The Seven Swords of Elora
Author: surfingpanda7

Chapter 9
The Elves of Nelldir

The elves carried them away briskly, dashing through the forest, almost as fast as the legendary Sandorian horses. They leaped gracefully over fallen trees and logs, and wound through the great trees in the darkness like thread, shifting their weight and accelerating. The elves rode on for a long while, the pounding thuds of their steeds pervading the depths of the forest. In time they came to the River of Lieor, that ran down from the Mountains of Tarras in Lothlorr and wound down further until it connected with the Great River Emoras. The elves navigated through the mystic darkness and came to a ford of risen rocks and pebbles. They splashed across and bolted off after safely crossing.

Through the gaps in the roof, Forri could see the sky laced with a bright orange and purple, the stars beginning to fade away. There were no clouds, only the velvety sky with all its vastness. The forest then began to gradually lighten and spears of orange sunlight stabbed down through the canopy above. The trees began to bow as the elves passed, creating a great cathedral. On the elves went until they came to a clearing in the woods and before them the stony grey mountains of Tor Norvim climbed, clad in trees of verdant green and laden with years.

Before the elves, a great chasm tumbled down into a deep shadow of rock and leaf. Extending across the fissure, a grand bridge of grey stone was built, it’s pillars driving down into the chasm. The elves clopped their way over the bridge an onward to the sheer shelves of rock and stone. Carved into the stone wall, guarded on either side with great trees of vibrant green leaves a grand gate was set into the rock. On its outer borders there was etched elvish text of the Wood. The elves rode on into the city of Nelldir and navigated through the torch light caves to the great and magnificent hall of their king, Eor.

The hall expanded with great light, carved into the heart of the rock with massive pillars running down the length of the room. The cave was much brighter than that of the goblins under the mountain and of the dwarves for theses were elves. There were several grand staircases leading up to various entrances and exits and towers. The Wood Elves astride the horses dismounted and helped the company of Rorill down and escorted them onwards to the great dais of Eor where there he sat in all his grace and knowledge. He sat in a gleaming throne of green and silver, and wore atop his silver haired head a crown of leaves and wood and silver. Flowing down his figure, liquid robes of a pale and silvery blue were sewn of their magical fabric of indaer. He emitted a beaming white glow and emanated with power. His piercing ears like sword blades. He looked down at them conspicuously, saying nothing. He tilted his head slightly and gazed into Rorill’s eyes intensely with his keen silver-blue eyes.

“I know what you search for.” He said in a smooth and thin voice, both mystical and mysterious. “You have journeyed far from the woods of Faen in the west and to my brother’s halls.” And by this he meant Hiim, for they were both of the times of Old. “You have spoken with the Great Five and of the one who dwells in Erandor. You have passed through the fire of the mountain and through my wood. I know of your quest, Rorill, son of Aarni of the high city in Arma, King of Viora.

“But there were troubles in my wood, were there not?” He continued. “I sent my people to save you from the Weir of the Wood and that they have done. Though it would have been wise for you to travel onwards to the Halls of Cellandor under the Mountains of the Wood. He would have been capable of bringing you up from the Great River and to us. Though now that you are here, I see what you seek. Come, I will show you the way.” And at this the elf king Eor rose from his throne and stepped down the great stairs of his dais. Eor led them through the caves and halls of Nelldir until after escalating a spiraling staircase they came to a small room with a large circular mirror of water.

Eor stood over it and laid his glowing had down on the glassy water, caressing the liquid. He whispered in elvish, “Emorsir endur amin. Leara rean unvalin endriso khalasse undavo.” From the water, a great blast of white light exploded underneath the surface, though the surface stayed still as stone. An image then floated to the surface and in the mirror of water, there were the mountains of Tor Norvim and the city of Nelldir. The mountains beneath the pool of water went on and on, until in the center of them, a great and vast valley opened and in its heart, a single tower rose into the sky.

The tower then began to rise until its peak broke the glassy surface and pulled itself out of the water. When the entire tower, thin and tall, was out of the mirror, Eor spoke, “This is what you seek. In the heart of Tor Norvim, there stands alone a tower built long ago by the elves of Erridal. There is a magic that dwells in there that we do not know and are not to disturb. Though this was Leida’s destination, the sacred Tower of Amosor. The Swords may lie there, but we are unsure. We will travel you through the maze of Tor Norvim and into the heart of the mountains, but we cannot venture with you into the tower with you, if you choose to enter. I leave it up to you.”

Rorill stared at the black tower, his face pensive. With his eyes fixed on the tower he said, “Take us.”

The Wood Elves raced through the sheer slopes of Tor Norvim, the grey and desolate peaks glistening like crystals. Their shoulders were slumped with age and their faces dropped off in shelves, great and massive. The Wood Elves were accustomed to theses mountains, though had not traveled into them for almost a year. They had been given word by the Nieanor or Ilundor that they had been besieged by the darkness that is spreading. Though now they were there, and they hastened through the rock walls and paths. They spent a good while traversing the slopes and shelves until the sun was beginning to fall and the clouds had begun to pull and stretch. When the sun began to darken to a lurid orange and the sky was streaked with faint levels of purple and orange and yellow and the three moons of the gods began to glow feebly, the Wood Elves opened up to the heart of the mountains.

The heart was a vast expanse of flat rock, the slopes and peaks of the mountains concealing it falling flat. In the center of the grey waste, there shot out of the ground a single narrow spear of rock. Built into the rock at its peak, a tower of black rose up into the thin and misty clouds that glowed a vibrant pink. “The Tower of Amosor.” Stated Eor, who had led them all this way on his massive silver horse. “That of the make of the ancient and lost elves of Erridal in the Great Sea. We can travel with you no farther. We bid you the best of luck.” And Rorill and Forri and the rest of the elves dismounted their horses and said their good-byes to the elves. Eor whistled in a high, ringing tune and the Elves thundered away off into the great labyrinth of rock.

The company of Rorill now flung their packs and weapons over their shoulders and walked on through the rock waste, they were so close. In the vast and barren grey there was a biting wind from the north that shoved them back like two great hands of wind. The wind was persistent and blew off the elves’ hoods of embrith from their cloaks and forced them to tread slowly across. After they had braves the winds and the sun and fallen beneath the crown of the lowest dulled peak and the rock was haloed with a golden beam, the elves stood before the great gates of the tower. They were wrecked and broken, leading into the darkness of the spear of rock. As they entered, the wind was sliced off as if cut with a sword and Rorill illuminated the crystal atop his staff. With the dim white light the seven elves started up the serpentine staircase of the tower, winding higher and higher until they came upon a door in the ceiling. Illue tugged at it and pulled it open, the elves all jumping up through.

In the black room of stone and obsidian, there was a single great table of glinting obsidian, catching the light of Rorill’s staff. The elves were at the peak of the tower and the ground lay thousands upon thousands of feet below. Rorill walked towards the table, eyeing the black rock carefully. Then suddenly a fluorescent green-blue orb that coruscated like fire burst from inside the table. The room glowed with the mystical light and the licking flame orb spoke, though it had no mouth. Its voice was deep and powerful, mysterious and cunning. It carried through the room like mist, reaching every crevice and crook and reverberating off the walls. “Why have you entered into my tower?” The voice asked. Rorill said nothing, too perplexed and frightened. “I am Nymaril, last elf of the lost land of Erridal. I have guarded this tower for many years and no one has ever come. Why have you come?”

By some miracle, Forri answered the fire, “We are on seek of the Seven Swords of Elora.” He said, quivering. “Do you know where they are?”

Nymaril answered back quickly, “Yes.” It boomed. “I know where the Seven lie. Though why do you search such objects when such objects have never been searched for? Why do you have hope while the others do not?”

“We were not the only ones searching for the Seven.” Continued Forri, “And elf by the name of Leida knew of this tower and its secret knowledge. He was though trapped and died under the Mountains of Sildor. He gave us a letter that told of your tower, The Tower of Amosor.”

“Is that what they call it now?” Laughed the orb, “It was once the Tower of Nymaril, though when the elves of Erridal all died and we were thought to be non-existent, an elf by the name of Amosor climbed this tower and renamed it, for he though he was so very mighty to enter ad reach the peak of the Dead Elves of Erridal’s tower. I assume the name has not changed from that time so long ago. But yes, I know of what you seek. You must only answer my riddle first and the orb recited the riddle in a sly and cunning voice that slithered through the room,

“Vast and monstrous this thing can be,
Terrible and graceful at the same time,
So beautiful to see,
Yet never so as it climbs,
Some say that it is the sky,
And some say that is merely dye,
This thing is neither bloody nor gory in its plight,
But is loud and ferocious in its flight.”

The seven elves pondered deep within their minds to uncover the answer. This deep silence went on for a long while until Forri’s face etched the beginnings of a grin. He had worked it out. In his excitement he said aloud, proud to be an elf of the Hallows, “The Sea!” He shouted.

“You are most correct, little elf. So now, since you have answered my riddle correctly, I will aid you in your quest.” And at these words the orb floated from the obsidian table and rose out of the tower and into the sky.

“It has tricked us!” Howled Narril. “We should have never trusted this thing. Now what are we supposed to do.” Elloril silenced them and cried, pointing his finger out the small window. “Look. There, there, you see it?” In the black sky, there was the blue-green orb drifting off to the west. “It wants us to follow.” Said Forri. “Then let us follow.” Commanded Rorill and the seven elves hastened down the steep stairs and out into the dark night, the three moons glowing palely and millions of fine sparkling stars consumed the velvety black canvas. The orb of Nymaril swam through the air high in the sky and the elves hurried after it, through the waste of rock and onward to the convoluted labyrinth of rock and stone that was Tor Norvim, the grey rock glowing a pale white, reflecting the light of the moons.

Nymaril guided them on and on through the mountains and the night until the first light of dawn snuck up from the dark horizon. The land was then lit rapidly in a grey light and the stars began to sink behind the black curtain above. When the sun was full revealed and its light caressed the earth with loving and warm hands, and the sky beamed a vibrant azure, the elves exited the high rock walls of the mountains and stood before the vast northlands and the flat fields of Ilmari. In the far distance, beneath the green-blue glow of Nymaril, a great and massive single mountain peak jutted out of the earth, a dark silhouette in the distance.

 

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