Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Gloom Court: Fingon and Irimë

(This is background for our Adventures in Middle-earth campaign, The Gloom Court. Gellam Doran is the house where one of the Player-heroes - Ithildin - is from, and Fingon and Irimë are her parents.)

Around three millennia ago, after the War of the Last Alliance, two elven children were rescued following a devastating raid on a valley by Orcs. Fingon and Irimë were the only survivors - Fingon having hid under a pile of dead bodies and Irimë having escaped on the river. Both were severely injured and had to be brought to the House of Gellam Doron for treatment.

After Fingon and Irimë had recovered both physically and mentally, Elenwë approached them both about staying at the House of Gellam Doron and joining the family. They agreed.

It was assumed that Fingon and Irimë were Sindaran - by look and by speech. The vale was not known to be inhabited, so they had most likely migrated recently - probably as refugees. They were both shorter than normal. Fingon had black hair, while Irimë's was platinum.

As they grew older, consensus in Gellam Doron was that the two should wed. But Fingon and Irimë showed no interest in each other. Fingon focused on archery and forestry, while Irimë followed Russandol's path as a loremaster in the court of Thranduil. Irimë eventually earned a place with King Thranduil as an emissary, studying with loremasters from as far as Lothlórien and Rivendale. Fignon formed a band of elves to help patrol the area around Gellam Doron and keep it safe from the gathering gloom in Mirkwood.

Two thousand years later, Irimë finally came back to Gellam Doron. She had been enticed by the lore and history of others, and wanted to know more about Mirkwood's past. The elves had migrated northward over the last seven millennia and had left ruins - and knowledge - behind. Irimë was determined to know what had been lost. With the help of Fignon's band of elves, she began to travel to ancient sites in Mirkwood, probing deeper and deeper into history.

Working closely together, Fingon and Irimë began to develop a close bond and spent a much of their time out in the dark forest together. They eventually fell in love, and took time out of their busy schedules to get married, much to the relief of the family who had waited more than two millennia for the blessed event.

As they were preparing to raise a family, Smaug the Dragon descended upon the Lonely Mountain, destroying the dwarven kingdom of Erebor, the Human Kingdom of Dale, and burning the Lake-town of Erebor. They put their lives on hold to help Elenwë with the survivors, waiting for a time when they felt the world was safer to have children.

Almost a century later, Irimë gave birth two the twins Elanor and Ithildin. The girls were found to be strong in the art of ósanwë, an ancient telepathic ability that most elves lost long before the Age of Man began. This ósanwë seemed to only work between the two twins, and worked only sporadically - typically in times of need. Their birth was considered a herald of good things to come.

Mirkwood continued to descend into darkness however. Irimë was certain that an answer to the problem lay in the ruins of King Oropher’s old capital near the Mountains of Mirkwood, some three millennia abandoned. King Thranduil forbade any incursions into the mountains to explore his father’s old domain, as the area was saturated with goblins and giant spiders. Two decades after the birth of her children, Irimë organized an expedition anyway and set out without informing her family.

Days later, Fingon discovered Irimë had left and hastily organized a party to go after her. Neither party was ever seen again, despite multiple searches and the disappearance of a dozen more elves.

Russandol and Elenwë were devastated at the loss of Fingon and Irimë. As time went on and hope faded, they adopted their grandchildren, Elanor and Ithildin, as their own - knitting the familial bond in the House of Gellam Doron tighter.

- Ark

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