Regrettable Decisions - Chapter 2

Chapter 2
Maedhros was forced into consciousness by the cruel sting of an orc whip, snapping his eyes open at the pain. His armor and weapons had been disposed of some time ago.

The Orc lashed at him again, growling in an unknown language. "Wake up scum! Our boys are tired o' carrying ya."

Though he could not understand, Maedhros got the hint when they roughly pulled him to his feet. The Orc glared into his gray eyes, baring yellow and broken teeth. Maedhros stared back, unflinching. Something about this Elf unnerved the Orc. Something that he could not quite place. He had heard of these new Elves, reports said they were strong and fearless. Well, he'd fix that.

"Have some fun with `im boys," he growled.

The orcs grinned evilly as they approached. Maedhros had never felt more vulnerable, he not only didn't have a weapon, but his wrists were also bound, the end in the orcs' hands.
He managed to dodge the first few grabs, but was soon overwhelmed.

They grabbed his hair, yanking his head back and forcing him to his knees. He felt them cutting off locks of hair, and when their hold was gone Maedhros fought to break free.

A spearhead buried itself in his thigh, making him stumble to the ground. Maedhros gasped as whips cracked across his back, tearing cloth and flesh. An iron-shod foot connected with his side, breaking ribs before the torment stopped abruptly.

The Elf struggled to rise and managed to get to his knees. Drawing in ragged breaths, he was met with the sight of Gothmog towering over. A great, black molten hand grabbed Maedhros by the waist, raising him to eye level with the Balrog Lord. The heat of his hand was not enough to burn; yet blisters began to form.

"You withstand torment more easily than your lesser kindred." His voice was deep and hate-filled. Maedhros' eyes widened when he found he could understand.

A rolling, evil laugh came from the shadowed beast. "Yes, I know your tongue, for I am of the Maiar."

Maedhros was surprised by his words. Morgoth's treachery was deeper than they knew. Maedhros, if not the other Elves, had thought Morgoth had worked alone. Yet here was one of the Maiar who was in league with him!

"His Lordship will be happy with you. The harder your kind is to break, the more enjoyable it is when they do."

It was only then Maedhros realized he was at a great gate. The doors swung open and Gothmog dropped him to the hard ground. He was led into the gaping fortress of Angband and a loud boom echoed behind them as the gates shut. Every movement was painful, his side where he had been kicked protesting as they went into what would have been a vast darkness if not for the fire from the balrogs. The sound of hammers and anvils came from everywhere, anguished cries coming from captives.

The company moved ever downwards, past chambers and rooms until they reached an ebony door. Orcs pushed it open and a great hall was revealed to Maedhros. Wolves slinked through ghastly shadows. Tools of war and torture littered the stone floor. And at the end, seated on a throne engraved with twisting serpents, was Morgoth sitting in cruel majesty. In his crown set the three Silmarills, shining in white brilliance.

They stopped before Morgoth, forcing Maedhros to his knees when he refused. Without fear, Maedhros looked the Dark Lord in the eye.

"Ah Maedhros, eldest son of Fëanor, you are a fool to challenge me, yet your father is an even greater one! By so rashly deciding to follow me, he has doomed his kindred to death and sorrow." Dark laughter echoed around the hall. "Spirit of Fire he most assuredly was, yet now the Darkness of the Void has consumed him!"

"My father's death will be avenged, and the Jewels you stole we will regain." His challenge sounded throughout the hall undaunted. "The Noldor have come, and with them your doom!"

Once again the Dark Lord's laughter rang. "Do you truly believe the Noldor will succeed? That you will be released from my power? Already your fall has begun. At Alqualondë the waters run red with the blood of your kin!"

Maedhros cast his eyes down as the Kinslaying appeared in his mind again. He remembered well his father's angry words to the Telerin king and the battle which had followed after. The Teleri had been no match for their blades, armed only with a few small bows. Maedhros had been in a frenzy, yet as they sailed away on stolen ships, regret and shame filled him for having a part in that terrible deed.

The hateful voice cut through his memories. "I am the King of this World, and you have no chance to defeat me, yet I am also merciful. Even now I am sending a message to your brothers. If they consent to leave and travel to the south of Middle-earth, never again to take up arms against me, I will release you."

Hate boiled in Maedhros' veins at his deceiving words. "Manwë under Iluvatar alone can claim that title. You are a liar and a lord of slaves! You would not release me, as my brothers know, and they will not abandon our Oath. You have the Noldor's undying hatred and never will we bend to your will!"

"You are an insolent fool to name him over me." Morgoth's voice was heated in anger. "You will rethink your claim when you have spent years uncounted in torment. I am the Master of Arda and though you may plead with them, the Valar will not answer your call for aid and you will beg for death to take you!"

His doom was quickly carried out by the orcs, who rushed forward to seize Maedhros, dragging him out of the hall and knocking him unconscious so that he was once again helpless.

~~~~~~~~~~
Sorry for the bad ending, I just couldn't figure out a way to end it.

*sob* I'm sorry Maedhros! *sob*

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