Disgrace - Chapter 6
End of Chapter 5
"I am Beron, son of Berenor. I am considered the chief person of this village. What is your name and the name of your companion? And also, what is your business here?
- I am Brunwen. I have come to learn to be a warrior. Might you be able to teach me?
- Teach you?"
Beron was most confused by Brunwen's demand but one of the women came up and seeing how emaciated she was, yelled to someone to get some broth. She then gently led the princess to one of the houses where she was promptly fed and put to bed. Gollum tagged along silently and was fed. He curled up at the bottom of the bed and they both were left to sleep for several long hours.
The voices were coming nearer and two elf children came into the cellar. When they saw Bernl, they laughed and went to check what he had been drinking.
" -He's drunk, Alwe!
- I know... I wonder what number glass that was!
- Naw, twentieth!"
The two elf children kept arguing about it while Gaelen made his way quietly around the cellar. He got to the doorway and hurried down the corridor. He was not going to be seen by anyone. It wouldn't be safe. So he hurried to the main chamber.
When he got to the main chamber, Gaelen bumped into a hunting party. They were preparing for a day of leisure. Trying not to get caught up in the festivities the elf jostled his way through the crowd hoping no one would stop him. He kept his head down but that was not enough to stop Tyalan from noticing him. If it had been any other person, Gaelen would have ignored them and prayed to Eru that he could get out the room without them notifying the rest of the group. But Tyalan was a close friend of his.
"Come join us!" He exclaimed and insisted on the elf coming.
No matter how many excuses Gaelen thought of he could not escape from the mirthful throng of excited elves.
The plain had disappeared under the masses of soldiers, dressed in dark armor. The standards were black with a single red flame in the center. Rows on rows, column upon column no light pierced the somber atmosphere. The very life seemed sucked out of the air. The elven army was ready sooner than one would have thought, but these elves lived for this fight. They had prepared themselves for it every day of their eternal lives. They lived forever training to bring death, to become the demise of Mirkwood.
They stood ready.
They were waiting for one word, one word from their commander.
A yell of pure hatred issued from the mouths of all the elves and they prepared to march. They knew what had to do. They had had centuries of planning spurred on by their hatred and thirst for revenge. Morgoth swung himself onto the back of a black horse and a horse was also brought for Arden. He climbed on cautiously and at a signal for Morgoth, rode to his side. The Mirkwood elf small and frightened by his side, Khelekiâ, the Moriquendi known as Morgoth, rode forth over the shadowy pass of the secret valley.
The Moriquendi were going to war.
Brunwen woke. A strange roof, a strange bed, strange surroundings greeted her eyes and then the shape of Gollum stirred. Suddenly awake, he uncurled.
"- My Precious isss awake. Gollum wanted to say goodbye before he left.
- Left? You are meaning to leave!"
The princess sat up straight and stared at the pitiful creature. Smeagol had heard the call of `his Precious' from across the Misty Mountains and he could no longer stay with her. He had thought that she was `his Precious', embodied for him, but the call was too great and the illusion could not sustain him. He crept to the side of the bed and, taking her gentle hand into his own, he kissed it and then turned and disappeared out of the dwelling.
Brunwen sat dazed for a moment and then sprang up. Her clothes and hair in disarray, she ran out. But her guide had disappeared almost as if he had never existed.
She turned and reentered the house. One of the women came presently and gave her some broth and then led her to Beron.