The Tale of Minuial - Chapter 3 Journey to Rivendell

As the third age began to draw to a close the shadow began to fall over the land and her Grandmother began to worry that darkness was stirring again in Mordor. Minuial became her Grandmother's most trusted companion. One early summers eve, Galadriel came to her with a message of great urgency to bring to her Uncle in Rivendell. Minuial set out for Rivendell at sunrise with only her beloved steed Aeglos.

Galadriel believed that Sauron had learned the one ring had been found and was desperately searching for it. Galadriel knew of who bore the ring and feared for his safety and the safety of his people. Minuial was to warn Elrond of this news and send for Gandalf the grey at once. She rode day and night around the mountain pass of Charadaras as she was instructed. It was a longer route but a safer one.

The night before she was to arrive at Rivendell, Minuial was very weary. Because she traveled alone, she dared not sleep very long, especially at night in these dangerous times. The dark Lord Sauron, knowing she was heading to Rivendell to try and hinder his search had been seeking her since her journey began. Until now, she managed to evade his evil servants in their pursuit. But this night, despite the warning in her heart she faltered and gave into her exhaustion. She laid down beside an old Birch and quickly fell asleep.

Some hours later she awoke from her deep slumber. Aeglos was restless and trying to gain her attention. There was a foul smell upon the air as a strange mist seemed to surround her. She could see shadows moving about the trees not far from where she sat. Quietly, she gathered her things and prepared to make for Rivendell at once. She scolded herself for falling asleep in the darkness of the night. She could feel that she was in danger, she could feel eyes upon her. As she stood up she stumbled and fell back to the ground. There was something strange at work. Sleepiness was beginning to overcome her again. She grabbed onto Aeglos and pulled herself to her feet. The woods seemed to be swirling about her. She heard the shadowy figures approaching her and reached for her sword. Haldir had taught her long ago how to wield a blade with the skill of an elven warrior, but this night the sword laid heavy in her hand.

Just as she removed her sword from its scabbard she saw an orc charging at her from the shadows of the wood. She lifted the sword with all her might and swung it down hard upon his head. He fell to the ground immediately before her, but the blow she laid upon him drew all the strength she had. She had not the arm to lift her sword again. Her stance was weakening and she began to waiver where she stood. Three more came at her from the darkness, but she had not the strength to fight. Two of them grabbed her from either side while the other went to the one she had struck down. When he saw that the orc laid dead he hissed at her and with the back of his fist he laid a mighty blow upon her cheek. She fell back hard onto the ground against a tree and out of consciousness.

She awoke again, this time to an orc binding her hands. What fate did they have planned for her. She tried to summon the trees to her aid but to no avail. These were foreign trees that did not heed her call. She struggled with her captor but was easily overpowered by the orc. Her keen elvish ears could hear a rustle stirring in the leaves above. She strained to see what it was stirring above them when suddenly a whirring arrow sailed passed her head into the neck of the orc who held her prisoner. Blood began to spill from the loathsome creature and with his face frozen in an expression of pain he toppled over landing upon her feet.

There were at least seven other orcs who she did not see until that moment. One of them grabbed her and dragged her away from the trees into the open. Another pulled a flask from his belt and put it to her to her mouth. He was hissing at her as he grabbed her face forcing her mouth open and poured a horrid brew through her clenched teeth. She could feel the effects of this potion taking an immediate effect on her senses. She became dizzy and disoriented. Her thoughts could not clear. She heard a struggle taking place near the tree she was dragged away from, but she could not see what was happening. She heard the galloping of a horse and the clanging of swords. Arrows whirred in the darkness. One struck the orc holding the flask to her mouth. The other screeched and ran towards the battle.

She began to slip in and out of consciousness. The bitter taste of evil still swelling in her mouth was enveloping her. She could only capture hazy glimpses of the scene unfolding as the blackness would rise and fall upon her. She was certain she was going to die. She tried again to stand, but found her feet were bound as well. Her head clamored with her movements and a bright light of pain made her wince. All she could do now was lay quietly and hope these orcs would lose sight of her in their battle.

After what seemed like hours, but were only moments, passed the clanging of swords halted. She heard footfall coming toward her, two creatures by her count. She was fading fast when she saw a hand reach for her from the darkness.

Two strong hands grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her gently "Do not give in my lady, we will bring you to aid."

She could make out that it was a man that had hold of her now. His sandy colored hair was disheveled and he smelled of battle. The stranger had a look of alarm on his face. Her eyes took notice of the crest upon his breast plate. She had seen it before.

"The tree.. of... the King ....of Gondor" she muttered weakly.

The darkness was growing in her mind and her eyes fell closed.

"Do not sleep my lady, the poison of Saruman will consume you." The stranger shook her again to rouse her.

Her eyes opened slightly again, slowly focusing on the stranger who had her in his grasp. His face was warm and kind as he looked into her eyes with concern.

"My lady, hear my words, for I am a friend to the elves." The man pushed the hair from her face. " My name is Boromir, and yes I am from Gondor. I am a traveler, on my way to Rivendell to seek Lord Elrond's counsel, but you my dear need his powers of healing."

Sickness swelled in her, she called out for Haldir, she was frightened "Ada....Ada...." but her voice was barely audible.

Boromir turned his head and shouted for his companion.

Behind Boromir, she could see the aura of light that only an elf could emit. The elf looked upon her with an expression of grief.

"Ada....where....where are...." her voice trailed off with weakness.

"How much did she drink?" the tall elf demanded.

"I can not tell, but it appears to be quite a bit if this flask was full." Boromir handed the flask to his friend. He examined it for a moment

"This is wizards work.... it stinks of Saruman" he said angrily as he attached the flask to his belt. The elf knelt beside her and placed his hand tenderly upon her face, "She is already growing cold." he took off his cloak and wrapped it around her.

"Legolas, you should ride ahead with her, for you have a far faster steed. I will follow at my own pace with her horse and meet you in Rivendell."

Boromir waited impatiently for the elf's reply. The elf still kneeling at her side gently placed his arms under her and lifted her off the ground. Minuial looked upon his face and was comforted by the warmth she found there. She looked like a helpless child, frightened at what has unfolded.

Legolas took pity on her. "I am afraid my companion is right.," he whispered tenderly to her, "You must not fall asleep my lady or the poison will take hold all the faster and time is not on our side." The elf hoisted her onto his horse and climbed up behind her. "I will take you to Elrond now, he will be able to help you." His arm slipped around her waist and held her tightly.

"I will find you in Rivendell Boromir, take heed of the warning we have seen here this night." with that Legolas whispered to his great horse "Noro Lim Curonhast! Noro Lim!" and the horse responded by breaking into an immediate gallop.

They were moving swiftly through the wood. Legolas was concerned the very ill elf maiden he was carrying would fade before him. He could sense her grace wavering. He tried talking to her, forcefully demanding her responses, but that only roused fear in her. She was frightened and vulnerable in her current state and fearing she would recoil into the safety of sleep, he took another approach. He started by asking her name.

"It" she replied almost breathlessly.

"Minuial" he mused, "That is lovely name. Well Minuial do you like song?"

She nodded her head slightly in acknowledgment. He smiled warmly and softly he began to sing to her in elvish. This seemed to put her at ease and though her eyes were now closed, he could feel her responding to his voice. As hard as he tried, he knew she was not going to hold much longer.

"Noro Lim Curonhast" he shouted.

The horse charged even harder. Legolas whispered softly into her ear, "Bain brennil nin, le boe maetha duath. Gur nin boe na tira cuil a glaur ad ned na hena bain" (My fair lady, you must fight the darkness, My heart needs to see life and light again in your fair eyes)

Legolas surprised himself uttering these words aloud. He admonished himself for not concentrating on the task at hand. Speaking foolish words was not going to help her now. If only he knew how his kind words stirred in her soul.

She was ill and weak, but this elf that carried her to rescue did not escape her notice. She looked up at him through hazy eyes. He was fairer than any other she had ever seen. His face held the beauty that all elves seemed to possess, but his surpassed all to her eyes. His cheeks were high and proud and held the frame of his soft round eyes of blue, akin to the color of the early evening sky. Legolas caught her eyes upon him and he smiled warmly, his soft supple lips upturned slightly, silently soothing her. His arm tightened around her waist and pulled her closer to him. She felt a strange new sensation, but not one created by the poison. He was strong in his hold of her but gentle with his words. She felt safety in the strength of his embrace. She leaned her head back and nestled it at the base of his neck. His cheek brushed hers as he rested his face against hers for moment. She could feel his breath upon her face now, his heart beating against her back. It seemed natural in some strange way to be this close to him. Something stirred in her heart for her rescuer. Just as she started to lose herself in the comfort of this protective shell, she noticed the horse's pace slowing, they were approaching Rivendell.

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