Written for the LOTR Community White Tree challenge. Thanks as ever to RiverOtter for the beta.
The Sign of Grace
“And why would you, the appointed Lord and King of us all, wish to plant this yourself?” demanded Elros’s friend and advisor. “After all, it is only a tree when all is said and done,” he said firmly.
Elros’s brow rose in a manner his brother could have advised indicated he was most displeased. “Only a tree? Only a tree?” He shook his head in disbelief and rose to his full, impressive height. “That is like saying that the Sun is only a light in the sky, of no more importance to those of us who dwell within Arda than the least of stars.”
He turned to look at the small sapling that had just been gifted to his house by Elves from Tol Eressëa. “I have spoken with the Lady Galadriel Artanis, who was born beneath the Light of the Two Trees, and with Círdan the Shipwright, who was born even earlier, when only the stars lit the world. Few of the fruits of Telperion came to full ripeness, and of those few fruits fewer have given rise to viable offspring. That we are honored by being given one of the White Trees of the Valar----”
He turned again to face the Adan who had stood by his side since the day he’d declared himself one with the mortals. “Today, at least, we have found favor with the Valar and the Eldar. Today we are seen as worthy of being counted among the Children of Ilúvatar. I would have that remembered here, in this land that we are now founding. I have lived longer than you, and know that even among the Elves there have been betrayals and murders most foul. Let all be reminded that faithfulness to the Powers that guide the world is of more value than rubies or pearls, as faithfulness is, in the end, beyond all price.”
He moved to kneel by the pot in which the Tree had been brought. “Faithfulness must grow, even as the Tree must grow. It must be nurtured and husbanded. I fear that without such reminders as this our people must fail in the end; and my blessings will ever be on those who are faithful to the Tree and the covenant it symbolizes.”