Gilraen - The Story Continues - Chapter 8 - A Royal Meeting
A Royal Meeting
Alassemiire could hear the argument going on behind her, and she raced along the banks of the Anduin, trying to keep up with Gilraen, whom she had tried to hail.
She heard Hoof-beats behind her, and knew that however things had went, that that
horse's rider had one purpose : to bring her back. Alassemiire kept on running, and the chase continued for several hours. Finally, she noticed that the hoof beats had slowed down considerably, and she smiled as she realized that the horse could go no further at the present time at any speed. Alassemiire turned to look back, and far away in the distance she could see the outline of a horse and his rider. Smiling, she turned back to look at the river, and realized with horror that she had lost sight of Gilraen. Running along the bank, alternating from the shore to the river, she looked desperately for Gilraen, hoping that she would not be washed up on the other side. This continued for several heart wracking hours, until, Alassemiire finally spotted a small lump washed up on the shore far ahead of her. She picked up her pace until finally she stood over the unconscious form of Gilraen.
Gilraen awoke with a start, coughing up water. The first thing she saw was Alassemiire bent over her with anxiety written all over her face. She sat up, and rubbed her eyes. Alassemiire knelt beside her, her hand on Gilraen's back. "What happened?" Gilraen asked, puzzled. "You ran into the river, and bumped against something. You became unconscious and drifted down the Anduin until you washed up here." Alassemiire replied calmly. "Where are the others?" Gilraen asked, looking around her in dismay. "I don't know. They stopped running and faced the Rohirrim. I don't know what happened to them. Come, we must make all haste to Minas Tirith." Alassemiire replied sadly, helping Gilraen to her feet. They climbed up the shore, and realized that they were standing in Pellenor fields. "We should be in Minas Tirith within the hour." Alassemiire commented, and they began to run once more. Alassemiire proved to be right. They reached Minas Tirith within an hour, and, after creeping past the guards at the main gate, they went up into the city. By then the city was stirring busily, and no one noticed them among the crowds. They walked up through the 6 inner gates of the city, and finally stood in front of the Citadel, and the White tower of Ecthelion. Alassemiire pulled Gilraen away from the main entrance, and walked around to the west wall, where there was a servants door. "Now, you are not to speak a word. You're a queen, so remember that. We're going in here to clean you and get you in better garb." Alassemiire said, pounding on the door. A servant opened it after a few minutes. Gilraen recognized her. It was her old nurse! "The queen of the elves has to get clean before entering her father's presence." Alassemiire told Gilraen's old nurse, and they went in. Her nurse, Marane, took them up the servants staircase up to Gilraen's old room. "You stay here mistresses, and I'll go get the servants to bring up the water." Marane said, turning to leave. Gilraen walked toward her and put her hand on her shoulder. "Marane, why were you here?" She asked curiously. "Oh, the young mistress needn't worry too much about old Marane. I was just visiting some old friends o' mine." Marane replied, holding touching Gilraen's hand and smiling, and then she walked out of the room. Gilraen closed the door, and went over to her old writing desk. "No, you can do that after we get you in clean clothes, Gilraen." Alassemiire said softly, and Gilraen tore herself away from the old desk at which she had spent so much time at in her younger years. Gilraen went over to the window of the chamber and unclasped the pin of her cloak. Then, as the cloak caught on her quiver, she got everything into an awful tangle. "Do you need any help, Gilraen?" Alassemiire asked, smiling. "Yes please. It seems that my clothing have resolved that I shall not get them off in one piece." Gilraen replied, struggling with her cloak and quiver. Alassemiire walked over to Gilraen and took off the quiver. At once the cloak fell to the ground. "Good, you did not loose anything in the river." Alassemiire said, looking over Gilraen's things. Half an hour later servants carrying huge vats of steaming hot water came into her room and filled the marble tub in Gilraen's room. As soon as they had left, Alassemiire went over to the tub and put something into the water that filled the room with a sweet smell. Gilraen took off the rest of her damp clothes, and slipped into the tub. Alassemiire took Gilraen's clothes into her arms, and left the room. Gilraen soaked in her tub for what seemed like hours, when Alassemiire walked into the room carrying her clothes, freshly cleaned and dried. Gilraen got out of the tub and dried herself. She reached for her shirt, but Alassemiire picked it up and, folding it, put it in one of their bags. Then, reaching into another one of the bags, she took out the dress that Gilraen had seen in Galadriel's chamber. "Here, you need to look queenly. Put this circlet on, too." Alassemiire said, handing Gilraen a circlet of Gold and silver bands intertwined to look like the branches of trees. It had little Gold and Silver leaves all around the band, and caught the light each time it moved. "It's beautiful." Replied Gilraen in awe, taking it from Alassemiire. Gilraen quickly put on the white dress and Alassemiire brushed her hair. Then Gilraen put the circlet on her head. Alassemiire went over to the bed and picked up all of the bags. She put all of their things back into them, and motioned for Gilraen to follow her. Alassemiire and Gilraen walked back down the servant stairs, and Alassemiire handed their bags to Marane, whispering something to her at the same time. They went outside and walked back out to the main entrance. Alassemiire quickly whispered something to the guards at the door, and they let them go in. Gilraen looked around her in wonder, for not a soul was stirring in the Citadel, it seemed. They went into the courtyard with the white tree in the center, and walked up to the doors of the throne room. The guards, seeing Gilraen in the white gown and Alassemiire walking beside her, did not attempt to stop them. The guards opened the door, and Alassemiire and Gilraen walked in. Alassemiire walked in before Gilraen, so when Gilraen saw Alassemiire turn and go to the side of the room, she quickly did likewise. Then, looking into the throne room, she saw why. There was her father and mother on their thrones, with her brothers and sisters standing next to them. Gilraen smiled when she saw Valandur looking well.
In front of the dais, was several of the riders of Rohan, and standing next to them were Aeteran, Lomien, Falisur, Lenthenar, Wilwarin, and Isurindal. Gilraen was glad to see that they were not bound. Then her father began to speak. "It has been a little more than a year since Gilraen has left. I sent to Rohan for help finding her, and what do they bring? Elves that they found running in their territory." Her father, the king said irritatedly. "But sir, there was a young girl who ran with them, she claimed that she was Gilraen." A rider of Rohan said, obviously their leader. "I would do anything to have my daughter back." Gilraen's mother said, beginning to weep. At this something seemed to come over Aeteran. He stepped forward and began to speak. "Your beauty has not faded, Iluquinga of Lomien." He said softly. Gilraen's mother's head jerked up and she stared at Aeteran. "It could not be, that my daughter was running with you, Aeteran of Eryn Lasgalen." She replied, as though stunned. "She came to us with the circlet of Arwen on her head. As you know our King, Thranduil was appointed the task of choosing the next Queen of the elves.
He journeyed out a year and a half ago, to leave Middle Earth, and depart to Valinor. Your daughter, Gilraen, came across him on her journey tracking the orc who fained that he would slay the heir of Gondor and Arnor. Thranduil named her Queen of the elves, as many have foretold. Your daughter is now the Queen of the elves, and you cannot hold her back. She should be here soon to warn you of coming evil and danger, but if you do not acknowledge her, Gondor and Arnor may fall yet." Aeteran said, softly, yet boldly. At this, Gilraen's father's mouth fell open, and her sisters looked stunned, but her brothers and her mother looked pleased and satisfied. "Very well." Her father said, sighing. "If she is the queen of the elves, than I shall not prevent her from going where she will. But I still wish to see her. I wish to amend our last meeting which was not pleasant." Her father said, looking sad. "You may leave, and thank your king for helping me in my search." He said, turning to the riders of Rohan. They bowed and turned toward the door. It was then that they saw Gilraen and Alassemiire. But Gilraen quickly put her finger to her lips, and they left the throne room in silence. "Now," The king, Gilraen's father said to the elves. "Is my daughter left alone?" He asked. "We know not." Aeteran replied. "But Alassemiire went after her. Surely she is well." Wilwarin quickly said. "So then, how do you know that they are coming here?" The king asked Wilwarin, looking her straight in the eyes. "Because we were coming here at the first when we set out. Gilraen and Alassemiire will not fail us." Wilwarin replied calmly. Gilraen decided that this was the time she needed to reveal herself. Glancing over to Alassemiire, she saw Alassemiire nod, and then walked out from where they were concealed. "I would hope that no one doubted our intentions, but we were not sure of what our reception would be like." Gilraen said, walking up to the elves. They all, elves and family, looked stunned to see her there. "What? We were waiting to see the outcome." She said, simply. Aeteran and the elves smiled. Alassemiire, who was standing behind Gilraen walked up next to Wilwarin, and bowed. Then, catching on, the rest of the elves did the same. To Gilraen's surprise her own mother came down to her throne and bowed. "Please rise." Gilraen said, blushing. The elves rose, as did her mother, and into her mother's arms immediately did Gilraen go. After embracing for several minutes, her mother let go and stepped back away from her, and back up to her throne.
"It is good to see you alive and well, sister." Valandur said, smiling. Arindon just looked at her and smirked. "You have grown up, Gilraen." He said smiling and shaking his head. "I can hardly believe that this is the starry eyed girl who wouldn't go outside a year and a half ago." He finished, again smirking. "I am proud of you, Gilraen." Her mother said, her face beaming with happiness. Her father, the king, beckoned for her to ascend. Gilraen walked up the stairs to the dais and stood next to her father. "I am sorry for the way I acted earlier. Please accept my humblest apology." Her father said, putting his hand on her cheek. "I forgive you." Gilraen replied, and then turned and walked down the stairs. Her father, mother, brothers and sisters all looked shocked at this action, for they had expected for her to go and stand in her former place next to her mother like all of her sisters. On reaching the floor once more, Gilraen turned and saw the hurt and shock in her family's faces. "I am the queen of the elves now, and my path does not lead me back to what I once was." Gilraen said sadly. Then, turning around, she composed herself, and turned back to face the King of Gondor and Arnor. "I bring a warning to you, King of men. If you do not take head, as your fathers did before you, you shall fall, and all men with you. Evil, and great enemies are coming, the hour draws near when Gondor and Arnor must stand and fight, or do nothing, and fall. This is my warning. Look for me at the battle fray for thence shall we next meet. Namarie." Gilraen said, and to all her family, it seemed as if she grew tall, and older, and that in her face they once again saw the elven heroes of old. At that Gilraen turned and walked out of the throne room. Once the door was behind them, Alassemiire began to tell Gilraen what to do. "You know the way to your room from here. I will meet you there and we shall array you once more in your traveling gear. Through your old nurse, Marane I have been able to obtain some horses of Rohan. Once you are dressed, I will take your leave, and you must go back outside through the front gate of the Citadel. Your horse will be there waiting for you. We will be waiting for you just outside of the main gate of the city." Alassemiire said gently, but firmly, as Aeteran and all the other elves went through a door opposite the one leading to the grand staircase. Alassemiire also went through the door, and Gilraen went up the stairs to her room. About half way up She heard Casinlou shout up the stairs for her to wait. Gilraen stopped and stood there on the stairs for several minutes before Casinlou appeared. Finally she appeared around the bend, and within a few moments was standing next Gilraen. Casinlou smiled as she came up to Gilraen. "Sister, I must tell you that I am slightly jealous of you, but I am also very proud of you. Would that I could go with you. But I have not the temperament to kill my enemies, and I have duties here in Minas Tirith. I shall miss thee sister." Casinlou said, embracing Gilraen. Pulling away from her and grasping her hands, Gilraen looked into her eyes and smiled. "See me off then." Gilraen replied simply, and continued to climb the stairs to her bedchamber. Alassemiire was there waiting. "Is this the same fleet footed Gilraen that takes a minute to run a quarter of a mile at her slowest that takes 5 minutes to climb a flight of stairs?" She asked smiling. "Casinlou, my sister, stopped me mid-way wanting to wish me farewell." Gilraen replied smiling in return. Gilraen quickly took off her gown and circlet, and put back on her traveling garb.
Alassemiire and Gilraen left the chamber and walked down two different steps of stairs, back to the city. Gilraen found her family waiting for her at the bottom, but she would not stop. She continue toward the main entrance of the Citadel, and walked out. There she swung herself onto her horse and galloped down through the city. After a few minutes she emerged through the front gate of the city and rejoined her elvish companions. They galloped out away from the city for a ways, and then Alassemiire and Wilwarin took their leave of Gilraen's company, to perform their assigned duty to spy out Middle Earth. Alassemiire and Wilwarin headed north, to the Gap of Rohan, while Gilraen and her company rode on to Ithilien, to warn them of the coming danger.