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.
Rafél was reaching the point of despair. The feel of Legolas’ presence was almost completely gone, the hours wore on, and he was getting closer to Dol Guldur all the time. What if I follow a wrong lead? But that cannot be. I felt his presence before, and if I still try hard enough, I can reach him.
Halting for a moment, Rafél gazed at the world of branches before him. He could not pass this way anymore. The limbs tangled together, forbidding all travelling. With an unhappy look, Rafél dropped to the ground, knowing that was the swiftest road to tread at the moment. The trees did not respond to his calls, their hostile look comparing to their dark cores. They would not let any Elf pass.
Walking forward with more care than usually, Rafél strained his senses to their limits. He could not afford to be surprised… A sudden rush of evil made him halt, his breath catching to his throat. Something was approaching him swiftly, and by the feel of it, nothing good. His hand stole to his sword without conscious thought, his stance widening slightly. He knew he had no time to climb to the trees, and moving there would be far more difficult.
Controlling his speeding breath, Rafél waited, his brown eyes searching the darkening forest before him. Whatever was coming, it was aware of his position, heading towards him without hesitation. I couldn’t be so careless to give myself away, Rafél thought angrily. But it can’t be helped now. I will face this evil, and if it proves to have nothing to do with Legolas, I will bypass it.
Beyond a gentle rise before him, something moved on the ground. Only immortal ears could have heard the sound, but it was enough for Rafél. His entire body tensed up, waiting for an attack. A shape pushed through bushes and tangling limbs, making only little more sound than a passing wind. The approaching figure came into view, last rays of the sun revealing the other easily.
Rafél had never felt relief fall over himself so swiftly, all readiness leaving his body. “Thank you Valar… Legolas!” he called out, stepping towards the youth that now stood on the edge of the slope, staring down at him. A dark thought passed through Rafél’s mind, his senses still feeling the presence of the evil. “Legolas,” he called out again, less certainly this time. There was something in the other’s eyes that did not belong there…
The Prince made no move towards his guardian, dark eyes resting upon the other, observing. Rafél shifted uneasily, searching the forest around them. He saw nothing, but the feel of darkness increased all the time. He stepped forward again, beckoning Legolas to come closer. “We should move away from here,” he said. “Please, Legolas, I know we had a disagreement before, but let’s solve it somewhere else…”
Legolas shifted, revealing the sheathed sword he had been holding behind his body. A look of uncertainty passed his features, his eyes glued on Rafél.
The guardian looked at his Prince with mounting alarm, knowing that something was very wrong. Legolas’ entire spirit seemed to be… gone?
Rafél actually jolted back when a dark figure emerged from the forest behind Legolas, its entire form covered in black cloak. The feel of darkness that followed the creature was enough to take Rafél’s breath away, his fëa moaning in pain.
The figure settled beside Legolas, its head turning to the Prince. Then it looked at the shocked guardian again, and Rafél was sure it smiled in the shadows of its cloak. Everything froze for a moment, tension rising until it could have been felt when touched. They all waited, none making the first move.
Finally the dark one turned away, stopping to run a gentle hand over Legolas’ hair as a loving gesture. Rafél shivered at the sight, his eyes shifting momentarily at Legolas. The creature took a step away, and Rafél actually sighed in relief, hoping it to leave without a fight. But the creature halted, turning partly back at the waiting Elves. “Kill him,” it said with smooth Sindarin, the words directed to the young Prince. Then it walked away from Rafél’s sight, only the feeling of evil remaining behind.
Rafél felt like laughing aloud, the absurdity of it all hitting him with full force. “Come, Legolas, it is time to –” he halted in mid-sentence, his eyes widening in horror. Before him, Legolas took a slow step closer to him, his hands sliding the dark sword free, tossing the scabbard aside. Rafél backed an involuntary step, his free hand rising before him. “Legolas…” he tried again, but the black eyes that stared at him showed no sign of recognition.
to be continued…