6. Orcs' Conversation
The forest was no longer visible to Calavénë's weary eyes. The thick enclosure of the trees left little space for light to travel through. She sat at the very same spot she did a few hours ago. The sprain on her ankle was beginning to cause unimaginable pain. Perhaps it is broken, she thought to herself. Tried she did to stand but to no purpose. Her leg gave way every time she shifted her weight on the foot. Alas, Calavénë gave up and sat down near the large tree.
Her eyes scanned the surroundings. Surely Mebedir was looking for her. She dared to hope he would try and seek her out without involving the Marchwarden. The Marchwarden's involvement was not something she would desire. She could not fathom the consequences of this incident. True, the fault was entirely her own for she wandered too far. Nevertheless she did not want to give the satisfaction to Haldir to make this a mockery forever.
Calavénë settled her body in the small fissure in the trunk of the tree. With no warmth aside from her own body, she could feel her fingers and toes turning cold. She closed her eyes, praying silently to the Valar to send someone to aid her. Her hand instinctively stroked her injured ankle. Hot tears brimmed in her eyes. How she wished to be home right now in her parents' embrace, to feel the warmth of her naneth's arms and the soothing words of her ada. Her eyes fluttered and her head hung back. Sleep was beginning to wash over and she willingly obliged.
Haldir stood still with eyes transfixed at the junction of the path. Annoguil told him the three of them parted here. He went on the path that leads east while Mebedir and Calavénë took the one heading towards the west.
Haldir called forth three wardens and ordered them to follow the western path. The elleth could have wandered there but he knew it was unlikely. Yet he had hoped that she would be found there for the latter choice meant she was closer to orcs' territory. Haldir shook his head. Did the elleth not listen to him when he specifically told her not to wander about so near to nightfall?
Haldir, Annoguil and two other wardens took the eastern path. He could clearly see footprints of two elves. He followed them until he came upon a healthy patch of athelas and mandrake roots.
Annoguil stepped forward, "This must be where they stopped. Some of the athelas here has been plucked."
Haldir touched the earth near the growth. He held a torch with one hand and with the other he gripped his sword, "She has wandered too far into the forest. What could possibly be so interesting over in that direction?"
Annoguil looked at the site where Haldir pointed. He could see the bushes there stepped on and pushed through by someone. Annoguil shook his head. Calavénë is usually a sensible person. What drove her there was not something Annoguil can possibly imagine. Calavénë had an active mind, this is true. But she would never put herself in harm's way just to quench her curiosity. Something or someone must have lured her further into the forest.
Haldir walked closer to the clearing. There were threads hanging from the thorny branches. He called out to Annoguil, "Herdir! Is this not the colour of the lady's tunic she wore today?"
Annoguil walked closer and held the torch to the threads hanging on the branches, "Aye! It has the same colour.
Voices floated in and out of her hearing range. They were gruff and deep. These are not the voices of elves or men. Calavénë opened her eyes. There was still little to see in the dark forest but she was aware of the presence of other beings. They stood but not two yards from her. Their voices were low but audible still. They have yet to discover her. Calavénë could see two orcs in full battle armour conversing with each other. Scouts no doubt for there were only two of them, one was burly while the other was short and stout.
She sat silently in the crook of the tree, praying to Iluvatar to keep her safe. The forest was still and quiet. She could clearly make out what the two orcs were saying. The burly looking orc was clearly the leader of the two, "Shut your squealing! We were sent here to scout and that is what we are doing!"
The stout orc protested, "Yes, yes! But two days with no stinking food? I want meat! You won't let me kill the animals here!"
The burly orc grabbed his companion by the collar, "Listen, the master sent us here to test the defences of Lothlorien. With carcasses lying around, our cover will be blown. Get it through your thick skull!"
The stout orc wriggled himself free, "Fine! But once we get back, I don't want no maggoty bread! There's just not enough meat back at the camp!"
The taller orc snorted, "True. But once we have gathered our full strength, we will feast on elves and men!"
Calavénë gasped. They speak of strength gathered in masses. Could this be about the unknown shadow that was growing in the east? Calavénë has heard such tales about things that had happened thousands of years ago. She had no knowledge of this having being born in the time of peace on Middle Earth. But this she knew, there was once a great war and both men and elves suffered great losses. To think that this war would be upon them once more was a disheartening notion.
She listened to them once more and became engulfed in their conversation. Suddenly, she felt something cold and hard slither across her ankle. She looked down and cried out in shock. A large snake was coiled near her ankle. She knew she was discovered when she heard heavy footsteps walking towards her.
A rough hand pulled her out from her hiding place, "What have we here? A she-elf!"
Calavénë could smell the rotten breath of the orc. She watched as the stout orc uncoiled the snake and cut off its head, "Scared you did it? Well, this would make a great supper!"
Calavénë fawned at the sight of the orc gobbling down the snake. It was revolting. The bigger orc held her by her wrists and she could feel his hot breath near her ear, "You smell good. Such a fine elf you are!"
She closed her eyes when she felt his tongue running down her neck. Her breathing quickened when he began fondling her breasts, "Unhand me, vile creature!"
Both of the orcs laughed at her command. The stout orc stood closer to her and lifted the hem of her tunic, "What are you to do? Scream? No one will hear you!" The orc then ripped her tunic, revealing her belly.
Calavénë watched wide-eyed as the orc in front of her froze and fell backwards. She could see a Lorien arrow stuck on his back. The remaining orc spun around looking for his enemy, "Come any closer and I will kill her!"
At the very moment she saw Haldir striding forward with an arrow pulled in his bow, ready to strike, "You will let go of her if you value your life orc…"
The orc pulled out a knife and placed it near her neck, "I have never killed a she-elf before! Her head would make a great trophy on my pike!"
Calavénë heard the orc gasped and gurgled. She could feel his hold loosening and soon he fall face first into the ground. Calavénë spun around and saw his beloved master, "Herdir! Praise Eru! You have saved my life!"
Annoguil embraced her, "Nay child. It was Haldir for he came up with this ruse when we saw you discovered from your hiding place. Are you well my dear?"
Calavénë managed a weak smile, "I am afraid I might have sprained or broken my ankle herdir. That is why I am unable to return back to the path you left me by."
Annoguil set her down and began examining her ankle, "It is as I fear. The ankle is indeed broken. We must get you back to the camp and set it right."
Calavénë watched as her master rummaged through his sack. She was startled when a pair of strong hands placed a cloak over her exposed body. She looked up and saw Haldir. Fear and gratitude bubbled inside her. She was grateful that he personally came looking for her but she also fears his retribution. He kneeled down beside her and offered her his canteen, "Here. You must be parched."
Calavénë smiled weakly and graciously accepted the canteen. She drank the water eagerly for her throat was indeed dry. Haldir made a quick inspection over her to make sure she was not harmed. Satisfied with his observation, he approached the healer, "Herdir, I fear she cannot walk on her own."
Annoguil turned and looked at her. Haldir was right. She needed to be carried, "Indeed. We should make a stretcher to carry her."
Haldir looked around the forest, "There are not many resources we could use herdir. I could carry her back to the encampment."
Annoguil paused, pondering this suggestion. Calavénë would not like it but it was the only way to get her back to the encampment before they encounter more orcs. "Very well," he continued.
Haldir approached the lady. He did not announce his actions and when he took her in his arms; it surprised her, "My lord! I assure you I can walk on my own."
Haldir laughed cynically, "With what my lady? Your broken foot? Nay, you have caused us enough trouble as it is. Allow me to speed our journey and return to camp safely."
It took them almost a full hour to finally find her. Now with her in his arms, the return journey would take a little bit longer. Half way through the forest, the elleth in his arms fell asleep. No doubt the healer administered a sleeping draught to help make this journey a much more pleasant affair.
Haldir looked at the elleth. Her long golden hair flowed down from his arms. Some entangled in his fingers. It was soft and silky. His gaze fell upon her lips. It was trembling from the cold weather. He instinctively pulled her closer to his body, providing her his warmth. Her head fell against his chest and rested there. Her soft body against his reminded him of the night near the waterfall. His breeches seemed tighter now as the memory of that night filled his loins. He muttered a curse under his breath.
He did not like the way this elleth made his body react. He is the master of his own body and for the first time in a hundred years, he was beginning to lose control. The sound of her snoring made him smile. She was weary that was evident. He shook his head and focused on getting her safely to the encampment.
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.