November 17, 2023
11/19/2023 12:47 PM
Question of Faith | LOTR sample
Question of faith
Lothlórien. For as few times as he had traveled to that land, Legolas could
always seem to recall the beauty of it from pure imagination alone. Perhaps one could understand that doing such a thing was not hard; had they been there themselves. For he could think of no other land adorned with such vibrant colors and intricate structures crafted throughout the trees. True, each of the elven cities was a sight to behold -- for each had its own breathtaking elements to them. But Lothlórien had an aura to it that Legolas could not put into words. In the darkness of the night, the city seemed to glow with spiraling trees of silver and gold. It was a beauty that had to be experienced firsthand and explored under the blessing of Lady Galadriel.
It was at times such as the one present that he wished he could have come to Lothlórien under less strain. It would seem, as the years continued to pass, that each time he found himself within the boundaries of the elven city; something was amiss. This time, it was because of a ring. The one ring. Legolas had no one else to blame but himself for getting into this situation. His father had sent him to Rivendell as a messenger to represent Mirkwood. Thranduil had not told him to pledge his allegiance to anyone. But the prince had offered his services to the Fellowship. In doing so he had given his loyalty to a hobbit and vowed to follow him until he was no longer needed.
He had not expected it to lead him here. How he wished other reasons had led him to be here. To visit with Lady Galadriel under different circumstances would have been considered an honor. But instead, he and his companions were there for protection. They had suffered too many losses in the short time frame they had been on their journey. One of those losses had struck even the elf deep. But he did not let emotions hang so visibly on his features. Only when Lady Galadriel had dismissed them and bid them to rest had he finally commented on it. The lament for Gandalf had struck a chord in the prince's chest. Heartstrings felt as if they were being pulled taunt. His movements became more rigid while his iris' were restricted. Nails had scraped lightly along the sides of the silver vase in his grasp. "I have not the heart to repeat what they are saying." It had been the only thing said to the young hobbits around him as he peered up at the trees when they asked what the elves were singing. It was obvious that the grey wizard had meant a lot to many throughout the lands of Middle Earth. So much to the point that Legolas had chosen to vanish shortly after the lament had started.
If there was one thing that many would come to know about the Sindarin elf it was that when he became troubled he would often wander. Sometimes he didn't go far, other times he would wander for miles. To Legolas, the miles traveled did not truly matter for he never grew tired from walking. But since he could not leave his company far behind he had settled for putting a simple mile between himself and them on that night. During his exploration through the woods, he'd find himself murmuring a message of farewell. Normally, it was one that the blonde would say when an animal had lost its life. But, for whatever reason, he echoed those words now as he ventured further and further.
"Rest well beyond the silver falls of life, with the rest of your ancestors. May your next life come easier, be happier, and carry less darkness. With this life, you may be done. But in the next, you are only just beginning."
Did it feel right to be bidding Gandalf farewell? No. It did not feel proper. Something in his metaphysical being told the prince that the wizard was not gone for good. But, at the same time, he was uncertain if he should trust himself on that level. To trust the spiritual aspect of things seemed foolish sometimes. For as connected as Legolas could be to the land around him, or things of a more spiritual essence, he still did doubt that intuition at times. Right now something was telling him that Gandalf was not gone. But how could he not be? Legolas had watched him plummet and fall along with the Balrog. It was not to say that he did not harbor hope, or have faith, that Gandalf would return from his battle with the beast; but he had an easier time focusing on the more physical side of things.
Physical. He had to ground himself in a physical manner to calm his mind and wash away the worry. If Gandalf was still out there, as his intuition told him, then he would return in time. But if he were not, then, there was no point questioning the possibility of it. Legolas had to find a way to ground himself and let the fates handle that part. His own part was still currently at play and may be for a long while to come. Such was why he had to find something to settle his mind as he continued to wander through the towering trees of shimmering silver.
Fortunately, it would not take long for his efforts to lead him to a pond settled beneath an opening in the canopy bed overhead. Seemingly, his keen sense of hearing had been leading him toward a source of water without the elf consciously recognizing it. He had the fish splashing around in a far quadrant of the pond to thank for that. If he had been in unprotected lands then he may have scolded himself for getting lost in thought and abandoning most of his senses. But, in the land of Lothlórien, he did not have to worry over who was watching him from a far-off distance.
Upon that thought, Legolas allowed himself to wander freely toward the edge of the water before kneeling down. Out beyond the borders of this land, he would not have let himself get so near to water without his guard up. If only because it was a surefire way to invite an attack upon oneself. Here, however, he was safe to draw near as eyes of cyan blue peered down at the water. His right hand would reach out to gently graze across the top of the crystal clear liquid before him. It had been a while since he had found water so clear and peaceful.
Knowing that water was a source of grounding for himself, he had chosen to venture into it. Before doing so, the elf had removed most of his attire. The only thing left on his body were the pants he had come in. For he was not going to go so far as to reveal every inch of his being to the outside world. But Legolas did not mind stripping his quiver, sword, boots, and the tunic he often wore to free himself.
Only after each item had been removed did Legolas make his way into the water. To do so he must step down off of a ledge. For the body of water appeared to be elven made into the land and not naturally formed. There was no meeting point between water and land at a shoreline. Instead, there were ledges all around the area that one must step down from and freely into the water itself. The first step had been the most unsteady as toes curled into the mud beneath the surface. His palms had taken purchase of the grass along the edge until he could steady his weight along the bottom and find a safe passage to venture deeper by foot alone. He'd continue like so until he was standing waist-deep with water all around himself. Fingers would tread through the crystal clear waters and cause small ripples before himself as he gazed up at the moon. The sensation of peace slowly began to drift over the prince and engulf his mind as he focused on the ebb and flow of the elements surrounding him. Even the fish that had been playing in the water would soon begin to swim around the prince's legs and between his ankles to soothe him further.
Seemingly, enough time had passed since the elf had first ventured off up until now. For as Legolas stood within the water with his head tilted back so the moonlight could glisten across his face and toned abs he could also hear footsteps growing near. "You could have come sooner, you know?" Finally, he chose to speak for the first time since uttering the small message of farewell to Gandalf on his way here. "I would not have cast you away." He added while lowering his head so his chin became even with his shoulders as if to stretch the neck muscles fully. "Nor do I think you would have." Words left the elder silvan elf as he approached the edge of the lake. "But even you need time to mourn, Legolas." If anyone was going to understand that it was going to be Haldir. He was known for carrying emotions within himself and not sharing them. Some labeled him the stoic sort for it. But often times it would seem that he simply did not want to burden others with his own emotions. Such was why he did not follow so closely and make himself known sooner. He could understand why Legolas was wandering off. "I have done my fair share of it already." Words escaped him on a calm breath as he smiled faintly before turning to face the elder elf. "Do not tell me you came here to check on me?" For that did not seem right. Haldir did not often follow for no reason and Legolas knew that. So when the elder had given a simple 'no', Legolas laughed softly and made his way back towards the edge.
"Then why are you here? What makes your mind grow ill?"
It was upon the moment that Legolas reached the edge of the water when Haldir would hold out his hand to the prince to help him up. "You chose to freely give your time to the one who bares the ring. Do you honestly believe this will be the journey to put an end to all of this suffering?" To anyone else, it may have been a question that would have stopped them in their tracts. But, Haldir knew that Legolas was the sort to think every situation over, and over, and over until he had pretty much considered every angle of a situation. While some around him found it to be an annoying trait, there were others like Haldir who valued it. That did not mean, however, that he would answer swiftly. Instead, Legolas chose to take Haldir's hand and climb up out of the lake. The wind that rushed around them drove a chill deep into his bones and made the prince shiver in place while he contemplated how to answer the question. It was only when he released his friend's hand that he would allow a sigh to escape his lips. "I have thought about it..." Legolas would muse while ringing out the ends of his hair to free it of the remaining water droplets that fell to his feet. Did he honestly think this would be the end of it? Did Legolas believe that Frodo would have enough internal strength to carry the ring to Mordor and drop it into the depths of the fire that had created it? No. He in fact did not think the hobbit had it in him; he knew so little about Frodo though that he realized he could also be wrong. After all, so many of the others believed in the boy. If they were willing to put their faith and trust into the hobbit, then Legolas felt he must as well.
Taking the time to pause in his answer again he would shift his gaze to peer up at the moon. "There are only two ways this adventure can go. Either Frodo does have the strength, the courage, and the stamina to get to Mordor and destroy that ring. Or, the third age ends in great peril, and the world as we know it is doomed to exist under the reign of a tyrant for as long as it continues to exist." Even with these words, he knew he had not answered Haldir directly. This was one time, amongst a few times in his life that Legolas wished he could lie and tell Haldir what he wanted to hear. But, they both knew that Legolas did not possess the ability to lie. It was something that had never come easy to him. In fact, he had never told a single lie in his life. "I do not have as much faith in him as I should. His heart seems in the right place. But I have never known a hobbit to possess the quality and stamina needed for such an adventure." Admitting that seemed to weigh heavy on the younger of the two. More so he could tell it seemed to lessen the hope of the one before him as Haldir's shoulders seemed to drop at either side. "Then why have you offered service?" It was a fair question that Legolas again had to ponder. To offer one's service was not done lightly.
"Because--" Legolas would cut himself off to contemplate the question. Did he actually not have an answer so readily available? That was concerning even to the prince himself to the point he frowned. "Sometimes faith can be kindled when one least expects it. Perhaps I am hoping he will spark what little faith I do have. . . and turn it into something brighter. Gandalf would not have given his life if this was not the right path to take. Nor Lord Elrond have called the council." Legolas mused softly while peering down at the ground.
In the time it had taken Legolas to give such an answer, he had felt Haldir pass by him to gather the prince's items from the forest floor. "Then you do have faith." It was not much faith, not as much as the elder had been hoping to hear, but it was a start. Though as Haldir went to speak again he had fallen silent when turning to face the prince. Seemingly something had caught his eye at that very moment. It was not often he had seen Legolas unsheathed like so. In fact, he could not think of the last time he had seen Legolas like this before himself without much clothing. While some may think he had fallen silent due to a moment of unexpected attraction, it was not that at all. In fact, it was far from that.
Centuries ago, when Legolas had been but four hundred years old, an event had transpired. One of the Sindarin elves had chosen to try and assassinate the prince in his sleep. Clearly, the attempt had failed and Legolas was alive. But word had spread like wildfire through the elvish folk of how the young prince had been attacked. It was said that his body had been wounded to the point he had needed extensive surgery. Lord Elrond was believed to have been there during that time despite King Thranduil's disapproval. But while the healing process had been going on, there had been soft murmurs spreading of how he may never be able to use his arms again. Many believed he would never be able to wield a bow again, or tend to himself, or do many other things that gave the elves a sense of purpose and autonomy. It was said the attack had ripped through flesh, tendon, and muscle. For so many years Haldir had questioned the truth of those tails for he had never seen the aftermath present in how Legolas carried himself. The only known fact Haldir possessed in his mind was that it was the first time Legolas had exercised a certain right given to him by birth. The prince had exiled the elf responsible to live as an outcast from his people instead of demanding their head in death; perhaps as a form of mercy. For Legolas could be cruel but he did not want to kill one of his own kind regardless of their own actions. But now, as the elven prince stood before him with his back visible to the world around them, Haldir could see it. He knew the entirety of the stories spoken must now be true.
As orbs of emerald traversed along the prince's back he couldn't help but feel a weight crash down over himself. Every muscle in his body felt like it had begun to ache in that moment. The stories had said the weapon that had landed the blows had been that of a blade crafted by their own kin. But, Haldir found himself questioning the validity of that story now. For the scars that marked Legolas' back looked gnarled and unsightly. They did not look like the wounds capable of coming from an elven blade. Especially not since despite the years that had passed the edges of each visible wound still looked swollen and slightly red in color. Normally an elven blade would've had a clean cut and healed properly over time if tended to with their own medicine. But these, these were half-hazard. They looked as if they belonged to an orc blade, or, perhaps one that had been crafted poorly without a true purpose. He could not fathom they probably did not ache still to this day if touched unexpectedly. But while he wanted to ask so many questions about the event, to find out the truth of that night from the prince himself, he couldn't bring himself to ask any questions. Instead, he pushed himself to move forward and rip his sight from those wounds as he offered the prince his tunic. "Here. Before you get any more cold than what the wind has already caused." With that, he would have walked past the prince and swallowed every other word he wanted to say over what he had just witnessed. Yet, while he wanted to bury the emotions swelling up inside of his chest, it would seem the younger blonde would not allow it. "I have some faith." He would say before following it up. "Also, I am able to carry a bow, and sword, and do many other things. Do not look so weary over old wounds." For Legolas had been able to feel that gaze transfixed on his backside. Only, instead of dwelling on the past, he chose to grin now and walk alongside his brethren as they made their way back to the others. It was during such a walk he would indulge Haldir's mind on the event of his near assassination while dressing to the point he was presentable once back at camp.
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