Title: Prince of Dol Guldur
Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Fandom: The Lord of the Rings
Era: Third Age of the Sun
Genre: Action/Adventure, AU
Rating: M / FRM
Characters: Legolas, Thrandui (, OCs)
Summary: Mirkwood Elves live constantly under an influence of a shadow, and it isn’t too hard to cross the line to the side of darkness... Legolas learns this as he meets a stranger in the woods, who desires to show him a new way to see the world.
Part of the history of “The Last Journey”. Complete.
Warnings: Death, evil, darkness, violence, etc.
Legolas tossed and turned in his bed, settling down again after long, agonising minutes. Blue eyes blinked in the darkness, trying to clear the mist of his dream from them. He threw his blanket aside, feeling hot all over. Or cold. He wasn’t sure. All his senses seemed to be mixing up, still confused by his dream. He had been like this all night: trying to go to sleep, and then waking up after another nightmare.
Maybe there is indeed something wrong with me, Legolas pondered, staring at the ceiling. This is not normal, for Elves should be able to control their dreams even somewhat. I, however, have no control. And even if I am only dreaming, it should not affect into my senses like this. After some time he sat up, shivering in the cool room. His senses were calming again, his body beginning to work as it should.
Legolas stared before him, trying to collect his thoughts. He didn’t wish to remember his dreams, nor think about them, but he knew he had to. He needed to understand.
“You want answers.”
Legolas jumped, looking around in the dark room. He had heard a voice, but he was sure he was alone. Slowly, he shook his head, telling himself it was another after-effect of his dreams.
“You can hear me,” the same, hollow voice continued, making Legolas glance around warily.
“I can,” the Elf replied, feeling silly. Now I am hearing voices. What may be the next, seeing things that do not exist?
“Do not think so little of yourself. Your instincts are not wrong at all: you are alone.”
“But still I hear you,” Legolas said, feeling a little annoyed. He did not like speaking to this voice that’s origin he couldn’t see.
The voice laughed, a soft whisper of the wind wailing in the hallway beyond Legolas’ room. “You wish to have answers, and I can give them to you.”
Legolas sat silent for a while, pondering this offer. “And what exactly do I want an answer for.”
“You wish to know what you have been sensing these past days. You wish to meet the one that saved you from the Orcs.”
So it was someone that saved me, Legolas thought. “How can you know such a thing?” he questioned, still looking around the room in hopes to see someone.
“Because you wish to meet me,” the voice answered.
“You,” Legolas repeated. Then he understood, his curiosity suddenly winning over his doubt. “You scared the Orcs away. And I heard your voice back there.” He halted, considering his next question carefully. “Are you a spirit of some kind?”
The voice laughed again, the sound of it making Legolas’ skin crawl. “I am no spirit. Just because you haven’t seen me does not mean I have no form. Even if I speak to you like this.”
“So why not to come and confront me?” Legolas asked. “You could, couldn’t you?”
“Do I need to?” the voice asked in return. “You can as well come to me.”
In those words Legolas heard a warning, and he remembered his feeling in the forest, a few days back. Evil feeling. “Are you evil?” he asked bluntly, trying to sense if he could feel something through the voice itself.
“Who is the one to define ‘evil’? You could think me evil, now, but later, you may consider me differently.”
“Why would I not see evil as evil?” Legolas smiled.
“You assume me to be evil because your senses tell you so. But isn’t it so that your senses have been trained to think me as evil? If you wouldn’t know I am evil, and your senses wouldn’t tell you it either, how would you know? Would it even matter?”
Legolas blinked, surprised by this sudden theory. “But you said you are evil,” he said doubtfully,
“I can say what you like, or what I prefer, but is it the truth?”
“You mean someone else would not consider you evil.”
“Didn’t the Orcs – which you count as creations of evil, and therefor evil themselves – run away from me? Doesn’t that mean I am not evil?”
Legolas sat quiet for a long time, his curiosity battling with reason. But soon his reason began to fade, understanding that he needed to know. “Where are you?”
The Elf was certain he felt the voice smiling. “Come out, and I will guide you.”
Somehow Legolas was able to tell that the discussion was over, and with a final look around the empty room, Legolas stood up to dress himself. He took the same path outside as the last time, passing the guards easily enough. Entering the forest around the stronghold, Legolas looked around, trying to find any sign of the owner of the voice.
After he had walked deeper into the forest, almost ready to give up, he noticed something moving around him. Actually, everything around him was moving. The darkness shifted, shadows falling to trail on his feet, then taking a path through the forest. Taking that as an invitation, Legolas followed, his senses alert all the time: he knew this was no game.
Deeper he went into the forest, shadows milling around him, touching him as they passed, as if a playful wind. Legolas watched this game, not knowing what it meant. These were not normal shadows, he knew, but something that was alive. And these shadows were also infested with a feel of evil.
“Do not judge everything until you see it, young Prince,” a dark, yet very smooth voice broke the silence, making Legolas stumble back in surprise. Before him stood a tall figure cloaked in black, shadows dancing around him like a group of loving puppies.
to be continued…