copper_loved: (Default)
Name: Current: Aubriana Amelia Goffe; Original: Nerdanel Istarnië Mahtanwen
Age: 12 (birthdate May 4, 2002
Appearance: Approximately 5'5"; long red hair, grey eyes, fair skin with freckles and rosy cheeks, slim build.
Occupation: Secondary student

Full Application: Linked here.

Echoes Received:
1st Echo- Tier 2: pointy ears and heightened sense of hearing, due to pink lights over London.

Notes: TBA
copper_loved: (pic#8393966)
OOC INFORMATION
Name: Ardruna
Are you over 15? Twice that!
Contact: [plurk.com profile] Ardruna or email at ardruna@gmail.com
Current characters in the game: Isabela from Dragon Age

IC INFORMATION
Name: Nerdanel (Istarnië, original name, not used in text)

Just a note here that Noldorin naming practices are really stupidly complex and weird and put even the Romans to shame, OK. They get a name from their father, a name from their mother (the former given at birth, though the latter can be bestowed at any time), names that other people give them based on some trait they exhibit (similar to the Roman cognomen), plus any names they give themselves. "Nerdanel" is her father-name, and while "Istarnië" is generally noted as a name that Tolkien rejected for her, it's entirely possible she might still have been given this name by someone else or called herself that privately.

Her reincarnated name is Aubriana Amelia Goffe.


Canon and Medium: Primarily Silmarillion, also appears in assorted volumes of the Histories of Middle-Earth
Age: Way older than the sun and moon. Yup, you guessed it, she's another one of those goshdarned Silmarillion Elves from way before the First Age, and, shockingly, one that is still presumed to be alive and well by the time Lord of the Rings wraps up, at which point she'd be 9,000-10,000 years old, give or take a few centuries. But she basically drops out of the story around the time the First Age begins, and at that point, and the only real point that she still matters, she's something like mid-3,000s-ish. Because time is kinda hard to gauge during that era of Tolkien history.

Her reincarnation is 12 years old, nearly 13.

Pre-Incarnation Species: Elf, specifically one of the Noldor.
Pre-Incarnation Appearance: Tall (approximately 6'3"), muscular from working with stone and in the forge, long copper-colored hair, grey eyes and pointy ears, freckly and rosy-cheeked complexion. As Nerdanel speaks the older form of Quenya, mostly at her husband's request, she sometimes sounds like she's speaking with a lisp.
Any Differences: Much younger, shorter (still tall for her age, though her face appears a little bit younger than her years) and slimmer since she's not working in the forge. Also considerably more prone to sunburn. She still has a little bit of a lisp, but it's considerably less pronounced.
Starting Location: London, England

Pre-Incarnated History: LOTR Wikia, Tolkien Gateway, Silmarillion Writers' Guild, Wikipedia, AskMiddleEarth

Curiously, very few of those resources reference her appearances in Morgoth's Ring or the Peoples of Middle-Earth, where we actually get to hear things about her more in-depth. So here we go!

By all rights, Nerdanel could have been overlooked by Elvish history. She was commonborn, the daughter of the Noldorin smith Mahtan, who was very skilled, yes, a favorite of the Vala Aulë, but doesn't have a lot of particularly notable accomplishments. Her mother isn't mentioned at all beyond the fact that she was a blonde (which would come into play much later on). Nerdanel wasn't even all that pretty. Not to say she was ugly, no, but just rather plain-Jane for an Eldar. But then she met Fëanor, and everything changed.

Nerdanel liked to go on little adventures and hikes in the hills and walks along the beach, and while she was on one such outing, that's when she met Fëanor. Turned out they had a lot in common: enjoying the great outdoors, artistry, a deep thirst for knowledge, and after many such dates just walking around and talking, young Fëanor before long was going on every single one of these outings with her, and soon asked her to marry him.

This puzzled a lot of people. Mostly because Fëanor was (at the time) the only son of Finwë, High King of the Noldor. Prince Fëanor, being handsome and charming in his own way, could have had his pick of women, but, of all people, he chose Nerdanel, and, admittedly, a lot of people were all, "Why her?" In any case, Nerdanel became the Cinderella of the Elves (only without the fancy ball, fairy godmother and glass slipper) and married her Prince while they were still in their early youth.

For a while, things were great. Mahtan loved his new son-in-law, and he and Nerdanel helped teach Fëanor all about the art of smithing that Aulë himself had taught them, which he took to like a duck to water. And then... now that his son was happy and settled into his adulthood, Finwë, Fëanor's father, who had been a widower since Fëanor was a small child, remarried to a Vanyar woman named Indis. Well, what's a Cinderella story without a stepmother? Not that Indis was evil. In fact, she and Nerdanel got along swimmingly. Fëanor, however, never liked Indis, and deliberately distanced himself from her and her children (especially her sons Fingolfin and Finarfin--the girls he couldn't really care less about), and Nerdanel, mindful of Fëanor's attitude, did not spend a great deal of time around her stepmother-in-law and her husband's half-siblings.

In part, this was because Nerdanel and Fëanor were soon very busy with the task of raising their children, near in age to Indis's kids. They had seven in total, which is the standing all-time record for most children born to one set of parents in the entire history of the Eldar, all of them sons, in order: Maedhros the tall; Maglor the mighty singer, whose voice was heard far over land and sea; Celegorm the fair (who was the only one of the seven to inherit the golden hair of Nerdanel's mother) and Caranthir the dark; Curufin the crafty, who inherited most of his father's skill of hand; and the youngest Amrod and Amras, who were twin brothers, alike in mood and face. But, of course, this was not what their mother called them (nor, technically, what their father called them either, but Fëanor for once wasn't very imaginative and just named them all "something-finwë"). No, Nerdanel's names for her boys were as follows, respectively: Maitimo, "well-shaped one," because her eldest was of beautiful bodily form (though his more common nickname in the family was Russandol ("copper-top") in honor of the red hair he inherited from Nerdanel's side); Makalaurë, which doesn't translate very well, but usually thought to mean either "Gold-cleaver" or "forging gold" and assumed to (prophetically) refer to his golden voice and talent with the harp; Tyelkormo, "hasty-riser," in reference to his quick temper and habit of leaping up when suddenly angered; Atarinkë, "little father," because Curufin was an almost perfect replica of Fëanor both in looks and personality; Carnistir, "red-face" because while Caranthir inherited Dad's dark hair, he also got his mother's ruddy complexion. And then there were the virtually-identical twins. At first, Nerdanel called them both Ambarussa ("top-russet"), as they also inherited the famous red hair. While both twins happily answered to and called each other Ambarussa throughout their lives, apparently Fëanor didn't like his youngest boys having not only the same looks and personality but also having to share the same name, so Dad begged Mom to at least give them different names. When Fëanor made this request, Nerdanel got a strange look on her face and after a while said, "Then let one be called Umbarto, but which, time will decide." (The History of Middle-Earth, volume 12: The Peoples of Middle-Earth Second Edition, pg. 353) Well, Fëanor thought that was a pretty creeptastically ominous name, as it meant "Fated," so he converted it to Ambarto ("Upwards-exalted"), because that sounded way better to him. But Nerdanel said, "Umbarto I spoke, yet do as you wish. It will make no difference." Which totally wasn't an ominous thing to say at all. Eventually, the elder twin, Amrod, was considered to be the one who was Umbarto/Ambarto, though both would eventually come to unfortunate ends. Clearly, Nerdanel had a pretty strong influence on her kids, because it was said that "[all] the sons save Curufin preferred their mother-names and were ever afterwards remembered by them." (The History of Middle-Earth, volume 12: The Peoples of Middle-Earth Second Edition, pg. 355) Indeed, the names most are best known by are Sindarized corruptions of their mother-names.

Aside from Fëanor pointedly ignoring his other relatives as often as possible, he and Nerdanel had a happy and loving family life for a while, teaching skills to their sons and discovering and inventing all sorts of things together, from crafts to language. Nerdanel was Fëanor's partner in everything, and she passed along all she knew to their children. Until a certain Vala named Melkor started spreading some nasty rumors, and everything changed again, this time for the worse.

Melkor had to be the black sheep of the Valar, wicked and, especially, jealous of all the cool stuff everyone else was making, and a big part of his jealousy was directed at Fëanor, the darling of the rest of the Valar. Trying to get a little glory for himself, Melkor first began spreading rumors that Fëanor had learned at least some of his crafting skill from Melkor. Which was a total lie, because Fëanor hated Melkor's guts and refused to even so much as speak to him, much less learn anything from him. But still the rumor got under Fëanor's skin, and more and more he started doing his crafting in increasing isolation, refusing to talk about it with anyone or listen to anyone's input, except for Nerdanel's. She alone was permitted to work with him or give him counsel, and soothe his mood. Nerdanel used her wisdom to restrain Fëanor whenever the fire of his heart burned too hot, but even her influence wasn't enough to hold Fëanor in check forever.

Around this time, Fëanor made his greatest works of all time: the Silmarils. And boy, did that ever set off a chain of events, because everyone loved them, and, for way too many people, that love became a lust. Not so much for Nerdanel, but she could see the way they affected her husband, becoming more precious to him than even she or their children were. Melkor in particular had a hankering for the gems, and the rumors he spread grew ever more vicious, persuading the Elves that they were being cozened by the Valar so that humans could usurp their place in Middle-earth, thus planting the seeds of rebellion, and toward Fëanor in particular that his half-brothers were conspiring to take his rightful place as the heir of Finwë. So, Fëanor began to use all the crafting ability he had learned from Nerdanel and Mahtan and Aulë to create arms and armor, much to their chagrin. Nerdanel was aware of what he was doing, and tried to persuade him away from the madness of his actions, but even she did not realize the full extent of his endeavors until it was too late, as he made a great deal of these items in a forge that he kept secret from everyone, including Nerdanel. Finally, armed and armored, he went to his father's halls, only to find the elder of his half-brothers, Fingolfin, trying to persuade Finwë to do something to restrain Fëanor, which, of course, Fëanor took as proof that the rumors were true, and he drew his sword on Fingolfin and threatened him. Which was as unprecedented as it was bad.

Although no one actually got hurt beyond some bruised egos, the Valar would not allow the threat to go unpunished. Fëanor was banished from the city of Tirion to Formenos, and though his sons, and later even his father Finwë, followed him, Nerdanel would not go with him into exile, and instead asked his leave to abide with Indis. Fëanor wasn't too happy about that, but he granted her request, and she still came to see him and their sons regularly. But things just kept getting worse, thanks to Melkor, including the darkening Valinor by killing the two trees with the help of his spider-monster friend Ungoliant, and killing Finwë (who became the first murdered Elf in history, and thereby left Fëanor and Nerdanel as High King and Queen of the Noldor) and stealing the Silmarils and running off to Middle-earth with them. Needless to say, Fëanor was in an incomprehensible rage at Melkor's actions, enough that he renamed him Morgoth and ultimately swore the great and terrible Oath to recover the jewels. And nothing Nerdanel could say was able to stop him.

Eventually, becoming ever darker in mood, more violent and more rebellious against the Valar, Fëanor began to shut Nerdanel out too, no longer willing to listen to her counsel. Nerdanel had tried her best, a long endeavor to try and persuade her husband to abandon his folly, and realized there was nothing more she could do to turn him from his path. Her only choice now was to either join Fëanor, or walk away from the situation completely. As her parents had remained devoted to Aulë, the Vala counseled Mahtan, who in turn counseled her to take no part in the rebellion, as in the end it would only lead Fëanor and all their children to death--and her, too, if she joined them. So, a grieved Nerdanel, realizing the wisdom in Aulë's words, became not just separated, but fully estranged from Fëanor, and went back to her father's house, making her the first divorced Elf in all of history--or at least as close as Elves get to such a thing.

When it became clear that Fëanor was going to make good on his threat to leave Valinor along with all their sons and never return until all three Silmarils had been recovered, Nerdanel made one final attempt to reach out to him and try to change his mind. Just as his army was preparing to march north, she came to Fëanor and begged him that, if he wasn't going to stop his essentially-suicide mission, the least he could do would be to let their two youngest, the twins, remain behind with her, or if absolutely nothing else, just one of them. Well, Fëanor wasn't having any of that (after all, all seven boys had sworn the Oath too), and rebuked her, saying, "Were you a true wife, as you had been till cozened by Aulë, you would keep all of them, for you would come with us. If you desert me, you desert also all of our children. For they are determined to go with their father." (Peoples of Middle-Earth, pg. 354) Well, that made Nerdanel angry, and she shot back, "You will not keep all of them. One at least will never set foot on Middle-earth." But Fëanor dismissed her, saying "Take your evil omens to the Valar who will delight in them. I defy them." With that, they parted for the last time. As it would turn out, Nerdanel was right. Upon landing at Losgar, Fëanor decided to burn the boats they had stolen from the Teleri so that none of those who came with him would turn back, except he forgot to account for all the boys. One of the twins, still asleep on the boat he came in, was burned alive, never having set foot in Middle-earth.

Little is mentioned of Nerdanel after this point, and it is generally assumed that she returned once more to her father's house, where she lived from that point onward. It is unclear whether she ever learned the fates of her husband and sons and was told of their arrivals in the Halls of Mandos, or if she still walks the shores, waiting, hoping against hope, that at least one of them might return to her.


Reincarnated History: Aubriana's birth, taking place on May 4th, 2002, was not a planned event. She was a "surprise" baby, the unexpected result of an extramarital coupling, and her birthmother, feeling that she was in no position to raise a child, opted to give her up for adoption within days of her birth to the Goffes, who were well-off but had no children of their own. They gave Aubriana her name, a compromise between "Aubrey" and "Briana," and took her to their home in New Haven, Connecticut. However, it was an open adoption arrangement, and she still remained in periodic contact with her birth family.

Mostly, this birth family consisted of her older half-sister, Natasha Arandale ([personal profile] alderaanda), whom she learned about through her birthmother. Aubriana's birthfather wasn't in the picture, and Aubriana's natural mother had been somewhat sporadic with keeping in touch. Like Aubriana, Natasha was adopted by another family when she was very young, but, not wanting to always have to rely on their mother to get through to her sister, reached out to her sister on her own, though contact become more sporadic as the girls grew older, consisting mostly of cards for birthdays and holidays, and the occasional email or Skype call.

But, life with her adopted family was pretty good on the whole. It didn't take very long for the Goffes to realize their daughter was a highly gifted individual. Where most children were just taking their first steps when they reached their first birthday, Aubriana was already trying to dance. While other preschoolers would be scribbling random lines on paper, little Aubriana was already making recognizable shapes that soon became representational art.

In 2007, when she was old enough to register for kindergarten, her parents applied to enroll her in the Nathan Hale Arts Magnet School, where they were sure her artistic endeavors would flourish, and they were thrilled when she was granted a spot there. Although it was challenging, young Aubriana thrived there, her art making leaps and bounds over the years. Although visual arts were always her favorite, in addition to the rigorous core curriculum, she also became proficient in music, dance and creative writing. For her fifth-grade capstone project, she made a life-size self-portrait sculpture out of clay that looked remarkably lifelike.

The following summer, of 2013, Aubriana's dad, who works as an engineer, got transferred to London, bringing his family with him. Aubriana was enrolled in a secondary school with an arts specialization, and began that September. It did take some adjusting, but she was happy to find that she was much closer to her half-sister, who had moved to England with her adoptive family a few years earlier, and is working to try and establish a more solid relationship with her. And, while her greatest passion is art, she is also very interested in science, nature, language, history, and other intellectual pursuits. She would not at all mind following in her dad's career footsteps, as long as she could maintain her art as well.

First Echo: When the lights appeared over London, Aubriana was surprised to discover her previously-round ears were now pointed, causing her to start wearing her hair down most of the time to hide them.

If it is possible to make it a Tier 2 Echo, I would also like her to regain her heightened senses, which is also integral to her Eldar nature.

Pre-Incarnation Personality: ((Headcanon marked in red))
First and foremost, Nerdanel is one of the Noldor, and, more importantly, she is among the very first members of her generation, that is, the first Elves to be actually begotten and borne as opposed to merely Awakened. (Her husband, Fëanor, was literally the Firstborn among the Elves, and it is generally assumed that Nerdanel was very close in age to him, no more than a few years his junior.) Meaning that the "typical" traits exhibited by her people are so defined because she, in part, helped establish that norm. Tolkien says that the Noldor "were beloved of Aulë, and he and his people came often among them. Great became their knowledge and their skill; yet even greater was their thirst for more knowledge, and in many things they soon surpassed their teachers. They were changeful in speech, for they had great love of words, and sought ever to find names more fit for all things that they knew or imagined. And... for they delighted in the building of high towers... discovered the earth-gems, and brought them forth in countless myriads; and they devised tools for the cutting and shaping of gems, and carved them in many forms. They hoarded them not, but gave them freely, and by their labour enriched all Valinor." (Silmarillion 2nd edition, pg. 59-60) So, stripping down all that purple prose, it means that Nerdanel, like others of her kind, is curious, intelligent, inventive, eager, enterprising, creative, industrious, intrigued by shiny things, and generous.

Then there's the insight given by her names, since Tolkien almost never gave anyone an insignificant name, especially not his early Elves. Although the exact etymology is kind of ambiguous (gee, thanks, Professor), "Nerdanel" appears to be comprised of the roots nerdo-, ("large, strong man"), and anel ("daughter"). While to an extent this may be in reference to her physical looks, it likely refers to her strength of body and mind, and her pursuits of crafts more commonly practiced by men. As Nerdanel is never mentioned as having any brothers or sisters, it is entirely likely that she was something of a tomboy, especially during her youth, in fulfilling the roles of both daughter and son for her father Mahtan, with whom she had a very close relationship. As for the original, seemingly-rejected moniker of "Istarnië," it seems to be comprised of the roots ista- ("knowledge"), or even istar ("wizard"), and nië ("tear"), which, although suggested to refer to her thirsty desire for knowledge and extraordinary talent in both gaining and using it, may also be a prophetic name in itself, foreshadowing the grief she would suffer after sharing, pursuing and creating all the knowledge she did with Fëanor. Both seem to fit with the first personality descriptors we see for her in Morgoth's Ring, where we are told she is "strong, and free of mind, and filled with the desire of knowledge." Epithetically, she is referred to as "Nerdanel the Wise," a title she earns well in advocating caution and peace, and being apparently quite foresighted.

As for Nerdanel as an individual... The very first thing Tolkien tells us of Nerdanel's personality in the Silmarillion is that she is "also firm of will." She is being compared to Fëanor himself there, who is pretty much the poster child for "stubborn, determined and willful," and making her his equal in that regard, which is seriously saying something. Anyone expecting a lady Elf to be some delicate, shrinking, submissive flower is definitely barking up the wrong tree when it comes to her. She may not be a warrior, but she can be quite the fighter, given the right circumstances. Once Nerdanel's mind has been made up, you might as well carve it in stone. It's not changing, unless you can somehow prove it's a bad idea. And Nerdanel very rarely has bad ideas. Also, good luck to anyone who tries to intimidate her. It's not going to happen. After all, Melkor, the biggest bad ever in Tolkienverse, kept trying to hang around and harass her family, and she had none of that. She's a very determined woman, and pretty much anything she sets out to do, she gets done. Although she can be bull-headed downright stubborn sometimes, living with Fëanor definitely made her skilled in the art of compromise. She won't back down, but she will work to find a solution that's in everyone's best interests, if at all possible. She doesn't necessarily care about getting her way, or being the one to decide everything, but she refuses to just let someone plunge into something stupid without at least being warned about it.

The next thing we are told is that she is "slower and more patient than Fëanor," which is far less of a feat at first glance, to be honest. It doesn't take much to be more patient than the hotheaded Fëanor. But Nerdanel truly has the patience of a saint. Keeping a cool head in a household populated by the Elvish Wunderkind and seven active, rambunctious boys makes patience something of a prerequisite. But it manifests in other ways, too. She doesn't rush through things. Nerdanel takes the time to think through her actions and words and their potential consequences before she does and says them--at least, the majority of the time. She also takes the time to gather as many facts as possible before taking action. When it comes to her art, she'll take the time to ensure that absolutely every little detail is painstakingly perfect, however long or however many tries it takes. It means waiting until conditions are right to do something. When it comes to an argument, sometimes that means simply holding out and presenting cool logic until the other person sees the error of their ways. When it comes to her children, even if they're in trouble for acting up or acting out, it means listening to everything they have to say before cutting them off or issuing any kind of judgment on their behavior. And it also means patiently waiting to be reunited with her lost loved ones during the End of Days.

We are then told that Nerdanel "[desired] to understand minds, rather than to master them." This is expanded upon in Morgoth's Ring, where it describes that, "When in company with others she would often sit still listening to their words, and watching their gestures and the movements of their faces." (The History of Middle-Earth, vol. 10: Morgoth's Ring 3rd Edition, pg. 272) Nerdanel is an extrovert in that she likes being around people, but she doesn't particularly want to be the center of attention, or be the mover and shaker that gets everyone on their feet. She is keenly observant and insightful, picking up on all the subtleties around her to really capture the entire picture of what's being said and done around her, because she feels wisdom comes from navigating through all the available information. She likes taking time to get to know a person, proverbial warts and all. It also makes it extremely difficult to lie to her, and anytime someone might try it, it tends to annoy her, so honesty is something she greatly values. Boundaries and respect are also very important to her, because being able to get into other people's heads like she can means she could really manipulate or humiliate someone if she wanted to by knowing exactly what strings to pull and buttons to push. But the worst that she ever does is make extremely life-like statues of people, because she treasures respecting another person's privacy and not crossing lines she does not have permission to cross. She will also chastise those who fail to be similarly respectful. In fact, this is in part what made her relationship with Fëanor so strong, was because she set and enforced the boundaries no one else around him would, thus creating a stable base for their marriage up until the crazy set in.

Nerdanel has a strong sense of "right" vs. "wrong." Or, at least, what she considers to be right and wrong, which mainly boils down to following the Word of God passed down from Eru to the Valar to the Eldar. And, as mentioned, she has a powerful sense of conviction and personal willpower. This is why Fëanor couldn't guilt-trip her into joining him in the rebellion, not because she didn't want to be with him or their kids, but because she knew what he was doing was wrong and would only lead to bad things, and she just couldn't be part of that.

Even for one of the Noldor, who as a whole are a pretty inventive bunch, Nerdanel is especially creative and artistic. As an individual, she is best known for her learning crafts not generally favored by Noldorin women (i.e. working metal, stone, wood and gems, as opposed to favoring husbandry and fiber arts, for example), and is particularly renowned for her sculptures and statues. So realistic were they that it wasn't uncommon for unsuspecting people to mistake them for living beings and try to start conversations with them. Which also indicates Nerdanel has a sense of humor, and one that tends to lend itself toward practical jokes and general trolling in particular. She also delights in discovering new forms of art and learning new techniques, encourages experimentation, and feels that even the very best always have room for improvement and innovation, and that knowledge is best when shared. Nothing is ever entirely perfect or complete in her eyes; it's all a work-in-progress.

But, just because she's super artsy doesn't mean she isn't also practical. Nerdanel tends to take a certain methodical, no-nonsense approach to the world. While she does enjoy the challenge of doing new and untried things, she almost always has a deliberate intent behind the things she does. Very rarely does she simply act on a whim or follow a random flight of fancy, unless she's either incredibly bored or hopes to get something in particular out of the experience. If something doesn't work quite the way she hoped, she uses it as a learning opportunity (or teaching moment, if the situation warrants it) rather than viewing it as a failure. She likes being able to repurpose things and find new uses for them rather than just let things sit around and/or go to waste. It's probably also a safe bet that her younger children had a lot of hand-me-downs from their big brothers because of this.

While she may a "people person," Nerdanel does have an decidedly independent streak in her. She is fully capable of taking care of herself, thinking for herself, and can be perfectly content to spend long periods of time on her own. Although she does prefer to have company, she doesn't feel that she needs other people to be happy, and she refuses to depend on anyone, though she will welcome an equal partnership. She values the opinions and knowledge of others, but the decisions she makes are entirely her own, and occasionally she does need to get away from others in order to clear her head. This may sometimes be mistaken for aloofness or being enigmatic, but that's not her intent. Once in a while, she just thinks better when hers is the only voice in her head.

Nerdanel is most definitely a nurturing, Earth-mother type. Like all Elves, she loves nature, more so than most Noldor, and is forever seeking to capture it in her art and thus preserve it for eternity. She enjoys taking care of people, and always seems to know the exact thing someone needs to feel better. She adores children, most especially her own, and though she recognizes their various flaws, she cherishes them. Family is very important to her, and she likes to keep her loved ones close. She considers her sons to be her most valuable treasures and her greatest works of art.

Now, it may seem that wise, patient, practical, artistic Supermom Nerdanel borders on sainthood and never has bad days where her patience runs thin and she loses her temper. Well, you'd be wrong. After all, she is still one of the Noldor, who are mentioned as "needing room to quarrel in." She does have a very slow-burning temper, and it takes a lot of pushing to set her off. But, when it does happen, it gets nasty. She's like a metaphorical volcano when it comes to her anger: it may lie dormant for so long you forget that when it finally does erupt, it is terrible in its destructive force. When Nerdanel gets angry, she aims straight for where it hurts to inflict the maximum possible damage. She hurls insults, she makes threats, she burns bridges, and by the time she cools down again, the damage is often irreparable. After all, the last time she loses her cool, she loses her entire family along with it, never to see them again. She'll be the first one to apologize afterward, especially if she started it for some reason, but more often than not, it's too late to make full amends. So, yes, generally speaking, do not anger the matriarch of the Fëanorians, as you will regret it.

Of course, the fastest way to set of her temper is to try arguing with her. Nerdanel is rarely one for poor judgment, but she sometimes forgets that she, too, isn't perfect, which can lend a haughty smugness to her. She is always ready with an "I told you so," when someone messes up, especially if she warned them against it. Like her husband, she is a proud creature, and admitting fault does not come easily to her lips. Also, her pride can lead her to become self-absorbed at times, especially while she's working. She may not intentionally neglect other duties, but pulling her out of her "zone" can be tricky and cause her mood to sour. There are times when she overdoes her perfectionist tendencies, and descends into nitpicking or nagging, but she justifies it to herself as being "helpful" or thinking it's the only way to get something done aside from doing it herself, even if it does drive others around her crazy. And, yes, there are times when she overestimates her abilities. She did think she could talk Fëanor out of his recklessness, but failed miserably in doing so--and never once apologized for her own failures in the Silmaril debacle.

It is also said that "her mood she bequeathed in part to some of her sons, but not to all." (Morgoth's Ring, pg. 272) And the son to whom she imparted the most of her nature was her secondborn, Maglor. While Curufin and Celegorm received little, if any, of Nerdanel's nature, Maglor very closely resembles her in this way.

It is also worth noting that the Eldar mate for life. Nerdanel is something of an exception to this in that she effectively divorced Fëanor because of what we in the modern world would call "irreconcilable differences." After all, Fëanor was hellbent on suicidal levels of revenge, while Nerdanel recognized that as being a monumentally bad idea and "noped" the heck out of there. But, despite that, she never stopped loving Fëanor, and indeed, her love for him is absolute and unbreakable. And, despite also being able to check the "widowed" box as far as her marital status, there is technically an infinitesimally small, but still statistically-possible chance that Fëanor could somehow come back to her even from the Halls of Mandos (though she recognizes this as basically being a snowball's-chance-in-hell level of likelihood), and so she would never, ever even consider the possibility of loving someone else. She may take pleasure or comfort in the company of others, but she is so far beyond lust at this point in her life that her affection will always be strictly platonic for anyone who is not her husband, regardless of the circumstances.

Any differences?:

Being a young girl on the precipice of her teen years, Aubriana has not yet developed Nerdanel's famed wisdom. Although she has moments where she shows she is often more insightful than other girls her age, she is considerably more prone to let her adventuresome side call the shots and lead her into reckless behaviors, while her curiosity can sometimes override her sense of right and wrong. She may be aware that she shouldn't be doing something, but might do it anyway just to see where it leads. She's still somewhat impressionable, and it is possible her moral compass could get skewed before she reaches adulthood.

She also has not yet developed as much patience, and seems to have boundless energy. She gets frustrated and loses her temper much more easily, and she is more likely to scrap a project giving her difficulties than try to perfect it. She also can get bored of listening and can be fidget-prone if she has nothing to do. Nor has her maternal side developed much beyond sometimes playing with dolls, and though she likes younger children, she hasn't really learned how to handle them yet.

Her youth also means that she is completely romantically inexperienced. She's never been in love, and is barely over the general idea of "boys have cooties." This means her heart, for the time being, is entirely fair game, and there is no guarantee of who, if anyone, will win it.

Where her original self had little care for gender roles, Aubriana is somewhat more traditionally feminine. She likes to wear dresses and ribbons and pastels, especially pink (though she doesn't care if it clashes with her hair). Though she still believes that girls can do anything they want just as well as boys, and she will not hesitate to dress or act more like a tomboy if it's practical to do so, Aubriana herself tends to gravitate more toward typically feminine interests, including playing with dolls and crafting. She enjoys fiber arts like crochet, where her original self had little interest in fiber arts. She also enjoys ballet. Painting, drawing and sculpture (usually out of clay these days, rather than stone or metal) are still Aubriana's preferred media for art, however.

Although it's not really correct to identify her pre-incarnation as being religious, Nerdanel was definitely a believer and in-touch with the idea of divine beings. Mostly because she knew them personally and she was their pupil. Aubriana, however, is agnostic at most, and very much secular-humanist (as much as a girl her age can be), finding organized religion to be kind of silly on the whole. She thinks other people are welcome to believe whatever they want to, and she will respect their beliefs, but she herself is not convinced of the existence of Higher Powers.

Abilities: Nerdanel possesses all the standard abilities of her race, including:

- Ageless Immortality. Once Elves reach roughly the age of 100, they cease to age in any way that is measurable by human standards (it is said that they carry the weight of their experiences and age that way because their bodies and souls are so closely meshed with each other, but it's really long and drawn out and no one except an Elf would notice, and it wouldn't kill them anyway, so who cares?). She will never sicken or die without some kind of forced circumstances, however, it is possible for her to be slain by weapons (though the Elves can generally heal from most wounds that would kill mortal Men due to their natural resilience) or to die from wasting away (some Elves in the First Age living near Angband died from a wasting disease, for instance) or the loss of will to live.

- Superhuman Vitality. She possesses the great vitality of her kind, which renders her body hardy and resistant to many physical injuries (for example, light shoes being enough to protect her feet from rocks or the freezing cold of snow) as well as toxins, hunger or thirst, and a tirelessness well beyond that of a human--like other Elves, she is light of foot in that she can be completely soundless if she chooses, can travel long distances without leaving tracks, and can walk lightly across snow where the boots of Men would sink. She doesn't require sleep (though she can if she wishes to do so), but is able to enter a waking meditative state to regain her strength and vigor, which she can do even while walking or riding. ((We do get a get a description of this reverie courtesy of Legolas in The Two Towers, which reads as follows: "Legolas already lay motionless, his fair hands folded upon his breast, his eyes unclosed, blending living night and deep dream, as is the way with Elves."))

- Brightly-glowing Soul. Nerdanel is among the very first Elves to be begotten and borne in Valinor, and she is extremely strong-willed, so her soul is particularly bright and shiny, even compared to most other Eldar. It will always seem as if a shimmer like the light of the moon falls about her feet, and her gaze can be difficult to meet as her soul shines in her eyes.

- "Open-mindedness"/Sanwe-latya. Eldar have a love of the natural world that deeply connects them with nature and enables them to communicate with it, even with such things as trees, animals, rocks, stars and bodies of water. The sanwe-latya ("thought-opening") enables them to communicate with each other, the Valar, and other sentient beings without necessarily resorting to spoken or written word. Although Nerdanel tends to be very subtle with what she sends out with sanwe-latya, she is extraordinarily gifted when it comes to taking things in through it. She can pick up on very faint and subtle mental, emotional, and other nonverbal cues, and it is almost impossible to deceive her--she will catch you in a lie every single time.

- Eiditic Memory. Her memory of everything she has experienced, heard or encountered is infallibly perfect.

- Heightened Senses. She has extremely sharp vision and hearing, and a superhuman ability to perceive the things around her. She also would have a preternatural sense of the presence of dark creatures in her vicinity (These seem to be traits common to those of Noldor descent).

- Ambidexterity. She can innately use both hands with equal ability.

And, more specifically to her as an individual:

- Foresight. A relatively common gift, especially for Noldorin mothers, Nerdanel has, to a certain extent, the ability to see into the future. We particularly see this in the prophetic naming of her children, as well as in her final warning to Fëanor that at least one of the boys would never set foot in Middle-earth. Much of her renowned wisdom comes from being able to predict the outcomes of assorted events, though the canon indicates this ability may only be limited to events that directly impact her or her family.

- Artistic Craftsmanship. Nerdanel is an extremely talented craftswoman, able to surpass probably 95% of her race when it comes to forging items, but the one area in which she is absolutely peerless is her ability to sculpt. When she chose to make statues in the images of the bodily forms of the Valar or of other people that she knew, they were so incredibly life-like that unsuspecting people would sometimes mistake them for the actual person and attempt to converse with them. And, if Nerdanel poured enough of her will and talent into the pieces, there was even a chance that they could talk back. She also made pieces of her own imagining "in shapes strong and strange but beautiful." A large percentage of the public art in Valinor and decorative architectural pieces are those made by Nerdanel's hands.

- Language. Nerdanel's husband, Fëanor, was perhaps the greatest loremaster and linguist that ever lived, and Nerdanel was his primary partner in conversing and developing his language skills, so she is fluent in the various languages, both spoken and written, in Valinor. It is worth noting that she does not understand Sindarin, however, as she has never been to Middle-earth, and she will tend to refer to people and things by their Quenya names.

- Healing/First Aid. Although Nerdanel is not specifically described as having talents as a healer, the art was more commonly practiced by Noldorin women than men, and as she has never taken a life (aside from any animals she may have hunted for food), there is nothing to reduce the efficacy of her existing skills. Working regularly in a dangerous place like a forge herself, and having an even more crafty husband, plus seven active, rambunctious boys, first aid was pretty much a necessity to know. She may not be able to fix major wounds (and she would be at a complete loss when it comes to illnesses), but she can definitely patch up minor to moderate injuries, and knows how to stabilize severe injuries enough to keep a person alive until a proper healer can take care of them.

- Outdoor Survival. Nerdanel deeply enjoys the outdoors and wilderness, and has spent a great deal of time hiking and camping in the mountains, forests, plains and beaches of Valinor, so she knows how to build fires, find/make shelter, gather edible plants/roots/fungi, locate water sources, basic hunting and fishing, and similar outdoor skills. It is also likely that she knows how to ride, although this is never specified in text one way or another.

- Household Management. An often overlooked skill set, but one that Nerdanel has in spades, maintaining a home with a large family. She understands household budgeting, pantry stocking, some cooking (though this was more commonly a skill for Noldorin men), division of labor, dispute mediation, cleaning, making and repairing of clothing, and general home-maintenance skills.

- Diplomacy/Advising. Although her experience mostly centers on settling familial disputes, as she married into the Royal Family of the Noldor, many such "family" issues were also political issues. She is skilled in compromise and mediation, as well as using wisdom to provide guidance to provide the best solution for all parties involved in an issue.

Items:

- Her artist's tools (mallets, chisels, lathes, spatulas, work knives, brushes, molds, casting equipment, etc.)
- Practical clothing for working in a forge/outdoor excursions/minding a household
- A small sewing kit
- A small first-aid kit (such as would exist for Elves, like bandages, ointment, herbs, etc)
- Small assortment of sentimental jewelry (rings, necklaces, headpieces, etc.) given to her by her husband and sons

What kind of involvement would you like your character to have in Save the Earth? Not really any specific plans, mostly just there to have her react to things. When her Foresight is regained, she could be useful in getting a sense of things before they happen. She could also have a grounding effect on those near her, depending on who she ends up falling in with.

ROLEPLAY SAMPLES

- Third Person:
((As Nerdanel))

Art could not be rushed. It was a maxim that Nerdanel has not only coined, but taken deep to heart. Steadily, patiently, did she coax the shapes from the stone. Every line needed to be perfect. Not necessarily straight--Nature knew nothing truly straight--but it needed to flow with just the right grace at just the right angle, with just the right kind of curve. Even the smallest fraction of error could make such a difference, make it seem just the slightest bit "off," and she would not accept such imperfections. It was her job, her joy, to perfectly capture the existing imperfections of her subjects.

Painstakingly did she chip and buff, polishing to just the right amount of sheen. Delicately, she brushed away the dust, gently blowing on it to remove any excess. For but the briefest of moments, her touch became a loving caress, not only between artist and masterpiece, but for the love she bore her subject.

It was a face and form she knew well, better than any other. She knew the proud line of the jaw, the elegant curve of the cheek. She knew that mouth, those piercing eyes, at once haughty and yet filled with wonder and the fire of creativity. She knew the shoulders her head had rested against a hundred thousand times, the strong arms and the gifted hands.

At long last, Nerdanel let out a long breath and looked up at her finished work, wishing it were more than stone.

"Ah, Fëanáro," she sighed, "If only you could hear how much I miss you..."

- Network: ((As Aubriana))

[The young redheaded girl looks eagerly into the camera.]

Hi there! My name is Aubriana, and I am about to finish my latest piece of art. But I could use a little help. See, it's kind of a big piece, and I don't really have a good place to show it. Would anybody want it, or know where I could have it displayed? Like a gallery that takes works from kids? Or is there maybe an art contest I could submit it to? Just something?

Oh, you guys probably want to see it, don't you? OK, here it is!

[She turns the camera toward the corner of the room, where there is something large, almost bigger than the girl herself, with a sheet draped over it.

With a dramatic flourish, she pulls the sheet off, revealing a rather abstract piece that has strong lines, and looks a bit strange, but is undeniably beautiful and pretty impressive for a 12-year-old to have pulled off.
]

What do you think? Pretty cool, right? Anyway, just let me know, OK? Thanks!

ANYTHING ELSE? The family relations were worked out OOCly in advance with the other players, so we should be all good on that.

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Nerdanel Istarnië Mahtanwen

April 2015

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