Lily of Gondolin - Chapter One: Prisoners of Gorthaur

Author's Note: This story is set in the First Age, therefore Sauron (Gorthaur is his Sindarin name) is a servant of Morgoth. Also because of its setting. there will be no hobbits, Rivendell, Lorien, Aragorn, Gandalf, Gondor, etc etc etc. But above all these is NO LEGOLAS WHATSOEVER!!! Ahem. No offense to all his rabid fans, (there a definitely a some good Legolas stories out there) but he is a bit overused. Also, this story will be rather full of anguish for a while. I hope you enjoy.

Prologue


"--and you are a fool to think that I could go there unnoticed."

In the dark throne room a quiet voice rang out with the calm and brazen fearlessness born of complete despair.

The figure seated on a throne of carved black rock watched the defiant Elf-maid before him with something approaching contemptuous amusement. "We shall see if your answer is the same after a few visits with Graku. He will be happy to entertain you, I think."

The Elf-maid spat at his feet. "You can torment me until the end of Arda, but this time you will not bend me and my spirit will not break. Your hold on me is broken, Sauron. I will not yield."

He rose, an ominous and powerful figure in the dim red torchlight.

The Elf-maid did not blench. "There is nothing worse that you can do to me."

"Is that so, Shraka?" Sauron hissed. "You will regret your insolence." He struck the Elf-made with a force that sent her into an stone wall, where she crumpled. Even so, she struggled to her feet, blood trickling down the side of her face. "I will regret nothing I have done against you."

"Ah," he answered, in an almost gentle tone. "But there are other things you will regret. I can see that, Shraka. You will never be free of yourself."

"I hate you," she spat, and Sauron laughed.


Chapter One

Prisoners of Gorthaur

I know why the caged bird beats his wings,
Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the boughs a-swing;
And a pain still throbs an the old, old scars,
And they pulse again with a keener sting--
I know why he beats his wings!
--Paul Laurence Dunbar

Taurion listened. He could hear footsteps and harsh, cruel voices approaching. That was odd--the guard on patrol was not due to pass for another hour. The dungeons of Tol-en-Gaurhoth were extensive.

Flickering torchlight appeared in the corridor, casting looming dark shadows and illuminating a group of five orcs. They were carrying something, and as they drew nearer Taurion saw that their burden was a limp dark figure. Soon they stood in front of Taurion's cell, the only one on that particular subterranean corridor.

"Best shove `im in there," one of the orcs said. His voice was hoarse and snarling, as if from years of hurling abuse. "Less bother watching two at once, and nearly all the rest is full anyway."

A smaller orc, seemingly a subordinate, opened Taurion's cell with a rusted groan from the lock. Taurion didn't even try to run. In the labyrinthine, orc-infested passages of Minas Tirith it would be hopeless.

The figure was hurled into the cell, slamming into the stone wall and collapsing to the floor, face down. Taurion realized that his new cell mate would be unconscious for some time. He decided to help as best he could.

He began to slide the limp body onto the small pile of straw on the cell floor, and caught sight of a pointed ear. It was an Elf, then. Taurion carefully turned them face up. A she-Elf.

He was only surprised for a few moments. Morgoth's servants would hardly blench from capturing a female. And this one was clearly a fighter.

Her night-black hair was pulled back from her face, revealing a scar on her left cheek, as well as several bruises. Blood was trickling in a red line from a cut on her forehead. She had probably been beaten; that would explain why she was unconscious before hitting the wall. There was nothing he could do for her besides spread his cloak over her--the chill rising from the damp stonework was all-pervasive. He noticed that her clothing was black, down to the narrow strip of fabric tying back her equally dark hair.

As Taurion watched she began to wake. He was surprised--after slamming into the wall she should have been out cold for several hours.

She winced and carefully sat up, facing him. Taurion saw that her eyes, too, were jet black. But what struck him was that they held no starlight, as have the eyes of Elves since beholding the heavens at their awakening by the waters of Cuivinen * * * *

The moment I began to regain consciousness I knew I was in a cell. I had expected that. But I was surprised to sense another presence in it. Besides that, I realized that my head was bleeding, blood seeping into my hair. That, too, was to be expected.

I sat up, and found that I had been covered with a warm, heavy dark green cloak. Its owner was sitting, watching me. He was a golden-haired Elf with grey-green eyes, apparently one of the Sindar. We surveyed each other carefully for a few moments before I folded his cloak and handed it back to him. "Le hannon." I spoke in Sindarin, rather than my native Quenya.

He accepted the cloak and nodded. "You are welcome." We settled back into silence, still studying each other, until he spoke again, bluntly. "Who are you?"

"Morien." I left it at that. "And you?"

"Taurion of Doriath."

"How did you come here?"

"I gather information for Elu Thingol. I was captured, and brought here two moons ago. What of you?"

"I do not wish to say." We lapsed back into silence, until I decided to get to the point. I was not going to rot in this cell, even if I did deserve it. "I imagine you want to escape?"

He looked at me warily. "Is there any reason I should trust you?"

I stared back. "No." I didn't want to be trusted.

He grinned wryly, surprising me. "At least you're honest. How would you propose to go about it?"

I studied the heavy cell door. There was a small barred opening nearly six feet from the ground. The lock would be a simple one, I knew. Sauron would regret having me trained so well--I shoved that thought away, and spoke. "I could reach through the window on your shoulders and pick the lock."

Taurion watched me with an unreadable expression. "And then what? The fortress is swarming with orcs and worse."

"There are passages," I said. "Finrod Felagund's people built them in as escape routs. The orcs...and the....others do not know of them. They were made to be found and opened only by one of the Noldor."

He continued to watch me, eyes narrowed. "How do you know all this?"

"I've been here a long time," I said. "Too long." He didn't press me.

"Very well, that sounds reason--hush, the guard is coming." A heavy tread could be heard, approaching steadily. It stopped in front of the door, and there was a slight scrabbling as the Orc strained to look through the barred opening. A face I knew and hated appeared, leering.

"Well, if it isn't his high mightiness Shraka. Finally fallen out of the boss's favor, have you? I wondered why it took so long."

"Shut your foul maw, Graku," I spat.

"Oh no. You can't order me any more, Shraka. I am guard captain and you are a prisoner." He gloated at me, enjoying my helplessness, and them turned to Taurion. "Did you know your cell mate is a puling coward? Couldn't even go kill a precious little Elfling. He even tried to defy Gorthaur about it, I heard. Completely ridiculous. No one can stand up to him, and he doesn't put up with it, especially from some puny assassin Elf." Graku laughed, reveling in my inability to exact revenge on him.

"Shut...your...mouth," I hissed venomously, glaring at him in pent-up hatred. He laughed again, a horrible, grating sound.

"Not likely, Shraka. The boss's given leave for us to have some fun with you tomorrow. I don't think he's pleased with you; means to attend the games himself, and you know he doesn't often bother to. Sweet dreams, Shraka." Graku's foul visage disappeared from the window, and the sound of his tread down the corridor resumed. I remained stone-still, burning with rage. I hated Graku; I had since I was first taken. I'd been able to kill other Orcs, but he always had others at his back. I hated him almost as much as I did Sauron. They both had worked to make me what I was, Graku torturing my body and Sauron my mind.

Taurion looked at me for a minute, and then voiced the safest question. "Why did that orc refer to you as he?"

"It's a spell," I ground out. "Orcs see me as a male. It has been useful on more than one occasion."

"I imagine so," he answered. "Will you explain the rest?"

"No." I stood up and changed the subject. "We have to escape tonight. If what Graku said was true, than I may be dead by tomorrow nightfall, or at the least in no condition to run. What the Orcs call fun is not pleasant for the others involved."

He looked at me with a rather strange expression. "They plan to torture you tomorrow?"

I nodded, wondering why he would care.

"We need to get out of here," he said fiercely. "As soon as it's dark."


Please please please comment! Constructive criticism is welcome, but please don't just say "Your story is an abomination to the name of Tolkien fan fiction!" and not tell me why. This is my first published attempt, and I like to know these things. So please please please once again. And if that's not good enough, I begs.

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