15. Chapter 15
The Great Greenwood.
Adlanniel aimed a kick towards the beast's head with her free leg, connecting with the orc's jaw. The orc held fast however and laughed cruelly at her, licking its scarred lips with its forked tongue.
"Zan Kurv!" It growled at her as she continued her desperate struggle to break from its grasp. She aimed another kick for the orc's head, but deflecting it easily enough it lunged at her and took her long, ebony hair tightly into its grasp.
Naturally Adlanniel had been taught and trained predominantly in the art of healing by her father, Lord Elrond and thus was a healer, not a warrior. Indeed, Adlanniel had also been trained somewhat to fight, especially by her brothers and her beloved prince Legolas and his father, the greatest warrior in all of Middle-Earth. However her greatest skills remained in the art of rejuvenation, her fighting skills being more of a defensive nature.
"That is more like it..." The orc hissed into her ear as it pulled her hair back painfully, making her arch back against its body.
"I like my food to be with added spice...." It said, running its disgusting forked tongue along her soft cheek.
The stench of the vile creature repulsed her, fuelling the inner rage that dwelled within her; the hot-headedness and heated spirit that she had inherited from her mother, Celebrían. Little did the orc notice that Adlanniel had begun to pull a hidden dagger from the folds of her hunting tunic.
"I..." Adlanniel began fiercely, the orc still pulling back on her hair and tormenting her.
"Will not be devoured by the likes of you ulunn!" With all the strength she could muster she lunged the dagger into the orc's body, it stiffening and gasping in both shock and agony. She spun around when the orc released its grasp on her hair, pulling out the dagger to plunge it into the orc's eye. The beast let out a loud wail of pain as she twisted the blade around in its socket. She lifted her leg between them and placing her foot onto the orc's stomach she kicked back with all her might, sending the orc flailing back to its inevitable demise, black oozing blood splattering against her with the blade's release.
"Adlanniel!" Legolas called desperately to her, having witnessed some of what had occurred and yet still unable to come within proximity of her due to the continued wave of orcs that besieged them in the scarcely lit darkness of the surrounding forest.
"Legolas!" She cried, dodging a battle-axe that had been aimed at her head. She countered the orc's swing by diving her short-sword into its abdomen, giving her a brief window to gather herself amongst the carnage.
Through the auburn glow of the fallen torches and fires that scorched small patches of ground she was able to see the battle before her. Her escort of Elves were grossly outnumbered, yet managing to hold their ground, their superior fighting skills compared to the orc's clearly apparent. Yet still, despite the many orcs that had fallen to elven arrow or sword, some of her comrades had fallen as well, bringing a deep flooding anguish into her heart.
"Lady Adlanniel..." A familiar voice said urgently from behind her, a strong hand grasping her shoulder. Spinning herself around quickly she came to face the tall captain Idhrenion, his porcelain face splattered with the blood of both orc and elf.
"You must flee from here immediately..." He ordered her desperately, his breathing heavy and strained from the exhaustion of the fight.
"But Legolas..." Adlanniel began in protest, her eyes darting across the battle trying to find her prince.
"I will get him away from here safely. But you must hurry, make haste and leave!" With those words he shoved her back sharply, not out of malice but to avoid the mighty swing of an orc's sword that threatened to come between them. Idhrenion had swung around to counter the orc's next blow, kicking it back fiercely before swiftly decapitating its head from its shoulders. Glancing over to her, seeing that she was still rooted to the spot most likely out of fear he shouted desperately, "Do not tally here my lady! Flee to safety!"
The urgency in his voice spurred her to turn around to begin running, but no sooner had she done so did she hear a pained and gurgling gasp from behind. Her heart stopped beating within her chest as she turned to face the noise.
Every crevice of her being was filled with anguish at the sight before her. Crimson red blood splattered out of his mouth as he grimaced in pain, the droplets shined like jewels from the glow of the fires around them. Idhrenion fell to his knees, dazed from the pain and shock.
"Idhrenion..." The voice came from her in but a whisper, her voice choked with tears of despair and heartache.
He coughed more blood as he turned towards her, exhausting his last amount of energy to plead to her. "Please, my lady, ru..." Yet before he could finish his desperate words another arrow ran him through, the young captain's body slumping to the ground...lifeless.
Adlanniel's eyes widened in disbelief and horror, her eyes fixated on the captain's bloodied body.
"Idhrenion!" She screamed mortified, almost all eyes, including those of Legolas turned to her in surprise. His eyes too became filled with horror and despair when he saw his dear friend slain. The pain he felt then at the death of his companion fuelled a new fury from within his heart, making him fight with a renewed aggression and energy.
Adlanniel too felt the heat of rage burn deep inside her then, her unmerciful glare instantaneously moving to the direction of the cursed archer that had slain the captain.
She let out a blood-curdling cry as she leapt forward, her sword drawn, as she hacked through the orcs that had tried to cower away from her fury. Before she could reach the accursed orc archer, another blast of a war horn resounded through the trees. For an instant the fighting halted as both elf and orc turned to face the direction of the frightening bellow. Before any reaction could be made a great flash of white and silver streaked across the battle scene as the great Elvenking, fully clad in his war armour, leapt across a fallen log on his mighty white steed, mowing down any orc within reach of his brilliant sword. His expression was one of blood-lust and fury; All orcs retreated in fright from the majesty and malice of the Elvenking, for all knew that they were no match against his unrivalled skills. Other elven warriors followed behind the king, all fighting with a savage malice to rid their beloved forest of the filth that dared to taint it.
Adlanniel spotted the orc archer that had slain the captain trying in desperation to flee the scene. She went after him like a wolf after its prey. The archer, in one last act of fear, tried to ready one of his twisted arrows to fire at her. With all of her might she swung her sword to hit the bow out of the orc's hands and it flew with great force into a near by tree, smashing into pieces of flint as it did. Before the orc could react Adlanniel landed a swift kick into its torso, making it stumble helplessly to the ground. Her eyes, glistening hues of orange and red from the nearby flames, were almost rabid as she leapt up high into the air with her elven agility, landing directly on the orc, crushing many of its ribs with her force. She pinned the rotten beast to the ground as it tried to struggle and gasp for breath, yet she felt no sympathy and would give it no quarter despite its sorrowful plight. Lifting her short-sword high above her head she plunged it deep within the orcs flesh, it letting out a screech of pain though soon drowned by the gurgling black ooze that flooded its twisted mouth.
"This..." She began, pulling the blade from its flesh.
"Is for Idhrenion and the countless others you have killed!" She plunged the sword again into its foul body, the black blood splattering all over her as she continued again and again to stab the wretched creature. Such a rage she was in she continued stabbing the beast long after it had died. With each savage stab she screamed in anger, the orc's blood soaking her skin and clothing till almost she, and the orc itself was unrecognisable.
Suddenly two strong arms took hold of her. Still in her fury she tried to struggle but the powerful being, having easily wrenched the sword out of her hands and thrown it aside, stayed her hands and pinned them close to her body.
"Be calm henig, it is over. You are safe." The words spoken to her were calm, warm and gentle. She continued to struggle in anger as hot tears swelled in her eyes and poured down her blood caked face. However, the grasp on her remained firm.
"Do not struggle Adlanniel, nothing can hurt you now."
She looked up at the being that held her then, Thranduil looking kindly back down at her, his brilliant cerulean eyes shimmering from the dimming light, full of reassurance for her, yet, sorrow hiding behind them.
"Legolas...." She managed to splutter through her sobs and numbness after a few moments of the king's safe embrace.
"He is safe and unharmed." Thranduil replied gently. She continued to cling to the Elvenking's body like a frightened child might to a parent after a bad dream. Indeed, it was like a nightmare, her mind blackened and clouded, the voices around her echoing through her head once more as she tried to grasp what had occurred. She looked over her shoulder then, and saw Legolas a short distance away mourning over the body of his closest friend and companion, Idhrenion.
Tears of despair flooded down the young prince's face like a river of sorrow. Adlanniel, not once in her long life with the prince had ever seen him weep. It heightened her own anguish to see him in such pain and she continued to bawl against the king's armour. The Elvenking pitied her as he gently stroked the back of her blood stained hair, knowing full well that this was the first, and hopefully last time she had witnessed and partaken in bloodshed. He understood how difficult it was to deal with, especially for a maiden such as herself, to witness the death of a friend and companion.
Legolas was able to contain himself before she could and had made his way over to where the king was crouching, the elleth still crying in his arms.
"Adlanniel, my love..." Legolas said softly, his voice still slightly strained, as he placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. She turned her head and peered up at him, taking a few moments to absorb the fact that it was he before her.
"Legolas!" She cried as she leapt into his arms, knocking them both to the ground in the process. Thranduil managed to smile at their embrace as both lovers held each other for dear life, fretting over each other's well-being.
The king stood then and, leaving the couple to dwell in their little world a little longer, walked over to a nearby soldier that was pinning an orc underfoot, his blade pointed at the wretched beast's throat. Thranduil stopped to survey his surroundings for a moment. Corpses of countless orcs lay strewn across the ground, the blood of both orc and elf soaked into the dirt and splattered against the trees and foliage. Some elven soldiers had gathered the surviving filth, whilst others attended to the wounded and sang prayers of lamentation for their fallen comrades. He saw two fellow captains lift the lifeless body of their leader, Idhrenion, onto a waiting steed. Seeing the fallen captain, a young elf that Thranduil had held in high regard and had considered a son, burned and pained his heart deeply. He looked back to the soldier that was pinning the orc to the ground.
"Your orders, my lord?" The soldier asked, forcing his foot even harder against the orc's chest to stop it from squirming. Thranduil, his eyes filled with hatred for the creatures, scowled then.
"Dago den. Dago din." He said coldly.
The sounds of steel through flesh, the cries of protest and the chocking sounds of blood and death were enough to snap the couple out of their embrace on the forest floor. As they stood, Legolas looked on surprised at what unfolded before them, the soldiers mercilessly killing the remaining orcs. Indeed, Legolas wanted them all dead after what they had all done, for daring to harm his love and for slaying his best friend. Yet, deep within him he had compassion and mercy even for the foulest of creatures; and the remaining orcs had been rendered defenceless.
"Ada..." Legolas began after the last orc was waylaid.
"Why not?" Thranduil replied simply, his heart still hardened. "It is either slay them here now or let them rot in the dungeons. Either way they would die."
Legolas gulped at how chilling his father was then, having never felt such hatred in the king's voice before. It somewhat frightened him.
"Let us not dwell here any longer. We must bring peace to those who have fallen and lay them to rest...And then attend to the one for whom our kin had fallen to save."
Legolas, knowing not to argue and having no reason to, nodded in agreement. He lifted Adlanniel into his arms as she was still weakened from her sorrow and carried her as he followed the king back to the protection of the halls....
Black Speech - English
Zan Kurv! - Elf whore!
Elvish - English
Ulunn - deformed, hideous creature
Henig - my child
Dago den. Dago din - Kill him/it. Kill them all.