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The Marshes of the Dead; Chapter 1: A Letter

July 1st, 2006 (05:56 pm)

current mood: content
current song: Shape of Despair: Fallen

Story Info

Title: The Marshes of the Dead

Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)

Fandom: The Lord of the Rings

Era: Fourth Age of the Sun

Genre: Drama, AU

Rating: T / FRT

Characters: Gimli, Legolas (, OCs)

Summary: “There are dead things. Dead faces in the water!” “All dead. All rotten. Elves and Men and Orcses. A great battle long ago. Dead Marshes. Yes. Yes, that is their name.” Who are those dead warriors in the water, whose lights call the living to join them? Only few truly know. When visiting Legolas briefly in Ithilien, the Three Cousins recall some of their worse memories, and the battle of Dagorlad is only a part of them…
Part of the history of “The Last Journey”. Complete.

Warnings: References to violence and death¬. The rating could also be PG, but let’s take no risks…

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 is slightly alternative universe, but 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!

“Theme”: Shape of Despair: “Fallen” (from the album “Angels of Distress”)

About The Marshes of the Dead:Tolkien never told much about the rulers of Mirkwood. In this story I reveal pretty much all that I know about Oropher, and of his deeds in the Dagorlad, but because of the exiguity of further details, I had to invent a lot myself.

This story is but a one way to see how the Battle of Dagorlad ended and the forming of the Dead Marshes begun (and what those two has to do with each other). The dead faces in the water have their own stories to tell…

Chapters and their status: Here below you see the writing process of the story’s chapters. If there is no text after the chapter’s name, then it is finished and checked (until someone of my dear readers points me out some mistake, or I will do some updating…) so, check this page, because here I will mark the dates of the updates…

01 A Letter
02 Meeting
03 Distant Light in the Night
04 Memory of Dagorlad
05 A Price of Pride
06 Epilogue

OC’s Introductions:

The Three Cousins of Hithsîr
Dínnor's father and Thalión's and Asthaldo's mothers were from the same family. Those three young Elves lived in the highlands of Taur-en-Faroth during the years of their youth. In the place called Hithsîr (Mistriver) that ran in the Taur-en-Faroth, south from Nargothrond, was fought a battle long before the destruction of Beleriand and the northern lands. Of that battle only few Elven stories tell, because it wasn't a great one, but the ones who fought in it (The Three Cousins) were named by it for years to come. Nearly hundred of Orcs that were heading to Nargothrond were waylaid there by those three and were slew during that night by them alone. The Cousins were barely adults, but they fought none the less, and the enemy was destroyed before they reached their destination. This battle is known among all the Elves, and the Three who fought in it have gained a great name in the years after, even if this first battle wasn’t even near the greatest of all those they later fought.
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.
(See my story Hithsîr)
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.

~ ~ ~

“)…(” = Sindarin

Chapter 1: A Letter

Year 3 of the Fourth Age,

Southern Ithilien

“)Ernil nîn?(” A hesitant voice from the outside of Legolas’ room woke the Prince from his thoughts, and he rose his head, wondering who bothered him at this early hour. He stood up and walked to the door, opening it without a sound.

“)Ah, good morning, Brilving. How can I help you?(”

“)I am sorry to disturb you, Le Haran, but a messenger arrived sometime ago, and he had messages for you. I thought it was better to sent him off to rest, and as I had nothing better to do…(” the young Elf faltered, blushing slightly.

Legolas smiled, taking the offered letters from the other Elf, and thanked him with a quick nod. The younger one only mumbled something, and dashed off. Legolas stood in the doorway for a moment, shaking his head amused, and then went back inside.

As he walked back to his desk, he ran through the messages that the messenger had brought. A few letters from the councillors and other people like that from Eryn Lasgalen, one from his father – no doubt holding the same kind of content as the others sent by the councillors.

Legolas sighed. Ruling your own colony wasn’t such a simple task, after all.

King Thranduil of Eryn Lasgalen constantly wanted to know how Legolas had progressed. Somehow Legolas understood that – in the end, Thranduil was his father, and he was the youngest Prince of Eryn Lasgalen. It was quite comprehensible that Thranduil felt a need to look after his youngest. But Legolas wished that his father would understand that he also needed his own space to do things. And the councillors… Legolas frowned. He knew that those Elves just tried to help him, but by doing so, they often drove him to the verge of insanity.

Legolas turned his attention back to the letter, trying to decide which was most likely to be the most important one… His eyes caught one envelope, and he drew it to the top of the others, his eyes widening with surprise. It was not a letter from his father, or any of the advisors.

Smiling, Legolas put that one message aside. He would read it later, if he were still alive after he had read the others. Sighing, Legolas sank into his chair, starting the most unpleasant task imaginable: reading the messages with full of generous hints and advises as how to rule his colony better…

- - -

It was already midday before Legolas was done with the other letters. Rising from his place, he stretched his sore muscles, and then glanced eagerly at the one last message waiting for him. Gently taking the letter, he put it inside his tunic, and headed out.

After so many hours of bored reading Legolas needed to get outside to fresh air. He passed by many Elves, returning the greetings with quick smiles. Heeding out into the ‘gardens’, Legolas hummed to himself, enjoying of the warm sunshine upon his face and the fresh wind playing with his hair. Soon enough, he reached the gardens, and walked to his favourite tree, swiftly climbing up to the highest branches.

‘Garden’ was what the Ithilien Elves called a part of the wood near to their dwelling places in their new home. They had brought there some plants from their home in the north, and nursed the plants there with special care. Anyone else but an Elf wouldn’t have seen any different in that place and in the usual forest, but to an Elven eye it caught like a white rock among the grey ones. The ‘garden’ was differently tended, and the mark of Elven hands could be seen here and there. Elves, as is their wont, try to live in their dwelling places without disturbing the nature around them. This garden was a good example of that: all that the Elves had done there would not be easily seen, and would not disturb the nature itself.

As soon as Legolas found a good position in the arm of the branches, he slowly took out the envelope and opened it. The letter was written in Westron – unusual for Elves – but Legolas wasn’t surprised a slightest. The Cousins always favoured Westron, if possible. With a small smile, he started to read:

Dearest Legolas,

We all hope you are well, considering the hard work you must be going through while trying to establish the new colony. As far as we have heard, you have done well. Of course we expected nothing less from you.

But enough of trivialities: Asthaldo is already getting nearly as impatient as Dínnor, which isn’t good, if I am wishing to write this letter to an end.

We wrote to you because we have thought to come and visit Ithilien – and you, of course, our dear Greenleaf. As this letter arrives, we have already left Eryn Lasgalen and are heading south.

We wish you to meet us on Amon Hen, in the beginning of August, which means a month from this day. Me and my Cousins are in no great hurry to travel across the Brow Lands.

As I have nothing much to say myself – I am seeing you soon, after all – I end this letter now.

Dínnor sends his love, and Asthaldo tells you not to worry too much about our coming: we do not expect to see a great city built in this short time, and you don’t have to clean up for our sake – if you catch his meaning.

Your, Thalión,

& Dínnor and Asthaldo

PS. Now as my Cousins have left me alone, I want to tell you something: I am really proud of you. I am not sure if I said it to you when you visited Woodland Realm with Gimli, but I say it now: befriending a Dwarf is a good thing, whatever the others may say. And being capable to establish your own colony shows that you have grown up. You have truly become a warrior and a Prince both, just like we three always wished.

Seeing you soon, Thalión.

Legolas stared at the letter for a while, read it through again, and smiled. It meant a lot to him to hear that Thalión was proud of him. After all, being given that opinion from one of the Cousins of Hithsîr wasn’t a too small of a thing.

Sighing, Legolas leaned against the tree, and relaxed.

to be continued…

)Sindarin(: - Westron:
Ernil nîn - My Prince
Le Haran - Your Highness