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Finding Nimrodel
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Finding Nimrodel

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usArt used in this piece is Ophelia, John William Waterhouse (1849-1917).

A cheerful, noisy group of young men approached the mouth of the river near where it flowed into the sea. Their sunburned faces and dusty casual garb did nothing to disguise their identity before the common fisherfolk who dwelt in these parts. The expensive tack and livery of their handsome grey mounts and the youths' fair forms and faces unmistakably identified them as Swan Knights of Dol Amroth on a holiday excursion.

The first knight to reach the river bank called out behind him, "Imrahil! We cannot water the horses here. It is brackish, unfit for man or beast."

"Wait here with the others, cousin. I recall there's a fresh water stream nearby. When I find it I will return to guide you there," said the young lord, noble of mien and bearing, raven-haired and grey-eyed, and unusually tall of stature. His beardless, comely face bespoke the combination of Númenórean and Elven blood evident in all the heirs of the ruling princes of Belfalas.

Imrahil soon found the stream flowing to the sea from a freshwater marsh. The rippled sunlight that shone through the shade of alder, myrtle, and willow trees lent the sheltered spot an air of enchantment and mystery. The sound of the sea and the great river faded as led his horse deeper within the shadows to drink.

There he spotted a lady of a beauty he had thought existed only in romantic tales of yore, seated upon a large rock surrounded by reeds and water lilies.

She gently lowered her hands from her flowing auburn hair and turned her head slowly to face him.

"My lady, are you well? Can I be of assistance?" he asked, surprised to find this vision of elegance and grace alone in this isolated spot.

"Thank you kind sir. I am well," she said, her Sindarin fluent, if somewhat halting and colored with an accent that he could not identify. A shy smile lit her face before it transformed with confusion, as she looked into his eyes and asked, "Are you of Elvenkind, my lord?"

"Nay, fair lady. Tho' it is oft recorded in the lore of my land that not all of Elvenkind who approached these coasts sailed West to Eldamar. Some say my ancestors descend from a companion of the lovely Nimrodel of song and fable, or even the High King Amroth's long-lost love herself," he said.

"I assure you it was not Nimrodel," she answered. "Although no one could deny the Elven blood in one so fair in face and mind as you are."

"And I am certain that you, my lady, although I have never met one, must be an Elleth," he said.

"I do not deny it," she said, with a hint of mirth and warmth of heart that suffused him with ecstatic joy and a rare foresight.

I have found my heart's desire, he thought.

The tales speak of the glorious life and deeds of Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth, his ancestors, and his heirs. Yet none tell of the fate of Nimrodel the lost Elf-maiden. Some say her blood lives still in the princes of Belfalas, fairest of all the lords of Gondor.


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