Daeriul awoke to feel a hot burning liquid being forced down her throat. She gagged it down, wincing at the pain it brought. Her vision was blurry, but she could make out hideous shadows that surrounded her, speaking in a language that she knew only as Black Speech.
After a few moments her vision began to clear, but she wished that it hadn’t, for her captors were hideous to look upon. Their wicked grins pierced her eyes as they spoke to each other in their vile language.
She closed her eyes again, erasing the horrid images that surrounded her. But, when they were reopened, her captors had disappeared. She felt herself lying upon a hard stony surface of the cave.
Her hands were bound behind her and they were crushed between the stone and something else… Her eyes widened momentarily as she realised that it was her hidden dagger digging into her back.
She rocked back and forth awkwardly on her hands, trying to ease the pain that was shooting through her, and trying to loosen the dagger from its stronghold. She winced as the loosened dagger clattered to the floor loudly.
She quickly laid back down on top of the dagger, half expecting a few Uruk’Hai to come in, weapons unsheathed. But everything remained quiet; there was no evidence that the Uruk’Hai were near.
Daeriul quietly sat up, barely missing hitting her head upon the low ceiling. She gently picked up the dagger by the blade with one of her hands. She then skilfully moved it back and forth against the makeshift binds; she heard a snap as one of the twines was severed.
She quickened her pace and when another snap was heard she dropped the dagger and pulled her hands apart, the rope threads breaking apart.
She rubbed her sore wrists as she looked around her, there was still no sign of the Orcs, but she still had to be careful. Her sharp eyes spotted a hunched figure that lay against one of the smooth walls a few feet away from her.
She slipped the dagger back into its hiding place and crawled over to the figure. She turned the body over and gasped as she recognised the angelic-drawn face.
Haldir groaned in pain as his body began to shake. He wearily opened his eyes to see a blurry figure, he blinked and his eyes adjusted to the face. It was Daeriul, and she was shaking him by his shoulders.
He watched silently as she took out her dagger and snapped the woven twine that was wrapped tightly around his numb wrists. She spoke to him softly and hurriedly, “Haldir, we need to leave, are you string enough to walk?”
He leaned on his elbows for support, blinking away the black spots that littered his eyesight. He nodded his head slowly and sat up completely, bumping his head hard on the hard rock. He cursed the names of the Valar and held his head, trying to hold back the tears of pain.
He felt Daeriul’s hand slip into his and pulled him along, he had no choice but to follow her into the bright sunlight. Fresh air and blinding light hit them upon leaving the darkened world of the cave. They lifted their eyes, shielding them from the sun. They could hear harsh voices coming towards them from a distance.
Daeriul unsheathed her dagger as she heard Uruk’Hai voices coming towards them. She turned to face her captors and they looked at her and Haldir in surprise. There were only two Orcs but they still rushed forward towards them, uttering war like cries.
Daeriul slashed weakly at her attackers arm, but it was of no use to her. He lashed out his arm and she fell to the ground, blood streaming from her mouth. She watched as Haldir was thrown to the soft grass, he did not retaliate though. Daeriul turned from the sight and reached for the dagger that lay a few feet from her.
As her fingers touched the handle a clawed foot came down upon the dagger, and her hand. She screamed in agony, the Orc raised its arm to bring it back down upon Daeriul.
The Uruk’Hai raised its gnarled head to the oncoming army and its commander who glared back.
“Do not harm her!”
“She was trying to escape–“
“YOU were in charge of watching her!” Snarled the leader.
Crîülè stayed silent but he gave Grúï’lyë a poisonous look. Daeriul’s hand was on fire; bitter tears ran down her face as she tried to dislodge her hand from the monsters protruding foot.
Grúï’lyë saw that Daeriul’s hand was trapped; he shoved Crîülè harshly off his feet. Relief swept through Daeriul as the fire from her hand dissipated, she clutched her redden palm to her chest, glaring at Crîülè. Grúï’lyë picked up Daeriul harshly and pushed her in front of him, Haldir being led by the other Orc attacker.
As they were being led, Daeriul realised that they were on the Brown Lands, to her right, she could see Mirkwood. And in the closing distance Lorien came into view. They were forced down onto their knees as Grúï’lyë paced in front of them.
“You think that you can escape?”
His dark eyes pierced Daeriul’s but she looked away.
“Where will you go I ask you?”
They still remained quiet, Grúï’lyë thought for a moment and stepped aside. He pointed towards Lorien and spoke again, this time slowly yet sharply.
“Look into your precious home, you can never return! If you can see, the trees are on fire, your home is burning. And all who you knew and loved are dead.”
Daeriul saw that he was correct, dark smoke was rising from the treetops. She could see the yellow flickering of a rising fire. She could not conceal her rage any longer, she leapt to her feet. But before she could lash out Crîülè came up behind her and held her down. She struggled but her anger diminished to weariness, she wept as she fell to her knees.
Grúï’lyë looked down upon Daeriul with pity, he looked at the other Uruk’Hai and nodded his head. Two stepped forward and stood Haldir and Daeriul, they bounded their hands together again. Then they turned back into the direction they came, east.
Grúï’lyë lingered for a moment, staring at the burning forest. He heard a voice speak to him, though; there was no one around. You have done well, Commander. She now knows there is nowhere for her to run. Make sure that fool Crîülè does not harm her. She is needed for me; with her, I cannot conquer Middle-earth. Bring her to me, and the other one, and I shall reward you greatly…He murmured under his breath his reply, Yes Master.
He turned and started after the retreating group.