Take not what are others

Summary : Legolas and Aragorn are captured by a strange group of men with unknown purpose. Things take a turn for the worse when they discover who Legolas really is.

Disclaimer : Tolkien owns all things related to his works. Not making anything out of this.

- Prologue – Last words of a dying witch

"Nai tiruvantel ar varyuvantel i Valar tielyanna nu vilya"

// May the Valar protect you on your path under the sky \\

The gray smoke that shrouded the old woman wrapped itself around him like the icy hands of ghosts of the past and future. There was a strong smell of herbs in the air from poultices and charmed sachets of small plants.  He leaned forward and placed a few gold coins into the aged witch's clawed hand.

'Now tell me. What do you see in my future?'

For several long moments, the only sound that could be heard in the run down room was the sound of the witch's shallow breathing. He grew impatient and was just about to demand for the future again when at last she wheezed out a few choked words.

'De-feat…elf'

The young man's heart clenched at the thought of defeat and then his heart hardened. No, he would not let anything defeat him. Neither man or elf would ever get the better of him. Not if he could help it.

He wanted to know more. The hag's eyes were closed. He reached over and shook her roughly. She fell to the floor with a soft thud, a bundle of rags. A few gold coins rolled out from her curled hand rolling over the floor boards before clinking to a halt near the doorway.

The young man stood up. He had no more purpose here. He stepped over the body of the village witch and walked towards the door. Bending down, he picked up his gold coins, savoring the feel of them in his hands again. He had gotten some valuable information for nothing at all and the thought pleased him. Pulling his fur lined clock tightly around him, he headed out into the night, a shadow in the pale moonlight.

In the morning, the old witch of the village would be found dead by a women who had come to buy medicine and no one would ever know the last words she uttered except Garith the son of one of the most powerful war lords in Gondor. 

15 years later

Garith rode on the back of his horse, his back straight and his chin high. He had accomplished much since his father's death thirteen years ago. More in fact, he though, then his father would have every accomplished in an entire lifetime.

The years had hardened him. No longer was he the spoilt son of a famous rich man. He had proven his worth in the world and succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. But was that enough he wondered. Would it ever be enough?

A movement at his side caught his attention and he turned his head sharply.

"What is it Gullinne"

"Two travelers have been spotted ahead…"

"You know what to do."

His most loyal and oldest employee nodded his head slightly. Understanding at once his orders. On the surface, and to his town, he was a rich man, but his wealth and richest were stained with the blood of many. Corruption, slave trading, murder, ransom. He had done it all.  Or at least, his men had. He never let an opportunity slip b his fingers, no matter how he had to do it.

He slowed his stead, letting his men move ahead of him. From the front of the group, the clear voice of Gullinne drifted through.

"Well met fellow travelers. We seem to have lost our way … if you would be so kind as to point us into the right direction …"

The travelers answers were muffled and shortly, a quiet thud was heard followed by the sounds of a scuffle. Garith held his horse back until he sensed the time was right and trotted to Gullinne's side. A still figure lay on the ground while a bound man was being fastened tightly to a horse. For a moment, the man's fiery gaze  met Garith's and he was surprised by the intensity of the look. Tearing his eyes away, he turned again to Gullinne.

"Let us be going."