Gilraen - The Story Continues - Chapter 6 - An Ent
When Gilraen and Falisur reached Caras Galadhrim, Alassemiire came and took them to their companions. They were comfortably situated under the roots of a great Mallorn tree, and eating heartily. "Ah, your here." Aeteran said looking up as Gilraen approached their abode. Gilraen sat down, and was handed a plate of food by one of the elves who were waiting on the travelers. She ate, listening to the music of harps and the elves singing up in the trees. After awhile Alassemiire came up to her, and sat down next to her. "Gilraen, since you are our queen, you will sleep in Lady Galadriel's former apartments." She whispered into Gilraen's ear. "Does the mirror of Galadriel still work?" Gilraen asked Alassemiire softly. "No, once Galadriel left it has not worked." Alassemiire replied quietly. "But it's still there of course, if you want to see it." Alassemiire whispered after a moments pause. Gilraen nodded her head. Alassemiire slowly and cautiously got up to her feet, and motioned for Gilraen to do the same. After they had stood up, Alassemiire walked very quietly away, and Gilraen followed. It was only a short walk. It was very nearby, so after a minute or two Gilraen found herself on a rock staircase and climbing down, she walked between two statues holding rock basins in their arms. It was plain that fires used to burn in the basins, but no longer. "We can talk freely here, for no one will hear us." Alassemiire said softly. "Why do Galadriel's basins not burn any longer?" Gilraen asked, puzzled. "Once she left, Celeborn stayed and spent much time here. After awhile he got weary of Middle Earth and left. No one kept up the fires after he left, and Aegnor commanded everyone to stay away from Galadriel's valley, and so the rest of them never come here. I come here often to think, for a shadow has been growing over my heart as well." Alassemiire replied, and it seemed to Gilraen that there was a sadness in her voice. Gilraen turned and looked about her. There, in the center of the hollow, or valley as the elves referred to it, was a carved pedestal that branched out like a tree, and set at the top was Galadriel's Silver basin. Behind it lay the small waterfall that poured into a small pool , that trickled away and made a stream. There, still standing next to the pool was Galadriel's silver ewer. The sight caught Gilraen's breath. "It's more beautiful than I ever imagined." She said, whispering. "Yes, this valley still remembers the touch of Galadriel, though it to has had to bear the course of time." Alassemiire replied softly. Here also antiquity hung in the air, but it was sweeter, softer, and more gentle than it had been on Cerin Amroth. "Why does Aegnor wish none to come here?" Gilraen asked, turning to face Alassemiire. Alassemiire's face darkened, and she looked disturbed. "Aegnor is one of the Noldor. He one day shall either die or go back to Valinor, never to return. He is one that went with Fingolfin out of reluctance, and took no part of the kinslaying. But he is proud, like the rest of the Noldor. Galadriel was an exception. Once Galadriel had left, Aegnor determined that this valley should never know the touch of anyone else, so it would be preserved for much longer in the condition that it was in when Galadriel left these shores. But he too comes here every once in awhile, and just sits down and stays there for hours. I have seen him myself." Alassemiire said, sadly. "It is sad how pride can hurt an elf's character. It affected the Noldor the most, and they have had the price to pay ever since. Of course all elves are proud, so are all men and dwarves. But most elves learned from their follies, and are kind, proud yes, but only to a certain degree. But Morgoth poisoned many of the hearts of the Noldor, and some still think that they are better than all the rest of the elven race." Alassemiire said, sighing. "Come, let us go." She said, sadly, getting up and walking toward the stairs. Gilraen did likewise, and they returned to Caras Galadhrim.
This time, instead of going back to her fellow companions, Alassemiire led her up into one of the Mallorn trees. They walked up to Galadriel's thrown, and went up the staircase next to it. After much climbing, they reached the chamber of Galadriel. There was a bed, with mithril woven together to look like tree branches all around it. "Good night Gilraen." Alassemiire said, and walked back down to staircase. Gilraen looked all around her. There was a chest, a mithril basin on a table with a pitcher of water in it, and all around pictures painted on the walls of a strange, faraway place. Though she didn't know for certain, Gilraen guessed that this was Valinor, the way Galadriel had remembered it. "It's beautiful." Gilraen whispered to herself. Then she went over to the chest. Opening it she found beautiful white robes, like those Galadriel wore. "One day I will wear these." She said to herself, closing the chest. Then she got up onto her bed and quickly drifted off to sleep.
The next morning she awoke slowly, and when she had finally risen, her companions had already finished eating breakfast. Gilraen quickly ate, and came down. There she found Alassemiire, waiting for her. "Come, we must leave soon," She said shortly and motioned for Gilraen to follow her. They went back up another Mallorn tree and went into a small room. Then Alassemiire handed Gilraen a bundle. "Put these on, and then come down to the Silverlode." Alassemiire said, turning to leave. "Oh," she said, turning back around, "With your permission, I will bring another elf with me. Her name is Wilwarin, and we have been friends since before Morgoth was overthrown. She has lived for many years in Eryn Lasgalen, but just recently has come back to Lothlorien on my bidding. She is a skilled fighter, and longs to go out into Middle Earth once more." Alassemiire said smiling. "Certainly. She may come if she wishes." Gilraen replied, smiling in return. "Thank you, Gilraen." Alassemiire said, her eyes smiling on their own, and she turned and left. Gilraen turned back to the bundle. There was a tunic of such material as to blend in with anything she was around, but it was not like the cloth of her elven cloak, which was in the bundle also. This was soft, yet slick, and made of richer material. Then there was the riding overdress, the cloak with the leaf brooch, the short belt, her own beautiful bow with the quiver full of arrows, two daggers to put in the slots made for them in the quiver, and her sword. It was old, and of good make. She pulled it out of its sheath. It glittered in the sunlight, and on it was inscribed an elvish blessing. She swung it into several of the different sword positions, and the blade hummed in the air. "I shall call you Huinenna for you shall be the death shadow to my enemies." Gilraen said, returning the sword to the home position. Then she put Huinenna back in it's sheath, and put it on her belt. Then Gilraen put her cloak on, swinging it around onto her shoulders, and she fastened it with her leaf brooch. Gilraen turned and picked up the quiver, and put the two daggers into it. She put it up onto her back over her cloak, and put the in position on the quiver. She braided a two small strands of hair one on each side of the head, and pulled them back, and fastened them together. Then Gilraen went down the stairs and started running toward the Silverlode. After a short while, she came to its banks, and saw the small dock, with several slim looking boats already floating out in the Silverlode. She ran down to the docks where Aegnor met her. "Gilraen, your companions are already out in the Silverlode, and you shall take Galadriel's boat out to join them." He said courteously, and kindly. Then Gilraen saw the legendary boat carved in the shape of a swan, coming out from among the other boats and nearing the land. After a few minutes it had glided up to her on the land, and Aegnor helped her up onto the boat. "Farewell, Aegnor. I'm depending on you to carry out my orders and prepare my subjects for the last march of the elves. I trust in you." Gilraen said, looking deeply into his eyes. Then, all of a sudden, she knew that she could really trust him. "Aegnor, relight the basins of Galadriel next to the stairs." She whispered to him as the boat was pushed away from the shore. Gilraen could tell that Aegnor was surprised, but pleasantly so. The boat elves rowed the boat toward her awaiting companions, and soon she had been seated at the head of one of the craft which would bear her and her companions far away from that blessed place. She cast one last longing glance at the shore, and then with resolution grasped her paddle and began to row. With that all three of the craft started, and soon the borders of Lothlorien were lost to Gilraen's sight. When the sky began to dim they headed toward the shore. Once they had pulled the boats up onto shore far enough that they would not be swept away, Gilraen and her companions sat down within a ring a trees just next to the shore. "What shall we do now?" An elf whom Gilraen had not yet met asked. "This is Wilwarin, Gilraen." Alassemiire said, looking first at the elf, and then at Gilraen. "It is wonderful to meet you." Wilwarin said, smiling. "I am glad to have you with us." Gilraen replied, returning the smile. "I propose to continue down the Silverlode until we come to Rauros falls, and then hide the boats, and go down to Edoras in Rohan." Aeteran said to the company. "I agree that it is a good plan, and I will think about it. Gilraen replied, thoughtfully. "It is a good plan, but I would propose that Gilraen, Aeteran, Falisur, Lenthenar, and Isurindal go on and not stop at Edoras, while Wilwarin and I act as the Queen of the elves's messenger. Then we will meet on the northern borders of the forest north of Minas Tirith." Alassemiire replied calmly. "It is wise counsel that you give, my friends, but I will have to think over what you have told me before I can make a decision." Gilraen replied, and turned and lie down to sleep.
The next morning Gilraen arose early. She couldn't tell if any of her companions were awake yet, for elves sleep with their eyes open, that is, if you could call it sleep. Gilraen crept quietly out of their camp, and walked into the woods. She had just come into a clearing when she heard something behind her. She spun around, and started backing up, for right in front of her, was an ent!