Evenstar and Ithilian - Part 3 - Chapter 5

The attacks had gone on for several weeks now. Life in the palace had gotten monotonous. Eiliandel had gotten more unpredictable and after two days of not being able to go in the gardens, had begun acting as though she had been locked up for years instead of days. Arwen was in the late stages of pregnancy, and had resorted to having Eiliandel bring her news as she could not do the things Eiliandel did. Eiliandel had resorted to sneaking out and would bring Arwen news of what was occuring beyond the walls.
Eowyn was strolling around the palace, wondering how long the army would simply sit outside the city, when she heard the clashing of swords. Running towards the sound, she found Eiliandel and Novrion locked in battle. "What....?" Eowyn trailed off as Eiliandel took a vicious slash at her husband. "They're practicing, "Arwen answered from where she was sitting watching them, "Eiliandel is winning if you are wondering." Eowyn shook her head wordlessly as the two continued. They fought viciously against each other, but they always pulled out of the attack before the sword could hurt the other. Eowyn stared. It must be incredibly hard to maintain the level of attack and yet not harm your opponent. She watched as Novrion narrowly missed his wife's face with the edge of his blade. Eiliandel hissed through her teeth as she leaned back to allow the blade to pass over her head. She returned with a low angled swing, that Novrion had trouble blocking. Novrion repeated his manuever, slashing at her, trying to make her back up and lose ground. It seemed too much for Eiliandel to handle, she did not lose control of her sword, but the air around her began to swirl. Novrion called a halt to the battle. He could see how close Eiliandel was coming to losing control, holding his sword out the side, he said, "You win. I am too tired!" Eiliandel looked surprised, but backed off her attack. "Brilliant fighting." Aragorn approached, giving an approving nod to the combatants, "Novrion, I am surprised! You seemed confident you would beat her when you started." Legolas teased from his position near the door. Novrion nodded, "There are some forces I cannot beat. You are welcome to try." he indicated that Legolas could try his luck against Eiliandel if he should wish. Legolas laughed, "I am far wiser than to challenge her, perhaps you should learn from me!" The banter continued, Eowyn wondering just why Novrion had called the fight. He'd been close to disarming Eiliandel.

Eiliandel slipped around the darkened corner. It must have been close to midnight, but she had an uneasy feeling and could not sleep. Novrion would be very angry if he caught her slipping around at night when there was the potential for an attack, but she did not care. Finding the door to the gardens, she glanced around before quickly darting through the doorway and silently shutting it. She felt the grass beneath her feet, she needed to find a way to the far corner of the gardens, there the wall was high enough that she could climb ontop of it and see to the other side of the city walls. It was far too dark for even her elvish eyes to make out much of anything. There was no moon this night, and all she could discern from the darkness was darker patches where the gardens was and lighter patches where it was not. She continued feeling with her feet, she was still on the grass. She knew that there was a cobble stone path somewhere around this area, once she found it, she could make good time across the gardens for she wouldn't have to continually weave in and out of the bushed she currently was near. Found it! Eiliandel smiled and hummed to herself as she ran, nearly full tilt along the path. The path was lighter than the grass and she could see the margins of the path as she ran. She saw the disctinctive dark outline of the garden wall just ahead of her. Speeding up, she took a running start at it and leapt onto it. Scrambling for a second as she sought a hold, Eiliandel managed to pull her frame onto the wall's top. She stood on her tip-toes and managed to see over the far city wall. She saw a large amount of torches in one area, just beyond the city walls. Eiliandel watched in terror as the torches began approaching the wall. She suddenly realized what she was seeing.

"Novrion! Novrion wake up!" Novrion hauled himself to wakefullness. His wife was standing near him, shaking. "Eiliandel?" he asked, groggily, "What's....?" "The army is moving! They're coming!" Eiliandel yelled. Then she turned and ran from the room. Novrion shot out of bed, arming himself as he followed her.

"Arwen! Aragorn!" Eiliandel burst through their bedroom door. Arwen gave a startled yelp and Aragorn, half asleep, instinctively drew his sword out from under his bed, "Eiliandel, what are you doing?" Aragorn asked as Arwen eased herself back down on her side of the bed. "The army is marching towards the city!" Eiliandel explained breathlessly, fidgeting as she tried to get them to understand the desparation in her voice. Aragorn and Arwen understood, quickly getting out of bed. Aragorn grabbed a blanket, threw it over Arwen's shoulders and pulled her towards the door, "Eiliandel, you and Arwen get to the stronghold, and order all the soldiers you pass to report to me." Aragorn pushed them in the direction of the stronghold, the safest, strongest portion of the palace. Eiliandel glared at him and at Novrion, who urged her to leave. Someone must have heard Eiliandel's yelling because the hallway was a flurry of activity. On their way to the stronghold, they ran into Eowyn and Faramir. Faramir told Eowyn to go with Eiliandel and Arwen while he went to find Aragorn, Novrion and Legolas. "Do you think they'll actually attack this time?" Eowyn asked as the women hurried down the halls. "I do not know, "Eiliandel said as she and Arwen began to go up the stairs, "Perhaps it is a false alarm, but what I saw was real enough." Eowyn wondered at that, if it was enough to scare Eiliandel this badly, did they even stand a chance of survivng this? "Please, slow down." Arwen requested, breathing heavily. Darting up the stairs was not something she could do. Eowyn and Eiliandel looked at her worriedly, the child was due anytime now, they could not risk pushing Arwen too hard. Slowing down, they assisted Arwen up the next two flights of stairs and into the stronghold. The stronghold was a fairly well sized room, just comfortable enough for eight people to hold out for a while if they needed to. There were ports through which the occupants could fire arrows to defend themselves. The women got in the room safetly, just as the sounds of a massive battle in the making began. Arwen and Eiliandel immediately began studying a map of the city that was posted on the wall. "Here is where I saw them approaching from," Eiliandel said, "This would be the weakest area of our defenses." She pointed to the main city gate. Arwen nodded, "They most likely wil circle around this way." Her finger traced a path on the map. Eowyn stared at them in astonishment. She was a fighter herself, but she'd have never thought that Arwen and Eiliandel had paid any attention to battle tactics, and yet here they were spouting off the jargon of the subject like old generals.

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