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Fade Moonbow (Tawariell Ithilwen)

Daughter of the Forest, sister of the Moon

Darkness was upon us...

Her home, Greenwood the Great was no more, now in its place was Mirkwood. A tainted land, encroached upon, wasting away.

Running panicked through the hills, leaping brook and bough, as a fleeing deer would bound from the teeth of a wolf den mother. Fade caught sight of a hollow, big enough to rest in, small enough to go unnoticed, from a desperate searching eye. Curled like a piglet nuzzling its mothers teats, she brushed debris over her body to break her outline and meld into the comfort of the moulding space. Her breath ragged, she sucked deep and controlled, harnessing her lungs into a regular shallow pattern, just trickling enough air in to maintain consciousness. The soil was cloying. The earth cooling, reassuring. Hooves echoed in the distance, gaining on her. Like a marching drum of an orc war band, they beat in time with her flexing chest, and seemed to form a rhythm of fear, approaching wild and untamed. Fade gripped her crescent dagger near to her chest, and arched her back into the curve of her moon crescent longbow. Like a mothers caress. In moments, the mount was in the vicinity.. panting in large gasps, hot air blowing across the mouth of the hollow. There was a background noise, like an inner scream pervading the nighttime calm, not audible but sensed. The searcher was scanning the horizon. Like a wolf pack sniffing for blood, separate but all focussed on the signs of a recent bite and a limping victim. Fade stole her thoughts away to an earlier time, disassociating herself with the current peril..

Fade had witnessed darkness many, many times. Darkness which sullied the very Greenwood she was born in.. enduring the invasion of the Necromancer, and his minions into Dol Guldur. She'd known the anticipation of darkness during her frequent protective duties minding several camps in King Thranduil's service, north of the forest lands. Her home, Greenwood the Great was no more, now in its place was Mirkwood. A tainted land, encroached upon, wasting away.

Fade had agreed to accompany a small band of her countrymen to a place known as The Shire. Word had it, that there was a terrible storm of hate approaching, one of dire consequence for the free peoples of Eriador. The eye of the Storm was to form up in the Shire, centered around tiny plump men, with a liking for the grass beneath their feet and dried leaves sucked through a smoking bowl. They were known as Hobbits. The elven troop was to make their way to Bree, just east of the Branduin river. Where they would prepare themselves and make excursions into the Shire to make contact with the Hobbit elders. Warn them. Or Protect them. Whatever was required.

Fade struggled for her bow, a power greater than her bodily strength almost held her rigid.

The troop settled in at Bree, Fade visited a nearby market town to stock up on horsetwine and flint, it was on this night she first caught sight of the seeker that now stalked her. A chill wind blew through the courtyard, many plain folk milled around seeming to huddle in clusters to defy the weather. One small Hobbit creature was all alone. standing on his hairy toes, at full stretch. His face crumpled and pained, pointing towards the sky. Fade stooped to one side to get a closer look, the fellow was obviously in distress, but he was quite a distance away. There was something not quite right about his stance. As if he was being lifted off the ground by the scruff of his neck. Instinctively Fade began to move towards the Hobbit, becoming quite concerned at such a freakish sight. Approaching coiled and ready for the unexpected, Fade was hit with a mournful dread something akin to the loss of an immortal. The shadows dancing around the Hobbit began to take on form, a form tall and menacing, a form so powerful the light seemed to bend around it in fear. Fade knew it was a wraith, she had heard tell of it many times in the Mirkwood. Mounted on a steed with earthen flame in its eyes. As this apparition materialised, the atmosphere was sucked away, people nearby were dropping to their knees, clutching their chests unable to breathe properly, whether due to asphyxia or fear. Fade struggled for her bow, a power greater than her bodily strength almost held her rigid. There was a great deal of hatred and loathing currently being delivered onto this poor pitiful creature. From a glance sideways fade could see only but a few citizens still standing, the remainder were prone in pools of their own tears. Amongst the staunch were elves, dwarves and men, and even a few hobbits. These souls obviously hardened enough to defy the sagging weight of the darkness. The victims torment did not last long, the Wraith released his grasp and let the Hobbit fall like a limp rotten vegetable tossed from a market cart. In a moments flicker the darkness seemed to swallow itself whole and the Wraith had departed, sped on by a newly found scrap of information wrung from a Hobbits neck. For Fade the fear and injustice was enough to kindle within her deep longings of protection, worthy of the Valar themselves. She didn't rush to the Hobbits aid as others did, she spotted those who had stood in the glare of the wraith, defiantly opposed to this terror. She vowed to herself to make sure folks like those become her kin and one day they'd band together to prevent this disease from suffocating all.

.. another blast of fiery air snorted hurriedly past her face. Fade held, silent, and secure. The hooves began to rattle once again, above her, the inward scream began to wane, slowly but noticeably. Breath would come easier now.. the cloud had lifted. She must get back to their camp and rally the others of her kinship. The darkness is upon us now. Roaming free..

Blood trickled from her ears, as she climbed out of her earthly tomb and without a moments hesitation she set off in the opposite direction, at fleeting pace..