Title - Arms of Grace
Author - Jules AKA YunaDax
Rating - pg13 for strong violence, and serious angsting
Summary - When Celebrian is taken by orcs while journeying though the Redhorn Pass, her sons vow to keep her safe and to avenge those who hurt her.
Disclaimer - They do... I don't, the lyrics are from LifeHouse' album, No Name Face, the song is called Breathing.
Authors Notes - I'm sure its been done a million times before.. Elladan and Elrohir go and rescue their mother, but I felt I had to write something along those lines. Apologies if this is too similar to anyone elses, it is not intentional
Arms of Grace
I'm finding my way back to sanity again
Though I don't really know what I'm gonna do when I get there
Take a breath and hold on tight
Spin around one more time
and gracefully fall back to the arms of grace
Hoofbeats echoed through the night, dark shadows desperate and frantic in their effort to reclaim loved ones from the hands of evil. Dark hair streamed behind the dark riders, their helms doing little to hinder the flow of hair as the riders pushed their steeds to the limit, racing against time. Elladan nudged his horse a little faster, whispering urges to his mount as they thundered out of the valley toward the Redhorn Pass. A member of his mother's travelling party had staggered into Rivendell not three hours ago, numerous injuries taking their toll on the poor elf, enabling him to mutter a few scant words about Celebrian, orcs, and RedHorn before promptly passing out in the cobblestone courtyard. Alas the alarm was raised and before Elrond could even muster weapons himself his twin sons were armed and out in the stables, mounting their swift faithful steeds and riding out across the stone bridge. It would be many hours hard ride to Redhorn Pass, and both twins knew that to ride at speed would almost be as perilous as facing the orcs themselves. Time passed agonisingly slowly for both elves, the knowledge in their hearts that their mother had been taken by the foul creatures of Mordor almost too much for the elvish hearts to handle. Elrohir's steed slipped on the dark dewy ground, causing the dark elf to cling like a vise to the horses' back to prevent being flung over the animals' head.
" Elladan! We must slow down, the horses cannot keep up this speed, it is too dangerous!" The younger twin called, his voice slightly quivering at the near miss.
" Every second we tarry is another second the orcs have Mother!" Elladan called harshly back, his fear causing his words to sting more than he intended.
" We are not use to her if we die trying to get there!" Elrohir shouted back, his own emotions too close to the surface for much rational thinking. Elladan reluctantly nodded, easing his horse back to a canter and allowing his steed to pick its own way through the forest about them. Hours later they stopped briefly to rest the horses, allowing them to drink a little from a swiftly flowing stream and catch their breath while the elves climbed the tallest tree they could find to scout for orc activity or any indication as to where their mother was. They saw little in the semi darkness as dawn slowly broke, grey shadows drifting in and out of the keen elvish eyesight, blurs and indistinct objects marking the landscape, eluding to nothing and everything. The twins climbed down from the trees, mounted their steeds and set off again, their speed increasing as daylight took hold and dried the dew from the paths before them.
After many hours of tireless riding Redhorn pass loomed before them, great mountains rising on either side of the narrow passageway, a passage that would be perfect for an ambush. Slowing their horses the twins dismounted, allowing the animals to graze as they read the tracks on the ground, desperate for any clue the dusty imprints could give them. Shortly after Elladan called his brother over, stooping low to the ground to better read the footprints before him. The prints told of a struggle, a horse had fallen sideways, trapping the leg of its rider beneath it as it lay on the ground, snapping the long bones of the rider's leg in doing so. The horse rose and stood in front of its fallen rider, who appeared not to have moved, the animals hoofprints telling of it rearing and striking out at its foes, trying valiantly to protect its fallen master. Dark blood on the ground told of the horse losing the battle and fleeing, leaving the orcs to whatever elves were felled in the initial attack.
Standing Elladan followed the heavy bootprints of the orcs, his brother trailing behind him as they followed the marks out of the valley and around the side of a nearby mountain. Faint noises could be heard as they neared a cave, moans of pain, whimpers of regret, and cries of mercy. Ice froze over the hearts of the twins as they stood stock still near the entrance of the cave, their minds unwilling to believe it was their mother being tortured, but knowing in their hearts it was indeed her. Elladan drew his bow first, his brother also drawing his bow and reaching behind into his quiver for the first of many arrows he would fire that day. Together they fired, the lethal projectiles easily hitting their targets of the orcs guarding the entrance of the cave. Elladan's aim was slightly off in his grief, the arrow hitting the orc in the chest rather than the throat. The foul creature didn't live long, but had enough strength to send a glottal cry back into the cave. All hope of secrecy was lost as a steady stream of orcs rushed out to greet them, rudimentary swords and axes flailing in their anger at having two of their own cut down. Soon, the twins' supply of arrows dwindled, and Elrohir's groping hand felt nothing within his quiver. He tossed his long dark bow aside, taking note of where it landed so he could retrieve it later, and drew his sword. The steel of the curved blade glinting in the sun, attesting to the high level of craftsmanship and the care that the twin had devoted to his blade. They had both been trained in warfare and combat from a young age, learning much under the keen tutelage of Glorfindel and Elrond, but neither had ever fought when something so dear to them was at stake. Elrohir heard his brother drawing his sword and together they advanced, their blades before them weaving a deadly dance of skill and grace. Their movements swift and fluidic as they pressed forward, protecting each other's backs as they made their way toward the entrance of the cave, forcing the orcs back on the defensive.
The fight seemed to stretch into eternity, the twins acquiring numerous injuries as they dispatched orc after orc until finally no more poured forth from the cave mouth. Heedless of his own injuries Elladan forced himself onward on shaky legs, clutching his wounded arm to his chest as he plunged down the passageway, hearing his twin's unsteady footsteps behind him. A scream gave them direction and they took the nearest branch off the main tunnel, following the echoes of the voice until it led them to a small chamber. Elladan's heart went cold within his chest at the sight that confronted him. Before them, chained to the wall was their mother, her dress and bodice shredded and torn, blood staining the tatters that still clung to her pale body. Several orcs were still in the chamber, not having heard the battle raging on the outside, but Elladan's gasp of horror alerted them to his presence. Armed with chains, whips and other devices of torture they advanced, forcing Elladan and Elrohir to step into the small chamber or else be pinned in the poor excuse for a passageway.
As skilled and deadly as they were, the twins were distracted and exhausted, they had ridden hard to get to the Pass, battled more orcs than they could count before even entering the cave, and now faced another fight, with their semi-conscious mother chained to a wall in front of them. Elrohir gave a cry of pain as his thigh found itself wrapped harshly in an iron chain. The orc holding the other end squealed with glee, giving the chain a good yank and hauling the elf off his feet. Elladan used his brother's distraction to cause the orcs more harm, dispatching all but 2 in the time it took for Elrohir to untangle himself and rise again to his feet. Elladan glanced at his brother, noticing the large bleeding gash around his twins' lower thigh were the chain had caught him. A quick nod from Elrohir told him he would be fine and he turned his attention back to the orcs. The one with the chain was still standing, and attempting now to bring the older twin down in the same way he had brought Elrohir to his knees, while the other orc seemed to have a smirk within its horrible features. The chain caught Elladan roughly on the side of the head, causing his vision to swin before the harsh links caught around his upper arm, jerking it roughly and causing him to drop his sword. Elrohir charged forward, lopping the offending orc's head from its body, but not before Elladan had toppled to the ground, his head reeling from the harsh blow. The one remaining orc backed in the direction of Celebrian, brandishing a large knife covered in a thick black substance. He reached his target quickly, holding the knife under the pale elf's throat as Elrohir made his way forward once more. The threat was clear, the foul creature would kill their mother before they could kill it. The younger twin stood as still as stone, grief and fear clouding his features as he fought with his mind as to the correct course of action. Elladan still hadn't moved behind him, and for once Elrohir wished for his older twins' guidance. The orc leered at him, pushing the blade upward so a trickle of blood made its way down Celebrians' neck, again staining the tattered colour of her bodice bright red. The sight of his mother in more pain was too much for Elrohir, and he hurled his blade forward, the sharp tip imbedding itself in the orc's chest before it could do any further harm. But the damage had already been done. By the time Elrohir staggered forward, the blood trickling from his' mother's neck had begun to turn black, a sure sign that the poison on the blade had worked its way into her bloodstream. His hands found the crude manacles on the wall, snapping the rough metal and catching his mother as she slumped to the ground. He gently laid her on the dark rough floor, checking her over for any internal injuries before briefly running over to Elladan. The entire side of his twin's face was a bloody swollen mess, attesting that the strike from the chain had not been a glancing blow. Gently Elrohir shook his brother's shoulder, urging him to wake and was greeted with a rather foul string of dwarvish curses erupting in a slurred stream from his twin's mouth. The elder twin's eyes were unfocused, but even in his concussed state the grey orbs were immediately drawn to the still figure behind Elrohir, fear lending his body strength as he struggled upright, shaking off his twins offer of support and making his way over to where Celebrian lay.
Elladan dropped to his knees beside her, not noticing how the rough stone of the cave floor bit into his skin and gently assessed her wounds, prayers to anyone who would listen running like a mantra through his mind.
" By the Valar, let her be alright, let us be able to save her"
I am hanging on every word you say
and even if you don't want to speak tonight
that's alright, alright with me
To Be Continued.