Ballad of the Fallen Angels - Chapter 1: A darkness grows..
It was a beautiful day in Imladris, a few nights prior Androthiel had discovered Frodo Baggins on the bank of the river Bruinen with his face to the Earth. Asfaloth had been standing watch over him ever since Elrond had flooded the Loudwater. She had called to one of others in her party and told them to ready a room and inform Lord Elrond that the Ring-Bearer was being brought in. At once the messenger left to inform the Lord of this news. The she-elf remained and checked the Hobbit's wound with a grave concern before she lifted Frodo in her arms, and took him deep into the heart of Rivenell. Now he was in the care of Elrond and there was nothing more to be done but wait, although she had a strong feeling he was already on the mend.
She walked quietly through the great halls of the Last Homely House in thought. Many had arrived and were still traveling to make it here for the Council. How strange it was indeed to see her home so busy with so many different faces. Her kin from other elven realms, the likes of the Dwarves, and Men as well. She wondered what exactly would come of it all. How would these very different races react to one another?
Her flaxen hair was loose about her shoulders and she was draped in rich garments of jade and plum that seemed to shimmer with her every fluid movement. Her large green eyes fell on a painting of the last alliance, before Isildur had cut the one ring from Sauron's hand. Her eyes shown like the silver circlet upon her fair brow and her mind wandered back to those days, the battle and the Istar. She did not acknowledge the approach of another behind her. For she was well aware they would break the silence on their own.
"Isildur. Never have I seen such a likeness even in the halls of my home where he was once King." The voice spoke, it was a strong voice and when he took his place beside her she knew all too well whom spoke to her. His name was Boromir, the eldest son to the Steward of Gondor, and a warrior of some renown. "Truly a wonder." He finished as he continued to appraise the painting with a look of wonder.
Androthiel turned just slightly so that she could fully regard Boromir. Her face was fair and youthful, but her eyes held great wisdom in their depths. She looked back to the painting. "The artisans of the Valley are greatly skilled in capturing history." She commented, her voice soft and silky, a pleasant sound. "Yes. I believe it is a faithful resemblence." Some hint of mystery in her words. She walked slowly onward, her light feet making no sound, she appeared to glide across the floor. "And how do you find your stay here in Imladris, Boromir of Gondor? Hopefully it is to your liking and may help to ease some of the cares on your mind."
"If I was to say that it did... I would be lying to you. My mind worries on the borders between Gondor and cursed Mordor. Already do we hear the sounds of orc drums in our future and I pray...I pray to all that is sacred in hopes that this meeting is to discuss a new joining of Elves with Men." He said, his voice growing more sullen. "Else I fear that the blood of my people will fall to the ground in vain, yet Elrond leaves the nature of this meeting a secret while the threat of war grows in the West." He hinted, wondering if this elf knew anymore of what was to happen here.
"Lord Elrond does nothing without good reason. He would not hold his tongue unless it was neccessary. In due time all shall be revealed." She replied. "Do not despair. For strength still remains in the blood of Men and I greatly pray that strength will endure..for the good of all." She knew much, but she was not to reveal the thoughts and opinions of others without given consent. For they were not hers to reveal. "True, the world grows ever dark, but the shadow of the enemy can not snuff out every light if there are those that stand who will defend it. There is always hope."
Androthiel turned towards him. "The threat of Mordor shall be answered, Son of Gondor. But by what means not even the wise may tell."
"I have hope. We the people of Gondor have hope that the world will not abandon the White Tower now in its time of need. We will endure, but we cannot stand alone and still hope to be victorious, that is too much to ask of us." He said passionately, and finally he tilted his head back and gave a sigh. "And I have missed your name. Perhaps it was rude of me not to ask, but I would ask now. Who is the beauty to which I address?" Spoken like a gentleman with the voice and baring of a warrior, Boromir was to be the next Steward of Gondor, to hold the thrown if indeed Gondor still stood. There was a passion in his eyes, a fervor in which it was obvious that he considered himself and the safety of Gondor alike, that he would die for its name and honor.
"I am called Androthiel." She told him. "And I do not believe you will be made to stand alone, but that is all you shall hear from my lips on the matter..for now." She said gently, her green eyes upon him once again. They seemed to shimmer, like a breeze disturbing a meadow of tall grass.
Bowing his head in a gesture of reverence, Boromir backed away from Androthiel a few steps. "Perhaps we shall meet again at the Council. Your unspoken mysteries renew some faith in me." Said the warrior as he finally turned and strode out of the quiet hall, his footsteps echoing down its corridors.
Nazgul walked the world again. The Nine had been washed away for the moment, but now more then ever was it apparant that darkness had returned to claim Middle-earth yet again, but Shentar still had never returned to Androthiel as promised and time was no longer on their side.
She watched Boromir exit before she continued on her way. Now paying little mind to the history around her. She glided down another hall and noticed the way the sun was beginning to lower in the sky, casting the valley in a spray of gold. water babbeled somewhere in the distance and birds chittered and sang from the tops of trees. At the present she tried to lose herself in beauty of the land.
The journey had been a long and arduous one, Aragorn and the hobbits had moved quickly over the land, at a much faster pace then the stubby legs of hobbits could normally endure, but love for their dear Mr. Frodo had spurred them on. It had been some time before he was able to cross the Ford after he had witnessed the white horses sweep away the dark in a crash of riverwater. He hadn't even had time to bath or change out of his traveling clothes as he opened the door to his room in the home of Elrond.
Walking over to the window, Aragorn watched as the sun began its descent in the golden sky above this place, so ethereal in its beauty he could never tire of this sight. He didn't even hear her approach.
He was a sight to behold, for it had been long since she last laid eyes upon him. She was dressed in glimmering white and the Evenstar shown from the base of her fair neck. Arwen placed a light hand upon his arm as she greeted him in Elvish. "My father spoke of your return, but I had to see it for myself." She said to him. Her voice was rich, deep, and beautiful. No doubt a comforting sound to tired ears. As he turned to regard her he was met with the large blue eyes of his love. Her smile was like a sweet whisper on her full lips.
Ducking his head slightly, his dark tangled hair fell over his face, he was unwashed and well traveled but his eyes held only love for the woman caught in their gaze. Moving closer to her he looked to be about to embrace her before realizing that he was filthy. With a slightly coy smile he dropped his arms before speaking, his voice quiet as it always was. "Frodo...? How.." He was so very worried and though he knew the bearer of the ring had already shown great spirit, it may not have been enough.
"Father is with him now...he is doing all that he can." She told him. She had no further news, it would have to be enough for the time being. She smiled and caressed his rough cheek. "He will prevail. Do not trouble yourself."
His hand cupped hers, holding it to his face, his touch gentle as if he had been dreaming of the feel of her skin for weeks now, if not much longer. "I shall try. The journey here has been long..the road much longer." He said, playing his thumb over her hand before speaking again in Elvish. "I've missed you, though in my heart I know you have been with me all along. Giving me the strength I need. The hobbits had no such thing, I pray that this is the end of their journey..for Frodos' sake. I don't know of any man who...there is so much yet to do." He sounded so troubled still.
Her gaze was full of love and understanding. "I am always with you." She said in Elvish. "..And I always will be." She promised, craning her neck just so, she leaned in and gently placed a soft kiss on his lips. They lingered for a moment before she pulled away. "Go, bath, and take some rest. I will wait for you and we may speak more later." She told him smiling once again, giving his hand a squeeze before she moved away from him. "There is much to tell, but first see to your needs."
"A beautiful sunset. You've been here all afternoon, haven't you?" The old man in the grey robes said as he fell in beside Androthiel. He smiled before giving the elf a throaty chuckle. "Yes, I noticed you from the balcony just there." He said waiting a short pause. "Lord Elrond is finished with Frodo Baggins, rest and time are all he needs now to regain his strength."
Androthiel looked somewhat relieved. "I am glad. When I found him I feared he was beyond our aid." She admitted. "How fair his companions?" She asked, her gaze returning to the setting sun, once again fixed on it. Gandalf was considered Elf-friend and very wise. She appreciated his company whenever she had it.
"Hobbits, my dear friend, are perhaps made of sterner stuff then anyone had indeed imagined." He said, producing his long pipe, and lighting it up. A smoke ring wafted into the air shortly after. "Lord Elrond has called a secret council meeting for the morrow to discuss the Fate of Middle-Earth and the One Ring. I suppose since I let that information slip out you will have to be present as to not compromise its security." He said slyly before blowing another smoke ring. He knew well she was aware of the Council, but few had been asked to attend, even those as wise and strong as this elf maiden.
Androthiel shared his smile. "I suppose you're right." She said, her voice tinged with musical laughter. "I am quite curious I must admit. I have seen many guests arrive these past days. I should like to be present for what is to come. Many show great concern, I am eager to hear Lord Elrond's thoughts on the matter. Perhaps he can quench those concerns." She said at length and then her fair brows raised as a new thought came to her. "Tell me Gandalf? How are you? Forgive me for I had forgotten to ask, my mind is sometimes overburdened with my restless thoughts."
"As are we all so burdened in these dark times." He said, a warm smile again coming to his face as he turned to look upon her, clearing his throat before speaking again. "Hopeful, Androthiel..and curious as well to what tomarrow will bring. I fear though that I am now the last of my order involved on our side of this issue... Saruman the White has betrayed us and now fancies himself Saruman of many colors." He said with some spite, taking another shorter pause before continuing as his eyes held the sun once more. "The union of the Two Towers does not bode well for us. I will be...very interested to see what tomarrow brings indeed." He thought for a moment, leaving the air quiet in the growing dusk, there was nothing she could say. Words of hope were lost on ears so wise, Gandalf the Gray truly believed in victory through these dark times, though the path was looking harder and harder to walk as previously unseen obstacles came to light. Looking back to her again he spoke up. "But yes, we have prestigious visitors. Emissaries from the mountain halls, your friends, Aragorn and Legolas come as well as Boromir of Gondor."
She nodded her head. "Boromir I did see. But I have yet to see Estel (for that was what many had called him who had seen him grow up in Rivendell) or Legolas." A tone of both amusement and annoyance colored her voice. "They evade me." She smiled.
"Evade you?" His voice now held some amusement as well. "Why my dear would anyone possibly want to evade you?" He was playfully goading her now before extending his arm to her. "Come, it is about time that dinner be called in the hall and I'm simply famished." He said with that same, amused tone.
(Chapter Two will arrive soon. )