It was two days before the wedding. Narya was asleep in her bed. She hadn’t talked to Aseir for the past six days. She had tried her best to avoid him though he often tried to make his way to her.
The seamstresses had been hard at work on her wedding dress. It was to be the most magnificient of all adorned with jewels and lace. But Aseir had gone to her father and asked if he could design it. Her father of course always trusting Aseir allowed him to though he had no idea of what Aseir was planning to do. Aseir already seeing Narya’s figure designed the perfect dress that he would love. The dress would have been considered immodest anywhere else in Middle Earth. It was to be made of white silk. Her midriff was to be exposed. Her stomach was clearly seen. But Aseir was still not satisfied with that. He decided that the fabric covering her breasts should be thinner than that of the rest of the dress so that their outline could be clearly seen. The bottom dress was slit all the way to her hips on either side. Her legs were simply covered with a swaying open cut of see through fabric. Her legs were to be covered in jewels. It was the same with her arms. Her hair was to be unbraided and loose as Aseir requested. The part of her that was covered the most was her head. He concocted an extrodinary veil of lace, jewels, and flowers to cover her head. Her back was to be bare as well.
” Are you completely positive of this?” the seamstress asked Aseir.
” Of course. Off to it!” he ordered.
” But my lord, do you not think that the maiden Narya will disapprove?”
” No she will not. Please make it. It shouldn’t take to long. I will return within the hour with Narya and she will try it on.”
” Yes, my lord.”
Aseir occupied his time by looking for Narya. No one had seen her all morning. He tried the woods first, but then guessed she would she in the garden where she usally wandered. He found her there. She saw him approaching and decided to leave.
” No running this time Narya. I need you,” he grabbed her hand before she could depart.
” What for?” she inquired as he dragged her away.
” Your father has entrusted me with designing your wedding dress.”
” He what? Oh no!”
” Come along. They should be done now.”
Narya accompanied him to the seamstresse’s work room. The seamstress was gone but Aseir saw that the dress had been completed. It lay on the chair. Aseir held it up for her. The veil had not yet been completed though.
” No! I will not wear that!” she lashed out.
” You will try it on now or I will rip the clothes from your back and force you into it.”
Narya knew he would. She agreed to try it on but only as long as he left the room. He decided it would be the sensible hting to do. He closed the door behind him. After easily slipping the so called ” dress ” on, Narya looked at her reflection in the mirror. She did have the perfect figure for the dress, but hated how light it was. It seemed to be invisible clothing. Aseir growing tired of waiting walked inside. She turned to face him.
” You look beautiful.”
” I do not think so.”
” I care not. You will wear it.”
” Well, then let us see what my father has to say about this.”
Before Aseir could object, Narya fled from her room and went to the throne room where her father and his subjects were discussing matters of importance. The eyebrows of all the men in the room were raised that Narya had entered the room and to what she was wearing.
” Daughter, why have you disturbed us?” her father asked angrily.
” To show you my so called wedding gown,” she said her fists clenched.
” Thank you, Narya but I am occupied now.”
Narya looked amazed at her father. Something in him had changed. He barely looked at her and the flimsy outfit she was wearing.
” You do not disaprove of the dress?” Narya asked stunned.
” No, why should I?” he asked.
She saw Aseir behind her folding his arms across his chest and plastered a smile across his face. She tried to leave the courtroom, but Aseir blocked her path.
” Narya, why don’t you tell your father what you said to me a few moments ago?” he said grinning in triumph.
” I said, father that you would protest to such a see through dress, but obviously you have grown stupid and your eyes are blind.”
Rumours began spreading through the men in the court. No Easterling woman had ever spoken that way to any man or especially father in history! Narya tried to run, but Aseir grabbed her. She broke free and struck him hard on the face.
” Narya!” her father screamed.
Narya ran out of the courtroom. She decided that her mother would understand her. Narya ran to her mother’s room and opened it without knocking.
” Narya what is it?” her mother asked. ” Narya, what on earth are you wearing?”
” My wedding gown,” Narya said in between tears.
” Aseir designed it. Father has been blinded by him. He does not care. I hate it mother! I hate this gown, and I hate Aseir. I do not wish to marry him!”
” Now daughter. You know I do not care for the dress. But we women must know our place. Our men are responsible for us and they know what is best for us. You must marry Aseir.”
The words of her mother pierced through her heart. She wished with all her might that she had been born an elf or of the race of men. Narya fled from her mother’s presence. She ran by Aseir who was coming up the steps. He started after her, but she was clearly the better of him. Narya ran through the village and into the woods. She hoped with al her strength that he would be there.
He was for he lived there for the time being. He knew he would not depart until he knew that Narya was truly married. She saw him in the woods and ran into his arms.
” River Daughter,” he asked suddenly standing up. ” What in Arda’s name is the matter?”
Narya did not speak. He could tell by the way she was dressed and for the fact that Aseir was running towards her. Manwel unsheathed his sword. It flashed at Aseir as he made his way to them.
” Who are you?” Aseir asked angrily.
” Be warned foul swine!” Manwel insulted him. ” I am well skilled with the sword! If you attempt to hurt her, I will certainly split you in two!”
” That is the first time a man has dared insult me!” Aseir said taking his sword from its scabbard. ” You will pay for that in death! Surrender now and I will spare you!”
” Never! To the death!”
Narya suddenly intervened.
” Stop this madness!”
” Narya who is this weather beaten fool?” Aseir asked.
” A fool you say? How can a heartless venemous predator of women speak of fools?” Manwel said to him with a cold long stare.
” Aseir, Manwel, stop! Aseir, do not tell my father of Manwel. Swear to me to do so!”
” I will make no such vow unless I know who he is,” Aseir threatened pointing the sword at Manwel.
” I am the true lover of the River Daughter.”
” Narya is not a River Daughter. She is a ruination only capable of child bearing.”
Manwel would not listen to that! He took his sword and slashed at Aseir’s arm creating an eternal scar.
” Something to remember me by. That you should ever insult a woman of noble beauty.”
” Narya! Come with me!” Aseir grabbed her by the arm.
” Stop!” Narya shouted. ” I will return with you Aseir, but only if you promise to not tell my father of this meeting. Forget it! Vow to me never to speak of it again.”
” I do! Now come.”
Narya was dragged away by Aseir and watched Manwel’s figure disappear.
” Who is he Narya?” Aseir asked her.
” I met him when I was bathing at the river.”
” Bathing? Did he dishonour you?”
” How can you say that when you yourself did the same thing?” she exclaimed.
” We are to be married. I can see it in your eyes Narya. You love him.”
” But I will not cling to him.”
” Your will goes with me but your heart goes to him!” Aseir said furiously.
” My will is stronger than my heart.”
Narya knew that not to be true. It was proved also on the night of the wedding. Aseir had not altered the dress. She could not ask him to for he threatened to tell her father of her secret lover. Narya gazed at herself in the mirror. She had dismissed the servants from the room. The veil was heavy upon her head compared to the rest of the gown. A tear slowly trickled down her cheek.
” Why is the bride crying on the night of her wedding?”
She turned and saw Manwel standing in her window.
” You just couldn’t keep away!” she cried out as more tears fell down her cheeks.
He smiled as he watched the tears for he knew her heart was taking over. Manwel began to approach her. As he did, the more and more he tugged at her heart. She longed for him. She loved him, and he loved her.
” Please go Manwel before it’s to late,” she continued to let the tears flow.
” It is already to late,” he said taking her cheeks and kissing the tears away that were flowing.
Manwel kissed her. He kissed her as he had the first day he met her. She felt his passion and his love course through her body. She loved him. His mouth left hers.
” Narya, you love me do you not?” he asked.
” Your heart is aching now.”
” Come with me Narya. Marry me instead of that ravenous snake. We will live in harmony. We will be called the lovers in the tales. We shall be like Beren and Luthien and live in happiness our whole lives.”
” Yes!” she said. ” Oh kiss me again!”
He did. Suddenly, Narya heard the sound of a knock on the door. She thought it might be her parents or worse..Aseir! She was relieved when she heard the voice of her maidservant.
” Are you ready my lady?”
” No, not yet!” she shouted out. ” And nor will I ever be,” she said softly to Manwel.
” We must hurry. Gather what you can!”
Narya didn’t have time to change. She quickly gathered what clothes she could and fastened the pack on her shoulder. She left a small note by her bedside and climbed onto Manwel’s back.
They made their exodus out of the village and into the woods where the stars were the only shelter they had. Narya and Manwel didn’t stop until they reached the end of the woods of Dol Amroth.
” Do not worry Aritha,” Fasel told his wife. ” The servants are dressing her now.”
” Well, are you sure? I don’t agree with that dress that Aseir made for her.”
” I noticed nothing wrong with it. It was beautiful nd complimented her figure well. You were also beautiful in your wedding dress.”
” I was also covered by yards of fabric. The only thing Narya is covered with is a scrap of thin silk outlining her breasts exposing her legs and midriff. I do not think highly of it or the man she is marrying.”
” I do not wish you to argue with me Aritha. It is to late to change the dress anyway. Now come. Let us say farewell to our daughter.”
Fasel and Aritha made their way to their daughter’s room. Fasel knocked on the door but heard no answer. Then the fatal words came back to haunt him But on her wedding night she will disappear from your sight. Will she return? Maybe she will, but not before she climbs a most treacherous hill. And goes upon a dangerous journey that if she returns to be sure her father not even recognise her.
Fasel burst open the door. The cold air blew through the window running chills up his spine. He saw the note on her bed and realized what had happened.
Aritha cried out, ” The Curse!”