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Tales of the Telcontars (PG-13) Print

Written by Susana

19 September 2011 | 56124 words | Work in Progress

Title: Formal Dress
Author: Susana
Series: Desperate Hours
Feedback: please use the form below
Rating: PG-13
Warning: AU
Disclaimer: All recognizable elements are Tolkien’s
Summary: Compromises and customization of formal dress, in the wake of the revelation that Aragorn is Faramir’s son
A/N: This takes place in early Fourth Age Year 5.


It was a cold morning, just after Yule, and Faramir had planned to spend it investigating a new trove of scrolls which had recently arrived from Imladris… but no, his formal winter clothing mostly had the old coat of arms of Ithilien on it, the one that did not denote his status as Aragorn’s son… so the King his father had decided that his eldest son would spend the morning having that oversight mended. Faramir sighed, hoping there would be time later that day to at least start to look at the scrolls.

“Don’t fidget, Faramir.” Aragorn gently teased his Steward and recently revealed elder son.

Faramir looked rather as if he wanted to say something offensive, but he controlled himself well. “I’ll remember this the next time you want to take a morning off to go hunting instead of attending to a kingly duty, Sire.” He said softly, murmuring after, “No offense, Master Tailor.”

Master Tailor Tombaran chuckled, setting another stitch in the side of the fine tunic being modeled on the Prince of Ithlilien.

The King also chuckled, unafraid of Faramir’s vengeance. Well, mostly unafraid.

Eldarion, cuddled in his father’s arms, after having temporarily escaped his tutors, frowned. “Ada, that’s not nice.” He scolded.

Aragorn tickled his younger son and heir, making Eldarion squeal with laughter.

Once fatherly honor was satisfied and Eldarion was breathless, Faramir gave his small ally, his younger half-brother, a kind smile. “I think Ada needs more formal clothing, don’t you, ‘Darion?” Faramir proposed, a teasing light in his gray eyes.

“Now, ionnath-nin,” Aragorn quickly began, but it was too late, for the tailor had spoken as well.

“Actually, Sire,” the tailor Tombaran quickly commented with a carefully hidden smile, “I could use an hour or so of your time to make sure that your new tunics, robes and cloaks fit properly.” Master Tailor Tombaran was too polite to say so, but he had, in fact, requested such a session of the King several times, already, only to be met with polite protestations that the King was too busy.

“Oh, I’m sure Ada will be only too happy to oblige.” Faramir said blithely, smiling blandly at his father’s glower. “After all, I’m sure he wants to set a good example for how a wise and responsible King deals with those honorable and hard-working tradesmen who assist the royal household.”

Eldarion nodded earnestly. Ada talked about responsibility a lot.

Aragorn sighed, but there was a glimmer of humor in his eyes, although he knew he’d lost this skirmish. “I will remember this, Faramir.” He promised.

Faramir merely smiled, continuing to hold still as the tailor Tombaran put the final stitches into his new tunic.

“Finished, your highness.” Tombaran said, looking at his work with some satisfaction. The Prince of Ithilien wore a dark green velvet over-tunic, upon which was blazoned his new personal coat of arms.

The symbol of Faramir’s princedom featured prominently, in the top left corner of a quartered field. Ithilien’s arms were a stylized forested hill in variegated shades of green below a white crescent moon, all set over a thin stripe of blue meant to denote the rivers which flowed through and bordered the princedom.

In the top right quarter, at the insistence of King Elessar Telcontar, was the symbol of the royal house of Gondor and Arnor. The crowned white tree and seven stars now featured on a field of midnight blue rather than black, the color change to do honor to the house of Elrond Half-Elven, the Queen’s father and the King’s foster father. The royal symbol was differenced on Faramir’s arms by the crown being a simple circlet, rather than the winged Crown of Gondor and Arnor.

The smaller, bottom quarters of Faramir’s coat of arms were taken up by the arms of Dol Amroth and Rohan respectively. Dol Amroth’s white, swan prowed ship on a blue background was to show honor to Faramir’s mother and Éowyn’s great-grandmother, who had both been Princesses of Dol Amroth. Rohan’s white horse on a green field was in honor of Éowyn, and her brother the new King of Rohan, Gondor’s closest ally. It was not normally done to add the symbol of one’s wife’s family to one’s coat of arms, but Faramir had not been bothered by that. As Aragorn had modified Gondor’s arms in honor of Arwen’s family, and as he was quite fond of Éowyn and not particularly bothered by such harmless departures from tradition, he had not questioned the inclusion of Rohan’s symbol in Faramir’s own coat of arms. Éomer, who had been consulted, had been both amused and flattered.

Aragorn had taken issue with two features of Faramir’s initial design, one of which had survived royal, fatherly disapprobation and one of which had not.

“A bordure wavy and a bend sinister over the royal tree of Gondor?” Aragorn had noted disapprovingly to Faramir and Éowyn, upon seeing the initial design, “Really, ion-nin, iel-nin? It seems overkill.” Both were heraldric conventions which had, in the past, been used as marks of illegitimacy.

“The bend sinister is the white rod of the Steward’s office.” Faramir pointed out quietly, “An homage to the office I serve, and to the House of my half-brother Boromir.”

Arwen, attracted by the discussion, peered over Aragorn’s shoulder. “Hmm. The flag of the Steward’s house was one of plain white, and the plain white wavy border gives honor to that in a more… aesthetically pleasing way. Perhaps that alone is enough, to make the point you wish to make?” She asked tactfully.

Faramir considered that, and Aragorn remarked testily, “We are willing to simply adopt you, difficult child. That would erase the stain of illegitimacy, or at least has done so in the past.”

Éowyn grinned at her father-by-law the King, rather pleased to have found a way to irritate him after he had partaken of a Rohirric mead cake she had been forbidden from eating due to its high alcohol content, “But then Faramir couldn’t use this as an excuse to make illegitimacy more socially acceptable, Ada Aragorn.” The White Lady teased, placing a soothing hand over the ever-active babe in her womb.

Aragorn spared a moment to remind himself that irritating a pregnant Éowyn never worked out well for him, no matter how amusing it might have been at the time. At the same time he marveled over Faramir’s ability to see opportunities for social engineering in… well, everything. “You’re using my command that you re-design your coat-of-arms to denote that you are my son as an opportunity to shove Gondor’s face in the fact that being my son makes you a bastard.” He said, wanting to make sure that he had that straight.

Faramir smiled pleasantly, and Aragorn remembered that Arwen had warned him against making that a command, several weeks ago. Arwen, too, was remembering that, by the half-annoyed, half-amused looks she was bestowing on all three of him, Faramir, and Éowyn.

“Aye.” Faramir agreed, with the engaging half-grin that Aragorn usually loved, that right now made him want to smack his irritating son’s backside. “Éowyn and I thought that since we have the opportunity, why not make something of it? After all, if the Prince of Ithilien is a bastard, and treated honorably by the King’s own family, it makes illegitimacy less of a stigma for others to bear.” Gondor and Arnor, as lands with a strong strain of Númenorean descent, fortunately had a low rate of childbirth outside marriage. But there were always some, and those children frequently faced prejudice and unfair persecution, sometimes from their own families. And often found it harder, later in life, to get jobs. Many had joined the army, in the previous desperate days, and Aragorn (as Thorongil) and Denethor had fought a stubborn campaign to have illegitimacy cease being a bar to deserved promotions, for those soldiers.

“Very well, Faramir.” Aragorn said, with an unhappy sigh. “You may keep one of either the bordure wavy or the bend sinister. One mark of illegitimacy is sufficient to prove your point; two is mere petulance.”

“The bordure wavy.” Faramir and Éowyn said at the same time, and Aragorn realized that he had been played. His eldest son and daughter-by-law had had no intention of keeping both marks of illegitimacy in their new arms; they had just been trying to make the bordure wavy seem like a good compromise.

Arwen, laughing merrily, had pulled Éowyn aside for a talk, undoubtedly on the subject of how foolish their husbands both were.

Faramir had smiled at Aragorn sheepishly, “Éowyn didn’t like the way the staff looked over the white tree; I didn’t like the connotation of having the office of the Steward so closely related to the King’s house, or superimposed over it. But we thought if we just presented the design with the bordure wavy, you would have objected to that.”

Aragorn had shaken his head, then looped an arm gently but firmly around Faramir’s shoulders, “It is nice to see you teasing me again, ion-nin. And you are perhaps right that I should not have made it an order that you re-design your arms. But I am proud of you, and I want it known that you are my son.” Aragorn paused in thought, and a fitting vengeance occurred to him while Faramir struggled for words, “Ah! But we must make an appointment for a fitting, for you…”

And that fitting had just finished. Aragorn smiled at the effect of the new coat of arms embroidered on Faramir’s tunic, then frowned at the white, wavy border which was quite prominently a part of the design. “I still think the bordure wavy is unnecessary.” The King complained quietly.

Master Tailor Tombaran paused, ready to accept the tunics and cloaks and robes back, to have the coat of arms modified by removing the offending border. That the Prince of Ithilien would include a known symbol of bastardy in his coat of arms, when the King treated him more as a second son who happened to be older than his first son and heir, had caused a minor scandal in Tombaran’s tailor shop. He knew it would cause a greater scandal, in Gondor society.

“I like it.” Eldarion piped up. He didn’t understand particularly much about the white wavy border, but, “It looks good with the moon in Ithilien, and with the waves the swan ship is riding on.”

Faramir chuckled, “Thank you, muindor-laes. Éowyn and I like it, too.”

“Stubborn Faramir,” Aragorn murmured with fond exasperation.

“Nana says that we come by that, um, earnestly?” Eldarion frowned. That wasn’t quite right.

“Honestly.” Faramir corrected kindly, with an amused half-grin. “Arwen says that we come by that honestly, because our Adar is no small bit stubborn, himself.”

Aragorn rolled his eyes as he accepted his fate of being poked and prodded by Master Tailor Tombaran for several hours, “Oh, my wife says so… well, her elder brothers could tell you no end of stories about her own stubbornness, as could I, as a matter of fact.”

Eldarion’s gray eyes and Faramir’s widened in interest, and Aragorn shook his head, chuckling, “Oh, no, the wrath of your mother is not so lightly to be courted.”

Faramir whispered something to Eldarion, as a tray of biscuits and winter-dried apple slices and cheeses arrived from the kitchens. Eldarion whispered back, and then told his father, “Nana said that she’d send biscuits and that I didn’t have to go to lessons today, if I helped Fara convince you to sit for the tailor like a good King, Ada.”

Master Tailor Tombaran hid another smile, and Aragorn had to laugh. “Well, then, in that case, ionnath-nin, both of you should have a biscuit for a job well-done, and I will tell you a story about your mother Arwen, her closest-in-age brother Belemir, their older sister Andreth and her friends, and a fine collection of earthworms. And mud.”

Eldarion snuggled happily next to Faramir, nibbling on his biscuit and listening to the story. He hoped that maybe Nana would play with him in the mud, whenever spring finally came. Thea would play with them too; she liked mud and earthworms. And they could teach his new nephew Elboron not to be scared of mud like some silly girls were. Eldarion nodded firmly. It was a good plan; he was so glad that Faramir was his brother, and had given him a fun niece and nephew to join Eldarion on his adventures. And that Faramir himself was so good at helping Eldarion and Nana to help Ada to be a good King. Before Faramir had started helping, it had been really hard work, sometimes.

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Thank the author

The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Anna , Nerey Camille , Minx , delphae , missouri car insuran , LN Tora , ebbingnight , Tess , Tonia , Milagro , Nida , Fermin , Bianca , Harrison , Seth , Dwain , Leanna , Marsha , Elaine , Jeff , Mohammed , Florrie , Theresa , Jay , Adriana , Annmarie , Jamika , Cyrus , Kandy , Ginger , Lisa , Jestine , Sheree , Jesus , Tyrone , Ulrike , Kindra , Angelika , Kathrin , Barbra , Nicholas

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6 Comment(s)


NB: Comments span all chapters and may contain spoilers!

Oh these are wonderful. Eldarion is such an astute child :)

— Maria    14 October 2010, 01:28    #

A very interesting beginning. I look forward to reading more!

— Ria    14 October 2010, 03:05    #

I love these father-son moments, they’re so perfect and heartwarming.

— Anna    20 December 2010, 17:55    #

Just lovely!

— Linda    11 January 2011, 09:58    #

This is so lovely to read! It’s light and bright and makes me smile or chuckle during reading. Very enjoyable, I hope you update soon.

A.

— Aneyrin    2 February 2011, 15:56    #

Cute, cute, cute story.
Thank you for sharing it with us.

— lille mermeid    16 May 2011, 15:50    #

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