Before the Island: Lothlorien

This week involves another song post, so let’s get right to it!

I know that this is the third song post in a row, but rest assured that not every post in the future will have a song to go with it. This week’s music coincides with our new character very heavily, as in I named her after the song Lothlorien (pronounced lowth-lor-ee-en) by Enya that you can listen to by clicking on the highlighted link here. Every time I’ve introduced Lothlorien to a new audience, everyone immediately thinks of the region in Middle Earth by the same name. What’s funny is I actually hadn’t read Lord of the Rings when I was working on this character. When I heard this song for the first time, Lothlorien came trotting into my head like an old friend, and the overall tone fits her personality perfectly when she first meets Aurora. Anyway, I’ll stop spoiling this post and let you read it for yourself. Enjoy! 

***

Aurora ran through the forest as long as her legs would carry her. Lucky for her, it seemed like none of the hunters bothered to follow her.

In a single night, no, in a matter of hours, she had lost everything she had ever known and loved. Her estate was under attack far away, and Christopher and MoonStone were dead at the hands of her greedy father. How did he manage to transform himself into something so dark, it gave her chills to think about? Her hair was a tangled mess of a braid, her head throbbed, and her favorite green dress was torn at the bottom and covered in dirt.

“There is no place left to go!” she told herself while she tried her best to dive between trees and jump over bushes. Her vision was blurry from crying, and her legs gave out from exhaustion after vaulting over a large bush. She lay curled up in a ball on the forest floor while she let the grief rush upon her. “They’re gone. Christopher and MoonStone are gone!” echoed through her head until her mind went numb. They were the only ones to show her what love truly means, and they sacrificed themselves protecting her. She felt a nagging feeling that her father was right after all. Love is only given to be taken away.

“Take me away too.” she whispered. “Please, take me away too! I want to die! I don’t want to be here anymore, I want to be with them!”

“You weren’t meant to die tonight, child,” said a voice.

“MoonStone? Is that you?” She scrunched herself into a tighter ball with her hands covering her head. “I must be going mad already, I can hear MoonStone’s voice come back to haunt me!”

“Open your eyes child, you are not going mad.” Aurora lifted her head and rubbed her eyes to reveal another Guardian staring down at her. It looked just like MoonStone, but it’s features were just different enough that Aurora could tell it was female. Her features were softer, more elegant, and she was a little smaller than MoonStone. Her mane was so long and thick that it nearly touched her knees. Her dark eyes looked concerned, and the way she carried herself revealed that she was in tremendous emotional pain.

“Who are you?” said Aurora.

“I am Lothlorien, the beloved mate of your Guardian MoonStone.” She lowered her head when she said MoonStone’s name, and shook her head. Her mane rippled in silky waves. “I could sense that he was in danger, but I was too late. I could feel that you were still alive, so I searched for you instead. Let me take you back to my master with me so you can recover.”

“How can you even be near me?” Aurora sat up and scooted back from the Guardian. She could feel the floodgates opening again. “If I hadn’t met your MoonStone, he would still be alive! Now you’ve lost him, and I’ve lost Christopher, all because of me and my father! How do you know that I’m not one of them too? I could be helping the hunters, and you could die too!”

“Hush child!” Lothlorien bent down and nuzzled the girl’s damp face. “There is so much goodness in you that I could never suspect you of something so terrible! None of this is your fault. Christopher and MoonStone were lost to greed and anger, not your desire to live a happy life. I know that MoonStone would die for you all over again, and I’m sure the same goes for Christopher. My MoonStone spoke so highly of you and Christopher, that I know he gladly would have done anything for you. All things happen for a reason, and I’m sure that tonight’s events had a very big one. What we can do now is wait for that reason to come, and recover. Guardians and humans have one thing in common; they don’t like to mourn alone. I need you as much as you need me, Aurora. Climb on my back, and I’ll take you to my master.” The Guardian got down on her knees and waited for Aurora to get up. The girl slowly rose from the forest floor and swung her leg over Lothlorien’s back. The Guardian stood up and turned to look at Aurora.

“You’re going to be safe with my master and I,” said Lothlorien. “Try your best to stay calm for now. We need to get to safety as soon as possible.” She started at a walk that turned into a brisk trot. Aurora was silent while they glided between the trees, and kept her gaze focused where her hands that held onto Lothlorien’s thick mane at the base of her neck.

“I must ask you,” said Lothlorien. “And I’m sorry if it upsets you, but I need to know. What happened to their bodies when they died?”

“I…I can’t say for sure,” said Aurora. “It was like their bodies melted away. They slowly turned into dust that was carried away by the wind.” Lothlorien nickered and held her head a little higher in response.

“Good, he did manage to save them,” said Lothlorien.

“Who did? What do you mean?”

“My master. You’ll meet him very soon, and he’ll explain what happened. We’re starting to get close,” said Lothlorien. Aurora looked around, and noticed that the forest seemed different. It wasn’t like any ordinary forest. Every leaf, branch and bush seemed brighter in color, more vibrant. The crescent moon cast a lovely light blue glow over the green flora, and colorful wildflowers dotted the Earth.

“Why does everything look so different?” asked Aurora.

“We are approaching the heart of the forest, where all of my kind and my master reside. There are so many of us Guardians here that the forest has flourished with life,” said Lothlorien. A few minutes later, Guardians began to emerge from the trees and watch them pass through. They were beautiful beyond words, with each one looking just different enough for Aurora to pick out their unique personalities. Some looked grumpy, while others looked joyful. Every one of them bowed their heads low as they passed through.

“It’s so beautiful,” said Aurora. She could feel her broken heart mending just a little bit. “But why are they bowing to us?”

“Guardians are a deeply connected race,” said Lothlorien. “We are meant to live for thousands of years, and a death among us is rare. Whenever one of us is in danger or leaves this Earth, we know immediately, as if we were hit with a bolt of lightning. When the hunt for MoonStone started, my master and I could feel he was in danger, so I tried to come as fast as I could while my master stayed behind to see if he could do anything.” She lowered her head. “At least one of us was successful.”

Aurora stroked her silky flank while she gazed wide-eyed at the other Guardians.

“I’m thankful you found me,” said Aurora. “I don’t know what I would have done without you. But if I may, who is your master? I’ve heard so much about him, but I don’t even know his name.” Lothlorien lifted her head and smiled back at the girl. The trees began to open up to a lovely grassy clearing full of grazing Guardians.

“Why don’t I let him tell you himself?” she said. They strode through the clearing with Aurora’s mouth wide open in wonder.

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