24. The escape

S.A 1352

It was the year 1352, narwain, second age. Orneth was slowly losing hope to be rescued in near future. Falchon had become an unlikely friend to her, this unique bond of friendship held her spirit high. They spoke to each other nearly every day. He seemed to appreciate her highly, and she cared for him deeply.

Months had passed by and the lack of sunlight and natural nutrition made her somehow weak. She had awful dreams. Nightmares. She knew it was the visions and memories Manyamë had shared. Night after night she dreamt about running through golden woods. Woods that looked like fire. She could sense a shadow hunting her and she knew she had to escape. She ran as fast as she could and when she saw the windmill a hope was lit. She knew it was a sign of freedom. She was grabbed, every time... Luckily she woke up just when she reached that part of the dream. She woke up by hearing her own screams. The dreams were all the same. She was either running in the woods and she had this glimpse of a windmill or she was just feeling the fear and the presence of the shadow hunting her. She ran towards the windmill, but every time she was nearly reaching it someone grabbed her, pulled her back. When she woke up she sometimes reached for Falchon's hand as a comfort. Usually she cried herself in to sleep.

It was not until the second day of year 1353 that things changed. Orneth woke up of with loud voices and clinking sounds. Like metal met metal. She heard loud screams and voices of males. She heard loud bang on the floor. Like something heavy fell down on the concrete floor. The clinking sounds and the noises were closing up towards the west wing hall. She smelled something scorched. Her cell had a flaring light inside and then Orneth looked out from the little window that only was showing the sky. The sky was orange and it was smoky with ashes. Something were burning outside. She turned her head around and went to the prison bar turning right, but the corners and the opposite wall was covering the scene. Suddenly she could hear a group of men and eldar running towards the cells and she heard a rattling sounds of iron. She heard voices and she recognized Haldanáre voice. The cell doors seemed to be ripped out with a thunder sound and it made an echo all over the place. Her cell were the last one in the west wing and she stood paralyzed when she saw faces in front of her. Faces covered in ash and hands holding spears and swords. One of the person in front of her held a key and they opened the lock. Orneth could not process it all. She stood still when the person in front of her beckoned and said. "We must run. Come Orneth!" She recognized him. It was Demdor in his shiny armour. Falchon had just been released and he came towards her like a tornado. He had this special flare in his eyes when he placed her in his arms and carried her out. Orneth held tight around his shoulders and buried her head against his neck. She was tired and weak. She quickly had a look above his shoulder and she saw flames stretching towards her through the small windows. She heard yet another familiar voice, "Orneth, we are here now. You are soon safe." Then she saw someone she loved very much. Feawing. Feawing had come to her rescue. Orneth looked at her. Was it real?

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When they ran outside. Orneth saw a bigger group of eldar. Soldiers in green and grey cloaks. It was Rochon and Demdor's soldiers and scouts. On the ground there were wounded fighters and some looked like they had fall. Through the flames she saw a war. Soldiers and guards that fought each other with swords and spears. Citizens that ran with their animals and belongings. Others throwing torches towards the tent and the houses. In the distance she saw banners. It was the emblem of the city. The soldiers of the Prince were around. Demdor approach the group and yelled, "We need to leave before we are consumed by the fire." Giril came towards them with two horses and a large wagon. Falchon carried Orneth through the fire and placed her inside the wagon. Feawing, Elarion, Haldanáre, Falchon and a few others that they have released were inside the wagon. Orneth observed a large line of horses, riders and wagons in a large line escaping the settlements drowned in fire. Falchon looked at with a glow in his eyes, he stroked her hair in comfort. She looked at him and she could not help staring at him. She only had heard his voice and held his hand for months, so when she saw him properly for the first time it all became way too overwhelming.

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Orneth was in the barracks and the prison for two years. Everything were a blur to her. She was changed, maybe changed for good. She had seen pain and she had seen loss. Her naive approach to the world was forever changed. .

When she arrived Eregion, she reunited with Mannamo and Lady Lanyarë. She heard stories about all the months they were searching for her. Their attempt to storm the settlement had been a long drawn process. There had been a huge friction between the eldars again and it seemed the peaceful times were over. The threat from the east were also roaming the lands and caused many hindrances along the way. It was not until the soldiers of the Prince agreed to siege the settlement Caranhoth that their search finally had some result. They accused Lord Naerchanar to be disloyal to the old ways, and they did not need his settlement to be a further disturbance. They had enough problems as they already had. Demdor and Feawing had joined the siege, but their mission was different. They wanted to storm the barracks hoping to find Lady Orneth.

Lord Naerchanar was accused, but because of the lack of evidence, he was released.  He was still a mighty leader for many. Especially for the eldars that once had taken the long road to the east found comfort and safety in the settlement as refugees. Lord Naerchanar was nowhere to be found. The court decided not to proceed with his sentence. He had lost everything anyway. His settlement, his followers, his valuable items and all his future plans. He was not a problem anymore and there was far more worse problems in Eregion.

Giril and her brother Carvedir left with Marilo and Simawen back to Harlond where Alcarinien, Mantaro lived. Mistamë had travelled home earlier because of her longing to see her mother and father. Mannamo and Lady Lanyarë were still in Eregion, mostly because they had this endless hope and tireless will to find Manyamë. They had Falchon now. Their lost grandson and Lord Mannamo seemed to be very proud to see him. There was this mutual respect that they barely could not hide. They tried, but everyone saw they had this bond together. Perhaps Mannamo could convince Falchon that family was worth living for?