"She has been asleep for over 500 years, though for how many years in her world we do not know. Once a human, she has now been immortalized and transformed into one of us; powerful, deadly yet wisened in so many ways, beautiful as the night is long. It is time for her to wake." Once a regular human from our world, Gwen Jameson has reawakened in Riverdell after a 500 year slumber, now an elf, just in time to participate in the Fellowship's journey to Mount Doom. She expected a long and hard journey, strange allies and dark foes, but she never, ever thought she'd find love too…
The 10th Companion
Legolas quickly bounded up the stairs of Elrond's palace, forgetting his usually reserved and quiet demeanor. Elrond had personally asked to see him before the secret meeting began, which was a first even for him. Normally Legolas and the higher ranking elf did not socialize outside of large groups, hence the younger elf's excitement. Whatever the elder had to see him about, it must have been important.
Following Elrond's instructions, the blonde elf carefully avoided the sights of other fellow citizens of Riverdell and slipped into the treasury room. From there he carried on into the private, normally locked room in the back, behind the blue silk tapestry hiding the heavy oak door. Legolas turned the key that he'd been given and entered.
Elrond was standing beside what appeared to be a golden casket, encrusted with jewels and encased with precious metals found only in the deepest darkest pats of Middle Earth. A slender, almost impenetrable glass covering glittered in the noonday sun, making the figure inside nearly invisible unless one looked directly at it. Legolas went and stood on the other side of the tomb, watching Elrond. The dark haired elf finally looked up and nodded in greeting.
"I trust you found the room alright Legolas," he said, breaking eye contact to stare down at the figure laid to rest beside him again. "I had to speak with you in private."
"It must be very important that you had to discuss this with me in a tomb," Legolas replied coolly, glancing around him. "I expected, well, somewhere more formal, like the Gardens." Elrond looked at him and gestured towards the casket. "Actually, this tomb as you call it is really why I called you here. Well, not so much the tomb as the person inside it."
Legolas finally turned to gaze inside the coffin and immediately felt his jaw drop. Inside was one of the most beautiful creatures the elf had ever seen; a tall girl with ash blonde hair, full pink lips and pointed ears, a lithe form and seemingly perfect curves in all the right places. She wasn't an elf, but not quite a human either. A combination of both perhaps-
"Who is she?" Legolas finally managed to choke out, tearing his eyes away from the girl and staring at Elrond. "What is she, where is she even from?" The high elf smiled politely. "Her name is Gwendolyn Jameson, and she is a human."
The blonde elf frowned. "No, she's not," he argued, returning his eyes to the girl once more. "She can't be, not as breathtaking as she is." Elrond chuckled and swept his long figures across the glass, admiringly almost. "No, you're right, she isn't."
"But you just said she was!" Legolas exclaimed, hopelessly confused. "Explain."
Elrond looked up at him again. "Gwendolyn Jameson is not from our world, Legolas Greenleaf. A human, yes, from Middle Earth, no. She first appeared 500 years ago, a human teenager of but 17 years. She somehow fell through a magical gateway to our land from what she described as and we think is Lower Earth, a realm completely ruled by humanity."
Both elves cringed at that comment and Elrond continued. "I met Gwendolyn soon after she arrived in Riverdell, taken in by our people and taught our ways. She had no home when she came here, no family, no possessions except memories to sustain her. I took it upon myself to teach to be one of us; I educated her in Elfish and our history and customs, trained her in the finest arts of war to which she especially excelled, a true elf in every way. She was beautiful, intelligent in both Worlds, an exceptionally dangerous warrior- but she was mortal. About a year after she came to us we were made painfully reminded of this fact when she injured her arm during a hunt. We realized something had to be done to keep her with us."
Legolas stared at his elder with fascination and amazement. "You took in a human- trained her, taught her, perfected her- without realizing that she would inevitably pass on?"
"She was already as perfect as she could get when she first came to us!" Galadriel snapped, glaring at the younger elf. "Yes, we forgot about her mortality, but she was just like us excusing that fact!" The elder elf regained his composure and swallowed before starting up again. "I loved her like my own daughter Legolas; I would have done anything for her."
The blonde elf observed his companion curiously. "What did you do Elrond?"
Elrond gazed down at Gwendolyn affectionately, like a father does his child. "I made her complete." Legolas's eyes widened in surprise. "You turned her into one of The People- an elf? My Lord, do you know how long that can take?"
"Yes, yes, I know full well!" the dark haired elf replied, frowning. "Many years, centuries, even millennia. I've waited a long, long time…" He let his voice trail off, lost in thought before turning back to Legolas. "She has been asleep for over 500 years, though for how many years in her world we do not know. Once a human, she has now been immortalized and transformed into one of us; powerful, deadly yet wisened in so many ways, beautiful as the night is long. It is time for her to wake."
With that Elrond waved his hand over the crypt and whispered a single word in Elfish, and then the glass disappeared. It was just the soft bedding and the body of Gwendolyn Jameson that stood before them. Now that the covering was removed Legolas could see very clearly Gwendolyn's form. She was even more beautiful then when he'd first seen her. The young elf slowly reached out and touched her cheek- and immediately jumped back in surprise.
Gwendolyn's still, pale form suddenly took life and breathed in sharply, her stormy gray eyes flying open to take in the dimly lit room. She immediately sprang to her bare feet, her blue silken dress falling around her slender form in waves and long blonde hair whipping around her. Quick as a wink she grasped the first thing she saw- a silver sword off the wall- and brandished it in her hand. She had flawless form, like she hadn't missed a single day of battle training in the years she had been asleep.
Legolas was still in shock from Gwen's sudden awakening he was caught off-guard, and he almost got himself killed when Gwen came charging at him with her sword. Almost. Faster than lightning the elf had his arrow pointed at her heart and flying through the air. Elrond cried out in warning, gripping his own weapon tightly in his hand, but Gwen didn't need it. The air narrowly missed her ear as she drove for cover before coming back up again, this time pinning Elrond to the wall and pressing the blade to his throat.
"Don't," she growled at Legolas, who was in the midst of aiming another arrow at her, this time at her shoulder as to not kill her. It was almost as if she knew every move before he made it- which wouldn't be far from the truth, as she'd been trained by the best warrior the elfish race had. "Put it back," Gwen commanded "And lay the bow on the floor. Kick it away from you and don't even consider going for it again. Now!" Legolas did as instructed and watched as Gwen brought her sword down from off Elrond's neck- and suddenly embraced him tight, sword gently slipping from her grasp and onto the floor beside them.
Elrond tensed at the sudden change in personality coming from Gwen- from a cold, fierce warrior to a relived young elf- that it took him a few seconds to react and finally return the gesture. "You are just as I left you," he commented softly, kissing Gwen lightly on the cheek in a fatherly sort of way. "It is as if you never missed a day."
"But it's been 500 years," Gwen replied, pulling away to get a better look at her mentor. "And I'd lost hope of waking once I reached the 450 year mark. Elrond, how are you?"
The high elf laughed quietly. "Always thinking of others, I assumed you carried that trait along with you. To say the least life in Riverdell has become, well, quite dull once you were put under. We were spoiled to have such a lively character as you living in the palace."
Gwendolyn chuckled in return and raised her hand up to her ear, delicately feeling the points and new rounding. "It worked," she breathed, her face lighting up with delight. "I'm an elf." "Just like the rest of us," Elrond added, smiling like he would never have in other company besides that of close friends. "Are you pleased?"
"I am going to miss mortality in some ways," Gwen admitted, glancing down at herself once more. "But I believe it will work to my advantage. Thank you." Elrond nodded graciously and picked up her fallen sword. "We kept it in pristine condition while you were sleeping. I daresay you will want to have it back?"
The she-elf grinned and took the weapon, running it through her fingers. "It looks like it never saw a battle," she commented on it admiringly. But then she frowned, and for good reason; swords made by elves were meant not to wear and tear, but when they did it was supposedly a great honor. Legolas had never tainted his own blade, and felt slightly jealous when he realized that Gwen obviously had. "I guess I will have to make new ones."
"Well, I think the first would have been made by running me through with it," Legolas commented suddenly, not enjoying being ignored by the present company. "My arrow would have been no match for it." Gwen pivoted around to see the elf for the first time and glanced back at her mentor warily. "And who is this, Elrond?" she asked, surveying Legolas steadily. "I do not think we ever had the pleasure of being introduced properly, besides him trying to kill me with his poor archery skills."
"Hey!" Legolas exclaimed, glaring at Gwen. "I will have you know I am one of the most advanced archers in my Realm-"
"Yes, you say this, but as you are clearly from Woodland Realm you have had no real training in this art," Gwen interrupted impatiently, rolling her gray eyes. "I could have caught that arrow in midair if I wanted to-"
"Both of you stop this petty bickering instantly!" Elrond shouted over the two young elves. "Really Gwendolyn, out of your slumber only 10 minutes and you are already arguing with someone. And you, Greenleaf, actually taking her bait on the topic! I'd have expected better of you. One of your position should be able to pick out a master debater when he sees one."
Gwen cast Legolas an annoyed look and sighed guiltily towards Elrond. "I'm sorry my Lord," she apologized. "It was uncalled for." Legolas mirrored her. "Yes Elrond, it will not happen again." In your presence, the elf silently added.
Elrond nodded in acceptance and waved it off before speaking again. "Well then, I guess I should introduce you two, since you've already exchanged words. Gwendolyn, meet Prince Legolas Greenleaf, son of the King Thranduil of Mirkwood, Prince of the Woodland Realm, a messenger and a master Bowman. Legolas, this is Gwendolyn Jameson, adopted daughter of my wife Lady Celebrian and I of Riverdell, Lady of Riverdell, a trained politician and scholar as well as Master of Weaponry."
The Prince bowed towards Gwendolyn and she followed suit, her annoyance replaced by a careful mask of emotional detachment. Legolas could clearly see that her time in Riverdell and new immortal transformation had completed her, for a mere mortal could not sustain such elegance and power in the few minutes that he'd been in her presence. He then turned to Elrond. "As much as I have tried, pardon my saying so I still do not see the importance of my being here for Lady Gwendolyn's awakening, Lord Elrond. Surely you could have done this without me."
Gwen nodded slightly in agreement, still carrying her sword in her hand. "Yes, I too do not see the reasoning behind it Elrond. Explanation is in order, I believe."
Elrond sighed and fingered one of his rings on his right hand, thinking. "I owe you both accountancy, this is true." He remained silent for another minute, choosing to walk into the balcony, which over looked the waterfalls and Gardens of Riverdell. It was a long time before he spoke again, and when he did he looked at none of them.
"I should fill you in on the details surrounding the secret meeting which is to take place hereafter. Gwendolyn, you are more so in the dark than the rest in attendance, considering your state of being when all this first occurred, over 60 years ago. The One Ring has turned up again, in possession of a Hobbit named Frodo Baggins, whose Uncle Bilbo Baggins first acquired the Ring from the creature Gollum on a quest with Thorin Oakenshield and company to take back Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug. There will be a meeting to discuss its fate, to which it will be most likely decided that a quest will partake to the Mountain of Doom to destroy it, as should have been done long ago."
Elrond then finally turned and looked at Legolas and Gwen, almost as if he were a stranger rather than a friend. His expression barely masked his pain. "Should the quest happen, most of those in company will participate, including you Legolas-"
"I will do our people proud Lord Elrond," Legolas cut in, accidentally interrupting and earning himself a stern look from his elder. "Gwendolyn is to go with you," the Lord elf finished, addressing the prince more than anyone. "Riverdell is changing, and even for a capable warrior such as Gwen there will be difficulties, not from the elves here but much darker forces I will not go into. In spite of the large risk of participating in the quest it will be better if she is in your company."
Legolas felt his jaw drop, and he hastily closed it to avoid being seen as unsettled. "Are you sure this is wise, Lord Elrond?" the elf asked cautiously. "Lady Gwen, she is, after all-"
"A woman?" Gwen finished for him, glowering darkly at the he-elf and gripping the hilt of her sword dangerously tight. "You think that because I am a female that I cannot defend myself? I think I have proven that quite decently-"
"I was going to say inexperienced," Legolas snapped, glancing back at Gwen's sword carefully. "You've only been active as an elf for an hour. It is not defense I worry with; I do not think I wise to send a, pardon the term, 'reborn being' out into the wild without first realizing what she is and is not capable of first."
The blonde she-elf frowned but said nothing, perhaps trying to find a way she could underfoot Legolas's opinion, but before she could Elrond stepped in and placed a reaffirming hand on her shoulder. "Gwen was certainly a better warrior as a mortal Legolas; if she could handle herself against me and the entire staff in Riverdell palace I would not recommend her going." Gwen smiled gratefully at her mentor and sheathed her sword. Legolas sighed, knowing that arguing with a high elf lord was fruitless and nodded in compliance. "I suppose you're right Elrond. I should not have doubted you."
Elrond assented this and waved both of the young elves off. "Go now, both of you. The meeting is in exactly one hour, do not be late." He then personally addressed Gwen, this time tenderly. "You and I will catch up later, daughter. Do not think for a second that I have forgotten you." The she-elf smiled, bowed low and headed for the door, Legolas in suit.
Once they were heading down the staircase Legolas stopped Gwen, who regarded him coolly. "I really am sorry for the way I treated you back there," he apologized quickly, feeling his thoughts rush out of him freely. "It was not called for, an act of misconduct, and for this I regret. It now seems unwise that I doubted someone such as yourself, especially if you trained under Elrond. He is a wise and fair Lord; I should think you are the same way."
If the elf had hoped for forgiveness, he received it, however reluctant Gwen was to do so. The she-elf back inclined her head politely in turn, looking the boy up and down. "Perhaps I should not have doubted your motives either, Prince of Woodland. Perhaps. But I will have you know, you will find that there is quite a bit more to me, myself and I than you have just witnessed. And I do not forgive easily."
And with that she was gone.
Ok, good, bad, horrible, great? I'm new to Lord of the Rings and am trying to get a feel for the world regarding it, including the elves. Did I portray them alright? Questions, comments, all reviews are welcome (besides flames, remember that I'm new to Middle Earth over here!). Also let me know if I should continue, that would be great!