Disclaimer: I do not own Mirkwood, Legolas, Orcs, Gollum, or any other thing that J. R. R. Tolkien himself created.  I do, however, own Echiril and would appreciate if it you did not use him without first asking.  Not like anyone is going to, though…

Okay, this is the first Lord of the Rings story that I've posted.  I've co-written another with a friend that's a lot better and we really need to get to work on…


"Echiril!" cried Legolas.  "Have you the creature?" The prince had been looking everywhere frantically for their charge—Gollum.  Mithrandir himself had entrusted the being to the Elves of Mirkwood, and Legolas did not want to betray that trust, above all other things. 

"Aye, that I do!" came the answering call.  The archer sighed in relief and went off to join his friend, who was sitting on the ground, watching Gollum climb up a tree.  Legolas noticed that Echiril had his bow and quiver resting next to him.  To any Man, it would have seemed that the Elf was very unprepared, but Legolas knew better.  His friend—and former archery instructor—was the best shot in all Mirkwood; even Legolas envied him. 

Legolas laughed.  "You're not taking any chances, are you?" he joked playfully. 

Echiril winked back in reply.  "Just listen to him; he's been going on like this for simply ages now."

Legolas focused his hearing onto the creature in the tree.  "Nassty Elvses!  They hurts us, they do.  Gollum!  Gollum!  They ties us with nasty ropses that burnss uss…yess they do, My Precious…burnss and freezess us they does…" With a sigh, the prince turned to his friend.  "It gets rather tiring after a while, doesn't it?"

Echiril nodded.  "That is does."  His bright green eyes sparkled, though, showing that it amused him to no end.  Echiril had the brightest inner light Legolas had ever seen, and sometimes the prince wondered if anything could dampen the Elf's spirits.  Legolas sat down next to his friend and met his laughing gaze with his own blue orbs, and could not help but grin himself.  "Nasty Elvses," he joked playfully, getting a slap around the head from Echiril.

The green-eyed Elf suddenly stopped, however, when he heard a faint twang on the air.  "Get down," he hissed to Legolas, and the prince, having had his life be saved by Echiril before, did as he said.

An arrow whistled past where Legolas had been instants before…

…right into Echiril's shoulder. 

Legolas cried out in fear for his friend, but acted immediately and shrugged his own bow off his shoulder and grabbed an arrow from his quiver.  He never went anywhere without the weapons; Mirkwood was no longer a safe place, and had not been for a long while.  "Are you all right, Echiril?" cried the prince frantically.  

Legolas pulled back to fire an arrow, when from behind there was a slight noise and one of the deadly missiles went past his head, missing him by inches.  Legolas didn't worry, though, knowing the arrow to have belonged to Echiril, and took the answer to his question to be a yes.  The arrow went through the bushes, and the shrill cry of a wounded creature reached the Elves' pointed ears.  "Yrch[1]," muttered Echiril, knowing what creature the voice belonged to.  

"If you are right, málonya[2], then we are in trouble," said Legolas.  Orcs seen in these forests were always a danger now, especially when it was a small group of Elves they attacked.  However, this particular group consisted of the top archers in the Mirkwood ranks, and the two managed to slaughter many of the beings before they even reached the pair, forcing them to draw out their daggers.  Legolas plunged his own into the heart of the Orc in front of him, then pulled it out and turned it over in his grip, slashing sideways.  He made his way to Echiril, and the two friends stood back-to-back, offering protection to each other.

A thought suddenly hit Echiril.  "Gollum!" he cried.  "He'll escape!"

Legolas shook his head furiously, though his friend couldn't see it.  "We can't worry about it now!  If he does escape we will find him!"

The green-eyed Elf was unsure, but he realized that his friend was right.  They couldn't do anything much but fight at the moment.  And fight they did, the pile of dead Orcs growing large around them. 

Legolas yelped when a rock came into contact with his head, and figured that an Orc had thrown it.  It had dazed him, however, and when he went to strike out at the next creature that came up to him, he didn't kill the being, and when he pulled the dagger out of the Orc's flesh, he slid on the bloody ground and fell backwards into Echiril, causing his friend to stumble and fall as well.  Legolas, being on top, rolled off and got up quickly, but the moment he did, there was a shrill cry of pain from where Echiril lay.  The prince turned quickly, a sob of horror and defeat escaping his lips when he saw his best friend. 

The Elf lay on the ground, an Orc dagger up to his neck and a gaping wound in his side.  The battle came to a standstill when Legolas grabbed his bow and an arrow with lightning fast and nimble fingers, aiming it at the Orc who dared threaten Echiril.  "Let him go," breathed Legolas heavily.  "Or I'll shoot you through the eye, vile creature."

The Orc laughed.  "You wouldn't dare endanger your precious friend," he taunted, taking his knife away from Echiril's neck and moving it to his stomach, causing the Elf to hitch his breathing and open his eyes wide in fear.

"Watch me," growled Legolas.  The prince pulled back to fire and—

A shrill war cry rang through the forest, and a large group of the Mirkwood guards burst into the clearing, attacking the Orcs with no mercy, caring not for the black blood that stained their clothing and blonde hair.

Legolas took the opportunity and let his arrow go, headed straight towards Echiril's tormentor.  However, the Orc noticed the release of the arrow and did the only thing in the way of revenge it could come up with in the last moments of his life.  He plunged his knife into Echiril's stomach, and the last expression that the Orc ever wore on his face was one of glee at the shriek of pain that came from the slender Elf he had just wounded. 

Legolas cried out in grief when he heard his friend's agonized yell, and rushed over to his side.  "Echiril!" he cried desperately, throwing caution to the wind and placing his life in the hands of the skilled Mirkwood guards.  "Echiril, answer me!" 

The Elf's green eyes fluttered open and he moaned.  "Legolas…I…I think…"

The prince put a finger to his friend's lips and gently lifted him.  "No…no, don't think anything like that," he pleaded, thinking he knew what his friend was going to say.

Echiril laughed, though it was more of a cough.  "No…I think…we failed…Mithrandir…you must…get Gollum…"

Legolas frowned.  "First I have to get you to a healer," he announced, and started to rise with his former teacher in his arms.

"No!" Echiril managed to make out.  "I'm…going to…die…"

Legolas couldn't hold back his sob.  "Nay, my friend, you are not!"

The green-eyed Elf whimpered in pain, doubling over.  His face was twisted in agony and grief—grief for having to leave Legolas behind.  His breathing was uneven and rough, and tears fell out of his eyes. 

A sob escaped Legolas and tears started to fall out of his own eyes.  "No, Echiril!  Please don't die!  Gwador[3]…please…I beg you—"

Echiril shook his head warily.  "Remember me, dear friend," he breathed, then his spine arched as a final wave of pain went through him and his green eyes glazed over as breath left his body.

"Vá[4]!" screamed Legolas, and pulled the lifeless body of his best friend up to his chest, sobbing into the golden hair.  He dimly realized that Orcs were attacking him; he only knew he was being pulled away from his friend's body.  The prince could hear cries, though they were slow and soft.  They're talking about Gollum…he's escaped…I failed… the archer's shattered mind managed to piece together before darkness befell him and he knew no more.


Sucky attempt at a Cliffhanger.  Well, review!                

[1] Orcs

[2] My Friend

[3] Sworn Brother

[4] No