PS: I know, they never quite work out how you want them too. I am reminded of the song from wicked, the no good deed song. And I think of Thorin and I drool.
Bella: thank you so much, I'm so honored to hear that my writing touched you and that you cared for the characters. It does seem a bit weird to care for Azog, and even Bolg, but I gave them more depth than I had ever thought them capable of having. So now I can't look at them the same.
xxxiii. where once we kissed and ran, that memory scorched the man/I have to tell you dear, death has become my breathing./My dear she touched my skin/and oh she did, she touched my skin/where once we kissed and ran/this madness haunted the man
Sleep. That was the first thing he grew to hate for it would not come willingly to him, and when it finally graced him with a few moments of peace his dreams always woke him. It the worst for the first year, for he dreamed of her at his side - of her smiling face, the feel of her body, the warmth of her skin against his - so that when he woke he reached for her, but his hands only grabbed for air. Daisy often slept at his back, giving a warmth he thought he may never feel again; it was Calla's warg, the one she had loved so strongly, and she was now his. His only acts of gentleness were ever seen to the warg, when he would run his hand along her fur a brief moment before he darkened.
His orcs now lived in fear, a fear so great they nearly trembled to be before him; and they shivered and whimpered when they had done wrong, for the only punishment he now gave was death. There was no mercy, no love in his heart. All good that had ever been in him had been buried with her beneath a tree, that bloomed a pretty flower in spring so that even in death he knew she would know beauty. A long while he refused to move their camp, laying himself over where he buried her, as though he could feel her beneath him, but they could not stay forever. They attracted hunters, men and animals, and Azog was forced to leave her. The orcs hardly slept that first night after they left, did not dare to breathe; his pain was so great he lashed out even in his sleep, crying out for her only to wake with empty arms and a grief too great for him to carry. They dared not think him weak, if anything in his pain he was the strongest they'd seen; a fire in his heart to rip the throat out of every living being. There was reprieve for him, no coming to terms with loss; he had been given a taste of happiness, of joy, of love and the whole-hearted peace that comes with knowing another person loved you no matter your weaknesses - and it was torn from him and left him empy and cold, and bitter.
And enraged. Thror, king of Durin's folk, king under the Mountain - the dwarf who slayed Azog's love. Over the years that passed his hatred for the dwarf grew and grew, festering in a sweltering heat that was his heart. Nothing could lessen the burning of his need for vengeance, nothing to fill the ache he felt in his soul. Not even Moria. How Azog had longed to go there, had gotten it in his mind many times - Calla being the last reason why he did not. The first year after he left the place where Calla was buried Azog overtook seven packs of orcs, killing the leaders and all who would oppose, building an army of his own to venture to Moria. There was a great fighting, for the orcs who had lived beneath the mountain had destroyed hundreds of dwarves to claim it. And so Azog had waited, allowing himself to fall under another's leadership, until one day he killed him and took Moria as his own. It had not come without a fight, one Azog was proud he had won - knocking back orc after orc with his large mace, tearing them apart and instilling fear in the orcs who had bowed to him - a fight he could not have claimed victory without his son. Together they were a terrible sight; both pale as the moonlight and towered over all the rest - half crazed bloodlust shining in both their pale eyes.
Azog's army had grown tremendously, hundreds, almost a thousand, orcs at his command; enough to make his pride swell in his chest as though it may burst out of him. But he was not happy, he would never be happy - could never be happy again. For years he ruled Moria, a plan forming of overtaking the dwarves, of destroying Thror and every dwarf in his line so that Calla would have justice. So that he could have peace with her. And in all honesty, that was the only thing he lived for. To make right the wrong that was done her, to give her peace in her death; that was all he wanted, to give her peace so that he may find his own. How could he live for anything else when the only thing he wanted was her, and he had buried her as humans did with their dead - and he had buried his heart with her so that only black emptiness remained.
He did not seek to destroy Thror, he did not leave Moria to exact Calla's retribution; he did not have to for Thror and his army came to him looking to reclaim the lost halls. And such surprise was on Thror's face when, as he fought through a great number of orcs as did his hundreds of dwarves, he saw the large pale orc coming for him. Their eyes met and Thror knew, upon looking at Azog's deadened eyes only alight with his pain and the need to cause it, that this would be his end - his penance for all he had done, including killing the woman, was
finally upon him.
A surge of warmth filled Azog as he held the head of the dwarf king high as he roared, the hand that had taken her life finally dead. Azog knew from the young dwarf's armor, and the way he cried out for the kind that he was from his line - and so with burning eyes Azog turned and threw the king's head to his grandson, daring the dwarf to raise a weapon to him now. And like the hot blooded fool Azog knew dwarves were, the young dwarf charged him. With a sick glee Azog ran, swinging his mace. Time after time Azog struck the dwarf, but it seemed that death was not in his favor because though the dwarf fell he did not stay down - instead Azog struck relentless against a mere piece of wood that would not break, keeping the dwarf on his feet. And never had Azog felt such shock, such pain, as when the dwarf cut his arm - his mace falling with it to the ground leaving Azog to scream. He tried to stop, tried to get to his feet and pick up his mace with his now only hand and kill the dwarf, but many orcs dragged their leader back into Moria. And he screamed, in pain and fury, as the last of Thror's line looked on proudly.
The only relief Azog would come to find was hearing Bolg had taken Thror's son, Thrain; and though his arm had been severed, though they had burned the stub to stop him from bleeding, though his pain was great enough he wanted to weep, he stood and looked on as his son began torturing the dwarf - Bolg's own cruelty more vicious in the face of the son of his mother's killer. There were not many answers to be had from Thrain, but his son was Thorin, and the pleasure it gave father and son to make him scream. But now Azog had a name to the dwarf who had taken his arm, and his anger and fury grew as the years passed, as he was forced to learn how to live with only one arm.
It would have been bearable had Calla been at his side to soothe him with her small gentle hands, to make him feel as though he were still whole. As it was his anger grew, lashing out at all who dared come near. He found a metal spike, a crude thing that ended in almost claws, and he stuck it in his arm and impaled an orc with it, pleased to see he could kill effectively with it. Even then, Thrain's screams echoing as Bolg tortured him continuously, able to use what was left of his arms, he could not find happiness - could not find the want to continue living. It grew so that he no longer cared for Thrain's pain, it did nothing but make Azog tired and the empitness in him grow. The same could not be said for Bolg, who looked at the dwarf as though he had been the one to kill his mother, and so he would have been happy to do everything he could to make him scream and cry, and beg to be killed. But Azog had enough of it one day, when Calla's ghost haunted him the greatest, and he killed the dwarf.
"I was not finished," Bolg seethed, willing to pick a fight with his father now that he was larger than him.
But Azog's eyes were dark, full of a rage that kept him breathing. "He did nothing," Azog yelled to his son. "Your mother is dead. He was worthless." At seeing Bolg would make no further objection Azog turned away, sitting wearily beside Daisy who was large with another litter. It was then Bolg saw just how destroyed his father was, just how heavy his mother's ghost weighed on him; and Bolg did not provoke him again.
TA 2941 - late spring
"Balin?" Bilbo asked quietly one day, not wishing to draw Thorin's attention. "You said Azog had sworn to destroy Durin's line?"
"Yes, he did," Balin answered with a small nod, his voice lowered as well.
Bilbo turned from the older dwarf as he thought, the same question demanding an answer as it had when Balin had told them of Thorin battling the pale orc. "Why?"
Balin's eyes flicked to Thorin to see he was paying no mind as he walked ahead, knowing he would be angry should he hear them speaking of this. "Thror had killed his mate," Balin answered shortly, hoping to be done with the subject that had left such a bitter mark on his family.
"He had a mate?" Kili asked, having been listening. Even then, not knowing just how precarious a topic it was; though he knew from their hushed voices to speak softer than he was used to.
Balin looked over at him sharply, making Kili look down abashed. "Yes he did," Balin answered. "A young woman who my father's mother said she was very kind, and very beautiful."
Both Bilbo and Kili looked at him surprised. "He had a woman?" Bilbo asked astonished.
"Yes," Balin nodded. "My grandmother had been taken by the orcs to aid in her in birthing their son."
"She had Azog's son?" Kili asked in an appalled hushed whisper, that being unheard of.
Balin sighed before nodding. "Her name was Calla," Balin said softly, remembering his father explaining why his grandmother would grow sad on the same day each year and often cried. His grandfather wouldn't speak of it, he would turn in on himself and grow very quiet. But his father explained what had happened, irritated at a young Balin and Dwalin who had asked of the woman their grandmother grieved - his father did not say much of Azog, only that his terrible screams still haunted Borin. And that her death had broken something in the king, for when they returned he had turned away from his son and instead turned to his treasure. "She is the sole reason my grandmother left the orcs alive."
Kili's brows rose nearly to his hairline. "They listened to her?" he asked amazed.
Balin nodded. "She was their leader's mate, and he loved her. My grandmother saw it on his face."
"Can orcs love?" Bilbo asked.
"No," Thorin's deep voice said startling them. He looked upon them severely. "He took her from her home when she was young and kept her for many years as a pet. She was nothing more than his whore, and she has caused enough pain." His tone and his words ended all talk of Azog's woman, no one daring to upset him. But Thorin knew that was not true, for his own father told him of her; of how she had been dressed as an orc, standing by a pale warg who guarded her, and was fighting alongside them. And then of Azog's scream, shrill and pained as only a man mourning his fallen wife could sound. She was no pet, nor was she a whore; Azog had truly loved her, though Thorin would never admit that to himself; for evil cannot love, and the pale orc was evil. And so he did not let himself believe it.
Azog waited on the cliff they had come to for the night, waiting for Yazneg to return to him with Thorin's head. He could hardly look at Yazneg for the memory of Calla had etched itself in his face, so that it took much will for Azog not to kill him out of spite - for Calla had cared for him as a friend. But when Yazneg returned without Thorin's head, bearing the excuse of elves, Azog felt no regret in killing him. And a strange relief settled over Azog when his face was torn off by a warg.
It had taken Azog many years before he could fight as well as he used to, his new arm more difficult to learn and he often hurt himself with it. And it was even more years to track down the dwarf king who had no Mountain to rule under. And so his rage had been tremendous when he had come so close to finally having the dwarf, Daisy holding him in her jaws, an orc with a sword to his throat; and yet still death did not come and Thorin yet again escaped him.
But Thorin did not escape from him in their final battle, though Azog did not have the victory he had planned. The orcs and goblins had at first been vicotorious, but the men and the elves and the dwarves had banded together; and then the eagles had come, and then the bear; and then the orcs saw a loss at hand and began to retreat. But not Azog, he would have his vengeance, he would exact Calla's justice. Many swords, and arrows, and axes bit his skin but he noticed them naught. His pale eyes were aimed at Thorin, gleaming as he fought death to finally kill the last of Durin's line. And Azog did not mind the ax when it came down on his head, he did not mind the cold moments of agony before death; for he had stuck his spike in Thorin's belly, twisting it so that the dwarf cried. And though Azog was dying, he knew he was taking the dwarf with him.
Azog stared straight ahead of him, not knowing which was to go, no clear path he could see; and in all truth he did not know if he were seeing anything at all. But he saw one thing, a dark contrast to the brightness, a small shape compared to his own. It was many moments of staring in fear that this was only another dream, one that would leave him crying out alone in the dark, before he realized she was truly standing before him. It was not until he felt her small hand on his cheek, the warmth of her skin, saw the light in her blue eyes, that he fell to his knees and wept against her chest.
Centuries he had lived without her, years of empty arms and an aching heart; agony, hatred, anger, and the greatest of pains. And all of that washed down his cheeks as he cried, clutching her to him, his tears only streaming faster when he felt her arms around his shoulders as she held him. This was where his happiness had gone, his joy. In her was the sound of his heart, and listening to the beat within her chest he finally found peace.
song is The Haunted Man by Bat For Lashes - have been waiting since the beginning to use those lyrics, cause I think they just describe perfectly how Azog lived after Calla died.
I do not know if orcs have a heaven, or any sort of afterlife; so you can make what you want about that last bit - whether he was only dreaming before he died, or he was actually with her. I will be a romantic and dream that he is with her for eternity, happy and free. But I would just like to thank all of you so much for reading this story, and especially to those who reviewed. It all means so much to me, and I wouldn't have had the motivation to complete this story had you not read and reviewed. So thank you.