Dusk of Ages - Tale 2--> Revelry and Sorrow
[Elvish thought or telepathy]
Recap of Tale 1 . . .
[Then might I ask that you to dance tonight after we eat?]
A smile pulled at my mouth. I had not danced since I left Veikai, but I knew that all I needed was a decent warm-up. I opened my mouth to agree quite happily and was caught short by Legolas as he voiced disagreement.
[With all due respect, Lady Galadriel, Kyshri is still recovering from her time in Mordor. I do not think she is ready for dancing.]
Lord Celeborn looked over to where I stood, amusement in his eyes, and that amusement gave way to a wide smile upon seeing my furious expression locked on Legolas. The man who looked so like Boromir--who, I had learned, was Boromir's brother Faramir--followed Lord Celeborn's gaze to me and twitched in startlement. I must have been looking particularly vile to get such a reaction.
Lady Galadriel smiled knowingly over at me as I ground my teeth viciously to keep from lunging at Legolas and choking him. [I trust Kyshri's judgement of what she can and cannot do. As should you, Legolas. She has been a warrior since her twentieth year and has sustained injuries innumerable since then, most of which she had to heal for herself. I think she understands quite well how important it is to not stress a wound.]
Legolas looked mildly taken aback that I was being encouraged to do things even while wounded. I curtsied deeply. [Thank you, Lady Galadriel, for that vote of confidence. My ears have missed such words since Haldir's death.] I involuntarily shot a glare at Legolas, who winced.
She gave a slight nod of her head and then gestured to the circle. [Will you be joining us?]
I shook my head. [My thanks for the invitation, My Lady, but I must be quite frank and admit that the affairs of state bore me greatly. My three fellow Patrons, however,]--I indicated Sulaine, Gunrey, and Josuin, who had all likely been sitting there in silence for hours just listening to the discussions of the other leaders of the established realms--[are fascinated by such things. They are the ones who govern Veikai--I merely protect it.]
Bowing, I exited the chamber and headed for the stable.
[I have never met a being with as many facets as she,] Celeborn noted. [She shifts from emotion to emotion as one might change a tunic.]
Legolas slumped in his chair. [It is exhausting.]
[Obstinacy and anger are her nature, inherited directly from her parents,] Galadriel mused. [She knows this and seeks to change, or at least balance, such an unfavorable combination of behaviors with those that would be more appreciated by others. However, she is still trying to understand and rectify this.]
[That . . . is impossible,] Legolas protested, confused. [One cannot change that which they are born with.]
[But they can learn to control it,] Celeborn put in. [Yet it does not help when others try to force their will upon someone with such a potentially volatile nature.] Legolas frowned and the lord of Lorien continued in a dark tone that--while only slightly different from his usual one--was clearly aggressive to those seated in the chamber. [Why would you keep her from dancing? Her wounds are not so bad that she cannot walk, so she has the capability to dance. Would you prevent her from singing as well only to protect her voice?]
Legolas was caught off guard by the lord's vehemence and Galadriel turned to him. [Husband,] she said quietly, a thousand other things conveyed in the single word. When Celeborn said nothing, she faced Legolas. [I am sure that you are very much aware, my prince, that the Teleri are the fairest singers of all the Elves and that they appreciate dancing a great deal as well?]
[Yes,] Legolas answered, for he was of the Teleri himself.
[Even more than your good intentions of seeking her out this morning to be sure she had not injured herself further after her long night excursion, suggesting that Kyshri not dance is similar to suggesting that she cut her own throat with a dull blade, as dancing is one of the few ways she can relieve stress and express what is in her heart without causing injury. Were she to keep her emotions under strict lock, she would eventually fall prey to them, as anyone else enduring the same conditions would.]
Legolas frowned. [Are you saying she would go mad?]
[I am saying that she will be much more pleasant company for you and all of us if she is allowed to dance,] was Galadriel's answer. [Unless, that is, you prefer her as she is now?]
The prince shook his head and asked, [So Kyshri is one of the Teleri?]
[Not entirely. Her father was of the Teleri, her mother was of the Noldor.] At Legolas' expression, she inquired, [That answers a question?]
He answered with a thoughtful, [. . . Yes. I had always thought that Kyshri appeared similar to you, My Lady, if only slightly.]
Galadriel laughed gently at that, as one who knew a secret might. [Is that so? I shall have to take a closer look at her, then.]
Celeborn's brow furrowed suddenly and his eyes slid to look at Galadriel in an almost calculating manner, as though Legolas' words had aroused a measure of suspicion within him.
What that suspicion might have been, however, was unknown.
I danced and danced and danced and it felt utterly wonderful. All afternoon I had been stretching at every possible opportunity to loosen my stiff arms and legs and my work paid off. Once I was through for the night I felt better than I had since my return to Minas Tirith and all but pranced about the chamber, chatting the most with people who I did not really know so that I might learn more about them. After imbibing a few goblets of wine--more than I should have had, certainly--I then went about and kissed each of my new friends on the cheek.
[I see you are enjoying yourself,] Lord Celeborn commented dryly to me as I twirled over to where he was standing with Lord Elrond. Despite being in a gown, I bowed to them in quite an exaggerated manner and the motion resulted in a sharp hiccup that sounded disturbingly like a belch.
[Yes, My Lord,] I drawled with a bubbly giggle.
[Exactly how much have you had to drink tonight, Kyshri?] Lord Celeborn asked with a raised eyebrow.
I frowned slightly. [You mean you want me to count?]
I looked down at my hands, having to start all over again every time my eyes crossed or unfocused. Finally, I looked up at him and informed him plaintively, [I think I need more fingers.]
He blinked in surprise, then his expression collapsed into one of disapproval and he opened his mouth to speak. However, he was interrupted by Sulaine's quick and very purposeful approach.
[Excuse me, My Lords,] he murmured, bowing. Turning to me, he pressed something leafy into my hands and hissed in a low voice, [Eat this, go to bed, and stop embarrassing yourself.]
I looked at the plant cupped in my palms as he walked away, then called after him, [But this is a weed!]
He sighed and stopped, turning to face me only long enough to answer my complaint. [No, Kyshri, it is not a weed. It is an herb found in a small patch outside the North Gate that in the past you enjoyed tromping on.]
[If I had known it was an herb, you know I would not have walked through it!] I snapped. I then looked from his retreating form to the plant, shrugged, and popped it in my mouth. It tasted like any leaf you might pull off a tree, yet almost immediately I could tell my head was clearing.
[You should rest,] Lord Celeborn advised.
I nodded and excused myself, heading for the doors just as they burst open and revealed a panic-stricken Istaq. He ran to me and grabbed my hand in both of his, tugging frantically, on the verge of tears.
[Lady Kyshri! Lady Kyshri! It is Damone! He is hurt! He is full of Gondorian arrows and can hardly walk! He is bleeding everywhere--I could not stop it!]
Damone . . .
I gathered the gown in my free hand and bolted out the door. Istaq followed, telling me everything he knew about the situation. I took the stairs in two large leaps and found myself in the stables. In the nearest stall lay my favorite, most precious buck, quilled with arrows bearing Gondor's colors.
He looked up at me mournfully from the straw and I knelt quietly beside him, taking his delicate head into my hands. [. . . Damone . . .?]
Istaq fell hard to his knees beside me and reached for an arrow.
[Do not!] I commanded, hugging Damone's head to my chest. Istaq looked at me, startled, and I said, [There is . . . nothing we can do. Even my healing magic cannot save him. Too much blood has been lost. He knows this.]
Horrified by the truth, Istaq bowed his head and wept. Sulaine, Gunrey, and Josuin appeared and with heavy hearts said their farewells.
[. . . Sulaine,] I murmured, tears tracking cold paths down my face. [Could I ask of you . . .?]
[Of course.] He drew his knife and knelt, feeling along the buck's chest for the strongest point of his heartbeat.
I held Damone's head to me once again and covered his other eye with one hand, stroking his neck with the other. I rested my chin on his narrow snout and closed my eyes, whispering, [Do not be afraid, my darling Damone. The pain will be replaced with a greater pain for a quick moment and then it will all fade away. You will be free to roam the forests once again. Remember that I love you always.]
Sulaine took that instant to force his blade into Damone's chest. The buck jerked in fear and pain and I held his head tighter to me, more tears slipping past my firmly shut eyes. [It is all right,] I assured him. [It is all right . . .]
A few seconds passed and I opened my eyes cautiously. Sulaine was feeling the wound he had made, his hand now bloody. He looked at me and nodded; I shut my eyes for one moment longer and cradled my dead buck. Then, gently, I laid his head down on the straw and rose. I saw that the others had followed and seen the entire thing. Not that I really cared.
Aragorn stepped forward. [Kyshri, I will---]
[No, Aragorn, but thank you,] I interrupted him, pausing only long enough to speak directly to his face. [It no longer matters now. They wanted him, they killed him . . . let them have him. At least his death will have meaning then.]
I went on to my room and crawled into bed. My gown was miraculously free of blood--Damone had not been bleeding from his nose or mouth and had sustained only one neck wound, so Mother's gown had been spared. I do not know if blood on the gown would have grieved me more than Damone's death, but the bloodied gown on top of the death would have upset me a great deal more than I already was, that was for certain.
So I drifted to sleep over the passing hours, weeping for Damone.
Legolas had followed Aragorn as his angered friend went to deliver Damone personally to the guards at the wall. [Aragorn, Kyshri said---]
[I know what she said. Legolas, you do not understand how dangerous such behavior could be in the future. I cannot have the guards shooting the mounts of my guests, even if that mount is a deer. Kyshri is forgiving, but I may not be as fortunate next time.]
[Istaq said Damone escaped his stall---]
Aragorn turned suddenly, making him stop short, and lifted Damone's limp head by an antler, pointing to the broken prong. [This is a detail that they should have noted when Istaq arrived!]
Legolas had to agree with that as Aragorn resumed his walk. For even Men to be so blind to such a characteristic when the creature walked through the gate and past them was not believable.
They arrived at the guardhouse, where four men sat around a fire chatting. They scrambled to their feet as Aragorn entered and bowed to him, speaking hails and other such greetings.
Aragorn was not affected. "Lady Kyshri of Veikai cherishes deer above her own life. Her prize buck has been slain." He all but threw Damone at their feet and Legolas winced, knowing Kyshri would not have appreciated such treatment of even a dead deer and certainly not of Damone. "I suggest you make her sacrifice worthwhile and eat it."
Without waiting for apologies, Aragorn pivoted and exited. Legolas watched the men for a moment, all of them frozen in horror, before leaving as well.
[Legolas, perhaps you should check on Kyshri.]
[And suffer a tongue-lashing like before? Never. You would do better to send Lord Celeborn.]
Nevertheless, Legolas found himself in Kyshri's room. He sat on the edge of the bed and stared down at her. She was curled tightly beneath the sheets, a clear sign of insecurity. He realized he had seen her do it before, but had not taken real notice of it until now. Red streaks told him where the tears had once been and he brushed the backs of his fingers along her cheeks.
Musing absently to himself about how the moonlight washed the color from her skin so that she looked more like a sculpture of a sleeping female rather than a living being, his hand drifted to her ear and his fingers traced its shape lightly, all the way to its tapered point.
However, she did not give a soft gasp and seek more attention like he had expected. Instead she flinched, recoiling from his touch and rolling away from him. Curious as to how a usually erogenous zone could startle and discomfort even a previously untouched female, he leaned closer to examine her.
There were scars on her ears.
Aside from being an Elf, the Prince of Mirkwood, and being really good with a bow and knives, does anybody know anything for sure about Legolas? I've heard he's of the Sindar (the Teleri, specifically), I've heard that--basically--he's a Heinz fifty-seven. I've heard he's blond, I've heard he has black hair. I've heard he has blue eyes, I've heard they're green, and I've heard they're brown. I've heard he's anywhere from seven hundred to three thousand years old. Is there anybody who can tell me something definite? I realize the professor was very vague when it came to Legolas, but maybe there's been something I missed . . .?
Well, anyway, he's going to be a Teleri in my story. So there. ,_~