Aranée 68: Maeral'a by NetWorthy ()
Members remain the original copyright holder in all their materials here at Renderosity. Use of any of their material inconsistent with the terms and conditions set forth is prohibited and is considered an infringement of the copyrights of the respective holders unless specially stated otherwise.
The ex-Greeners were simple raiders, but Grigham was extraordinary. His reasoning and efficiency exceeded even Mubela's lofty standards and they became fast friends. Together they effortlessly powered through duty schedules, procedures and military minutiae that would have stymied less-capable officers. In less than two months, the Aeriteuin Guard ran as if it had been in operation for years.
One sunny day, Aranée sat pondering a firewood shortage when Mubela and Grigham requested an audience. They wanted to begin night patrols to keep track of the Greeners, to insure they stayed out of the heights. Aranée agreed, provided they also would forage the surrounding countryside for necessities - such as firewood.
Then a new requirement: Occasionally she would ride with them. They protested for her safety, but quickly relented at the sight of the rock-hard set of her jaw. Nobody present during Grigham's first audience dared risk her anger again and so the matter was settled.
And so it was that she rode with twenty Guard riders the night they heard the unmistakable sounds of battle rattling through the pines. They rode to the sound and encountered an odd scene rendered surreal by skidding clouds and intermittent brilliant moonlight.
In a rare night action, two dozen Greeners assailed six people barricaded behind fallen trees. Despite vicious and repeated assaults, six fallen raiders showed the brave defenders had acquitted themselves well. Still, some of them were wounded and it was only a matter of minutes before the attackers would break them. Aranée wasn't sure if her eyes were playing tricks in the unusual lighting: The defenders' skin had an odd blue cast!
Aranée spurred her horse and shouted "Attack!" - and her Guards violently plowed through the Greener flank like a boulder smashing through a forest. In less than ten minutes the matter was decided, attackers strewn across the silent meadow. She dismounted near the barricade. "Grigham, please have someone check those bodies - I want to know why they are up here."
The defenders huddled in animated conversation until finally their leader, a women, boldly approached Aranée. She bowed and addressed Aranée in a language she could not understand.
The clouds parted and Aranée gasped: The woman was indeed blue tinged - but had distinctly Elvish features! Not knowing what else to do, she addressed her in Sindarin. "I am Aranée... queen of Aeriteuin. Are you all right? Do you require medical assistance?"
A tiny smile played on the woman's lips and she responded in curiously accented Sindarin, "I am Maeral'a, queen of the M'blung Surion. We welcome your assistance." Her smile twisted in amusement as she lightly brushed the tip of Aranée's ear with an outstretched finger. "Perhaps we are... cousins?"
View episodes in sequence for the entire story, links below.
Thanks for your interest, please leave a comment yea or nay, it definitely keeps me going...
FIRST CHAPTER -:- NEXT: Keepers of the Night -:- PREVIOUSLY: The Cleansing
Image and story © 2012 by Larry Hodge