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Old 04-18-2004, 01:43 PM   #241
Aylwen Dreamsong
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Dorlas...

Dorlas had watched the discussion between Melost and Arthain long enough. "Hold him!" Dorlas hissed at the ragged man, who obliged and grasped both of Melost's shoulders. Dorlas moved quickly to Arthain and pulled the knife gently from its place at his master's neck. "No, Arthain. They would slay Melost if he drew your blood, just as they would do you if you drew his. You know this," Dorlas' voice was scarcely above a whisper as he pulled Arthain up from his knees and took the knife from the hands of Melost or Arthain.

"Then let me do it myself, Dorlas!" Arthain cried, tears streaming silently as the man choked on his words. Dorlas couldn't believe what he was hearing. What had happened to the Arthain he'd known? How could a bond like the one with Melost tear the once strong man apart from the inside, no matter how invisible it was? Dorlas' expression glazed over with new determination. I'm not going to lose Arthain the way Thelian lost Melost.

"Arthain!" Dorlas scolded as a mother would to her misbehaving child. "Don't be foolish. You were not meant to die at your own hand. Peace!" Turning to Melost and retreating to his former spot next to the stranger called Khalad, Dorlas sighed and looked to Arthain. "I don't think you should be here, near Melost, Arthain. We can't have you any more hurt or distracted before battle than you already are."
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Old 04-18-2004, 10:55 PM   #242
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"Thelian!" Melost cried as he saw his kinsman running to set the guard after the outlaws, after the people who had harboured him...

Clear...it was all clear now, as clear and hard and sharp as a cut crystal shard. He was the cause of the pain, the anxiety, the torment of everyone who had remotely cared for him. Because Melost hadn't been in his right mind when he met Vlad, he and his people were now going to be hunted down...because he had run from the pain of betrayal rather than confronting it...because his sense of duty had made his beloved Anwenelme seek the arms of another...because he could never refuse his king. All of this was his fault.

With a cry, he flung the dagger away and covered his face. How was he even able to stand in Arthain's presence? He had tried to kill the man whom he had saved many times over and who had saved him as well. Why? Because he was in pain, because he was suffering! What of Arthain? Had he sufffered as well? As though in answer, strong arms went around him and held him close. "Melost...mellon...I thought you were...that you had died." He held Melost away from him and looked directly at him. "Are you here, at the end of things? Have you come to die with me?"

Melost pulled him close, crushing him to his chest, trying to make him seem real. He couldn't speak, he could only weep at the truth in Arthain's words. He had indeed returned, not to rejoice in their reunion, but to slay him...now both objectives were impossible. Now they could only hope to survive the horror that awaited them. Arthain stroked Melost's hair, trying to quiet him. As he did so...he told him how the main body of the army had already been dispatched to the south and east. Only a few small companies had been left behind in the rear guard. Arthain told him how he had hoped against all odds to see his friend again, and he was very careful to steer clear of Anwenelme and the child. He cringed even as the thought entered his mind and he drew away from Melost as his breathing calmed at last. "Forgive..." "Melost, no...no apologies. It is I who owes you one...more than one!"

Dorlas stood to one side, both amazed and embarrassed as he witnessed two friends when all hope had vanished. Was there actually a chance? Was this an omen?
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Old 04-19-2004, 09:53 AM   #243
Amanaduial the archer
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Silmaril Arthain

"Forgive..."

Arthain felt a twist of guilt, like a knife in his stomach, as his friend began the proposterous sentence and a flash image of Anwanelme entered his mind. "You carry this man's child..."

"Melost, no...no apologies," he interrupted. "It is I who owes you one...more than one!" he added, looking away. Melost did not seem to notice overly much though and Arthain drew in a deep breath, holding his friend away, a hand on each of his shoulders as he looked into his friend's eyes, drawing the elf's eyes to his own.

"Melost, tomorrow we go to battle, and...I doubt I will come back, doubt even that I could." His eyes flickered away momentarily as he said the shameful sentence, but Melost did not interrupt: with a slight lurch, Arthain realised Melost felt the same. Neither of them expected to come back, for what had they to come back to... "And so we have much to do - Dorlas," he turned to his squire, more business-like, the captain once again (in mind even if not in rank). "Dorlas, please run to Gil-Galad - tell him an honoured soldier has returned to us."

Melost smiled slightly, a hint of wryness around his lips. "Honoured soldier? I fear not, for I have kept some odd company over these past few days-"

"Then you must tell me about it, if you will, old friend. Come, we will break our fast." With a sense of his world righting itself even so late, Arthain was actually able to smile. Strange, that you know you will not come back tomorrow, that you will face death itself, yet you smile. But what did tomorrow matter: today Melost had returned, and for now, that as more than Arthain could ever have hoped for. That was more than enough.

Last edited by Amanaduial the archer; 04-20-2004 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 04-23-2004, 10:17 AM   #244
Daniel Telcontar
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Thelian:
As Thelian and the Elves following him advanced through the shrub and bushes in the forest, they slowed down their pace and used their skills in stealth instead. They had followed the path that Melost and the two men had taken, tracing it backwards, assuming that they would then sooner or later meet those pursuing Melost and the Men. Though they had been searching for a while and still no sign, and now the cover of the trees disappeared; they had reached the edge of the forest.

Thelian doubted there could be many groups travelling in these times that fitted the description given to him by the young man: 2 men and 1 one woman, the leader having only 1 eye. But he also doubted that the group would peacefully await as a group of Elven soldiers approached them; so rather than continue the tracking, the Elves positioned themselves and kept a vigilant watch on the surroundings, awaiting any signs or movements. Finally one of the Elves whispered to Thelian, and pointed in the direction which had caught his attention. Thelian smiled grimly and then motioned for the other Elves to follow him.

Khalad:
Khalad looked upon Melost and those he obviously knew from his past. He doubted that his aid was needed anymore, since it did not seem like Melost harboured any more thoughts of slaying the other man who had been ready to embrace death. Khalad realised that this left him open to go through with his plan now: seek out the other Númenoreans and redeem himself through battle, and open the way for him to return home.

He believed some camp to be nearby with Númenorean soldiers, from what he could deduce from Arthain and Dorlas' appearances. Khalad was not sure of what to say, how to explain himself to the commander of his kinsmen, if he should be completely honest, or merely state that he wished to join the battle. Before he was finished contemplating this, his gaze fell upon Fidrohir and Khalad realised that the man had followed him and Melost, and Khalad was still in some way responsible for him rather than simply abandoning him here. Approaching him Khalad whispered: "I take my leave now, and I will seek to join the battle that is underway; but my time is short for it may very well already have begun. If you wish, I do not doubt that another warrior would be turned aside; if you have no wish for war, then take your leave of all of us and disappear to whatever place you desire."
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Old 04-24-2004, 08:02 PM   #245
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Melost heard Khalad talking to Fidrohir and turned, his heart remorse-filled. Taking his leave of Arthain, he strode to where the tall young man stood, talking to his comrade. "Khalad!" he said, raising his voice urgently, "There is no need, unless you wish it, that you should seek out the Men of Elendil. Indeed, I fear he and my own lord, Gil-galad may already be engaged in battle. Both of you are welcome to join us if such be your will. Come! Meet my dearest friend, Arthain." He led the way over to where several men who had been Arthain's nominal guard were busy fixing breakfast before breaking camp and heading with the rest of the rear-guard to the battle-field.

"Arthain, this is Khalad and this, Fidrohir. They are part of a gang of outlaws that saved my life." Arthain rose and brushed his hands off, then held out his hand to both of them, clasping theirs gratefully. "I honour you both in this time of need, and for saving my friend. " He smiled grimly, "Although, under the circumstances, you may have saved him only for a time." Arthain turned his head and Melost met his gaze unflinchingly. "Aye, Arthain, my heart forbodes that my end is near, yet to die with you is all I can ask for."

As they spoke, there came to their ears the sound of angry swearing and cursing. Both Khalad and Fidrohir snapped their heads to where a small group of Elves surrounding three people came through the woods to the camp. Upon seeing Melost, Vlad stopped in his tracks and spat on the ground. "Lord Melost is it? How long have you planned this? How much did you get for the price on our heads?" He was all but growling he was so angry. Arthain came and stood between Melsot and the outlaw leader, sword drawn. "You know nothing of what you speak! This is the finest friend a man could have! He has saved my life many times, as I have saved his and I will hear not one word against him!" He was trembling as he faced Vlad. He was not about to lose Melost again.
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Old 04-29-2004, 01:56 PM   #246
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The closer they came to the edge of the large forest, the more angry and determined Vlad seemed to be. Cursing under his breath, he swore that he would find Melost and the others, even if it meant he had to chop down the entire forest and for once, both Jaheira and Snyd were quiet. Something about this place told Vlad that he should be careful, that enemies might be lurking in the shadows among the trees, but he strode on, only one thing on his mind. Not until he had killed that Elf and those accursed traitors would he have time to rest and he cared little if the other two were still following him. If not, he would deal with them later.

"Halt! Lay down your weapons and follow peacefully. You are now considered prisoners of Lord Melost!" Vlad froze in mid-stride, not believing his own eye and ears as the three suddenly found themselves surrounded by a group of Elven archers, all pointing their arrows at them and Vlad slowly removed his hand from the sword-hilt he had instinctively reached for. He turned his head to look at Jaheira and Snyd, then nodded to both of them to let go of their weapons. The Elf who appeared to be leading the group, said something to two others and they carefully disarmed the outlaws. Had the situation been different and less serious, Vlad would have laughed aloud at the expression of the Elf who were working hard to disarm Jaheira. It seemed she always had another dagger hidden somewhere. There was just something about that woman...

Vlad cursed loudly as they were forced onwards towards the camp they were soon able to spot ahead and the more he cursed, the more silent Jaheira and Snyd became, both knowing from experience what was likely to happen when he was in such a mood. Suddenly the sound of voices, very familiar voices, reached Vlad's ears and it only made his anger burn brighter. That accursed Elf should consider himself lucky that his friends have taken my sword, or I would run it through him, even if I would die trying! Vlad thought bitterly as they were led out of the woods, into the open space of the encampment. At the sight of Melost, Vlad stopped immediately and spat on the ground before his feet as he looked at him with disgust, barely able to contain his anger anymore. "Lord Melost is it? How long have you planned this? How much did you get for the price on our heads?" Before Melost could answer him, a man drew his sword and came to stand between them, obviously angered by Vlad's words. "You know nothing of what you speak! This is the finest friend a man could have! He has saved my life many times, as I have saved his and I will hear not one word against him!"

Vlad looked at the man, for a moment puzzled but then the truth dawned on him. This man could only be Arthain, the very person Melost had been determined to kill. But why was he still alive? Looking straight at him, Vlad smiled grimly, then spoke calmly. "So you must be Arthain! The same Arthain that you set out to kill, Melost? That you wanted me to help you kill... the man who took your woman, even before your very eyes? Who caused you to run like a mad thing up into the mountain passes to die? That Arthain? He snarled as he spat out his words and all of those who had followed him winced, for they knew him in his darkest moods and they knew what was coming next. Having listened to Khalad's endless talk of honour for too long, he thought that finally the time had come to show the boy the ugly truth about "honour", especially among soldiers.

"Is this want a free man's honour has become? That he can help himself to his best friend's woman without so much as a twinge of conscience? Then spare me your honour! I would rather die in the company of rogues and thieves, than be caught dead in the presence of someone like you!" He turned his back on Arthain, who stood as one smitten by a death-blow. With one speech, Vlad had laid open all his wounds at once. He felt like he was bleeding internally. He looked at Melost, his eyes filled with self-hatred. "It's true...all of it. I should have stopped her, I should have..."

Melost's arms went around him, comforting him, even as Jaheira came to place a comforting hand on Vlad's arm. Roughly he embraced her, needing comfort in that moment. He held her tightly as he fought the turbulent feelings inside him, trying to understand why her presence had suddenly come to mean so much to him and for the first time in the years they had known each other, he felt protective of her, suddenly not wanting anything to ever happen to her. If anyone took her from him, he would kill him on the spot, friend or not. How could Melost stand in this man's presence now, after what had happened? Could friendship truly be that strong? Turning his head, he spoke back over his shoulder, his voice hoarse. "Melost...after what he did...how can you still call this man your friend?"

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Old 04-30-2004, 09:32 AM   #247
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"There comes into every being's life one person with whom the soul meshes seamlessly. Beren and Luthien, Turin and Beleg, there are but two examples of true friendship and love. Arthain is that friend to me. He has been closer than kin, dearer than my own life to me" He spread his hands in pleading gesture. "Aye, it is true I wanted him dead. In my pain, all I could think of was that he had taken her from me out of spite, from jealousy. but when I saw him again, after I was pulled away from him, it came to me that I was only reacting to what my eyes had seen, not to what led to his betrayal of me." Arthain winced at the word "betrayal" and he spoke up.

"What you say is true, outlaw. I should be lying dead now, not standing here in the company of the most loyal friend a man could have. He allowed me to tell him everything that happened, that his betrothed seduced me in my sleep in order to hurt him. she knew this was the one sure and certain way to drive a wedge between us." Vlad noticed that he spoke as one who has more to tell and he wondered what Arthain could be concealing. Both Jaheira and Snyd stood close to him, fearful as to the uncertainty of their fates.

"Thelian, let them go, but keep them under close watch. Come, join us if you will. This is our last meal in camp before we follow the king into battle. You may as well know everything there is to know about us." After a moment's hesitation, Vlad and his cronies came to the fire and sat down while the food was being prepared. He could only look around, his mind on the alert for any chance of escape, as he knew the others were doing also. Melost saw what he was doing and sighed. "Vlad...there is no way that I can correct the misconceptions between us. I can only tell you that the person I have been is not who I truly am. I am in my right mind now and therefore I can only offer what little hospitality I am capable of on the verge of war." He glanced at Arthain, who grinned and nodded. "After you've eaten, take what supplies you need and leave of you will. We go to our deaths. that much seems certain, but you and yours have no need to share in that fate."

Shortly after Melost had spoken, several guards brought to all of them a meal comprising dried venison, some hard biscuits and dried fruit. Vlad grinned fuefully as he looked over the so-called meal. "You ate better with us, Melost! So this is Elven hospitality?" Arthain growled,but Melost only chuckled. "Aye, Vlad. This is all that remains for me to share for you. You must realise, none of us have planned to return." The remainder of the meal was taken up by Thelian, Arthain, Melost and Dorlas telling each other all that had passed in Melost's absence. It appalled him to know how they had all suffered so much because he had succumbed to madness.
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Old 05-01-2004, 10:03 AM   #248
Daniel Telcontar
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Shield

Durelin's post, for Snyd:

"You must realise, none of us have planned to return."

Snyd shivered, roughly swallowing the dried venison he had so greedily grabbed, at the elf's words. There was no fear in his voice, no bitterness, and that was what caused the sickly cold that had ran down his back and his arms. He was sure that he felt the tingling of every hair standing on end. How anyone could be so ready to die was completely unimaginable to Snyd, as he had always valued his life so greatly. Survival had been what he planned his life around. Never had he been cautious, really, but he had also placed his well being above all else many years ago. And it still sat there, of course, governing his actions from the highest seat of his mind.

His mind raced now, fear pounding in his mind. Though his heart had certainly been pounding even before their elven ambushers had made their presence known, this fear was that which overcame a man faced with death. Overcame a man such as Snyd, at least, a man unlike those who sat around him.

Snyd swallowed the venison and choked as it scratched the back of his throat as the dried piece went slowly down. His wild coughing brought a hard slap from Jaheira. When the coughs finally subsided, when Snyd was able to determine that he was all right, he looked at the woman in wonder. He was a man unlike any person who sat around him; he had been mistaken. Jaheira's face was as grimly set as the elf's.

For at least the hundreth time in the past few minutes, Snyd found himself in wonder of people he thought he knew. These people were strangers; he had not traveled with them, fighting for survival, caring not about others, about this much talked about honor. He remembered watching the embrace of Jaheira and Vlad, and so remembered the one evil eye of Vlad staring him down when he sat too near her. He found himself looking for a way out. His eyes swept the surroundings, finding nothing but trees, seemingly filled with elves and men in armour, preparing for war. For war! They had to get out of here. He glanced at Vlad and Jaheira. He had to get out of here.

Snyd sat shivering for another moment, and then reached for more food. With a shaking hand it took him longer than expected to place some in his pockets and belt pouch discreetly. He looked once more to Vlad and Jaheira, and scanned those around him once more for any other familiar face. Finding none, his decision was made. Snyd rose, and staring into the one eye of Vlad, defiantly, holding the man's gaze longer than he had ever found the strength to hold it before, he ran.

"Stop him!" someone yelled, and Snyd pressed harder, then found himself searching for the belt knife they had taken as a hand grabbed him by the arm and pulled him to the ground. Hitting the forest floor, he quickly scrambled away from his pursuer. But as the man rose from his own fall and turned to look down at Snyd, Snyd felt his mind seize again in fear, and so he lay paralyzed for what seemed too long a time for anyone to bear, hearing only his own breathing.

"Let him go," a voice said, calmly and sadly. So calmly that it took Snyd a moment to recognize the voice as belonging to Melost. He now had one thing to thank the elf for. It was unfortunate, and yet fortunate beyond comparison. Those three words became a command that must be obeyed, and immediately Snyd was able to rise only to turn and run, fear driving him with a steeled whip.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Daniel Telcontar's post for Khalad:


The young Númenorean held his left hand lightly on the hilt of his sword as they marched forward, a gesture intended to show how much at ease he was. And in truth it did to those who looked closely, for his hand shook slightly and had he spoken, it would have been in a similar manner. It was not because that they were marching towards a battle; he had fought enough times not to be affected by that anymore.

Nay, it was the knowledge of how close he was now to redemption. He had been promised that if he fought with valour today, he could return to Pelargir with his head held high and without feeling shame. Today was the day when he would forge legends and epic tales, he felt that in his heart. Switching from his left to his right hand upon the sword hilt, he heard the noise of the battle and as they walked up a little hill, the armies came into vision.

Thelian:
The joy that was supposed to follow with such a reunion that Thelian and Melost had experienced, did not linger. Thelian felt now only deep fear of what the battle would bring. So many dark words had been spoken that Thelian had begun to believe them, and a shadow of foreboding was upon him. Everything seemed an ill omen to him, the shrieking of a crow heralding doom in his ears.

His Elven blade was already unsheathed and rested nervously in his hand. Unlike Khalad, Thelian did not hide his anxiety for what the battle would bring. At last his mind found some peace in accepting that they were all in the hands of the Valar. Little could he do to affect what would happen in this epic battle, and he only hoped that his fate would ensure that he remained together with Melost. Narrowing his eyes he saw the fighting armies. The battle had begun.

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Old 05-02-2004, 12:32 PM   #249
Amanaduial the archer
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Silmaril Arthain

In the lines of marching elves nestled a few mortal men. Look at one closely: his eyes dark and clear in the shadow of the helmet's tall arch, a plume of new, finely brushed horse hair falling in a dark fountain from the top, proclaiming him as a Captain, although the title was taken from him not long ago. Indeed, all of his armour seems so fine and polished that from afar at first glance, it would seem that it was a new set. But look closer now: nicks and scratches mark it's surface, even a dent here and there. And the man is not young; his armour has seen action before, evidently, and so has the man. As the scratches mark his armour, scars adorn his face and limbs, the most notable being the long white scar across one cheekbone, just underneath his eyes; these dark, almost navy eyes seem young, boyish even, but in them is a sorrow, fresh and clear; his palms are marked with calluses. This man is used to battle.

But this battle will be like none Arthain has ever fought before. This battle will be the last, he knows it in his head and in his heart, yet he shows no fear - his hands still, his eyes calm, his voice, as he calls to the soldiers behind him, steady. He is hundreds of years younger than some of these soldiers, and his reputation does not stand clear, and never will whilst he lives...yet they will follow everything he says.


The elven troops, along with the few men in their midst, drew close to the others who have just arrived, the mortal troops of Elendil. Arthain took a deep breath, barely listening to Elrond as he began to speak, concentrating on his thoughts...his memories...the things that will get him through this final battle.

"Are you ready, Arthain?" Melost's voice was barely a murmer as he spoke to his friend. The elven captain looked every inch the nobility that ran in his veins: he seemed to glow with the light of the firstborn. As Elrond finished, he nodded brusquely to each of the captains, Arthain being one of them: the man had been returned to the status he had worked for, for this battle. Little did Gil-Galad know, the man did not expect to have to use it for any other. The captain turned to face the troops behind him and shot out a few short, quick orders in elvish.

Melost glanced at him, then did the same to the troops he was to command. Beside each of them stood Dorlas and Thelian, side by side, ready, like the two old friends, to fight to the death. The entire battle field seemed to bristle with tension and fear...and yet in that small patch, it seemed eerily calm.

"Steady..." Arthain commanded, reverting to the Common Tongue as arrows shot over their heads. "Steady..."

All waited for him to give the word. The man turned to his oldest, dearest friend and grasped Melost's hand, holding his eyes. "Aye, Mellon. Beside you, I could never be more ready." He smiled briefly, squeezing the other's hand, then whipped around, drawing his broadsword in one fluid motion and brandishing it in the air.

"For Arda!" He bellowed, then tore forward.

The battle had begun.
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Old 05-03-2004, 01:54 AM   #250
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Gil-galad, Elendil...they shone like stars, like white foam on a cresting wave, they flung themselves against the walls of the on-rushing enemy and for a time, they prevailed. Then, like the cliff upon which all waves break asunder, there stood Sauron. Before him went shadow and fear, fighting for him with far better result than any army. Men fled from his presence, leaving only the Elves to stand agianst him, smouldering with their ancient hatred for both he and his Master...

While the Elves valiantly fought this most accursed evil, Melost and Arthain were fighting side by side, along with Dorlas and Thelian. The Elves all along the battlefield shone with the living flame that dwelt in all of them and the Men near them took heart and took up the battle-cries of their king. The comrades stood back to back and their sword-arms rose and fell together to create an impenetrable wall of protection and death. The sun rose to her zenith, then began the long descent. Dorlas fell, Khalad fell, embraced at last by the death that would cleanse his soul. Thelian and Arthain cried out in anger and grief as Dorlas met his end on the end of an orc's pike. Thelian slashed through the wood and gutted the foul creature all in one smooth movement. With tears of rage and loss shining in his eyes, he threw a last despairing look at Melost, then gave himself to the battle rage within him. He was not seen alive again.


After what seemed like ages, the battle where they fought seemed to ebb, just as Melost felt Arthain faltering at his back, his breath coming in ragged gasps. Melost slipped a blood soaked arm under Arthain's and helped him to a spot of ground less gore-covered than the rest and let him collapse. Melost looked around to make sure their absence was not going to cause more difficulty for the soldiers still fighting, then went down on one knee beside Arthain. Slow tears trickled down the man's cheek as he thought of Dorlas, of the youth that would now not grow into a man. He looked up into the eyes of Melost, then leaned against him. "Is this worth it? What if we save Middle Earth and there are none left to see it?" Melost embraced his friend. "I grieve for us both, Arthain. Our friends and kin are falling like the leaves of autumn, yet still those that remain hold strong." He glanced down and noticed that Arthain had a wound in his left leg. "When did this happen?" he asked, his voice tight as he ripped cloth from his sweat-stained undershirt. He tied it tightly over the wound as Arthain laughed drily. "Thank you, mellon! You have saved me to fight just that much longer." Melost looked at him in all seriousness. "You have no understanding of the words you have just uttered."

From afar off, there came the sound of great mourning. "The Kings have fallen!" Melost sprang to his feet with a cry of disbelief and Arthain scrambled to his feet. "No...no...not Gil-galad..." Melost knew then that his fate was sealed. He looked and saw the minions of evil rejoicing all along the line and he snarled, his hand gripping his sword until the knuckles were white. Then he saw him, an archer hidden in the rocks nearby, his bow drawn, arrow about to be loosed. Without a thought Melost thrust Arthain behind him and took the arrow in the chest, it was followed by a crossbow bolt in his right shoulder. He stood still as the pain flared, then died, then he began to advance.

This is what it is to die...I think of you now...now that I can finally allow myself. I see you as I first saw you. hair gleaming in the sun, a sight more beautiful than all the jewels of Feanor's crafting. beautiful...and forever beyond my reach now. I will die and you will never know how I loved you. With an otherworldly calm, Melost strode into the line. He had saved Arthain, he had taken the arrows meant for him and now there nothing left to do but die. He was soon obliged, for as he hewed down enemy upon enemy, he felt his life ebbing, his rhythm slower now. Then a faint voice that called his name over and over. He glanced up and saw there a man of enormous height. In his hand was a mace, which Melost tried to deflect as it came at him, with agonising slowness. His sword arm was shattered as the massive blow landed and the return swing crushed in his side. He fell screaming.

"Melost, Melost..." Is it raining? Is it night? Who are you that calls my name? Mandos?" Arthain held Melost's broken body in his arms as he lay wandering. "Sauron is gone, Melost...we have won, he is gone..." His voice broke, what did it matter now. His best friend was dying, slowly drowning in his own blood and there was nothing he could do. A man ran up and and crouched next to them, handed them a waterskin and ran on. A few drops of water Arthain trickled over Melost's lips, then gasped as he saw his tongue slide out to lick at them weakly. "Melost?" Sightless eyes sought his own. "Arthain?" he rasped, then began to cough. Arthain held him as tightly as he dared, knowing the pain he must be experiencing. "Shhhh, no words..." Melost shook his head. "Arthain...I...know what you have hidden from me. I know that you got her with child. I...I want you to go to her. Tell her..." He coughed again, this time bright blood followed. "I love her...as I love you...Mandos calls to me, yet still I wish to remain. Here...withyou..." He raised his hand to Arthain's face and felt there the tears that flowed unchecked. A tear slid down his own cheek even as the final darkness took him and he slipped away. Arthain bowed his head and sobbed as he sat there on the battlefield, rocking the body that no longer held his friend.

Last edited by Cuthalion; 05-03-2004 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 05-04-2004, 10:37 AM   #251
Amanaduial the archer
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Silmaril Arthain

“No, Melost. Anwanelme..." the name no longer seemed as sour in his mouth. "Anwanelme...she loved you." Arthain's words were desperate as he tried to call back his friend. "She always loved you, more than you could ever know. She was always faithful to you in her heart, never attempted anything else.”

Melost held Arthain’s gaze skeptically, but
Arthain felt no shame in such a lie. Holding the dying elf’s gaze, he nodded. “ I swear it.”

Melost’s breath was coming in short gasps now as he struggled to speak, one hand clutching his side. "Arthain...I...know what you have hidden from me. I know that you got her with child. I...I want you to go to her. Tell her..." As Melost broke off, Arthain felt his heart racked with each cough. "Tell her that I love her...as I love you...Mandos calls to me, yet still I wish to remain. Here...with you..."

Arthain did not reply immediately, staring into his friend's eyes as they closed again, and another weak cough escaped the elf's lips. He clung to his friend almost desperately, trying to hold on to Melost's life... Tears flowed freely down his cheeks now, and he gave a small, silent sob.

For his heart was breaking.

“And you…you will see the one you love most in the world die in your arms…” Melost’s curse came back to Arthain and he let out a gasp of pain. Once more Melost raised a hand to quiet him and Arthain grasped it tightly, although the elf had now closed his eyes.

"I am sorry, Melost,” he whispered, the tears spilling over onto his scarred face. “I am so sorry...please...don't..."

But the elf was past replying. Silently, Arthain wept for his friend, isolated on the battlefield as he rocked backwards and forwards, holding in his arms the dead body of the elf who he had loved more dearly as a friend than any other. The curse was fulfilled. The rain that fell more heavily now, drenching Arthain, was unheeded as he rocked slowly, his mouth moving silently, his curly hair, now his helmet was off, plastered to his forehead, tears mixing with rainwater, the bitter taste of salt, despair and irony on his tongue.

Tenderly pushing the damp, stray strands of hair from Melost's eyes and forehead, he leant forward and kissed the elf's forehead. Then, with a shaking voice, he began to sing, a sorrowful, despairing Lay, a last goodbye to the elf he had loved more than life itself.

Saer nîr nîn, a saer guren nîn
Neithannen, awarthannen.
Onen galu si, themais vyrn o Námo
Be sedich.
Gurth, achas vornwain lîn le govad
A chuil nîn.
Na vedui, onech cuil lîn.
Erio! Dartho echui!
Gwend anveleg, cuil velleg
Únad anvell.
Nallad, le tirin
Ului.
Mudas rainc nîn gerir si
Gallen nâr chelch.
Faer nîn nalla o le
Úaglennen.
Anirnen gwend lîn
Lű erui vell
Le gweriannen, le dengin
Gurth anglenna
Cuil lîn, ras vrui
Tar a lim
Nîn esta, nîn bartha aphado
Gosto ului!
Pado erin Othlonn Annui
Mellon vuin
I arad vedui túliel ammen
Si, i vethed.

Last edited by Amanaduial the archer; 05-07-2004 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 05-10-2004, 07:41 AM   #252
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