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Steps of Doom

Chapter 1: chapter 1 - (I know, not very original)

by aniron1982

DISCLAIMER:

I’m not related to Tolkien (that’s quite a shocker). I’m not even the daughter of his cousin’s daughter, twice removed. As a consequence, I do not own any of the wonderful characters that appear in his magnificent books (although Legolas or Aragorn are free to visit). I do own Morganne, Navril, and all the other original ones – in case you wondered.

I’d like to thank my friend Badia, who was so kind to help with the translation ! I owe you big time !

I’ve read LOTR many times, and I know that the end of the movie (the crowning of Aragorn) isn’t exactly as in the books.

Nevertheless, this story is based on the ending of the film version, so things don’t get to complicated for people who didn’t read the books (you really should get starting !!)



Chapter one



Morganne looked with delight at the people around her. It had been such a long time since she had seen so many happy and hopeful faces, that she had nearly forgotten there existed such things as happiness and hope.

The news had reached them, and it spread like wild fire throughout the city of Minas Thirith : The Dark Lord was finally defeated, and once again, a King would rule the land of Gondor.

Instantly people had started celebrating their joy on the streets. The dark days seemed to be over at last. After years of decaying glory Gondor would once again be the mighty and powerful kingdom it had been in long forgotten times.

Morganne cheered and relished the warm feeling of happiness. She was so caught up in the moment that she first didn’t notice how someone grabbed her gently by the shoulders.

Slightly irritated she turned her head and saw her older brother’s face looking at her urgently.

“Nildolion?”

“You have to come home straight away. I’ve been searching for you everywhere and I couldn’t find you in all this commotion …”

Startled Morganne gazed at her brother.

“Did something happen? Everything is alright, isn’t it?”

“Yes, yes , but we have to hurry; they have been waiting…”

“Who?”

“Come with me, you shall see,” and Nildolion took his sister by the hand and dragged her through the crowd.

The house Morganne shared with her parents and four brothers, stood in the third circle of the capital. Her father was a blacksmith, who was known for his skill in making swords and famed for the quality of his arrows. Her four brothers helped in the smithy.

Morganne had always been a bit of an outsider at home. When her parents had given up any hope for a daughter, she was born. And thus she had an age difference with her older siblings, but it never really bothered her. Especially with her younger brother Nildolion, who was 5 years her elder, she shared a ‘special’ connection. They always understood each other.

Then why does he start now to speak in riddles? she thought bitterly. What was so urgent that she had to hurry home right in the middle of the celebrations?



After a while and lots of pushing and pulling, they finally reached their humble home. Just when she was about to enter the house, her brother stopped her and to her utter amazement, started to flatten her wild black curls which lay even more tangled then usual after the running.

“Nildolion? What are you doing??”

“Sorry, but I couldn’t let you go inside looking like that. They would startle to death by such an appearance …”

“Who are “they” and what…?”

But her brother interrupted her.

“Mmm, that’s better, come, follow me.” And quickly Nildolion entered the house. Sighing she followed.

Immediately she stood still at the threshold. Just in time she remembered to close her mouth which had fallen open in surprise. There, in the small living room where she had lived for sixteen years now, in her favourite chair – the one nearest to the fireplace - sat an Elf. She saw it at once by the way he sat (straight as an arrow), by his rich and beautiful garment and foremost by his pointy ears protruding from underneath his long brown hair. Of course she had heard many stories about these beautiful beings - a rumour spoke of an elf witch who lived on the outskirts of Ithilien - but she had never actually seen one.

Suddenly she heard a small cough and realized she must have been staring. Hurriedly she looked away, and noticed that there was someone else present, not and Elf, but a young woman.

Instantly Morganne regained her manners and curtsied respectfully to the guests.

The young lady and the Elf gave a gentle nod.

“My Lord, My Lady, this is Morganne, I was told that you have been looking for her?” Morganne’s mother, a kind-hearted woman, walked to her daughter and softly put her hands on her shoulders. It was the Elf who answered.

“Indeed we have. Rumour has reached us of your daughters exceptionally singing skills,” Morganne felt her cheeks redden. – “ and we’d like her to sing on the coronation feast of King Elessar.”

Silence fell. It took a while before everything sunk in. Morganne’s ears tingled. She got to sing on the feast for King Elessar? She, a simple sixteen-year old girl got to sing for the King, whom everybody knew had close ties with the Elves who, as also everybody knew, had the fairest voices in all Middle-Earth? She must have misunderstood, she must have. Or was this a dream? She pinched herself in the arm and stifled a cry. No, she was awake. She felt her mothers hands sink deeper into her shoulders.

The silence was finally broken when she heard , from a dark little corner, her father -whom she had not noticed before- stammer : “ You honour us greatly, My Lord. To what do we owe this fortune?”

“The honour is ours, Master Novhrir. You will attend?” he asked as he faced Morganne.

Morganne, still stunned, nodded quickly, and hurriedly added – as she remembered her manners again - “Yes, My Lord, it will be my pleasure.”

The Elf gave her a gentle smile and Morganne realized how fair he really looked. He was beautiful, with his brown, well kept hair and high cheekbones, and when he smiled his face seemed to clear up and his grey, timeless eyes sparkled. He looked like a man in his twenties, but she knew he had to be much older.

“Very well. Minyalach,” and he gestured towards the young woman, “will come to

fetch you in two days time. You will be able to stay at the palace for a few days, there will be a room prepared for you.”

He rose. And the young woman followed. The Elf nodded politely to Morganne’s parents and brothers, who had been following the happenings in the shadows, and then his gaze rested on the girl.

“I will see you in a few days. Till then.”

And with those words, the guests left the small house of blacksmith Novhrir.

Two days later Morganne stood dressed and packed, ready to leave for the palace. Her mother had helped her pack a few clothes, she even got a couple of new dresses “ because you have to look your best on an occasion like this”. The entire family sat waiting nervously in the small living room for the servant girl to arrive.

“Are you sure you have got everything you need?”

“Yes, mother. I’m sure. Don’t worry. And even if I did forget something , Nildolion can always bring it…”

“Child, we can’t just go up to the palace door and knock! It’s a great honour that you have been invited by the King. You do realize that?”

Morganne sighed. “Yes, mother.” The last two days her mother had not stopped taking about it. To all who wanted to hear it, she had told them about the great fortune of her daughter, so that after a while Morganne began to feel ashamed. Of course she was happy and of course she realized that this was a great opportunity, but she thought it was unnecessary to make such a fuss about it. After all she was only gone for a couple of days. And after the feast she’d be little Morganne, strange daughter of blacksmith Novhrir, again.

Absentmindedly she let her fingers stroke her most precious possession; her harp. It had been an heirloom of her grandmothers. The old woman had taught her overzealous grandchild the necessary techniques and knowledge with great pleasure. Sadly, she passed away last year, and had left the harp to her granddaughter.

It was a rare instrument, and only a few could play it. And thus Morganne had build up a certain reputation; despite her age she had been asked to play at a large number of weddings and feasts.

And now she was going to the palace for a few days… How would King Elessar be like? She had heard from some that he was very handsome. Others told her that he was raised by the Elves and she even heard tell that he lost his heart to a She-Elf. It was this last part that Morganne didn’t believe a word of. It was a rarity for an Elf and a Man to marry. It just wasn’t done.

A soft knock on the door made everybody jump. Master Novhrir stood up and hurriedly opened the door. There stood the young woman they had met the day before yesterday. She smiled gently.

Quickly Morganne gathered her things, but soon realized that she could never carry it all by herself. Even the servant girl, Minyalach, was taken aback by the amount the girl had to bring with her. Her eyes fell on the strange instrument. She had heard about the heavenly sounds the blacksmiths daughter could produce from it, and she was anxious to see for herself how the girl played it.

“I will carry the bags, so that you can carry the harp?”

Morganne nodded. She kissed her parents goodbye and gave her brothers a tight hug.

Then she followed Minyalach out the door. It was the first time she ever left home, and even though it was only for a few days, it felt a bit strange. With mixed feelings she walked behind the servant girl, not knowing that with each step she took her doom came closer to fulfilment.





please, let me know what you think - feedback is really apreciated !!

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Chapter name
chapter 1 - (I know, not very original)
Created
10 Mar 2004
Last Edited
10 Mar 2004
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