Tethcelebel, Elwen, Ohtarwen and Estel found Legolas and Elnar about mid-afternoon. Legolas handed Ohtarwen Ancating to her great surprise. When she inquired as to where and how they had got it, Legolas simply shrugged, chosing not relate the rescue of Elnar and Miredhel at this time. Once they were together, they began the ride back to Lothlorien at a slow pace.
“Why are we riding so slowly?” Estel asked, “It is not like Elwen and Legolas to not run their mounts!”
Elwen answered without turning her head, “We are going to be in so much trouble when we arrive at Lothlorien, we don’t necessarily want to hasten that along.”
“Ah, come now, what could you three have possibly done to be in that much trouble?” Estel laughed.
Tethcelebel turned to face the Ranger, “Try leaving Lorien with out permission.” Estel drew in his breath sharply.
“And none of us are considered grown yet, so tack on leaving without proper supervision.” Elwen added.
Estel’s eyes grew wide, “Wow! You three are in trouble; big trouble.”
“And,” Legolas shook his head at his own actions, “We did all that twice, didn’t show up when ordered to appear, knocked a guard of Caras Galadhon unconscious, lied to Lady Galadriel…do I need to go further?”
“You are going to be in it so deep! I do not envy you my Elven friends!” Estel shook his head. The six rode in mostly silence until the sun started to set.
“Let’s stop here for the night.” Estel suggested indicating a small hill top.
Legolas nodded in agreement and began to issue orders, “Elwen, take Ohtarwen and find fuel for a fire, Tethcelebel, you and Elnar, can you prepare something for us to eat? Estel and I will attend to the horses. Go on, get moving girls.” Everyone did as Legolas had said and soon, a small fire was lit and the six sat down to eat. After they finished their meal, they drew straws to see who would stand watch first. Tethcelebel and Ohtarwen drew first watch, Legolas and Elwen second, and Estel and Elnar had the third. Those not on watch settled down to sleep and the night passed uneventfully.
As morning broke, a gray day witha heavy cover of clouds, all on top of the hill got ready for the morning meal. Legolas looked intently at the half a dozen sticks left from the wood Elwen and Ohtarwen had gathered the night before.
“Elwen, where did you find wood for the fire?” he asked curiously.
Elwen turned towards the east and pointed, “Behind those little hills, there is a small grove of trees, part of Fangorn, I think. We took wood from there.”
“You took wood from Fangorn?!” Tethcelebel exclaimed, “You did not cut anything from the trees did you?”
Elwen rolled her eyes and sighed heavily, “No Celebel! I know better than to do that! And besides, I have nothing like an axe to use; we gathered branches from the ground.”
“Well go and get some more, would you?” Legolas asked.
Elwen shrugged gathering her clothes and weapons, “sure, but I’m going to the river to take a bath first.” Tethcelebel, Ohtarwen and Elnar followed Elwen as she left the hilltop.
Legolas called after them, “Hey, stay on the south side of the bend in the river. I’m going to be on the north side, all right?” Tethcelebel turned and waved her hand to signal that they agreed.
“You, Prince Legolas, are as bad as the girls!” Estel laughed as he shoved Legolas playfully, ” ‘I must go bathe!’ you say. You are funny, Legolas!”
“Funny? Maybe, but Estel, getting wet would not hurt you, and Lady Galadriel will be happier if you smell a little fresher than you do now!” Legolas responed, “Come with me, my friend. Oh, another benefit of bathing…the maidens won’t be afraid to lean against you.” Estel laughed as he and Legolas walked towards the river.
After bathing, the six travelers met a short distance from their hilltop camp. Elnar began to walk back toward the hill when Elwen and Tethcelebel silmultaniously grabbed her arms, holding her back.
“Let go of me, Elwen.” she slapped Elwen’s hand which she could reach, “If you wanted to lead the way, you could have just said so.” Elnar’s comment brought Legolas and Estel’s atention to the elf-maidens.
“What is wrong, Tethcelebel?” Estel asked. Legolas glanced at Elwen’s face. He had seen the look before, soemthing was wrong, he truned and scanned the surrounding area for any signs of trouble.
Tethcelebel quietly answered Estel, “I sensed something as she stepped foward. I felt the pain of someone else, and sorrow.”
“Wow! I didn’t know you could do that!” Ohtarwen exclaimed, “Lady Galadriel can do that, and you can too!”
Elwen’s eyes stayed focused on the hilltop as she softly spoke, “En*! our horses are gone!”
“Would that have anything to do with Celebel’s feeling that thing?” Ohtarwen inquired, her hand had been tight on her sword’s hilt, but now it relaxed.
“I don’t know!” As Elwen spoke the wind shifted. Her eyes grew wide she turned to Legolas.
The look in his eyes, matched the look in her’s. Legolas drew his bow, loading it wiht an arrow as he cried, “Glamhoth*! Stand ready, they are coming!” No sooner had the words left his mouth then from all directions came orcs. Elwen and Estel also pulled out their bows and began to fire with Leoglas.
“This is going to be difficult, Estel!” Elwen spoke through clenched teeth as she fired off an arrow hitting an orc, “Can you call your Ranger friends?”
Estel shook his head loosing an arrow, “Sorry, Tethaer*, they left yesterday, just after we did, heading in the opposite direction.”
“Etarish*” Elwen shook her head, sending more arrows into orcs, “Etarish!” The orcs came into range of swords, and all began to fight. The orcs began to cricle around the elves and humans, a few with bows began to fire arrows into the middle of the ring.
“This isn’t good!” Ohtarwen yelled between stabbing orcs, “We need to get out of the circle, before they get lucky and start to pick us off with that bow!”
“I know, I’m trying to get over there!” Elwen yelled back dodging as an arrow sailed by, close to her head. Tethcelebel thought about Elwen and Ohtarwen’s comments as she noticed a small break in the orcs.
“Die you worthless scum!” Tethcelebel yelled as she broke through the circle. She attracted the atention of about half of the orcs and they began to follow her. Tethcelebel ran out across the plain, knowing they were following her. she began to run in a circle and came up behind the orcs in the back of the bunch. She hacked at them until they realized what was happening. She then took off in another direction and repeated the process. Suddenly, a horrible pain ripped through her side. Tethcelebel began to slow her pace automatically. Glancing down, she saw the haft of a spear, sticking out from her side. Tethcelebel heard the orcs approaching and ran for the little stand of trees. She tripped over a log and fell, jamming the spear even farther into her side. An arrow whisteled over head and another bit into her shoulder as she struggled to rise. She made her way over to a tree and leaned against it, taking another arrow, this one in the other arm.
She raised her sword at the the approaching orcs and spoke savagely, “I will kill you, or I will die trying!”
“Cuamin linduva yassen mergrille, Celebel!” Elwen announced from the edge of the forest, “And the bodies of our foes will be eaten by the birds and scavengers!” As she spoke, Elwen fired arows into the orcs advancing on Tethcelebel. They turned to face the new threat, figuring they could finish off Tethcelebel after they were done with this new elf. Elwen shot arrows rapidly as they got closer and closer to her. She waited until they were almost close enough to strike with swords and then she bolted. the orcs followed her as she led them a short distance from her friend. As soon as they were far enough away, Elwen whipped out both swords and attacked the orcs with amazing ferosicity and speed.
Orcs fell beneath the twin blades until only one of them remained. Elwen caught his head between her blades and killed him. She looked around, all the other orcs were still fighting against Legolas and the others, and EStel and Legolas were winning. Elwen ran back into the woods and knelt down by Tethcelebel. Tethcelebel was in a sitting position on the ground, leaning back against the trunk of the tree. Her eyes were closed and Elwen couldn’t help but see the wound in her stomach and the arrows in her torrso.
“How many of them did you kill, Elwen?” Tethcelebel asked in a whisper, cracking one eye open.
Elwen forced a smile as she answered lowering her voice, “Only a score, Celebel. How’d you fare?”
“I slew twenty-eight!” came the response. Elwen smiled but the smile faded as Tethcelebel coughed, causing her side to bleed more. Elwen took off her cloak and placed it against Tethcelebel’s side to staunch the flow of blood. As the cloth touched her wound, Tethcelebel gasped in pain. Elwen took one hand away from the cloak and placed it on Tethcelebel’s head.
“Shh, shh, Celebel! It’s gonna be ok!” Elwen spoke soothingly. Tethcelebel’s muscles in her right arm contracted violently, and she fell foward limp. Elwen caught her and leaned her back against the tree. The slight heaving of Tethcelebel’s chest told Elwen that her friend was still alive.
Suddenly Elwen broke down, taking Tethcelebel in her arms, and began to cry, speaking between sobs, “Oh, Celebel, I’m so sorry. It’s all my fault! I was the one who thought this all up. I’m sorry, Celebel. I shouldn’t have let you come. Oh Celebel, you’ve got to be all right. Don’t you know, if yuo get really hurt, your grandmother’s going to kill me. You don’t want that hanging over you, do yuo?” Elwen spoke the last thing in jest, trying to get a response out of Tethcelebel, but she never stirred. Elwen stopped crying, and just sat there, rocking back and forth Tethcelebel’s head against her shoulder. A hawk’s cry peirced the air, causing Elwen to lift her head. She answered it, knowing it was Legolas, searching for her and Tethcelebel.
Within a few moments, Legolas, Estel, Ohtarwen, and Elnar appeared at the edge of the forest. All looked disheveled, as they appraosched where Elwen sat. Their eyes focused on Tethcelebel at the same time, and all looked shocked. Elnar grabbed the nearby tree for support, Legolas’s face took on a pained expression, like someone had hit him in the stomach, Ohtarwen slammed her knife into a tree and kicked out with her foot. Estel’s face grew sad and when he spoke, his voice was filled with sorrow.
“Elwen, are you all right? You have a nasty cut upon your eyebrow!” he said calling attention to an injury Elwen had not noticed before.
“Yes,” Elwen nodded, “But Celebel isn’t. Can you help her? I’m not a healer but you were taught by Lord Elrond right?” Estel nodded and bent down, to look at Tethcelebel’s wound.
“Legolas, take care of your sister. I will do my best to help Tethcelebel.” as he spoke, Estel moved Tethcelebel from Elwen’s grasp and laid her out on the ground. He inhaled through his teeth when he saw the wound Elwen’s cloak was stopping up, “I can not fix her! This is way beyond my expertise, but I will do my best to keep her alive.” Legolas helped Elwen up from the ground as Estel told Elnar to find herbs for him to use. Legolas, Ohtartwen and Elwen stood guard lest any orcs should come back.
En – Look
Glamhoth – orcs
Tethaer – Little One
Etarish – Crap
Cuamin linduva yassen mergrille – my bow shall sing with yuor sword