1. Strange Creatures
“This one has shown no threat?”
“No, Chief-Captain. Were it not it passed through the Girdle of Melian”, he dipped his head to his Queen, “we would not have so noted it. It hunts and searches but seems as another of Elf-Kind. But … not ...”
“Well share I your confusion. I know not what 'tis either.”
Beleg pushed his long, dark hair behind his leaf-shaped ears and shaded his Grey eyes with a slim hand as he looked down the hill. Closer inspection let him see the long dark hair but blue eyes of the being, as well as that it was female.
“Say you it shows some powers?”
“Aye, though I have not seen all, my troop report leaps across chasms and rivers, lifting of great logs, and running at speed even we would press to match.”
“One who passes through the Girdle must itself be powerful. Still … Captain Peliros, take the scouts of thy Company and of mine and go observe this one close.” Beleg gauges the distance. “It is nine miles away, close in by nightfall, learn more details of it. I will follow with the main Companies. We will see an we have more knowledge, of what is to be done.”
“It will be done.” Peliros replied.
Wonder Woman finished the last of the emergency rations, put her bottle back in her pack, and turned the meat she was smoking. The forest seemed to be well stocked with game and firewood for cooking. Her rations were not exactly running low, but she probably needed to stop for a day and hunt or fish instead of just following the river. She stopped what she was doing and listened. The man-like monsters she had fought when her invisible plane crashed had not bothered her in a week but she still felt as though she was being tracked. The barren farmsteads and burnt village she saw when she first entered this country put her in mind of ghosts though she sensed no spirits.
Suddenly three figures dropped from the trees. Unlike the first beings she encountered, these were clearly handsome, not exactly men. The bows they drew were beautiful unlike the others ugly shapes and their voices were clear, commanding when they ordered her to stand down. An Amazon warrior does not obey commands just because a man gives them.
“Hold and be questioned in the name of King Thin-gol.”
“I hold for none.” She said and stood at Warrior Ready. As she expected they let fly. She easily deflected the arrows with her magic bracelets, too easily. She could not fly for some reason but she could still leap. As she did she realized the trick played on her as a large net guided by others of the beings who shot at her and had jumped from the trees appeared above her. Caught off guard, she was wrapped in the net by the aerobatic juggling the handlers managed during the fall. She was struggling to draw her sword when one of the beings shouted:
“Hold! I Beleg, Chief-Captain of the March Wardens of Doriath command thee in the name of Thingol, mighty king. Stand thou and be questioned.”
She stood and stared but only because she realized that she never heard the tongue they spoke though she could understand it. She stared even more as she really saw him.
He stood as tall than she though slender and willowy yet extremely masculine. His long, dark hair, pulled back to free his bow, showed his Grey eyes and pointed ears. What he wore reminded her of an old Robin Hood movie she saw when she was learning the ways of Patriarch's World. She almost remembered something that should have told her what she saw, and then realized how he looked at her and what he said. Her blood became aroused. She drew herself to her full height and said, with pride and anger, “I am Diana, princess of Themyscira, daughter of Queen Hippolyta of the Amazon Nation. Release me or face their wrath!”
Beleg continued to stare at her face because it was very impolite to stare at what really attracted him. Compared to the Elf-women he lived among she wore next to nothing and had impressive … size. Tall was she and … wide, not slender. The shock of what he thought knocked his mind back to its proper track. 'Twas not proper to view an female so. The second shock was to realize this was no Elf. Princess she was, assure. He had seen such regal anger last only when Luthien and Artanis argued. He signed the archers to stand down.
“Princess thou saith and as Princess will I greet thee if first thou answerest. Will thee not to me so, then to my King?'
His face was peaceful, his words were fair, his warriors were many. Wonder Woman took the path of peace.
“I will answer to thy king, though his name I know not.”
“Strange to these lands thou art if the name Elu Thingol to thee is unknown. But still there is of you that which is regal and of nobility. You March Wardens, let her be. Give the Princess time to gather her possessions. We travel by river. Princess by what title shall thou be addressed?”
Princes Diana, an you be please.”
She did not know if the males surrounding her were her guards of honor or her guards of jail. As they walked to a bend in the river she ventured to talk to Beleg.
“Sir, I do admit to strange means of coming here that make me stranger to this land. Indeed I was searching for life an thou found me. Wilt thou tell me of it?”
“Stranger thou art surely an thou knowest not of Doriath! Here in Middle-earth it stands as a bulwark against the victory of Morgoth Bauglir, font of evil, and his lieutenant Sauron and creatures as the Ork. March wardens report your winning fights against them. Thingol Mighty King and his wife the Maia Melian of the Blessed Lands hold us safe behind her Girdle of Bewilderment as his brother Elmo and daughter Luthien aid in rule. Recent help is to us come from the Blessed Lands. Our relatives the Noldor am come in might to war against this Morgoth. They hold grudge against him to point of vengeance sought. With them we Eglath will achieve victory.” As Beleg spoke, Wonder Woman felt the ghost of a memory come to her as his words stirred something familiar. She thought she understood.
Luthien thought on what she was told. “Thou sayest she is no Elf, what then is she?”
“Princess, other than 'Amazone' no one knows. Peliros I did not see but his aide to me reports her manner as befits Elf kind, her bearing as befits warrior trained, her knowledge as befits one unknown to this land. She seems to us a friend, indeed the title Princess she claims and great dislike of Orks.”
“Yes, and power has she else she could not cross Mother's Girdle of Protection. But to know ought of this our land?” Luthien looked up. “My thanks good Athwen, please return to thy duties.”
“Princess, though thy speech is that of friend thy station is that of ruler and in hearing I obey.”
Luthien moved around her chamber with the grace her years of dance had taught, her raven hair unbound to the floor and her clear skin aglow. To gaze on her was grace, to hear her was blessing. In a habit she copied from her uncle Elmo, second to his brother Thingol, she speaks her thoughts aloud.
“What is this 'Amazoon' that walks here from the wharf of Ulmo? A presence she has above that she passes Mother her Girdle! Not alone is that her power. Methinks she doth enchant those who she doth pass.” Aloud she said: “What Nimren! Bring thou my deep blue gown and my silver chains.”
The handmaid brought the dress and jewelry to her. As she dressed her slender form, she thought, then said: “Bring the bottle of flower scented oil, anoint mine neck and give to me.”
As she placed drops of the oil on her wrists, Luthien planned for what lay ahead.
“Father thou hast commanded me near when this one arrives to see upon her. Since she comes equip for war, I too come prepare for fight. None will undo me in mine own land!” A vision of another Elf-Princess, tall and fair, flashed before her eyes. “This one I will overawe.”
Luthien stood to the left of her father's throne as Melian sat to his right. Discreetly behind stood Finrod, highest ranked of Noldor present, outstanding for his height and golden hair. The low dais raised them just enough for her to see all the faces of the courtiers standing before the throne, slightly more of them than usual, including, taller than most, the Noldo … Finrod's sister … Artanis. Before she can think of anything else the herald announces: “Diana, princess of Themyscira, daughter of Queen Hippolyta of the Amazon Nation”.
She sweeps down the room as though her right to be there was undisputed. Luthien is struck by her nakedness. Her cloak only accents how little she has underneath it. Next she senses her physical presence. She is almost as tall as Finrod and Artanis and is broad in a way that bespeaks strength, not flesh. “Her hair is dark as mine own though only to her waist though well it flows about her shoulders. Strange, they are slightly red as is one color of her … dress, as her eyes are strangely blue, unto the other color of it. What is there of her as seems so familiar? She stands before my father. He speaks. She replies.”
Thingol stood to greet his guest as was courtesy amid Elf-kind. Tallest of all Elves, his silver-Grey hair and commanding eye gave dignity a new image. “I Thingol, King of Doriath sit here in this my court in high council. I do demand of thee that thou give reason for thy presence in mine lands. Here standeth my Lords of Council and my people. Finrod, cousin and ambassador of the Noldor guests also stands to hear thee as thou mayest be an enemy. Now do I demand of thee: What doth thou in this realm without my leave? Thou sayest by accident or mistake, what proofs of this have thee?”
“The intruder replies in a voice both rich and musical though with accent strange and strangely familiar doth it seem.” Luthien thought aloud.
“Thingol, your highness I do respond in manner of mine own land, due stranger to thine I am and so ask forgiveness if by chance it should offend for that is not my wish. First I give thee curtsy as befit a King, and then do I respond.” She knelt before Thingol with queenly grace and sweeping bow, an act unlike the Elvish want. “King, Your Mighty, I do ask that you so believe that I have no knowledge of my reason here. I traveled in mine own lands and through accident here found myself, and naught do I know of this land save as I hear. I know that to believe thus is hard for hardly do I myself so hold, yet none else can I say. I ask for your Royal mercy.”
“A perfect answer perfectly phrased,” Luthien thought “and in the Noldor manner, praise with demand, respect with despite.” Luthien glanced Artanis’ way and saw her glance back. The lack of love each had for the other came to the fore of their thoughts as they listened to this Diana. Then both jerked imperceptibly and stared less hiddenly at each other, then even more openly at her, for both had realized the same of her. They knew her.
Artanis Nerwin Finarfinion (Galadriel to later time) was outside the Cave Menegroth, chef residence of the Sindar, walking. Thingol's sitting had lasted long so she was not able to do what made thinking easier for her until this next day. Her maidens were used to her marching all over the scenery when she needed to unriddle a problem, but this one must have been amazing. She had not changed the light Grey gown she wore to the sitting as it was plain as was the Sindar want. She was striding at almost a run with her long blond hair shaking behind her. Breathing with the regularity of the athlete she was, she let the miles pass as her Grey-blue eyes scanned the forest and her sharp mind scanned the issue.
She did have much to think on, because both she and that … Sindar Luthien realized that Diana the Amazon was a mix of them both! Noldor intelligence and crafts, Sindar talent and poesy, her hair and grace, my moves and charm, a part of her even thought, her heart felt, her spirit feared, they, three, were all sisters. She closed that thought as soon as it opened, helped by the fact that her maidens revolted and demanded she stop for mid-day meal. She walked to the side of the wharf they were near, removed her shoes, and started bathing her feet in the lake that attracted them. They were sore from all the walking she undertook to sort THAT through. She sipped her wine and nibbled on her bread as she reviewed her clear thoughts.
This one did have the bearing and knowledge of a true Princess but no real explanation of anything. No idea how she got here, confusing descriptions of where she came from, shocking lack of modesty though no dislike of beauty of dress on others, and her talk! At the meal given to welcome her as guest Daeron played. As he did, she became lost in the music. Artanis heard her whisper (as near as she understood) “A flute, so well played as a flute, yet in sound so like a viol in. An instrument from my, second home.” she said later when asked of what she spoke.
Trust that Luthien to instantly fall in favor of one who loves music, especially from her Lore-master plaything! One of her Maidens offered her a new bottle of wine. As she sipped, she decided: “I must speak to her myself. Imril!”
“Yes, Artanis my lady.”
“What was it to do after Finrod's dinner tonight?”
“The Sindar crafts women asked an audience with you.”
“Ah. I desire that myself.” Her Noldorn love of work of hands and art won out. “Later then a talk with this Diana. And Imril, only a Royal of the House Thingolion may have an audience. Make that mistake not again.”
Imril smiled with the knowledge of the confidant she was. “Yes, Artanis my lady.” And she thought of a certain tall, silver-haired Sindar Royal.
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.