5. Chapter Four
Glorfindel shivered in his thick woolen cloak as he watched his breath turn to steam before him. A light dusting of snow covered the ground; the snowfall had stopped near dawn and as the sun rose higher in the sky the air warmed slightly, enough to melt the frost and turn the path to slush. People and horses went cautiously, avoiding puddles where they could.
Heedless of the cold, the enemy harried them from the rear, picking off whatever warriors or civilians they could from the trees. Clearly this was the main host, and they knew they followed an army rather than a troop of Elven scouts. Elrond wanted to turn, dig in and make a stand, yet he lacked a suitable position from which to do this. All he could do was trust to Celeborn’s scouts. He felt himself helpless, and his mood, heavy before the retreat, became grim.
In such moments, Glorfindel regretted the decision not to accept Narya. More than ever, as they trudged toward the mountains, burdened by cold and despair, the host needed the kindling of inner spirit that was the Ring of Fire’s power. They needed the exuberance of spirit that was Elrond’s to give them renewed strength and hope. If I had but taken Narya when it was offered, I might have taken his hands in mine and given him that.
But then, he realized the evil in what he thought, for if he had taken the Ring of Fire and wielded it, Sauron would have become aware of him, and through him the Elven host. There is no doubt he already knows our route and has found us already, but I would not risk such peril should he somehow not know.
It was ever the way of evil to prey upon noble intentions. That was what Glorfindel told himself as he shoved all thought of Narya from his mind. Whatever I give Elrond, it will come from myself alone.
In the evening, when camp was made and the night’s patrols assigned, Glorfindel allowed Lindir to tend his horse. The boy spent his days marching with the other refugees, so he would not get underfoot if a sudden attack forced the gweth to turn and retaliate. By the time he joined the warriors of Glorfindel’s gweth, he was weary and footsore, but brightened as Alagos and the other warriors greeted him. Many months had he spent in the wild, hiding with his kin and often going without food or rest; whatever complaint might have been in him was long since chafed away.
Lindir was small for his age, with sad eyes, but was more resilient than Glorfindel expected from one so young; the woman rescued with him was silent and vacant-eyed, and those who tended her knew her name only because Lindir told them. He brooded sometimes, hanging his head on the march, yet his smile returned when evening fell and when one of the gweth, seeing him loitering at the edge of their camp, beckoned him to join them.
Glorfindel was initially apprehensive about allowing Lindir to associate with his warriors. A gweth camp was no place for a child, however unobtrusive he was, and Glorfindel had little experience with children. But when he saw how infectious Lindir’s exuberance was, and felt his own spirits lift, he allowed the boy’s evening visits.
As for tending the horses of the gweth, Lindir had asked for something useful to do; the boy balked when told to sit quietly and not get in the way. Glorfindel was not about let him stray from the camp in search of firewood, nor did the boy have the skill or strength to repair weapons. When Lindir insisted on trying to whet his sword, Glorfindel pulled the blade from its sheath and handed it to him, watching as the boy’s arms were dragged down by a length of steel nearly as tall as he was.
“The horses need watering and rubbing down,” Glorfindel said, calmly taking back the sword and replacing it in its scabbard, “and you need not lift them.”
Lindir followed Ondoher on his rounds, listening attentively as the warrior explained how to care for a horse and its tack after a long day’s ride. He had no experience with animals. His parents had been well-to-do scribes in Ost-in-Edhil; he knew all his Cirth and Tengwar, he said proudly, and even a few Dwarven runes.
“We had a big house and from my room you could see the House of the Mírdain on the hill,” he said. “All sorts of people came to the house, even Men and Dwarves, but my ada said that was because the Mírdain didn’t keep scribes of their own and whenever someone bought something from them someone had to write it down in a special way.” Then his youthful boastfulness was replaced by a sad, faraway look and he grew quiet.
After a moment, he picked up his supplies and went to tend Glorfindel’s mount while the warrior sat on a stone and took his long knife and a handheld whetstone from a pouch. It quickly became obvious, however, that the white destrier intimidated the boy.
“His name is Asfaloth,” said Glorfindel. “That is the name I give to all my horses.”
“Because it is easier to remember that way.” And because his last horse in Gondolin had been called Asfaloth. Any others he might have had, he did not remember.
“I-I don’t know how to ride a horse, hir-nín.”
The knife blade paused over the whetstone. “Do not call me that, pen-neth. I am not your sworn lord. But since you are tending my horse, you may call me cáno. It means ‘commander’ in Quenya,” he said. “In time, when you are old enough, you will learn to ride.”
Once he had nosed the boy, snorting through Lindir’s disheveled dark hair, Asfaloth obediently let him rub down his flanks. “Will you teach me, cáno?”
“I am not a very good teacher, pen-neth.”
“Alagos says you are from Valinor.”
Again the blade hung motionless above the whetstone. “Alagos says far too much.”
“Are you from Valinor, cáno?”
“You ask as if that is such a rare thing,” said Glorfindel. “I was born in Tirion.” And reborn in Mandos, but you are too young and have seen and known too much of death already.
“My naneth told me Valinor is a beautiful place where nobody ever fights or goes hungry,” said Lindir. “And when you live there you can see the Valar who are bright and more beautiful than any creatures that have ever been.” He paused, chewing his lip as if wanting to say more. When he did speak again, it was in a shy, soft voice. “You’re very bright, cáno.”
“I am not one of the Valar, nor have I ever laid eyes upon them.” Glorfindel heard the harshness in his voice the same moment he saw the hurt in the boy’s eyes and at once softened his tone. “They say those who are born in the West have a certain light about them. Perhaps that is so, but it does not imbue me with any special power.”
That was not entirely so. He had heard it said that those who came of Valinor dwelt at once in both the realms of the seen and unseen, and against the shadow had great power. Celeborn’s warriors spoke of their lady, Finrod’s sister Galadriel, who glimmered with the light of her own long wisdom and radiance; she was one of the last of the Firstborn in Middle-earth who had seen the Two Trees, and within her, it was said, shone the mingled radiance of both.
I am neither wise nor radiant, nor do I remember the age before the darkening of Valinor. It seems I have always walked in a shadow, in this life and before.
“But you are beautiful, cáno,” insisted Lindir, “so you must be very wise and powerful, like the Valar.”
Glorfindel wanted to tell him how sometimes the most beautiful of things could conceal a rotten heart. Sauron wears a form so fair, they say, you would weep to see it. Surely having survived such hardship, you must know that. He opened his mouth to speak, but bit his lip before he could begin, his voice catching at the prospect of souring Lindir’s innocence.
I would tell you, to spare you the pain of learning such wisdom unaided, but I cannot. Even in the telling there is pain. Such simple faith, he reflected, that in beauty was wisdom and strength and the light of the Valar. Only in a child’s world could such a thing be true, and only in a world of such sorrow and pain could one wish for a child’s wisdom again.
* * *
Two days later, one of Celeborn’s scouts rode back with word of a sheltered valley a few hours’ ride to the northeast.
“Erion has given me a full account, yet I could not tell you if it is Oropher’s valley,” Celeborn told Elrond. “It is enclosed by high rock walls, and is well-sheltered and watered. The only approach is through a narrow pass which could easily be defended by a handful of archers. Even if it is not Oropher’s valley, it will serve our purposes.”
Elrond said nothing, but in his eyes Glorfindel discerned the first glint of hope since word had come of the fate of Ost-in-Edhil.
With the scout as their guide, the host turned northeast toward the valley. Already it was late in the day, with the promise of a long, chill night ahead. All through the ranks, warriors and refugees alike were urged to move with all possible speed; behind them, rattling and echoing ominously from the trees, the sound of their pursuers gaining ground hastened their steps more than any order could have done.
Then, as darkness threatened and the red rock of the mountain wall drew nigh, their pace began to flag. Elrond spurred his mount to ride from fore to rear and back again, urging greater speed.
Glorfindel met him toward the center, where the column of refugees began, and caught Elrond’s reins when the other would have ridden past. “Be not so harsh with them. They are going as fast as they might,” he said.
“It will be for naught if we do not reach the safety of the valley before night is upon us,” Elrond shot back. “Hear you the shouts of the enemy behind us? They know we have quickened our pace. They will be on us once darkness falls.”
“Our people cannot move any faster, and the way is treacherous. I will take my gweth to the rear and attempt to hold the path clear should an attack come.” Knowing that was precisely what he had done on the flight from Gondolin, knowing there he had met his end. Am I to give my life again, so these weary few can escape? Why does it seem that it always comes to this: a few harried souls fleeing from one haven to the next?
“Celeborn has already sent archers to the rear,” said Elrond. “Nay, if the women and children cannot walk, then take them up behind you and ride hard for the pass.”
Orders were given, and mounted soldiers turned from the fore and rode toward the center of the column, where they pulled foot-weary women and children up behind them. Glorfindel saw the warriors of another gweth ride past him and on ahead in the direction of the pass in a blur of hoofbeats and snorting mounts as he leaned over in the saddle and took the arm of a woman laden with a small child. Many were doing the same, taking on double passengers.
Twenty feet away, he overheard one of the captains arguing with Elrond. Some disapproved, fearing that if the enemy attacked, half their force would be too burdened with baggage to ride out to meet them.
“That baggage is my charge, do not forget that,” Elrond retorted. “If it comes to it, we will hold the line with foot soldiers and archers. Now take your gweth to the center column and save what you can.”
Whatever answer the captain made, Glorfindel did not hear it. A rush of air sweeping past his cheek was punctuated by the thud of an arrow embedding itself in the tree just behind him. His shield came up, deflecting a second arrow. The woman behind him whimpered and tightened her hold around his waist; he turned Asfaloth so her unprotected back was to the tree.
The familiar twang and whistle of arrows told him Celeborn’s archers were returning fire. Hathol rode past him, bearing two children, and he heard Ondoher call out. Half a second and a whine of air later, and a shaft sprouted from Ondoher’s shoulder. The warrior flinched at the impact, but stayed upright in the saddle, maintaining his hold on the boy in front of him.
“Ride!” Glorfindel shouted at him.
Through the trees they tore, arrows flying past them with a deadly whine; Glorfindel heard the clatter of shafts striking trees and hedgerows, scraping armor plate and, once or twice, hitting a live target. Someone fell behind him, crashing to the ground even as his horse raced on, and Glorfindel did not see whose body it was. Asfaloth set too swift a pace, and the woman had crushed herself to his back in a death-grip; he tightened his hold on the toddler that rode pillion before him and barreled on.
Half a mile, nearly all uphill, with clods of frost-rimmed mud flying, and the arrows were behind them, the shouts of battle growing more distant, lost in the trammel of hooves tearing the earth. The rock wall loomed before them, and within it, black between dark pines, a deep cutting through which three could ride abreast.
The world narrowed to steep walls and the long, echoing rush of flowing water. Twenty seconds in that dim space, then they were out, moving down a sharp incline and a flat mile to the ford of the Bruinen. Across the river, the ground rose again in a twisting track, leading somewhere unseen.
They had lost sight of the river days earlier as it climbed and tumbled through places where they could not follow. Here the current was shallow and slow enough that they might cross without difficulty; scores of riders had already gathered on the opposite bank, letting down their passengers. As Glorfindel crossed, he saw several captains urging their companies to make haste. One of them, Naruthol, was already coming back across the river with his gweth.
Glorfindel urged Asfaloth alongside him and reached over with his free hand, laying his hand on Naruthol’s pommel. “Where are you going?”
“We return to the fight, cáno,” the other said stiffly, his tone indicating he would not have answered at all had Glorfindel not outranked him.
“Who gave you such orders?” Glorfindel knew very well it had not been Elrond. “You will turn your gweth around and get those people into some semblance of order. We are not yet out of danger.”
Beyond the river, the winding track led through stands of pine and larch, past crags that pushed through blankets of green moss as if thrust up from below by Aulë’s hand. To the east, the walls of the valley framed the snowy peaks rising in the distance; from between the rocks, tapping some unknown mountain reservoir, sheets of water tumbled down into channels that fed the Bruinen.
Glorfindel noted the shape of the valley, which suggested the image of Aulë pulling the mountains apart to create a rift. Gondolin had also been surrounded by mountains, but the vale of Tumladen had been a vast green bowl set within a ring of encircling peaks; the only similarity between the two valleys were its ample waters and the narrow passes that gave entry.
At a quieter moment, he would have to inspect the pass and see about establishing permanent archer posts such as those that had guarded Gondolin’s Hidden Way. For now, the crags overlooking the Bruinen would suffice. He gave orders for the refugees to be moved farther up from the river, to a wide, flat table of rock near one of the falls; Naruthol’s gweth was assigned to accompany them.
His own company, minus a few, had rejoined him on the riverbank. Alagos told him that Henluin and Elmagol had been struck from their mounts on the ride to the pass; he had not seen whether Henluin’s fall had been mortal, but Elmagol had slammed into a tree.
Glorfindel only nodded, mentally adding the two to the number who had fallen since his gweth set out from Lindon in the summer. Turning, he saw Ondoher at the rear, listing in the saddle, his face waxy. The arrow still protruded from the back of his shoulder; earlier, he or someone else had broken the shaft in two, but he seemed to have forgotten the arrowhead remained, for no attempt had been made to pull it out.
At Glorfindel’s words, Hathol, who was nearest, brought his horse alongside Ondoher’s and supported the warrior as he slid sideways into his comrade’s arms. Careful of the arrow, Hathol wrapped both arms around him and pulled him forward across his own saddlebow. Ondoher groaned, flinching and twisting slightly in pain as the movement jarred the arrow, but let Hathol bear him up. Glorfindel sent them on with the refugees, to find whatever leechcraft was available.
The shadows lengthened toward evening and the first promise of rain misted down from a gray sky; the storm that had threatened throughout the day would find them that night, and if it was cold enough the rain would turn to snowfall. The only shelter they had were the tents packed away in the baggage train, which might or might not reach them in time. Glorfindel instructed some of the scouts who had ridden in with them to search the rock walls for caves or overhangs that would offer some protection from the elements, and to do it swiftly.
Word soon came back that three small caves had been found. Archers managed to flush out the creatures hibernating in one, taking down one that turned on them; the others were empty but for scattered bones and animal droppings. The caves were not large enough to accommodate everyone. They would have to tether the horses outside and pray there was no thunder and lightning to frighten them, or hope to find another cave before the rain came.
Glorfindel sent the scouts back the camp with orders to move everyone into the caves even as the thunder of many riders coming down through the pass reached his ears. He quickly signaled to the archers stationed on the crags. Bows were drawn, held tense, then slowly lowered. A signal came back as the riders came into view.
Elrond’s horse splashed across the wide ford, its rider bearing a gash across the forehead; he clutched his right arm with one hand while clinging to the reins with the other. Behind him came his gweth, battered and panting, bearing women and children on their mounts. Winded infantry came stumbling down out of the pass moments later; the archers came last, pausing and turning to fire at their pursuers. More archers fired from above, and from the depths of the passes came shrieks of surprise and outrage.
“They are…coming through.” Elrond shoved aside the hand that tried to probe his wound. It had bled freely before crusting over, and half the perelda’s face was dark with blood that ran down his jaw into the collar of his mail. “Call them back.”
“The archers will take them at the entrance,” said Glorfindel. “Look there, Celeborn’s troop is already taking position; the enemy will have to climb a wall of corpses before they can reach us.”
Elrond stared at the archers climbing up to the walls of the pass to join those already engaged. He pressed a trembling hand to his brow, feeling the blood. His eyes were feverish, desperate. “They do not have enough arrows, they cannot hold the pass against so many. Those on the ground, call them back now!”
“Spears we have,” said Glorfindel, “and the archers will use stones if they must. Elrond, it is not wise to leave the pass so--”
“Call them back, away from the river, back! Do it now or I will!”
He is mad, or has been struck too hard. “You cannot leave the pass undefended.”
Growling, Elrond wheeled his mount away from Glorfindel and shouted the order himself. The quavering of his voice was enough to bring Celeborn to his side.
“You are wounded, gwador.” Celeborn laid a hand on his shoulder, his fingers pulling at the collar of the mail shirt to see how much blood had run into it. “You should not be giving orders.”
“The scouts have found caves,” said Glorfindel, “but they are not large enough for everyone. I have sent them to find others, if they can.”
But Elrond would not go, instead repeating his order to bring all foot soldiers back across the river in a trembling voice that made both Glorfindel and Celeborn wonder if his wound had not made him delirious. Such things often happened with head wounds, even among the Eldar, and if Elrond was not yet complaining of fever, he would by morning.
At last, Celeborn leaned across Elrond and urged Glorfindel to pull the infantry and riders back toward the caves. “My own archers I will keep here, should the enemy win through. I will bring him myself, once the pass is secured. Go, and keep a place for us.”
Still doubting the wisdom of leaving Elrond in the company of archers whose quivers were nearly spent, Glorfindel called the warriors back across the river and sent them up toward the caves. They straggled through the icy water, bearing up wounded comrades and shouldering supplies rescued from the wrecked baggage train. With them were male refugees, smiths and carpenters who could bear weapons and had offered to fight. Glorfindel waved them along, urging them to follow the torches to the caves.
With one last look at Elrond, Glorfindel nudged Asfaloth up the path. If he could not trust Celeborn to keep Elrond safe, then no one could.
* * *
Once Glorfindel was gone, reluctantly taking the foot soldiers and riders with him, Elrond urged Celeborn to do the same with his archers. “Pull them back to this side of the Bruinen,” he said.
Celeborn hesitated. “Gwador, they have neither the numbers nor the arrows to hold the river from here. The water is too shallow.”
Elrond lifted his face to feel the drizzle mist on his skin. It will not be. With shaking fingers, he pulled off one of his riding gloves and thrust his hand into his surcoat. There, sewn into a little pocket between the lining and his mail, he felt a lump. He found the seam and ripped, while Celeborn watched in alarm.
You think I have lost my mind, that the Orcish blade took my wits along with half my scalp. Nay, it is what I do now that may not be so wise, and yet there is no help for it. “It is beginning to rain.”
The fabric pulled free and he caught the small circle of gold in his fingers; at the merest touch, he felt its power tremble through him. As he fumbled with it, drawing it from his surcoat, he saw Celeborn’s eyes fall hard on him.
This was a lord whose wife also held one of the great Rings, Elrond knew, and he reflected on the irony of remembering too late. Yes, you also feel it, and you know also that I have no choice. It would have been far easier had Celeborn left with Glorfindel. A moment, give me but one moment to call the river into flood, only that. Do not try to restrain me in this.
“Elrond, if that thing in your hand is what I suspect,” Celeborn began, “do not use it.”
Howls rose from the pass, and the clamor of battle carried down the long mile to the ford. From the heights, one of Celeborn’s archers was struck and tumbled down into the darkness of the pass. Little time remained. There is more wisdom in your counsel, but nothing of hope. “I do not know that I have a choice now.”
Celeborn clutched his fingers before he could slip Vilya on; his grip was chill and bruising. “This is folly!” he hissed. “Would you risk being ensnared so by Sauron?”
“And if I do not we shall perish regardless.” Elrond pulled away, but made no move to put the ring on. “Take your blade and strike me down if it comes to that, if Sauron seizes my will through this ring. Slay me swiftly, and then deliver Vilya back to the High King with the words that the river gave hope and life to more than I could.”
* * *
The storm took Glorfindel by surprise. Rain he had expected, but the clouds that day had not been so threatening. Now the wind blew cold through the valley, whipping torrents of rain sideways into his face as he went outside to check on the horses. Well-trained mounts they were, but against the forces of nature such training counted for little. The violence of the storm made them uneasy; even Asfaloth pawed the ground nervously.
And from somewhere, out in the valley, came the unmistakable ripple of power. Subtle it was, almost imperceptible, but Glorfindel could taste the tang like metal on his tongue. He saw his breath turn to frost before him; the wild rain should have turned to snow in the intense cold, as it had done on past nights. Off in the distance, toward the river, he heard a cry and the roaring of water. Lasto beth nîn, rimmo nîn Bruinen!
No natural tempest is this, he thought.
“Do you want me to look after them, cáno?” asked a small voice from the cave’s entrance. “The horses, I mean.”
Lindir watched him with uncertain eyes. Glorfindel had seen him hovering nearby as he and Alagos tended to Ondoher’s wound, his eyes growing large as the arrow was pulled out, then frightened when the warrior gasped and went limp in their arms. A sticky black substance clinging to the arrowhead was a poison widely used by the Orcs, and many of their blades were also laced with it.
As he moved among the horses, trying to relieve the tension that could not be eased in the too-close quarters of the cave, Glorfindel tried to push aside his fear that Elrond’s wound was also poisoned. Three of my company have I lost today. Merciful Elbereth, do not let there be a fourth. Do not let it be said that I left Eärendil’s son in his need while I rode for safety.
His attention came back to the boy, who stood trembling from both fear and the cold. In his eyes was Ondoher’s death and the flight from the enemy and a myriad of other terrors Glorfindel could not name. “Nay, the storm makes them difficult to handle. Let them be until morning. But come, you should not standing out here.”
“It is too warm inside, with too many people, and there is too much smoke from the fire.”
“Yes, that is so, pen-neth.” Glorfindel draped an arm about the boy’s shoulder, steering him back inside. “But you should be grateful the scouts found the cave, else we all would have had to sleep this night out in the rain.”
Lindir’s gaze went past Glorfindel, lighting on Asfaloth’s white flanks in the darkness. “Does it not bother the horses, to be out in the rain?”
“Not as much as it bothers old warriors and small boys. Come, you do not belong out in this weather. Are you hungry, pen-neth?”
“No, cáno. An archer gave me a bit of lembas.”
“That is good.” In the shadows past the horses, Glorfindel sensed movement. Something, or someone, was coming up the path. Either it was some creature of the valley or one of the host’s own warriors returning with news; the enemy was not known for coming upon them in stealth when it knew its numbers were superior. Keeping his voice level, he quietly reached under his cloak for his sword. “Go inside now, pen-neth. I will join you in a moment.”
Glorfindel saw the boy off with a forced smile and a glance before turning his attention back to the edge of the camp. He caught the eye of one of the sentries and with a gesture directed his gaze to the path. The horses were shifting and snorting, as though someone was moving among them. It was not unknown for the enemy to confound them and gain an advantage by loosing the tethers and driving the horses off, though of late this tactic had not proven successful. Gil-galad’s master-of-horse had seen to it that the horses sent with Elrond’s host were trained not to respond to attempts to frighten them.
The sentry calmly moved past Glorfindel, waiting until he was outside before drawing his weapon. “Daro!”
The command to stop was answered by a voice in Sindarin telling the sentry to stand down. Two shapes appeared on the path, one bearing the other up. Glorfindel saw pale, damp hair; half a second later he realized it was Celeborn, supporting Elrond. The perelda swooned even as he trudged through the rain; he slumped against Glorfindel, who immediately slid an arm under his to help keep him upright.
“He is not injured,” said Celeborn, “only weary. Some of the enemy attempted to cross the river.”
“They have gotten through the pass?”
“Some few, yes.” Celeborn’s face twitched with some unreadable emotion. “The river is in flood and my archers are placed on this side of the bank. They cannot get across now.”
Glorfindel gently took Elrond from him. “There is food and fire within, Lord Celeborn, though the quarters are close. I will bring Elrond in myself.”
“I-I do not…need to…be carried.” Elrond pawed at Glorfindel’s mail shirt with a hand that dropped the moment it was lifted. “I will…walk.”
“Not without help, gwador.” As he held Elrond, Glorfindel felt again the metallic tang of power that had ebbed through him earlier, and it was coming from the other’s body. Turning, he waved the sentry back to his post and nodded to Celeborn that all was well.
Celeborn gave him a knowing look. So he senses it, even as I do. “He is stubborn,” was all the silver-haired lord would say.
“Elrond, what did you do?” Glorfindel grasped the perelda’s chin in his free hand and pulled it up so their eyes met. “What did you do?”
“Something…not very wise. The storm…. A moment, only a moment, enough to bring the flood…. I-I did not have…a choice.” Before he could say more, Elrond’s head sank forward onto Glorfindel’s breast as he lost his struggle to stay upright.
He did not have to say anything else.
Glorfindel already understood. The power whose ripples he felt and the storm he tasted upon his tongue, that soaked him through his cloak and mail and lashed his face with its fury, he understood it all in one word: Vilya.
* * *
Vilya: Elrond having possession of the Ring of Air this early is, as was noted in an earlier chapter, a slight deviation on what Tolkien wrote in Unfinished Tales. By extension, I also realize that his using Vilya in this capacity is something that would not have been wise for him to do while Sauron held the One Ring. However, other instances are mentioned, most notably in The Fellowship of the Ring, where Elrond does use the Ring of Air to defend Imladris in a similar fashion.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.