Arien pushed back her golden hair and sighed. Her brother, Legolas, got to go to Imladris while she stayed behind.
“It’s so unfair!” she yelled into the wood. “I should have a chance at greatness, even if it is just to be a messenger girl.” Legolas had gone to tell Elrond Halfelven that the creature Gollum had escaped.
Arien sighed again. She couldn’t be mad at her favorite brother becouse of a message. That’s how things worked these days: men go and have big adventures and are remembered, while the women stay behind, thier words and deeds lost, forgotton, faded beyond all recall. That is true in all races; men and elves alike.
Arien shook her head. These mutterings to the wood will do her no good. She must see her father, Thranduil. He would not like to be disturbed, but maybe she could talk to him for a minute.
She came to the ladder that lead to the door of the king’s council room. He would surely be here, discussing the losses of the last orc raid. Here she hesitated, but only for a moment. With a deep breath, she entered.
Thranduil was in there talking to on eof his closest advisors, Lhach. “We must send for help, Thranduil. There is no other way,” Lhach was saying. Few people are on such close terms with the king that they could call him be his first name without his title. “The orcs will overcome us if they attack soon.”
“Father, I must speak with you,” Arien burst out. The two elves at the table looked up in surprize. They hadn’t even noticed her. Suddenly, she felt very foolish.
“Can it wait?” Thranduil asked weairly.
“No, father,” Arien replied. Thranduil looked at Lhach and communicated with his eyes for a moment. Lhach nodded and Thranduil looked at Arien to continue.
“I grow weary of these walls, these same trees, year after year. What don’t you send me on messages like you send Legolas and the others?” Arien asked.
“A just question. I send Legolas and the others so they will not have to face war and hate every day. You are too young. You are only around two hundred years of age*, are you not?” Thranduil returned.
“Yes, father, but I long for adventure! Please let me go somewhere, anywhere!” Arien cried.
At this piont, Lhach stepped in. “Let her go to Lorien for assistence in this war,” he said. “Lorien is safe enough.”
“Fine. You who foolishly crave danger may go to Lorien with a plea for help. Rest there for a month or so before coming back. Follow these exact wishes!” Thranduil said sternly.
“May it be as you say,” Arien said primly. But inside, she was bursting with joy. To go the Golden Wood! She was to take her bow, plenty of arrows, her sword, a daggar or two, provisions, her horse Celebang, and the message. She was going to set out tommarow at dawn.
To be continued
*Thranduil still thinks of her as his little girl; Legolas thinks of her as his baby** sister.
**Legolas is around 2,500 years old.