Silmarillion Writers' Guild Into the Woods

"To Music of a Pipe Unseen"

by Alassë

To Music of a Pipe Unseen by Alasse

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Excerpt from "Blood and Fire"

by Clodia

Dior could not believe such a thing – not even of Fëanor’s sons, who burned Olwë’s ships at Losgar! Of the Naugrim, certainly, but not of Elves... 

      “They are our allies,” Dior had said.  “They will not attack us.” 

      He sat enthroned in Thingol’s hall, a king beneath a forest of stone and gilded leaves.  The branches were strung with the same gold lanterns that had been set there when Menegroth was first carved out of the caves beneath the stars.  The light limned sculpted pillars, tracing the shapes of bark and tangling vines.  Here a filigree butterfly alighted upon a pink flower; there crept a lizard into a bird’s silver nest, the eggs blue chunks of turquoise beneath fountaining water that glittered like tumbling stars.  The colours of the tapestries glowed as if woven in recent weeks, not centuries before by Queen Melian’s hands. 

      The carvings had almost been restored.  Sometimes people still spotted scratches and hollow sockets where precious stones had been gouged from their settings.  The craftsmen would smooth over the damage and replace the lost gems with chips of coloured glass.

      “They think me a child to be bullied.  They are mistaken.

      His words fell like raindrops on dust, soft in the stillness. 

      There had been golden fountains in that hall once, and silver nightingales climbing over marble basins from which cool water spilled.  The metal was gone now and the basins had been smashed by the plunderers after loot.  Dior, coming later after the battle at Sarn Athrad, had seen the mess of shattered stone littering his forefather’s abandoned hall and had decided in his calm way that the ornaments would not be replaced.  Doriath’s golden days were gone: murdered with Thingol, drowned with Thingol’s wealth beneath the Ascar.  Dior’s silver era would still be glorious, but it might perhaps be less ornate.


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Excerpt from "Children of Doriath"

by Lady Roisin and Eli_14

The sound of fussing drew Daeron to his mother’s side. Melian slept with his newborn sister cradled in her arms. Tiny Lúthien held up her hands and splayed her fingers as Daeron carefully lifted her, trying not to disturb his mother’s much-needed rest as he did so. At first Daeron fretted, worried what he might do to soothe his sister’s unhappy sounds. He rocked her gently in his arms while moving in a lazy circle around the room. The natural instinct of song welled up in Daeron’s being and he began to sing softly, matching the lilting rhythm of the notes to the gentle sway of his arms. The infant Princess fell silent and soon her eyes drifted closed. Daeron smiled as he pressed a finger into Lúthien’s tiny palm, allowing her delicate hand to curl around it. With a single motion she had captured her brother’s heart and he made her a promise to fill her days with happy songs and her nights with blissful lullabies.

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"Melian's Children"

by Lyra

Melian's Children by Lyra

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Excerpt from "Written in Starlight"

by Rhapsody the Bard and Robinka

Thingol knew the distant, mysterious look on her face; the strange light that ignited her eyes; and the subtle tone of her voice, as if she was singing. Ever so wise and thoughtful, she usually had an eager listener in him. It wasn’t different this time; however, the king didn’t wish to discuss the certain matter he supposed she wanted to. But he didn’t suspect that she had an entirely different plan.

“You shouldn’t have given him that dreadful blade, my Lord,” Melian said in a soft voice.

“My Lady?” His surprise was displayed in the tone of his words.

“You shouldn’t have let him take that sword.” She stopped walking.

“He would have taken it despite my wishes,” he replied. “You know this as well as I do.”

As the first drops of rain fell on the grass and the stony paths in the garden, the royal couple made their way to the summerhouse. Melian sat on the bench, while Thingol stood watching the rain, his hands clasped behind his back. They remained in silence for a long moment before the king spoke. “It concerns me greatly that he hasn’t come back yet.”

“It is not all that troubles you, though.”

“No, my Queen.” He gave her a quick, apologetic look.

“You do not need to apologize, my Lord.” Melian smiled and stood up. Stepping beside him and resting both hands on his shoulders, she gently kneaded his tired muscles.

Thingol uttered a gasp of pain and pleasure.

“I might melt standing here, my beloved, if you continue,” he chuckled, looking over his shoulder.

She leaned forward and whispered into his ear, “This is my aim, my love.”

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"In the Woods of Neldoreth"

by Szilvi

In the Woods of Neldoreth by Szilvi

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Excerpt from "Watching the Dance"

by Lyra

Túrin stared at the dark clouds doubtfully. He had been told that the lady Elbereth was bright and beautiful beyond imagination; the lightning was certainly very bright, but nothing else. He said as much.
Nellas grinned again, an expression of wild glee in her eyes. "But that is what 'beyond imagination' means – beauty that you cannot grasp, cannot even see! Look, there she is again – how fast she can jump!" She laughed with delight while the tree shook its branches against the gale, and while a sharp, brutal clap of thunder seemed to shake the clouds in reply.
Túrin remained unconvinced. "And that really was the lord Tulchas?" he asked.
"No, no, silly, Tulchas laughs longer. That was the lord Achul, swinging his hammer. - In sport!" she said quickly when she saw him flinch. "Not in wrath! They are but dancing, young Túrin. Do not fear! They will not hurt you!"
"When I was still with Mother, a man we knew was struck by lightning," Túrin said, uncertain whether he could believe her. "He died – he burned completely! They only found his boots and the rest of his spear!"
A shadow briefly darkened Nellas' eyes. "Yes, sometimes that happens," she said. "I think they do not always know their own strength." Túrin blinked. He had heard that phrase about himself or his playfellows on occasion, generally when someone had been hurt – but he certainly would not have expected to hear it applied to the Powers. He glanced skywards anxiously.
"But that sort of thing won't happen here," Nellas went on, oblivious to his renewed worry. "Our Queen won't let it. I wouldn't recommend you to climb on a tree during a thunderstorm in any other forest!"

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Excerpt from "Moonlighted Gardens"

by Silver Trails

Oropher watched Celeborn enter Thingol’s chamber, his tall frame moving as fast as possible without losing the dignity of a Doriath prince and kinsman of the King. Celeborn was completely taken by Galadriel, even if he denied it. Oropher could see the change in his friend’s whole demeanor whenever the Golodhrim came to Doriath.

Olwë’s and Finwë’s grandchildren indeed; they also had Vanyarin blood, the same as Oropher. They were beautiful, and deceitful. They had supposedly come back to aid the Elves of Doriath to fight against the Evil One, but why would they do so if the Blessed Realms were safe from that evil? There was something amiss, Oropher was sure of it.

“Are they here again?” a voice asked behind him. Oropher jumped, startled. It was Amdir, and he was smiling at him, obviously amused.

Oropher half-glared at him. “They are, but I believe that Galadriel will stay. Queen Melian had one of the best chambers arranged for her. Celeborn said so,” he added when Amdir’s smile grew wider. “I could care less for those Golodhrim.”

“Celeborn must be happy,” Amdir said, sobering.

Oropher nodded. “So happy that he sees not the possible danger to Doriath,” he said. “I tried to warn him, but Celeborn said that he will not judge them hastily.”

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"Love Not Wisdom"

by Oshun

After cleaning Beleg's wrists with uncharacteristic tenderness, Túrin wrapped them in clean strips of cloth. He raised his eyes to Beleg. “I am sorry. But so happy that you are here. You will stay, won’t you?”

It would be incredibly easy just to kiss him. Túrin’s manner told him that this would not be one of the times when he would be reluctant to respond. “If I stayed beside you, love would lead me, not wisdom. My heart warns me that we should return to Doriath, elsewhere a shadow lies before.”1

“So, you will remain?” Hopeful. Irresistible.

He kissed him and Túrin melted against him. Fumbling with the buckle of Túrin’s belt, Beleg whispered, “I will stay. Did you truly think I might not?”

“I hoped you would. I will make sure you do not regret it.”

“Ai, Túrin, I know I will regret it. As, no doubt, will you.”

1 The Children of Húrin, “Túrin among the Outlaws”

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Excerpt from "Lady of the Hunt"

by Lady Roisin

He had run for hours. At least that was how it felt to Beren. A strange cat-like beast had chased him from familiar territory into a place where the brush grew thick and strange. Even the scents were different here. Lost did not seem an adequate word to describe Beren’s current state. It went far beyond that. This was an entirely different world he had strayed into. Here the flowers and trees were wilder, older. They seemed to be watching him. Beren could not erase the sensation of eyes following his every step.

Earlier that night he had made the mistake of investigating the sounds of music. A strange and haunting melody played by a flute came from a nearby clearing. Beren had crouched low in the heavy foliage to watch a male elf playing a wooden instrument; a woman danced nearby. Her movements carried a sensual grace and beauty that Beren was unable to tear his eyes away from. In the back of his mind, Beren knew he should run, that this was something he was not meant to witness. Yet he felt helpless to turn away from the woman’s barely clothed figure while it swayed and her bare abdomen undulated to the notes played by her companion. Both of them seemed completely oblivious to Beren’s presence, at least until Beren clumsily tripped over an unseen tree root and crashed loudly into the brush surrounding the clearing. All music and dancing came to a sudden halt as both of the Elves gave chase to the intruder. Even after Beren had run far, he still did not stop, just in case the two Elves still pursued him.

A soft scuffle of leaves from overhead turned Beren’s attention up towards the tops of the trees. Hopefully he was not about to encounter another hungry animal in search of a meal. Beren barely had a chance to reach for his knife when something pounced upon him, bringing him to the ground...

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"Daeron in Neldoreth Neldoreth"

by Szilvi

Daeron in Neldoreth by Szilvi

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Excerpt from "Will Overruled by Fate"

by Oshun

Beleg told me first of Doriath and the marvels of the Thousand Caves of Menegroth. His storytelling revealed his sense of humor and his own unique perspective.

“Doriath was not made up of a thousand caves,” he said, “as extravagant bards relish in reporting here. Would that they had been. Then they would not have been nearly so crowded.”

I pretended to be shocked and asked, “Are you telling me the truth?”

“Largely,” Beleg drawled, with a roguish wink.

He explained how Elves and Dwarves together had brought their distinctive skills to the construction of that monument to what he called, “creative excess.” I fueled his rampant irreverence with my laughter. He continued on with a fanciful description of what he characterized as an overweening preoccupation with realistic detail: carvings of vines, trees, shrubs, birds, even bees and insects that covered the walls and ceilings of most hallways and chambers.

In the process of his accounting, he told me far more about Beleg than Menegroth. I began to see clearly the picture of the man, edgy within a courtly setting and drawn to seek solitary renewal in the wilderness. His impatience with the reliance upon a girdle of magic was palpable, although not explicit, as was his personal compulsion to directly seek out and face down the Enemy.

Against my better judgment, I again brought up the subject of Túrin. I believed Túrin represented my competition for his regard, much as Galadriel had stood between Celeborn and me. In this case, I was determined to face down my rival, even though he was a ghost.

Beleg is a stronger, braver man than I am. He could have told me to hold my tongue, but he did not and tried to answer me honestly.

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