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by finnehas on Feb 26, 2016 at 04:45 AM

As the appointed hour grew close, the aspect of a fine hall rose before Minnwen, its pillars and arches as stately as the copse of silver birches surrounding it — and as ethereal. For the same dappled sunlight that danced through that fine-leaved canopy and around the gables of the house played about its long, airy windows, rendering the abode all but one with the forest, tall, graceful and without pretension. Brethílímbar, the elven forester had told her. “Birkenhall,” she murmured to herself in the Westron tongue.

Dismounting, she approached, yet still the house was silent, the doors shut. But not locked — they swung open readily, revealing a foyer lined with bookshelves. She recalled then that in their conversation he had spoken of a scholarly brother. And indeed on a table by a cold fireplace in the main hall were strewn numerous books and scraps of old parchment, untouched for who could say how long beneath a gossamer layer of dust. Framed maps of various sizes filled the walls, and still more bookshelves drew her gaze upwards to the stalwart beams that supported the roof of the great-hall.

At first she thought it some trick of her weary eyes, that the very wood seemed about to flicker into embers. Then came the realisation, no less marvellous to her, that in fact the dying light of the day was being captured and reflected by patterns inlaid with filigree-fine silver — no, more than patterns — cirth! With a cry of wonder she began to recite the words as the ancient tongue returned to her, very slowly, from half-forgotten memories. For in her childhood had the tale of Beren and his love for Luthíen already passed into legend. And when the sun’s light failed at last and most of the long runic lines still stretched unread across the rafters, she silently bade Tauron keep safe the brothers and return them to Brethilimbar. Then she lit the candled sconces throughout the hall, one by one, and watched the shadows flee.

[OOC: From the Athrabeth Gwanûn, which is Tindello's work (and I hope he knows it is genius) I wanted to convey something of the character of Brethilimbar as its founders built it]
by finnehas on Feb 26, 2016 at 04:26 AM
by Tindello and reproduced from the Laurelin Archives

Elven brothers Tindello Tenderleaf and Tavelorn Silverbranch discuss the worth of adapting to new ways versus that of honoring their Nandorin heritage.

In this place, the house Brethilimbar, which is Birkenhall in the Common Speech, that is in the valley of the Lhun in the eastward lands of Lindon, behind the Blue Mountains from the Sea, at this time, after the passage of Nernwen, lady of the Mithlond, over the Sea in the twenty-first yén of the Third Age according to the Reckoning of Imladris, upon the occasion, the brothers Tindello and Tavelorn debate the mode of their living, their heritage, and the lessons of the past. I, Tavelorn Silverbranch, make this record.

Tavelorn: My brother, why do you frown so to be under this roof that our father caused to be raised to the pleasure of our mother, so recently departed, and in which the both of us were born?

Tindello: Do I frown? It is a fine hall, and will be finer when I have finished carving its roof-beams. Yet if I do, perhaps it is because before this roof was raised, our father’s folk had dwelt by choice under the stars, to feel the wind in their hair free about them.

Tavelorn: The wind, and likewise the rain which, you understand, however little it may dampen your spirit, is very bad for books, of which we have now no small collection, and more in fragments to be restored, and more yet I suppose to be written.

Tindello: Written in the letters of Feänor! The cirth are fine for carving in wood or stone, the better to outlast paper and what is more the Angerthas are the work of Daeron the Singer, of our own good people.

Tavelorn: If you carved staves and stones enough to keep the lore in all our books, and those I have yet to restore, and those yet to be written, you would have wood and stone enough to build a house with, so it comes to the same thing.

Tindello: You are not far wrong. Indeed, if you have seen, I have graven the Lay of Leithian about the beams that hold up the ceiling in the great-room, and it took no small season of work, for the Lay is long.

Tavelorn: I have seen it, and the carving is very fine. But it will catch the light better when the runes are inlaid with silver leaf. My pupil Gannelion has sheets of pure metal hammered thin and fine by the folk of the Vale of Thráin.

Tindello: So long as the Naugrim do not decide we have paid too little for it. Your ceiling will do little to keep out the weather if they take the roof-beams away.

Tavelorn: That is ungently said, brother. The silver-leaf was bought with our good timber and choice meat of your own hunting, and green herbs of the Falathlorn and wine of Limael’s vinting for the making of medicines – and they were well pleased with the bargain.

Tindello: As well they should be, as it was our own silver they took their hammers to. But I do not fear the Lay becoming a net of jewel-lore to snare us in some curse. Let your pupil gaud it as he likes.

[work in progress, subject to alteration as the debate develops]