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13
Cultivation Challenge Entries

1) Title: Fruitless
Challenge: Plough
Summary: Not all fields bear fruit.

2) Title: The Muster of Kementári
Challenge: Harrow, Sow
Summary: After many years of warning, Yavanna’s hour has come.

3) Title: Foxfired
Challenge: Prick, Weed
Summary: Wars are won in the will.


~~~

Fruitless

All children quarrel.

The Elves slaughtered kindred. Aulë’s children, with their seven houses, enslaved their own. Men had ever warred, and Oromë’s beloved beasts ate each other.

The Entwives planted, while Ents-husbands herded. Fractious fruit, such division, that hardened like bark:

Wilderness is grand and good!

Gardens are beautiful and novel!


But care comes ever first – manifold care. Yavanna had ploughed the ancient earth, pinching earthworms from clay, for wilderness and garden, and she brought forth bountiful ivies for forest and field.

They will outlast all quarrels, if not grief: her children sleep separately. There will be no more Entings.

~0~


The Muster of Kementári

When the Valar came, Melkor raged wildfire over the north. Aulë answered in firebreak canyons and mountains, but firestorms spread embers. Forests fell, tundra sweated, drowning lowlands.

Enter Yavanna. Outraged, her kingdom’s fertile with fight: horsebrush sprouted; blood-red sword-grass proliferated, mocking Melkor. Her doughty weedy briars clutched topsoil close; lichens ate stone.

The Sower harrowed Utumno, seeding it with poison ivy. Melkor’s fires sent its fume throughout his halls: his servants foundered, screaming blood. Against dark fire, Yavanna pit her green: even dragons succumbed.

And while her siblings raged, Kementári sank roots into Utumno’s rock vaults and cracked them open…


~0~


Foxfired

The world is dark beyond the mountains. Yavanna walks with her lantern among her children, who open their leafy arms to her, telling of the Dark Rider and his servants – their ravages.

Other Powers fear haste; Yavanna knows none. The Queen of Mushrooms sows ghosts, lanterns, bitter oysters, skullcaps amid delicate dreamers – so inviting!

Melkor’s servants quail before such lights; eat, and vomit abjectly. In mushroom dreams the Reaper with her awl pricks souls out, plants them in trees, that they scream – hollow and helpless – forever.

And she whispers to them Death is futile: their bodies but feed her weeds…

~~~

The Muster of Kementári:

Notes
: Imagine this on the inside of your throat and lungs, not to mention everywhere else.

Yavanna and Oromë are the only Valar regularly said to walk the land beyond Valinor, and Yavanna regularly warns her siblings that they must do something about Melkor.

Foxfired:

Notes: Wars are won in the will: Thank you, Michael Crichton et al.. PsyOps Yavanna brought to you by I know not what mindset.

Yavanna’s chosen troops against hungry orcs: ghosts, lanterns, bitter oysters, skullcaps amid delicate dreamers.

The idea of planting souls in trees comes from Tam Lin.

On the term “awl”: while hunting for information on what “prick” meant in farmspeak, I did learn that you use a dibber to prick out your baby plants. However, “dibber” by its very form connotes something cute to me, and Yavanna is not into being cute of late, or sweet, or nurturing. So “awl” it is – I mean, they both have pointy ends, right?


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