Tuesday, May 21

~The Elven-names~ Messenger of Doom

Miss the beginning of this story? Read the rest of it here.

We stood in silence for a while, the Keeper and I. At last I looked up at him. "After the mist rises, couldn't we just find the Mormir and drive them back out?"

He shook his head slowly. "It is extremely difficult to find them after they are entrenched. The Mormir are masters of disguise and cloaking techniques.

I frowned at the unfamiliar term. "Cloaking?"

"It's a way of making it appear that there is no one in a certain area, while in actuality, there may be several people there," replied the Keeper. "Some people think it's magic, but it's really just advanced camouflage and hiding carefully." The corners of his mouth lifted slightly. "We Elven-named are ourselves not to bad at cloaking." He sighed. "But it is still hard to locate them once they are in place."

A dark sense of foreboding settled over me like a gloomy cloud. I bid the Keeper of the Legacy farewell and went back to my room.

*   *   *
The fog did not lift Saturday or Sunday. Living in the fog is a depressing thing. It was dark and gloomy in the Forest Palace despite its beauty. The trees the Palace was made of were soggy; occasionally a drop would fall from one of the branches to the floor. And you could never see anything at any distance properly--everything was obscured by the twisting clouds.
It was with great relief, therefore, that I awoke on Monday to the sun streaming in through the window. I got up and laughed at my worries, for the sun seemed to wipe away the dark forebodings of the day before like it had the fog. Nothing could be very wrong, it seemed, when the world was so beautiful.
This mood continued even after I went to school that morning. I felt nothing could harm me and I was as carefree as I had been before this whole thing started. And at first everything went wonderfully. The classes were a breeze, and Heather was friendly but not overly chatty.
At lunchtime I waved to Matt and Fred and sat down at an empty table with my food. I was totally surprised when Morwenna sat down beside me.
After an awkward silence, I finally couldn't resist my curiosity, and I asked her, "You know, I still don't understand what you meant when you said you knew all about me..."
She whirled on me with great vehemence. "Oh, I see your game. You're trying to make me make a fool of myself. Well, I'm not going to fall for it!"
I was aghast--I hadn't meant to do anything, I just wanted to learn more. "Oh, no, no," I cried softly. "That isn't it at all!"
Morwenna sniffed. "I don't even know why I'm bothering with you. You're just a poor, weak, little Elven-named girl, and I am a member of the M-- of a group whose destiny is to rule." Contempt was dripping from her voice, but I caught a slight hesitation. Had she been going to say she was a member of the Mormir? She went on. "And your destiny is to fail. And your downfall will come in no less than five days." Her voice was low and ominous.
I tried to act nonchalant. "Five days? Are you sure it will be our downfall?"
Her eyes narrowed. "It will come in five. days. and you will see it, and you will see the ruin of your plans." She tossed her head and walked off.

Saturday, May 18


I do believe it is almost summer! And in my family, do you know what that means? Watermelon time! (And, if possible, the seeded kind. it tastes SOOOOO much better than the seedless)

What is your favorite summer food?

And (just a informal poll) do you like seeded watermelon or seedless better, and why?

Tuesday, May 14

~The Elven-names~ Mists of Confusion

I was sitting on the my bed, hugging my knees, and looking out the window when Weneithel came to summon me to breakfast. A thick, soupy, grey mist swirled through the trees both outside and inside the Forest Palace.

"It's foggy," I stated as Wen came in. "I've always liked foggy days, but this seems sinister, somehow. Anyone out in it must surely be lost."

Raising her eyebrows, Weneithel smiled slightly. "Ah, but the sun will pierce the mist and reveal the way to the one who is lost." I had the surreal sense that we weren't talking about the weather at all. Wen continued, "And perhaps the mist will clear sooner than the wanderer thinks." She smiled.

I turned back to the window. The fog didn't seem to be clearing any. "Weneithel," I asked without turning my head, "what did my dad do?"

There was a long silence from behind me. I turned my head to see why. On Wen's face I could see the some disapproval and smoldering anger that I had noticed when Dad went down the shooting field. Finally she pressed her lips together and spoke carefully, with deliberate evenness.

"Your father became very bitter after your mother's death. He believed she would not have died if she had not been so involved with the elven-named. So he renounced all connections with  our people and vowed he would never have anything to do with us again. In carrying this out, he made some poor choices that affected us all." She paused and studied me gravely. "But it is not mine to tell you what those choices were. That is for your father or the Keeper of the Legacy to reveal." The look on her face made it clear the conversation was over. "It is time for breakfast, my lady."

I was bending down to put on my sandals when what she had called me hit me. I looked up at her, astonished. "My lady? I'm not a lady. I'm just a kid."

Wen smiled strangely. "Mirluin, you are quickly growing into your role as Keeper of the Lore, and as such, you are our Lady. When you first came here you were not as discerning and did not see the tension. But you are learning to read thoughts. You are becoming truly the Keeper of the Lore."

I didn't know what to say. I had to think about this. It was still hard to believe that I was the Keeper of the Lore, and now it seemed that I must get used to deference on the part of the Elven-named. But it would be different at school. I sighed.

"It's not going to be much fun to go to school today."

Wen smiled and shook her head. "You must have lost track of time, Mirluin. It's Saturday today."

"Oh," I stated dumbly. Deciding it would be best not to say anything further, I followed Wen down the hall to the dining chamber.
*   *   *
On Saturday I didn't have to practice with the bow, and I didn't want to go outside in the mist, so I just wandered around inside the Forest Palace. It had a completely different feel with the fog swirling through the corridors and creating ghostly shapes in the hallways. It was a delightful, shivery feel, like I was in a mystery. But I knew that if I went outside it would feel so much more terrifying and horrible.
I came to one of the windows and looked out. I couldn't see much, but I closed my eyes and breathed in the forest smell, which was so much more distinct in the moisture. Suddenly I heard a step near me, and I looked behind me with a start--straight into the eyes of the Keeper of the Legacy.
"Oh, you startled me!" I exclaimed. "I-I hope I'm not bothering you--"
The Keeper gave a kind smile. "No, my child, you are not bothering me." He stood next to me, looking out the window also.
"It's so foggy, but it's still so glorious at the same time," he mused after a short silence. "But it is a strange and dark mist. It bodes no good for the Elven-named."
I looked up at him. "You think it isn't just an ordinary fog?"
He looked down thoughtfully. "I do not know. I did not think that the Mormir had power over the weather. But this fog is giving them a chance to rally their forces around Middlecester, while we cannot stop them." He sighed.
As I looked up at him, I realized that something was weighing heavily on his mind. All of a sudden I remembered what he had said--a long time ago, it seemed. He had said something about having no heir, because the one he had chosen had rejected his calling.
I finally decided to ask him about it. "Keeper, you know how you told me you had no successor because the one you chose rejected his calling?" I waited until he nodded, then plunged on before I lost my courage. "How come you didn't appoint another successor?"
The Keeper smiled sadly. "There are few Eldarhin men in Middlecester left. I did not know of one who would be a good Keeper of the Legacy."
I frowned thoughtfully. "Isn't Thoron one of the Eldarhin?"
The Keeper tilted his head slightly. "Yes, but he is not old enough. Fourteen is the age of responsibility with the Elven-named. That is why you were not informed of your calling until just lately. You were not old enough."
I nodded. "I see. And there isn't anyone else?"
Gravely the Keeper shook his head. "No. There are only two other Eldar-hin men besides your brother in Middlecester."
I sighed, crestfallen. Now I could see why the Elven-named needed help so badly.
Miss the first parts of the story? Read it all Here.

Monday, May 13

Memory Verse: Joel 1:1-4

Joel 1:1-4

The word of the LORD that come to Joel son of Pethuel.

Hear this, you elders; listen, all who live in the land.
Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your forefathers?
Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children,
and their children to the next generation.
What the locust swarm has left the great locusts have eaten;
what the great locusts have left the young locusts have eaten;
what the young locusts have left other locusts have eaten.

Thursday, May 9

The Power of Music

Have you ever noticed how music affects our emotions? I'm sure you have experienced this, especially if you've watched a movie. The music in the background intensifies the experience and manipulates your emotions to where the movie maker wants them to be.

Just think about it. You're watching a movie, and it's come to a crisis point. You know something drastic is going to happen soon, but you don't know when. As the tension builds, quick, repetitive notes are played by strings in the background, gradually increasing in speed. It gets on your nerves, setting you on edge in anticipating/dreading the moment when the tension ends. As the waiting wears on, kettle drums begin to roll slowly. Then all of a sudden, brass instruments blare and the enemy attacks ( or whatever is going to happen). Do you see how your tension was built up by the music? That same scene would not be nearly so powerful without it.

Take another example. Flute and harp music is playing in the background. The scene is a forest at night. The music is sweet and slow, conveying a peaceful sense. Suddenly there is a sharp crescendo and strings begin playing a minor chord quickly. (Translation: The music gets louder and starts to sound more dramatic than peaceful) The peaceful forest has been transformed into a forest filled with foreboding.

These are just some of the examples I can think of. Can you think of any more?

Wednesday, May 1

~The Elven-names~ the shadow of a mystery

When Matt and I told the Keeper of the Legacy that it seemed like the Mormir knew who I was, his face grew grave.

"Then it is time for action; now, while we still have time. Mirluin, you will commence archery lessons with Weneithel at once. Mahtan, take one of the your friends and teach Thoron sword fighting." He looked from one to the other of us. "And keep a sharp eye and ear out for anything new happening."

So an even stranger phase of my life began. For most of the day I was pretending to live a normal life at school. In the evening I was an elven-named maiden, in training for a confrontation that was sure to occur. During this time Dad grew a little better. His life was definitely out of danger, but he was always very melancholy. A heavy burden seemed to be on him, and it felt like he could hardly bear to stay with the Elven-named always. And I was realizing that the people who dwelt in the Forest Palace had a strange attitude toward Dad. When they talked about him or to him, there was a slight stiffness, almost like disapproval, but a little different.

One day after school I was practicing the bow with Weneithel, like usual. All of a sudden I noticed Wen stiffen. Then she started acting like she was engrossed in how I was aiming the bow. It was like she was deliberately ignoring someone. So after I loosed my arrow, I looked around, and saw Dad on the edge of the target field. He looked a slightly better than he had that morning at breakfast.
I looked at Weneithel. Her lips were pressed together and she was pointedly ignoring Dad. I drew my bow and fired another arrow, then looked back over my shoulder at Dad. I saw him sigh and then he turned and slowly walked back toward the Forest Palace. Weneithel was muttering under her breath. I couldn't help but hear as she helped me aim another arrow.
"What does he think he's doing here, after what he did? Rejecting his calling and people..." her words trailed away. My mind was churning once more. What had Dad done?
*   *   *
That night I finally decided to read the list of the Keepers. Maybe it would clear up some things. And my curiosity would kick in and remind me that it might have the name of the Keeper of the Legacy. So I unfolded the parchment and read. But I was disappointed, for the list ended at the Keeper of the Legacy before the one that was now. His name was Malglin Faeron. So was he related to me? My people? My reading had just made the mystery darker.