The Dagnir Explains
Once inside Caras Galadhon Ariel left the party, knowing she needed to clean up and dress before speaking with Elrond. Rushing up the steps to her talon she nearly wept with joy that Melui, Ariel’s elf-maid, had prepared her a bath and was waiting just outside her talon to help her getting dressed for the discussion she wouldn't be able to avoid, Ariel still had trouble with the fancy elf-gowns she was expected to wear.
Settling into the hot bath Ariel scrubbed her body free of the goblin-blood that covered almost all the skin that had been uncovered when she’d leapt headlong into the group of goblins.
Job done she felt Melui’s hands slowly massage Ariel’s scalp and the gold-blond slayer closed her eyes and relaxed, letting the elf-maid’s skilled hands untangle and wash her long tresses. It had taken time for Ariel to be comfortable allowing Melui to wash her hair in this fashion but she’d long since acknowledged that the elf-maid certainly knew what she was doing.
Hair and body both cleansed of goblin-blood she dried herself off while Melui left and returned with a box that Ariel eyed with anticipation and apprehension. She knew what the box was, a reminder of Galadriel’s offer to formally adopt the slayer as her daughter but she wasn’t sure. She wasn’t the Lady type, tonight’s talk alone was going to be horrifying.
Melui saw her eyeing the box and sighed. Her lady was so difficult, so reluctant to dress and act lady-like. The Lord and Lady of the Wood wouldn’t stop her from doing what she must, what her nature dictated, just because she accepted their adoption. “Milady, you know The Lord and Lady only want to be able to show how much you’ve grown on them and how much they care about you after these three years don’t you?”
Ariel looked at Melui. “What if they expect me to act all lady-like all the time, or travel with escorts I have to let fight for me, or... or...”
Melui just stared at Ariel with a patient look on her face waiting for the dagnir to ramble herself calm. “The Lady has been around long enough to know that a person is who they are. She wouldn’t allow you to be smothered if you needed to fly. Trust me please?”
Ariel nodded slowly. It was true, as elegant and lady-like as Galadriel appeard she was also a fierce warrior long ago and would never extinguish another's freedom, “Ok... Ok, I'll wear it and accept the adoption.”
Ariel’s panic attack over Melui helped her slip into the jade-green gown the maid had laid out for her then opening the box to Ariel’s gasp. Inside was a circlet of silver fashioned in the likeness of vines and leaves twisting and capped with flowers of emeralds. In Buffy’s world it would have been worth a fairly sizeable fortune and they just gave it to her.
Then Melui held out a necklace the pendant resembling a little warrior. “The Lady told me to give this to you separate of whether or not you chose to wear the circlet. When you arrived it was nearly midnight and the star this represents was shining brightly. Similar to Lord Elrond’s daughter wearing the Undómiel at her throat. This is Borgil, the steadfast star, part of the constellation Telumehtar, the Warrior of the Sky. Because of the way you came to us, the star shining upon your arrival, and you being the dagnir The Lady had this made from the starlight of Borgil and fashioned for you. Your full name is now Ariel Dagnir Borgil
Ariel turned allowing Melui to fasten the necklace on her neck. She felt the weight of the starmetal on her upper sternum and smiled. She was the living embodiment of the Steadfast star, she could do this.
Ariel stood outside the door to the room Galadriel had called her to as Melui had finished readying her for the talk that was coming.
Taking a deep breath she pushed the door open and walked into the room. Conversation stopped as the door had opened and she could see the happiness in Galadriel and Celeborn’s eyes that she had chosen to wear the circlet. She knew she’d be hearing about it later but for now only Galadriel could make her piece known projecting into Buffy’s mind, ‘I am so glad you consented to allow us to adopt you.’ Then aloud, “Elrond, I’d like to formally introduce you to Ariel Dagnir.”
“Yes, I believe we met earlier when she leapt headlong into a band of goblins,” Elrond returned, amusement thick in his voice and a smug smirk on his lips. “She looks much better not covered in goblin blood. Nevertheless, I thank you for your speedy arrival, you may well have saved mine and my daughter’s lives.”
Ariel gave a slight bow of her head. “It was my pleasure, I had been practicing archery with Haldir when I heard your horn, I’m only sorry I didn’t make it there in time to save the two who died.”
The elf lord waved his hand to say it was nothing for her to be sorry about and turned to Galadriel, “So Nana, you told me you would tell me why you sent for me when Ariel arrived,” Elrond asked pointedly.
“Indeed I did. I told you that she is known as the Dagnir, and is an excellent fighter, as you witnessed yourself earlier today, what I did not tell you was that she is not of this world.”
Elrond’s eyes flickered to Ariel and back to Galadriel in confusion, “What do you mean? I do not sense anything unusual.”
“I am from a different world entirely. This world is Arda, or Middle Earth in the common tongue yes? I am from simply, Earth.” Ariel answered, startled to note that the usual pain she felt when she discussed her old home was absent, she still missed it but the usual pain was gloriously absent.
“But you are one of the eldar, I can sense that much. How could you be from a different world and yet be one of us?” Elrond asked, his confusion evident, something even his nearly six thousand years of life couldn’t hide or remedy.
Ariel took a deep breath, “Where I come from demons, vampires, and other assorted evils roam the world. Not quite openly, but they are in every major city. To combat this evil a long time ago, tens of thousands of years in point of fact, three shaman bound a powerful spirit inside a young girl and through complex magics ensured that the power inside her would pass, girl to girl, every time the current holder of said power died,” Buffy took a breath, normally this speech was given by Giles. No Slayer really liked to explain it, the story hit a little close to home.
“Each time one of the girls, known in my world as a Slayer, died, another girl, typically between the ages of thirteen to eighteen years old, is called as the Slayer. I became the Slayer at the tender age of fifteen, only eight years ago. Then, three years ago, a hellgoddess, named Glorificus, was expelled from her own hell dimension by two other hellgods and ended up in ours. I ended up diving off a tower to save my sister’s life. The Powers That Be, my equivalent to the Valar, decided that since I wasn’t supposed to be dead yet that I’d have to come here instead. The Valar dropped me on the outskirts of Caras Galadhon and blessed me with the gift of the Eldar. I spent the next three years here learning.” Story done a thoughtful silence filled the room.
“And now for the reason you came here, other than to hear our new daughter’s amazing story,” Galadriel broke the silence making Elrond raise a quizzical brow to his mother-in-law. “And in fact, why we bade you bring Arwen with you.”
Celeborn took over from his wife, speaking“You told us of Arwen’s love of teaching the young elleth in Imladris and we would... appreciate it if you asked your daughter to help teach Ariel. We’ve been doing the best we can but...”
“We haven’t tried to teach elleth in a very long time and Ariel is... very spirited,” Galadriel continued with an amused glance to Ariel who grinned unrepentantly back.
Elrond thought for a moment. Arwen had wanted to visit her daernaneth and daerada four a while and that would give her the perfectly legitimate reason she needed to stay the time it would take to teach Ariel. Maybe... maybe he could even let Ariel teach Arwen how to defend herself. Of course, he mused looking at the elleth in question, he doubted he could stop Ariel from doing so even were they in Imladris and not Caras Galadhon and under his watchful eye. “I will ask. She will likely say yes, it will give her an excuse to visit longer than her usual visits. Maybe it will also distract her from her sadness over Estel leaving Imladris.”
Decision made Elrond gave a small head bow to Galadriel and Celeborn before he moved to leave the room.
Ariel watched him go and when she could no longer hear his footsteps muttered under her breathand while thinking of the dark-haired elleth that had come with Elrond, “This should be interesting.”