Mar ledhil? - Chapter One
“When do you leave?”
A fair figure stood, her posture proud and hands clasped, as she waited patiently. Not far from her footing knelt another maiden, preparing rows of bundled rations.
Unclasping her hands she rested a palm upon the crown of the kneeling maiden. As such, the girl looked up at her mother and gently smiled; residing there awhile, whilst the birds chattered amongst the trees and the sound of a babbling brook nearby came to the fore.
“Mithaeglir will be my guide, you need not worry,
nor should Adar.”
“Nay child, it will be a sorrowful day for I.”
“Naneth, I shall be amongst yo-... I only wish to see that beyond
the shores of the Anduin.”
She stood now as her task became complete and looked her mother in the eye.
“Not idly do we leave these forests, I just hope this is what you
“It is, as of now... I have lingered here, secluded from yonder
lands... though there is still much I wish to find upon and under leaf
here; the winds of other places call me so, to stand under stars anew,
to see that which has only been told to me in tale. I wish to see for
myself, just like Adar. I shall return, of that you have no worry, for I
The mother smiled, her delicate features almost mirrored in that of her child.
“Do not stray too far south; we fled those shadows time ago... I do
not know how greatly their numbers thicken, but...”
The mother quietened and looked at her daughter who had now rested her palm against her mothers cheek.
“Do not worry, Mithaeglir knows the way.”
* * * * *
She had parted quietly and in the eve, the sun had only just set behind darkening trees and the forest laid out into a blanket of silence. It was a silence that would have seemed other-worldly, yet it was the simple break between the wilds relishing the sun and the beasts who awakened at night. Her thoughts passed fleetingly over the sight of her mother and father and a tempered vision of a brother not wholly there; standing solitary in the pale gleam of sunlight shining through the leaves. When the time had finally come to pass, they exchanged few words in parting; but Lhinniel had smiled her mirthful reassuring smile to them before passing into the thicker veil of trees out of sight.
She crossed the leafy undergrowth with light and quickened step, flitting between the trees until she saw him. He was stood somewhat alert near the edge of a tor, as the skies waned from their warmth to an iridescent deep blue surrounding pockets of stars and an ever-shining moon. Beneath his footing the land sloped steeply south and westwards, the moon lighting the flow of trees running toward the horizon.
Lhinniel strode across the out-cropping of stone, looking outward over the forest as Mithaeglir turned to greet her,
“You are ready mellon nin?”
She lowered her head toward him as a nod and smiled. He pointed outward over the expanse of the woods a glimmer of silver splitting the forest in the stroke of a crescent.
“We shall follow distantly the stream southward for a time,
nearing what was once the Emyn Duir... but we shall not stray too
closely; only what we must, to come to the Old Forest Road that lies
Her attention moved from the range of mountains to re-adjust the light leather quiver and small pouches over her shoulder as he lowered his arm and looked at her.
“Come, let us depart.”
They ambled down the side of the tor and down the knoll which spread from it, the moon lighting their way as stone and mud gave way to the entry of the forest bed once more.
“From the road, we shall venture west, to cross the great river...”
Mithaeglir continued laying out the plan of their route as they walked; whilst Lhinniel, still listening intently, soaked up the appearance of the woods she had come to know so intimately. From leaf and twig to the scent in the air, she kept note of what she saw as they crossed the woods deep into the night, departing.