Gildern, Lady of Lindon - chapter VIII
`Where am I?' I thought. I was confused; Moria seemed like a dream, and hazy was the crossing of the Bridge of Kazad-dum. "The Balrog...did it really happen?" I murmured to no one in particular. Aragorn, who was cleaning my head wound, looked at me and nodded sadly. I hardly remembered being thrown into a wall by the troll after trying to penetrate his thick hide with my sword.
"Shh," hushed Aragorn, "Do not speak."
My vision was blurred, and my head was throbbing so horribly that I could scarcely bear the pain. I heard Legolas singing the Lay of Nimrodel, but soon the fellowship opted to move a little further into the wood. In any case, Legolas' voice seemed slightly out of tune to me, but that may have only been my imagination.
I felt Aragorn pick me up like I was only a child and he carried me rather than have me walk. The reason he gave was this, "Your injuries are worse than I had hoped, and your strength is waning quickly." The last thing I remembered was watching as Elvin archers surrounded us, bows pointing at our temples, a voice I knew all too well speak coldly, "The Dwarf breaths so loud we could have shot him in the dark," and then all went dark.
*** The voices in the dark then became stronger and more comprehensible, and I realized they were the voices of the dwarves calling out for help. I saw the souls of the dead as clearly as if they were not dead. They stretched their arms out to me, calling for my aid. I looked beneath myself as I descended to the depths of the earth, and I heard water, but before I was plunged into it, an invisible force kept me from falling any further. The souls of the dead dwarves surrounded me, but a shape different from them broke through their circle and walked towards me. It was an Elf lord with dark hair and dark eyes, tall and majestic he was. His face was familiar to me, and his voice was like a breath of spring air vanquishing the winter.
Dark Voices flowed through the air as if they were water running a well known course in a stream of darkness. I leaned myself against the wall, nauseous and dizzy as I watched Gandalf and the Balrog fighting on the narrow bridge of Kazad-Dum. I thought it was all over when the bridge underneath the Balrog collapsed and the creature from Shadow tumbled into the seemingly endless pit. I kept beckoning to Gandalf with my thoughts to not linger on the bridge. But it was too late. I watched as the whip of the Balrog curled around Gandalf's ankle and pull him into the abyss as well. I only stared into the chasm, not knowing fully what had happened. I felt strong arms lift me and carry towards the east gate of the mines. It all seemed like a re-play of what had happened in the mines, but this time it was different. I looked to the face of the one who bore me, and I screamed in terror as I looked upon the face of an orc. I tried to free its grip on me, but it would not let go. It carried me to the chasm where it suddenly let go of me and watched me as I fell.
"Be healed, my daughter. Walk not in the dark, but let the light be your true guide," said the spirit. "Be not afraid of evil creatures, and despair not of finding what you seek."
"Father?" I replied reaching out to him, but the force that was holding me above the water vanished, and I dropped into the water.
The voices in the dark then became stronger and more comprehensible, and I realized they were the voices of the dwarves calling out for help. I saw the souls of the dead as clearly as if they were not dead. They stretched their arms out to me, calling for my aid. I looked beneath myself as I descended to the depths of the earth, and I heard water, but before I was plunged into it, an invisible force kept me from falling any further. The souls of the dead dwarves surrounded me, but a shape different from them broke through their circle and walked towards me. It was an Elf lord with dark hair and dark eyes, tall and majestic he was. His face was familiar to me, and his voice was like a breath of spring air vanquishing the winter.
"Father?" I mumbled as I opened my eyes slowly, only to find myself in a room, devoid of people other than myself. Finding my strength renewed and my vision and mind cleared of all obstacles, I threw off the covers on the bed and climbed onto the floor. I found that I had been dressed in a long flowing nightgown, one of which I had not worn since the beginning of the third age. I looked around the room, and found that pitcher and basin of water had been set on the dresser for me to wash my face and hands in.
After washing, I walked over to the tall cabinet that I espied as I washed. I opened it and found Lothlorien style dresses. I rummaged around but found no tunics, thus I picked a pale green satin gown with white lace sleeves. After fighting with the laces and cursing about how difficult dresses were and how simple tunics were; I took a look at myself in the large mirror that was hanging on a wall.
I beheld a face that I did not recognize. Scars were located erratically on my arms and a large scar was on my forehead where the wound I had received from Moria was supposed to be. My once joyous eyes were dull and lifeless, containing no spark of happiness. My nose was crooked were it had been broken, and my skin was tanned from having spent too many days out in the sun and too little indoors.
My hair...my once long and beautiful brown hair was only mid-back, when it used to reach almost to my knees. I sighed as I took a comb and ran it through the tangles in my hair, and pushed my bangs behind my pointed ears.
I smoothed out the dress and examined it to make sure it was put on correctly. Once I was pleased with my appearance, I opened the door of the room and entered onto a staircase. Not knowing which way to go, I decided that the way down was the best option. I picked up the skirt of the dress so that I would not trip, and walked slowly and cautiously down the stairway. When I was but a few steps away from the bottom, a voice called out to me.
"Ivie! Ivie! You're better!" A small dark-haired hobbit bound into my arms, and clung to my neck.
"Pippin, lad...yes, I am better," I said as I tired to loosen his grasp around my throat. "But one would think that you were trying to throttle me, the way you have greeted me on this fine day."
Pippin's grip loosened and he jumped out of my arms as Aragorn and Legolas strode up. "I see you are feeling better, Iaryavie," said Aragorn as he gave me a worried glance. "But I do not understand how your wound could have healed so quickly, let alone you being on your feet again. The wound was thought to be fatal."
"But it wasn't, as you can see. How long have we been here in Lorien?" I asked, curious to see how long I was asleep.
"Three days, Iaryavie. We were all worried when you passed into a coma," replied Legolas as he stepped foreword and fingered my now healed head wound. "But I believe someone special would be happy to know that you are doing much better."
"Legolas, do you know where he is?" I asked?
"I do not know where he is at the present, but I know for certain that tomorrow he is leaving for the border again. As a March Warden he has a duty to fulfill."
"A March Warden? He's a March Warden?" I asked.
"Yes, but I do not know if you would recognize him, Ivie," Legolas warned, taking me aside, "He has changed; just as you have changed in your life time. I would suggest going to find him immediately; the sooner things are mended between you and him, the better."
"Thank you, Legolas, for everything that you have done for me, old friend. But I think I should take your leave and do as you suggest." I bid Aragorn, Legolas, and Pippin a happy day and I left for the river.
The trees in the forest were tall and silver as only Mallorn trees were. The leaves were gold and sparkled in the sunshine. They were tall and magnificent, the beauty of the Valar seemed to grow in them and life flowed in their sap.
I finally came upon the river that flowed through the City and I walked along its bank, feeling the trees and remembering days past when I used to visit Lorien. After walking further down stream I saw a figure bending over and dipping his hands into the cold water and drinking until he was refreshed. I walked closer and recognized the Elf as the very one I sought.
He was tall, the wind played in his golden hair as he drank peacefully from the stream.
He seemed not to notice me as I walked warily up to him, but I stopped when he began to turn around. He eyes were wide, and a tear was slipping down his cheek. He stared into my eyes, seemingly searching for an answer. His lip quivered as he tried to speak, but no words would come out.
I finally took a step towards him and tried not to choke on my words, "Why do you not speak to me? Are my deeds so evil that I am not worthy of a single word from your lips?" I asked, saddened by his silence.
"No," he breathed, "I dare not move nor speak for fear that you are but a dream coming to haunt me. Please say only that you are real and my dream shall become reality."
A small smile played upon my lips, "Then real your dreams and mine shall become. Forever I have dreamed of this day, the day that we should meet again. I only pray that I am worthy of your presence."