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By the Light of Earendil's Star  by Branwyn 7 Review(s)
GalimerilReviewed Chapter: 16 on 5/12/2005
O great Branwyn, I lay all due acclaim and thanks at your feet! I need this update, and I just loved this chapter! It was a great insight into how so many usless cures for the hangover there are! Hehehe! I love Eldahil's flair fot the dramatic! He reminds me of some people I know! This Ch. made me laugh and I enjoyed finding Faramir relatively healthy! Update soon!
Galimeril ;D

Author Reply: Galimeril--

My thanks to you for this most undeserved praise!

There are websites and books devoted to hangover cures, but I wouldn't recommend trying any of them (the cures, that is) at home. And those poor soldiers will be teased until the end of their days about running around buck naked when they were drunk. Because it doesn't matter how much good you do in this world, your friends and family will always cherish the memory of the one outstandingly stupid thing you ever did. :-D

Poor Eldahil is just feeling a little frantic after being locked up for four days.

I am glad you liked this chapter, and I hope to update by early June.

Branwyn :-)

perellethReviewed Chapter: 16 on 5/12/2005
May I say that Eldahil and Haldan are stealing away the show? Not that your portrait of the steward's family is not accurate, but these two are growing on me too much! Haldan's thought that he would keep Eldahil away from any misdeed while impriosned was endearing, and Eldahil's despair is quite amusing. I love how he manages to combine outrage and his court manners. He's a great Oc. The letters are so well done, they clearly reflect their personalities..."dull prision" changed into "foul dungeon" was hilarious, as well as “However, you will agree that I spend my days eating meat pies and playing chess with Captain Haldan does not sound so very desperate.” I'm still laughing.

Go on, no matter how long it takes you!

Author Reply: Thank you for your kind review!

And I am very happy that you like the original characters. While I was writing Eldahil's "letter," I could almost hear him ranting on and on about his maltreatment, LOL! He has gotten a little wound up after four days of inactivity.... Though Haldan does sincerely like Eldahil, I think he also acts from herding instinct--he has been an officer for so long and has spent so much time keeping young cavalrymen out of trouble, that it is almost second nature for him to look after Eldahil. :-)

Thanks again-

AcaceaReviewed Chapter: 16 on 5/12/2005
Ooh... that was nice! I loved your descriptions all through, particularly of the water dripping from the eaves and the smells... and the quiet almost despairing situation of Denethor and Boromir's wait. poor Eldahil though... incarcerated in a foul dungeon for no fault of his own. I'm thinking his conversation with Denethor should be interesting to read!

I have only 2 cribs.. Faramir didn't get nekkid enough!!! I hope the female healer was around! And poor flowers!!! though I did love the parallel between the petals and drops of blood. Boromir the flower slayer - you should make an icon of that!:)

Looking forward to more!

Author Reply: Thanks so much for writing!

No, Faramir wasn't nekkid for very long, but I am sure that the female healer was in attendance (great idea, Acacea!). :-D However, do I get some credit for including three rowdy, drunken, nekkid soldiers in this chapter?

After Boromir did his impromptu landscaping work, the gardeners were left wondering, "So, what happened here?"

In the next chapter, the shy Hirluin faces the terror of an audience with the Steward. Teehee... Can't wait to post that...

mirthorReviewed Chapter: 16 on 5/11/2005
Mag the cook! What a pleasant surprise.

I can't tell you how pleased I was at seeing the update. It seems as though Boromir and Faramir have grown even closer, if that's at all possible. I can imagine Boromir to have a few nightmares of his own now, as well as Denethor. D & B's reluctance to leave the room was done well - worried for Faramir's pain as much as his survival. I admit I was a bit surprised Boromir left willingly.

Your descriptions again are marvelous, placing me in the herb garden, upon the dungeon windowsill, and wondering where the fluids from the trenches in the surgery room empty out to ;)

I loved the difference in the letters: Haldan's concern for the brothers coming first, Eldahil's barely mentioned - so true to their characters & they have become endearing OCs. Wasn't Haldan hand-picked as Boromir's (bodyguard in reality) by Denethor? So, either Denethor is furious at Haldan, assuming he caused this mishap, or he wants the time alone with him as a courtesy for years past.

Looking forward to the update!

Author Reply: Thank you so much for writing!

I admit I was a bit surprised Boromir left willingly.

Actually, it had not occurred to me that he would demur when asked to leave. He and Denethor staying would have made those poor healers incredibly nervous. Also, I envisioned him watching what his father did and then following Denethor's lead (which, in this case, meant leaving when asked). In my opinion (and that's all it is!), Denethor is the only person whom Boromir feels obligated to obey or even listen to. He may choose to pay heed to others--or not, depending on the circumstances... :-)

Regarding the drains, I recall that Tolkien mentions an aqueduct of some sort carrying water down from the mountain slopes to the City, and he also mentions that the Numenoreans were skilled stoneworkers. Based on that, it did not seem farfetched that the City would have a simple sewer system. Similar to the system in ancient Rome, it would serve public facilities (baths, public toilets) but not private dwellings (which would have to maintain a cesspit). Where would the waste empty out? Gravity would carry it downward; the river is not too far off so it could be channeled there (not very eco-friendly, but it is what was done in Rome) or perhaps the waste could be carried to a rocky location well downwind (a leachfield for the waste to soak into).

Yes, Haldan was given the dubious honor of keeping Boromir safe and out of trouble (as much as possible, anyway); so he is, in effect, his bodyguard. Since Boromir might bridle at having an actual bodyguard assigned to follow him around, Denethor instead gave him this captain as his second-in-command. And besides, anyone who has survived as many battles as Haldan is bound to know some useful stuff to teach to Boromir. :-D

Thanks again for writing!

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 16 on 5/11/2005
I liked Denethor's thought about how Boromir had never picked up a stick without it turning into a sword, although I think maybe the same thing could be said about every little boy in my son's nursery school. However, I did not like the look of that try of instruments any more than Denethor did! Ick. Thank you so much for sparing us that and giving us only the aftermath!

But what a contrast when we get to Eldahil. Poor guy! A bucket and some drunken snorers in the next cell. My stomach flip flopped just hearing about the cures for hangover. Of course Eldahil carves his name: "Eldahil was here."

"Boromir, do you plan to rescue me any time soon?" LOLOLOL

But what's up with Haldan and Denethor?

Author Reply: Thanks so much for your kind comments.

Yes, it seemed better if everyone (me, readers, Faramir) remained oblivious during his surgery. I swear that in the next story only pleasant things will happen to Faramir. :-P

Back in my younger days, I remember people sharing their tried-and-true hangover cures, each one stranger and more repulsive than the last. I almost fell off my chair laughing when I discovered that people back in the Middle Ages had invented their own bizarre nostrums. People don't change, do they?

I'll bet that Eldahil was also carving a mark on that bedstead for each day of his imprisonment...

But what's up with Haldan and Denethor?
You will find out...

annmarwalkReviewed Chapter: 16 on 5/10/2005
Another excellent chapter! The thoughtful details of the surgery chamber, implements, techniques, and medicinal herbs demonstrate tremendous research and dedication - thank you for your devotion and respect for your readers!

The vision of Denethor as an anguished father, keeping vigil at his child's bedside (and giving in unwillingly to his own exhaustion) is very vivid - every parent will empathize with him, a nicely realistic depiction of the Steward, rather than the madman of the films.

Small details, like Boromir wacking off the flowerheads (LOL!), and Denethor recognizing his own nervous habits in his son, were very lovely.

The comic relief of the dungeoun scenes were a wonderful contrast.
"“However, you will agree that I spend my days eating meat pies and playing chess with Captain Haldan does not sound so very desperate.” - Too funny!

Mag the Cook thanks you kindly for the ssp *Mag curtseys*


Author Reply: I am very happy if the details added to the story. I did some quick research on late Roman medical practices (and was very surprised at the sophistication of the treatments and the reported rates of success--which were not exceeded until modern times). One of the advantages of using cautery was that the heat sterilized the instruments and the surface of the wounds (though, of course, the Romans didn't know this).

Those poor flowers--the gardeners will show up the next day and wonder what happened. :-)

Thanks for letting me borrow Mag the Cook; everyone in the story was badly in need of some comfort food (or in this story, would that be "hurt/comfort food"?).

Raksha The DemonReviewed Chapter: 16 on 5/10/2005
Another great chapter! I really was impressed by the convincing details of Gondorian medicine; it seemed very real, flowed with the narrative, and was credible.

You know that Faramir is gonna experience serious pain when Boromir actually chokes back his tears before the operation. Faramir was lucky to faint relatively soon into the procedure; it sounds ghastly, though necessary to save his life.

I see that Faramir has a fan club in Minas Tirith, all those presents! That makes sense; not only is he adorable, he's a well-connected Steward's son...

And Eldahil had me rolling on the floor! He and Haldan make a wonderful Odd Couple. Eldahil's letter, with his plaintive complaints attempting to convince Boromir that he's being horribly maltreated (well, he's not been treated fairly, but as dungeons go, it's a four-star Hilton), is hilarious! And Go, Boromir - can't wait to see him confront his father and 'fess up to having literally dragged Eldahil into the adventure, not to mention Haldan.

Author Reply: Thanks for your kind comments.

I see that Faramir has a fan club in Minas Tirith, all those presents! That makes sense; not only is he adorable, he's a well-connected Steward's son...

And the older people in the City have known him since he was knee-high to a grasshopper and, even though he is now a young man, they probably still feel a little protective toward him. :-)

I am glad you liked Eldahil's pathetic plea for rescue. You know, there wasn't supposed to be ANY silliness in this story, but Eldahil keeps putting his oar in...

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