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Hall of Fire- First Chapter

Entering the hall, Fervain casts her gaze over those present.

The journey from Greenwood, or Taur-nu-Fuin as outsiders may call it,  had been long and arduous, her body aches and her mind hungers for interaction with those of Elven kind.

Tentatively, she continues to walk toward the elves gathered, they all stand close to several overly large fire places near to the back of the hall.

The hungry flames from these fires cast a homely glow about the large gathering room, a source of warmth and light; brilliant light that reflects onto every surface.
Rather dazzlingly, metal furnishings reflect the light of the fires most of all, glittering as though precious gems. Adding to this visual feast- the smell of burning wood mingles with the scent of sweet perfume and fine wine.

Fervain smiles, warmth seems to well up within her. If one were to describe this place one might use the words, homely and certainly breath-taking.

The elf maiden frowns slightly, unsure as to whether she should join those gathered. She pauses, taking in the thrum of murmuring voices, the light-hearted and cheerful laughter- even the sound of elegant harps can be heard.

Fervain sighs, normally she would avoid formal gatherings such as these, but to be deprived of civil Elvish Company for so long had been as though an arrow to her heart.

In honesty, she had not travelled alone but instead she had journeyed with Gilolon and a few sentinels from the great wood. But they had all been far too interested in hunting and surveying the world about them, seeming as though to rarely take notice of the young elf healer. Even Gilolon had been far too distracted to say but the occasional word to the maiden. His near silence throughout the journey had pained her greatly.

Then, suddenly, without a word in greeting, a firm hand takes a hold of her shoulder; the body warmth of another can be felt through the cloak on her back. The elf maiden smiles-  Gilolon stands behind her, so close, so tantalisingly close.

Removing his hand, he walks passed her and into the thrall of elves. Frowning again, she follows after him, nervous, unsure, though pleased to be in the company of her love.

Approaching the elves she pauses, her heartbeat quickens and to others she might look as though a deer faced with the sight of a great and fearsome hunter. Fervain immediately quashes the feeling. 

 Right, here goes…

Unconsciously, she dons mask of determination and, taking a deep breath, resolves to work her way through the crowd of gathered elves, so as to join Gilolon, who now stands closer to the fires.

They smile to each other, not saying a word. Both taking in the atmosphere and both incredibly tired.

It is not long before the two elves are greeted by a fine maiden, she seems welcoming and Fervain is glad to finally speak a little with an elf not of her travelling party. Interjecting, Gilolon also introduces himself- then he and the maiden begin to discuss matters of the Greatwood and even of Imladris,  It is at this point that Fervain finds her attention wondering; again looking to her surroundings and casting her gaze once more about the hall, she looks from face to face, intrigued.

Across the hall, the elf maiden notes a fair looking creature; she stands alone… and in full armour. Later this maiden would be known to Fervain as Ciridwen.

Smiling to the lone elf, Fervain walks toward her. The elf of Greatwood does not feel ready to approach the groups of elves, regardless; the other maiden seems to be somehow lonely, perhaps isolated.

They speak with one another for a short time, both of them enjoying the warm atmosphere of the hall.

It is not too long before her love, Gilolon, follows after her and for a short while the elves talk on light matters, Fervain even feels her travel weariness lift for a period of time, though discussions regarding her home soon turn toward matters of Dol Guldor, causing Fervain’s heart to feel as though a great weight were within her, a ball of cold iron even.

She turns from the elf and from Gilolon, looking not for the first time to the party of elves within the hall. She smiles a little, thinking of her home and of the great halls there, trying to run away from those thoughts of Dol Guldor that threaten to add to her weariness.

The maiden sighs, still surveying the hall, listening to conversations and smiling at mention of trivial topics. The atmosphere is agreeable, not truly interesting but simply agreeable.

Then, rising above the pleasant murmurings, a poignant laughter can be heard.  Looking to the source, Fervain sees a creature with almost white gold hair, and like Ciridwen this maiden wears full armour- she also carries her weapons in plain sight for all to see. Fervain frowns, pursing her lips.

Surely she should not carry her weapons within these halls?

She ponders why the elf would do so, creasing her brow in thought for a moment.

The Mirkwood elf then studies the strange creature’s features, they are unusual and perhaps somewhat set as though cold stone but the maiden is somehow beautiful...though her fine features are blighted by the presence of a scar across her face.

What a shame…

Fervain thinks, still staring at the strange creature. Then, shaking her head after realising her rudeness, Fervain turns from the elf maiden and back to Ciridwen.

Gilolon looks pained and Ciridwen seems to still be discussing the blight upon the wood. Nodding at the maiden’s words,  Fervain can feel the ball of iron within her chest become heavier; she sucks air in deeply, letting out a shaky breath. Such talk only serves to increase the elf maiden’s unease, her body seems now to be more tired, her mind weary, her heart ever increasingly saddened. She cares so much for that wood, it is the place of her birth, she would not have such a blight live within her home.

Ciridwen soon makes her excuses, leaving Fervain and Gilolon in the company of one another. Unsure what to say, perhaps too saddened, the elf maiden turns again to regard the hall. Again her gaze falls upon the strange maiden.

Such an odd scar, she muses, once more. Her attention then turning to the elf sire, her love.

His features are so breath taking and for a short time the maiden simply stares at him as he purveys the hall. She admires the lines of his body, his shoulders, his armour looks fetching on him. He is certainly a handsome male. She watches his chest move as he breathes in and out, without realising it a slightly contented smile lights up her features.

Then she frowns looking up to his emerald green eyes, he looks to be saddened, no not saddened, focused. Following his gaze, she looks toward an elf maiden, the maiden wears a long white dress. He smiles to her, moving away from Fervain and walking to the fires, to stand beside the maiden.

A slight pang of jealousy floods through the childish elf, she frowns for a moment, looking between the unknown maiden and Gilolon.

Quickly she realises her foolishness, knowing that she should not be jealous that he would choose the company of another. He gave his heart to Fervain and to no other, he is entitled to spend his time with whom so ever he wishes. Still she frowns, inwardly chastising herself for being so childish.

She looks to move toward them, wanting now to have Gilolon for herself.

‘Thou hast been looking at me.’ She hears, then turning toward the source, she sees that strange elf maiden standing behind her, her  features show that she is less than concerned about Fervain’s rude staring. Perhaps the strange maiden is merely satisfying her curiosity or maybe wishing to start a confrontation...

Fervain frowns to the elf, then she apologises for her rudeness.

‘Is it against the law to look?’ The maiden asks of Fervain.

Raising her eyebrow Fervain simply stares at the strange creature for a moment, her eyes move from the maidens own gaze and then down to the scar across her face.

‘I…’ Fervain is quickly interrupted as two more elves arrive. Both seem friendly, perhaps more so than the female of whom she would come to know as Minyelaire.

One of the elves introduces himself as Vandah.  Fervain smiles warmly to him, inclining her head. Now the other joins him in greeting, calling himself Galodin.

She looks for a moment between the two elves, introducing herself to them and then looking again to stare at the strange maiden.

She ponders for a moment as to what to say. She does not like the elf maiden’s countenance, she thinks her to be slightly rude. Though something about her is interesting, amusing even.

Soon Vandah begins talking of deeds, asking odd questions of Minyelaire- Questions of kinslaying to boot. He seems saddened somehow.

The strange and yet intriguing maiden seems to answer him tersely- she does not appear to care much for talk, or for the elves that stand before her. Fervain finds herself chuckling at Vandah and sometimes even at the answers of which the maiden sought to give him.

Soon though, he turns his attention to Fervain. He seems to be troubled deeply by something, though Fervain thinks it best not to ask.

‘What do you think?’ He asks her… She pales for a moment, not remembering what had recently been said. In fact, she had been too busy staring between them and also to the mildly quiet elf known to be Galodin. She curses herself inwardly for her ridiculous attention span, or rather, lack thereof.

Quick think of something to say! She thinks to herself. Though, before she can say anything, the elf known to be Galodin takes his leave, he is polite and fervain finds him to be rather pleasant. Perhaps she will make a few friends during her stay, she muses.

Hoping to have been saved, she realises that Vandah still awaits her response. She bites her lip for a moment, turning her thoughts inward. Trying to remember the topic of discussion.

‘I would say that it is important that our end goal is always virtuous and good, as long as we only seek to ensure the light, then what should it matter?’ She waits for a moment, hoping to have answered the question, whatever it was…

Vandah nods and Fervain lets out a sigh of relief. She seems to have answered the question correctly.
‘Yes, as long as the end result is good, then it does not matter the path of which we took to get there,’ He seems reassured and Fervain widens her eyes in horror at the implication of his words.

‘No!’ Fervain exclaims. ‘That is not what I had meant!’ She bites her lip, creasing her brow, thinking of how to properly articulate her views.

‘We can build a city of gold and it would be truly beautiful.’Fervain states, ‘But if that city is built upon a foundation of blood and death, then that taint is all that it would be remembered for, the city would never be beautiful.’

Vandah nods again but seems to ignore her, ‘I understand completely, as long as the end result is good then it does not matter how we get there.’

Fervain frowns, the elf is obviously intent upon thinking what he wished of her words- not truly wanting to grasp the concept that she had intended to convey.

Fervain turns now to look to Gilolon, the white robed maiden is now gone and he sits alone, watching her. His eyes reflect the light of the fires, his gaze looks as though to be set alight. Though his face is neutral, his features unreadable.

Vandah now takes his leave of the elf maidens, leaving Fervain alone with the strange and uncivilised creature. She looks to the strange creature, her interest is peaked but she says nothing, simply staring. Without word Minyelaire, simply removes herself from Fervain’s company, taking her leave, Fervain stands alone, pondering.

She turns then, once again to Gilolon, watching him for a short time, his lips move as though to smile. Her heart beats faster, his lips seem as though sirens, tempting her, calling out to her. She stares, ensnared for a brief moment, looking upon his breath taking features.

‘Meow’ She hears… Though she is still, in part, daydreaming. ‘Meow…’ Louder this time. Realising herself she creases her brow, then widening her eyes she turns about on her feet, looking to the source of the meowing.

‘A cat!’ She almost shouts without thinking, her bell like voice rings out and seems to reflect from the walls nearby. The cat seems to start, looking up to her with large expressive eyes.

‘He is called Arttu' A voice replies.

Fervain looks up to the speaker, seeing in front of her a man. He wears a robe and a pointed hat. She smiles to him, nodding in greeting then introducing herself to the man, smiling.

‘I am Sjageon of Dale‘ The man replies. Smiling back to her. 

Fervain looks again to the cat. Not noticing that Gilolon now walks to stand by her side. Only realising his closeness when he stands so close that his sleeve brushes gently against her.

‘This is Brundir…’ Fervain introduces Gilolon, laughing at her private little joke. Though the man seems not to notice, unfazed. Gilolon gives the maiden a withering look, then ignoring her completely he looks to the oddly attired man.

 Soon though Fervain becomes bored of the discussion, the man and Gilolon discuss the dale and their journey from the great wood… Mirkwood.

She looks again to the Minyelaire, seeing her standing next to a rather comely elf maiden, known to be Tulien. The elves seem to be arguing. Tulien challenges Minyelaire to a duel and Fervain widens her eyes. Not in horror but in interest.

A duel! She thinks excitedly.

The maidens leave the hall and Fervain frowns, desperately wishing to join them, to watch. Oh how interesting! She thinks. Also then thinking that they will likely need a healer, if something were to go wrong… She widens her eyes and quickly she makes her leave of the man and Gilolon, her love.

Hastily, with speed displaying vigour, she walks from the house, excited but also concerned for the maidens.

It does not take her long to find them and with stealth she moves closer to the sparring elves but she remains, hopefully, unnoticed. 

Watching with great interest, the duel continues before her.

Not before long, the fight seems to become more aggressive, Minyelaire is disarmed and from that point onward, the maiden Tulien deals more and more injury to her foe. Though, soon Minyelaire has the upper hand, taking her spear and placing it at the maiden’s neck.

She’s going to kill her! Fervain thinks, she panics for a moment, stepping slightly forward but still she remains out of sight. No… I should not intervene… She decides, turning now away from the maidens. She has seen enough.

Fervain walks back into the house, the duel had not been as intriguing to watch as she had thought it would be. She feels dissatisfaction, perhaps she is  slightly appalled that such things should occur within the bounds of Imladris. Though, conversely, she is excited and intrigued. Her first time away from the wood should prove to be interesting, exciting, such a grand adventure!...

How very interesting… The maiden thinks to herself as she makes her way toward the guest rooms.