Emma was woken up the next morning by the sun shining brightly on her face.
"Urgh," Emma groaned as she pulled the covers over her head. She heard the door creak open and groaned again.
"Emma," Miri said tentatively, "It's time to wake up."
"URGH!" she protested.
Miri rolled her eyes and went over to the bed, threw the covers back and crossed her arms, "Wake up."
"Fine." Emma leapt out of the bed and nearly fell over because she got dizzy. Miri rolled her eyes, "Emma, you are too dramatic. Now get dressed."
"Whyyyyyy?" Emma whined.
"Because we are going back into the woods to help decorate for the anniversary of the Necromancer's defeat," Miri said as she dug through Emma's clothing.
"I don't have to climb any tree's do I? And what's a Necromancer?" Emma asked cautiously.
Sighing, Miri pulled out a dress and handed it to Emma, "No, Emma. You do not have to climb any trees and I'll tell you later," she shooed Emma to the bathroom, "Now, go! Hurry up! No time to waste!"
"For fifty-five years now, the threat of the Necromancer had been eradicated. Our forests are once again, growing green and healthy. The spiders no longer plague us and we have been able to extend out borders nearly to their original size," the Elven king raised his glass, "To Greenwood the Great!"
"To Greenwood the Great!" the hundreds of elves in the clearing echoed back. The elves had been working hard all day on decorating the clearing for this celebration, hundreds of lights were strung in the trees and large tables lined the edges of the clearing, King Sassy-Face had a large throne on a raised platform at one end of the clearing, though it was not nearly as magnificent as the throne in the palace
Emma still didn't know who, or what, the Necromancer was. She looked around the clearing and spotted Miri a little ways away, talking to an elven male. Emma rushed over and grabbed Miri's hand and unceremoniously dragged her over to a tree.
"Tell me now. What. Is. The. Necromancer," she demanded.
Miri sighed, "This will be a very long story..."
Emma crossed her arms, "I like stories."
Shrugging, Miri began the tale, "Thousands of years ago, there was a Maier, called Sauron. He fell from his glory and was consumed by darkness, he forged rings of power, three for the elves, seven for the dwarf lords, and nine for men. But he also forged one for himself, one ring to rule them all. The ring that had complete control over the others. The ring of power.
"There was a great alliance between men and elves, they marched to Mordor, the home of Sauron, to defeat him. They were winning against the forces of the orcs, when Sauron himself joined the battle. Sauron killed Elendil, king of Gondor and broke his sword. Isildur, Elendil's son took up his father's sword and cut the ring from the hand of Sauron. Sauron, we thought, had died.
"Years before, the nine men, to whom Sauron had given the rings, fell under the same spell of greed and darkness that Sauron had and on their passing, their corpses were sealed in the darkness of the fortress of Dol Guldur, which is in the depths of our forest.
"Sauron, returned as nothing but a shadow, an evil power and he made his new home, Dol Guldur, taking the shadowy form of a man and practicing the most evil of spells as the Necromancer. He resurrected the nine men, the Ring-wraiths, the Nazgûl, to assist him in his search for the ring of power, which had been lost by Isildur upon his death. He had made the Greenwood a place of darkness, overrun by his evil forces, the spiders we just barely managed to keep at bay.
"Sauron, was defeated by Mithrandir, or Gandalf the Grey, a wizard of great power, but the Nine, were never found. They were gone from their tombs," Miri finished her story, "Does that answer your question?"
Emma nodded slowly, "So the Nine are still out there?"
"Yes, the Witch King of Angmar is their leader."
"I'm not sure I want to know who he is..."
"You probably don't. Now, this story has depressed me, so I am going to get some wine and I suggest you do the same," Miri said.
"One more question," Emma said quickly, "Is Dol Guldur... still empty? Is there nothing in it now?"
Miri gave her a dark look, "It is still overrun by orcs and other foul creatures that I shall not mention."
Emma swallowed and nodded. Suddenly feeling the need for quiet, she wandered out of the clearing. Losing track of time, she wandered aimlessly for several hours, pondering over the story Miri had told her and picking random flowers. She heard a noise and turned around, noticing that it was almost pitch black. A sense of foreboding settled in her stomach and she started to panic, she did not recognize where she was and no longer heard the sounds of the party, looking up at the sky, she saw that moon up high and realized she must have been wandering for hours.
Another noise made her jump and she turned and faced the direction that it came from... nothing. Suddenly, she was surrounded by the snapping of twigs and guttural growls. Swallowing a scream she slowly back away towards the nearest tree, but before she could reach it, something sharp was pressed to her back and she yelped and darted forward.
Turning around, her shoulders sagged at what she saw and she said despondently, "Oh, crap."
Several hours after she had told her deploring tale and gotten sufficiently inebriated, Miri finally noticed Emma's absence. Looking around, she furrowed her brows when she couldn't see her anywhere.
Wandering to the edge of the clearing, she softly called Emma's name, getting no response, she shrugged. Maybe she's gone back to the palace.
With that false hope lodged in her mind, she returned to the revelries.
The next morning...
Miri walked briskly into Emma's room, only to find that the bed hadn't been slept in. Remembering Emma's disappearance the night before, Miri rushed into the halls and towards the dining hall, hoping against all hope that Emma was in there, eating.
Running in, she saw Emma was nowhere in sight. She could feel the blood draining from her face, when someone bumped into her.
"Excuse me, Lady Mir- what's wrong? You look as if you've seen a ghost." It was Legolas. Maybe he could help.
"Prince Legolas! Emma has gone missing! I have not seen her since last night and her bed has not been slept in!"
Legolas' eyes widened, "Where could she have gone?"
"I think I saw her wandering towards the forest... Oh! Something terrible must have happened!" Miri was very close to tears now.
"I hope not. I shall ask my father if he will allow me to send out a search party for her. We do not want her to accidentally wander into Dol Guldur."
Thranduil was lazily reclining at the head of the table, swirling his wine in his goblet with an extremely bored expression on his face. He raised an eyebrow upon seeing his son rushing towards him, looking worried.
"Adar, Emma has gone missing."
Thranduil sat up straight at that declaration, "Since when?"
"Last night, I want to send out a search party to find her. Lady Miri thought that she saw her wandering into the forest," Legolas said quietly, so as not to get the attention of the other elves.
"Remember, do not go anywhere near Dol Guldur, that is an order," Thranduil said sternly. Legolas bowed and quickly walked away.
Thranduil absently rubbed his chin. Emma was a strange elleth. He was not sure if he believed her story about the land called, what was it? Oh yes, Earth, but it was curious none the less. Where could she have wandered off to now, he thought, before he forgot almost completely about it.
They had been searching for several hours now and still had found nothing. If this turned out to be a false alarm, his father would be furious.
Suddenly, he heard a shout from one of the guards, who as it turns out had found something.
He ran over and his eyes widened.
There on the ground, was a bundle of flowers, part of the skirt of a dress, and a small pool of blood.