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1
Stolen

First he broke her power: the One Ring (an otherworldly firebrand) seared through her mind, shattering the wards and allowing Time to flow in unchecked. She removed Nenya with her last strength, and fell into oblivion.

Then, he broke her land. Khamûl led in all manner of dark creatures, and she heard the furious protest of the earth beneath their feet. The trees were despoiled: terrible acids and oils were thrown onto them, and Lórien burned. In the mirror glade, she roiled in dreams of smoke and death and fire.

Next, he broke her people. The yrch hunted down her maidens, taking them by force. Their wild laughter echoed through the ashes of Lothlórien (fair no longer), and she felt the ghostly touches of fëar escaping to the Timeless Halls. In her mind, she imagined they blamed her.

At what she thought was the final blow, he broke her heart. Khamûl forced her to kneel before him, pulled her close, and withdrew a head from beneath his cloak. The silver hair was knotted with gore, and they had gouged out his eyes. A crude Eye had been carved into each of his cheeks with a filthy knife, and outlined with tar. She retched, and wept true tears. Celeborn.

Why had she not died then? she wondered dimly, as they carried her across plain and river towards the ashen mountains. Something was making her cling to life: some remnant of that time when she lived for power, when the world was fresh and glorious and full of possibility. That last piece of her refused to surrender.

But then, in the bowels of the Dark Tower, he broke her spirit.

Clad in barbed armor etched with cruel symbols, Sauron taunted her. He spoke of Lothlórien: the Nimrodel would run black with poison, while the houseless fëar of the Galadhrim cursed her name. He spoke of the ruin of the world of Men: the head of Isildur’s Heir was spiked on the Black Gate, and without him, the frail mortal societies would fall to dust. He spoke of her family: her grandsons would be given over to Moria, and Elrond would be immolated in the burning of his own lore. He spoke of Imladris: the trolls would desecrate its quiet groves, rutting beneath the crumbling relics of elven intricacy. He spoke of the Woodland Realm: the Silvan elves would go to Dol Guldur screaming for mercy, while the spiders turned their forest into glades of night.

He whispered that he would bring all she had wrought to ruin, unto the utter end of the world. He would erase every trace of her. He would raze and burn and destroy everything she had touched until she was nothing, not even a memory of a rumor of a myth.

When she thought he had broken her in every possible sense, and prepared to fling her fëa to Eru’s mercy, he found one last thing to break.

With malevolent pleasure, he watched as one of his orcs shaved her head. Her beautiful hair (where the Trees mingled, where her heritage was flaunted, where Celeborn had whispered Galadriel) fell into the ashy muck of Barad-dûr.

As she felt the last pieces of her pride shatter, and as he laughed, she finally released her fëa to the darkness, every one of its million pieces crying despair.

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