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Living Motion

Chapter 1: Living Motion

by NancyBrooke

It’s the price of living motion
What’s beautiful, gets broken
And grace is just the measure of a fall

- Jeffrey Foucault


I am Haleth, daughter of Haldad, and I tell you there is no mystery here.

The Haladim do not question ‘who’, or ‘why’: we know with unshakable surety who caused our exodus, why we were cast out from our homes, and how we came to be in this place.

As my father watched the woods for sign that the Enemy at last was coming, I watched the heavens and saw the ascendency of Nénar as he grew full on destruction and on change. And as the screams of my father and brother rent the darkness even as their bodies were rent, I turned away my face to blood-red Karnil and accepted his challenge. So it was I refused the succor of Caranthir and left Thargelion with all that remained of the Haladim quick upon my heels.

Not all would understand the path I chose, but the Haladim did not question. For me the path was clear, though we traveled not across welcoming lands but through those most perilous and repellent to Man. Without the goad of fear to drive them, I knew, they would wander like frightened sheep to any greener pasture and too quickly be content. Only by the death of some would most be saved, and hew more closely to the narrow path I walked. By the sharp wit of Ellemirë I guided them and, sometimes, by the deceptions of Luinil until at last we reached the safety of Sirion and the peaceful stretches of Brethil. There I recognized we would find shelter and the strength to once again become as hunters.

Now long the intervening years have been, years filled with striving, with dearth and with learning. But Lumbar has patiently shone over all, and we have prospered.

No memory of those dark times has dimmed in our thoughts, but the Haladim do not doubt, the Haladim do not question the events that brought us to this place. Regret, only, do I alone tender in my secret heart; regret that it was my family sacrificed on the altar of our safety. No other have I found.

Now in the night the soft light of Alcarinquë sparkles over Teiglin, and by that light I know I will soon see my father and brother again. Only then, will I know the only true mystery: that of everlasting rest.


Thanks to Eiranae for her sharp eyes in betaing.

The Text:

Nénar, equivalent to Uranus, planet signifying revolution and upheaval, a new beginning
Karnil, equivalent of Mars, planet signifying energy to face challenges
Ellemirë, equivalent of Mercury, planet signifying communication, restlessness, motion
Luinil, equivalent of Neptune, planet signifying dreams and illusion
Lumbar, equivalent of Saturn, planet signifying responsibility, discipline
Alcarinquë, equivalent of Jupiter, planet signifying a search for answers, long-distance travel

The Challenge:

The challenge was to write a mystery about a randomly chosen character - in this case Haleth daughter of Haldad - in the first person limited, with a celestial/planet/stars theme. So, as the planets are traditionally "wanderers", I let them guide Haleth's way, but try as I might I could find no mystery to her life without being trite or gender-based (e.g. was there something between Haleth and Caranthir? Why did she never marry?), so I chose to work with the theme by working against it. Success? What do you think?