Chapter 13: Control
Saruman paced quickly back and forth, the noise of falling trees and Uruk’Hai cries piercing through the harsh, stone walls of Orthanc. He waited for the fluttering of distant wings of Carangurth, signalling that the deed was completed. Yet… he paused, staring at the Palantir who’s dark swirls swam through the dark pit of the stone. Should he spoil his moment of victory, and watch his cousin die.. or await Carangurth’s return? His fingers tapped his staff lightly, considering this thought. Then, with his decision in hand, edged to the Palantir, closed his eyes and clawed his hand above the seeing-stone.
A flash of thoughts and feelings swept over him, his vision blurred but quickly focused. A boat, a river. The thoughts, weariness, confusion, and something else…. colder… death-like. The body beneath his eyes stood and stumbled across the shilling and towards the boat.
* * * * *
Anyaelia stumbled to the boat, wincing at the sudden pain that thumped lazily in her head. She clutched the side of the boat tightly and pushed it forward into the river, before swinging herself into the elven boat. She grasped the thick oar and prepared it over the side of the boat, its tip touched the water. Anyaelia watched the rippled water in thought, was she really doing this? Running away from what she had promised to do? A surge of heated anger flew over her, she gritted her teeth and gripped the oar tighter, the wood splintering in her hand.
Anyaelia gave out a gasp of breath as the anger passed, she lifted the oar from the side of the boat, watching her blood dribble down the white paddle. Go on… back to Lothlórien… leave to Valinor… leave this earth.. forever The voice had returned. It slithered through her mind, pushing aside her other thoughts, making itself known. Anyaelia blinked, she dropped the oar on the wooden floor of the boat and tore off a piece of cloth, warpping it around her cut hand. She picked up the oar, and swept it into the water, pushing the boat forward slowly.
* * * * *
Saruman smiled greedily, his quickened plan had begun. Drifting through her memories, he had faltered, growing angry of Carangurth’s failure. Anger had swelled within him and was released, letting Anyaelia recognise his prescence within her. Though, he controlled himself quickly, hoping she had not caught on. He took his hand gently away from the Palantir and gripped his staff with both hands, leaning againts it idly. He would need rest to prepare what he was to attempt next. Folly, Sauron would say, an image of her loved one that could clearly be seen through, the bait would not be taken. It was a chance Saruman would prepare to take, what he needed to take. A last chance for him to achieve his prize, the Silmaril shard, and the Maiar throne.
* * * * *
Through the incoming darkness, Anyaelia raised the fiery embers into a blaze of heated light. She brought her knees up to her chest, sighing deeply. Only one day before she had stood on these shores, discussing her future with Aragorn. Now… they had left without her, Anyaelia shuddered slightly at the cold wind that nipped at her skin. Something must have happened, to make them leave without her… Legolas would have remained if the choice was his… Too much. It was all to much to think about, Anyaelia told herself as the tears spilt over her cheeks. Through the blur of her tears, and the fiery air, her eyes caught a slight movement in front of her. Despite her awkward position, she managed to leap to her feet steadily, and unsheath Abelenar. The ghostly figures, garbed in royal dress robes, crowns perched upon their golden heads, stood in front of the forest clearing.
“Nana, Ada?” Anyaelia whispered disbelieving.
The figures did not reply, but turned from her, beckoning her silently into the woods. Ignoring the fact that a trick could be at hand, that the figures she could be no more but distant memories, Anyaelia followed.
* * * * *
Yes… follow her. Saruman’s eyelids twitched slightly, as he continued to project the images within Anyaelia’s mind. He watched through her eyes as she made her way through the dark forest, nothing leading her on but more darkness. Trees swaying with the chilling breeze that felled many branches around her. Her hands pushed aside unseen foliage as she followed unreal images, drawing ever nearer to Saruman’s goal.
They were close. Following the trail of the captured Hobbits, but now, as night had fallen, were resting upon the open lands. The trees began to thin slowly, Anyaelia’s breath came out in ragged gasps, but she cared not, to reach her parent’s was what she wished, what she wanted. She stopped as the land opened up before her. No more swaying trees and hidden foliage, but a straight, long darkness, illuminated only by a distant fire. She pursed her lips together and darted forward, the fire she knew, was where her family were at, waiting for her.
* * * * *
Legolas stood near the edge of the flickering light, his bow was swung carelessly over his shoulder, slwoly taking its time sliding off his hunched shoulder. He glanced at Aragorn who moved restlessly in his sleep, and then turned away. He could not bear to look at Aragorn, for anger still filled his heart at the decision he was forced to make. Laying in the darkness… alone… cold… hurt. No. She would have left. Followed their trail or have gone back to Lórien, she could take care of herself, he reassured himself.
He turned away from the darkness, and back to the fire, watching it flicker with mild amusement. With the sound of rapidly approaching footsteps, he strung up his bow, turned, and aimed into the darkness. Legolas’ eyes scanned the darkness, and focused on the figure who was drawing nearer. As the dim light touched the figure’s face, he froze in place, the grip on his arrow loosening. Gimli gave out a soft snort as though awakened by something, his tired eyes too fell on the figure. Gimli yelped and shot to his feet, breaking the spell over Legolas, who blinked and lowered his bow. Aragorn, awakened by the sound, had also leapt to his feet, his hand clutching Anduril’s hilt.
Anyaelia’s pale face stared at them in horror, she unsheathed Abelenar in an instant, “Wargs!” She whispered to herself.
Legolas glanced fearfully at Aragorn, then slowly stepped forward, “Anyaelia…”
She swung her sword wildly at him, missing his chest only by inches. Legolas leapt forward, and shouted at the others to remain where they were. “She is under an enchantment!”
* * * * *
It was all too easy. Manipulating. Soon, the death of the king to be, Dwarf and beloved would soon be at hand. Within that process, wounded she will become, and then death will overtake her. All’s well that end’s well.
We return to the forests again. Our hobbit friend has lost all faith and finds the true meaning of apathy by the end of this chapter. He is taken captive by a band of elves and one human. This chapter suggests that some of his past will be revealed soon.