"What are you doing?"

Tenerië ignored Faramir as she frowned at the table. A piece of parchment lay across it but instead of the usual creamy off-white, most of this particular piece was black. Flicking it with her finger, she shook her head. "No, this one is not going to work."

"What's not going to work?"

This time Tenerië turned her head and glared at the Steward. "Don't you have more important things to do than to come down here and bother me?"

"Not at the moment." Faramir's voice was mild as he answered. "What is this?"

"I had an idea, and so far each attempt has been a disaster and a waste of goat hide." She turned her glare on the offending experiment. "Silver on black would make a stunning codex of the record of the first year of King Elessar's rule, but I haven't figured out how to get the parchment to color evenly or without cockling."

"Wouldn't the silver tarnish to black? It would eventually become unreadable." Faramir ran his hand across the rippled surface of the parchment, his expression one of consideration. "In any case, are you coloring the parchment after it was completed?"

"Of course. As for the silver ink. I have a few ideas that ought to take care of the tarnishing issue. But it's a moot point if I can't produce enough properly smooth parchment for the pages of the book."

"What if the skin was dyed black before being stretched and dried? Wouldn't that take care of the cockling and uneven color?"

Tenerië's jaw dropped and she muttered something impolite before turning and stomping towards the door, where she paused and looked back at Faramir. "Well, are you coming? I'll need help getting one of Master Elmar's stretching racks down here."

She grinned. "You said that you had nothing better to do at the moment. And it is your idea after all."