Then There Were Ten - Chapter #14: Arriving at Edoras, and Wormtongues Awful Words
Mica slowed her horse down as she looked upon the great city of Edoras in the distance. She patted Earelen. "[Well done my friend.]" She then looked West and saw a small group of Rohirrim riders riding up from a few leagues away. Her Elven eyes caught a glimpse of one of the riders out in front who was carrying someone who looked wounded with him. He stopped his horse and climbed down.
"[Ride Earelen.]" She said, pointing in the direction of the now stopped riders. Earelen turned, and with great speed took off in that direction. In no time, she was riding up on the stopped company. "Riders of Rohirrim, what burden do you bear?" She called out in a clear voice.
The riders all turned to her, and as soon as she stopped, and jumped off her horse, spears were pointing at her. The leader walked up to her. "What business does an Elf have in Rohan? Speak quickly!"
"I am here on a mission for my Lady and Lord from Lothlorien. They have sent me to help out Rohan and it's people. My name is Lome. My horse, Faire, and I have ridden for two days straight without rest. May I ask what burden you bear that has forced you to stop?"
"Theodred, son of Theoden. He was stroke down in battle, and we have ridden from where he was struck to here. But my horse is too worn to carry both of us any further, and the other horses are worn too. How worn may your horse be?"
"Faire could still run from here to Gondor and back without rest. If need be, I can carry Theodred upon my horse. How badly is he wounded?"
"Well get him down, and I will see what I can do for him. Hopefully it's something in my power that I can heal."
The man nodded, turned, and pulled Theodred off his horse, and laid him down. Mica knelt down, and examined his wounds. Back in Lothlorien she had worked in the healing house that healed the injured Elves who came in from other lands. She could tell the wound was mortal, but she knew that there was a way to save him. She reached into one of her pouches, and pulled something out. It was a small water pouch made of animal skin. In it was a specially herbed down drink. She lifted up Theodreds head, and poured some of the drink into his mouth.
He drank it down, and moaned some. Mica picked him up, and sat him upon Earelen. She then jumped on behind him, and waited for the others to jump upon there horse. "By the way," she said to the man she had spoken mostly to, "What may your name be?"
"Eomer, son of Eomund, nephew to Theoden King."
Mica nodded, and whispered to her horse. "[To Edoras. Ride with all speed.]"
Earelen sprung forward, and began to race across the plains. The Rohirrim riders right behind her. They rode with much speed, and soon they came upon the gates of Edoras. Mica rode ahead off the riders, and quickly pressed her horse onto the Golden Halls of Medasule. Many people cried out, and ran out to see the injured Theodred.
Mica jumped off Earelen, took Theodred up in her arms, and began up the stairs to the Golden Hall. Eomer, who had just leapt off his horse, rushed up to her, and lead Mica to a small side room. Mica sat Theodred down on the bed, and began to tend to the wound.
"Do you think you can save him?" Eomer asked.
"If I can't, then no one can. I use to help in the healing house in Lothlorien, and I have seen many cases like this. I am sure I can safe him, but it will take a lot, and he will need a lot of time to heal."
"I fear that in this time in age there is not much time for such things."
Mica nodded. "War comes, and it will make corpses out of all of us by the end. It's everyone's fate, I guess, to fight and come to their end in battle. For, even if you live to go home, you will no longer be the same."
Suddenly, a young women come rushing in, and rushed up to Theodred's side. "Theodred?!" She looked over Theodred, and saw his wound. She stole a grim look back at Eomer, then turned to Mica. Her face turned to one of worry, and grimness to amazement. "Who are you, Elven Lord? Is there anything you can do for my cousin?"
"I am Lord Lome from the Lands of Lothlorien. And yes, there might be something I can do for your cousin. If I can do nothing for him then no one can."
The woman's face turned into a hopeful one, and Mica recognized who it was. It was the Lady Eowyn, whom Turuna had described as the shield maiden of Rohan. A grim woman, who sat in growing fear watching over her King who should of loved her like a father. One who wished to go out and seek death with others, so she may too have a taste of valour and honour.
Suddenly, a figure sluggishly entered the room, and, for a moment, it seemed like a snake crawling in to attack it's prey. Eowyn stole another glance at Eomer. He ignored the newcomer, and Eowyn did her best to do the same. The figure, who was dressed in black, had black hair, and a foul face, came slithering up to the bedside. He looked at Eomer and Eowyn. Eomer stood, and began to walk out of the room.
Eowyn stayed by Mica's side, and the figure slithered up next to her. "Oh," he said in a voice that sent shivers up Mica's back. "What a tragedy, I do believe these wounds to be mortal. What a tragedy, the king will be losing his only son and heir." He turned to Eowyn, and sat a hand on her should. "I realize this will be hard for you to accept, seeing how your brother cares little for you anymore."
She swatted his hand away, and sprang to her feet. "Leave me alone Grima! My brother has not abandon me! And there is still hope yet for Theodred!"
Grima looked down at Mica with a disgusted face. "What do you think an Elven Lord from Lothlorien can do? They are no good when it comes to healing." Mica glared at him, and looked over at Eowyn.
Grima began to move towards her. "Besides, you are already alone. Who knows what you have spoken to the darkness in the bitter night. The walls of your valour closing in about you. Always looking for a way out." He circled around her.
She kept silent, and her face turned pale, and her eyes held a deep hurt. He put a hand on her face. "So fair, so cold. Like a pale spring still clinging to winters chill." He then ran a hand over her hair, and Mica could tell that Eowyn desperately wanted Grima to get away.
Mica stood, and stepped forward, grabbing Grima's hand, and pulling it away from Eowyn. "She is not alone, she has friends. She has friends like me, and doesn't need a foul creature of harmful words around her."
Eowyn stared in amazement at the Elven Lord, and her eyes suddenly filled with a love for him, and how brave he was to stand up against Grima and his evil words. The Elven Lord turned to her, and nodded. "Leave, and do not let his words bother your heart anymore, Milady Eowyn." She nodded, and, with a higher spirit, walked out of the room.
Mica turned back to Grima. "Do not hunt her footsteps anymore, or a sword and a slow death you will meet quickly." She patted the hilt of her sword to make it defendant.
Grima laughed, and ripped his arm out of his grip. "Do not threaten me with witless threats! I know who you truly are, Elven swine. And I shall have you know, though you fool the rest, I know of your secrets, and your beauty. And I assure you, if I cannot have her, I will have you."
"What is my secret? And how did you come to learn of it?"
"Do not ask the obvious. You know well what I know of you, and of how I know it. Lady Eowyn may like you because she honours you, and thinks you to be an Elven male, but I know better. Watch your back, and be careful of where you step, or you may step into the wrong hands, and you will be mine."
Mica leaned close, and whispered into his ear. "I am a woman, and though I do not know how you found out. But let me assure you, I am Mica, foster daughter of Lady Turuna Laime, Ring-Bearer of Faire and Silma. Watch your paths, for if I fail, she will not. And you will find yourself dieing a slow death by her sword. My mother is not one who will fail me. And I do not care of Eowyn's thoughts or feelings for me. I am here to fight you off, send you back to Saruman who twisted you, and allow Theoden to take over Rohan again. Your downfall is closer then you think, so beware. I may die while fighting in this coming war, yes. But I will die for Rohan and it's people."
He laughed, and whispered back. "You are a fool. If you wish to remain a fool, then I will not let word out about you yet. But mark my words, now that I have seen you, and know of your feelings, I am no longer after Lady Eowyn. I am after you. One of grimness, raised by an Elven Ranger of the Dunedain. Seeker of death, valour, and honour. How will you die I wonder. On your knees begging? In a bed from poison? On your feet slaying with a sword? Or will you wither away after the war is over? Or will you fall into Sauron's hands, and be turned twisted? Death-seeker I name you. A seeker of valour and death usually falls first in battle."
"Or last. It is true, I seek death, valour, and honour. But I will not die on my knees, that's for sure. And I will die before Sauron's grasp gets me. And, if you are near, and still breathing, you will go down with me." Mica turned on her heel, and walked back over to Theodred. Grima just stared after her, eyes in wonder at her powerful words.
"Do as you will, Death-seeker. Woe has been wrought in this land, and it has taken many. It is already taken you." Mica said nothing, and he turned and left.
Later that day, Mica came out of the bedroom, her face wrought of a grim coldness, and sadness. She walked into the main hall in which Theoden sat upon his throne. Eowyn stood there beside him, telling him of Theodred's wound. Mica walked up, and, when Eowyn saw her face, she went silent.
Mica walked up in front of Theoden. "My Lord, your sons wound was worse then I had thought......I don't think he'll last till the morning tomorrow. It is beyond my power to help him..." Mica bowed her head, and stole a look at Eowyn.
Eowyn looked upon Lome with wide, sorrowful eyes. A few tears slowly, and silently, fell from her eyes. She stood, and walked over to the Elf. "Are you certain you can do nothing for him my Lord?"
Lome shook his head. "It is beyond all my powers. I have already done all I could for him. There is nothing more I can do for him. I'm sorry..."
Eowyn stood there in shock, tears streaming from her eyes. Suddenly, she leapt into Lome's arms, and began to sob upon his armour. Lome slowly hugged her back, and whispered words in a tongue that she did not know.
Mica was glad that Galadriel had given her the specially made armour that made her look, and, in some sense of another, a male. She continued to whisper in her ear, trying to sooth her tears. Eomer came walking in, and looked at them. He walked forward, and Mica stepped aside to let him take Eowyn.
Eowyn turned, and ran out of the room in tears.
"I guess something has happened to Theoden then?" Eomer asked with a grim face.
"It is beyond my power to help him, Lord Eomer. He will not last the night."
Eomer looked down, then looked over at the king. The king looked ancient, and slumped in his chair. Mica looked upon him too.
Slowly she stepped forward, and leaned down in front of him. Slowly she began to whisper words to him in Elvish. "[Rise now, old Theoden. I know that you are not this ancient. Rise, and be free. Rise, and fight off the woe. Rise and say goodbye to your son.]"
Slowly, the years began to come off him, and a light shined in his eyes, so Mica continued to chant these things. But then, before she could get him to come out of his ancient state, Grima came stepping up. "What are you doing?!"
"Calling the king back, Grima." Mica said, turning to him.
Grima walked up to the king, and whispered a few things in his ear. Theoden suddenly became ancient again. "Away, foul Elf of Lothlorien." He said in a voice that sounded just as ancient, and worn as he looked.
Mica stood up, and stepped away. Grima stepped forward, and looked into her eyes. "Do not be casting more spells of woe upon Theoden King. Leave, leave Rohan and be gone."
"Theodred has been calling for the king in his sleep. Theodred is slipping, and wishes to speak with his father before he dies. I have been able to help Theodred along enough to speak clear enough to those that he loves. Let Theoden say goodbye to his son, for his son will not last the night. Or are you that cruel, that wicked to deny a father his right to say goodbye?"
Grima's eyes remained cold, and full of twistedness. After standing for a moment or so waiting for an answer, Mica knew she could not win this. She spun on her heel, and walked with quick, dangerous strides out of the room.
Eomer turned to Grima, planted two firm hands on his shoulders, and slammed him against a wall. "Too long have you haunted everyone's steps. Too long has your tongue been casting spells upon ears in these halls. Haunting the steps of my sister, my lord, and now you are starting to haunt the steps of the Elven Lord. What was the promised price to do all this? When all the men were dead, you would just take your share of the treasure?"
"Much more then that." Grima said with an evil sneer. Suddenly, a group of soldier came up, and seized him by the arms. "You see much, Eomer son of Eomund. Too much. You are forthwith banished from the realm of Rohan, under pain of death, never to return."
The guards began to drag Eomer away when he punched one of the men, and began to go after Grima. The other men grabbed him again, and punched him a few times in the gut, but that did not stop Eomer from shouting. "You have no authority here! Your orders mean nothing!"
"Oh, but these orders do not come from me. They come from the king." He held up a piece of folded up paper, and it unfolded to reveal a document stating that he was to banished. And at the bottle was King Theodens signature. "He signed it this morning."
The Guards dragged Eomer away. "No!!" He managed to yell before the doors to the halls were slammed shut.
Mica sat on the bed next to Theodred. Her hand rested upon his, which was cold, and white, for, as she had said he would, he had not lasted the night. Her eyes were cold, and emotionless, though inside, she was crying. She was screaming for someone to comfort her, she was screaming inwardly for Turuna to come so she could cry upon her shoulders like she had when she was little.
Eowyn sat on the floor next to her, crying as well. She had already given word to Theoden of his sons death, but he seemed not to hear her words. He didn't even seem to care.
Right before Theodred died, he had bid that Mica bid farewell to his father, and tell him not to mourn long for him. That the wars of Sauron and Saruman to too close at hand to mourn over him. Now his body lie there, cold and white from death.
Slowly, Mica stood, and turned to Eowyn. She said nothing, instead she kept quiet.
When Eowyn noticed Lome's cold stare on her, she jumped up, and threw herself into his arms, looking for comfort, looking for soothing words. Lome began to speak to her in a low voice in that language again. Though she did not know what he was saying, it was soothing to her hurting heart.
After a while, she pulled back, and whipped the tears from her eyes. She looked into the Elf warriors eyes, and saw a kind caring, yet hurt to see all that he had. "My lord, though I have only known you for only a few days, I'm glad you are here, and I am glad I have your shoulder to cry upon."
He stayed silent, and she wondered what was wrong with him.
"My Lord, could you please join me on the stairs leading into the great hall? I wish to speak with you, but not in here." She turned, and walked away. Slowly, Lome followed.
They walked out of the great hall, and looked out over the plains of Rohan from where they stood. They remained silent for some time, looking out, as if looking for someone who they had long awaited.
Finally, Eowyn turned back to him, and said. "Lord Lome, I will be honest to you. I like you, I mean I really like you. Your soothing words, your handsome elven face, your caring eyes. I think I have fallen in love with you."
Lome remained silent, he looked out over the plains still as though he had not heard her.
"Did you not hear me Lord? I said I love you. Do you not feel the same way?"
Lome turned his head, and looked at her with serious eyes.
"There cannot be another in you life already be another in you life!" Eowyn cried. She fell down to her knees and began to cry.
Mica stood there, looking down at Eowyn. She did not kneel down and comfort her with words this time. Instead she just let her cry. Suddenly, a few horns were sounded, and Mica looked back across the plains. There were three horses, one of them bearing two people, coming up towards the Great Halls. Her eyes saw Legolas, Aragron, Gimli, and, upon a white horse, Mithrandir.
"Mithrandir!" She couldn't help but cry. Eowyn had stopped crying, and now stood on her feet next to her. Her tearstained face gleamed as she looked out across the plains. The riders stopped down at the bottom of the stairs, and the riders jumped off. Mica held herself back from running down to them.
One of the guards near the door walked up to her and Eowyn. "The king orders you to go inside."
Mica frowed, for she knew it was not the king's order, but Grima's order. She turned, motioned for Eowyn to go first, then followed. She was thankful for the arrive of her friends though, it had given her an excuse to brush Eowyn off. It had scared her when Eowyn had said all those things, because, for a moment, she thought she'd have to blow her cover to let Eowyn know why she could not feel like that about her. She moved a little shakily after Eowyn into the Great Halls.
Immediately, Eowyn was pulled aside by one of the guards, and taken away. Mice was led to where Theoden sat. there, next to him, stood Grima. "You witless fool. To the dungeons with you!"
Two men grabbed Mica, and bound her hands behind her back. But, before they could drag her off, the doors opened, and in stepped Gimli, Legolas, Gandalf, and Aragorn. Their weapons had been taken away, and Gandalf leaned on Legolas's arm to give off the feeling of an old man who was to weak to walk by himself. This made Mica smile.
"The welcoming of your halls is somewhat lessened of late, Theoden King."
Slowly, Theoden raised his head. "Why should I welcome you, Gandalf the Grey?"
"A just question my liege." Grima whispered. He stood, and stepped forward. "Late is the hour in which you choose to appear. Lathspell I name him. Ill news is an ill guest."
"Silence you tongue and speak no more!" Gandalf's voice was powerful, and made Grima take a step back. "I have not passed through shadow and death to band words with a witless worm." Gandalf then threw aside his cloak, and behold! He wore, not grey as Mica had always remembered him to. Instead it was White, and it hurt her eyes, for a moment in the darkness of the hall, to look upon him.
Grima fell backwards, and looked in horror at Gandalf, who now stood tall, no longer leaning on Legolas's arm, staff in hand. Gandalf stepped past him, and up to Theoden. "Theoden, son of Thengel. Too long have you sat in the shadows. I release you from your spell."
Suddenly, Theoden began to laugh wickedly, and Mica knew that it was Saruman. "You have no power here!"
"Do I not?" Gandalf asked, holding his staff up. Suddenly, Theoden was pressed by a great pressure back into his chair. "I will draw you Saruman, as poison is drawn from a wound."
Theodens face turned wicked, and Saruman spoke again. "Rohan is mine!"
"Be gone, leave Theoden!" Gandalf chanted. Theoden then jumped forward, but Gandalf hit him in on the head with his staff. Theoden fell back down into his chair, but Saruman was gone. Slowly, Theoden fel out of his chair, and Eowyn, who had just entered the room again, ran up to his side.
The years of age upon his face wore away, and there was Theoden King as he should be. He looked into Eowyn's eyes. "I now your face...Eowyn!" She smiled, and nodded, a tear staining her face. Theoden then turned to Gandalf. "Gandalf?"
"Breathe the free air again, my friend." Slowly, with a little bit of help from Eowyn, Theoden stood. He looked down at his hands. "Dark have been my dreams of late." He then looked over and saw Mica still being held by the guards with her hands bound behind her back. "Release him! Let the Elven Lord go free!"
One of the guards pulled a knife out, and cut Mica's bounds. He then handed back her weapons, which they had taken when they had first taken hold of her.
Theoden then looked back down at his hands, moving his figures this way and that. "Your fingers would remember their old strength better if they grasped you sword." Gandalf suggested.
Hama then stepped forward, a sheathed sword in hand. It was, indeed, Theoden King's sword. Slowly, Theoden outstretched his hand, and took the hilt of the sword. Slowly, he pulled it from it's sheath, and looked upon it, his eyes young and bright.
But then, a rage filled his eyes, and he turned to Grima. He walked forward, sword held dangerously at his side. Slowly, Grima Began to push himself away, looking fearfully at Theoden. "I have only ever served you my liege!" He cried out, fearful for his life.
"Your witchcraft would have had me crawling on all fours like a beast!"
"Send me not from your side!" Grima cried.
Theoden brought his sword up, and began to bring it down upon Grima's head. Aragorn leapt forward, and stopped him though. "No my Lord! Let him go, enough blood has been spilled on his account." Aragorn then turned, and offered a hand to held Grima up.
Grima looked at the hand in disgust, and spat on it. He then leapt up, and an out of the hall. And out of Edoras and Rohan he rode, back to his master Saruman.
Theoden turned, and looked about at everyone. "Where is Theodred? Where is my son?"