The Nightingale: What’s Missing Is

Dear Lady Cwendlwyn,

I hope this letter finds you and your daughter well. Things are quickly falling back into normalcy here in Dol Amroth. Is that how it always is after such turmoil? People just go through the motions of life until they actually feel alive again?

I do beg your pardon; that is not a very cheerful way to begin a letter!

I suppose for many, the entire affair was a tragic attack on the city itself and that made it less personal. And, ultimately, that is what it was unless  your loved one fell in the battle. The walls can be rebuilt, the trees replanted. But for us, it was much more personal, wasn’t it? Our loved ones were not just in the line of fire, we truly knew what was at stake and that the Lady’s personal greed drove all the pain that fell upon the shoulders of the city that day. I still miss Lady Deludhae’s smile and her kind words of wisdom. I never knew how much I would miss them until now.

I digress. This was supposed to be a happy letter! Pengail and I have set the date for our wedding and it is with great regret that I enclose our invitation only because I know  you will not be able to come. Still, I wanted to send it to you to share with the Wayfarers because you folk are as close to me as any family I could have and dearer to me than any I could ask for. Know that as Pen and I say our vows, you will be in our hearts.

If it would please you, do write back and tell me about life in Bree. There is a part of me that wishes my destiny had taken Pengail and me with you even now as we plan our life in Dol Amroth. For me the city will never be the same, but in the end, I love it still. Perhaps one day I will still get to visit the town and see for myself what the big hubub is about.

I hope your Yule is beautiful and filled with love. It is thanks to you and Sir Arrowheart that I have mine.

Best wishes,


P.S.: Pengail says hello and thank you again for all that you’ve done for us!


Dear Hallem Kemp,

Greetings! How are things in Bree? Have you climbed anything tall lately? I hope the gear from the Prince has served you well. I miss having those little ropes and hooks to help me along.

Not that I have much time to climb recently, not even the Tower! Pengail and I have set the date for the wedding and you would not guess how ridiculous I am being (or maybe you would). We are getting married before Yule! It will be a small affair with only those we love most and those we cannot avoid. I wish we were not so far apart and that you could come. and bring the rest of the Wayfarers, of course. I miss all of you very much. I have enclosed one of the wedding invitations we had made. Maybe think about us on the eighteenth and send us your warmest wishes, if you would. That would be the best wedding gift I can think of at present under the current circumstances.

I hope that Lord Carmanadh and Lady Mredothyn will be able to attend. Pengail would both love that and be terrified to have the Knight-captain in the audience, I think. It’s not like he didn’t bleed all over the man’s mattress, though right? 

Well, not his mattress. That would be odd and I would highly question Pengail if that had been the case. 

I am laughing so hard I can hardly write! But I know I am just being silly. 

My father has been trying his hardest to find a place in my life. I am grateful for that, but he can be so awkward. And he certainly has a chip on his shoulder that creates a barrier to getting to know him. Lady Nomin, Pengail’s mother, invited him to dress shopping with us; I suppose any man would find that difficult to bear, but Hathlafel seemed so out of place there without his armour to protect him from the city’s scrutiny. I felt so sorry for him when he showed up in his homespun along the opulent street in the clothier’s district. Lady Nomin bought my dress for me as a gift, though I believe it was also to protect my father from having to find the funds to pay for it. 

It is a glorious dress, Hallem Kemp. 

Ha! I am writing as if you were a girl friend who would be interested in such things. Perhaps you would rather hear about the delicious menu we are preparing instead? That should make any man jealous! Not that I’m trying to make you jealous. The cooks at House Nomin are simply wonderful.

In any case, I do hope you are settling into Bree again and that your Yule season is bright and full of love. Enjoy the barley candies I’ve sent! And give a few to Mister Mathdor for me, if you would. We did not get to say a proper good-bye and I owe him a great deal.

With love from Dol Amroth,


P.S.: Did Master Kemendin return to Bree? Lady Cirieldis said that he had to leave for about a month, but it has been longer than that. If so, I am cranky at him that he did not say good-bye! Is that an Elf behavior, not to say good-bye? If he’s there, tell him good-bye for me!

Ara and Pengail wedding invite