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Author: Oshun, aka heartofoshun
Title: Yávië in Formenos
Beta:Ignoble Bard
Rating: G
Theme: Harvest Challenge, October 2012
Elements: waggon, help, young
Author's Notes: The word yávië in Quenya refers to autumn or harvest time; it’s stem is yávë, meaning fruit. In my story verse, a Noldorin settlement at Formenos pre-exists the exile of Fëanor from Valinor. I stole that idea from Dawn Felagund years ago, along with the idea that the family of Fëanor spends summers there over the years and often takes Fingon with them. I also borrowed Fingon's nose from Darth Fingon (I've used that one so much that it feels like my own). Simply to be consistent with my dictionary, I changed waggon to wagon (common American spelling) within my text. The word aicer means sharp one in Quenya. Atto means dad or daddy, also in Quenya. One last thing, for purposes of this story, Finwë is begotten after Cuiviénen. Canon holds no definitive answer to that question.

Summary: When he encounters a new harvest worker, a farmer in Formenos is reminded of the great march under starlight across the east of Middle-earth to the shores of the Great Sea.

Word Count: 505


Harvest time came early to Formenos and, so far from the direct light of the trees, only once a year. Aicer liked the sensations that the changing of the seasons brought: the leaves turning red and gold; the fresh bite in the morning air; the short, cold days and long nights of winter in front of a warm fire; and, finally, the smell of damp earth and newly flowering fields and trees with the coming of springtime. The winter was more than long enough to satisfy the most extravagant of his slightly underdeveloped Noldorin creative urges--in his case, to make decorative objects out of metal. He did not often admit it outright, but he was a rarity among the Noldor, a farmer at heart, an artisan only by sporadic inclination.

Last year’s harvest had been good. This one appeared to be better still. His youngest shrieked as he jumped down from their new wagon, pulled by two handsome asses, best to be found that side of the mountains. "I say, Atto, here's a new boy! He’s a little ‘un."

At his son’s cry, Aicer turned his attention to the slender black-haired boy with his nose buried in a book, sitting on a stump at the edge of the field of golden, ripe barley. One of the young princes he suspected, from the quality of his boots alone. The lad looked up at him through shockingly bright blue eyes. Those and the incipient curve in the bridge of his nose labeled him as a scion of the House of Finwë.

“And who might you be, lad?” Aicer asked, unable to hold back a smile at how much he did resemble his famous grandfather when they had been lads together trudging through endless sloppy marshes and scrambling up rocky hills and down again, all under a pristine starlit sky, long before the existence of fancy riding boots and leather-bound books.

Pausing to push down a touch of shyness with sheer nerve, the boy slid the book into a deep front pocket of his jacket. There was something irresistibly attractive about the pleasant face of this slight child with its determined chin. Going to have his grandfather’s charisma, and guts, Aicer thought. Finwë had come into his height late also.

“Findekáno,” the lad chirped, before clearing his throat and continuing in a deeper tone, “Or Finno or Káno. Whatever you like, sir.”

“Well, then I think I’ll call you Little Finwë. Come to help with the harvest, have you?”

“Aye, sir. We only have two more days before we return to Tirion,” he nodded in the direction of the cluster of his three cousins leaning with good-natured insouciance against their own shiny red wagon, “but uncle said it would do us all good to spend a couple of days in the fields before we leave. To see how it is done. How hard farm laborers work at harvest time.” He straightened his narrow shoulders, and offered a cheeky grin. “I’m ready. I am stronger than I look.”



( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 23rd, 2012 02:21 pm (UTC)
I loved this small glimpse of a young Findekano. Just a peek, but oh so welcome.

- Erulisse (one L)
Oct. 23rd, 2012 02:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Very happy you enjoyed it!
Oct. 24th, 2012 12:26 am (UTC)
I love this! Noldorin farmers! Which *ahem* I hope are not that rare. After all, someone's gotta grow the food to feed all those argumentative residents of Tirion.

The first paragraph is lovely. Sets the tone of the ficlet right away, and young bright Finno is truly cheeky.

Edited at 2012-10-24 12:26 am (UTC)
Oct. 24th, 2012 12:44 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you for reading it! I am so happy you liked it. I figure those Noldor had to enjoy eating and even in a culture that places such a value on science and craft there will be those who are not very good at it, or prefer it as a hobby, and are fascinated with something else. I figure also there were people around who knew Finwë when he was on his way to the leadership of a nearly ungovernable people. He must have had a lot of raw courage, like Fingon, and charisma as well.

I am happy I did not overdo the first paragraph. I worried about that.
Oct. 24th, 2012 10:19 am (UTC)
even in a culture that places such a value on science and craft there will be those who are not very good at it, or prefer it as a hobby, and are fascinated with something else.

Pssst...I'll let you in on a little secret, something I'm privy to having grown up on a farm: farming is a science and a craft. Or at least successful farmers (who are also businessmen) are likely to be good scientists and craftsmen. :^)

Edited at 2012-10-24 10:21 am (UTC)
Oct. 24th, 2012 10:35 am (UTC)
Of course, you are right. That was not very well put on my part. I was trying to say that not everyone would want, for example, to spend their life trying to make synthetic gem stones or creating better version of the Feanorian lamp. Definitely a fascinating amount of science in involved farming--particularly, as you noted, with successful farmers who produce well beyond the subsistence level. The craft part seems kind of obvious too. Yesterday was a long day and an exhausting one.
Oct. 24th, 2012 02:12 am (UTC)
I love this young, slightly awkward, but still brilliant and charming Fingon. You manage to pack so much characterization into such a small space if I had never read any of your stories I would know immediately who Fingon is. I also love that Feanor has them all out there working in the fields to get an appreciation for the work. Great work here, as always.
Oct. 24th, 2012 02:20 am (UTC)
You are too kind to me! Thanks. I am so happy you think it works. I am so enamored with Fingon, writing him is easy.
Oct. 24th, 2012 04:45 am (UTC)
I loved your vivid autumn desciptions
Oct. 24th, 2012 10:38 am (UTC)
Thanks, Linda! Speaking of vivid autumn images, I did start to make a few icons using some of your photos. Hope to do some more and share in a couple of days.
Oct. 24th, 2012 07:03 am (UTC)
This is nice! :)

P.s. Why are some words bold and underlined?
Oct. 24th, 2012 10:00 am (UTC)
The bold underlined words are the prompt elements. Thanks for reading!
Oct. 24th, 2012 07:48 am (UTC)
He'll be thinking differently, probably, once the work is done and his muscles ache. But at least he doesn't think himself above honest work, and the ache will be coupled with satisfaction at a job well done.
Oct. 24th, 2012 10:01 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading and commenting!
Oct. 24th, 2012 08:52 am (UTC)
This was simply beautiful, Oshun - a lovely look into the life in Aman. (I must admit I can never remember Quenyan names - is this Caranthir, or whom precisely?) In any event I found this to be a thoroughly convincing glimpse into a young Noldorin prince's character: a bit introverted and geekish, but also with a drive to prove himself. Like so many of his brothers, he's absolutely right about being stronger than he looks.

On the farmers (and in answer to Pande's concern), I like to imagine that younger elves from non-noble families would go through a period of "paying their dues" by providing grunt work - perhaps by providing physical labor for a wealthy inventor or his noble patron. It wouldn't be all wasted labor; there's lots of room for mechanical training in agriculture. And most would probably hope to prove themselves and move on to some other trade. But I can also see some liking it and choosing to stay in that capacity, or dreading the day they were expected to leave it behind. Whatever you think of the practicalities, as a character your farmer really works for me. Very earthy, and a pleasure to read.
Oct. 24th, 2012 10:13 am (UTC)
Oh, thanks for reading. The young one is Fingon and the others are all OCs, except for the Feanorian brothers observing from a distance.

Your scenario of a term of agriculture labor as a rite of passage, kind of like the couple of years of required military services in a lot of countries around the world, could work for me also. And there would probably be numerous elements of it that would appeal to the types with a fascination with technology also--how to build a more efficient plough or reaper, I suppose. But also some people would simply be fascinated with making things grow and want to make it their lives work. I think there would be more and different types of farming done the parts of Aman with multiple growing seasons also.

Thanks again for reading. Glad it tickled your imagination.
Oct. 24th, 2012 12:34 pm (UTC)
This was quite wonderful; I could envision it so clearly.
Oct. 24th, 2012 02:10 pm (UTC)
Ooh! Thank you so much! I am so happy that you read it and let me know you thought so.
Oct. 26th, 2012 12:15 pm (UTC)
A comment was the least I could do after such enjoyment!
Oct. 26th, 2012 12:52 pm (UTC)
I really do try to comment when I read something I like, but sometimes it can be an extra effort! Thanks again.
Oct. 24th, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC)
What a wonderful and descriptive vignette! It's nice to see one of the young royals willing and able to do a little hard work!
Oct. 24th, 2012 03:19 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank so much for reading it, Dreamflower. I am happy you enjoyed it. I did have fun writing it.
Oct. 26th, 2012 08:07 am (UTC)
Oh, Finno! *melts*

Which Feanorian cousins are these? The three oldest ones?

I guess Aicer lives in Formenos, rather than anywhere closer to his old friend Finwe, because not only does he prefer farming to metalwork, but he also prefers it to court life and such?
Oct. 26th, 2012 12:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!

I imagined that Celegorm and Fingon were the youngest who could actually be helpful! So, yes, Maedhros, Maglor and Celegorm, whom this Aicer fellow has know since they were tiny.

I figure not everyone would be happy in the city of Tirion and I do recall when I lived in California or Mexico of being asked by people back in the center of this country if I didn't miss the seasons (I didn't!), but some people would, like this guy, who would rather farm anyway.
Nov. 2nd, 2012 11:10 am (UTC)
A nice character sketch of the young prince, and I'm glad to see young Fingon's education includes some familiarity with the work of the common people:)

Edited at 2012-11-02 11:11 am (UTC)
Nov. 2nd, 2012 02:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading it and letting me know how you liked it!
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )


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