Gilraen - The Story Continues - Chapter 2 - A Meeting
It did not take Gilraen to reach the top of the cliffs and when she arrived it was very obvious what had happened that afternoon. She dismounted followed the tracks. By the depth of the footprints near the edge, she could tell that the archer had crouched to shoot. After that the footprints showed that he had crept back a few paces and ran off. She mounted her horse and took after the footprints. She rather surprised that whatever it was had come from and was heading to the same location, since both sets of tracks ran side by side. After half an hour she dismounted to take a drink of water. Gilraen could see the Anduin from where she stood. She had traveled quickly, as she was halfway down the river from where the two branches of the Anduin met. Judging by the tracks, and the time she was making, she would soon catch up to the orc. But her horse was exhausted, and, fearing no pursuit from her brother, Gilraen sat down to rest, pouring water in her hand for her horse to drink. She rested for an hour, and got back onto her horse. She started it off at a quick canter, and continued following the tracks.
After several more hours trotting, cantering, and galloping occasionally, the sun began to set, and Gilraen had reached the joining of the forks. She dismounted, took the saddle and bridle off of the horse, and started a fire. She took out a little food and sat by the fire eating it slowly. After a few minutes she heard singing. It sounded like bells, but softer and sweeter. She got up and walked in the direction of the singing. After a little while she saw lights all aglow, and tall majestic people sitting on beautiful carpets singing and eating and laughing. Gilraen stood there a minute just staring, when a person in the middle of all the festivity called out to her. All of a sudden the singing and music stopped. Only then did Gilraen notice the pointy ears. "These are elves!" She thought to herself, and she smiled at the thought of it. "Come my child, and join us, for today is our last day in Middle Earth, and tomorrow we leave across the sea." The elf cried, and she walked up to him and sat down. The singing eventually resumed, and her host made sure that Gilraen felt at home. Curiosity ate up her mind at who he was, and she finally got up enough courage to ask him. "Good sir, may I know your name? For the passing of any elf over the sea is of great grief to me, and I would that I know who you and your convoy of elves are." She asked. "I am, dear lady, King Thranduil of Eryn Lasgalen. I have recently tired of Middle Earth, and wish to see my son Legolas once more. Therefore I depart over the sea tomorrow, and see Middle Earth no more." He replied. Gilraen could do nothing but stare. Her host, King Thranduil smiled. "I see that you have heard of me. But may I ask what your name is, young maiden?" He said with a knowing look in his eyes. Gilraen tore her eyes away from the King of elves, and replied calmly. "They call me Gilraen." All at once everything stopped. The King along with all the elves stared at her, and Gilraen started to feel uncomfortable. "You young one, have been well spoken throughout the whole of Middle Earth. May I ask what is the princess of Gondor and Arnor doing in travelers clothing, and so far away from Minas Tirith?" King Thranduil asked. All of a sudden Gilraen seemed to grow bolder, and sat up straighter, and all the elves could see the face s of Aragorn II and Isildur in her face. "I seek after the enemy of my brother Valandur, who even now could be dying. I will not rest until I have found and slain him."
She replied, an angry and resolved tone in her voice. After she spoke, she slowly faded back into her normal self. Then an elf started singing in elvish about the first Gilraen, the mother of hope. Thranduil turned to an elf beside him and whispered something to him, but Gilraen did not notice. She felt as though she was floating in the sky, and she lay down and drifted to sleep.
The next morning she was woken gently by a n elf maiden. Gilraen sat up and saw all the other Elves preparing to leave. Then she threw herself down on the ground and started weeping with sorrow. King Thranduil walked over to her and lifted her up. Gilraen reluctantly stood, but would not stop weeping. "If all the elves of Eryn Lasgalen be leaving then I shall never see another elf again." She moaned through her tears. "Child, it is only I and my consort that be leaving. Many are the elves that roam Eryn Lasgalen. Take comfort, and do not despair." King Thranduil replied with a bitter sweet smile. With that Gilraen slowly stopped crying, and wiped her tears away. "Here, take this, for you shall need it in the journey ahead." Thranduil said and handed her a large beautiful bag full of something. "Kneel." He then bade her, and she did as he asked.
He turned to the elf standing next to him and picked up an elvish circlet off of a pillow and put it on her head. "You are the true heir of lady Arwen, queen of the elves, and you are to wear her circlet." He said. Gilraen stood up silently and curtsied to the King. "Take off your cloak." He bade her, and she let it drop. Thranduil then turned again to the elf next to him and took the cloak he was holding and put it on her. "The rest of your gifts we have put in these bags. Wear them, for you are a queen of the elves." He said, and he and the rest of the elves stepped onto the boat that they had traveled in and sailed down the Anduin.
Gilraen stood looking after the boat until it had long passed from sight and turned to the many bags left her. Upon opening them she found beautiful elvish made shirts, dresses, leggings, robes, weapons, and food. She quickly changed into the beautiful shimmering clothes, and when she was done she went to see about her horse. When she reached where her horse was supposed to be she was astonished! "I have never seen so beautiful nor strong a horse in all my days, though few they may be." Gilraen said to herself, as she looked at the beautiful elven horse that stood next to her own. "I shall call you Firewind, for you and I shall sweep down upon the enemy, and he shall not be able to withstand." She said to the horse, stroking it. Presently Gilraen turned and looked around for gear. She could see none, and so went back to her things and sat down to ponder over all that had happened to her. She glanced at the bags that the elves had given her and for the first time saw a saddle. She stood up and went over to it. It was made of black leather, and elvish runes were emblazoned along the rim with Mithril. The seat was covered in doe's hide, and all together it was a beautiful saddle. The bridle too were beautiful, covered in Mithril, with elvish runes running along them. "Queen Arwens' saddle and Bridle which was made for her by Legolas and Gimli!" She thought. "It is late, and I must continue the chase." Gilraen said after looking at the wonderful gifts awhile longer. She quickly packed everything and put the saddle and bridle on Firewind. "But what shall I do with my old horse?" She asked herself before mounting. Then she heard the sound of a horse and rider nearing. "I suppose I must leave it here." She thought, and quickly mounted. A moment later Arindor came galloping into the clearing. Gilraen could tell that he was very tired, and rather cross. "Hail good sir, who art though, and what is thy mission?" She asked him courteously. "Fair Queen, I travel after my young sister, who ran away after seeing our brother Valandur wounded." He replied bowing low. "Does he not recognize me?" Gilraen thought to herself in wonder. "Good sir, how fares your brother? For in him is the hope of all of Gondor and Arnor." She said with concern. "He shall live, good queen, though I have vowed that he who wounded him shall not." Arindon replied, with a look of vengeance on his face. "But have you seen my sister?" He said anxiously.
"Aye, and I have been crowned queen of the elves by King Thranduil himself brother. You may not stop me, for I have already claimed the blood of him who hurt our brother." Arindons' mouth hung open for a moment and he looked shocked. "But..... sister.....it cannot be!" He stammered. "You can't take Queen Arwens' place unless you are the Queen!" "I can have half of it though, brother. Arwen was Queen of the elves and men." She calmly replied. "When will he get his history lessons through his head! Everyone in Gondor and Arnor knows that Arwen was a Queen of two peoples. One has been passed down through the Kings' of Gondor, but there has been no Queen of the elves since Arwen!" She thought to herself. Gilraen was very annoyed with her brother.
"But, how can this be?" Arindon asked her, after composing himself. "It was the elves right to choose a queen of the elves from the descendants of Arwen. The royal family has no right to object, or refuse to allow the chosen Queen." She replied. Tension hung in the air. Gilraen was not about to let her brother argue about something that did not concern him, and he didn't know what to think. "Will you return?" He asked quietly. "I gave you my word before I even left." Gilraen said softly. "Then go Queen, and fulfill your word. But always remember us. Do not forget your brothers and sisters." He said in a resolved and slightly pleading tone. "I will return, and you will be kept close in my heart." She said, and Gilraen galloped off. Arindon mounted his own horse, and turned to go, and then looked back. "You have started a journey, little sister, from which you will return changed beyond your or my knowledge." He muttered to himself, and took off in the opposite direction, toward Belfalas, and the sea.