Daeriul and Haldir followed closely behind their captors; they looked around themselves, wide-eyed. Many weeks had passed since they were first captured, fatigue and loss crowded their thoughts. Their spirits and hopes of escaping were almost lost. But Daeriul would not let it die, a spark of hope still glinted in her eyes, and it was that that kept them going.
But it was now that they had reached their unplanned destination, Mordor. As the Black Gates swung open Grúï’lyë swelled with pride, his mission was completed and he knew his reward would be great. Daeriul looked up at the tall gates as they passed through, fearless Orcs sneered down at them, shouting curses in Black Speech.
In front of them stood not the tower of Barad-Dûr but of something greater and more menacing. Two Watch Towers, like hideous spikes, protruded from the ground in front of the main tower. That tower was in the same design as that of Isengard, but large crystal spikes extended out of the smooth blackened walls. As they drew nearer to the gates of the tower Grúï’lyë let out a deep cry that echoed amongst the walls.
“Taurgûl! We stand at the gates of Barad Amarth, in our presence lay the Chosen.”
The air became still and silence spread around them, growing loudly every second. Suddenly a voice pierced the silence, drifting from a distance window in Barad Amarth. The sound of the words was calm and soothing to the ear.
“I see that you are correct Grúï’lyë, well done. You and Crîülè shall now bring them to me…I am waiting.”
Grúï’lyë turned his head towards Daeriul; with one swift movement he grabbed her arm and pulled her along. Crîülè emerged from the crowd of Uruk’Hai warriors, he seized Haldir’s arm roughly and fell in behind Grúï’lyë. The gates opened widely at the approaching figures, squeaking from rust and age. A long crooked path fell before them, surrounded by many Thorn bushes.
Grúï’lyë pushed Daeriul forward forcefully, as his misshaped face glanced at her; she gave him a poisonous look. He sneered at her and pulled her, making her trip upon an upturned rock, and landing amongst the thorns. She cried out as the thorns tore into the flesh of her lower arms and face. Grúï’lyë hauled her up, a look of satisfaction upon his face.
She felt the warmth of blood falling down her face; she blinked her eyes trying to keep out the blood that tried to drip within her eyes. After much toil they came upon the glistening steps of Amarth that led upwards to the entrance. As her tender foot fell upon the first step, a loud crack filled the air. She stepped back, searching for the source of the noise. Her eyes fell upon the top of the steps, the hidden door had opened, but blackness could only be seen through it.
“Hurry up, he is waiting.” Grúï’lyë snarled and forced her forward.
Their footsteps echoed in the silence as they drew nearer to the darkness. They reached the last step and stopped, Daeriul wrinkled her nose in disgust as she breathed in the foul air that drifted from the tower. Grúï’lyë took lead, Daeriul followed reluctantly, shooting Haldir a glance of worry. The darkness did not last long, for torches of flame hung from either side of the walls, lighting a never-ending passageway. Cries of pain and agony filled the air, Daeriul and Haldir froze, their eyes widening in fear.
The two Orcs stared at them and began to laugh, “That is from the dungeon, slaves who do not wish to please the Master.” Crîülè spoke quickly, after his laughter had died.
“Come on, we must hurry.” Grúï’lyë spoke hurriedly.
They carried down the passageway and turned sharply at a hidden turn. More steps stood before them and they stole upwards. They met upon two Uruk’Hai guards at the top of the staircase, Grúï’lyë nodded at them and they swept open a large stony door. Grúï’lyë glanced at Daeriul and then towards the door, after much hesitation she entered the Kingly room, followed in by Haldir and then Grúï’lyë and Crîülè.
The room was darkened apart from a small light that glowed at the other side of the room.
“Ai Na Vedui Daeriul, mori wen, ar Haldir en’ Lorien.” (Welcome Daeriul, dark maiden, and Haldir of Lorien.) The voice drifted from the other side of the room. Daeriul’s eyes focused upon a deep shadow that moved slowly back and forth.
“Sut lle sinta amin essa?” (How do you know my name?) Daeriul spoke up, she knew the voice, it was the same as the one spoken earlier. But there was something else…something you could not quite remember.
“Amin antha en’ lle…e’ lle kaimel.” (I have been watchful of you…in your dreams.) The voice spoke calmly. Anyaelia stood frozen; it was he, her nightmare, her vision.
“Taurgûl.” Her voice uttered shakily.
“Uma…lle foray.” (Yes…you are correct.) He spoke, humour glinting in his voice.
Daeriul’s voice came back to her as the truth sunk in, “Lle rashwe amin kaimel ten’ enquie, mankoi?” (You have troubled my dreams for weeks, why?)
Taurgûl did not answer, she was smart, and he knew it. Daeriul watched as the shadow began to emerge from the darkness into the light. The glow of the flame sprang upon his black robes, illuminating them. His face was haggard and worn, with deep lines that stretched across his wrinkled forehead. A wicked grin spread across his face as he answered Daeriul’s awaiting question.
“Lle e’ en’ lle…a’ tua amin harna Middle-earth.” (I am in need of you…to help me rule Middle-earth.)
Anger rose in Daeriul and she snarled out her rejection, “Lle naa haran e’ nauselle!” (You are a King in your imagination!)
Taurgûl glared at her and the air flickered with tension, Grúï’lyë changed his footing uneasily. A rich laughter filled the tense air; Daeriul stared at Taurgûl confusingly. The laughter died and Taurgûl looked at Grúï’lyë quickly, immediately he stepped forward. Taurgûl placed a hand upon Grúï’lyë’s rippling shoulder.
“And now dear Captain, you shall get your reward as you have gratefully deserved.”
Grúï’lyë grinned triumphantly; Taurgûl stretched his hand towards a table that was set behind him. Daeriul saw a flash of steel as a curved knife flew into his hand; Taurgûl knocked Grúï’lyë upon his knees. As he pressed the knife against the Captain’s neck he spoke maliciously.
“Now Captain, I was to give a grand reward, promoting you to General. But you have broken my rule, do not harm those who are mine!” He pointed towards Daeriul, she realised he was speaking about the incident with the Thorn bush.
Taurgûl dragged the knife across the Orcs neck with much satisfaction. He stepped over the dying Orc towards Crîülè, the blood stained knife he dropped upon the floor.
“Crîülè, this is your reward. You are to take Grúï’lyë’s place, and do not disobey my orders or you shall end up like him.” He pointed to Grúï’lyë’s dead body.
“I am at your command, Master.” Crîülè bowed lowly.
“You shall now leave this room, return to your company.” Taurgûl commanded loudly.
The stone doors opened and the two guards ushered Crîülè outwards. As the stone doors slammed shut Taurgûl turned towards his two captors, his eyes set upon two chairs that stood unused. They screeched loudly as they scrapped across the stony floor, they stopped behind the two elves.
“Sit.” He commanded, his eyes focused on them. Daeriul felt a force push her into the seat, she struggled to get up but it was no use.
“Why me? Why Haldir? What use are we to you?” Daeriul yelled uselessly.
Taurgûl placed his hand upon her cheek; she winced at his touch. “I shall tell you everything, now that we are alone.”