Disclaimer: I own Nothing but my OC's and this story plot and an overweight mini-Koi. JRR owns all the good stuff. I make no money from this!
A/N: This is a seperate story from my Hellfire series! I hope you enjoy the new story and as always feedback and suggestions are a welcome sight!
Arrival of Chaos
It was beginning to rain again. For the last four, or was it five days, the rain had come in spurts and sprinkles. Sighing Kestrel looked for shelter. Any old tree root or overhanging branches meshed together would be enough she knew, but it did not mean dreams of a roaring fire or soft warm bed with a roof overhead could be easily dismissed from her ever wandering thoughts. She had no idea where she was going or why she was here, but at least the pain and terror had passed. A tree root, raised above the ground, beckoned her to its sheltering depth. The trees here were so much smaller then those of her home, yet strangely familiar at the same time. Snuggling under the root, Kestrel drew out a small pouch of berries and nuts she had squirreled away religiously. Munching on only a handful, the girl put away the rest, for she knew not how long it would be before she found anything edible again. Leaning her head on the root after consuming her tiny meal, the girl's brown eyes lost focus and she drifted wearily into her dreamscape.
The sun shone down upon the girl's sleeping form, drying the wet clothes she wore. Her bedraggled state testified to the past few weeks of wandering aimlessly through the chilly mountains. A snapping sound brought her to wakefulness and she tensed in fear. A sigh of relief left her lips as a deer walked past her amongst the trees. She had seen a few large groups of people, traveling a path that was off to her right, but they looked strange and spoke a language she could not understand. For some reason even in her dire straights, Kestrel felt it was unwise to approach them or draw attention to herself in this wilderness, alone and unarmed. She still had hope that she would instead find a city or town soon. She was following a river that flowed swiftly back the way she had already walked and was keeping the water constantly on her left hand side as a guide. She had nothing in which to carry water with her so felt it was safer to journey near the water and be able to quench her thirst, rather then venture farther in with no sure water source available. Gaining her feet and stretching out her aching muscles, Kestrel gently made her way down the river's bank for a quick wash and a long, deep quenching drink of cold water.
After splashing the water on her face and arms, Kestrel was again ready to travel up the river to where ever it led. Eyeing the cloudless sky with a greatly relieved heart, the bedraggled female continued upriver holding out the very slim hope of finding a civilization of some sort that was at least partway familiar. Thankfully, with following the river, she did not feel like she was going in useless circles most of the time, like she had been feeling for most of the mountain trek. Counting to ten then to one hundred calmed her worried mind and eased her into the reality of this grim existence she found herself in at the moment. True she was not used to extravagance in her life, but solid walls, warm clothing, semi soft beds and hot meals she most definitely missed the most. Knowing the day was wearing on while she dawdled at the river's bank, Kestrel clambered up the bank and began to trudge along on her chosen path. With the sun shining brightly and the beautiful bird songs along the way, the road she walked was a more pleasant diversion then the rainy, dark version she had met the day before.
Glorfindel raised his face to the sun enjoying the feel of its warmth on his skin. A light breeze tousled his hair, but his warrior braids kept the golden strands from interfering with his vision. It had been a long patrol this time. After nearly a month out in the field dealing with the ever increasing Orc problem around his beloved Imladris, Glorfindel was ready for a respite and his nice, soft, feather bed. With a sigh, the golden haired elf realized he would have to face an irate Erestor. The advisor had gotten way to smug about his strange collection of bugs, so Glorfindel had let loose more than a few lizards into the advisor's room; there by diminishing the bug population. Sometimes Erestor could be quite peculiar! The advisor was a complete and boorish tyrant when it came to his work as Lord Elrond's chief advisor as well as the sanctity of the library's well tended array of reading material. He was quick witted, scholarly, over excitable, demanding and yet strangely childish when it came to his own personal affairs and projects. All in all, Erestor was a hard puzzle to figure out, but Glorfindel enjoyed the challenge most of the time.
This new fascination with bugs the advisor had was just eerie. Glorfindel thought back to his first glimpse of Erestor's menagerie of insects with a shudder. Bugs were most definitely not high on Glorfindel's list of pleasant things and after the completed grand tour of Erestor's creepy collection, the bugs dropped quite a few places further down on the good things list. The baby Mirkwood spider that Erestor had asked Legolas to bring was truly the last straw! Baby it might have been before the lizards ate it, but that exact baby was as big as an elf's head and continued to grow every time someone blinked. Glorfindel actually felt bad about decimating the advisor's bug collection off and on, but if he could do things differently, he would have left an apology attached to one of the lizards. Stepping foot inside with that blasted spider was something he would never do again, without being fully armed! Sighing at the sight of Imladris' gates ahead, Glorfindel wondered how long it would take for Erestor to speak with him again. Knowing the advisor as well as he did, it could be months!
Kestrel stared hard at the fish that swam lazily in the small pool created by an outcropping of rocks. She wished that the blasted thing would hop out of the water and sacrifice itself to her rumbling stomach, but she knew this to be a foolish thought. The lack of adequate tools and weapons had made this journey so much harder then it should have been. A strange smell brought her out of her musings and made the hair on her neck stand tall. She knew that particular scent and it nearly made her gag in revulsion. Never again would she be caught off guard by those things! Whirling away from the water, Kestrel made her way quietly to a nearby stand of trees. Gingerly gathering her dress around her hips, the girl climbed up as high and as quickly as she could. The dress hampered her movements quite a bit, but she was finally settled on a thick tree branch amid the foliage. Breathing as lightly as she could manage, she awaited the danger's approach with trepidation. These creatures were stronger and even more vile then anything she had known prior to her journey. The horrible guttural speech made her head hurt and the smell alone was enough to make her scream for mercy. She knew from experience that there was no mercy in these beasts; only destruction and hate, so she fled into her mind.
Blurred memories raced through her mind at lightning speed, but she stayed as still as stone. Fortunately for Kestrel, they bypassed her location without sensing her. It was probably more due to the fact that the leaders were arguing, then any skill at hiding she possessed. It took three hours for her to phase back into the real world and leave the jumbled dreamscape she had been caught in. Sighing in relief, Kestrel eased her stiff muscles loose enough for her to climb down the tree without falling. She was surprised that the creatures had not found her hiding spot and gave thanks, to whichever Valar it was, that had been looking out for her. She just hoped her luck held out! How she had survived so far was a mystery to her, but she would not begrudge the gift of life she had been given. With a deep sigh, Kestrel began another tedious walk, but was careful now to listen more closely to the world around her.
Ducking again as another projectile hit the wall, where his head had just been, Glorfindel contemplated how soon he could escape back to the border watch; so as to escape the wrath of Erestor. He had to admit to himself that Erestor was quite intriguing, when in this state of absolute uncontrolled fury. Glorfindel had learned many new and imaginative curses over the years and in several languages due to Erestor's temper fits. Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, the famed Balrog slayer missed the flying vase that an irate chief advisor launched at his head. Luckily for Glorfindel, Erestor's aim was off and it slammed into the wall above his shoulder. Covered in the splintered pieces of the vase and completely soaked, Glorfindel let out a low menacing growl that alerted Erestor that it now would be an excellent time to depart, as quickly as possible. With a deep huff of amusement, Glorfindel went to stalk his nemesis. Once the advisor's temper cooled, Erestor would become scarce until he was sure Glorfindel was not planning to retaliate. This had been happening since the first time the two had disagreed and Glorfindel figured they would still be doing it millennia from now. A slight grin crept over Glorfindel's face as he wondered how far Erestor was going to run this time. Making his way down the hallway that Erestor had just scampered along, Glorfindel let his mind wander to the paperwork he still needed to do.
A week had gone by and the son's of Elrond were back from their duty patrol. Glorfindel leisurely strolled out into the courtyard to await the arrival of the patrol, as he needed to confer with the twins about the increase Orc activity. Hearing the sounds of hooves, Glorfindel smiled in anticipation. He had not seen the twins in almost four months as their patrols were rarely synchronized to allow the three to get together and just enjoy each other's company. Darkness pressed ever closer to the borders of the beautiful vale of Imladris, eliciting the need for greater vigilance and increased patrols to combat the growing threat. Shaking himself out of troubled thoughts, Glorfindel turned to face the returning twins with a huge delighted smile. Unfortunately the smile did not last long as the older elf spied a form tied tightly with rope and tossed in front of Elrond's oldest son, Elladan.
It was hard to make out what the creature was from the coating of dried mud, twigs, leaves and what looked to be a combination of black and red blood. The tangled mop of hair obscured any hint of facial features and spiked around the female in wild abandon; at least Glorfindel believed the limp form was female given the remnants of the dress it was still wrapped in. Approaching Elladan's skittish mount, Glorfindel heard the younger twin, Elrohir, dispatching two of his patrol to the Last Homely House post haste. The first was sent to the house of healing to inform the healers a new prisoner had arrived and would be needing attention in the gray room. The second was sent to inform the house guards of an impending prisoner being brought to the gray room and to make sure all was prepared for the prisoner's incarceration. The two wardens broke into a fast run and disappeared into the building. Glorfindel held Elladan's mount still while the twin slid off his horse's back, dragged the limp bundle of dirty female off his horse, and threw her over his shoulder with a quick nod to Glorfindel as the twin stalked into the building with Glorfindel at his heels.