~*~*COMING AND GOING*~*~
"Up and down from mountains and hills
riding down a forest road
to find place where I can be free
to fulfill my destiny
fulfill my destiny"
"Nice song, Nįriėl", Doriath smiled.
"Thank you", the Elf smiled back.
Nįriėl, Liath and Doriath were riding slowly through the forest of Cendorin. They had already reached the shores and where now travelling east. After a day of travelling fast, they decided to walk calmly now.
"The sea is beautiful", Liath said, looking at the green and blue water, shining like stars.
"Don't worry", Doriath said. "You will be able to sail on the sea sometime."
Liath looked at Doriath. How could he know? he thought.
After a while of riding, they reached the edge of the forest. Nįriėl took a deep breath.
"I am going to miss the smell of wild leaves", she said. "The smell of the forest."
"Hey", Liath said pointing ahead. "What are those hills in the distance?"
Very weakly, at the horizon, they could see the tops of grey hills. A lot of bird were flying around them.
"Those must be the Chillóry nests", Doriath said. "But you heard what the Wiseman said; first go to Rendoran."
Liath nodded. "Yes I know."
"In that case", Nįriėl said, "we better get going. "
"Rendoran lies at the shore, more to the east", Doriath said.
They rode on, this time with greater speed. Suddenly, Nįriėl felt that Myrowing was going even faster and faster. And soon, the horse passed Doriath and Derydas.
"Myrowing!" Nįriėl called. "Slow down!"
"Nįriėl!" Doriath called after her.
"What is happening?" Liath asked while holding on tight to the Elf.
But then also Doriath felt his horse was speeding up.
"Derydas!" he called. "Inna rifin din dah!?"
The horse neighed something back at Doriath and the boy looked back behind them. By his greatest surprise he saw that they were followed. Not by Collins, but by Goblins. Riding on the wingless dragons called the Hynra. Doriath saw that there weren't many, just a few, but they approaching slowly. He quickly looked before him again and made Derydas go faster. He managed to catch up with Myrowing and rode beside him.
"Nįriėl!" Doriath called. "Liath! We are being followed!"
Liath looked back and his eyes turned big when he saw the Goblins and Hynra drawing near.
"What do you see!?" Nįriėl asked while trying to control Myrowing.
"Goblins on Hynra's!" the boy shouted. "We better hurry!"
"What are Hynra's?"
"Wingless dragons!" Doriath called. "Fast over land! Sharp teeth too!"
"Oh my.." Nįriėl muttered.
"We cannot go to Rendoran!" Liath said. "We cannot lead these monsters to a city full of innocent people!"
"Liath is right!" Doriath replied. "It's too risky!"
"Than what do you suggest?" Nįriėl asked. "You want to fight them?"
"It might be the best thing to do!" Liath agreed. "There are on further places to hide either!"
Doriath didn't seem to like it, but he agreed.
Nįriėl made Myrowing to make a long curve back towards the Goblins. Liath already drew his sword.
"Are you sure about this?" Nįriėl asked.
"Yes!" Liath nodded strongly.
Myrowing speeded up. As soon as the Goblins surrounded them, Liath jumped off the horse on top of a Hynra. He first stabbed the dragon in the back. He punched the Goblin off the Hynra's back with his elbow. Nįriėl drew Rilya. The stones were glittering. Myrowing pranced and neighed hard. Nįriėl made Myrowing to ride and she stroke the Goblins and Hynra's beside her.
Meanwhile, Doriath already climbed off Derydas and told the horse to find a place to hide. The apprentice raised his staff and saw the Goblins and Hynra's approaching him. He waited until they were close enough and then screamed:
An ribbon of fire came from the emerald on his staff and stroke a lot of the monsters. Then Doriath drew his sword and with his blade and staff he was ready to fight.
Nįriėl jumped off Myrowing and stabbed a Goblin in the back. Then she heard a scream of Liath calling for her. A Goblin lifted him up at his throat and pointed with his sword. Nįriėl quickly looked around her, avoiding some blades, she picked up a stone from the ground and threw it straightly against the Goblin's head. Liath fell on the ground.
"Thanks", he coughed.
Nįriėl nodded. But suddenly, when she dropped her guard for just a second, she was punched in the back and fell down. She lost Rilya which landed on the ground meters away.
"Nįriėl!" Liath screamed.
Doriath heard his scream. He quickly pointed his staff forward and screamed. A gust of wind came from the emerald and knocked away all the approaching monsters. Then he ran towards Liath and helped him striking a few Goblins.
"Where is Nįriėl?" he asked.
"She fell down!" Liath shouted.
Doriath looked around him and saw Nįriėl lying on the ground some end away. She didn't move. Doriath thought quickly, but bearly knew what to do. Then all of a sudden he got an idea.
"Liath, raise your sword!" he said.
At first, Liath didn't understand, but he pointed his staff into the air. Doriath raised his staff and muttered some words. Immediately, Liath's blade began to glow a blue light.
"Fight with this, meanwhile I will go help Nįriėl", the apprentice said.
"Right!" Liath agreed and stabbed a Goblin in front of him. The power of the blue light was amazing.
Doriath ran away from Liath and tried to break a way through the fight. It seemed that some of the Goblins were also fighting each other. After pushing and pulling through, Doriath saw the little Elf lying on the ground. He began to ran towards her. But a Goblin through his dagger towards him. Suddenly, Doriath felt an incredible pain in his arm. He dropped him staff and with his other hand he pulled out the dagger from his arm. He moaned and almost screamed. He looked up ahead at Nįriėl. A Hynra bend over her, raised his head and roared. Doriath stunned. No, he thought. He tried to stand up, but a Goblin knocked him back down. Liath turned around.
"Doriath!" he called.
The Goblin raised his sword and was ready to stab. But Liath was faster. He threw his sword right into the chest of the monster and it fell down with a scream. Liath ran towards Doriath and pulled his sword out off the Goblin body. He helped Doriath up. His arm still hurt pretty bad.
"Nįriėl.." Doriath moaned.
Liath looked around him and saw Nįriėl on the ground with the Hynra above her, ready to spit fire.
"Nįriėl!" he called. He ran towards her, stabbing and striking the Goblins around him. But too late. The Hynra breathed in deeply and released his flames. But then a green light appeared around Nįriėl's body. The light reflected the flames back to the dragon. The creature screamed when the fire burned his face. With his paws he wanted to reach out for his nose, but they were too short. A sharp light beam suddenly came through the crowd and stroke the Hynra which fell down dead. All the Goblins suddenly stopped fighting. It was like they all froze. Doriath and Liath watched stunning, while the crowd made way for a girl in robes. The girl approached slowly. From under her robes, she raised a staff with a yellow stone in it. Doriath felt the pain in his arm decreasing. He looked at his wound which healed himself. Even his clothes made themselves. The glow from Liath's sword disappeared. A weak gust of wind blew through their environment. The yellow stone absorbed the wind and released a white glaring light. Doriath and Liath covered their eyes. The Goblins screamed and shrieking. Liath and Doriath understood that the monsters were fleeing. When the light disappeared, all the Goblins and Hynra's were gone. Only the dead bodies remained.
The girl kneeled down next to Nįriėl and raised her hands above her body. This time, a blue light appeared around the Elf. Doriath and Liath ran towards the two girls. But they stood still where they saw a movement in Nįriėl's body. Nįriėl moaned. She raised her head and leaned on her elbows. The girl in robes helped her up. Nįriėl looked the girl in the eyes. She reconized her face. And the slit-eyes. The girl smiled at her and Nįriėl couldn't help smiling back.
"Nįriėl!" Liath and Doriath called.
Nįriėl turned around. She laughed at her friends, but wasn't able to speak just yet. She was still thinking about what just happened.
"We thought we lost you", Liath said carefully.
"I did too", the Elf smiled quietly. Then she looked around her and saw Rilya on the ground. She picked up her sword and put it back in its sheath. Suddenly, they heard bird whistling in the air. When the children looked up they saw a flight of Chillóry flying over their heads. Doriath and Liath sighed. Nįriėl turned towards the girl in the robes. She just stood there, with her back towards them, gazing at the passing birds. Nįriėl examined the girl a bit.
"Are you Gilrien-Hyn?" she asked.
Doriath and Liath heard that. Myrowing and Derydas suddenly appeared. Doriath stroke Derydas carefully and whispered to him relieved. When the girl in robes heard Myrowing's neighing, she sighed.
"I am", she answered.
"I knew it", Nįriėl smiled. "Thank you for saving me."
The girl turned around. Liath, Doriath and Nįriėl examined the girl when she took off her hood.
Suddenly, a glaring of trumpets sounded on the distance. The children turned around and saw riders drawing near.
"Oh no, not again", Liath sighed annoyed.
"Gilrien-Hyn..?" Nįriėl said. But when she turned around, the girl was gone. Nįriėl looked around her, but understood Gilrien-Hyn already left.
Meanwhile, Doriath and Liath had already drawn their weapons. But they were all weakened. Nįriėl was too, even though Gilrien-Hyn healed her. The riders had now reached the children and surrounded them.
"Children of Ķlma!" a familiar voice shouted. "Lower your weapons."
"Nimlir!" Nįriėl called happily. Doriath and Liath looked at her surprised.
A rider came forward and stepped off his white horse. He took off his helmet and shuck his head to get his locks of hair out of his face. He laughed at Nįriėl.
"Lady Nįriėl!" he said. "It pleases me to see you are unharmed."
Nįriėl bowed but just couldn't resist hugging him.
"Nimlir", she said pointing at her friends, "I would like to introduce you to two other children of Ķlma. Doriath Paladin's apprentice and Liath son of Eliath."
The two boys bowed before the Elves a bit shy. Nimlir laughed at them.
Nįriėl, where is master Silian?" he asked.
Nįriėl's smile disappeared and lowered her head. "Our paths separated after leaving Ancient Gilrien."
Nimlir nodded with understanding.
"Come", he said. "We must not linger here. Goblins will return. We shall take you to the caves at the Chillóry Nests."
"Alright", Nįriėl said.
She and Doriath called their horses. They followed the riders towards the Chillóry Nests, away from the meadows.
"This wasn't our course", Liath muttered at Doriath.
"It isn't", the apprentice answered. "But life is full of surprises and changes. Nothing can ever be held strictly to a plan."
"Doriath is right", Nįriėl filled in. "And I do not suppose that anything will go according to plans ever again."
And Nįriėl could be right. Because from above their heads, from a tree, a shadow was watching them. It growled, spread its wings and flew away.
When they arrived at the nests, Nimlir brought the children to the caves they were resting. The children were surprised and amazed by all the birds around. They all had different vivid colors. And they whistled the most beautiful songs. Suddenly, Liath's eye fell on a face watching the, closely from behind a rock.
"Hey!" the boy said pointing. Then more faces appeared and bodies. All muttering and whispering.
"Who are they?" Nįriėl asked.
"They must be the Chillóry Folk", Doriath guessed.
"Master Doriath is right", Nimlir said.
"Chillóry Folk", Nįriėl muttered looking around her.
All of the people looked a lot like the birds. Their hair, eyes and skin color where colored in vivid colors. They had funny bog ears, almost like butterfly wings. They wore old clothes, farmer clothes. Walking on bear feet.
"Hum.." Liath muttered a bit unpleasant.
"Don't worry", Nimlir laughed. "It is just a great honor to this people to meet children of Ķlma."
"Oooh", Liath said.
"Nimlir", Nįriėl after a while. "Where are your troops gone to?"
"To the river", Nimlir answered. "Getting water for the Chillóry and their folk. As long as we are here, we might as well lend their our hands."
"Captain!" a voice suddenly called from a high rock.
Nimlir and the children looked up at another elf in a cloak waving at them.
"What is it Falkir?" Nimlir called back.
"It's Rendoran", Falkir said, this time more quietly.
The children stunned. They quickly followed Nimlir up the rock. In their view lay a red horizon. In the distance they saw fire and flame. The screaming of Collins and Goblins in high-pitched voices echoed through the sky.
"No.." Nįriėl whispered unbelieving.
"Rendoran is burning", Liath said with open mouth.
"Are we.. too late?" Doriath replied.
Nįriėl closed her eyes and felt anger burning in her heart. Nimlir lay his hand on her shoulder.
"There is nothing you could have done", he said.
Nįriėl gazed at the flames and the burning horizon. She and both of the boys just couldn't fight the feeling of guilt, that is was their fault.
"At least we know the children of Ķlma are safe." And then the captain Elf left.
"It isn't our fault you know", Doriath said carefully to Nįriėl.
"You do not even believe that yourself", Nįriėl muttered.
"He is right", Liath said.
"How can you say that!?" Nįriėl shouted while shedding a tear. "It is because of us! We led the Final Darkness there. It is our fault!"
"Nįriėl", Doriath said, while he felt tears coming up too. "There's no use anymore, saying that it is rather us than them. Do not forget, that we have a mission. And only we can accomplice it."
"But maybe not this way", Liath said shedding a tear. "We are only children after all."
"But.." Doriath muttered. But there was nothing he could say. He felt sorrow. Maybe Nįriėl and Liath were a bit right.
"I wish.. Silian was here", Nįriėl whispered.
"Nįriėl.." Liath suddenly said. "Why didn't you tell Nimlir about Gilrien-Hyn?"
Nįriėl looked at the sky. "Because I do not think she wanted me to."
"Yes.. she is a mysterious type indeed. Could it be she is also a child of Ķlma?"
"Pretty good chance", Doriath said.
In the distance, at the burning horizon, at the burning city of Rendoran, Nįriėl could see the spirits of the people in the sky. In different colors. Blue, red, yellow. They flew high into the sky and then disappeared. Doriath and Liath gazed at them too.
"I wonder.. if I would ever see the Paladin's Valley", the Elf suddenly said.
Liath looked at her. A thought shot through his mind.
"You know.." Doriath said. "I think we will..."
Next morning, Nįriėl, Doriath and Liath got fresh and new supplies from the Chillóry Folk.
"Go straight to Alamė", Nimlir said. "Then to Argo-Faith. And please hurry. The Collins are following you. You must get to that city before them. You must save the blueprints of the Airships."
The children listened.
"Take this, Nįriėl", Nimlir continued while giving Nįriėl something. It was a wooden sculpture of a Fe-line in robes and with a pointy hat. She had a staff in her hand. Nįriėl thought of Miysis.
"This is Kirinimh. A mythical Fe-line creature. Use is wise."
Nįriėl looked at Nimlir. She didn't quite understand, but nodded.
The children bowed. Then they climbed on the horses and left to the north.
None of them said a word. They were still thinking of what they saw the other day. Is it wise to go to Alamė, they thought. Evil was following them after all. Too bad they couldn't stay at the Chillóry Nests longer than they did. I guess those people could become great friends with us, Liath thought.
Nįriėl sighed. She looked up at the sky. She gazed at a cloud and for a moment she could see Silian's face. Then a thought came up in her head. She thought for a second. Then she drew a confident face and made a decision. She pulled at Myrowing's reins and the horse turned east.
"Hey! Where are you going?" Liath said both confused and surprised.
"To Argo-Faith!" the Elf said.
"But we are suppose to go to Alamė!" Doriath said.
"So that it can disappear in flames, just like Rendoran? Not a chance!"
Liath and Doriath looked at each other. On one side, she had a good point.
"Besides", Nįriėl continued. "There is an Airship waiting for us. We must reach it before the Collins do. The sooner we get to that city, the better. And why going to Alamė anyway? Through the meadows is a better idea. Safer, for us and for the people of Alamė itself."
"I agree", Liath said. "I am with you, Nįriėl!"
"Thank you", Nįriėl smiled.
"Reckless.." Doriath muttered. "But both brave and wise. Alright! I am with you too!"
"Alright then!" Nįriėl laughed confident. "Thank you, my friends. On our way to Argo-Faith!"
She brought Myrowing to gallop. Doriath followed her with Derydas and the three children left to the capital of Nimuore, the city of faith and wonders: Argo-Faith!