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Conquering Worlds

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Desperate hunger, flashing at her from a once-lover. Arwen turned on light feet and sent out a whisper into the worlds that she controlled.

"Patience." A smile. "Wait for your mistress."

He had to be tied up. Foolish child of Men, seeking to wrest the Ring from her. Her hands touched his bloodied face with a strange yearning.

"You thought you were my equal," she said, gazing into his face.

"What have you done?" His voice was weak, and she was breaking him, slow.

"Only what must be done," she answered, never taking her hand from his face. "Be silent. You will breathe easier so."

His eyes flashed. "How could it be that the one I loved could become the thing I hate?"

She smiled. "Dangerous words, little Estel. Am I not still beautiful?"

His eyes told her that she still was. "Aye, and more."

She left him then, called by another's voice.

"Father." The affection of years was no longer in her voice. He was not tied. He was too weak to hurt her. She sat beside him, laying a hand on his forehead. Her natural impulse was to heal, and with difficulty she restrained herself. He was not for her healing.

Vainly he struggled, but not to live. She held him fast.

"Go to my mother, if that is your desire," she said, and with an outflung hand, cut the cords of his life.

Then she wept.

Her handmaids came to her with the report of a prisoner taken, as she sat by her father's dead body.

"She is fair, indeed, my mistress," they told her. "One to make a prize of."

Arwen rose and walked to the Hall of Fire, the Ring glowing bright about her neck.

A woman stood there, bound tight, her blond hair streaming loose down her back. She stared defiantly back at Arwen, not looking at the Ring, but at Arwen's face.

"What is your name, pretty one?" Arwen asked, drawing close.

"I am Eowyn of Rohan."

"Eowyn." Arwen paused, looking the girl up and down. "You are beautiful."

Eowyn's face hardened. "Your words do not flatter me."

Arwen's eyebrows went up. "Not so beautiful after all, defiant maid." She gestured to one of Eowyn's guards, the oldest and ugliest. "You may have the girl, if you wish. Only do not destroy her. She may be useful as a kitchen maid."

"With a good will, lady," the guard replied, and drew Eowyn out of the hall, against her struggles and screams.

The evening star shone overhead as Arwen walked out onto the balcony of Imladris. Her hair, dotted with starlike jewels, blew back in the starlight like a shadow.

"There are other worlds yet to conquer," she whispered, staring up at the brilliant star.

Arwen drew the Ring from around her neck, and passed unseen out of the Valley.

Silence reigned in Rivendell as the night took her.