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.
¤…¤ = Westron
Night was falling, an evening-breeze travelling through the darkening forest. It brought a wave of chilling air with it, making its way down from the high slopes of Misty Mountains. Moaning it flew among the tall trees, making them shiver in its wake.
Legolas did not shiver, however, letting the wind pass as an unimportance. The leaves trembled in the trees around him, settling down long after the breeze had passed. High among the branches, shadowed by the limbs above him, Legolas stood watching the ground far below. His blue eyes narrowed, following the movements of a small pack of Orcs.
Sliding down to have a better view, Legolas moved from tree to another, making no more noise than a shadow. Stopping to observe again, the Elf tilted his head, his expression frozen. This group was merely one of scouts, he decided. The main-group was somewhere further upon their road.
Lifting his eyes slightly from the passing group, Legolas reached out with his senses, swiftly spotting the other Orcs nearby. With a small smile, the Prince took the direction, moving swiftly along the branches. The forest was dead-silent around him, soft whispers of the trees reaching out for him. Their voices frightened. But for the first time in his life, Legolas did not halt to comfort them.
Dropping some distance lower, Legolas halted again, preparing to wait. He sat down on his heels, balanced his body, and then looked down to the ground again. It took several long, uneventful minutes before the group of Orcs came into his view, completely oblivious to his presence.
There was no smile as Legolas leaned forward, his eyes darkening as he summoned the darkness around him. First nothing happened, the air staying still and no voice but those of Orcs breaking the silence. Then the Orcs halted, eyeing the forest around them, suddenly fully alert. This time Legolas actually smiled, a cold, unnatural expression for an Elf. Shadows danced in his eyes as he extended his control further, making darkness rise from the ground and swirl around the Orcs.
The foul creatures looked around, visibly shocked. Sounds of fear came from them, their weapons loosing their assured stance. Hurried glances were exchanged between them, wide eyes staring at the shadows.
With a careless movement, Legolas lowered his right hand to his side, pulling his knife free. Without a second thought he jumped down, landing some yards away from the Orcs. The villains looked at the Elf with both surprise and doubt, seeing the shadows rise to meet the Firstborn. Their hesitation only served Legolas’ purposes. Without a shout or warning, the Prince attacked, his knife cutting the first Orc’s throat deftly, sending a rain of black blood to the air. Not staying to wait for the others to recover, Legolas reached his next opponent, stabbing it to the heart.
Three Orcs lay dead before the rest of the pack was able to comprehend that they were truly under an attack. They divided immediately, attacking the Elf from all sides, but yet they were reluctant to attack this one: the evil feeling around the Elf made them hesitate.
From his place above the battlefield, the dark Elf watched his young apprentice. Legolas’ moves were perfectly controlled, bringing death all around him. The Orcs were still confused, and like he had told Legolas to do, the youth kept his focus upon the shadows as well. As long as there was an evil feeling around the Prince, the Orcs would be uncertain to attack him properly.
Leaning his chin on his hand, the dark one let his eyes follow Legolas’ each movement, his mind keeping an eye on Legolas’ focus. And as the fight continued, Legolas did exactly as he had suspected: let the darkness go, putting his whole mind to the battle at hand. The stranger shook his head, a smile of victory upon his lips. Defeat is the best teacher, they say. It is your time to learn this, too, dear Legolas.
On the ground, his clothes and skin covered with black blood, Legolas fought off one more Orc, dodging down to the dirty ground to block another. He rolled on his other side, coming up in a same motion and embedding his knife into another Orc’s belly. Twisting his blade free he stood up, meeting a sword sent in his direction. As he turned that weapon away, another sword came up from behind, almost slicing him in two. Jumping aside, Legolas avoided contact with the twisted weapon, his own knife ready to strike back.
Suddenly someone grabbed his hand, forcing him off-balance. Striking to the side, Legolas tried to lash out at the enemy, but another pair of hands pushed him down, forcing him to the bloodied ground. Thrashing against his enemies, Legolas fought to get free. But the enemy was too many, and their force kept him easily pinned down.
One of the Orcs stepped above the Elf, a spiked club in its hand. It raised the weapon high above its head, preparing to crush the Elf’s skull with a single strike. Legolas struggled in vain, despair mounting in him. Just when the club began to fall, the wind changed, an evil whisper filling the air. The Orcs turned around, their eyes widening.
“¤Release the Elf,¤” a firm voice commanded.
Legolas turned his head, noticing the dark Elf standing some yards away from him. Darkness followed him like a cape, giving him a threatening appearance. The Orcs snarled, speaking with their foul tongue. Some of the words were meant to the Elf, it seemed, because he took a step forward, making the Orcs back away further.
“¤I said, let him go,¤” the Elf repeated, his eyes narrowing.
One of the Orcs stepped forward, most likely being the leader of the group – or just the boldest one. It did not bother to use Westron as it spoke to the Elf towering before it. Angry gestures were made at Legolas’ direction, but the dark Elf held his ground, and finally the Orc snarled a final word, speaking its final sentence hurriedly before turning away. All the other Orcs departed as well, leaving Legolas laying to the ground, wide-eyed and shocked. In a few minutes the Orcs had disappeared, the noise of their passing reaching the Elven ears long after.
Legolas sat up, staring after the creatures that should have killed him. But they hadn’t. Because an Elf had commanded them not to. Frowning, Legolas tried to remember the one-sided discussion between the Orc and the stranger, and suddenly a flash of knowledge hit him. There was a word he recognised.
“Well done. You survived the battle, and even kept your ground for a while. After some more practise, we will get much further,” the dark Elf announced, approaching Legolas.
“They mentioned Sauron,” Legolas stated silently.
The other Elf froze and then smiled, looking down at the youth. “So you recognised his name. Good. I would expect nothing less.”
“Why would they do so, while speaking to you?” Legolas demanded, slowly getting to his feet. His knife was in his hand before he knew it, his body preparing for attack.
“Why would they indeed…” the other mused, smiling. “Because the Lord of Dol Guldur – yes, you heard right – has some interest in my actions. But not that much interest that he would interfere. And we will keep it that way,” the dark one told Legolas, dismissing the youth’s colourful expression. “There is no reason to draw Sauron from his own business to mine.”
“So it is indeed Sauron who dwells in Dol Guldur?” Legolas asked carefully, his blade lowering slightly.
“It is,” the other sighed.
“And what has he and his Orcs to do with you?” the youth questioned, his knife raising again.
“Nothing, as far as I can decide,” came the reply. “There is no reason for me to join in with Sauron. You do not need to know the reason, nor do I want you to dwell in thoughts of him. He has no importance to us, yet. We must stay out of his sight and thoughts, that’s all.”
“Why is that? Would he keep you as a threat?” Legolas asked with a sound of irony in his voice. “Because that you are: a threat. Teaching a son of your enemy to learn the ways of the dark.”
“Ah, but you fail to see the why. And that is an important thing, in everything. But do not tax yourself: I shall not tell you. Not yet and not for a long time still. Now come, we must finish that miserable pack of Orcs before they reach their Lord. I have no interest to debate with Sauron in any near future,” he said darkly, turning to follow the Orcs.
Do I truly know my enemies at all? Legolas wondered as he followed the other. There is much for me to learn of them, still. But how much information is healthy, I wonder? And where goes the line of observing and accepting?
to be continued…