Inconveniently, the nearest prime is distracted long enough by a hysterical woman begging her not to burn it, to please see if there's a way to get her son back out of it again -
- that the bizarre monster slithers right up to them.
Kiri tries to shove the woman out of the way, and succeeds; Aleko tries to shove Kiri out of the way, and manages only to get himself and her tangled in a heap when the monster's face passes around them.
And now -
Araman gets uglier the farther north they travel.
"We can't do this," Macalaure says to his father after the second day, but then they also cannot defeat Moringotho and they cannot save everyone and they are trying anyway, so sheer physical impossibility no longer moves his father.
"It would be faster to get boats," Maitimo attempts, the next day. Efficiency might serve where nothing else will. "I could go to Alqualonde and petition for aid-"
"Mmm," says their father. He is in too much pain to think straight but it's not a no and the Ice will kill them all and so Maitimo carefully keeps pressing the subject.
And then there's an uproar outside.
They're obvious; a person's heat alone would be impossible to miss against this freezing temperature, and the area around them has gone startlingly hot, too. There's a flurry of conversations and the scouts report immediately to people authorized to interrupt the King and the King is interrupted and soon a few thousand sharp Elven eyes are fixed on the two people and the host stops moving. Not Elves. Too short. Orcs? With some kind of heater? Valaraukar?
Weapons are drawn, just in case, by people who have never actually used them.
"Shit I think they noticed us anyway."
She gets to her feet with some help.
They approach. They very nervously approach; there's bad footing, here, if it comes to a fight it'll be ugly, even with these numbers, but what are they going to do, ignore it?
Hello, he says when in range. Declare yourselves.
"They've got some kind of telepath and beat my range so I don't know how comprehensive. Think bland thoughts," she says to Aleko.
And, clamping down on her own thoughts in a way she's never had to before: Prime Kiribel Miar Swan Ardelay and my brother Aleko Fylt Swan Ardelay, lost. You?
Those aren't names in any Elven language.
Turkafinwë Tyelcormo, son of Curufinwë Fëanáro Noldoran. You are very lost; I have never heard of you or your language or of people like you. How are you warming the area?
So we probably don't have a language in common, so I can't swear to no hostile intent. Well. No hostile intent. His people do sheath their swords. Unless you serve the Enemy, but at a guess you'll say you've never heard of him either.
Are you from somewhere in the Outer Lands?
Not familiar. What do the stars look like there?
It might be complicated to get you back. This wasteland is the only way out of Valinor and the Enemy is on the other side.
After the war my father might be able to do something. But not until then.