20. Changes in the air

S.A 1350

She felt drawn back to her friend and the chemistry between them did not go unnoticed by others. He told her that he was happy to have her back as a friend and Orneth believed him. Orneth could feel small seeds of feelings similar to the ones she had for Marilo, but she felt it in her heart it was best not explore it. Marilo had a long time tormented her mind and it was hurtful enough that he was drawn towards Lady Simawen. She refused to experience it one more time.

Orneth had to stay in the settlement for a few days as there were some disturbances south of the settlement Caranhoth. There were rumours of a new army arising and more foul creatures were roaming the lands from the east. Sometimes there were creatures straying from their packs and went too close to the settlement and the city. Demdor was nowhere around and she had not got any messages from Mannamo and his family either. She decided to wait and not worry too much. She had her own mission and the fact she had got some new friends of her own kind made her intrigued. It felt nearly like home.

Lady Girl and her brother Carvedir were on the same wavelength when it came to interests, humour and subjects of conversations. They were Sindar as well and they were preparing for a journey to the west. Because of some disturbance they also decided to linger a little before they would go.

There were barracks at the east-side of the camp, close to the farmlands. She sometimes observed guards guiding chained folks and creatures inside. When she asked Naerchanar he told her that she should not go near the barracks, it was a very dangerous place. He often said, "You can do whatever you please here, but please never approach the barracks, it is very dangerous and there exist enchantment and poisons that will exceed your imagination. I am just afraid of your safety. Can you promise me that Lady Orneth?" Orneth nodded, "Of course I promise."

Orneth was helping out the healers in the settlement. She had learned a lot from Lady Alcarinien and she remembered the basics. Giril often were visiting Orneth and she brought the healers food. One evening when Orneth's work were done she went for a walk with Giril. Giril looked curious at the barracks in the distance and said, "More and more creatures are captured and locked inside the barracks. I wonder how many more is out there. Do you think there will be another war?" Orneth looked at Giril, "No, we have had our share. Why should the Valar place us on Middle-Earth and all we experience is war? I think they cleaned up the mess properly in Beleriand." Giril looked sad, "Yeah they wiped out the whole land." Orneth pondered and said, "On the other hand, you are right! Naerchanar and his guards are patrolling the lands a lot, there must be something uprising." Giril nodded and looked at the barracks again and said, "I have seen the prisoners sometimes heading out from the barracks towards the mountains, but I have never seen those foul creatures everyone talking about. These creatures are like tall eldars." Orneth looked at Giril and replied, "Tall?" Giril smiled, "Yeah, all of them really. It does not surprise me. There are many with bad blood among ourselves, they should be sent back to where they come from." Orneth's heart sank and suddenly she got an interests for the barracks. Giril smiled, "Ahh well, we are safe here at least."

Orneth had this weird feeling inside. She decided she wanted to keep an eye on the barracks. She did not dare to hope. She knew Naerchanar hate against Noldor and when Giril told her she often saw tall eldars entering. She felt immediately alarmed. She went outside in her dark hooded cloak on and went towards the barrack. She found herself a spot behind a tree and she knew how she could make her small and invisible thanks to the training she had with Marilo and Mantaro.

She pulled her hood down to hide her face the best she could. She looked around and heard voices. Faint voices in the distance. Not foul screaming or howling. She had seen some guards entering and some were leaving, but she did not see anything out of the ordinary. The moon came through the misty sky and made a small light on the surrounding. It was a starry night. She truly hoped there were nothing alarming to see. She hoped the barracks were there for the right reasons a prison for the evil and foul creatures passing through from the east. She was about to leave when she heard noises, more voices complaining like they were hurt. She sat down again and kept herself silent, then she saw a group of guards and prison workers pulling a horse with a huge wagon. She narrowed her eyes to see better and to pierce through the mist. She stopped breathing for a moment. Out from the wagon there were at least ten eldars chained and had their arms bounded behind their back. Some had a hood pulled all the way down to the collar and some had nothing. They were tall, dark-haired and very much similar to the Noldor race. She tried to focus hard. Giril was right, there was something odd going on and Orneth could not help feeling crushed. What if someone she knew were inside? Why did Naerchanar lied to her? She hoped there was a good reason for everything as she had grown very fond of Naerchanar . If he lied it would be very good reasons for it for the settlements interest and to protect everyone.

Orneth struggled to rest and she went back to the barracks once again. She had weird dreams and she felt an urge to sneak inside to the barracks. There were many folks walking in and out from the barracks. She could not see anyone checking the guards who went inside, so she concluded with the fact it was a matter of trust.

She had a cloak that was similar to the outfits they wore. She joined a group who seemed to head inside and she blended in the best she could. She knew how to make herself insignificant and anonymous. The night was dark and there were no stars on the sky. It was raining and the air was chill. She did not examine the room that much, she was more focused on finding a hiding spot to avoid any situations. As the guards went towards the west wing hall. She quickly derailed from the group and hid herself behind a pile of boxes, caskets and bags. One of the guards turned and looked around and he shrugged his shoulder as he was thinking he was imagining something.

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She was tense and her determination made her less afraid. Allthough when the guards left the barracks and most of them were gone for the night she felt her pulse raise again. She had to remember why she was here. She still needed answers of Manyamë disappearance and the fact she thought she saw similar to her kind made her curious and eager.

There was a huge sound of locked doors happening at the same time. It was like an echo in the halls. There was nothing more than a few torches on the wall that gave the room a dim, weak light. At the left of the hall she could see an open entrance, there was a small light shining through and she could hear faint voices in the distance. She looked around to see if there were any guards around, but she did not see anyone. Quickly she ran over the floor and looked around once again to see if she saw someone walking inside. What she did see were small cells on each side of the room. She could see shadows inside, but it was silent. There was a very sweet, disgusting smell filling the room that made her chill. Something was not quite right. She grabbed a small torch from the wall and walked slowly and carefully towards the cells. She looked around again and then she heard a voice."Lady.."