Thanks for replying and making things interesting. Thanks for correcting certain things as well. I appreciate the very adult way that you dealt with things. Let me, for the purpose of my story, clarify a few things.

The connection between Aragorn and Imrahil I have concocted solely for the purposes of this story--that of giving a backstory for Lothiriel that would tie her to the rest of the characters I am manipulating. I will endeavor to write a disclaimer next time I take too many liberties. Cuivienen or the 'Waters of Awakening' is not a river, as I wrote here, nor is it an island. In the Lost Tales, it is a lake in Middle-earth (p 427). I apologize. I distinctly remember it referred to as a river in the Silmarillion though but while I have not had the time to look it up again, I shall stick with the lake. I appreciate everyone's feedback, although I would encourage you all to use the STAR format in Interaction Mgmt. Highlight the task or point which you refer to, the action then the result. You're all brilliant. I'm sure you'll get it.

For the comments on the style and language, thank you. Language was my strength in Advanced Fiction class. Now on to the harsher. I do take exception to your use of 'fangirl' to communicate mediocrity. I am a fan of many; and so were other writers. I see fanfiction as relaxation, an outlet away from the formalities of the writing I do outside the 'fangirl' world as you call it. Money I made from that kind of writing helped me out on my last year of my Creative Writing: Science Fiction course, during which I've completed several published short stories and novels and sold a plot for a trilogy, all the while earning a cum laude. Thus, forgive me if in this I allow myself to relax and not become so restrained by the BOX.

The way you throw the term "Mary Sue" becomes hilarious to me because you started when the OCs have not even played any part yet. Automatically, you jumped to 'Mary Sue' and say I have inserted myself in the story. Do you actually know the authors enough to recognize their identities in the characters?

Criticism is the refuge of the ignorant. That being said, I admit to be a 'fangirl' of true critique.

So as to make this uncomplicated, if you find this story to amateurish and 'Mary Sue,' run along to your make-believe worlds of tight-asses and leave others be. Be thankful there's a medium available on the web that takes away kids from the horrors of real life. If you are willing to go with the flow, then feel free to tell me when something is believable and when something is just too odd. I do not claim to be master at anything. I just want to relax and have fun.

Suffice it to say that will be my first and last attempt of explanation.

In the World of Elves and Men

Part 3

Once a princess of a line so grand as that which resided in Dol Amroth, Lothiriel found herself desperate and weary from her long escape from wretched Gondor of the usurper's sons. She shuddered at the thought of being possessed by men who would take a bride only to further their ambitions. She had thought all men noble, until the moment her father took her hand and told her that she would become mistress of Gondor.

Betrayal lodged in her throat. She had opposed her father's choice, yet she remained unheeded.

"You give freely to another man what your lost kin so rightly deserves."

"Aragorn had chosen to fade into the mediocrity that so infects so many of his kind," Prince Imrahil had reasoned gently, softly.

"He is good and noble," Lothiriel had insisted. "It would do us well to search for him. Gondor must have its rightful heir."

"Gondor has a leader. Gondor has its lords and they are as noble warriors as Aragorn," Imrahil said. He wondered at his daughter's firm grasp of this image she had of a man sh had not met. "We must be certain that the blood of Numenor thins not in Gondor's lineage."

Despite her fervid refusal, Prince Imrahil, one of the last remaining sons of the lost Numenore, took his daughter on the long march to the White City. Even then Minas Tirith stood as testimony to the height of power achieved by the sons of Elros.

"It is now gone," Prince Imrahil had sadly said as they approached Minas Tirith. "It is long gone."

It was at that moment that Lothiriel convinced herself that for her love of her father, she would step into the halls of the City of Kings.

Yet now here she was, hungry, homeless and lost. She had only wanted to leave the desolate life her father had plotted for her. The road to Mordor, they say, is paved with marvelous intentions. It was possible that her endless trek would lead her to the threshold of the Shadow King. How sad it was to face Middle-earth's greatest fear on an empty stomach.

It was sheer fortune that she came upon an abandoned pack mule on the side of the forest. Lothiriel swiftly strode towards it and uncovered a barrel of hard bread. She took one, then bit into it. The flavor was not existent but it calmed the rumbling in her stomach.

Lothiriel started to wander away only to stop in her tracks. Who knew how long she still had to travel? She returned then took about five more. She grabbed a discarded blanket then put her food in it, looped a tie then tightened it.

Thundering hooves brought home the fear of the unknown. She was far from the only parent she had ever known, in a strange land, with no weapon save for five pieces of rock hard bread. Lothiriel looked around and saw a good place to hide. She stumbled upon a discarded pack and dragged it along with her as well.

"Eomer!" she heard out in the field. "We found Tirio's mount. We shall search for the rider."

"It was an Orc ambush!" another voice concluded. She inferred it was this Eomer.

To her front were lined the men on their monstrous beasts of horses, Lothiriel had seen when she peeked.

With bated breath long she waited in the shadows of the trees. The eored rode away and Lothiriel sighed in relief. She had her food still, and the pack she stole from the mount. She looked inside and found small banners of Rohan. The horse sew on the silk was easy to recognize from her reading.

By the mercy of men, Lothiriel found herself within two nights time of sleeping out in the woods with a kind older woman's offer for her to stay in her hut.

Soon, Lothiriel was trading the Rohan banners for food to contribute to the household. Quite satisfied with herself, Lothiriel counts the coins she had collected from those who elected not to pay with their fruits and fowl.

The stomping of horses were all too familiar in Rohan. She did not even think to look up after that noise until the folded banner she was handing to the buyer was snatched from her hands. She turned to glare at the man astride the fine steed. She recognized the rider as one from the Orc ambush.

"'Tis Eomer, nephew of Theoden King," whispered the old woman who took her in.

"May we interest you in our fine banners, my lord?" Lothiriel offered.

Eomer sneered in contempt. He waved the silk banner about and gritted, "Men are falling in battle. And still you make luxury of our most precious symbols."

"Speak to me not of luxury, Prince," she responded. "You were born to a royal family." Lothiriel heard the old woman gasp, and realized her place. She was not to answer so to a member of the ruling family. She was on the defensive. Even when she knew Eomer was no prince, and that Theoden had his heir, she drawled the title to be on the offense.

Eomer jumped off his mount and grabbed the banners from Lothiriel. "Speak not of things you know not." He repossessed the symbols his fallen friends had carried with them to battle.

"You will do well to abide by the same rules," advised Lothiriel.

There it was again. The horrific singing. Try as she might to shut out the voices, Chloe could not. Often she feared that those creatures sang only to scare her. Once again she cursed the Elves who settled in the northern part of the forest. She had half suspected that they stayed there to strike terror in her heart.

A familiar screeching and thunderous whinnying comforted her. It was the delightful giant beast her father and her guardian rode. Once, in a fit of curiosity, Chloe had climbed a steep ladder in the domed library and searched through the tomes and tomes that were lined on the walls. Most of the books had nothing inside it, yet still Khamul and her father would pore through them for hours. When she had found one book that held real writing that she could see with her weak eyes. Weak they were too, according to Khamul. Of course Khamul was extraordinary, for he could see even those that should not be seen. From that book she had found a drawing of nine of those beasts. Winged Beasts, they were called. Some called them fell beasts. Chloe had to admit that at times, when she saw them flying in the direction of her tower, they were terrifying. Yet when they rested after travel they seemed like timid creatures.

After her father left, for he always did in service of the Eye, Chloe slipped into his study for more books. It was then that she found a lovely cylindrical equipment that she hid under her robes and took with her to the topmost tower. There was glass on one end, and a hole in the other. When she peeked through it and trained it outside, towards the place that Khamul had cautioned her never to look, she gasped in delighted surprise at the sight of moving people. They had golden hair and light clothes it seemed, so unlike her heavy robes. It appeared as well that they were having fun. Chloe trained the cylinder towards another direction and saw the tall trees so many. She wished the Bald Mountain had such trees!

Gripped by the boundless delight of seeing the forbidden world beyond Dol Guldur, Chloe slipped the cylinder under her bed and picked up her heavy skirts. She ran towards the flights upon flights of stairs and slipped outside into the shadows. She was safe, her father told her, as long as she stayed in the shadows. He and Khamul saw better in the shadows, and would know best if she was alone.

Unbeknownst to her, two sets of eyes followed her every move. The two Elves who crouched on a tree branch watched her move from shadow to shadow, and wondered what the woman was doing in such dangerous place. Legolas placed his hand on Haldir's arm and informed the warden, "I shall speak with her."

To this, the Marchwarden disagreed. "We are tasked only to observe, prince."

Legolas shook his head and jumped off the tree, landing gracefully on his feet behind the young woman. So smooth were the movements of the prince, Haldir noted, that the maiden did not even know to spin around and look. Instead, the young woman looked only when she heard Legolas speak. He asked, "What do you here in such a dangerous place?"

"Oh!" she exclaimed. "I had not thought anyone was here. Not often do strangers wander here."

"Because it is dangerous," Legolas answered.

"Have you traveled far?" Chloe inquired. She thirsted to learn about the world. They would regale her with some stories of the place from which they hailed.

"Come down, Haldir," Legolas called.

Swift as a cat, another dropped from the tree and bowed to her. "Haldir, my lady. Marchwarden of Lorien."

"I have not heard of this place," Chloe said. She smiled from ear to ear. "You must tell me of it. Is it beautiful?"

"More than any maiden," was the quick reply.

"Legolas, my lady."

She took it then to mean that they came both from the same place. She introduced herself by saying, "You may call me Chloe. I shall get refreshments so stories shall flow from your tongue." Chloe turned and walked towards the tower.

Legolas took her by her arm and stopped her. "Do not wander into Dol Guldur!" he warned. "Evil there persists that you cannot see."

Chloe's brows furrowed and she shook her head. "There is no evil there," she denied.

"No one there lives but myself and my guardian."

Legolas looked back at Haldir. "You must be going in the wrong direction," he offered again.

"You think to direct me to where I live?" she demanded. As she stepped forward once more, Haldir ran towards her and held his arms out. Her eyes widened at the sight revealed. She had so often imagined them when Khamul told her stories of horror, of creatures so full of malice you would burn if you touched them. Chloe stepped back from Haldir. From behind her back met Legolas, and she scampered away. "You're the Woodland Elves?"

Haldir proudly straightened and claimed, "We are."

The scream bubbled up inside her, twirled at the bottom of her throat, before bursting from her lips. Chloe picked up the pebbles at her feet and threw them in the direction of the Elves. "Demons! Stay away!" she screamed. Though they did not hurt them overmuch, Legolas and Haldir still shielded themselves with their hands. "Stay away, you rotten Elves!"

Chloe ran towards the tower and the two Elves looked on in amazement as a black-robed Nazgul met her at the gate and consoled her.