Addie awoke in the middle of the night covered in a cold sweat, she was shaking and her heart was pounding. As she looked around the small room, the faint light from the dwindling fire was washing away the lingering vestiges of death from her vision and she began to realize it was all a dream. She released a breath that she had been unconsciously holding in and, for once, was glad that she had returned to her mundane existence of recovery in this hidden place. She reached for the goblet of water next to her bed and took a sip to further prove to herself that she was indeed awake; even so, she could not shake the nagging feeling of dread in the pit of her stomach.
Dreams like this had visited her before, the most recent one on the eve of her father’s death, and they were almost always a warning of things to come. She quickly looked to the next bed to ensure that Neth was still there, safe and sound, and then looked around for the others; however, the house was silent and empty, offering her no such reassurance of their well-being. She tried to tell herself that they were safe for she knew that this tiny farmhouse was not the place in her dream where such horrors had befallen them, but not seeing the others caused her to worry regardless.
Surely Masin and Xanderian would not have left for Kheledûl without them; the plan to bring the fight to the Dourhands had only been discussed mere hours ago and even then, not everyone in the company had been informed of this plan. Xanderian did say that she wished to scout it out herself, to confirm recent reports and take count of their numbers, but surely she was not foolish enough to attack it alone. Addie shook her head to rid herself of such silly thoughts. She then thought back to the place in her… dream? Vision? … If this place truly was Kheledûl, they were all there; they had all suffered the same fate.
Addie had never been to Kheledûl before nor laid eyes upon it, but she knew that it was a dwarven port-city in Ered Luin near Gondamon that was controlled by the Dourhands. Perhaps her subconscious had used the memories of her visit to Gondamon and Thorin’s Gate to shape this place in her dream. The architecture was very similar in its large, rectangular stone structures that formed the columns and buildings; each structure was decorated down the middle and along the top with lines of some type of bluish-purple stone, intricately carved. Like Gondamon, this place also had many spires adorning the tops of buildings and many obelisk type structures placed throughout; however, instead of being red in color, they were green. What separated it further from being a replication of Gondamon was the presence of a river and docks. No, she had a sinking feeling that this place she envisioned was indeed Kheledûl.
Regret now showed on Addie’s face as she thought to the suggestion that SHE had made for a preemptive strike against the Dourhands. The group had received a threat from the dwarves indicating an imminent attack on the old farmhouse and they also had reports that the dwarves were gathering what seemed to be important forces at the port-city in preparation for such. In truth, she had grown tired of hiding, tired of waiting and just wanted it to be over with. It seemed to be a reasonable plan, surprise them while they are still not ready, but could this dream be warning them that it was a trap, that they were being lured in?
She looked back to Neth and thought of the plans that her friends had for their futures: plans to travel to Gondor to secure a pardon; plans to reunite with family; plans to build a house in the spring; plans of taking a company to Moria; plans of securing the safety of a loved one that had finally resurfaced. She smiled as she thought to these plans, but then remembered the final moments of her dream:
Her friends stood with her beneath a great spire in this city of stone; they were surrounded by a fierce looking crowd and shrouded in an unnatural darkness. A quick flash of a stone was visible before they all fell to the ground, holding their throbbing heads and screaming in agony. Her vision blurred and she lost sight of the others, only feeling the searing hot pain as blood flowed.
Again, it felt all too real and Addie’s heart quaked with fear. She had to warn the others of these things and hopefully they would not think her crazy. Even if they did, they deserved to know what may be so that they could take control over their future.