Author: Sivan Shemesh
Beta: Ceyxa, Manon
Warning: Angst, violence, no ring, character death.
Disclaimer: The usual cast, they do not belong to me. Only my OC's.
Summary: Estel grew up reading legends; there is one legend that stays in his mind, and he decides to travel to find out if it is true.
Celos River… Gondor…
Aragorn stepped out from the cave and looked up at the stars. Three stars shone within the darkness of the sky, a unique landscape of its own. It was beautiful.
Everything was calm, and he smiled.
He moved towards his pack that was lying on the ground. Bending down, he pulled out a book. It was one that his father gave him, called 'Middle-earth Fairy Tales'. He loved to read it every time after he had finished his lessons or duties.
"Estel?" Elrond called.
Estel was again lost in another world, his imagination full of the tales of what had happened before he was born.
"Estel?" Elrond called again. He saw Estel still had his nose buried in the book and made to take it away from him.
"ADA!" Estel shouted as the book disappeared from his hands.
"What is it, ion-nin?" Elrond asked innocently.
"I was in the middle of the story!" Estel exclaimed, and glared at his father.
"But, Estel, my child, did you finish all the work you were supposed to do?" Elrond asked, looking seriously at the boy.
Estel frowned; he tried hard to remember what he might have forgotten to do, but couldn't. So he nodded, hoping that his father couldn't remember either.
"You did not give me a hug and a good night kiss…" Elrond said softly and smiled at him, again innocently.
"Oh… ada…" Estel said. "I'm sorry…" He hugged his adar tightly, so tightly that Elrond groaned.
"Umm… Estel…" Elrond tried to make the boy let go of him. He realized that in Estel there was a power he had not seen or felt before.
A smile appeared on the man's face; a smile filled with love.
100 years ago…
Somewhere near Fangorn Forest…
The dim light from the fading fire was still enough to show the bodies of elves and dwarves that had been brutally killed.
Their faces still showed their fear on seeing the Phantom, the one that had taken their lives.
Soon a group made up of both elves and dwarves came into the clearing and found their bodies. They all looked at each other, afraid, all thinking the same thing.
"It is him again!" Bolen, the dwarf, groaned as he recognized his son's body. He looked up to his friend and noticed the expression on the elf's face. He knew that his elf friend had something in mind, and so he waited patiently until his friend spoke.
"There is more evil out there that we do not know about…" Sadlert said. He felt that the Phantom had not killed them all. He also believed they would eventually find this Phantom, feeling that they were much better, stronger and faster than him.
"Like what?" Bolen interrupted. He did not need any other reason; he just knew what he did, and that was that the Phantom was evil, and killed his enemies brutally.
"Like men, like Sauron's army…" Sadlert answered.
Bolen took a deep breath and sighed heavily. He was grieving; he had lost his son, and felt the need to kill the Phantom, but Sadlert's words gave him others choices.
A shadow watched them within the willow tree; his sharp eyes were glaring at them hard. His face was covered in blood, and he smiled a cunning smile. He pulled out three arrows and aimed it at them.
"They have insulted me; none of them shall leave here alive…" he whispered, and shot. He saw his aim was true, and laughed aloud when he heard the screams of the dying. The smell of death hung on the air, and there was much shouting.
"It is him!"
"It is the Phantom!"
The rest of them started to panic and ran away as quickly as they could, leaving the dead behind, alone, with no one to bury them.
Soon the rumors passed from one race to another about the Phantom's cruelty.
Back to present time…
Aragorn sat on the ground, and lit a fire. Lying down, he soon fell asleep, the book clutched tightly to his chest, protecting it.
End of Prologue