A golden haired Elf poked his head through the circular opening in the platform that Earwen and Meneldil slept on.
“The Lord and Lady request your presence. There is much conversation to be had.”
Earwen glanced at Meneldil, who looked suprised. Why would Galadriel, wisest and fairest of all elves, and the Lord Celeborn possibly want to speak to two lonely travelers such as themselves?
Earwen nodded and the Elf beckoned them to the base of the tree. They jumped nimbly from the lower branches of the Mallorn tree to land lightly on the soft and fragrant grasses of fair Lothlorien. The two followed the Elf to a neighboring tree. The guardian made a gesture as to suggest that they were meant to climb into this tree. Earwen ignored the helping hand that Meneldil offered her and climbed quickly up the silky smooth bole of the Mallorn. He made a face of sarcastic hurt and followed suit.
The companions found themselves in a small room screened from the eyes of a passerby. The room was glowing with a soft yellow light emitted by many small golden lamps hanging from whispering boughs of the tree and set on various small tables and dressers throughout the room.
“Lady Earwen, this is to be your room while you stay in Lorien. Lord Meneldil, your room is a few paces away on a separate flet.”
The guide showed Meneldil to his room. Once the door was closed, Earwen noticed a large silver basin sitting on a stone pedestal. Next to the basin were several soft towels. Earwen quickly stripped her rags and washed herself.
After washing, Earwen slipped into a long and flowing dress layed out for her upon a bed of feathers. The dress was a shimmering blueish grey and carried an embroidered design of leaves and vines upon it. The color seemed to change with every curve of the wearer and every changing beam of light. It had a low, sweeping neck line and made a trail on the ground behind the wearer. The cloth was light and fluid and seemed to be made of the fabric embodiment of water. She pulled her hair back into an elegant style of golden curls and braids. She topped off the outfit with a simple silver circlet, that she had found in the drawer of a small chest, and set it gently in her hair. She left her feet bare.
She carefully climbed out of the tree to find Meneldil waiting for her below, along with several escorts to take them to the Lord and Lady. His eyes grew large at the sight of her. To him, she seemed to radiate a light so bright he almost had to avert his eyes. Meneldil was dressed in a light purple and sliver tunic with elegant knotted fasteners that closed the shirt in the front. He wore loose, black leggings. Upon his feet were soft velvet black boots. Meneldil offered her his arm and she took it. They walked with arms linked behind a small band of woodland guardians.
Meneldil and Earwen were lead to a spacious flet set high in the largest Mallorn tree either of them had ever seen. The guards took them to an open platform and instructed them to wait. The two stood in front of a long, glistening, white stairway. After a short wait, they came. The Lord and Lady were tall and grave. The Lady’s hair was of deep gold, but seemed to be fading. The Lord’s face appeared to be drawn and was unusually pale. Both were, obviously, deeply troubled.
“Welcome, Earwen, Daughter of Thranduil and Meneldil, son of Cemendur.” Said the Lady in a deep, but musical voice. “We have Seen you from afar. Anger and emptiness are in your hearts.” She looked at each of them in turn. Meneldil bowed his head to his chest. Earwen stood tall and proud and looked into the Lady’s eyes when Galadriel’s gaze fell upon her. Galadriel continued.
“Your journey will not be without peril. The world of the Elves is fast fading, as you well know. Lorien will vanish. We advise you now to leave upon a ship to the Land of Valor. If you do not, your souls will crumble and you will turn to ash along with all that is left of the realm of the Elves. The Lord and myself will be aboard one of the ships bound for Valinor.”
With this final word, Galadriel bowed her head and looked sorrowful. Celeborn placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder, but kept his gaze intently on the two young Elves before him. Now he spoke.
“We can see that both of you are saddened to leave, but it is a fate that all Elves must face with unwavering attention. The knife of Time will pierce the hearts of all things beautiful in Middle Earth.”
Silence met these words. Meneldil looked content upon his thoughts and furrowed his brow. Earwen let out a quiet sigh. The Lady Galadriel looked up.
“Do not let this painful news put a damper on your determination. Even we do not yet know-” Galadriel stopped short and suddenly whipped her head around and stared up the steps behind her, searching. At length she whispered one word..
A terrible scream pierced the silence of Lothlorien. A band of Ocs exploded onto the platform. Meneldil quickly drew his sword along with the many guards that were hidden in the trees. He stepped infront of Earwen who reached for her sword out of habit. It wasn’t there. She stared down at her side. How could she have been so forgetful as to leave her faithful sword in her room?
Earwen instead grabbed one of the two long, ivory handled knives poking out of Meneldil’s pack. She turned quickly and slashed back and forth at oncoming Orcs. Meneldil kneed a large specimen in the abdomen, then knocked it’s head against the large tree growing through the center of the platform. The Lord and Lady each grasped onto eachothers arms and stood fast in their places. Tall and proud they stood as if each knew that the ultimate end of their existence, and the existence of Lorien, was soon at hand. The leader of the Orcs stood before the Lord and Lady.
“To think that you consider yourselves the wisest in Middle Earth and yet here I stand with my blade almost at your throat,” he said in a goating fashion. “Will you not react or are you to proud and ‘wise’ to fight? Come then, embrace the Power of Arantar!”
With that, Celeborn drew a hidden sword from it’s sheath and swong swiftly at the large Orc. The beast smiled slightly and parried the sword with a clang. The two engaged in battle as the Lady stood as if oblivious to the blood shed before her. An Elven warrior screamed as an Orc scimitar plunged into his back. Another fell to a black, poisoned arrow that pierced his shoulder.
Orcs were pouring out of every nook and cranny of the trees. Meneldil was in a state of madness. Earwen fought with the same fiercness as when she battled the Monster.
“A, Elbereth! Gilthoniel!” shouted Galadriel. At the sound of the Elvish words, all the orcs paused briefly from their fighting. The Lady seemed to grow immense and dark.
“Who dares to intrude upon the realm of the Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel?! You, black puppets of Arantar, shall fall and be smote from the grace of Middle Earth!”
She cast her arms wide and held them high over her head. Her eyes grew wide and her hair, dress and face glowed red with a light conjured by some unknown force. She grew even taller and the pale red gleam faded and was replaced by a brooding darkness, like a night sky devoid of all stars and light. The air crackled with electricity. A great sword of blinding white light flashed into her open hands. Galadriel grasped the sword and brought it down in front of her.
“Now feel the power and pain of Galadriel, Lady of Light, Queen of all Elves!”
She swung the sword with one great, fluid motion and brought it crashing down upon the leader of the Orcs. His body jolted, crumpled to the ground and finally fell still. The Lady brought the sword back high above her head.
“Do any more of you minions wish to feel the wrath and power of the Elves?!”
All the Orcs shrieked and fled in a wave and bobbing mass of iron and putrid flesh. Many seemed to have forgotten that they were high atop a Mallorn tree and fell screaming to their deaths. The rest were met by the trained guardians and the fighting forces of Lothlorien. Galadriel dropped her sword and shrunk slowly. The darkness receeded along with the electric tension in the air.
She was once again the Elven sorceress she was when the companions first met her, but she seemed to be slightly hunched and more whithered. Meneldil sheathed his sword and rushed to her side. He helped Celeborn slowly bring her to the ground when she almost collapsed. Galadriel drew shallow and shaking breaths. Earwen approached the Sorceress and stood silently beside Meneldil. She rested a gentle hand upon his arm.
“The doom of Elves is not the only doom at hand. Middle Earth will fall along with anyone, of any race, foolish enough to remain.” She said in a thin rasping voice that had lost much of it’s musical qualities.
Celeborn sat on the bottom steps and brought her head into his lap. With one final sweap of her hands, Galadriel gave her final farewell to Middle Earth and passed beyond the light of the Stars, Planets and solidity of the living world. Celeborn bowed his head and gently kissed her head.
“Be at peace, Lady of Lorien.”
He took her motionless body into his arms. A tear traced a glittering path down his cheek to land softly in his fading silver hair. Earwen leaned her head against Meneldil’s shoulder and wept silently. Meneldil bowed his head as well and held Earwen close.