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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Fan Art:
Tauriel's Story Chapter 5 - Forest of Bow Hunters

Kilidoescartwheels
Valinor


Feb 1 2016, 8:02pm

Post #1 of 16 (1168 views)
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Tauriel's Story Chapter 5 - Forest of Bow Hunters Can't Post

This is my latest chapter in Tauriel's Story, and I must say, it's tempting to change the name of the story to "Forest of Bow Hunters." This is the area where most of the action will take place. The previous chapters can be found below, or on my blog: hobbitized.wordpress.com. Many thanks to Otaku-sempai and Sarahbor for their helpful suggestions. Some things are already set & can't be changed, but others are duly noted and will be acted upon. Again, feedback is greatly appreciated; hope you like it!

Forest of Bow Hunters




One of the elves, presumably their leader, stepped forward. “So,” he demanded, “ have the Eldar come to pay a visit?”


Tauriel was surprised she understood him. “I am not Eldar,” she replied, “I am a Silvan elf.”


The leader seemed equally surprised. “I do not know what a Silvan Elf is, or how one can speak my language.” He circled behind Tauriel, as if examining her from every angle. She didn’t appreciate his attention, and turned to face him. He stood tall and slender, with pointed ears like any elf, and yet was unlike any elf she’d ever known before. His hair was black and wavy, framing his face even as it spilled down his back. He wore a vest of animal fur, likewise his trousers were made from deerskin, tucked inside boots of the same material. His arms were bare except for heavy leather bracers, and a colorful scarf similar to Andriev’s was tied loosely around his neck. A curved bow, similar to the one Tauriel used to have, hung from a quiver slung across his back, and a hunting knife was sheathed in a belt that settled below his waist. A silver hoop dangled from one ear – it was the only adornment he wore.


Tauriel was about to challenge him when she looked into his eyes, and was halted by a memory. Something about the dark color of his eyes, the way his brow arched, reminded her of Kili, but how could that be? Kili was tall for a Dwarf, perhaps, but he was still short and stocky – and gone. She looked again, this time seeing no resemblance beyond eye color.


The other elves advanced slowly – three men and two women, all dark-haired and similarly dressed in fur and animal skins. Two of the elf-men had shaved the hair on each side of their heads, making the rest of their hair look like a horse’s mane. In contrast, one of the elf-women had clipper her hair to the collar. The other had pulled hers high on the head, secured with a band and worked into a single braid. All looked formidable.


Adriev addressed their leader. “Grigore, this is Tauriel of Mirkwood. She brings news that you need to hear.”


Grigore turned to Andriev, a slight smile pulled at the corners of his mouth. “If you say so,” he replied in Westron. He instructed two of his party to tend to the horses, then gestured for Tauriel to sit by the fire. “Now, tell me what would bring an elf from Mirkwood all the way here. I must tell you, my Westron isn’t any better than your Silvan, but perhaps you should speak Westron anyway.”


Tauriel did as he asked, hoping that Grigore could understand. Occasionally he looked to Andriev to repeat what she said in Silvan. She tried to listen, to remember the nuance in the pronunciation he used before she spoke again. The other Elves didn’t seem to know Westron, but when she finally mentioned Sauron, they all understood. They talked among themselves; Tauriel heard many words that she recognized, but could not keep up with the entire conversation.


One word caught Andriev’s attention – “Minya,” he exclaimed, “she isn’t here, where is she?”


“No she isn’t,” Grigore replied, “she is sulking in the woods somewhere.” Glancing at Tauriel he added, “If only we’d gotten this news a week ago.” He grew quiet, lost in his own thoughts for a long moment.


Finally Andriev spoke. “Grigore, our village must be warned. Mattias wishes to warn his kin as well.”


“Yes, of course.” Grigore seemed to shake himself awake. “You must be hungry, Andriev, and perhaps our guest is as well?” Tauriel nodded. “Well then, I believe we have some berries and cakes, and a few rabbits as well.” He turned to one of the elves, who held up his catch.


Tauriel was shocked – she had never known an elf to hunt animals. But she said nothing while the rabbits were skinned and cleaned; she believed the men would eat them. She nibbled on a honeycake while the meat roasted – and was even more shocked when Grigore cut off a piece of meat and ate it.


Grigore noticed her discomfort, and fought to suppress a mischievous grin. “Would you like to try some?”


The thought made Tauriel feel queasy. “No thank you,” she muttered. Grigore said something to his companions, who laughed. She didn’t know the words, but the meaning was clear.


After they ate, Andriev and Mattias spread their bedrolls near the fire and fell asleep. The elves gathered nearby and talked quietly, except for Tauriel. She stood apart, looking up at the stars. They were the same stars she’d seen for hundreds of nights, and the only thing familiar in this land.


Grigore approached her quietly. “It’s a beautiful night, isn’t it?” She smiled and nodded. He pointed up at the stars. “Astru – our word for ‘star’ is astru.”


“Astru,” she repeated.


“The Avari believe ours was the first Elven language,” he explained, “at least, that’s what my parents told me.”


“Your parents,” Tauriel mused. She could barely remember her own. “Are they here, in the forest?”


Grigore shook his head. “Their home is in the forest at the southern range of the Orocarni Mountains – not far from Mordor.” He grew silent, worry etched across his face. “They will not leave it.”


“But you did – why?” Tauriel looked at him expectantly.


“Yes, about 200 years ago.” Grigore smiled and shrugged. “I suppose I was bored. I felt confined by the rules of my people. So a group of us set out seeking adventure, perhaps a new way of life as well. We believed we could do better than our Elders.”


“I understand that,” she replied. “Did you succeed?”


He shrugged again. “That would depend on what you mean by ‘better.’ I think all I can really say is, we live differently.” He realized he had reverted to the Silvan language. “Apologies,” he said in Westron, “I forget myself.”


“No, it is fine,” she replied in her own language. “The more I hear it, the more I understand.”


“What do you call it? Your language, I mean.”


“Sindarin.”


“Sindarin,” he repeated. “You know, of course, that you are descended from the Elves that traveled west from here?” She nodded. He continued, “And the language changed because of it. My parents, and the others, do not like change. But the world has changed, and will continue to do so. I have seen the cities of men grow and change – even the Kingdom of the Dwarves has changed, but not the Avari.”


“That is why you left?” Tauriel didn’t leave Mirkwood willingly, it wasn’t the same thing at all. But she understood why he felt the need for change. “I cannot fault you for it, but now that you know what is happening, will you return?”


“No,” Grigore whispered. His eyes grew sad from a memory. “I would ask them to come here, where it is safer, but they will not leave their home. They believe their forest is all that is left of Cuivienen, where the Elves first awoke.” He turned to her, a sad smile on his face. “I don’t know if it’s true or not – they can’t possibly know either, but they believe it. They won’t change, and they won’t leave.”


He became silent, lost in his thoughts, until another Elf came up and spoke to him. Tauriel caught the word ‘vanator,’ and waited until they finished speaking before asking, “What does ‘vanator’ mean?”


He turned back to her. “It means ‘hunter’ in Westron. They wish to go night-hunting, to gather food for tomorrow.”


“And will you go with them?”


He smiled at her. “No, someone needs to watch over them.” He gestured towards Andriev and Mattias, who were still sleeping. “Besides, I should teach you more of our language.” He reached for his bow. “Arc,” he said as he held it. “It means ‘bow’ in Westron. “Arc vanator’ means bow hunter. And this,” he added as he swept his hand toward the forest, “is ‘padure,’ our word for ‘forest.’”


“Padure arc vanator,” Tauriel repeated, “forest of bow hunters.”


“Very good,” Grigore encouraged, “that is the name of our forest home.” He spent the rest of the early morning hours naming everything in sight: tree, leaf, grass, stone, water, horse, and on and on, until the sun broke over the horizon. He ended the lesson with ‘dawn’ and ‘sunlight.’ She repeated every word, committing them to memory. “You are a quick study, Tauriel.”


She blushed slightly. “And you are a good teacher, Grigore. But as you said, our languages are similar.” Just then the Elven hunting party returned, carrying two pheasants. She found herself asking, “What is the word for ‘Elf’ in your language?”


Grigore laughed. “The word for ‘Elf’ in our language, is ‘Elf.’ It’s fitting that one word our languages share is the name of our people.” They sat quietly while the other elves cleaned and prepared the birds. The men woke to the pleasant smell of meat roasting over the fire. “I see you’ve decided to join us, Andriev,” Grigore joked. “It would be a shame to miss such a fine meal.”


“Then I’m glad you decided to wake me.” Andriev left his bedroll on the ground, enjoying his breakfast before anything else. “Will you come with us to Taras?”


“Yes, I think that would be wise.” Grigore gave Tauriel another honeycake, and checked to see how many were left. After everyone had eaten, the remaining meat was wrapped up, waterskins were refilled, and they were on their way. The morning was clear and cold, their breath hung white in the air. The Elves were on foot, so travel was slower than the previous day. Grigore walked alongside Tauriel. “If we don’t make any unnecessary stops, we will arrive in Taras before sunset,” he explained. “The good people of Taras stable our horses for us – the forest is too thick in places for them.”


“I see.” Tauriel replied. “I doubt I’ll need to make any such stops.”


“I am sure of that,” Grigore chuckled as he looked over his shoulder, “it’s Andriev that I was thinking of.”


“Give an old man some credit,” he shot back. “Any stops I need to make will be very brief indeed.”


The light banter kept their spirits up as the day wore on. They kept close to the forest, moving easterly until the village came into view. Unfortunately, they were not the only ones watching the village. A troop of Variag horsemen were gathered to the south, racing towards Taras. The village was under attack!



Proud member of the BOFA Denial Association


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Feb 1 2016, 8:21pm

Post #2 of 16 (1152 views)
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Shocked? [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Tauriel was shocked – she had never known an elf to hunt animals.


I very much doubt that. Peter Jackson didn't get into the diet of the Wood-elves, but Tolkien definitely pegged them as hunters.


Quote
There was a fire in their midst and there were torches fastened to some of the trees round about; but most splendid sight of all: they were eating and drinking and laughing merrily.

The smell of roast meats was so enchanting that, without waiting to consult with one another, every one of them got up and scrambled forwards into the ring with the one idea of begging for food.


And:

Quote
In fact the subjects of the king mostly lived and hunted in the open woods, and had houses or huts on the ground and in the branches.


And:

Quote
Companies of the Wood-elves, sometimes with the king at their head, would from time to time ride out to hunt, or to other business in the woods and in the lands to the East.


Even the High Elves in Rivendell should not have been depicted living on an all-vegetarian diet. That was Peter Jackson displaying his sense of humor with the Dwarves' reactions.

If I didn't mention it before, the Avari probably had a different name for themselves. The term Avari (the Unwilling; the Refusers) came from the Elves of the Great Journey.

Don't take these notes to heart. They are just something that you might want to keep in mind for future reference or if you make any major revisions to your story.

There has been some debate about the make up of the Silvan Elves of Rhovanion. Some think that they were all Teleri, but closer to the Green Elves (and the Avari) than the Sindar. Others think that some of the Avari eventually migrated west and blended in with the Teleri population. Silvan probably was very close to their original language, basically just a dialect of it.

"Things need not to have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure
when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."


- Dream of the Endless


(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Feb 1 2016, 8:36pm)


ThorinsNemesis
Lorien


Feb 1 2016, 9:17pm

Post #3 of 16 (1138 views)
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I like the way you depicted the Avari [In reply to] Can't Post

and the backstory about Grigore's parents and the Orocarni forest is also interesting; in fact, when I look at the Weta map of Middle-earth featuring the Orocarni Mountains, I also often think that the Avari living at the slopes of the Mountains would have to be very watchful since they live so close to Mordor, and are surrounded by Easterlings (and other Evil Men).
Seeing how nice the story turns out, I really wish there was a movie of some sort that depicted Tauriel's fate after the battle of the five armies in a similar course as your story Smile (unfortunately wouldn't happen, mostly because I think this is Silmarillion territory).



Sarahbor
Lorien


Feb 2 2016, 3:50am

Post #4 of 16 (1129 views)
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Suggestions [In reply to] Can't Post

First off, aren't the Silvan elves of Mirkwood considered Eldar? They're distantly descended from the Teleri, one of the original three kindreds, so doesn't that make them Eldar, even if they're culturally different from the High Elves? I can never keep the history and sundering of the elves straight, so someone help me out here. Tauriel did say in DOS "All light is sacred to the Eldar"....

Second, OS is right about the elves eating meat. I didn't like how they were depicted as vegetarians in the films; Tolkien did describe them as hunters, and I think he mentioned Rivendell as having the best meats.

Last, Grigore says "It means 'hunter' in Westron" and "It means 'bow' in Westron"...don't you mean in Silvan? He wouldn't be teaching her the common tongue.

Typo in the fifth paragraph: "The elf-woman had clipper her hair..." - should be clipped

Hobbit/LOTR cartoons & humor: http://www.sarahbor.com/

(This post was edited by Sarahbor on Feb 2 2016, 3:53am)


Kilidoescartwheels
Valinor


Feb 2 2016, 4:24am

Post #5 of 16 (1125 views)
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Was that in "The Hobbit?" [In reply to] Can't Post

"There was a fire in their midst and there were torches fastened to some of the trees round about; but most splendid sight of all: they were eating and drinking and laughing merrily.

The smell of roast meats was so enchanting that, without waiting to consult with one another, every one of them got up and scrambled forwards into the ring with the one idea of begging for food."

It's been awhile since I've read "The Hobbit," and practically another age since I've read LoTR - in fact, I plan to re-read LoTR sometime this year (for probably the first time in 30 years!). Yeah, I'm basing the "Elves as vegetarians" on both PJ's depiction and some other stuff I've read in other books, where Elves were seen as vegetarians because they respected all life, or something like that. Oh well, live & learn! Yeah, it's possible that the Avari call themselves something else, but for the sake of simplicity I'm sticking with Avari. I've already made clear in previous chapters that they DON'T refer to themselves as "Dark Elves." I'm thinking that the Avari might actually look down on "those that left," which was Grigore's big complaint, about how his parents and others are about as inflexible towards change as Thranduil is toward anyone outside his realm. In the Atlas that I'm using, there is a page depicting the Elven lineage - I'll see if I can scan it and upload a readable copy tomorrow at work. No promises, though.


Proud member of the BOFA Denial Association


Kilidoescartwheels
Valinor


Feb 2 2016, 4:31am

Post #6 of 16 (1122 views)
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Not according to my source [In reply to] Can't Post

I replied to Otaku above about that - best I can tell, Thranduil may be Eldar but Silvan Elves aren't.

"Last, Grigore says "It means 'hunter' in Westron" and "It means 'bow' in Westron"...don't you mean in Silvan? He wouldn't be teaching her the common tongue."

Well I thought I made that clear - Grigore can speak some Westron because of Andriev (more on that in the next chapter), so he's trying to speak to Tauriel in Westron as much as possible, but he told her what Padure arc Vanator means in Westron. Sorry I didn't make that more clear, I'll have to work on that. Eventually Tauriel will learn enough Silvan to be able to get by, along with some Rhunic, and the difference in language will no longer be a problem.


Proud member of the BOFA Denial Association


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Feb 2 2016, 4:33am

Post #7 of 16 (1122 views)
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Yep! [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, all the quotes I gave were from The Hobbit. Remember that the Fellowship never traveled through Mirkwood or the Woodland Realm (other than Legolas calling it home and Aragorn having taken Gollum there after he captured him).

It is one of my hopes that Christopher Tolkien or someone else will unearth a lost genealogy for the Elves of Mirkwood that reveals how Thranduil was related to Thingol, Legolas' year-of-birth, the name of Thranduil's queen (and how long she lived) and whether Leggy had any siblings.

The Wood-elves/Silvan Elves might have included one or more groups of the Nandor who never passed beyond the Misty Mountains (also called the Laiquendi or Green-elves). The Nandor were numbered among the Teleri because they did begin the Great Journey even though they never completed it.

"Things need not to have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure
when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."


- Dream of the Endless


(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Feb 2 2016, 4:48am)


Kilidoescartwheels
Valinor


Feb 2 2016, 4:34am

Post #8 of 16 (1119 views)
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Well, who knows where this will lead? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you so much for your kind compliments - I don't know how big this story will end up being, but I promise there's more exciting events for Tauriel!!!

Proud member of the BOFA Denial Association


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Feb 2 2016, 5:04am

Post #9 of 16 (1117 views)
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Lineage of the Silvan Elves (Wood-elves) [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I replied to Otaku above about that - best I can tell, Thranduil may be Eldar but Silvan Elves aren't.


Well, Thranduil and Legolas were Sindar Elves; the Sindar are Eldar although most stopped on the way to the Undying Lands. I already posted how at least some of the Wood-elves could be counted among the Eldar if they were of the Nandor. You are right, though, according to Appendix F that most were not:

Quote
The Elves far back in the Elder Days became divided into two main branches: the West-elves (the Eldar) and the East-elves. Of the latter kind were most of the elven-folk of Mirkwood and Lórien...


So it appears that at least some of the Avari eventually wandered west, just not as part of the Great Journey.

"Things need not to have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure
when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."


- Dream of the Endless


(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Feb 2 2016, 5:13am)


Sarahbor
Lorien


Feb 2 2016, 5:48am

Post #10 of 16 (1109 views)
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Elf genealogy [In reply to] Can't Post

One of the things that always bugged me about Tauriel was that she was a warrior *and* a healer, despite Tolkien stating in the Laws and Canons of the Eldar that this is cannot be the case, for both male and female elves. But that of course was a law of the *Eldar*...if many Mirkwood Silvan elves are actually not Eldar, and if Tauriel is one of them, then perhaps these laws don't apply. So maybe it's not necessarily a breach of canon after all. That said, I still don't like the healing/Morgul shot subplot.

Hobbit/LOTR cartoons & humor: http://www.sarahbor.com/


Sarahbor
Lorien


Feb 2 2016, 5:55am

Post #11 of 16 (1107 views)
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Ahhh, I misread it [In reply to] Can't Post

Are you saying he's telling her the Westron equivalent of padure, arc, and vanator (which are supposed to be Silvan words)? I thought you meant he was saying those WERE the Westron words for forest, bow, and hunter. My bad!

Hobbit/LOTR cartoons & humor: http://www.sarahbor.com/


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Feb 2 2016, 6:05am

Post #12 of 16 (1106 views)
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Warrior and Healer [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
One of the things that always bugged me about Tauriel was that she was a warrior *and* a healer, despite Tolkien stating in the Laws and Canons of the Eldar that this is cannot be the case, for both male and female elves.


I would not think that Tolkien meant that as a law in the legal sense. The taking of life has a deleterious effect on the ability of an elf to nurture and heal. but how much of an effect seems to vary. After all, Elrond was a skilled warrior as well as one of the greatest healers in Middle-earth.

If Tauriel counted herself among the Eldar it might be that one or both of her parents were Nandor Elves. Or she was used to thinking of herself that way because she had been made part of Thranduil's household.

"Things need not to have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure
when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."


- Dream of the Endless


(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Feb 2 2016, 6:07am)


Sarahbor
Lorien


Feb 2 2016, 4:20pm

Post #13 of 16 (1091 views)
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Elrond [In reply to] Can't Post

He would seem to be an exception, but he was not a warrior by choice or trade. Tauriel is. That taking life diminishes the ability to heal is a belief of the Eldar; who knows if the non-Eldar believed that too?

Hobbit/LOTR cartoons & humor: http://www.sarahbor.com/


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Feb 2 2016, 4:27pm

Post #14 of 16 (1088 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
That taking life diminishes the ability to heal is a belief of the Eldar; who knows if the non-Eldar believed that too?


I would imagine that to the Elves this would not so much be a belief but rather an observable, empirical fact. Especially since they would have centuries and more for such observations. The only way that I can see this not being true is if it is an enhanced effect of the West-elves' exposure to the Light of Aman (which would not apply to all of the Eldar).

"Things need not to have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure
when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."


- Dream of the Endless


(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Feb 2 2016, 4:33pm)


Sarahbor
Lorien


Feb 2 2016, 6:16pm

Post #15 of 16 (1073 views)
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I was just going by [In reply to] Can't Post

the way it was phrased in the Laws and Customs. Tolkien wrote "The Eldar deemed that the dealing of death...diminished the power of healing..." This makes it sound like a belief or an opinion, but it makes sense that it would be based on observation. So, yeah, Tauriel really shouldn't have been able to do both.

Hobbit/LOTR cartoons & humor: http://www.sarahbor.com/


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Feb 2 2016, 6:21pm

Post #16 of 16 (1070 views)
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She was still young [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
the way it was phrased in the Laws and Customs. Tolkien wrote "The Eldar deemed that the dealing of death...diminished the power of healing..." This makes it sound like a belief or an opinion, but it makes sense that it would be based on observation. So, yeah, Tauriel really shouldn't have been able to do both.


Tauriel was only a bit over 600 years old. If she continued on the path of a forest guardian I'm sure it would have had more of an effect (at least if Tolkien were writing her).

"Things need not to have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure
when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."


- Dream of the Endless


(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Feb 2 2016, 6:23pm)

 
 

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