The Jewel of the Twilight - Chapter 1

"Mir! Could you come help me with the dishes please?"

At the sound of Narmir's voice Mirlomien jumped up and ran inside to help her.

Narmir took one look at her and laughed. "Mir! What are you doing? It's the middle of the day and you're outside reading a book in your nightgown! You would think an elf with such heritage as yours would know better!" Mirlomien rolled her eyes at her friend, knowing Narmir was right, she should have known better. She had just been in such a hurry to get outside that morning, that she had just grabbed her book and a robe and then run outside. She had hoped no one would see her in it, and so far only Narmir had.

Sighing Mirlomien grabbed a towel and began drying. Suddenly she burst out laughing. Looking over at Narmir she said, "You would think a ranger could get the dishes clean, this plate is still dirty!" Narmir turned to her in utter disbelief. "Let me see that! I don't see any dirt!" Mir laughed and replied, "You don't see any, or you don't want to see any? There is a difference you know." At that Narmir threw a towel at Mirlomien, which the young elf promptly threw back.

Mirlomien sat on the riverbank and almost laughed. It had been so long since they had visited together at the home of Narmir's grandmother. Mirlomien seldom thought of those days, life was no longer as carefree as it had once been, at least not for her.

It had been years since the War of the Ring and life was just beginning to get back to normal when Mirlomien came home to Rivendell from several years of traveling. No sooner had she gotten to her old room when Lord Elrond visited her to ask a favor.

"Mirlomien." He began, "This spring I will be leaving Middle Earth with the other keepers of the Rings. Already many other elves are preparing to travel with us to Valinor. I am reminded of a promise you made some years ago, when your parents sailed. I believe you promised to join them later, and I believe this is that time. You may never have another chance."

"Well, I will think about it. I really don't know what to do right now."

"You don't know? There is nothing here in Middle Earth to keep you, and I to made a promise to your parents. I promised to look after you, and make sure you joined them in Valinor safely. This may be your last chance."

"I will think about it"

Elrond started to turn and leave but stopped. Slowly he turned and said, "There is something else, something I wish you would do for me. My sons have been showing some, let us say, reluctance to accompany me. I would greatly appreciate your speaking with them. You always were good friends, traveling all over Middle Earth with the rangers."

Mirlomien smiled and said, "Of course, I will speak with them the first chance I get. Though, I will warn you, I myself am not quite sure what to do, so I don't think I'd be much help convincing them."

"Well, All I ask is that you try." With that Elrond turned and left, leaving Mirlomien alone to think.

That morning, soon after her talk with Elrond, Mirlomien met another elf, who had come as a messenger from Lorien. They began to talk about all that was happening and why he had come. It wasn't that important, but Mirlomien was soon to learn something that did interest her, something a part of her did not want to know.

"Have you happened to hear anything about a female ranger named Narmir?" Mirlomien asked, knowing she was unlikely to learn anything. "She hasn't been heard from for some while."

At that name a shadow came over the elf's face, as if he had been reminded of something that he wished to forget, but had never been able to.

"Narmir? Of course I have, I mean, It was several years ago. But I didn't think she had any friends up here, she never spoke of them. But then, she never did say much about herself."

"There are only two of us. Narmir and myself were best friends, and her grandmother lives not far from Rivendell."

"Well then, I am sorry I did not come before. The news I have will be hard to tell, and I'm sure even harder to hear." He paused for a moment, as if his memories made him look right into the very face of death. "It was during the War of the Ring, my first battle, and I was scared stiff. No amount of Narmir's encouraging me would help. She was there with several other rangers, elf friends, who spoke at tongue well, at the request of Aragorn. During the battle I saw such gruesome things as I had never imagined could exist. Urak-Hai, half Goblin and half Orc. A group of them surrounded me, and my inexperienced sword was no use. Narmir saw me and rushed in to help. She killed all but one, it cut a deep gash in her side, and although she denied it, I could tell she had never felt anything more painful. The battle lasted only minutes longer, but that did not matter. Despite everything anyone could do, it was fatal, she died five days later, having lasted much longer than anyone had thought she would."

Mirlomien had just stared at him, not wishing to believe what it was she was hearing. Telling herself that it wasn't true, although in her heart she knew it was. The messenger saw that it was troubling her and told her that she had been buried in Lothlorien, hoping that the idea of Narmir's being buried there would somehow ease the pain.

Later that day when Mirlomien was sitting by the river his words seemed to echo in her mind, as she tried desperately to decide what to do. Narmir might be dead, but there was still something to keep her here in Imladris, another promise that had to be fulfilled.

Narmir (Q. 'Sun Jewel') Mirlomien (Q. 'Jewel of the Twilight')

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