What is water? The simplicity of the question made Fëawen pause in her movements. A frown appeared on her fair features, her silver-blue eyes flashing momentarily with uncertainty. She stood there, beside a lake, staring out over the still surface that was so similar to a sheet of glass in the growing dusk.
The clouds were a collection of mixed shades of pinks and deep indigos as the sun dipped behind the darkening clouds, casting rays of dying light on the side of the Lonely Mountain in the distance. The sky slowly turned a velvet shade of deep blue, creating an almost mystical feeling to the surrounding landscape.
As twilight enveloped the land, Fëawen turned and continued to walk along the edge of the lake. Her booted feet hardly crunched on the shingle underfoot, her lithe figure hunched over, her head bent in sorrow. If anyone had seen her, they would have questioned as to why a young elf was out alone, walking along the waterside as the darkness of night drew closer. Fëawen had not accompanied the patrol back to the stronghold. Instead, she had opted to make her way towards the lake. She needed the time to be alone and to clear her head.<>
The lake reflected the scene in the sky above. Already, the princess saw the faint glint of the first stars twinkling in the navy twilight. Staring towards the east, with the dying sun at her back, she vaguely made out the flickering lights of Dale. Behind her, the trees rustled in the bitter wind. Despite being an elf, Fëawen shivered, wrapping her arms around herself as memories of the battle came back to her, invading her mind once more.
Kneeling down beside the lake, the water gently lapping against the knees of her leggings, Fëawen trailed her fingertips in the freezing water, watching the ripples growing with fascination.
No colour, no scent, nothing. It was clear, pure and beautiful.
Cupping the water, Fëawen watched as it trickled through her hands, splashing back down into the lake with tiny droplets, creating ripple over ripple.
Another drop fell, followed by another and another.
Fëawen titled her hard back, gazing up at the sky, feeling the soft drops on her face. It was raining.
Fëawen watched the rainwater fall into the lake. Water. It was all around them, in the sky and on the ground. From the rivers and lakes, from the rain to the storms to the tears, they cried in both sorrow and joy. Without water, nothing would survive. Water was the source of life on the earth.
She inhaled deeply. It was raining harder now, the droplets falling with more force. Her hair was plastered to her head and her clothes were soaked through, but she didn't care. The soft sound of the rain on the lake calmed her troubled mind, soothing her heavy heart. This moment of purity and beauty of water would be one she treasured always. It was one of few remaining things free from the touch of evil. It reassured her that all was not lost to darkness.
Glancing back one last time at the now-darkened lake, the water deep and forbidding, Fëawen turned and, with quick, light steps, disappeared into the forest.