This story is based on the characters of the movie/book Lord of the Rings. They belong to JRR Tolkien and whoever else has substantial claims on them. They aren't mine, but the story is mine. All mine…and Songbird's…for better or for worse anyway.  All disclaimers apply. No copyright infringement is intended.

Authors' Notes: 

Ice Cube:  Hey guys, for those of you looking for my sequel to Faith of a Child, I promise it's coming out soon.  In the meantime, Songbird and I came together to tweak something…our (or at least my) first attempt at an LotR, and I claim no responsibility for how it turns out...I don't think Songbird does either…unless it's good…then it's all ours…

Songbird: This story started out as an RPG.  People told us we should write a story together, so we made this into one.  Hope you all enjoy it.

It had already been two weeks since Strider and Legolas had gone missing. Kaolith and Selinde felt helpless, as they were now stuck in this cave in a tremendous rainstorm. After four days the storm still had not abated.

Finally Kaolith snapped. "I can't take it anymore, this cave is too small. Selinde, are you with me? I'm certain the rain has washed away all traces of those we seek, but I will stay here no longer."

As Selinde followed Kaolith into the woods, she breathed a sigh of relief. Elves really did hate caves; she was very relieved to be out of there also.

"I'm on your heels Ranger," she replied. "I do suggest no trees in the rain however. They are much harder to stay in when they are wet."

"Yeah, even if it wasn't raining, with our luck, trees aren't such a good idea … I only have so many herbs in my pack."

Kaolith looked around sheepishly, knowing this was a very sore subject for her friend. She still wasn't sure why her friend was clumsy; Elves were quite fleet of foot. This one, however was not, she was clumsier than most human's the young Ranger had met. Grinning to herself, she knew that Selinde was more apt to fall out of a tree than stay in it.

The unlikely pair continued on into the woods. The rain was finally starting to slow. As they stopped for just a brief moment to discuss which direction to continue in, they both jerked their heads up startled.

"Orcs," they both hissed at the same time.

"Just what we need..." Kaolith drew her sword and tensed. "If we run, we may have a chance, but I think they'll just catch up to us, and I'd rather be ready than running."

She tossed her pack into the bushes out of the way of the thunderous feet that were almost upon them. Gulping, Kaolith looked up at the trees, wondering if they should hide instead...

Without hesitation, Selinde took to the trees. "Hurry Kaolith, lets see how many there are first. I can also take out some of them with my arrows first."

Not knowing if her friend followed her or not, Selinde tried to position herself toward the direction the orcs were coming from. "Ouch," She cried. Kaolith heard her mumbling and then clearly state, "well at least I didn't fall out that time."

"What did you do now, shoot yourself in the foot?" Kaolith snickered while sheathing her sword and scrambled into the trees after Selinde.

The Ranger thought this was quite funny because the only time she had ever picked up a bow she had managed to shoot her father in the foot. It was then that Kaolith had decided to learn the arts of sword and daggers. She made it a point to stay away from projectile weapons.

"They're coming, and there are a lot of them. Take out as many as you can, and hope that they aren't any better at climbing than we are!"

With that, the orcs burst into the clearing. Selinde notched her bow repeatedly, taking out as many of the orcs as she could.

Watching almost helplessly, Kaolith was determined to help and shimmied down to the lowest branch, decapitating the orcs that were foolish enough to run underneath. Soon the more wary of the orcs were waiting just out of reach, laying a siege on the two.

"I am not going to stay up here and give them a chance to regroup," she called to her friend. With that, Kaolith jumped to the ground and challenged the remaining orcs. As she challenged one, another tracked behind her, into the path of Selinde's arrow. Falling dead, its last view was its arrow flying into Kaolith's shoulder.

"Ok, help?" She winced.

"Kaolith, are you okay," Selinde screamed.

As she leapt from the tree to take Kaolith's back, pulling her daggers on the way down, Kaolith heard her say. "I may be clumsy, but that was careless." The two companions continued to fight back to back, wondering if the onslaught of orcs would ever stop coming.

Grimacing, Kaolith ignored the pain of the shaft protruding from her back. She separated another orcs head from its body before replying quietly, "I will be, but let's take care of this matter before we worry about that, shall we?"

Tiring more quickly than the elf, Kaolith started counting as she continued to fight the onslaught that was slowly thinning out.

"There are only about fifteen...fourteen more of them, cake walk." Her voice holding the confidence that only a Ranger could muster against such odds.

Kaolith and Selinde were overjoyed when they finally dispatched the remainder of the orcs. Selinde looked to Kaolith and could tell that she was very worn out. She herself was also feeling the fatigue of battle. Not realizing how serious her friends wound would end up being, Selinde joked with her.

"Well Kaolith, do you wish for me to pull that thing out," she queried. "I would be more than glad to!"

About to respond to Selinde's fading voice; Kaolith smiled at the idea and dropped her guard. Then as the adrenaline level dropped, she fell to her knees, utterly exhausted. Unable to respond anymore, it simply took too much energy, Kaolith hung her head and put her hands on her knees to keep her upright. She simply nodded to Selinde, and hoped that it would be relatively painless.

Selinde gently laid Kaolith on the ground. "This is going to hurt, but I need to get that arrow out."

Crossing to where Kaolith had dropped her pack, Selinde retrieves it, and then returns to her friend. As she takes hold of the arrow, she pulls it out as gently as possible. As Kaolith grimaces in pain she says, "Not gently enough I guess."

Selinde examines the arrow. "This is not good Kaolith, this arrow is poisoned."

Selinde treats the wound the best she can. When she again speaks with her friend, there is deep concern in her voice.

"I cannot do anymore for you. The only one I know of that can help us now is Lord Elrond. I am not from Rivendell, but I am an Elf. He will not turn us away; he will not let you die."

With that, Selinde shouldered Kaolith's pack and, picking up her friend, headed in the direction of Lord Elrond and Rivendell.

TBC…

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