Between the Shadows-Chapter 4


Lindalë looked back at the gleaming golden haze that was Lorien. Sighing, she turned her back on it for the last time and gazed up at the menacing mountains. They seemed to have no end. They branched out east and west for as far as the eye could see.
"How are we going to get past those dreadful mountains?" she asked a nearby Celebrian who was riding her silver-gray palfrey. Celebrian shifted uneasily on her mount.
"To tell you the truth, I am anxious about that matter. To go around them would be folly, as it would cost us many days, and I am eager to rejoin my family for I have been away for a very long time. To go over them would be wisest, but the mountain paths are not safe, as orcs and goblins occupy the greater caverns and holds in those dark peaks", she said hesitantly. "Nonetheless, we will attempt it, because we have excellent navigators and warriors in this company", she finished. Lindalë glanced at the surrounding elves. Skillful soldiers and trackers formed a protective shield around the Lady. Lindalë's brow furrowed. Were they really in danger? It was a clear, spring day and the sun shone in the crisp morning air. But then again, the mountains were upon them. Clouds obscured the peaks and Lindalë knew it would not be very sunny when they reached the higher elevations.
As afternoon came, the company had already reached the foot of the mountains and had already scaled its base in good time for such a large group. The weather worsened; it got steadily colder as they climbed upwards. Lindalë shivered, she had never experienced such cold in Mirkwood, not even when she and her brothers had dared to climb the Mountains of Mirkwood once in her youth. She pulled her elven cloak closer and was grateful for its warmth. Elves never got cold, but something about the mountain chilled her to the bone. As everyone knew, elven intuition was never wrong. Lindalë knew the others felt it too; they shifted uneasily whenever they stopped for a few minutes. Dusk deepened and turned into a cloudy, starless night. Lindalë was restless, she tossed and turned, huddled up in her many blankets. Finally when she could stand it no longer, she got up and joined one of the sentries on guard.
They had reached the Redhorn Pass, one of the only dependable passes of the Misty Mountains, a little after midnight. It was very high up and difficult to reach, but the hardiness and toil of the elves proved sufficient. The next day they would start on their long trek downwards, but it would be much easier than today's journey. Lindalë contented her mind with the thought of the welcoming doors of Rivendell thrown open and a warm fire and soft bed awaiting her. She went back to her tent and dozed for a while.
When she awoke, there were shouts and urgent calls outside. She stepped out of her tent. The other elves had brought forth their bows and arrows and were aiming at what seemed like thousands of goblins that had surrounded their camp. Lindalë drew in her breath and pulled out her own weapons, gifted to her by the March Wardens as a parting gift: a sleek bow and a new quiver with plentiful sturdy arrows. She fitted her arrow to the string and the battle begun. Vainly, the elves attempted to fence the enemy off but they were at least ten times outnumbered and it was hopeless. Arrows skipped and whined onto rocks and among them; with a sick heart Lindalë watched an arrow, as if in slow motion, zoom toward Celebrian, who was pale and fearful. Time seemed to slow to a stop. Lindalë vaguely heard herself screaming Celebrian's name, and she pushed her way through the hordes to reach her, but the arrow found its mark. It hit the Lady in the shoulder, and she fell back. Lindalë's vision was obscured by tears and before she realized it, a particularly gruesome goblin had brought down his sword upon her, and she ran to avoid it and knocked into the mountain face. Darkness grew at the corner of her vision, and she dimly saw that the elves had given up the fight, and were being bound and dragged by the orcs.
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