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Night In Hollin

Chapter 1: Night In Hollin

by NancyBrooke

Author’s Note: This started out as a simple idea – really it did, and kind of got away from me. I just don’t seem to be able to color inside the lines … Still, I hope it’s enjoyable, particularly if not taken too seriously.

PS: I know the Company was trying to move as stealthily through Hollin as possible, and sitting around a decent campfire, smoking and laughing is hardly stealthy, but this is a bit of fluff … so let’s just not worry about that bit.

PPS: Changed the title and summary after initial posting.





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Cuil vi pân belan ‘alas an i galad muded
--Life in all her growing powers toward the light is striving



“Ho, there! Halt … Halt! –”

“What? Did we do something wrong, Aragorn?”

The Fellowship was several weeks out from Rivendell and slowly picking their way through the cheerless hills of Hollin. Boromir had begun to teach the halflings basic swordplay, but on this day had accompanied Gandalf and Legolas in scouting their trail to the south, leaving Pippin and Merry to practice under the Ranger’s watchful eye. And this day that eye had caught something amiss.

Aragorn straightened from the tree against which he’d leaned himself to watch their contest.

“Here, Pippin. What was that move you just did? Can you show me that again? Merry, give me your sword.”

The smaller hobbit grinned broadly and hefted his blade. “It was something Boromir showed me. Nice, isn’t it?”

“He didn’t show it to me.” Chagrinned and frowning, Merry handed his small sword over to the Ranger and moved off a pace.

Pippin’s smile broadened. “No! he didn’t. Boromir said I needed a special advantage since I was smaller. He thought you, with those great big paddles you have for feet, wouldn’t manage it.”

“He did not!”

“No, of course he didn’t, Merry, he just likes me better.”

“Pippin!”

“Now, Master Peregrin …” Aragorn took up a defensive stance. “Tiro.”

For a few minutes they sparred, Aragorn letting Pippin approach and then deflecting him with moves he knew the hobbit could counter with little trouble. Then steadily he began increasing the difficulty and complexity of his strokes until he deemed the time aright. Aragorn pulled back Merry’s sword and prepared to deliver a blow had disarmed many a mightier foe when Pippin suddenly skipped under his defenses. Aragorn halted and stilled his breath, a sword point neatly pressed against his belly.

Surprised and somewhat puzzled, the ranger raised his hands in surrender and straightened as Pippin withdrew.

The little hobbit couldn’t have been more proud of himself and grinned enormously.

“Well! it works much better against a big man! I like that, I must say. Shall we have another go, Aragorn?”

But the Ranger stepped back and returned the sword to Merry.

“No, thank you, Pippin, I have seen enough.”

But he hadn’t seen anything at all, really, and it troubled him.

After a light meal featuring some partridges furnished by Legolas’s skillful bow, the Fellowship gathered themselves about a small fire, the detritus of dinner disappearing, bedrolls and pipes beginning to show themselves, and Boromir and Legolas settling down upwind. The Company was quiet more out of mood than necessity; the barren stillness of Hollin in Winter had dampened all their spirits of late, and seemed each night to seep out from the surrounding darkness and soak into their very clothes.

Aragorn worried over what he’d seen that day like a dog at a bone. As the smoke from the fire mixed with that of the Shire’s best he ran the hobbits’ sword play over in his head for the umpteenth time and tried to see anew the pattern of Pippin’s feet. It was oddly familiar, one surely he had seen before, though menel berio men he could not remember where.

There was a quick step, a side-step, a long step, and a kind of bow/lunge. Where had he seen that before? Feet moving in that pattern before … feet moving in that pattern, not on sand, but on … stone, feet moving on white stone …

“Ah-aha!”

An all but articulate exclamation launched itself from the Ranger’s mouth and startled each member of the Company. But it was at the Man of Gondor Aragorn pointed the stem of his pipe, accusingly.

“The Govadhechuir!"

Was it the glowing fire light or did Boromir color a bit?

“The Govadhechuir …” Boromir suffered another jab across the flames; “the footwork you taught Pippin …”

“Sorry?” Pippin immediately rose to the sound of his own name, and just as quickly sat back again. The two men were staring at one another unflinchingly in silent contest; the Ranger still as stone, a smile chasing his thin lips, while Boromir shifted slightly, knit his brows, and said nothing.

Then, with a satisfied smile, the Ranger settled back onto his haunches, pleased to have finally resolved the mystery plaguing his memory. He replaced the pipe between his teeth and spoke around the stem to any who might listen.

“I thought I recognized it, but I couldn’t remember … Boromir taught Pippin a dance step from the Govadhechuir to use in swordplay. Very effective, I may add, but hardly orthodox. Whatever possessed you, Boromir?”

The warrior’s frown deepened. What had possessed him? Pity? Compassion? Or simply the desire to prepare his new pupil to the best of his ability? Pippin learned quickly and fought well, but was often undone by Merry’s height and greater strength. Almost immediately they’d begun training Boromir had thought of the dance-step maneuver; it had balanced out greater mismatches in the past and the littlest hobbit would surely need every advantage in the days and months to come. And what orc was going to raise a protest that the halfling had not been fighting by established protocols? Besides, it had pleased the Pippin and that, Boromir had been learning, was something he enjoyed.

But right now Pippin seemed somewhat less than entirely pleased. He plainly gawked at Boromir.

“You taught me a dance step?”

The formidable gaze with which Boromir now fixed the young hobbit had frozen more than one recruit in their tracks on the practice fields of Gondor, but had no effect on the irrepressible Pippin, who only frowned back.

Merry, however, laughed outright, enjoying his new position as warrior-free-of-dance-steps. How proud Pippin had been this afternoon! And how foolish he must feel at having been dancing instead of fighting all this time!

But Pippin shut him up quick with a sharp poke to the chest, and an added -

“Well, it beat you at any road!”

After Sam thoughtfully controlled Merry’s coughing with a few well aimed thumps to the back, eight sets of eyes turned with interest to Boromir, as if Aragorn’s question hovered in the air with the smoke over their heads.

Still, it was some time before Boromir’s rich baritone fed the company’s curiosity, and then only a morsel. He picked up a stick from the fire to stir the coals, sniffed disdainfully, and shrugged only marginally.

“It seemed reasonable.”

He was pleased to have even managed a note of casual disregard to his voice, as if to defend one’s life by dancing was the most natural thing in the world for such a seasoned warrior.

Then he raised his sea-gray eyes from the fire and volleyed a rejoinder across the flames.

“I gather it worked against you, Aragorn …”

and in the ensuing silence took up the offensive:

“And how would a Ranger from the North know of Gondor’s finer customs? I should like to know.”

But Aragorn’s only answer was a meditative pull on his pipe. This was one of those times the Ranger wished fervently he truly could avoid being seen. He had no wish to tell the young Steward’s Son that Boromir’s own mother had taught him the steps of the Govadhechuir one Spring some 40 years before.

He was rescued, unexpectedly, by Gandalf.

“Oh, Aragorn has wandered far in his long years, Boromir, and has learned many surprising things,” the Wizard obfuscated artfully; “as it seems have you.”

Thoughtfully Gandalf puffed out his cheeks and sent a wreath of smoky couples dancing off into the night. With the possible exception of hobbits, there were not many things these days in which the Wizard found he was genuinely curious and it was indeed a surprise to find that Boromir had taken something he loved and bettered it with something he seemingly distained. It bore some looking into.

“Yes, very clever; very clever and very prudent. But tell us, now, what ever made you think of it?”

Boromir clearly heard the lilting tone in the Wizard’s voice that told him he was being teased; he’d been hearing that note since he was a boy but had never figured out what to do about it. He shifted in his place, bent one knee up to rest his arm, and adopted what he hoped was a casual pose. But the Wizard’s twinkling gaze held him as surely as if at knife point. So Boromir raised his chin and shook his head, sending raven hair flying from his face.

“I learned the courtly dances the same summer I began to learn at sword play,” he confessed. “I was thirteen. My father had me train with the tower guard, though they were many years my elder and some span’s-breadth taller. One day, I just fell into a step from the Govadhechuir, the Spring Dance.”

A ripple of laughter made its way around the fire.

“Yes, they all laughed, even as you are doing, but I disarmed them each in turn.”

Just as it had on that spring day in Gondor so long ago the chuckling around him died down most satisfactorily. Boromir continued:

“It seemed reasonable that Pippin should also learn as most of the dangers he will meet along this journey will outsize him, and many of them by much more than a Man of Gondor, or the Northern Wastes.”

He raised the flaming twig pointedly at Aragorn and then let it fall dramatically into the fire, hoping to consider the matter closed.

But a small voice from his right stuck like a foot in the door

“Boromir, you can dance?”

Pippin’s face, now aglow with amazement and amusement, lit smiles all around the campfire. Except to windward, where the warrior snorted indignantly and mustered affrontery.

“Of course! It is customary for all children of the high families to learn the courtly dances, and what should they know that the Son of the Steward should not?”

Again he aimed narrowed eyes at the youngest hobbit, and escalated with one long pointing finger.

“In my father’s court, I’d have you know, I am counted quite a good dancer and sought-after partner. Though in recent years it has not been such foolishness occupied my thoughts but the defense of our lands against the growing darkness of Mordor!”

As the last word reverberated in the dark night Boromir allowed himself to hope once more the matter might die with the echo. He stole a look at Pippin from under his dark brow and congratulated himself the little hobbit now seemed somewhat subdued.

But just like Nature Hobbits abhor a vacuum, and Merry quickly took up Pippin’s place in their new favorite game – Boromir-baiting.

“And is there a special partner you left behind going to miss you at the Spring Dance this year, Boromir?”

Pippin revived instantaneously.

“Yes, Boromir! Tell us! She must be a princess, I mean, you’re practically a prince, right?”

The Steward’s Son opened his mouth to answer he knew not what but could have saved himself the trouble as Pippin went on without breath:

“Do you have princesses in Gondor? Well, she must be very beautiful at any rate. Is she beautiful, Boromir?”

“Now, now …” Boromir, unused to fighting with his tongue, went straight for the heart – “the Shire must be a most carefree place if the names and affections of your women-folk are bandied about so freely over the campfire. Indeed, Master Peregrin, Master Meriadoc; I would have thought you more gentlemanly folk!”

“Well, I didn’t mean it that way –”

But Boromir carried on, pressing his new advantage swiftly:

“Does none of you have a sweetheart or wife at home, that you can be so free with the names of others?”

“Well there’s Stella, now, isn’t there Merry?”

“Pippin …” Merry growled warningly.

As Pippin launched inevitably into a discussion of hobbit genealogy, Boromir sighed soundlessly and congratulated himself that now the subject of the Govadhechuir might at last find its rest. He settled comfortably back against his bedroll as Pippin leaned enthusiastically toward the fire, warming to his subject.

“Estella Bolger, she is, Odo’s daughter and our third cousin on her mother’s side. You know, Merry’s quite sweet on her. Why, just the last week before we left the Shire I saw him trotting down the lane to her Dad’s place bold as you please –”

“Pippin!”

“You said it was to see her brother, but we all knew good old Fatty was down at Crickhollow!”

“PIPPIN!”

“Oh, it’s all right, Merry. You weren’t really keeping it a secret, you know.”

With great cheek Pippin reached over and patted Merry’s knee and then, as his cousin drew a long breath, veered the conversation away again. Truth be told, Pippin was getting tired of Hollin and the sullen quiet of his companions; particularly Frodo, who had hardly said a word these past two days. In Boromir’s unwilling admonition he recognized an opportunity to lighten things up a bit, and damned if he wasn’t just the Hobbit to do it.

“And speaking of dances … I don’t mind telling you, Boromir –”

The warrior was jerked suddenly out of his happy smugness –

“the grandest dance the Shire’s seen in a long time was Old Mr. Bilbo’s birthday party. Now, that was a time! Even though Merry and I did precious little dancing on account of, ahem, some kitchen work we were volunteered for ” (Pippin pretended to eye Gandalf warily) “it was really Sam, here – ”

“Oh, no. Now, Mister Pippin, don’t you go telling tales.”

But as Sam dissembled, Pippin noticed the ghost of a smile steal across the face of the Ringbearer, who all that evening had been wrapped in reverie. Pippin became unstoppable.

“No, Sam, you cannot deny it. You did us all proud standing up at last with Rosie Cotton. Oh, it was splendid; you should have all seen it … ”

With an understanding smile, Frodo straightened himself at his place and reached out to pat his friend’s back as dear Sam blushed crimson. Pippin careened on madly:

“The flowers in her hair, the way you twirled her about the field … It was fantastic, Sam, absolutely fantastic.”

Then Pippin was suddenly undone by his own cleverness. More visions of that faraway day rose unbidden to his mind’s eye – his own sister Pervinca with ribbons on her dress; Merry talking to Stella shyly, perhaps for the last time; Frodo laughing and smiling as if he hadn’t a care in the world … the littlest Hobbit found a tear of homesickness suddenly clouded his sight.

“It seems so long ago, now.”

It was the Ringbearer; his voice rising out of the sudden silence quietly, wistfully. Frodo took a long pull on his pipe and let the fume go in a soft sigh.

“It’s hard to imagine they still dance in the Shire, although I suppose they must do.”

And that was it – the straw that broke Sam’s back, as it were. It was one thing to have his heart’s dearest secrets hung out like the morning’s washing but quite another to hear that his dear master might be losing any joy that thoughts of the Shire could bring. So he stood and, tugging firmly at his waistcoat for encouragement, stepped out of his place at the fire. With great determination, he strode the long way about the circle until he came to Pippin. Then he thrust out his hand.

“Right, then.”

“Right when?”

“Right now. Since you got us all started with this, let’s have a go.”

“Go?” Pippin gaped up at the great square hand as if it held an Oliphant with a golden egg up its arse.

“Have a dance. Come on. There’s been enough of this mopin’ around, now. I think there’s enough room over here for a decent Haymaker. Boromir’s taught you a step or two, now let’s show him the real thing. Unless, of course, you don’t think you’re up to it.”

Never, in his life before leaving the Shire, could Samwise Gamgee have imagined he’d be sitting around a campfire in a faraway land with Men, Dwarves, and Elves, impugning one of the Big Folk and challenging Master Peregrin Took to a dance, but now he couldn’t for the life of him think of a finer idea.

And Pippin rose to the occasion, bless him, only wishing he’d though of it first. He followed Sam’s straight back some little way off from the fire, kicking aside a bedroll or two as he went. The pair took up places facing one another and, with three even nods from Samwise, were off.

The dance was a complicated and joyful whirl of squares, stars and couplings, which gradually began to gather speed. Merry started it, but in a few moments all the companions were beating time with hands or feet, till Merry could stand it no longer.

“Oh, you can’t do it properly with just two! Come on, Frodo!” He grabbed his cousin’s hand and fairly threw him into the dance.

It was some time before laughing, winded, and well-warmed the four hobbits returned to the fire to general laughter and spattered applause.

“That’s one or our most beautiful dances, of course” Merry opined as he took his seat, glowing now from mirth and exertion. “It’s done slightly differently up in Hobbiton where Frodo lives, and then again in Tuckborough. But it’s true form originated up in Buckland, of course.”

Legolas laughed. “I am pleased to learn what passes for beauty in the land of the Shire.”

Then Frodo spoke again dreamily, slyly, as if to no one in particular. “Bilbo always told me the dances of the woodland elves were the most beautiful he had ever seen. ‘As if the stars had been set loose’, he said.”

The dwarf harumphhed loudly.

Legolas was standing almost before anyone saw him move and, after gathering himself for a moment, turned neatly in his place and bowed deeply from the waist.

“What? Hmmm … Oh!” it was the Wizard, quite startled, to whom Legolas now gracefully offered his hand. Gandalf hmmed and hummed around his pipe for only a moment before gamely doffing his hat and allowing himself something of a smile. He found he was again happily infected by the Hobbits’ high spirits. Finding his pipe a safe resting place he followed the Elf over to the area now flattened by furry feet.

As Legolas intoned a soft and haunting tune the two tall and ageless men went with measured steps and slow through the shape of a complicated and, to Pippin’s wide eyes, formless yet extraordinary dance. Their long robes only added to the grace with which they moved, gold hair and silver mirroring the moon- and firelight. The pair never touched, yet seemed ineffably connected, each drawing the other along; one always seeming to step into the empty air just vacated by the other. Their long shadows were cast into the trees and multiplied so it seemed as if even the silver birch and the green holly, bedecked in its ruby finery, weaved their boughs in time to the music.

An awed silence greeted them when at last the Elf and Wizard returned to their places; wordlessly Frodo bowed his head to Legolas in recognition of a challenge well met.

“And what about you, Gimli?”

The Company had hardly resettled again before Merry stirred the pot anew. His eyes now sparkled with mischief.

“Won’t you show us what dances are done where you come from? Surely, they must be almost as beautiful as the Elves …”

“Almost? Almost he says. Well …” Gimli grumbled something unknowable in dwarvish and rose. He hefted his belt and surveyed the Company, rocking on the balls of his feet. His narrowed eyes came to rest for a moment on Merry, then he stepped out of the fire circle, lecturing as he went.

“Under the Lonely Mountain in the halls of my fathers we dwarves dance many dances, and I would be only too pleased to give you a taste of the grandeur and magnificence of our celebrations! But I am far from home, and amongst my people it is only the dwarf men who dance so you, Master Hobbit –” with one burly arm he hauled a surprised Merry swiftly to his feet – “shall have to help me!”

Merry had hardly found his feet before Gimli launched him into a rollicking, cabalistic rite woven about the fire and the camp. The dwarf seemed to be everywhere at once – invoking the flames and crying a challenge out into the cold dark. Merry did his best to keep up, at times imitating Gimli and at others thrown into answering moves. When at last he was released, the hobbit collapsed thankfully into his place and lay panting against Frodo, rubbing a few spots he just knew would bruise. Still, he thought with growing wonder and respect, the dance had been both beautifully mysterious and humourously acrobatic; he knew without having to be told they’d all just been given a rare and precious glimpse into the dark and glittering world of Durin’s folk.

The rest of the company sat in stunned silence. Then, as if at a signal the other three Hobbits broke out into whoops of joy and raucous applause for both Merry and his dance partner. Aragorn smiled his crooked smile while Gandalf laughed outright, remembering fondly many nights spent with Thorin’s people in the Halls under the Mountain. Still, Gimli only muttered and nodded demurely until all the reviews were in.

Upon catching the Dwarf’s eye peeking surreptitiously out from under his bushy brows Legolas inclined his head deeply, respectfully, and then let a smile break out over his long face. Then, of course, there was nothing for it but Gimli must be on his feet again, taking bows and laughing heartily.

Still happily out of the spotlight Boromir joined in the applause, silently congratulating himself on so handily shifting the focus of the conversation away from where it had started – on him! – and away to the hobbits who had so obligingly and good-naturedly had spread it about from there.

I must not join in this frivolity, he felt. It was his prowess as a warrior, not a courtier, which had won him a place on this quest and would ensure the ring’s safe passage south to Gondor. It would not do to expose himself so; he could not let down his guard.

But something sparkling across the fire caught his attention and turned it outward again. It turned out to be the gaze of the Wizard. His crystalline eyes reflected the firelight and, when he spoke, his words echoed Boromir’s own thoughts.

“Now, Boromir.”

His voice rippling with merriment, Gandalf spoke with intention clear and inescapable.

“I believe it is your turn. Let your sword have its rest for tonight, and show us what remarkable dance could have the power to turn Pippin into a swordsman.”

Now, all good soldiers know that one day they will face an inevitable fate and, as he looked about the expectant, smirking faces of his eight companions, Boromir recognized that this was that day.

With a gentle harumph and slight color to his cheeks he stood. Then, with some little ceremony, began shedding his gear. First the horn of his fathers found its place in the bowl of his shield, then the great sword with its tooled belt and scabbard; together, they lay entwined upon the ground. Click went the clasps of the great cloak, click the silver buckles of the leather surcoat, the vembrances, the chain. Each added to the growing pile at his feet.

“And is this dance done also naked?” Gimli snarked, taking a long pull on his pipe.

“As it is usually done with a female partner, and in public, that would hardly be appropriate, though, perhaps, desirable,” Boromir returned.

A great guffaw ripped the air as Gimli snorted smoke up his nose, appreciating both the joke and Boromir’s making it.

Then before the company the Steward’s Son stood clad as they had never seen him before, unarmored and disarmed. He paused for a moment in the cool of the night air, then stepped out from the fire’s light. He drew the eyes of his companions with him wonderingly as he circled the camp as if to find the optimum spot for his demonstration. He found it, beside Aragorn.

Boromir extended his hand.

Startled, the Ranger looked up the length of hand, to arm, to shoulders to smirk.

“Since it is you have unmasked me, Ranger, I think you must join me as I need a partner. To show half a picture would be to show nothing at all.”

Then, to the wonder of all, Boromir bowed low and gracefully, sweeping one foot well behind the other with hands to his waist front and back.

Sam gaped.

The Ranger groped for a reply – any reply.

Boromir straightened and smiled, smugly.

“Will you not stand up with me, Aragorn?”

The older man raised one eyebrow and opened his mouth, then closed it again. He dropped his gaze to survey the faces staring at him about the fire, each of which had taken their turn at merriment that night, and realized there was but one way out of his predicament. Blindly but unerringly he raised his hand and placed it in Boromir’s, and then raised his eyes to the other man’s.

Effortlessly Boromir raised him up and, as his long frame unfolded, Aragorn found himself answering with complete sincerity:

“I cannot, in all fairness, resist such a noble request.”

“Then come.”

Together they walked over the clearing and took up places some distance from one another. Then Boromir stepped boldly forward and took his partner by the hand and by the waist. The hobbits tittered and Gimli chuckled, but Aragorn straightened and relaxed into the hold. Then, with no outward sign or signal Boromir began leading Aragorn through the age-old steps and figures of the Govadhechuir.

It was a spritely dance of weaving figures but formal, nonetheless. The taller and leaner of the two, the Ranger moved with a lithesome economy of purpose, hardly seeming to disturb the ground beneath him while Boromir, despite his heartier frame, went more smoothly and with a powerful grace and ease of movement, as if the dance did what he ordered of it, and not the other way around. He led Aragorn as he led all men, with direction barely discernible, the merest touch causing the Ranger to follow. Together they went effortlessly through the steps Aragorn had learned so long ago; perhaps, the Ranger mused, they had had the same teacher.

Pippin’s breath slowed as he watched. He moved to elbow Merry as he recognized the fencing maneuver Boromir had taught him – his move, as he thought it – but then stilled, drawn in by the patterns being woven before him.

It must be a marvelous thing, he thought, to see the finest of Gondor all out on a warm spring night. You know, he had never really realized before how much alike they were, Boromir and Aragorn. Cut from the same bolt of cloth, he might have said, though perhaps from different ends. Their faces – pale, age- wind- and war-weathered now glowed golden in the firelight. Their dark hair rippled like banners in a fair wind, gray eyes glinted as if reflecting the jewels they wore at their throats. Suddenly Pippin remembered anew that he traveled not in the company just of Big Folk, but two great Lords of Men.

Then, it was over.

The men returned to the fire and the night once again closed in about them, but a little less near, perhaps. Boromir suffered the applause of his companions good-naturedly and even allowed himself a smile, particularly at the sight of Aragorn shy and chagrinned waving off the Hobbits’ calls of ‘Well done,’ ‘Hooray, Strider,’ and ‘Well, that was a rare sight and make no mistake’.

Inwardly Boromir congratulated himself; he and the Ranger had acquitted themselves well. He was a good dancer, he had almost forgotten the joy he might take from it. Indeed, though he would never admit it, there was little gave him more pleasure than to stand up among his people at times of celebration and remembrance, their representative, their partner. And as the shadow of Mordor seemed to reach ever further out toward their very doorsteps Tuilérë and the Govadhechuir, in particular, had become precious to him almost as acts of defiance, exhortations of all that might be renewed and reborn in the lengthening days of Víressë – not three months hence. Suddenly, Boromir wondered if he would be there to see the White Towers of Minas Tirith crowned again in green and gold?

As conversation renewed itself and wove in twos and threes again about the fire, Boromir’s thoughts were interrupted by Pippin. The littlest hobbit leaned over and spoke low to his fencing master:

“So, Boromir … You really are a Prince, aren’t you?”

A sharp retort, familiar and fierce, rose in the throat of the Steward's Son and then faded just as quickly. He leaned forward and low until he was equal to the halfling’s height.

“Perhaps, Pippin, I just needed reminding.”














Tiro = (Sindarin) Guard!

menel berio men = (Sindarin) Heaven protect us

Govadhechuir = (Sindarin) Govad meaning ‘to meet,’ or ‘walk together’ echuir, the season Spring.

Tuilérë: from the Enclypedia of Arda (http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/): “One of several feast-days that appeared in the calendars of Gondor, Tuilérë lay between the months of Súlimë and Víressë, and marked the beginning of spring.”

Víressë: as per the Enclypedia of Arda: “the fourth month of the year, according to the Stewards' Reckoning of Gondor, following the spring feast-day of Tuilérë. On a modern calendar, Víressë ran between 24 March and 22 April.”