The company of Ayhnil Shadowhunter crept up the Mountains of
Mirkwood, leaping from shadow to shadow, as silent as the night
sky and as visible as the air. The foreboding, dark slopes seemed
to threaten the Elves as they climbed higher. But Ayhnil knew
that her warriors were not so easily daunted.
No star broke the oppressive gloom, not even the Valacirca
pierced the darkness, which was said to break such blackness.
This night something evil masked the creations of Varda, and
Ayhnil was aware of it.
She turned to tell her Elves to be alert for anything, but Ayhnil
saw their eyes dart to and fro, hands at the hilts of their blades.
Anything could burst from the undergrowth that seemed to crawl
at the mountains.
Something cracked a branch to the left, then another sound was
heard from the right. A brief rustle sounded from the rear. Ayhnil made a sign with her hands to the Elves that meant ‘we are being surrounded.’
Andalon, her first lieutenant nodded, then positioned two archers to cover their back. Their sleek projectiles were poised ready to fire. The other Elves continued their path up the mountain.
Ayhnil’s eyes narrowed as she heard more foreboding noises. She knew something was about to ambush them. Silently, she drew one of her slender blades from her side, and most of the party followed their leader’s example.
“Now would be a good time to use it, mistress,” whispered
Ophimir in Ayhnil’s ear.
“Maybe. Yet it might draw more foes to us,” she replied.
“But at least we wouldn’t be fighting in the dark.”
“Very well. Elbereth Githoniel!”
The Candle of Telpion lit up in a burst of light just as the
ambushers burst from the shadows.