Disclaimer: I do not own ANYTHING from Tolkien's books - not Aragorn, Gimli, Gandalf or Elrond. Unfortunately not even Legolas *sighs*! The only things that belongs to me are Selina, Tulrah and all the stuff about the Selvadage'tok!!

Please R&R and have fun!!

Chapter 1: A campfire

Her golden eyes gleamed in the dark of the forest. She was one with the wilderness. Her sensitive ears could pick up the rustle of the foliage, the faint dabbling of a spring and the cries of an owl in the distance. But most important of all she could scent the intoxicating smell of power. Its source was very nearby.

In front of her, in the middle of the clearing, sat an old man. He had lightened a little campfire and was contently smoking his pipe. His bearing was very relaxed, as if he didn't have anything to fear. His white hair and beard seemed to glow in the light of the fire.

Could it be? Had she found him?

She decided to risk coming a little bit closer to make sure it was really him. Without making any sound she crept through the coppice. She could now make out his face, which was illuminated by each drag he took from his pipe.

Suddenly his eyes whipped up and bore right into hers. She almost let out a yelp of surprise. The old man chuckled and shook his head with amusement.

"You thought that your presence would pass me by? If you were looking for me you should have know that I would be able to sense you! Now show your face, because I don't like to talk to a pair of eyes hidden in the bushes.", the man said in a friendly, yet commanding voice.

She cringed inwardly. Never had a human being been able to spot her if she didn't want to be seen, but on the other hand he wasn't human. She unconsciously shrugged her shoulders and stepped out on the clearing.

The warm light of the fire engulfed her and revealed her appearance. Her body was athletic and slender. She was clothed in brown leather pants, and a top, made of the same material, that left her belly and her arms uncovered. Her bronzed skin shimmered almost golden in the shine of the flames. Two long, sharp, exotic looking daggers hung from a belt, flashing almost as dangerous as her golden eyes. Her movements were those of a predator, very graceful and soundless. With her fair features and her long straight brown hair, that had a tint of red to it, she was a very attractive, but dangerous beauty to behold. Her face was youthful and she appeared to be no older than twenty five.

She lowered down to a crouched position in front of the fire and cocked her head, challenging the old man to start a conversation. He didn't seem to be irritated by her demeanor and calmly continued to blow smoke circles from his pipe.

A few moments passed, then she broke the silence. After all she had a mission and there was no time to be wasted.

"Are you Gandalf the White?", she asked with a velvet voice.

He seemed to contemplate her question, squinting his eyes together, but remained quiet.

After a few minutes of silence he finally spoke. "I have heard a lot about your kind. You are a member of the Selvadage'tok, aren't you? I never thought I would meet one in person."

She stared into the flames unflinchingly, sitting there motionless like a statue. "I am Selina. And yes, I am a Selvadage'tok. Now I've given you my name. I think it would be only fair if you told me yours, too.", she answered.

"I am the one you were searching for. I am Gandalf the White.", he replied and for a moment, at the mention of his name, his figure seemed to radiate with sheer power. Just as quick as this change had come it disappeared again and he went back to his normal self, looking as harmless as the old traveller he appeared to be.

"What brings you here out of the seclusion of your secret valley?", Gandalf asked curiously with a contemplative look on his face. "Do you need help?"

Selina let out a brief laugh and her eyes sparkled with amusement. "No, in fact it is the other way round. I believe it is you, who requires my assistance. I came here to warn you and to offer my help!", she paused for a moment.

A concerned look settled on her beautiful features. "Middle-Earth is in danger and I fear it is the fault of the Selvadage'tok, Gandalf! "

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Flashback~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Selina ran over a wide spread plain. This was the last part of the arduous coming of age ceremony, the Erdulbe, which every young Selvadage'tok had to pass in order to become a fully accepted member of society. Just a few meters behind her ran a young male, her brother Tulrah.

They had always been involved in a sort of friendly competition since their childhood. The Selvadage'tok society made no difference between men and women. So both had been trained in the ways of the warriors, healers and shamans, to be later able to decide which way of life they would choose, when they would come of age.

Selina could already see the lake of Lakur in the distance where their race would end. She felt her brother coming closer and tried to mobilize the last remains of strength she could muster.

A few moments later the they both arrived almost contemporaneously at the lake shore and collapsed, trying to catch their breath. When they had recovered a bit, Selina walked over to her brother and slapped him lightly on shoulder.

"You did very well, Tulrah! I'm proud of you!", she smiled at him.

"As I'm of you, sister!", he answered.

Suddenly they became aware of the presence of the shaman and immediately became quiet. They lowered their heads in a gesture of respect and both kneeled down in front of the old woman, who sat on a large rock on the shore of the lake.

Their big moment had come, now they would be joined forever with their totem animals!

The shaman began to speak and the wisdom of ages vibrated in her voice.

"Greetings to you, young Selina and Tulrah! Today you will cross the sill to adulthood and perform your transformation to become true Selvadage'toks! Now your minds and bodies will become one with the your spiritual guides, your totems!"

Both siblings closed their eyes and tried to relax, preparing themselves for the ritual, which was about to ensue.

The old women began to chant in a language long forgotten. She held a bowl in her hands, from which rose smoke. Its blue swirls began to take the different forms of various animals.

The shaman's eyes glowed and the air seemed to crackle with energy around her. Suddenly two bolts of flashing white light shot out of her hands and hit Selina and Tulrah.

***********************************************************Selina dreamed that she was still running over the plain. Everything seemed so peaceful. A soft breeze blew over the grass, which moved back and forth as the waves of the sea. She felt free and totally at peace with herself. She turned her head to her right to look at her surroundings.

To her surprise she found that she wasn't alone. A few meters from her a black panther ran across the plain, its muscles flexing with each graceful movement it made. She froze dead in tracks and to her astonishment it did exactly the same.

Under normal circumstances she would have kept a respectful distance from this dangerous predator, but now she felt no fear, only serenity and calmness. So she stepped closer to the panther and extended her hand to touch it. It softly nuzzled her palm with its nose and then rubbed his head against it in an affectionate gesture.

She kneeled down, so that she came face to face with the panther and could look it straight into its golden eyes. Selina got lost in their depths, almost drowning in them. Nothing else seemed to exist, but this golden colour. It was around her, penetrated her soul, her mind and her body. It was everywhere! ***********************************************************

Suddenly Selina awoke. She lay stretched out on soft grass. It took her a few seconds to remember where she was. The ritual....the shaman.....her brother! Selina sat up breathing heavily.

The old women was still sitting on the rock and was now smiling at her proudly. Selina looked around to see her brother lying on the floor next to her. He hadn't woken up yet, so she decided she better left him alone.

She stood up to approach the shaman. The ritual hadn't ended yet. She had already joined spiritually with her totem animal, but the process had still to be completed. Selina had yet to drink a draught of water from the holy lake offered to her by the shaman.

The old woman took her by the hand, let her to the lake and dipped the bowl into the water. She held it to her forehead murmuring a spell at which the liquid began to glow eerily. Then she offered it to Selina.

The young woman hesitated briefly, but then summoned her courage and hastily gulped down one huge draught of water. After this she handed the bowl back to the shaman.

Suddenly she felt very dizzy. The world around her seemed to spin and she collapsed to the floor. She looked around in panic. What was happening?

The old woman sensed her distress. "Do not worry Selina. This is the last step of the ritual. Your body is now taking over some of the abilities and characteristics of your totem. Don't struggle against it or the process will become more painful! ", she explained, trying to calm the young Selvadage'tok.

Selina's body contorted in pain and she felt as if her blood was burning inside her veins. She let out a strangled cry, but it didn't come out as a human voice. Instead the mighty roar of a panther resounded over the quiet lake.

After a view minutes the pain began to recede gradually and the only feeling that remained was that of complete and utter exhaustion. It took all her effort to sit up.

She lazily looked around for the shaman and her brother. She spotted them a stone's throw away from her. The old women was just about to offer the sanctified water to him.

Then something happened Selina would never forget in all her life! Tulrah brutally ripped the bowl out of the old woman's hands and greedily gulped down its whole content. The shaman let out a cry of horror. Then the transformation began.

Normally the Selvadage'toks would only assume some of the characteristics of their totem, like Selina did. She had received the panther's keen senses, its feline and graceful ability to move and fight, night vision and, as a little bonus, its fangs.

But Tulrah had drunken the whole bowl instead of just one draught. Now his hands began to distort and his fingers transformed into sharp claws. She could see his body convulse in pain, but suddenly it shot upright. His figure grew and seemed to radiate with pure strength and power. Then she heard a blood chilling howl, she would never forget as long as she lived.

The thing, that once was her brother shot forward and attacked the shaman. She could only sit there helplessly and watch, because she was still too weakened from the ritual to intervene.

The old woman's screams resounded in her head and she desperately tried to crawl over to them, just to do anything. Selina's hypersensitive hearing picked up the terrible noises of the fight and she felt nausea creep up inside of her.

Suddenly everything was completely silent. Selina lay there unmovingly, seized by utter dread. All of a sudden she was pulled to her feet and came face to face with the blood stained grimace of the creature half man half beast, that once had been her brother Tulrah.

But she soon had to realize that the person she once knew and loved was gone, because she could see nothing but malice and hatred in his hideous piercing red eyes.

Then the creature spoke with a voice that sounded more like a hiss than anything else.

"Now, dear sister, we will see who is better! Look at you! You are pathetic. A little worm squirming at my feet. Weak and totally helpless. I am the power now and that's all that matters."

She struggled to fight back tears. He had just killed. Not just any woman, but the shaman.

"You just butchered a holy woman ! By the Valar, what have you done, Tulrah?"

"What have you done? What have you done!", he exclaimed, mimicking her voice.

"I have killed that bitch! I thought you watched the whole thing. And I will tell you a little secret..... she will not be the last. Do you know what I want?", Tulrah spat.

Selina looked at him in horror.

"I want to see that look of fear on everybody's faces. I think I will go on a little trip. I heard that the rest of Middle-Earth is a particular nice place to be this time of the year. So see you around, sister!" He let her weak body slump to the floor unceremoniously.

Tulrah was already slowly walking away, but stopped to turn around one last time. "I guess you are still wondering what totem I'm joined with....Well all of them!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~end of flashback~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Selina had finished her story and look up to meet Gandalf preoccupied look. Her tale had verified some of his suspicions and perhaps it was time to reveal to her what he knew. "A few weeks ago I came to know about a new power that was rising in the East near the land of Mordor", he paused and took a long drag from his pipe.

"People talked about an army of evil creatures: Orcs, Trolls, Uruk-Hai and Easterlings, united by the cruelty of one evil warlord. They raided some human villages, leaving a trail of destruction and murder everywhere they went. The few survivors of those attacks, reported, if they lived long enough to do so, to have seen a human beast, a vicious demon, incomparable in its malice and blood lust."

"Tulrah....", Selina whispered and her eyes gleamed like hot coals.

"Yes, I fear that it was him and he is becoming more powerful by the minute, his number of followers increasing as we speak. You must tell me everything there is to know about him!"

She rose from her crouched position near the fire and sat down next to Gandalf with a sigh.

"Where should I begin? There is so much to tell. He is...was my brother after all", her hands clenched to fists at her last words.

Gandalf looked at the young woman full of compassion. She had already suffered a lot and he feared that the days, that still lay ahead of her would not be easy either.

"Well.....", she took a deep breath, "Our people do not age like humans do. We can live a few thousand years or just die in our early twenties. It all depends on whether we want to continue our lifes or not. If a member Selvadage'tok decides he doesn't want to live anymore, he ages and dies. It's as simple as that.", she shrugged her shoulders. "So the threat my brother poses is not just a temporary one. It can stretch out over centuries and with the power of all the totem animals he will be as good as unstoppable."

The old Istari raised his eyebrows in surprise. "What exactly will he be able to do with this power?"

"You mean besides being theoretically able to control almost every animal on Middle-Earth? Not much!" she answered with bitter sarcasm in her voice and regretted her harsh words almost immediately.

"I'm sorry! I didn't want to offend you! I'm just incredibly exhausted and we don't have any time to lose."

"You are right, Selina. We have to stop him and we will need some experienced and skilled warriors for this task", he said in a determined voice. "And I just might know some friends who can help", Gandalf added conspiratorially.