The Eagles had flown to the cliffs of the Hidden Harbor as dusk approached. Nymeria looked out to the setting sun, and the sea, and the waves that crashed down to the sands and soothed over the shore and onto her bare feet. The coolness of the water made her shiver, and the sweet salt smell of the sea surrounded her. This evening was upon the first days Spring, and the chill of winter clung to these days.
The Secret City that had held her mother’s ancestors stood behind her, illuminated with the joy of her people, for they had prospered under her gentle rule. Even the poorest person had a full belly and a roof over their head, and so they loved her. Yet in her heart Nymeria knew that should she choose to dive into the sea and swim far away, that her people would be unaffected.
When she had taken rule of the Secret City she had chosen others to rule in her place. The ones who she had placed to rule in her stead were chosen with delicacy. In order for a woman or man to be placed in authority over the people they must put the welfare of the whole above their own pleasures. Should they fail in this duty Nymeria would have them swiftly removed, in everything but this matter she was a figurehead. Merely a symbol to keep those within the city bound together.
It did not matter to her that she lacked any true power, she had never wanted to be a Queen. This destiny to rule was not hers, if her family had still had breath in their lungs she would be a Princess. And should she still have become Queen, though that was a miniscule chance due to the number of brothers she had before her, she would have ruled over much more than just one city.
But still, it was not power that she craved, what she craved was adventure. The wilderness that lay beyond the safety of her city’s borders. Past the open sea to new shores, to unclimbed mountains and virgin valleys. It would be just like the adventure she went on with Bilbo, that seemed so long ago and so far away. An adventure such as that was an impossibility in her world. There were no Dragons that scored the skies, no untouched soil, beyond her city all had been found. The boards of the world were drawn, an no innocence was left past her shores where warlords would take from others who could not take for themselves. The world about her seemed small and sad, and this was her reason for watching the sunset. As she would always watch the light leave her when she was sad, knowing that even is she did not pray to the Goddess of Light that it would return to her. She knew this for fact, as she had not prayed for a great many years.
As the sun was just a mere glimmer on a distant horizon, Nymeria turned to face her city. The guards that she had evaded would have been dreadfully worried as they had lost their charge. So she began her walk back to the city gates, removing the cotton shaw from her head. The gown about her was one of a lesser quality than she was usually clad in. A trick she had learned should she wished to not draw attention to herself.
Above her the sky had darkened to the deepest blue an was lighted with stars. As she slowly dragged her bare feet over the smooth stones of the shore, her mind wandered to that of her old friends, and to one whom she held most dear. Her heart ached so much that she felt a physical pain ripple through her breast, she pushed the sorrows away yet the pain pressed on.
This was no pain of the metaphorical heart and Nymeria was quick to realize it. With a great speed the small pain became a wildfire that spread to the very soles of her feet up to the top of her copperhead. So great was this hurt it capped her voice and she could not call out for help. Her voice was taken from her, upon the rocky shore she fell to her knees, then to her back. Her lovely face was contorted, her limbs twisted, and her back arched in pain.
Then the strangest of things happened, an event that had only happened once before. The strings that tied her to the earth seemed to simply let go, and she fell into the sky past all of the stars. Faster and faster did she fall, and for a moment she felt as a bird would.
Nymeria slapped into solid ground and squeaked in pain, she closed her eyes tight and laid on her back trying to cope with the fleading pain. All around her birds sang, and light shone through her pale eyelids. She opened her green eyes, standing over her was a grey man with a long beard and a pointed hat.
“Gandalf?” she asked.