In Book Two, "Journey of Sorrow," the Rohirric captives arrived at the gruesome wreckage of the Pelennor Fields, incidentally upon the third month anniversary of the battle. After being marched past moldering mounds of raven-picked corpses, the captives reached Minas Tirith, shaken and horrified by the ghastly harvest of carnage which they had just seen. Once a majestic city, the pride of Gondor and the West, Minas Tirith lay a sorrowful ruin, its only residents the orcs and Haradric and Easterling soldiers which made up Mordor's garrison.
Inspected and haggled over like livestock, the women and children were sold to an agent of a slave trading business based in a faraway land called Nurn. Never again would they suffer the insults and degradation of the army orcs, who, after receiving their pay, set off for the war in the north. However, the captives now found themselves at the mercy of the lecherous Esarhaddon uHuzziya, the chief slave trader.
When one of the women was brutally raped by Esarhaddon, panic and hysteria gripped the captives. Since changing hands from the army to an independent merchant, the women no longer had any protection from the lusts of their enemies, and it was within the slaver's rights to command any of them to his bed. Seizing the moment, Goldwyn formulated a daring escape attempt. Soon the slave caravan would cross the Anduin, and then there would be little hope of escape or rescue.
Many of the women looked to Goldwyn as a savior, for she had brought them the first hope since their captivity. They were heartened by the prospects of returning to their homeland and perhaps helping their beleaguered country in some way. However, just as many considered Goldwyn's plan as foolhardy, for a group of weaponless women and children could never hope to overpower strong guards armed with sword, dagger, spear and arrow. To hazard such a thing would provoke the wrath of the slavers, and make things even worse for the captives. Sentiment among the women was divided. Should they stay and accept slavery, or escape and face the possibility of starvation in the wilderness which lay between Gondor and Rohan?
Eager for adventure and yearning for independence, Elfhild was thrilled by the prospects of escape, despite her aunt and sister's disapproval of the whole affair. After much futile pleading with her aunt, she resolved to escape with the others and so she set out on her own, even though her decision meant the very likely possibility of never seeing her aunt or little cousin again. Bound by loyalty and perhaps a sense of morbid curiosity, Elffled reluctantly decided to follow her headstrong sister.
The night of the escape, as planned beforehand, the women who had chosen to stay behind created a diversion by running wildly through the camp and screaming for help. Those who hoped for escape fled in any direction they could. The twins raced through the ruins of Osgiliath, their footsteps taking them ever farther from the only family they had left. Pursued by search parties, Goldwyn was forced to leave her sons behind in hopes of luring the uruks away from them. Separated from their mother, the boys were left to fend for themselves, even as Goldwyn made a desperate flight from her pursuers.
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