Note: This chapter corresponds to chapter 61 of 'Athrana'
I have started another story with Nariel it's called 'The Beornings' and is unsurprisingly about Beorn and his family. It fits into the same storyline as 'Nariel the Red', 'Athrana', 'The Missing Years' and 'Raising Athriel'.
Nariel the Red
Chapter 81- Preparing for War
TA 3019 March 9th
While Nariel and Grimbeorn watched from the window Minas Tirith prepared for war. Pippin watched the men moving back and forward, doing as much as they could to prepare for the inevitable. It was terrifying seeing the resignation in their eyes. The sky was growing dark and still they didn't stop, they couldn't, their very survival depended on it.
Throughout middle-earth the preparations continued. Radagast watched as the elves and the Beornings worked together on the realms defences. He had to do something. He had been sitting back long enough. It was time that he joined in this war and fought. The decision made the wizard saddled his horse and made his way back through the trees to Rhosgobel.
Nariel watched the sky darken as her uncle directed the men around him. Grimbeorn was having a temporary bed moved into her rooms so that they could stay together. She needed him nearby and she was due any day now. She was his only job now, it didn't matter what else happened when the war finally came, and he would protect his niece and her unborn child.
Radagast pulled the horse to a stop and dismounted. It seemed so quiet here in the cabin by himself. He had been alone here for centuries before Nariel had come to live with him, and now he was alone again. What where the chances that she would return here for any length of time. Nariel and the Prince would be married and go to live within the palace. Even if they all survived this coming war, nothing would ever be the same again.
Grimbeorn tucked his niece under the sheets and kissed her forehead. It was as if she was a child again, Caraneth's little baby girl. He could almost believe that the last 40yrs hadn't happened. "Tell me a story Uncle Grimbeorn" she said making him smile.
Grimbeorn sighed as he sat down in front of the fire. It had been a long day. He and his father had been out patrolling their land for the last three days and they were exhausted. Luckily there was one thing guaranteed to cheer them up, Little Nariel came shuffling into the room clutching her stuffed bear and rubbing her eyes.
"Tell me a story Uncle Grimbeorn"
Laughing Grimbeorn pulled the child into his lap and started his story.
Radagast pushed open the door and looked around his empty cabin. It had been sometime since he had been back. Without Nariel it all seemed so quiet, so lonely and so empty. Since she had left Rivendell to follow her prince into danger, he had hardly left the palace. As it was he was only back now to pick up his sword. It was time for him to fight. Long ago he had given up on middle earth and its people or their problems. He had taken refuge in the forest amongst the animals and far away from the races of Arda. For centuries Gandalf had tried to convince him to come out of hiding, but he had put away his sword. Then he had met Caraneth. For a brief moment he had been alive, truly alive and knew what it meant to live for someone other than himself. But it had all been over so quickly. She had left him so that she could raise his child alone. And then she was gone forever, leaving behind his only daughter. Nariel had forced him to come out in the open, to spend time amongst the Beornings and the elves. Now it was time for him to follow her example once again. She had gone out into the world to fight for what she believed in, and now it was his turn. He would fight beside the Elves of Mirkwood and the Beornings for the whole of middle-earth.
Grimbeorn watched his niece sleep for a few moments while the sun set. Very soon war would be upon them and they were as ready as they ever would be. He would do all that he could to protect her, he would fight and he would not lose her as he had lost her mother- his sister. They were ready.
Radagast sheathed his old sword and left the cabin. He was as ready as he would ever be. War was coming and he would fight beside his friends. He would fight for the friendships Nariel had helped him rekindle, with Thranduil and his wife. He would fight for his lost love and her family. And he would fight for his daughter and the life she deserved when she returned with his grandson and her elven prince. He was ready.