A Lady's duty - Book One of the Lorien Princess Trilogy (Legolas Love Story/ Lotr)

Authiel is the daughter of Celeborn and Galadriel, princess and heir to the throne of Lorien. In order to prove herself to her people and her parents, she goes to Rivendell in order to attend a secret council. But, when her duty and her destiny become entwined, she finds herself in a company of an elf, two men, a dwarf, a wizard and four hobbits. What will happen when she discovers something about herself - a mystery buried in time and darkness - and what will happen when the dark lord learns of her power in this tale? Will she survive?

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5. Chapter Four - Nightmares on the Mountain

The journey to Caradhras was easy. I followed the river Nimrodel till it came into contact with the misty mountains where I journeyed north for several leagues until it was time for me to take a hidden path which led up to the mountains; a path that few knew of. The journey up Caradhras was the difficult part. It was practically a vertical path which zigzagged up one side of the mountain. But to make it worse the snow was thick on the ground and it was hard to move about. It was simple for me. Due to my elf elegance I was able to walk atop the snow yet Athae had to trudge through the freezing snow.

“Buia-nef, nín mellon. Ennas pul-a fili iion!” I shouted over the oncoming wind.

[Hold on, my friend. There should be a cave coming up soon!]

Squinting against the blurred light of the snow storm. The wind whipped around me in a fierce gale and even feared that I would be thrown from the cliff and tumbling to my death. Pelior was sat proudly on my shoulder; gripping me so tightly that it felt numb. That was when I saw it. Lightning flashed in the sky, briefly granting me extra light, and I could just make out the outline of the mouth of a cave in the rock wall.

“Thír, Athae, fili ennas. Vín tae na medui!” I cried, delighted at what I had seen.

[Look, Athae, up there. Our luck has changed at last!]

Athae gave a grunt and we pushed ourselves even harder than normal. It took use several minutes, but we made it there; eventually. Pelior leaped from my shoulder and sat on a jutted out rock high up in the corner of the cave. I saw a pile of wood in the middle of the room. Taking a deep breath, I started to build up the fire. Staring at the wood I could feel the raw energy pulsating in my blood. I raised my hand and clenched my fist. Then I flicked my fingers outwards violently. A sudden feeble flame danced on the wood and it soon engulfed its holder. Warmth quickly spread through me as I tenderly blew on the small flame watching it grow. When it was big enough I settled down to one side of the now roaring fire, leaning gently on Athae’s side. It was not long before I rested into a deep sleep.

                Dreams haunted me. No not dreams, memories. Vivid memoires.

Orc screams filled the air above the whirling wind. I spun around in a twisting dance with my sword a loft as I slashed my blade at the mutilated people known as orcs. So many I killed, leaving their bodies to freeze on the frozen ground or to be thrown over the edge of the haggard cliff face. Yet, I knew that my efforts were not enough. For two others travelled with me and they knew not how to wield a bow or sword; they were in inevitable danger. I tried to join them, to protect them as they attempted to climb the rocks to keep out the way of the orcs.

“Climb!” I screamed to the two women.

Their eyes were wide with terror as they nodded their heads and tried to continue to climb. I returned my attention to the oncoming hoard and sliced at any (and all) flesh that was visible. Soon I had a large circle surrounding me, all of dead orcs.

A high pitched scream filled the air. All I could do was watch as the women were dragged from the rock ledge they had perched themselves on. One of them, the younger of the two, was dropped to the hard ground. I watched with horror as she thrashed about, trying to get out of their hold. Her skirts were pushed up so that her underskirts were visible. A war cry escaped my lips. I stabbed the Orc that had straddled itself upon her lap. It fell down dead on her lap. She squealed with fright as she tried to flick the beast off of her. I turned my attention to the other woman who was beginning dragged by two of the Orcs; her long blond hair was tangled behind her as she struggled. A scream escaped my lips and I attacked the Orcs were a new fire swelling inside me.

“Nor!” I screamed to her once she was free.

[Run!]

She nodded her head and charged off over the top of the mountain, away from the Orcs.

“Authiel!” A high pitched scream came from behind me.

                Whipping around I saw the young woman was lying on the floor, an Orc’s blade sticking out of her chest. I dropped down to her side and took her hand.

“Shh,” I whispered, “It will be okay. Let me heal you!”

“N-no!” She stuttered, “Leave it. Save Celebrían!”

“I cannot do that. If I don’t help you, you will die.”

“As will Celebrían. She is the heir save her. Please!”

“But Meg …”

“Go!

“Megara I ….”

“Authiel, as your sister I order you to go. Forget me!”

“No, I cannot … I will not! It is my duty to protect you too as my sisters. It was bestowed upon me by our Mother and Father. I will not let you die!”

“You have no choice. Either I die or both of us die.”

“Do not make me choose between who shall live and who shall die. It is a decision that I cannot make.”

“Authiel, if you do not go this instant I shall use this very blade to take my own life! Do you understand me? Celebrían life is much more important than my own. You must go and protect her!”

“Stay safe!” I said, defeat ringing through my voice, “Keep pressure on that wound and do not try to remove it; more damage will be done if you do that!”

“Very well. Now go! Go and protect our future Queen!”

With one last look at my darling little sister who was lain so helplessly on the floor, I sprang to my feet and charged down the path that Celebrían had taken only moments ago. As I ran, I killed more of those deadly creatures and tried to track down my elder sister’s trail. I was a few feet away from her when I saw a terrible sight. A giant white Orc with a mauled face was stood in front of me; he had an axe held by his side and an evil smirk in his hell-ridden, blood-shot blue eyes.

“The beauty of the Elves is revealed!” The Pale Orc snickered in dark Orkish, “Or perhaps the deadliest of the Elves!”

“I would say the deadliest beauty!” I growled back to him in his foul language.

With an evil smirk on his face, he raised his axe and gave me a sort of mocking look,

“Will the pretty little Princess use the little knife she is holding or are you just going to give up?”

“This is no knife. This is an elvish blade that was once my grandfather’s, Finarfin, which he gave to me once my training was complete. You should fear me!”

“You are no more than a Princess. A Princess that will not survive a fight with the great Azog!”

“If you are so great then how come I have never heard of you?”

“You will tremble at the very sound of my name once this we are through. If you survive that is!”

A laugh slipped from my lips, “Funny. I was about to say that to you, but, obviously, the other way round!”

“You will not be this confident once we are through!”

“If you say so!”

I raised my sword and watched, waiting for the other the first move.

“Why did you attack us?” I demanded.

“Our master wants you; says you are to be his pets!”

“Your Master is dead. He has been so for over two thousand years. I was there. I saw him being destroyed!”

“You saw him being destroyed yes, but who says that means that he is dead!”

And with those words lingering in the air, he attacked.

                Our battle was a vicious one. He flung his axe around as if it were a mere branch. Thankfully, I was light on my feet so I was able to duck and dodge his blows whilst tiptoeing atop the snow. Azog had to force his way through the snow, making him unbalanced as he tried to fight me. We fought for some time, so long that I do not even know how long it was. I do know, however, that the only reason it finished was when I charged at Azog suddenly, catching him off balance so that he feel to the frozen ground.

He gave me a terrifying hiss of disgust as I placed my swords tip to his neck.

“Now, what was it you were saying?” I said with a sarcastic tone, with a raised eyebrow.

“Don’t say such things. My master will destroy you. We care not for you; you are merely a distraction; for who needs you when we can have the heir!”

“Meaning?”

A smirk filled the vile creature’s face and that was when I heard it. A woman’s ear-piercing scream.

“This was only a distraction!” I said, my eyes widening with shock.

“Obviously!” Azog sneered.

I watched in horror as my beloved older sister was dragged towards me by two Orcs, she was twisting and squirming to get away from them.

“Authiel!” She cried in distress.

My breath quickened but I did not allow Azog to see the pain that was being inflicted upon y very soul.

Another scream filled the air. Looking over my shoulder, I watched as another Orc pair dragged Megara between them, the sword still lodged in her chest.

“Authiel!” She cried, tears of pain and terror rolling down her delicate face.

“What will the Princess choice? Save her sisters or kill her enemy? She cannot do both so what will it be?”

Glaring down at Azog, I said in an anger filled yell,

“Release them or your master will die!”

From all around me I could hear the orcs laughing at my order,

“They care not. For if I die, so do they!” Azog growled.

“Authiel, please!” Celebrían cried.

“It hurts! Please make it stop!” Megara whimpered, clutching the area around the blade.

“Silence, both of you. Do not give them what they seek!” I yelled at them calmly from over my shoulder. I then returned my gaze to Azog and said in a menacing voice, “Let them go you foul beast. They are of no importance to you; I am of none either. Leave us be and do not bother us again or I will be forced to do actions that I do not wish to do!”

“I do not fear death. Bring for the injured whelp!”

                A sort of muffled yelp sound from behind me and I could see Megara being dragged from terrified heap to by my side. She fell to the floor and whimpered as more blood dripped from her body.

“Authiel,” She whispered, “I’m scared!”

“Do not show them your fear,” I whispered back, in a loving voice, “Be brave, this will all be over soon!”

A booming laugh erupted from bellow me and I glared at Azog.

“You are in no position to laugh!” I reminded him, pressing the sword point harder into his throat.

“So you think!” He choked.

His eyes darted to one side to a nearby Orc. The Orc ran forwards and ripped the Orkish blade from Megara’s chest. Her scream filled the air and fresh blood gushed from the wound.

“Watch now as you sister dies!” Azog bellowed.

Megara looked at me one last time with pleading eyes that were brimmed with fear and tears. She opened her mouth to say something but all that came out was a whimper of pain. The Orc brought up the sword and plunged in back into her chest, right above her heart. She screamed loudly as the sword was ripped from her chest once more. With a swing, it lashed out in a vertical line to her neck.

Suddenly, my eyes snapped open as I attempted to control my haggard breath. Once I had got it back under control my eyes drifted to the cave which I had slept opposite. There was still a storm battling outside so there was no possible way to determine what the time was and how long I had slept. I reshuffled my body and I was just closing my eyes to try to continue to sleep when I heard it, a sound of voices talking in hushed conversation; unknown voices.

“What are they doing here?” A voice demanded.

“Who are they?” Another voice curiously asked.

“How dare they walk into our home!” A third voice spat.

I sat up and glared around the room, searching for the intruders.

“What are you doing here?” The first voice snapped.

My eyes widened when I realised that no one stood before me.

“Who said that?” I calmly demanded.

“We did!” Three voices chorused.

                That was when I saw it. Three white orcs were hovering high above my head. They floated towards me and my fear melted away at once to relief. A large grin spread across my face which was still covered and my head was still hooded (how that was possible I had not the slightest idea).

“Alexis. Artemis. Alexandra. It is good to see all of you once more!” I stated.

The orbs grew in size and with a semi-blinding flash three young maidens were stood in front of me. Each of them were equal in everything save age. All were equal in beauty with pure white hair and pale skin. Each were clade in frosty white clothes. They were all the same, save for the fact that each were drastically aged differently.

The one to my right was the youngest of the three. Only a child. She looked only to of nine or ten years old. The girl on the left looked to be an adolescent child and the girl in the middle was the eldest, looking to be a young woman possibly in her late twenties. I knew there looks to be deceiving. Yes, they each looked to be young maids but in truth they were thousands of years old. As old as middle earth itself for they were gifted by the Valar to protect the cold places on this world, meaning that they were never to age.

Each of them had an identical of confusion printed on their fair faces.

“Who are you?” The youngest girl demanded harshly, “How do you know us?”

“Quiet Alexandria!” The oldest ordered.

“But Artemis I ….”

“Silence!”

“Sorry …”

A smile slipped onto Artemis’ face and she looked me in the eye. Calmly she said,

“Who are you?”

A slight chuckle escaped from my lips. Once I had let it pass, I spoke.

“I am shocked my dear girls. Surely it has not been that long since I passed through your domain. It was only five hundred years previous.”

“Show your face then, perhaps, we shall know you!” The final girl, Alexis, insisted.

“As you wish!”

                I bowed my head and slowly brought my hand up to untie the silky scarf that was concealing my face. Still with my head bowed I lifted my hood from my face and then raised my head back to its normal place. I looked at them and a delicate smile flowed through my full lips.

“My Lady!” Artemis gasped.

She and her siblings dipped into a curtsy and I could not help but grin at the sight of them.

Snow Spirits. They never do change.

“What are you doing in our dominion. You have not passed through Caradhras since the incident!” Alexis said with a sadden voice.

                My mind journeyed back to the dream and the memory came back to me afresh. The bitter-cold whirling around me, screams filling the air. Bright red pools of blood splattered across the pure white snow.

Shuddering, I looked at Artemis who gave me a sympathetic look.

“My dear Snow Spirits, I must ask a favour of you. Would it at all be possible for you to stop this storm, only for the time being mind. The path is a dangerous one and I fear that Athae or Pelior may perish from the cold if we continue on it for two long. You only have to do it until we have finished our decent of the mountain. It would mean a lot to me!”

“It would be our honour to do that for you, my Lady.”

“Thank you.”

                Holding out my arm, Pelior jumped onto it and settled herself confidently on my shoulder. Carefully I wrapped my cloak over both of us and pulled my hood back over my head. Then I retied the silky scarf so that once more my eyes were  the only facial feature that was visible.

By that point, the Snow Spirits had stopped the harsh winds from blowing and the heavy snow to stop falling outside of the cave.

“The journey for you, down this mountain, shall be fine,” Artemis said, “ The snow on the path will part before you can tred upon it and you will be protected from the winds in a large orb that will tightly hug you and your company until you have descended the mountain completely. For now on your journey shall be easy and safe.”

“I am forever in you debt, for you three are a blessing that the Valar have gifted upon this earth!” I said with a smile.

“There is no debt needed. Let us say that it is only fair since the incident happened on our domain. It only seems fair.”

“Thank you!”

Clicking my tongue, Athae warily stood up and looked at me expectantly.

“Tol-mellon. Vín lind innais rato na vanwa. Kesha anann lye innais ista-rasetha Rivendell. Ta innais ere sun oer; thaur uin car-rhí  ammen ron farim.”

[Come, my friend. Our journey will soon be over. Before long we will have reached Rivendell. It will only take a few days; unless some foul creatures chase us as their prey.]

She nuzzled my neck with her velvet nose and I grinned at her.

“Im naa llie na nin, astald mellon.”

[I am glad you are with me, my brave friend.]

“You two share a special bond, do you not!” Alexandria whispered.

“That we do!”

                Slowly I climbed onto Athae’s back and we plodded over to the arch way. I looked over the room one final time. The fire was dying and only the glowing cinders were still a light. I smiled at the three girls from over my shoulder.

“Goodbye my lady!” They called.

“Goodbye girls. Thank you for this once again!”

“You’re welcome!” Alexis grinned.

“And don’t forget …”Alexandria began.

“If you need our help …” Alexis continued.

“Then come and find us!” Artemis finished.

“Thank you!”

And with that we plodded out of the room and down the rest of Caradhras.  

    

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