Stories of Arda Home Page
About Us News Resources Login Become a member Help Search

Not a day like others part 2  by Laikwalâssê

Not a day like others part 2

Disclaimer:

The characters, places, and events are creations of J.R.R. Tolkien. No profit was or will be made from this story. It was written solely for entertainment.

Author’s note:

As always many, many thanks to my wonderful beta reader LadyLindariel.

Summary:

The Golden Wood is swarmed with orcs. The elves struggle valiantly but will it be enough in the end?

Rating: PG-13

A/N: to understand this story fully it would be advisable to read part 1.

Warning: the story is rated PG-13: this chapter contains violence, disturbing themes, and death

 

 

Chapter 1:  the end of all days

Celeborn´s POV:

I carefully look around the huge base of the Mallorn while flattening my body against the bark. Still, I could not believe my eyes what was just happening at my home.

Living near the vicinity of Dol Guldur we were used to occasional attacks of the foul brutes, but the past raids were nothing compared to the invasion now taking place.

Masses of orcs had and were still swarming our beautiful haven, but that would not be the worst. The hordes were led by many Uruk-hai and accompanied by great packs of wargs.

The assault came totally by surprise for our border guards and in such sheer numbers that our defense was overrun in no time.

Of course, we knew the relative peace we had over the last years could be deceiving, but this attack had reached a level never anticipated.

Not even the superior skill of foresight of my wife had sufficed to give any warning. As if someone or something had blocked her mind, the mirror had shown nothing and the eather had been mute. This was new and an entirely alien concept for us.

Early in the morning just at sunrise, I was ripped from my night sleep by the call of the border horn. Galadriel had equally jerked upright an irritated expression on her face. For millennia we hadn´t heard the call of the horn, in fact, I hadn’t heard it at all since the end of the war in Eregion in the Second Age.

The call was solely created in the face of a great danger approaching. Never since the war´s end had it been necessary to raise the alarm.

While Galadriel hastened down in her garden to look in the mirror and listen to the eather, I swung down the long sturdy rope; a much quicker access to the ground than across the many winding staircases.

My heart constricted at the sight that greeted me. The first of the Uruk-hai were already entering the inner core of Caras Galadhon. Many dead elves were already the testimony of their brutality. How could this be? Why haven´t we noticed anything earlier?

While running, I caught my sword, Haldir—the chief of the border guards and my foster son—was handing me.

“Report,” I demanded while parrying a blow from an advancing Uruk. Together we made quick work of the foul beast.

“Our borders are breached on all sides. The masses of orcs, wargs, and Uruks are uncounted. The first wave of attack nearly destroyed our whole contingent on watch. I have already called for a backup, yet for every orc we slay, two more appear.”

When the younger elf stopped, I looked in my son´s direction. To my great dismay and surprise, tears were falling down the warrior´s face.

I swallowed.

Haldir was a very tough young elf and hardened through a trauma in his childhood; he rarely showed any emotions not even when alone with my wife or me.

“Haldir?” I asked trying a soothing tone but failed miserably. I pushed the younger elf into a crevice of a big tree. Haldir lowered his eyes.

“Rúmil is dead,” he whispered his fingers clenching around his sword´s hilt until they went white.

I closed my eyes in sorrow. Haldir´s younger brother was as dear to me as a son. The loss was a hard blow. Yet before I could comfort my son, Haldir had squeezed out of the hole and hastened away all the way hacking and stabbing at advancing orcs.

I took a deep breath and followed the warrior out plunging into sheer chaos.

 

 

…………………………………………..

 

 

 

The sun was not even descending but my hope that we would survive this had long vanished. Caras Galadhon was doomed to die. The wood was burning at uncounted places, the attempts of my people to douse the fires a futile venture.

 

This attack seemed carefully planned by a higher force, and the number of invaders indicated that now the evil powers in the world had been merged into an army dedicated to eliminating the elven race finally.

Because this was happening in our realm and if no miracle happened, no one would survive to tell this tale or warn the other elven realms.

At the back of my mind, something was nagging me always as if I were not thinking my own thoughts or were repeating already spoken words of another but I had not even a breather to follow my train of thought. A new band of orcs was just climbing on one of our most significant combined platform high in the trees.

Many women and children had retreated there, and I would be damned if these brutes would be allowed to set foot on the platform.

Until now, I had supported a party of warriors down at the river Anduin where it joined the Celebrant valiantly trying to prevent even more orcs from entering the shores. In the end, we had to flee to at least rescue our naked lives but not without killing hundreds of orcs.

Our best-trained warriors had not managed to defend their position. A significant number of dead elves were now littering the ground, their blood drenching the earth.

I had also suffered a deep wound to my left side, thanks to a rusty orc scimitar. The blood loss and the shock were already taking its toll, and if not treated soon I would not have to care how the day would end.

I have fought in many wars—long and cruel ones—but it was always another matter entirely when you fought in your own home and when you have women, children, and family to consider. Warriors did their duty, and even when their deaths were terrible, it was much worse when innocent lives or family were involved.

 

I veered to the left when debris of burning wood rained down on me from above. With horror, I registered after the downfall had stopped, that not only timber but also two beyond recognition burned bodies had fallen. The stench of burned flesh was choking, and I had to force myself not to retch.

With watering eyes from the smoke, I stumbled forward, and when I reached the platform, I stopped, my blood running cold. Two Uruk-hai had managed to climb up and had already killed many women; I could also see at least two dead elflings.

What made me reel, however, was my wife kneeling in the middle of the platform cradling a body to her chest. Even with her back to me, I knew instantly whom she had in her arms. Along with my three foster sons, now my granddaughter was dead as well.

Blinding rage was flooding my veins, but before I had the chance to mourn any of them, more orcs were entering the platform.

Without thinking, I raised my sword and plunged into the fray. Grief lending me the strength I had never thought possible I hacked at the foul creatures killing them wherever my sword found a target.

When I neared an exceptionally tall Uruk-hai, I momentarily stopped at the surprised, even anxious expression on its face. Yet he did not look at me but over my shoulder.

At some foreboding and knowing my wife was in the middle of the platform, I quickly killed the Uruk the fortune seizing and whirled around to see what had startled the beast.

I just had time to grip the railing before the blast broke loose. Shielding my eyes against the incredible blinding light, I looked between my fingers to watch the miracle unfolding before my eyes.

Galadriel had risen to her full height. Her white gown splattered with blood was nonetheless billowing in an unnatural breeze. Her long golden hair ruffled by an unearthly wind and her whole frame illuminated by a strange blue light.

Barely able to look against the blinding light emanating from the tall figure, I closed my eyes anyway knowing what was and would happen.

Galadriel had been angered beyond restraint. She was using the power of old, releasing potency only few could even comprehend enhanced by the power of Nenya.

No longer looking anything resembling an elf or even a living being, Galadriel released powers not describable.

Like being caught in a hurricane, all beings remaining on the platform, elves, orcs, and Uruks—dead or alive—were pushed over the rim.

While most of the elves managed to grip something to hold on or land on a tree-branch, all foul beasts were blown away only to shatter seconds later on the ground with a dull thud. At the last moment, I grabbed one of the long ropes dangling down one of the platforms, yet due to my injury, I had not the strength to hold on for long.

Before I plunged into the depth, I caught a glimpse onto the platform. It snapped all my ties with sanity and rationality.

My beloved wife was again kneeling on the wooden planks a long thick spear sticking out of her chest. Her surprised gaze was the last thing I saw of her before I lost hold.

The released power burst sweeping through the Golden wood, blowing away all in its wake I did not recognize because my body had connected hard with the ground a second before.

 

To be continued…     

A/N: to understand this story thoroughly it would be advisable to read part 1.

Warning: the story is rated PG-13: this chapter contains violence, disturbing themes, and death

Chapter 2:  shocking news

Galadriel looked up startled when Celeborn was staggering back after he had suddenly sprung up.

A delegation of Imladris had just arrived the day before and this evening was the first time for them to take a breather and enjoy the gathering away from council meetings and pressing topics to discuss.

On a rare occasion, Master Elrond had left his sheltered valley to personally report on a disturbing development and a frightening personal experience he had made. Not the least he seized the opportunity to visit his daughter. Since the death of his wife, Arwen was residing with her grandparents.

While listening to a report of one of her grandson´s, Galadriel had already sensed malice in the eather but had not deemed it directed against her husband.

However, before any of the other elves present at the dining table could react in any way, Celeborn had gone pale and had fallen to the floor unconscious.

All elves had sprung up in shock. Before kneeling down, the Lady of the Golden Wood had briefly looked at her son-in-law sitting opposite of her.

 

Elrond, however, had not answered the asking gaze. He was already hastening around the table to come to the fallen elf´s aid. He had also felt something approaching but was unable to determine the source of the malice and who would be the target.

Only one Elf-lord had not risen. Lord Glorfindel was still sitting in his chair his eyes closed. He had as well perceived something approach on another level than the elves powered with enhanced mental abilities.

This malice felt instantly familiar to him. It reawakened a terrible feeling in his gut. He had not to look at the felled Elf-lord to know what was ailing him.

After opening his eyes, Glorfindel caught the gaze of his lord over the rim of the table. Elrond had come to the same conclusion as he.

It was some years past when the healer had fallen victim to a similar mental attack. At that time, only the quick intervention of his mentor had rescued the Elf-lord from pushing him mentally beyond reach.

Back then, they could not discover where the attack had come from nor who was behind it. They had known one thing for sure, however. A new level of warfare had been heralded—the attack powerful, merciless and precise; nothing compared to the former intrusions. And, with one essential benefit. The attackers had not marched into a foreign land. They could launch their attacks from wherever they resided.

After recovering, Elrond had informed the leaders of the other elven realms, yet they had doubted that something similar could happen to the respective leaders. Today they were told otherwise.

Even if knowing what was ailing their comrade, Elrond counseled caution. Only guessing that the wood elf´s mind was attacked like his back then, it could be a different thing entirely.

Not knowing where the attack had come from they had only surmised Dol Guldur as the source of the malice. Lothlórien being much nearer to the dark fortress the power input could be more forceful and dangerous, even if Elrond doubted that his experience could be topped.

He had fallen into hell while experiencing masses of orc and Uruk-hai swarming Imladris and killing all in their way. In his fictive existence, Elrond had lived through many horrors; his whole family slaughtered during the siege of his valley.

It had taken a long time afterward for the Elf-lord to recover from this trauma. His mind and most of his confidence had been shaken to a level that had made him question his position to lead Imladris.

Now many years later, Elrond had come to the Golden wood to discuss among others this topic with Galadriel and Celeborn. If it was sheer coincidence or purpose that the attack was taking place right now no one could answer.

Maybe they now had the chance to discover where the attacks were coming from or the purpose behind this all.

Elrond had carefully turned the fallen Elf-Lord on his back and was already feeling for a pulse. The beating was there but erratic and uneven. Elrond directed a quick gaze at his son. Elladan was looking back with a grim expression. Too vivid were his memories when his father had been the victim.

Apart from keeping watch over the Elf-lord, Elrond refrained from doing anything further. He did not want to slight his colleague and comrade healers.

He gazed at Galadriel. Celeborn´s wife was still standing like a statue, her eyes closed and her face turned upwards to the canopy. A side glance told him that Glorfindel was also still sitting in his chair his eyes once again closed.

Elrond was sure that both elves tracked whoever had dared to attack one of the mightiest elf´s on Middle-earth and in his home among his family no less.

The healer shuddered. This was precisely frightening on a new concept. He also had been attacked in a surrounding where he had deemed himself safe. The sanctuaries were no sanctuaries anymore.

Elrond had not to wait long. Wholly and suddenly soundless, Calan, the Golden woods chief healer, had landed on the platform, not an inch apart from him.

Not letting his surprise be noticed, Elrond moved away to give his colleague space to do his work. Calan quickly examined the silver-haired Elf-lord and looked up with a frown on his face.

“What happened?” he asked at no one in particular.

Opening her eyes and kneeling down next to her husband Galadriel gazed at the healer.

“Something or someone is attacking his mind,” she said before lowering her eyes and placing her hand on the Elf-lord´s chest. Galadriel´s serene attitude seemed out of place.

Calan frowned while looking at the Master Healer from Imladris. Just yesterday, the Noldo-elf had reported of a vicious attack on his person not long ago.

Calan had been present and listened interested, yet not really understanding how this attack had affected the Elf-lord. It was a “mental access” the Elf-lord had said, something not controllable or stoppable, at least not from his perspective.

His frown increasing, Calan rechecked the heartbeat of his lord trying to determine what was ailing the silver-haired elf and if it was anything resembling what Mater Elrond had befallen.

To his dismay, he had to admit that he had had many doubts that a mighty Elf-lord like the son of Eärendil could be overpowered by a force not even recognized yet.

Celeborn was undoubtedly no less powerful than the other Elf-lords present. Should he be told otherwise just now? His lord was also felled without an apparent source. Could a mental force really be this strong and affecting?

Calan jerked his head toward his lady when a slender hand was placed on his shoulder. One look in her clear eyes confirmed his unvoiced question.

“Forgive my doubts, my lady,” he murmured while lowering his eyes and again gazing at the prone elf at his feet. A soft squeeze on his shoulder reassured his bad conscience.

Suddenly, however, Galadriel stood up.

“Bring him to the infirmary and guard his mind. I will put an end to this,” she said to no one in particular.

Calan and Haldir instantly rose and lifted the limp body of Celeborn. Quickly they descended the steps of the talan undoubtedly in the direction of the infirmary.

Without looking at another elf standing around her and ignoring the questioning and incredulous faces directed at her, Galadriel turned and was about to leave the great platform also.

“Galadriel, what have you in mind?” Lord Elrond called after the retreating she-elf after he had also risen.

A strained silence was stretching. No one had indeed dared to counteract against the mightiest elf in Middle-earth. Having first-hand experiences in this matter, Master Elrond deemed it appropriate to demand an answer.

Glorfindel had also risen and slightly moved into the she-elf´s path which Galadriel answered with a flash of her eyes.

Elladan and Elrohir were standing to the side, their stances rigid, however. Arwen was gazing uncomprehendingly at her father and her grandmother. The tension was nearly palpable.

“My lady,” Elrond said with a controlled voice. “I counsel caution. We do not know what is ailing your husband and if it is even similar to my experience. We could…”

The Master of Imladris had no chance to finish his sentence. Galadriel had whirled around her stance belligerent and her eyes flashing.

“Do not tell me what to do, Elrond Peredhel. I have clearly determined where the attack is coming from and I will not hesitate to strike. Until now the signs have been let un-encountered, the guilty unpunished, I will not.”

With that, she left the platform her long dress unhindering her in the slightest, leaving stunned and shocked elves behind.

To be continued…     

A/N: to understand this story thoroughly it would be advisable to read part 1.

Warning: the story is rated PG-13: this chapter contains violence, disturbing themes, and death

Chapter 3:  taking action

Elrond hastened down the grand staircase leading to the secret garden of Galadriel. He was not surprised but relieved to find the Lady of Light standing at the rim of her mirror.

Only two times before, he was fortunate to see Galadriel asking her mirror. The surface had swirled and darkened, circled with light streaks before a vision was established. However, it was always to the interpretation of the lady what the mirror showed.

Now the surface was black. No ripple, no swirling—nothing.

Galadriel looked up just as Elrond had reached the bottom of the stairs; a frown etched on her beautiful features.

“My lady?” Elrond asked, curious to know what had disturbed the she-elf in such a manner. He had not forgotten the harsh retort from earlier, yet if he could help, he would more than oblige.

“The mirror is not responding to me. Something or someone is blocking it too.”

Elrond took a deep breath. The unknown force could attack not only the elves minds but also block the powers of the elves of old.

Galadriel´s gaze, distant before, was now directed at the healer.

“And that´s the very reason why this has to stop now. It´s the third time, and now we will strike back.”

Elrond´s head snapped up; his gaze had again traveled to the black surface of the mirror.

“Third time?” he asked irritated.

“Are you telling me that another elf was attacked?”

Galadriel´s eyes narrowed indignant over her careless spoken words.

Seeing the unwillingness in the other´s eyes, Elrond inched closer.

“You should have told me,” he said in a low voice.

Galadriel raised an annoyed eyebrow.

“Let me decide, Peredhel, what I do and do not tell you. You are much too close to this obscure Istari for me to feel comfortable.”

Elrond swallowed. Galadriel, also a member of the white council did long harbor doubts about their leader. This was going on for some time, but now the white council was falling apart. Even the other members suspected that Saruman was not what he wanted them to see in him. Often did he follow according to his own plans. King Thranduil had even left the council long ago.

Galadriel had made no secret of her aversion against the wizard. This informal meeting was a clear sign of this development. Elrond had always counseled caution to affront the Istari openly. He could and wanted not to imagine that the leader of the white council would betray them to the enemy.

“Accept it, Elrond. Saruman had long slipped past our perceptions. I even assume him behind these attacks.”

The Master of Imladris stepped back in shock. Where did Galadriel take this information?

Suddenly he felt her breath in his ear.

“I even go one step further. New malice has again taken residence at Dol Guldur. Either it is Saruman or a force supported by him. These attacks are too cunning for orcs. Why are our leader or ring bearer always the target?”

Elrond panted heavily. He was not even aware that he had spoken aloud one of his thoughts.

They had long feared that a dark force had again taken up the dark fortress, but Galadriel already stated this as if she had proof.

He looked at her sharply.

“Who was the victim of the third attack?”

Galadriel closed her eyes briefly.

“This infuriating elf from Mirkwood.”

Now Elrond felt sick. King Thranduil had also fallen victim to a mind attack?

He had never learned of this. Even if his dealings with the elves of Mirkwood were not as vivid as he had wished of them, he deemed this incident significant enough to let the other rulers know.

“Thranduil showed extraordinary resilience, and he even confirmed my concern about a new threat at Dol Guldur.”

Elrond narrowed his eyes.

“And you intended to tell me all this when?” he asked unable to banish anger from his voice.

Galadriel looked at the healer frowning.

“I called for this council, and you have now heard of all this. You are not the only one guarding Middle-earth, Elrond.”

The Half-elf sighed deeply. Galadriel would never change. One question, however, was still gnawing at the back of his mind.

“How had Thranduil managed to counter the attack? He did not even have a ring of power.”

Elrond felt slightly abashed at the news. He has a ring of power, but without Glorfindel´s help, he would have presumably succumbed to the assault.

Now Galadriel smiled a thin smile which did not quite reach her eyes.

“We should not underestimate our neighbor ruler. My dear husband´s cousin is always good for a surprise. As much as I could perceive he used the power he inherited from his father.”

Elrond nodded absentmindedly. He had already encountered the enchanted river on the east border of the great Greenwood. Even without a ring of power, Thranduil was not as defenseless as he made all believe.

Before he could retort, they heard a call from Haldir. The Marchwarden was standing on the top of the staircase.

At seeing the Master of Imladris, he hesitated briefly to address his lady. Regarding the encouraging nod form Galadriel, he took a deep breath.

“Mother, come quickly. Father´s condition has worsened.

Elrond looked at the Lady of Light aghast. Galadriel, however, was already climbing up the stairs. He could barely follow the swift steps.

When he had reached the top stair of the great staircase, he quickly traversed the huge platform and entered the spacious abode of the ruling couple. Galadriel and Haldir were already there. Elrond suspected that the wood elves had a secret, swifter way to reach their talans.

Calan, the Golden wood´s chief healer, was sitting on the big bed where Celeborn was placed. He had undoubtedly called for Galadriel.

He was just about to inform his lady but stopped when Elrond entered the tent.

“Go on,” Galadriel said. “This concerns him as well.”

Elrond stepped closer with an acknowledging nod. He directed a quick glance at the silver-haired elf. Unlike him, Celeborn was reacting outwardly to the torment. However, while he had thrashed and cried before, he was now shivering and moaning as though he was in intense pain. Dying almost.

The next words of the healer confirmed Elrond´s fears.

“My lady,” he said his voice forcibly steady.

“Your husband is dying. He´s caught in some death throws. His system is moments from shutting down completely.“

Elrond looked at Galadriel swallowing. He did not doubt his colleague’s assertions. Celeborn’s skin color was as pale as the sheets he was resting on. Cold sweat was on his brow, and his whole body was shivering with a cold that had nothing to do with the day´s chill.

Celeborn let out an unearthly cry, and after some more tremors, his body went still. Elrond could see the chest still rising, yet he was sure this would end at any time. He looked first at Calan and then at Galadriel. Should they intervene—could they even?

Galadriel´s lips were pressed into a thin line while her gaze briefly went distant. Then she walked forward, bent low and placed a gentle kiss on her husband´s slightly parted lips. She whispered something in his ear and straightened again.

Before anyone could say or do something, she had rushed out of the room. Arwen just in the process of entering nearly collided with her.

“Daernaneth? she asked bewildered, yet Galadriel did not even notice her.

Haldir also turned and swiftly followed his foster mother out. Elrond directed a last glance at the prone elf and followed the others out.

Galadriel was standing at the reeling, her face turned upwards, and her hands raised high in the air. Elrond looked at his mother-in-law with a frown after stepping out.

The healer turned when he felt a presence behind him.

“What is she up to?” Elrond asked Glorfindel.

The warrior had narrowed his eyes.

“She´s leaving to put an end to all this.”

Elrond looked back at the she-elf startled. What was the meaning of this? He did not like the sound of Glorfindel´s statement.

Before he could ask or do anything, Galadriel had turned and vanished into her abode. Again, Arwen just emerging had to move aside swiftly to grant her grandmother entrance.

She walked toward her father, her face tear-streaked.

Elrond gathered his daughter in a gentle hug.

“Ada, what is the meaning of this. Where is Daernaneth going?”

“I do not know, my child,” Elrond retorted.

Just a moment later Galadriel emerged again. Elrond blinked.

She was clad all in black—trousers and boots in a soft midnight black leather, as well as a dark tunic completed with a black cape reaching to her waist. Her hair had been braided in a single thick plait down her back. She donned black gloves.

She looked no less imposing as in her wont brilliant white dresses.

Again, Elrond had not the chance to say anything. A faint hissing noise was heard, coming from above the trees and growing louder with every moment. All elves gathered on the platform looked upwards, all eyes directed at the leaf canopy.

Galadriel was not looking up. She sheathed a knife to her right hip and a short sword to her other. Additionally, she attached a leather bag to her back.

Soon the leaves of the great mallorns were parting by a mighty gush of wind eliciting a few startled cries from all elves witnessing this.

With a few powerful flaps of wings, a great eagle was maneuvering down until he landed at the clearing around the ruling couple´s talan. The bird looked up, though his height nearly reached the top of the talan. With a loud screech, he folded his wings and grew silent after ruffling his feathers.

Elrond swallowed. Only one or two times before was he fortunate to encounter one of Lord Manwë´s eagles. He was not aware Galadriel had the power to call for the great birds.

Without a further word, Galadriel turned and was just about to descend the stairs when Elrond hastened forward.

“My lady, wait. Where are you going? You cannot leave like this.”

To emphasize his words and out of desperation, Elrond had grabbed the she-elf´s arm. Galadriel was raising an annoyed eyebrow with a pointed look at the fingers clenched around her upper arm.

“I was not under the impression that I need anyone´s permission to leave,” she said tugging loose of the grip.

Elrond lowered his gaze and stepped back.

“Mother, please listen. You cannot venture into Dol Guldur alone. It´s too dangerous; even for a powerful elf like you.”

Haldir´s first demanding voice had changed into near pleading.

Had anyone standing on the platform hoped for the Lady of Light to cave in they were taught otherwise.

“The time for discussing and planning is over. I will not let another elf fall prey to this malice. This must stop once and for all. My chances of success will be higher if I go alone. They will neither see nor expect me. So, stay back. I can certainly look after myself.”

Too stunned to answer, Galadriel used the shock of the elves digesting her news and hastened down the staircase. With a graceful leap, she landed on the back of the great bird. The big animal instantly spread its wings and was air-born a moment later.

Arwen sank to her knees sobbing.

“She will die there alone,” she cried, her slender frame shaking violently.

Elrond knelt next to his daughter enveloping her in a gentle hug. His head, however, snapped up when Glorfindel stepped out on the platform clad in shining armor, his mighty sword attached to his hip and a longbow on his back.

“She will not be alone!”

The gathered elves were a second time stunned when the Balrog-slayer leaped over the railing and glided down on a thick rope to precisely land on the back of a waiting Asfaloth.

Rider and horse had soon vanished out of sight.

To be continued…

      





Home     Search     Chapter List