Disclaimer: Err… the last time I checked, I wasn’t Tolkien and didn’t own any
of this wonderful stuff. I’m still hoping that that’s not true but no signs to
the contrary seem to be popping up at my doorstep.
Summary: When wargs are sighted on the western reaches of Mirkwood, Legolas,
along with his friends, go to investigate. However, they soon find that the wargs
are the least of their problems. They stumble onto a sinister plot, which threatens
the entire kingdom of Mirkwood. Now it is up to Legolas and his new-found friend
Aragorn to inform the King before all is lost. But that is, only if they themselves
can escape the danger before it is too late… Featuring Legolas and Aragorn.
Author’s note: Constructive criticism is welcome and it would really make my day to
know what you guys think. Further, this story has NO ROMANCE or MARY-SUEs.
Rating: PG-13 for violence in later chapters.
A Journey in the Dark
Chapter One: The Centennial Feast
A soft music floated in through the window accompanied by fair voices raised in a lively tune. The sounds of laughter merged with the gentle rustle of leaves as the breeze blew through them. The wind brought with it the enticing smells of a great feast in preparation. Most of the winter snow had melted and first flowers of the year sprung forth, sporting the vibrant colors of spring. The golden sun had reached
its zenith in the clear blue sky. A last trace of storm clouds still hung in the sky partly shrouding the sun and dimming its radiance.
“What should we do this time?” Aegnor asked shifting his gaze from Legolas and laying it on Valandil. The three of them were seated in the Prince’s room.
“Let us be careful not to repeat last time’s disaster.” Legolas cautioned as he remembered the events of the last feast. The Centennial Feast took place every hundred
years to celebrate the founding of the elven kingdom in Greenwood the Great. According to tradition, every century, during this time, Mirkwood would be overrun by the mischief
of the youngest Prince and his two best friends. Try as they might, the elves had never been able to catch the notorious trio red-handed, except once. The previous century, in
an effort to outdo their past pranks, they had tried to lace the wine with a sleeping draught. Not only had they been caught in the act by the resourceful Master Chef, but had also been the only ones drink the dosed alcohol. By the orders of the King, they had been served the drugged wine, without their knowledge. Legolas still remembered the
splitting headache he had suffered the next day.
“We just have to be bit more careful, this time.” Valandil spoke from much
“But what do we do?” Aegnor repeated.
“There is a roast boar, right?” Legolas said, his eyes alight with mischief. He had just thought of something that would make them infamous in every realm of
“Yes.” Valandil confirmed, puzzled. Suddenly a huge grin lit up his face as he remembered something they had discussed a thousand years ago. He had always regretted the fact that they could never carry out their grand plan.
“Do you mind enlightening me on what is so amusing.” Aegnor said irritably when both his friends shared knowing smiles.
“It might not work.” The pessimism in Legolas’ voice made itself prominent. He knew that the kitchens would be heavily guarded, not only from their tricks but
also from those to seeked an early meal or a mere peek at what was undoubtedly the most awaited feast of the century.
“But if we could pull this off…” Valandil trailed off. His eyes danced with
mirth as he imagined the chaos it would cause.
“What is it?” Aegnor ground out. He was never known to be very patient. Finally his two friends noticed his absolute oblivion. Legolas furtively looked around to make sure that there were no eavesdroppers before motioning his friends to
form a tight circle. They put their foreheads together, and enlightened Aegnor of the grand scheme they had planned a millennium ago.
All the unsuspecting elves of Mirkwood heard was an exclamation of utter disbelief coming from behind the heavy oak doors of the Prince’s room, before that too was silenced.
Legolas emerged from his room, prepared for the great feast. His hands trembled with anticipation and a barely suppressed excitement as he set a silver crown on his fair head. He flinched as it poked him sharply behind the ear. He had almost forgotten how uncomfortable he was in his festive and grand clothes. Every time, he was forced to don the long flowing robes and the high-collared tunics under duress.
He all but forgot his discomfort as he walked down the empty hallway. His sound of his footfalls on the grey flagstones were muted by the soft soles of his black boots. He hardly noticed the beautiful tapestries that decorated the walls. Normally, he would stop to admire the great work of the elven artists who
had brought alive fragments of a long forgotten history and a world of lost magnificence with their amazing skills. His wonder for the days when the world was still young and beauty was its main feature, never seemed to diminish, nor
did his love for the art that depicted it.
However, this day, his mind was completely preoccupied while his feet carried him towards the palace kitchens. So busy was he with his thoughts of the havoc that they would unleash upon the unsuspecting residents of Mirkwood that he did not even realize that he had reached his destination. He collided headlong into Valandil, who was standing by the great swinging doors, casting furtive glances into the kitchen on the other side of the portal. They ended up in a tangled heap on the ground. But before Legolas could mouth the angry expressions that had leaped to his throat, Valandil clamped a hand over his mouth.
“Quiet!” he hissed as he dragged his friend off to a secluded corridor and away from prying eyes. His timing could not have been more perfect as in the next moment the doors were pushed open with great force and a contingent of elves
rushed out armed with trays heaped with a motley collection of food.
“Have you got the things?” Legolas whispered.
“Aegnor has got the boar and I have got the rest.” Valandil said waving his hand over the brown bag lying in the corner.
“Perfect! Now the only problem is carrying out our master plan without been caught.”
“Did anyone else realize that that is a pretty big problem?” Aegnor said from the other side of the dark passageway. He was slightly bent under the weight of a huge wild boar slung over his shoulders.
“You didn’t kill it, did you?” Legolas asked as both of them rushed to inspect the main feature of their great prank.
“Of course not! I just tranquilized it. It shouldn’t cause any problems for at least a few hours.”
“Great! Now let’s get to work.”
An hour later…
“Now all we need is a little diversion.” Legolas said as he looked at the wild boar lying on the ground. His eyes glittered with anticipation and mirth at the sight of the creature.
Coloured a rich brown, it was the main course of a grand feast. The fresh spices that had been generously used gave off an enticing aroma.
“I’ll do it, since both of you are really terrible at intentionally drawing
attention to yourselves.” Valandil said with a smug look on his face as he contemplated his various talents of acting, singing and in general, making a fool of himself. He rose and quietly slipped out of the door on the other side of the dark corridor.
A few minutes later, they heard great crash followed by the musical jingle of the numerous pieces of shattered glass landing on the floor. A few of them found their resting place on the stone floor of the kitchen while most of them chose
the well-groomed grass of the garden outside.
Legolas and Aegnor recognized their signal to act and quickly slipped into the kitchens through the back door just as all the previous occupants of the room rushed out to inspect the extent of the damage and find the source. They silently made their way to the long table in the center. Each of them grabbed one end of the enormous plate lying on it. With great difficulty, they managed to carry it to the hallway outside where they had kept the replacement of the massive animal on it. They carefully substituted it for the tranquilized beast
and carried it back into the kitchen. Legolas grasped the curved handle of the great spoon from the bowl lying next to the plate and generously covered the beast with a thick layer of brown gravy.
“Out!” Aegnor hissed as he saw the cooks returning to their stations from his vigil at the door. He caught hold of Legolas’ wrist and started running towards the door from which they had entered.
“Wait!” Legolas said as he picked up an apple and stuffed it into the beast’s gaping mouth before following his friend through the door.
Once outside, Legolas breathed a sigh of relief. The difficult part was over. Now the only thing left to do was wait and watch the events unfold.
Night had fallen over the realm of Mirkwood. The whole population had gathered in a spacious clearing outside the city. The entire area was lit with a thousand tiny lights. The sounds of laughter and music merged with the soft call of the
night birds. The enticing aroma of the great feast mingled with the sweet fragrance of the spring flowers in full bloom. A gentle breeze wove its way through the cracks in the foliage refusing to abandon the chill of the winter it had left behind. A full moon sailed in the dark sky on a sea of grayish-white
clouds. Her silvery shafts played with the dewdrops on the leaves causing them to sparkle like emeralds.
“This is going to be a night to remember!” Valandil murmured from beside Legolas. His eyes were fixed on the great brown beast lying on a silver platter at the center of the long table. The sounds of laughter and soft music floated across the clearing, carried by the slight wind. His eyes glittered like the
thousand lights that dispelled the darkness, which had spread across the forest, pushing the kingdom of the Silvans into a small corner of Mirkwood.
Legolas and Aegnor nodded in agreement as the King made his appearance. Every fibre of his clothing aimed at emphasizing his grandeur. His silken robes shimmered in the cold light of the moon while the gems studded in the crown that adorned his fair head caught the light of the lamps and sparkled like the stars. He swished into his position at the head of the table and motioned for his subjects to be seated.
As Legolas settled into his place beside the King, he spied a sudden motion through the corner of his eyes. He snapped his head around just in time to see the boar’s leg twitch. He shared a worried frown with Valandil, who had also caught the almost imperceptible movement. When the beast did not move again, even under the scrutiny of the three friends, they breathed a sigh of relief. Their lark was still going according to plan.
“What is it, that fascinates you so?” Thranduil said in a low vioce, noting the young elves’ pecular interest with the boar. Legolas nearly jumped two feet into the air (if that was possible while he was uncomfortably perched on the
heavily carved wooden chair) at the sound of the King’s voice near his ear.
“N-nothing Father.” Legolas stammered giving his father the most disarming smile he could manage while still trying to get his hammering heart under control. “It is just that we have been waiting for this feast for a century and I have eaten
nothing the whole day to save my appetite for this moment.” Valandil and Aegnor nodded vigourously in agreement to the somewhat lame excuse.
Fortunately, they were spared from further interrogation as two enormous curved knives were placed in front of Thranduil. The King always had the honour of carving the roast boar during the Centennial Feast. He hefted the glittering silver knives and advanced towards the hapless beast lying on the table.
The animal’s leg gave another twitch. This time, it was not so imperceptible and those elves that did not have their eyes fastened onto Thranduil caught the movement. Legolas flinched at the thought that they could yet be found out.
However, fortunately for them, many believed the movement to be a figment of their imagination and quietly dismissed it without much thought.
As Thranduil advanced, the animal showed more signs of shrugging of the effects of the drug that had been administered to it hours ago. Finally, all the symptoms of waking culminated with the boar opening its large eyes. It blinked a few times as the sleeping draught had left its mind foggy and its limbs unresponsive. Now the elves of Mirkwood perceived this last movement. When after rubbing their eyes and shaking their heads, the scene refused to change and
their main course continued to blink its eyes and twitch its limbs, they just gave up trying to understand the situation. Most were too stunned to sound a warning, so they just held their breath and left the decision of the outcome of this rather queer incident to fate. As a result, an unnatural silence descended over the clearing.
Thranduil was the only person who had failed to notice that the boar was not quite dead as he was advancing upon the beast from the side and had his eyes fixed its curved back into which he would plunge his scintillating cutlery. Just
as he was administering his first stroke on the poor beast, the cook found his voice. He screamed: “Sire no! It’s alive!” Unfortunately, although Thranduil managed to halt the motion of his hand mid-way, the reaction was too late to stop the pointed tip of the knife from pricking the creature.
After this, the situation became too chaotic for any single person to recall the event in its entirety. Legolas and his friends, who had their eyes fixed on the events at the table even when they had distraught people running helter-skelter
to escape the angry and frightened beast, saw this. The wild boar, which had finally managed to shake off the serious effects to the heavy dose to the sleeping drug, was lying there partially awake. Its senses were however, ultimately brought to its full capacity by the pain in its back. The pain dealt with the dense cloud of lethargy (that is a common side-effect of the drug) that was hanging in its mind. Its freshly cleared mind detected the source of the pain and it rose and snorted, shrugging off the delicacies that had been heaped
on it. There was a loud clatter as the animal kicked a large bowl lying next to itself. The bowl promptly flew off the table, generously scattering its contents onto the unfortunate elves that, happened to be in its trajectory, before harmlessly landing on a poor woman’s head. She let out a nerve-shattering wail that any whistle would have been proud to produce. The furious beast then turned towards the shocked King who still clutched the great knives in his white hands.
It gave a roar of anger as it charged towards the Elven Lord. Thranduil recovered from his stunned state and leaped aside just in time to be saved from being gored by the wild beast.
At this time, the elves of Mirkwood who had been momentarily silenced by the roar, decided to panic afresh. The frightened elves, especially the women and children, started screaming with renewed vigour as they ran helter-skelter trying to escape from the angry animal. The entire clearing was engulfed in havoc. The few who were not terrified themselves tried to calm down the distraught. This helped only in increasing the general confusion as they just
added to the noise and panic. This was too much for the poor animal, which gave a frightened whine and ran for the safety of the woods without so much as a backward glance.
It took a long time for the terrified population of Mirkwood to realize that the source of all the pandemonium had taken its leave. It took half an hour for the Prince and his friends, screaming at the top of their lungs, to finally relate to everyone the fact that the wild animal had indeed run away and there was nothing to be afraid of. After much endeavor, the people calmed down and took their leave, choosing to retire early. Although most did not appreciate their prank, (as the majority of the Firstborn, like all other races have a tendency to lose their sense of humour once they are older and know more about the world than they would like to.) there were a few who came and congratulated them on
perhaps the most outrageous practical joke in the history of Mirkwood.
The King too, chose to retire early as he was quite shaken by the events of the night. After all, it is not everyday that you have the main course of a much-awaited feast get up and charge at you while you are trying to carve it. He
was simply too tired to think about the elves who were responsible for all incredible incidents of the night. However, he did have a pretty good idea of who it could be and decided that he would take care of the problem of their punishment in the morning, giving them ample time to save themselves as his retribution would indeed be terrible.
The trio who was responsible for all the anarchy did not retire to their respective rooms but congregated in the Prince’s quarters to celebrate. They knew that it was only a matter of time before they would be forced to face the music.
So they decided that they would enjoy the time given to them. After all, there was no solid evidence to incriminate them. However, their revelry was cut short by a furious scream: “LEGOLAS!”
To be continued…
A/N: Reviews and ratings are greatly appreciated. Trust me, it doesn’t take any time at all. All you need to do is
press that lil button over there. So please, give me some feedback. Tell me if this fic is worth continuing.