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The Lady of Time

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“There is some good in this world, and it's worth fighting for.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

 

Karina drifted, in that void outside of time and space. How long she had been there was both infinite and fleeting. She watched as kingdoms rose and fell, weeping for those who were lost and for those who mourned; but only now did she consider truly entering the world, entering the domain of time for the sake of the Sons of Durin. For Thorin, Fíli and Kíli, and the golden haired prince who died much too young; for as she watched she came to care for them.

She watched from her halls seeing the loss of the great mountain they called home, as the urulókë Smaug came down from the north, watched as the fair city of men that lay at its door was burned to ruin and the Dwarrows of Erebor fled from the dragon’s wrath, and were left to wander the wilderness by those they once considered allies and friends. She watched as, before that, their King was driven to madness by his lust for gold and spent his days in the treasury of his kingdom, while his Queen faded and died from the loss of the one she loved though he still lived in body; his children and children’s children worried for him and mourned. She watched as they tried to reclaim Durin’s first home Khazad-dûm, saw the young golden haired prince fall and her hurt broke at his death, she was tormented by his loss from the world she watched over. She saw the devastation on the young raven haired prince’s face as he saw the head of his grandfather the King tossed at his feet, and his father driven mad by grief was lost in battle, never to see him again. She saw the broken hearted prince steel himself and fire his heart with rage, to fight the Pale Orc that had killed his Grandfather and get knocked down again and again. She saw him triumph and take the forearm of his foe, and her heart fell as she saw the foul creature would live and all the pain he would cause in time. She saw the quest to reclaim a homeland, she saw the struggles they would face, and she saw the brave child of the kindly west, named Bilbo Baggins. She saw the great battle between Men, Elves, Dwarrows and the forces of darkness, she saw the fate of the Sons of Durin and the suffering and fate of Middle Earth to come.

She saw this and mourned, but then she raged… She would not allow this to come to be, and so she entered the realm of Arda and the rule of time.

  ~

The first thing Karina was aware of was each moment as it passed, next was the soft brush of wind against her skin, much more intimate than the faint echo that she felt when watching over the world.

Opening her eyes she blinked at the brightness waiting for her sight to adjust, as she was slowly, slowly what an odd sensation, slowly able to see her surroundings, she found her vision mostly filled with Autumn leaves. She was lying in a glade, peaceful and beautiful filled with russet and orange shades of colour. Though, the peace was disrupted faintly by a distant rumble of crashing blades and shouts. The battle. That, Karina remembered, was why she was in this place and time; she had come to save those she could in the battle for Khazad-dûm, especially the golden haired prince.

Standing, standing was hard in a way, but after pacing the glade for a few minutes she found moving as easy as it had ever been.

Looking down at herself, she realised with a start that she was not wearing any clothing, which would not do at all. Slowly she spread the warmth of her power from her heart out over her limbs, to form first underclothes then warm soft pants, shirt and under gown. Next a long fitted silver chainmail tunic to go underneath a gown of Durin blue; she thought it perhaps might be wise to show in this small way who she was there for. She formed the gown with tight sleeves, showing a sliver of the black under gown at the cuff and split neckline; it hugged close to her body until just passed her hips where it gently flowed out for easy of moment stopping to brush against the top of her feet. She covered those small feet in warm socks and black leather boots, laced tight to below the knee; the sole re-enforced with thin chainmail in between layers of soft pliant leather, to protect her feet on the harsh battle field without restricting her movement with ridged soles. She added a twin sword sheath on her back, the elegant swords themselves forming inside to peak over each shoulder. Then silver vambraces for her forearms and a dagger for each of her boots to match her swords. Lastly she prepared her hair for battle, the light golden blonde tresses pulled back into a thick braid that fell to the small of her back.

 She couldn’t help feeling unsure; Karina had never truly become part of the world in the way she was to now, though she had watched it since before it was formed. She was terrified to experience the horrors of war and death so intimately, she was terrified that she would fail to save the Sons of Durin. That thought was, in the end, what gave her the strength to follow the sounds of battle north to the plains before the gates of Khazad-dûm, Moria as it was now known. She would not fail, for she could not bear to see them die, so there was no other fate, she must save them. First she would save the Golden Prince, then she would save as many of their people as she could, she could not let the young princes bear the weight of death any more than they had to, she had seen the cost it bore on the raven haired prince and she did not want them to have to suffer that any more than they must.

 

Through the glade, further north, leaping over the Celebrant River, she went, the sound of battle growing nearer.

As Karina rounded the last bend leading out of the shallow valley she had been in, she looked out over the plains of Azanulbizar. The death and horror before her was hard to comprehend, though she had already seen it and hundreds like it. Taking a bracing breath she scanned the plains, orientating herself, it took a few of moments but in time she found where she needed to be, the Golden Prince was clashing with the orcs in the front lines, near the centre of the planes, within a quarter league of each of his kin. He was to be the first of the line of Durin to die, and she knew that he would fall under the light of mid-day; she had an hour and a half to reach him. So she ran, down past the supply caravans, then the sleeping tents and communal areas, then the healing tents; shocked dwarrows gaping at her as she raced past, shouts of warning called to her by a few as if she could be unaware that she was heading toward a battle. She did not have time to spare to help the injured, not yet, but she spread her power over those she passed, they would live until she could help them.

Soon enough she reached the back of the fighting; gone were those warriors returning to rest and healers looking for those still living among the fallen, now there were a small number of orcs fighting the last lines of dwarrows. As she happened upon the first orc to cross her path she pulled her swords free from over her shoulders, pulling them down to cut under its guard and slice across its neck and chest. The orc fell.

Karina fought her way across the battle field, wielding her twin swords in a swirling dance. Spinning and ducking, leaping and running, in a lethal combination; she used her vambraces as shields, glancing off attacks and blocking swords. She protected the dwarrows near her as she ran, still spreading out her power to the wounded around her, until she finally reached the front lines.

She knew where he was, the Golden Prince, he was far to her right, against to side of the mountain, closed in against a corner. He would soon lose the last of the dwarrows with him, and then he would fall.

The fighting was thicker here, Karina fiercely cut down all orcs in her path, trying and struggling to reach him, but the orcs kept on appearing before her, and they seemed without end. The dwarrows were slowly being pushed back; she knew it would only get much worse once the King fell, until the raven haired price, earned his deed name Oakenshield and would rally the dwarrows to push the orcs back. But that was not yet.

She passed him now, the raven haired prince, Thorin, spinning across his back to kill an orc that was about to wound his arm, she smiled at him kindly as he met her eyes before turning away to race towards the young Golden Prince. He was running out of time.

Karina finally reached the bend, around which the young prince would be, he was running out of time. She cut down one last foe before she could bolt round the corner, and let one of her swords fly. It plunged into the back of the orc about to kill the young prince’s friend, the last of those standing with him. The young dwarf looked up from the falling orc to watch her, the young prince turning his head to glance as well.

~

Frerin was trying to reach Rodríc, when he saw a slender sword slice through the air to land in the back of the orc who was about to cut down his friend. He saw Rodríc’s head jerk up to look to their left, near the corner of the large cleft in the mountain that they were trapped in. Frerin followed his gaze, to see a woman. She watched him as she fought, trying to move closer to them, she twirled in a deadly dance with her sword and a long matching dagger. It captivated him; she was so beautiful, and seemed to glow with white light in the bright mid-day sun. This distraction cost him though, he didn’t sense the orc coming up behind his left shoulder as he fought, but he did hear the woman scream. Screaming his name, only a small distance from him, as Frerin felt the cool blade pierced his side.

  ~

Karina kept her eyes on the golden haired prince as she fought towards him, their eyes locked each moment they could, until she saw the orc plunging his sword towards his back and she screamed; screamed his name as the blade entered his side. Karina leapt, her swords swinging, as she cleared the distance between them, to remove the head of the vile creature that dare harm Him.

“Frerin” She whispered into his hair as she caught him, easing him to the ground to cradle his head in her lap.

“Rodríc” she raised her voice with the slightest tremble “Please, you must guard us while I heal him, I cannot defend him while I do”

The young dwarf ran to her side, his prince friend’s name on his lips.

“Can you wield a bow?” He nodded “Good then take this.”

Karina formed a dwarven bow, a rare creation in this age, and full quiver in her outstretched hand, and the dwarf took it though he was unmistakably startled. Karina, knowing now that the young prince was as safe as he could be, looked back down to gaze at him.

“Frerin… I’m going to heal you, you are going to live I swear it. I will not let you die. I won’t allow it.”

He smiled at her, eyes sparking with delight, lifting a calloused hand to brush weakly against Karina’s cheek “I believe you Khajmel, though I am not sure if I believe I am not dreaming, I never thought my One would be so beautiful.”

Karina blushed then stilled, his words settling into her heart, his One… His One… “I will not let you die, my golden prince, be still I will heal you”

And so she did, Karina closed her eyes and delved into the warmth of her melehtë, letting it fill inside her. When her eyes opened her amber coloured eyes were filled with a golden light. She leant down and pressed her lips against her prince’s brow, letting her power spill into him, healing his wounds and old hurts in its wake.

  ~

Frerin could feel himself falling, feel the blade leave his side, but he watched her, the woman screaming his name. She killed the orc behind him and caught him before he hit the ground, easing him down to lie with his head resting in her lap. He could feel the warmth of her form against his shoulders and head. Her fingers ran over his check to gently run through his hair as she spoke to Rodríc, Frerin realised that she wasn’t even aware she was doing so. He wondered at such an intimate act being so natural and at the blissful peace that settled in his heart as her fingers carded through his hair. Frerin vaguely acknowledged that she formed a bow out of soft golden white light, but it seemed strangely insignificant compared to watching the woman before him. Watching as her wide eyes, the colour of amber flecked with gold, turned to look down at him, creased at the corners in fear. She was terrified, though she hid it well, though Frerin realised that she was not afraid of the danger but afraid for him, that he would die. He could feel himself failing, there was no way to survive a wound like his on a battle field but he was not afraid. He believed her as she told him she would save him.   

He realised then who she was to him, and basked in the warmth in his heart from hearing her say his name, she was his One. He would love her until the end of time. She blushed when he called her beautiful, and Frerin almost laughed with mischief it was such a charming sight he would do anything to see it again. He felt her still, and saw the tender warmth settle in her gaze as she realised what he called her, his One. She spoke, her golden prince, Frerin rather liked that, and then she closed her eyes.

When she opened them once more they were glowing with that same golden light, shimmering with power and affection as she leaned close over Frerin and he felt her soft lips against his skin.

Bright golden light and warmth barrelled through Frerin, he felt it burning away infection and knitting skin together. He felt old breaks and painful scars soothe and heal. The cold and aching exhaustion that had been seeping into him was replaced with warm vitality.

His One lifted her head but Frerin could not bear to lose her touch, he reached up to cradle her face in his hands and brought her forehead to softly rest against his own, a very personal act shared between family, the closest of friends and lovers. The more gentle the touch the more intimate. He could tell she knew what it meant for him to do this, her doe eyes widened impossibly more and softened further into a tenderness that warmed his heart in a way that even her power could not.

“My One, madtithbirzul, amrâlimê. Tell me your name” Frerin whispered like a prayer, then he laughed eyes dancing with mischief “Or perhaps I shall just have to call you Beautiful for you name.”

His One blushed once more, but she did not pull away from him, which Frerin found very enjoyable. Instead she raised a hand to run her fingertips over his cheekbones, and thread her finger through his beard in return. Frerin beamed as she returned his sign of affection, though her touch was timid as if she expected to be rejected.

Amrâlimê, you are mine, and I am yours. Please, tell me your name”

    ~

Threading her fingers through her golden prince’s short beard Karina gazed into his eyes, and only the gentle care in them gave her the courage to tell him who she was.

“My name, my kidzul uzbad-dashat, is Karina. I am Karina, Lady of Time. One day I will be able to tell you what that means, my Frerin” She whispered softly “But for now we must go, please come with me. I will save as many of your people as I can, but I cannot fight and heal, I need you to come with me.”

Karina watched his expression as he listened to her, as he smiled at her name; and the confusion and concern he showed at her title; as he dismissed that to focus on her plea.

“Well, my Lady Karina, lead on. I will always protect you…” Her Frerin said; joyful, thoughtful and sincere.

He slowly sat up, keeping her close, before leaping up and reaching out his hands to help her up from the ground.

“Rodríc, my friend, thank you for your defence, come let us protect my Lady Karina as she heals our people” Her Frerin laughingly called to his friend, who reply with a snarky “Oh goodness, what has you in such a good mood, the orcs should fear your happiness now that you have found her, the sight may just kill them as evil as they are” Though, it seemed to be a friendly thing between the two of them as he added “You gave me a fright, my friend, and I am happy for you. Yes, ‘let us protect your lady while she heals’” here he smiled at her and bowed “It is an honour my lady, and I thank you for saving me and for healing our prince. And for this magnificent bow”

The ending comment was said with a chuckle, which showed that while he was not as lively in disposition as her prince, he shared his sense of humour though perhaps much dryer.

  ~

They ran after his Karina as she rushed to the closest dwarf, who was one of the men under Frerin’s command, who had been fighting with him before she arrived. He was still alive, barely. Frerin stood with Rodríc, on either side of her as she filled with that soft golden light then placed her palm against the soldier’s forehead, the light spread through his body and seeped into his skin. Frerin watched, with one eye on the surroundings as his soldier’s breathing became easy and he sat up, healed.

Rodríc helped him to his feet, and Frerin recognised the man underneath the bloodied face was Deron, he was a good warrior, the same age as his father and Frerin had found to be good counsel. Deron joined them in following his Karina, protecting her as she healed their wounded, many being brought back from the brink of Mahal’s Halls.

Frerin watched his One, his Karina as she ran from one body to the next, healing those still living and saying a small blessing over those who had passed. He could hear the soft murmur of ‘Mukhuh nâlahu du Itdendûm zadkhul’ fall from her lips. She had tears in her eyes the more death she encountered and he wished he could protect her from this but he could not ask her to stop, she was saving the lives of his people, for each dwarf she saved there would be one life saved and saving many more from the pain of mourning.

Each dwarf saved took up positions around them, protecting the tiny woman who healed them so that she may do the same for others, Frerin smiled and nodded to each dwarf that rose after her care. Glad for each life saved.

Frerin was shaken as more and more dwarrows were healed by her gentle hands, for he knew of no power that could save so many and he feared for the cost. His Karina had saved over a hundred dwarrows, some of whom began to help find the wounded among the bodies. Other had left to push the way ahead. Frerin and many others stayed by her side to protect her, and Frerin stayed as close to her side as he could.

  ~

The dwarrows knew at a glance who she was to their prince, for he remained at her side, never taking his eyes off her for more than a moment and gazing at her with such loving concern.

Word slowly spread across the battle field of a tiny woman, a fierce but gentle warrioress who fought with twin blades, like the prince who claimed her as his One, was healing the wounded. It eventually found its way to the newly ascended King of Durin’s Folk, who had thought his brother dead before the fall of his grandfather to Azog the Defiler. At the news Thorin lead his forces forward in a charge, for they were close to driving the orcs back into mountain, and he knew that his nadadith, his younger brother, was somewhere behind the orc lines with the group of healed dwarrows that were crashing into the orcs right flank.

  ~

Karina could feel herself waning; she did not have much strength left before she would have to return to her halls, she did not have the time to drawn her power into this form, so she drew the power from her own Ëalar. So soon she would have to return to her place to watch over the world, and rest for she weakened herself beyond what this form could bear. But for now she could finish the work she had begun, save as many of the wounded dwarrows as she could.

Karina stumbled while walking to the next of the fallen, but Frerin was there to catch her. Smiling at her softly, he helped her get her feet back underneath her, but his eyes were tight with worry. She brushed a gentle hand against his cheek in thanks and assurance, and allowed him to lead her with an arm about her waist to the dwarf she was to heal and help ease her to ground beside him.

Soon the orcs were driven back and Karina could see the remaining dwarrows from the battle picking their way across the plains toward them, checking for wounded as they went. She looked up suddenly at the sound of her love’s name being shouted, and Frerin helped her to her feet as Thorin ran towards them. She smiled brightly at Thorin, before looking once more to Frerin gesturing for him to release her and go to his brother. Frerin hesitated but did so, looking back at her in concern and gesturing to Rodríc before running the last of the way to his brother. Karina felt someone come up by her side and she turned to find Rodríc at her arm, hand stretched out to catch her should she fall.

“I am steady for now, young warrior, do not fear, but your help is kind. Will you lend me your arm and walk with me to my Frerin and his nadad?” Karina asks the concerned dwarf.

Rodríc bowed low, brushing a strand of his auburn hair away when it fell across his face “Of course my Lady” he stepped closer and held his arm out for her to take, then lead her carefully across to where Karina’s heart was talking with his brother.

Before they reached them though, they came across a wounded dwarf barely clinging to life, Karina dropped to her knees beside him, startling poor Rodríc.

“Do not be frightened dear one; you shall not leave you sons alone. I will not let you depart from them so soon. Your sons, Fundin, will one day be a part of something that will change the future of your people and I would like you to see that, to see them grow into the great dwarrows they will one day become; you should be so proud of them for they are already ones to make any father proud. There, dear one, the pain will fade soon.” Karina murmured to the dwarf prince as she placed her hand on his forehead and let her warmth spread and heal his body, healing many decades of past injuries as well as the mortal wounds he now bore.

“Balin, Dwalin, come see your father, do not mourn young ones for he is still with you.” She called as she looked up, her healing finished. They heard her words from where they embraced thinking their father dead, mourning together, and came running to crash to their knees at their father’s side. Karina lifted her hands to rest one on each of their checks, and she healed their hurts before smiling and rising to her feet. Her legs could not hold her in that moment though and she began to slip back to the ground before she was caught by the closest of the many arms reaching for her.

Fundin helped her up to her feet gently, and said “Come, dear Lady, let us take you back to the one I call nephew. I believe that is where you wish to be, hmm?” 

Karina nodded smiling and let him lead her by the arm to her heart.

“There now, here we are. Now Nephew, will you introduce your brother, cousins and I to your fair lady?” The fatherly prince patted Karina’s hand and smiled as he cheerfully passed her over to the arms of her Frerin.

Frerin wrapped her in his arms against his chest, and she felt warm and safe in his embrace.

“This Uncle, Nadad, Cousins, is my One” Frerin seemed unsure how to name her so she brush her hand across his bearded check and smiled, silently telling him she would answer, much to his relief as Karina felt his shoulders relax.

“I, dear ones, am Karina, Lady of Time. I am very glad to meet you all; I have wished to do so for a long time.” Karina told them softly, smiling gently at each one, but she knew that they felt the weight of meaning in her words.

“I do not have long; I must leave you soon to rest. Frerin, my heart, I am so sorry, but I cannot stay with you. I did not have enough time to draw my power into this form, into this realm, so I used the strength of my Ëalar, my soul, to heal you and your people but this form is not strong enough to heal my weakened state. I must return to… the place I came from, to rest. I will be watching over you, all of you, always, and my Frerin I will come speak with you sometimes. I will always watch over you even when I am far away, but when I am near, you will feel me with you. Here…”

Karina lifted a cupped palm out to him, her golden light filling it and settling into the form of a gem the colour of her eyes bound to a long chain of pale gold. Frerin, who was distraught at the thought of her leaving, hesitated before reaching out to take the necklace.

“Can you feel it?” Frerin nodded “It beats with every beat of my heart, and it will stay warm whenever I am near, you may use it to speak to me, even if I am far away with my mind on other things, I will hear you if you speak to me, even if you only call out in your thoughts. I will answer, always.”

She pressed close to his chest, looking up into his eyes she reached up to brush away a tear and run her fingers through his wheat blonde hair “It is not forever, within a year I will be able to spend days at a time with you, though I will be in a form I will show you as I leave today. There are thing I must tell you before I leave you, you and your brother both. I will stay with you until the sun rises once more.”


 

End Notes:

Language Key:

 

  • Khuzdûl 
  • Sindarin
  • Quenya

 

Dictionary:

  • Urulókë (plural Urulóki) - Quenya name of the fire-drakes, meaning "fire-serpent"
  • Celebrant – Sindarin name for the river translated as Silverlode
  • Khajmel - Gift of all gifts 
  • Melehtë - Might/Power (inherent)
  • Madtithbirzul - Little golden heart
  • Amrâlimê – My love
  • Kidzul uzbad-dashat – Golden Prince
  • Mukhuh nâlahu du Itdendûm zadkhul - May his path to the Halls of Waiting be straight
  • Nadadith – Younger Brother (Literally Little Brother)
  • Ëalar – A Quenya word which referred to such spirits/souls that did not require a body in order to be complete (like the Maiar and Valar). Eälar are contrasted with fëar, which are the souls of beings whose natural state is to be incarnated in a body.
  • Nadad - Brother

 

Also I want to say that this work is lightly inspired by the works of TheDarkestFallingStar, whose hobbit fan fictions are completely wonderful and so here is a big shout out!

 

This is my first fan fiction, so I would love kind criticism but if you are going to be mean then please just don't; to everyone else, please comment! 

 

Below: Karina and Frerin's attire for the Battle of Azanulbizar; Karina's Back Scabbard (but hers has full sheaths); Her swords and daggers are a double edged, with the cut out filigree work of the first dagger and the hilt and blade shape (but much wider) of the second, with the very slight curve in shape and thin blade of elven swords, her swords are of a similar size to Sting but longer, so proportionally like Orcrist but made for someone much smaller (Frerin is the same height as Thorin (Tall), and Karina comes up to the tip of Frerin's nose).

Karina and Frerin Clothing Battle of Azanulbizar Karina's Back Scabbard - But hers has full sheaths