Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

National Treasure

Author: Baranduin
Nominator: Baranduin
2008 Award Category: Times: Modern Times - Third Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Two archaeologists, husband and wife, are searching for Templar locations in modern-day Scotland. What they find is something else.


Reviewed by: rosethorn59 -- Score: 10

I really, really liked this story. I adore archaeology and even majored in it and have been on a few digs and found some interesting things. Finding sites and excavating is very exciting. It was interesting that they went in on this trip thinking it was a Templar ruin and it turned out to be something completely different from what they had anticipated. It was Imladris from a very distant past. Scotland was a good modern place to put Middle Earth. A second idea might have been Wales, because the Elvish language has many Welsh elements to it. It would not have been large enough, though. I wonder if the Elves are still living in Valinor, here. Probably, because they are Immortal. And Valinor would not be visible to the eye. Having the shrine of Gilraen still standing is very appropriate I think. And kind of romantic. If there was only one real thing still standing after all else was gone, I think I would want it to be her shrine. The magical feeling of the Elves and Imladris itself seemed to still linger. I love that. How could it not? As you said, they felt safe there and did not want to leave. I imagine it felt very comfortable there for them. There seemed to be a real pull to the place. Your characters, Ron and Bri wondered if the place had been abandoned; and one of them stated that he couldn't imagine ever wanting to leave there. I love that they felt that some major change was coming and it brought the two of them closer together. The last two lines are perfect. They found a red book that started at the time Frodo arrived at Imladris. I'm sure it explained in detail about the quest, etc. What an awesome find. It gave me a thrill and goosebumps. What a wonderful, beautiful story you have here, Baranduin!

Reviewed by: Linaewen -- Score: 8

What an amazing story! I thoroughly enjoyed this tale from beginning to end. I found it strangely moving, as if I were present as well, making discoveries of things lost and pondering what it could all mean, right alongside the husband and wife archeologist team who are searching for Templar locations in Scotland. The descriptions of the setting are exquisite, and worded in such a way that one feels the mystery of something else that is as yet undiscovered, even as the archeologist team finds what they are seeking. Who hasn't wished they could find such a treasure -- and yet these two do not realize what they have found. Not yet, anyway. When I first read this story, I literally exclaimed in delight at the final sentence! I had suspected that this was where the story was heading, but even so, I was unprepared for how the mystery was to be solved. I found myself wishing for a sequel, and yet I think this was the best way to end the story, because the imagining of what happens next is unfettered. This story is definitely one that I will never tire of reading over and over again!

Reviewed by: Keiliss -- Score: 7

I was only about four or five paragraphs into this when I started thinking it would make a really stunning book. I have always loved stories where archeological digs have turned up strange, unknown civilizations, and the reference to the Templars is something always likely to catch my attention. I loved the little nods to descriptions in [Lord of the Rings], which were just obvious enough to make me smile without being overdone. The description of the location and how they reached it was very atmospheric, too. The setting of the Scottish highlands felt absolutely right, as well. The couple come across as really likeable people, and I am left wondering if they will ever make the association between their current bedside book and the runes they found at the site or might discover in the recoverable contents of the book. And the quote at the end from said book was perfectly chosen. Great idea, well executed. My only complaint with this story is that it wasnít long enough.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 5

And what a treasure they've found after all! They were looking for an ancient Templar site, but what they found was so much more--graceful ruins with an art nouveau-art deco styling, perfectly balanced with the beauty of the ravine in which it was found, with ancient books and fragments of a woman's gown in blue and crimson, elaborately embroidered. The only apparent Christian symbol was what appeared to be a sculpture of Mary that seemed to be a tombstone. And then to return home and pick up where they left off in that red book.... Humorous and touching by turns. That the clues to what they've found are in their hands as they curl up to read to one another....

Reviewed by: Fiondil -- Score: 4

Iíve always been fascinated by archeology and history and consider myself an armchair archeologist. Oddly enough, one of my own areas of interest is the history of the Templars, so it was with curiosity that I read this little tale of two archeologists seeking to find the first Templar foundation in Scotland. What they find instead is something else, but neither of them recognize it for what it truly is. The reader, however, does and therein lies the enjoyment of the tale. And I loved the irony at the end. A lovely little piece.

Reviewed by: Marigold -- Score: 4

I love the originality of this tale and the believability. Who among us diehard fans donít have the wish or unspoken hope that Middle-earth and the inhabitants that are so familiar to us really did once exist and that it would be possible to find such proof as the two archaeologists find in this story? Excellent, and I too could see this being turned into a much longer work! I, for one, would certainly read it!

Reviewed by: Beruthiel's Cat -- Score: 4

I love to think the idea presented in this tale could actually happen, and what a wonderful thing it would be if it did. On the other hand, there is the sense of needing to keep such a find secret and safe, not having it intruded upon. Such a sacred place would be sad beyond measure were it relegated to the level of tourist destination. Lovely tale, leaves the reader wondering what happened next, but content with the idea of never actually knowing. Drawn in and completely captivated by this story? You bet. Gladly.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 3

An intriguing short story that I rather wish had been expanded. The story tells of two modern archeologists who, looking for Templar ruins in Scotland, find something else that is definitely much older. Baranduin does a fine job conveying the excitement and mystery surrounding the finding of the ruin and some of its contents.

Reviewed by: S√ļlriel -- Score: 3

This is one of my favorite kind of stories to read Ė the "what if". I think, at heart, we all want to believe and this is a wonderful foray into that. One of my favorite movie quotes is Tim Allen in Galaxy Quest when he says ["It's real. It's all real."] I'd love to know that feeling and this story gives me a glimmer of hope.

Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel -- Score: 3

What a fun read! This sort of makes me want to pick up and visit Scotland, just to see if what these archaeologists found is still there. The details are wonderfully written and make it clear to anyone who's seen the movies precisely what location the husband and wife archaeologist found, even if they don't know themselves. Wonderfully done!

Reviewed by: Claudia -- Score: 2

Isn't this the story I once called "cute" :) Naw, I was glad to see this here. It's not cute, it's delightful!