“How is it Morelen’s fault?” Gimli barked at Haydar, clearly wishing he could take the man down that very moment. After he asked the question, he realized that it was she who had run away and forced them all to chase after her, but there was nothing to be done for it now. He brushed the thought from his mind, focusing hard on Haydar.
“Please, be seated, dwarf, I will explain it in further detail, if you would but SHUT UP!” They backed away from their captor and warily sat down, huddling together for comfort.
“Though I do not know your name, woman, I know of you, your history. You are the daughter of Jala’ and Dharro of the Narakshi – a traveling tribe of the Haradrim, a people who migrated to this land from the Eastern desert.”
She let the two names roll around in her thoughts, for such information she had been seeking for what seemed like an eternity. So often since she ran away did she think on the names of her true parents. They were beautiful names.
Not Aragorn and Arwen; Jala’ and Dharro…I wonder how Haydar knows of them…
“How do you know me?! I was born and raised in Gondor! My true people have never seen me before.” Morelen retorted, skeptical.
Although she spoke with confidence, her words were purely conjecture. She never stuck around to find out how she had ended up in Gondor, and for some reason she had never thought to ask Legolas or Gimli. They seemed uneasy whenever the subject came up, and she preferred to leave the topic alone, for now.
Haydar smiled at her, a mysterious, shrewd smile that suddenly made her feel like shivering.
“I can see them in your eyes, your chin, your hands, your speech. There is no mistaking the daughter of Dharro and Jala’…” His voice trailed off and she noticed, for a moment that he seemed to linger unknowingly on the word Jala’, a distant look in his eyes, though she gave it little thought.
Instinctively she wanted to defend her Gondorian parents, to say that they were her real family but she checked herself, not wishing to provoke Haydar. Plus she wasn’t really sure if she wanted the elf and king as her parents, anyway. As far as she was concerned, they had lied to her for sixteen years, and she wanted nothing to do with them.
“If they are my parents, which you have no proof of by the way, what have they done to upset you so? It seems I am their only existing memory, and perhaps that is why you hate me so?” Morelen asked calmly, though she felt anything but calm. Snakes seemed to writhe and slither in her stomach, and she felt like gagging with the strength of her anxiety.
“That, my darling child,” he stared down at all of them with a twinkling gleam in his fiery eyes, “is a story for another time.”
“So then what have you brought us here for, if you’re not going to tell us anything of importance?” Elboron asked angrily.
Haydar’s gaze became hard and cold as he retorted, “Because I can; because I am the most powerful man in Harad; that is why.”
“Does that answer your question, young man?” He asked, condescension dripping from every word as his tone softened and become thick as honey, slimy as oil.
Elboron returned the man’s gaze and answered with disgust, “No. Would you explain it to me again?”
Haydar threw his head back after a momentary pause and laughed, a hearty yet cruel sound that chilled them to the core.
“Well, you should get some sleep, my friends, and perhaps you will understand it better in the morning. We enter the Great city on the morrow. Ya’ala, imshi!” He barked to the darkened exit without letting his humorous gaze wander from them.
Two burly men, almost taller than he, came and ruthlessly dragged the four captives back to their tent, kicking and grumbling Elvish curses under their breath. They were tossed mercilessly onto the ground and the guards at the tent were replaced with new ones, ready and alert.
Morelen groaned and rubbed her head, pain lancing through her already throbbing temples. This night would be painful, not only physically but mentally as well, for she was never more hungry to learn of her heritage than she was at that moment.
“Get some sleep,” Legolas murmured to them after the men had left, “for tomorrow, we may very well get our chance amongst the many crowds of people to make our escape. I can’t make any promises, but it’s a possibility…”
Suddenly hearing this, all Morelen wanted to do was stay up and discuss their plan, though neither Legolas, Elboron nor Gimli wanted to hear her incessant chatter. All they wanted was SLEEP.
“Ooh Elboron, tomorrow, we could be free! I wonder what Haydar meant, about my parents; I wonder what they did to anger him so–”
She was cut off when Elboron rolled over to her and propped himself up on one elbow, silencing her by putting his free hand over her mouth.
“By the Valar, woman, do you ever stop talking?”
Her brow creased, hurt by his brash words, and she turned coldly away from him, thousands of pent-up questions racing through her mind. She curled up, wishing that she was outside, closer to the heat of the warm fire.
*Once again, I am making up the Haradaic language – sorry to those out there who actually know the language but I am having fun putting letters together 😀 It’s supposed to sound kind of like Arabic, because that’s how I picture the Haradrim. I do hope you will forgive me.*
*The Great City is also of my own creation. I looked for any cities around that area but could find none that would work. So…this is the extent of my creativity. Sorry…again….*
*On another note, the Narakshi was truly a wandering tribe of Haradrim. They were the nomads, or at least the most prominent group of them, that traveled throughout the hot south. Tolkien did create more of these tribes but they remain unnamed.*