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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8. Chapter Seven - The Council of Elrond

We walked for several minutes and my dear nephews led me to an open pavilion where a large range of oak chairs were seated in a circle. Only two chairs were different. Both were much bolder than the others. One was seated with Elrond upon it and the other was empty.

Elrohir gave me back my staff which I quickly thanked him for. They both bowed to me and then hurried away at an immense speed.

Holding  my head up high I strode confidently into the circle.

“Ah my Lady. I see my sons did indeed collect you. I worried that you would miss it!” Elrond said to me with a nod.

“I am terribly sorry for my almost lateness Elrond. I was … distracted.”

“At least you were not actually late. Come take this seat beside me!”

A smile slipped onto my face as I settled down in the other grand chair. Looking around I realised that most were staring at me. I made eye contact with all the elves and gave each a courteous nod which they all returned. Several dwarves were also sat around the circle, which shocked me quite a bit considering that they were all being civil they hate my kin with a passion yet here they were being decent, and there was one who I recognised. Though his thick red hair was greyer than I remembered and he was much larger around the middle, it was still the same dwarf that I knew so well. I gave Glóin a loving smile which he willingly received and returned it with a nod of his head.

                It seemed that some were startled by my appearance, but only one dared to voice their outrage. A man from Gondor rose from his seat and cried,

“She cannot be here. Only men can decide the fate of our world! Be gone woman. Go and care for our children and cook our food!”

All I could do was laugh. I just sat there laughing in my seat for some time and only when these feelings had stopped could I sit up straight. I whipped the tears of laughter that had formed in my eyes from the giggling fit that had consumed me. Then I looked the man deep in the eye and said,

“You, sir, are too naïve for your own good!”

“Oh and why is that?”

“You make comments that are foolish before you even know the person that you speak of. You say that I should go back to where I belong and that would still be here. I have fought in more wars that most here will ever fight in their lives, even some of my own kin have not fought in as many as I have. I am none through several realms including your own Boromir, son of the Steward of Gondor, so do not judge one whom you have not been fully acquainted with!”

A chuckle escaped from Elrond’s mouth and I watched Boromir as he looked at me completely shocked at my words. He slowly settled back into his seat with a sudden drop and ran his fingers across his forehead. Just as I was turning my head away I caught sight of Legolas sending a cheeky wink to me. Rolling my eyes, I heard a voice say,

“Only you could get away with an outburst like that!”

                Looking to my side, I saw that a man with long brown hair and light blue eyes dressed in a soft grey sleeveless surcoat worn over a long sleeved black and silver tunic was sat beside me.

“What can I say; my dear Elessar, only I can do such bold things.”

“Obviously!” He sighed.

I grinned at him and I was about to turn away from him when I added,

“Oh and Elessar, take a bath my dear boy!”

Lightly he chuckled under his breath,

“One, I bathed yesterday and two, only you could think of that about something like that at a time like this.”

                Our conversation was cut short by Elrond who rose out of his seat and stood waiting for everyone to be silent. When they were he opened his mouth and spoke,

“Strangers from distant lands, friends of old. You’ve 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 bond to this fate, this one doom. Bring forth the ring, Frodo.”

                All eyes watched the hobbit as he slowly walked towards the stone pillar in the centre of the circle. I could see his right hand was clenched tightly around something – something which I presumed to be the Ring.

Slowly he placed the ring on the pillar as if it was this delicate item, which of course is absurd since the Ring is the deadliest weapon on the planet. From then on people ignored Frodo, each muttering and murmuring to each other about the deadly object. Out of all of them, Boromir was the loudest.

“So it is true!”

Frodo sat back down in his seat and he let out a sigh of relief; grateful that he no longer feeling the burden of the Ring of power.

Meanwhile, all were staring at the ring; fixated. They looked as though the ring was talking to each and every one of them, trying to egg a being to be its new owner. Yet, I could not look at it. In fact I did not wish to be in its presents. Even from the great distance that I was sat at, I could still feel its evil.

Boromir stood up suddenly and spoke,

“In a dream I saw the eastern sky grow dark but in the west a pale light lingered. A voice was crying: ‘Your doom is near. Isildur’s bane is found’ Isildur’s bane.”

As he had been talking, he stepped closer and closer to the Ring. He then extended his hand to take it ….

“Boromir!” Elrond yelled, springing to his feet.

                The sky grew dark and a fell voice filled the air. An old man rose from his seat. He wore a tall pointed grey hat, a long grey cloak, and a silver scarf. He had a long white beard and bushy eyebrows that stuck out beyond the brim of his hat. This was Gandalf the Grey, one of the Istari that took the form of men; and my magical trainer. Gandalf spoke to the approaching darkness in the Black Speech of Mordor,

“Ash nazg durbatulûk,

Ash nazg gimbatul,

Ash nazg thrakatulûk,

Agh burum-ishi krimpatul.”

 

[One Ring to rule them all,

One Ring to find them,

One Ring to bring them all,

And in the darkness bind them.]

 

       Shivering at the evil, I stared at the black sky wishing it away. My breath came heavy as the voice of the Ring echoed in my ears; it too talking in its native dark tongue.

Eventually the voice was banished and Boromir hastily returned to his seat. My breath soon returned to normal and I was able to relax once more.

“Never before has any voice uttered the words of that tongue here in Imladris!” Elrond cried, obviously outraged.

“I do not ask your pardon, Master Elrond, for the Black Speech of Mordor may yet be heard I every corner of the west! The Ring is altogether evil.” Gandalf replied.

“It is a gift!” Boromir retorted, “A gift to the foes of Mordor. Why not use this Ring? Long has my father, the Steward of Gondor, kept 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!”

At his words, a sort of drowsiness slapped into me. My head felt strange. I did my best to ignore it for Elessar was now talking back to Boromir.

“You cannot wield it. None of us can. The One Ring answers to Sauron alone. It has no other master.”

“And what would a Ranger know of this matter?” Boromir remarked.

Of course Legolas had  to get involved in this conversation at some point. He shot to his feet and cried in anger,

“This is no mere ranger. He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. You owe him your allegiance!”

“Aragorn!” Boromir said in disbelief, “ This is Isildur’s heir?”

“And heir to the throne of Gondor!”

“Havo dad, Legolas!” Aragorn said calmly, seeming to not at all be offended by Boromir’s words.

[Sit down, Legolas!]

“Gondor has no King. Gondor needs no King!” Boromir spat.

An awkward silence filled the air. A silence which I could barely register thanks to the fog that was descending around my head.

“Aragorn is right. We cannot us it!” Gandalf said from his seat beside Frodo.

Elrond rose from his seat calmly once more,

“You have only one choice. The Ring must be destroyed.”

                A dwarf who was sat beside Glóin rose from his seat, strange but I could see a remarkable resemblance between the two dwarves. He approached the Ring and said in a rough voice,

“Wait are we waiting for?”

With a war cry he slammed his axe into down on the Ring. To every one’s surprise the axe chattered pretty much instantly, bits flew in all directions. The dwarf who had brandished the axe was thrown backwards. All he could do was stare in confusion of his broken weapon.

“The Ring cannot be destroyed, Gimli, son of Glóin, 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 fire whence it came. One of you must do this!” Elrond explained.

The world around me began to grow quieter and quieter, and all I could hear was a whisper of a voice coming from Boromir,

“One does not simply walk into Mordor. Its Black Gates are guarded by more than just Orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep. 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 cried.

“And I suppose you think you are the one to do it!” Gimli growled back.

“And if we fail, what then? What happens when Sauron takes back what is his?” Boromir demanded.

“I will  be dead before I see the Ring in  the hands of an Elf! Never trust an ….”

                But Gimli’s voice trailed off for all eyes were now on me. The world around me was so quiet that I could barely even make out the sound of my own breath. Unwillingly, my legs pushed me up from my seat. My eyes were glued shut and I was forced to trek forwards; blind.

“Authiel,” A whisper of a voice called, “What are you doing?”

The  voice could have belonged to Aragorn. But I was not sure. A force slammed under my feet and I knew that I was hovering above the Ring. My head straightened and my mouth opened; and a voice slipped from my throat. A voice that was not recognisable as my own for it was cold and emotionless.

“Ten members of the Fellowship,

Ten times brave and true.

But if some are not careful

Then all will be through.

 

If this is so, then two will be lost.

One in darkness which bears a great cost.

The other soon after, there is no doubt

That he will split up the short and stout.

 

Eight there will be,

All separate from loss.

Three with the enemy,

Two still lost.

 

One will return,

And those shall be saved.

But battle will keep all apart

For many a day.

 

Two still apart,

One never to return.

If it is not destroyed

Then evil will churn.

 

If that is so

Then none can survive.

Unless those who go

Do risk their lives.

 

Ten fine companions

All brave and true.

They are the ones

That will save the world for you.

 

                As quickly as the fog had consumed my mind arrived, it vanished. The wind disappeared from beneath me and I fell towards the ground. Thankfully someone was smart enough to see the danger that I was in for a pair of strong arms caught me just before I slammed into the ground. Slowly, I opened my eyes to see Legolas’ radiant hair by the side of my face. He was smiling down at me lovingly.

“Thank you … Legolas!” I said breathlessly.

Carefully he placed me on the ground and held out his hand to help me stand. Once both my feet were firmly planted upon the ground, he took my hand and led me back to my chair. As soon as he was certain that all was well for me, he returned to his former position of glaring at Gimli.

However, no one made any moves of hate towards one another. They were still all looking at me. Once I was settled – and the feeling that my throat was full of sand had disappeared – I sighed.

“You have all heard my prophecy!” I announced, with a careless wave of my hand I added, “Continue with your fighting if you wish.”

Gimli did not need to be told twice.   

“As I was saying … I will be dead before I see the ring in the hands of an elf. Never trust and elf!”

                Everyone had grown so tired of Gimli’s shouts and I knew that he had deeply offended my kin once too often. People jumped up and were shouting at one another. Even Gandalf had joined in. It was his voice that was ringing clear above the rabble.

“Do you not understand?” He roared at anyone who would to him, coincidently that was Boromir, “While you bicker, Sauron’s power grows! None can escape it! You’ll all be destroyed!”

                It seemed that only myself, Elrond, Aragorn and Frodo were the only ones who were still seated.

My eyes fell on the poor hobbit. He looked in pain, sat there clutching the side of his head and staring completely transfixed at the Ring. Suddenly he leapt from his seat and cried in his quiet voice,

“I will take it! I will take it!”

The mob gradually grew quiet and all eyes were on Frodo.

“I will take the Ring to Mordor … though I do not know the way ….”

“I will help you bear this burden, Frodo Baggins, as long as it is yours to bear!” Gandalf said walking to stand by Frodo.

“If by my life or death I can protect you, I will,” Aragorn promised, kneeling in front of the shocked Halfling, “You have my sword!”

Legolas was next, “And you have my bow!”

“And my axe!” Gimli said in his gruff.

Once each of them was stood behind Frodo with Gandalf – and Legolas and Gimli were able to give each other death glares – Boromir said,

“You carry the fates of us all, little one. If this is indeed the will of the Council then Gondor will see it done.”

“Hey!” A new voice shouted.

A fairly round hobbit with a kind face leaped from behind a bush.

“Mr Frodo’s not going anywhere without me!”

“Indeed it is hardly possible to separate you even when he is summoned to a secret council and you are not!” Elrond smirked.

“Oi! We’re coming to!” Another voice cried.

The taut looking hobbit that had spoken to me earlier was running from behind two stone pillars with the other hobbit that I had  seen and pushed his way through the group so that he could stand beside Frodo.

“You’ll have to send us home tied up in a sack to stop is!”

“Anyway,” The other one said, “You need people of intelligence on this sort of mission … quest … thing …”

I stifled a laugh from behind my hand as I watched him smugly hold his arms across his chest as if he was proud of his comment.

“Well that rules you out Pip!”

“Ten companions!”

“Ten? Elrond you must be mistaken. There are only nine present!”

“No, my dear Lady, I did mean ten!”

“Then who is the final member?”

“You!”

“Me?” I exclaimed standing up from my seat and looking at Elrond in disbelief.

“Why else do you think your dear Mother sent you here?”

“Sure-surely not ….”

“It is true. You, Authiel, Daughter of Galadriel and Celeborn, Princess of Lothlorien; the heart of Elvendom on Earth, are the tenth member of the Fellowship!”

A smile slipped onto my full lips. I approached Frodo calmly, slightly acknowledging the bows of the head that the elves, men and dwarves as I passed them and completely ignoring the shocked glares that Boromir was shooting at me, when I was in front of him I knelt before him.

“I promise you this, Frodo Baggins. I will always be by your side as a listener, a  guider and a fighter until you no longer need me. I will protect you as I did your Uncle before you; and I will always be a friend.”

                I took my place beside Aragorn and looked over our group. Yes we were an unlikely companionship, but I could tell that it would work.

“So be it!” Elrond said with an amused look on his face, he too had been looking at our group of unlikely people, “You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring!”

I smiled at each of the members in turn, my eyes lingering on Legolas for slightly longer. He gave me a sneaky smirk when he saw me gazing his way, which I did my best to ignore since I did not want the rest of the Fellowship to see me blush and to figure out Legolas’ and mines relationship before we had even left Rivendell.

“Great!” Pip said with a grin, he paused and looked over at his taut friend and asked, “Where are we going.

All eyes fell on him and I let out an amused chuckle.

This is definitely going to be interesting!   

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