Title Path Of Despair
Disclaimer not mine…sigh
Summary Fill in the blanks, POV of Path of the Dead ROTK EE
Feed back appreciated but flames will just be kept to keep my house warm
It is very dark in here, even my torch seems to dim as we slowly walk through the airless tunnels that are called the path of the dead…looking at the decorative bones I can see why.
It is too quiet…even Gimli is not making much noise, Legolas is uneasy…he does not like caves and after Moria, although he has not said much I know he fears something else will befall us…I cannot help but sense the same feeling of foreboding.
I do not like it in here…the darkness is very oppressing, the silence is unnerving…I would prefer to be elsewhere but Estel has to do this and I could never leave him…especially down such a dark road…not after everything we have been through together already.
He has changed…there is something about him that is different…he finally seems he has accepted his fate.
I can hear Gimli mutter something behind as I find myself drawn to the small alcove Estel was looking in…aiya…skulls…I cannot bear to think the fate all of these people suffered.
"What is it? What do you see?" Gimli asks nervously.
I'm hating this…I do not like this place…why did I come? What is the elf doing? He looks nearly as terrified as when we saw that Balrog…why doesn't he like caves…I'll have to ask him if we get out of here.
"What is it? What do you see?" I ask; he is not helping my nerves with his distant look.
"I see shapes of men…and of horses…" he starts slowly.
"Where?" I see nothing.
"Pale banners like shreds of cloud…spears rise like winter thickets through a shroud of mist…the dead are following…"
I just had to ask.
"They have been summoned." He walks ahead.
"The dead? Summoned? I knew that…very good…very good…Legolas…" don't leave me, surely the elf wouldn't leave me…
they are slightly ahead covered partly by mist and…hands?
I really don't like this…one of the dead…I manage to blow it away…and the second…third…how many dead are there here?
I hear a crunch as Aragorn moves forward.
"Do not look down," he says and something crunches underfoot.
Ohh that can't be good…I don't want to know…skulls…im walking on skulls…definitely not good…slowly does it…one…crunch…ooh…two crunch…threeforfivesixseveneightnineten…crunchcrunchcrunchcrunchcrunchcrunchcrunchcrunchcrunchcrunch I want to get out of here.
I am glad I am light of foot…walking on skulls was not a pleasant experience…I hope we are nearly out…I do not like being in here the hands felt cold…the cavern we have just entered is colder…Gimli looks terrified too…
"Who enters my domain?" a voice hisses, it must be the king of the dead…he appears as Aragorn turns around.
"One who will have your allegiance." He replies in a hard tone.
"The dead do not suffer the living to pass." The apparition hissed.
"You will suffer me." I am glad Aragorn has found a new strength and confidence; it eases me to know he is strong.
The dead beings cackle summoned a whole host of dead warriors that slowly stared to surround us.
"The way is shut, it was made by those who are dead and the dead keep it," he intoned, "The way is shut…now you must die."
There are so many of them as they all advance, I try shooting an arrow but it goes straight through the ghost.
"I summon you to fulfil your oath," at least Aragorn seems undeterred by the threat of sudden death…in fact he seems more determined.
"None but the King of Gondor may command me."
The king of Gondor…I have heard it a lot lately…I suppose in summoning the dead I am effectively declaring I am the king of Gondor…my sword meets his.
"That line was broken," he is surprised as I grab him around the throat.
"It has been remade."
I can never remember hearing such intensity in his voice…he is no longer the young unsure ranger that I met so many years ago…it is as if he has changed before our eyes into the strong king he was born to be.
"Fight for us and regain your honour. What say you?" they stare blankly as if unaware of what is being offered.
"What say you?" the dead back away as Aragorn hold up Andúril.
"You waste your time Aragorn," Gimli speaks up, no longer afraid as he was, "They had no honour in life, they have none now in death."
"I am Isildur's heir, fight for me," I have never heard of him mention his ancestor with such intensity, "I will hold your oaths fulfilled, what say you?"
The dead started laughing as slowly they started to disappear.
"You have my word," I can hear the desperation slowly edge in his voice, "Fight, and I will release you from this living death…what say you?"
"Stand you traitors," I yelled into the mist and the ground starts shaking…I am not liking this…the ceiling starts to collapse…skulls…more skulls…Aragorn has a thousand curses waiting to escape from his lips but only shouts out.
We ruin as skulls cascade around us, I nearly get lost in the skulls and I could hear Aragorn call for the struggling elf…where is he? I turn but I cannot see him.
I have never been so happy to see sunlight.
I failed. Legolas was lost…I went in for an army…I lost my best friend…I have killed us all in my misjudgement. I can still here the rocks falling behind us…Legolas is buried beneath it all…he has gone…
I can see the fleet of corsair ships on the river…they will reach Gondor and destroy everything…I can feel the floor beneath me as I sink into the grass.
"You tried lad," Gimli murmurs.
"I failed." I snap, my voice shaking with barely controlled emotion, "and I lost Legolas because of it."
"I am here mellon nîn." his soft voice answers.
I look up right beside me and he is stood there, his hair is messy…for once, dust from the rocks and skulls on him but he is here…he is alive…he made it…I take small comfort in his closeness and gratefully lean into his embrace.
I try closing my eyes against the tears but I still see the fleet…so many men ready to slaughter Gondor…and the people…my people…I failed.
He despairs; the sight of so many ships…the thought of nearly loosing me is still on his mind.
I know I must remain strong for him for the strength he showed in that cavern has vanished, he reminds me once more of the small frightened child I met what feels like a lifetime ago…not even in our darkest times has he looked so lost or defeated as he does now kneeling in the dirt.
They look so lost although the elf hides it more…not even when Gandalf fell were they looking so defeated.
"It's over," Aragorn's voice is muffled against Legolas.
"You tried," I repeated.
"But not enough," he murmurs looking once more to the black ships staring as if he was in a trance.
"Estel?" I hate to see him like this, "Mellon nîn?" I knelt before him trying to draw his gaze.
Silver tear rimmed eyes void of all life and hope look to me, "I am sorry Legolas…I shouldn't have dragged you and Gimli with me…"
"Mellon, it was our choice, we stayed by you…do you remember what I told you before I knew who you were?"
he sighs and looks away, "No. why remember? Soon there will be no past to look back on."
I sighed and started, "You were not named Estel for no reason, I see you fulfilling a greater purpose in the future…"
"No matter the darkness of the path I travel you will stay beside me to the end." He finished forcing a smile, "We are at the end Mellon nîn, you need not stay longer than you will…"
"It is not over yet…" I start but he argues against me.
"It is only a matter of time before Gondor falls and Sauron takes the ring."
I hate the way he is talking…it is so unlike him.
"Estel it is not over yet…only in your mind…we have not been defeated yet…hope will always find a way."
He looks at me carefully, "you think there is a chance?" he asks slowly as he starts to come around.
"Yes, even in the darkest hour there is always hope." I smile seeing my words have some effect on him, a spark relights in his eyes as I help him up. "Come, it is not over yet."
I cannot express how grateful I am to Legolas, it is his strength and belief in me that has got us this far and it will carry me to the end.
As I turn the king of the dead appears.
I have never seen such relief appear in one face as it did with Aragorn, the small spark now started burning and flames rose in his eyes…Legolas is right…it is not over yet.