Disclaimer: All story lines, characters, speech etc. belong to Tolkien and the creators of LOTRO. Apart from, of course, my own character (Anandeth) and the things I'm imagining she would say.
For those of you who don't know, LOTRO is a game (it stands for Lord of the Rings Online). It's an RPG I like to play at home when I'm not playing Skyrim at my friend's house ;). I figured I'd start all over again and write down all that I do (plus, I ended up getting my elf onto the dwarf path somehow so I figured I'd rather start again anyway). I don't know if I'll continue this as I am the world's biggest procrastinator and I never get anything done so I'm not going to make any promises. If I continue then I continue, if I don't continue then my sincerest apologies. It's all my fault, I'm just a stupid lazy poohead.
Rated T because it may get a bit violent.
Chapter 1 – The Refuge of Edhelion
I gaze up at the tapestries surrounding me. A wash of blue depicts an image of a ship sailing under a bright full moon. Another, to the right of it, shows a new moon surrounded by stars on a cloudy night. At one end of the room, to the east, stand two identical tapestries of eight point stars surrounded by six white similar shapes. All these images portray such peace and tranquillity. I imagine how wonderful it would feel to be sailing in a ship under a night sky right now. But instead I am caught in the middle of a chaotic attack orchestrated by the Dourhand dwarves.
I came to Edhelion with my master, Talagan, only a couple of days ago. We had not intended for our visit to last too long. However, it seems that we have bad timing. Skorgrím, the king of the Dourhands, has launched a brutal attack on the refuge and it appears that I have ended up right in the middle of it all.
"There you are, Anandeth! Come, quickly!"
I look over to see a man with dark hair standing against a backdrop of bookcases.
"Elrond!" I acknowledge him as I walk forward.
"Anandeth," he says to me, his voice serious, a slight frown forming across his forehead, "You cannot tarry here any longer. Skorgríms forces are upon us and I fear they make straight for this library!"
"He is headed here?" I can sense the first signs of panic as the beating of my heart quickens, "What could Skorgrím possibly want that would be in this library?"
"He seeks the relics of Edhelion," Elrond replies, "though I do not know what a dwarf could want with them. These relics were once coveted by a Gaunt-lord of old. I think the fool believes he can become immortal if he acquires them."
That would explain the need for a battle. This peculiar longing for immortality that some dwarves possess only serves to fortify their stupidity. You would think that seeing the older elves and the burdens that eternal life has brought them would make the dwarves thankful for their mortal lives. Yet there are a few who still long for what they don't have and when they decide to act upon their greed nightmarish events can unfold.
"Here, young elf!" I only just catch the satchel. I look up at Elrond, puzzled.
"Arm yourself," he says, nodding towards the bundle in my arms. "There is little time."
I reach into the bag and pull out a bow and a knife. It is clear that, although not the greatest of weapons, they are better than the ones I currently possess. I swap my fragile short bow with the stick bow I found in the satchel and prepare myself with a knife in either hand. My old knife looks dull and harmless compared to the knife I have just received from Elrond.
"Good," Elrond gives a nod of approval, "You are better armed. Your master Talagan wishes to speak with you before you set off to defend Edhelion. But do hurry! This place is not safe for you."
I wonder if there is any place in reach that is safe for me at the moment. If I try to flee Edhelion there is a large chance that I may lose my life in the process. No, it is better to go out and fight for my people. I will make sure that the Dourhands do not taste success.
"Come, Anandeth, Talagan is over here." Elrond leads me through a gate-like door to the south of the room.
As I pass through the door I can see beams of light streaming through the tall windows that surround the walls. At the far end of the room I see the familiar face of my master.
"Talagan, I have found your student!" Elrond stands opposite him, his weapons are already out in preparation for the Dourhands' arrival, " Quickly – say what you wish to say. Anandeth is not safe here for long."
I look towards Talagan expectantly.
"Anandeth, my dear student!" his voice betrays his worry, "I wish I could let you stay safe within these walls, but Elrond tells me that Skorgrím makes straight for this library. You must survive the battle outside, I am afraid. I worry for you! Duel with me one last time, my friend, and show me that you are ready. It will ease my heart! Let us see how well you have learned!"
Talagan leaps forward, knocking me of guard. I quickly return the blow with one of my own. We spar for a while and I use the time to use some of the special techniques I have been taught in order to impress my master. After a short time, Talagan raises his hands in defeat. I help him back onto his feet and he gives my hand a tight squeeze as he congratulates me.
"Well done Anandeth! You have learned well."
His sentence is cut short by a sound of crashing outside as the ground starts to shake violently beneath our feet.
"Ai! Skorgrim's forces draw near!" I hear Elrond despairing behind me.
"It seems they will do anything to get at those relics…." Talagan mutters to himself.
I turn to Elrond.
"There is no time to waste, Anandeth. Go outside with Talagan and see what can be done to stop Skorgrim from advancing. The Dourhands cannot be allowed to take the Gaunt-lord's relics; I have vowed to keep them safe." Elrond's forehead has crumpled into a worried frown, "I will hide the relics, then I will join Talagan in protecting the library. Be safe, young Hunter."
I turn and follow Talagan out of the ornate door to the south of the room. As the door closes behind us I gaze in terror at the sight before me. The buildings over the bridge are ablaze and I can see several elves lying wounded around me. One to the left catches my eye.
"Do not concern yourself with me," she says. "I am just fortunate to have survived."
"Beware the Dourhand dwarves!" I hear another to my right call to me, "Their blades are cruel and sharp."
The first elf who spoke nods in agreement, "I would not have thought that a group of dwarves would be such a dangerous enemy."
"Anandeth, hurry! We have little time!" Talagan shouts from the bridge, "This is where the storm will converge. Edhelben is down below – he will let you through the gate to protect what is left of this refuge. Come, this way."
I follow Talagan over the bridge. He joins the other elves standing there, each one of them ready for battle.
"Go, Anandeth, and promise me you will return in one piece! Edhelben shall open the gate for you."
As I descend the stairs I hear one of the elves shout words of encouragement after me.
"Keep hope alive, friend. We shall carry this day!" he shouts behind me as I catch sight of a male elf on the other side of the gate in front. This must be Edhelben. He thrusts his sword into the Dourhand he is fighting and the dwarf dies with a final 'Urk….' He turns to me and opens the gate to allow me through.
"Come, Anandeth, quickly!" he motions for me to follow him to the left. A large clanging sound arises further in front of us.
"The east gate!" Edhelben exclaims. I run forward and see a large, monstrous creature, twice my height, attempting to batter down the gate.
"Skorgrims's forces press hard upon us!" Edhelben eyes the gate warily, "That gate will not hold long….Anandeth, we cannot tarry here. You must get into the courtyard and bolster our defences there! Come! This way, young one!"
We retrace our steps, passing the flight of stairs to come to another gate.
Edhelben turns to look at me, "You should continue west, up the stairs. Eventually you will make your way to the courtyard's west gate. Be wary of invaders along the way. They are everywhere! Hurry now!"
I rush up the stairs and come to a sudden halt when I reach the top. In front of me a Dourhand dwarf is standing over the still body of an elf. As I take a step forward the dwarf looks up, noticing my presence.
"The relics are ours!" he cries as he begins to charge towards me. The elf behind him lets out a small groan as I barely dodge his first attack. I slash at him with my knives. He is weaker than I anticipated and the duel is over almost immediately.
"It cannot be!" I hear him murmur as he falls to the ground.
I glance over to the body of the elves that lies only a few feet from me. There's not much I can do to help them; my best option is to continue onwards and see if I can be of any use in the western part of the refuge. I continue up a shorter stretch of stairs, turning left and passing another dwarf's dead body before coming to a bridge. I begin to cross the bridge and catch sight of another dwarf on the other side. I decide to take this one by surprise, shooting an arrow at him from afar. It takes a couple more arrows to take him down and I send my last one out just in time. He falls at my feet and I step over his body and face the next Dourhand in my path.
Defeating this dwarf much like the last I carry on, encountering two more dwarfs. The last was trying to break through a gate.
"You shall not enter here," the elf defending the gate had cried, "Stay back, Dourhand!"
Then I had taken the dwarves attention with an arrow straight through his heart.
Walking over to the gate I recognise the elf – Dorongúr Whitethorn.
"Ah, it is Talagan's young charge," He says, "I will open the gate for you Anandeth! Quick, come in!"
I follow him down the steps. Around us, many elves are healing their comrades. I approach a pair nearest me, the wounds run deep into the flesh.
"Leave me be!" One of the elves snaps at me, "This poor spirit's life hangs by a thread!'
I look back to Dorongúr.
"Alas that it is not over yet." There is a great sorrow in his voice, "I fear for Edhelion. How much more can we withstand? And I hear that Skorgrím has not even shown himself yet…which means the worst is yet to come."
Suddenly, the guard over near the gate shouts over to us.
"They have broken through!"
Shock and panic sweep over Dorongúr's face.
"Come, Anandeth. The final battle is at hand!" he says, running over to the guard, "Prepare yourself…the gate will not hold long!"
I run over to join them and recognise the large creature from before. Fear strikes my heart and the colour seems to drain from the world. I recognise what this beast is. Standing before us is a snow troll. There is no way that we can defeat this creature, it could take us all down with a single blow if it wished. Just as my last piece of hope fades I hear a voice coming from behind the troll.
"Elrond!" I exclaim as he runs up to attack the troll.
"A Elbereth! Edhellen crist!" he shouts as he strikes, "Fall, beast."
The troll slumps to the ground, defeated.
"Dorongur, come!" says Elrond, "Talagan alone defends the library! He sent me to save Anandeth."
Dorongur nods to Elrond. "Come, young one!" he looks at me before running off after Elrond. I follow after, hoping that my master has not met any ill fortune in Elrond's absence.
We run back towards the library. When we reach the top of the stairs we come to a sudden halt. The bridge has collapsed and in front of the library stands Talagan surrounded by dwarves.
"Stand aside, Elf." I hear one of the dwarves order. He carries himself with great authority and I realise that this must be Skorgrím, "The relics are mine!"
"Never!" Talagan cries, raising his arms to the skies.
"Oh, Talagan," I hear Elrond mutter as a purple glows starts to surround the roof.
"What is he doing? Stop him!" Skorgrím screams.
"Talagan! No!" shouts Dorongúr as the roof comes crashing down.
Everything goes silent. I gaze in horror at the pile of rubble, under which my master, Talagan, is buried.
"Be at peace, Talagan Silvertongue." Elrond's voice echoes around my mind. He, too, is fixed on the rubble, "This is a sad day. I wish I returned but a few moments earlier." Slowly, he turns round to address me, "Alas, Anandeth…you have lost your beloved master. You may blame me for his death – I could have saved him, but he bade me go to you instead. Talagan was brave to spare your young life. Edhelion is ruined now…Talagan was not the only Elf to die today. Skorgrim will trouble us no more, and the relics are safely buried, but it was such a needless battle!"
He turns away from me and looks south over the refuge.
"Edhelion will fade…"
Thanks for reading - I hope you enjoyed it! I welcome any criticism that you wish to give - though please don't be a bully! Constructive criticism is the way forward! As I said before, in terms of continuing this I am the world's biggest procrastinator so chances are slim - sorry! Plus, I've got important exams this year so I've got a lot to focus on! Thanks again!