6. Elrond's Decision
Completely A.U. Legolas slave fic. This story was inspired by Bluegolds story "Bound", which can be found here: http://daemel.freespaces.com/authors.html#blue
I use similar plot ideas here with her permission.
Betareader: Many thanks to Randy for polishing this chapter and making it so much better! All remaining errors are my own.
Warnings: Slash. M/m, BDSM, d/s, torture, toys, non-con and debatable consent. Very graphic descriptions. Special warnings for this chapter: none. Please heed the warnings!
Disclaimer: Universe and characters are not mine, but Tolkien's. The idea of the spell, however, belongs to me.
For all other disclaimers and authors notes see Story Intro.
VI. Elrond's Decision
Lord Elrond looked up when his chief advisor entered the door, interrupting his impromptu meeting with his recently arrived, well honored Elven guests. He raised a brow and gave him a questioning glance, asking mildly: "Yes, Erestor?"
Lord Elrond's chief counselor and household steward seemed peeved.
"A delegation of Mirkwood Elves just arrived to see you, My Lord," he said with obvious disgust. "They say they bring an urgent message from their king, Thranduil. Should I let them enter?"
Elrond's face darkened. "What it is this time, I wonder?" he muttered.
Lord Galdor of the Havens, a high ranking Noldo in the service of Lord Cirdan, Shipwright of Mithlond, perked up with interest. "Thranduil you say?" he asked. "I thought he is under your rule, My Lord Elrond. Did you invite him to this council, too?"
Gildor Inglorion, another Noldorin Lord of high rank who was under no one's rule save his own and preferred to wander Eregion with his people, raised his brows. "The invitation to partake went to all free people," he reminded, "or rather to all people not yet under the rule of Sauron. Technically that would include Thranduil's Elves, too."
Elrond scowled. "They are hardly free," he said. "I know you are of a milder opinion in this, Lord Gildor, yet I think you give these Wood-Elves too much credit."
Gildor graciously inclined his head. "Yet their tidings and their warriors may be an asset not easily dismissed in our need. I think they should be given the chance to partake in the council, My Lord Elrond, although you are king Thranduil's liege-lord."
Elrond snorted. "Liege-lord? That would name him merely my vassal and would grant that self announced excuse for an Elvenking more honor than he deserves! He is allowed to keep his rule at my whim alone. And would it not mean far too much trouble to rule that wretched wood and its Elves directly, I would long ago have done away with him!"
Erestor gave his liege-lord a approving bow, adding haughtily: "Besides, My Lord Gildor, My Lord Elrond is Thranduil's overlord. Mirkwood can be well represented by the Lord of Imladris himself. There is no need to allow those lowly Wood-Elves to participate!"
Lord Galdor looked sceptically. "But should they not partake if only to deliver their message? Surely at this point everything that happens in the realms not yet under the Shadow's rule are of concern and should be heard by the whole council, should they not? And we could then weigh their knowledge and news together with all other tidings, and they could learn our news as well and take them home."
Gildor nodded. "I think they should be admitted, if only to fulfill the requirements Mithrandir mentioned to us," he said thoughtfully. "Thranduil's realm may be subjected to yours and he may be under your rule, yet he still has some part to play in this fight against the darkness."
The lord of Rivendell looked quite displeased at his suggestion.
"Thranduil!" Elrond growled. "That stubborn fool! A part to play against the darkness, you say? Just see how his wood is faring and you might reconsider that idea. Always he is trying to obstruct me or to ignore my orders! Always it is 'I need my warriors to fight against the Shadow' or 'I do not have enough warriors to do that'! And always he is trying to rebel! Last time I sent a company of Dwarves to his realm on some mission that had my favor, and what does he do? Instead of treating them as honored guests, sent to him by his overlord, he imprisons them within his dungeons!"
Elrond's oldest son, Elladan, shrugged. He sat beside his father in a comfortable chair and had listened to the conversation up to this point silently and completely bored. Now he said mildly: "Well, as far as old Bilbo told the story Thorin did not tell Thranduil that you had send him, father. To be exact he did not tell Thranduil anything. I deem the Mirkwood king had reason to be suspicious about those Dwarves."
Elrond scowled. He dismissed the notion with an angry gesture. "Anyway! He should have been more humble! He only lives and continue to rule by my grace alone!" he said.
Lord Galdor said: "These Silvain Elves always had their own head..."
Elrond looked grim. "Thranduil is Sindar. And he is as stubborn as his late father Oropher! I really contemplated denying myself to him at the last yen ceremony, shortly after the affair with those Dwarves, and thereby letting him die. That would have taught those obstinate Mirkwood Elves a lesson. But Celeborn objected. He said we still needed Thranduil to fight against the Shadow. I was not greatly surprised; Thranduil is his distant kinsman after all. But he insisted, and so I finally relented."
Gildor gasped. "The king... is under the Mael-Gûl?!"
Elrond snorted. "Of course! How else do you think we ensured his cooperation for twenty yen?" he asked. "He is bound himself, and nearly every hostage of his family and of the nobles he was forced to give us since are bound as well. Though in his case the spell is not wound very tightly. It would be tiresome otherwise!"
Either he did not see the utter horror in Lord Gildor's eyes or he chose to ignore it. With a dismissive shrug he continued: "I gave him what he needed, but I made sure that he gave me his son Legolas as hostage in return, as a plaything for the use of my sons!"
He smiled grimly. "You should have seen him! How he begged me to take him instead, how he offered to accept death or even torture, how he was nearly up in arms even knowing that his warriors were too few and could not stand against me! But in the end he subsided when I threatened that I would see all Mirkwood razed to the ground and his whole family killed if he refused to cooperate. Then I forced him to watch while I put his son under the Mael-Gûl!"
He chuckled with dark pleasure. "He nearly died of grief! It is well that an Elf under the spell can not give up his body and himself that easily, and will not die of sorrow nor rape nor the disturbance of a bond! Or else what use would this spell be to us to keep those Elves in line? We can not allow them to escape to Mandos! I even forbade the Mirkwood Elves as a whole to go over the sea since we shall need them here to fight the Shadow."
Gildor swallowed and shuddered. It was true then. Cirdan was right: the Shadow had truly already touched Imladris deeply, even if the Last Homely House remained still beyond the direct grasp of Sauron. Maybe the Shipwright's claim was true that all the rings were evil and even the Three had been corrupted. Elrond at least seemed thoroughly touched by the Shadow's influence.
He swallowed again. "So the young Thranduilion1 is now the slave of your sons?" he asked.
Elrond shook his head. "Not anymore," he answered. "I took special pleasure in offering him to my foster-son Estel, when he came of age. " He smiled. "They seem to get along quite well," he mused. "It is somewhat astonishing indeed, given Estel's rather... special needs. But he seems quite taken with that Mirkwood spawn. And Legolas seems loyal enough to him, too."
Lord Galdor drew his brows together. "Legolas?" he asked, "The archer? Thranduil's youngest? Did you allow him to keep his weapons? That Elf has quite a reputation with the bow, as I recall!"
Elrond shrugged. "He is bound to his master very tightly," he said. "And he has proven himself loyal so far. Of course he knows that if anything should happen to Estel we would let him die, and there is nobody else he could turn to. Besides, he would risk the lives of the other hostages as well if he rebelled."
Glorfindel interjected: "Besides, young Estel treats him well enough outside their bed. Legolas really seems to like him! And it would be a shame to lose his bow against the Orcs. We need every skilled fighter we can get for our side in this war, be he free or not!"
Gildor wrinkled his brows. "Maybe," he mused. "But how can we trust slaves against the Shadow? What if the enemy offers them to set them free?"
Elrond shrugged again. "There is nothing the enemy can offer to those slaves," he said. "There is no way to break the spell even by the darkest means of Sauron. There is nothing they could hope to gain by allying themselves with the Shadow."
Elladan added: "Legolas has proven himself a loyal companion. He would never betray us to the Enemy. And he is a skilled warrior who has slain many Orcs even before he came to us."
Elrond's eyes narrowed. "You give that Mirkwood spawn far too much credit," he growled. "His place is in my foster son's bed, not at his side in his campaigns!" He grew thoughtful. "Maybe Estel should be forced to lend him out to you more often!"
Elladan seemed taken aback. Beside him his twin Elrohir protested: "But Ada2!!!"
Gildor coughed. He decided to redirect the conversation.
"My Lord Elrond," he said, "forgive my curiosity, but... your foster-son is mortal, is he not? He is one of the Dunedain. What will become of his slave when he dies? Wouldn't this condemn the slave to death as well?"
Elrond gave a hard smile and shrugged again. "Possibly," he admitted. "I suppose that Estel always could decide to pass the slave on to his descendants." He made a dismissive gesture. "It doesn't matter. I suppose Thranduil himself will have to go to Mandos, too, once I cross the sea. Except if I decide to pass him on to Celeborn. But I doubt I will."
Gildor was frozen in horror. "But – that would be Kinslaying!" he protested weakly.
Elrond snorted. "Oh, please!" he said. "You did not think we overthrew them without a fight in the first place, did you? I know you and your Elves stayed neutral in that war; so did Cirdan. But both of you have agreed to partake of the gains and accept the situation afterwards, and you have been our alleys ever since. It seems a bit late to me to raise the question of Kinslaying now."
Gildor frowned. Galdor drew his brows together. Erestor shrugged and supported his Lord calmly and disdainfully: "It would be nothing more than what this obstinate Mirkwood King deserves, My Lord."
Gildor swallowed. With some effort he shoved his horror and revulsion aside. Now was certainly not the time to question or dissolve the current Elven alliances! He decided to abandon this train of thought and return to the original problem.
"But what should be done now about this delegation?" he asked. "I still think they should be allowed to participate."
Lord Galdor added: "And I would still vote to include their report at the council, where all gathered representatives can hear it, too. I would think it was important to hear all information that we have together."
Glorfindel nodded. "You should let them participate," he counseled his liege-lord, "as representatives of Mirkwood. They can carry all the tidings and the decisions of the council home to their people afterwards, so they will be informed, too."
Suddenly, Elrond had a splendid thought. "No," he said with an evil gleam in his eyes. "I do not think so. If Mirkwood shall be represented at the council by one of its Elves, let it be done by someone of appropriate rank. Let Thranduil be represented by his youngest son!"
Gildor raised his brows. "Legolas? But you just said he is a slave!" he pointed out.
Elrond nodded. "Exactly! It is perfect, is it not? After all he is Mirkwood's prince, undoubtedly fit to represent its people! And since he is a slave his rank will mirror the true position of his realm perfectly!"
Gildor shuddered again. Lord Galdor raised his brows.
"I don't think that is a good idea, My Lord," he objected politely, "There will be strangers at this council after all – Edain and even Naugrim3. Should we not keep Elven politics discreet among ourselves?"
Gildor sighed. So much for assembling all free races of Middle Earth to work together and share important news! But he had to admit he felt not really comfortable with the thought of spreading the dirty secrets of the fourth Elven Kinslaying and the enslavement of the Elven hostages of the subjected Mirkwood realm out in front of Dwarves and Humans, either.
Elrond shrugged. "Very well. We will not openly discuss Mirkwood's subject state or the position of its representative among the council. If it has to be addressed in any way it shall be done in Elvish. We shall keep that matter private. But Legolas will attend as representative of his father's realm."
He seemed quite satisfied with his decision. Gildor swallowed. Lord Elrond positively scared him.
Erestor offered his Lord an approving bow.
Addressing the still lingering problem of the waiting messengers he asked: "And what of the urgent message the Mirkwood Elves claim to bring, My Lord?"
Elrond shrugged. "Let us hear it at the council!" he decided. "If it contains bad news and Mirkwood has failed our expectations once again they will have to do penance. If so, we may decide what it should be in a more private meeting afterwards." He smiled maliciously. "I rather hope they have failed us. It would not be the first time after all. And I quite look forward to deciding what this penance should be."
Gildor's stomach churned. Obviously the darkness held already a much firmer claim on Imladris than Cirdan and Mithrandir suspected. He took a deep breath to calm himself.
Erestor bowed again. "With your permission, My Lord," he said, "I will tell that Mirkwood spawn of your decision."
Elrond gave him a nod and the advisor left. Elrond sighed and turned back to his guests.
"Now, where did we stop?" he asked.
________________ o ________________
-- TBC --
(1) ion – Sindarin: son; Thranduilion: son (of) Thranduil.
(2) Ada – Sindarin: daddy (dear form of Adar – Father).
(3) Edain – Sindarin: Men, human men (plural). Naugrim – Sindarin: Dwarves (plural).
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