Then There Were Ten - Chapter #12: Lothlorien
And so, after Moria, the Fellowship continued on to the woods of lothlorien. Legolas carried Turuna all the way, but seemed not to weary from it for she was not much in weight. Once well inside the Lothlorien woods, the Fellowship stopped running, and began to walk. Legolas looked down at Turuna, who was still sleeping in his arms.
Her face was a deadly white pale, her skin cold to the touch. Her face, which was suppose to be ageless like the rest of the Elves, seemed worn, and aged from many long years. But even so, there was also a deep beauty that lay on her.
Suddenly, a group of Elves leapt from the trees, and landed in front of them, bows nocked, and ready to fire. The Fellowship just stood there and waited. Haldir then stepped forward. "Welcome, Fellowship of the Ring, to Lothlorien."
Aragorn bowed his head. "Thank you for welcoming us, Haldir of Lothlorien. We desire your help. Lady Turuna, you should know her well, as she is Granddaughter to the Lady Galadriel, has been severely hurt. We need you to take her ahead to the city with as much haste as you can muster, for death's hand could have already claimed her, though she is not dead yet."
Haldir's face grew grim and grave, and he looked over at Legolas who carried Turuna. And with a cry, his eyes widened at the sight of her face which had been fair, for now it was pale, more pale then it had suppose to be. It was grim, and worn, as if from age, yet she was suppose to be ageless like all the other elves. Blood, both of that of Orcs, and of her own, stained her Ranger clothing, and Lothlorien cloak.
He then stepped forward, and took her hand in his. It was cold, as though death had taken her, and a great grieve struck his heart. He turned to the Lothlorien Elves. "Come come, great haste is needed! Already she is cold with death, the Lady she must be taken to at once!"
Some of the Lothlorien Elves leapt forward, and carefully took Turuna from Legolas, who was reluctant to let her go. They then turned, and with all their speed, rushed her off to the great Elven city, not even daring to rest. And before the Lady Galadriel and the Lord Celeborn they brought Turuna. Galadriel, horrified by her Granddaughters wounds, immediately had her taken to her room where the lady sat by, and did her best to heal her Granddaughter.
Within two days upon entering the Golden Woods, the rest of the Fellowship entered the great elven city, and all eyes marvelled at it's very site. But then dread lay upon them, as they remembered Turuna, for they wondered what had become of her. Slowly, Haldir, who had lead the Fellowship to Caras Galahan, quickly lead the way up to where they were to meet the Lady and Lord, for he too was anxious to learn of Turuna's fate.
As soon as they reached the place they were to meet the Lady and Lord they waited anxiously. Then, slowly and gracefully, the Lady Galadriel and the lord Celeborn came walking down the steps towards them, hand in hand. A light shined from them that was glorious that, for a moment, the Fellowship forgot all worries of Turuna, as their eyes danced with the light that seemed to shin from their fair faces.
Yet their faces were grim and weary, for no sleep had they gotten since Turuna's arrival, as her wound had been grievous, and the wait of many shadows were still in need of being lifted off her shoulders. With a kind, gentle look upon the Fellowship, both the Lord and the Lady welcomed them. "Welcome, Fellowship that has travelled far and through a great many perils to this land. Dark indeed is the hour at hand, for my Granddaughter is not in good shape, and Mithrandir, to whom I wished to speak with desperately, is not here. Tell me, where is he, for his counsel I wish for greatly right now?" Asked Lord Celeborn, looking over the Fellowship with lordly eyes.
Aragorn bowed his head low. "Dark is this news, but he has fallen into shadow. Taken by shadow and flame: a Balrog of Morgoth."
"For needlessly we crept through the mines of Moria, where many of the fell deeds yet to come fell on us." Legolas added, looking down as well.
Then Galadriel spoke, and her eyes pierced all in the Fellowship, as though she was looking into their very souls. "Fell deeds indeed. The quest stands upon the edge of a knife, stray but a little and it will fail to the ruin of all. No more shall we speak of this ill news until the time is right."
Aragorn then spoke again, "and what of the Lady Turuna? What was her fate ere she left us?"
"Her wound is grievous, but it will heal, not completely though. Already her bone is nearly healed, and all other wounds are nearly healed too. But one she will carry on with, as the darkness spreads, and drags her heart down: despair. Strong of will she is, and, though only the Lord Aragorn, I and Lord Celeborn know of her true wound, no one else needs worry about it."
Legolas then looked up. "Can we go and see her? My heart is troubled, though I do not fully understand your meaning on her true wound, I'd very much like to see her."
"Then see her you shall." Galadriel turned to one of her handmaidens and bid that they show them to room in which she was in. Then, both the Lady and the Lord took their leave, and went to rest, for they too were weary from the long time they had spent by Turuna's side.
The handmaiden quickly lead the Fellowship to a small room. And there they slowly stepped into the room, and beheld before them the room in which Turuna stayed while visiting Lothlorien. Now windows were there, for Turuna had always loved the smell of outdoors, and though she was in a room, she felt it best to keep this type of atmosphere.
On a bed at the far side of the room laid Turuna, and by the bedside sat a maiden, of less age then Legolas as it appeared. Legolas, heeding the maiden no attention, rushed to Turuna's side, and took her hand in his. It still felt cold, but no longer as cold as death. The maiden looked at him, "though no longer as cold as death, I fear for her. She has many burdens of doom and despair upon her back. Even her face shows it."
And it was true, for Turuna's face still had the aged, and worn look it had earlier. Legolas turned to the maiden. "What did this to her? What made her so aged and worn looking?"
The maiden stood, and walked to a nearby window. "I don't know much, but it is said that in her younger years, oh say a few hundred years old I'd deem, her mother, whom she loved dearly, was kidnapped by Orcs. Her father, away on a trip, could do nothing to help her mother, so, in a last desperate attempt to save her mom, she stole her fathers sword and some armour. But ill was her journey to free her mother. She succeeded in rescuing her mother from the Orc den in which she was held, but, in the process, Turuna herself was wounded by an arrow with a fell poison on it's tip. Her mother then carried her away from the den, as she fell unconscious not long after being hit by the arrow.'
`Later down the path, Turuna's mom ran into a group of Elves travelling afar, and seek their aid, which they gave. They were able to get most of the poison out of Turuna's system, but before they could get it all out, the Orcs that Turuna had left unslain, came out of no where, and attacked. The Orcs were to many, and the Elves all fell, including her mother, and she was only left alive because, as one of the Elves died, he sought to protect her from death, as she would live. He crawled over to her, and hide her as best he could in the bushes nearby right before he died. Thankfully, they had been able to take just enough poison out of her system to let her live. But, even to this day, that remaining poison runs in her system, and brings her much darkness, and despair. The adding of the Morgul blade, the spear thrust into her by the Cave Troll, and the death of Gandalf grieves her more, that's why I fear for her. Strong of will she is, but one can only take so much before they snap..."
Legolas then looked back at Turuna, he had know that she had been an orphan from an early age, but he had not known that these things had also happened to her, for, in his time with her, she hardly ever spoke of her past. She spoke little of anything of her family to him. And what of her twin, for she had spoken of having one. What happened to her? Did something happen to her too to make Turuna an only child?
He then looked back to the maiden, a bit curious about a few things, as questions ran through his head. "Another question I have for you, who are you? And what other lore can you tell us of Turuna that may help?"
The maiden turned to him, and stood tall. "I am Mica, Turuna's adopted daughter. I can speak no more of her past, for I myself have not much knowing of it. All that I do know is that, apart from her grandparents, and other such relations, all her immediate family is dead. That is all I know, and that may be what's weighing her down in doubt and despair right now, for she believes that she is responsible for their deaths. I can speak no more, for no more do I know."
Aragorn then stepped forward, and laid a hand on Turuna's brow. "Dark may be her dreams now, but it should pass. Do not worry, her will is strong."
"Her will may be strong, but this thing keeps eating away at her. With each passing moment the poison that remains in her system has continued to eat away at her will. It is a horrible poison, and I have watched it take it's toll on her. Galadriel says that it will not be long until it takes it's ultimate toll on her, not death, but something much, much more worse: darkness it will be."
"Mica, do not speak anymore of darkness and doubt at this time. The hearts of the Fellowship are already down., they need not be lowered, not grieved anymore." They all turned, and there in the door way stood the Lady Galadriel, and a few more maidens.
"Forgive me, Lady Galadriel, in my grieve over her state, I forgot the grieves of the Fellowship."
"Perhaps you should retire, and go rest. It has been over two nights since you have had rest."
"But you haven't had rest in that length of time either, Milady."
"Worry not about me, go rest." The two held a firm gaze for a second, then Mica nodded, and left. Galadriel turned to the Fellowship. "Do not let your hearts be trouble, go now and rest, for you are weary with sorrow and much woe. Tonight you shall sleep in peace." She nodded her head to one of her maidens, and the maiden took them from the room down to where they were to stay on the Ground level in tents.
Weary from their journeys, the Fellowship quickly laid out their beds, and went about resting. Soothing, soft, sad voices were heard, singing a sad song in Elvish. Slowly, Legolas stood, and stepped forward some. "Laments for Gandalf..."
"What do they saw about him?" Asked Merry.
Slolwy Legolas turned to him. "I have not the heart to tell you, for me the grief is still to near." He then went to where he was to rest, and lied down, his thoughts trailing to Turuna, who still lay unconscious in her room. Slowly, after the rest of the Fellowship had fallen into a restful sleep, he, too, weary from the journey, fell asleep.
Galadriel sat next to her Granddaughter, as weary as she was from the lack of sleep she had had, for she had not had sleep since the day Turuna had arrived in Lothlorien, hurt and ill from grief and darkness. Slowly, she moved her hand, and set it upon her brow. "Turuna, my Granddaughter, come back to the light. Her my voice, return to the light. Turuna, Ring-Bearer of Silma and Faire, come back to the light; come back to the living. Do not let the shadows darken your heart, do not let despair take you. Come back. Come back. Come back!"
Suddenly, Turuna jumped out of her unconscious state, and sat up, but the pain from her right hip immediately made her lie back down with a cry. Galadriel lightly lied her hand on Turuna's shoulders. "Your wound has yet to heal, you will have to stay lying down for a while."
Turuna looked at her Grandmother, and, for a moment, she looked pale, as though she had seen much death in the time her eyes had been closed. "Grandmother, in my dreams of darkness and despair, I saw death, much death, and pain. Futures I saw, and in them pain, despair, and death. Mica, where is she?"
"She is resting, she has not slept since your arrive, which was in early morn ere three days ago. I, too, have not slept since then."
"Maybe you should go and rest, you look weary."
"I will, and you should get some rest too."
Galadriel smiled, turned, and left the room, all but one of her maids followed.
So it came to pass that the Fellowship stayed in Lothlorien for almost a month. Turuna, who was now healed, now slept down on the lower floor with the Fellowship. One night, the night before they were to set out, Turuna, who could not sleep, was sitting on a small branch not to far over the heads of the Fellowship, thinking.
Just then, Lady Galadriel came walking through the area in which the Fellowship was resting, and motioned for her to follow. So she jumped out of the tree, then slowly, and gracefully walked up to Galadriel. Galadriel looked over her shoulder at Frodo, who stirred out of his sleep, then turned, and began to walk away, Turuna right after her.
Frodo stood, and slowly followed the two down to where Galadriel's mirror was. Slowly, Turuna walked over to a small trickling stream of water, and filled a pitcher with some water. Then slowly walked over to the mirror and poured it in. Frodo silently stepped up till her was no more then a few mere steps away from the mirror.
Galadriel turned to him and asked, "would you look into the mirror?"
"What will I see?"
"Even the wise cannot tell, for the mirror shows many secrets. Things that were, things that are; and some things that have not yet come to pass."
Frodo reluctantly stepped up, and looked into the mirror. At first he saw only his reflection, then images began to flash past his eyes. At last, after a minute or so of this, he pushed himself away from the mirror and landed on his back.
Galadriel put a cold stare on him. "I know what it is that you saw; for they also rest in my mind. It is what will come to pass if you should fail. The Fellowship is breaking, it has already begun. He will try to take the ring, you know of whom I speak. One by one they will all be taken by darkness."
Frodo took the ring that hung about his neck, and pulled it off, holding the ring and chain out in his hand. "If you asked it of me, I will give you the One Ring."
Galadriel looked at the outstretched hand, then back into Frodo's eyes. "You give it to me freely? I do not deny that my heart has greatly desired this." She began to step forward, hand outstretched towards the Ring.
Turuna, seeing the danger, stepped between her Grandmother and Frodo, pulling a dagger out. That's when Galadriel went up in a dark light. "In place of a Dark Lord, you shall have a Queen! Not dark but terrible as the dawn; as torturous as the Sea, and all the foundations of the Earth! All shall fear me and despair!"
Turuna gripped the handle of her dagger tighter, not wanting to, but knew she would, kill Galadriel if she tried to take the ring. For it was true, she would become a Dark Queen of Middle-earth, and do the work that Sauron himself would do, even if she did not want to.
But then, Galadriel went back to her normal self, and she seemed terrified of what she had just done. "No! no, I will not take the ring. I will diminish, and go into the west, and remain Galadreil..."
Frodo then spoke of his most worrisome thought. "I cannot do this alone."
Galadriel turned to Frodo, "you are a Ring-Bearer, Frodo. To bear a Ring of Power is to be alone." She then looked to Turuna, and gave a slight nod to put the dagger away, for she would not take the ring, nor even try. She then looked back to Frodo, and brought her hand up, palm faced down. There, upon a hand of white, was a ring wrought of Mithril. "This is Nenya, the ring of Adamant, and I am it's keeper." She then fixed a cold stare on him. "This task was appointed to you, and if you do not find the way...no one will."
Frodo looked down, "then I know what I must do. But...I'm afraid to do it."
Galadriel leaned down till their eyes were level with one another's. "Even the smallest person can change the corse of the future."
Frodo smiled, and bid goodnight to the Lady, then went back to where the Fellowship was. Galadriel then turned to Turuna. "Thank you, Turuna. Though there was no need for it, you took the necessary precautions to keep the ring from fall into my hands, and turning me into, I daresay, the Dark Queen of Middle-Earth."
"Grandmother, though I pulled out my dagger, I had no doubt that you would refuse the offer. I guess I should go and rest as well, for tomorrow will be a long day to endure. It grieves me to leave, but I must continue on my quest to Mount Doom with Mr. Frodo. Oh, I need you to send Mica down to Rohan to protect the Rohirrim. I have an awful feeling in my gut something will happen. She is to go under the name Lome, and the horse that she shall go with will be my Earelen, only under the name Firin. Can you do that for me?"
"Yes Turuna, I can do that for you."
"Thank you, Grandmother, and rest well. I fear I will not tonight, for the darkness is what I will be meeting as soon as we leave these lands, and head far down the Anduin." Turuna bowed her head.
"Rest well, my Granddaughter. May no dreams of Darkness or doubt flood your mind tonight. Dark will be the road ahead, but do not let it take you. Strong of will you are, and strong of spirit. We shall speak no more of this, for you need your rest. Even the Elves can have a hard time if they do not keep track of the hours in which they sleep."
Turuna nodded, though she said, "but all my dreams of late have been dark, full or death, hate, and despair. I know that they are no more then a vision in my mind, but who is to say that they are not far from the truth.
To this, Galadriel merely shrugged. "It depends on how you deal with it I would guess. Dreams are nothing more then a vision, but your dreams have been know to not be far off from the truth. If we win this war against Sauron it will be just about as bitter a victory as it would be a defeat, for many will die, and much of the land will be destroyed under the feet of the Orcs. But do not let it trouble your heart tonight, for you shall sleep without dreaming of that evil. Go now, and rest."
Turuna nodded, and bid her Grandmother goodnight. She then turned, and made her way back to the Fellowship, where she fell into a nice, relaxing sleep, and, as Galadriel had said, she did not dream.
The next morning she was roused early by Mica, who wished to speak with her before she left. So they made their way to the room Turuna usually stayed in. there, Turuna sat on the bed, while Mica passed back and forth.
Finally, Mica turned, and spoke. "I was wondering why you wish it of me to go down to Rohan, under the name Lome? Why can I not go with you, I understand somewhat of what will happen, and of the perils. I know also some of the ring-bearers burdens, and I wish to help him any way I can. I can wield a sword, so why not let me go with you?"
"That is a matter in which I will not discuss with you, for you have no idea of the burdens he bears. They are not as great as mine, but still great enough."
"Please, Mother, let me go with you. I beg of thee!" Mica fell on her knees in front of Turuna. "I do not wish to be a shadow all my life, doing only what you ask of me to do, and never doing anything that could help you with your quests. Let me go with thee!"
"Mica I cannot." Turuna stood, grabbed Mica by the hand, and pulled her back to her feet.
"The path that I and Frodo are to go on is none that your heart would be able to bear. Dark, and lonely are the roads that lie ahead for us, you could not go and return without being wounded beyond help. If not wounded physically, you will be wounded mentally to where there can never be any heal. Listen to me, the path I have chosen for you is one to whish you will survive. The one that me and Frodo shall venture on, sure, we may survive, but we'd be destroyed mentally, beyond what no healer can fix. We will only be walking shells, filled with memories of happier days that we could never live to enjoy again."
Mica then fell forward, wrapping her arms around Turuna, and burring her face in her shoulder as she began to cry. "But mother, I wish for you not to endure that fate alone! I will bear it with you, if I can without withering away first! Please let me go with you!"
Turuna slowly hugged Mica, but said nothing for a long length of time. Then finally, she said, in a voice of one who goes without hope of coming back alive, but with hope that those she loves for will. "Mica, I will not let you bear the burden that Frodo and I are about to endure. The long Darkness is already eating away at us. But, if you wish to bear anything of my burdens, take this." She pushed Mica away, and took off her finger Silma, which she lied in Mica's hand. "In the dark hours of your need, turn to this, for a light will shine from it that will sooth your heart. It is not as treacherous to bear as Faire, or the road I am to go on with Frodo, but from this, you can learn a little about the weight the bearing of a Ring of Power puts on ones soul. I have faith in you that you can wield it, and give it back to me when I wish it back."
Slowly, Mica took the ring, and put it upon her ring. She looked at the sapphire jewel surrounded by diamonds, on the band wrought of Mithril and silver, then back to Turuna. "It may not be much of a burden compared to the one you'll have to endure, but if it can help you life to see merry times again, then I will bear it."
"Good, now, for the duties you will have to do, I will lend you some of my ranger outfits, for they will conceal your Femineity well, as they did for me." She walked over to a great chest that sat next to her bed, and opened it. Forth from it, Turuna drew an outfit, similar to that that Turuna was wearing, along with an Elven cloak, that she herself had made in the days of old. No fancy jewellery, nor anything else of the kind, safe for a single star brooch which was the brooch of the Dunedain. She turned to Mica and handed her the clothing. "Take all the outfits that you might need, for the road you shall take will be long and hard, though not as long and hard as mine, and you shall need them."
Mica took the clothing from Turuna. "Sad is this for me, for a mother you are to me, though we are not related by blood."
"And a daughter you are to me, Mica, for I have endured much pain, that you do not know about, to keep you safe, and to raise you the way your parents wished you to be raised. No, daughter of Lady Linde, and Lord Elfhelm, I bid you farewell. I know let go of you, for, when I go into Mordor, I can leave behind the name from which I would have given you: Daughter, for there it would only deepen my despair, and remind me of the home I may never return to."
"Speak not so ill! You shall return, or death shall take us both!"
Turuna, though she did want to say something to Mica, who was now hurt to hear her words, turned, and made her way to the door. Before exiting, without turning, or even looking over her shoulder, she said. "If times of peace shall ever arise from the ashes, and the darkness is overthrown, I bid that you stay here in my room for the rest of the days you remain in Middle-Earth, for I feel I will never be able to again. Such is the fate of one who goes to war seeking nothing but doom because they can hope for nothing else."
"Lady Turuna, I would not fall down in darkness just yet, not bid the stars farewell. There is always hope, you said so yourself."
"Always hope, yes, until you enter Mordor, the Dark Realm of Sauron." And with that, Turuna parted, and went down to where the Fellowship was to board on boats and leave the lands. There the Fellowship was, and Galadriel was presenting them with gifts, all save her had received their gifts already.
Galadriel turned to her, and nodded lightly. Then, Turuna heard in her head, a voice. "So, you have told her, and you shall both go your separate ways. The Darkness is before you, and many things will test your will to no end. Even after the Ring is destroyed you know of what your peril will be, and none can help you with it, nor save you."
To this she answered, "wither or not I survive is no longer of any concern to me. I am maybe the only one here that truly understands out peril. Dark will be the paths of all, and all, save the few that go into Mordor, it will only be a mere memory to, yet a bitter pain in the heart. For those of us who venture into Mordor we will never be the same again. Only empty shells with the distant memory of joy long forgotten, and will never be able to enjoy it, even if we walk living under the trees again."
Galadriel nodded, though the words were harsh, and full of darkness, they were true, for Galadriel herself understood the peril of the few who would enter the Lands of Mordor, and venture all the way to Mt.Doom.
Even though, Galadriel stepped forward, and hugged Turuna. In a soothing voice she said: "[worry not about the morrow, nor the day after. Worry not of yesterday, or the day before. The darkness will be unforgiving, I will say now, but even so, your will is storng, and will survive, even if you yourself do not. For your memory will live on forever in the hearts of men, and the hearts of elves.]"
"[Forever is a long word, even for the Elves.]" Turuna said, pulling out of the hug.
Galadriel nodded, turned, and took something from one of her maidens that stood behind her. She turned back to Turuna, and handed her a small jewel, the Islme, and a small dagger. "[Long ago, Lord Celeborn bore this dagger, and Lord Gil-galad this jewel. Use them well, and do not let darkness take you just yet, there is still nope, even in the lands of Mordor.]"
"[I wish I could believe your every word.]" She turned, and walked over to where the Fellowship was loading the boats. She took a quick look into her pack and saw that all the extra space she had made in it was now filled with Lembas and many bottles for water.
Haldir walked up behind her, and waited till she turned to him, and stood. He bowed his head. "[Milady Mica wishes to bid a finally farewell before you leave, she did not want to come so and bid farewell herself though, for she said it would sadden her too much.]"
"[Tell her that I am most grateful. Take care, Haldir of Lothlorien.]" She climbed then into the boat that Legolas and Gimli were in. She picked up and ore, and gave a slight nod of farewell to her Grandmother, and Grandfather, then set off from the shores. Long and weary would there path ahead be, but none understood it as well at Turuna. Though she could not completely foretell everything that would happen, she knew of her fate. If it were not death, then it would be much worse. And for Frodo, it would also be worse then death if he lived, for he too bore a Morgul Blade stab.
`She shall see much of the future
and much of its perils
Death is the land in which she must walk
But never will she return
Even if her body yet lives
For there, bound by darkness and despair
Her soul will die
And she will be no more then a walking shell
With distant memories of joy and peace
That she can never live again'
It had been a cursed lied upon her by a Maia, one that could see the some of the future. Though the Maia had meant no harm, it had been what she had prophesised at Turuna's birth, and so it seem to be coming true...