I finally started!
I'm so exited to say hi and welcome to all of you who have followed and favorited the past 2 books. Love to all of you!
I'm kinda in a hurry here, so for now I'll say hi and can't wait to start, and tell you to enjoy. :)
As usual, all disturbing chapters will have a warning.
And then the wave engulfed her and somehow, mysteriously, disappeared without touching the rest of the ship. Gandalf sighed, shaking his head. Elrond stood there, frozen, his face pale. Galadriel had suspicion in her face as she studied Gandalf. And Celébrian screamed.
Eruanna was gone.
Eruanna felt herself drowning. But strangely, she could still breathe. Air bubbles escaped her lips, but she didn't run out of air. She inhaled, and air filled her lungs. Her chest expanded. Bubbles clouded her vision.
And then, there were arms around her. They wrapped around her with the feeling of seaweed and scales, and she sighed. So she wasn't drowning. But she almost wanted to- to escape the Mordor that had been her life, despite its good moments. She just wanted... Rest...
A finger seemed to tap her nose, and she slowly opened her eyes wearily, to see a face looking down at her in obvious curiosity, although it was at the same time a slightly sneering sort of intrigue.
The face was perfectly chiseled, white like sea foam, and his hair like blue water that swirled around his face. His arms were covered with a scale-like armor, and his tunic collar looked like the fin of a fish. His eyes were a pale blue color that looked even brighter than ice.
So. This was a Maia. And if her mind was still good enough, she could guess who...
In the meantime, on deck of the ship, the sailors were bewildered while Gandalf was extremely put out and growing more annoyed by the minute. Elrond gasped, while Celébrian shook as Galadriel attempted to calm her.
"W-where is she, Mithrandir?" Elrond asked weakly, and Gandalf gave him a grim, irritated smile.
"Let's see, shall we?" He asked, and then strode over to the railing, calling into the water. "Ossë!" He bellowed, and those who heard him paled and cringed at the sound of his voice.
"Bring that child back here now, else I tell lord Ulmo of your deeds!" He roared, and then slammed his staff against the deck.
There was a heaving of water as something broke its surface, and in a moment a Maia appeared before them, clad in the raiment of fish and with hair like curling tendrils of water.
"Oh come now, Olòrin, it's not like I want to kill her. I was merely curious about the elfling that has my master waiting to see her." The Maia said belligerently. Olòrin glared at him.
"And would you like to explain this to lord Ulmo?" He retorted, annoyed, pointing to the pale and shocked others. Ossë sighed.
"Like I said, only wanted to see her. You are more than welcome to take her back." He groused, handing Eruanna back to Olòrin, who took her into his robe as she shivered, soaking wet.
*It's g-good to s-see you too, lord Ossë.* Her greeting, which resounded along the electromagnetic wavelength through ósanwe so that Ossë could hear it, was accompanied by a weak wave. Ossë snorted.
"See?" He said, and then disappeared into the sea, leaving a very bemused group behind.
Just then, Tol Eresseä came into view. Gandalf turned and gave them all a thin smile.
"Well. Welcome to Tol Eresseä." He said in grim amusement. There was a momentary silence.
And then Eruanna began to laugh weakly through her shivers.
"Well. Here we are." Manwë said with a faint smile as they stood, unclad, at the docks of Tol Eresseä.
Nàmo smiled thinly. "And I hear that Ulmo is not very happy."
Manwë snorted. "With good reason." He agreed, amused, and Nàmo chuckled.
"Indeed. Well, let's see how she takes my invitation, shall we?" He asked, and they turned back to the dock to watch as the ship came into harbor.
They were finally here. Eruanna, wrapped in a blanket and feeling extremely exhausted, watched with lethargic interest from Gandalf's arms as a plank was set out for them to walk down to land. As soon as Gandalf set foot on land, Eruanna let out a sigh and closed her eyes, relieved to be off of the ship.
Then she opened her eyes as there was a bright flash of light. Or rather, many lights that coalesced together and then disappeared, revealing four beings that smiled at them softly. Gandalf bowed, and the rest of the elves fell to their knees.
"Rise, all of you. We welcome you to Valinor, best beloved, for we have been waiting for you." One of them spoke, and Eruanna felt a frisson of awe and at the same time recognition sweep through her feä, leaving her trembling and breathless.
Manwë smiled, and then held out his arms, moving forwards and embracing Elrond, Celébrian, Galadriel, Frodo, and Bilbo. "Well done, my children." He said gently, and they began to weep softly in mingled joy and awe. Then Manwë stood and turned to Gandalf.
"Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have served me well." Manwë said, and embraced the Maia, who sighed.
"Thank you, my lord." Olòrin said with grave respect and gratefulness. Then Manwë smiled at him and took Eruanna from his arms. He looked down at Eruanna, who looked back up at him with her eyes wide and cheeks bloodless.
Manwë bent, kissing her brow gently. Eruanna shuddered, and the color returned to her cheeks. "Oh dear one, how we have longed and waited for this day. Welcome home, Eruanna, sister of Glorfindel, best beloved child." He said gently.
Eruanna looked up at Manwë, and she could not find in her mind words to describe him. His hair was pale blue bordering on white, fluttering in the salty sea breeze and around her face. His eyes were a blue that defied every blue she had seen. The brightest, purest blue there ever was and ever will be, ringed with warm gold, and filled with love that was too great for her to comprehend. His face was fair and flawless, and his smile was gentle and loving. Tears spilled onto her cheeks as she closed her eyes, unable to bear the sheer love in the gaze.
"There, my child. Will you not greet my brethren and my beloved?" Manwë asked, and she forced herself to open her eyes, swallowing past her dry throat.
She was passed to another, and this time she looked up to see a fair face of the most beautiful lady smiling down at her fondly. Her face was almost heart-breaking in its beauty, Eruanna thought to herself absently. Her face was heart shaped and fair, while her hair was like the deep Prussian blue of the night sky, wreathed with a crown of living, burning stars that captivated Eruanna's attention even more than Varda's azure eyes did. Varda laughed softly.
"Thank you, my child." Varda said softly as she divined the elfling's thoughts, and kissed her brow. Eruanna blushed faintly, the red dusting her cheeks slightly. Then she was passed on again.
It was another Valië, this time with hair that was a deep purple that reminded Eruanna of faded violets or rich wine-colored velvet. Her eyes were a soft violet, and her face flushed with a pretty pink color. Eruanna felt herself losing herself in the stories that flashed through those eyes. Then the Valië blinked, breaking the gaze gently.
"Welcome, little Eruanna." Vairë said gently, and Eruanna smiled hesitantly. And once more, she was passed down.
When she blinked, it was to see a face looking down at her with a small smile and yet trepidation. She blinked again. This Vala... She didn't know how to describe him. His hair was raven black, as black as the midnight sky without stars, and yet she almost thought it could have been a shimmering blue. His eyes were amaranthine, beautiful and yet somehow disconcerting. His skin was white, and there was a small scar over one of his eyes. And yet, she felt herself drawn to this particular Vala. He radiated... peace- no, rest- no, comfort. Yes, that was it: comfort.
And yet, he seemed in a vague, fuzzy way, in her mind, to be the sort of Vala to inspire fear. And for the life of her she could not figure out why. He was... Breathtaking. He was incredible, in her eyes. Why did he radiate such strong unease? He was wonderful! He was darkly beautiful, and Eruanna felt that she knew him somehow on a plane that was far more intimate then the other Valar. It was someone she had wanted to meet for a long time. This Vala was... home.
With a sigh, Eruanna curled into Nàmo's arms, face smoothing out and clutching his robe in her small fist. Nàmo smiled relievedly, and Olòrin felt himself involuntarily smile as well. Manwë looked delighted.
"Welcome, dear one." Nàmo murmured, and Eruanna started at the painfully familiar address, looking up at the Vala with wide eyes, although there was nothing but surprise there- and grief.
"I wish to extend an invitation to you, Eruanna." Nàmo said, and Eruanna blinked. Then Nàmo gave her a thin smile. "To come to my demesne and find peace." He said, voice turning deeper and more... Sepulchral. Celébrian gasped, but Eruanna just stared.
Then after a moment, she smiled tremulously. Yes. Yes, she would accept. For the chance of peace, for rest, for a new start. So Eruanna reached up, and accepted the invitation with a hug, and had she looked, she would have seen that Nàmo's eyes grew soft as he returned the gesture gently.