A Tale of Two Swords
|Rating/Warnings:||Rated NC-17 for adult sexual themes, nudity, and some adult language.|
|Disclaimer:||This story is a work of amateur fanfiction written for entertainment only and no copyright infringement on the works of JRR Tolkien is intended.|
|Genre and timeline:||AU/ Mix of movie and book/ During the Council of Elrond|
|Summary:||A young squire of Gondor meets two citizens of Imladris who offer to entertain him while he waits for his Captain to return from the Council of Elrond.|
|Author's Notes:||Written for a fan named Conner who wanted to date an elf lady.|
Seek for the sword that was broken
In Imladris it dwells...
As Conner and his Captain navigated downwards on the narrow zig-zagging path, an excellent defense against marauding bands of orcs the young squire noted, towards the bottom of the valley of Imladris, he heard continuous rustling noises in the branches of the trees along the way that could not have been made by any wind, as there was not even a breath of a breeze. He felt watched.
They were finally greeted by solemn tall elves at the last bridge, and Conner was pleased at the respectful deference that his Captain was shown while he answered their questions.
"Hail, man of Gondor, son of the Steward of the White City," one of them had said, revealing a surprising knowledge of his identity. "What news, pray tell, do you have for our lord that you have traveled all this distance to tell it?" As they spoke, the other elves noticeably regarded the two of them with great care, as if taking in the tale of their long journeying that was told by the rents and stains in their traveling clothes.
While he waited for his Captain, Boromir, to be let on the bridge, Conner glanced around at the trees that surrounded them here and was startled to see eyes peering out at him from behind the autumn-colored foliage of a nearby oak. They were not hostile or suspicious, merely curious and friendly. For no particular reason, he felt calmed by those eyes, even after their owner had disappeared back into the tree. For the first time in the more than one hundred days that they had traveled here from the south, he felt safe from harm. Or ambush at least, if all of the trees had an elf hiding and watching from within.
As they entered the courtyard of the home of the Half-elven Lord of Imladris, it was obvious that the entire valley was watchful and wary of the newcomers. But as soon as Elrond himself had appeared to greet the Captain in friendship, there seemed to be a great sigh of relief all around them, and merry laughter rang out as smiling elves poured forth from the large manse and greeted them warmly.
They were made comfortable in adequate guest lodgings, although Conner thought the Elflord should have had an immediate audience with Boromir instead. They were brought breakfast, the first hot meal they had eaten in months that did not taste scorched by campfire, and told of a council that was to be held that day. Only the Steward's son was invited; his squire was instructed to wait behind.
At first, Conner was outraged that his Captain was going to be surrounded by a group of strangers, who neither of them had ever met, without him there to keep an eye on all of them. Boromir assured his squire that there was no danger, and gave him permission to relax and enjoy his afternoon of leisure.
Conner wandered the great house slowly, peering into the dim inner rooms, lit by only a few flickering candles, and hesitated for a moment before entering one that looked brighter than the rest and more inviting. It was a large room full with books and scrolls, but not like the dust-filled disorganized library in Minas Tirith, this one had a clean and wholesome air about it. At the back, where there were comfortable chairs arranged for reading, tall windows let in beams of brilliant sunlight.
"Have you never been in a library before?" The voice from behind startled him so much that he half drew his sword from its scabbard before he whirled to confront the speaker. Stunned, he stood silent when he saw up close one of the beautiful creatures who inhabited this valley.
He had not been this close to an elf in his life. She was as tall as he, with hair the color of golden honey that fell in waves over her shoulders, to her elbows. Her eyes were gray and keen and her gown glittered with sparkling threads.
"Yes," he finally sputtered out. "I have often been in the greatest library that exists, in Gondor, where my home is," he replied proudly, confident that he was right about that. This elven collection of books and scrolls might be large, but it would have fit into one corner of the Minas Tirith library. She did not seem impressed.
"Why have you come so far from your home?" The elf lady turned away from him after asking, and sat on a bench while gesturing for him to sit beside her. At first he was not sure what he should say to her, not that he thought there was much to hide that would not soon be common knowledge. She appeared interested, so he decided he could say a little to satisfy her.
He explained, carefully, how his Captain, Boromir, son of Denethor, who was the Steward of Gondor, had come to this place seeking the meaning of a vision brought to both him and his brother, Faramir, in separate dreams. The brothers had heard a voice in their shared dream that had counseled them to seek for a broken sword in the far northern dale of Imladris. Conner, as a faithful squire to his Captain, had been with him every step of the way to see to it that no one halted or hindered that quest.
All that the people of Gondor, and he, had known before today about Imladris was that the valley was home to Elrond the Halfelven, who was deemed wisest of all the wise. Also, it was reportedly a dwelling place of many others that were learned in the lore of Middle-earth from its most ancient beginnings.
"If any would know the answer to the riddle that the brothers of Gondor both dreamed about," Conner told her, "then they would abide here or nowhere." For a time after he finished, the elf just looked at him, with a dreamy expression on her otherwise placid face.
"Ah, an innocent you are, I can tell by your eyes," she said finally with a sly smile. Conner was not sure what she meant; he certainly did not consider himself that way.
"I am no innocent, fair maid," he said slowly, not sure if he should go into any gruesome details about the bloodshed he had witnessed in his life, and decided against it. "Indeed," he continued, more sure of himself, "in my travels, while in the company of my Captain, I have seen much with these eyes that would cause many men to tremble with fear and loathing."
As he spoke, another elf maid joined them, who seemed to be identical in every way to the first, including the gown that she wore. She stood still and cocked her head at him before speaking.
"What my sister means," she said pertly, "is that you have never lain with a woman yet, have you?" Without asking, she sat on the bench next to Conner on his other side. A subtle fragrance floated up from her hair to tickle his nose. Her face was just as fair as the first one's and her white skin seemed to shine from within.
Momentarily, he was stunned both by the question and the nearness of such beautiful women, that he could not bring himself to speak. The elf maidens sat quietly, smiling at him, while he considered how to answer.
"You will have to excuse my ignorance of your curious ways of carrying on conversations with strangers," he finally replied. "But my... private life is not usually the affair of any other besides myself, nor do I consider such matters proper for polite conversation." As he spoke, the beautiful elves moved closer to him.
"But we are not strangers anymore, man of the south," said the first elf.
"At least," said the other, who put her hand on his knee as she spoke, "we would like to get to know you better while you are visiting here." Her fingers on his leg were slender and pale, their weight a diversion. "My name is Glorchiniel," she told him.
"And my name is Glawareth," said the first. "What is your name, man of Gondor?"
"Conner, son of Hedrik, squire to Captain Boromir of the White City," he announced with pride. And judging from their similarity, he reasoned that they must be sisters, and identical twins at that.
"Would you care to see the broken sword, Conner?" The one named Glorchiniel asked.
"We can show it to you," said her sister. Conner's head swiveled back and forth as they spoke and he felt something like a puppet whose head was being jerked to and fro.
"The... the sword that was broken?" He asked one and then turned to the other to say, "It is here?" He was astonished that they were privy to this valuable information that his Captain had traveled so far to learn.
"Come with me, the sword is not a secret here," said Glorchiniel, as she stood and beckoned at Conner to follow her. "It is one of our most honored artifacts."
Glawareth stood too, and he rose quickly to offer her his elbow, which was how he had been trained to treat ladies. When she slipped her hand through his arm, and smiled right into his eyes, he felt a thrill race through his body. She wrinkled her nose and shook her head slightly as they walked down the corridor behind her sister.
"When is the last time you bathed, Conner son of Hedrik?" Another strange question. "And are all soldiers in Gondor as shaggy-haired as you are?" She cast her eyes over his head and shoulders, as if she was familiar with the required grooming of a soldier.
It took a moment of confused mumblings before Conner could reply. His Captain had warned him to be cautious in his speech around the Fair Folk, who were rumored to be clever to the point of deviousness when seeking information.
"You must decline to reply to any queries into the defenses of the White City," he had been ordered. "Do not be lured into discussing the strength of arms in Gondor and those of our allies. Or the condition of the outer walls and the security of the perimeter of the Pelennor." He was ready to be tortured for information by formidable foes, just to prove how well he could keep it all a secret.
But he had not been told how to answer questions about his sanitary practices. Especially not by women, who normally should never be concerned with anything beneath the surface of his chain mail and trousers, unless they were his wife. Perhaps elves had a different point of view about common courtesy, but this was beyond his experience.
"My Captain and I," he finally said, after choosing his words carefully, in case he said anything that would offend sensitive ears, "have been traveling through the wild for the time of three moons and more, fair ladies. In all of that time, our opportunities to find adequate lodgings with hot water for bathing were rare."
He decided not to tell them of all of the times that Boromir had ordered him to strip down to his skin and dip himself in whatever likely stream or river that they ran across. His Captain, the son of the Steward of Gondor, had been raised in semi-royal conditions and had odd high-born ideas about cleanliness.
Bathing naked in broad daylight had been embarrassing enough and Conner did not want to bring up any memories of it, lest he blush and shame himself. To his relief, his answer seemed to satisfy Glawareth, and they walked in silence behind her sister, up a staircase, and onto a wide hall, with tall opened windows that stretched from floor to ceiling.
In a place of honor, well lit by the sun's rays, on a bed of dark velvet, gleamed the shards of a sword, and next to it lay an ancient leather scabbard. Conner stared at the sacred mementos of a distant age until his eyes grew bleary with strain. What did it mean? He only hoped that Boromir would know. The kind of hero who bore this weapon would not be seen again.
"Is there anything else that you would like to see?" Glorchiniel stood close to him on his other side from her sister, who was still holding his elbow. "That might help you to feel less a stranger?"
"I have an idea of where to go next," said Glawareth. "And we will get to know each other very well, and accomplish a worthy goal at the same time. A soldier of Gondor should think that a desirable pastime." She smiled at her sister and then looked up at Conner. "How brave are you, young squire?"
"Brave enough," Conner replied without thinking, and then paused to regret it. What did she have in mind that required courage? It was not as if he was afraid of having to engage in combat with these flower-like creatures, whose slender frames and delicate limbs posed no obvious threat to him.
Conner was well trained in grappling with men larger than he, and had even won contests at hand-to-hand fighting back in Minas Tirith. He was confident that he would have no difficulty subduing either of these elf twins, should one decide to attack him, or both. The idea excited him.
"You may have to shed some of your notions," said Glorchiniel, who took his free elbow and tugged him away from the broken sword.
"And a few other things," added Glawareth, as they led him out of they hall. "You will have to be very brave." More than that, they did not say. Their riddling speech was too mysterious for him to fathom, and he let them guide him along, not seeing any reason to prevent them from doing so.
They took him back down the stairway and then out of the house altogether. And he wondered at the ease with which these cunning people had lured him away from his Captain, when he finally realized what had happened. He stopped in his tracks, forcing them to halt on either side of him.
"Where are you taking me?" Conner looked back over his shoulder, expecting to see enemies of Gondor swarming into the house, now that he had left his Captain unguarded and vulnerable to attack. But all was peaceful and quiet.
"We are there now," they answered in unison, as if he should have known and was being foolish to ask. They were standing in front of a low-roofed structure that he took for some kind of garden shed. It appeared to be a large, upside down bowl, made from latticework and covered with vines bearing honeysuckle flowers. "Come inside," they beckoned, after releasing his arms and opening the gate.
Within was a round, steaming tub of water, sunk into the earth, the likes of which Conner would have imagined one would find in a palace of a great king in his glory. Its sunken edges were bordered with curved slabs of polished marble. The bright day's sunlight was filtered through the vines above, which cast a cool green shade over the stone and water.
"Do you need any help undressing?" Asked Glawareth, who sat on a stool beside the pool, and removed her slippers. "You seem to have many layers of clothing."
Conner looked down at his leather jerkin, which covered the fine chain mail that he wore over his knee-length tabard. Under which was his woolen shirt and beneath that was his linen undershirt, and below his waist he wore trousers that were tucked into his high leather boots. He did not think he had that many layers on, however, as he was not dressed for winter.
But when Glorchiniel was ready to sit and remove her shoes, her unshod sister stood and lifted her own dress off in one graceful motion, revealing milk-white skin that gleamed in the fingers of sunlight that stabbed down from above as she moved through them while she entered the pool. She wore nothing beneath her gown, he noted numbly, not slip nor chemise, nor corset, nor, well, anything. He was astonished.
Nearly leaping, he was startled by hands at his chest, and realized that he had not torn his eyes from the naked elf woman, whose riveting form was still vaguely visible even beneath the swirling bath water, and had forgotten what he was doing, or where he was. Glorchiniel stood before him, her fingers busy undoing the fastenings of his vest and he was too weak to stop her, or assist in any way.
For a short time, fleeting fears almost overwhelmed him, such as what if someone came in and saw them? Or, what if Boromir called for him? But the thoughts faded in importance as each new layer of his clothes were removed by the skillful elf fingers. When she came to the long undershirt, which reached his knees once his trousers had been removed, she put her hand over her mouth and giggled.
"Do you wear this to sleep in? I have only heard stories about such garments." She sounded almost grateful for the opportunity to witness his underwear, as if it was sewn from the stuff of legends. "But I could never have imagined they would look this peculiar."
But when she reached to pull the long shirt off of Conner, he balked, and stopped her. He had enough trouble being naked in front of his superiors upon command, but to be with members of the fairer sex? It was unheard of, and unplanned for, and he had nothing to compare it to. Besides all of that, his private parts were betraying him by responding improperly, despite his strongest efforts to subdue his arousal.
"I think that maybe you need some incentive," said the patient Glorchiniel, and she stepped back from him and removed her own gown, as her sister had done before, in one smooth movement. "It is rude in this valley," she told him, "to remain clothed in front of a naked elleth in the bathhouse."
Irregardless of his desire to be gentlemanly, as a good soldier should, he was dumbstruck and unable to do more than stare. The elleth, as she had called herself, seemed pleased to be ogled at by him, and did nothing to cover herself for the sake of modesty. She seemed happy to have the chance to educate him. And he was a more than willing student.
Her breasts were full, the nipples a pale pink peak atop the perfect roundness, and her waist was small enough for his hands to circle, he believed. But the most amazing thing about her body was that beside the waterfall of golden tresses that floated around her shapely shoulders, she was completely without hair on any other part of her body. As his eyes traveled lower he suspicions were confirmed. Now he knew he could not remove his shirt. Rude or not.
However, even his doughty undershirt could not disguise the size or scope of his manly distress, and Glorchiniel's eyes were caught by the slight jerking motions beneath the linen, and widened with appreciation at the tell-tale bulge. He stood still, unable to move, as she stepped forward and grasped him through the garment, and then all he could do was gasp.
"You must not swaddle such a worthy sword, young squire," she chided him. "Such a fine weapon should be unsheathed often and polished to a high shine."
"And I want to polish it first," added her sister, from the bath. "Do stop taking so much time getting him undressed."
Without letting go of his most private part, the elleth used her other hand to lift the undershirt as far as it would go before meeting her grasping hand. She shot him a questioning glance, and he nodded, unable to speak. Finally she released him, and he removed his shirt by himself, and breathed out a sigh when it was off and tossed aside. Glorchiniel smiled at him and held out her hand to lead him down into the water, and her sister clapped her hands.
He had, despite their assumptions, lain with a woman once before. She was a courtesan of the court of Gondor, and much older than he. It had been quick, and passionless, done mostly on a dare. Neither of them had removed their clothes, the act had taken place in a closet, and was over with before he was even sure it had begun. But he had always counted it as a milestone in his life as a man. It had certainly not prepared him for these sisters.
To be continued in Chapter 2
Posted: August 2, 2005
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"Long live Thranduil, great Elf-king of Greenwood!"