Dance of Terrible Grace: 1. Dance of Terrible Grace

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1. Dance of Terrible Grace

I love to kill.

Does that shock you? Does it not fit your image of an elf, care-free and ethereal, Fa-la-la-la-laley, welcome to the valley? That I kill, with arrow and twin white blades, with fierce joy and pride in my speed and strength?

In the dark of Moria the orcs found us in the Hall of Records. My bow sang as they burst through the barred door. I gloried in the smooth rhythm of nock and pull and release. Each arrow flew like the little death of love, delivering the greater death of war. When at last my quiver was exhausted I drew my blades and began the dance.

The blood of orcs runs black, black as the night they favor, black as night without stars. Their blood ran in ribbons down my blades, yet could no more stain them than the night can besmirch the moon. Most fell to a single thrust, but one, stronger and faster than the rest, fought some time with me, wounding me. I felt no pain in the heat of battle; only the red blood on my tunic warned me that I had been kissed by the enemy's blade.

His sword was smeared with my blood. He stopped there and licked at that bit of red. I gave the fell creature that moment without attacking. He thought to daunt me with the gesture, but it did not concern me--I would be the last thing he tasted. Let him die with my blood on his tongue, my blade in his heart.

Someone, one of the hobbits, perhaps, screamed then. I looked towards the sound, but Aragorn had already leaped to the hobbits' defense. When I looked back my enemy was falling, a dwarven axe half-buried in his throat.

"He was mine," I growled.

The dwarf braced his foot against the orc's head and pulled his axe free. "You were too slow, elf," he growled back. His boot was black with blood.

He spun and threw one of his smaller axes at an advancing orc and then ducked under the sword of another standing on his cousin's tomb to chop at its legs. The orc jumped clear and swung at him again. The dwarf fought it with mighty swings of his axe, batting its heavy sword aside as if it were a child's willow wand. He fought with power where I would fight with speed, yet still he possessed a grace and elegance to his movements. He quickly backed the orc against the tomb and cleaved head from neck.

"For Balin!" he cried, kneeling by the tomb and bowing his head.

Aragorn had killed the last orc while I was watching the dwarf's battle. We fled then, for the full force of orcs in Moria was more than our small fellowship could withstand. I pulled the dwarf from his grief and as we ran I saw him, as flushed and alive with the light of battle as myself. I knew him then for beautiful.

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Adina Atl

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Action

Rating: General

Last Updated: 03/16/04

Original Post: 03/09/04

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Playlists Featuring the Story

Delightful Dwarf Stories - 2 stories - Owner: Delving into Dwarves
Dwarves are often seen as being underrepresented in fan fiction. As these stories show, that is not the case. Members of the workshop are encouraged to add links to their favorite stories or to add one story of their own to this playlist. Please contact the HAWorkshop Admin to request authors be added to the workshop. To add a story to the playlist, join the workshop and from the shop main page, click the ‘Stories’ link next to the playlist name, then click the “Add Story to Playlist” link. Select the story you wish to add from the drop down list. Type the reason you are adding this story to the playlist in the box and click ‘add’. To create a new playlist, shops can have many playlists, join a shop, or create your own shop, click the “Add Playlist to Shop” link, and follow the on-screen instructions.
Included because: A non-typical look at the image of dwarves.
Dwim's Legolas-Gimli playlist - 9 stories - Owner: Dwimordene
Legolas and Gimli. I'm rather hard to please in this category, mostly because of my Legolas antipathy. That's right, I don't get the lusting, I don't even get (half the time) the fascination. I've gone from indifference to "I just don't much like the Elf at all."

So when I find a Legolas-Gimli fic that makes me squeal with joy, it's a rare and good thing, and so I thought I'd share my joy and also categorize it for easy retrieval.

So here follow my favorites. It's a short list right now, and will likely grow slowly.
Included because: What kind of people bond over counting the individual enemies they've killed? Legolas' first perception of worth in Gimli leaves one feeling slightly chilled.

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