Rien whipped her sword up, blocking Nanza’s blow. Her gray eyes were stormy adn dark, as were her commander’s black ones. Nanza struck again and again, each time faster than the last, but Ri still blocked the black blade. Then, when Nanza put her guard down for a millisecond, Ri moved her sword in, till the silver metal kissed the human’s throat and knocked away her blade. The commander smiled.
‘Good Kyva. You blocked every single blow.’ Ri lowered her blade, and listened to her commander attentively.
‘You did block every single one,’ Nanza said slowly, ‘but you should have had me weaponless faster than that. You may go now.’
Ri nodded, and walked off. She nodded to some of her fellow mercenaries and assassins, till she spotted Caena.
‘Hey Ky. How’d it go with Nanza?’ a human asked, who was nicknamed ‘Blade because of the strange sword she always carried at her side, and never took off, even when she slept.
‘It was ok, but she said I still wasn’t fast enough.’
‘She won’t say you’re fast enough till Sauron rises and tells her so.’ Blade muttered. A few others laughed.
‘The Dark Lord is not one to joke about Blade. His spirit might hear you and cast you into Mount Doom.’ Caena said, sounding stern.
‘Look who’s making the jokes Cae.’ was the retort. Ri however, was not listening to their banter. She was gazing into the flames, and a dimness that had been in her eyes was lifted, like a veil, and she sat bolt upright, looking around at the Tower.
‘Kyva? What’s wrong?’ Blade asked, concern in her voice.
‘My name…’ Rien muttered, ‘it’s…it’s not Kyva…’ Cae’s head jerked up. She had known this would happen.
‘What is your name then, if it is not Kyva?’ she asked sharply.
‘It’s…it’s Rien.’ Ri seemed surprised, as small memories came to her. Someone dead, she was angry and bitter, she was riding away, she became unconscious. She was in a clearing, with three trees with targets on them. She shot an arrow and it hit the center target. She shook her head.
‘Riencuran Elenath. Of Imladris.’ she muttered, confused.
‘What a fancy name, for a mercenary and assassin of the Moontower.’
‘I’m not a mercenary…’ Ri mumbled. The blanks in her mind wasflooded with memories, and her head began to throb. ‘I-I need to go home.’ she murmured.
‘Your home is here. Not with those…Elves.’ Caena said the word like it was poison. Rien jumped up from where she sat, and whistled a high and soft note. Ránaraca came trotting up.
‘My home is with the Elves. I’m an Elf. So my place is with my people.’ she mounted the black gelding, and sped out of Minas Morgul, no one stopping her.
‘Should I-‘ Blade began but Caena cut her off.
‘Riencuran will come back. The Elves will not welcome her back. I was gone from Lorion a shorter time that she, and was not welcome. She will return.’ Caena stared at the fire, and Blade walked into the woods to scout.
Meanwhile, Rien rode Ránaraca hard and long, cursing herself for forgetting, cursing herself for being so emotionally attached to Luin. She got to Imladris is three and a half weeks.
Two Elves were walking outside, and Rien recognized Naurrís and Thel.
‘Thel!’ she called out, a flutter of hope rising in her chest.
Thel turned towards her, and stared, a startled look in her eyes. Rís looked and did the same as her eldest daughter.
‘Riencuran? What are you doing here?’ she asked, looking about.
‘I lost my memory, and I just got it back. I-what’s wrong?’
‘Wrong? You. You being here. You were seen by several Elves coming out of Mordor, after the War, going into Mordor. You’re banished from Imladris, Mirkwood, and Lorien. You’re a disgrace. If someone sees us with you, we’ll be disgraced too.’ Rien stepped back, hurt. She had never loved her family, except for Luin, and perhaps Mithren, but-her own mother was turning her away, so that Ri wouldn’t disgrace her.
‘I don’t see why I came back.’ she declared, the hate that all who ever lived in Mordor carried awakening.
‘You never liked me, you never cared for me. You loved your son and your two daughters, but not your youngest. You loved your finery, your jewels, your importance. In one word, your vanity. I met dark Elves who were better than you, Naurrís Elenath. You-you’re no better than Morgoth.’ Rís and Thel flinched.
‘Thel and I are going to the Gray Havens.’ Rís stated. ‘You are also banned from there.’ She walked away, into the city of Imladris. Rien clutched Ránaraca’s neck, then found her secret river. She swam up it, and sat down on an old stump near the center tree, then got up. She walked through the trees, till she was at the cliffs. Looking out, she spoke softly to the black horse, which had followed her.
‘Ránaraca, you and I have different paths than before. We both must start our lives anew, not that we have been kind of doing that, eh? Ránaraca is a mouthful, so don’t answer to it. Just Rána.’ the horse stamped her hoof in the loose rock, and whickered. Ri smiled, and turned away from the cliffs, away from her special place with the tree targets and boulders, away from Imladris, her faithful friend right behing her.
‘Now Rána. Now we get revenge.’ she said softly, her gray eyes burning with an unseen flame. ‘No Elf from Rivendell will live after an encounter with me. Not after what they’ve done. I’ll kill them all, and make them suffer what I’ve suffered, and what I will suffer.’ She mounted Rána, and sped off at a gallop, heading back towards the Moontower.
‘Now is the Age for retribution. Retribution, dear Rána, retribution and revenge.’