» Mon Feb 10, 2003 2:15 pm
The body of the newly wedded elf, while light and soft, made a horrific noise as it met with the frozen wasteland. The area she had landed upon, a formerly lush grassland, wilted at the footsteps of the creature who had dropped her, shuddering beneath its frozen dew. The elf moaned as she began to awaken, her head pounding, the frigid air ruffling the torn and soiled wedding gown, once so resplendent but now simple dull cloth. A dim figure blocked the healing power of the moon and her beloved star, both of whom she would have called upon for strength, as she knew their ancient powers for the Eldar. Her eyes focused in elven clarity, the pupils dark and slightly cat-like, yet she saw nothing but the absence of light.
Leonir sneered as the princess tried to make out his form, but failed. True, he was not a creature of great power, nor was he any sort of sorcerer, but he knew the basic spells, especially that of cloaking one's form. It had served him well as he roamed the halls of her forebears, never seen, never heard. Yet, even if she had caught his full form now, she would not recognize him, for he was the Unseen.
None knew his true form, none except his Masters and the Great Sorcerers. They alone could see through his magic, his silven hair that burned with the chill of ice, grey eyes that flickered in bolts of icicles, limber frame greater than the strongest of elves on MiddleEarth. But with his mental cloak, he could fool them all into believing him a cripple, a petty thief, a prince, a pauper. Even the strong-minded could not see through the magic he had practiced for so long under so many Masters.
He twisted a simple ring inlaid with mithril around his index finger as he thought of his greatness, vain as he was. However, from this happy reverie he was awoken, as he heard the princess struggling to stand. She was still powerful and a threat to him, but with the spell of sleep he had laid upon her, her powers were harnessed for now. Yet, it was due to her and her meddlesome brother that he was here now, lurking in the shadows as he had done for so long, and bitterness had consumed what little of his heart remained.
As Leonir watched her elegantly clad figure, he imagined himself in such finery. It should have been him in the best fabrics, bowing to no one! It should have been him parading foolishly about the city with the proud, royal family!
Filthy wench! You are not so deserving!
Enraged, feeling the old, slow burn of bitterness, he lunged at her, kicking her in the side. The princess, usually so quick and agile, was slowed by the spell and took the full brunt of the injury, doubling over in pain, still lying upon the ground.
Not so tough now, eh, Princess? Not so tough without all of your friends who bow down to you, worship you? Without your powers to control the weather?
He mocked her, but she did not recoil in horror, nor did she allow the strength she still bore beneath the spell's effects to weaken. She had heard such mockings before, such terrible blows meant to wreck her pride. She knew what it was to be tormented until she wished to die. And this time, she would not give in. Not even if he disfigured her for life. Her Hobbi would still love and cherish her until death did them part.
This placidness only further aggravated the creature, his eyes glittering dangerously as molten silver. It was as though she had mocked him back, brushing his words aside as though they were merely feathers falling across her face.
You dare to ignore me? I am much higher than any of your friends, and without any doubt, greater in status than the one you now call husband.
He sneered at the Weatherspeller, spitting out his last word in disgust, as she, though enfuriated by his words, chose only to bite her lip until it began to trickle blood. She wanted to fight him for the words he spoke, the insults against her friends and her beloved hobbit—especially her hobbit. No one was allowed to say such things! But if she gave him any fuel, he would linger forever, continuing to run her down. She prayed that he would tire of her, for she could see no reason why he had cause to take her from her beloved, except under orders of some terrible master.
Yet he did not tire of her, and indeed chose the way of pain for her instead, as she did not respond. He grabbed a hold of her deep chestnut hair, his hot breath, fetid and reminiscent of a morgue unkempt, was heavy upon her face, yet she could not make out any features upon his face. She did not cry out as he tore a handful of hair from her scalp, not allowing him the pleasure of seeing her in pain, though her eyes told the tale of one recalling a previous trauma.
Still enraged, he tore the two necklaces from her neck—the Heart of Diadron and Hobbi's family heirloom. Erinhue's charms had been left in her bags for the honeymoon, as she had trusted him to assure that nothing went astray. She did not now have the time to think of how horribly things had turned out, nor did she have time to blame him for the day's sorrows. Survival thoughts filled her mind and she was determined to make it through this ordeal.
Not thinking, Leonir simply tossed the heirloom into some reeds beside the bank, as it meant nothing to him. But the Heart of Diadron, that was a prize indeed. His jaw dropped slightly as he ran his fingers across the gilded edge, the stone ensconced within sparkling with an eerie radiance.
So, you carried the Heart all along, did you? I wondered where it was hidden. It has been so long since I saw your brother wear the jewel in his proud grandeur. It figures that he would send it on to the vainest creature in existence!
Leonir kicked the princess again and then went in search of the boat that would take them to his hidden lair. They had made good time, for Braun had run swiftly and even made it through the Misty Mountains in a small pass that made the journey faster. Once Leonir had the princess in the boat here at the River Anduin, the others he knew pursued them would lose the trail. His beloved stallion would wade to the other side of the river, leaving deep tracks, and continue to lead them on in a chase in which they would never find their quarry. Eventually, Braun would return to the banks once he was sure that the others had given up the trail, where his master would row from his hidden isle to retrieve him, and all that was Leonir's would remain so.
Despite his surety that the others were far behind, Leonir took no chances. He placed another spell of sleep upon the princess, so that she could not call out, lifted her into the boat, and slipped away with only the breeze and the lapping of water upon the light canoe invading his senses.