Celeborn, had spread the blanket from her horse on the ground to be used as a picnic cloth and was setting out the first lunch which did not consist of lembas and water since they had disembarked. “I do love the architecture, or rather, what is left of it.”

“Imagine how it was when it stood proud upon the horizon,” reminisced Erestor. “Here, where we are now, was once a glorious stairway of stone and marble, with columns that seemed to touch the sky. At the top of the stairs was a wide platform, and from it King Celebrimbor ruled his people and created his greatest works in the open-air forge that was found upon either side of his throne.” Erestor’s voice became quieter as he continued. “This, too, was the place where Annatar came to suggest an alliance, where I stood beside Celebrimbor as Oropher’s messenger as he called the leaders of the three peoples of the Elves, and where eventually Annatar’s true self was revealed and he brutally murdered Feanor’s grandson. The stairs, when they yet remained, were stained with the blood that was spilled. They are overgrown now, as you can see.”

“As is everything else,” remarked Oronel. The columns had been tipped millennium ago, and here and there rubble could be found to make a case as to where one had fallen. The steps were no more than a tilt to the landscape, and the holly had overtaken the platform, save for a pile of stones that resembled a crushed stone chair. “Is that his throne?”

“Indeed, it once was. The trees and plants here are not the same from those days, for the land was laid to waste and all was burned,” explained Erestor. “But the stones remember him, and his people, and what was here once.”

“How can stone recall residents long gone?” wondered Elrohir. The others had joined the picnickers once food was made ready, and to listen to the stories Erestor had to tell, for not even Glorfindel had arrived by the time Eregion had fallen.

“How can a jewel burn the hands of the unworthy? How can a ring call to its master?” Erestor sat up and removed the crown from his head. “Arda lives and breathes, just the same as you or I.”

As they ate, they spoke little, most contemplating the land and the rich history lost. Yet even with such loss, beauty was regained. The lush leaves of holly blanketed the land, and red berries gleamed upon the bushes, inviting birds and Elves to taste the fruit forbidden to others. Very few other animals roamed the area, not due to the presence of the Elves, but for the lingering evil that would send a chill up even a squirrel’s spine. It was a shame, for the grass was sweet and tender, and the trees held plentiful fruit, despite it being only early spring.

Only one member of the party was lost in thought, recalling the bustle of life here in great detail. It was once the hub of Elven culture in Middle-earth; anyone who was anyone lived in Eregion. The finest wines, the best tailors, the most perfect jewels, the newest music, and the richest foods were all to be found in this land of holly. All lost, all gone, all forgotten – save for some Elves whose luck managed them the moniker of ‘old’ and the crumbled stones of buildings which were once graceful and majestic.

“Why has no one rebuilt this place?” asked Lindir near the end of the meal. All eyes were upon Erestor in hopes of some sage answer.

He smile as he looked about and watched a thrush land nearby to yank at the softened berries from the previous year that still clung to some of the bushes. “Elves never rebuild anything. Have you none of you realized that our tribes are nomadic in nature? Nevrast was abandoned, Doriath was abandoned, Gondolin and parts of Lindon were abandoned – rarely do we return to a place of beauty destroyed. I will wager that when I see the shores of Valinor again, the port where once white swan ships sailed still remains silent to this day, with naught but the crash of waves upon the shore.”
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