The battle with the Great Serpents of the North brought nothing but wrath and ruin for the wood elves. The aftermath is bitter – particularly so for their great King now laid low by the destruction of dragon flame. A short tale of Thranduil’s healing and how he and those around him adapt to his new, life-changing injuries. Thranduil-centric later on. Thranduil, Legolas, Tauriel, Gandalf, Radagast, Elrond and a host of OCs. Disclaimer: It's not mine!
Categories: Fiction Characters:
Elrond, Gandalf, Legolas, OFC, OMC, Radagast, Thranduil
Angst, AU, Hurt/Comfort
Tales of Mirkwood
September 11, 2016 Updated:
March 16, 2017
A/N: New story here solely based in Mirkwood. This will only be a short story – no more than 3 to 5 chapters. Hope you all enjoy.
* Legolas and his friends (Faervel, Aeglosson, Tauriel) are all very young here think 12 – 13 in human years.
Chapter 1 by KimicThranduilion
Shapes that had been nothing more than dark, distant blurs and blobs for the better part of an hour were now finally starting to come into focus. More distinct now – shapes of elk, horses, banners and elves were being made clear with each step they took down the path. Legolas could barely contain his excitement and he watched from his perch with happy, expectant eyes. Even the threat of Lord Arahaelon's wrath when he found out that Legolas had disobeyed his orders to slip out of the palace could not dim his enthusiasm.
For after what seemed like the longest four months of his life all the maethyr along with his Adar were finally returning to the stronghold. They would be returning triumphant and glorious and Legolas would be damned if he were to miss out on seeing it. He could not wait to see his Adar at the head of the column leading his warriors in the traditional victory chants as they marched up to the palace. Victory was theirs; they had kept the Woodland realm safe and protected from the terror and shadow of the Great Serpents of the North.
Legolas was sure of it – sure that his people, their great warriors had quashed their fiery foes. So then why was it still so quite? Surely he should be able to hear the victory chants of the troops by now? Yet the only thing he could hear at the moment was the joyful, giddy rambling of the tree he was currently perched in, for it was as pleased as punch that a wood elf had seen fit to seek refuge among its boughs.
Legolas inched closer to the end of the branch he was on eager to see more of the troops, perhaps they were simply waiting to be closer to the palace before they started up their songs. Legolas smiled as he imagined it.
His Adar would ride at the front high upon the back of Diomedes with all the other mounted troops following, the battle elk would be next followed by the foot soldiers. The faces of warriors and beasts alike would be painted with swirling patters in gold and green, with gold ribbons and chain used to decorate the manes of the horses and the antlers of the elk. A glorious and joyful procession they would be indeed, and once back at the palace feasting and dancing would be declared for at least a week to allow everyone to celebrate with and congratulate the success of the maethyr.
He shifted again impatiently, he really could not wait and the tree he was in began to babble at him once more and it quivered as though it too was excited. Legolas grinned at its glee, patted its trunk and looked down again – the troops were getting closer; his sharp eyes were able to see them perfectly now and his smile faltered. It froze on his lips and faded away all together as he took in the solemn scene that marched ever nearer.
There were no flashes of gold nor snatches of green to be seen anywhere on any of the maethyr. The warriors looked grim and worn out and all the animals seemed uneasy. Closer inspection showed many of them to be carrying litters that tired looking healers flitted between. A good many more carried litters where the occupants were covered from head to toe, the black symbol of mourning hastily drawn onto the covering cloths.
Legolas stood up and craned his neck as his eyes darted to and from every warrior now solemnly marching by. Where was his Adar? The front of the column had passed Legolas by and Thranduil had been nowhere to be seen. Eagle sharp blue eyes continued to scan the troops below searching for distinctive ash blonde hair that remained irritatingly and worryingly elusive. Legolas was beginning to get annoyed and rather scared (if he was being honest) and he was just weighing up jumping down into the throng - future punishments be damned - when he heard it. The long, high pitched, mournful sounding whiny of Diomedes.
In an instant Legolas picked out the black stallion with the distinctive silver, star shaped patch on his forehead. Diomedes gave another long, woeful whiny and Legolas' heart suddenly caught in his throat as he saw the beast jump up and give a frightful kick out with his front legs. Next to him some poor ellon tried to calm the struggling horse and tugged down on a length of rope in an attempt to bring the horse back down on all fours. Diomedes struggled all the more as he snorted, stamped and tossed his head before he launched another kick.
Legolas continued to stare – where on Arda was his Adar? Thranduil would have Diomedes behaving and calm in a mere instant. Why was some unknown elf handling his father's horse? The beast was not given to tolerating anyone other than Thranduil; in fact he had even once bitten Legolas himself so for this ellon to try and control Diomedes was folly. Fear began to pound through him then as Diomedes continued to act up and no Thranduil appeared to soothe him. Legolas nimbly hopped to the next tree along impatient to see if he could spot his father and see what had taken him from his stallion's side. To see why he wasn't riding up in front chanting and singing joyfully like he should be. To see if he could make sense of why this return seemed more like a funeral procession than a victory parade. Legolas felt dread and panic was over him as solemn warrior after warrior and sad litter after litter continued to pass him by. The beginning of the procession was quite close to the palace now and still not one victory cry nor chant was there to be heard.
Suddenly he heard something far, far worse. The low, gentle notes of it washed over him and filled him with terror.
No, no, no. Legolas turned and fled through the trees back to the palace the way he had come. This was all wrong – it was not real. His eyes and ears were playing tricks on him. The troops were returning home with joyful songs not the songs for the dead. And his Adar was fine – he had ridden ahead as always and Legolas had simply missed him. Diomedes was calm and Thranduil was fine. Fine, fine, fine - he was fine damn it.
Legolas would go home brush and braid his hair, put on his circlet and greet his Adar back at the Palace just like a good Prince should. It was all fine. His Adar would come through the gates smiling and laughing and triumphant because he was completely and perfectly fine.
Legolas wiped away unconscious tears and hastened his steps. Everything was just fine.
Legolas hastily re-arranged his circlet and after giving himself a quick once over in his mirror he snatched open his door and hastened down the long corridor that led away from the Royal quarters. He noted unconcernedly that the Royal Guards who were usually posted at each door were not at their posts. He pondered for a moment where they all might be but he was not truly concerned at the moment – he just needed to get down to see his Adar. To see that everything was truly all ok. Valar why was this corridor so very long and winding? Had it always taken him such a great amount of time to leave the Royal quarters?
He turned the last bend and his earlier question of the Royal guards' whereabouts was answered - they were all gathered at the double doors that lead out into the Palace proper talking in whispered tones amongst themselves. One of the outdoor Palace guards was also with them. They turned as one to face him – all with varying looks of worry and unease clear on their usually stoic faces. Legolas squared his shoulders and continued to approach – they would not stop him – Legolas was determined to see his Adar.
Suddenly the gilded doors swung open to reveal an extremely worried and harassed looking Thanniel. It seemed she was about to confer with the guards gathered at the door but then her gaze fell upon Legolas.
"Oh child." She rushed toward him arms held outward and caught him in an embrace.
Legolas was immediately embarrassed; he didn't need Thanniel to coddle him like this any longer – he was far too old for it. He was twenty nine for pity's sake.
"Thanniel please," his voice sounded muffled from where she tenderly held his head close to her chest. "Please stop this – I don't have time I need…I need to go now. I need to go and greet Adar and you are making me all dishevelled. He hates that – let go."
Legolas struggled and Thanniel loosened her embrace but did not relinquish her grip on him. Instead she gently held his hand and pulled him back in the direction of his room.
"Come pen-neth," she paused to look him in the eye, "I'm afraid you won't be able to see your Adar just yet Lasseg."
Legolas snatched his hand away and made a step toward the doors again.
"Why?" There was more than a hint of fear in his voice now.
Thanniel simply held out her hand to him again and gave him a slow, sad smile. A smile that Legolas had seen once before, but it had been on Thranduil – right before he told Legolas news that had turned his entire world upside down. News that had led to Thanniel becoming a permanent fixture in his life.
Legolas' heart began to beat a frantic rhythm in his chest but he calmly took Thanniel's outstretched hand and followed her back the way he had come dread growing within him with each step.
Please, please Elbereth, he prayed, please let it not be news like that again.
So cold, so very cold and yet there was also heat. Red, hot, fiery pain that seemed as though it wanted to engulf his entire face.
It was dark here too, a pitch black darkness that even elven eyes could not pierce. It was cloying, suffocating and thick and seemed as though it wanted to drown him. To pull him deep down into its shadowy embrace.
Where was this place?
Thranduil did not like it in the least – it was miserable and he was in excruciating pain. It started as a deep ache in his shoulder spreading up into the scorching agony that seemed to be slowly melting his face. The rest of him was as cold as ice however and felt just as leaden and heavy.
Where was he? Why did he feel like this? What had happened to put him in this dank and miserable place?
Another agonizing wave of hot pain washed over him and his already dark surroundings got darker still. Thranduil did his best to remain calm even as the inky darkness seemed to grow heavier over his aching body.
He was being pulled down, down, down. Deeper, deeper, deeper.
He panicked and tried to resist, to flail, to somehow save himself from the thick black terror that closed in around him. Yet to his horror he could not move – not even the smallest muscle. The shadowy blackness washed over him completely then - crushing him, forcing dark tendrils into his mouth and down his nostrils. It washed over eyes that Thranduil could no longer be sure were open or closed.
Wave after wave of it washed over him and pitch-black tentacles anchored themselves to him and dragged him ever deeper into the abyss.
Yet the deeper he went the less was his fear. For the darkness beckoned, called to him with sweet promises of pain relief. He would be free – free from the chilling, bone deep cold and scorching hot pain.
Thranduil threw himself into the darkness' arms willingly now. He wanted nothing more than to be free of his pained existence. To melt slowly into the blackness.
He still did not know where he was nor where he was being dragged down to but found that he cared not. His pain was lessening with every tug of darkness and he felt his tiredness begin to melt away.
His consciousness ebbed then faded and at last all was black.
The darkness reigned supreme.
Deep within the Palace Calelon – the Royal chief healer – watched as his wards began to fill. Litter upon litter of wounded being brought in. He sighed as he watched his healers and apprentices scurry round with perfect order and precision as they organised the wounded according to the severity of their injuries. He noted with mounting concern that there were more litters being directed toward the 'severe' ward than any others.
Still he remained where he was, face stoic and inscrutable as he watched the organised chaos around him. He was not as cold as he looked nor was he such a harsh taskmaster that he would stand in a time of such crisis and watch as those under him began to buckle under the pressure. No – usually he would have been right there alongside them.
Yet he had been sent word that he would be needed to act in his capacity as Royal healer first and foremost.
He watched a few moments more then suddenly there was a commotion greater than all the others at the doors as Thranduil's Elite – his personal body guards came in bearing a litter, the body with covered completely. As one they threw mournful, pleading eyes on him and Calelon motioned for them to follow him still calm and stoic though his heart had begun to pound fiercely in his chest.
This is what he had feared when he first became the Royal healer centuries ago – he had long prayed to all the Valar to spare him from seeing such a day as this.
The body in the litter was placed upon the pristine white sheets with utmost care and again Calelon had to endure the hopeful, pleading looks that begged him to make things right once again before a solemn faced Crown Commander Aglardaer ushered them all out.
Alone now Calelon braced himself and threw back the white gauze that covered the body – that covered his King.
He gasped – breath stolen by what lay before him.
Burns, there were burns the message had said and burns he had prepared himself for. Yet nothing could have compared him for the utter devastation of the form that lay before him.
Calelon took a deep breath and steadied himself – he had the hopes of the realm resting upon his shoulders and the life of their King hanging precariously in his hands.
"Tiro ven Eru," he prayed and before he began the most delicate task of bringing light and life back into the ruin before him.
Maethyr – (plural) warriors
Adar – Father
Ellon – Male elf
Pen-neth – Young One
Lasseg – Little Leaf – Family nickname for Legolas
Tiro ven Eru – May Eru watch over us
Diomedes – Thranduil's horse – (Greek) Cunning Warrior
A/N: I apologise in advance - this story will not be updated as regularly as Friendship Amidst Loss as that is my priority. I will however update this story as and when I can – it will be finished so just bear with me :)
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.