She was never scared. No, my sister was never scared. She saw things differently to all of us, I suppose that’s why she took it so well. I cried when she left. They didn’t see it, but I cried. I only cried on that day. Mother always told me to be strong, but to try to do that when you have lost your sister as well, is one of the hardest things I have been through.
Chelte was a hero in her way. She lived half her life suffering comments about her appearance, personality, anything you could say about her seemed to be an offence. Even her name. It is the Faerie word for Elf, and she looked like one. She acted like one when the time suited her. The only time I really realised how different we were from her was when father died. I was in my 80’s, quite young, but Chelte was only three. That was when people started to say things about her. ‘She’s an Elf. Elves killed our father.’ I thought it was understandable at first, we would be sour towards any of the Elven-Folk, after all, our father was killed by an Elf out of jealousy. Simple hatred had taken our father’s life, and the feeling was reflected onto Chelte. But after a while, it seemed to be routine. We would never say anything to Chelte unless it was out of spite, or necessary. But this was how she grew up. She thought this was love, and never thought any differently.
I was the first to ‘forgive’ her. After all, she was born this way. She had Golden hair (Faeries have never had this. The most common is red, then dark brown.), and her eyes were grey. Even her wings were small, and rather than flash with colour, like most do, you could barely see hers. People saw it as a miracle the first three years of her life. Then it was an abomination. I think I was the first to see that, although she looked like an Elf, she was still a Faerie like us. She always would be, I hoped.
I said to her one day that we loved her really, but it was hard for Srere and Gemmae after mother died. She simply replied ‘I know.’ She was older then, but not more than 17. How could she know? She hardly knew father. I later found out that she had heard Srere and Gemmae talk. Srere was angry, shouting her hate for her sister to the Heavens. She even wanted her dead if it could happen. Gemmae tried her hardest to calm her down, but I always knew she felt the same way inside.
One night, however, Srere’s wish was granted, but at a price. I was not there, but I can relay the scene in my head as clear as day from what Gemmae told me.
The three sisters were talking to our mother, Jennette. Mother was half Elven, and the granddaughter of the Lady Galadriel. This was why Chelte was the way she was, I think. Galadriel was always hard to figure out.
Mother told the three that she was to appoint Srere Queen within the next year. Maybe she knew what would happen? I never knew. Srere was happy, Gemmae recalls, and smiled. It doesn’t sound like much, but for Srere to smile is a sight we never saw often in our lifetimes. Something had genuinely made her happy, and Gemmae said she wished she could stop time, just to see it again.
But Srere never saw him coming. The Captain of the Guard came up from behind my mother, and, with one quick slash of his sword, sent her to the ground, dying.
Gemmae told me that after this, she and Srere stood still, fearing his next move. He did not move though. Chelte made sure of it. The last thing our Captain did was whisper ‘Ahnweris’ and fall to the floor in a pool of his and my mother’s blood.
Ahnweris is one of the Rings of Power given to the Faeries. Mother was unfortunate enough to be given one, and it cost her her life. Gemmae said that the Guard wanted it, why else would he do it? He killed my mother for it.
Srere and Gemmae then saw why the Guard had died. Mother’s knife, Etorla, stuck in his back, Chelte standing behind him, in tears. Gemmae almost wanted to comfort her, but years of hatred and spite got in her way. Srere did something though. Mother was still barely alive. Srere bent over to see her, and mother whispered something in her ear. With those last words, she died, a look of peace on her face.
Streams of tears fell down their faces, and for the first time, the differences of the three sisters no longer mattered. It was the same mother who had died, and the same three daughters who grieved for her.
The next day Mother’s body was put on a boat and taken to the Grey Havens. She was Half-Elven, and, she always wanted to go there. Our Grandmother, Celebel, went with her. Mother was buried there, and we knew it was where she wanted to be.
Srere was then made Queen. Her first act was to summon Chelte to see her. There were shouts, I remember, and then I saw that what had happened the last night made no difference. Srere would always hate Chelte.
Chelte had been exiled under the charge of killing the Captain of the Guard. She had, but only to justify what he had done to our Mother. To exile her was cruel. Srere did not care, and by the end of the week, my little sister was gone.
I still see the look on her face as she left. Her eyes bored through me to see if I would help. But I did nothing. I, her brother, the only thing she had had that was even close to a friend, stood and did nothing. One tear trickled down my face as she stared, and she wiped it away with a smile. She was trying to be brave, but her eyes, too, welled up with tears.
I could stand it no longer. I went with her as far as the edge of the forest.
‘Where will you go?’ I asked.
‘To Lorien. Maybe they will look after me there.’ She answered. I was surprised. Most things she said were in riddles, or tactfully changing the subject. But now she was giving up. What was the point of being herself if all it brought her was hate?
‘I know they will.’ I said. I held out my hands and gave her my spear.
‘You will need something to keep you safe, though, while you journey.’
She looked at me with those grey eyes of hers again, trying to see what I was doing. This was new to her. Love. Her own brother was showing her something she had never even thought existed up until now, and she cried.
I hugged her a final goodbye. She walked off, my spear in her hands, and a smile somewhere on her face.
Srere spoke to me after I returned.
‘ “Send her to Lorien” Mother said. “This is no place for her”. Mother told me to send her away, she knew I would all too gladly.’
‘She thinks you hate her.’ I said.
‘Maybe I do. It was hard to see her, so happy and innocent, the day father died. I know she didn’t understand, but, it was as if she was mocking my loss.’
‘She would never do that to you. Somewhere inside she knew, but whenever she tried to talk to us, we’d push her away. She understands.’ I walked away with that. I could no longer bear it. Later that night, I cried.
The first thing I did when I woke up was go into Mother’s room. I had not yet said goodbye. As I entered, I saw a glass case lying open on a small table. There was a silk cushion in it. I wondered what this was for, but then I remembered. Mother kept Etorla in this case.
Mother’s knife was beautiful. It had a Mythril blade that was curved at the end, and the hilt was gold.
Upon the hilt were four stones. A Sapphire for Srere, an Emerald for Gemmae, a Ruby for me, and an Amethyst for Chelte.
Then it struck me. Chelte had taken someone’s life with this blade. She must think it was now her responsibility. Ahnweris was gone too. Chelte was the thief, but I wouldn’t condemn her. She had a great weight upon her shoulders now.
Chelte was 1, 047 the next time I saw her. It had been near half a century since she was exiled. I had been sent to Lothlorien to bring her back from exile. It was a hard journey, and when I got to the Golden Wood I was told Chelte was not there. She had left for Rivendell two days before. I had to hurry to catch her. I hardly rested and if I could, I ran.
Finally, three days after I set out, I saw a figure in the distance. I called out for them to stop, and, as the figure turned, I saw her. Chelte was standing there. I ran to catch up to her, and when I did, I saw a change in her. She had a more muscular build, and looked confident of herself. She was in Elven Clothes, and had her hair braided back as do the Elves. I could barely see her wings, but a glimmer of the trees behind her back told me they were still there. She had not yet chosen. I was surprised. I soon found out why. At her side was Etorla, and in her hand was my spear. Two worlds still tore at her. I wondered, did she still have Ahnweris?
We journeyed to Imladris, as she called it instead of Rivendell. She told me that the Elves had taught her how to use weapons, and how to fight, instead of be a Lady like most women in Lothlorien. She joked with me, laughed, things I had never before seen her do. This showed me how much I had missed out on learning about my sister. I sighed, but then I thought ‘When all of this is over, she may be coming back’. I smiled, but did not tell her the news.
When we had passed over the Caradhras, fate turned from our favour. We were attacked by Orcs. Here I saw Chelte’s fighting skills, and I was amazed. They surpassed many of the soldiers’ from our home, Sarindas Paran. She killed many of the Orcs, but we were soon attacked by more. I was cut across my sides, a deep wound that has stopped me from fighting as I once did. Chelte managed to escape with a gash across her left arm.
As the number of Orcs weakened, we managed to escape. I was in no condition to even be travelling, it seemed. No, I was near death. It was a two weeks journey from Rivendell and we were cut slightly off course by the Orcs. I begged Chelte to go without me, I would die anyway, and would only burden her if she chose to travel with me.
She did not care one bit. She took me anyway, carrying me if she had to, giving me most of her food and water. She managed to get me to Rivendell, but I was feared to weak to live, even if I was healed.
Chelte was exhausted. In her bid to save my life, she lost concern over her own. She went before the Council of Elrond and told the tale of that fateful day where we almost died, crying and gasping for air. I found out that she was sent from Lorien to tell of Orc attacks that had recently been occurring, and of worries over a Ring of Power. I was concerned for Chelte though, she had one such Ring (although I did not realise at the time, the Ring that was the Council’s concern made Ahnweris nothing.).
Chelte spilled out the message she was sent to tell, and, with one final gasp for air, fainted. She had not rested in two weeks because of me, and, when I learnt of what she had done, I realised we both could’ve died.
We could not leave for over a month, my wounds were too deep and I would need a horse. I wondered why we were still angry with the Elves, my people. They had been so kind. I would tell Srere and Gemmae of this when I returned home.
I didn’t get a chance to, though, as Srere and Gemmae soon came to Rivendell to bring me back. Chelte was asked to come, but I remember her refusing, and those words that rang so clearly in my head:
‘When the Faeries exiled me, the Elves took me in. When I was dying, it was not the Faeries who healed me, it was the Elves. My heart will always stay in Lothlorien, and you cannot change my mind.’
Chelte stayed with the Elves, and, after that, I never saw my sister again. She was born an Elf, and she died an Elf. In a final act of defiance against Srere and Gemmae, she became an Elf, and lived out the dream our mother only wished for.