A Wizard at Work

by Dreamlord-(T)
October 4, 2000
In Honour of the Anniversary of the Valar Guild.

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    The Gardens of Lorien are a place of eternal tranquillity. However, as I was tending the many-coloured flowers and enjoying the delicate music of the purling streams and the rustling leaves not long ago - the chords of nature were suddenly joined by a mysterious noise...
    A fizz?
    A sputter?
    And now a series of distant explosions!
    It had been very long - even by my reckoning - since such an unexplained disturbance entered the lands of Dreams. Following these noises, along ancient paths now seldom travelled by, I came to a small and distant lake on the edge of my realm.
    What I saw first was a magnificent display of strange lights and colours: of fire and splendour. Below was a crouching figure clad in robes of white in concentration so deep that even my approach went unnoticed. Not until I clad myself in the raiment of Arda to appear before his eyes and spoke words of mild regret at this commotion, did he pause in his experiments.
     "Thy skills grow ever more diverse, Olorin. But for these colourful experiments I have not given thee leave nor hast thou sought it... Why, pray, dost thou practice these hidden arts?" I did not speak in anger as much as in wonder...
     "Nay, Lord", he said, stroking his long beard thoughtfully. "In this have I neglected to confer with thee. I regret that my art hath utterly consumed me, indeed barring all else from my thought.… For I have laboured hard to prepare a spectacle worthy of something very special." His dark eyes glittered beneath the bushy eyebrows. "It has come to my attention that on this very eve the Valar Guild - who have done us much service over the years - will celebrate yet another  anniversary. I put all else aside to meet this time limit, yea even my experiments with pipe-weed in the pastures which thou hast provided!"
    As you can imagine this put things in an entirely new perspective. For an occasion such as this, it was my bidding that nightingales and babbling brooks endure this noise and those in need of rest and tranquillity must await the completion of Olorin's crucial task.
    So, my friends - please stand back and watch. And listen. Listen to the words of one who envisioned this, saw it with his mind’s eye and put it to paper where it shall sparkle till the end of time:…

    "The fireworks were by Gandalf; they were not only brought by him but designed and made by him; and the
special effects, set pieces, and flights of rockets were let off by him. But there was also a generous distribution
of squibs, crackers, backarappers, sparklers, torches, dwarf-candles, elf-fountains, goblin-barkers and thunder-claps. They were
all superb. The art of Gandalf improved with age.
    There were rockets like a flight of scintillating birds singing with sweet
voices. There were green trees with trunks of dark smoke: their leaves opened like a whole spring unfolding in a  moment, and their shining branches dropped glowing flowers down upon the astonished members, disappearing with a sweet scent just before they touched their upturned faces. There were fountains of butterflies that flew glittering into the trees; there were pillars of coloured fires that rose and turned into eagles, or sailing ships, or a phalanx of flying swans; there was a red thunderstorm and a shower of yellow rain; there was a forest of silver spears that sprang suddenly into the air with a yell like an embattled army, and came down again into the Water with a hiss like a hundred hot snakes."

(- Italicized quote slightly modified from Fellowship of the Ring, "A Long-Expected Party". )