She had long since forgotten her home, her ways of life, and more importantly the loved ones that made it her home. It had been nearly thirty years since the barbarians known as Saxons, humans with fowl ways of thinking had found her downriver upon the banks blue as can be, and yet her aurora was still shinning brightly for all to see. Her purity had been a curse, for if they hadn't found her, she could've easily joined the other great elves in the Halls of Mandor. But it appeared that Valor had not been on her side, for upon seeing her distinctive elfish features, the humans, who had never seen any other form of mankind but their own had taken her under their command. Forced her to tell them everything she knew, which by then wasn't that much, for she was still young and hadn't even come close to reaching her minority, but she told them what she knew. Of her home in the forest of the lady of the wood, in Lothlórien, of the elves that inhabited the golden woods, and of course of the magic that elves had used for centuries. They seemed fascinated by her descriptions, and knew by her abnormal qualities that she couldn't have been a nut. She had then figured that perhaps they'd try to help her find a way home. She had no such luck...
"Lothiriel..." Lothiriel nearly jumped at the gruff voice, and flicked her eyes from where she sat in a large tree, overseeing the torture of a city filled with innocents. She had come to a conclusion long ago, these Saxons were no better then Orcs. Lothiriel spotted Cerdic down below, observing her with slight amusement as he always did when he knew she hadn't noticed him coming. Lothiriel slowly slid from her high branch in the sanctuary of her tree and down to the ground until she landed silently in front of the leader's son.
"Why is it you never take part in a battle? You've been training the youngest of soldiers with fever and passion...I've seen the light in your eyes when you spar with them. You like war...it excites you, admit it." Cerdic smirked conceitedly as he slowly reached his hand up and traced the silver tendrils of Lothiriel's hair between his fingers.
"What you do isn't war, its murder." Lothiriel answered back in a quiet, gentle voice, she knew better not to raise her voice to these men, and though her voice was soft, her eyes were alit with restrained anger. Cerdic caught this but only seemed to manage to laugh louder as he shook his head and ruffled Lothiriel's hair fondly.
"No matter how old you say you are, you will always remain childlike." Cerdic snorted as he took hold of Lothiriel's upper arm in a tight grip before he began to lead her into the remains of the village towards the large manor where Fallon was most likely bathing in the fruits of their 'labor' that was fine with her, as long as everyone else was occupied with their own bidding and she could be left alone. Lothiriel noted all the dead corpses still laying out in the open, food to the birds, and a blessing to the gods was always the Saxon's army's reasons. Lothiriel wondered what kind of god would want this type of blessings. Lothiriel paused when she spotted movement in the far right, in the shadows a figure was hiding crouched down. Lothiriel narrowed her eyes slightly in concentration, her ears picking up the prickling of a fast paced heart beat, and small little gasps of breath. It was a child, either one that had been sparred or went unnoticed Lothiriel didn't know. She did know, however, that it was rare that anybody was sparred during these horrid battles. She knew she'd have to get to the child before someone else noticed him.
"Are there any injured?" Lothiriel asked, praying to Valor that someone might need tending to, anything to sneak away. Cerdic paused, seemingly surprised by her question, Lothiriel didn't usually offer her healing services and was usually forced to help the men she had come to despise. And so he was more than a bit suspicious as he nodded his head gently.
"Any of the new recruits?" That did it, any of the children she had helped train in their youth had always been favored by Lothiriel, and so Cerdic dropped the accusations filling his mind and led her to a large hut not far from the Manor he had been leading her to. Inside were only seven men injured, not bad considering they had just wiped out an entire village.
"I'll be back around nightfall, don't go wondering off." Cerdic warned before he disappeared outside the hut's flap.
When Lothiriel was sure that all inhabitants of the tent had either been tended to or was sound asleep Lothiriel snuck to the back entrance of the tent and peeped her head outside the tent, looking both ways to make sure no one was around, and if they were, that they were well occupied. Most had gone inside the manor to get warm and perhaps lay in the fruits of their labor, but those that stood around were drinking and laughing with one another making them almost look human, but most had lost feeling long ago. A few to the far right were tending to the horses of the villagers, marking them as their own with hot brands, and making sure most were up to good health, overall they too were occupied. Lothiriel slipped from the tent and keeping to the shadows slowly made her way towards the tiny alley where she had seen the small form of the human child. She could hear the panicked breathing immediately upon entering the mouth of the alley; she picked up the location behind a few stack crates in the far right corner. Licking her lips nervously, she glanced behind her to be sure no one was watching and stepped further in the heart of the small alleyway.
"I'm not going to harm you. I want to get you out of here...please come out." Lothiriel whispered stopping beside the crates and waited a few minutes until a tiny face popped into view. It was indeed a young boy no older than six winters, sandy brown hair, and glazed blue eyes alit with tears. The boy sported a few bruises, and although he was dirty, Lothiriel was relieved to find the boy had not obtained any severe injuries. Kneeling upon the ground in the shadowed part of the alley, she beckoned the boy towards her. The boy, mesmerized by Lothiriel's beauty as well as her bright glow of purity slowly padded over to the elf and allowed Lothiriel to envelope him into a comforting embrace. Allowing the boy to cry on her shoulder as she cradled his small form to her own; Lothiriel rocked his body back and forth, her own heart quenching at the sound of the cries. She would not let harm befall this child, she would see to it even if it meant death for herself.
"Don't worry, I won't let anything happen to you child." Lothiriel whispered into the boy's ear as she stood up, the boy still clutched to her chest. How she was going to get them both out of there without being spotted she had no idea. She could wait for the cover of darkness, but the sun was setting where she stood, and soon Cerdic would return to the medical tent and find her missing. She knew the Saxon leader and his son would stop at nothing to get her back for she was a treasure, something never seen before by these people. If she left now the chances of them getting caught would be much higher, they could disappear into the woods and travel on foot until they would come out onto a prairie on the other side of the forest. If they made it to that point without getting caught, Lothiriel knew she could get a horse to come to her aid. But how long could she hold the boy before she would grow tired? Would the boy be able to handle the mad dash into the forest?
"Who are you?" The boy whispered as Lothiriel looked down to see that he had stopped crying, Lothiriel smile gently as she opened her mouth and replied slowly for him to understand.
"Lothiriel..." The boy's sleepy grin widened as he nodded in admiration of the name
"What is yours sweetheart?" Lothiriel asked still cradling the lad as she moved to the other side of the alley once more to hide the boy behind the stacked crates.
"Bastien," the boy answered somewhat proudly, Lothiriel nodded still smiling gently.
"Bastien, I need you to do something for me. I need you to keep really quiet and to stay behind these crates. I will come back to you tonight and we will both leave this place. But I have to go back right now before they notice I'm gone. Can you be a big boy and stay here?" Bastien bit his now trembling lip, afraid that Lothiriel wouldn't return like his mother did when she had promised she would return as well. Lothiriel seeing his unease set the boy on the ground and removed her cloak from her body to wrap around the little boy before removing the crystal pendant of the evening star from around her neck, it still glowed with a power that would protect its owner from evil as she placed it around the child's neck and smiled when she saw the boy was both warmed and soothed from the power of the pendant itself. Leaning down she kissed the boy's forehead before she pick Bastien up once more and placed him behind the crates.
"Don't fear Bastien, I will return soon, you have my word." And with that Lothiriel quickly disappeared out of the alley and back towards the medic tent.
Lothiriel had been surprised that none of the wounded soldiers had reported her missing, for when Cerdic came for her ten minutes after she had returned they kept their mouths shut, either pretending to be asleep or talking quietly with each other. Lothiriel wondered if it was because she had returned that they didn't tell or that she had saved their lives...either way, Lothiriel was more than grateful. Cerdic eyed the men she had helped heal with a critical eye, making sure Lothiriel did a thorough job, he nodded appraisingly, almost seeming satisfied before he turned back to Lothiriel and motioned with his head for her to follow him out.
The Manor, like most of the ones they had taken the liberty to steal was beautiful, though the blood that littered the ground once in a while and the echoed voices of screaming agony was enough for Lothiriel to wish to be anywhere else. She followed Cerdic to the Great Hall where men sat at tables, drinking, eating, and harassing the women of the village who looked beaten, exhausted, and terrified to death of the men continuously groping them. Most would die this night, if any lived at all, it was this horrible fact that made Lothiriel ill. Fallon sat at the back of the hall, at a private table with his closest generals and advisors planning the next raid, and it was to this table that Cerdic led her passively.
"Father..." Cerdic spoke out, and instantly the table Fallon was sitting at went quiet, all eyes were on Lothiriel as she came to a stop a few feet away from the table; Cerdic continued and took his seat to the left of his father...never the right. Lothiriel eyed Fallon wearily, masking her distaste to the man that had held her captive for nearly thirty years of her life. He had saved her from all the mysterious of this new world she had fallen into, but at the same time, he had condemned her to a life of evil, a life for the damned.
"Come Lothiriel; sing for us...we need a new source of entertainment." Lothiriel now seemed to have the attention of the entire Grand Hall, looking around she spotted the instruments lined upon the wall used by various entertainers, jesters, thespians, and who knew what else. A sixteen stringed lyre harp caught her eye, and so she slowly lifted in from where it rested on a nail and began to tune it silently, ignoring Fallon's impatient face at the moment. Once she was sure it was tuned she slowly walked to the center of the hall, her voice the first to start, followed by the beautifully rhythmic strings of the harp, her body swaying slightly as her fingers danced upon the strings in perfection, the song, something she experienced everyday for the better part of thirty years...
"When the evening falls
And the daylight is fading,
From within me calls
Could it be I am sleeping?
For a moment I stray,
Then it holds me completely
Close to home - I cannot say
Close to home feeling so far away
As I walk the room there before me a shadow
From another world, where no other can follow
Carry me to my own, to where I can cross over
Close to home - I cannot say
Close to home feeling so far away
Forever searching; never right,
I am lost in oceans of night.
Forever hoping I can find memories
Those memories I left behind
Even though I leave will I go on believing
That this time is real - am I lost in this feeling?
Like a child passing through,
Never knowing the reason
I am home - I know the way
I am home - feeling oh, so far away"
Her fingers continued on the harp as she hummed, and stopped her singing as her fingers came to a stop, slowly she straightened looking to Fallon for confirmation of pleasure or discontent, she was relieved after she had stopped her playing that the Grand Hall's occupants cheered for her, clearly entranced by the voice they had heard. Fallon had a small grin on his face as he nodded his approval to her, allowing the breath she had been holding to come out in a sigh.
"Of all the lands I've ravished and conquered, she still remains the greatest treasure yet found." Fallon stated loudly, although Lothiriel wasn't certain if it was a comment made to himself or those around him. Either way, the men around him seemed to hum and nod in agreement, Lothiriel made to put the harp away, though she'd rather keep it for herself. She would not turn into them though; she would not take what wasn't hers, especially an instrument of a murdered human.
"Cerdic! Take her to her room...I'll be by later to visit." Fallon promised her making Lothiriel freeze in sudden fear; he hadn't touched her like that since his son had been born, Cerdic and his mother and had gradually taken out some of the lust off of Fallon to a certain extent. Why would he change now? Were the girls he rape whenever they stopped not enough to satisfy him anymore? Lothiriel bit her tongue wanting to cry out and run but Cerdic's grip on her arm stopped her, and she remained emotionless as Cerdic led her out of the Grand Hall and down one of the many corridors to her bedroom for the night. Shoving her inside, the door slammed closed behind her, the light click a moment later told her she was locked in…
The sun had long since passed from the sky, the moon and the stars were left leaving the only light to be seen as the torches had long since been put out by the nightly wind. Lothiriel, dressed in a dark cloak, a pair of trousers, and a loose tunic, opened the windows above the desk set to the left side of the room. Crawling onto the desk, Lothiriel looked out the window, her breathing almost becoming nonexistent as her eyes speared the area looking for any sign of movement as her ears were working over time trying to do the same thing. When she was sure she wouldn't come across another soldier anytime soon, Lothiriel crawled out the window and with the dress robe she had worn before, she used it as leverage and wrapped it around a somewhat thin column and proceeded to climb down with the robe's aid. Once her feet touched solid ground, Lothiriel wrapped up the robe and stuffed it into the small woven sack she had found and packed other forms of clothing in, not to mention a blanket for the boy when they were far from here. Swinging the bag over her shoulder, Lothiriel sprinted quickly towards the alley to which she had left the boy ages ago. The darkness of the alley consumed her as she entered, her breathing coming in fearful gasps she made her way towards the load of crates and prayed the boy was still there and well.
"Boy...Bastien?" Lothiriel whispered hoping she had gotten the name right, a moment later a small head popped into view, just as he had done last time, only this time a small glow emitted from the crystal pendant around his neck. Lothiriel smiled in relief as she motioned for him to follow her. Once he was at her side, Lothiriel took hold of his hand and pulled him closer to her before she kneeled down to make eye contact with the boy.
"There are soldiers out there, most are asleep, but we must not make a sound until I say so. Can you do that for me Bastien?" Bastien looked up with wide blue eyes and nodded frantically almost as if Lothiriel didn't have to ask in the first place. Lothiriel kissed Bastien's forehead once more before she stood to her full height and took his hand into hers.
The walk into the woods was silent, but that was to be expected, every once in a while a loud groan, snore, snort, or drunken laugh caused both Lothiriel and Bastien to jump anxiously in fear, but when they found themselves facing no danger, they continued on through the damaged village. It was only when they had been walking far into the woods did Lothiriel let out a somewhat relieved breath before she looked down to see how her young charge was faring. He was tired, red ringlets marking themselves beneath his precious eyes, his face pale, and his lips trembled as he remembered the events he had gone through that day, his eyes showed it, almost as if it were replaying the moments in his eyes for her own to see. She knew this would not be easy on him; it wouldn't be easy on anyone with a heart for that matter.
"Do you know somewhere we can go? Someplace safe?" Lothiriel asked, wondering why she hadn't looked for a map inside the confines of her room. Looking down at the boy, she prayed he had an answer to her question, or else she feared they'd be stuck in the wilderness for some time. Lothiriel may not mind it, but she wasn't quite sure if Bastien would be able to handle it.
"Hadrian's Wall...mama said to go there, my da is there." The boy explained his eyes seemingly a bit more sane now at the mention of his father. That was a relief to Lothiriel, she didn't think having a child with her when she would leave to travel was good; too many dangers seemed to have fun in seeking her out; she would not drag the poor boy down with her.
"Do you know where Hadrian's Wall is?" The boy's answer was north of his village, far north until you reach a grand wall, and then passed the wall was a fort, and that was where his father was, and so that is where they would go as soon as they got out of the forest. As dawn approached, and their footsteps quickened, Lothiriel's heart began to race with the anxiety, surely Fallon had come to her room and found her gone, and when his men would be sent out. Would they catch them?
The moon had long since gone back to sleep, the sun was rising over the mountain's hedge, glittering the large hills with golden lights, steaks of reds and oranges were seen like a blaze over the grass in a blinding light as the two runaways exited the forest later that morning. The boy had long since collapsed leaving Lothiriel to carry him along with her bag of supplies, she gave credit to the boy's strength, Bastien held out far longer than she had expected. Glancing around the area she stopped in, she held a breath for a long moment, listening for voices, silence...
Pursing her lips together, Lothiriel let out three high pitched whistles that made both the human ear and her sensitive ears cringe at the sound. But she was in luck; it seemed she hadn't lost her gift to the horse lords of this word, for a magnificent white stallion came parading up to her minutes later. His nose in the air, signaling his dignified and proper manner, Lothiriel ginned at this, obviously this horse Lord thought it had high standing in this world. Setting the boy to rest on the ground, Lothiriel slowly approached the stallion, waiting to see if it would serve her or run off into the lands again.
"I need your help my Lord; there are those who mean to kill me and the human child. Will you serve me? Will you help us find Hadrian's Wall? Please..." Lothiriel's elvish tongue was melodic and mesmerizing to both the child and the great stallion, the horse in question kneeled down before Lothiriel to show his loyalty. Perhaps animals in their world weren't far different from the ones in her own. Taking the blanket from the sack, she threw the blanket over the horses back before softly petting the silky neck followed by the snout. The horse almost purred at her administrations making Lothiriel smile before finally stopping and turning her attention back to Bastien.
"Come, he'll take us to the wall..." Lothiriel assured him, her hand raised ready to be taken, the boy was still in awe at what he had just seen, Lothiriel seemed not of this world and at the moment, he thought her more than an angel.
"How did you do that? How did you get the horse to come?" Bastien asked as he slowly approached Lothiriel.
"My little secret, but essentially I called for him, and he came." Lothiriel answered before lifting Bastien into her arms and sat him upon the horses back; she made sure he was comfortable before telling him to take hold of the sack whilst she mounted up behind him. The horse stood steady throughout this time, and actually leaned down when Lothiriel got up, his way of helping her along the way. Once they were both situated with Bastien wrapped in Lothiriel's arms, Lothiriel leaned down, closer to the horse's ear.
"Move fast...be swift...move like the wind." Lothiriel whispered gently, coxing the horse to snort and nod his head before he took off just as quickly as the words left her lips. Bastien gave a surprised scream at the swift speed of the stallion as they practically flew across the hills and large fields of long swaying grasses.
A/N- this is my first King Arthur Fan-Fic, so please be gentle in your reviews. I do not mind flames and critical reviews as long as they help me improve in the long run. I know the whole elf thing had been done once I suppose on this website already. But no offense to her, I started this story before I read hers well over a year ago and it was damn well time I published it.