‘An Elfess? Right near Minas Morgul?’
‘Nanza will be shocked. A First-born who seems to have come willingly into the gentle hands of the Tower of Black Sorcery, after our Dark Lord was killed.’
‘Not killed, merely – done in. Temporarily. The Ring was not destroyed. The Dark Lord will come again, destroying these petty lightsiders.’
‘Yinha! Kory! What are you doing?’ a cold and icy voice interrupted the two mercenaries.
‘Nanza! We found a she-Elf! She’s over in the clearing.’ Kory replied swiftly.
‘A she-Elf? Tie her up and bring her to the Tower. She has a horse? Good, bring the beast too. It’s been a while since we’ve had an Elf to torture.’ Yinha and Kory hurried to obey their commander.
Rien, all the while unconscious, was tied to Ránaraca’s back, and led into Minas Morgul, the Tower of Black Sorcery.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Ri awoke in a cold cell, striped of her weapons, and her mind blank, like a new sheet of parchment, waiting for a quill dipped in ink. She saw someone in front of the cell door, but their back was turned to her.
‘Where am I?’ her voice was tiny and weak sounding. The guard didn’t hear her.
‘Where am I?’ she asked, more loudly this time. The person turned, her coal black eyes penetrating Ri’s own gray ones. She was an Elf.
‘You’re in the Moontower, Elfling. Soon to be entertainment as target practice.’
‘The Moontower?’ Rien asked, confused. What was the Moontower?
‘Minas Morgul. Mordor. The Tower of Sorcery.’
‘Minas Morgul? Mordor?’ Ri was completely confused. The dark Elf raised an eyebrow, finally understanding. This Elf had no memory. Of anything.
‘What’s your name Elf?’ she asked, kneeling down.
‘My name? It’s-I….I don’t…know.’
‘Yinha! Come here!’ the guard called out. A human came down the passageway, looking ruffled and annoyed.
‘Yes Caena? What is it?’
‘She doesn’t remember anything. We lost many during the War. Almost all of our Elves. Go tell Nanza that I think this one could become an assassin, or mercenary.’
‘Fine.’ Yinha went away, muttering about killing Caena while the *** Elf slept, if only to not be made to run stupid errands like a messenger boy.
‘Your name is Kyva. Do you remember?’ Caena asked RI, after Yinha left.
‘You’re a mercenary and assassin for the Moontower.’ she continued.
‘Then why were you going to torture me?’ Caena sighed, smiling to herself. Of course Elves would remember that. She was an Elf, and she knew her people remembered everything, in sound mind or not.
‘That was a test, a test to see if you were loyal enough to the Tower to go through torture and not reveal our secrets.’
‘Oh. I see.’ Then Nanza came striding down the hall.
‘What did you wish to tell me Caena?’ she asked crisply.
‘The she-Elf. She remembers nothing. A possible mercenary, or assassin or thief? We lost so many, since so many fought for the Dark Lord and died.’ Nanza appeared to think it over.
‘Hmm. Perhaps…what’s your name?’ she addressed the last bit to Rien.
‘Um…Kyva?’ Ri replied, unsure.
‘You said she remembered nothing Caena.’ Nanza murmured to the dark Elf.
‘I told her her name was Kyva, and that she was a mercenary and assassin of the Tower.’
‘Good, all the more easier to convert the Eru-worshipping lightsider. Start her with her ‘training’. Now.’ Caena unlocked the cell door and Nanza walked away.
‘Kyva, follow me.’
‘Who was the person?’ Ri asked as they exited the passageway.
‘Nanza, your commander. We’re going to the training grounds, where we’ll start with long sword, then bow.’
Training grounds. It sounded familiar to Rien, but she couldn’t place it. She nodded, simply accepting that this was her real life, and that she had never known any other.