16. The outlaw

S.A 1350

She travelled fast with this two soldiers she barely knew. They were heading towards the mountain and it became colder and the air became heavier to breathe. Even the horse struggled to breathe properly and it had difficulties to keep up. She whispered comforting words in Tae’s ear and the horse kept moving with Orneth's words. After an hour or two later Orneth felt weary and her back hurt, but she was to proud to say anything. She only had a very thin cloak and she were freezing and felt  exhausted. They moved towards an old cabin and it was dark and misty. Demdor gave a command to stop and everyone stopped. He jumped of the horse and grabbed the reins of all three horses and gathered them. "Rochon, could you light up the fire? I will go and find a safe spot for the horses and give them food and water." Orneth went of the horse and was a little worried as she saw Tae willingly followed Demdor and the horses. Rochon looked at Orneth, "Do not worry my lady. Your horse will be in best hands. Demdor is a healer and especially directed towards animals. They just need to rest for the night."

Orneth barely could walk she was so tired and cold. Rochon looked at her giving his arm as support, "I do apologize, but you should have told us sooner if you were struggling." Orneth responded, "Oh I am fine, I did not want to be of burden." Rochon smiled at her as he opened the door of the cabin and guided her towards a chair. "This is one of the watch-houses. You must rest Lady, there will be a long day tomorrow." Orneth sat down and she was tired and weary because of the long road, but also the recent days had taken its toll on her. She observed the soldier made fire. She quite liked his calm presence. He made her somehow safe and comfortable. Demdor came inside and threw his cloak on the table. He looked worried and serious and he said, "I had to change the horseshoes on your horse Tae. We pushed her limits to far. She will rest here and we will take her back to Lord Mannamo and your friends tomorrow. We will rest inside the west room, you can rest here." Orneth felt a little uncomfortable as she felt he was looking straight through her. She also felt he was demanding her. "Tae. Is she fine?" Demdor walked out from the room as he responded, "Yes, she is fine"

When the sun rose above the mountain. Rochon took Orneth’s horse and his own and headed back to the guesthouse again. Demdor placed Orneth in front of him on his horse as they were riding the last short part to the settlement. She felt slightly uncomfortable when she felt his body and his breath at her neck. She felt awkward to sit so close for several hours with no words of exchange. All Orneth focused on was his gloves on the reins and the direction of his horse. Orneth had a feeling he was not truly happy about splitting up with Rochon. She felt more like a burden than someone he happily would guide. Orneth said, "I do apologize to be this burden." He did not respond immediately, but eventually he said, "You are not.." Orneth looked at the road in front of her saying, "What kind of soldier were you back in Ossiriand?" Demdor responded. "I am first and foremost a healer. I am not really a soldier even if I know how to wield a sword. " Orneth asked again, "The settlement, do I need to worry?" Demdor responded, "No. They are peaceful. The place is called Caranhoth now."

After a few breaks during the day, they reached the settlement before dusk. Orneth felt anxious and exited at the same time. She had no idea what kind of place this was or if the eldar she would meet would be hostile or friendly. All she knew was that this was the place that was marked on a map that most likely were owned by Manyamë son. The place could have a certain meaning, or maybe no meaning at all. This was Orneth's mission to find out.

Demdor sled slowly and silently of his horse and walked carefully towards the gate. The settlement looked more like a camp and there were tents around. It looked temporarily and Orneth doubted they lived here permanently. There was someone walking towards them, maybe a guard? Demdor beckoned to Orneth. Orneth jumped down as well. She looked at the person in front of her. He wore a deep red cloak and spoke with a very deep voice, "So, I hear you are looking for someone?" Orneth nodded, "Yes, I was travelling with her family, hoping to find out if she is around." The person in red cloak examined her, she could not see his face properly, "Are you their envoy?" Orneth pondered, "I am here with good intentions." He looked at her first, then at Demdor, "Follow me then!" Demdor attempted to follow, but guard stopped them, "Not you. You do know why Demdor. You have to wait outside we will bring her back soon" He raised his sword as a warning. Demdor spoke, "I just want to make sure she is safe. I made a promise to her friends". He said, "Wait here. I will speak to the leader of this settlement Caranhoth." Demdor nodded, "Very well. I will wait." The guards nodded and made a sign to Orneth to follow.

Orneth followed the person in deep red cloak. She walked on a small, narrow path on each side there were grey tents surrounding the paths. She observed curious eyes. Children and adults. She also observed temporarily stables and bigger tents and wooden stalls with weaponry items and shields. There was a strong smell of smoke and grass. In the corner of her eyes she was quite certain she saw men as well. There was a larger tent in the middle of the camp, it was quite distinctive since it has a very bright, red color on the surface. They walked inside and the person in the hooded cloak asked her to wait. She looked around and it was nearly looking like a regular room. It has chairs and a desk with shelves of books. In the corner she saw another person making food in a bowl by the fire-stand. She noticed a large table with some flasks and maps. Outside the tent there were a few soldiers in red robes. It looked like they were guarding the tent. Orneth realized that this must be where she would meet the leader. She felt no fear, but she felt tense and her heart beat fast.

She heard voices and some fast steps outside the tent. Suddenly a group of four males entered. They all had red robes and shiny belts. She did not quite notice their faces, but the last person who came in had silver buttons on his jacket and a longbow hanging across his back. His hair was neatly braided and he was silvery blond. He was taller than the rest and just as striking as Mannamo, but he had the opposite colors. He was pale and silvery. He nearly glowed in front of Orneth's eyes. Orneth blinked as she tried to catch his face. She was slowly rendering his features in her mind and she took a deep breath. He was out of this world beautiful and there was only one person that she could remember looked exactly the same. ' Naerchanar'

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