From Shadow to Shadow
4. Bow and Arrows
The winter following the Fall of Númenor was cold, and many a homeless wanderer froze dead in makeshift shelters. This was not the fate of Mithdil, "friend of mist", as Imladviel chose to call herself. Once again she posed as a man, her hair cut short, her clothes heavy and rough. She could not go to Rivendell too soon, or the disguise would be transparent as water. Instead, she practiced with her bow and arrows, hunting her food, living in a cave of snow like she saw animals do. Her appearance changed, her face became reddened like a human's, her hair was tangled and she stopped cutting the tangles away when she noticed they kept her head warm. She was not very good at leatherwork, so her clothes started smelling every time they melted beside her fire. Her eyes turned to the stars only in search for either direction or time of night; she had lost the constant pull many Noldor feel towards the West and towards Eärendil.
She no longer spoke the name of Elbereth.
She dwelt in nameless parts of Eriador, meeting no elves, only mortals who thought she was one of theirs. Now she said her true age, 27, and the people marvelled at her apparent youth and concluded the man they saw must be a refugee of Númenor. How else could she have such farseeing sea-green eyes?
As a refugee of Númenor she therefore joined the troops of Elendil when Arnor was founded and Gondor as well. The north she chose for Elrond's sake.
This was the time when she first heard of the Nazgûls, and recognized the Faceless One of her vision as one of them, though not the king.
Sometime in the 34th century she visited Rivendell and found out that Elrond had been engaged once to a woman named Ariel, daughter of Glorfindel. She had been captured by bandits in a mountain pass and found murdered, frozen, only the spring after the following one.
The spring of 3293.
An interesting detail was that of her jewellery only Elrond's ring was missing, though everyone else in her company the bandits had robbed and let the women escape unscatched.
Elrond had been heard screaming Ariel's name one winter night, saying he felt her die then, although she had already been lost for a year by then.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.