The Curse of Narya-Chapter 2 - A Story of an Easterling
Today was Narya's sixteenth birthday. Aseir was twenty one now, and they would be married in ten days on Midsummer's Eve. Though she was requested and required by her father to marry Aseir, she did not love him.
This day was one of Narya's last days of freedom before they began the planning of the wedding. She pleaded with her father to let her walk alone in the forests. Her father told her not to wander too far, but she walked into the depths of the forest where a flowing river provided an excellent bathing spot. She had waited for this day for years. Narya began to run in spite of herself. Her dark hair escaped the braids which held it together, but the white flowers remained. Her white silk dress swayed in the calm breeze. Servants had always been assigned to bathe Narya, but this day she would bathe herself in the falls of a river as Goldberry the River Daughter had.
Narya laid the blue mantle she had brought to cover herself afterward on the green grass. She let the silk dress fall off of her bare white shoulders. Narya slipped into the cold inviting water and dipped her hair.
Suddenly, a young man came around the corner of a tree. He was not an Easterling but a Ranger. He was tall and handsome with no beard. Dark curly hair covered his brow but not his warm brown eyes.
Leaning against a tree he said, " You must be the River Daughter."
Narya's back was turned to him. She was glad of her long dark hair which covered herself. She sunk her neck into the cold water.
" Who are you?" she asked nervously.
" I am Manwel," he said taking a step towards the riverbank. " And I seem to be lost perhaps you can help me."
Narya knew he must be a lost Ranger. She noticed a knife in his belt, a sheathed sword, and a bow and arrow slung across his back.
" To the north lies the city of Gondor. The sea you will find to the west. If your journey lies with the Sea then you are indeed a strange Ranger."
" Pardon River Daughter but what in Ardas made you think of me as a Ranger. I am merely a traveler searching...for..purity. What do you search for?"
" I have no need to search for anything. For I am not lost."
" Everyone has a need in this world. They can not survive without it. Everyone searches for something whether it be evil or love."
Narya looked into his brown eyes and recognized the truth in them.
" To the north is Gondor did you say River Daughter?"
" Yes, and to the east, you must cross South Ithilen and into Gondor. But I don't think the King of Ithilen would bid well knowing a strange traveler has entered into his realm." Narya put her hands across her shoulders and sunk deeper into the water nearly up to her mouth. " To Far Harad you would travel south east for many leagues."
" Who is the King of Ithilen River Daughter?"
" Why do you call me by that name?" Narya smiled and asked.
" For that is what you are is it not?" Manwel didn't give her a chance to answer. " Who is the King of Ithilen?"
" You are certainly strange and unknowledgable if you have not heard of Legolas Greenleaf the Prince of Mirkwood. He recently married one of my people of the Easterlings. He won great renown from being a member of the Fellowship of the Ring."
" I am quite helpless in understanding all of this. I know of what our troubles were with Sauron, but he was destroyed. I do know the trouble began with a Master Ring or something of that sort."
Narya gazed at the man in amazement wondering how anyone traveling in Middle Earth could not hear of Legolas Greenleaf or the Fellowship. She wished to inspire him but unfortunately she was growing cold. Narya put her hands up to her mouth to stop herself from shivering.
" If you wish, River Daughter, I will turn around so you can climb out. I shall not look. I vow on my sacred honor," he smiled watching her teeth chatter.
" Is the honor of a Ranger believable?" she asked.
" On my word," he bowed.
Manwell turned his back to Narya as she climbed out of the water and into the sun. Narya wrapped the blue mantle around her self and sat upon a rock. He turned to face her when she was finished.
" Tell me of this tale River Daughter," he said sitting on the ground before her.
" The long story begins with the forging of the Great Rings. Three were given to the Elves Galadriel, Elrond, and Cirdan. Cirdan passed his Ring to Gandalf when he came over the Sea."
" I would be a poor Ranger infact if I had not heard of Gandalf the Grey of the Istar."
Narya then preceded to tell him of the entire tale of the Fellowship of the Ring and their journey. She did not leave out a single detail.
When Narya was finished, however, night had come. The sky was clear and the moon glowed and the stars shined upon Narya's fair face. Through her entire tale, Manwel had been enchanted by her. Narya loved his honorouble personality and enjoyed the fact that he had called her The River Daughter so often.
" Thank you River Daughter. That was a wonderful tale."
" It was indeed a long one for night has come upon us. My name is Narya."
" Narya," he said softly.
Manwel brushed his hand across her soft cheek. He did not say a word for thinking this night to be a dream or some enchantment.
" If you are not the River Daughter, then you are certainly Luthien of whom so many tales sing of."
Narya smiled in spite of herself. He touched her soft hair and ran his hand along her hair until he stopped at her shoulders. Narya's blue mantle still remained around her. He inched a hand toward her neck to feel a necklace of gold. It was then that Narya remembered.
" I must go," she stood up.
" Why? We have all the time in the world. This night will stop simply for us," Manwel said standing up quickly.
" I hope you should know that I have been promised to marry," Narya looked into his pleeding eyes.
" But you are not yet married. If you are not yet married, you are free."
" My father wishes it. I have given my word."
" I don't want your word. I want you," Manwel said blocking her path as she tried to walk away. " You're afraid."
" You insult me!" Narya said.
" I know you're afraid. It's because you love me too."
Narya reached up to strike his face when he took a hold of it with a firm grasp and said, " Do what your heart tells you Narya."
With that Manwel took her in his arms and kissed her.
How dare he? Narya thought to herself. Manwel didn't let go of her though Narya tried to escape. Finally she gave in and refused to let go for the taste of his kiss was luring. Manwel squeezed her tighter to him. He loved the feel of her as she did his passion. Their bodies pressed against each other longingly.
" No!" Narya finally shouted. " I must go!"
Narya broke free of Manwel and began running leaving her white silk dress behind. Manwel didn't run after her. He sat down upon the rock picked up her white dress and watched her fade into the darkness.