For the one bold enough to defy the will of his dark master Death is certain, or is it? Can Destiny provide him With a second chance, can he prove that he has turned to good? Maybe, but it will be a dark path indeed. Drama/Action/Angst. OC/Aragorn/Elladan/Elrohir/Elrond. Mature content. Artwork added
Categories: Fiction Characters:
Aragorn, Elladan, Elrohir, Elrond, Melkor/Morgoth, OFC, OMC
Action/Adventure, Angst, Explicit Sex, Het, Hurt/Comfort, Mystery, Rape/Non-con, Slash
November 23, 2014 Updated:
December 02, 2014
I do not own these characters, they are the property of Tolkien, nor do i make any sort of profit from this work of art.
1. The prisoner by Nuredhel
2. In the hands of evil by Nuredhel
3. Rescue by Nuredhel
4. Healing by Nuredhel
5. Training by Nuredhel
6. Let them fear my name by Nuredhel
This story does contain some disturbing themes; non-con, abuse, violence, rape and character death. If such things are too disturbing don’t read this, you are warned. This first chapter is not very graphic, just suggestive, the next chapters will be far worse.
Chapter 1: The prisoner
Destiny is like a path
Winding with many turns and twists
By every crossroad you must choose what road to take
One less choice left, one less possible future
Like climbing the branches of the great tree of life
You have to search for the top, never back down
Chose the wrong branch and death will be your fate
Chose the right one and to glory it may lead
The mountains of the north, first age.
He was staring at the insolent being, anger seething within and dark flames blazing within his gaze. So this creature, his own creation dared defy him? Dared to question his authority? Dared to take their side against his own master? He snarled and turned around himself just to move and not explode with anger, stared at the creature that lay tied down upon the ground, chains of steel held it and it was helpless now. His captive, his to do whatever he pleased with. He smiled, a slow and very terrible grin that showed that there would be no mercy for this traitor. It was still fighting, still not broken but he would change that for sure. How dared this thing, among his most terrifying creations, oppose him? How could it have done what it had, gone against its own kin? It was stubborn, and proud.
He liked to crush such souls and minds, they were so more rewarding to break.
He would have wanted to torment the thing for a long time, to hang its head on the gates of his great fortress as a reminder to all that none, not even his own should dare to question him but he did not have the time. He growled, there was little joy in being quick about it but he had no other choice. They were so terribly close these creatures, even if this one had broken free from the will of his master and fought the others they would perhaps try to save him, and he could not risk a rebellion. No, it had to be dealt with there and then.
He looked at the creature, so powerful, so massive and so devastating, and such a disappointment. He had been too good at what he was doing, made something too strong to be controlled. He would not do that mistake again. “You, you were among my most trusted servants, among my finest weapons. You were blessed and feared but now, now you are nothing but a piece of rotting meat, an enemy to be disposed of.”
The creature hissed, claws like steel dug into the very rock itself, steam rose from the massive body. “You were Rhutarion, the terrifying, now I name you Huna, cursed. Condemned you are and forgotten you will be.”
He saw that the creature stared at him, no fear was in those wild golden eyes, just rage, just defiance. He summoned his magic, roared with anger as he threw a massive wave of it towards the bound creature, once among his most priced creations. It should have consumed it within the blink of an eye, burned even the body of an armored beast like that to ashes but a strange blue shimmer seemed to embrace the entire body for a few seconds and a very violent flash of light could be seen. He had to turn his head, shield his eyes.
What was this? Had his enemies, his kindred managed to put some sort of protection upon this traitor? He looked at where it had been and naught but the chains were left there. The huge creature was gone, as if it never was there in the first place. He hissed and turned around, killed a few unsuspecting orcs on the way just to vent his rage. But if the cursed one reappeared he would have his vengeance for sure. The next time he would have the head of that goddam traitorous scum.
Above the misty mountains. Third age.
The great eagle was floating on a rapid stream of air, his keen eyes staring at the ground below looking for possible prey or even perhaps some orcs to torment. Swooping down and screaming always made them jump around in panic like tiny rabbits and it was so much fun seeing this. He took some wide turns around the high peaks, enjoyed the warm summer sun and the blue skies. Far in the distance he could see that his bond mate had found an unsuspecting goat and was bringing it back home to their nest. They had two hatchlings this year and they were always hungry and growing rapidly.
He though he saw some orcs by a river when he suddenly felt a change in the air current, something was coming, something massive? Instinct took over, the eagle rolled and fell sideways, just in time to avoid getting hit by something very huge falling very fast. The eagle sent out a warning scream and dove after the enormous thing that fell like a rock from only Eru knew where. It appeared to be dead, it didn’t move at all and the eagle saw how it approached the ground at a frightening speed. It was probably going to land in a small meadow by a bend in the river and the huge raptor cringed inward, it would be quite an impact for the falling creature was enormous.
There was a thud and the ground shook violently, the trees swayed like hit by a hurricane and dust and debris flew sky high. The eagle had to dodge a few flying rocks and a piece of wood, he got closer, stilled in the air like a hawk staring down at the crater that emerged as the dust settled. It was a hole in the ground at least twenty feet deep and very wide but the massive creature was gone. It could not have survived such an impact, what possibly could, but there was something there. By his grandmother’s tailfeathers, what was this?
A tiny creature lay at the bottom of the crater, fragile and curled up in a ball and it appeared to be alive too. The eagle felt a strong sensation of confusion but also awe. This was the work of the Valar, and he did not interfere with such serious business. No, he would remember this but this was none of his business, others had to deal with this thing. He let the warm air lift him once more and joined his mate but he didn’t forget about the strange incident. Somehow he just knew that he might meet this strange creature once more.
The misty mountains, months later.
The riders who approached the small village all wore heavy cloaks and their faces were covered and hidden in darkness underneath the hoods. The day was grey and cloudy and rain had been pouring down for days, the roads covered with mud and the horses were covered with the stuff. All riders were heavily armed and they carried their weapons for everybody to see, as if they tried to warn everybody of their capability to retaliate any threat with immediate death. The riders stopped in front of the small tavern and dismounted, a stable boy came to take care of the animals and stopped, stunned by the large and beautiful horses. These were no ordinary village ponies but elven steeds and the boy just stood there a bit uncertain as to what he ought to do. One of the riders helped another down off the horse, the person seemed to be wounded and the rider who had been in front of the group bowed his head. “Do not worry boy, these horses are very well trained, fear not.”
The boy nodded and the man pulled his hood down and revealed a handsome face surrounded by thick black locks of shoulder long hair. He was probably at the height of his strength but there was something in his eyes that told the boy that this man was far older than the age his appearance spoke off. “Tell me boy, is there a healer in this village? Or someone who collects and knows herbs?”
The boy nodded. “Yes, the tavern owners wife, she is very skilled too. She saved my sister last year when she almost cut her hand off with an axe.”
The man smiled. “That is good, we need some help with one of our friends here.”
The boy saw that many of the riders kept their hoods on and the leader walked into the tavern and the others followed him.
A short while after the wounded man was being looked after by the tavern owners wife, a very gentle and motherly woman who immediately knew what to do with the warriors broken elbow and cut forearm. Aragorn knew that this was a peaceful place, he had been there before years ago and it hadn’t changed that much. They had sat down by some tables at the back of the small common room, his ranger friends had pulled their cloaks down but the elves in the group had been reluctant to do so. Some humans were unused to the sight of elves and could react with hostility. Aragorn saw that Elladan and Elrohir sat with a cup of mead each and stared at the liquid with suspicion, he had to grin.
The two warriors were curious about the world of men and at the same time a bit nervous around humans. He was trying to make them more used to his race and this mission had brought them into contact with humans on several occasions. There were five elves on this mission, the twins, two very skilled veterans from several wars and a young warrior who just had come of age and watched everything with the wide eyed wonderment of youth.
They had been chasing some orcs and avenged the attack on a small settlement to the north of Imladris, Aragorn knew that the orcs probably didn’t care if many of their own got massacred, the filthy creatures were breeding like crazy these days and the hills were crawling with them. There was no end to the problem. The tavern owner was a bit shocked by his visitors, he had never seen elves in his life and now he had five there and he was bowing and trying to appear polite and used to seeing even such creatures. Some food was being served and although it could have tasted better it did fill their stomachs and Aragorn had eaten worse food on many an occasion.
Elladan and Elrohir was just stirring their stew with the spoons they had been given and the expressions on the fair faces told everybody that they had their doubts of whether or not this was edible at all. The rangers on the other hand had already cleaned their plates with obvious joy and now they were sitting there emptying the mugs of ale and mead with even greater glee. They had been out for weeks and a night under a roof with food and drink was most welcome.
Aragorn placed himself by the hearth and smoked his pipe as he watched how the others relaxed and enjoyed an evening in safety. A couple of the taverns regular customers had appeared too and they were staring at the elves with eyes like tea cups and awe written all over their faces. The night fell and the rangers had started singing and telling stories and the elves had gathered in a small group silently speaking in their own language. Aragorn put out his pipe and thought of retiring for the night when a man entered the tavern, he looked like a hunter, a tall broad shouldered man with long russet hair and grey eyes that probably could be both gentle and as hard as flint.
He saw the rangers and the elves and something about his body language changed, he tensed up and Aragorn got a bit nervous. Could this man be an enemy? Someone hostile towards elves? Not all humans liked elves, some even thought that elves were some sort of vampires and fed their immortal lives by drawing out the energy of humans.
The man hung his cloak by the door and nodded to the tavern owner with friendly look upon his face, the owner of the place obviously knew the man well and Aragorn relaxed a bit. The hunter sat down by a table and got a glass of wine and some bread and cheese, he ate with obvious appetite and then he paid and got up, went over to where Aragorn sat and nodded. “May I join you?”
Aragorn nodded, the man had a strange expression on his face but he was obviously very interested in a small chat with the ranger. The man sat down and bowed his head. “I am known as Hakon, I am a hunter and a traveler and this village is my home these days. You are of the Dunedain?”
Aragorn nodded and Hakon smiled, a swift smile that transformed the face . “I guessed so, and some elves too. It is rare to see any of the fair folk here these days.”
Something in Hakon’s voice told Aragorn that he made contact for a specific reason, not just to socialize. “You are right about that. We have been out chasing some orcs and one of my men were wounded and needed some more help than what we could give him.”
Hakon nodded. “I understand, Mina is a very good healer, she was taught by her father and he was famous believe me. There were very few things that man couldn’t cure except the plague and death itself.”
Aragorn grinned. “Then I know that Iben is in good hands.”
The hunter bit his lower lip, lowered his voice. “I wished to speak to you for a specific reason, and it has to do with the elves. Do you know of the village that lies up river from here?”
Aragorn cocked an eyebrow. “Yes? I was there ten years ago, a mining community?”
Hakon made a nasty grimace. “It was a small place but it has grown the last few years and now it is a rats nest of thieves, murderers and corruption. It is a hell hole, no sane person goes there and I happen to know many who have disappeared from the place without a trace.”
Aragorn just stared at the man and Hakon swallowed. “The thing is, there is a house in that village if you know what I mean?”
Aragorn frowned. “You mean a brothel right?”
Hakon made a nasty grimace to answer that. “If you could use such a civilized word for that place. I happen to know that the owner of that place offered some very special services some years ago, apparently he had managed to get his hands on an elf”
Aragorn tensed up, his eyes were blazing and he waved his hands at the twins who immediately came over and sat down. Hakon greeted them with great respect and repeated what he just had said. Elladan looked horrified. “That is impossible. No elf would survive being treated thus.”
Hakon looked sad. “Yes, and she, for it was an elleth died after just a couple of weeks but the rumors said that the owner of the place earned a small fortune on her in just that short amount of time.”
Elladan and Elrohir looked absolutely disgusted and Aragorn felt anger burning in his heart. “Do you know anything about who she was?”
Hakon leaned over the table. ”A little, I was never there, I do not even wish to set my foot in that village anymore but I heard from others who had been there that she was a blonde with a scar across her forehead above her right eye and she had lost her left little finger.”
Elrohir made a whimper and Aragorn sighed and closed his eyes. That could only be one person, one of their fellow warriors who got lost during a hunting trip six years ago. They had been looking for her for months but no trace was ever found and she had been a friend of the twins. Elladan sobbed and hid his face behind his hands and Elrohir made a keening noise and turned around. “Oh Ranya, that your fate should be thus.”
Hakon looked down.”I see that you knew her, my condolences. No creature should have to perish in such a horrible place under such monstrous circumstances but I wanted to speak to you because I fear that it is going to happen once more.”
Aragorn whipped his head around, stared at the man. “What?!”
Hakon nodded. “Yes, rumors tell that that son of a bitch has gotten yet another elf for his customers to play with, a male this time. They say he is beautiful beyond compare but very wild, they keep him chained folks say, and only the most wealthy can afford him.”
Elladan was ashen grey and Elrohir just stared with huge eyes. “Is this true?”
Hakon shrugged. “I am not sure, but the rumors usually have a core of truth in them, and if this man has an elf on his hand the poor ellon must be rescued right?”
Aragorn struggled to think straight, an elf in the hands of a brothel owner? The mere idea made him cringe and he nodded. “Most certainly, we thank you for this information Hakon, how far away is this village?”
The hunter tilted his head. “Two hours hard ride, but I must warn you. A huge group of men arriving will be noticed immediately. Two or three are more recommendable.”
Aragorn was already working on a plan. “Would you join us? We will reward you most generously I swear.”
Hakon made a narrow smile. “No reward needed, I would love to help you.”
Aragorn nodded. “Good man, then it will be you, me and my second in command. The rest of the group can wait in the forest.”
Hakon looked very determined. “Yes, I will show you the way and I know that the sight of two or three somewhat shaggy looking men will arise little suspicion.”
Aragorn grinned and let his hand slide across his chin, he hadn’t shaved for a week and did indeed look shaggy and so did his attire too. Yes, they would be convincing. Elladan and Elrohir looked a bit restless. Elladan sighed. “We would love to go with you but I guess that the people there would notice that we are elves too rather easily.”
Aragorn nodded. “Yes, so you will have to wait.”
The two elves nodded and returned to the other three to tell them of what they had learned and Aragorn saw that the two veterans looked absolutely furious and the young warrior was wide eyed and in obvious disbelief. Hakon got up and his eyes were sad but hard. “I will meet you here by dawns first light, be ready and be prepared.”
Aragorn just nodded and watched the man leave the room, this was not what they had planned to do but by the gods, it had to be checked out.
The next day the group camped in a narrow canyon not far from the village, they had ridden hard for a few hours and followed hidden paths so that none would see the tracks and know that a huge group had been on the move. Hakon Aragorn and a man who was Aragorn’s second in command named Grimurd was to enter the village and they got onto the most anonymous looking horses they had, Hakon had a very plain little gelding of questionable heritage but Aragorn and Grimurd had to use the groups pack horses. The huge elven steeds would arise suspicion right away.
They had changed into their most ragged clothes and Grimurd smeared some mud onto his face just to look as if he had been out on the road for a long time. The three men rode towards the gate slowly and since it still was raining they could keep their cloaks on.
The village had changed a lot, from just a few shacks and wooden houses to a real village but it didn’t look inviting. Most buildings were built in a hurry and looked as if they were ready to crumble down at any moment. The streets were filled with mud and horse droppings and stank to high heavens. Some people were out walking around and they stared at the riders with narrow eyes but as soon as they saw that these three probably had nothing of value they ignored them.
Hakon did lead them towards the house in question, it was among the best ones there and had a sort of forlorn elegance that told Aragorn that it probably had been the mayor’s lodgings. Hakon nodded to the other two and dismounted, he tied the horse up and stared at the door, spat in the mud and whispered. “Let me do the speaking, ok? “
Aragorn and Grimurd nodded and they walked up the short stairs and entered. The room they came into stank of both perfume and incense and some very scantily clad women sat on some couches and tried to look seductive but their eyes told just of despair and boredom. Hakon stared at them as if he was considering buying their services, Aragorn had to admit that the hunter was a good actor. A servant dressed in a set of clothes in a ghastly color came running, he looked very subservient and bowed to them as if they were noblemen. “How may we be of service m’gentlemen?”
Hakon swallowed and let his gaze slide around as if to check that nobody was listening. “I hear that your house can offer something different? Exotic?”
The servant stared at them, they looked like vagabonds but looks can be deceitful and he tilted his head. “Yes, but it will cost you, and three? Then you’ll have to show us the money first”
Hakon had gotten some coins from Aragorn, he lifted the pouch from his belt and the servant saw that it was heavy and a grin appeared on his sleazy face. He did look a bit like a weasel. Hakon took four gold coins from the pouch. “What we want is first and foremost to watch, we have never seen such a creature before and want to see for our self if the words of others are true.”
The servant nodded. “I can assure you m’gentlemen, he is every bit as stunning as the rumors tell you he is.”
Hakon grinned, a grin that told of expectations and it made him look rather unscrupulous. The servant waved his hand and Aragorn did notice that there were three guards at this place, very discretely placed but armed and ready to strike if anybody started making problems. They went down a corridor and passed yet another guard and a metal door. They went down a stair and another guard was placed at the end of it.
Aragorn did notice everything there, they needed to see and remember every obstacle. They entered a long corridor with what had to be prison cells and at the end was a heavy steel door with bars in front of it. They obviously guarded this elf if that was what he was as if he was made from pure gold. A guard let them through and they entered a small room without windows, it was lighted by some torches and lamps and it was rather naked with only a couple of benches and a sort of bed.
At the back of the room on a pile of old straw sat a naked person on his knees, his head hung forward and he had chains across his back to his wrists and then up to the ceiling. The creature was shivering and the fair skin was covered with cuts and bruises, the wrists swollen and dark and it looked skinny. Aragorn just stared, long copper red hair hung around the pale figure and it was thick and shiny but unkempt and filthy. Pointy ears did protrude from it and the ranger let out a small sigh, it was true. It was an elf, or was it?
The figure just sat there, held up by the chains and just the movements of the chest told them he was alive, the face was covered by the hair and the servant grinned widely. “See? Isn’t he lovely? I can assure you, he is better than any female and far more beautiful than any of our whores but of course a bit hard to handle. We need the chains unfortunately, he bit one customer and tried to break the neck of another one, but look at that skin and that body.”
Hakon licked his lips as if the sight of the chained elf did arouse him. “You are right, he is stunning, such beauty.”
Aragorn had to agree with Hakon’s words, the elf was stunning. Even among the fair folk this male was exceptional and the long limbs were muscular and elegant. He looked like a chained panther and Aragorn felt a bit puzzled by the red hair, few elves had that color. The servant felt very sure of these clients and misunderstood their silence for awe and lust. “If he was but a little tamer we would of course expand the possibilities but as it is now a good fuck is all we can offer. You don’t want that thing near your cock with his teeth, believe me.”
Hakon nodded and tried to act as if he found the sight very tempting. “I bet you have a lot of customers for this treasure?”
The servant grinned. “Oh yes, the master has people asking about him every day, but only those who can pay are allowed near him. But of course, there has been some since we got our hands on him and what a lucky day that was for our little business.”
Hakon cocked his head. “Now, how on earth did you manage that? To get an elf? I am impressed to say the least.”
Grimurd had put his hand down his pants as if he was playing with himself but he had turned his back to the others and he was trying to see if the door could be unlocked easily and without too much noise. Aragorn was leaning a little forward too, as if he was bothered by a raging hard on but he was trying to see if the chains could be removed without a key or if it was needed. The servant looked very important. “We got him from a group of shall we say tradesmen from the north, they had caught him somewhere in the mountains a few weeks ago. He has been here two weeks now and is still going strong, my master will make a fortune on him.”
Hakon rearranged his pants a bit, tried to breathe a little faster and it wasn’t that hard at all since he was pissed off. Aragorn was even more enrages, two weeks? That had to be two weeks in hell and he just knew that they had to get this unfortunate ellon out of there as fast as possible. Then the prisoner raised his head, a moaning sound could be heard and Aragorn had to kneel down to take a look at this person. The curtain of long thick hair slid aside as the ellon pulled at the chains and Aragorn had to stifle a gasp.
Eyes were staring at him, filled with agony and fear and yet they burned with pride, with defiance. This was one person who hadn’t given up, who never would give in. This was a soul ready to fight for his dignity and freedom and Aragorn had a hard time believing what he did see. The elf had the strangest eyes he ever had seen, deep golden with a dark ring around the irises and the pupil was like that of a cat. And the face so beautiful it could have been sculpted with an angel as model. The ranger stared at the strange eyes and he whispered to himself so low nobody could hear it. “By Eru, who and what are you?”
In the hands of evil by Nuredhel
This chapter is rather graphic, it contains mature themes such as violence, non-con, sexual situations, rape, slash and character death. If that is disturbing to you don’t read this, you are warned. The first half of the chapter isn’t that bad, the bad things happen in the last part.
The chapter is also quite long but splitting it in two didn’t really go well with the flow of the story.
Chapter two: In the hands of evil
In this world true evil may take
Either one of two forms
The first is deliberate and will full
A conscious choice made by the heartless and cold
The other is the evil of ignorance
And by those two…
The latter is often the worst
The misty mountains: Months earlier:
Gadlum was walking up the path from the small lake with slow steady steps, he was no longer a young man and did take his time. The path was steep and very slippery after a night of heavy rain and he didn’t want to risk slipping. His small dog ran in circles around him, eager to go chase rabbits and he smiled at the animal and nodded as to give it permission. The dog ran off barking like crazy and he whistled a sweet tune as he shifted the bag he carried from one shoulder to the other one. He had checked his nets and this morning they had been full of trout and he was happy he could feed his family for a few days more.
The valley was rather secluded and peaceful and he and his son in law made their living as hunters and gatherers, since he no longer was very fast on his feet he stayed close to home most of the time and did repairs or went fishing or helped the women gather nuts and berries. They had a couple of small wooden huts and a barn in which they kept two goats and a pig and some hens. That was all they had and it was all they needed to make it. Thankfully this area had been spared for the onslaught of attacks by orcs that plagued the rest of the countryside.
He was grateful, he was old and his wife had passed away two winters ago but he still had his daughters and his grandchildren and his family was a good one. Everybody knew what to do and were hard working and trustworthy, yes he was blessed. He had never gotten a son but he didn’t complain as some would have, he had never understood this weird obsession some had with getting sons, a daughter would take care of her parents way better than a son would.
The dog was scurrying around in the bushes, he could see the wagging tail and he grinned and whistled. The dog was a mongrel with at least a dozen breeds in it but it didn’t matter, it was a good hunting dog and it was gentle with the kids too. Suddenly the dog started barking like mad and it stared at a big bush with its tail raised and the hairs on its back stood up. Gadlum got a bit nervous, what was this?
There were sometimes snakes there and he had encountered badgers or even wolverines there, the dog should not try to engage such creatures in a fight, it could cost it its life. He whistled and the dog turned its head for a second or two as if to see if he had noticed that something was off, then it continued barking like before.
Gadlum walked forth, he had a walking stick and it wasn’t much of a weapon but better than nothing. The dog stopped barking and whined and Gadlum stared at the bush, it had formed almost a cave of some sort and something was in there, he was sure. “Is it a badger boy? Then leave it alone, it will bite that nose of yours off of you I tell ya.”
The dog just wagged its tail and barked again and Gadlum heard a sound from the bush that immediately made him tense up, it was a whimper and it didn’t come from no animal. He bent down, very slowly. In the darkness he did see two eyes staring back at him, very big and very scared. Gadlum grasped the dog by the collar, hauled it away from the bush and tied it to a nearby tree where it stood whimpering and growling in frustration.
He returned to the bush, kneeled down slowly and stared into the semi darkness, the creature in there was sobbing and he didn’t really know what to do. “I am not dangerous, fear me not. Won’t you come out? Is there something I can do to help? “
He made his voice soft and friendly and there was motion underneath the thick mass of branches and leaves. Slowly it emerged and he gasped and had problems believing what he saw. It was an elf, a male with long red hair and he appeared to be wounded and he was buck naked and looked absolutely terrified. Gadlum had the greatest respect for the elves and this one was surely in trouble. He was shivering and he clenched his right arm with his left hand, it was obviously broken and he had several bad bruises almost everywhere and something in the strange golden eyes told Gadlum that this poor thing was utterly confused and very much in need of help.
The old man tried to smile, reached out a hand. The elf stared at it with confusion, tears had drawn streaks down dusty cheeks and he whimpered and shuddered. Gadlum knew that his oldest daughter was rather skilled as a healer, she would be able to assess the damage but darn, this elf did need some help fast.
“What has happened to you mellon?”
He kept his voice steady and gentle and the elf tried to stand up straight but fell to his knees with a yell, he obviously had an injured knee as well. It was swollen and blue and Gadlum shook his head. “Do not move, I will help you.”
He went over and let the elf lean onto him and it felt a bit awkward, the elf was absolutely gorgeous and very inhuman in a way. Just too perfect to be real and yet there he was. The body was muscular and looked like that of a skilled warrior and he was shocked by how tall the elf was, he was closer to seven feet than any other person Gadlum had ever met before and towered above the rather short and stocky old man.
The elf cringed and closed the golden eyes for a moment, a grimace of agony lay on the fair face and Gadlum wondered what it was that had happened to this male. Elves are not easily hurt, and this one was severely injured. He had a bad gash in his right thigh and Gadlum blushed when he stared at it. The elf was very well made in every way, and very obviously male. A thin dusting of silky red hair surrounded his male parts and Gadlum wondered if they all were that perfect?
He let the elf lean onto him again and the wounded ellon’s skin was warm and soft and silky and Gadlum was in awe of the creature’s beauty. He had never been this close to one of the fair folk before and wondered at its scent, the ellon smelled of something that reminded him of turned earth and fresh moss. “Can you move? Walk? What happened?”
The elf just shook his head, the confusion within those very lovely eyes was painful to watch. “Fell”
Gadlum helped the elf take a few limping steps forward, he moaned with every one of them but there was no other way of getting around. They didn’t own a horse and with his son in law out hunting there wasn’t anybody at home strong enough to carry anyone either. “You did fall? From where?”
The elf just shook his head and placed a hand against the back of his head with a grimace of pain. “You don’t remember? What do you remember?”
The elf shrugged, shook his head again. “Nothing? Your name?”
The elf stared down, tears were running from his eyes again and he looked very young and vulnerable but Gadlum knew that he probably were hundreds if not thousands of years old. It was strange to think about that. “Well, I cannot just call you elf the whole time now can I? Is there anything you remember at all?”
The redhead seemed to think hard, he was limping badly but managed to get ahead, one step at a time as long as Gadlum gave him support. “Huna”
Gadlum cocked his head. “Is that your name? or just something you are called?”
The elf repeated it and Gadlum smiled. “Huna it is then, I will try to get you back to my home, you will be safe there and my daughter may help you with your injuries.”
Huna just nodded and closed his eyes with a sigh, fatigue and terror was still visible on his face and Gadlum knew that the short trek down to his cabin would be an agonizing one for the elf. He could just pray that the ellon didn’t have any hidden injuries that were life threatening for his daughter did have her limits in spite of all her skills and talents.
They walked very slowly and the dog ran around them in circles whimpering and whining, it didn’t understand why its master moved so slowly. The elf almost passed out several times but finally they saw the cabins up ahead and one of Gadlum’s daughters were out washing clothes and she got up and stared before she gasped and came running to help. In just a couple of minutes they were surrounded by the other two daughters and his grandchildren and the elf looked even more frightened now, the golden eyes wide with fear and he was shivering like a leaf in the wind.
Gadlum’s oldest daughter wrapped her apron around the ellon’s waist to protect the modesty of her younger sisters and children and the younger women were blushing like crazy. She looked at her father with confusion.”Where does he come from?”
Gadlum smiled nervously. “I found him above the lake, he was hiding in a bush. He has lost his memory, can only remember his name, if that is what it is, Huna.”
She helped support the elf over to the cabin and Gadlum sighed with relief. Having the ellon leaning onto him for that long had caused his back to ache. He was surely no youngster anymore. “Can you help him Frin?”
His daughter nodded. “I can at least have a look at it, but I don’t think he has any life threatening injuries, if he had he would be dead already.”
They helped the elf into the cabin and the kids were scurrying around staring with huge eyes. Frin had seven children at the age from two to fifteen and they did really make their presence known. Her two younger sisters did shoo them out of the room as Frin and Gadlum gently placed the ellon onto the bed. He moaned and sweat was breaking out all over the shivering body, Frin bit her teeth together and started gathering her equipment and Gadlum sat down and held the elf’s hand.
Frin washed the shivering body with a cloth dipped in herbal extracts that minimized pain. She made a grimace and Huna had closed his eyes and tried to avoid making too much sound. “He has a fracture to his arm but it is a clean one, it will be easy to set and it will heal quickly. The knee has been twisted but it isn’t dislocated, just very swollen. Other from that he has taken a hit to his head and he has a lot of bruises but they will fade.”
Gadlum smiled and patted the elf’s hand. “Hear that? You will be alright.”
Frin sent the elf an apologetic grin. “I am sorry Huna, but this will hurt. I have to set the fracture but I will give you something for the pain first, it will take the worst of it.”
She went over and mixed some herbs into a small kettle of water that was placed over the fireplace, it smelled rather strong and she came back with a cup filled with a dubious looking liquid. Huna sniffed and there was a bit of reluctance in his eyes as she held the cup towards his lips as Gadlum held his head up. The elf sipped at the concoction very carefully and cringed, Frin made an apologetic grimace. “I know, it tastes awful but it is needed.”
Huna nodded and finished the medicine in two long draughts and winced and coughed afterwards. Frin grinned. “Well done, now just relax and let it work.”
After a while the golden eyes got a bit distant and glassy and his breath became more even, not so shallow. Frin went over to the door and called out. “Ida, Nell, I need your help”
The other two daughters entered and Frin told them to grasp onto Huna’s shoulder and hold back when she pulled the fracture back into alignment. They obeyed and looked at the elf with compassion, Gadlum took his chin gently in hand and turned his head away from what Frin was doing. “It is better when you don’t look.”
Frin had found a few bandages and a splint and she just grasped Huna’s arm by the wrist and pulled. The elf screamed, an awful shriek in pain but she got the two pieces of bone back together without problems and stabilized the arm with the bandages and the splint. Huna was panting and gasping and tears ran down his face once more, he looked very fragile and Frin hurried to wash the gash in his thigh and put a couple of sutures in it before the medicine stopped working.
She washed the bruises and the injured knee with herbs that stopped swelling and then she wrapped some thick blankets around him and placed the elf into a more comfortable position. Huna was so overcome by the fear and the pain he fell asleep, he was unable to fight it and Nell and Ida stared with disbelief at the rather empty glassy stare. “Is he dead?”
Gadlum shook his head. “No, he is sleeping, elves sleep with their eyes open.”
Ida was the youngest of the three daughters, just twenty, and she shook her head in disbelief. “That’s just weird.”
Gadlum grinned. “I bet they think we are equally weird.”
Frin sighed. “His injuries are consistent with those caused by a fall, but I cannot imagine from where. Was he climbing? It is cold outside now, I cannot imagine anybody, even an elf, climbing around in the mountains in his birthday suit.”
Gadlum had to snigger. “No, but perhaps he will remember more when he gets his strength back, he did look very confused and scared and I am glad there are no orcs in this area. They would have made mince-meat out of him in no time.”
Frin nodded. “Yes, but I can still not understand what happened, elves usually don’t have accidents.”
Gadlum stroked his chin, his eyes were distant. “No, you are right about that Frin.”
He had woken up in a state of absolute confusion, where was he, what was this? Then he noticed the pain and couldn’t stop a scream as he rolled off his broken arm and tried to get up. He felt empty, a terrible feeling of fear struck him and he fell back, whimpering and gasping for air. What had happened? Why didn’t he remember anything?
His mind was blank, he couldn’t grasp any memories, any knowledge at all as to who he was and why he was there. He was in a hole in the ground and he felt utterly lost. Tall mountains could be seen around him and wood covered roaming hills, nothing looked even remotely familiar and he shook his head as if to clear his mind. He froze and felt utterly miserable, the body shaking from shock. Somehow he knew it was dangerous to remain out in the open like that and he managed to crawl out of the hole, his body ached like crazy and he looked down and didn’t even recognize himself.
It was all gone, everything. Only a word lingered in his mind, faint and without meaning but he clung onto it, just to have something to hang on to. He managed to wobble forth, the grass felt soft underneath his feet and he felt how the wind played with his hair.
He raised his good arm, touched the long red locks and felt his ears, they were pointy. Elf, he was an elf. Good, there was something he knew, he looked down at himself, alright, he was male too. He knew two things for sure, he was an ellon. But nothing more than that, it was strange.
The pain soon became excruciating and he felt terribly weak, as if he had no strength left in his body. He had a faint idea of death in his mind, of something that was the end of everything and it scared him. He saw a sort of cave underneath a bush after a couple of hours and managed to crawl into it.
He didn’t want to die, he just knew it. He wanted to live, even if it hurt. He curled up, shivering and discovered that something wet ran down his cheeks. He touched it in amazed confusion, it was water? Tears, he remembered the word but why did he cry? He felt bad, that was why, he sighed and tried to calm down but he couldn’t.
Not knowing anything was almost a pain in itself. He felt so tired and slowly he drifted off into an unrestful sleep, he had a dream, or at least that was what he thought it was. Some huge bright thing was standing in front of him, piercing eyes were staring straight into his soul and he felt tiny, miniscule, worthless even. He heard a voice in his mind, thundering and strong and he cowered in fear. “Prove yourself, prove you are worthy, or else you will be lost”
The dream ended and he tossed around, groaning in pain. Prove himself? Prove what? He didn’t understand, who was the glowing figure and what had happened? He slept again, and it felt like a relief.
He had woken up suddenly, some strange animal was making loud sounds and it looked dangerous with white teeth and strong jaws, he gasped and curled up again, would it eat him? Then he heard a voice, and saw some person in front of the bush, it was a second born, a human, an adan. He knew the words but didn’t understand how. The adan was old, he could see it, carried no weapons and the voice was friendly, he removed the animal and sat down onto his haunches, said soft words once more.
It couldn’t be that dangerous no could it? Just one old man? He needed help, he just knew it. He couldn’t survive on his own with a broken arm and a bad knee. He crawled out with his heart thundering in his chest and he felt very uncertain and scared but had to take the chance. He understood the words the old man used, but just barely and he could only form a few words of that language but he remembered the word from his mind. Huna. He had no idea of what it meant, but it was a memory, his only one it seemed.
The old man helped him, there was help to be found, he understood that much and so he endured the trek down to the man’s home even if it hurt like hell. Suddenly there were humans around him everywhere and he felt confused and scared but they were children and women and so his fear subsided slowly. The cabin was warm and cozy and the bed comfortable but the drink he had to swallow was awful and it made him feel dizzy. But the pain did almost disappear until she set his arm, then he had to scream.
He hadn’t thought that such pain could exist at all. It did dissipate afterwards and he felt grateful but also worried. They were kind to him, but he was a stranger, what now? He stared at the adeneth and knew she was a healer, that demanded respect and the old man had found him and he had a feeling of reverence for the old. Why he did not know.
The two younger adenith were staring at him blushing and he felt a bit embarrassed knowing they had seen him naked. He had no idea as to why but he felt that it had to do with customs, that it was somehow improper? The two young females were pretty too, very sweet with corn blond hair and blue eyes and the children were obviously healthy and strong and very noisy. It was a family, and a happy one too. When he fell asleep he just hoped that his arrival wouldn’t bring them any trouble.
He woke up to the sound of children laughing, he shook his head and stared at a line of children’s faces at the end of the bed, they were staring back with huge eyes and he tried to smile at them. It was two girls and five boys, all with dark hair and blue eyes and the smallest one did barely manage to get his head up over the edge of the bed, Huna could only see a couple of big eyes and a crow’s nest of unruly hair. The children couldn’t have seen an elf before and he felt very self-conscious and a bit shy.
He had no idea of how he was to interact with these tiny humans. One of the boys looked a bit bolder than the others and he cocked his head. “You are tall!”
Huna pulled the blanket up under his chin, feeling nervous due to the many staring eyes although they were just curious. “Yes.”
He didn’t know many words and tried to be friendly, after all, these were children. “Taller than dad.”
The boy was digging into a nostril with a finger and his mother yelled at him. “Ron, don’t do that, you’ll end up with a trunk like an Oliphant. And don’t bother Huna, he is tired.”
The boy giggled and Huna had to grin, the other children stared at him again and the youngest of the two girls moved over and touched a lock of his hair. He tensed up and looked at her with a bit of confusion, what was she doing? “It is so pretty, you are pretty. Are you going to live here?”
Frin shouted. “Children, are you deaf? Go out and help your grandfather chop some wood. We need hot water. Shera, it is impolite to touch others without asking first.”
The girl sighed and lowered her gaze, she was very cute and he tried to smile but his face felt a bit stiff. “Sorry mister elf.”
Huna felt a light blush spread across his cheeks and he found the little one simply adoring. There was something about that innocent soul that just stole his heart. “Alright, it’s alright.”
She did barely understand him since he had a weird accent and problems pronouncing the words but her face did light up and she almost danced away from the bed to join the others. Frin came over to the bed with a plate and placed it on a tray. It was some meat, some boiled roots and wild carrots. “It isn’t much but it is food and I think you will need it now, to recover.”
He felt the smell of the meal, and it was wonderful. Suddenly his belly was growling and he pushed himself up and took the tray and the knife he was being offered. Frin left and he started eating with some problems, his right arm hurt so he had to use the left one and it felt a bit strange. Using a knife and his hand was also something he knew he was unfamiliar with but he managed without spilling too much. And to feel food in his belly again, it was so wonderful. It tasted so good and he ate a bit fast and had to slow down so he wouldn’t choke.
Afterwards he felt just stuffed and sighed blissfully.
Frin retrieved the plate and Huna allowed himself to doze off a little, he still felt tired and sore and his knee was throbbing but it wasn’t as swollen as it had been and he felt optimistic. There were sounds coming from the outside that indicated that firewood was being chopped and eager children’s voices were obviously engaged in a debate with their guest as subject. He just lay there, hovering in a feeling of relaxation and peace and Frin wondered at how innocent his face looked when he was in that state.
Huna woke up later in the evening when all the children were gathered for their evening meal, they were well raised and didn’t make much noise except the occasional little fight over who had gotten the best piece of bread or spilled their drink. He sat there watching the family interact and his heart felt strangely empty again, as if he missed something. Belonging, that was what he missed, a sense of companionship, of purpose.
The children were sent to bed up on the loft and the old man sat in front of the fireplace fixing some fishing nets. These were hunters and lived off the land, he knew that by looking at the equipment of the house and he knew they were simple but good people. Frin and the two other women carried a huge wooden wash tub into the room and started filling it with water, Huna stared at it in confusion and Gadlum just grinned. “The womenfolk plan on giving you a bath lad, just get used to the idea.”
Huna frowned, a bath? He stared at himself, his hair was full of dust and pine needles, he stank of dirt and wet moss and he had dried blood on his skin several places from minor cuts. Yes, he did need a bath, desperately, but was it really considered proper to bathe with females nearby?
Frin felt the water with her hand and grinned. “It is ready, now let’s help you.”
Huna felt like protesting for a second or two, but the females just grasped onto him and he whimpered and stared at Gadlum with pleading eyes, was this right? They supported him and managed to get him over to the tub and the two younger women returned to their embroidery while Frin got the blankets off him and helped him into the water. It was hot but not unbearably so and she helped him sit down slowly so he wouldn’t hurt his arm or leg. It felt wonderful, the warmth and the smell of soap and everything.
He could just sigh with pleasure and Frin grasped a sponge and started washing his back and arms with gentle and yet powerful moves. If felt so good he wanted to weep, the dirt and blood disappeared like a bad memory and he felt drowsy again and closed his eyes.
Frin poured water over his head from a jar and massaged his scalp and he almost fell asleep until he felt some strange sensations he couldn’t identify. It was a sort of warmth and it settled itself within him and it felt good but in a way disturbing. What was this? The strong hands on his head rubbing soap into his hair felt just amazing and he knew that the two things were connected. She washed the soap out and then she grasped his leg and started scrubbing it gently.
He lifted it out of the water to be polite but he felt his cheeks burn and he couldn’t look at her. The warmth had slid down towards his crotch area and he had a funny sensation down there. The foam floating on the water hid everything and he discretely let his left hand slide down as if to just scratch or something. He almost gasped and for a moment his eyes got huge with shock, what the hell? What had happened? Why was it all hard?
He swallowed and put his hand back onto the edge of the tub but the quick touch had given him some strange and very tantalizing and yet frightening sensations. It had felt good, but in a way too good. He stared straight up into the ceiling and tried to ignore the sweet aching sensation it had left him with. Frin took the other leg too and gave him the sponge so he could wash where she couldn’t and he quickly did so with a blushing face and a flickering glance. What now?
Frin nodded. “That is good, now get up so we can dry you.”
Huna gasped and shook his head. “No.”
She tilted her head. “You don’t want to get out of the water yet? It will get cold soon.”
He bit his lower lip, looked down. “No, not yet.”
Frin stared at the flustered face and the strange expression on the fair face and she understood what the problem was. “Huna, I am used to men, worry not. My husband always gets a cock stand when I wash him so there is nothing to be ashamed off.”
He threw a glance over at Gadlum who sat with the net but he didn’t seem to react at all and so he slowly got up. Frin giggled a little. “Well, no doubt about it, you elves are really made to be perfect.”
She wrapped a towel around him and rubbed the water off his body and then she dried his hair. He just stood there, confused by her words and his own reaction. Why was that body part reacting thus? He didn’t understand at all and was happy when she helped him get back into the bed. It had to be a bed the two other women shared for they had curled up on some piles of straw near the hearth and he felt guilty for having stolen their place to sleep.
He did snuggle into the warm blankets and allowed himself to relax but that sweet ache was still there.
He did fall asleep and woke up all of a sudden very early in the morning, the room was dark and the embers in the hearth threw a very faint red light over everything. He stared up, frowned.
He had a weird sensation lingering in his body, a sort of heavy relaxed feeling that was good but he felt something wet too? He slid his hand down and yes, there was something wet on his belly, some sticky liquid he couldn’t identify but it had come from him and he cringed and choked a moan. What was this? He felt terribly ashamed all of a sudden, was this normal?
Frin had left some used bandages by the bed and he managed to reach over and grasped one of them, dried the goo of his skin with a grimace. But the feeling he had was darn good, he felt so at peace and he could not fight the sleepy feeling again. He went out like a candle and slept until he woke up from the shock of having a two year old jumping up onto the bed.
Frin lifted her son down and grinned, she held a huge tunic and a pair of pants in her hand and Huna sighed with relief, finally something to cover up with. “These are my husbands but I think they might fit you although you are wider across the shoulders and more narrow at the waist and hips.”
Huna just smiled and tried not to think of the strange incident earlier that morning. “Husband where?”
Frin smiled and turned around so he could put the pants on without embarrassing himself. The arm didn’t really hurt that bad now and he managed to get them on with relative ease. “Oh he is up at the mountain passes hunting wild goats, he’ll be back in a couple of days I reckon.”
Huna pulled the tunic on, it was a bit narrow across the shoulders and he needed a belt for the pants but it wasn’t too bad, but both garments were too short. Frin laughed. “Oh my, Davo is a tall man but compared with you he is a midget.”
Huna had to laugh a little and the children gathered around him again, he got up onto his feet with a slight dizziness but it subsided and he managed to limp over to the table. Most of the bruises had changed from blue to a lighter green color and they would be gone in one more day. He healed fast. He looked down at the kids who giggled and stared and him and he leaned down suddenly. “Boo!”
They scurried back like a pack of squirrels, giggling like mad and then they returned. He found them fascinating and he managed to smile at them with warmth. Frin placed some bread and cheese in front of him and a jug of goats milk and he ate with obvious hunger. Gadlum had finished his breakfast now and got onto his feet. “Well, it is about time I’d start the day, up to the lake and see if my nets have caught anything edible.”
Huna sighed, he knew that everybody probably helped out there and he felt a bit useless. Frin stared at him. “You cannot walk very far yet so I suppose you can help me weave some baskets today if that is alright with you?”
Huna nodded eagerly, he wanted to make himself useful, to do something meaningful and he followed Frin outside where her sisters already sat with their work. It was a sunny day and the air warm and the valley was very beautiful. He sat down and Frin told him to get the bark off the thin twigs they used and he started working with glee. Shera was helping out too, her older sister was out in the woods with the oldest boys gathering nuts and the younger boys helped their grandfather. The child was singing some jolly tune and Huna tried to hum along but he missed the rhythm rather often and it made her pout and grin. “You don’t speak much.”
Huna smiled, she was so charming and he shrugged. “Know few words”
Shera almost jumped up and down with zeal and her mother had to smile. “I can teach you, please? May I?”
Frin and Nell looked at each other and Ida giggled. “Well, I am not so sure, what if Huna gets tired again?”
He shook his head. “Not tired, ok, it’s alright. I learn.”
Frin petted Shera on her head and the little one grinned so widely he could see that she was missing some teeth. “Yes, you are gonna be so smart”
Huna just smiled and started repeating the words the tiny girl spoke and he found it strangely comforting. His hands were busy and so was his mind and the day went rather fast. Frin and the other two went inside to prepare dinner and Huna sat there and repeated words while the girl looked very important and aware of her duty. His head did spin though and he felt somewhat confused for there were no order in this, she just gave him words and explanations without following any pattern and by dinner he had learned a lot of names for household objects and a few words he was sure the girl’s mother would prefer she had been ignorant of.
Two rabbits had been roasted and he knew that this family didn’t have all that much food so he didn’t eat that much but it felt good anyhow and did stop his worst hunger. He got a jug of ale from Gadlum and found that he liked it a lot. The feeling of emptiness was disappearing, he tried to remember anything but he couldn’t and so he resigned and accepted it.
When darkness fell they sat by the hearth and Gadlum told the others stories while the women did some knitting and Huna had gotten some leather strings he tried to braid into rope. He had to do something to show his gratitude. He felt guilty once more for having taken the bed but the two women didn’t complain and it felt good sleeping on a real matrass.
The days that came was spent working, healing and learning, Shera was constantly trying to teach him new words and he noticed how his language did improve a lot. He could speak now not just say single words and he was able to walk again although not very fast and the bruises and cuts were all but gone. The fracture was healing too and he felt safe there now.
He worked as much as he could and he even managed to make a simple bow for the oldest boy, the gift was highly appreciated and resulted in a deer being brought home that evening, He really ate his full and so did the rest of the family and he started to feel at home there. They were so welcoming, had accepted him as one of their own and that made his heart swell and he felt a bit shaky, as if he really didn’t think he was worthy of this kind of gentleness.
Davo did return and turned out to be just as nice as the rest of the family and the tall dark haired man was a bit in awe of the huge elf. Over the next days the two of them became good friends, Davo taught Huna about the hunting of different wild animals in the area and shared some good old stories too. Huna had managed to talk his way out of the bed and into the other cabin where he slept in the hay, it wasn’t quite as comfortable as the bed but good enough and with some nice blankets to keep him warm it was rather ok.
Shera would go for walks with him and give him the names of everything she saw and he was eager to learn as much as possible. The little girl treated him almost like her own property at times and was very proud of her task and Huna was very grateful and had grown very fond of the outspoken little one. She was so very charming and made him forget about his troubles and they spent a lot of time together. They were an odd couple though, she barely reached above his thigh and he had to bend down a little to hold her hand but it didn’t matter. He had a real friend in this little one and that was so very precious to him.
They would walk down to the river sometimes and one evening they passed by while Nell and Ida washed clothes, the women had tied their skirts up and he got a nice peek at their shapely legs and suddenly he got that warm strange feeling again. He hurried to get away from them but the feeling remained and he felt awkward and confused for the rest of the day.
When he went to bed that evening he still had that uncomfortable tight sensation in his crotch and he hesitantly touched himself under the blankets, just to see if he could make it go away. The sensation was insane, like a jolt of pleasure rushed through his nerves and he moaned and let go, in shock of it all. But the loss of the sensation was terrible, he hesitated for a few seconds, then he reluctantly repeated it, let his hand grip around the hardened shaft and he let out a small yelp and suddenly instinct took over.
He started moving against his grip, thrusting his hips back and forth and it felt so good he feared that he would pass out. There were some places that were extra sensitive and he let his thumb slide across the head and the drops of slick liquid that already flowed out of him made it even better, like thrusting into some wet tight grip even better than just a hand.
He gasped for air, his heart beating rapidly and he was in fact a bit scared, why did he feel like this? It was so good, it was so good it made tears run down his face and he felt how he made grimaces out of sheer pleasure.
It was almost too much, like an overload of sensation and yet he couldn’t stop himself. He hungered for something, for some kind of release from the pressure building up inside and he tightened his grip and increased the speed of his thrusts out of sheer instinct. Then something happened, he saw sparks and stars behind his closed eyelids and he bit his own lip so that he wouldn’t scream, his body tensed up and he felt how spasms rushed through his muscles and in special down there and it felt like agony but it was pleasure.
He managed to look down for a few seconds and saw how the contractions forced some white liquid out of him in short spurts and he groaned and rolled his eyes in a mixture of bliss and confusion. He just lay there gasping like a fish on dry land, half laughing and half sobbing and the sensation of relief was just insane.
But what had happened? Was it dangerous? Probably not, how could anything that felt so good be harmful? He just laid there and returned to normal and realized that there were a few things about this body he yet had been ignorant about, at least since he lost his memory. He had used the little outhouse to do his business without finding it awkward at all but this was entirely different. Somehow he just knew that it wasn’t something you spoke of and he sighed and stared at the beady strings of liquid that had landed on the blanket he lay on.
He wiped it away with some hay and made a grimace. It was disgusting but apparently it was connected with that wonderful feeling of pleasure. He had to touch himself again to make sure that things were back to normal and they were, he sighed with relief and allowed the floating heavy feeling to pull him with it into a deep peaceful sleep.
That night he dreamed again, a terrible dream of fire and death. He saw a battlefield, covered with many creatures who were fighting everywhere, like ants they appeared from above and he heard a voice in his head, like a pain it was and so strong and so demanding. “Kill them all, spare no one.”
The skies filled with darkness, with smoke and ash and screams and he shook his head, roared, no, he wouldn’t do it. He would not cower under his masters whip no more, he didn’t want to be a slave, to slaughter those who belonged to the light. He was too strong, too wild, the fire in his heart burned hotter than in any other. He turned against his own, forced them away from the battle and the last thing he saw in the dream was glowing yellow eyes filled with anger and hatred.
He woke up with a start as the rooster met the day with a cawing sound that wasn’t very pleasant at all. What had that dream been? A memory? A terrible one if that was so. He got up and combed and braided his hair and the family greeted him with smiles and he sat down and felt a warm and fuzzy feeling in his chest. He was fond of them all, they felt like his family and he wished that he could stay there and help them out for as long as possible.
After breakfast they went to the woods for firewood and since his arm was almost completely healed by now he was allowed to do hard work too. He was chopping up wood and carrying it and it felt good using his body, he felt sweaty and dirty but it didn’t matter. He was doing a good job and it was its own reward. He and Davo had laughed together and become good friends and the kids did love the elf, he always took the time to listen to them and help them with things and after yet another week Huna started hunting with Davo. The elf was deadly accurate with a bow and so they filled the storages with food for the winter rather fast.
He did notice something strange though, Ida was often staring at him and there was something odd about her when she was near him. She would touch him rather often just by chance or so it seemed and she wore her best clothes more often than before. He felt confused and tried to keep his distance but sometimes she just got too close and there was a hint of desperation in her eyes that frightened him. One evening when they were skinning a deer Huna had killed Davo sighed and made sure that the women were nowhere to be seen. “I have noticed that Ida has taken an interest in you Huna.”
The elf swallowed and felt as though he was out on thin ice. “Ah, yes? She is acting weird yes?”
Davo sighed and turned his face towards the tall elf. “I cannot say that I blame her you know, you are after all very attractive and even a man who prefers women can be tempted by someone like you but by Eru, she is getting herself into trouble this way.”
Huna cringed, he looked down. “Sorry”
Davo rolled his eyes. “Sorry? You have nothing to be sorry about. It is she who should apologize. I understand it is hard for her and Nell staying up here with no available suitors but she is crossing the line. That skirt she wore the other day was way too short and she is trying to flirt with you constantly.”
Huna felt like a dimwit, he didn’t understand at all. “Flirt?”
Davo gaped, his eyes got huge. “Oh Eru, you don’t understand at all now do you?”
Huna made a grimace, felt very stupid. “No? She is weird yes?”
Davo sighed and sat down. “Huna, what I am saying is that she is interested in you, as in becoming your mate, laying with you, but a relationship between an elf and a human can only end with disaster since you are immortal and she isn’t. You understand this yes?”
Huna tried to understand, he really did but it was hard on him. Laying with him as in sharing a bed? “No?”
His voice was thin and Davo sighed and closed his eyes. “I am starting to think that you are as ignorant as a child, and whether that is because of your amnesia or not I don’t know but you know what mating is I hope?”
Huna bit his lower lip, he was starting to remember something about that yes, procreation, creating new life. He suddenly remembered seeing a wild stallion mount a mare on one of the trips through the forest and remembered that Gadlum had sniggered and said that it would be a nice foal next summer. It dawned upon him now, the reason why males were different than females, why that part of him got hard and why he felt so weird. He went beet red and gasped and stared at Davo with huge eyes. Davo grinned but it was a sad grin. “Now I see that you have understood yes. Ida wants to become Your woman, she wants you as her husband, as her lover.”
Huna shook his head, he felt scared and confused. “No, no, I cannot, not right, not at all.”
Davo petted his shoulder. “I know, I can see that you are trying to avoid her instead of encouraging that behavior. I will speak to her and tell her you aren’t interested but beware Huna, some females can get very persistent when they have set their minds upon something.”
The elf could only nod and he blinked and tried to not think about what he had felt when he was on his own and the thing he had seen in the woods. So the need he had felt was the need to mate, to procreate. It explained a lot but it did also create problems, Davo was right about that.
It wasn’t that Ida was ugly or unattractive in any way but as Davo said, it was a relationship doomed from the start. Huna just knew it then, he would have to leave but it was too late now, winter was coming soon and he would have to wait until spring. It would be some very long months if he was to avoid her attention.
Davo obviously spoke with Ida that very evening for her eyes were red and bloodshot as she prepared the table for dinner and she didn’t look at Huna at all. He felt guilty, he had created discord in this tightly woven family with his presence and he promised himself that he had to leave before winter even if that meant that he would have to cross the passes after the first snow fell.
For the next day’s everything was as normal but then a rider came by, it was a tradesman who changed furs for goods the mountain people couldn’t get by their own. Davo had a lot of squirrel furs and some wolf pelts too and he traded them for flour, salt yeast and spices and some rolls of cloth. The tradesman had several pack horses in tow and Huna felt fascinated by them, he somehow knew that he had encountered horsed before. The man stared at Huna with wide eyes and the elf felt a little bothered by it and went inside again, there was something in the man’s gaze that made him feel uncomfortable.
The man gave the children some candy and he even gave a pretty silk ribbon to the oldest girl Aliah but there was something about him that had triggered Huna’s instincts. He didn’t trust that human, not at all. The merchant left after a few hours and Davo grinned and sat down with a cup of ale. “Neels comes by here every year, at least twice. He is a bit of a scoundrel and you have to be rather careful so that he doesn’t trick you with his goods but he is all that we have got. No others dare travel this far into the mountains.”
Huna just nodded and felt a cold chill running down his spine. They stored the goods away and relaxed by the hearth since it was raining outside and Huna took a cup of ale before he went to bed. He feel asleep rather fast and felt more tired than usual but didn’t think about it at all.
He woke up in the middle of the night sensing something close by but he discovered that he couldn’t move. His body refused to obey and he whimpered and tried to squirm but a warm hand slid across his cheek and he recognized the scent of Ida. She always smelled of dried apples and he felt a surge of panic rush through him. He tried to speak but his tongue was thick and weird and there was an odd and very unpleasant taste in his mouth. She had drugged him!
The though hit him like a sledge hammer and he moaned and felt that she crept closer to him. He could just see the contours of her in the darkness and she sat down beside him and pulled the blanket off him. Huna wanted to scream, wanted to break free from this strange paralysis but he couldn’t and she opened his pants and pulled them down.
Eru, no! He fought it with all his might, it was just wrong, he didn’t want it, he didn’t want her damn it. Not like this, absolutely not like this. She was a sweet human woman and he was…he was tainted by darkness, he just knew it. And she would grow old and die and he would live on grieving her. No, this wasn’t the way.
She had started caressing him, in the darkness it was hard to see what she was doing even for an elf but she bent down and he felt something wet and warm embrace him and he whimpered and felt tears gathering in his eyes. She did get him hard in no time, his body wasn’t listening to him at all and he felt so helpless, so utterly humiliated. Then she got up and straddled his hips and he knew what she was about to do, he just understood it from her posture.
She got her skirts out of the way and used a hand to guide it right as she sat down and impaled herself upon him. She shuddered and moaned and Huna closed his eyes, tried to imagine that he was somewhere else but he couldn’t. That tight warmth just felt too good, it was much better than his own hand and he gasped as she started to move her hips.
She groaned and panted and her rhythm got faster and faster and he felt it, how his body tensed up again. He wanted to scream, needed to scream but no sound came from his throat. Ida threw her head back, her mouth open and her eyes closed in rapture as she reached her climax and he felt it, by Eru he felt it. Felt her pulse around him and he almost passed out as his own orgasm claimed him.
She remained sitting on him and she breathed hard and then she got off and pulled his pants back on, petted his cheek just once before she pulled the blanket back up. Huna couldn’t move yet, he felt terrible, used. He was crying silently and she got out of the hay loft and disappeared. He just lay there, shivering with emotional shock and unable to really gather his thoughts,
After a while he did drift off into sleep again, just out of sheer emotional stress and he curled up in his sleep and wept for a long while without even being aware of it. He didn’t want to be a slave, he didn’t want to bow to the will of others but now he had. He had been used once more, and it felt like he was dying on the inside.
He woke up in the morning with a heavy head and a strange feeling, he had dreamt something? Or? He couldn’t remember anything but something had happened, something bad. He got up, his body felt strange and sort of weak, without strength. He was almost staggering towards the main cabin and Davo stared at him with a puzzled expression on his face. “You look far from well rested, haven’t you slept well?”
Huna shook his head. “No, bad dream.”
Davo finished his ale. “Too bad, eat now, we have to go and bring down some barrels of salted fish from the high lakes. It will be a long day.”
Huna did notice that Ida wasn’t even looking at him this day and he shook his head and tried to remember but he could not. He ate and they left bringing the two oldest boys with them. The barrels were hidden and heavy and they had to get them all down before the frost came.
For three days they carried barrels and Huna had great strength but even he felt tired at the end of the day. He worked so hard he didn’t have time to think about that weird dream or what it was.
It wasn’t until a week later that it returned to him. He and Davo and Shera were up in a side valley looking for tinder and they were just walking along the path chatting away about the rain and the coming winter when it all returned to him in a flash. Huna just froze, he stood there staring into nothing for a moment and then he turned around and fell to his knees retching violently.
Davo stared at the elf with huge eyes. “Huna, what’s the matter? Are you ill?”
The elf puked until his stomach was empty, then he rolled onto his side, a wailing cry escaping his lips. Davo was in shock, he had never seen anybody act like that before and Shera stood there with wide eyes and a shivering chin, she was frightened by her friend’s weird illness. Davo kneeled, grasped Huna and pulled him up. “What is wrong, have you eaten anything poisonous?”
Huna sobbed. “I remember, oh I remember. The night I thought I had a bad dream, it wasn’t a dream.”
Davo shook him. “What are you talking about Huna?”
The elf shivered, his eyes closed and agony all over his face. “Ida, she drugged me, I couldn’t move a limb, and in the night she came to my lair and…”
Davo went pale, he gasped and Shera sobbed. “What is wrong dad, why is Huna crying? Is he hurt?”
Davo tried to smile. “Yes, he is hurt Shera, aunt Ida did something very bad to him but she didn’t understand how bad it was.”
Shera stared at Huna and walked over, hugged him with a lot of heart and he gasped and returned the hug. “Don’t be sad Huna, I will make sure that she doesn’t do that bad thing to you again.”
Huna felt how that hug did lift his spirits a little, Shera was just an innocent child but she was clearly very smart. “Thank you little one, I feel much better now.”
He managed to hold his voice steady and the girl beamed with pride. Davo closed his eyes. “Huna, I am so terribly sorry for this, and she will be punished, it is the law.”
Huna stared down. “Just don’t kill her, she didn’t mean to do me any harm.”
Davo looked sad. “I know, but she did exploit you and took advantage of you while you were helpless and incapable of defending yourself. We return home now, she will have to leave right away. I do not want a woman like that around my children.”
Huna didn’t want to go back, didn’t want to confront Ida and the others with what she had done but he had to. There was no way around it now. He sobbed and got back onto his feet, Davo supported him and Shera took his hand. He managed to smile to the little girl. “Bless you little one, you are really a good friend.”
Shera just smiled and danced along and Davo felt how a feeling of deep anger grew within him. He knew that elves had a different view on sex than humans, to them rape was unthinkable, it just didn’t happen. It could in fact kill them since the shock was too much. Sharing one’s body with another was something they could do just for pleasure and fun but then both did agree and were open about what they wanted and if a couple had bonded they would shun all others unless they both wanted to add others to the relationship.
Huna had responded in a very elfish way and Davo felt very sorry for him. He was sure the elf felt desecrated and abused and used too and it couldn’t be a good feeling at all, in special for someone as proud as him.
They walked down towards the valley in silence and reached the meadow above the cabins where the goats grazed. Davo was about to ask Huna to stay there when they heard the sound of horses neighing and a scream from a woman. Huna froze, the cold feeling ran down his spine again and he froze. Davo went pale, he took a deep breath and then he ran. Huna wanted to shout at him to stop but if there were enemies there it would tell them he was coming, the elf turned around and grasped Shera by her collar. “No, don’t go down there, wait here until we come for you, alright?”
Shera pouted. “What’s wrong?”
Huna tried to think fast. “Nothing is wrong, listen, you know how to play hide and seek yes?”
The girl nodded eagerly. “Good, now you see those rocks over there? There are a lot of holes in them, I bet you can hide real well down there right?”
Shera grinned. “Yes!”
Huna smiled but the smile was pale, something was terribly wrong down there, he just knew it. “That’s nice, now go and hide yourself and I will come looking for you in a flash ok? Just don’t leave until I come for you or any other in the family, got that?”
Shera grinned even wider and ran over to the huge heap of boulders and disappeared like a weasel. Huna took a deep breath and started sneaking his way down the hill, he hid behind trees and bushes and then he heard a man scream, a terrible roar filled with rage and sorrow. Huna shivered, he just knew that was Davo and he felt his heart hammering in his chest. What was happening?
Then he saw smoke, thick black smoke and his heart sank even deeper, he started running. He knew it was dangerous but he had to see, had to do something. He dove down behind some rocks above the small settlement and what he saw made him whimper. The houses were burning and at least twelve men had been busy ransacking the home. All that was valuable was already brought out and packed onto a line of horses and the whole family was gathered in front of the burning houses. They were on their knees and Frin held the two youngest children to her tightly. The oldest boy lay on his back in front of them, a sword through his chest. He had tried to protect them and paid the ultimate price.
The leader of the group of raiders was a huge blond man with a nice wolf skin pelt and a great broadsword strapped across his back. He stood there with a rapier and the pointy end pressed against Davo’s neck. “Elf, I know you are out there. If you don’t come forth I will kill them all but come freely and I will let them go, nobody else will have to die. I give you my word.”
Huna panted, these men were evil, he just sensed it, merciless beasts with no heart. Why did they want him? How did they know about him in the first place? The man spoke again. “I give you two minutes, then I will start killing and I start with the kids.”
Huna just knew it, it was all his fault, he had endangered the whole family, these wonderful gentle people who had cared for him as if he was one of their own. He couldn’t let these men hurt them further, he just couldn’t. He got up, walked forth with his hands out and visible, shivering with fear and anger.
The men saw him and stared, the elf was a majestic sight and the tradesman hadn’t lied at all. He was gorgeous, a sight to behold. “I am here, let them go as you promised.”
The leader nodded. “Of course, I will let them all go as soon as we have had a little fun.”
The man had lied, Huna realized that the moment he saw something coming straight at his head, one of the men had a slingshot and a rock hit his temple with a crack and the tall elf fell over on the grass without a sound. The leader smiled viciously. “Yes, they may all go to Mandos, tie him up boys.”
Huna woke up with a terrible headache and he was dizzy and nauseous and his vision was blurred for a few seconds, he was laying on the ground in front of the burning houses and what he saw made him wish he was dead. He saw Davo laying on the grass just a few feet away, his throat had been cut and a pool of blood had formed around the body. Gadlum lay by the fence, skewered by a spear, his hands still clinging to it as if he had tried to pull it out.
The boys lay next to their brother, neither of them had been big enough to fight, their heads crushed by a Warhammer. He heard screams, piercing wails and he turned his head, even though he didn’t want to. They were raping the women, all of them. He saw the leader lay on top of the oldest of Frin’s daughters, the girl letting out terrible shrill wails in pain and fear, the man was thrusting violently into the still immature body.
Huna retched, again and again but his stomach was empty, he heard Nell screaming in agony as some huge brute grasped her and took her from behind, Frin was unconscious and didn’t move even when one man finished and another took his place. Ida was tied over a tethering pole, hanging with her head down and her skirt thrown over so she couldn’t even see. She was screaming as one of the men used the hilt of his dagger on her and Huna saw blood running down her legs in a thick stream, she would bleed to death soon.
Huna was unable to think, it was all a vacuum in his head, an echo of things he had seen and yet couldn’t remember. He screamed, an awful roar in anger and pain and one of the men kicked him in the gut. The elf gasped for air but continued to make keening sounds. He tried to crawl away, tried to make it all disappear but he couldn’t, it was happening there and now and there was no escape.
The leader had finished with a guttural roar and the other men immediately threw themselves at the girl, she had passed out from the pain and he hoped that she never would wake again. The man grinned and walked over to where Huna lay, put himself away and fastened his belt again. He stared at the shivering elf and the eyes were filled with sadistic joy. “Oh Neels didn’t lie when he said you were beautiful, he wasn’t even telling half the truth. You are gonna fetch us a good price, I know someone who will pay a lot for an elf.”
Huna tried to spit at the man but got a boot underneath his chin and he was tossed around by the impact. “You elves heal well, I don’t fear making marks on you, remember that.”
Huna just gasped and he was seeing sparks. One of the men killed Frin with his sword and laughed at it, as if it was something hilarious. Huna just knew what it was that they wanted, what fate he had to look forward to. He would rather die. The men had finished their raping spree and cut the throat of the girl and Nell, Huna could only hear a roar in his head, like something huge was screaming out. The leader waved his hand. “Get the stuff onto the horses and make sure that the elf is securely tied up, he is valuable.”
Huna got lifted up, he tried to kick and squirm but the ropes were too tight and strong and he was too weak, too much in shock to be able to break free. Then there were a scream, a child’s piercing cry and he felt that the ground disappeared underneath him. Shera had left the hiding place and she had come after him. The leader of the men turned around and grinned slowly. “Oh there’s the last of the whelps, get her boys.”
Huna yelled. “Shera, go away, run!”
The girl stopped, frightened by the sight of the smoke and the strangers and Huna’s piercing cry. She turned to run but one of the men ran and grasped her and the girl screamed again and tried to kick but the huge man was too strong and just held her at an arm’s length.
The leader chuckled, went over and stared at the girl, she was too young to be valuable and clearly the elf cared about her. The wild golden eyes were flaming with rage and fear and the leader grasped a string of leather from one of the saddles. “Now, let me demonstrate what it is that will happen to you if you try to escape.”
Huna wanted to scream again, wanted to curse them all but he didn’t manage to make anything except from a weird choking sound. The girl squirmed and tried to bite and the leader tied the string around her neck and she screamed and kicked and tried to get loose but to no prevail. The man tightened the string slowly, the child started fighting for air, her face turned red and still the man pulled.
Huna screamed, he did find the voice at last but it didn’t change anything. The terrible man strangled Shera right in front of his eyes and there and then he swore that he would kill that beast one day. With his own two hands. The man just threw the dead body away like it was trash and Huna found that he had no voice left, his throat raw. He had no idea that such evil could exist, how could humans be so terrible? He had never seen the secondborn as anything but good but he realized that he was very wrong.
The men laughed and the leader stared at Huna, the elf was panting and shivering and the leader grinned even wider. “I think we may break him in boys, teach him his new task. I think I will have the honors. After all, he is much more worth well broken than wild and kicking now isn’t he?”
Huna didn’t understand exactly what the man meant, he stared at the human who nodded to two of the men and they lifted him up and placed him face down over a rock, then they cut over his belt and pulled his pants down. He tried to resist, tried to fight with all of his might but there were several men holding him down, holding his legs. The leader stroked a hand across his ass, already breathing hard. “I bet this one is a virgin, and I bet he will scream really well.”
Huna felt tears cold as ice running down his cheeks, if this was some sort of punishment for sins he had done previously then he preferred death, a thousand times over. The leader grasped him by his hips and started pushing his way into his body even if he tried to resist, tried to clench.
He did scream, shamelessly and loud. The piercing agony was unlike anything he had ever felt and not even the thing Ida did to him could have broken him like this. He screamed until he no longer was able to make any sound, until he saw black spots in front of his eyes. The man was grunting and moaning and slammed into him with brutal force. Huna closed his eyes, felt his heartbeat slowing down, a strange feeling of being disconnected descended upon him. Was he dying now?
In that case he would thank the doomsman with all of his heart. He just drifted off as the leader of the raiders roared and shuddered in his release. He prayed that he never would open his eyes again and that the gods looked upon him with mercy even if he had caused the death of this family. If there only was something he could do.
Chapter Three: Rescue
Don’t turn away from the light
Don’t allow darkness to win
Hope is never dead or gone
Freedom may yet be at hand
Outside of the village:
Aragorn and the other two had paid for the little glimpse and returned to their horses, they rode out of the village in silence since they knew that they would be unable to contain their wrath if they were to speak. It wasn’t until they reached the forest that Aragorn let it all out in a row of curses so bad Hakon turned his head in disbelief. The ranger was shaking with rage and his face was pale. Grimurd looked rather shaken too, and Hakon just knew that they would try to rescue the poor elf. The question was how? They found the other ones and the twins ran forth, grasped the reins of Aragorn’s horse. “Was it an elf?”
Aragorn nodded and the two gasped and stared in disbelief. “It was, a very tall redheaded ellon. He was a mess but alive, very defiant I believe, very proud. Too proud to give in and die, or so I at least hope!”
Elladan frowned. “Red head? Not many elves have red hair?”
Elrohir continued. “It has gotten a bit of a bad reputation you know, since a certain family was about.”
Aragorn got off the horse and he tried to control himself. “I know, and I bet this one would have made even Maedhros look plain but nonetheless, he needs help and he needs it fast.”
The other elves had walked over to and listened and the two veterans looked eager. “How are we to do this?”
Aragorn tilted his head and sighed. “With stealth and yet bloodshed will be unavoidable, there are guards there and we will need the keys for doors and chains. “
Elladan and Elrohir stared at each other. “You have to bring us too, you cannot hold us back now. You will need us.”
Aragorn grinned. “Yes, I will. So you elves are a part of this mission for sure.”
He waved his hand at some of the other rangers, gathered a group around him. “We strike tonight, late!”
One of the other men grinned. “The wolf hour, when everybody is fast asleep.”
Aragorn nodded and made a swift drawing in the mud. “We enter the village from different directions, there are some small gates that can be used and we gather by the house in silence, some from the front, others from the back, got it?”
The men nodded and Elladan and Elrohir stared at the drawing. “It is a big building, there has to be a lot of people there?”
Aragorn nodded. “There is, so we need to be many. We cannot allow ourselves to be caught in the cellar, someone has to stay up there and guard our back until we can get the poor ellon out of there.”
He pointed at the men. “You, you and you will guard the stairs, the rest of the rangers takes care of the rest of the house. The elves follow me down into the basement, there are guards there too and doors that needs to be unlocked.”
Grimurd frowned. “How do you intent do get the key?”
Aragorn sent him a vicious grin. “The owner of that filthy place has to be there somewhere or what? He has got the keys and I will have no problems with making him give them up.”
Elladan scoffed. “Yeah, I don’t doubt that. We will help you, we know how to make scum speak, he cannot be that much different from an orc now can he?”
Aragorn snarled. “Oh he is probably worse! So anticipate anything my friends.”
He turned around and stared at the group of rangers. “Use this evening to prepare, sharpen your blades and get ready for battle. Everyone you meet in that building may be an enemy.”
The men just mumbled and went off to rest and get ready and Aragorn sat down and went through the things he had seen in his head. They would have to strike hard and fast and leave none with a chance to fight back.
Some gathered firewood and made a little bonfire and food was being cooked. Elladan and Elrohir kept asking Aragorn questions about the ellon and he answered as well as he could. The small camp was quiet and some slept while others sat checking their weapons, with the five elves and Aragorn there would be fifteen men in all in the group and a few would stay behind to watch the horses. When they had rescued the ellon they would have to leave fast.
The day was long, time moved as slowly as a louse on a stick covered in tar and the waiting was the worst part of it but Aragorn knew that it couldn’t be as bad as what the poor elf had to face every day. It was really weird that he was alive, there had to be some exceptional strength in him. The sun set and darkness fell, the village was for a few hours more lively than before but then the ale houses closed down and the inhabitants went home to sleep and everything got quiet and peaceful.
The group had split up and moved into the city in darkness, the elves did see well without light and the rangers were used to moving through dark places too without making much noise. Aragorn and the twins had formed a group and they were heading for the front of the building, some of the others were already waiting in hiding when they arrived and they all made use of the shadows.
Finally they all were there, Aragorn gave a signal, a whistling sound that made the men find their positions. Two were to remain on the outside to watch out for enemies arriving and the main flock went to the main door. It was locked but Aragorn just kicked it up and the rangers and elves rushed into the house like a horde of marauding madmen. The guards were caught completely by surprise and the three in the front room died fast each with a throwing dagger through their hearts.
Aragorn and Grimurd and the twins went for the master of the house. There were some large rooms upstairs and they soon found the servant, he was asleep and did barely have time to wake up before he was knocked out again. He was no danger, just a weasel of a man with no honor and not even worth the effort of killing.
The master of the house lived in a grand apartment at the back of the house and Aragorn heard that the rangers herded the women of the place into some rooms and locked them. It was no reason why they should be put in danger of being used as living shields or something. One of the elven veterans had joined Aragorn and the twins and he looked both stunned and disgusted. “I understand humans less for each year, this place is vile!”
Aragorn nodded. “Yes, it is.”
They kicked open the door to the masters rooms and heard a shriek, a man got out of a very luxurious bed covered with expensive fabrics and he was a peculiar sight. He was way above his youth, probably in his sixties somewhere but he looked even older due to a life of indulging in an excess of food, booze and debauchery. He was almost comical, a short man with a wrinkly face and thin almost snow white hair, thin stick arms with no muscle left, a chicken chest and a round protruding belly over a pair of stick thin legs.
Aragorn almost growled and the man stared at the group that had entered his room and he probably would have pissed himself if he could. Aragorn was truly angry, this man was responsible for the suffering and death of many and he felt no compassion towards him at all. This creature was a boil on the bottom of society and had to be removed before it spread its poison further. “The keys to the basement and the chains, now!”
The man tried to be defiant. “No!”
The elves threw their hoods back and the man squeaked when he saw them, he went pale. He had probably believed that these were thieves, there to steal his money and his most priced asset but now he knew otherwise and he nodded towards some clothes that hang on the wall. “The….the breast pocket…”
Aragorn got over and found the keys, he turned to Elladan and nodded. “He is yours, do what you want with him.”
The elf stared at the man with hatred and grief. “The female you let your customers rape to death? She was our friend! Her blood is on your hands you piece of shit!”
The man just gaped and Elrohir made a move so swift nobody was even able to see it. One second the man stood there, the next he was on the floor with a long thin dagger protruding from his ear. He had died instantly and Elrohir bent down and pulled the weapon out with a grimace of pure disgust. “He should have been left out in the wilds so the orcs could find him and have some fun with him but that would be a too big chance to take. This vermin would have corrupted even them!”
The peredhel’s voice was rather poisonous and Aragorn nodded and headed back downstairs. The rangers had taken control over the top floors but the basement was yet not checked and Aragorn prepared. Three were to guard the stairs and got in position and he and the elves started descending slowly. There were guards down there as they had anticipated and they knew something had happened.
They had heard the sounds of battle from above and were ready and Aragorn had to duck as a bolt from a crossbow headed straight for his head. Luckily for him he had quick reflexes and the elves rushed by him and one of the veterans took the head of the crossbow man with a quick move. The other guards there were armed with swords but that was no wise move in such a crammed space. The elves used long knives instead and that was way more efficient and before long the guards were dead.
They moved forth slowly, Aragorn unlocked the first door and two more guards came rushing but were cut down by Grimurd and Elladan. The place was rather silent but they heard some sounds coming from the room where the elf was being held. Aragorn cringed, he knew what that was and the elves stared with huge eyes and terror written all over their faces.
Aragorn unlocked the bars and the door behind them very silently and the door was well oiled and could be opened a bit without anybody noticing it. Aragorn took a peek, there were one guard there, standing by the wall and he was too busy stroking himself to notice any movement at the door. Two men had obviously bought the elf for the night and they had tied him down onto the bench and one was having his way with the helpless ellon right there and then.
The other was standing there panting and eager for his turn and the sounds they had heard were the screams of the elf and the man’s roars of pleasure. Aragorn turned his head slowly, indicated the number of enemies with his hand and the others got ready and nodded. They heard a terrible pained groan from the elf and Aragorn saw that Elladan had problems, he had tears in his eyes and he was trembling ever so slightly.
Aragorn pushed the door open and went for the guard, the man had time to gape and let go of his cock before the ranger’s blade pierced his heart. Elladan let out a howl of rage and cut the waiting customer almost in half and one of the veterans went for the man who was busy raping the elf, the man just stood there in shock and the warrior grasped him by his neck, pulled him away from his bleeding victim and jabbed his hunting knife into the man’s chest. The man howled in pain once and jerked violently before the elf let go of him and let the body just drop.
The ellon still lay chained to the bench, tears had made the fabric underneath the head wet and there was blood on his wrists and ankles. He had tried to fight even now and Aragorn just hoped that he wouldn’t give up now that he was being rescued. To some such a shock, even a positive one, can be what tips them over the edge.
He saw that the elf was half delirious, his eyes blurred and distant and he was making mewling sounds in pain and fear. Elrohir was kneeling down, touched the ellon’s cheek gently. “Easy mellon, we are here to rescue you, do you understand?”
The redhead just mumbled and Aragorn used the keys to get the chains off him. The steel had cut into the elf’s skin in several places and it didn’t look good at all. Elladan was panting, he stared at the abused elf with eyes glowing with rage. “Those…filthy…I have no words, I truly have no words!”
Aragorn nodded and they grasped the elf and turned him around very gently. There was a bottle of wine standing on the floor and there was still some left in it and they held it to the ellon’s lips. First he resisted but then he tasted what it was and drank greedily. He had to be completely parched. Aragorn was close to tears, he was even more strikingly handsome now when they could take a good look at him and his heart wept on this tortured souls behalf. He could not even start to imagine what the elf had had to endure for weeks now. Elrohir and Elladan tried to make him stand but he was too weak, his legs buckled and he groaned in pain. They stared at Aragorn with desperate eyes. “We have to carry him!”
Aragorn sighed, the elf was seven foot tall at least and had to weigh a lot but he was skinny and they were many. They just had to hurry. The veterans and the young warrior stood there looking at the room with eyes that spoke clearly of their shock and disgust. The elf shook his head, the glassy eyes seemed to be unable to really notice anything around him but he was apparently aware of the presence of others. The cracked dry lips moved and he spoke, the voice raw and hoarse and barely audible, the vocal cords damaged from screaming again and again in agony and fear. “Please, kill me, let me die”
It was then that Elladan broke down in tears and Elrohir had to grasp onto him to prevent him from collapsing.
The journey had been a nightmare, he had been thrown over the back of a horse and tied down and when he did regain consciousness there wasn’t a part of his body that didn’t ache. The physical pain was bearable, the other pain wasn’t, They were dead, killed in monstrous ways and he was the cause of it all, it was all because of him. He shouldn’t exist. He saw their faces in front of him and he groaned and cursed the gods again and again. The one to die should have been him, not them, not the innocent.
Not even Ida deserved that fate, she had been lonely and desperate and unable to understand the difference between her race and elves. He could forgive her, he already had but these men? Never, not until the world was remade. His hatred burned like embers in his chest, kept him alive even when his soul yearned to let go and flee.
The men stopped at dusk, he was hauled off the horse and tied to a tree, his body was trembling with fatigue and they were mocking him, calling him names and the leader just grinned and told him that he would be a wealthy man when he had sold the elf to the right persons.
Huna had understood what they wanted to do to him now, he was aghast and if he hadn’t had the hatred and rage to hold onto he would have died. There had to be a way to escape, to avenge them all. He had to live until their deaths were avenged with blood. He learned that the leaders name was Aegil and he was from the north, he was the most ruthless of this group of evil doers and he was the one the others feared and obeyed like a pack of dogs obeys their master.
He had to hang there tied to the tree for the whole night and he found no relief for his pains at all. He felt cold and hungry and he was terribly thirsty due to the loss of blood. He knew that the leader had been the first to violate him but he hadn’t been the only one and he still felt as though he could feel their hands upon him and hear those disgusting moans and gasp.
When the morning light reappeared they gave him some water, it was filthy and tasted like something that had been lain dead for ages but he was so desperately thirsty. He tried to kick when they lifted him onto the horse again and was rewarded with a kick to the groin that made him fall to the ground again with a gasp. He was hauled to his feet like a sack of flour and tossed onto the horse and tied down. His head hurt still from the rock that had hit him and he feared a concussion but nobody cared about his injuries. As long as he didn’t die these men would do nothing to help him. He had never been this alone, never been this abandoned.
They travelled for days, through a terrain that became less ragged and more easy to cross for every day, they crossed rivers and meadows and he didn’t know anything of what he saw. The land was alien to him and he felt how desperation forced its claws into him, deeper and deeper. He was forced to eat left over’s from their meals, he did try to resist but his hunger was soon too strong. He gnawed the last remnants of meat from the bones they tossed to him as if he was a dog, they even made him drink the awful moonshine they had brought with them. And after a few days the leader decided that it was time to teach him yet another lesson.
He did fight, as hard as he could and he did manage to break the arm of one of the men and the nose of another one but after just a little they became too strong since they were many and he was just one and weakened. The leader took him once more and he prayed for death, for salvation from this terrible situation but the gods were deaf or didn’t care. He passed out again after a while, and when he came too again he was once more tossed over the back of a horse. He soon lacked the strength to fight anymore, he just surrendered, tried to retreat into the deepest corners of his own mind where nothing could touch him.
When they reached the village he was so weak he couldn’t stand up and he couldn’t fight at all. He was just half conscious and he barely noticed it when some pot-bellied small man checked his teeth as if he were a horse and fondled his male parts. He just knew he had reached the end of the line, he would die there for sure. Sooner or later he would face the end and he hoped that it would be soon.
A huge pouch filled with gold exchanged owner and Aegil left with a grin, men grabbed Huna and dragged him down into the basement where they forced him to eat so that he didn’t look so gaunt. He was force fed like a goose for days and his strength did return, at least a little of it. They bathed him with rough hands, smeared his body with lotions to remove the marks and combed and brushed his hair.
They treated him like a sort of animal being made ready for a show and yet they showed no care, no compassion. He was a thing, an asset. They couldn’t let him lose any of his value by starving him or making him look less than perfect but otherwise from that he was a slave, a thing. Something to make money on.
He was there for almost a week before the first customer came and he got desperate when he realized what that fat hairy man was going to do to him, he did panic, tried to break out of the chains, he managed to bite but then the guards almost strangled him and he was once again forced to endure. Luckily for him the man had gotten so aroused watching the elf struggle to avoid the whole thing he came almost immediately but it was just the start.
Huna lost track of time, lost track of night and day, it was a never ending torturous nightmare from which there were no escape. He wanted to be gone, death seemed like such a sweet escape and he even tried to bite off his own wrist once when the guards were a little less vigilant than usual. They stopped him and he knew that this option also was lost to him.
One of the guards did perhaps have a tiny piece of humanity left in him, he let the elf get some strong brandy before the customers arrived and Huna had learned to drink as much as he could. When he was almost unconscious it was a little easier but nonetheless awful. The feeling of being used like an animal was just heart wrenching and he had only the anger left. He wanted to avenge them, if he wasn’t to die those monsters were to take his place in hell for sure. They would pay for what they had done to him.
He was forced to eat and drink, they washed him and yet he could never be clean enough, he still felt those disgusting liquids clinging to his skin and the worst part was when his own body betrayed him and spilled. That did sometimes happen, in special when he was half conscious and those who took him hit something inside of him, something very sensitive.
It made him feel even worse than usual, as if he wanted it, enjoyed it. He felt like a filthy wreck on those occasion, like something too dirty and tainted to be allowed to draw breath.
Some of the customers liked to hear him scream, liked to see him squirm in agony and they found new and inventive ways to torture him. Sometimes he was certain that they would kill him and he wanted them to do it, just so it all would end. But they didn’t, he was too expensive, too valuable. A few customers were almost nice, they would caress him, mumble soft words and their hands were gentle but in the end he always ended up with them taking him, panting and grunting with lust.
When he was left alone in the darkness he did weep, he felt so alone, so terrified. He had gotten so afraid of this he almost welcomed the guards, he thought he heard the voices of the slain family when he was left there in the dark and they were accusing him, blaming him for their deaths. He would beg the guards not to leave and they just laughed and locked the door, left him in complete darkness to fight his demons alone.
Nobody heard his cries, his desperate moans, nobody cared. He knew he was losing his sanity and he embraced it, allowed it to take over. It was better than knowing what they did to him. He didn’t react that much anymore, the hatred still burned in him but it too was dying and when it ended so would he.
He did notice the three men that entered the cell, they stared at him but somehow they were different, their eyes had another expression, one of shock more than lust. He found the strength to growl, to stare back. He had a clear moment since they hadn’t given him anything to drink that morning and he tried to intimidate them, protect himself. The man with black hair had bowed down and there was compassion in his eyes, he heard the adan mutter something in a language that seemed strangely familiar and Huna just knew that these three were different.
They left and he almost wanted to shout out, to beg them to stay. He hadn’t seen friendly eyes for a long time, hadn’t felt that someone cared for him at all.
Two men came that evening, they had watched as the guards washed him and he allowed himself to drift off, as if he wasn’t in his body at all anymore. It was the only chance he had to survive this and the men that had visited earlier that day had somehow given him a glimpse of hope, why he didn’t know. The two had enjoyed fondling him, trying to make him react but he had remained flaccid and they had become frustrated and the guards had chained him to the bench again.
He lay there and was far away, in a bright golden light where nothing could harm him. He just knew it, this night was to be his last, he was ready to let go, ready to let his soul be called to stand in front of the throne, ready to face his judgment. The anger and hatred had burned down, there was nothing left of him except ashes. Then he saw something in the light, a tiny figure that came forth and he knew her. “Shera?”
The child grinned and giggled, hugged him and he hugged her back, inhaled the dear scent of the child and he felt safe, at home. “Huna, don’t be afraid, they will help you. They are coming.”
He lifted his face from her hair. “Who?”
She grinned. “The others, other elves, they will help you heal.”
He moaned. “I don’t want to heal, I want to be here, with you, I am safe here am I not?”
She giggled and touched his cheek, her eyes shining. “You cannot stay here Huna, you don’t belong here. We cannot meet again, ever, for my soul went somewhere yours cannot go, but I will remember you. You were kind to us Huna, you would have died for us if that could have saved us. We don’t blame you, live, live for our memory.”
She was suddenly gone and he gasped and screamed. “No, don’t go, don’t leave me, let me follow you, please!”
Then there were commotion of some sort, he heard moans and screams and the clatter of weapons and he knew that someone was there. He felt hands touching him but differently than the others, these hands were gentle, compassionate and he felt that the chains were taken off him. It was too much, he wanted to join Shera again, wanted to go where nothing would hurt him again.
He heard his own words but didn’t really understand them and he heard someone gasp and then he was lifted and carried. He just let himself drift off again, he didn’t want to wake up and see that this all was yet another hallucination.
They carried the unconscious ellon out of the house with all the speed they could muster up, the house was silent and they left quietly and dispersed immediately. The elves helped carry the ellon through the village and out into the woods. They ran as fast as they could and Hakon came to them with horses. They rode to the camp and Elladan held the ellon tightly, his horse was strong enough to carry two and the group gathered and left the place in a hurry. The rangers headed back up north to create a false trail if they had anybody tracking them and Aragorn and the elves took the route towards Imladris. They knew that this ellon needed some very skilled healers to be able to overcome the massive traumas he had suffered.
They rode hard through the night and the morning, the elven steeds were faster and more enduring than any breed mankind had created and before midday they were out of the mountains and on their way across the plains. The ellon hadn’t woken up yet but as they crossed a small river he started to stir and groaned and moved.
Elladan ordered a full stop and Elrohir and Aragorn pulled the ellon down from the horse and laid him onto the ground so he wouldn’t hurt himself if he came to and did panic.
The elf opened his eyes with a terrifying shriek of sorrow and agony and the two veterans cringed and the younger ellon just stared with huge eyes. He had never heard an elf make such an awful sound before. He tried to sit up but Elladan and Elrohir pushed the elf back and stroked his hair, whispered soothing words to him. The ellon gasped, wriggled, tried to get free from chains that weren’t there anymore and then he slowly appeared to wake up, become aware of his surroundings.
The strange golden eyes flickered, got into focus and he yelped when he saw the faces staring back at him. He did see that these were elves except from a man with black hair whom he recognized as one of the three from earlier. He just tried to curl up into a ball, he wasn’t worthy of being around others, they shouldn’t touch him. He shuddered and a blanket was laid around him, it made him feel a little better but his body hurt and he couldn’t believe that this was true. He was out in the open, by a river and it smelled of autumn and nature and horse. He whimpered. “Shera”
It was the last memory he had to cling on to and one of the elves stroked his hair gently, it felt good but he tried to pull away, he was filthy, wouldn’t stain these pure creatures. “Shera? Who is that? “
The voice was soft, filled with warmth and he gasped, struggled but the memories came flooding back. He shook his head, didn’t want to talk but it just seeped out. “They killed her, they strangled her in front of me, I…”
He was unable to say anything more and Elladan and Elrohir stared at each other with huge eyes, Aragorn swore. One of the veterans did kneel in front of the shivering ellon, he smiled and took his hand in a firm but gentle grip. “I am Malagar, I have fought in many wars mellon, and I have seen much evil. Please, tell me what it was that happened? Who was she?”
Huna gasped for air, his throat felt dry and constricted and talking hurt. One of the elves held a leather flask to his lips and he drank without questioning them. It felt wonderful and the taste was awesome, he would have emptied the flask hadn’t the elf pulled it away. “Easy there mellon, that is miruvor and it is rather strong too.”
Whatever it was, it gave him some strength and clarity back and he managed to speak. “Shera, she was a child, they killed them, everybody”
Aragorn frowned. “Not your child I reckon? That would have killed you.”
Huna shook his head. “No, oh no, but I was fond of her. She taught me words, was my friend. Her family took me in, I was hurt and didn’t remember who I was and they were so kind to me, accepted me as one of their own.”
Elladan raised an eyebrow. “You didn’t remember who you were? Do you now?”
Huna shook his head, he was still trembling. “All I have is my name, I think. Huna.”
Elrohir shook his head. “Huna, cursed, Hardly a name at all, where do you come from?”
Huna swallowed. “From the mountains, the family lived in a small valley but some tradesman told the raiders of me and they came and killed everybody because of me, it was all because of me.”
He broke down in tears and sobbed, covered his face with his hands. Elladan and Elrohir had been shocked by his appearance, Elladan had just on pure reflex looked at his right hand just to check if it was there, this ellon looked almost exactly the way he had imagined that the oldest son of Feanor could have looked except from the tales that claimed that Maedhros had to have been even taller than this huge ellon.
He was hardly a Feanorian but very unusual in every way and the bright red color of his hair was stunning. They understood why some humans would go to great lengths to be able to control and keep such beauty, but it didn’t make it any less wrong or evil. Aragorn didn’t really know what to say and the twins were shocked, Malagar stared at Huna again, his eyes sad. “I hear you mellon, but it wasn’t because of you, don’t you ever believe that. It was because of evil, because of greed. See?”
Huna squirmed, hot tears flowing down his cheeks and he shook his head. “But if I hadn’t been there the raiders wouldn’t have attacked!”
Malagar shook his head. “No, they wouldn’t have attacked that family but they would have killed some others instead I am sure. We cannot fight destiny mellon, it is impossible.”
Huna just wept and Elladan pulled him into a hug, Huna resisted at first, then he sensed that this touch was different and it was comforting, he didn’t try to fight it, he just let Elladan hold him while he sniffled and wept and let some of the pain be drained from his system. Elrohir made a grimace. “We have to keep going, we should be able to reach back home before night fall, and I think my father may be able to help him deal with some of the problems.”
Huna looked nervous again right away and Elladan patted him on his back. “Worry not, nobody wants to harm you mellon, my father is a healer and very good too. And everybody will welcome you.”
Huna just shivered but didn’t resist as they helped him over to the horses again, he was hoisted up to sit in front of Malagar this time and he sat across the horse so his injuries didn’t get worse. They did ride hard and Malagar held the ellon rather close, he felt that this was a fighter at heart and the warrior felt a burning rage thinking about what those filthy humans had done to him.
He sighed and let his horse steer itself, he just held onto the ellon and whispered some soothing words to him. Huna just trembled and his body was stiff. Malagar knew why, as a warrior the possibility of ending up in enemy hands was always present and they had been taught a lot by their teachers, even how one will react to being abused. He stroked the long silky hair and Huna cringed. “Don’t touch, filthy.”
Malagar shook his head. “No, you are not filthy, they were filthy but you aren’t. It wasn’t your fault.”
Huna sobbed. “But…it happened with me too, several times. I…must have liked it then? “
Malagar sighed and squeezed Huna’s hand gently. “No, I am telling you, it was not your fault. Your body tried to defend itself, it can find pleasure even when being forced, it didn’t mean that you wanted them to do it now did it?”
Huna gasped. “I hated it, even those times it felt good, for it hurt again afterwards and…and they wouldn’t stop”
Malagar shook his head. Elrond would have a really hard job with this one, that was for sure. But who was he and where did he really come from? The great height almost made him think of the feanorian family just as Elladan had but they were gone a long time ago. This ellon was a mystery and he was far from out of the woods yet. He would need a long time to recover completely, Malagar just hoped that Elrond would be able to repair the damages to this poor elf’s soul, or else he wouldn’t stand much of a chance when the worst of the memories did return.
For return they would, Malagar had fought so many times he had seen it all and this was one thing of which he was completely certain. Your past is that one thing that will follow you to the very end, no matter who you are.
Chapter four: Healing
Look at what’s ahead of you
Never let the past claim your soul
Free yourself from its grasp
Use it to build strength
The small group of riders reached Imladris as the sun disappeared behind the horizon, they crossed the main bridge and stopped, dismounted as stable workers came to take care of their horses. Aragorn and Elrohir helped Huna down from the horse and the tall ellon shivered, there were others there, strangers, and they stared.
He pulled the blankets tighter around himself and wished that the earth could open up and swallow him whole. Elrond and Erestor came running, they had been told that the twins had returned unexpected and that usually spelled trouble. Elrond stopped and stared with huge eyes at the red head that stood shivering between Malagar and Aragorn, he was actually being held up by the two and even a blind man could see that the elf was far from healthy or happy.
Aragorn stared at Elrond. “We just saved this poor soul from a brothel, they had kept him there for weeks, he is a mess”
Elrond just gasped and he rushed forth, took a closer look at the stranger who refused to meet his gaze, to ashamed to look at anybody. “What is your name mellon? How did this happen to you?”
Huna just sobbed and Elladan answered, his voice shivering. “Apparently he has lost his memory but he thinks his name is Huna, and he lived with a family somewhere in the mountains. The raiders heard of him and killed everybody to capture him, then they sold him.”
Elrond heard the stress in his son’s voice and knew how they all felt. That elf had to have great strength to have survived for that long but it was fading fast and he did see it. He shouted an order to the servants and smiled to the tall redhead. “Do not worry Huna, I will help you, trust me.”
Huna just stood there, he was so very tired and everything hurt and he felt so terribly dirty. Some elves came running with a stretcher and they gently placed the tall elf onto it. Elrond nodded to his sons and the others. “I will take it from here, I will inform you if anything happens, rest now, you have ridden hard and long.”
Aragorn and the others went to their quarters to wash eat and rest but Elrond walked to the healing ward with the servants carrying Huna in tow. He was shocked, he had never encountered someone looking like that before and he had never heard of an elf being able to survive that sort of treatment for that long. There was something different about this one, he could sense it deep within. The fêa was of a different sort, the light stronger and fiercer than in all others. He had a suspicion that this creature was something new, not really an elf although wrapped in elven flesh.
The healing ward was empty this day and he ordered the servants to help Huna onto a bed, he tried to determine how he was to solve this problem. What should he do? The physical injuries were bad enough but not life threatening, the injuries to the soul on the other hand, that was another problem. He made a decision and got one of the servants to stay to help him. The other healers were probably asleep or busy somewhere else and he didn’t need much help with this. There was a pool with hot water there and he knew that Huna first and foremost needed to feel clean again, he sat down next to the shivering elf. “I will help you take a bath, but first I need to examine you and see if there are any serious injuries, it will be uncomfortable and maybe even painful but it is necessary. It is alright?”
Huna just sobbed, he felt confused and scared and the world was swirling in front of his eyes, he knew that this elf was friendly and that he was in safe hands but he wanted to hide, to just curl up in a ball in the darkness to never awaken again. Elrond sighed, too traumatized to even respond, he should have figured that out.
Sometimes being freed from such a hellish experience caused a shock in itself. There were no more reasons to fight and that could be the end of him, the defiance and resistance was what kept some going. Elrond nodded to the servant and they pulled the blankets off the ellon who immediately went completely rigid with panic.
He knew that these elves didn’t mean to molest him in any way but his body reacted as if they were. He shuddered and moaned and tried to pull himself away from their gentle touch.
Elrond knew that he probably would have to drug Huna, but he preferred not to. If he was to see what sort of damages the elf had received he would have to ask questions and if the ellon was drugged he wouldn’t be unable to answer properly. “Huna, listen to me, fear me not. It is alright, I know you are scared but we will not intentionally hurt you, do you understand?”
Huna slowly nodded but his eyes were still big and scared and Elrond cursed inwardly, those beasts had really done a lot of damage to this poor ellon. Elrond carefully examined his wrists, they were swollen and infected and the blood flow to the hands had been restricted but not dangerously much, it would hurt like hell though when the full flow returned and he knew that the ellon would face some very difficult days. The ankles were not that bad, the chains hadn’t been used there all the time and Elrond was rather sure that there wouldn’t be a single scar left after a while.
Then the other injuries had to be checked and this was the difficult part. Huna had been raped, over and over again and Elrond feared internal tearing and tissue damage. He placed his hand on Huna’s shoulder and looked at him with a stern expression on his face. “Huna, now, listen to me. This is important, I have to examine you thoroughly and I know what those men did to you, I fear that they may have caused you internal injuries that won’t heal as easily as the rest of you. “
Huna closed his eyes, his breath shallow and rapid. “It hurt!”
Elrond sighed and felt how a sensation of grief and rage filled him, he could not even begin to imagine what this elf had gone through. “I know it did, and that is why I have to check you for tearing and such, it will hurt, I cannot lie to you but I will be as gentle as I can and it will not take long. “
Huna nodded, why not? He was already in pain and nothing could do things any worse than they already were. Elrond and the servant gently turned him over onto his stomach and placed a pillow under his chest, Huna grasped it and he was clinging onto it as if it was capable of bringing him some comfort. The servant stood there and stroked his head gently and Elrond washed his hands with warm water and then he coated his fingers with oil.
Huna cringed when he felt the first touch, then he started to shiver as Elrond moved his legs to get access to the injured area and the healer choked a groan at the sight of the abused body in front of him. Blood and seed had dried onto the skin and it was no doubt that Huna was in great pain, he was just so used to it he didn’t react anymore.
Elrond placed a hand on the small of his back to hold him in place and Huna took a deep breath, then he let out a wail in fear and pain and started trembling like mad, the whole body shook and the servant pushed him down into the matrass so he wouldn’t cause himself further harm. Huna was back again, back in the darkness, back in that dark stinky room with greasy hands fondling him, forcing him, tainting him. He shook his head violently. “No, no, no, no, please, no, I can’t I can’t please, oh Eru have mercy”
The servant was close to tears and Elrond was aghast, this was terrible to witness but there were no other way. Huna wailed, screamed and tried to squirm but the servant knew his task and held the ellon down as Elrond did the examination. It felt like violating the poor elf but there were no way around it and Elrond got a hard expression on his face. “Huna, I know that this hurts a lot but you have to tell me honestly, does anything hurt more than normal, what if I add pressure in this area?”
Elrond had noticed that the ellon’s prostate seemed very swollen and hard and he applied pressure and Huna immediately screamed in agony and gasped for air. “Stop, stop, it hurts, oh gods it hurts!”
Elrond pulled his finger out, there were no tearing to be found, the muscles were injured but would be fine again after a while, this on the other hand could be serious. He washed and sat down, Huna was still shivering, tears ran down his face and he looked miserable. Elrond took his hand. “They have caused internal injuries, have you made water lately?”
Huna just sobbed. “No, not in days, not much to drink”
Elrond pressed his lips together, if the swelling had caused the urethra to be closed off it was really bad and the healer knew that the hard thrusting from those beasts probably had caused several possible complications. “We will need to rehydrate you then, and I have to check one more thing too. It will hurt too but is needed.”
Huna groaned and his eyes were so hurt and sad. “Do you really have to?”
Elrond nodded. “Yes, if you cannot make water your bladder and kidneys will be seriously harmed, you can die from it. And I think they were so brutal against you that many parts of you got affected.”
Huna sobbed and closed his eyes. “Alright, just…just do it.”
Elrond nodded to the servant and they laid the elf down on his back and Elrond stroked his forehead gently. “Now, what I am about to do will normally feel very good, if you are injured it will hurt. I am just warning you.”
Huna just lay there, staring straight up into the ceiling. Elrond sighed and didn’t like this at all, he felt as though he was torturing the poor ellon but he had to see if the swelling affected his internal organs. He quickly pushed at several pressure points which affected the nervous system and first nothing happened but then Huna grasped onto the sheets and his mouth opened in a wordless cry as a mighty spasm rushed through him and it was that feeling he had had when he touched himself and when Ida rode him but it was so much stronger and it wasn’t good, it hurt. He rolled his eyes back. “Nnnnhh, hnnnngh, aaaahhh!”
Elrond could just whisper. “I am so very sorry.”
The healer held a keen eye on the writhing elf and to his relief the tortured ellon did ejaculate, but it didn’t look as it should, it had blood in it. The urethra wasn’t blocked then, that was a good thing indeed but his nether regions had taken so much pounding it had caused internal bleeding. He shook his head and wished the guilty ones down into the bowels of mount doom.
Huna was crying like a child now, the servant stroked his cheek gently while whispering soft words and Elrond quickly removed the discolored liquid from his belly. The ellon would probably be ok again but it would take time and Elrond knew that Huna could face gigantic challenges when it came to his future lovelife, if he ever dared to become intimate with anyone at all.
Elrond knew that Huna had a scarred soul now, he would never recover entirely and only the gods knew if he ever would be normal. He touched the ellon’s cheek gently. “You will heal, your body will be as good as new in few days time, worry not.”
Huna didn’t meet his gaze, the strange golden eyes were turned towards the floor the whole time. “They…they didn’t care if they hurt me, they just…they…!”
Elrond sighed and stroked the long red hair. “I know, to them you were just a thing, something they could use to find pleasure, something beautiful to play with.”
Huna gasped for air. “How can anyone be so evil?!”
Elrond tried to smile. “A good question indeed, and one without a good answer.”
Huna let the curtain of long hair cover his face. “You should not help me, they died because of me.”
Elrond was confused for a second. “Who? Oh, the family you stayed with? “
Huna gasped for air and he almost screamed again. “They were innocent, they were so kind to me, so caring. Even Ida although she hurt me, she didn’t know and …”
Elrond frowned. “One of them hurt you?”
Huna hid his face in his hands. ”Yes, but she didn’t mean to, she was so lonely there without a mate and I guess she wanted what her sister had and drugged me and then she…”
He was unable to continue and Elrond rolled his eyes. That too! There was apparently no end to the misery! Huna let out a keening sound. “And Shera, little innocent soul, they killed her right in front of me, to make me see what would happen if I didn’t obey. And they raped the other women and killed them, they killed everybody. It was my fault.”
Elrond struck Huna across the face and the elf blinked and stared at the healer with huge terrified eyes. “Now you listen to me Huna, it was not your fault. It was those raiders, do you understand? It was never you!”
Huna’s head lolled from one side to the other, as if it was too heavy for him to hold steady. “I hate them, oh Eru save me, my heart was burning!”
Elrond took his head between his hands. “Then use that hatred, let it give you strength. You have to recover if you are to make things right again.”
Huna nodded, the tear streaked face was in a strange way naked,. “I know, I swore I would kill their leader myself!”
Elrond wiped the tears of his face with a soft cloth. “See? Then use that rage to get better, to be strong again.”
Huna just sighed and Elrond tried to smile. “Now, let’s get you cleaned up and then I will give you some medicine and something to drink and then you can rest.”
Huna bit his lower lip. “A warm bath?”
Elrond nodded. “Yes, very hot, and for as long as you like.”
Huna was suddenly almost shivering with eagerness, the servant didn’t have to help him get off the bed. Elrond steadied the still wobbly ellon towards the room with the pool and he stripped down too to help Huna wash. Huna stared at the peredhel and blushed intensely, he did find the idea of bathing with someone else a bit disturbing.
The peredhel was not as tall as him nor as muscular but still very beautiful to behold even though he was a bit hairier than most elven males. Huna was helped into the pool and the water reached a little above his waist until the healer showed him to benches cut into the rock under the waterline. He sat down with a groan of pain but he managed to relax and Elrond started to pour water over him and then he found soap and sponges and Huna was allowed to scrub himself and he did so with zeal and he had to be stopped after a while because he was close to scrub his very skin off in some places.
Elrond put a hand on top of his and stopped him. “That is enough, you are clean now.”
Huna gasped. “No, I can still feel it…feel it on me, their hands…”
Elrond took his chin with a hand and Huna tried to push him away, to continue to scrub. It hurt but the pain was in a way comforting. “That is only in your mind mellon, only in your mind. There is nothing on your skin, see?”
Huna had to look, there was just red irritated skin and he made a choking sound and shook his head. “What is wrong with me?”
The voice was thin and shivering and Elrond caressed his cheek gently. “You are in shock Huna, and you must let the memories go to be healed completely. Look ahead, not back.”
Huna took a deep breath and nodded, his eyes very sad. “Yes, I will try.”
Elrond started washing his hair. “Good, did they care for you at all?”
Huna sighed. “They did sometimes wash me, and comb my hair, but that was all.”
Elrond almost growled, he had anticipated that. The bastards had tried to maintain the beauty of their price for as long as possible. “I can promise you, nobody will ever exploit you again, you are your own master now.”
Huna just sat there, stared into the water. “I must avenge them, give them peace. “
Elrond nodded. “That’s a place to start at least, do you know if you are a warrior? You look like one.”
Huna stared at his body again, almost in wonderment. He hadn’t really thought that far yet but the healer was right, he had a warrior’s body. “I…I guess so?”
Elrond continued washing and shampooing the long red hair and gave it a trim too. When he was done Huna did look a bit more civilized. “What do you remember?”
Elrond’s voice was soft and Huna closed his eyes. It felt comfortable to be taken care of like this but it was different than when Frin had washed him, he didn’t feel the same tingling sensation and warmth. “I remember waking up in a hole in the ground, I had broken my arm and twisted my knee and hit my head.”
Elrond frowned. “That’s all? Strange!”
Huna nodded, the warm water was such a blessing and the sweet scent of lavender soothing and relaxing. “My name is all I have really.”
Elrond smiled and patted him on his shoulder. ”I am sure you will remember sooner or later, now, you are done.”
Huna got out of the water slowly and Elrond dried him up and added some ointment to his sore backside and wrists. Then he made the ellon drink some medicine that would reduce swelling and pain and Huna sighed with relief. He felt much better. Elrond got him a huge jug of thinned out wine and he emptied it greedily. “I do feel hungry though.”
Elrond nodded. “I know, but there can only be soup for you for a few days. You have to heal a little more before you can get anything more substantial, it will be too painful otherwise.”
At first Huna didn’t understand what Elrond was taking about but then it dawned on him and he understood. He just cringed and nodded and Elrond steadied him into the room where the beds were. He was given a rather large soft one with a good matrass and warm covers and he felt extremely tired all of a sudden. Elrond made sure that he had some more water available if he was to wake up feeling thirsty. He patted Huna’s hand. “Sleep now, I will have the servants prepare some soup for you when you wake up again.”
Huna just nodded, he felt dizzy and before he really knew it he was off to dreamland and Elrond stared down at the sleeping ellon with an expression of something bittersweet on his face. They were creatures of light, basing someone’s recovery on negative things like rage and hatred was never wise but in this case, what else did exist? If vengeance was all Huna had to live for then be it as long as it did make him wish to live.
Elrond told a servant to stay there to keep an eye on Huna in case he did have nightmares, then he went to talk with Aragorn and the twins about how they found Huna and the details of the mission.
The healer told them of the things he had found out and they were relieved to hear that Huna would recover physically. Aragorn told Elrond of everything in detail and the healer feared that those raiders had developed a taste for this. Elves did bring much money if they managed to capture one alive. It was important that this band was stopped as soon as possible, before they repeated their evil deeds. Aragorn got maps and started making plans right away, the rangers and some of the Imladris warriors should be enough to rid the world of that plague.
Huna woke up the next day, the sun had been up for hours already and he felt very confused and didn’t remember where he was at first. He blinked and shook his head, he was in a bed, a clean one, and he didn’t smell that bad neither. He started remembering and cringed, that very friendly healer had touched him, had seen what those beasts had done to him, had seen it all.
He moaned and pulled his knees up, it was just too much. A door opened somewhere and someone entered, he heard footsteps and they stopped by the bed. “Huna, if you are awake, I have brought you some food.”
There was a smell in the air, so good it made his stomach growl and he slowly uncurled himself and sat up, not looking at the healer. He didn’t feel as though he was worthy of it. Elrond sighed and placed a tray with a huge bowl on it in front of the ellon, a spoon was placed in it and it contained soup, probably chicken soup spiced with herbs. Huna stared at the bowl, there were almost tears in his eyes and he started eating with a bit too much speed because he almost choked and had to cough. Elrond took a napkin and wiped off his chin, smiled. “Easy there, too bad if you have survived all that just to be killed by soup.”
Huna had to grin too, he slowed down and ate at a more natural speed and it tasted wonderfully and made him feel rather well. The bowl was empty before long and he stared at it almost longingly and sighed. Elrond nodded. “I will give you more later, but that was enough for now. “
Huna made a small whining sound but he understood, he wasn’t used to food yet and the healer feared that too much could make him sick. He remembered what those humans had given him, left overs and things that had gone bad and he had eaten it, desperately. They had turned him into an animal and he would never be able to forgive them. Elrond pulled a bottle out of a pocket and went over and got a small cup. “Here, this is brandy, it is rather strong but a little will be just good for you.”
Huna took the cup with gratitude and tossed it back like it was water, it did burn his throat though and made him cough but it left a comfortable warmth in his belly and he liked the taste. Elrond sat down. “So, how do you feel now? Are you still in much pain?”
Huna shook his head. “No, not that much, but my hands hurt.”
Elrond touched his wrists, examined them. They were not so swollen anymore and they had gotten a more normal color. “I expected that, and it will hurt for few days, it is the blood returning to your tissue. Those shackles must have been very tight.”
Huna shuddered and closed his eyes for a moment. “Yes, they were. Too tight but they managed to get them onto me anyhow, with brute force. I was so weak back then.”
Elrond pressed his lips together, his eyes a bit distant. “The raiders did travel a bit with you before you reached that village?”
Huna swallowed, didn’t really want to talk but felt that he had to. “Yes, for a many days, I lost count.”
The healer sighed and took Huna’s hand. “I bet they were just as bad as the people on that brothel or am I wrong?”
Huna just shook his head. “You are not wrong no, they….they forced me too. Their leader, Aegil, he was the first, I was sure I was going to die, it was just terrible, so terrible.”
Elrond looked down and took a deep breath. “The evil of some humans are comparable with that of the dark lord himself I am sure, you will have your vengeance, but first you must recover.”
Huna nodded and stared at his hands, he groaned in a mixture of frustration and grief. “I tried to fight too, in that house I mean. I bit one of those men, and I almost killed another one, he bent down and I managed to get hold of his head, tried to snap his neck.”
Elrond looked straight at him. “Of course you did, who wouldn’t? “
Huna closed his eyes, he felt a bit dizzy again, probably because of the brandy. “I feel as though I don’t want to kill anyone, it doesn’t feel right, and yet I almost did.”
Elrond took his hand again. “Huna, you tried to defend your life and your pride, nothing is wrong with that. What those raiders did to that family on the other hand, that was wrong and evil. There is a difference.”
Huna nodded and Elrond got back up. “So now you stay here for a couple of days and then you can start moving around, regain your strength. Some of my warriors are surely more than ready to help you retrain and find out what you are capable of.”
The redhead sighed. “Days? I’ll go insane!”
Elrond made a grimace. “Do you know how to read? We have plenty of books here.”
Huna frowned, he stared out into nothing. “I really don’t know?”
Elrond looked puzzled. “You really have a bad case of amnesia yes, there is no doubt about it. Wait for a second.”
He rushed through the door and came back with a book in hand, it was a medical book explaining the production of anti-venoms and he placed it in front of Huna. “Take a look, see if you can read.”
Huna took a deep breath and opened the book, stared at the lines of neatly written tengwar and it looked familiar in some way? He bit his lower lip and words seemed to form in his head, he started reading the text although very slowly and with an obvious lack of training. Elrond beamed, he patted him on his back. “See? You can read, I will go get you something to shorten your time here. Any particular genre you are interested in?”
Huna’s eyes got narrow, he had a fleeting idea. “History?”
Elrond smiled and placed a jug of water beside the bed, and a cup. “I will be right back.”
He left and Huna remained sitting there, he was starting to feel a bit confused, he had focused so hard on himself he had failed to notice anything about the world surrounding him and he started to feel that there were so much he didn’t know, or even recognized. He felt confused and hoped that some history books perhaps could help, he needed to find his place in the world. Perhaps he could determine where he really came from? Did he perhaps have friends and family somewhere, eagerly awaiting his return? Or did they perhaps think he was dead?
He cringed, what if he did? What if he did have someone who cared about him somewhere? Then what? Could he return now, after the things that had happened to him? He didn’t know, he was not sure if he could face anyone who knew him again knowing that those humans had… He moaned, he was so uncertain, of everything, His own identity not the least, for all he knew he could have a wife and children, or could he?
He had been so confused by the feelings he had experienced while he lived with Davo’s family he was rather certain that this wasn’t the case. He had truly been untouched when Ida came to him that night and it made him cringe somehow. It shouldn’t have happened like that. The only good experience he had had so far of that sort was when he touched himself. It was as if this body in some ways was new to him, unfamiliar. Why he did not know.
Elrond returned with a stack of books, they were written for the young and weren’t that full of details and difficult language as the more serious books and some had illustrations in them as well. Huna just grabbed one and started reading, it was a book about the royal bloodline of Gondor and its connection to the fallen Numenor and he found it interesting.
He sat there for hours slowly reading and he started to realize what age he was in and where he was but it didn’t make sense in a weird way. A servant came with more soup and some tea and he ate with gratitude, his discomfort was slowly dissipating and he felt better but he still felt as though he needed a bath. It was a feeling that would linger for a while.
Then he opened another book and it was about the deeds of Melkor, of the death of the two trees and the terrors that followed and Huna suddenly had to drop the book. He felt dizzy once more, the words, the names, they seemed so familiar. He breathed hard, images flashed before his eyes. A mighty fortress, dark and terrible, smoke and flames and screams. Armies marching and faces, all dead, all gone. Pain, terrible searing pain, a voice like glowing steel penetrating the very soul, breaking the will, crushing it all. Obey or die, kill or be killed. He gasped and closed his eyes, it seemed so real, as if it was a real memory. Was it? It couldn’t be, it was ages ago.
He grasped the cup and the mug, drank half of it almost desperately. Why did he remember being something else, something massive? And why did he remember fighting for the dark lord himself? He cringed, curled up on the bed, sweat broke out all over him. He remembered the dream. Prove yourself, he thought that he was starting to understand now. He had killed, hundreds if not thousands, not because he wanted to but because he had to but he had turned his back to it all and for that he had been cursed.
What had he been? That was one thing he couldn’t remember, and it didn’t matter. He felt tears filling his eyes again and he grasped his pillow, moaning and gasping. Was this the punishment for what he had done? Then it was well deserved, or was it a test? Prove yourself! Prove what?
That he had truly turned away from whatever it was that he had been? It was no question there, just thinking of those terrible images made him want to scream, cry out in denial. He had to just sit there for a while to calm down, to gather his thoughts.
Elrond returned to him later in the afternoon and found a sleeping ellon who laid there with a book in his lap and the signs of tears on his face, he looked worried and the sleep was uneasy and he whimpered and tossed around. Elrond stared at the book, it was an illustration of what Angband could have looked like and he saw the expression on the sleeping ellon’s face and felt a sting of unease. Huna suddenly cried out, sat up in the bed and stared ahead of himself with eyes that seemed to almost burn with fear. “No!”
The scream hoarse and the body covered with sweat and Elrond immediately ran over and shook the shivering elf, got him out of it. Huna turned his head slowly, stared at Elrond with a strange mix of sorrow and desperation. “I remember, something.”
Elrond took a deep breath. “What do you remember?”
Huna pulled his knees up, shivered all over. “I was bad, I was…I was his slave… I had to obey…but I rebelled against him, I didn’t want to kill. And then he…he killed me?”
Elrond frowned. “Slow down, whoa, easy there. What are you talking about?”
Huna turned away from the elf. “You should kill me, or chase me off, I was a servant of…of the dark one.”
Elrond took a deep breath, the strange energy of this elf’s soul had already told him that this was no ordinary being but his feelings, his pain fear and grief wasn’t made any less because of this. He took Huna’s hand and the ellon tried to pull it free but Elrond was far stronger than he looked. “What dark one? “
Huna sobbed. “Oh Eru have mercy, Morgoth! I have seen that place, that horrible fortress!”
He pointed at the illustration with shivering hands and Elrond just stared. Then this elf or whatever he was had been alive ages ago, how could that be? And he had rebelled against his master? No wonder he had been killed!
Elrond tried to calm Huna down, stroked his hair, whispered softly. “Tell me, what do you remember most clearly?”
Huna gave up struggling, he didn’t deserve being comforted, didn’t deserve anything except pain and misery but the peredhel held him so tightly and it felt so good, it felt so good he just cried. If they banished him or killed him he had at least had this small moment of peace. “That I hated him, that I wanted to destroy him but he was too strong. And then he chained me and everything disappeared and I woke up in the mountains, like I am now. Oh gods, I never wanted any of it, never”
Elrond sighed. “I believe you Huna, I believe you. That monster that was the first dark lord could turn even the strongest into beasts doing his bidding. You were strong Huna, you fought against him and I bet that Eru himself wanted to give you a second chance, to see if you once more can fight evil.”
Huna took a deep breath. “You think so? Are you sure? Oh, I want to, I want to fight”
Elrond pulled him closer, into a tight hug and the redhead shivered and wept, the tears made Elrond’s tunic wet but he didn’t mind it at all. He continued to stroke the thick red locks and smiled. “I am sure you do, and I am also sure that you will, I think you may prove to be quite an opponent for the dark forces.”
Huna swallowed. “I don’t know this body, I don’t know what I was, or what my real name was, and I have no idea of how the world has changed since I was living.”
Elrond smiled and rocked him gently, as he would have done for his sons when they were sad or upset by something. “Well, for starters, the dark lord who you fought was defeated by the Valar and the combined forces of elves and men, and he was tossed out into the void. His servant Sauron did on the other hand survive and has caused quite a lot of calamity ever since, he was beaten at the end of the second age but now his powers are growing once more and we fear yet another devastating war.”
Huna growled, and for a moment his eyes did glow, a dangerous terrifying color of gold and red. “Sauron, I remember him, yes, his master’s loyal ass kisser”
Elrond had to grin.”Oh I bet you are right about that, but now he is a force to be reckoned with, and a terrible enemy. “
Huna closed his eyes. He was breathing hard and his body shivered. “I want to fight him, I was born to fight. I was sent here to help vanquish evil in every form and the first thing I want to do is to make sure that those raiders never hurt anyone again.”
Elrond nodded slowly. “Certainly, let that anger you feel fuel your strength and resolve. It was a cruel trick of fate that your return to this world happened thus, that you should face such terrible circumstances right away.”
Huna sighed. “Yes, I learned once more what it means to be helpless, to be forced to bow to the will of the wicked but I faced kindness to, love and companionship. I will never forget that family, they showed me the light.”
Elrond did understand and he somehow knew that the Valar and perhaps Eru himself had placed Huna in this age, where he could make a real difference. “Then honor their memory and their sacrifice, and forget the bad things. “
Huna looked down. “I am not so sure that I can, I mean, I am an elf now right? And I feel and think like one, I know I am scarred emotionally.”
He fell silent and then he lifted his head, stared at the healer. “Do you….do you think I’ll ever be able to love anyone?”
Elrond smiled. “You already are Huna, there is nothing wrong with your soul or your heart, you were already fond of that family weren’t you? So yes, you can love, you are not one of the heartless beasts of the enemy, believe me. I am rather sure that you are capable of loving someone very deeply and dearly”
Huna nodded, his eyes turned down. “But who would want me then? I am…I am…”
Elrond grasped his chin, turned the face towards his own again. “You are you Huna, this is a new start for you. Forget who or what you once were, you have been given a whole new world to explore and a new life. Be grateful for that. Nobody will shun you for any reason, not because of who you were and not because of what those humans did to you.”
Huna shuddered. “Are you sure? I feel so dirty still”
Elrond sighed. “You were molested, and that will haunt you for a long time but don’t let it stop you from embracing happiness and life. You are beautiful Huna, there will be plenty of others eager to get to know you, intimately too if you wish for it.”
Huna gasped and bit his lower lip. “You think so? I mean, I..,I think I would like to know how it really is supposed to be, just not yet I think. I am not even sure if I can…you know…do it.”
Elrond chuckled. “There is nothing physically wrong with you that should stop you from having very satisfying sex, the memories on the other hand can cause you problems but if you manage to put them behind you I bet you have a lot of joy to look forward to. Do you prefer females or males?”
Huna blushed and felt silly, he squirmed a bit. “Ah, females, I am sure.”
Elrond just mumbled. “No wonder your experiences taken into consideration, there are many ellith here who certainly would love to give you some pleasurable memories to replace the bad ones. “
Huna giggled, other words couldn’t describe it. “Oh, this is awkward, but maybe you are right. Maybe I need new memories to cling onto. When Ida came to me that night it wasn’t really that bad, it felt good but I didn’t like being forced. “
Elrond smiled and let go of the ellon. “Nobody likes being forced, but fear not, before you know it you will have lots of fun to look back at.”
Huna leaned back against his pillows and his eyes had a dreamy expression. “I pray you are right.”
Elrond just blinked and got up, pointed at the books. “So, try and see if you can learn more interesting stuff. I will send someone with more food soon and tomorrow I think you may be allowed to move out of the healing ward and into more regular rooms. But it will take some more days before you can start training or moving very much.”
Huna just sighed. “Sounds like heaven to me!”
Elrond went towards the door and turned and smiled one more time. “Oh don’t say that, the trainers here are without mercy, you may feel like eating your words later on. I will check in on you again before nightfall and by the way, there is a night pot under the bed if you need it.”
Huna blushed and took up yet another book, there was plenty to learn and he felt like he had to reacquaint himself with this world rather fast if he was to do anything useful.
Chapter five: Training
It is your time to be tested
It is your time to see what you can do
You will see what you have been given
You will find who you truly are to be
Huna spent one more day in the infirmary before he was allowed out of there and he used the time well, he rested, ate and was monitored closely by Elrond and the other healers. He read until his head hurt, then he slept for a while and when he woke up he did read some more. His head was spinning with all the new information and he felt even more confused than before but he realized that in order to even survive he would have to just accept it all and not think too much about it. He was given a small room that was rather nice and the servants had carried a new bed into it since the old one would have been too short for him. He felt very anxious when he was to leave the healing ward, the whole place was buzzing with rumors about this stranger and Elladan and Elrohir had done their part in creating a great deal of sympathy for him. Aragorn had left to go chasing after the raiders and nobody knew when he would return so Huna didn’t get the opportunity to thank him for his kindness, he promised that he would, sooner or later.
He was given real food now and he ate like he never had seen anything edible before, his body needed to replenish its energy and reserves and he felt so much better. Some servants came to him with some new clothes, equipment for personal grooming and such and he braided his hair and put on something rather anonymous. He reckoned that he already would cause some commotion with his appearance and didn’t want to add to it.
When he left the building with his few belongings in a small bag he was met by Elladan who seemed to be thrilled by the sight, the son of Elrond did in fact hug him and he felt a bit overwhelmed by the welcome. “I am so glad that you feel better, you look a heck of a lot better no doubt, you looked as if you were dying.”
Huna just blushed and looked down, he had problems meeting the gaze of others still. “Thank you, I am doing well yes.”
Elladan showed him to his room and he was a bit shocked by it, it was so tidy and clean and nice, not the least the latter. This place was rather wealthy, he understood that now, there were nice cushions and furniture there and it had a very elegant style to it. All of it in fact, even the curtains had nice embroideries and he felt very grateful for the hospitality. He would have anticipated the opposite now that their leader knew who he had been, or at least what sort of a person he had been. There were elves everywhere, and everybody stared at him, he wanted to pull his robe over his head and hide but Elladan was a comforting presence and gave him confidence enough to walk forth and stay strong. Elrohir joined them after a short while and then they showed him the whole of Imladris. It took most of the day until midday and they finished at the stables. Huna liked horses and were in awe of the beautiful animals there and the horses seemed to like him too. They went to the great hall to eat and Huna shocked the twins with his appetite, he was still ravenous hungry and had to explain to them that he had had almost nothing to eat since he was brought to that terrible house. The twins just shuddered. “That is awful, I cannot imagine how you must have felt. I mean, I would have gone insane.”
Huna sighed. “I almost did, sometimes I was sure I had gone mad, and that it was all I could do not to just give up and die.”
Elrohir cocked his head. “It is so hard for us to comprehend, the very concept of what you had to endure. Forcing someone into such intimate acts for your own pleasure alone it is…just crazy!”
Huna nodded and sighed. “I know, I was just a plaything, not a living person. But I did survive, and I will have my vengeance, as soon as I am strong enough to fight.”
Elladan grinned. “Talking about strength, I have asked one of our very best warriors to train you, Glorfindel. He is going to push you hard but it will be rewarding I am sure.”
Huna frowned, he had read something in one of the books. “That name rings a bell?”
Elrohir sent him a wide grin. “Yes, it should. Our balrog slayer, a reborn even. Not many can claim that title.”
Huna just nodded, he remembered now, that ellon had killed one of the valaraukar, it was a deed most impressive and he already knew that the training he were to receive would do him a world of good. Huna was looking forward to meeting the famous warrior, and he did feel a bit humble. After the meal Huna would have loved to start training but Elrond had given him two more days before he would be physically strong enough for anything at all. Instead he was shown to the library where he did spend the evening reading some more. He felt restless and tried to avoid attention and he did notice the expressions on the faces of others, it was mostly pity and some curiosity. The females did look at him differently though, and some males too. It was something in their eyes that told him that they liked what they saw, and it made him blush.
In the evening he did come to Elrond’s study again and the healer did check his wrists and pulse and determined that he was healing well. He didn’t have any other problems and so he was dismissed and told to use the next day to go for long walks and prepare himself for training. He went to bed and slept well in spite of the new surroundings and he didn’t even dream. He woke up at first break of dawn and started the day with a quick breakfast before he got into some loose clothes and a pair of good boots and started walking. There were steep paths surrounding the hidden valley and they were a challenge but he was up for it.
He slowly got used to his own strength, to his own body. He did no longer feel that burden of shame for they hadn’t managed to change him in any way, it was only his mind that was hurt and he knew that he would suffer some long term problems but there were little to do about it except from enduring it. He walked on until he was soaked in sweat and breathing heavily, then he started running. Elrond had said walk not run but he didn’t care. He needed to test his limits and he knew he was strong. He had been able to work hard when he had lived with Davo’s family and he was regaining that strength now he was being fed well and allowed rest. He had the typical elven ability to heal fast but in him it seemed to have accelerated a lot.
When the bells did toll to call everybody to dinner a little after midday he looked as if he had been out in heavy rain and he did go in under a waterfall just to wash the sweat off before he ran back to his room and changed clothes. He was hungry again and ate with an appetite that made the kitchen staff look at him with disbelief and he answered with a sheepish grin. The cook herself delivered a huge extra portion to him and grinned and patted him across his shoulders and said that it was nice to see an ellon who really appreciated good food. It made Huna blush again and the kitchen maidens giggled.
Afterwards he hesitated but gathered his courage and walked to the public bathhouse. It was grand and at this time of the day there were few others there, he found a locker for his clothes and wrapped a towel around his waist as he walked to the pool. He was relieved when he saw that he was the only ellon there for the moment, he waded into the water and sighed with relief. He swam under water for a few yards just to get the rest of the sweat out of his hair and then he sat down and just relaxed. He felt a bit tired but it was a good tiredness. He knew what he could do now, how far he could push himself and he knew he was fast on the way back to full recovery. It had taken shorter time than anybody could have guessed. He sat there with his eyes closed in bliss and then he remembered again, how Gadlum had showed him how to make traps to catch different animals, how Frin had taken care of his injuries and how Shera had taught him how to speak in more than just single words. Tears started running from his eyes and the crushing sorrow descended upon him once again. He didn’t really realize that he was crying until he heard a deep voice rather close by and jumped. “That is a sad face for someone that fair.”
He whipped his head around, another ellon had entered the pool and he hadn’t even noticed, he had been too deep in his sorrow and grief to really notice. “Ah?”
He didn’t manage to say anything, he just stared at the tall golden haired ellon who sat down on the under water bench. “You are Huna, I have heard of you. And it is hard to miss that fire top of yours. I am Glorfindel.”
Huna blinked before he bowed his head and touched his chest as a sign of respect. “I am honored to meet you.”
Glorfindel smiled, he was not as tall as Huna but just as muscular and the body had a nice assembly of scars. “Likewise, I hear from Elrond that you too have been given a second shot at life, I will make sure that you don’t lose it again in the first fight you get yourself into.”
Huna just blushed and Glorfindel stared at him with narrow eyes. “Oh yes, you are just as impressive as Elrond told me you were, but someone as tall as you is very visible, and that hair of yours adds to it. You are easily spotted mellon.”
Huna made a grimace. “Yes, I stand out now don’t I?”
Glorfindel nodded. “Like a sore thumb I am afraid but tomorrow I will see how you fight, there could be a chance that it will work also in you favor. We’ll see. Now, why the tears?”
Huna looked down. “Memories, of those who died because of me.”
Glorfindel shook his head and looked at Huna with a stern face. “You know, among some people it is custom to memorize the departed with a party and a laugh, not with tears. Come with me, have some wine and let me tell you some stories and tomorrow I am rather sure that you will have regained your spark”
Huna hesitated. “I am not so sure…”
Glorfindel cocked his head and bright blue eyes glittered. “I am to be your tutor am I not? Let me show you how we party in Imladris, you look like you need it. It is time to get away from all the doom and gloom and face life. You know, if things start to look bleak there is nothing that can cure it like some wine and song and women.”
Huna bit his lower lip. “Ok, I just need to finish washing.”
He hurried shampooing his hair and scrubbing himself and Glorfindel whistled and raised an eyebrow. “Impressive indeed, if the ellith got a peek at what you are packing they would be all over you!”
Huna went beet red and Glorfindel just smiled. “No offence mellon, I am just stating the obvious. You are very well made, you should thank the gods or whoever it was that gave you this new body. “
Huna stared into the water and waded towards the stair to find his towel. “Maybe, but I doubt that anybody would want to…”
Glorfindel got up after him. “Bed you? Oh I bet you already have caught the attention of several ellith and quite some ellyn too. But fear not, I for example do prefer the ladies, and everybody here is well behaved. You do not need to fear being attacked.”
Huna just mumbled and dried off, he didn’t really want to socialize but he didn’t want to appear to be a coward either, and he wanted the respect of his tutor more than anything. “That is good, I have had enough of that thank you.”
He got redressed and so did Glorfindel, the golden haired warrior walked ahead of him and spoke leisurely of the weather, which horses he preferred and different types of weapons, in special that last subject and Huna did start to feel interested. They got to the halls of fire and there were quite a few elves there already. Glorfindel sat down at a table and Huna placed himself right opposite him, a servant came with two huge cups with ale and Huna stared at it with a bit of reluctance. It did smell rather strongly and was dark. Glorfindel attacked his cup with zeal and Huna took a tentative sip. It didn’t taste too bad at all, it was far fresher than it looked and he liked the warmth that did spread through his guts. “So, I guess that you are untrained when it comes to weapons? That you haven’t tested out anything yet?”
Huna nodded, he looked down and tried to remember if he ever had learned anything about such things, no, he hadn’t. He was sure. He had been a weapon, he didn’t need weapons. “The only thing I have touched of that sort was an axe when I chopped up firewood and small knives.”
Glorfindel touched his chin, studied Huna with skilled eyes. “You are huge Huna, but you move like a cat and I have a suspicion that you are more of a stealth warrior than the one to fight in an army. But we will decide that tomorrow, now, let’s have some fun. Have you heard the joke about the dark lord and the ewe?”
Huna hadn’t heard that joke and Glorfindel told it gladly and so they sat there and Huna listened to jokes and riddles that got worse for each cup of ale that the balrog slayer downed, and they also got funnier since he managed to keep up with Glorfindel’s drinking. Then Glorfindel started asking for dwarfish mead which in Huna’s eyes now tasted like nectar and they both had become competitive and wanted to show the opponent that they could drink him under the table.
Glorfindel started singing, and some of the songs were of a very naughty nature and Huna blushed and found it hilarious. Many were in a very festive mood now and songs were sung and some were dancing too. Huna was singing along, he didn’t know the lyrics nor the songs themselves but it didn’t matter and he and Glorfindel had ended up sitting side by side and he felt as though he had known Glorfindel forever.
Some ellith were dancing in a circle and they were spinning and their skirts flew around their hips and Huna felt that his cheeks burned, he saw all of their legs and he did also notice to his shock that a couple of them had forgotten to wear underwear. He tried to pull his eyes away from them but he couldn’t. Glorfindel nudged him in the shoulder. “Ay, Huna, pull your eyes to yourself, you look like a freakin’ owl!”
He groaned and turned his head and Glorfindel got a sly expression on his face, he winked at one of the girls and she came over to where they sat with a little grin on her fair face and a strange glimpse in her eyes. She immediately sat down on Glorfindels lap and placed her arm around his neck and Huna was a bit shocked that he kissed her right on her mouth. “Maede, this is Huna, he is a reborn like me.”
Maede turned around and winked at Huna. “Nice to meet you.”
Glorfindel had put his hand down the front of Maede’s low cut dress and Huna could only stare, he did understand why Glorfindel mentioned owls, he did probably have the eyes of one right now. Was Glorfindel fondling her breasts just like that? In public? Wasn’t that indecent? But she just giggled and was breathing a little heavier and her eyes were a bit glassy too. “Now Maede, your friend over there, Triwiel, I bet she would like to get to know Huna here a little better, it is too bad that he should sit here alone when I have you right? Why don’t you introduce them?”
Maede whistled and a slender black haired elleth came over to the table. She was very pretty and had thick black hair and a waist so narrow Huna started to believe that he would be able to grasp around it with his hands. And he would really want to try.
Triwiel took his hand and introduced herself and suddenly he had her sitting across his thighs and she did help herself to his jug of mead. She burped and placed a hand in front of her mouth with a giggle. “Sorry.”
Glorfindel burped too. “No one is offended dear, better that way than the other!”
The warrior was getting a bit incoherent and he had buried his face between Maede’s ample breasts and she was giggling and writhing. Huna hiccupped and gasped when he saw that Glorfindel had one hand up underneath Maede’s skirts. Triwiel played with a lock of his hair. “I like your hair, you look as though your name should be Ruindol, not Huna.”
Huna had to think, fiery red head. “Ah, I am a red head yes, fiery I am not so sure about.”
Triwiel giggled. “Oh I bet you are, I would love to see you rush into battle, I am sure you would strike fear into the heart of every enemy.”
Huna held his breath. “You are?”
Triwiel just licked her lips, some drops of mead still hang on her chin and he stared at them as if he was completely mesmerized by the sight. And she was warm and soft and the weight of her was starting to give him that strange warm sensation again. Glorfindel got up, he was staggering and he held Maede close. “I will retire for the night and enjoy some good old fashioned steamy vertical dancing, have a good night too.”
He bent over to Triwiel and whispered to her. “Don’t wear him out completely, he has to be ready for training tomorrow.”
Huna heard it and he gasped and felt a bit confused. Triwiel wouldn’t? Would she? He felt the scent of her and it was so sweet and tantalizing and she was so beautiful, so very so. He took another sip of mead and discovered that he had emptied at least five jugs already. No wonder he felt a little dizzy. He was unsure of what to say and she put her arms around him and then she kissed him. Huna froze for a moment but there were no dark memories connected to kisses, nobody had kissed him before and it felt nice, more than nice. Suddenly that warmth had become a fire and his pants had become very tight and very uncomfortable. He groaned and Triwiel got up and grasped him by his arm. “You have had enough Huna, more now and you will pass out on me. Let me help you home.”
He got up too, the ground was shaking, odd. “That.. that is very nice thank you.”
Triwiel smiled and let him lean onto her and he stared straight down her gown, those golden rounded breasts were the most glorious thing he had ever seen. “So pretty, like…like…”
She smiled. “What did you say?”
Her voice was very innocent but she had already seen through him, she was used to ellyn and even the reborn ones were thinking with the wrong head in certain situations. “Ah, nothing.”
She giggled and steadied him towards his room, she knew the way and he was humming on one of the naughty songs Glorfindel had taught him and it felt so good feeling her this close. He sniffed her hair and it smelled of roses and he stopped and placed his hands around her, yes, his fingers did meet around her waist, what a wondrous creature she was. He was still aching and his pants were too tight and he wanted to get rid of that uncomfortable feeling as soon as possible. Triwiel had let her hand slide in underneath his tunic and she caressed his chest and he groaned, it felt so very good. This touch was so different from what he had experienced earlier and he didn’t want her to stop at all. The door was suddenly right there and she opened it and they staggered into his room. It was lit by only a few candles and she giggled and took him by the hand, walked over to a chair and she got up on it. “This is the only way I can kiss you without you having to bend down.”
He put his arms around her and it felt so good, her lips were so soft and gentle and he was breathing hard now and shivering. He couldn’t find any excuses for not letting this happen, it was completely different from every other experience he had had before, this he wanted. Oh sweet Eru how he wanted it. Triwiel let her tongue slide into his mouth and the contact it made with his own sent a powerful jolt through him. He was drowning in the sensation to a point where he didn’t notice that she had unbuttoned his tunic and shirt and suddenly she pulled both garments off him and he shuddered and was a bit shocked but she just smiled. “Relax, I don’t bite, hard!”
She proved that by leaning forward and nipping at his left nipple and he hissed at the strange sensation, he was so warm, and she was so very tempting. He gasped when she kissed his throat and licked her way along his collarbone before she pinched his nipples with long elegant fingers. He was having trouble breathing now, she sent him a mischievous grin before she let the dress slide down from her shoulders and it stopped around her waist. He stared at her naked upper body and she laughed at his expression. “Oh, yes you are allowed to touch me.”
He didn’t hesitate, suddenly he returned the favor with a vengeance and his mouth and tongue did explore soft skin and hard nipples until she was shivering and whimpering. It was madness but what a wonderful madness, one from which he hoped he never would be freed. He grasped her bottom and it was perfect and she let out a little shriek of joy and giggled and pressed his head closer to her chest as he did his best to familiarize himself with her bosom. He had forgotten it all, all that existed now was her and his all-consuming need for her.
He was drowning in the moment, in her presence and he didn’t try to resist as she opened his belt and the pants fell and he kicked them off together with his boots. He still had a pair of soft undies on and Triwiel got down from the chair and let the dress drop from her form too. He stared at her body with the reverence of someone standing before a deity and she giggled and grasped the hem of his underwear and pulled them down. “Oh almighty Eru, the maker was more than generous when you were made.”
Huna just blushed but felt a bit proud too and he did see that she looked at him with a mix of awe and anticipation.
She had a wicked grin on those sweet rosy lips and then she let her hand slide down his belly towards his now very eager cock and the touch made him groan and he had to clench his hands into hard fists to control himself. It felt so good, it was so very different from everything else and he knew that Triwiel would stop if he wanted her to. Triwiel had that naughty look upon her face again and she had a very firm and yet gentle grip and then she bent over and he felt how a very skilled tongue started to caress him and he had to close his eyes and gasp for air. His muscles started tensing up and he almost squeaked. ”Stop, I…I am close…”
Triwiel giggled and let go with a final swirl of the tongue that made him yelp. “Then I suggest we move over to the bed? “
He could just nod and Triwiel threw herself down on it, she looked wonderful and she smiled and placed herself in the middle of it. “I bet you really want to try this out right? And I am ready so let’s go for it, we can practice a little more afterward.”
Huna just shivered and she did pull him over her, kissed him gently. He had a hard time believing that she really wanted him, wanted to let him do it, but she did. The sensation of soft skin against his own drove him mad and he just stared at her as she just got into position under him and his instincts took over. And it was taking his mind away, he couldn’t think, he just felt and what a feeling. It wasn’t possible to compare it with what Ida had done at all, because this he wanted, he was in control of himself and he was cooperating with Triwiel. She gasped and moaned and locked her legs around him, he had found a rhythm now and she shared it. He was close to tears, it felt too good to be true but it was. Triwiel kissed his neck and then she bit him in his shoulder and the pain and pleasure mixed into something that drove him crazy. He started groaning with every thrust and she yelled his name and arched up against him. Before long it just exploded and he screamed and felt that she in fact followed suit, shuddering almost violently.
He could gladly have died just there and then, nothing had ever felt that wonderful and he felt a bit proud over the fact that she had enjoyed it just as much as he had. He rolled over next to her before he just collapsed and she giggled and kissed his cheek. “Damn, you are a natural talent. So, how do you feel?”
Huna just managed to send her a very sheepish grin. “Like this was my best day ever!”
She giggled and pulled the covers over them, both were sweaty and warm and she laid with her head on his chest and just relaxed. “I am glad to hear that, and believe me, as soon as you have rested a little I have a lot to teach you!”
He just sighed contentedly and closed his eyes, new memories indeed. It had been memorable beyond doubt and he really felt like a new ellon, like he had gotten his confidence back. He now knew that nobody would judge him because of the things he had been through and that was very comforting. They rested for a while and before long they were at it again and he was a very eager student. Triwiel had no doubt that he would prove to be her best ever, and she promised herself that this was one she wouldn’t let go of that easily.
The next morning they woke up rather late and Huna got caught in a fit of panic as he feared that he would be late for training, his head hurt like crazy, his mouth was dry and he was dizzy.. Triwiel just stretched herself with the sensuality of a cat and yawned, she grinned and put her chin in her hand, stared at him as he got his clothes back on. “A pity to hide all that, but I don’t want any competition so be it. “
Huna felt a bit awkward, almost bothered. He would have loved to stay longer and maybe repeat some of the joyful activities of last night but he had to go. He quickly braided his hair and hoped that he didn’t look too bad as he ran towards the training fields. Triwiel grinned to herself and went to get a bath, she was sticky all over and she had a peculiar gait too, she hadn’t thought that she would get that sore but he had been vigorous and eager and perhaps a little too much so.
Huna arrived at the practice field and saw that Glorfindel already was there, putting different weapons up onto racks. He looked to be well until he turned around, then Huna saw that his eyes did look a bit bloodshot and he was slightly green. He grinned when he saw the redhead and finished what he was doing. “Now, have you slept well tonight? Or did you sleep at all?”
Huna blushed. “A little yes, and very well thank you.”
Glorfindel yawned. “Likewise, oh my head feels like some dwarf is using it as an anvil.”
Huna made a grimace. “Mine too I fear, and I feel nauseous.”
Glorfindel groaned and pulled a small flask out of his pocket. “Try this, it will soothe things down a bit. It tastes like crap but it does the job.”
Huna drank a mouthful and Glorfindel was right, it tasted terribly and he almost retched but he trusted the warrior to know what he was doing. Glorfindel shook his head. “It is the dwarf mead, it tastes like heaven but gives one hell of a hangover, no wonder the dwarfs are such a grumpy bunch most of the time. “
Huna had to grin, he felt extremely good in spite of the physical discomfort and Glorfindel sent him a wry grin. “Oh, here is nothing like a good roll between the sheets to improve one’s mood now is it? “
Huna blushed and Glorfindel rubbed his hands together and stared at the assembly of weapons, some looked very dangerous indeed. “Well, let’s get to it shall we?”
Huna nodded. “No point in delaying this no, so I am ready.”
Glorfindel tossed a sword over to him. “Swing it, get the feel of it.”
Huna took the weapon, it was light and well balanced and he started moving with it and Glorfindel watched with narrow eyes. “Know what? If I didn’t know better I would say that you must have been trained by someone. You have perfect control but no real experience.”
The golden haired warrior had him test different swords, had him throw spears and use axes, throw daggers, shoot with a bow and a crossbow and before long he felt his arms aching and he felt a bit confused. Glorfindel stared at him with a thoughtful expression. “You seem to have it all in there but it is untested. Let’s spar for a while, I want to see what you have got.”
Huna nodded and the balrog slayer just grasped his own sword and attacked so fast Huna barely had time to parry. Glorfindel was merciless and pushed him hard, he had to really work hard and slowly he sort of got a sensation of mastering this. He was able to parry Glorfindel’s attacks and even fight aggressively and Glorfindel would give him short precise orders which he immediately obeyed.
Some others gathered there to watch the two spar and Huna forgot about the spectators. Glorfindel introduced him to different techniques and weapons and Huna found that he liked this and liked it a lot. It felt as though something he had once known and then forgotten reappeared in his mind and body and it felt easier as he went. After a couple of hours they both were panting and sweaty and Huna drank two jugs of water and had to sit down to breathe. Glorfindel leaned onto a spear and grinned. “I have figured you out Huna, I know what kind of a fighter you are. I was right, you are not the ordinary soldier type.”
Huna shook sweat out of his hair and looked puzzled. “Then what am I?”
Glorfindel sat down too. “Like I said, stealthy and fast, you are the type perfect for intimidating an enemy, an assassin.”
Huna sent Glorfindel a grin that slowly got wider. “I think you are right.”
Glorfindel patted him on his back. “Of course I am right. You are too efficient to just follow command. And your technique is also very unconventional. I think I may have the right kind of weapon for you.”
He got up and went to the armory and was gone for a while. He returned with two scabbards which looked old and they had a rune embroidered into them, one for each. Glorfindel had a wry grin on his face. “Try these bad boys out.”
Huna stared at the weapons, the hilts and the pommel told him that these were old weapons but they didn’t look worn or fragile. The pommel on each was formed as a snarling panthers head and the hilts were covered with black velvety leather. Huna pulled the blades out, they were unusual, rather long but not as long as the longest swords he had seen there. They were narrow with a slight s curve to them and both were made from a rather dark steel which had a hint of blue in it. Huna tilted his head. “I have never seen blades like these before? They must be very valuable?”
Glorfindel pouted. “Define value please? Of course they are valuable, they were a part of a museum here. But they will be far more valuable for us out there doing what they were made for, making the enemy bleed. And I bet you are more than worthy of them.”
Huna cringed, he felt uncertain again. “Are you sure?”
Glorfindel nodded. ”Yes, I would have wanted these for myself but I fight in a style that is incompatible with these blades and their shape. You don’t, their curvature makes them perfect for someone who moves fast, slices down the enemy and then disappears again.”
Huna swung them, fighting two handed was natural for him and he felt that these blades indeed were perfect for an assassin. There was a strange light in his eyes, yes, the enemy would feel these blades again and they would bite deep. “Do they have a name?”
Glorfindel chuckled. “They were called Narchor, the renderer, and Dolorchoth, a hundred orc’s heads but the runes on the scabbards says Fear and Dread. I bet those names are as good as any.”
Huna nodded and put the blades back, he attached them to his equipment so that he could wear them across his back. “Then Thos and Achas it is, and I swear I will teach the enemy to fear them.”
Glorfindel smiled. “I have faith in you Huna, you haven’t made it this far to become someone afraid to fight. You will be given the chance to prove yourself soon enough.”
Huna stared down, his eyes a bit distant and very hard. “Those raiders, their leader is mine! Got that?”
Glorfindel smiled, a cold smile that showed that he indeed was understanding this. “Of course. Aragorn and his men are out right now, trying to locate those bastards.”
Huna looked impatient and Glorfindel placed his hand on his shoulder. “Yes, I know. You want to get out there right now but believe me, you have to wait. This I am telling you out of experience and because I regard you as a friend more than a student. You have to rest for a few more days, train some and eat well. You are yet not completely recovered and fighting now could harm you. It will be too much.”
Huna did hang his head and groaned. “You are right, but I feel so…useless.”
Glorfindel cocked his head. “You are not, believe me. I am looking forward to some days with intensive training with you. You do challenge me and not that many here are capable of that. I like that a lot.”
Huna blushed slightly and shifted his weight. “So now what?”
Glorfindel handed him a set of throwing knives. “Now we test how well you are doing with smaller weapons.”
Huna just nodded eagerly and so they went at it again and spent the rest of the day polishing his skills and techniques.
When he returned to his rooms that evening he was sore, stiff and half dead or so it felt. Glorfindel was indeed a harsh teacher but he meant it well and he had forced Huna to run for hours while jumping over everything from logs and barrels to wagons and people. And the whole time he was being attacked by either Glorfindel or one of his other apprentices and he managed to fight them off really well. He liked the idea of being a lone warrior, of sneaking up on the enemy and killing in silence. That was far more terrifying than an open battle for you will always fear what you cannot see more than the things that are visible and right in front of you. He took a quick bath and ate a bowl of chicken salad before he went to bed and he fell asleep the moment his head hit the pillow. Triwiel hadn’t showed up and he was in a way grateful. He wouldn’t have managed to perform anyhow the way he felt now.
The next morning he was so stiff he barely managed to get out of bed and his muscles were protesting like crazy as he got up and pulled his clothes on. He waddled to the bath house and one of the elves who worked there took pity in him and gave him a massage. It felt weird having someone touching him but he knew that this was very different from what he had had to endure before and it did help a lot. Elladan and Elrohir were there, they had watched him and Glorfindel spar and were in awe and he just blushed from their eager praise. He had a big breakfast and then he went to train again.
The next week went by in very much the same way every day, a bath, breakfast, intensive training for the rest of the day and to bed feeling dead tired. But he got stronger and more focused and Glorfindel was impressed by him but didn’t let that show until after the training was finished. Huna was ready and when the message arrived that the raiders were found Glorfindel had no problems with sending him out there. Huna was already the best there were except from himself and he knew that the red heads unconventional style of fighting was a huge advantage.
The night before Huna and some others were to leave Triwiel came to his room again and they spent the night in the best possible way. When they fell asleep Huna was well sated but so was she too and she had started to feel a little more for him than just attraction. She started to believe that maybe she could be in the process of falling in love and she just hoped that her feelings would be returned.
Huna did kiss her very passionately and promised to return when he got ready the next morning, he had gotten some leather armor from Glorfindel since there were no metal ones big enough for him. Triwiel braided his hair into many thin braids she put into thicker ones and he got his weapons and gear and said goodbye with yet another kiss. Triwiel saw him walk towards the stables with a strange feeling in her heart. He would return, she just knew it, and the enemy would grieve his rescue and recovery.
Let them fear my name by Nuredhel
Chapter six: Let them fear my name
Use what you have been given
Let it be your undying flame
Let them see you cannot be broken
And let them once again
Fear thy name
Huna walked to the stables with a feeling of both anticipation and slight dread. He had no idea of how he would react to seeing those terrible men again and he was uncertain about his skills too. But he had to go, he had to put this behind him so he could go on with his life. The warriors who were to go on this mission had assembled and were readying their horses and Huna saw that Glorfindel stood there, holding the reins of his white stallion and a huge grey gelding. Huna hesitated for a second, was Glorfindel to join them too? He suddenly felt nervous, he didn’t want to disappoint his mentor or do mistakes. Glorfindel grinned and patted him on his back. “Good, we are ready to ride Huna, the raiders were last seen in a valley some days ride from here. It can take some days before we see any action but fear now, we will find them.”
Huna nodded and took the reins to the grey gelding. Glorfindel smiled. “His name is Cloud, he was among my favorite horses until I got Asfaloth here. He is rather calm but fast.”
Huna tried to smile. “That is nice, I am not that used to riding.”
Malagar came from the stable with a dun mare and mounted and Glorfindel took a look around. “Then we all are here, let’s go then for the faster we get there the faster we can rid the world of those bastards.”
He mounted and spurred his horse and Huna got in the saddle of the gelding and hoped that the
horse wouldn’t throw him off. They rode hard out of the valley and Huna admired the landscape. He felt rather relaxed and Glorfindel entertained him with stories of fights he had been in. Huna got familiar with the terrain, Glorfindel was pointing and describing the mountains and the rivers and Huna tried to remember as much as he could. They took a break in the middle of the day, they let their horses drink and rest and then they rode on. Before the night fell they turned abruptly towards the north and stopped in a small canyon where they would rest safely. Some were keeping watch and others gathered some firewood and prepared the campsite for the night. Glorfindel sat down and Huna joined him, they shared some lembas and a flask of wine and Glorfindel rolled out a map. “The raiders were spotted at this bend in the river, now, there has been many days since our scouts saw them but they told that they believed that the raiders had made themselves a sort of camp there. It is possible that they are lingering at this spot still.”
Huna stared at the map, he saw possibilities right away. “Then we should split up, it is possible for one group to enter from the north and the other from the south. We will trap them in the middle with no way out, the valley is very narrow there and I take it that the mountain sides are steep?”
Glorfindel sent him a content grin. “You are a strategic after all mellon, yes, they will be trapped.”
Huna pointed at the map. “We dismount and leave the horses here, make the last part of the journey on foot. They will not know we are there before it is too late for them.”
Glorfindel nodded and rolled the map up. “Then be it, if we ride hard and don’t meet any problems on the way we will be there in three days.”
Huna stared into the camp fire, his eyes glowing slightly in the dark and Glorfindel did notice that the darkness made the pupils of his friends eyes expand to abnormal size, the entire eye looked black and he knew that Huna indeed was created to be a perfect hunter, a creature born to roam the night and be the menace and terror of every evil being out there. Huna just laid down to sleep where he was and Glorfindel wondered what the ellon was thinking now. He knew that Huna had a great portion of pride within and he wouldn’t back down ever. It was his very being to fight to the end. Glorfindel was really looking forward to see what Huna could accomplish in battle, he had a sense of hope. He could bet that the raiders would face an opponent they never could have imagined.
The next day it was raining ever so slightly and the skies were dark but they rode hard still. The paths were dry underneath the trees and they let the horses run at they wanted. The mighty elven steeds were capable of holding that speed for days at an end and only needed to drink every now and then. The terrain changed, became more ragged and it rose towards the hills and mountains. Huna saw herds of deer and wild goats, he saw eagles and hawks soar above and he felt at peace when out there, in the wild. Yes, he would hunt alone, it was his destiny. The rivers were full of fish and the forests had plenty of berries and nuts and he felt a deep gratitude towards the maker for all of this. It was such a wonderful gift.
The day went fast, they rode along a rather big river for most of the day before they turned into a side valley and then into a narrow and steep canyon where they had to dismount and lead the horses after them. They camped in a huge cave and the next day they crossed a high plain before they descended into a new valley. They had started moving more slowly now, they didn’t ride as fast and kept their eyes open. They were getting close to the area where they should leave the horses now and the camp of the raiders were getting closer. Huna felt a knot in his stomach, the last night the memories had returned to haunt him, he remembered how that awful man had pinned him down, violated him in a most terrible way and the anger was yet again burning in his heart. These bandits had to be stopped before that happened to someone else, someone not as strong as Huna.
He had taken the two swords out of the scabbards that night, he had polished them and checked them for nicks and injuries. Glorfindel had left him alone, he knew that Huna needed time to sort out his feelings and thoughts. Huna had taken two long knives in addition to the swords and he also carried a short bow and a quiver of arrows. They all were heavily armed and they left the horses on a meadow and one elf was staying behind to guard them. The horses were trained so that none other than the elf who owned it would be able to ride it. Nobody would be able to steal their chargers.
Three elves left to scout and to see if the raiders still were there. The rest gathered and went through the plans again and Huna felt a shivering feeling in his chest, he was eager, more alert and alive than ever before. Glorfindel placed a hand on his shoulder. “Easy there mellon, you are trembling like a racehorse at the starting line. Battle nerves?”
Huna had to admit that yes, he felt nervous. He had no idea of what he could expect. Glorfindel grinned and he had a dangerous fire glowing in his gaze. “It is easy, everything that isn’t one of us is probably an enemy so just kill it. Got that?”
Huna nodded. “Think so!”
Glorfindel handed him a flask. “One sip mellon, it will ease your nerves.”
Huna took a mouthful and coughed. “Sweet Eru, what in hecks name is that?”
Glorfindel chuckled but his eyes were still hard. “A mix of Miruvor, dorwinion wine, brandy, dwarfish mead and what the humans call whiskey”
Huna had tears in his eyes and his throat felt as though it had been skinned. “Damn, that was…quite a drink!”
Glorfindel had a devilish grin on his face and he put the flask back. “I once gave a cup of that stuff to a fellow who was so scared before a battle he pissed himself. Afterwards he had killed more orcs than any other and he didn’t have a scratch on him.”
Huna had to snigger. “One more sip then.”
Glorfindel shook his head. “Nope, you have had enough mellon, you are a warrior, the fellow I mentioned was a minstrel damn it, the only sharp object he had ever wielded was a letter opener.”
Huna laughed. “Very well then so, afterwards?”
Glorfindel nodded. “Afterwards, to celebrate.”
The scouts returned, the raiders were still there, they had probably decided to make that place their home for the winter for it had once been a farm and the main building was still standing. They had fixed it and turned it into a sort of home and the scouts had counted twenty men in all. Huna had counted twelve when he was captured, he just hoped that this was the whole group and just not a part of it. The elves split in two groups and the group who was to attack from the north disappeared into the forest as silently as ghosts. Huna and Glorfindel was to join the group who would approach the camp from the south and Huna felt his hands tingle and he felt cold somehow. It was the excitement for sure. He did also feel a strange seething sensation in his chest, a sort of glow that was almost painful. He would have to face them again, and he didn’t really knew how he would react, all he knew was that he was going to kill Aegil.
The groups moved through the forest silently, spread out and communicated with sounds so low or high humans couldn’t hear them. Huna was focused only on the task ahead now, he was as sharpened as a razor and ice cold. Glorfindel was right beside him, the golden warrior carried one sword this day, and he looked as if he was enjoying the idea of using it. The river wasn’t that wide, more of a small brook really and it was easy to wade across it. Some of the elves were already on the other side of it to stop anyone from escaping that way. Huna peeked at the camp from beneath a tree, it was a rather large old house, the ruins of a barn and a stable lay right by it and smoke rose from a fire. Some hairy short legged horses were kept in a simple corral and he saw that two men were skinning a deer in front of the main entrance.
Some others were sitting by the well smoking and chatting and two more were busy sharpening weapons with an old wet stone. It was a peaceful scene but Huna could almost smell it, the depravity and evil of these humans. It was somehow visible as an aura around them, a hint of something wicked and mean. Whistles and chirps told them that everybody had gotten into position, they could start the attack. Some men were on the inside of the house and they feared that the would use it as a fortress so Glorfindel had come up with a cunning plan.
One of the archers had lit an arrow on fire and aimed for the roof. The arrow landed right by the hole where the smoke was being led out of the structure and since the grass on top of the roof was dry there was always the chance of sparks from the fire blow putting the roof ablaze. Suddenly there was a cry of alarm and the men started scurrying around, some tried to find a bucket so the fire could be put out while others were just confused. Glorfindel gave signal and arrows suddenly started to rain down over the men. Half of them fell immediately and the other half took cover. Some thought of running but stopped when they saw the elves who approached the camp from both direction. They were trapped.
Huna felt his heart thundering in his chest. He hadn’t seen Aegil there yet, and not the man who had been his second in command either. If that bastard wasn’t there then he would be very disappointed in deed. The elves went into full on attack now and the remaining men took up their arms and tried to fight but there was little point in it. A couple of handfuls of humans against a group of highly trained elven warriors were no match at all. After just a few minutes all the humans save two were dead and the two who were alive were so just because Glorfindel ordered it. They needed to interrogate someone and the two men were unceremoniously dragged forth and dropped down next to a tethering pole. Both had arrows stuck in their legs and cuts to their arms and they were helpless but shouting insults and accusations.
Huna felt a surge of cold rage rush through him, he left the group and went over to where the two sat and Glorfindel joined him. One of the men did in fact recognize the tall red head and gasped, he suddenly realized that they were dead men. Huna pulled out Thos and thrust the blade down through the man’s thigh, he screamed in agony and squirmed and Huna hissed. “Aegil, where is he?”
The man still had some fight left in him. “Go fuck yourself! Or let that pretty face there do it for you!”
Glorfindel hated being called things like that, the blue eyes were suddenly glowing and he snarled and bent down, grasped the other man by the throat and lifted him straight up, held him there while the human gargled and coughed was were slowly strangled in the elf’s deadly grip. “Tell us, or I will do this to you too!”
The man stared in disbelief, perhaps he had thought that humans and elves weren’t that different after all, that they just were prettier than humans. He didn’t think that now, he saw that these creatures in fact were far superior to any man and he made a mewling sound. “Aegil, Nanahs and two more men left four days ago, they were heading up towards the mountain pass near the high lake, some had seen dwarves there, and dwarves always carry treasure right?”
Glorfindel sighed. “He is probably already there. What now?”
Huna growled, the eyes were glowing. He cut the head of the man Glorfindel had strangled and sat down in front of the remaining human, the man was shivering now. “Did you violate me? Were you among those who used my body while I was passed out?”
The man shook his head, his eyes wide with fear. “No, I swear, I didn’t. It was the others, I never touched you!”
Huna pulled his hunting knife, felt the edge with an introverted grimace. “Know what? I know you are lying, I recognize your smell you bastard.”
He did a swift move and cut open the man’s pants. The man yelled and tried to pull back but Huna grasped the torn fabric and exposed the man’s groin area. Glorfindel just stood there, his face like a stone mask. He had no idea of what Huna intended to do but he wouldn’t interfere. Huna needed to avenge himself. The red haired elf stared straight into the humans eyes, his eyes almost aglow. “Do you know what happens to most elves if they get raped you filth?”
The man just gasped in fear and Huna’s voice became a menacing hiss. “They die! And I almost did, you bastards almost killed the very soul in me. So the punishment is mine to deliver and mine to decid
Huna did some very swift movements with the knife and the man shrieked, his eyes rolled in his head and the legs kicked a few times. Glorfindel didn’t move a muscle but he was a bit shocked. Huna had simply cut off the man’s genitalia with the razor sharp blade and the human groaned and shuddered in agony. “He will bleed out in a couple of minutes, let him. “
Huna got up and his face was cold and hard. “We have to get to the leader.”
Glorfindel nodded and he looked very determined. “Absolutely, if that devil is set on robbing dwarves it can get very nasty indeed. The dwarves are strong and proud and they don’t forgive it if anyone hurts any of their kin.”
Huna sheathed the knife again after having wiped it clean on some dry grass. “Do you think there really are a chance of him attacking dwarves.?”
Glorfindel nodded. “Humans tend to think that the dwarves are a wealthy bunch, in special after they reclaimed Erebor from that goddamn dragon some years ago. If there is a caravan crossing the mountains yes, there is a danger of an attack. Four men are not much of a force but if there aren’t too many warriors travelling with the merchants or travelers it could get very nasty.”
Huna bit his lower lip. “How long does it take to reach the pass?”
Glorfindel looked at the sun. “A days very hard ride.”
Huna took a deep breath. “You and me and Malagar, and we ride now!”
Glorfindel smiled slowly. “I really like your commitment Huna, you refuse to give up now don’t you? I am with you mellon.”
He turned around and called for Malagar to join them, then he talked to the second in command of the elven troop. “Take the others back home, tell Elrond that we killed everybody here but the leader has escaped and could possibly have attacked travelling dwarves in the high mountains. We go after him.”
The elf just nodded and gathered the warriors. Huna and Glorfindel and Malagar ran back to the horses and all three of them took an extra horse each. They would have to ride very hard and wouldn’t want to over exert their steeds. They rode off right away after having thrown some equipment into their saddlebags. Huna felt disappointed, he had looked forward to burying the ghosts of his past but the ghosts had somehow evaded him and he felt how the need for revenge was swelling inside of his heart until it became all consuming. The path they followed was very well made, it was used a lot by travelers and they could let the horses gallop and Huna swallowed a feeling of foreboding. He knew that they would encounter something bad now, something he would prefer not to see.
Glorfindel pressed his horse up next to Huna’s. “Remember this Huna, if we do encounter dwarves up there. Not all dwarves like elves and there has been much animosity between our races, be polite, be humble and keep your hands away from your weapons.”
Huna hadn’t read that much about the dwarves yet so Glorfindel had to explain everything to him while they rode. Malagar was sleeping in the saddle and at midnight they switched horses and let the ones they had ridden run free. The moon was rising over the mountains now, it made the snow cowered peaks glitter and Huna had barely ever seen anything more grand or wonderful. He just gasped in awe and the stars high above looked like diamonds someone had thrown out onto a blanket of deep dark velvet. It brought tears to his eyes and he stared as he rode. Glorfindel smiled, a soft smile. “No question about it, in your heart and soul you are truly an elf. Only one of the eldar would feel thus when seeing the stars in all their splendor. It was the first light our forefathers saw and for many the only light to show them the way and yet to this day it is sacred to us. “
Huna nodded, his throat thick with emotion. “I can clearly see why.”
They pushed their horses relentlessly as they rode into the morning and Glorfindel stared at the path ahead. The pass was just a couple of miles away now and he already knew that something wasn’t right. He saw a flock of big black birds hover over the narrow breach in the wall of rock that otherwise blocked the path to the north and Huna had seen them too. “Ravens?”
Glorfindel nodded, his eyes cold. Malagar put the string on his bow and moved his quiver, they slowed down the panting horses and Huna did start as a couple of wolves suddenly came running and disappeared down the mountainside among bushes and juniper trees. Glorfindel held his breath, he knew that the pass was a perfect place for an ambush, a narrow gateway through the mountain and the rock face was vertical. It was two miles long and filled with rocks and boulders that presented anyone with evil intent with perfect places to hide.
Malagar had knocked an arrow, he didn’t need to hold the reins at all since the horse was well trained and Huna had pulled his swords, his heart was thundering in his chest. They rode slowly, the horses were snorting and throwing their heads up and they were clearly nervous. The elves used their eyes and soon they saw the first signs of the tragedy that had taken place there. A dead horse lay in the middle of the road, it was a small stocky one and the wolves had devoured much of it. Glorfindel just hissed at the sight and pushed his steed on, they rounded some huge boulders and then they saw the whole thing. It had been a small group of traveling dwarves, probably a couple of families. A wagon stood there but the ponies that had pulled it were gone, probably stolen. The wagon had been ransacked and things thrown everywhere. Malagar growled. “Probably a tinker and his kin, not a smith or something fancy like that.”
Huna saw that the things left behind could indicate just that. Behind the wagon were corpses and a couple of ravens took flight and cawed with hoarse voices. Huna felt sick, it was that thing all over again, the attack on the family who had taken care of him. Three adult males lay on their backs in the middle of the path, they were muddy and bloody and the ravens had plucked out their eyes and all three of them were shot with arrows. The shafts were still protruding from their chests. A younger male lay underneath the wagon, his head almost cut off his neck, the eyes were staring into nothing with an expression of disbelief still.
In a group between two huge rocks lay five females, two were rather old and grey and the nice clothes and well made hair and beard told that these were well respected and regarded matrons. They looked very much alike and were probably sisters. Both had had their throats cut. The three remaining females were quite young and pretty, with soft shiny hair and beards and they lay with their hands and feet tied together at the wrists and ankles and they were naked. The bloody thighs and the blood on the ground told the whole story and Huna felt sick. He leaned over and retched, again and again. Glorfindel coughed, he felt tears burning in his eyes. .”There were children….”
He pointed at the back of the wagon. Two small girls were hanging from the back of it, their eyes bulging and blue tongues sticking out of their mouths, they had been hanged with their own hairbands and the sight was so terrible Huna did throw up. He continued until he felt the taste of bile in his mouth and were unable to get anything more up. Malagar was praying, his voice flat and empty and Glorfindel was cursing so bad it was a wonder he didn’t catch fire.
Then there was a sound, a rasping gasp that made them all whip their heads around. The sound came from behind a rock and the elves dismounted quickly and moved forth with their weapons drawn. It was another male, an old dwarf who looked terribly fragile and he was barely alive but awake. His legs appeared to have been crushed and Glorfindel moaned at the sight. It looked as if the wagon had rolled over his thighs and broken his legs completely. The stench of rotting flesh was already strong and the old dwarfs eyes feverish and glassy but he was there, he was seeing them. Glorfindel did kneel down, he took out his flask and held it to the old dwarfs lip and the poor creature drank greedily. He sighed with relief and some life returned to his face. “Three elven warriors here, I don’t think it is a coincidence now is it? Mahal burn me if it is.”
Glorfindel shook his head. “Four humans attacked you or what? And one was tall with golden hair and wearing a wolf skin coat?”
The dwarf nodded. “Yes, they ambushed us, shot the men and violated the women before they just bashed their heads in. Me they didn’t even bother with killing, they knew I was done for anyhow.”
Huna groaned and turned away, tears were streaming down his face. The dwarf coughed. “Tears for us? From an elf? I never thought I would see that day.”
Huna swallowed hard. “The children, the women, these men are beasts, no worse, spawn of Sauron!”
The dwarf stared at him. “Aye lad, true words. There is something about you lad, something different.”
Huna just stared down. “Maybe.”
Glorfindel let the dwarf have another sip of the flask and the old creature closed his eyes and coughed. “Mahal curse them, you will kill them I trust?”
Malagar had put down the bow. “Most certainly.”
The old dwarf nodded slowly. “They thought we had gold and jewels, but we are just humble toy makers and we do fix kettles or sharpen knives. We had nothing of value.”
Glorfindel had a sad grin on his face. “I bet that pissed them off.”
The dwarf grinned too. “Oh yes, it did. But they were such bastards, without honor I say, without remorse or compassion. They strangled my granddaughters and my wife and the other womenfolk had to watch and afterwards they had their way with them, all of them. I will never forget their screams. Young Feni had never been with a male before, they all took her, bled to death she did.”
Huna felt a burning wrath rush through the soul. “I will avenge them old one, trust me, I swear I will. I will make those men suffer and suffer again, and not even the Valar shall stop me.”
The dwarf chuckled. “Oh beware pretty one. One who looked a lot like you once swore an oath too, to not let even the Valar stop the vengeance he sought, and he ended up in a fiery pit, dead by his own choice. No pretty one, avenge us if you can, and if you can’t then at least remember us.”
Huna gasped. “I will, what is your name noble dwarf?”
The old dwarf grinned. “Noble dwarf, no that is a title I have never heard from the lips of my own people, such a sweet tongue you have fire head. My name is Gwhin son of Gwhan, and the three men were my sons, Garem, Ghur and Gwoin. The one under the wagon was my grandson Ghurel. Remember our names.”
Malagar had pulled a piece of parchment from his saddlebag and wrote all the names down as the old dwarf repeated them. He was getting weaker fast now and he was breathing hard. “The men rode east from the pass, the rocks were telling me that. And they rode hard too, I guess it was the disappointment.”
Glorfindel nodded and then he got up and went through the things that were thrown around, he found an axe and laid it in the old dwarfs lap, the dwarf grinned. “Oh you are a good lad aren’t you? You know us, no dwarf should die without his axe, thank you.”
He fastened his grip around the steel and there was an expression of peace on his face. “Now I might face my ancestors with pride when I arrive at Mahal’s great hall.”
Glorfindel’s voice was a bit thick. “I am sure you will Gwhin.”
Gwhin turned his head to Huna. “I have something for you pretty one, yes, I think I indeed do.”
Huna stared at the dwarf. “What? I don’t need anything, no.”
Gwhin smiled, blood had colored the white beard around his mouth a dark maroon color and he was wheezing with every breath, he was dying now. “Yes you do, you were willing to swear an oath to avenge us, and we do not take such things lightly. Take off the driver’s seat of the carriage, inside of one of the beams it is supported by there is a small room.”
Malagar went over to the wagon and hit the seat from underneath, it came off and he did twist the beam off and carried it back to the dwarf. He twisted it and it split in half, a small leather pouch fell out of it and the dwarf opened it and let the content fall into Huna’s open palm. It was a small rock, flat and seemingly very ordinary but a rune was carved into it and it appeared to shine with some sort of bluish glow. Huna swallowed. “What is this?”
Gwhin moaned and he was getting more pale by the minute. “A rune which will open any door in any dwarf city known to our folk, and if you show it to any of us they are obliged to help you in any way they can, the carrier of such a stone is a friend of our race and so they will never hinder you nor treat you with anything but respect.”
Huna bowed his head. “I am greatly honored old one, I will cherish it for the rest of my days.”
Gwhin grinned. “Yes, until eternity then. I hear them calling me, I have to leave now. Burn our bodies, there is oil in the wagon, several cags of it.”
Glorfindel swallowed and took the dwarfs hand. “We will, rest in peace old one, and may Mahal bless your memory.”
Gwhin smiled, an almost silly smile. “Yet more pretty words from an elf, again; that I should live to see the day.”
He took one last breath, breathed out slowly and the light in his eyes disappeared. Glorfindel closed his eyes and whispered a prayer and Malagar did the same. Huna just stared at the dead dwarf, tears were stinging his eyes and he felt nauseous. Glorfindel got up, he lifted the dead dwarf as carefully as he would lift a sleeping child and laid the corpse in the wagon very gently and with the outmost respect. Then they gathered the other dead and placed them around him and covered the corpses with the tarp from the wagon’s canopy before they poured oil all over it. The things the raiders had thrown around were put back in place and then Glorfindel lit a torch with his flint and steel and threw it onto the wagon. It burned fiercely and black smoke rose to the skies. Huna saw the hard cold glimpse in the balrog slayer’s eyes as he whistled for his horse. Huna jumped onto his own steed and Glorfindel almost sneered. “We ride again, and we do not stop until those beasts are dead.”
Huna just nodded, his eyes just as cold and determined. Malagar was almost growling and he did take the lead. The three rode through the pass and headed east as the column of smoke from the funeral pyre slowly dissipated, bringing the souls of the innocently slain back to their maker. The tracks were easy to follow and it was obvious that the men had felt confident and safe, they had ridden hard for a while but then they had slowed down and ridden at a slow trot and headed down from the mountains. Glorfindel sneered. “They are heading for the small settlement by the lake. It is an ale house there.”
Malagar nodded. “They are probably going to enjoy themselves and just relax.”
Glorfindel shrugged. “They must have been there for more than two days already, it is possible they already have left.”
Huna just stared ahead, he wasn’t going to let Aegil get away with it, not any of it. He would pursue that beast to the end of the world if he had to. They had to stop for a while to let the horses rest and Huna was very impatient but he did understand that they shouldn’t ride their horses to death. He was glad when they could ride on.
The next morning they reached the settlement and Malagar did sneak down to the small village to check if the men were still there. He returned with a stern face and nodded. “Three of them are there still, dead drunk and a nuisance to everybody. I listened to the talk of the men inside of the alehouse, they would kick them out but are too afraid to. The leader left this morning.”
Huna tensed up, he was breathing hard. “I have to go after him, now”
Glorfindel put a hand on his shoulder. “No Huna, your horse is too tired, we go down there, kill those three murderers and then we see if there are any available horses here we can borrow.”
Huna groaned in frustration but he didn’t question Glorfindel, after all, he was the most experienced among them. The three elves did walk down to the houses, the place was small, more like a small assembly of ragged houses gathered around the small central square and it did smell of fish, pigs and ale. There were nobody out since the sun just had started to rise and everything was quiet, Glorfindel stared at the other two. “We go in, kill the three bastards. The humans here will not dare to intervene and if they do it will be their funeral.”
Malagar grinned and Huna just nodded, they were three armed elven warriors and able to fend off a few humans. Glorfindel walked right up to the door and opened it, the room they entered was rather dark and smoke filled it, it smelled of old stale food and the straw on the floors was more or less rotten. This was a poor place and Huna saw that two women sat by the hearth while an elderly man with a profound limp tried to cut the last traces of meat of a ham. All three stared at the elves with eyes that got huge with shock and awe. Two more men sat by the window, their clothes revealed that they probably were hunters and they stared too, with a bit of fear but mostly with reverence.
Their targets more or less lay by one of the tables at the back of the room and two were snoring while the third was moving and mumbling something while he tried to get up. He was too drunk to control his limbs. Glorfindel motioned for the elderly man to come forth and the man limped forward, eyes to the floor. “Honored one, this house is not worthy of such guests as you and your companions.”
Glorfindel smiled gently. “We are here not to rest or drink my good man, we are here because of those three men in the corner over there. They have murdered a whole family of dwarfs and they have committed terrible crimes to others too. We are here to punish them and trust that none of you will try to interfere.”
The old man gasped. “No, oh no, we won’t, they are scum. The bastard who was leading them left just hours ago, took the horse of the man over there without paying or anything and that dark haired one there, who is snoring, almost raped my daughter in law. “
The two hunters bowed their heads too. “They have bragged about having raped dwarf women, and killing children. We have no weapons my lords, if we did we would have killed them ourselves.”
Glorfindel unsheathed his blade. He nodded to Malagar and Huna who did the same. “Then stand back, we will make sure that these sons of warg’s don’t hurt anyone again.”
The two men backed off and the old man shooed the women into a back room. The man who was conscious tried to focus and he blinked and shook his head. Huna recognized him as the second in command of the raiders and he growled and the man seemed to recognize him in spite of his intoxication. He made a strange grin and pouted his lips. “I..I remember you…I think. Nice…nice…tight ass! Best I’ve had.”
Glorfindel sneered. “He is yours.”
Huna took two long steps, grasped the man by his collar and hoisted him up before he shoved the blade of Achar up underneath the man’s breast bone and into his heart. The man gulped, coughed blood and shuddered and then he just collapsed and Huna threw the body out onto the floor. He spat at it. “Filth, keep Morgoth company in the void!”
Glorfindel and Malagar did a quick job with the other two, they used their hunting knives and thrust the blades into the base of the skull of each man, it was quick and clean and better than they deserved. The two hunters stared at the man Huna had killed and they understood that this human had done something horrible to the elf, the glow in those golden eyes told them so. The tallest of the two swallowed hard and hawked. “The leader took my horse my lords, but he will not get far. The horse is old and slow and he wasn’t rested.”
Huna stared at him. “Our animals are exhausted, are there any other horses here in the village, one I may borrow?”
The old man limped over, he made a grimace. “Ask the smith, he has a horse I think, but I don’t think it can be ridden.”
The second hunter shrugged. “I would have offered you my mare, but she is way too small for a tall ellon like you and not very strong, all of our animals are old I fear.”
Glorfindel smiled and threw some gold coins onto the table, the old man stared with tears in his eyes. “Here, to pay for the ale those swine drank and the insult against your women, and keep whatever they have in their pockets. Where are the smiths lodgings?”
The tall hunter gestured for them to follow and the old man fell to his knees, almost weeping with gratitude. With those money they could save themselves for the winter.
The elves followed the hunter to a smithy that was placed a bit off from the rest of the village, there were always the danger or fire and such buildings were always placed thus. The smith was already up, heating up the forge and he tilted his head and sucked on his lip when they told him about their problem. Huna knew that he would have to chase Aegil alone, but he didn’t mind. In fact, there was some justice in it. Something he found that he liked.
“I do have a horse yes, some fancy lord who passed by left him here last spring, couldn’t handle the thing at all. Said he had bought it from some guy from Rohan but I doubt it, I think it was stolen. Anyhow, I have kept it in case someone would want to buy the beast. It can still be used as a stud even though he is too wild to be ridden.”
Glorfindel raised an eyebrow. “Really? A horse of Rohan? Not a Mearas I guess?”
The smith just grinned, he was a short stocky guy with scars in his face from embers and pox and he had a sort of primitive energy to him that could be felt more than seen. “Oh, I don’t know. Here we have mountain ponies and sometimes palfreys from the coast. I have never seen a decent destrier here until that horse was left here. He has cost me a fortune in oats though, but he is nice to look at. “
The smith hung up his apron and they followed him to a stable that looked very solid and well built. The smith opened the door and they entered a room with four boxes, three of them were occupied by small hairy animals that looked more like dwarf ponies than horses and the last box was filled with compact darkness or so it seemed. The smith lit a lamp and the elves gasped and stared at the amazing animal in front of them. It was indeed a Mearas, a black one. Pitch black he was like a starless night and so tall the ears reached the floor. The smith sighed. “It is a shame to keep an animal like that in such a poor stable but what else can I do? “
Huna stared at the huge horse, he hadn’t even known that a horse could be that tall and Glorfindel whistled. “I bet you two would fit together. You both are big!”
Huna took a few steps forward and the stallion nickered and stomped his feet, stared at the elf with eyes that seemed to intelligent to be those of an animal. The smith hawked. “Ah be careful, he tends to bite”
Huna took a deep breath, then he walked over and touched the silky neck and the stallion just nickered and nodded its head. “I think he likes me.”
The smith opened the stable door. “Alright then, see if you can handle him.”
Huna walked out and the stallion followed his like a dog, he smiled. “I think he has been waiting for someone who will respect him.”
He tangled his hand into the thick silky mane and leapt onto the strong back. The horse didn’t move and the smith was staring. “By Orome, I have never….he is yours my lord, all yours.”
Glorfindel grasped the smiths hand and placed a very generous amount of coins into it, the smith just gasped. “Here, for the horse and the oats and everything.”
The golden warrior grinned to Huna, “You have a horse worthy of a warrior now mellon, one no other can outrun. What are you gonna call him?”
Huna felt how eagerly the stallion answered to his every signal and his grin was getting wider. “He is perfect Fin, strong as a storm and fast as lightening I am sure. I will name him Hûl, battlecry.”
Glorfindel just smiled. “A good name, and now, ride fast. Take your revenge and return here. We will await you.”
Huna just grinned and let Hûl feel his heels and the great black took off and thundered down the path. Glorfindel stared after them with a grim face. Huna would never let the enemy get away and now he had a horse that would allow him to pursue even the fastest of orc packs. Maybe Orome himself had placed this stallion in his path.
The man had left few hours before, on a tired and weak horse, Huna did anticipate to catch up with him within the hour and he let Hûl run as fast as he liked. The black Mearas was running so fast Huna had problems breathing and tears were running down his face as he clung onto the mane and tried to see the track ahead. Then he saw something in the distance, a man on a limping horse, cursing and swearing and whipping the animal to make it move faster. Huna unfastened his blades and Hûl slowed down a bit, it seemed to know what he wanted already.
Aegil had heard the sound of thundering hooves and he did sense that something was off, he wasn’t so stupid he didn’t realize that he could be in trouble so he dismounted and made a quick escape into the bushes. He ran to he met a cliff, there he stopped and waited, if it was just someone who were in a hurry they would probably ignore a loose horse grazing in the ditch and he held his breath. A giant black rider less horse trotted by and he frowned. Rider less?
He heard a sound behind him and spun around, blades pulled. On the cliff he could see someone staring down at him, black against the moon that still hadn’t disappeared beneath the horizon. He gasped, glowing eyes watched him with cold anger and hatred and he saw that this creature was both huge and not a human being.
Aegil had never been superstitious but now he suddenly was, he sensed how the cold hand of death brushed through his soul and he growled and lifted his swords in defiance. “Who are you, show yourself coward.”
The answer was a hiss and then the creature jumped down and Aegil gasped. He knew this elf, the red hair, the golden eyes. It was the ellon they had sold to that brothel and he suddenly realized that he had underestimated elves in general. He launched an attack, thrust his sword low while aiming high with the other one but he was parried with ease and a deep cut appeared across his abdomen. He stared down at the blood that dribbled down his body, strange, it didn’t hurt?
Huna snarled, another strike and a new cut. His blades were so sharp there was little pain and Aegil looked more confused than anything else. Huna parried another clumsy attack, Thos cut the man’s right hand off at the wrist and Aegil noticed the injury and screamed, tried to use his left hand and blade to cut the elf but he wasn’t fast enough. Huna just stared at the gasping man, he felt no pity and very little rage. This was just a despicable piece of meat. “I would pity a rabid dog, yes I would even pity a dying orc. You on the other hand I do not pity. I will leave you for the wolves, at least your flesh will do something good.”
Aegil was feeling light headed, dizzy. “Please, have mercy”
Huna snarled. “I will show you the same mercy you showed Shera, and Davo, and the rest of the family. The same mercy you showed those poor dwarves. Now, go to hell!”
He swung both blades and Aegil’s head tipped forward and fell to the ground before the body followed, spurting blood. It was writhing for a while and he just stared at it before he returned to Hûl and sheathed his blades. “Good boy, and now, back to the others.”
The stallion rubbed its nose against his chest and he grinned and petted it.
When he returned to the others they just stood there, calmly. They had no doubt that Huna could accomplish his goal and he nodded as he dismounted. “It is done, that filth will no longer bother this world.”
He turned to the smith. “The hunter’s horse is further down the road, have someone retrieve it. That son of an orc was whipping the poor thing.”
Glorfindel patted Huna on the back. “Now my friend, is it over?”
Huna smiled and nodded, his eyes a bit more merry than before. “It is, I can move forth now.”
Glorfindel grinned and hugged him. “That is great, for I am sure there are a lot of orcs out there just waiting to be massacred.”
Huna and the two others stayed for a few hours more, then they returned to Imladris and when they got there five days later everybody was relieved to see that they all were okay. Many were in awe of Hûl and Huna was very proud of the smart horse. Triwiel was specially glad he had returned unharmed, she knew she really liked Huna now and before long they did move in together and got a reputation for making a lot of noise at night, and sometimes at daytime too.
Glorfindel was right, Huna was a stealth warrior, one who fought best alone. He did follow the patrols for a while and then he started going out on his own. He was sometimes followed by Glorfindel but never anyone else and they did finish off quite a lot of the enemies minions. Huna would set up terrible traps, he would poison orcs or lure them over cliffs in the dark or into deep water. He would sneak up to their camps, assassinate their leaders or cripple them and he did it all with a sort of distanced cold passion.
After a few months he started leaving a mark on his victims, the runes carved into the scabbards were now also carved into the dead orcs or things in their surroundings and a rumor spread. The orcs started whispering about a ghost with a flaming head, riding a demon horse so fast it was just there and gone. And everybody who saw that ghost died. They called it Gurgaran, red death and the rumor spread and became a fear in the heart of every orc.
Just the sight of those marks were enough to make whole packs of orc cower together like frightened chickens and they had no idea of what it was that hunted them. They never saw their opponent, only his victims and they were often horribly mutilated. And yet not a sound was heard or anything seen.
War came once more, the one ring was found and had to be brought to Mordor and in secret Huna started a new and very important mission. The word of the terrible ghost had reached even the dark lord himself and he was both shaken and in disbelief, Huna started attacking orcs randomly, terrible bloody attacks that struck such fear into the orcs their leaders had to focus on that, and not on more important things. He managed to catch the attention of the dark lords troops so well few managed to discover the true reason why a small group of seemingly harmless hobbits, men and a dwarf and an elf left Imladris.
He fought from the shadows and was barely ever seen and he preferred it that way. The war ended, Sauron was beaten and peace returned. For some years he did hunt the surviving orcs, then there were none left. He went to Greenwood and killed spiders until there were no spiders left and when he started feeling as though he had no purpose left a new one presented itself. Triwiel could one day give him the unexpected but joyful news that he was a father to be. Huna did hang his swords on the wall and dedicated himself entirely to his family and it grew. He and Triwiel had five children in the end, three boys and two girls and of those one of the boys and one of the girls inherited their father’s colors.
Imladris was abandoned and he and his family did sail with the last of the elves to leave the hidden valley. They had brought everything with them, even four of Hûl’s offspring. The old stallion had fallen asleep underneath its favorite tree never to wake up again and he had been buried there.
Huna never got to know who or what he had been and he didn’t care, in Valinor he was just a family man and it was good that way, and after some years he and his sons started exploring the vast continent but that, that is a whole different story.
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