It started with a few, isolated drops, pattering down from leaf to leaf.

Some of the travellers, huddled in fear on the upper flets, raised their heads, and looked about them, unable to believe what they were hearing.

But the drops soon became a shower, drumming down upon the wooden platforms, and then the shower became a deluge, soaking the refugees, and they—having, moments earlier, expected to die in the flames—scrambled to their feet and, hugging each other, danced in the rain.

Thorkell bogsveigir, their self-appointed warden, standing between the crowd and the staircase, offered a silent—and most uncharacteristic—prayer of thanks to the gods.

And, far below him on the ground, Gimli raised his face skywards, letting the rain soak his beard. “It is the Lady’s blessing,” he muttered. “Now, we are safe…”


“My Lord?” Osgar skidded to a halt behind Legolas. “My Lord, what is it?”

The elf had closed his eyes, and he bowed his head, frowning with concentration. “Eowyn has disappeared,” he murmured. “I can no longer feel her. Something… Something has—oh!”

A strange sensation had begun teasing his loins and, trembling at its power, he suddenly arched his back, and stretched out his arms, letting it flood into his thighs and spread into his belly, heating up his innards—

Rock hard, he threw back his head, and howled into the rain.

My Lord!” Osgar leaped back, drawing his sword.

“Not yet,” snarled Legolas—raising a still-commanding hand.

An answering roar echoed through the Forest.

“There,” he growled. “It has her! It has Eowyn! Let me save her. Then deal with me however you must.”

The exchange of demonic howls brought Gimli back to his senses.

We are surrounded!

He peered through the downpour, quickly locating his men—All present—and, shouldering his axe, took a deep breath, preparing to bellow the command to regroup—

Somewhere up ahead, Eowyn shouted, triumphantly, “Look—silver. Our weapons are tipped with silver! And if I do not kill you, Lassui will! With silver! Yaaaaah!

The dwarf’s eyes met Haldir’s.

The pair charged.

As he raced across the Forest floor, Legolas grimly resisted the urge to drop to all fours. His skin was tingling and his body felt stange—his limbs powerful; his chest deep; his phallus long; his testicles big and brimming.

This, he realised, is what the gaur wants.

Two wolves, fighting for one mate.

And if I lose, both she and I will be its playthings…

He snarled—and saw that Osgar, assuming the worst, was reaching for his sword.

“Not yet!” he growled. “Wait!

The gaur is hiding Eowyn from me—he rubbed his forehead, and ran his hand over his wet hair—it is clouding my mind, or clouding hers, but its own anger is shining bright, giving it away, because

“She has injured it,” he cried. “She has stood up to it, and humiliated it, and—oh, Valar—how it hates her! Come, Osgar! Run! Eowyn needs us!”

Gimli jumped down between the roots of the great mallorn, and peered around in the gloom. “Where is she?”

The March Warden said nothing; he reached out, detached something from the tree bark, and held it out for the dwarf to see.

“Elven cloth,” said Gimli. “From her leggings, by the looks…” He took the tiny fragment in his gloved fingers and, shielding it from the rain, examined it carefully. “No sign of blood,” he concluded, hopefully.

The elf, meanwhile, had crouched down in the shelter of the tree, and was searching for tracks. “It had her captive here,” he said. “She was moving about—struggling—but her footprints do not lead anywhere.” He looked upwards. There were no stairs close by; the nearest flets were high in the trees. “It is as though she and the gaur both vanished into thin air…”

“Well, they cannot have gone far,” said Gimli, practically. “Not in the few moments since we heard her voice.”

He climbed out of the hollow with a grunt. “And she did not sound like a helpless victim to me,”—he batted the dripping undergrowth with the flat of his axe—“that lassie is a warrior,”—he suddenly remembered where he was, offered a silent apology to the Lady, and continued his search more carefully. “Wait a minute! Look! Under here!” He leaned down, pushing the leaves aside with his arm. “She got away!”

Haldir sprang out of the hollow and came up beside him. “She was running,” he agreed, “and the gaur leaped after her—here is where it landed.” He turned to the dwarf. “Its footprints lie on top of hers, Gimli. It is chasing her as a wolf chases its prey!”



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challenge story 1

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This starts immediately after Seduction.