Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Fandom: The Lord of the Rings
Era: First Age of the Sun and Third Age of the Sun
Genre: Action/Adventure (“AU”)
Rating: T / FRT
Characters: Legolas (, OCs)
Summary: The famous Battle of Hithsîr was fought long years ago in Beleriand. This is how the famous Three Cousins remember it, when they discuss with Legolas of the meaning of being a living heroes of the legend.
Part of the history of “The Last Journey”. Complete.
Beta: Kitt of Lindon
Disclaimer: This story is based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s stories about Middle-earth (mostly on the Lord of the Rings). The characters are not mine - except for those whom I have created. The story has been written to honour Tolkien’s creations.
Have a good time and enjoy the ride (at least I hope you do!)
Feedback: Yes, please, be so kind! Please review, I would love to know your opinion.
Author’s Notes: English is not my mother tongue, so it isn’t perfect. Please inform me of spelling and grammar errors, so I can correct them!
This battle is my own creation, nothing to do with Tolkien’s history of Beleriand.
About Hithsîr: As I said above, this battle is purely my imagination. This story is history for my later longer stories, The Last Journey and its sequel, The Final Prayers. There will also be other ‘history’-stories, as soon as I get time to write them. In this story will be references to those other stories, as you will notice…
What comes for the event of the Third Age in this story, Legolas is still quite young, a youth, actually, but coming closer to the age of being an adult. I must confess I do not when the Elves come of age, so please inform me if you know. I would feel a lot smarter, again. :)
Story and status: Here below you see the writing process of the story. If there is no text after the title, then it is finished and checked (until someone of my dear readers points me out some mistake, or I will do some updating…).
The Three Cousins of Hithsîr
Dínnor's father and Thalión's and Asthaldo's mothers were from the same family.
They were among those few Sindarin Elves who came to the Greenwood the Great with Oropher on the Second Age. They also fought with Oropher on Dagorlad, and were among those few who were led back home by Thranduil, who was made King after his return, for Oropher never returned.
Race: Sindar Elf
Age: Born in the beginning of the First Age
Cousin of Thalión and Asthaldo: oldest of the three Cousins of Hithsîr. Golden long hair that is all braided to small braids. Dun eyes. Good archer and excellent swordsman. Excellent tracker. Also a patient observer, when needed, though quite rush at times.
Race: Sindar Elf
Age: Born in the beginning of the First Age
Cousin of Dínnor and Asthaldo, one of the famous Cousins of Hithsîr. Long, silver hair, which upper layer is braided to small braids, blue bands braided among the hair. Powder blue eyes. Excellent archer and good with sword and knives. Strong contact to nature, and can approach his destination without waking any suspicions of his presence. Even more patient observer than Dínnor.
Race: Sindar Elf
Age: Born in the beginning of the First Age
Cousin of Dínnor and Thalión: youngest of the three Cousins of Hithsîr. Pale golden hair long from the back, short front hair reaches just behind ears. Fallow eyes. Good swordsman and archer. Skilled in swift, close battles with knives or swords. Also a good scout, for he is able to silence any enemy quickly and without a sound.
Race: Sindar Elf of Eryn Lasgalen
Age: Born during the Age of the Stars
One of those few Sindarin Elves who came with Oropher to the Greenwood the Great, and fought in the Battle of Dagorlad. Legolas' bodyguard. Also a captain and a remarkable soldier in Woodland Realm's forces, though mostly his time is occupied with his duties to protect Legolas. Unlike (usually) to Sindar Elves, he has deep brown eyes. Long, very light, nearly white, brownish hair.
Race: Silvan Elf of Eryn Lasgalen
Age: Born on the Second Age
Captain in Woodland Realm's forces. Has been Legolas' tutor since the Prince started to practice as a Novice. Long golden hair and light blue eyes. Uses both bow and sword with years of experience.
“)…(” = Sindarin
A soft clinging of metal filled a small room, a smell of oil, leather and weapons hanging the air. Legolas slowly drew a whetstone over his sword one more time, before putting the stone away and raising the blade from his lap to inspect it more carefully. Smiling to himself he stood up and searched for the scabbard of the sword. Sliding the sword smoothly to its sheath, he stretched his sore muscles.
A voice came from nearby, something akin to self-content laugh. Legolas turned around to rest his eyes upon another Elf. This time there was no mistake where the voice came from, and Legolas raised one delicate eyebrow to Asthaldo. The blonde Elf raised his head from his task and smiled to him brightly. “Have we already wearied you down, my young lord?”
Legolas let out a small sigh, smiling to himself. He of course wasn’t offended if Asthaldo called him young, because that he was, especially when compared to the older warrior. Behind him, another voice spoke:
“In your company, Asthaldo, I don’t even wonder if he gets bored.”
Legolas turned his head towards Thalión, who seemed to be far too concentrated to his work with some arrows to really do anything – like to mock his cousin – at the same time. Finally the silver haired Elf raised his head from his work, smiling at Legolas and moved one strayed braid back to its place.
“I spoke nothing of ‘getting bored’ but of ‘wearying down’,” Asthaldo snapped to his cousin. Thalión merely shook his head to the younger Elf, amused. “You never listen me anyway, you ) mereth en draugrim(.”
Legolas smiled to Asthaldo, being used to the cousins forever bantering by now. Suddenly the door of the weapon room was opened, and the third one of the cousins came inside, carrying with him an armful of weapons. The others met him with raised eyebrows, wondering what he was up to. Dínnor put down his load, sighing heavily and then meeting their gazes. “)Mae govannen(, all of you! I see you haven’t yet managed to put this place upside down while I was gone.”
There was more than one pair of rolled eyes for response.
“You really don’t believe we are going to polish all those?” Thalión asked with a sound of doubt in his voice.
The oldest of the cousins laughed at response. “No, of course not! The novices did it already, Thrénandu just asked me if I could bring them here and put them to their places.” He inspected the weapons for a while, then looking to Thalión again. “Do they look so poorly polished for you?” he asked with a slight smirk.
Thalión merely shrugged, causing Dínnor to laugh merrily again.
Asthaldo visibly let out a sigh of relief after being sure that the task was already done. It seemed that he had some other plans for the rest of his day than polish some weapons. Dínnor smiled at him, starting to put the brought weapons to their places.
Legolas sat back down and started to examine his bow, checking it yet again. He really didn’t want to have any kind of unwanted surprises if he got into a battle. He had heard far too many such stories. And he was in a patrol again later that day. Even if his trusted bodyguard was with him, and one of the most skilled captains of Mirkwood, he wanted his weapons to be in check. Maybe he was even younger than some of the other novices, but he didn’t have to show it with leaving his weapons overlooked.
He heard Thalión and Dínnor speak to each other, their voices quiet and soft. Sometimes Legolas wondered if it was only pure stubbornness that the cousins refused to speak Elvish if it wasn’t completely necessary. It made many Elves furious that those three spoke Westron even in their own people’s realm.
But after all, those three really didn’t even care what the others did or thought, and they stayed in their own ways and customs. Legolas had learned by now that those three spoke Elvish only when they wanted. And it was good practice for the young Prince himself to speak Westron with them, for it wasn’t spoken very often in his father’s palace.
And speaking Westron in Elven realm was only one of those many eccentrics that those three possessed, after all.
Dínnor tilted his head to one side, and laughed at something Thalión had said, taking then his own sword and sitting down to sharpen it as well. For a moment they sat in silence, focusing to their works.
Then the door opened once more and one of the Woodland Realm’s young warriors came inside, giving a respectful bow to Legolas and then moving to the rack on the far side of the room, moving somewhat nervously as he passed by the cousins. It took some time before the warrior found what he was looking for, and then he swiftly moved out of the room again, mumbling something like ‘my lords’ as he passed by.
Asthaldo nearly laughed as the door shut again. Dínnor merely smiled sadly, changing glances with Legolas. “It wasn’t always like this,” he said mournfully.
“Ai, long ago we were the once looking with awe to the great heroes and warriors,” Thalión added, somewhat mournfully. Legolas immediately straightened up, uncertain what would follow. These kinds of discussions between them were rare, but always the most interesting ones.
Dínnor stared at the door, his eyes distant. “The world can change quite fast, even for the Elves. In a blink of an eye you can be something entirely else than what you were before.” His dun eyes bore themselves to Legolas’ blue ones. “You are still young Legolas, and there is still much for you to find and experience in the world, and it has much to offer. But remember this: even as the world revolves and changes around you, you don’t have to change with it. And if you change, change because it is good for you yourself. Let the other’s keep their opinions and wishes of you, for the life is yours to live, and yours alone.”
Legolas nodded, absorbing the other’s words to his mind, at the same time wondering what had made Dínnor suddenly so serious, for he usually was a carefree spirit; though his temper got him into a trouble quite often: if he got angry or set his mind of something, it was more than a difficult task to change his mind or calm him down. Unusually fiery, some said of him, and it was the exact truth, for Elves usually were rather cold, distant and careful, ever guarded to show their emotions. Dínnor also could be quite aggressive towards those he didn’t like, and he didn’t bother hiding it. During the last few centuries, Thalión had finally got him to ignore those he disliked, instead of showing his opinion openly. Still, even if among friends Dínnor was open and laughing, he was quite hostile for strangers.
Asthaldo was much like the oldest of the three, though his temper wasn’t as fiery as Dínnor’s and he befriended others rather easily; he enjoyed of simple, light discussions, and made others laugh easily. His sense of humour was brilliant and he was in inventive many ways, always ready to lighten the mood of others.
Thalión was most ‘elf-like’ of the three: emphatic and patient, usually being the one to control the other two. For Legolas, Thalión was even more like a brother, always guiding and encouraging. Not that the other two wouldn’t have been encouraging: since Legolas had started as a novice long years ago, they had all paid special attention to him.
At first Legolas had thought that was purely because he was a Prince, but later he had learned otherwise, when the three cousins started to spent more time with him, even outside the practise fields. The others novices envied him, because he was getting so much attention from the Three Cousins. By then Legolas already knew that those three were great heroes of the past, seasoned warriors, and that made him even more puzzled, because those three weren’t tutors or instructors, and yet they observed him all the time.
When Legolas and his training group went for the first time deeper into the forest to test their tracking skills, Legolas suddenly noticed that he was being observed – again. Angered by this, Legolas forgot his place and departed from the group, trying to loose his followers, knowing well to whom those eyes belonged to, for they had followed him for long months by now. Finally he got his pursuers off from his tracks, and then returned to his group. When he returned, his tutor Thrénandu was furious. But even his tutor’s anger couldn’t lessen his private sensation of satisfaction, for he had indeed lost and mislead the famous Cousins from his tracks.
Of course his father heard of his little errand, but strangely, he said very little of it. And during the next few days, Legolas saw the Cousins quite seldom. But when he saw them, he noticed that the way they looked at him had changed slightly: now, it was a look of respect, instead of one of curiosity and appraisement. And few days later, it was Dínnor who dropped from the trees in the middle of the gardens where Legolas then was walking and challenged him for a fight. So like Dínnor, Legolas thought now, years after. He knew that I could not win him, but he just couldn’t keep his curiosity at bay anymore, but wanted to feel himself how good I was, blade against another. And after that fight, he helped me to improve.
Dínnor’s cousins had used more usual way to interfere into his training: they came to the training field, asked for permission from his teachers, and then practised with him. This certainly didn’t lessen the envy among the other students, and sometimes Legolas thought that also the instructors were slightly jealous for him. But Legolas had little to say in the matter, because the Cousins came and went as they liked, and right then they very much liked to practise with him, it seemed.
After few months had passed, Legolas finally dared to speak of his problem. A natural choice had been Thalión, for he was close to Legolas, as well as calmer and serious than his cousins. Thalión had listened patiently, and then had shaken his head sadly. That night the older Elf had told him why he was envied so, and that he should not let it affect to himself. Though Thalión didn’t tell him the story of the Battle of Hithsîr, Legolas got quite a good picture of why the three were honoured so. And after that night, their friendship deepened even more…
Legolas was abruptly pulled from his memories when he felt the others’ gazes upon him. Legolas met their scrutiny, and finally Thalión shook his head and Dínnor smiled. Asthaldo looked quite curious, and leaned forward, asking:
“What is that you are mulling over? You looked quite lost in a thought.”
“That is because I was.” Legolas paused, his brows furrowed. “I was remembering the first time I met you, and how I learned to know you,” he started, and then added, as an afterthought, “and how the others reacted to your presence at my side.”
The three others exchanged looks and Thalión frowned. “Does it still bother you? After all these years?”
“Well, it is not so long ago, and you are still part of my life… and so is the envy of others.”
Dínnor made a sound that could have been described as a delicate snort. “There are always ones who envy others. That is the way of the world.”
Legolas didn’t respond to that, knowing that himself. Thalión sighed and moved to sit next to him, looking thoughtful. “With respect comes always the price, and even more so, it comes with heroism. Becoming a legend can be a goal of many youths, but most of them do not understand that with the glory comes also the cost, and it can be quite heavy, especially for those, who share a friendship with those who have risen above others. Ones like you, even if we all would hate to admit it.”
Legolas looked at the other Elves, seeing genuine sorrow and apology on their faces. He truly wished he knew where this conversation was heading.
Finally, Asthaldo laughed, quite bitterly. “After all, our becoming a legend isn’t about great heroism or bravery, but of selfishness, being unrestrained…” he shrugged.
“The truth isn’t always as wonderful as the stories,” Dínnor added ironically.
“No it is not,” Asthaldo continued. “Sometimes when we hear stories told of the Battle of Hithsîr, we have to think twice if we were actually there.” All of the three laughed for that.
“Maybe you should learn the truth behind all those pretty stories and innocent lies,” Thalión continued, eyeing Legolas closely. “So listen carefully, young one! Few others have heard this tale told, though it is no story, but rather what we remember…”
)Sindarin(: - Westron:
Mereth en draugrim - Feast of wolves (of slain enemy)
Mae govannen - Well met
See part two