A Lady's duty - Book One of the Lorien Princess Trilogy (Legolas Love Story/ Lotr)

Authiel is the daughter of Celeborn and Galadriel, princess and heir to the throne of Lorien. In order to prove herself to her people and her parents, she goes to Rivendell in order to attend a secret council. But, when her duty and her destiny become entwined, she finds herself in a company of an elf, two men, a dwarf, a wizard and four hobbits. What will happen when she discovers something about herself - a mystery buried in time and darkness - and what will happen when the dark lord learns of her power in this tale? Will she survive?

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15. Chapter Fourteen - The Bridge of Khazad- Dum

Gandalf practically leapt from the room, running with a new found spirit which had sprung from the very base of his soul.

“Pelior!” I screamed as I ran after Gandalf, cold hard fear gripping my heart as I ran.

She soared through the air, sharply cutting it with her blade like wings. Continuing to run after Gandalf, I looked to my flapping bird and said,

“Fly on. Go past the bridge and out of this foul place. Wait for us in the sun. Now, go!”

“This way!” Gandalf called as he led us through a huge Dwarrowdelf chamber towards a distant door. The pillars were littered with littered with Goblins who were scuttling down behind us, like cockroaches.

Frodo looked on horrified at the overwhelmed army that had circled us. I pushed Pippin behind me and held my swords firmly in my hands. I glared at the beasts as I twisted the grip on my blades and egged them on with a look that I held in my eyes.

                Suddenly a deafening roar filled the air and a fiery light danced down the hallway; casting an eerie shadow on the pillars. I froze. Fear raked down my spine and my blood turned cold.

A Shadow moves in the dark

The Goblins too froze. They fearfully back away from the beast, melting into the darkness.

“What is this new Devilry?” Boromir asked.

A huge shadow, surrounded by flame, fell across the room. The unearthly rumble shook the ground, and I shrank back. Fear and anger mixed together as my eyes widened.

“No, not here. Please not here. This is meant to occur in Mordor not in Moria. Mordor not Moria. Mordor not Moria. Mordor not Moria.”

But, I soon remembered something that I had been told once by a newly emerged enemy.

You know what they awoke in the dark of Khazad-Dûm. Shadow and flame!

“A Balrog … a creature of the ancient world. This foe is beyond any of you,” Gandalf quietly said, he charged his tone and urgently yelled, “Run! Quickly!”

                Swiftly we ran between the rows of pillars and through a small doorway in the wall; away from the growling beast that was still hidden in the corner; throwing fiery shadows on the pillars that surrounded it. Gandalf ushered us through the doorway before he took one final glance behind him and followed us.

We enter a passageway, which we quickly ran through, and then continued to run down a flight of steps. The flight ends where a section of the steps had fallen through. Boromir didn’t notice the missing segment and almost fell to his death into the fires below but Legolas swiftly pulled him back; it seemed that even with the feud that passed between them, Legolas did not want a member of the Fellowship to die. A torch that Boromir had picked up at some point whirled into the vast underworld beneath us. I had to catch the Hobbits before they too fell into the vast drop below us. Last of all came a weary Gandalf who leant against a wall. I approached him, concern riddling my face. He looked at me as he panted heavily from the fatigue that had dwelled in his chest.

“Someone has to stop this beast in order to allow the others to escape. Or else I doubt that we will leave alive is someone does not do such a thing,” Gandalf breathlessly whispered to me.

“I would gladly volunteer for such a task. It would be my pleasure to falter this beast for the good of our companions.”

“No, your mother has lost enough in these past few years. I doubt she would be able to cope with the sacrifice that her only surviving child and heir passed on; how would your kingdom, your people react? No; not you.”

He looked away from me to Aragorn who had approached us.

“Lead them on Aragorn, the bridge us near.”

Hesitation filled Aragorn’s face and Gandalf looked at him.

“Do as I say; swords are no more use here!”

He looked across the wide space to the long bridge that spanned the gap between the hall and the cliff edge. Aragorn went to move back over to Gandalf but I roughly pushed him away. Hurt and confusion passed across his face as he looked from Gandalf to me and then back again. In the not so distant distance, the Balrog’s roar rippled through the air causing Goosebumps to rise over my skin.

“Go Aragorn, go. Move Aragorn, please we cannot linger!”  

                Reluctantly, Aragorn did as he was told and whilst the Balrog once more reared its ugly head and roared he led us down a twisting flight of stairs into the fiery depths that rose from below.

Suddenly we encountered a gap in stone stairs, obviously a remnant of the Balrog’s last attack upon Moria. If it was not for me, Pippin would have tumbled to his death; thank fully I was able to grab hold of his coat before he fell.

Legolas leapt to the other side in a single, graceful jump. The Balrog rumple tore through the flaming light and above us the foundations splintered and crumbled; sending huge rocks tumbling into the depths.

“Gandalf!” Legolas called, beckoning.

He was hesitant at first. He stood for wait seemed like an age looking at the gap, even though it was more than likely only a few seconds, before he leapt towards Legolas. Arrows whistled through the air from a fair of ledge, striking the stone steps at our feet; the place where Gandalf had stood only moments before. Legolas shot back once both of Gandalf’s feet had been firmly planted upon the ground. His arrow sliced through the air as it rose and pierced the skull of the firing Goblin, who then fell off of the ledge, squealing in agony as he went.

“Merry, Pippin!”

Boromir grabbed hold of the two, twin like Hobbits and jumped across the gap; followed by another fierce exchange of arrows.

“Sam!”

Aragorn pitched Sam to the other side where he was quickly caught by the waiting Boromir. He then reached down to pick us Gimli. But the Dwarf held his hand into the air in protest,

“No one tosses a Dwarf!”

Mustering up a cry from the bottom of his stomach, Gimli charged across the gap. Sadly, he was not able to carry himself across the complete distance. I watched horrified as he failed to grasp the edge and continued to fall to the doom bellow. Thankfully, Legolas had anticipated this for he grabbed hold of Gimli’s beard before he could fall too far and quickly pulled him up; much to Gimli’s protests,

“Not the beard!”

Some of the stone steps crumbled away and dived into the abyss as yet another wave of arrows struck them. I pulled Aragon and Frodo back up the steps and out of harm’s way whilst I scrambled backwards. As the gap continued to widen, Aragorn looked at me and whispered,

“Go!”

Before I could reply, Aragorn had pulled Frodo back giving me a clear path. After taking a few more steps back, I then propelled myself towards the waiting chasm. Once in the air I flipped once before gracefully landing in Legolas’ waiting arms. I swiftly dropped out of them and shared a worried looked with Aragorn. For the gap between us was widening with each passing minute and even Aragorn would not be able to make. Trying not to scare the already terrified Hobbit, Aragorn placed a hand on Frodo’s shoulder,

“Steady … hold on!”

                Horror filled my eyes as my sensitive Elven ears detected the heavy tred of the Balrog as it approached from the chamber behind us. As it grew closer, stone structures from all around the mine began to quake and plummet to their doom. A large rock fell from the ceiling and smashed through the steps behind Aragorn and Frodo, creating another gap behind them and weakened the stairs’ foundations. Slowly the stairs began to wobble. Aragorn held Frodo tightly on the arm, forbidding him from plummeting forwards.

“Hang on!” I cried.

“Lean forward!” Aragorn yelled.

“Come on!” Legolas urged.

Steadily they shifted their weight forward. The stairs rippled across the divide before slamming onto the steps where we were stood. Many arms reached out to pull them to safety. It was Legolas and I who managed to catch them by getting a firm grip upon their clothing. Not wishing to delay, we sprinted down the remainder of the stairs as the stone structures collapsed behind us; falling and crumbling into the abyss.

“Over the bridge, fly!”

                We ran across the stone bridge in single file. When I turned around I realised that Gandalf was not behind us, instead he stood staring at the ever approaching flame. The great form of black flame leapt from through the fire and I caught my first official look at the Balrog of Moria. It was a great man-beast made completely out of shadow and flame. It stood about forty feet high and had a man made of complete flame. Its eyes were made of pure white flame a pair of great ash horns curled out of the top of its bull like head. In one hand it held a blade that slashed and stabbed like a tongue of fire; in the other was the fiery whip that I had witnessed in my vision. With a roar, it opened its mouth and revealed the rippling heat that poured out of every rumble.

Gandalf turned and ran after us. A great, black, cloven foot stomped down into the hall, bursting into flames. We all stood at the base of the bridge, calling Gandalf on; urging him to reach us. But from the look that I detected in his eye, I knew that he was going to do no such thing.

Slowly, Gandalf turned around to face the Balrog.

“You cannot pass!”

Great shadow like wings made of swirling ash whirled around the Balrog which had spread its arms and sent the areas surrounding it into crackling, bursting, thundering flame.

Gandalf stood beneath it; staff and sword raised.

“I am a servant of the secret fire, wielder of the flame of Anor,” A he spoke, he lifted his staff. A blazing light radiated form it, illuminating the entire bridge, encircling the Wizard in an orb of endless light, “The dark night will not avail you, flame of Udûn.”

The Balrog heaved its arm upwards, a sword of fire forming in its hand. It stared down at Gandalf, not moving for some time. Before it suddenly struck down. Gandalf easily pared the blow with his sword; shattering the Balrog’s blade. Glowing embers ran off of the circle of light around the dear Wizard and my heart pounded heavily in my chest as the enraged monster bellowed at my friend. Frodo gasped, and Aragorn tried to run to his side but I held put my arm in order to stop him.

Through clenched teeth, Gandalf cried,

“Go back to the shadow!”

A thread of flame was issued from the beast’s revolting maw and it took a bold step onto the bridge. It brandished its flaming whip and menacingly snapped it across the air. From the way that Gandalf’s muscles were slowly lagging, I could tell that he was using up the last of his energy and he was struggling to control it. In his last breath of energy, he raised his sword and staff into the air, crying,

“You … shall … not … pass!”

                Gandalf crashed his staff into the bridge, causing a bright light of blue to appear. Nostril’s flaring; the Balrog took another step onto the bridge. However, that was its last action for the bridge could not hold the weight of the beast and broke before the Wizard’s staff. The demon plummeted backwards into the chasm, still wielding its whip.

Gandalf, exhausted, leant on his staff and watched the Balrog fall; slowly he turned around to face us. I grinned triumphantly at him but my smile soon vanished. Just as Gandalf began to make his way towards us, the Balrog’s whip lashed up from the depths if the abyss and tightly wound its way around Gandalf’s ankle; pulling his closer to the edge.

Desperately, he clung onto the bridge but the strain was too great for the old man’s feeble bones; the Balrog would not let go until it’s pray had joined him. Frodo rushed forward, wishing to aid the man who meant so much to him, but Boromir restrained him.

Let me help you, Mithrandir!

“No, no!” Boromir cried to the scared Hobbit.

“Gandaaaallllffff!!!!” Frodo screamed as he tried to break free of Boromir’s grasp.

The Wizard looked at me and sadly smiled,

No, keep them safe!

He vainly tried to keep his grasp upon the stone as he looked deep into Frodo’s eyes. Then he stopped struggling. A single tear drifted down my cheek as he whispered,

“Fly, you fool!”

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