This is my first attempt at writing fanfiction. It's about Darken Rahl and an OC by the name of Eleanor. It will eventually lead to a M or MA rating, but I'm going to try to develop the relationship slowly instead of going straight for the smut. That way, hopefully, I won't let Rahl act too much out of character. He does have a heart, but it will take some time to warm it.
Things that remain unclear after this chapter, or any chapter to come, will be explained in the following chapter. I do like cliffhanger endings…(sorry!)
By the way, I probably should mention that English is not my first language. So I apologize in advance for atrocious grammar or if I use certain words too frequent to describe an emotion :S
When I write I usually try to find a song that matches the part I'm writing. The song I had in my mind when writing about "the battle" was: John Murphy - In the House In a Heartbeat
Anyway, hope you'll like it : )
P.S Oh, before I forget! The disclaimer. I'll just post it now for the whole series because I'm pretty sure I'll get annoyed if I have to post is again and again.
Disclaimer:The tv-series Legend of the Seeker and it's characters do not belong to me and I do not, in any way, profit from this story. This story is purely written for my own amusement and those who wish to read it. However, I do take credit for the character of Eleanor and the plot, unless it is an event that occurs in the show.
She moved to a defensive stance, anticipating her opponent's next move. The dark hared man launched at her. She quickly turned her back into his chest, grabbed his arm and threw him over her shoulder. The man landed hard on his back and groaned.
Eleanor wasted no time. She quickly dropped herself on the ground behind him, locked her arm around his neck and enforced it with her other arm. The man grabbed at her arm around his neck, but Eleanor had him in a tight lock.
"Y- you win!," he managed to say between choking. Eleanor chuckled and let the man go. She stood up and looked down at him with her hands on her hips, watching as he regained his breath and his face returned to its natural color. She extended her hand to him to help him up. With a sour look on his face he took it.
"Your skills have improved," he said, still a little out of breath: "I think you could out best most of our men." She laughed: "But not you, eh?" The man gave her a playful push and joined in on her laughter.
Her face then became more serious. "I want to join the resistance, Duke," she said: "I feel like I'm missing my calling, being stuck in the village while you and the men fight."
Duke looked at her with an understanding look on his face. "You know I can't let you do that," he simply said. "Like I've said so many times before, I made a promise."
Eleanor shook her head. "In don't understand," she said. "Since you took me in as a young girl you've been training me and yet you keep me from using them. Why?"
"Because that was part of the promise," Duke replied with a friendly smile on his face and he ruffled her hair.
"Sooner or later, I will find out," she said. Duke nodded. "I'm afraid that day will come sooner, than later," he replied.
Their conversation was interrupted by a thud caused by a travel pouch that landed at Duke's feet. When they looked up from the bag to the direction where it came from Duke chuckled. A few feet away from them stood a man with shoulder length fair hair, dressed in green and brown travel clothes. Eleanor watched as the two men greeted each other.
"Marcus, you have returned," Duke said and placed his arm around his comrade's shoulder. "And in one piece, none the less," he added with a warm smile. "Tell me, what news do you bring?"
"Lord Rahl is on a journey from the Mord Sith tower back to the Peoples Palace. He is only accompanied by a dozen soldiers. They will pass these forests in two hours," Marcus replied. He grabbed Duke firmly by his shoulder. "Do you know what this means, Duke? This could be our chance to end his tyranny and restore peace to the Midlands!"
A smile formed on Dukes face and a laugh escaped his mouth. "This is very good news you bring, Marcus. Gather the men. We must prepare ourselves." Marcus nodded and set off to get the other men of the resistance.
Eleanor sank into thought. This couldn't be right. Why would Lord Rahl leave the safety of his palace, where his magical powers are amplified? And even if he were to leave the palace, he would not be so foolish to bring only a dozen of his soldiers to protect him.
A hand on her shoulder interrupted her thoughts. "You look troubled, Eleanor. Speak your mind," Duke's voice sounded concerned.
Eleanor looked at him with worry on her face. "Marcus' information cannot be correct."
A frown appeared on Duke's face and he removed his hand from her shoulder.
"What are you saying? That he is lying?" He asked with a stern voice. "Marcus has been with us since the beginning and he has my trust. What reason do you have for doubting his loyalty?"
"I am not saying he is a liar or that I doubt his loyalty," Eleanor replied bewildered by his reaction. "All I'm saying is that I find it hard to believe that Lord Rahl would place himself in the vulnerable position Marcus has just described."
"Lord Rahl is getting impatient. Impatience makes any man reckless." Duke said matter of factly.
For the love of the creator, why wouldn't he just listen to her? A little frustrated she continued: "That may be so, but Lord Rahl is not just any-"
"That is enough, Eleanor!" Duke cut her off, anger starting to show on his face. "I have no time to engage in pointless debate. We have a little more than an hour to prepare."
Eleanor sighed in defeat and shook her head in frustration. "Let me join your raid party. My dagger fighting skills are of better use in combat than in the kitchen. I can out best most of the men here, you said it yourself," she pleaded. "I have the right to avenge the death of my parents."
"The battleground is no place for a woman," Duke answered her with the same stern voice. When he saw Eleanor was about to protest he added: "You will do as I say!" Duke then strode off in the same direction Marcus had gone a few minutes earlier.
Eleanor's jaw tensed and she clenched her fists so hard her nails drew blood. "I will not lay my skills to waste," she muttered under her breath and started walking to the barracks where the men would gather.
When she reached the barracks she sneaked closer to the circle of men that were discussing their steps of action. She took cover behind a tree and listened.
"… we flank Lord Rahl and his men at the low road, setting up archers to the east and west. After the first wave of arrows our foot soldiers will surround them and strike…"
Eleanor had to admit that sounded like a good plan. It could work, as long they would bring at least double the men that Marcus had Duke made to believe Darken Rahl would be accompanied by.
"Our scout Marcus informed me that Lord Rahl only has a dozen soldiers with him. However, this might be our best and only chance to kill Lord Rahl and I plan to use it well. I suggest all thirty-two of us go on this mission…"
Eleanor wasn't sure what to think of that. If Marcus' information is correct, they would heavily outnumber the D'Harans, which will increase their chance to succeed. That way there would also be fewer casualties. However, if Marcus' information proved to be false, they could be massacred, leaving their women and children vulnerable to the savage D'Haran soldiers.
Eleanor had heard enough. She refused to stay behind and not know how the battle would fare. She had to do something, but what? As she sank into thoughts a plan started to take from in her mind. "Of course," she whispered to herself.
Eleanor sneaked away from the circle of men and made her way back to the village. Once there she silently entered one of the houses. As she had expected, no one was home. She walked straight to a closet and opened its doors. Impatiently, she scanned trough the contents. She let out a sigh of relieve when she found what she sought.
"You cannot stop me from coming with you if you can't see me," she thought out loud as she firmly clasped the clothes in her hand.
She sneaked out of the house and into the forest. When she was sure no one could see her, she undressed herself. She ripped a piece of cloth from her dress and used it to bind her breasts and then put on the clothes. They belonged to a man who was only a few inches taller than she was, so they fitted her well enough.
She grabbed her dagger belt with her two favorite daggers attached to it and put it around her waist. Lastly, she threw the green travel cloak over her shoulders and slid the hood over her head. Her disguise was complete. No one would recognize her now.
A few minutes later she joined the men as they set off to take position along the road Darken Rahl would soon pass. No one had noticed they were one man stronger than they should be. A sense of triumph washed over Eleanor and butterflies fluttered in her stomach.
Impatiently, Eleanor en the men lay in ambush, waiting for Darken Rahl and his soldiers to arrive. Finally, after an hour of waiting the sounds of horse hooves could be heard. But they were not coming from the road.
"Ambush!" Someone yelled.
Dozens of D'Haran soldiers, both afoot and on horseback, came running through the trees from every direction like an avalanche. They were completely surrounded.
Eleanor looked around, but couldn't find the man she was looking for. "Marcus betrayed us!" she cursed. Anger boiled within her. Together with her comrades she roared battle cries and charged.
It was a heavy battle for the resistance. They were heavily outnumbered and unlike their foes, they were not adorned in protective leather and hide, making them all the more vulnerable. One by one, Eleanor saw her comrades fall.
A D'Haran soldier launched at her and she threw him over her shoulder, just like she had done with Duke earlier. But instead of trying to choke him she drove her two daggers between his ribs. He wailed and blood dripped down his mouth.
When Eleanor returned to a standing position she scanned the battlefield to see how many soldiers and men of the resistance were left, she was shocked to see that only a handful of her comrades remained. In her head she saw images of D'Haran soldiers plundering and raping in her village.
"I won't let that happen," Eleanor thought out loud. She ran to the nearest comrade she could find and stabbed the D'Haran soldiers he was fighting in his neck and kicked him aside.
She grabbed the man firmly by the shoulders and shook him, yelling: "We are losing this battle! Go back to the village. Get the women and children away from there!"
"Eleanor?" the man asked bewildered. "Go now before it is too late!" she yelled back at him and pushed him hard in the direction of the village. He stared at her, dumbfounded, but then nodded and started running back to the village.
When she turned around another soldier came at her. She blocked his sword with her two daggers and kicked him across the face.
Out of the corner of her eye she saw a glimpse of a figure in a blood red cloak. It was him. It must be him. Darken Rahl. This was her chance for revenge, maybe the only chance she'll ever have.
She made a scissor movement with her arms and slit the throat of the D'Haran soldier she was fighting. From the slit artery warm blood pulsed onto her hands and hooded face, but she would not be distracted by it. Eleanor used her skilled fingers to flip the dagger over in her right hand and threw it with such force and speed, that her fallen foe had not yet touched the ground when it reached her target.
She waited for a wail of pain to confirm she hit her target, but it never came. When she took a better look at her target she froze. Her brown eyes reflected utter disbelief as they fluttered wide open with what they saw.
Her dagger hung still in mid-air, barely an inch away from where his heart should be. On his face a grin appeared that made her sick to her stomach. He pointed his index and middle finger in the air and gave them a nonchalant flick. The dagger made a 180 degree turn and now came flying back at Eleanor with even more speed than she had thrown it with.
Time seemed to slow as she watched the dagger flying towards her. She knew this would be the end of her. At least she would die the way she always wanted to. In battle.
Suddenly, her heart beat increased and her breathing fastened. Her body started to tremble as she felt a burst of energy awakening in her body. Her mind went blank and she felt as if she had lost control over her body.
When the dagger hit her in her chest she was thrown back by the hard blow, but to her surprise she did not feel much pain. However, her body felt weak. Perhaps, she had died instantly by the blow and was now a specter, she thought.
When she looked up, her mouth dropped at what she saw. Thick vines had sprouted from the ground before her and were completely entangled around the sheath of the dagger, leaving nothing of the deadly sharp metal exposed. Then the vines dropped lifelessly to the ground, freeing the dagger from their grip. "What the..." was all she could say while staring dumbfounded at the vines.
For a split second Darken Rahl's face reflected astonishment, but he quickly recovered. "Well well," he said, in a rather bored tone: "It seems my soldiers did not only fail in killing every first born son in Brennidon, but also in killing every last one of the Sit Maer." He finished his sentence looking accusingly at the D'Haran captain to his right. The man gulped.
"A- apologies, my Lord," he stammered: "I was certain we killed them all to the last child." Fear clearly showed on his face.
"There stands the living proof of your failure," Darken Rahl spat. "But, I will decide on you punishment later." Her turned his gaze to the figure whose eyes, not minutes ago, had glowed silver from under the hood and whose hands had conjured vines to stop the dagger that would otherwise have killed him.
He brought his index and middle finger to his mouth, licked them with the tip of his tongue and ran them across his bottom lip. "Perhaps this last Sit Maer could be of some use to our cause," he thought out loud. "After the Mord Sith…persuade him to reconsider his loyalty."
A few of the soldiers laughed. "His magic is now drained. He won't be much trouble now. Bring him to me," Darken Rahl ordered.
Six of his soldiers ran towards Eleanor. Their battle cries brought her back to her senses. She was now painfully aware of her weakened state. She grabbed her dagger from between the vines from the ground. If she were to die, she would take as many D'Haran soldiers she could with her to the Underworld.
The first soldier that reached her waved his sword at her, but she evaded him easily and stabbed him in his exposed chest. The soldier dropped to the ground, wailing in pain.
The next she kicked with all her might in the stomach and as he bend over she drove her two daggers into his back.
The third soldier was quicker than she anticipated. His sword sliced her left shoulder. Eleanor winced in pain. The soldier smirked at her: "Give it up you fool. You can't take on all of us."
Eleanor stepped back and threw her two daggers in the soldier's direction, who looked utterly petrified. The daggers flew past his head and landed between the eyes of the two soldiers behind him. Just when she was about to kick the soldier third soldier, before he realized he still lived, she got kicked in the back and fell to the ground. Before she could try to get up, the two remaining soldiers started kicking her ferociously. She cried out in pain as her ribs snapped with a sickening crack.
Darken Rahl had to admit he was taken by surprised to see the hooded man putting up a fight and lasting as long as he did in his weakened state. "That's quite enough," Darken Rahl voice sound. "I need him alive."
"Yes, my Lord," the soldiers replied. Eleanor received a final kick to her head before they aggressively grabbed her by her shoulders and dragged her face down to their lord.
Every part of Eleanor's body hurt. Her broken ribs made breathing hard and painful. She could not help but wish the vines had not magically appeared and saved her live. Death by a dagger to the chest would have been al lot quicker and a lot less painful.
As she was dragged she saw the battlefield littered with the dead bodies of her comrades. All of them husbands, fathers and sons who had risked their live to save what little good was left in this world.
Silent tears ran down her cheeks. She hoped Aiden, the man she told to go back to the village, made it back to the village in time to bring their women and children to safety.
When they released her she fell on her hands and knees. Darken Rahl stepped off his horse and walked over to Eleanor. When he reached her he grabbed her tightly by the throat with one of his hands and pulled her up.
"That was quite an interesting sight, Sit Mear. I could put those skills of yours to good use," Darken Rahl said. In reply, Eleanor spat a mixture of spittle, blood and dirt that had entered her mouth while being dragged in Darken Rahl's face. Enfuriated, Darken Rahl slapped her hard across her face with his free hand. Even though her hood softened the blow a little, it did not hurt any less and her bottom lip split. The taste of fresh blood filled her mouth.
"You are very brave. Or very foolish," Darken Rahl spat, wiping his face. "I think the latter. Now let me see the fool that so cowardly hides under this hood." With his free hand he threw the hood back in one clean motion. What he revealed made the soldiers gasp in surprise.
Darken Rahls's piercing blue eyes reflected utter astonishment as they stared straight into Eleanor's. The grip on her throat loosened.
"A woman?" one of the soldiers cried out in disbelief.
When Darken Rahl came back to his senses anger appeared on his face. He would not be humiliated by a woman. He again tightened his grip around her throat.
Instinctively she grabbed at his hands, trying to peel them off of her neck, but she was too weak and he too strong. Darken Ralh kept staring into her eyes until they eyes rolled to the back of her skull and Eleanor had lost consciousness.
Her body went limp and Darken Rahl let her fall to the ground. He scratched his shin as he stared at the unconscious woman for a moment, thinking what to do with her next. He could take her to the Mord Sith and have her trained, like he had intended to do when he thought she was a man. But he knew this was a rare opportunity. For a woman a more delicate approach would be more effective. And a lot more entertaining.
A Sit Maer doing his bidding. The thought made him laugh. "Yes," he decided. He would break her himself. "Load her onto the wagon," he ordered, "Send a quad to the village. Do as you please with the women and boys, but take the young girl prisoner for the Mord Sith. The rest of you will return with me to the Peoples Palace."