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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:31 am 
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Season 5: Episode 5

[Scene opens on the eve of the march to war with Doriath; all is ready upon the hill of Amon Ereb. Celegorm looks up at the night sky, breathing in deeply the cool fresh air.]
Celegorm: ‘Tis a clear night… a good sign. [He turns to Maedhros, tall and dark in the half shadows of the camp. He comes forward now into the fullness of the starlight]
Maedhros: [quietly] Are all the preparations complete?
Celegorm: They are. All companies are in and at the ready. They only await the command to march forth.
Maedhros: Good. [his eyes survey the grey southerly slopes that densely house the Feanorrim force. Celegorm follows his brother's gaze. The host of the Feanorrim is now fully gathered and there is an almost palpable tension in the air.]
Celegorm: Can you feel it? The anticipation of purpose that is the battle readiness of the troops, fuelled by their steely ambition to retrieve the Silmaril of Fëanor… Maedhros, we are bidden by a fate we cannot deny whether we would or no. Our words of old force us to hold to our vow. And as united as we were in the pledging of our oath, so must we be in the enacting of its decrees.
Maedhros: [looks at Celegorm for a moment and nods his head.] I will not say you are wrong as to our duty to our oath and so I shall do as you bid. As it is written in the tale of the world, so shall it be. Against all wisdom and hope, we go to Doriath with war. [sighs] Our doom cannot be averted, I see that now.
Celegorm: [he breathes deeply again] My heart is high within me! For the first time since we set foot in Middle-earth we have a sure chance of retrieving a Silmaril! It is almost within our grasp!
Maedhros: [turns to him and nods slowly, but does not speak straightaway. Eventually, perceiving his brother’s discomfort he replies softly.] Curufin is right, Celegorm. Father would have been proud indeed to see us now. [lays his good hand upon Celegorm's shoulder, smiles faintly.] And we shall not disappoint him…
[Celegorm raises his eyes to his brother's and sees the melancholy in Maedhros' glance fade into a hardened starry glint, his expression one of commanding purpose.

Camera shift to Maglor, mounted. Maglor glances up to the Workroom window. A light is on, and Eldacala is moving about. Camera cut to Maglor, who glances down at his hands.]


Curufin: [rides beside Maglor] Do not worry, Brother. No woman likes to see her man ride to war. She will greet you when we return, victorious.
Maglor: So say you. My heart is still heavy, for I fear what is to come will bring us more woe than good. [Camera follow riders as they exit left. Camera Fade.]

* * *

[Camera fade in on Workroom. The only light comes from the coals. Eldacala enters, carrying a large leather bag. Metal clatters as she sets the bag on the workbench. Eldacala lights a small lamp, chooses a long drill from a tool box, and dumps the contents of the bag on her table. Camera pan over several hitch fastenings for wagons.

Eldacala chooses one of the hitch fastenings, positions it in a brace, and begins to drill into the attachment point at the end of the fastening. She finishes, tips the metal shavings out of the fastening, and taps it on the counter. A sour bell tone sounds. Eldacala sets the weakened fastening aside and puts another into the brace. She repeats drilling out the metal from the hitch. Camera pan back as she works.]


Eldacala: [voiceover, resolute] I have done what I can to slow the inevitable… Yet if Dior does not yield the Silmaril, my lords, broken hitches will not stop you from slaughtering innocent people! Still, I will promise you this: You shall gain nothing from your misdeeds! [Camera pan back, fade.]

* * *

[Fade into early next morning: the sky is grey with wintry clouds and the winds chilly and biting. The landscapes about are dull and dreary in the colourless light. There is muted activity upon the hill as the Fëanorrim go about their business of preparing for the march to war. The brown slopes are now bare as all the tents and banners have been stashed away in wains. Warriors congregate about the threshold of the great gates while those with families and loved ones say their quiet farewells. Captains ride by their men, inspecting their troops and the commanders of the brother’s factions gather in groups, discussing in soft tones their strategies and the policies of war. A sombre mood seems to lie upon all.

A bell tolls in the fortress, the final summons for the troops to gather in readiness. Those still preparing themselves in hall or house now hurry to the gates and fall into their respective units. All wait in silence for the Brothers to emerge and address them. Soon the great gates open and the seven sons stride forth purposefully to stand before the gathered multitude. Maedhros steps forward to address the troops. He indicates Celegorm to stand beside him.]


Maedhros: Noldor of the House of Fëanor! I see a sadness in your faces and perceive a melancholy in your hearts as you stand before me…We are indeed a cursed people who have failed in all our hopes and desires in Middle-earth. We live as elves who are tainted with the blood of kin that stains our hands and darken our memories. We stand this day, charged with disobedience to the wishes of the Valar and are seen as unrepentant slayers of kin - because we have sought one thing alone that is due to our people: Justice! We have sought for justice when all others have cowered from the evil of Morgoth. Ours has ultimately been a just cause though the road to our goal has been grim indeed. [turns to his brother.]

Celegorm: But no matter! We shall strive against fate for we cannot let the ill of Morgoth go unchallenged. And though some would now say that our fight is misguided as we would face the Sindar, I would say that by his silence does Dior son of Beren refuse our jewel's surrender. We honoured well the valour of Beren and Lúthien while they yet lived, and now we shall attempt to recover our birthright.. Aye, not one of you should feel guilty or dismayed for seeking to redress the injustice of theft that rankles our everyday thoughts. Therefore, arise brave warriors of Fëanor! We go not to perpetrate a crime but to end it! Do I hold you all with me in this? [There is a clash of spears upon shield and many cries of assent from the warriors.] Then sound the horn for us to set forth!

[A blast rings deep and forlorn. Even before its echoes have faded, the brothers have all mounted their horses and Maedhros leads the army down the sloping road to the plain below. The broad path is lined with women and children yet there is no cheering of the troops. Many stand silent with lowered heads while some give Elven salutes in farewell to their loved ones. The head of the column reaches the huge oaken gates of the outer wall. The lines of warriors march out and as they reach the open western road, the Elves hide their armour by wrapping their grey cloaks about them, blending in with the grey pall of the dreary land. Cut.]

* * *

[Cut to scene later in the day. The Brothers and their troops ride at a quite slow pace, mostly in silence. After a while the Noldor pause to stretch their legs and have something to eat. So far the invasion party has remained unseen by anyone apart from a few birds. Maedhros talks with some of his followers; The Twins stand further away discussing silently with each other.]
Amrod: [whispers to his twin] Why do we ride so slowly?
Amras: [shrugs] We are in no hurry. It does not matter how quickly we get to Doriath, as long as we get there. The trees are deeper asleep in winter. Dior will not be expecting an attack, and he will have no warning of us… there will be fewer losses that way.
Amrod: [shakes his head] It seems to me our slow pace is only a way to postpone our errand.

[Camera cut to Curufin, who sees Caranthir nearby brooding by himself, and goes over to him.]
Caranthir: What is on your mind?
Curufin: [looks at his brother, taking his time to reply] None of us has set a foot in Menegroth before. [Caranthir nods] It may be a crucial drawback. Where will we find the Silmaril? On show or locked away?
Caranthir: The rumours say he wears it – to show off. [Curufin nods] What of it?
Curufin: The element of surprise will be our ally, intuition our guide but even if we do not find it at once, we still have to keep on searching for it, killing everybody who gets in our way.
Caranthir: [tilts his head, questioningly]
Curufin: [sighs and looked at Caranthir intensely.] Everybody. Once the wheels are rolling they cannot stop until the hill is behind them. We have to ransack the whole place, down to the very last child that might be hiding our treasure.
Caranthir: [looks away] I know what we have to do, but… [his voice falters] I fear what will happen. We are armed more strongly, but are headed in a place where we must fight blindly, giving the enemy a great advantage.
Curufin: [firmly] There is no room for showing mercy, because we will not receive it either. And once in battle, there is no turning back, even if we do not get what we came looking for.
Caranthir: [snaps] You do not have to preach me about the Oath; I took it as well.
Celegorm: [walking up to the group] The wind is turning: it is currently on our side, and the beasts of the forest would not notice our scent were we to arrive to Doriath now. We should speed up. [Elves mount up and set off again. Fade.]

* * * * *

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There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:29 pm 
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[Camera fade in on Amon Ereb. A grey mist and slow freezing rain cover everything in ice. Camera focus on icicles, hanging heavy from the roof tiles over some narrow windows. Several tiles crack from the weight, sliding slowly off the roof. A large icicle smashes a window on its way to the courtyard. Glass tinkles as it falls. Camera fade to mist.

Camera cut to hallway. The hallway is well lit, with several doors opening on either side. Eldacala enters right and moves quickly down the hall, carrying a tool case and several wrapped panes of glass under one arm. She stops at one door midway down the passage and tries to open the latch. The door is locked. She sets her tools and glass down carefully and rummages through her bag.

Camera focus on latch as Eldacala straightens with a long pick in her hand. She inserts the pointed end into the latch and wiggles it. Her face is tight with concentration. At last the latch opens with a metallic click. Eldacala pushes the door open with her hip as she bends to retrieve her tools and the glass. Cold wind blows her hair over her face, and she brushes it away, apparently annoyed.

Camera shift inside the room. Shards of glass and bits of the icicle are scattered over the floor. The room is obviously a bed chamber. In the dim light we see a shadowed female form lying on the floor near the hearth. Camera cut to Eldacala, shocked and terrified.

Camera focus on Eldacala as her eyes widen. She lifts her skirts and hurries to the prone woman, dropping the glass and tools. Glass shatters, tools clatter. Eldacala lifts the woman’s head. Camera focus on the body; Lotsë is lying face up, her eyes open, her lips swollen and blue. Dark bruises around her throat show the shape of hands. There is a pool of blood under the back of her head where her skull was smashed against the hearth. She is completely limp, wearing only her undergarments, and has obviously been dead for a couple of days.

Camera cut to Eldacala. Her mouth opens as if she is screaming, but only a soft whine comes out. She continues screaming, silently, holding Lotsë and rocking her. Wind from the broken window stirs her hair. Snow drifts into the room. Camera pan back, cut.]


* * * * *

[Camera cut to Noldor Army moving toward Doriath. Camera pan over line of armed foot soldiers, with officers riding. Wagons loaded with weapons and supplies are spaced through the column. As the Army advances over rolling terrain, the wagon drivers snap the leads sharply to hurry the horses. The horses surge forward, and the weakened hitches snap. Horses bolt, startled, jerking their drivers from the seats. The column halts as the wagons roll to a stop.

Camera focus on Brothers as they push their way through the clustered soldiers. Caranthir lifts a broken hitch, gives a cursory examination, then throws it down impatiently, clearly furious.]


Caranthir: [curses in Quenya] This will slow us to a crawl! How did this happen?
Curufin: How long since these hitches were used? Not since we came to Amon Ereb.
Maedhros: [firmly] So we shoulder the gear along. [louder, commanding] Grab whatever you can!

[Camera focus on Maglor, who picks up the hitch Caranthir dropped. Maglor examines the metal carefully, running his fingers inside the opening and over the broken place. Camera focus on Maglor, frowning. Camera pull back as Curufin nudges Maglor.]
Curufin: [impatient] Come on, Brother! You will not take a lighter load by delaying here.
Maglor: [preoccupied] I come.

[Camera pan over column as Army begins to move. Wagons are left, along with much of the supplies and weapons. Camera shift left, focus on horizon. Camera cut.]

* * * * *

[Scene opens in Great Hall of Menegroth. Dior sits enthroned beneath a forest of stone and gilded leaves. The carvings have almost been restored. The camera can still spot scratches and hollow sockets where precious stones have been gouged from their settings, awaiting craftsmen to smooth over the damage and replace the lost gems.
The Hall is decorated for the Winter Solstice. Many long garlands of gilded flowers and winter berries are entwined among the branches of the carved trees that support the cavern roof. The carved boughs sparkle as though dusted with frost. Extra candlesticks are placed around the room, and elves are dusting down tapestries that are hung along the walls. The hall is crowded with Elves, many of them already dressed in their festive finery, scattered throughout the length of the hall, standing in alcoves or perching on seats disguised as broad branches and the trunks of felled trees. Cut.]


* * *

[Cut to forest of Neldoreth, less than a mile from the Esgalduin bridge which guards the entrance to Menegroth. The Noldor host are pulled up, hidden within the trees. Scouts return and report to Celegorm. He turns to Maedhros:]

Celegorm: [excitedly] Despite the delay caused by the sabotaged supply wagons our luck still holds: they are unaware of our coming! We must take them now while we still have the advantage.
Maedhros: [nods his head] Curufin, take a few ahead and remove the guards this end of the bridge before they can sound the alarm. [the chosen Elves disappear into the forest with Curufin. Camera cut to bridge. The stealthy Noldor scale the bridge and kill the unsuspecting guards silently. The Signal is given and the Noldor host pour onto the bridge. Cut.]

* * *

[Cut back to inside Menegroth. The minstrels seem glad to finally put away their laments and fill the air with more festive music. Eluréd and Elurín are running about, trying to be useful but mostly making an amusing distraction of themselves, helping themselves to fruit and nuts, their boundless energy infectious. Finally their maidservant takes them by the hand and leads them off out of the Hall. Thranduil wanders over to his father who is enjoying a glass of mulled wine.]

Thranduil: [wipes brow and helps himself to a glass] Even the coronation did not require so much effort…
Oropher: [raising glass] The King is apparently quite determined to make as fresh a start as possible. And I do not object since this was always my favourite season.
Thranduil: [smiles] Ada, you like every season! [They wander back through the wide hallways toward the front gates, admiring each room now in full winter glory.]

Thranduil: I need to get out. I have had my fill of cutting sprigs and tying knots.
Oropher: It can be rather tedious, but at least wait to eat first. You know how impatient you can be when you are hungry.
[Savoury smells start to fill the air and almost everyone begins to migrate back toward the great hall smiling happily.]

Oropher: [elbowing his son in the ribs] Come on, we have earned our share of the feast.

[They take scarcely three steps before there is a growing sound of shouting behind them. The nearest musicians falter as the shouting becomes screams and frantic orders from the guards to shut the gates. Without a word, Thranduil and Oropher run back toward the noise. Elves are flooding away from the outermost chambers in a panic as father and son arrive at the gates.]

Oropher: [to Captain of the Guard] What is it?
Captain: [grimly] The Fëanorians! [Thranduil shares a brief look with his father then they join the guards in barricading the gates with a massive beam.] Go arm yourselves! [waves them away as his archers man the embrasures.] The gates will not hold. Clear the people from the Hall! [color=blue][i] [Cut.]

* * *

[Cut to Feanorians at the main gates of Doriath, the first few guards that have not run away for back-up have been cut down.]

Celegorm: Well, since no one will give us permission to enter, we will take it ourselves! There is no going back before we have entered these doors. [A battering ram is passed down to the front of the line, as the doors refuse to yield to pushing and pulling. The ram easily splinters the decorated wood on the surface, but takes longer to buckle the gate of iron that lies beneath. E ventually the doors are smashed open, revealing long passageways splitting off in different directions, with doors on either side.]

Celegorm: Maedhros and Maglor, take your men and lead them through the gates and head towards the King’s Hall; Amrod, Amras, you will enter through the opposite doors with Caranthir and the bulk of our troops and engage the defenders in the main body of the caves. Curufin, you organize the looting. And remember…the Half-Elf is mine! [The Noldor force quickly splits into three main groups and a few more smaller. The army is very effective, tearing open doors and giving commands both in Quenya and Sindarin for the Grey-Elves to surrender or fight – there will be no mercy for their opponents. ]

Curufin: [his eyes sweeping the surroundings] Search every room. And if you see any members of the Royal Family, they at least will know the whereabouts of the hoard. Leave guards to watch even those who will not lift a weapon, just to be safe. [looks at Caranthir, whispers knowingly] And that includes our older brothers…
Caranthir: [coldly] If the Sindar can not manage to oblige us, we can take care of the matter ourselves. Who will say they did not fall to a foe’s blade in the confusion?
Curufin: [raises eyebrow] To slay mortal and Orcs is one thing. Killing those who share our blood is quite another. Could you truly shed blood so close to you?

[Camera focus on Caranthir, closing into to focus just on his eyes… Camera fade to mist. Camera focus on Caranthir’s bedchamber, Amon Ereb. Memory sequence.
A fire crackles warm in the hearth as Caranthir blows out the last candle. He pours two cups of wine, smiling eagerly. Camera shift to bed. Lotsë reclines on the pillows, wearing only her undergarmets. One slim leg stretches free of her clothing. Caranthir hands her a cup of wine and runs his free hand over her calf.
Camera focus on Lotsë as she sips the wine, smiling. Caranthir kisses her, a passionate, possessive gesture.]


Lotsë: How soon will you return?
Caranthir: [chuckle] I will be back before you have the chance to miss me, my love.
Lotsë: I doubt that. [sets cup on side table] I do not like the thought of you going into danger.
Caranthir: Have you so little faith in me? This is not my first battle, you know.
Lotsë: [kisses Caranthir, nibbles his lip gently] I know, but I did not love you then. I fear to lose you, even for so great a goal.
Caranthir: [sets cup on the floor] Worry not, Sweet One. You will never lose me. [places hands on Lotsë ‘s throat in an intimate caress] Not so long as you live…
[Caranthir closes his hands over Lotsë ‘s throat. Lotsë closes her eyes, enjoying the sensation at first. After a moment she realizes this is not lovemaking, but deadly assault. Her hands try to pry him off, her eyes open, terrified. Lotsë struggles, kicking over the cup as she fights for her life.]

Lotsë: [whisper, strangling] Why?
Caranthir: [calmly] I am sorry, Dear Heart. You have been very useful, and I would keep you if I could. Unfortunately, if ever your role became known it would be most awkward for me. [Caranthir lifts Lotsë off the bed. Her legs kick futilely at his legs as he carries her toward the hearth by her throat.] I can not let anyone know that I was spying on Maedhros, you see. And I cannot trust you to keep a secret. Elleth always talk. I could rip your tongue you, but that would lead to more questions. You are going to have a terrible accident. It is much better that way.
[Camera pan back as Caranthir smashes Lotsë ‘s head against the hearth. Blood spatters. Lotsë ‘s eyes roll. Her fingers convulse on his hands. She gasps, a wet, gurgling, desperate sound. Caranthir strikes her head against the stone hearth again. Lotsë goes limp as her breath rattles.]
Caranthir: [straightens] If it makes you feel any better, Sweet One, I will miss having you in my bed. [Camera pan back as Caranthir returns to the bed, retrieves the cup, and turns it in his fingers. Camera fade to mist. Camera focus out of Dream Sequence, return to present.]

Caranthir: [smiles as he raises his sword and gestures to lead his men right.] Collateral damage will not haunt my sleep… [color=blue][i] [Cut.]

* * *

[Cut to Great Hall. The festive atmosphere in the hall is already turned to chaos as Oropher and Thranduil run back through. People are screaming, crying, running for their own chambers and calling for their loved ones. Celeborn is overseeing the emptying of the armoury and Elves with weapons hurry everywhere, their swords gleaming. More and more Elves come running frantically, seeking instructions and reassurance from Dior. His wife and children are huddled around him. The hollow thunder at the gate above echoes through Menegroth’s deep halls as though the Valar themselves are beating a monstrous drum. Dior looks around making a quick estimation in his head.]

Dior: It seems we are outnumbered four or five to one. We must get you below, away from the fighting. [He deposits a gentle kiss on each of the boys’ foreheads, and hugs Elwing to him, kissing her cheek before passing her into her mother’s arms. Nimloth rests her head on his shoulder.]

Dior: Worry not, my Love, for we will be together again soon.
Nimloth: [whispers] Yes.
Dior: [bends to kiss her one last time…] Take care.
Nimloth: And you, my husband…my Beloved [Cut to Galadriel who is arguing with her husband:]

Galadriel: [demanding, almost in tears] Have you no faith in me? I can use a bow as well as any man. I led my people across the Helcaraxë! Why send me to hide with the children when I might go instead with you and defend my home?
Dior: [turns from his wife and children] Lady –
Galadriel: [ turns to Dior in anger and frustration] Do you not trust me? [fiercely] The command was yours, my lord said. Do you think I would betray my home to those whom I no longer call my kin?
Dior: [wearily] Galadriel, I trust you. Please –
Galadriel: -Then why may I not give my bow to our cause?
Dior: Galadriel…you have my trust and my family. Others have given their bows. Go with Nimloth and the children and those who cannot fight to the deeper chambers. If the city is lost, you alone may save Doriath.
Celeborn: [gently] Go, Meleth nin… This is no time for pride.

[Galadriel acquiesces, herding the twins before her as Nimloth follows with Elwing in her arms.]

Dior: Wait! [He takes off the Nauglamír from his neck, and fastens the gossamer-fine necklace around his daughter’s. The jewel hangs there lamely, being many times too big for the child. Nimloth wraps Elwing’s shawl around her to hide it and they hurry off after Galadriel. A horrible crashing can be heard from the front gates. The screaming grows louder and even more frantic as people begin trampling each other in their haste to escape. Cut.]

* * *

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:18 am 
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[Cut to Noldor forces breaking through the Gates of Menegroth. Celegorm and Curufin leading the way; and Caranthir following close behind with his own smaller forces. Amrod and Amras enter after them, almost reluctantly. Maedhros and Maglor are last. Maglor stops just inside the gates of the underground realm, his face pale, seemingly sickened by the screams echoing through the halls and the strong smell of death; Maedhros notices his brother falter and turns to him.]

Maedhros: [mocking] What is the matter? Surely the sight of a little innocent blood spilled does not faze a son of the mighty Fëanor? Or perhaps you are composing a song to celebrate this great triumph?
Maglor: [hisses in anguish] Maedhros, this is wrong….Do not kill the innocent, only those who oppose us.
Maedhros: [seeing the pain on his brother's face he relents slightly You may stay here, if you wish… [more softly] I would not force you to fight, only watch. [Maedhros turns and races forward into the fray; Maglor follows close beside him, weeping as he draws his sword. Cut.]

* * *

[Cut to corridors nearest the front gates: they are already littered with corpses and slick with trails of garish bloody footprints. Tapestries are burning where the candles have been knocked against them. The Noldor are running in all directions, murdering and pillaging as they go. Dimly, Maglor hears his brother shouting:]

Maedhros: Find the Silmaril!

[Maglor leans over and vomits, the world beginning to go black. Before he can fall, he felt a pair of strong hands grab his arms and steady him. Maglor looks up into the face of his youngest brother, Amras, a matching horror in his eyes. Cut.]

* * *

[Smoke fills the corridor, roiling out of a room engulfed in flames. Thranduil and Oropher come running from the Great Hall.. Noldorin Elves are coming screaming towards them with swords. The first Noldo’s guard is poor and Oropher despatches him with a thrust, kicking the body away from his sword. There is a bubble of blood on the Noldo’s lips and he sprawls askew on the ground as he dies. There is a lull, of sorts. Oropher catches his breath and takes stock. He has no serious wounds, yet, just scrapes. Their ranks still hold, mostly intact.]

Thranduil: [a little breathless] Is that a second wave? [More torches can be seen wavering far in the distance]
Oropher: [nodding] It appears so.
Thranduil: [wryly] Pity. We were doing so well.

[The caves are littered with the dead and dying, the patterned ground slick with blood. A handful of archers creep out to collect discarded arrows; they move swiftly through the darkness and the drifting smoke, weaving among the bodies and between the massive pillars. As shouts and cries ring out further up the avenue of stone trees, the arrow-collectors come hastily back to the refuge of the shadows. The glow of firelight on mail coats and heavy footsteps approaches.]

Oropher: [raising his sword] Here they come! [The second wave hits like a hammer. The fair halls and caverns are plunged once more into a world of hacking and shoving and blades and gasping death. The Elves yell and slash and duck and stab, giving themselves up to the struggle. The heat is intense. Smoke and blood is everywhere.

A Noldo soldier jumps out after Thranduil at the corner, startling him enough that he slips in the blood and falls hard to the floor. He rolls and reaches up just in time to deflect a jarring blow from the enemy sword. At the same moment, an arrow slams through the Noldo’s leather armour and into his chest.]


Captain of Archers: My Lord! [nocks another arrow] Go! Fall back to the King’s quarters! I shall defend this corridor behind you. [Thranduil nods and turns away, sword in hand. Cut.]

* * *

[The royal family of Doriath sit huddled together in a barricaded bedchamber, deep within Menegroth. A nursemaid holds Elurín on her lap. Nimloth sits opposite to him with Elwing on her knees. Eluréd stands next to his mother. Galadriel, armed with a broad sword, paces in front of them. They are still and silent, the children sometimes shifting position but not a word is spoken.

Suddenly in the silence a faint cry is heard, coming from outside, and gradually growing louder and louder. Elwing, after a moment, suddenly jumps off her mother's lap with a little cry and hides herself under the bed. Nimloth lets her go without reacting. The faint cry rises to an open clamour outside. In the room the silence is broken by Nimloth's soft voice.]


Nimloth: [whispers] They have come…

[None of them move for a minute, not even the children. They hear the battle going on, the two adults' faces absolutely expressionless. Then Galadriel moves to the bed. Crouching on all fours, she tries to lure Elwing from her refuge, but to no avail. The minutes tick by. Nimloth fingers a dagger hidden in her skirts. The clamour outside grows to yells and shouts of pain and the horror of death. A loud splintering crash echoes through the room as the doors are assaulted from the other side.

Cut to Curufin standing in the doorway, surrounded by Noldor soldiers. A hoard of elves, the Sindar guards who Dior had posted outside the door, are dead at his feet. Camera focus on Galadriel standing defiantly in front of the boys and Nimloth, her blade glistening in her hand.]


Curufin: The Silmaril, if you please…
Galadriel: Cousin, will you not reconsider? You will gain nothing from this.
Curufin: [snaps] Artanis, we will gain our inheritance back. Your King Dior has refused to give the Silmaril back to its rightful owners
Nimloth: [contemptuously] You are unworthy of owning it. Cursed, damned, and bloodstained as you are.
Galadriel: [heartsick] This deathly seductive consuming jewel has driven you to madness so that you cannot even see the obvious. Do you not forsee, nor care of the consequences? To bloody your hands, yet again, to achieve your own peace...what madness! [Unwilling to engage his cousin himself, Curufin gestures to one of his men to take on Galadriel.]

Curufin: Keep my cousin out of mischief, but do not inflict too much damage…for now [Soldier and Galadriel trade blows whilst Curufin lunges for Nimloth. He grabs her by her hair, bringing her face close to his:] Where is the jewel??

Nimloth: [defiantly] Even if I knew, I would not tell you!
Curufin: [bleakly] Then you are of no use to me. [In one devastating blow he slices her from shoulder to opposite thigh, the slender dagger she had attempted to parry his blow with cloven in two.]

Eluréd & Elurín: [screaming] Naneth! [they huddle over the lifeless body of their mother.]
Curufin: [contemptuously] Foolish elleth…perhaps the mongrel’s spawn will be more cooperative… [moves menacingly towards the boys. Horrified by his intent, Galadriel is distracted enough for her opponent to get under her guard. He smiles wolfishly, aiming a blow with the flat of his blade to her head. Galadriel crumples to the floor. Cut.]

* * *

[Cut to view of Dior running down the corridors, sword unsheathed in hand, through the maze of his underground palace, the crown of the Hidden Kingdom upon his brow. There are small groups of riots at some corners, and soon his blade drips blood. At last he comes upon the heart of the battle taking place in the Great Hall. He sees that the thrones have been knocked-down from their place on the dais. The fighting rages on, and many corpses litter the polished floor of marble, yet new soldiers pour in to replace them. The walls and carved pillars of alabaster are stained with blood. Dior cringes, but throws himself into the onslaught after only an instant’s hesitation. His people’s morale is uplifted at the coming of their King, and they fight with renewed strength. But suddenly he feels something tugging at his sleeve. Freezing, he turned around, and stared straight into a pair of grey eyes much like his own, wide with fear.]

Dior: Elwing! What are you doing here? [he strikes a blow as a soldier lunges at him, and the little girl responds in a frightened murmur.]
Elwing: I am scared, Ada…bad soldiers came to our room. Galadriel tried to stop them but they hurt Naneth and took the boys away…they did not see me under the bed for I kept very, very quiet.
Dior: Oh Eru! [turns to face front again, trying to keep one eye on Elwing and the other on the fight. Elwing clings to him, hampering his every move, and his swordplay is greatly reduced in swiftness and force. A Noldo tries to pull Elwing away from her father but he deals a deathly blow, striking the soldier’s head. After that Dior grabs Elwing, stepping back, trying to get her out of the battle. Then, just as the situation seems to be getting hopeless, a familiar voice calls out:]

Celeborn: Dior! [Elmo and Celeborn fight their way up behind Dior, hacking and slicing through the mass of enemies. By now, tremors are wracking Elwing’s terrified body… Dior shouts to be heard above the slaughter.]
Dior: Elmo! I fear our plight here is more desperate than expected…I would ask one last service of you and your son.
Elmo: You have but to ask, my Lord.
Dior: You must take the child...save her and yourselves!
Elwing: No, Ada!
Elmo: No! I do not wish to abandon Doriath! You can still escape! There are still some alive under me who are willing to make a barrier of themselves for you. Go with your children while you can still flee!
Dior: [turns to look Elmo in the face.] Do you not see that my doom is here? If those who remain cannot save Doriath, then all who flee with you will be its only survivors. [Looks to Celeborn who hesitates, torn between the threat to his king and grandfather, and the safety of the child] Take my daughter into the forest…She will need your wisdom and strength both, if you are to make it to some safe heaven.
Celeborn: I will defend her with my life… Come, Elwing, we must get go for a walk in the forest till the bad men have gone away. [Elwing is crying and as Celeborn bends to pick her up, she clings to her father.]
Elwing: No, no, Ada, please!
Dior: [kisses her small forehead, whispers:] Beloved, you must go with Celeborn. Guard the pretty jewel for me, my little Star!
Elmo: [to Celeborn] Go! I will not leave the King to face this alone. I fully intended to deal out as much reparation as I can, ere the end, and perhaps it might purchase time for you to put distance between yourselves and the city. [Celeborn salutes his grandfather and his King before turning away.]
Elwing: [cries heart-wrenchingly] Ada! [but the sound of swords clashing against each other drowns her out as Celeborn makes his way out of the slaughter.]

Celeborn: Hush, do not cry, your Adar will follow soon enough… [Elwing sobs unceasingly on Celeborn’s shoulder; he whispers words of comfort in her ear, while with his free arm he continues to fight as best as he is able. Suddenly there is a shout behind Celeborn as he ducks into a side corridor.]
Galadriel: Celeborn! Thank Eru! [in tears] Curufin – he …I could not save Nimloth. There were too many of them…I fought but a soldier struck a blow to my head and rendered me unconscious. When I came to, the boys were gone….Elwing too. I feared the worst, but I see she is safe with you.
Celeborn: Dior does not know, then? [looks at Elwing] She may be our only hope. We must get her to safety. [Galadriel nods and falls in behind him as they bid to escape. Cut.]

* * *

[Cut to Noldor raging up the tunnels and breaking through the Sindar barricades. Scarlet rivers run from the fountains…smashed lanterns set the tapestries alight and thick smoke chokes the air. .In the chaos friend and foe are confused, so that only their war-cries set them apart. The space is too close for Elmo’s liking, crammed in ranks with the archers behind him, no space to dodge or parry properly. Elmo defends his King, despite the hellish exhaustion which increases with every swing of his sword, his whole body hurting more than he ever thought possible. Suddenly there is a smash of impact, the Elves roaring and slithering on the blood-slick stone. Elmo lifts his shield but his reactions are slowing…his sword collides with a Kinslayer’s in a ringing shock. Elmo grunts, twisting his blade to free it, but the Noldo jabs an underhand blow that makes him hiss and stumble back, gripping his thigh. Looking down he sees a deep slash that has severed an artery and he slumps to the ground. Dior turns to see his friend fallen nearby; He rushes to his side.]

Dior: [checks the wound, and realizes there is little hope. Elmo appears to be losing conciousess. Urgently:] Elmo, Can you hear me?
Elmo: [The roar of battle fills his ears but he nods once.] You must leave me and fight on...I am lost
Dior: [calmly] So too is Menegroth, I fear. Our hopes lie now with Celeborn and Elwing...
Elmo: [choking] He will not fail you, I swear on my own life!
Dior: [gently lays a hand on Elmo’s shoulder, smiles] I never doubted him or you. [Elmo expires and Dior closes the Elf’s eyes, murmurs an Elvish blessing over his friend. Cut.]

* * *

[Dior fights on, defending his cherished city with his life,. Eventually the sons of Fëanor stumble into the Great Hall, and seeing that Dior has few guards with him they mark him for an easy target Dior stands before the upended thrones, the sword of Elu Thingol in his nerveless grasp.]

Dior: [hoarsely] Come, cravens. If it is death that you seek, my blade shall fetch it to you. [Celegorm stands forth from the group at the gates of the hall. He draws his sword slowly, letting the slithering ring echo from the high stone walls; his dark eyes boring unnervingly into Dior’s.]

Celegorm: So this is the get of Lúthien and the Afterborn? The Man’s blood was more overriding than I had thought. He reeks of mortality.
Dior: [fingers tighten on the hilt of Aranrúth] Who enters my hall by force and dares dishonour my parents?
Celegorm: [lips curling in scornful smirk] I am he who might have been your father, child, had your mother not been so mad as to chase after an Adan
Dior: [nods as realization dawns] Celegorm Fëanorion…
Celegorm: [makes a deep, mocking bow] The same, at your service, Majesty…Let us see if your mortal blood has made you weak. [raises his blade] Come, dance with me.
Dior: [grits his teeth] Yours shall be the first blood that my sword tastes, you filth.
Celegorm: [his eyes gleam and a smile lights his face.] I look forward to it. I shall be glad to exterminate the son of the jewel-thieves!

[Dior looks about for some means to come at the Noldo before being cut down by his brothers. But before anyone can move, a small voice pipes up from the side of the room: camera cuts sidewise and we see Eluréd and Elurín just inside a small door to the hall, their arms held fast by two strong Noldor soldiers, Curufin leaning on the doorframe. ]

Eluréd: Do not speak so of my father!
Celegorm: [rests the point of his sword on the floor, leans indolently on the hilt.] And why should I not, nursling?
Dior: [quietly, urgently] Eluréd. Elurín… Why are you not with your mother? [Elurín starts to cry…]
Eluréd: [eyes strangely blank ignores the question] Ada, we will not let him insult you!
Dior: [tears clog in his throat] Do not worry, my brave ones. He shall pay for his words, I promise you.
Celegorm: [sneers] Arrogant fool! You shall pay for yours, I think… What price our Silmaril then?
Dior: I want nothing that you hold in your bloody hands, Kinslayer.
Celegorm: Since you so name me, I will say that you should carefully consider the implications of your words. For it is your sons’ lives we hold in our hands. [signals to his brother.] Perhaps we should dispose of this rubbish before it grows old enough to stink…
Dior: [A red haze descends, roars] No!

[He leaps off the dais at Celegorm, hoping to catch him unprepared. Faster than lightening Celegorm crouches in a fighting stance, face twisted by a ferocious grin. Behind him there is a double clash of steel as Dior’s guards led by Oropher, engage the other two brothers. Dior’s sword collides with Celegorm’s with a ringing shock. Dior grunts, twisting his blade to free it, then jabs an underhand blow that makes Celegorm hiss and stumble back, gripping his side. Above the noise of battle, rises a sound that made makes his blood run cold:]

Eluréd: [wailing] Ada! [camera cuts to the Noldorin soldiers wrestling the struggling princes out of the doors of the hall.]
Dior: [frantically] Oropher! Save the princes! [Oropher and Thranduil disengage themselves from the fight, and with another of their guard, run for the doors after the boys.]
Celegorm: Go, Caranthir! I will recover the Silmaril. Do not lose those babes!

[After a quick glance back at him, his brother follows after the receding Elves. Distracted, Dior barely manages to deflect a thrust aimed at his heart, it tearing instead across his sleeve and shoulder: not deep but painful. Celegorm regroups, swinging his weapon over his head and whirling it down with strength enough to cleave Dior’s skull. Dior brings up Aranrúth and the two swords connect again brutally, sliding to lock at the hilts. In the brief stalemate the two glare eye to eye, breathing hard, trembling with adrenaline.]

Dior: [pants] I beg you, please, spare my sons. They have done nothing to you.
Celegorm: [expression hardens] They are of the blood of Beren Barahirion. If you value the Silmaril over them then they deserve to die. [With an incoherent yell Dior breaks the deadlock of swords, throwing Celegorm away from him, and turns towards the doorway.]
Dior: [shouts,] Elurín! Eluréd! [a faint, distant cry of "Ada!" is heard. Recklessly, Dior makes a dash for the doors. ] I am coming! [A flying body knocks him to the floor, sending his sword skittering away across the stone. Dior manages to wrench around onto his back as Celegorm kneels over him, his sword point poised at the base of the king’s sternum. Dior winces as the keen blade draw a drop or two of blood.]
Celegorm: [softly] Scion of Elf, Maia, and Man…are you mortal, I wonder? [He twists the sword, digging it a half-inch deeper.] Will you give me the Silmaril freely, or shall we learn which of thy bloodlines is the strongest?
Dior: [draws a slow lungful of breath] I do not yield to the demands of cowards.
Celegorm: [his face darkens] Then you have signed your own death warrant, Majesty. [plunges the sword through Dior’s body, heedless of the blood spattering his clothes and face] A fitting death for a mongrel... [jerks in surprise as Dior’s dagger buries itself in his chest. He falls back stunned and furious]
Dior: [Rasps, with dying breath] Perhaps I am a mongrel, but you? You are a butcher, and naught more. I would sooner be a mongrel than one such as you. [Celegorm opens his mouth to reply but blood fills his throat, his eyes grow glassy, and he falls limp on top of Dior, the two lying entwined like lovers. Cut.]

* * *

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


Last edited by Elentári on Sun Dec 28, 2014 4:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:57 am 
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[Cut to Oropher, Thranduil and Sindarin guard chasing after the princes: They run as quickly as they can after the servants who have the princes. They appear to be heading for the south gates. Maimed and dismembered bodies lie strewn over the floor, men and women alike. Some individual Noldor give chase, but give up when the fleeing Sindar fail to engage them, apparently enticed by easier plunder.

A thunderous command echoes through the corridor behind them, attracting the immediate attention of all the Noldor in the area. Oropher glances back and sees a tall ruddy faced Elf, pointing them out. At once three Noldorin warriors come after them, bloodied blades drawn.

After a moment it becomes clear these pursuers are not going to be shed easily, and Oropher calls back the guardsman, intending to engage the Noldor. Thranduil glances back and realizes what his father intends. He knows he must continue after the princes but hates to leave him. Side by side, Oropher and the guardsman turn and brace themselves in the corridor, blades up.

The three Noldor fall upon them in a vicious attack. Oropher parries several shattering blows before slinging the other’s blade aside and stabbing upward with the tip of his weapon, piercing deeply the flesh beneath the chin. Blood spews from the Noldo’s mouth, and Oropher throws him aside. wrenching his blade out from where it has lodged in his opponent's palate. Beside him, the guardsman sinks to his knees over the body of the second Noldo, clutching a mortal wound. The third Noldo thrusts his sword into the guardsman’s back just as Oropher’s blade comes down hard on his neck.

Standing amidst the bodies, Oropher looks up to see Caranthir bearing down on him, a murderous rage in his eyes. He stumbles backward, lifting his blade just quick enough to absorb the hacking onslaught loosed against him. He is forced to give ground, ducking out of the way as the sweeping strikes of the Noldorin sword takes chips out of the wall.

The bloodstained Noldo attacks him with a brutal artlessness boarding on contempt. Oropher feels the ache in his arms as his enemy pounds away at his sword. All at once he falls backwards over a body and freezes as steel touches his throat. Caranthir leans in, twisting the blade under Oropher’s chin, but hesitating to thrust it deeper.]


Caranthir: Where is it? Where is the jewel? Who has it?

[Rather than answer, Oropher throws himself to the side, and what should have been a death blow from Caranthir’s blade glances instead through his shoulder. Biting back the pain, Oropher gathers his feet under him and takes a step toward an open door. Recovering quickly, Caranthir throws a gauntleted fist into Oropher’s face, knocking him down again. Slightly stunned, Oropher pulls himself through the door and to his feet. He turns and raises his blade again. Caranthir lunges through the door and sweeps Oropher’s sword aside with his own, catching the ragged edge and twisting it out of Oropher’s hands.

In desperation, Oropher leaps at Caranthir’s face like a savage. His left hand clenches in the Noldo’s mane of dark hair as he plunges his dagger to the hilt into Caranthir’s neck. Caranthir falls backward in a heap, his hands grasping at Oropher’s wrists, a shocked look in his fading eyes. Oropher pulls out his blade and quickly slis Caranthir’s throat as he would a wounded stag. The lifeblood flows out of him alarmingly fast. Shaken and disgusted, Oropher staggers to his feet. Cut.]


* * *

[Cut to Thranduil approaching the end of the tunnel. Ahead he can hear Curufin shout “Keep moving!” to the servants manhandling the children.Thranduil emerges, momentarily blinded by the sunlight reflecting off the snow. As his vision clears he sees Curufin waiting for him, his sword casually resting on his shoulder and looking pleased with himself.]

Curufin: Maedhros had a secret passage built into Himring as well. It seems a Noldo and a Sinda do not think very differently after all.
Thranduil: [panting as he catches his breath] Spare the children, for Eru’s sake! They are innocents…
Curufin: [arrogant smile] You are very cocky to come alone, Grey-elf: You I can take down in my sleep. Luckily, I am willing to spare you if you tell me where the Silmaril is hidden.
Thranduil: What makes you think I know?
Curufin: [laughs and turns to his brother’s servants] Take the princes deep into the forest and turn them loose. We will see if the coddled princelings learnt anything of survival from their mortal grandsire!
Thranduil: [roars] No! [lunges for Curufin.

Curufin is stronger, Thranduil more agile, and both very skilled with their weapons. Swords clash over and over, neither getting the advantage until suddenly Thranduil steps on a loose rock and loses his balance momentarily; it is all that Curufin needs. He brings the hilt of his sword down hard upon the side of Thranduil’s head, knocking him out.]


Curufin: [sneers] There, Maedhros…no unnecessary blood spilt. [He turns and heads off towards the forest after Celegorm’s servants. A movement off to the left catches his eye, and he spies the golden hair of his cousin off in the distance, hurrying through the trees, carrying a small child wrapped in a dark cloak. Curufin turns takes off after her.

Suddenly aware of being chased, Galadriel runs as swiftly as her feet will take her but she is weighed down by her precious bundle and she is unable to escape the swift-footed Curufin. All too soon she finds the tall, fell frame of Curufin looming over her.]


Curufin: You, I can take down in my sleep. Lucky for you I am willing to spare you if you give me the Silmaril.
Galadriel: [truthfully] I do not have it.
Curufin: You still do not lie convincingly, Cousin. This close I can sense it…
Elwing: [raises her head from Galadriel’s shoulder and shakes it vigorously.] Ada told me to guard it and not let anyone have it!

[Curufin opens his mouth to say something, but at that moment he experiences a vision of the death of his brothers in his mind. He feels firstly Celegorm’s and seconds later Caranthir’s spirits departing - camera shows hazy images recapping the two deaths and we hear the Oath whispering inside Curufin’s head.]

Oath: Kill them, kill them all! Avenge the spilt blood of your brothers!

Curufin: [turns cold, dead eyes towards the slowly backing form of Galadriel] So be it. [He raises his sword to deliver what will undoubtedly be a fatal blow. Then a voice calls out:]

Celeborn: CURUFIN!

[Curufin turns to the source of the voice and a sharp jab of pain hits him. Looking down he finds an arrow through his chestt. Stunned he looks at the archer who walks towards him with grim satisfaction on his face. Curufin crumples to the forest floor, his last conscious sight being of the tall silver-haired Elf taking his wife and Elwing into his embrace. Fade to black]

* * * * *

[Cut back to Great Hall. Oropher returns, bloodied and exhausted.]
Oropher: Majesty! [drags Celegorm off of Dior, settling the king gently back with his head cradled in his lap. ] Majesty, forgive me – I should have been here to defend you— [Dior hushes his apologies with a small shake of his head.]
Dior: [clutches Oropher’s arm, whispers] my sons?
Oropher: [pauses] I know not, sire…Thranduil has not returned with them yet. [weeps silently]
Dior: [closes his eyes in grief] What of the Queen?
Oropher: [swallows hard] Sire – forgive me, sire – she is dead…
Dior: [his gaze drifts to the ceiling, blurred by tears.] My family… all beyond my reach, beyond my help. All except… Elwing…my little star. [raises his fingers to his throat, touching the empty place where the Silmaril normally lies.] Oropher, will you accept one last duty for your King?
Oropher: [covers Dior’s hand with his] Anything, my lord. Anything you ask.
Dior: Gather the survivors, quickly….follow after Celeborn: he has my daughter with him. Tell him… [fights for more breath as his life blood ebbs away] … keep her safe. [Glancing at his hand his eye is caught by the ring of Barahir. He holds his hand out to Oropher] My ring…take it…may it bring you the courage of my father.
Oropher: You have my pledge, my King … [Dior breathes his last as Oropher bends over him, weeping. Fade]

* * * * *

[Cut to Amrod stumbling through the thick forest outside the caves: bodies, still with garlands of holly twined into their hair, lie motionless on the snow. He gasps, and continues to run far away from the bloody forest, trying to forget the blood of his kin staining his sword shimmering red. Glancing at the blade, Amrod lets the sword fall from his hand into the snow. Looking around him, he suddenly sees a familiar face. Curufin is lying sprawled on his back, his silver-steel armour stained with blood, and his fair face was bloodlessly pale. An arrow protrudes from his chest where is has pierced the breastplate. Amrod cries out and runs to his brother’s side. He kneels and gathers the shuddering form in his arms. Curufin’s light gray eyes are full of pain and incomprehension.]

Curufin: [swallows weakly] Amrod?
Amrod: I am here, Curufin [shifts so that Curufin’s head rests against his neck and shoulder.] I am here.
Curufin: [eyes half-shut] The Silmaril…Dior’s daughter took it.
Amrod: [fights down a scream] So it was a pointless attack?
Curufin: Will we ever recover them, Amrod? Father’s jewels?
Amrod: [a hot tear runs down his cheek, down into Curufin’s hair.] I do not know, Curufin… Oh, if only they had never existed!
Curufin: [face grows paler] Amrod…
Amrod: [clutches his brother to himself, the tears coming faster.] I am here. I will not leave you. [Curufin grasps at Amrod with the last vestiges of his fleeting strength, his eyes full of terror. Then the light in the silver eyes fades and Curufin’s body goes limp. Amrod weeps, clutching his lifeless brother. Fade.]

* * *

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:20 am 
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[Cut to Maglor, Maedhros and Amas standing over Caranthir’s dead body, his throat slashed wide open, lying in his own lifeblood. . The blood from the neck-wound has dried into a sticky, blackish mess around the cut and his lips are white, a bluish mottling around his mouth.. Caranthir’s fingers are still curled around the hilt of his sword.]
Maedhros: [quietly] Curse them…
[Around him Noldor are still sorting the dead and the dying from the merely wounded.]
Maedhros: The Valar curse them all!
[He swings around and slams the pommel of his sword violently into a pillar. The blow dislodges a carved thrushl from where it perched among the leaves of a stone vine. It smashes into several pieces as it hits the floor. The head stares sightlessly up with glassy eyes. Maedhros aims a kick, sending it skidding into a nearby fountain.]
Maglor: Maedhros–
[But Maedhros is already halfway across the chamber. He does not look back. Cut]

* * *

[Fade back into the Great Hall: all is quiet. Maedhros kneeling in the gore, unmindful of it, his remaining hand stroking the hair of one of the dead. As Maglor and Amras walked over to his side, they see that it is Celegorm; Amras is numb with shock]

Maglor: Celegorm? No!!!! [hisses through clenched teeth as he sees the dagger buried to the hilt in his torso.] Valar, it was not supposed to end like this! [turns to Maedhros] This is all wrong! We have lost the stone…massacred innocents! [he shivers] Can you not see The Void is waiting for us, cold and black and empty…? [Maglor wipes futilely at his tears, cradling his little brother against his chest as Caranthir’s body is brought in to lay next to them.]
Amras: [fearfully] Where are Curufin and Amrod?
[At that moment, a distressed Amrod comes running back into the hall, shouting:]
Amrod: Ai! Curufin has fallen…out yonder in the forest- [he stops in front of Maedhros, chest heaving; he looks down and sees the bodies of his brothers. He whispers:] No!

[At the sound, Maedhros looks up at him, still gently stroking Celegorm's hair.]
Maedhros: Where is the Silmaril? [Amrod does not answer, simply stands with his arms wrapped around himself, grief-stricken. Maedhros repeats more firmly] Where is the Silmaril?
Amrod: [rouses himself] You will not find it anywhere here... It is gone.
Maedhros: [softly] Then all of this was for nothing… [Looks down at the dead faces of his brothers, whispers] I am sorry. [Fade.]

* * * * * * *

[Scene opens on aftermath of slaughter. Smoke fills the corridors of Menegroth, getting into people's eyes and making them cough. The bodies of the dead and wounded lie scattered around, and women are running hither and thither looking for their loved ones. From time to time screams of grief sound forth as one discovers a husband, brother, father or lover.]

Oropher: [roaring] An everlasting plague upon those Kinslayers! [Yet another body is carried away, wrapped in a hastily-contrived shroud. His shoulders droop.] The smell of blood seems pervade everything. Doriath is tainted beyond cleansing.. Water might wash away the crimson from the stone floor, but it will not remove the memory of splattered gore on proud walls.
Thranduil: What can we do to mend all this?
Oropher: Maedhros’ kin hold sway now: [The rest of the Elves look up dolefully at him.] We must move. We must follow Elwing, if the rumours are true, and make for Sirion. I swore to Dior I would lead our people behind him to support Elwing. Think you they will follow me? Would they take me as their leader?'

Thranduil: What else can they do? All they want is someone who can keep this from happening to us again. Can you do that?
Oropher: I must…We must get the people on the move quickly. The longer it takes us to leave this place, the more reluctant they will become to go at all. [He coughs, bringing up black phlegm from the smoke.] I am sick like a Mortal with the plague now! We have to get out of here, away from Menegroth - anywhere we cannot be trapped like rats.

Thranduil: Is there no news of the princes?
Oropher: [sighs] There is no sign of the children. Even if they are found, the boys are too young and Elwing is but a girl. Celeborn may well put himself forward to lead us, but few of us would want his Noldor wife in a position of power over us, for she is kin to the Fëanorionath. [grimly.] The only revenge we can seek this day is to endure. Then we can decide our future. [Fade.]

* * * * * * *

[Fade into scenes of Celeborn and Galadriel running through thick forest, her precious burden of Elwing in her ams. The leafless trees of Doriath reach out their fingers for a last lingering touch of the Elves who loved them. And yet they do not have to fight the branches, nor slow their pace. Only when they have passed the borders do she and Celeborn turn and see Doriath burning.

The flames light the starry night with a lurid glow. Celeborn stares hard for a moment, as the image burns itself onto his memory, then he turns his eyes to the crying Elwing. Taking her from Galadriel he attempts to soothe her until his gaze is captured by the glow permeating the threads of Elwing's dress. Uncovering it, Celeborn takes a good hard look at the Silmaril through his own tears.]


Celeborn: [whispers] I will never understand it …Fëanor spilled the blood of my Teleri kin; Beren traded his very flesh; now his children are slaughtered and Doriath burns…all for this! [Her tears forgotten, Elwing reaches towards the glow, laughing as it suffuses her little fingers and makes Celeborn's silver hair shimmer. Adjusting his hold on Elwing, Celeborn turns back towards the river. Reading his intentions, Galadriel wraps her arms around her husband from behind, trying with all her strength to keep him there.]

Galadriel: [pleading] You cannot go back, Celeborn!
Celeborn: If there is a chance, I must… Dear Eru, Galadriel, they are just children!
Galadriel: Menegroth is aflame! There is no hope!
Celeborn: [turns on her suddenly, his face smudged with dirt, and his long silver hair tangled.] How can you…
Galadriel: [meeting his eyes with her own, hers hard, and her voice very quiet.] Do not. You are all I have. Do not throw your life away on a chance that does not exist. Do not leave me alone…
Celeborn: [very gently disengages her arms from around him.] I have to go back.
Galadriel: [harshly] Do not think they will hesitate to kill you because of me…Do you think Maedhros would bargain for this bauble??
Celeborn: [pulls away from her gently] I am sorry. But I have to go back…

[Suddenly they are interrupted by a company of soot-covered elves in battered guard uniforms spilling through the undergrowth towards them.]

Elf 1: [panting] My Lord, The King is dead. Our Queen, Nimloth as well…and -- [suddenly aware of Galadriel and Elwing he lowers his voice] -- they took the little princes away into the forest…
Celeborn: [fights to master his anger, his knuckles turning white as he tightens his fists.]
Eru forgive them, for I cannot! [he turns and reaches out for Galadriel who is fighting back her own tears. They weep on each others shoulders. Fade.]

* * *

[Cut to scene of two princes lying in the snowy undergrowth of the forest of Neldoreth. They have been beaten and left unconscious where they lie. Eluréd awakens first, staring up the unfamiliar surroundings at the patchwork grey sky and skeletal tree canopy.]

Eluréd: Where are we, Elurín? I am cold, so horribly cold… [wraps his light cloak tightly around his small body, but it provides little protection against the bitter northern winds. There is a sudden moan behind him. He turns around quickly, to see his brother lying curled upon the ground, bits of leaves caught in his pale hair. An ugly bruise covers one cheek, and his lower lip is cut. The only places on his face that do not have a translucent covering of dirt are where his tears have traced their way down his cheeks. For one horrifying moment, Eluréd believes his brother dead. Then he sees the slight rise and fall of his chest.]

Eluréd: [throws himself upon his brother, shaking him ] Elurín wake up! Please!
[Elurín gasps, shoving his brother off him… He looks up at his brother with wide, frightened eyes.]
Elurín: [finally in recognition] Eluréd! [He crawls forward and collapses into his brother's lap, shivering and weeping.] It hurts…
Eluréd: [caressing his hair] I know, I know. Do not worry, Elurín, it is going to be all right.
Elurín: I am scared, Eluréd. [His eyes are wide and bright, searching every shadow in case more of the Bad Elves should come for them. His pale face is streaked red from scrubbing at tears.]
Eluréd: [whispers] I know, I am scared too.
[They huddle closer pulling their cloaks over their knees and up to their chins, hoping they won’t be found. They sit like this for some time, two small, trembling figures at the edge of the clearing, peeping fearfully between the leaves of the great trees which tower above them like watchful guardians.]
Elurín: I…I tried to run away… But they…they caught me…and…Eluréd, I tried to fight…but they…they… [breaks off into choking sobs] I want Ada and Naneth…Where are they?
Eluréd: [Remembers the sight of Nimloth bleeding on the floor of the bedchamber. Tears sting his eyes] I do not know, Elurín, but we should go and search for them. Are you are able to stand? [Elurín nods as he raises his head, wiping tears from his cheeks with the sleeve of his tunic. Eluréd stands and holds his hand out to Elurín and pulls him to his feet. Elurín leans heavily against his brother's shoulder as Eluréd wraps a gentle arm about him.]
Eluréd: [trying to be cheerful] Come on. If we keep moving, we will stay warm. [He guides his brother carefully as they walk away from the clearing. A few snow flurries begin to fall from the grey sky. Cut.]

*

[Cut to same scene, later.old. It is even colder. But Eluréd is still walking with his brother walking beside him shivering, his lips tinged with blue. The snow has settled into a fine powder, which clings to their feet and legs as they walk. Elurín stumbles over some hidden stone, nearly falling. Eluréd catches his brother by the arm before he can fall, and helps him re-gain his balance.]

Elurín: [murmurs] Eluréd, can we rest for a little while? I am so hungry… [he rests his weight against his brother's shoulder as they walk.]
Eluréd: Just a little further, then we can stop and eat something. [puts his arm around his brother's shoulders. He notes the heaviness of his brother's steps and realizes that he is growing weaker. Eluréd slows for a minute, then reaches up and unfastens his cloak. The air is bitterly cold against his arms, but he tries to ignore it. He drapes it about Elurín's shoulders, fastening it tightly.]
Eluréd: There: that should keep you a little warmer.
Elurín: [looks at his brother with wide eyes.] Are you not cold? [Eluréd smiles and shakes his head, wrapping his cloak tightly around his brother’s body]
Eluréd: No, I am fine. Come on. We have to keep moving.
[Camera shift to woods. Something moves in the branches. Camera focus on the shadowy shapes of wolves. Camera shift to children.]
Elurín: Eluréd?
Eluréd: [looks at his brother.] Yes?
Elurín: [whispers] I wish we were with Ada and Naneth… [tears trace down his cheeks once more. Eluréd can see that Elurín is hurt worse than he is showing, and will not be able to travel far without rest. There is the sound of brush rustling. Camera shift to wolves]
Eluréd: [forcing a smile.] Do not worry, we will be soon. [Fade to white screen.]


End of Episode
**********************************************************************************

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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