Chapter 2: An Eastern Threat
She had escaped from Caras Galadhon, away from what she had been told, away from her home. She sat alone, clutching her legs to her chest and resting her chin on top of her knees. Daeriul’s eyes remained shut as she fell away from herself, deep inside. Calming her thoughts, her feelings, emotionless. She had learned this alone as a child, discovering more of her difference than the rest of the Galadhrim and yet the only one who truly understood her was Galadriel, but now, gone.
A twig snapped, and instantly Daeriul was on her feet, clutching the hilts of her dagger that lay on the side of her tunic. Haldir stood a few feet away from her, hands in the air as though he was to defend himself. Daeriul slowly relaxed her hands and greeted him at his approach. “Haldir, what brings you hear?”
“I saw you alone, I thought that you might like some company.”
Daeriul gave a quick smile, which dropped quickly, exposing her seriousness. “It is good that you have come, there are some matters I must discuss with you.” She motioned him to follow her as she began to walk forward, following the stream northward. After many long minutes, Daeriul broke the silence.
“I do not know if you have heard the news that my father has received-” Daeriul glanced at Haldir, he shook his head. “-but this news puts us all in grave danger. My father’s scout has returned from the East with reports that the Uruk’Hai are massing. They are coming to Lothlórien, to destroy us.” Haldir’s dropped his eyes burned with a distorted mixture of pain, sorrow, and knowledge of the fact that this would be a battle, they could not win. Seeing this, Daeriul quickly finished.
“We do not why, and we do not know if they shall attack Gondor or Rohan as well. What we know is that we will have to flee, either to Imladris or Greenwood, even there I am not sure if we will be safe.” Daeriul fell silent, flinching slightly. She hated to break such fallible news. In silence continued on, walking and waiting, but none spoke, the increasing silence grew upon them, as does a cold wind. Glancing around her, Daeriul suddenly realised that they had reached the borders of the Golden Wood, and halted.
Haldir mimicked her, they both stared out across the vast plains of the Brown Lands, Daeriul’s gaze was fixed upon Greenwood, Dol Guldur peaking high above the shimmering trees. Daeriul’s eyes swept across the Brown Lands again and a chill ran down her spine. Beside her, Haldir gasped, “Do you see it?”
“What is it…where is it?” She shouted in alarm.
“On the plains, it is a dark mass, moving quickly.” Daeriul’s sight fixed upon the shape that Haldir was pointing towards. She watched the shape, it was moving as one at a great speed, towards them. Faces of travelling Uruk’Hai flashed in her mind, jolting her backwards. She gasped in shock, realising what had just happened. She quickly turned back into the forest, running as fast as she could, hoping that she could make it back to Caras Galadhon before it was too late.
Haldir heard Daeriul gasp for breath beside him, after he had pointed out the dark shape. He saw that her hands were braced upon her knees, beads of perspiration on her face. Before he could ask her what the matter was, she ran back into Lothlórien. He called after her but his words echoed in the dense trees, with no reply.
Daeriul tripped over an upturned root, her head hit a small rock with a thickening crunch. She felt a slight trickle of liquid flow down her face. Her hand flew to the cut, and was instantly covered with thick blood. She stumbled to her feet; she could not let this trivial cut stop herself. Taking only just a few more steps she fell to the forest floor, dizzy and disoriented. But still Daeriul surged forward, she had to warn her people before it was too late. She fell to the ground again; she had no strength to pick herself up. As her vision darkened she began to mentally scold herself, she knew it was too late. The Uruk’Hai were coming, and now she could not warn her people. Blood will be spilt, of Elves and Uruk’Hai alike.
Through the engulfing darkness a hideous face grinned down at her, it spoke in harsh, common speech. “This is her, the master will be pleased. Pick her up, the rest of you can go to the city, destroy everything.”
He laughed and Daeriul shuddered at the cold, clawed hands that picked her up. She was swung over one of their backs harshly. She lifted her head weakly and saw a great band of Uruk’Hai running in the direction of Caras Galadhon. Her eyes closed and she saw no more.