Sacred Grove
You stand now at the bottom of a low hill. Standing atop the hill are two magnificent trees, both resembling the mellyrn all around you, but each distinctly different. The first is completely silver in color, glowing bark and leaves both. Its twin, likewise, is entirely a golden color, including its shimmering bark. In the light of the sun, this golden tree reflects the light in such a way as to illuminate the entire grove with its golden light.
The air here is more tranquil than you have ever felt elsewhere. As you enter the grove, it becomes impossible to harbor even the slightest feelings of anger, violence, or hatred as the peace here overwhelms your senses. In your relaxed state, you see a bracelet resting below one of the tapestries here.

Sleeping Talia

You feel a presence hear, the shadows of the world of Elven Dreams are almost tangible around you. Perhaps, if you were to `dream' yourself, you could join them?

Arehir enters quietly from the Main Courtyard.
Arehir has arrived.
His long dusky-grey cloak draped over one shoulder, Arehir drifts softly onto the turf at the base of the small hillock. Dark eyes raise toward the trees then, concern readily apparent, as he begins to ascend.

Tuonoorwen sits in the shadow of a tall mallorn with silver-trimmed leaves, her eyes half-closed, back against the bark, and hands folded on her knees.

Reaching the crest of the hill, the captain drops slowly, almost stiffly, to one knee, his head sagging forward so that long silver hair spills forward about his shoulders. A soft murmer of a chant can be heard from his baritone voice, but he makes no motion for many long minutes.

Tuonoorwen raises from her place, and slowly steps away from the tree, and addresses the Captain in her quiet voice, "So the news of Talia has reached the borders? Do not sing laments yet."

Arehir's voice slowly subsides as the Ivonwen approaches, but he does not riase his head before he responds, "T'is no lamentation that I offer, lady. But rather a plea for strength." He stands then, again with a strange stiffness, and pulling the long threads from his face, adds, "The Commander of the Order of Lorien lies here before me, mellon. And though I doubt not the wisdom of those who tend her, her doom weighs heavy upon her, and I cannot see what tomorrow brings."

Tuonoorwen quietly stands besides Arehir, "As it should be, Captain. But perhaps it is not by chance that you were brought here." She half-turns to face Arehir, and holds out her hand, "Will you walk with me in the dream?"

Arehir lowers his head slowly to gaze upon the offered hand, his expression indecipherable. He replies then, in measured tone, "Yes, I will join you Ivonwen, though what can be gained is unclear to me." Tossing back the heavy cloak clasped about his neck with a shrug of his shoulder, the captain lifts his hand to yours then, and grasps it as if both giving, and receiving, aid.

As the sights of the Sacred Grove fade into gray mist around you, the shadows of the Dreams become almost real.

Elven Dreams
This is the world of Elven Dreams. Other Elves appear to you here as their true selves, if you have the wisdom and heart to see in this place. Dreams and thoughts, yours and theirs, come to life here.

Arehir appears among the dreams, condensing from a barely perceptible presence into his real self.
Arehir has arrived.

As the shapes of trees and hills slowly fade around you, the change comes to Tuonoorwen: taller she seems, and framed with radiance she stands surrounded by swirling mists. As your eyes adjust to the new views, or perhaps as she gathers her powers and presence is this world, a grassy plain stretches out from under her feet, and blossoming flowers sping to life. Tuonoorwen lets go of your hand and turns to face you, staning among the sea of the flowers which reach to her waist, and above them dances a mutlitude of butterflies, basking in the light.
The vision slowly fades away as you turn your eyes away from her, and at a distance through the tears in the mist you can see many things: roads, castles, walls, marching armies, all distant shadows of times long gone.

A similar swirl of vapour envelopes the captain as he transcends the physical world of middle earth to the place where all elven spirits walk, unfettered by time and distance. The mists dissipate slightly about his pale face as the image of a massive, snow-covered mountain raises monstrously behind him, gusts of snow seeming to sweep about the guard's long silver hair. Beyond the mountain's peak, barely discernable among the winds, a long hand reaches forward, honey-colored hair falling about the forearm.

Talia has arrived.
Talia goes Into Character.

Tuonoorwen stands in the middle of the flower patch, an image she often brings with her. The flowers before her gradually merge into barren foothills, then the ground raises in a massive mountain, covered with snow. Snowflakes fall on Arehir's shoulders, but melt before reaching Tuonoorwen's feet.

A similar swirl of vapour envelopes the captain as he transcends the physical world of middle earth to the place where all elven spirits walk, unfettered by time and distance. The mists dissipate slightly about his pale face as the image of a massive, snow-covered mountain raises monstrously behind him, gusts of snow seeming to sweep about the guard's long silver hair. Beyond the mountain's peak, barely discernable among the winds, a long hand reaches forward, honey-colored hair falling about the forearm.

Tuonoorwen looks around, fixing her eyes on a gap in the mist where, at a distance, a dark chasm cuts across what appears to be a barren field. "I think it is there..." She gestures with her hand.

Arehir turns his head also, peering across the shifting cloudscape to where the field coalesces. His own face appears to wash in and out of visibility as the snows thunder in sheets from the bleak tower of granite behind him. He begins to move, though, pulling the strength of four thousand years to him from the mists, and strides now toward the field.

Barely have the dreamgates closed behind the Captain when there is a hiss in the distance, if there is distance here. As the Ivonwen motions towards the everpresent chasm a wraith flies from the opposite side, gray and featureless, but with the likeness and dress of a Galadhrim guard. But then it evaporates along with the mists of the fields, dispersed by a flash of light reflected off the swinging blade of a fully armored warrior with golden hair.

Gradually and almost imperseptibly at first, but Tuonoorwen and Arehir end up separated from each other, each surrounded by their own dreams. Moving about, at least through the emptiness of the space, comes to Tuonoorwen without any visible effort: as she starts to walk, the flowering field stretches forward before her, and a path meanders through it. As the flash of light blasts above her head, she peers into distance, and the colorful visions around her distort and fade for a moment. She resumes her walk with even more speed and determination, and at times it seems liek the sea of the flowers carries her ahead faster than she could run herself.

Seeming to break free from the powerful image about him as the strangely familiar, and yet distant as the stars, visage passes across the sight of the guard and maid, Arehir's own glittering blade leaps from his hip - a nearly unconscious response to the vision. The blade stands out before him now, white in appearance here in this demense, and as he continues to master his spirit, an avalanche of blindingly white froth roils at Arehir's feet, propelling him toward the distant field.

No weapons or armor can the eye make out on Tuonoorwen as she reaches the edge ofthe chasm. The path which led her there does not go any further. Few butterflies from the cloud swirling around her dive into the abyss, but the flicker of their wings is soon lost in the darkness.

The warrior beyond the rift emits no light of her own, though her greatsword appears to be ablaze, a lone wildfire on the sweeping plains. The warrior continues to slash desperately through the air at enemies that are only sometimes visible in the form of sighing, faded elves. Coming closer, her exhaustion is visible and her attacks become slower and weaker.

Tuonoorwen glances over her shoulder to search for Arehir, worry obviously written on her face.

Surging now with a deafening roar, the mass of snow arches over the mists of the dream world, and atop the head of this massive field of motion, Arehir leans forward, his sword held out straight as he approaches the great black rift. At a turn of his head, however, or perhaps a turn of the landscape, Arehir perceives anew the flaming warrior. He leaps from the tide of white then as it thunders endlessly down into the chasm, and rises upward, seeming to grow in size, his dark eyes now blazing as stoked coals.

The roar of the snow turns Talia 'round from her desperation and she turns toward the origin of the noise and watches, more with curiosity than fear. She does not move from her spot, however, and only turns her head slightly, as if to listen better.

Just as the thundering avalance is about to sweep Tuonoorwen, she raises her hands, and no longer tries to contain the light which comes from her. Like a luminous butterfly herself now, she is swept away by the winds raised by the fierce snow, and in a swirl of snowflakes hurled over the chasm.

Arehir suddenly vanishes as he wakes up and returns to the world of Lorien.
Arehir has left.

Talia stands motionless and wary, aware of another presence having crossed the chasm. She wraps both hands around the hilt of her sword, though she does not raise it yet, weariness still writ on her brow. Resignedly, she ventures the question though she fears the answer, "Who is it?"

As she lands on the other side of the rift, Tuonoorwen draws her light back in, and her features can once again be made out, framed by the while halo. The last snowflakes melt on the ground around her. Her voice sounds strong and young, as it was not heard in the mortal lands for many thousands years, "I have come back for you, Talia."

Talia's grip loosens around her sword and it seems that perhaps her posture straightens somewhat. "Lady...oh have you?" The Commander's voice is not a Commander's at all, but small and tired. "With each second's passing, I thought more and more that I was trapped...facing up forever to my failure and fear..." Talia's voice trails on a bit longer with worried and indiscernable words until at last she sighs and looks to the direction of Tuonoorwen's voice. "Can you see me?"

Tuonoorwen slowly takes few steps toward Talia, "Yes, Talia, I can see you. I was old here when your first shadow dashed across the clouds and a child's laughter told me that you were born." She makes few more steps, "It is fear which holds you here. You must let go of it, and face the dreams unarmed. You cling to your arms as to the last reminder of the world you left. But you cannot return to this world as long as you do."

Talia shrinks back, clutching her sword tightly again, "But I have no other way to fight....Them. And..." Her lightless eyes narrow as if she is pained, "This armor does not come off...I have tried and tried again - It smells forever of blood! I am reminded constantly of all the blood I wear that is not mine." The girl voice has risen to a new pitch now, lamenting and begging, "Are prayers not to be heard in this cursed place?"

The sun sinks in the sky and falls below the horizon. Nighttime takes over.

Tuonoorwen is almost close enough to reach Talia with her hand. Perhaps, one more step, and less than a sword's length would separate them, "It is you who do not hear the answers..." Few ghostly figures slowly condense from the air around the two, but are suddenly swept away in a gust of wind. Almost without missing a beat, Tuonoorwen continues, "... because your mind is locked in the battle. Do not fight them, reach forth with your feelings, shape them with your will. You have felt my presence. Think of me. Try to see me. Once you gain sight, you will have defense."

Another gray silouette raise behind Tuonoorwen, and with a wailing sound stretches its hands toward Talia.

Talia jumps backwards at the sound, instinctively tightening her hands around her sword, but then she shuts her eyes, her fear of the inevitable apparent. With an act of pure will, she drops the greatsword to the ground and covers her face with her hands. And then, though it appears at first just a trick of the light, the center elfstone on her forehead begins to glow just a little, and she waits out the actions of the unseen demon, unflinching.

Once dropped, the sword slowly fades, as if connection to a living hand was what gave it substance in this world. There is a hoarse disembodied laughter coming from every direction. many cruel voices, mocking, wailing. But amidst the mayhem Tuonoorwen stands still and unmoving, and her light flickers on Talia's armor. The word on the ground becomes translucent, and in an eerie sight the grass trumpled by its weight can be seen through the fading blade.

Talia's body quakes and sweat forms on her brow, though she stubbornly clings to her one little piece of light. She lets her hands fall from her face at last, fists clenched at her sides. Once, she nearly stoops to pick up her sword, but quickly makes herself tall once again. It seems the voices grow louder and at last Talia brings herself to her senses, intoning some heartening ancient warsong under her breath and finally flinging her hand up as if to banish the spirits.

Tuonoorwen lifts her hand, and, almost as an extension of it, a longsword raises above her head, tongues of flame run along the blade. She grasps the weapon with both hands now, and it comes ablase as a shining star above her, flooding the field with sharp white light. There is a crackling sound in the shadows behind her, like something catching on fire, and with a fading hiss the gray shadows withdraw, vanishing in the mist. "Look at me!" comes a commanding voice, then Tuonoorwen brings her hands down, and the sword, released, is absorbed in her light and is no more. "Look at me", she repeats, but quietly, the powers of ancient Eldar hidden again behind her simple appearance.

Talia slowly opens her eyes and looks up. Flecks of familiar steely blue find their way into her grey irises. Many moments of silence pass as Talia looks ahead unblinking. At last she says, "Light." Breath catching in her throat she tentatively lifts her hand in front of her, "There is light, but before only grey." The elleth half laughs and then chokes back a sob.

Tuonoorwen joins you in a brief, but happy, burst of laugher. "This is how it begins. At first, you only saw enemies. Now you see friends. When your own light will shine on your path you will find the way back." Tuonoorwen suddenly looks around, her eyes try to penetrate the heavy shadows. The sword which was left on the ground is gone, and only a mark left on the grass shows where it was just a moment ago. Tuonoorwen continues to study the darkness, then mutters, "However, I cannot stay next to you to defend you at all times. Already I grow weary as my thought has to bridge this rift." She looks back at Talia, and says resolutely, "Take your weapon!"

Despite her smile a moment earlier, Talia nods quickly and drops to one knee to reclaim her blade. But her hands find naught but singed and bent grass. She grasps frantically at the earth for several moments beneath bowing her head and allowing herself a small whimper. Shutting her eyes tight again and summoning up the small amount of power residing in her lone shining elfstone she turns her palms upwards, entreating. A thin blue fire shoots through the space between her hands, leaving in its wake a simple sword, smaller and lighter than the other. Talia exhales and comes to rest fully upon the ground now, catching her breath. Looking up to the light of the Ivonwen she whispers, "It will do for now...Thank you..."

A blow of wind comes from the shadows, pushing Tuonoorwen back toward the rift, then one more, and again. Soon the wind blows steadily, gaining in strenght with every minute. Grass clippings and small pebbles are swept away and vanish in the depths of the chasm. Tuonoorwen struggles to remain standing against the wind, which waves her cloak like a flag on her shoulders. Her light flickers, and the wind tears it away spark by spark, as tiny fireflies. "I can no longer stay with you, but what you gained now will always remain yours." Her voice is almost overwhelmed by the roar of the wind, "It can never be taken away from you".

Talia bows her head in a nod of assent, and presses her chin against her chest against the strength of the wind, clutching her new sword which gives off its own dim glow through the swirling dust and grass.

Tuonoorwen finally gives in to the wind, and her fading shape is swept away. Throug the wail of the rushing air come few words, " ... back ... light ... "