Shades of Midnight
Oh and another thing, this happens in one of the battles after Sauron. Since eliminating Sauron doesn't exactly mean eliminating all his "PESts" or "PETS" supposedly, they all came from a battle with Harad who still refuses to leave Gondor be.
This wont be completed without the Lore-master advices of Foodaddict. oh yeah and,
Legolas sooooooohhh Rocks!!!!!!
Thunder sliced through the gray sky, loud and powerful, signaling the comung of rain. It was early morning and yet the clouds were low, mountains of gray puffs hovering above them. The wind washed his face as he stood above his troops. As they all prepared to travel once again and put their lives upon his hands as he lead them all. Lead them home.
They were in a forest of trees thin, tall and lanky. All were leafless, almost lifeless and yet with the weather bad, the surroundings dull, they all felt lighthearted, relieved and yes, happy. The battle, the greatest of this age, was finally over. And yet, though they defeated the Dark Lord and destroyed the ring, his men still wander the lands and refuse to leave Gondor be. After all hardships, sacrifices, pain and suffering, all will be almost at peace now, all was not in vain.
"We're going home," he whispered to himself, still unbelieving. The words seemed alien to his lips. They were going westward, back to Minas Tirith from the fields of Pellenor. He surveyed his toops, almost finished packing, they would leave before rain comes.
"Elassar," came a voice from behind. He turned to see Arwen, her eyes upon him, her arms cradled a round her bossom, carrying an infant barely a year old. One of his and Arwen's flesh and blood.. their daughter.
He walked towards her and saw the worry in her eyes.
"What is it that troubles you, fair, lady Arwen?" he said as he kissed her forehead and brushed another on the young in her arms. The child was wrapped in an inner white cloth of silk and an outer cloth of midnight blue adourned with gold linings and silver beads, keeping her protected from the harsh weather. He smiled as the young one yawned and fluttered her eyes and fix the beautiful pair on him, her beautiful eyes that gave her, her name.
"I... I don't know, I feel... Elassar, my Lord, danger is in the air, I can breathe it, It scares me, we must leave as soon as possible,"
"Truly? come now then, I will order my men to hasten--" he was cut off by the sounds of hooves approaching. He looked up and saw Faramir upon his steed, his clothes deshevelled and his body battered.
"My Lord, Orcs! Our advance party is in battle we need to--" an arrow came between them nearly hitting Arwen's shoulder. Elassar cursed under his breath.
"My men! Be on gaurd! Orcs are on their way, they will attack us and we will hold our ground and continue to the west as long as we can help it! Hasten now and hurry!" he spoke, in a voice, loud and commanding. He faced Faramir.
"Faramir, how are our troops doing?"
"They fight fair but we are greatly outnumbered,"
"Damn," he drew out his sword and now faced Arwen. "My Lady, I fear for both the child and you, please go and flee. Hide somewhere down the river and keep safe until all is over. I will come and find you later, please keep our little Isilindele safe and you as well, I would want to escort you but I need to stay with the troops," he said looking at her with eyes that told her more than any words could say, it held for a moment.
"I would gladly escort Lady Arwen and the child for you my Lord," Faramir volunteered. Elassar looked at him and surveyed him. He noted that he was tired, battered and bleeding... too exhausted to fight anymore, even if he stayed here, he thought it was for the best.
"Thank you, I am grateful, now go and be careful!" he ushered them away and watched them ran into the woods. Arwen looked back for a while and uneasiness clouded her face. She held her baby close to her as possible and whispered something in the air, something meant only for her beloved for it only remained in unspoken words. She nodded her head in a bow, and turned towards the river.
Elassar stood still for seconds, understanding came upon him as the gentle words reached him. 'Be careful, my love' it said, brushing softly againts his ears. "I will," he answered, softly. "My Love," and walked towards his men.
Faramir and Arwen ran fast towards the river. Arwen's heart still wouldn't be still and she wondered. "They are just orcs, they do not scare you before, why now? Perhaps it has something to do with me bearing a mortal's child that I am acquiring such foolish uneasiness," she ran wildly now as Faramir came behind her, blocking any arrows that might come fo her. She snuck a look behind and stooped as a spear came flying towards her.
"Run! my Lady, I will distract them, for they are gaining on us, please, my Lady, keep safe, I will catch up," he untied a dagger that was knotted on his belt and handed it to her. "Be careful my Lady,"
"You, too, dear Faramir, thank you," she nodded in farewell and ran off, faster towards the river silently. She embraced her baby tighter, as if to reassure her, unknowing though she maybe.
She ran off of the path and heard Faramir's grunts as the orcs finally reached him. She ran descreetly towards the river and hid behind a tree of great size. She heard footsteps approaching, they were light and almost phantom but they were there. She held her breath as they came nearer and more definite.
She closed her eyes tight as she heard their voices, scratchy. They spoke in words of grunts and whines. Just as she feared, Orcs. She watched them from the shadows they cast on the forest floor. They were of the biggest she has yet seen, all three of them with curved swords the size of a dwarf. She unsheathed Faramir's dagger and pressed herself againts the tree.
The orcs were approaching. She didn't want to fight, that would draw more orc attention to her. She had no chance, she alone and vulnerable with the baby, cannot fight againts orcs far stronger and bigger than she.
She stayed, hoping againts hope that they would go and leave her be. Her hopes crumbled as the orcs stopped from where they were and looked in her direction. They sniffed and snorted. Did they smell her flesh? Are they that hungry to have sensed even her elven scent, however faint it was?
She drew up the dagger and wrapped her arm around her child, tighter and more againts her. She feared for her child. She stood, now waiting, anticipating an attack and ignoring all thoughts of death but the orcs'.
The orcs now stood so close and she was braced to hack the first that comes within reach. Indeed a hand reached out she was to cut the arm when a shadow fell from the trees and stood now, between her and the orcs.
The phantom charged at the orcs. He stood, half their size, however taller he was than Arwen and with one swift maneuver, so fast that if not for her elven eyes she wouldn't have seen it, all three orcs fell, dead with their throats slit open.
"Come my Lady, it is not safe," he said as he extended a hand to her. He was a man clad in rugged clothes, clothes that seemed light and loose. A vest like shirt and a bandana on his forehead. Beads and braids were on his hair. He wore a skirt with slits at both sides over lose pants. He was filthy and smelled of sweat and of the sun. He had piercings everywhere and a long black mane. He was filthy and untidy, Arwen saw no other words to describe him. And yet, she owes this man her life, however much she didn't like the way he looked.
"I thank you, you saved me from my peril," she answered gracefully. He looked at her for a moment, marveling at her beauty and nodded. "We are not yet far from peril my lady, more are on their way here, let us go, I am Alanduke, I know a safe place across the river. Make haste," he strode forward and walked towards the river.
"Indeed," Arwen answered and followed him in silence and as fast as possible. She could hear heavy footsteps from afar and she knew, somehow that those weren't of their troops.
"Might I ask, my lady, why are you all alone in this forest?" he asked quietly, almost inaudible. His footsteps were light and barely left and tracks. She opened her mouth to answer, choosing the right words to say in this uncertain situation.
"I strayed--" she felt a quick flash of pain radiate her forehead and her vision blur. Her mind reeled and before she could hold on to him, she fell into unconciousness.
Alanduke stood before the beautiful lady now fallen on the forest floor. She lay motionless, dreadfully still and almost peaceful. He knelt down to check for pulse, fearing he would find none. He reached for her arm but froze upon seeing the blue bundle she so carefully held and desperately cradled in her arms. His eyes widened with realization as the bundle seemed to have moved.
"A child! This is barely a month old!" he exclaimed in a whisper as he picked it up with all the gentleness he had in him, feeling as if he owed it to Mayumi, the lady of beauty and grace, as he named her. He held it againts his chest. It was asleep. "My lady, get up! your child is rousing! I do not know what to do with it!" he said, shaking her mildly, to wake her, an attempt that bore no fruit.
Something sped past him and missed his shoulder by mere centimeters. He put his hand on the child's head in a protective stance and discovered a dagger almost killed him as he looked at where it hit. He lifted his head and stood to see a man not very far from him, a man looking very much angry and far more scarier than a troop of orcs. He was the one who threw the dagger and he didn't look the least bit guilty or sorry he missed. He missed on purpose.
"Halt! Stay where you are!" Faramir called. He strode towards the man that stood before Lady Arwen. He felt exhausted and beaten but he would protect Lady Arwen and serve Lord Elassar at all possible costs. He drew his sword. "Come, what happened to My Lady?" he asked, eyeing the man who stepped back as he went forward.
Alanduke did not like the way the man looked at him.
There was death and desperation in them. Something he knew better than to deal with. He was tired, hungry and one arm less since the the child was with him. The man was coming menacingly near. He looked at Mayumi, the beauty, that now lay motionless on the forest floor, in
peace. "Goodbye My Lady," he said with a bow and turned. He fled. Running as fast as his tired legs would take him, he ran, not knowing that in his arms was a child of importance, he ran with the slumbering daughter of an elf... and of King Elassar.
Faramir would have persued the man had it been not for Lady Arwen who still lay motionless. He bent for pulse, faint but steady. Relief washed over him. He lifted her head gently.
"Lady Arwen?" he called. She stirred and fluttered her eyes as she found it hard to see. "Lady Arwen? how do you feel?" He asked, sighing in relief.
"The child! Faramir, where is my child?" She asked in a voice weak. She brought a hand on her bleeding forehead. Faramir froze and looked at her. That was the bundle the man took with him. He opened his lips to answer but no sound would come.
"Where is my baby Faramir?" her voice came louder and of anger and perhaps desperation however weak she looked like. He could do nothing but look at her with concern and regret.
"My Lady," came Elassar's voice as he approached unoticed.
"My Lord! Send your men after him! Please!" her voice shook with urgency.
"What is wrong? Faramir what happened?" Elassar bent down and examined her wound. He brought a hand and was about to touch her wound. She lifted her hand and blocked his and clutched at his arms tight. "Elassar! My baby! He took our child with him! Elassar, my baby!" panic radiated her face. She shook more and she spoke through gritted teeth.
"Iselindele? Search the lands my men! Scout the forest! I want every rock upturned and every hole searched! Find Iselindele!" he ordered as his heart failed to work properly. It refused to beat.
"You must rest my Lady, I will govern the hunt, it was my fault after all, I should have not let you go ahead alone... I am sorry my Lord, I failed you," Faramir knelt. "I've faulted you, My Lord, My Lady, a mistake worthy and punishable only by death," He bowed low, almost kissing the ground.
"Stand up my friend," he knelt and laid an arm on Faramir's shoulder. "You are not to blame, it is the circumstances, had you not have done that then I would have lost all of you... go now, I shall take care of Lady Arwen," Faramir stood and bowed. He walked away, giving out instructions and before long, fade into the forest.
Elassar faced Arwen. "Let us go, he is right, you need rest," he wiped a tear that fell from her eyes. This time she let him touch her wound. She neither flinched nor stirred. Elassar put his arm around her back and one behind her knees. He carried her towards the camp gently as he could. She shifted her weight and leant on him.
"Promise me you will always keep in memory our little one and honor her always, however and whatever she may be, breathing or not, please my Lord," she begged as she looked at his eyes with deep emotion and closed hers as pain settled again. Not the pain of her wound that was now still bleeding but the pain of the loss. She seemed to be swimming in it... no, she was drowning in it.
"You need not ask my Lady, I promise, rest now my lady, please," he whispered and tried to sooth though he failed miserably. He couldn't even sooth himself how else could he sooth another? He walked in silence, weariness growing with every step he took.
"Mandala! Mandala!" Alanduke called to their leader upon reaching their camp, the child still with him. "Mandala!" he called again and he walked towards the center where a prominent tent was pitched. Two gaurds went out and upon the sight of him, retreated.
A man came forward. He was of middle age. His black hair was tied back down his nape. He had bangle earings and piercings on his brow where three small gems glittered. He wore a red bandana that flowed down as long as his hair. A black cloth was drapped across his chest, bearing the Ecija emblem, a silver half moon in a crimson sky. Black pants that now were faded was topped with a red cloth that was wrapped around his waist and covered half of his right thigh and the full of his behind. Slung around his hip and exposed on his left thigh was 'Tala', his scimitar, that, too, bore Ecija's emblem. He stood there, arms crossed, and his presence menacing.
"Why come you here Alanduke?" he asked calmly, the red of his bandana glinting slightly from the ray of sun that escaped the thick patches of clouds.
"There are orcs west of the river, plenty in number and big in stature," he said, kneeling.
"Fool! You led them here!" he answered, his voice authoritive and his eyes glowing in anger. Alanduke felt like shrinking, red was indeed a color of royalty and authority in their group.
"No m'lord, they fled, they were driven away by soldiers bearing green banners," he answered, bowing a little more.
"Green banners? Men of the west... They must have came to rid the land of those orcs, fine then, we must leave as soon as possible, we cannot linger," he nodded to himself and stepped away to dismiss him but noticed the bundle in Alanduke's arms. "What is that you cradle Alanduke?"
"A child sir," Alanduke blurted out.
"I can see that. Where did it come from? Why did you bring it here?" Mandala came. This was not the first time.
"From the fair lady of the forest. She was in danger and I had to come and aid her." Alanduke smiled knowing he hit a thing Mandala cannot defy. Their group's codes. It was the third of the codes; respect women.
"Go on," Mandala said.
"She was carrying this child in her arms as we ran towards safety, she was hurt. And well, she died, so I had no other choice but to pick the little one up," he continued, touching code number four; be kind and help all weak.
"Go on," Mandala answered again.
"Well, I was thinking, maybe I'd give the baby to the soldiers above hill when man came. His face was of fierceness and anger. And, well, I had a choice -to stay and battle or to run and be safe. It was a choice, for the baby too and is a burden in a fight," he said, touching their second code; avoid battles and choose peace over everything.
Mandala nodded slowly, weighing the details. "Show me the child," he commanded. Alanduke stood up and held out the child. "Who will keep it? Our men would not want to take care of it," he asked, watching the child stir in its sleep.
"I would be responsible for it," Alanduke hid a smile as he knew his master performed their first code -accept defeat. "I will take care of it and bring it up as one of our own," he said, stopping himself from moving and squirming in his place. It was hard when Mandala's eyes were on you.
"It is agreed then. What shall you name it?" Mandala shifted his eyes and looked at the little one. The little one, as if feeling the gaze, fluttered her eyes open and stared back at him, as if in wonder. Mandala drew a sharp intake of breath as Alanduke held his. Two little orbs were staring at Mandala. Two beautiful orbs that was the color of midnight -a dark shade of blue and of purple.It was outlined and lined with silver, the color of mists, and it enchanted them, thick mahogany lashes covered them.
"It will be named Karimlan ," Alanduke whispered and immediately regretted it. Mandala's eyes were now on him again. Piercing and confident it seemed. It was now as if he were seeing through him, uncovering him. It seemed as if he were naked.
"Then let it be so. Prepare for leaving! We shall go far east!" he announced loudly, and immediately, tents started unpitching. He faced Alanduke once again. "Leave its garments. Use Marikit's shawls." Mandala dismissed him and walked back to his tent.
"Yes father," Alanduke whispered and ran to his tent. He knelt down and opened a battered chest. He brought out a black shawl and another, one of silver. "My mother always wanted grandchildren," he said looking at the little one's small smile.
* * *
Arwen woke up. It was dark and no star shone from the sky. She moved to realize that Elessar was present.
"How are you feeling?" he asked, brushing hair from her face. She felt for her wound. "Where is -did they?" Arwen asked, looking up to him. They were on a steed and she was leaning on him.
"All they found was this," he answered quietly as he reached for his pocket and withdrew a blue shawl -their baby's shawl. She couldn't see his face but could feel his silent grief. She looked at the shawl and saw bloodstains. "My baby," she choked. She embraced him and buried her face against his chest. There she poured her grief. She lingered there, crying for her grief and of Elessar's.
There I go, hope you liked it. I'd like views and reactions. What do you think one character would do and stuff... Thanks again!!!!!