What If…Xenograg Lived to be 250 Years Old?
(Marvel Comics has a wonderful concept called “What If…?” Writers extrapolate alternate timelines from the official one based upon different choices or outcomes in old storylines. The concept also covers all storylines set in the future.)
Xenograg sits alone in the highest room of Minas Formenya, the great Tower of the North in what used to be Xenodar. The beylik had been a mistake, but not the tower. It is one of the Three, the other two being Riverbend Keep in the west and Minas Noldor in the south.
Xenograg sits alone. Amaltea is gone, as is Amanda. They lie in the crypt beneath the tower, each long dead. Torin is likewise buried in Barsi, and Urrograg in Demodar.
Xenograg looks at the letter in his hand once more. The missive brought by Ozymandias is short:
Sorry I cannot be there today. Do try to enjoy your birthday. Even amongst the Eldarië, 250 years is a notable occasion.
His birthday. Only three people alive know of it. One could not come, one will not come, and one will surely come. Since Teleperien will not come here and he will not go to Eldicor, all of Xenograg’s hopes rest with the last one. Surely, she will come.
She does. Xenograg senses her arrival and entrance into the tower. The wards part to admit her—as they should since she helped Xenograg raise them around these stones.
“Father? Father, where are you?” comes the echoing questions. “If you are in the crypt, I will be so upset with you!” Xenograg smiles. Surely she can sense that he is above. She is climbing the stairs now. Xenograg stands to meet her.
“Hello, Father,” greets Erwyn as she embraces him. “Happy Birthday.”