Tawarthion is what he’s called. Only a small handful know his true name, and even fewer still, know Tawarthion for who he is; the things he loves, what he believes in, what he dislikes. I count myself among the blessed by being gifted with the opportunity to have met him.
“Eadaion, who is that?” a woman asks upon entering the young girl’s room. Eadaion turned from the portrait she’d been tirelessly working on, “Tawarthion.” she answers curtly.
“Ah, the one your father mentioned.” The woman replies as she moves to sit beside her daughter who continues with her progress. It had already been drawn out (though there was a smudge on the ear where she had almost given him a pointed ear by mistake) and half of the image was beautifully painted.
Her curious mother
leans a bit forward and a pleasant smile forms, “He looks
rather ethereal. Is he like that in person?”
A chuckle escapes the girl, “In a way, yes." she then continues rather excitedly, "Mom, just you wait until it's finished, this may be one of the best I’ve done in a while.”
“Then I’ll leave you to it.” Her mother leaves her spot on the chair they briefly shared and heads for the bedroom door, only to pause on her way out, “Speaking of that friend of yours, when will your father and I get the chance to meet him? I’d like to thank him for being a good friend to you.”
At this, Eadaion’s attention shifts from her artwork and to the window where she’s silent for a few moments of thought until she smiles again, “When the time is right. To be truthful, I can’t tell you when that could be since I don’t know the day myself.”
She continues speaking as her attention is pulled back to the portrait, “However, if my hunch is correct, it should be very soon.”
This ended the conversation with her mother as she stared at her daughter's hunched form, pondering her words in her heart, and exits the room with a thoughtful smile. There, Eadaion sits in a peaceful silence as she works.
And it is in this silence that a memory sparks in the back of her constantly churning mind; a memory of the time where she had first met Tawarthion in a place called ‘Middle Earth’. This story, woven by divine hands, is part of a grand design, though it may seem small to those who partake in it and to those who are mere spectators of it who are, in turn, part of a story of their own that is being stitched together by the same hands.
In fact, it was those divine hands that led her to Middle Earth, and though it may have been a very uncomfortable transition at first, she wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Although it was a rather humdrum day ever since she had woken up to the sound of rain and the dull gray of rain clouds that morning, the day started off like any other day in Eadaion's life; forcing herself out of her comfortable bed, making sure she looked presentable at the very least, and leaving the comfort of her home to go school.
Normally, her eyes would have been shifting to the clocks just waiting for the classes to end (even during her favorite lessons).
However this day had something else in store for the girl.
During the first few minutes of her morning class, she felt a rather strange feeling within her, as if something were tugging her spirit out of her body. She suddenly began to rise from her seat, leaving her body behind, and down below her were two tall men standing on either side of her body and they looked as if they were made of pure light, golden and bright. As she felt that gentle tug a second time the room disappeared and the world around her blurred into an awesome atmosphere of light which lasted for but a moment until it changed again to that of dense treetops letting in just enough light to see. The girl was set down gently onto the grass. For a short while she lay there, trying to process just what had happened and where in the world she was.
Eadaion hesitantly lifted her head up from the ground and the rest of her body slowly followed suit. The first thing she noticed was that the clothes she had on were not the same as the clothing she wore that morning; a long sleeved, long tunic with simple embroidery and brown boots on her feet. A simple bow lay by her side, paired with a quiver with few arrows in it. A quizzical look forms on her face upon seeing the weapon (for she only dabbled in archery and was, in her eyes, barely above being a novice) but her focus then shifts to the rather daunting scene of the dark, dense woodland around her.
There was a heaviness in the air that set her on edge and weighed down on her spirit. This forest was not normal, and it looked as if a monster would pop out at any moment.
However, despite the fear the forest instilled, she had a sense of peace within her that everything was as it should be; that there was a reason for her being here. So, even though her flesh was so bent on not moving a single inch and argued with her spirit on either leaving or staying, she took in a deep breath with her newly acquired weapon in hand, gathered her courage and took her first few timid steps that soon became larger steps over foliage and fallen trees into the thick woodland, all as a gentle whisper told her to go on.
The sun was now at its peak, and Eadaion hadn't found a single trace of civilization. The only things she had gotten from this walking so far were scratches on her upper body and streaks of dirt on her face and clothes.
At some point in her wandering, she had begun to hallucinate, seeing forest creatures of unusual colors and creatures that indeed did not belong to any forest on this good earth as she walked through slim, patches of sunlight.
Just as she was considering of turning back, she yelped as she missed a step and tumbled down a dip in the earth, followed by cracks and snaps of foliage she had barreled through on the way down. Her gaze was again to the treetops once she settled down on the bottom and she lets out a miserable sigh as she carefully collects herself from the ground.
Thoughts of home gave her some comfort, but it left behind a greater longing and did more harm than good. Her courage was depleting as time wore on and she began to think woeful thoughts of 'where in the world am I?' and, 'how will I ever get back home?'
Eadaion walked as noon soon turned to nightfall and the girl found herself nestled in an abandoned burrow beneath the roots of a large tree. Sleep was hard to come by that night, for the floor was dirty and uncomfortable, the forest was so dark she couldn't see her hand in front of her face, and she had this chilling feeling as if she were being watched. By what, she did not know, and to be honest, she didn't want to find out. Not in this darkness.
The lost girl prayed until she drifted off into an uncomfortable, dreamless rest.
It had been four days since Eadaion's arrival, and she didn't feel like she could go on for much longer. During the night, she had fortunately come across one more deserted burrow until she had to resort to sleeping on the forest floor. She had at least felt somewhat safe in the burrows.
Out in the open she felt very vulnerable to whatever may have been watching her in the darkness (however, two days before, there was a small leather pack of food left for her on that morning and of course she was puzzled as to who may have left it for her, but nevertheless grateful).
She did her best to ration what she had been given, but she ran out much sooner that she'd thought, and there wasn't a speck of food to come by in this forest; there were no berry bushes and she knew absolutely nothing about hunting and the process of preparing meat for eating.
She was dehydrated as well. To be blunt, Eadaion was miserable.
That morning quickly turned to late noon and Eadaion plopped herself down onto the forest floor, feeling defeated. Never in her life has she ever been this tired, and she was on the verge of tears.
So there she lay, thinking more woeful thoughts which gradually turned to ponderings of what Heaven is like, since she knew for certain that she was going to die in this forest.
Before she knew it, she drifted off into a light sleep, and by the time she woke, it was close to evening again.
Welp, time to die.
Eadaion immediately rebuked herself for that thought, and contemplated on whether to try and find a place to sleep for the night or stay where she was.
Suddenly, she heard strange sounds in the distance among the trees, a collection of hissing and growling, along with the snapping of branches and undergrowth. And it was all coming towards her at a frightening speed.
Eadaion's eyes widened. It all happened so fast; one moment she's kicking up dirt and grass trying to get to her feet (she was in such a panic that she nearly left her bow behind), next she's running for her life through the nightmarish woods as the unknown chased after her.
Unknown to the girl, there was another person in this forest, travelling among the treetops with admirable speed (for he had heard the commotion and set out to investigate, though he had a good hunch of what caused it).
The warrior came to a quick stop and, keeping his balance on a thick tree branch, peered down below him. What he saw made him bristle, for his hunch had been right; they were back again, and they were after the girl.
Quick as lightning, he turned and set off on a different route, one that he was sure would get him to girl without being spotted by those beasts.
As Eadaion came to a sudden halt in another small clearing a giant spider came crashing down from above, landing right in front of her. It was the most horrendous thing she had ever seen in her life and it shocked her so much that her scream got caught in her throat.
With her bow in hand, Eadaion took a couple of steps back and when the beast lunged for her, she reached for an arrow and shot at her attacker.
It let out a loud, pained shriek; the arrow Eadaion let loose hit one of its eyes, even though it was a wild shot. It was enough to distract it from her, and the girl made a run for it but she came to a skidding halt as another spider blocked her path and a third one appeared as she tried to escape again.
Eyes wide with fear, Eadaion backed up as the spiders advanced towards her. She stole a quick glance behind her and, seeing an opening, she booked it. Her heart was pounding against her chest and her lungs were burning for air, and the girl kept running (despite small stumbles here and there over undergrowth) until she came crashing and stumbling through a thin wall of low hanging branches and undergrowth and landed roughly on the forest floor.
Suddenly, as one of the spiders made a move to attack, a lone figure landed hard just a few feet in front of the girl, and the spiders came to an abrupt halt at the appearance of this new person.
It straightened itself up and, gazing fiercely at the beasts through the hood of its cloak, drew out a gleaming sword with a golden hilt. For a brief second, all was still. Then chaos ensued when the biggest of the three beasts let out shriek and lunged for the warrior, followed by the other two, and the warrior fought fearlessly and skillfully against them; the first was taken down within a matter of seconds with the warrior's blade piercing through the head.
The second spider lunged at the warrior just as it freed its blade from the dead, and for a moment the beast had its new prey pinned to the forest floor but the warrior immediately retaliated by grabbing a tight hold of the spider's fangs holding off its attack just long enough for the blade to go right through the beast's mouth.
A gurgled shriek resounded throughout the clearing and the warrior swiftly retracted the weapon, leaving the dying spider behind and went after the third one who had the girl trapped.
The last of Eadaion's arrows was protruding out of one of the beasts many eyes and the assault provided a small window of time for the hooded warrior to strike, and strike it did; with lethal speed and skill the warrior leapt through the air, onto the spider's back and plunged its blade into the beast's head. With the last of the spiders dead, all was still again.
Now in slight shock, Eadaion was taking in deep breaths to calm herself as her brain did its best to process what had happened (and that enormous spiders were indeed real). Soon, the sound of blood pounding in her ears died down, her adrenaline rush burned out, and her thinking became slightly more organized.
It was then that she remembered the warrior and she jumped a little bit in fright when she found that it was now at eye level with her. The blade was now back in its sheathe and she confirmed that the warrior was indeed a male. Clad in light armor, his shoulders were broad and his build was firm.
He expressed no hostility or malice, merely curiosity and interest. Something about him was very peaceable, and yet, Eadaion was still somewhat fearful.
Before Eadaion could even think of saying anything, the man extended a hand towards her, and when she didn't take it, only giving him look of wariness, he sets his hand back to his side and spoke in a gentle voice, "Peace now; I will not harm you."
Eadaion was hesitant for a moment longer and when she saw that he, indeed, made no move to harm her and stayed where he was (out of her personal space), she visibly relaxed and let out a breath she didn't know she had been holding.
"You are hurt," the warrior said.
Eadaion took a quick look at herself and realized that he was right, for she had skinned her forearm (part of the sleeve had been torn away as well) and she hadn't known about it until now. And that was when it decided to sting and cause her grief.
Eadaion hissed a little from the harsh sting, "How did I not feel that?" she questions (though honestly she was thinking out loud) as the man reaches into a small bag containing medicine, and he pulls out a very small bowl, a brown pouch, and removes a canteen of water from the side of the bag.
"What's that?" Eadaion asks softly, gesturing to the pouch.
"Medicine," he answers as he pours a small amount of, what looked to be crushed herbs, into the bowl, "I'm making a poultice for you, it'll help you heal faster."
The girl watches as he skillfully grinds the herbs and water with his fingers in silence and after this was done he says, "Let me see your arm."
Though hesitant at first, Eadaion did as she was told and the man gently takes her forearm in hand and pours water over the wound to rid it of dirt and other nasty things. This alone made the wound sting again and the girl winced as he proceeds to clean it with a small rag he had gotten from his bag. To her relief the cloth was clean, for he had said so himself (and it didn't look dirty from what she could see).
He offered her the canteen of water and the girl took it gratefully as he worked on her wound. She drank modest gulps of he water and tried to hand it back to the man before but he, looking up from his work, just gave her a gentle nod of approval for her to drink the rest of it.
A small sigh of relief escapes Eadaion; the poultice was already beginning to work. The pain had subsided a great deal and the warrior was just fastening a bandage in place over her forearm as the forest grew dimmer from the setting sun.
After thanking the man for treating her wound and for saving her life from the jaws (fangs, perhaps?) of those wretched spiders, she asked for his name and of where she is. "Tawarthion," he answered, the name rolling off his tongue, "and you are in Mirkwood, woodland realm of the Elvenking; Thranduil."
Her face paled at this; she was trespassing in someone else's territory for the past four to five days, and she wondered how she had not been found until now. For a brief moment, she counted herself blessed, for if she had been found she would have been questioned, and there was no way they'd believe that she just appeared out of the blue.
Not only this, but it was an Elven king. The little knowledge she had of elves was that they were either cunning and not too friendly, or mischievous and silly, like little children. Or just flat out evil. So, given his peaceful countenance and the kindness he had given her so far and , she didn't know what to think about Tawarthion.
She also learned that Tawarthion was Captain of the King's guard, and this frightened her as well, for if he wanted to, he would have taken her to the king for trespassing; but he didn't. He wouldn't. Though he didn't tell her all of this, he knew where she was from and how she ended up in Mirkwood.
However, any more questions would be saved for later. For the forest was growing dimmer by the minute and neither of them wanted to go stumbling into more spiders in the dark (or anytime of day for that matter).
Knowing that she didn't have a place to stay, he offered her his home for the night and to ease any concerns she may have had, he made it clear to her that he wouldn't be there at all for the night, for he had to go back to the king.
Despite any hesitation she may have felt, Eadaion felt compelled to go with him and it was a feeling that she could not ignore. So, with Tawarthion in the lead, the two souls weaved their way on through Mirkwood.
The moon was high in the sky, shining down through the trees as the two continued to walk. Tawarthion had little trouble, for he was used to walking this far. Eadaion, on the other hand, felt as if she had been walking for ages. She looks up as they enter a small clearing, hoping to be at their destination, but her hopes are crushed when she saw more trees. A weak chuckle escapes her as she states rather sarcastically, "Oh, good; more forest.""We're almost there." Tawarthion reassures as a tiny smirk of amusement (one Eadaion definitely could not see) forms on the corner of his mouth.On they walked until Eadaion noticed that the heaviness she once felt on her spirit was lifted, if only a little bit, and her spirit felt more at ease. She couldn't understand why, for everything looked the same in this darkness; if they entered a different land, she wouldn't have been able to tell. The two stop at a cluster of large trees with wide trunks. Tawarthion looks up, gives a curt nod to the trees, and what happened next left Eadaion speechless; the trees moved at his command and revealed a small but cozy looking house.Eadaion looks to Tawarthion, to the trees, and back to Twarthion. The warrior looks to her and motions for her to follow him inside, smiling a little to himself at her speechlessness and shock. Inside, Eadaion instantly felt much safer, now that she wasn't easy prey to whatever else may be lurking among the darkness of Mirkwood. Once Tawarthion got a small fire going and the room fairly lit, the girl was able to get a better look at Tawarthion, and she began to feel rather intimidated; he was tall (he was especially tall for an elf). She was surprised that he even fit inside the house! His hair was a rich, deep brown with hints of golden strands here and there (he had taken his hood off upon entering), and it looked as if it would feel like silk had she touched it. It stopped just below his shoulders and there was a single, intricate braid woven into it. "Why do you stare?" Tawarthion asks coolly, tipping his head to the side, much to Eadaion's embarrassment. She had been staring at him and didn't realize it."I- I apologize, I hadn't meant for any discomfort," Eadaion stumbles, "It's just that I hadn't a good look at you before and I was just. . . curious. . ?" Tawarthion arched a finely sculpted eyebrow, "Curious?""Yes." Eadaion answered meekly. It wasn't a lie for she had been wanting to get a closer look at him all evening just to see what he looked like. Even though there wasn't a hint of a smile on Tawarthion's face, there was slight amusement in his brown eyes."I see," Tawarthion says and moves to stand closer to her. If she felt intimidated before, she definitely was now; for she barely stood up to his chest and she had to incline her head a bit to look him in the eye, "I have given you my name. Now I ask for yours in return." The girl blinked before responding, "Eadaion. My name is Eadaion."From there, Tawarthion showed her around the small house and where she was to sleep. Yes, it was his bed, and this bothered Eadaion for she felt that she was intruding. But, Tawarthion gently dismissed it, saying that she needed it more than he at this point, and that all was well. There was plenty of food for her and she need not fear the creatures of Mirkwood; they didn't dare come near his home. As Tawarthion left, Eadaion heard the rustling of leaves and soft groans as the trees moved to conceal the house once more. A soft sigh escapes her lips and she carefully climbs into the bed after gazing at it with slight hesitation. Yes, she was hungry, but she was much too tired to eat. She prayed for safety when slept and soon drifted into a restful slumber that night.
The next few days of her stay at Tawarthion's home were quite peaceful and relieving after spending days wandering aimlessly in Mirkwood. Her wound had healed rather quickly and she was able to get herself cleaned up.During the last day, Tawarthion was able to stay with her (his job had kept him away until then). And it was on that day that Tawarthion revealed to her his knowledge of her world and how that came to be, for it was in the same fashion as how Eadaion was taken to Mirkwood. "When it first happened, I was very confused, as you can imagine," he said, "And yet, at the same time there was this peace within me, that I was supposed to be there or there's something for me there." He then revealed to her that from the day of her arrival to the spider attack, he had been watching her (albeit, not 24/7, but whenever his job had allowed it).What he had seen upon her arrival was a hand made of light coming down from the clouds and settle below the trees, and because all of this happened in spiritual realm, Tawarthion alone had seen it all (for he was able to see what goes on in the spirit). Almost immediately he felt compelled to follow the light, and that was when Eadaion had set out to find help. Luckily, Tawarthion was a brilliant tracker and was able to find her very quickly without being noticed by her. The moment he saw Eadaion he felt drawn to her spirit, a feeling that he could not ignore even if he wanted to. And it was because of this that he did his best to keep his fellow elves from noticing her presence during Eadaion's wandering, and at one point they almost caught her; but their eyes were not open to see her, much to Tawarthion's relief."How long were you there for?" Eadaion asked."If I recall correctly. . a little more than a week," Tawarthion answered, "But when I came back home, nothing had changed. I later found that I had only been gone for an hour."Tawarthion finished his speaking by rising to his feet and leading the girl outside, "Speaking of home," he trails off, looking to the sky, "I believe it is time for you to go back." Before Eadaion could even think of asking what he meant, she felt a familiar tug on her spirit and the girl was taken away from Tawarthion and back to her classroom where it looked as if she had fallen asleep. Eadaion quickly sat upright in her seat and almost immediately her eyes shifted to the wall clock on the other side of the room which read 10:00 am. She had only been gone for an hour."Psst!" Eadaion jumped a little bit and turned to the boy next to her, "Are you okay?" he whispered."Y-yes," Eadaion answered, her shock making her stumble just a tad, "W-why do you ask?""Well, you practically passed out in your seat. One moment you were wide awake, then you were fast asleep. Of course, you did miss the lesson," Eadaion's face paled at this, "but it's okay; it was just a rundown of what we already know, nothing to worry about." he reassured with an amused grin. He then adds, "You are, however, lucky that Ms. Lundgren didn't notice you were asleep. And that we're near the back of the class."
Time wore on after her first encounter with Middle Earth, and Eadaion did her very best to concentrate in school and daily life, but it was quite a challenge. Often, her thoughts would drift back to Tawarthion. There was something about his spirit that drew her to him, and she wanted to know what it was. She often prayed about it, for it was a nagging feeling (much like the kind you get when have a project due and you don't realize it until the last minute) which would not go away.One night, while Eadaion was fast asleep, she found herself back in Middle Earth. This time, however, she had been placed by Tawarthion's home instead of in the middle of Mirkwood. And there, standing by her as she lay on the ground, was Tawarthion.He watched as the hand of light ascended into the clouds and his attention turned back to Eadaion. He leaned down and said in a gentle voice, "Welcome back."
Within the passage of time their visits became a normal thing for the two. Tawarthion would teach her things of Middle Earth and whenever he was taken to her world, she'd show him wonderful things that he might not have known already (and they often exchanged silly riddles and tongue twisters to pass time).It was within this time and the passing of more time that the two formed an inseparable bond, and became very precious to each other. To be clear, it wasn't a bond of romantic love, but a deeply rooted friendship that could not be undone. Tawarthion cherished this friendship enough to tell her what his true name is and it is a name that very, very few among his fellow elves know. Then the visits stopped.For a long time they did not see each other and their souls were downcast, but there was nothing they could do about this matter. So, with heavy hearts they continued on with their lives, keeping their sadness a secret from watching eyes. The two souls prayed for relief of this sadness, for it to be taken away. Their prayers were answered, but not in a way that you'd expect; in more ways than one it was revealed to them that they made the mistake of putting their spiritual lives on hold for each other: they were relying on each other for happiness instead of the Lord, and when they realized this mistake, they were deeply grieved, for they had forgotten the one who loved them first. During this time, they learned not to rely on people or material things for happiness but to trust in God for their joy (for He is where true joy comes from), and how to share this joy with others.
One day, while Tawarthion was on his way back home, he stopped mid-step when he saw a rather familiar light descending from the clouds. His breath hitched in his throat, his heart skipped a beat, and for a long moment he was frozen on the spot until he took one (somewhat tentative) step at a time, and those steps quickly turned to long strides as he sped across the well traveled route to his home. Eadaion was sitting against the trunk of one of the trees surrounding Tawarthion's house, enjoying the peace and sunlight, when he found her and when Eadaion looked up to him she smiled. A smile he knew too well and missed too much.As soon as she was on her feet she found herself swallowed up in Tawarthion's arms and a chuckle escapes her as she hugs him back. "He brought you back to me," she heard him say in his ever gentle voice and the girl lightly patted his head as her smile grew. That night, the two souls spent the rest of the evening exchanging stories, more riddles and tongue twisters until they became too tired from laughter and sleep to form coherent sentences and drifted off into a restful slumber.
A content sigh escapes Eadaion as she takes a good look at the portrait before her. After confirming the portrait finished (and trying her best to dismiss the mistakes that only she noticed) she gently took it in hand and made haste to the living room to show her parents."Ah, so this is Tawarthion?" her father asks and receives excited nods from Eadaion, "he looks a lot like how you described him to me. It's very well done, sweetheart. However, he practically stares into your soul the longer you look at it." he adds (which elicits laughter from the two ladies) as he passes the portrait to his wife.A small series of knocks resounds throughout the first floor of the house and Eadaion hurries to the front door as her mother went on about how beautiful the painting was. When she opened the great mahogany door, her jaw dropped ever so slightly and her eyes lit up; standing on the other side was Tawarthion who smiles warmly at his dearest friend, and that smile makes a smile of her own come across.