The Falling Flame - Part 1: Rosted Elf

The smell of burning flesh hit him hard as a fresh gust of wind came from the northern borders of Lothlorien. Rumiel nearly turned out his breakfast on the spot, but Orophin could only snease from the lack of the sence of smell due to a stuffy nose.

The malorns were again in bloom causing the younger of Haldir's brothers sinus problems that seemed relentless. Haldir could put the smell away, but the words he could hear the men say angered him none the less.

The three brothers kept hidden in the trees above the men as they listened to the conversation. One man bosted on a previous hunt, but the other denoted it as a dream.

"This," the second man said. "is a true hunt. This should be the fate of all their kind, the filthy devils."

"Yes," the second agreed. "Now the devil is of some kind of use. The dogs should take kindly to the meat of an elfling. How much do you think this one's skin will fetch back home?"

"Elflings are becomming rare these days, so it should be a bit more than the last we felled... You know, if any of thoes princesses or that prince would ever come out alone any more, we'd have a better challenge."

"What about the queen? She's more elven blood than the others, more than half they say. It's also said that she still has brothers hiding up in the mountains a ways."

"Ah, it would be good to look upon the most beautiful of the elves as she is said to be, but better still would be to skin her alive." a third grinned.

The three elves still hidden restrained from killing the men as they ordered the other gaurds of Lorien to form a tight ground circle around them. Prisioners. Haldir reminded himself. He said to take them prisioner, not kill them on sight.

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Aragorn let the letter fall to the floor as he ran out of his study. He aimed to reach the stables befor Gimli and Legolas did. Brethil, one of the gaurds, followed him as he ran out, asking him what his need was.

"I will explain later." Aragorn yelled as they ran through the court yard. "Just stop them from leaving the city and get them back here as quickly as possible!"


Eldarion, Arwen, Areanna, Feawen, Rhiannon, Legolas, and Gimli sat in silence after Aragorn had given them the news of Haldir's report. Shock covered the prince and princesses' faces. Legolas sat, simply thinking to himself. Gimli seemed to shirk away from the others. Arwen looked around the room quickly, especially at the window and doorway; she seemed to no longer feal safe here. Ready to bolt like a deer from a wolf, the dwarf thought to himself without really meaning to do so.

"Then what are we to do?" Eldarion asked softly. "Do we stay hidden untill the thret passes?"

"It will only grow." Aragorn said. "Men's hearts are quick tu turn to anger and hate. If the three men were bold enough to go to Lorien's borders and take the life of a small elfling, how much more encouragement would it take for it to become a sport or simple past time for the people of Umbar to hunt elves? How much longer untill the dwarves and hobbits are also included in it?"

"At least Lorien is protected from the greater part of those who think this way." Arwen said softly. "But what will we do? And my brothers? the bariers around Imladris are not meant to turn back men, only creatures and servants of Morgoth and Sauron."

"Just as well," Legolas spoke up. "You are not exempt from their hunting eather, Elesser. They know that you are also of elven decent. Like Lorien, my father's lands are protected by a constant gaurd, but Minas Tirith and Imladris are open to assult from such hunters. you cannot simply shut out the commings and goings of Minas Tirith, or keep out thoes who need the help of Elladan and Elrohir from Imladris."

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