of gilded blood
prologue || warped

Doom...doom...doom...

The Balrog of Moria roared in its might as it followed the Fellowship. Legolas glanced back over his shoulder - Frodo, where was Frodo? Grabbing the small Hobbit and pulling him closer, ready to take an arrow for the Ringbearer if necessary, they began to cross the Bridge of Khazad Dum.

Legolas breathed a sigh of relief - they were on the other side - the four Hobbits, the Dwarf, two Men, and...the Wizard. Where was the Istar?

"Mithrandir!" Legolas gasped out, turning, and to his horror finding the wizard still on the bridge, holding his staff high into the air. He felt Frodo twist from his grasp, and before he could bring his mind around the fact, the little one was already halfway distance.

"Frodo!" he heard Aragorn roar, deep anguish in his voice - both for the Istar and the Hobbit - but it seemed as if from far away. Legolas felt himself moving, running with all the elven speed he could muster - surprising himself, for he had felt as if he had no more left to give - and he reached Frodo, grabbing his collar, tugging him back.

"Gandalf!" Frodo cried, fingers scratching at Legolas' arm as it wounded itself around his neck for a firmer grip.

"No, Frodo," Legolas hissed, pushing him towards safety. "I will go to him - you must leave this place!"

Without glancing back, trusting that Sam or Boromir or someone else would restrain Frodo, he doubled back for the Wizard, now chanting - and by the time Legolas had reached his side, Gandalf had rid the Balrog.

Yet though the monster was out of sight, Legolas felt something prick his senses.... "Gandalf!" Before the Wizard could raise his staff once more, two far-reaching whips of flame sped towards him. Legolas did not hesitate. Roughly pushing the Istar down, the elf found his skin burning the next moment, as he fell, fell, fell....

But he was not alone, for the second whip had reached to the hobbit and grabbed him as well - Legolas' heart clenched, and he could only think, Not Frodo. Ignoring his pain, his keen eyes sought out the scene on the bridge: Aragorn had come, now, and raised Anduril, fending the tentacle off. Legolas could sense the Balrog's reach diminishing, having fallen too far, and hope swelled him him - and died, as the line of fire wrapped itself, this time, not around Frodo himself, but the chain he bore.

The ring would not make it to Mordor.

He would not live to see day again.

And all in Middle-Earth was lost.

As he lost sight of the Fellowship, falling still further, the second whip had twined itself around the one holding Legolas, and tightened his bonds. But - there! He could see it, rattling in the wind - the chain, and the ring, still in place.

For a long moment, hair in his face, skin tortured, and eyes stinging from the wind, Legolas stared. The ring. The cursed ring.

He reached out and took it into his hand, ripping it from the grasp of the tentacle and holding onto it fiercely. The Balrog continued its descent, and Legolas closed his eyes. It was done. It was over.

Seconds turned to minutes, and Legolas heard a voice echo in the air - softly, faintly - but still there, a firm, feverish chanting, as if timed, and he wondered who it may have been.

Gandalf.

Everything faded into oblivion.


A little swagger here, a light step there...one money purse more and Captain Jack Sparrow saw it fit to leave the docks of Port Royal and venture into the town itself.

Oh yes, once they realized exactly who had come... exactly who had stolen their ship... he'd be long gone, and after his own ship, the Black Pearl. But he'd need a crew - I don't plan on stealing a ship from the colony all by me onesie. He needed someone both desperate and crazy enough to help him on his way....

prologue || warped


Disclaimer: Characters, plot, and places are property of Pirates of the Caribbean © Walt Disney; Lord of the Rings © New Line Cinema & JRR Tolkien. No infringement intended.

Author's Note: Short prelude.  Hope you like enough to move on :)