the pearl


It was a world of beauty.

Under Her rule, the forest returned, seedlings running over battlefields and ruins, slowly turning down the symbols of Man and replacing them with peonies, roses, morning glories, delicate willows and sturdy oaks.

Wherever She walked, beauty reigned. The lush green hills and valleys of Middle-earth flourished, and the people responded in kind, growing fair and strong and so beautiful that the elder folk, the ones from before Her rule, would occasionally weep at the sight of the children.

Palaces of crystal and liquid appeared as if created from Her own tears of joy. There, she would hold court, surrounded by the fairest in the land, elves and hobbits and the occasional daughter of Man or dwarf.

Her court that traveled with her was mythic — many a song and tale shared about their strength, their beauty, and, above all else, their love for their Queen. The four small Hobbits with perfectly ringleted hair, arms entwined and always willing to perform for their Mistress. The heir of Isildur, body strong and shining in the silver light, muscles flexing as he worshipped his Queen the way she asked. Her granddaughter Arwen, noted even among the elves for her beauty and grace, sliding her hands against the blonde Maiden of Rohan.

She would watch, and relish, and grant favors to Her favorites — to take Her pale hand, to touch Her silken sleeve, to kiss the thin glowing band of gold on Her finger.


Of the ones who grew old, of the ones who were scarred, nothing was said. The Nine were now five, and if any had asked where the heroes known as Legolas and Gimli were, they were quietly reminded of the duel they have performed for their Queen. How axe and dagger clashed for Her amusement, how two lovers quickly turned into enemies desperate for her approval, and, afterwards, when the dwarf stood in the blood of his companion and raised his slashed and bleeding face to Her, how She spurned his hideousness and forced him away. The rejection stung worse than his lover's blood drying on his face.

Of the traitor Boromir, who took a knife to Her consort Celeborn and ravished his beautiful face... Nothing more was ever said of him or of Celeborn.

Her court knew of these tales, remembered the tang of blood and the cries of despair, and lived in terror of being found...imperfect. They bartered with wizards and begged with witch-women, their sleeping chambers strewn with salves and powders and oils. They searched for things that would tighten, color, fade, remove, and make them seem young. Young as the day She accepted their Gift.

For all things come with a price, and beauty most of all.

This Lord Of The Rings story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at