“After night falls today I will be out of the woods and can sleep!” Arien cried. Lhach had told her not to rest untill she was out of Mirkwood forest and she was obeying. The sun was going to rise in a mere ten or fifteen minutes, so Arien stopped her horse Celebang and gazed up at the pre-dawn stars. The stars then seemed to shift and Arien saw herself walking down a beautiful woodland path. Lorien, she supposed. She saw another elf and a dwarf come up behind her. She turned and hugged the elf enthusiasticly. Arien couldn’t get a clear view of their faces. Then, the vison faded and she saw stars again.
“Who was that elf? And why was a dwarf marring the beauty and wonder of Lothlorien?” Arien wondered aloud. She possesed the gift of foresight and the only other visons she had seen made more sense, like what was for dinner the next day. She felt confused. Why had she embraced that elf? Arien shook her head. It did not matter. She would find out soon enough.
The bush next to her moved slightly. She turned sharply and stared at it. There it was again! Arien put her hand to her sword hilt and quietly drew it. She held it poised and ready for slaying whatever it may be hiding in that bush. She suddered. What if it were an orc? She hated orcs as much as and sane elf, but she also pitied them and what they once were. An elf emerged from the bush, startling Arien so she dropped her sword. “The worst turned into the best!” she thought. “At least, I assume so.”
She slid off Celebang and looked the other elf over. He was tall, as all elves were, with jet black hair and strange grey eyes. He was dressed in a grey cloak and black leggings and shirt. Supple brown leather boots reached to his knees.
“I am Dinran,” he said. His voice was soft and low.
“I am Arien, but what are you doing in the relm of Thranduil and where are you from? Speak quickly, and do not waste my time, for I am in a hurry,” Arien said distrustfully as she picked up her sword.
“Fair enough. I am from nowhere and am just passing through. I wander all Middle Earth. I used to have a companion, but he fell by the hand of and orc.” Dinran paused for a moment and a look of pain crossed his face, but it was quickly gone, so Arien wondered if she had just imagined it. “I now wander alone, slaying as many orcs as I can. And what, may I inquire, is the young daughter of Thranduil doing all alone in the woods, so far from home?”
“Delivering a message to Lothlorien,” Arien said quickly. “How can you be from nowhere? I mean, someone must have tought you to speak and fed you in your younger years.”
Dinran sighed. “I was raised in Imladris, if you must know, though I do not consider myself from there. I left as soon as I knew enough about the ways of man and beast, and could support myself with a bow and sword. I have often seen you and heard you talking to other elves, though you have not seen me. I am tracking you to make sure you are safe. I started following you as soon as I came upon the dead bodies of the wolves and I desired to know who had made such an excellent kill. That was impressive for one so young. Are you satisfied?”
“For the moment,” Arien replied. She still did not trust this strange elf. “Are you going to track me again or shall we travel together since I have been made aware of your presence?”
“It would hardly be efficent if I tracked you now, and you must know, my dear Arien, that I am very efficent,” Dinran said with a queer grin. “But come. We are wasting our time. Look! The sun has almost risen her head over the horizion, and if we truely cannot rest untill we are clear of the wood, we had better get started. My horse is over there. I’ll get him and we can be off.”
To be continued