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Old 11-14-2009, 07:54 AM   #226
mark12_30
Stormdancer of Doom
 
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The stream turned around the bend and joined with the Anduin.

Wider, broader, deeper, in a long slow sweep, the song turned southward. Leaves tumbled in it; weeds waved in it; the mountain-elf was swept joyously along. Sometimes he lay on the shimmering surface, and watched the tree-laden banks sweep by; sometimes he plunged to see the rocks or the sand. Sometimes he chased the leaves, laughing. Silver trout nosed him as he passed; some swam beside him, and he spoke with them, or sang to them. At night he sang to the stars, or to the moon if he hung low on the horizon tangled in the trees. Three days and three nights passed.

Soon the song of the river steepened; the mountain-elf turned to watch his ways, now, as rocks sped past. Around the rocks the river rushed, hurrying, laughing aloud. Soon the laughing became a shout. Around one rock, around another, the mountain elf raced with the skill and agility of an otter. He spared no breath for singing, now, but swam downward through Sarn Gebir flanked by laughing trout.

All around him the silver song grew in strength and power, and the trout shared it, and the moon echoed it, and the banks flew past.

Then slowly it grew quiet again. The water widened, the downward rush slowed to a steady quiet flow. For another day, the mountain-elf took a well-earned rest, surrounded by a school of trout that sang softly to him as he rested on his back and gazed at the silver sky. Then once again the song grew in power, but still he lay on his back and the school of trout paced him. Faster and faster they swept, til far overhead two vast and mighty warriors stood watch. He greeted them with joy as he sped between them, tiny next to their vast feet. They hid the moon as they slowly passed overhead.

Quiet came again as they swept into a broad and peaceful bay, and the silver trout sang once more; but in the distance thunder brewed. THe mountain elf rested, and gathered his strength.



***


"He cannot pass the falls!" gasped Taitheneb. Ravion struggled to his feet; Mellonin stood by his side. Together they watched Amroth's face.

Raefindan shook his head. "His flesh long since ceased to trouble him." But there was doubt in his voice.

Erebemlin remained deep in thought.

Indil spoke. "Will he swim the falls?"

It was the cracked and wizened voice of Nimrodel that answered. "I shall bear him."

Erebemlin trembled.

Behind them, Ędegard drew near. "Courage, Lady. But remember that you bear the weight of two; and one remains mortal."
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