“I’m coming.” She said with a sigh as she finished rolling all of her long, golden locks up into a bun and then concealing it underneath a piece of lace. It was better that they left in secrecy, seeing as you could never tell when valuable information fell into the wrong hands. Someone who knew they traveled along the road from Lorien to Rivendell might use that information to plan an ambush.
To further prevent delays, neither one of them dressed in the usual royal clothing that they had grown accustomed to. The fine robes and gowns with gold laced into them were gone and both were cloaked in simpler garments. They also took few guards with them, preferring to keep the group small to avoid detection by orcs or any other fouler creatures.
“It will take us six days, as far as I can tell.” Celeborn said as she mounted her own chestnut horse. “And I think that your hair looks splendid like that.” She could not keep from blushing as they began to ride through the forest, eager to reach the border of the lands by nightfall. From there it would be another three days of riding along the Anduin, followed by two days or so crossing over the mountains.
“If we make good time perhaps we can be there in only four days.” She said, keeping her eyes on the trail ahead of them. “Thank you. I haven’t worn my hair like this since I was just a small elfling.” A grin flashed across her face. There was none other that she would rather make this trip with, even though she still did not understand why she even had to come along in the first place. If all Celeborn and Elrond wanted to talk about was trade and business, there was really no need for her to be there.
The horses slowly plodded along through the forest as I gazed around dejectedly. The scenery had not changed since we had begun to follow alongside the great river Anduin, which I found to be rather depressing. I didn’t want a lot of excitement, but a few orcs to kill and a little change in scenery might really change my whole outlook on this trip.
“There is a storm coming.” I said to Telir as I tilted my head towards the darkening sky. “I can feel it in the wind. We had best stop and make camp for the night.” I wasn’t really fond of thunderstorms or any kind of storm for that matter. They always seemed to bring around great change in my life, usually a change for the worse.
“No, we lost too much time back there. We can’t stop for another few hours.” Telir replied. I sighed. Well, it was his fault if we got caught in a huge storm and got soaked. No matter what we would be a little late in delivering our message. A storm over the mountains would make crossing it even harder.
We rode on for another few hours before the first sign of what was to come appeared. A few raindrops began to fall upon my cloak, slowly at first, but they gradually grew in both frequency and intensity. A howling wind began to blow, shaking me down to the core. Why was Telir so determined to get to Rivendell on time?
“Telir!” I shouted to him over the noise from the storm. “Telir, we must stop! We cannot continue to ride through rain like this!” I could hardly see him anymore through the pouring rain. The ground began to turn to mud underneath my horse’s feet, causing the beautiful animal to slip and slide along the path.
I couldn’t even hear his response, but I did see him slow down his horse as much as he could in the mud. I pulled mine up beside him and lowered my hood to wipe some of the rain off of my face. He did the same.
“We don’t have much of a choice now except to ride it out.” He yelled, trying to make sure I could hear him. “Orcs regularly patrol this area, which is why I didn’t want to stop before. It would just make us vulnerable.” I knew where he was coming from, but we would probably be killed by the storm if we didn’t stop.
Suddenly, I felt very caged in. It wasn’t really a feeling that you could precisely determine where it came from, but rather one that hit you very hard and left you wondering where it could have possibly come from. It was then that I bothered to gaze into the dense trees that were on our left side. Numerous pairs of orc eyes glittered back at me.
“Telir, watch out!” I screamed as I watched one of the orcs step from the cover of the trees and notch an arrow. It was too late. The arrow hit him right in the shoulder, kept from being a fatal shot only because of the push of the wind. I leapt down from my horse and managed to catch him as he fell, eyes glazing over.
“We’re done for.” He gasped. “There are too many for you to fight on your own.” I gently lowered him down to the ground and used my dagger to slice off most of his tunic. The wound was bleeding heavily, but I doubted that it was infected with orc-poison. Not wasting any time, I quickly cut a section of my cloak off and bandaged it as best I could.
“No. We aren’t. Just don’t move, I’ll protect you.” I swore and then grabbed my bow and quiver from where it had been peacefully resting on my back. “I think I owe you one.” Screaming loudly, I began to run down the edge of the river, occasionally turning around to make sure the orcs had been following me. Once I was a good deal away from where Telir lay, I stood around and made my stand.
One by one the orcs fell at my feet, proving that I had not spent the last few years of my life in vain. Yet the day’s travelling had taken a toll on me and after a while I began to grow weary. Yet the orcs continued to come, spilling out of the forest as if they did not have a care in the world. I began to grow careless as sleep began to tug at my mind.
Out of nowhere, an orc snuck up behind me and whacked me sharply on the side of the head with his elbow. I stumbled as stars clouded my vision, trying desperately to regain my balance. If I were to fall, it would certainly be the end for both of us. After killing me, they would return to loot our provisions and discover Telir. He was too weak to even lift his bow…
I shook my head and cleared my vision, trying to keep my hands from shaking as I raised my bow again and tried to kill the next orc that began to advance towards me. I couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t. My arms refused to be stilled and the day was taking its toll. I did not protest as the orc stabbed me once in the arm.
My bow fell to the earth as my blood began to spill. I didn’t make a sound as I crumpled, my vision shaking as bolts of pain shot up my arm. I could see the orc smearing a bit of red liquid on his arrow before notching it and raising it, aiming right for my heart.
I hardly flinched as I felt it enter me and the world went dark.
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.