Alright, I'm going to continue with this, mainly because I've already gotten favorited, followed and reviewed more than I have any other story. Thank you to all, please continue!
EGilly- Yes, I totally understand my character is a Mary Sue, but then again most of them I write are. Before I go any further on that I would appreciate it if you would elaborate on what a Mary Sue is (I'm having a hard time making sure that my characters aren't completely OCC ) I think I'm going to switch POV's from time to time, so it's either going to be Gwen or Legolas, can I get your opinion on that? Thank you for the positive encouragement, it is appreciated!
Dhalmi93- you were my first reviewer! For this I am grateful, and your review was one of the reasons why I chose to continue with this story.
morganclaire1- yeah, I noticed the Rivendell mistake after I first published the chapter. I'll try to work on those later, thanks! I promise I will update as soon as I can.
Shiara Daydream- I loved your long review; I LOVE long reviews! I'm glad you like Gwen, I think she's pretty cool too (but then again, I'm her creator, so I kinda have to ). As for Legolas, I promise he'll be a little less composed once they start the quest. I was already working on that part of the story in my head when I published. Thank you and continue to read!
Sosoguillemot- thank you! I will try and tell you a bit more about her past in the next chapter when I can…
Legolas sat down at the Council of Elrond and scanned the faces around him, looking for familiarity and allies. If he was to partake in this quest then he needed support, and while he cared not for the red bearded Dwarf sitting nearby he found that the grey wizard Gandalf would be participating also, and for this he was glad. The wizard would be a valuable asset to the group as well as the voice of reason.
Off to the side the blonde elf spotted Boromir, a human who had proved his intentions in battle mainly good but otherwise shady. Legolas decided at once to keep an eye on him and turned his eyes to the Hobbit named Frodo, who seemed ill at ease amongst the other great warriors in the room. He pitied the Halfling- poor Frodo looked terrified, for how much he tried to hide it.
The Prince then spotted another human, clothed in black and wearing a brooding demeanor. Legolas nearly fell out of his seat once he realized who it was; the man was Aragorn, the last descendant of Arathorn. The man looked like he did not want to be there, like he had better things to do, which Legolas found slightly intriguing, but his attention was drawn away from the ranger once Elrond took his seat and began to speak. Legolas wondered where Gwendolyn was…
"Strangers from distant lands ... friends of old. You have been summoned here to answer the threat of Mordor. Middle-earth stands upon the brink of destruction. None can escape it. You will unite...or you will fall. Each race is bound to this fate...this one doom..." Elrond then looked meaningfully at Frodo, who shrank back in his seat a bit. "Bring forth the Ring, Frodo," he commanded. The Hobbit carefully stepped forward and laid the Ring on the stone Plinth, which shuddered under its power, before returning to his seat beside Gandalf.
Boromir's eyes widened dangerously and he leaned forward in his seat to get a better look at it. "So it is true!" he exclaimed, shocked. Legolas couldn't help but be amazed at the One Ring; it was all he could do to not get up and put it on. "Sauron's Ring! The Ring of Power!" he awed, examining it. The Dwarf Gimli frowned and shook his head. "The Doom of man," he said sorrowfully.
Boromir was still staring at it, almost lustfully. "It is a gift...a gift to the foes of Mordor! Why not use this Ring? Long has my father, the Steward of Gondor, held the forces of Mordor at bay...by the blood of our people are your lands kept safe. Give Gondor the weapon of the enemy...let us use it against him!"
"You cannot wield it," Aragorn suddenly growled, startling everyone but few in the meeting. "None of us can. The One Ring answers to Sauron alone… it has no master." His rival turned and glared at him darkly, sizing him up. "And what would a ranger know of this matter?"
Legolas couldn't contain himself. He stood up and faced Boromir, stared coldly at him. "This is no mere Ranger," he announced. "He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. You owe him your allegiance." Frodo looked at Aragorn questioningly. Boromir in response turned sharply towards Aragorn. "Aragorn? This is Isildur's heir?"
"And heir to the throne of Gondor," Legolas added. Aragorn looked at Legolas and nodded towards him before speaking in Elvish. "Sit down Legolas," he ordered the elf, and Legolas sat down, however reluctant he was to do so. He immediately pledged his allegiance to the man, thinking Boromir's going to have a hard time swallowing this down whole.
True to Legolas's prediction Boromir's tone turned icy. "Gondor needs no king," he spat bitterly. Gandalf saw that this was not the way the meeting should turn and cut Boromir off before he could say anything else, much to Legolas's relief. "Aragorn is right; we cannot use it," the wizard decided.
Elrond nodded in agreement. "Then you have only one choice- the ring must be destroyed." The ring hummed with power.
The Dwarf Gimli stood up and took his battle awe in his hand. "Then what are we waiting for?" he proclaimed, and charged at the stone. Before anyone could stop him he raised the blade up and brought it down on the Ring; the awe shattered into pieces with a deafening crack. Frodo jumped and Legolas covered his ears, not liking the sound that his intoned hearing had picked up. If it was loud for the Halfling then the sound was torture of the elf. Gandalf looked at both the creatures with concern.
"The Ring cannot be destroyed, Gimli, son of Glorin, by any craft we here possess. The ring was made in the fires of Mount Doom...only there can it be unmade. It must be taken deep into Mordor, and cast back into the fiery chasm from whence it came. One of you must do this," Elrond explained. Silence shrouded the room, which seemed the ease Legolas's ears. He finally removed his hands and stared around at the council. They all sat with downcast eyes, each immersed in his own thoughts. Boromir finally addressed the men in a quiet tone. This was a first, even for him.
"One does not simply walk into Mordor," he told them. "Its black gates are guarded by more than just Orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep and the Great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and dust...the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume. Not with ten thousand men could you do this. It is folly."
"Have you heard nothing Lord Elrond has said? The ring must be destroyed," Legolas countered. He now officially did not care for the dwarf and Boromir. Gimli leapt to his feet and glared at Legolas. "And I suppose you think we're the one to do it?" he snapped. "If we fail, what then?" Boromir asked of everyone. "What happens when Sauron takes back what is his?"
Gimli took a threatening step towards Legolas, who lightly touched his sword at his side to make sure it was still there. Even with a broken awe the dwarf could do quite a bit of damage. "I will be dead before I see the Ring in the hands of an Elf!" That started an outburst of loose commentary amongst the council. Half the time Legolas didn't know what he was saying, he was so frustrated-
"Never trust an Elf!" Gimli was saying, which Legolas grew very, very offensive about. He looked at Elrond for support and saw that the Lord of Rivendell was also quite perturbed about it. Gandalf had in the meantime raised his voice. Do you not understand? While we bicker among ourselves, Sauron's power grows! No one will escape it. You will all be destroyed, your homes burnt and your families put to the sword!"
"I'll take it," a small, quiet voice whispered, nearly lost in the chaos had Elrond and Legolas not had superb hearing to make the noise out. The Council grew quiet as Frodo went on, all eyes upon him. "I will take it. I will take the Ring to Mordor. Though I don't quite know the way." Silence reigned.
Gandalf was the first to speak. "I will help you bear this burden, Frodo Baggins," he promised "as long as it is yours to bear." Aragorn stepped forward and knelt, offering his sword. "If, by my life or death, I can protect you, then I will. You have my sword."
"And my bow," Legolas added, stepping forward and bowing. He liked the courage of this Hobbit, unlike the rest of his kind.
"And my axe," Gimli put on, straightening his posture proudly.
Only Boromir just hesitant. He looked from Elrond to Gandalf warily before speaking. "You carry the fate of us all, little one." He paused, thinking. "If this is indeed the will of the council, then Gondor will see it done." Frodo looked amazed at his good fortune, but just then another voice rang out amidst the council. "Here!" Sam, another fellow Hobbit and Frodo's friend, called, jumping from a bush and racing over to stand at Frodo's side. "Mr. Frodo's not going anywhere without me," he announce defiantly, as if challenging all that opposed.
Elrond smiled, amused, and waved him on. "No, Indeed...it is hardly possible to separate you...even when he is summoned to a secret council and you are not." At Frodo's other friends merry and Pippin rushed forward from their hiding places and joined them. "Oi! We're coming too! You'll have to send us home tied up in a sack to stop us!" Merry exclaimed. "Anyway...you need people of intelligence on this sort of mission...quest...thing..." Pippin added, somewhat less sure of himself than his companion. Merry elbowed him in the ribs. "Well, that rules you out, Pip," he joked.
Elrond sighed and surveyed the group thoughtfully. "Nine companions… very worthy indeed…" Legolas knew in an instant what he was thinking. They made eye contact at once and Elrond called out behind him. "Gwendolyn, come here please." At once the blonde she-elf appeared at his side, a dagger sheathed at her slim waist along with her sword and her long hair braided down to one side. She'd changed clothes from the last time Legolas ad seen her, from the silken dress to soft aquamarine blue trousers and a matching top. Her shoulders were covered with golden armor as well as her wrists, which brought out the flakes for bronze in her otherwise gray eyes. She looked beautiful in the most powerful sense, not the royal scholar she had first appeared to be but a strategic warrior.
All the council stared at her. They had most likely never seen a she-elf in this sense, a strong immortal warrior rather than a soft and delicate being. It was all Legolas could do to keep himself from staring like his fellow council members were, and even then he couldn't help but try and catch her eye. He did, and she slightly nodded a greeting. Legolas's heart skipped a beat.
"Council of Elrond, this is Gwendolyn Jameson, one of the best I have ever trained," Elrond introduced her. "She is to accompany you on your journey, and I am sure you will pay her due respect." He looked at Gimli more than anything. Boromir snorted and cast a stray look at the rest of the group. "Do you honestly believe this filmy she-elf can possibly handle herself in the company of us? She most likely has never set foot outside Rivendell!" He laughed harshly, but stopped once he caught an infuriated look from both Elrond and Legolas.
"Did you already forget the words 'finest warrior', Boromir?" Gandalf asked. "If a veteran soldier such as Elrond says that Lady Gwendolyn is capable of defending herself, then she will go with us, opposition or not." That word seemed final, and the others in company said nothing. Elrond took a deep breath and stood up. "Very well, 10 companions, you shall be called the Fellowship of the Ring! Council is dismissed; I suggest you should all pack lightly and leave as soon as possible."
Pippin grinned and chuckled in delight, looking at Elrond happily. "Great! Where are we going?"
The Council laughed and exited the room, leaving poor Pippin wondering as he left with the rest of the Hobbits what was so funny.
Morning came as quickly as it possibly could, for Legolas could not sleep with such nerves racking his bones. Being the messenger for his people he had been on dangerous journeys before, but none like this. This was a quest to destroy the One Ring of Unlimited Power, and as far as he knew he might not return. The young elf's thoughts continued to stray towards Gwen as he tossed and turned in his guest room bed, wondering how he was going to manage such a long journey with her if he could hardly speak to her without tripping over his words. Sure, he didn't when he was with Elrond as well, but he had to keep things formal then. Now- well, he best not think about it.
Packing a light bag and arming himself with his bow, a quiver of arrows and two long white knives (gifted to him by Galadriel herself), Legolas quickly got up and left his room to make for the gates of Rivendell, where the Fellowship was to meet at dawn for the journey. He silently made his way down the steps rounding about the palace, rounding a sharp corner as he did so- and immediately run into Gwen.
The two young elves collided and Gwen was sent stumbling back a couple steps, catching her balance on the third and looking up at him. "I am terribly sorry," she apologized, catching her breath. "Elrond just sent me up to get you-""No harm d-done," Legolas told her stuttering slightly at her sudden appearance, continuing down the steps at her side. "It w-was my fault, I didn't watch where I-I was going-"
"No no, it was me, you're not at fault," Gwen refused, smoothing the folds in her shirt down before carrying on. "You'd think I could have heard you coming down, at the rate you were going." Legolas laughed slightly, feeling a bit more at ease with her. "Let us say that it was both of our faults and get on with it," he chuckled. Gwen nodded, laughing herself, and tossing her braided hair back. "It is appropriate," she deemed it. "So, did you sleep well?"
Legolas shook his head truthfully. "No, actually. I kept thinking about the quest and everything," he admitted. "Not one wink of sleep was allowed. You?" Gwen looked at him despondently. "I'm wearing the same clothing I was yesterday Prince Greenleaf," she replied. "Do you think I slept at all?"
The elf frowned thoughtfully. "I guess not. And please, call me Legolas. I never cared for formalities." The she-elf laughed a high delightful kind of laughter that anyone would be enchanted by. "Me neither. It gives you a sort of ever-present awkwardness, does it not?"
The two continued down the staircase and met the Fellowship out at the gate, where they then started off on their adventure. There was a kind of uniformed silence for a while, but slowing conversations arose and the companions talked. Gandalf took to the front, choosing not to speak but to observe and plot the course for Mount Doom. The Hobbits began a whole conversation about their home the Shire, which Gimli took an interest in. Aragorn remained in the back with the pack horse. Legolas kept up with Gandalf and made it his mission to scout for danger, but he couldn't help but overhear the pleasant conversation Boromir and Gwen were having. All unsettlement the man had about Gwen had obviously left him once they had started talking.
"-so the Ork says to the Elf, hail and well met!" Boromir finished, laughing so hard that he could barely breathe. Gwendolyn was laughing also, nearly as hard or harder with tears streaming down her pale cheeks. "That –is perhaps- the funniest thing- I have-heard –in ages!" she heaved, wiping her eyes and shaking her head. "Where did you hear- such a thing as that?" Boromir shrugged. "A tavern near Lindon," he replied. "Now that was a night to remember!" He laughed again. "You know, very few elves that I have met have a sense of humor, much less get commentary such as these. I am impressed Lady Gwendolyn."
"It's just Gwen," the she-elf reminded him. "And thank you. But I must admit I was not always an elf."
"Then what were you, a beorn?" Gimli joked, caused much laughter amongst the Hobbits. Gwen laughed and shook her head. "No, just a human. Not anymore, mind you, but I think I could manage in both races. Humor still intrigues me." Boromir let out a sigh of relief. "Well that's good," he stated plainly. "I wouldn't like it if no one around here had that sense."
Gimli was about to object, but suddenly Gandalf's voice rang out from ahead of the group. "We must hold to his course west of the Misty Mountains for forty days. If our luck holds, the Gap of Rohan will still be open to us. From there, our road turns east, to Mordor.
On that happy note we shall rest here the night," he informed the others. "It should be a safe haven, if anything."
Sam immediately jumped up and scampered towards Bill the packhorse. "I'll start the fire!" he offered, while merry, Pippin and Frodo all sat down on the rocks, clearly exhausted. "Oh no you don't!" Boromir exclaimed, whipping out his sword and tossing two more into the Hobbits' hands. "If you are to stay with us you will learn to fight like us. Merry, Pippin, up you goes!"
Forgetting their sore bare feet the two young Hobbits sprang up again at once and raised their swords, ready for the lesson. Gwen and Aragorn sat down in their places and watched. Legolas considered joining them for the sake of starting a conversation with Gwen, but decided against it for whatever reason and scanned the horizon. Behind him the clashing of swords, the crackling of the fire and choruses of laughter ensured.
"Get away from the blade Pippin," Boromir advised "-on your toes, very good… I want you to react, not think." "Make sure you stick close to your opponent but stay clear of his sword," Gwen added. "Try to get him to a point where he can't harm you without endangering himself."
Sam, who was stirring his fire from some feet away looked up and shrugged. "Shouldn't be too hard," he commented, watching the three fighters absentmindedly. Meanwhile Boromir had locked swords with Pippin and was talking again. "Move your feet." Pippin did as instructed and quickly scampered out of Boromir's line of fire. "Quite good Pippin," Merry complimented. Pippin grinned and eyed Boromir again. "Thanks."
Over off to the side Legolas spotted Gimli speaking in low tones to Gandalf, which Legolas found strange. He inched closer and heard the words 'long way' and 'Moria'. The elf figured that the dwarf was trying to convince the wizard to take the passage through his cousin's kingdom mines, and judging by the look on Gandalf's face he wasn't succeeding. Legolas himself wasn't very fond of the underground, so this was fine with him, but he couldn't help but wondering if there was another reason why the gray wizard wouldn't go through King Balin's Realm.
Behind him Boromir thrust his sword at the Hobbits again, which caught Pippin on the hand. Legolas turned to see the first Hobbit throw down his sword, kick it aside and lunge at the man, tackling him to the ground. Merry followed suit, and soon and trio were faced down on the ground laughing as Aragorn and Gwen looked on.
Again Legolas was tempted to go and socialize with the group, but out of the corner of his eye he saw a darkening patch darting about the sky, like a combination of smoke and chaff in the wind. "What is that?" Sam asked curiously, stopping to stare into the sky. Gimli snorted loudly and waved it off. "Nothing...it's just a wisp of a cloud," he condescended, but Boromir shook his head, worried. "It moves too fast against the wind," he observed.
"He's right," Gwen agreed, standing up to get a better look at it. "It's something… darker…"
Reality dawned upon Legolas in that instant. He realized where exactly they were, and what this strange black floating mass was- "Crebain from Dunland!" he cried out. "Everyone, get down!" "Hide!" Aragorn echoed/ordered.
That sent the entire Fellowship into frenzy, one and all diving out of sight under shrubbery or squeezing themselves in between rocks. Boromir addressed the Hobbits nearby. "Merry, Pippin, Sam, take cover!" They immediately disappeared from sight.
Legolas tried to tuck himself underneath an overhanging rock sitting low to the ground only to find Gwendolyn hiding there first. She rolled her eyes and pulled him under with her, much to Greenleaf's surprise; the two sat a paralyzed fear as the crowing of the Crebain came closer and closer, circling overheard and rock at great speed. The bird's shadows passed over the fellowship and they suddenly wheeled away, but neither Legolas nor Gwen moved a muscle until the sound was beyond even their own stretch of hearing. Legolas let out a sigh of relief and tried to lean back, but Gwen elbowed him in the ribs.
"I'd very much appreciate it if you'd get off of me, thank you," she told him, raised a single eyebrow. Legolas felt himself turn red and he hastily slid out from underneath and rock before sheepishly helping Gwen to her feet. The she-elf grinned, amused, and dusted her trousers off before turning to Gandalf, who staggered to his feet. "Spies of Sauron," he said, worried. "This means that the South Passage is being watched."
"Great," Gwen muttered, glaring at the retreating cloud of Crebain and crossing her arms. "We're definitely not taking the easy route anymore, are we?"
Legolas looked at her, bewildered, before realizing that she hadn't heard about Gimli and Gandalf's conversation. "We were never going to take the simple route to begin with," he informed her, taking a swift glance at Gwen again before glaring over at the wizard. "Were we Gandalf?"
The magician frowned. "And someone was apparently eavesdropping on a private conversation," he replied, not answering his question but looking at Aragorn exasperatedly. "We must take the pass of Caradhras!" Gandalf announced. "Be ready to get going in the morning, we have many a long day ahead of us."
As the group disbursed to continue their activities Gwendolyn looked at Legolas, confusion and disquiet written all over her face. "What did you mean, that we weren't taking the easy route to begin with?" she asked him. "Is there something I should know about?" Legolas sat down on top of another rock ledge and motioned for Gwen to sit next to him, which she did so. "There's another way to get to Mt. Doom," he explained, trying not to trip over his words like last time. But suddenly he found it easier to talk to Gwen than before, which was strange.
"It's through the dwarf mines, the ones ruled by Gimli's cousin King Balin. I was fine with not taking them before, on the account of such prejudice with dwarves and elves, but now that Sauron's actively searching and trying to kill us I'm not so sure. Gandalf wasn't looking to go there either, but I think it's because of something else-"
Legolas hesitated. "There was talk many years ago about a danger that the dwarves awakened in Moria. They dove too greedily and too deep, and they angered the darkness of Khazad-dum, Shadow and Flame. No outsiders have gone into Moria since, or if they do they never make it out alive to tell the tale."
Gwen stared over at Gandalf and Gimli curiously. "But we have an ally with the dwarves through Gimli, do we not? If we take refuge there then they will protect us, if not because of who we are then our quest, yes?" Legolas shook his head lamely. "Gandalf does not care to risk it," he said. "And neither should we."
He looked over at Gwen to see her running her fingers lightly over her dagger hilt. "I think we'll have more dangerous problem than our relations with the dwarves," she murmured, almost to herself. "We should be careful." Gwen then turned and smiled at him for the first time that day, which caused Legolas's heart to skip a beat again. "But then again, what is danger if we have the Fellowship of the Ring, yes?"
The Prince of Woodland grinned slightly and inclined his head, staring deep into her eyes. "Indeed," he replied agreeably. "Indeed we have."
I wanted to get one last chapter in before the New Year, so here I have it! Only 7 more hours before 2013- looks like we made it through the end of the world, am I right? (Not that I believed that it would happen anyways) Review nicely, PLEASE not flames. Now that I'm done ranting, go ahead and review/favorite/follow. I love y'all!