Fantasy or Reality - What happens when an orc hunt becomes a discovery of what was thought to be a myth.
"I still say we should have truned right a few leagues back." Gimli grunted as he tread through the unfamilar forest.
"Who is the ranger here, you or me?" Aragorn seemed annoyed with Gimli.
Gimli grew silent again. He looked back at Legolas, but Legolas was so amazed by the forest that he didn't even know there was an argument. As the sun glinted through the trees, it reminded him of Mirkwood.
"Legolas! Did you hear me?" Aragorn asked bringing the elf out of his trance.
"I'm sorry, what did you say?"
" I said we should stop here for the night. We might have gotten off the orc trail slightly."
"I knew we should have made a right! Maybe when you've rested you will get your sense of direction back!" Gimli said as he made himself comfortable on the ground.
Aragorn just rolled his eyes and turned away from the dwarf. Legolas sighed. The last few days of their journey everyone has been a little angry with each other. It wasn't that they started to hate each other, it was just that they were starting to lose hope. Maybe Aragorn got lost on purpose. Just to forget about their quest, for just one night.
As Legolas gazed up into the star filled sky, he heard a noise in the bush. Quickly he drew his bow and moved toward the noise. When he heard it again, he pounced. He had the source of the noise pinned to the ground and was about to shoot.
"Get off me! I am no orc!" the noise maker shouted.
"Just tell me who you are and I won't hurt you." Legolas replied as he kept the figure on the ground.
"I already am hurt so let me go before I hurt you!"
"I'll release you if you promise to let me help you and not run away. And you must tell me who you are."
Legolas released the figure and helped them up. When they stood, he was surprised to see a girl in front of him. But what made his jaw drop was the irredecent wings on her back.
"I am Aradia the Sprite of the Evening."
Legolas stared at Aradia. She wore a short, dark blue dress that shimmered. Her hair was almost raven black with slight blue streaks in it. Her eyes were dark too. They seemed to have a captivating sparkle to them. Everything about Aradia seemed to glitter in the moonlight.
"A sprite?" Legolas said questionably. "I thought sprites only existed in tales that elven children tell each other."
"That is the way some perfer it. What about you? Who is the one that demands answers from me?"
Legolas was about to answer when he noticed blood streaming down her arm. He almost for got that she was hurt. He went to her side and looked at her arm.
"Come to my cam and I'll help you."
Aradia nodded and Legolas led her to his camp. He began taking herbs out of his pack and crushed them. As he worked he looked at Aradia.
"To answer you question, I am Legolas Greenleaf of Mirkwood. I am hunting orcs with my friends Gimli the Dwarf and Strider the Ranger. We are looking for the rest of our company." He placed the herbs on her arm and wrapped a cloth around it. "How did you get hurt anyway?"
"An orc probably thought I was a bird. A quick meal if you would. But forget about that. So your from Mirkwood? Seralin was there. She said it was beautiful."
"Who is Seralin?"
"The Sprite of the Forest. You would like her, you have a lot in common." She smiled at Legolas. He blushed. He was about to say something when he noticed his companions awaking.
Once the awoke, Legolas explained everything. Gimli and Aragorn were surprised by the sprite but felt comfortable when they knew she wasn't going to hurt them.
"Because of you kindness, Legolas, I would like to invite you and your company to meet my friends."
"We except your invitation." Aragorn said. "Please lead on."
They began followin Aradia throught the haunting forest. All through the journey, Legolas never left Aradia's side. Gimli quickly noticed this.
"I believe Legolas is quite taken with this sprite." he whispered to Aragorn.
"Well, she is beautiful but I think he's just curious."
The sun began to rise and they soon came to a sparkling waterfall. Aradia signaled them to stop. The company looked at the water fall. There were five sprites all around it. They dressed like Aradia with streaks in their hair to match. They all had a different kind of beauty.
"My friends aren't use to outsiders so let me go first." with that, she stepped into the clearing.
"Aradia! Where have you been?" a sprite dressed in gold shouted.
"I can stay out all night, Solarin."
Solarin looked angry. Her green eyes had a look in them that was piercing. Her blonde hair shimmered as she turned away.
"So what kept you away all night?" asked another blonde dressed in light blue.
"Well, Airekris, you get to meet them."
"Them? You brought outsiders, how exciting!" squeled a dark haired sprite dressed in red.
"Outsiders?" Solarin repeated. "And I wouldn't get so excited Cirith. They could kill us!"
"Just because your afraid doesn't make all outsiders evil." said a sprite by the water.
Solarin glared at the brown-haired girl in aqua. "You of all people should be on my side, Isis!" Isis turned away.
"Don't bring that up." said another brown-haired sprite in green. That was Seralin.
"Everybody," Aradia announced, "this is Legolas, Gimli, and Strider. Legolas helped me when i was injured, see?" As she brought them out, the others went into a fit of giggles. "Don't worry, they're not laughing at you. It's how we express approval.
"Girls, I want to talk to you, privatly." Solarin gathered eveyone away from the company.
All except Cirith who was inspecting Gimli. "Cirith get over here!" She quickly ran to the group.
"How could you do this to us?" Solarin said to Aradia.
"They just got lost looking for their friends." Aradia said defensively.
"And I suppose they told you that."
"Fool! You should trust no one."
"Not all situations will be like mine." Isis said.
"I won't go there but you should be on my side!" Solarin growled.
"Look, Aradia just led them here." Airekris was trying to calm everyone down. "It's not like she led them to the city."
"Shut up, Airekris! Never speak of the city when they can here you!" Solarin was now furious. "If they know about the city then we will become mythes for real. I've been here for a long time and I will not be erased from this world!"
"Isn't that what you want? You wanted to mythes so we wouldn't be found. Now we have so what are you going to do?" Cirith's temper matched Solarin's. Solarin glared. She was about to say something sharp when Aradia cut in.
"What if I did take them to the city?"
All eyes where now on her. They looke at her like she just murdered her best friend. To Solarin, it was pretty close.
"Well, it is a safe haven so i guess it will be alright." Seralin said quietly.
"I don't believe this!" Solarin was now frantic. "You want to endanger our city just because some elf was nice to you?"
"We'll let the queen decide if I made a foolish choice but for now I'm taking them to the city." Aradia began walking away when Solarin shouted after her.
"Sprite of Darkness!" Aradia looked like she was stabbed in the back. When she looked back, there was nothing but pain in he eyes. Solarin didn't look displease but she didn't look happy either. Aradia faced the company.
"We are leaving to our city now." She was trying to hide her emotions but she couldn't in front of her new friends.
"Aradia," Legolas gentlely grabbed her arm but she pulled away.
"It's alright, Legolas. I don't need your sympathy."
They started their journey and all the sprites were silent most of the way. Cirith still stared contently at Gimli.
"Do you mind?" he asked.
"I'm sorry but i have never seen a dwarf before. You are a very odd creature."
"Go be amazed by someone else!" Cirith ran to the others and they giggled together.
Aragorn smiled at this. He was surprised that a creature like a sprtie was amazed by Gimli! His smile soon disappeared when he saw Isis beside him. Her green-blue eyes looked at him not with curiosity but with longing. He was about to speak when she hurried away. 'Why does she look at me like that?' he thought. His thoughts were interupted when everyone stopped. They were now deep in the forest in front of a stone wall covered in thick plants. All the sprites pushed the heavy gate open and led them inside. The company could only stare at the city in front of them. The roofs of the houses seemed to shine like they were made of gold. They felt like they had just stepped into an enchanted garden because of all the plants and beautiful flowers.
"Where are we?" breathed Aragorn.
"Welcome to the Crystal City." Aradia said. She pointed towards a castle that looked like it was made of glass. "That is where we're going."
"Is that where your queen lives?" Legolas asked.
"And we live there too." Seralin said shyly.
"Are you royalty?" Gimli asked.
"Something like that. We'll explain everything when we get there." Airekris said.
"We don't have to explain anything to you! We should make you sleep outside the gate!" Solarin was more upset now that they were in the city.
"Don't yell at them! It's not their fault that they got lost in the forest. Cirith was getting angered by Solarin again.
"Stop it, both of you! No more fighting until we talk to the queen." Everyone was quiet after Isis spoke.
As they walk through the city, the company saw so many different creatures. The were sprites, elves, mortals and even hobbits! All of them stared at the company being led by six sprites. There were whispers and laughter floating about them. Finally they arrived at the palace. They were led down a crystal hall to a throne room. A sprite was there to greet them.
The sprite was unlike their new friends. She was dressed in a long flowing silver dress. Her har was blonde but in wasn't like Solarin's, it was lighter and full of spiral curls. Around her head was a circlet with a crystal star in the center. She looked at the travellers with curiosity.
"Queen Elenquil, before you say anything i just want to let you know that..." Solarin started to protest but Queen Elenquil held her hand up as a signal for her to stop.
"I have been waiting for you." Queen Elenquil surveyed the company. Her silver blue eyes had a haunting gaze to them.
"You knew they were coming?" Airekris asked quietly.
"I saw this in the stars. I know your fears Solarin. Do not fear for these travellers are not outsiders as you call them. Treat them as guests, not as enemies. Legolas, Gimli and..." her eyes fell upon Aragorn. "Strider, please make yourselves comfortable."
As the others led the company towards there rooms, Aradia approached the queen.
"Did make a mistake in bringing them here?" she asked.
"No." the queen said as she lightly played with Aradia's hair. "You followed you heart and that is what a sprite with a pure heart would do."
Solarin was hiding on the stair case and heard everything. She was upset that Queen Elenquil favored Aradia's choice over hers.
"You'll see. All of you. I know it was a mistake to bring them to our city."