Legolas sat bolt upright in bed, sweating. He stared around his dark room, panting. His dream had been…terrifying. The girl in it had been so beautiful, and yet so terrible. And he had heard the Eye speak. Even his father would not know it was capable of doing that. And the Nazgul, and the One ring and all the other things he had heard. They swamped him, and he sank back down to his pillows to think.
Legolas was the Prince of Mirkwood, the realm of the woodland Elves, and among them, he was considered quite a prize. He possessed the fair hair and pale skin of his people, but also their athleticism. He was one of the finest bowmen in all the land, and he was skilled on horseback. Women fell for him almost every day. And if perhaps he let it all get to his head now and then that was no great worry, for he was intelligent as well as handsome, and he did not let it affect him too much.
But this dream frightened him. He was not known for being a coward, and in fact was quite a daredevil, but something about that girl, and especially the Eye made him shiver even in the warmth of his blankets.
He climbed out of his bed and began to pace. He would often indulge in such an unprincely behavior to help him quiet his nerves. But now it did little good. He threw on a robe and ran out of his room.
King Thranduil was already up already up and working when Legolas entered his room. He was often preoccupied now, instead of carefree as he used to be. It was of course, due to the growing threat of Sauron. He had lines on his young face, and he was not that old by Elven standards. But he, like so many others, seemed to bear a weight that could break them anytime.
He looked up when his son entered the room. He smiled at Legolas, and wished for the thousandth time that he had a better world to offer his son. But there was no hope fro such wishes, and Legolas would be one of those who would change the world for themselves. Even now, Thranduil knew it every bone of his body.
“Come in my son,” he said gently.
Legolas stepped into the light, and his father noticed how pale he was. “What is it, Legolas?” he asked worriedly.
Legolas sank into a chair and put his head in his hands. Then, in a very world-weary voice, he said, “There is great evil in Mordor.”
Then he was silent.
Thranduil stared. “Of course, Legolas. Surely you have not just noticed-“
His son interrupted. “I have seen her in a dream.”
Thranduil was dumbstruck. “Her?” he asked incredulously. “Who is her?”
Legolas smiled wryly. “The daughter of the Dark Lord,” he said softly, terrified even of speaking her name.
The king was silent, and Legolas looked up just in time to see the color drain out of his father’s face.
“She’s still alive?” he croaked.
Now it was Legolas’ turn to pale. “You knew about her?”
Thranduil nodded slowly. “Yes, I know about her, though Neoresh, as she is called, is one of the best kept secrets in all Middle Earth. She has been with Sauron since before my birth, but she has not aged beyond her late youth, nor will she until she is free of him. I had hoped that part about her was true, and that she might be dead. But she can only be killed by being free of Sauron, for then her years will catch up to her, and her time in this world will be over. Yet, that will never happen, for she is as evil as he is, and only slightly less powerful, though she does not know it yet. You are right to fear her, my son, but you must tell no one about your dream except for a matter of life and death. Do you understand what it is you have seen?”
Legolas nodded quickly, considering what his father had said.
Thranduil noticed the absent look on his son’s face that always meant he was deep in thought. He smiled, and picked up a letter which he reread before he spoke again.
“My son, I have news that may help you sort things out. Elrond of Rivendell is holding a great council of all the races of this world. He asks me in his letter,” here Thranduil ducked his head to indicate the letter, “to send at least three representatives from Mirkwood that the Elves will have a voice at his council. I have already all but one. Would you like to be that one?”
“I think it might put your feelings at rest, and you might be able to talk to Elrond about your dream. It will also give you a chance to change the world, my son.”
Legolas at last found his voice. “Father, I would be honored. And I think it may help to solve the problems I now face. But why is Elrond holding the council now?”
Thranduil shuddered slightly. “As you heard in your dream, the One ring has been found.”
Legolas practically screamed. “You mean Sauron actually has it? He wasn’t just telling…Neoresh…that he had it? What can we do about that?”
The King grinned. “My son, you must learn not to jump to illogical conclusions. A young hobbit named,” here he had to look back at the letter which gave the name of the unknown hobbit. He had at first thought it was Bilbo Baggins, whom he had met in his adventures with Smaug the Dragon, but then realized it was some distant relative of his. “Frodo Baggins,” he said at last. “This creature inherited it from another, and was forced to leave the Shire when the Ringwraiths chased him out of his home. He ran, but they soon caught up. He was in fact only saved by the ingenuity of one Strider-“
“Strider?” yelped Legolas. “Why that is Aragorn!”
“Really?” asked Thranduil. “I had thought so. May I continue?”
“Yes, of course,” said Legolas smoothly, regaining his composure.
“Still, Frodo was injured along the way and rescued by the daughter of Elrond, Arwen. Arwen brought him safely back to Rivendell, and now the Council awaits.”