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Shoutbox

SparkyTAS
12/11/17 03:33 pm
I'm greatly enjoying your advent calendar, thank you for this wonderful present. I hope you all have a beautiful holiday. Back to my frozen farm and very fuzzy horses now.
Narya
12/11/17 01:48 pm
Ok; I'll do Saturday again if that's alright? Goodness knows what will happen in that time...!
NelyafinweFeanorion
12/11/17 01:08 am
Gabriel that works for me--I'll take Friday then!
Gabriel
12/11/17 12:53 am
Hi Nelya! I'll take Wednesday, if that's okay. Stay with the day I started with. :D Can't wait to see how this evolves.
arafinwean
12/10/17 08:12 pm
It's been an odd winter here, we've had barely any snow in a country that usually gets a lot. I can see grass, it's weird.
NelyafinweFeanorion
12/10/17 06:21 pm
Gabriel--let me know if you want Wednesday--otherwise I can take Wednesday.
Narya
12/10/17 05:15 pm
Love it, Naledi :D I can do Wednesday, Friday or Saturday this week - and after that I'm flexible, I finish work for Christmas, yay!
Naledi
12/10/17 04:28 pm
Yup, me today - just posted. Look forward to seeing what you write tomorrow, Ziggy!
NelyafinweFeanorion
12/10/17 03:08 pm
Our tree went up last night. No snow here yet but I'm not complaining! I can do Wednesday or Friday--unless Gabriel wants one of those
ziggy
12/10/17 02:23 pm
Naledi- is it you today? Me tomorrow.
Shout Archive


Wrath and Ruin by KimicThranduilion

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It was the second day of the week long period of mourning that had been announced and Legolas sat listlessly on the window seat as he stared out above the courtyard below. He kicked his legs from time to time and watched the Royal flags that had been lowered to half-mast flap in the wind. Black and white mourning flags fluttered above them. The Woodland realm mourned her dead – and such a lot of dead there were too. Legolas had already been to five pyre burning ceremonies in the three days since the troops had returned home. Thranduil always attended the funeral of his warriors and where he could not the rest of the Royal family was expected to do so in his stead. Thus Legolas and his sister Rithel had been quite busy and Legolas found the condolences rolling off his tongue more and more easily.

He was not quite sure how he felt about it – about any of it. In fact he was not quite sure whether he could feel anything anymore. Since he had been told rather gently by Thanniel of his father's plight Legolas had floated along in a sort of numb cloud. Rithel, Crown Commander Aglardaer and Lord Arahaelon had all been present but Legolas heard nothing of what had been said once Thanniel had told him the reason he could not go down and greet his Adar.

Burned.

Serpents.

Dragon Fire.

Grave Condition.

Lengthy Recovery.

Be brave.

Stay strong.

Thanniel's words bounced round and round in Legolas' mind. The serpents had been defeated but at a great price to his people and especially so to his Adar. He was supposed to be brave, to stay strong and stand stoically as he attended each solemn funeral along with Rithel and so far he had done exactly that and been praised for it. Yet Legolas didn't feel particularly brave nor strong. He simply did what he must – his duty. He didn't feel brave, he didn't feel strong, he didn't feel worried or scared or anything at all. He just floated around in his cloud numb to it all; which suited him just fine really – there was another pyre burning ceremony in just under an hour.

Legolas canted a look behind him at Rithel who was stood in the middle of the room – her living room – having a formal gown amended with a few last minute stiches and embroidery. Legolas huffed a little sigh as he went back to staring listlessly out of the window. Rithel had better hurry up – they didn't have all that long.

Legolas smoothed his own black tunic and trousers (he hadn't seen the point in changing) before he rested his head gently against the glass and stared down at the strangely empty courtyard. He had rarely seen it look so deserted and empty; even when the troops had been away it had still been quite lively. Now though due to the week of mourning no one save essential staff such as the healers worked.

It's just as empty as me, was Legolas' idle thought before Thanniel's words began to crowd him once more.

~o~

Rithel struggled to remain standing perfectly still as she waited with great impatience for her nethryn to finish their delicate work on the gown she currently modelled for them. It was one she would be wearing tomorrow to attend a commemorative service for the fallen maethyr. She resisted the urge to sigh – so many funerals and now this upcoming service where half the realm would be attendance. Lord Arahaelon would preside over the ceremony in her Adar's stead but she along with Legolas would still have to attend and look their most stoic and regal. Rithel glanced over at her little brother who stared passively out of the window a look of utter boredom on his young face.

She was worried for him. Surely so much death and loss could not be good for such a young elf? There was another funeral to attend this very afternoon with still another eight yet to come in the week ahead in addition to tomorrow's service. Legolas seemed to be holding up well, he stood through all the pyre burning ceremonies with patience, seemingly unaffected by the sad laments and wails and cries of the bereaved. Yet Rithel still worried for him. For all that he outwardly seemed to be doing well, since they had received news of their Adar Legolas had stuck to her side like a bur. Rithel was unsure whether or not it was intentional but in the three days since the troops had returned home they had hardly spent any time apart whilst awake.

She supposed that he was frightened in a way – of being left alone – whether he realised it or not. It was not an unreasonable fear for him to have after all. Legolas had already suffered the terrible tragedy of their Naneth's death and it would be unsurprising if he was also scared of losing their Adar.

Unfortunately it was not a fear that could be dismissed out of hand. For though Thanniel had given news of their Adar being injured to the both her and Legolas at the same time, Rithel had afterwards been called into a meeting with Commander Aglardaer, Lord Arahaelon and been told the truth by Calelon. The rather unpalatable truth that their Adar was in actual fact close to death's door. So close in fact that he already had one foot in Mandos' Halls.

The thought frightened Rithel to her very core. The thought that she could be the next Queen of the Woodland realm, forced to take the throne before her time made her feel faint with worry. She was not ready yet to be Queen – no matter all the classes and councils and diplomatic missions she had attended – she was not ready. Rithel forced herself to breath as she began to get breathless with worry at the mere thought of it. She did not want to rule the realm, she could not rule the realm. All that her Adar and Daer-adar had worked so hard to achieve would most certainly be lost under her unprepared rule.

Nay that could not happen. Her Adar had to get better – he must.

Rithel looked down at her seamstresses, patience finally worn thin as she felt the sudden urge to visit Elbereth's temple and plead for her Adar's life. She wanted to do something, anything to stop her from feeling so useless, so helpless.

"Ladies are we nearly finished here? I would like to visit the temple before the next ceremony begins."

"Yes, yes Hiril-nin, I must simply put in another two stitches and the dress will be ready," piped up the head seamstress, "the other ladies have already finished. Correct ladies?"

Rithel was relieved to see the other two seamstresses nod their head in agreement. She stood still for a few moments more before the dress was at last declared finished.

"Perfect. Le fael ladies," Rithel nodded her thanks before she gathered the voluminous gown around her and called to her little brother who had remained listless at the window during the exchange.

"Lasseg-nin I am going to Elbereth's temple now to say some prayers quickly before the next funeral. I will be back in time – will you await me here?"

Legolas peered over his shoulder and a look of mild fright crossed his young face before the blank wall of impassivity came down again. "Ok Rithel – be safe."

He flashed her a small smile that came nowhere near his baby blue eyes before he turned back to stare out of the window before he leant his golden head against the glass and fear stabbed through Rithel at the sight. He seemed so small, so much younger than he actually was and most worryingly of all he seemed so devoid of life. The usually bright, mischievous and sparkling eyes were dull and empty.

What were the signs of fading? Could that be what was making her little brother seem so vacant?

Rithel slipped into her sleeping chamber and hurriedly began to change. She didn't have much time and now in addition to going to the temple she wanted to see one of the healers as well. She needed to know all the signs that pointed to fading so she could keep a sharp eye out for them in Legolas. She would do everything in her power to see to it that he got through this – he had suffered too much already.

~o~

Rithel entered the Temple of the Blessed Lady Elbereth hair covered with a light scarf as was customary and head bowed in supplication. It was busier than usual with laments being sung and priests lighting candles for the recently deceased. Rithel kept her head bowed and continued to walk, briskly, toward her destination – the inner sanctum of the temple.

Rithel passed through the entrance guarded by two priests and was instantly enveloped by an almost audible quiet and a sense of peace. Rarely did she ever use the privileges her Royalty afforded her but this time she felt the need to make the exception. Only the priests and Royalty were allowed to cross the threshold into the inner sanctum and Rithel had only one or twice ever done so but today she did. She did not want to be seen by prying eyes nor her prayers overheard. She was so heavy of heart and she did not want to look as weak as she felt in front of the people - that would not do. With her Adar, the King already incapacitated it was up to her as heir to the throne to be strong for the people. Or at the very least look strong.

Still, strong was the last thing she felt as she sank to her knees in front of the great marble likeness of Elbereth and lit several candles and incense sticks.

She knew that her Adar, the very one she was here to plead for, no longer believed in or called upon the Valar having lost all faith when her Naneth had fallen. Yet he had never discouraged her or Legolas from carrying on with their own temple visits and prayers.

She could see now in times like these why her Father had given up any hope in the Valar. For where were they – any of them – when the dragons were raining destruction down on her people? However she could not so easily give up her own faith, her own hope. She had to believe, had to hope that somewhere Elbereth or one of the other Valar would hear her and send help. This was her one and only source of comfort right now – and here and only here could she vent and release all her fears unseen and without burdening those she was supposed to be strong for.

"Ai blessed Elbereth hear me, please, I beseech you…"

Rithel bowed her head toward the floor and wept even as she begged, pleaded and prayed for divine intervention.

~o~

Calelon gave small hum of disapproval as he tied off the last of Thranduil's bandages. The King lay perfectly still, not even the slightest hint of pain being shown in his too pale lifeless looking body. In fact Thranduil was so lifeless looking and so wrapped up in gauze that he looked like a corpse ready for its funeral.

Calelon shook the grim thought from his head and a quick glance at Thranduil's chest assured him that the King was indeed breathing and still in the land of the living - for now.

Calelon sighed and turned to put away the roll of bandages when his assistant – Lady Ídhes appeared in the doorway.

"Hi Calelon, I've come to relieve you," she gave him a kindly smile. "You really ought to take some rest now – you have been tending to the King since he came in three days ago."

Calelon sighed again louder this time, "Yes, yes, I know but he does not improve Ídhes. I have just changed his bandages and he did not so much as twitch."

Calelon held out a bony hand over Thranduil's bandaged forehead and closed his eyes as he focussed on trying to feel for and call back the King's weakened fëa. After a moment he gave up and turned weary looking eyes to Lady Ídhes.

"He is so far away from me Ídhes, so deep in darkness. I can barely reach him." Calelon turned so he faced the large window that let in the fresh, light summer breeze. "I think we must call for help now – for this - this is beyond us."

Lady Ídhes went over to the King herself pouring forth healing energy even as she too tried to reach his fëa.

Calelon watched her work for a few moments and noted with growing distress that there was still no reaction at all from the King – it was as if he were nothing but an empty husk.

At length Lady Ídhes finally pulled back, a look of anguish on her face that Calelon was sure was reflected on his own.

"I agree with you Calelon – we must seek aid if we are to save our King."

Calelon nodded tiredly, "I will go and speak with Lord Arahaelon now. He will know how to get word to the Istari. I should like both Mithrandir and Aiwendil to lend us their aid."

"Yes I think that would be best," Lady Ídhes tied her dark hair back and immediately began to bustle round the room disposing of the used bandages Calelon hadn't yet dealt with. "I will take over here Calelon, you go on ahead and speak with Lord Arahaelon and then you really must rest. I will call for you should there be any changes."

"Hannon-le Ídhes." Calelon mumbled before he washed his hands, smoothed his hair and made for Lord Arahaelon's study.

Thranduil would be fine in Ídhes' more than capable hands. She had been trained by Lord Elrond himself after all and was the Woodland realm's most powerful healer besides himself.

His most pressing concern was to get the Istari here – and soon. For Thranduil was perilously close to entering Mandos' Halls. It would take great strength – greater that even his and Lady Ídhes' combined – to pull the King back from the brink, to bring him back into the light. Calelon was not too prideful to admit that he had reached the end of his power and strength and that he needed outside help. He just hoped that Mithrandir's strength would be enough for the task, whilst he prayed that Aiwendil would be able to use his extensive knowledge of herb lore to come up with an ointment that would be of some use against burns caused by dragon fire. For the ones they had at the moment had made no difference at all to the wounds. They were all just as red, raw and blistered as the day Thranduil had first sustained them; and that along with the King's continued unresponsiveness and weakening fëa were getting to be most worrisome.

Calelon continued along as he fervently wished that the council chambers and studies weren't three floors above the healing ward. He was so weary, a bone deep tiredness that came from having poured forth all the healing energy he could spare without endangering his own life.

Yet he would not rest until he had done all he could for his King, and he continued onward with renewed determination burning in his heart.

~o~

Four days later a wizened yet rather fidgety old man paced up and down in front of the Forest Gate. He alternated between stopping to peer out into the slowly brightening morning beyond the gate over the plains beyond and kneeling to give fond pats and ruffle the fur of his four legged companions.

The man knelt down again and this time brought out several carrots from a fold in his brown cloak and offered them up to his companions.

"Oh, late, late, late. Why, oh why is he always late. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear," the man stood up abruptly again before he resumed his frantic pacing. His large, long eared friends had made quick work of the carrots and he bent down to pet them again whilst he continued to fret.

"Always late - he is never on time. Oh dear, dear, dear."

"A wizard is never late. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.* You should know that by now Radagast."

The man garbed in brown shot up and spun round to look at the one who had spoken rather startled. He hadn't heard anyone approach and he certainly hadn't been expecting his long-time friend to appear from that direction – hence his gazing through the Forest Gate to the plains beyond. Still it mattered not – he was here now.

"Gandalf, you really should stop that sneaky habit of yours. Now come, come. Hop on. We have no time."

Radagast quickly gathered the extensive folds of his brown cloak and hopped aboard the sled tethered to his rabbit friends with an agility that belied his age.

He patted the seat behind him impatiently, "Hurry Gandalf we must hurry. The Elven King needs us. We must hurry."

"Yes," Gandalf murmured as he stroked his beard slowly a thoughtful look on his face. "The message from the good Lord Arahaelon was rather cryptic even for elves. The most I got from it was that Thranduil was in need of my strength. Though it was unclear why or what for."

Radagast nodded which made his scruffy brown hat flop around and threaten to fall off altogether.

"Yes my message was rather hard to read as well Gandalf. I think they have need for my herb lore."

"Curious indeed," Gandalf leant upon his staff before he fumbled with a pouch at his hip and pulled forth his smoking pipe.

"Nay Gandalf we must go. You cannot smoke now," Radagast deftly grabbed the pipe from Gandalf and stashed it in his own pouch.

"Thranduil needs us. Why we don't know exactly but we must make haste – that much was clear at least. And my rabbits will have us there by dusk. They're very fast you know. Rhosgobel rabbits. They can -"

"Yes, yes, the rabbits" Gandalf sighed, "I thought we were in a hurry Radagast."

"Oh. Yes. Quite right Gandalf," and he patted the space behind him once more and this time his grey clothed companion obliged him.

In matter of moments the Istari were off at dizzying speed down the Elf Path towards the Elven King's halls - each in their own way anxious to get there and find out exactly why they had been summoned.

TBC.
Chapter end notes:
Adar – Father

Nethryn – Weavers (in this case think seamstresses)

Maethyr – (plural) warriors

Naneth – Mother

Daer-Adar - Grandfather

Hiril-nin - My Lady

Le fael – Literally: You are generous – Sindarin version of Thank you

Lasseg – Little Leaf – Family nickname for Legolas

Fëa – Soul (Quenya)

Istari – (Plural of Istar) – Quenya for Wizards

Hannon-le – Thank you
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