Hello everyone! This story's been a good year in the making. I've planned it all out so I'm hoping I won't make any mistakes but I'm warning ya, it's gonna be a long one…
Warning: I'm English so I'm not really sure about American ratings but just to play it safe, the story's rated R for violence and adult situations later in the story.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything in or to do with Middlearth. Only the characters not in the Lord of the Rings belong to me. Now enjoy!
The Dunedain princess
In the dead of night, grey mist rolled around the base of the rising hills. The soft thud of hooves pawing at the ground could be heard high on the Ettenmoores. As the veil of cloud began to part, the moonlight shone down revealing an army of men, baring arms. Their leader, a large orc-like man on horseback, stared unblinking, at a sleepy village flickering in the dark in front of him. Glaring through pale blue eyes, Swarg roughly kicked the flanks of his horse and sprung forward, with his army swift on his heels. In the thatched roofed houses the men drank and told stories, women gossiped and all around people cheered and celebrated and in a small house amongst them all, one woman was trying her hardest to get her excitable daughter to sit still long enough to fix her hair,
"Come now Elanor" she pleaded, trying desperately to fix the small braids in her long dark, hair with a clip. "The day-star will be high before I get you to ready!"
The girl looked at her mother,
"Why do you call it that?"
"Call it what dear?"
"The sun… you always call it 'Day-star'
Estarlia looked at her daughter and her face saddened. The sound like thunder rolled from afar.
"Because that's what your father called it"
A silence followed her mothers reply. Elanor responded bitterly,
"And where is he now? Where is he when his wife and child are troubled so?"
Her mothers faced dropped. The mention of her father brought despair to her mother and she knew it. Estarlia dropped into her chair and started to weep. Elanor dropped to her side,
"Oh mother forgive me, I did not intend to upset you"
Estarlia gave her daughter a weak smile,
"No my child, I should apologise. We should not ruin a happy night with such talk. Go my love; this night is for the young"
Elanor gave her mother a swift kiss goodbye and left for the music and enchantment the night before her held.
The thud of feet could have been heard a league away, could have, if the music hadn't filled the night, or if the cheer and laughter hadn't been so great as to block out all approaching sound. The army came upon the village fast and unawares. The men crashed upon it as waves upon the shore. The ground shook and shouts were heard from all around. Arrows flew through the air and plunged into the bodies of men, leaving them cold and lifeless. Panic broke and laughter turned to screams as the army rode through the village, unchallenged and unmatched. Brave men stood their ground and fought with bare hands, only to be met with swift and merciless death.
Elanor stood in shock as the splendour of the evening was shattered before her eyes. Men and women, her friends, lay dead or dying on the ground before her. Numb with shock she raced as safely and as quickly as she could to her home, pushing her way against the crowds of screaming villagers and roaring men. Suddenly she felt a tug from behind. A man on horseback had grabbed her. Friend or foe, she knew not and neither did she care, her thoughts were only of her mother. Elanor struggled and with her one free hand grasped an arrow from a body lying nearby. Swiftly she pulled it out and plunged it into the arm of the rider. The man howled in pain and dropped her roughly on the ground. Elanor hit the ground hard and lost her breath. She pushed herself up and flung forward towards her house. Pushing open the door, Elanor collapsed at the sight which met her eyes. Estarlia lay motionless on the ground, her eyes staring lifelessly up at her. Blood was seeping from a gash in the woman's side, staining the floor a crimson red.
Forgetting the battle around her, Elanor crawled over to her mothers' body and knelt beside it. Her hands shaking, Elanor reached over and placed a hand on her mothers' cheek. Tears breached her eyes and rolled down her face as she looked upon her mothers' lifeless body. The world seemed to stop around her. The noise of the battle disappeared and time stood still. Elanor slide her arm under her mother and held against her. She buried her face into her mothers' neck and let out a sob. The noise from outside still roared in her ears. Elanor knew in her heart that those she knew and loved were now dead. Voices could be heard from outside her door. Stifling another sob Elanor lay down the body and went to her mothers' room. She quickly crossed over to where her mothers' bed was and pulled back the heavy mattress. Lying underneath it was a long sword with a silver hilt set with a green stone, the last remnant of her father. Loathing using it but left with no choice, Elanor picked up the sword and tested its weight. She had had no practise with swords but now was not the time for worrying about swordsmanship. The door of the house creaked open and a figure cloaked in murky brown colours stepped inside.
From her position in the bedroom Elanor could tell the figure was a man by his height and build but his footsteps were light and unburdened. The man walked over to the body of her mother and knelt down beside it. He placed a hand over her mouth as if to check for life but found none. At that moment Elanor rushed at the man, sword held high. She swung it down fast and hard. The man, startled by this sudden attack, swiftly brought a knife up to meet with Elanors sword. The two blades clashed together and Elanor pushed forward with all her strength, the man lost his footing and tripped. He fell backwards and landed with a thud on the floor, his hood falling back to reveal a rough, weather hardened yet still handsome face, with deep brown eyes and dark hair. Elanor brought the tip of her sword up and went to strike. The man looked up at her and caught her eye. Elanor halted as if frozen by some spell. In that brief moment the man raised his hand and knocked the sword away for her. Quickly he drew his own sword and raised it to her neck. She stood unarmed, breathing heavily and waited for his next move and, most likely, her death.
The man stood up slowly, the blade of his sword held firmly against her neck. He stared at her intently; her appearance struck something within him. Her face was well-known to him but her name was not. A spray of ash and flame came suddenly through the roof above them. Arrows of fire flew through the windows and ceiling of the building. Elanor raised her arm to shield her face from the heat as she felt something grab her wrist. The stranger had pulled her away from the flames and out of the door. Outside the harsh reality hit her. All around her, houses were burning; people were running wildly whilst being pursued by Swarg and his army. Elanor struggled against her captors grasp but he held firm. He led her through the swarms of people, fighting as they ran. In the blur Elanor noticed others in similar attire to this strange man and they all appeared to be fighting the army. Together, they ran through the hoards of people as arrows flew overhead. Suddenly a large hellish man clasped around Elanors other arm and she gave a yelp in pain. A giant hand engulfed her tiny wrist and she found herself caught between the two men. The cloaked man swung round at her cry, drawing his dagger as he turned and plunged it down into the arm of the man. The man roared in pain and flailed his arm widely, Elanor slipping from his grasp. Her other arms was wretched from the hand of the shrouded man and she fell backwards. Her head connected with the solid ground with a large thud and slowly, the cold blackness crept over her and her tired body welcomed it.