6. Chapter 5 : Hands
Hidden beneath the shadows of low trees, the demon watched the men on horseback disappear. He knew to which place they rode. Though his speed was such that he could easily reach them, he feared the sword wielded by one of the men. Its touch was like a fire burning through his very soul.
But more the demon was concerned that the men and dwarf now knew of the body he possessed. He would rip them till they were only scraps of flesh, but his fiery desire to reclaim the elf stopped him. He lusted for the elf still, and to not taste him again stirred in him excruciating pain.
The elf would be protected from him, and all the elves of Lothlórien would be warned about him. But before the news spread to other elven realms, the demon was left with one final chance to get as close as he could to tasting the elf again.
And so he turned north and sped towards Mirkwood.
* * *
No words they spoke as they sped back to Lothlórien. Boromir and Gimli silently watched Aragorn race in front of them on his horse. Very little of the elf they could see from where they sat, but there would not have been much to see even when they had a clear look at him, for the elf was bathed in blood. With a sick lurch in his stomach, Boromir could still see droplets flying past the horse, staining the ground as they rushed back to the blessed land of Lothlórien.
"He will find us easily," Boromir said, breaking the silence.
"It matters not at this point!" Gimli said gruffly, inwardly thinking of how very much he would like to use his axe on Glorfindel. "There will be too many for him to battle alone, and he has to get through me first to get to Legolas!"
Boromir said nothing of the dwarf's devotion to his friend, for the sight of the blood brought him worry. "He will not make it," he said under his breath. "Immortal elves may be, they need blood to live. But I hope I am wrong and he still lives." Though under what condition, neither wished to contemplate.
It seemed Lady Galadriel had been expecting them, for the guards did not stop them when they approached the Southern gates. The guards rushed with them, taking them to a pavilion to set Legolas. In minutes the Lady of Light was there with her husband by her side. Elves who had passed by and seen the bloodied elf all cried out in horror and grief. Even Lord Celeborn's fair face had paled at the sight of the damage on the young elf's body, but Lady Galadriel said not a word. She calmly settled herself on the chair beside the bed, and she began her chant, her slender hands moving over Legolas's form.
"Aragorn, bring me all the healing herbs," she said, and he obliged. Soon,the other healers were each given a task, and in before the hour was gone Legolas's wounds were properly sealed. But he was still deathly pale, his breath shallow, and bruises still marred his thin frame.
After cutting himself over a cloth that contained Legolas's blood, Celeborn offered his open wound to his wife, who took it gently and pressed it to an open wound on Legolas's arm.
"Do you need my blood as well?" Aragorn asked.
"It is a generous offer, but I fear your blood would only hurt him," Galadriel said. Aragorn nodded his understanding.
"I beg of you, let me give him some of my blood!" Gimli said. "Do not let a dwarf stand there and watch his friend die!"
Galadriel considered him for a moment. Then she said, "Give me your hand."
Gimli obeyed, and Galadriel made a small incision in the palm of his hand. Droplets fell on a small dish of Legolas's blood. Gimli watched the procession though he knew not what Galadriel was doing. Nothing had changed in the dish.
"You can offer him blood," Lady Galadriel said at last. The incision was lengthened, and before the blood could seep out in a thick gush, she brought Gimli's hand to another open wound on the dying elf's body. Gimli held as still as he could, his worried eyes scanning over the pale face and bruised body of his dear friend.
"Will this be enough for him?" Gimli asked as he recalled their journey back to Lothlórien.
"Perhaps I may be of value," a familiar voice spoke behind him. Gimli turned, meeting eyes with the wizard Gandalf.
Lord Celeborn ran his finger over the incision in his hand, watching the thin cut disappear into a vague red line. Lady Galadriel had pulled him back when his help was no longer needed. Gimli was sitting beside Legolas. Unlike Celeborn the elf who healed quickly, Gimli's hand required to be wrapped in cloth.
Though he remained pale save for the faint hint of color on his cheeks, Legolas was declared safe from death. His breathing came in a normal rhythm. But his eyes were closed shut, an unusual trait for an elf. Many of the healers had taken this as an ominous sign of his health. Still, he appeared to be in a stable state. He was moved to a clean bed, and the remaining members of the Fellowship sat around him, talking amongst themselves in whispers.
Galadriel had left the healing house only moments before, sharing with him a look mingled with grief of remembrance of their own daughter's illness. The Lórien Lady and Lord were told all of the evils that befell Legolas, and hours later Celeborn's heart was still heavy in his chest. His mind would not leave the past, of looming over the bed where his daughter once lay, screaming in agony of the horrors she had seen. Of the evil that had touched her, eventually sending her beyond the Sea.
A cry of shock startled Celeborn back to the present. Orophin was standing in the doorway, his wide eyes frozen on the sickly form of Legolas.
"I apologize for my rudeness, Lord Celeborn," Orophin said quickly. "I heard the voice of Aragorn and I grew worried. I…I am deeply sorry. I foresaw this event, but I never believed it to be true - ai, Haldir!"
And before Lord Celeborn could speak, the elven guard rushed away.
* * *
Orophin fought with himself to keep his eyes dry. He knew not if he should inform Haldir of what he had seen, for it would pain him to see his brother in agony. But it would not do to keep a secret from his own kin, not one of such importance.
He stopped not once to speak with any elves he met along his journey to the northern gates. For two days he ran without stopping to rest, and in that time a resentment had grown in his heart, for he blamed and hated himself for never once seeking to prevent the dire events.
His heart raced with the thoughts, blinding him to where he was going. And it was not until he reached the talan which his brothers took guard in did he finally stop, then question himself why he had come.
"Orophin! Ai - what has happened?"
Haldir and Rúmil both stood when they saw him, and both had gone cold at the sight of him. Haldir rushed towards him, gripping his arms.
"Has something happened in the city? Are our parents well?" Haldir asked.
Orophin shook his head slightly. Now he was facing Haldir, he no longer knew what to tell him. The words died in his throat.
"I have foreseen it," Orophin finally managed. Rúmil's eyes widened with understanding, and a small cry escaped his lips. Haldir glanced at Rúmil then back at Orophin, giving them both a look of question.
"I apologize deeply, my brother," Orophin said, his voice trembling. "It's Legolas...his friends have returned him." Rúmil shook his head. "He is dying, Haldir."
Haldir's fingers slackened their hold on Orophin. "What ill do you speak of? What prophecy?"
Orophin staggered backwards. "I beg your forgiveness, brother. It was on the day when the Company was to depart. It had been a couple days since you departed to lead the Fellowship to the Southern borders."
"What did you see?" Haldir gripped his arms again.
"I saw nothing," Orophin said. "But I felt a dread spread over me, like a cold presence that threatened to drown me. I knew not what it meant, but I feared for Legolas's safety. Somehow, I knew that it would be Legolas in danger. But Rúmil and I - we were both fools! We did not heed to my premonition!"
Rúmil tentatively stepped forward. "How does he appear, Orophin?"
Orophin hesitated to respond, but Haldir gave him a pleading look. "It appears he had been mangled. There are cuts everywhere. They were sedating him when I saw him. He sleeps with his eyes closed."
"No," Haldir said in a voice so low his brothers almost didn't here him. "No…the demon…could it?"
"What demon do you speak of?" Orophin asked, but Haldir had let go of him and hurried to the ladder.
"Take my position," Haldir ordered Orophin. "I will be gone for some time, for I wish to remain beside him if Mandos had not yet claimed him. Do not follow me but take my place!"
* * *
The entire way Haldir ran back to Caras Galadhon his heart pounded heavily in his chest. Repeatedly Galadriel's words ran in his mind: You will be reunited with him, sooner than you may expect. Never had he questioned the implication of her words, but now with the knowledge of what had happened he only felt cold at the remembrance of them.
"A fool I was!" Haldir thought. "I had believed her to mean I would see him after an early end to the war! Much I have imagined our happy union since, that I would see him again under a joyful time. Ai, Legolas!"
He did not stop to talk to any elf when he reached Caras Galadhon, so distraught was he. He made for the healing house when steady hands gripped his shoulder. He spun around to see Lord Celeborn. The elder elf's eyes regarded Haldir solemnly.
They spoke naught for several moments. The situation was too familiar to a horror in his past, one he had thought - had hoped - would be forever gone from memory.
"Please, where is he?" Haldir finally managed to say in a quiet voice.
Celeborn led him away from the healing house. For a moment, Haldir's heart stopped, thinking that his beloved Legolas had passed before he could reach him. He was led inside a room of the pavilion where the Lord and Lady resided. Gandalf had been waiting for him. Confused, Haldir glanced at Lord Celeborn, but he did not reply to Haldir's unspoken question.
"Please take a seat, Haldir," Lord Celeborn said.
Haldir settled before Gandalf. His hands shook, and the speed of his heart had not abated since entering the city. Before Lord Celeborn was fully seated Haldir spoke, "Where is Legolas? Is he well?"
Gandalf raised a hand. "Legolas is alive," he said. He paused for a few moments for Haldir to take a calming breath. "He is resting in a talan we have given him. There is much healing that is required, though I cannot promise that he would ever return to his previous strength."
Haldir's face paled. "What do you mean?"
"Did Legolas tell you of the demon who haunted him since his mother's death?" Lord Celeborn asked.
"Legolas told me of how much the demon had impacted him for nearly ninety years. But the demon was never seen since then; had they run across this fiend after leaving Lothlórien?"
Gandalf studied Haldir for a few moments. "Clearly Legolas has not told you everything. Were you not aware that he had again met the demon in Rivendell?"
Haldir's eyes widened. "I was never told this. Why hadn't he? What had happened?"
He sat in cold silence as he listened to Gandalf and Lord Celeborn relate to him all that had transpired in Imladris. Haldir felt as though he were in a strange dream, hearing the tale of Glorfindel the mighty elven lord possessed by the heinous spirit. But the strange dream turned into a dreadful nightmare as their story turned to the events following Legolas's capture.
"Perhaps you should stop," Lord Celeborn said, resting a hand on Gandalf. They studied Haldir with looks of concern and sympathy.
"This brings too painful a memory for you," Lord Celeborn said gently.
After a long silence, Haldir nodded. "Aye, my lord." With eyes bright with fresh tears he studied his environment. "Much this is like the time when it happened to my mother. Now I understand what it is you meant that his health will never return in full. My mother was never the same since, though my brothers do not know any of my family's past. That evening haunts me still whenever it is released from my deepest memory. Please, let not the news of Legolas's illness reach them, especially my mother. It had taken us so long to help her heal, to prevent her soul from rejecting life completely."
"They will not know," Celeborn said. "Do not think for a moment I will say anything to harm them. I too, after all, have suffered watching a loved one in this state and understand the misery the memory carries with it."
"Lady Celebrían! How did I forget!" Haldir said. "I beg your forgiveness, my Lord."
"There is nothing to forgive, Haldir," Lord Celeborn said. His small smile reminded Haldir vividly of his father the day after his mother's rape: a sad smile ready to shatter under the slightest realization of the severity of their situation.
"How does Legolas appear?" Haldir asked.
"In many ways he is broken," Lord Celeborn said. "Do not let it come as a shock to you if he is nothing like the elf you knew."
"May I see him?" Haldir asked after a long silence.
He was taken to a talan not far away. Silence surrounded them as did a terrible sense of pain and suffering. Even the elves walking past the tree could feel the agony that swirled inside the sick elf's body.
The soft chants of a healing spell greeted Haldir as he neared the talan. Lady Galadriel stood over Legolas, her hands roaming over his abdomen before spreading around his body. She looked up when Haldir was close, and with a final sway of her hand over Legolas's lower abdomen, she brought her arms back to her sides.
"You may stay with him for the rest of the night," she told Haldir. "We will not disturb you."
Haldir thanked Lady Galadriel and sat besides Legolas's bed. The silence was broken only by the heavy pounding of Haldir's heart. He rested his head besides Legolas's shoulder and allowed a few tears to roll down. Then wiping the last of his tears away, he stood up to move closer to the elf.
Legolas's eyes were closed, a manner quite strange and worrisome for elves. Tentatively Haldir brought one hand to touch Legolas's cheek; upon contact Legolas's eyes shot open as he let out a loud terrified gasp.
"It is me," Haldir whispered softly. "You have nothing to fear. You are safe with me."
* * *
Legolas had been dreading this the moment he was aware of his surroundings. Shame and guilt suffocated him. He had failed his father and his entire kingdom of Mirkwood. Humiliated in the vilest of ways, forced to carry a child created by devilry. How could he look up to his family once more, knowing how he had failed the Fellowship, how he had dishonored his father? And how was he to face the elf he had promised his love to?
He touched his belly, flat still save for the barest raise of a line across his lower abdomen where Glorfindel had made the incision. He could not discern if his child had somehow survived. Again his heart prayed the child had died on its own, and again the guilt came for wishing such ill on a life so pure and faultless.
When Lady Galadriel had come in one evening to offer a healing chant, Legolas's thoughts turned to Haldir. And he prayed to the Valar that Haldir would not come see him, though it pained Legolas greatly, for there was not one moment while under Glorfindel's torment that Legolas did not wish he was instead in the comforting arms of the Lothlórien elf.
Tears formed in his eyes. He looked up to meet Galadriel's wise eyes before she looked away, focusing on her chant.
"How now am I to face him?" Legolas thought. "I cannot look upon his face knowing how my body has betrayed him." He squeezed his eyes shut, letting all the tears flow and hoping that the healing sleep would come soon. He shut off all thoughts and focused on the stream of healing words, like a ripple of river passing over his damaged body. His breathing steadied, and the world left him in a state of darkness. Though his sleeps were not without trouble, for he often felt hands crawling over him, he welcomed the sense of leaving behind his body, if only for a while.
He knew not that Galadriel had left him moments before, and when he felt a hand on his shoulder larger than the Lady's hands, he startled awake in fright.
"It is me. You have nothing to fear. You are safe with me," said the soft voice of the one Legolas least wished to see. Trembles began to spread through his body as the shame and guilt filled him once more. Tentatively he focused on Haldir for a few moments, hungrily drinking in the sight of his beloved. But then he recalled his body reacting to Glorfindel's unwanted touches and of the pain and pleasure mingled in a terrible embrace. And with a wail Legolas covered his face in his hands and rolled away from Haldir and slid off the bed.
"Legolas, please." Haldir rested his hand gently upon Legolas's shoulder. Legolas shook his head, crying loudly. "Please, do not shut me away from your life!" Legolas fought to run away from him, though his legs could not support him. He fell to the ground, his legs trembling at the memory of being forced wide apart, spreading him open. It gave Haldir the advantage he needed. He firmly gripped Legolas's hands and pulled them away from the elf's tear-filled face.
"Please," Haldir said again. He could no longer hide the torment that stormed inside him. He brought Legolas into his arms, and Legolas winced at the contact for he no longer had trust in his own filthy body, and Haldir's hands felt too large on his back. "You are much thinner than the last time we embraced. But you are safe here. Glorfindel will never hurt you again."
"You know?" Legolas broke away, his face turning paler as he tore away from Haldir. "Who told you?"
"I was told everything by Lord Celeborn and Gandalf," Haldir said.
Legolas's eyes widened. "You know everything?" he said in a small voice. He turned away from him, covering his face in his shame, but Haldir gently pried his hands away and made him to look at him again.
"Everyone in Lothlórien will be alerted to him," Haldir said. "As painful as it is to know a great elven hero has been possessed, we will do everything to protect you and others from the demon's bloodlust. He will not step one foot into this realm. Had I known that you have seen the demon in Imladris I would have asked to journey with the Fellowship. I never would allow harm to touch you."
"Gandalf told me I would be safe so long as Glorfindel stayed in Imladris," Legolas said. "As threatened as I felt, I was told not to mention the demon to anyone, for Gandalf and Galdor would protect me. Then Gandalf fell to the Balrog, and Glorfindel killed Galdor before coming after me!" He wiped the tears from his face. "The Company was attacked at the Anduin, and the hobbits were taken. But Aragorn had the others chase after me. They are set to leave tomorrow in the morning to seek the hobbits, though I doubt they still live."
"It is noble of you to think of others' perils before your own," Haldir said, "but have hope! They will survive this war, for I have seen much strength in these little people."
"There is no hope left," Legolas said in a voice so quiet Haldir had almost missed him.
"Your heart has been damaged by what the demon has done to you," Haldir said. "I see it clearly in you. It is what every elf in your situation experiences, for elves cannot bear the crime of rape. A miracle it is for any to survive it."
"I was taken many times," Legolas said softly. "He gave me a drink that would stop me from leaving my body. It is a curse to survive it!" New tears fell from his eyes as he looked around him. "I wish much to leave this world, but Lady Galadriel told me that the drink will forever block me from entering Valinor. Even if I sail West I would never find it. But I cannot remain here! There is nothing but perils I see here."
"In time you will heal," Haldir said. "Do you remember what I had once said? 'The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and -'"
"I remember it still, but I do not believe it!"
"In time you will believe it," Haldir said gently. He brought his hand to give Legolas a comforting touch, but Legolas cowered, and Haldir quickly brought his hand back. "Forgive me. I should have known you do not wish to be touched unless you request it."
Legolas turned his head away again, shaking his head. Haldir could feel the intense sadness in the elf, for elves were very empathic of others' emotions. As much as it pained him to feel the agony inside Legolas, it made Haldir love him more.
"How can you be certain that one day I will find beauty in the world once more?" Legolas asked.
Haldir took a deep breath. "I know because I had watched my mother go through the painful path to recovery after she was taken against her will."
Legolas gave a small gasp as his mind relived the image of Ullenn, of her sad eyes and shy demeanor.
"I sensed it in her, but I never knew she had endured this misery."
"Neither do Orophin and Rúmil know," Haldir said. "They were still not born when it happened."
"How did it happen? Who had committed this crime against her?"
"I was just reaching adulthood," Haldir said. "We were traveling to other lands. My father's work lay in carpentry, and he wished to sell his craft to any elf or man who took interest in his work. My mother and I followed him, for we never travelled without each other. While we rested one night, a band of Men had caught sight of my mother and they desired her. By the time my father and I had reached them, my mother had been already violated and tortured under the hands of these men."
Haldir paused to steady his breath. A chill had settled around Legolas, as though he were witnessing the tragedy happen before him. He could almost see Ullenn lying helpless on the cold ground; he could smell the blood pooling around her, and Legolas's heart ached for her.
"I wished to avenge my mother, but my father held me back. Instead we took her to be healed in Lothlórien. Though her wounds were sealed, her heart and mind could not be mend. And for many years she suffered as you do now." Tears brightened the elf's grey eyes.
"How long did she suffer?" Legolas asked softly as he inched closer.
"Elves take far longer to recovery than humans, though both forever carry the burden," Haldir said. "But with elves it is perhaps the greater burden-"
"For we can strongly feel the rapist's thoughts and emotions as they take us," Legolas finished, "for our nature is empathy."
Haldir nodded, his eyes growing brighter. "Yes, and those around the victim can feel their turmoil, as I can feel the pain inside you right now. The years that followed were agonizing for my family. Ever close my mother was to laying her life down, for she was fast fading from us, but not a moment my father spent away from her side. He handled her pain stronger than I could. But I remained with them for I could not bear seeing my mother leave us. Yet still my desire was to find the men. This was how I came into studying law, and I took comfort in them when nothing in the world made sense to me. Law held everything in order and was simple to comprehend.
"Years have gone by. When I dared venture to seek the men, time had already claimed them. Disappointed as I was, I was also relieved to know that the men's deaths would not be my own hand." Haldir gave a small chuckle. "I returned to Lothlórien to comfort my mother. She teetered on the edge of life. One step and she would have entered the Halls of Mandos. But my father was strong. He kept her from leaving. And slowly for many years she regained her strength. Though she never returned to her old radiance, she was seeing the world as beautiful once more.
"By then I had contented to serving Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel as a guard. I took a talan for my own, for I sensed I needed to leave my parents to themselves. I was right to leave them at a time, for one year later I was holding my brother Orophin."
"How many years had passed before then?" Legolas asked.
Haldir hesitated. "Every elf recovers at a different pace. Some cannot bear it, for they turn to Valinor."
Legolas sighed. "Would I have gone to Valinor than to remain here!"
"Do not say such a thing! I would not bear it if you left." Haldir moved closer, wishing to embrace Legolas, but he restrained himself.
"You remained by your mother during her darkest moment when her own pain filled your heart," Legolas said in a quiet voice. "Would you do the same for me?"
"You do not even need to ask me," Haldir said. "Nothing would take me from your side, so long as you wish me to remain by you."
"And would you keep loving a damaged elf?" Legolas looked down at his body. "For there is not much left of me."
"I will greatly treasure you even if a single strand of your hair was all I had."
His face back in his hands, Legolas turned away, hiding himself behind his curtain of long hair. Haldir did not need to look at the shaking shoulders to know that Legolas had dissolved into heavy tears. He inched closer, wishing again to embrace him. But her knew, from a mistake many centuries past, that a victim of such violation could not bear any hand on their skin. Instead he reached out his hand as though in offer.
The action was not missed. Legolas looked up and brought Haldir's hand closer. He studied Haldir's hand as though testing to see if any danger lay in them, his eyes still bright with tears. Then feverishly he kissed each digit, dragging Haldir closer to him before he let go of his hand and instead wrapped his arms around the Lórien elf. Haldir tightly embraced Legolas, feeling the body tremble in his arms as sobs racked the elf's body.
"You must rest, Legolas," Haldir said softly. "You are cold and weak. Come, let me take you back to your bed. Rest tonight. I will come back in the morning unless you wish me to stay by you."
Legolas shook his head. His cheeks had gone pink from his crying, though his skin remained sickly pale and dark shadows lined his eyes. "I have dishonored and failed every one I knew. How will my father take the news of his son's shameful failure?"
"It is not a shameful failure but an attack from an enemy that you have suffered," Haldir said as he smoothed the blankets over the prince. "Any brave warrior would have suffered such as you have. King Thranduil would want his son to rest his wounds."
Legolas's eyes bore into his. Haldir had only become aware of the elf's heart pounding heavily. In Legolas's mind the painful vivid memory returned, of being in such vulnerable position, unable to stand, of a hand pinning him down.
"Release your hand off me," came the meek order from Legolas.
Haldir removed his hand. "Forgive me," he said. "If you need me I will not be far. Rest well my love."
Haldir's eyes pleaded for forgiveness, which Legolas acknowledged with a turn of his head, hiding his shame. He waited till Haldir had left the talan before he turned his head up, studying the doorway with forlorn. How deeply he wished to call out for Haldir to come back. But his body could not bear to be touched, even if it were to be comforted. And fear had settled in Legolas's heart for Haldir did not look the same to him. No one appeared to him the same since Aragorn pulled him out of the terrible cave. Even the Lady of Light carried the thick aura of death and sorrow. A trail of stench filled the earth as though he walked on fresh graves. And it was worse with the Men and Gimli, for they were destined to die and Legolas could see their time looming over them like a black veil.
"Great it would be to die and step into the Halls of Mandos," Legolas thought. His heart yearned for nothing more than to leave Middle-earth for he detested every part of it; yet it was only his love for Haldir kept him rooted to life. Again he wished he could call out to him, to hear again his words of comfort. But then his mind turned to the child inside him, if it still lived, for none who examined him had noted anything strange. A chill ran through Legolas as he wondered what Haldir would say had he known of the curse. Would he treasure this strand of his hair? He placed his hand on his abdomen again, and a small image came to him of a Haldir laughing heartily as he played with a healthy elfling in his arms.
Legolas turned his head up, and that was when he met a pair of yellow eyes staring back at him.
The eyes belonged to a creature covered in shadow, lying underneath a small table beside the door where Haldir had left minutes ago. Legolas felt the cold consume him and he became unable to move. His eyes could not leave the creature before him.
It opened its mouth, revealing yellow teeth stained in blood. And the more Legolas stared the more he realized that the creature was not covered in a shadow. Its entire form was shadowy, but nothing it was like the demon that had come to possess Glorfindel. Perhaps it was once human or elf; its decaying body dripped with blood.
The creature slowly slithered out from its place under the table, its breathing loud and sharp. It kept its eyes on Legolas, its long fingers scraping the floor of the talan. Upon seeing them Legolas was reminded of all the times when he felt hands crawling over him like spiders seizing their prey.
The creature gripped onto the bed with one hand; it was now inches from Legolas. It opened its mouth again and thick globs of blackened blood splattered onto the bedsheets. The creature reached out for Legolas as it uttered that horrible choked cry. And in that moment Legolas found his voice, finally breaking from the binding spell.
His shrieks tore the tranquil night.
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.