For love of a lady - Prologue
This is a love story concerning Elladan, son of Elrond and a few characters of my own creation. I would be very grateful for opinions and constructive criticism so please lend me your thoughts so I can improve my writing. I hope you enjoy this story and find it relatively true to the characters created by Tolkien whose identities I have no desire to change.
She was gone.
Those three little words caused a tidal wave of emotion to break across Gáialá's heart. Jealousy, anger, hatred and surprisingly there was a spark of love. He stood high above the cliffs of the Mithlond, looking down into the greyed waters, the swarming waves which threatened to overcome the tiny boats rocking at the quayside. A curious desire to dash himself to pieces on the jagged rocks flared in the dark elf's impassioned mind and he sought to end the fire which was burning through him like a torrent of rage. He gripped the brooch he had given her tightly, the pin was digging into the soft flesh of his hand and a rivulet of blood trickled down his arm. He did not even notice the pain until he was calmed, until his emotions had quieted themselves into a cold anger and the blood on his hand had turned brown did he become enfolded in reality again and could he rationalize what had happened. His lover was gone, Vanimeldë, fairest elf maiden of Mithlond had fled with her family during the night and gone whither even Gáialá could not guess. They had been one of the most prominent families here and their disappearance had caused much whisperings and gossip. Wherever Gáialá went he could hear them talking about him and could see the surreptitious eyes flick idly in his direction. And he hated it. He knew why they spoke of him, his relationship with Vanimeldë was well-known and many of the folk at the Havens believed he was the reason they had lost the fairest jewel of the treasury at the shore. Gáialá had won Vanimeldë's heart for a brief while but once the full extent of his jealous nature had been revealed to her she had become repulsed by him and would not allow him near her. He had refused to accept this and had been more possessive than ever until it had reached the stage where he haunted her steps, cast a shadow of fear over her heart and watched her incessantly with his black eyes. He succeeded in making her thoroughly miserable and had even gone so far as ignoring the orders of the city Elders who forbade him from nearing her. The ardour of his sentiments was too great a summons not to hearken to and he had continued to pester Vanimeldë until her every waking moment was lived in fear and dismay. But now she had gone. The House of Barándâ had relinquished their ancient, ocean-side home with the rest of the Telerin folk and had gone abroad to seek a place where they might all dwell without their eldest daughter's ceaseless fear. Gáialá was furious, he had tried to track their journey with his own paltry measure of the forbidden arts, spreading his consciousness over many miles to see if he could sense her but it had all been in vain. Some kindly power had cast a mist about them, concealing their whereabouts and leaving them hidden from Gáialá's sharp eyes. It would be many, many years before he would discover where they were but at the moment only one thought consumed him.
He must find her.
Before the swirling grey skies and the terrible waves below he swore an oath, blasphemously naming Manwë and Varda as witnesses to it and knowing in his own, depraved heart that the oath would hold him until he found death's sweet oblivion or until he fulfilled it. He swore that he would regain that which he had lost at all costs and he would make Vanimeldë his own again, no matter what it took. In that moment, perched dangerously at the cliff precipice he lost all sense of humanity that still flowed in his veins, he lost all empathy with his fellow kindred and he became a creature wholly of malice, whose will was one of adamant and whose tenacity was deadly. That eve, as the sullen moon glowed blood red, an ever ill omen, he went away. He left that lands of his birth and fashioned for himself a dwelling in the mountains, a dwelling that was as dark as he and would serve his purpose until t was broken and razed to the ground. Thither also went all manner of evil creatures, drawn to the laced cobweb of malice that he spun around the forest. He took a beautiful place and made it dreadful, where man and beast alike feared to tread. There he gathered knowledge of sorts and strengthened himself perceptibly by his heightened wisdom of the dark arts. His absence was delightful to the people of the Havens but for long their talk was of the wraithlike figure they had seen the night of the storm which had howled out to the sky and withstood the raging winds on its perilous ledge.
Blissfully unaware of this the family of Barándâ made their gentle way to the sheltered valley of Imladris wherein they sought an audience with Lord Elrond and related to him their story. They found him kindly and empathetic and the folk of Imladris welcomed them with open arms and for a few hundred years they dwelt there in peace. Vanimeldë became beloved of many for her beauty was one almost to rival with Arwen's and she was admired by the menfolk there including, fleetingly, the sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir. Her brother, Aranwë, became fast friends with them and often accompanied them hunting but the youngest daughter, lady Írissë integrated herself without a stir, causing no ripple of interest and being overlooked by many. She did not complain, having spent her life living in Vanimeldë's shadow and there she lived happily, secure in her life but raising many eyebrows with the bite of her sharp tongue and the way she refused to take orders from anyone. This challenge to authority irritated many and Írissë was sunken still further from the attention of many and busied herself with her studies and her skills. She became formidable with a blade and acknowledged herself the equal of any man in Imladris. It is well that fate led her to do so for her resolve was soon to be sorely tested and her unremitting lust for adventure would soon be satisfied with much cost. Had she known this the peaceful life underneath the golden boughs would have seemed a much more agreeable future. But she did not and, paradoxically, it would be Vanimeldë, the reason for her own insignificance, that would indirectly lift her into fame and grant her renown among the fables and legends of Middle Earth.