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"Your horse is beautiful Your Grace," Éowyn said rubbing Lady's head.
Queen Amie told her how Lady became hers.
Elan saw King Adair and Éomer King talking to one another. Then she turned and saw Uri talking to Lady Lindra, who were sitting apart from everyone else. Lothíriel Queen was talking to Ladies Jaya and Ming.
A hour later they rode back to Minas Tirith.
"What do you think of Lord Uri," Lord Mercer asked his daughter when she returned.
"He seems very nice father," she answered.
Lord Mercer was happy to hear that.
Lindra took her father into her room and showed him her dowry from Lord Uri.
"I'm sorry I could never give you such things," he said with tears in his eyes.
"You gave me all your love father," she replied.
He took his daughter into his arms and they cried together.
Later that afternoon Hanna drew her Lady a bath and helped her dress after she bathed. Gondorian servants brought Lord Mercer and Lady Lindra their dinner that evening in their suite. They talked about Lord Uri and there future in the North.
When the King and Queen of the North and their Court entered King Elessar's private dining room that evening they saw others in the room.
King Elessar introduced his wife, Queen Arwen, to King Adair, Queen Amie and their Court. Then he introduced them to his other guests.
Drinks were served before dinner.
"How did you meet Lady Lindra, Lord Uri?" Faramir asked with a straight face.
"I saw her with her father when we rode through the gates of the city," he answered.
Faramir nodded his head. He knew Lord Uri fell in love with Lady Lindra the moment he saw her – the same as he did with Éowyn.
King Adair had a quiet conversation with Prince Imrahil away from the others.
"You dress differently Your Grace," Prince Erchirion said to Amie during dinner.
"It's the influence of the ones who came from the Far East," she replied smiling at the Prince. "I lived with them with my husband in the East and I learned their laws, customs and language before I became their Queen. Lady Jaya and her sister, Lady Amara, are the King's cousins and they're part of my Court, along with Lady Ming."
"King Adair's great grandmother's ancestors came from the Far East and she married a Northmen. That's why he looks the way he does," Elan told them.
"He looks like an elf," Pippin said.
King Adair laughed, along with a few others.
"Lord Balar and I are also related to King Adair and we're his cousins, the same as Ladies Amara and Jaya," Elan said.
"How are you related?" Merry asked with a confused look on his face, looking from one to the other.
"Ana and her husband Adair, the first of his name, had four children, three sons and a daughter. Two of their sons were killed in their war with the Númenóreans. Lord Balar and I come from their daughters line and King Adair comes from their son's line. Ana and Adair's great, great grandson moved East with his Lord and their daughter's descendants stayed in the West. Ana prophesied that our people will not have another King for a very long time and he'll come from hers and Adair's line and he'll be a Lord's son. Our family had never been part of the Nobility, but were merchants. Adair, the first of his name, was the Captain of the King's Guard. Ana thought our new King will be born in the West and bought all the lands in the West, and our family holds the titles to all the Lord's and Ladies lands in the West and they've always come to our family for loans," Elan answered.
"Ana was very clever," Prince Imrahil said with a smile.
"Yes she was Your Highness," Elan replied returning the smile.
"Why did it take so long to crown a new King?" Pippin asked.
"The majority of the Lords in the North had to agree who are next King would be. Ironically it was King Adair's father and Lord who made him King," Elan answered.
"My Lord sent me to warn everyone in the East and West about our coming war with the foul things and the men that came with them from the South," Adair told them.
"I was with my husband and so were his friends, Lord Khan, Boris, Vlad, Anton and Ivan. We rode to every farm, village and town in the East and West and I watched as my husband rallied our people to war," Amie said.
"Our borders are very long. Lord Balar Commanded the army in West, King Adair Commanded part of the army in the East and Lord Uri Commanded the other part of the army in the East. The majority of King Adair's army were Lord Khan's people and Lord's Balar and Uri's armies were Northmen," Elan told them.
"Our people are a Calvary, but we can fight just as well on the ground. We chased the remaining men across our borders and rode South after them," Khan said.
"Lord Khan's people are great archers, swordsmen and swords-women," Amie told them. "I was one of my King's archers during the war."
"Why did you change your bow Your Grace?" Lothíriel asked Amie.
"It's a females bow," she answered. "Na, from Lord Khan's village, taught me how to use my new bow and taught me things no one else had. She's an excellent teacher and can see things others can't. She also teaches the boys and girls in Lord Khan's village."
"Na taught me how to use a bow and the other men and women from my village who rode with King Adair during the war," Khan told them.
"Can your people ride and shoot your bows at the same time Lord Khan?" Éothain asked.
"Yes, and so can our females. We're taught the same things," he answered.
"After the war the people in the North began to call Adair, King Adair and they talked about his deeds when they returned home, which the Lords in the North didn't like. But I told the Lords in the West that the people's Will, will not be denied in this matter. I simply suggested to them that they do the people's will," Elan told them.
"How did you get them all together Madam Elan?" Lilith asked.
"I sent an invitation to all the Lords in the West to a feast at my home months after the war," she answered.
"And they all came running," Adair said laughing.
"Of course they did," Prince Imrahil replied also laughing, along with a few others.
"The people were demanding that the Lord's take action and crown Adair, King. The people already knew who he was and many had met him," Elan told them. "The Kingship in the North had to be earned, and it was Adair who earned it. The Queenship in the North was also earned by Amie by patrolling our boarders and fighting in the war by her husband's side."
"Lord Balar showed up in my village in the East a week after Gandalf arrived," Adair told them.
"You know Gandalf?" Pippin asked with wide-eyed surprise.
"We met him one night in Bree and we had dinner with him. It was Wind who lead us to him and he helped us that night and gave us some good advice while we were traveling in the South," Adair answered.
"That sounds like Gandalf," Gimli said.
"Where did you get Wind your Majesty?" Glorfindel asked
"I was a young boy when he appeared on my Lord's lands one morning...," Adair answered.
"Wind appeared out of nowhere?" Legolas asked with an raised eyebrow.
"One of the stable hands told our Lord, when he looked up he saw a mist form and a young black colt came through and I was the only one he responded to," Adair answered.
"When Gandalf arrived in our village my husband was surprised to see him and he asked him how he found us. He only told us it was Shadowfax who found Wind and he's the only horse like it in the North," Amie told them. "He stayed with us in our home and a week later Lord Balar arrived and crowed Adair, King and me Queen. We stopped at every farm, village and town in the East and West and the people cheered their new King."
"And also their Queen," Adair said smiling at his wife.
"Gandalf rode next to me all the way West to the castle," Balar told them. "He also stayed at Elan's home for a few days. While he was in the North he met Khan's people, Lady Jaya's people and the Northmen. Lord's Khan's and Lady Jaya's people held a feast for him."
"When I left home I had no idea I would become a Queen mother," Amie said looking at her. "Adair told me when we first met that we were meant and he was right. I married him three months later."
"At least you two didn't have to wait a year," Faramir said laughing.
Queen Amie told them how they marry in the North.
"It sounds like a Rohirrim wedding," Éomer said.
"I had a great time Your Majesty," Amie said smiling to the King of the Mark. "I got married in my pants and boots, I was crowned Queen in my pants and boots, kneeling in the snow and ice on a cold winter's day."
"Why didn't you wear a dress?" Merry asked.
"The females in the North don't wear dresses in the winter, but if they do they wear pants and other warm clothing under their dresses. It's very cold in the North," Lady Jaya answered.
"The lands in the North are very beautiful and the Lords and Ladies live on magnificent grand estates and the people live in small towns, villages and farms. The summers are beautiful and the flowers, trees and birds are different than the ones in the South. There's more land further North – as far as the eye can see – and many Northmen moved to those lands long ago. The North is much larger than Middle-Earth and my husband's Kingdom is vast. After I arrived in the North and while we were traveling East, the snows were deeper, ice was everywhere and the bone chilling wind never stop blowing. We were all covered from head to toe and wore warm face scarves with only our eyes showing.
The trees in the East are different and much taller than the ones in the West and the South, and they're snow capped mountains everywhere. The animals are also different in the East and they all have fur. Everything is made of wood in the East because of the weather; and the Lord's and Ladies estates are much larger than the ones in the West and the South. My husband showed me winter has it's own beauty and pointed out everything around me. I was surprised when the spring came to see the East are the plains and when the snow and ice melted I saw rivers, flowers and green grass everywhere," Amie told them.
"My Queen's horse wasn't bred for the North and Elan gave her a new horse. The one she's riding today," Adair said.
"Why are your horses so different than ours Your Majesty?" Éothain asked.
"Their hooves and legs are larger because they ride through deep snows all winter and have greater endurance and stamina than Southern horses and they don't need as much rest," Adair answered.
"They also don't get cold because of the way they're built and we can leave our horses outside in the winter and let them forge for their own food," Khan said.
"They're winters horses and they've always been in the North and East," Lord Balar replied.
"You grew up on the plains Your Majesty?" Éomer asked Adair.
"Yes Your Majesty," he answered smiling. "So did my Court and my Queen's Court."
"When my ancestors came from the Far East they settled on the plains in the East. I was told the lands they originally came from are also the plains, which has snow capped mountains, rolling hills, green grass, trees and flowers; but the winters are like the ones in the East and so are the horses, but only shorter," Khan told Éomer
"Are there any cities where your ancestors came from Lord Khan?" Éothain asked.
"No," he answered. "Everyone lives on farms or in small villages and the horses roam free on the plains."
Éomer and Éothain realized Khan's people are like the Rohirrim, along with everyone in the East.
"Do you like the plains Your Grace?" Éowyn asked.
"Yes," she answered. "It has a beauty all it's own. My King is building a home for his family on the plains."
"What the difference between the East and the West?" Gimli asked.
"The West is similar to Gondor, yet different. The East are the plains and the lands further North are also plains," Adair answered.
"Why did your people go to war with the Númenóreans?" Lord Celeborn asked.
"The King from across the sea wanted our people to swear fidelity to him and our King told him no. We went to war and lost," Elan answered. "He had no right to ask that of us and those weren't their lands. They killed our King and his entire family, including the children and burned their castles to the ground. Before the Númenóreans exiled our people to the Northern Waste, Ana told the King from across the sea: You have invaded our lands and killed our King and his family and two of our sons – and so shall your sons perish also. Our people will prosper and grow mighty and strong and your people will dwindle to nothing, and you nor they shall find peace in these lands and all you build shall come to ruin.
"The Númenóreans exiled your people to the Northern Waste?" Amrothos asked surprised.
"Yes, your Highness and our ancestors tamed those lands and made it bloom," Elan answered.
"I thought the Númenóreans were the best of men," Legolas said.
"I see you don't know the history of the Númenóreans, Prince Legolas," Amie replied. "Long before the Númenóreans came to Middle-Earth to live they completely destroyed Enedwaith, South of Arnor. The people who lived in Enedwaith went to war with the Númenóreans because they were destroying their homes and lands. The Númenóreans either killed them or drove them off and Enedwaith is now a desolate place and has been for ages. While we were traveling North, Adair asked me what happened to those lands and I told him. I also pointed out all the Númenórean ruins in Arnor."
"Our people are still here and have grown mighty and strong, but the Númenóreans are gone, just as Ana prophesied," Elan said.
"It was their fate," Lady Ming said.
"Lady Ming?" Prince Imrahil asked with a raised eyebrow.
"These lands were their curse your Highness," she answered.
King Elessar told the elves what Prince Imrahil told him after his guests departed.
"How long have they lived there?" Glorfindel asked.
"Many years," Amrothos answered.
"We knew men would claim those lands one day and Lindon has been abandoned since the end of the Second Age, except the Grey Havens," Celeborn said.
"I wonder why the Northmen didn't move to Lindon sooner?" Prince Erchirion asked.
"King Adair was not yet born and everything revolves around him," Glorfindel answered. "King Adair is blessed by Eru Ilúvatar. I saw a white light around him and his horse while they were riding to the city and that light extended around his Queen. When the sun shown upon the King's Ring it almost blinded me."
"He and his Queen are one like the elves," Celeborn said.
"We never knew anyone lived in the Northern Waste," Amrothos said.
"The Númenóreans thought they would die in that place – that's why they exiled them there Amrothos," his father replied. "I was sickened to hear what our ancestors did to the Royal Family and that everyone North of South Gondor went to war with the Númenóreans and hated them. We learned today how cruel our ancestors were to the other men on Arda and what Ana foretold came true. Our people have died out as a race and they never did find peace in these lands."
"And everything they built fell into ruin," Faramir said thinking about Osgiliath.
"They had no other place to go father," Erchirion told him.
"We know that Erchirion," his father replied. "But the Númenóreans held themselves above all other men because they were blessed by the Valar and were given many things by the Valar and the elves. The men on Arda were never blessed by the Valar, but the Northmen not only survived in an inhospitable place, but thrived as a people. That's because of Eru Ilúvatar."
Prince Imrahil met with King Adair and Madam's Lilith and Elan in his suite after his meeting with the others.
"What are they doing?" a guard asked Gregor, the Captain of the Citadel the next morning.
"The King of the North and a few of his Lords are going to practice," he answered.
"Practice what?" the guard asked, watching the guards from the North cover the practice grounds with mats.
"We'll find out why later," Gregor answered, wondering that himself.
"Good morning Lord Mercer, Lady Lindra," Elan said with a curtsy when she walked into their suite.
"Good morning Madam Elan," they replied.
Elan told them why she was there.
Captain Gregor didn't show his surprise when he saw the way his Majesty and his Lord's were dressed when he arrived at the King's suite. They had on long white pants, white shirts and a belt (karate outfits).
When they arrived on the practice grounds King Adair and his Court nodded to King Elessar and Éomer King, who both returned the nod. King Adair and Lord's Khan and Balar were each handed a long bamboo stick. Then King Adair and Lord Khan stood aside.
Two female King's Guard then appeared and one took something from under one of her long sleeves and hurled it at Lord Balar – who ducked – and the flying projectile fell harmless to the ground.
There were murmurs in the crowd.
Then the females converged on Lord Balar. One had a chain in her hand and the other had a fighting stick in each hand.
Lord Balar was looking at the guard who was swinging the chain in her hand and backed up when she took a few steps towards him. When he changed the position of his bamboo stick and tried to deflect the chain, the guard wrapped the chain around the bamboo stick and snatched it out of his hand. The other guard then attacked Lord Balar and tripped him. While he was falling backwards she put both sticks in one hand and took a curved short sword out of one of her sleeves and held it to his neck when he hit the ground.
"You're dead Lord Balar," Lord Uri said from the balcony.
Lady Lindra was standing next to Lord Uri and her father was standing next to his daughter.
Lord Balar bowed to the two Kings and stood aside.
Everyone was surprised, except King Elessar, Prince Faramir and Lord Uri, to see a female guard appear on the balcony and do back flips across the wooden railing and then jump. She didn't make a sound when her feet hit the mat.
Éothain wasn't the only one who had his mouth hanging open.
Then the battle was joined when another female guard appeared. King Adair and Lord Khan twisted and turned and deflected many of the guards attacks with their long bamboo sticks, which their wielded expertly. The female guards got out of the way of their attacks by doing back flips and other skills and each time they deftly landed on their feet without making a sound.
The elves had never seen anything like the female who wielded her fighting sticks which such speed and ferocity that King Adair was hard pressed to ward off her attacks.
Lord Khan was holding his own against two other female guards, but they too were also quick and agile and got out of the way of his attacks.
No one saw Lady Ming hiding in the shadows behind a pillar, nor did the King or her husband. Khan didn't see what his wife threw at his hands with such force that he dropped his bamboo stick and the two female guards moved in for the kill. King Adair's feet were in the air when a projective hit one foot and he lost his balance and fell to the mat. The female guards drew their short swords from their sleeves and put them to their King's throat.
"What the..," Gregor said with a stunned looked on his face.
Murmurs in the gallery.
Lady Ming walked out from behind the pillar and took off her black scarf off.
Everyone in the gallery saw she was dressed in all black.
When King Adair and her husband looked up they knew had happened.
"You're both dead my King and my husband," Lady Ming said with a bow and a smile on her face.
"Well done Lady Ming," Adair said after he got off the mat.
She bowed to her King again.
King Adair said something in a language the others didn't understood.
Small boards were brought out and the men held them in their hands and everyone watched as the female guards broke them with their fists and feet. The men, including King Adair, Lord's Balar and Khan, did the same.
Éowyn marveled at the way the women from the Far East fought and saw they're quick and nimble. One jumped up and out of the way of Lord Khan's long stick went he swung it at her feet. What amazed her is that none of them made a sound when they landed on their feet.
"I didn't know mortals could do that," Elladan turned and said to his brother.
"Neither did I," he replied.
"Now I know why the women from the Far East can break every bone in a man's body," Amrothos said to his father.
"Their fighting style is very different," he replied.
"That's an understatement father," Erchirion said, still stunned at what he just saw.
"Did you see what those women did?" Éothain turned and asked his liege.
"Yes," he answered. "Now we know why their men have a great respect for them and why they ride to war with them."
"I've never seen anything like it," Éothain said shaking his head.
"Neither have I," Éomer replied.
"Can you fight the same way Amie?" Lothíriel turned and asked her friend.
"No," she answered. "But my children are learning."
"They're so young," Lothíriel said.
"They learn at a very young age," Amie replied.
"Those women can fight," Gimli said surprised.
"Yes they can Master Dwarf and they're very skilled and quiet on their feet," Glorfindel replied. Glorfindel is a master at sword fighting, but he'd never seen anyone who could break boards with their hands and feet – not even an elf.
"Those females are unpredictable and you don't know what they'll going to do next," Legolas said.
"They're amazing," Pippin replied with a smile. "They're almost our size and they just beat the big folk."
"That was very impressive," Faramir turned and said to liege with a smile.
"I now know why King Adair has great confidence in his female guards," King Elessar replied. "They just killed their King and his Court."
After the exhibition the combatants bowed to the Kings of Gondor and Rohan.
All who witnessed the exhibition that day talked about it for many years.