The Rising of the Sun
by jenelin

Author's note: Well, here we go. The final chapter of this little story! As it has been from the beginning, Telëariel is my character, but everyone else is Tolkien's.

As I mentioned before, I am planning a prequel to this, because I have enjoyed writing Telëariel - it will be called "Drifting" and will have to do with Telëariel's first love, among other things. It could be quite some time before this gets started - I have a lot of other stories in the works, including a longer Éowyn/Faramir piece and my current pet project, "For Altáriel", about Celebrimbor of Hollin.

Thanks to all the reviewers who encouraged me to keep Telëariel alive - I wouldn't have made it through this without that encouragement! So thanks to blue-sparkelz, mock turtle, Wynjamor, Anna Lyn, NenyaTinuviel, Thalia Weaver, Fehr Kitten, Sprite and Elf Reader! And especially to Shadowfax, for your continued support from the beginning - thanks for sticking with me!

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X: Ithilien

In Caras Galadhon, deep in Lothlórien, there once dwelt an elf maiden, Telëariel, who was an attendant of the Lady Galadriel.

The elves had called her Telëariel the Broken-Hearted, for she had long been sad. It was said that Telëariel had once left the Golden Wood to pursue a Man of Gondor. When she returned to her home she had changed, and her grey eyes shone like the stars. The elves were amazed, and they wondered at what had put life and laughter back into Telëariel.

But the Lady of the Wood knew very well what had changed. Galadriel smiled on her, for she knew what it was to love, and she was glad that Telëariel had learned to love again. When the time came for Galadriel to sail into the West, she bid Telëariel to speak with her.

"Long have you served me, Telëariel, and well. The Sea calls to you, and I see that you wish to answer. If you so choose, you may go with me into the West."

Telëariel replied quickly, for she knew what was in her heart. "I will not do so," she said, "though I long for it. For I must wait here until that which I love above all else returns to me."

And Galadriel kissed her gently, and she approved of Telëariel's choice.

So Telëariel remained in the Golden Wood, rejoicing in her love and remembering his voice, though years had passed since they had parted.

Then one day Legolas Greenleaf returned to Lórien, and Telëariel's heart was full with love.

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Telëariel had heard whispers that a son of Thranduil, a kinsman of Celeborn, had come to Lórien. Long had she waited for that day, and she hurried through the Wood, searching for anyone who knew where the Elf was.

She found him herself, sitting by the banks of a stream. "It has been long since I have seen your face, Legolas Dwarf-friend," she said, holding back her smile.

Legolas rose and approached her, searching her eyes. "Long did I desire to come to you, but my way has been harder than I thought. But never have you left my mind, and I have come now to offer you a new life."

Then Telëariel could no longer contain her joy, and she laughed as she held Legolas tightly. She felt his lips on her forehead and her eyes and her cheeks, and they finally met her own mouth. And she returned his kiss with all the passion of the past years, and all the passion she had held for others before. When they parted, she rested her head on his shoulder, listening to the faint sound of his heartbeat and enjoying the solid feel of his body. "I have missed you greatly, love," she whispered.

"As have I," he whispered back, lifting her face to his.

Day turned into darkness, and it was long before they spoke again.

"Lórien has changed," Legolas finally said. He leaned against a tree, and Telëariel rested at his feet. "It is sadder, and the trees speak of loss."

"Few of us remain here. Galadriel has gone into the West, and Celeborn dwells at Imladris. Lothlórien mourns our passing. I am sad to see it change."

"Lórien is diminishing, but in Ithilien the land grows fair. From Eryn Lasgalen, that once was Mirkwood, I have brought companions, and we have made a new home. The land is green and fair, and I would have you return there with me. For though it flourishes in its beauty, I cannot be content if you are not there."

And Telëariel smiled. "A fair speech, Legolas, but I did not need convincing. I will go with you where you will, for you are my heart and my home."

They stayed there for the night, and the trees above sheltered them as they held each other close.

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Éowyn, wife of the Prince of Ithilien, waited in Emyn Arnen. She was beloved, for she was gentle and kind, and she always carried herself with grace. But now she waited impatiently, for Legolas of the Elves would soon arrive, and she wished to see his companion.

And when Telëariel came, Éowyn embraced her warmly, and her happiness was in her smile. "My friend Telëariel, it has been too many years."

"It has," agreed Telëariel, "but we will have many years ahead of us, for I have come to dwell in Ithilien." She held her friend's face in her hands, noticing the fine lines around her eyes, though she was yet young. "I am glad to be with you now."

"And we will be together often," Éowyn said. "For as long as you stay in our land."

For many years it was so, and Faramir and Éowyn were always glad to welcome the Elf Telëariel into their home.

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There was a new King in Gondor, for Elessar had passed away, and Arwen Evenstar rested in Lórien.

"Elessar has gone, and our time has now come," Legolas said one night, as Telëariel lay in his arms. They had dwelt long in Ithilien, though the Sea called to them strongly. "Aragorn of old was my companion and Elessar our king. While he lived, I was compelled to remain in his company, but now that he is gone, we must pass away."

"I am glad," said Telëariel, "for I grow tired of this land, now that those I love have departed. Let us go into the West."

"I will go where you will," Legolas told her, "for you are my heart and my home."

So Legolas built a grey ship, and he sailed down the Anduin to the Sea. On board were Telëariel, who held his heart, and Gimli, son of Glóin, who had long been their friend. Filled with excitement and dreams, they listened to the song of the Sea and so passed out of Middle-earth.


Here ends the tale of The Rising of the Sun.