The night was dark; outside in wet places, frogs croaked and called to one another. The amber embers in the brazier softly glowed in the darkness of the house, and smoke slowly curled up and out through the hole in the top of the thatched roof. Mixing with the smell of wood smoke was the smell of the herbs which were thrown down upon the straw-covered floor in an attempt to repel fleas. A woman, Alta, and her two daughters, Elfhild and Elffled, slept peacefully upon a large straw mat. Elffled was sleeping on her side; a large brown and white hound nestled against her back.
Sometime during the night, the hound became anxious. He rose and began pacing the straw-covered floor of the house. Elffled stirred slightly in her sleep, sensing the absence of the hound, but did not wake.
Time wore on, and the hound began to growl. Alta and her two teenage daughters quickly awoke from their slumber, looking about in the darkness, and speaking to one another in hushed whispers. They quickly rushed to the box alongside the wall, the girls grabbing two daggers which had been stored inside; Alta taking a sword.
Soon, the hound's low growling turned into vicious, protective growls and furious barking, and the three could hear the sounds of a number of folk approaching. Suddenly, the door was broken down and in poured a group of orcs. The hound lunged at them, but was quickly thrown aside by a sideways swipe of a scimitar. The girls screamed in horror at the sight of their friend's death, but had no time to mourn as the orcs closed in upon them.
The three fought valiantly against the foes that assailed them. Alta was practiced with a sword and hewed the head off one of the orcs, carved a nasty diagonal gash across the chest of another and hurt and maimed many of the others. Elfhild and Elffled used their daggers and jabbed and slashed at their attackers, but they were not as skilled as their mother.
The orcs became enraged and fought back with a passion, pressing the three back towards the wall. Taking vengance upon Alta for slaying his comrade, one orc thrust his sword into her stomach, pinning her against a supporting beam of the house. He let the sword linger there a few moments ere pulling it forth from the wood. Alta sank to the ground, sputtering and clutching her stomach in her dying moments.
Elffled abandoned the fight and rushed to her mother's side. Quickly, an orc hit her hard upon the head with his fist and the hilt of his sword and the girl fell to the ground, unconscious. Elfhild screamed and rushed at the orc who hit her sister, but she was tackled by many orcs and was soon subdued.
The girls awoke when a hot, fiery liquid was poured down their throats, and the orcs treated their battle cuts and injuries with salve and bandages. One fat, stocky orc quickly snatched up the body of the hound, while two other orcs set their attentions upon the startled chickens roosting in the window. The orcs then set off again, heading towards the east with their captives.
Elfhild and Elffled are the twin daughters of Eadbald and Alta of Rohan. Elfhild and Elffled were born in the summer of 2999 and have blonde hair, blue eyes and a dash of small freckles across their faces. Being unlearned peasants, the two can be a bit naive and immature. Elfhild is the elder twin, being born first, and she is the bolder of the two and desires to be the center of attention. She is talkative, impulsive, opinionated and slightly bossy, while Elffled is calm, reserved and quiet. Both sisters possess the fiery spirit of the Rohirrim and love a good tale, especially if it centers around ghosts, dragons or the deeds of their people.
They had a younger brother who was sixteen, Eadfrid, and the family lived on a small homestead near the village of Grenefeld in the Eastfold. Both father and brother fell at Pelennor; Eadbald being beheaded by orcs. Their mother, Alta, perished two months later fighting a band of orc raiders that attacked their home.
The twins were captured by the raiders and taken to Mordor to work as thralls on Sauron's slave-labor operated plantations in Nurn. The journey through the Dark Land was miserable; one weary day after another of being prodded on by spear and whip, the ropes around their wrists and necks digging into their skin.
Upon their arrival in Nurn, they were handed over to a slave trader. Their hair was cut short and they were branded upon the left shoulder with the mark of the Great Eye, showing that they were thralls of Mordor.
On June 25, 3019, the twins, then twenty years of age, were put on the auction block. Both Elfhild and Elffled resented this dignity, and Elfhild glared at everyone in the crowd, presenting a challenge to anyone who wished to buy them. Frodo cast a bid on them, for his lecherous "advisor" Vartang wished to buy them for himself. The slave trader gave the twins to Frodo because of his position as the "Friend of Sauron."
Elfhild and Elffled befriended Rian, a Gondorian maiden, another slave who was also given to Frodo on June 25, and the two became best of friends with the shy, quiet girl. Elfhild fell in love with Ceolwulf, another one of Frodo's servants. However, Ceolwulf was not her first love; she had originally fancied the son of the Smith of Grenefeld, whose fate after Pelennor was not known.
Life in Nurn was relatively pleasant and Elfhild and Elffled did not horribly mind the yoke of slavery. They enjoyed being scullery maids, for in the kitchen, they could sample the food as it was prepared and before it was taken to the rest of the household, and as serving girls, they would talk for long hours with Frodo and Ceolwulf. However, both sisters despised Vartang, whose boorish ways and constant harassment set off their hot tempers and fanned the fires of their anger to the point of physical violence. Elfhild was thrown into the dungeon several times by Vartang, and the Variag earned her undying hatred.
On September 22, nine of Frodo's slaves - Ceolwulf, Elfhild, Elffled, Rian, Arnasa, Finduilas, Vardamir, Aldir and Lilandra - were forced to take enchanted golden rings that would bind them to the ring that Sauron gave Frodo, which was bound to the One Ring and Sauron himself. Later that day, Frodo, the nine slaves, Vartang and a company of men-at-arms left the warm and gentle land of Nurn with its endless plantations, gardens and salty sea. They traveled across the Plains of Gorgoroth, heading towards Minas Tirith.
The entourage stopped in Minas Morgul on September 29. At a dinner held by the Nine in "honor" of Frodo, the Witch-King of Angmar expressed the desire to buy the twins from Frodo, but the halfling declined the offer. Angmar then took the girls, subduing their protests by exerting his power over their rings to bend their wills to his, and making them desire his company over that of their old friends. The Morgul Lord then told Frodo they would stay with him for a time, perhaps until the spring. Arnasa, another one of the nine servants, was also taken, for her talents as a dancer greatly pleased the Nine.
On October 2, the entourage left Minas Morgul. Frodo and the seven remaining slaves had no recollection of the events that occurred during their stay at Minas Morgul, save for a few hazy memories of grand feasts with much food and drink. However, one thing was for certain: Elfhild, Elffled and Arnasa were not with the company that left Minas Morgul and the three still remained in the dread city.
In the spring of the next year, the sad tidings reached Frodo that Elfhild and Elffled daughters of Eadbald and Arnasa daughter of Arthin had perished in Minas Morgul. No explaination was given and the cause of their deaths remains a mystery. Yet it was said that they brought great pleasure and delight to their masters ere they died.
Still there is different tale altogether that is told among the learned concerning the fates of Elfhild, Elffled and Arnasa. You can read this legend at The Circles.
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