Orcs! Legolas heard the horn sound, warning of danger and calling for help. Indile did not know what the horn call meant, and she did not understand why Legolas suddenly became so tense. She thought the sound issued from the city, for it was not far away.
“Legolas? What is it?” Indile asked him.
“Orcs are either inside the borders or are trying to invade them,” he whispered hoarsely, feeling, for the first time, fear of the foul creatures.
Indile stood still as if she were frozen. Can it be that my time has come so soon?, she thought. No! I won’t let them kill me! I won’t let them take me from Legolas!
Legolas could see the fear, but also determination, in her eyes as he looked at her.
Taking her hand in his, he began to run toward the city, pulling her along with him.
* * * * * *
Nenlosse had risen with the dawn as usual, dressing with no particular haste. She saw no reason why her last days on Middle Earth should be rushed and hurried.
It was no secret in Lorien circles that Indile Almiel’s mother meant to take ship with Lady Galadriel for the Undying Lands in a matter of weeks. What was a secret was why. Why should an Elven lady wish to set sail when she had anything she could possibly want? A lovely daughter, a royal son-in-law to be (by this time, tales had grown tall indeed about Indile and the Prince of Mirkwood), a friend in the Lady, a home where her daughter would live as the Princess, and eventually, Queen. What else could there be? the Elves of Lorien wondered.
Nenlosse knew. From outward appearances, she was an ordinary she-elf. But she felt a pain that could not be eased, and she bore a scar upon her heart that would not be healed until she was with her Daeron again. And that would not be until she entered the Blessed Realm.
With these thoughts on her mind, she went to the edge of the city to walk and think in the quiet.
As she paced silently through the trees, she saw the Prince and her daughter run into the city, Indile looking quite out of breath and pale. The Prince shouted, “Orcs!”
* * * * * *
The sound of the horn had not reached the City of the Galadhrim, so Legolas’ shout took the Elves by surprise. Those who had not heard him were quickly informed by those who had, and in this way, the word spread quickly.
None were worried: Lorien had many skilled warriors and the power of the Lady to protect it against a few mindless Orcs. Many elves clustered around Legolas and Indile, asking questions they could not answer. They had only heard the horn blown, they knew nothing of the strength of the orcs at all.
At length Indile and Legolas slipped away to join Nenlosse, who was standing away by herself.
Indile quickly told her mother of her vision, and the ending of it.
When Nenlosse heard her daughter’s words, her face became pale and she cried, “No! It cannot be! They cannot take you too!”
“It is what I saw, mother,” Indile whispered, a tear escaping her eye to roll down her cheek.
Nenlosse was about to reply, but just then Haldir walked up to them.
“Legolas, we are ready to leave for the border. You would be welcome among us, you are a fine warrior, but if you wish to stay, we understand,” he said.
“No, I will come, Haldir. After all, I have given my word to Lady Almiel,” Legolas replied, smiling at Indile.
Indile smiled back and began to speak, her words directed at Legolas. “Aran ni elwenya, kelet rìna ó dilwa. Avathar tul, nó sil, ar mornië vanuva. Namarië!” So saying, she embraced him and kissed his cheek instead of his lips, for many Elves watched them, the reason she spoke in a tongue they did not understand.
Legolas understood her words, but all speech failed him and he could make no reply. He turned to mount the horse that had been readied for him and rode away with Haldir’s company of Elves.
* * * * *
Indile sat with her mother inside their talan, waiting, waiting in a terrible silence that neither could break.
Both thought of Daeron: murdered senselessly by these foul creatures of Mordor. They had stolen already the life of a father and husband, would they now take a daughter? a son, perhaps? Would they crush a love only just discovered?
Suddenly, Indile knew she could not bear it any more. The voice of Fate spoke to her, saying, “Come now, Indile. Defeat your purpose if you can. You were born to die. You cannot escape it. It is your fate..“
She jumped up from her chair and grabbed her elven knives from where they lay by her bed and ran down the stairs, not heeding the call of her mother.
Indile ran with all speed to the stable and found Tinwe. Needing no saddle or bridle, she mounted easily, crying, “Kel, Tinwe!”
Tinwe obeyed the call of his mistress and galloped forth, past the frightened, bewildered Nenlosse.
“I go now to meet my fate! Whether to conquer it or submit to it, I shall see!” Indile shouted back at her mother, not stopping as she rode to the Northern border.
* * * * *
They were creatures of despair. They could only hate, they had nothing to live for. They could not love, and none could possibly love them.
Their only purpose was to kill and destroy that which is good. They were Orcs. Once happy, carefree Elves, they were taken by the Dark Powers, tortured, and mutilated.
They were not even shadows of their former selves. Now, they roamed Middle-earth, seeking only to kill and maybe find death. Their masters were destroyed, no one commanded them.
Men, since the King was crowned, were to strong to attack, but the numbers of the Elves were low. Orcs hated the Elves. They hated Elves for being what they were, and what Orcs could never be again. The Elves were loved, beautiful, free. The First Born of Ilúvatar.
Rivendell was empty, and Mirkwood was too powerful. Lorien, then, was the only option for them.
The orcs’ plan was carefully formed, and they gathered at the borders of Lorien, their numbers slowly growing until the time for attack came.
* * * * *
Legolas and Haldir fought valiantly, back to back for protection. Legolas, being swifter with a bow, soon ran out of arrows, and so he drew his long-knives and moved away from Haldir to engage the orcs hand-to-hand.
Between them, the number of orcs slain was high, but there yet remained too many to count, and more entered the borders constantly.
Legolas began to despair of the tide of the battle ever turning in favor of the Elves.
But then he heard the sound of a galloping horse just as it came into the clearing where they fought. He recognized the horse and its rider immediately.
“No!” he cried aloud. “What is she doing?”
The orcs noticed Legolas’ reaction to the newcomers and took advantage of it while his guard was down.
They surrounded him on all sides, forcing him to turn away from Indile and back to the battle.
Legolas’ heart cried out in anguish, but he could do nothing.
* * * * * *
Indile quickly surveyed the scene. She saw Legolas fighting desperately, and a hot rage like none she had ever felt took her.
She kicked Tinwe, who, through his fear, obeyed her and started to charge the orcs. But it was not soon enough. Indile had not fought in a battle before. She had not the keen senses developed that a seasoned warrior would have had.
She did not notice a group of orcs on wargs behind her. She did not see the one lone orc coming at her from the side. As she kicked Tinwe, the orc made its move.
It grabbed her ankle, jerking it roughly. She fell from Tinwe to the ground, landing on her back.
Indile recovered her feet quickly and drew her knives, but it was too late. The orcs and their wargs had closed her in, ready for sport before they killed her.
She felt sick. This was her vision coming true.
Why did I come? Why did I come here to meet my death? she asked herself. But then an eerie voice only she heard spoke. Fate. It is your fate to die.
The orcs began tightening their circle, slashing at her with their crooked, poisoned swords. One connected with her and left a bloody gash in her side.
She whirled quickly and managed to behead the orc who did it, but while she was turned, another cut her back. Another her arm, her chest. One orc threw its shield at her feet, making her fall. She rose, dizzy, but they would not stop.
Haldir saw her, trying to fight, but losing the battle. She was outnumbered, in pain, and growing weak. I failed Legolas before, but I will not now, he vowed, running at the orcs.
He crashed into the warg riders from behind, managing to unseat them all. The beasts ran away, and he slew easily with his sword the riders. The remaining orcs fled.
He rushed to Indile’s side as she sank to the ground, blood dripping from her many cuts and gashes.
He heard her whisper three words before she lost consciousness. “Fate. Thank.. you..”
* * * * *
The orcs were defeated! Those who were not slain were taught a new fear of Lorien. The survivors fled into the hills, but the Elves did not pursue them.
Many grave wounds and death blows had been given, but some had also been received. Few Elves escaped without injury.
As soon as Legolas was able, he ran to his Indile, but the sight that greeted his eyes was not a welcome one.
She lay on the ground and her eyes were closed. She many wounds on her body, and the grass beneath her was stained with blood.
Haldir was kneeling by her side, trying to stop the bleeding, but he was a warrior, not a healer. He had little success.
Finally, Legolas came back to life after watching her for several minutes. He picked his love up gingerly, even though his own arm had suffered injury and was weak, and carried her to a horse, placing her upon it. He quickly mounted behind her, having to use both hands to support her limp body.
* * * * *
Galadriel gasped when she saw Legolas carrying Indile into the Healing House in his blood-soaked arms.
Indile cried out and opened her eyes when he laid her down, though he was gentle as he could be. She muttered, “Laicalassë..” before her eyes closed again.
Legolas left the room so Galadriel could do her work, though he remained at the door.
Morelin scurried in bringing athelas leaves and a bowl of hot water, scowling at Legolas as she passed him, obviously holding him responsible for Indile’s injury and disapproving of his presence.
Galadriel used th hot water and a cloth to wash away the blood from Indile’s wounds. Bruising the athelas leaves, she bathed the cuts and bruises with a fresh cloth.
The bleeding stopped and Indile’s breathing became more regular, but her forehead burned with a fever.
Legolas, now back by Indile’s side, broke the silence in the room.
“Will she die?”
Galadriel spoke quietly, “I know not, Legolas. Her wounds are grave, and she has lost much blood. I simply know not if she will live or die.”
“I failed her.”
Author’s Note: Aran ni elwenya, kelet rìna ó dilwa. Avathar tul, nó sil, ar mornië vanuva. Namarië!” is Quenya and means, “King of my heart, go forth crowned in love. Shadows come, but shine, and darkness will pass away. Good bye!”
“Kel, Tinwe” is also Quenya and means, “Go, Tinwe.”
“Noro lim” is Sindarin, and also means, “Go!”
“Laicalassë” is Quenya and means “Greenleaf” or “Legolas” in Sindarin.