Warrior Maiden of the Dunedain - Chapter Eight
Taking in a ragged breath, she turned to go back into her room. She went to her closet and opened the wooden doors for the last time. She took out a small bag, big enough for clothes and provisions for one person. She packed what she needed, a few pairs of pants and shirts. From her shelf above, she reached and brought down a dagger which she strapped around her waist, a small but sharp knife which she hid in her boot, and lastly, her sword, Ancanting. Ohtarwen held it in her hands; she ran her fingers over the hilt carefully with a smile on her face. She remembered the times she and three friends would go and seek adventure. That is when she was most happy, that is where she belonged. She drew the sword out of its sheath and held it out in front of her. The air whistled as she swung at an invisible enemy. She returned it to its cover and strapped that around her waist also. Ohtarwen took a final look around the room to see if she had forgotten anything, and to say one last good-bye.
"This is probably the last time I'll see you for a while." She was silent for a while, thinking of fond memories. Then she laughed to herself. "Ohtarwen, you are talking to a room." She shook her head and smiled. "Here I go." She told herself quietly. Closing the door behind her, she walked down the hall.
Falmar neighed quietly when she entered the stables and came to him.
"Good morning, mellonnin. Are you ready for another adventure?" She rubbed his nose gently. "Course you are." She led him out of his stall and leaped onto his back. She secured her pack on his back and made ready to leave. With her cloak about her, she guided Falmar out into the courtyard.
"Well, boy. This is probably the last time you'll see this place. Unless, by the Valar's grace they will let us return." She sadly looked around her home and nodded. "Noro lim(Run fast)!" Falmar reared slightly and raced away.
Elrond was just about to eat breakfast when Miredhel dashed into the room.
"Lord Elrond!" she gasped breathlessly. "Lord Elrond!"
"What is it, Miredhel?" He asked getting up to let her sit and catch her breath. "Now tell me what the matter is."
"It's Ohtarwen! She's.....she's gone!" The Elfwen exclaimed. Elrond slowly looked away. He had known this would happen, but he had not known when. He sighed heavily.
"I expected as much. In my heart I knew, I foresaw it." He said quietly. "There is nothing we can do. This is her will, and her choice." He said louder as if proclaiming it.
The sun now hung in the middle of the sky, Ohtarwen had been riding for seven hours without stopping. She had crossed the Bruin and was heading Southeast.
"Hante le, mellon." She told him giving him a pat on his neck as they stopped to rest. She let Falmar graze for a bit as she leaned against a tree, thoughtfully looked about her trying to decide where to head next. She munched on a piece of Lembas bread and sat down. She closed her eyes for a moment of rest before she had to continue. All was peaceful in this spot. The birds sang and the insects busily worked. As Ohtarwen's memory wandered back to happier times, the birds song stopped and all was silent. She opened her eyes and looked around warily. She scanned the woods trying to see anything. She got on her knees and placed her ear to the ground.
"A group of people approach. Who they are and what are they doing is the question." she thought to herself, pressing herself against the tree. Soon she heard voices far off. Deep, gruff voices. Not of the kind she was hoping for. Ohtarwen peeked around the tree so she could see. About a dozen or so Orcs were marching towards her. They were still far off, but she could see she wouldn't have time to get away. She looked back at her horse and thought for a moment. The wind blew against her and brushed her hair away from her face. She rolled her eyes.
"Great, just great. I'm down wind and they'll catch my scent." She glared up in the sky as if she were trying to blame someone. "Why? Why?" she asked no one in particular as she readied herself to fight. The head Orc raised his hand as a silent signal for the troop to halt. He sniffed the air.
"Man flesh!" he yelled. They roared fiercely and began to run.
"See? What'd I say?" Ohtarwen again thought to herself. "Hey! I'm not a man!"
Ohtarwen could feel the pounding of the Orc's large feet against the earth as they quickly advanced.
Ohtarwen drew in a deep breath. "This may be it, Ohtarwen. If a fight is what they want, then a fight is what you'll give them." Before the Orcs came upon Ohtarwen, she stepped out from behind the tree; the Orcs paused for a moment.
"Here I am, Morgoth scum! If you want me, come and get me!" she yelled at them, her voice full of challenge. The Orcs snarled again and began to race up the hill to her. Ohtarwen stood ready, her sword drawn and in hand ready for battle. She brought it up in front of her face and waited until the last second to strike the first Orc that came near her. Her long hours of training did not fail her, her targets were met with deadly blows. With every Orc she killed, a new strength rose in her. But that was not enough.
"There are too many!" she thought, pausing for a moment. "I cannot fight them all." She fought more intensely than before. Out of nowhere she heard the twang of a bow and she saw an arrow sink deep in the head of an Orc. He fell to the ground with a cry then was silent. Ohtarwen saw from the corner of her eye many figures appear from behind the trees and bushes, all with swords and bows. Ohtarwen stopped and looked at them. Ohtarwen wondered who they were, but turned when she heard a growl in front of her. A tall Orc stood before her, with a gnarled looking sword in his hand and mouth drooling to sink his blade in her flesh.
"Die Elf-scum!" he roared, running towards her.
"Not today!" she yelled back just as determined to live, as he was to kill her. Her blade embedded itself in the Orc's chest before he could fulfill his goal. He snarled painfully at her and fell to the ground. The Orcs were quickly fading with the help of the new comers, for this, Ohtarwen was grateful. At the moment, the Orcs had forgotten about her and were focussed on the men in hoods, Ohtarwen ran to help them. Before she could reach them, a pain as fierce as fire stung her shoulder. She fell to her knees, clenching her teeth to keep from crying out. One of the Orcs had shot her with a poisoned arrow. The pain was like nothing she had ever felt; though she had experience many wounds, this was the worst. Her arm felt as if it were on fire, burning within her skin. Most of the Orcs now were either dead, or running away like dogs that had been beat.
Ohtarwen clutched her shoulder, the pain almost unbearable.
"Hang on, don't move!" a man told her. One of the hooded men kneeled next to her and looked at the wound; his unkempt locks fell over his face as he did. He quickly broke the shaft from the rest of the arrow; Ohtarwen gasped sharply.
"Sorry. You'll have to come back with us; I do not have the skill to take the arrow out." He helped Ohtarwen up. The young man was tall and had dark hair; his eyes were grey, but full of kindness.
"Wait! My horse....where is he?" Ohtarwen asked before they rode off. Ohtarwen spotted Falmar a little ways away happily munching on bits of grass not seeming to mind the battle and noise. Ohtarwen rolled her eyes and smiled to herself; she gave a sharp whistle and Falmar pricked his ears. One of the men took hold of Falmar's reins and led him along with them.
"What were you doing out there, anyway? A girl like you shouldn't be alone in the woods now with the Enemy's forces spreading." The man behind Ohtarwen told her, his voice sounding a little irritated.
"I was....trying to....to find my kin." She replied angrily through gasps of pain. Her sight was growing blurry as they rode; she shook her head trying to get it to go away.
"Still no reason for a girl to be alone like that." He replied dryly.
"Look! Either help me or leave me alone! I can take care of myself!" Ohtarwen said to him.
"That is obvious." He muttered under his breath. Ohtarwen shot him an angry glare. "What's your name?" he asked.
"I am Ohtarwen, of Rivendell." She replied. The man looked down at her for a moment.
"You are not an Elf."
"No, I'm Dunedain. My mother died when I was young and my father brought me there to live with the Elves before he left to join the Dunedain."
"Really? Where is he now?"
Ohtarwen was silent. "He is...dead."
"I'm sorry. I am called Hyanar." Ohtarwen did not reply, she leaned against his chest limply. Hyanar noticed that her shoulder was getting worse. He kicked his horse into a gallop and didn't stop tell they were at the camp. Hyanar laid Ohtarwen on the ground near a small fire. He removed her cloak and tore off the cloth around her shoulder. The arrow was deep inside her flesh and her skin was growing pale from the poison and loss of blood.
Hyanar dampened a cloth and brushed it over her brow; he then used it to clean around her wound. Ohtarwen moaned softly. Hyanar inhaled deeply.
"The poison is spreading." He told himself. "Istyar, come here." Hyanar called over his shoulder. An older man wandered over and bent next to him. When he saw the injured girl on the ground, he immediately went to work.
"Here now," he said soothingly as he placed a piece of medal in her mouth. "Bite this if you need to, this is going to hurt."
Ohtarwen spit the medal out of her mouth. "No, I need something to hold. I can do it better that way." Hyanar held out his hand. "Thank you." She said. She took his hand and waited for Istyar to start. Once Ohtarwen felt the hot tip of the blade touch her shoulder, she closed her eyes and squeezed. Hyanar gave a short gasp; he was surprised at the strong grip Ohtarwen had. He looked down at her hand in his: her hand was white, his was turning purple.
"Ah, got it." Istyar said finally. He pressed a cloth over the open hole in her shoulder and looked at her. Ohtarwen's hand dropped from Hyanar's, she sighed. Her shoulder was throbbing, but at least the arrow was out.
Istyar took Hyanar aside for a moment to talk to him.
"The arrow is out, but there is nothing I can do about the poison. That will be up to her." Istyar wiped his hands off and went back to the where the other men were. Hyanar sat back down next to Ohtarwen.
"You did well." He told her. She smiled weakly, her breath coming heavily.
"I've experienced many wounds. Though, I must say, this is the worst." She laughed slightly to herself then stopped and winced. Hyanar smiled.
"Sh. You need to rest. We can talk when you feel better."
Hyanar sat for a moment watching her. Ohtarwen closed her eyes; the poison was taking hold of her.
"Hyanar, come here for a moment." The leader of the group called over to him.
"Yes?" Hyanar asked.
"You tell me what we're going to do with a maid with us? This is no place for a girl with all these men." He told Hyanar.
"I know." Hyanar replied. He ran his hand through his hair and sighed. "We could take her back to Rivendell." He suggested.
"Yes, that's where she lives. At least, used to live."
"We will think of something to do with her in the morning. Get some rest." The leader patted Hyanar's shoulder and walked back to the other men.
Hyanar lingered there for a moment, thinking about what they would do when she did feel better.
"How is she?" A man asked Hyanar looking past him at Ohtarwen.
"We'll have to wait and see what happens tonight, Elrohir." Hyanar told him. Elrohir nodded understanding. He took a few steps towards the sleeping maiden then rushed to her side.
"Elrohir, what is it?" Hyanar asked.
"I know this girl! She is like a sister to me." Elrohir answered looking back at Hyanar who had a look of shock on his face.
"Why is she here?" Hyanar asked him, hoping he would know more about this girl then they did.
"I don't know!" Elrohir said a little angrily. "Ohtarwen was always one to do rash things, I never thought she would do something like this though."
"You say she's like a sister to you?"
"Yes, I've known her since she was a baby." Elrohir told him with a smile, remembering when she first came.
"It's probably good that you're here so she knows somebody." Hyanar thought out loud.
"I'll watch her tonight, Hyanar. You can get some rest." Hyanar thanked Elrohir and went to get some sleep.