The Last of the Warrior Maidens - The Rising of Gondor

How had she let herself be talked into this? Here she was standing invisible in the shadows dirty, tired and probably, she told herself, smelling like she hadn't bathed in a month - which, now she reflected upon it, she hadn't. Trumpets sounded and people gathered around the mighty gate of Gondor eager to glimpse at their future queen and the beautiful, otherworldly elves.

Her mouth twisted in wry amusement. Mortals amused her with their fascination with any creatures that was not like themselves. Finally the gates opened to admit King Aragon's guests and the people shouted in excitement. As Lord Elrond and Lady Arwen entered an awed hush fell upon the crowd, however as Aragon rushed forward to greet Arwen, his people cheered and cried out their joy. Taleighha cheered with them at the sight of her dear- and only- friend.

An outcast, shunned and disgraced, even amongst her people, Taleighha was grateful for Arwen's friendship. She treasured it more than any jewels and riches. As they crowds parted to line the road to the palace Taleighha pulled up her hood and stepped out into the open. She shook her head, amused at herself for unconsciously trying to hide her face even when she was invisible.

It was a habit long ingrained into her after she had learned how cruel words could leave scars as easily as blades. She shook herself out of her reverie and made her way threw the deserted streets to the secret side entrance few knew about. She walked silently and slowly to the Throne Room so no one would accidentally knock her over in the mad rush to peer at the elves. Swiftly she eased herself into the room and took a deep breath. This was the moment of truth.

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