Disclaimer: The Lord of the Rings trilogy was written by J. R. R. Tolkien.

I make no monetary profit from this story.

 Summary: Haldir and his brothers are captured by Orcs

 

Rating PG - Adventure

~~~~~~~~

ELF MAGIC

 

Saruman's dark eyes lay on a band of vicious looking Orcs. "I want at least two Elves," he said.

"We will bring your their heads!"

"No. I want them alive and unspoiled."

The Orcs did not like this at all, but Saruman's evil eye silenced them instantly.

"I require them for a specific purpose," he said, his eyes glinting. "Now go. And remember, alive and unharmed."

"I think he's getting soft," one of the Orcs said in his own tongue.

The Wizard struck out his staff, throwing the Orc to the wall, where a protruding spike ran him through.

Saruman glared darkly at the others. "Any more comments?"

He received none.

* * *

Haldir fired another arrow, hitting an Orc in the head. His brothers fired alongside him. The Orcs began to surround the three Elves. Arrow after arrow the Elves fired without pause. An Orc rushed one of the fair Elves. Haldir stabbed him in the head with his arrow, then fired that same arrow into the heart of another Orc if it could be said that Orcs have hearts. The three remaining Orcs had no chance as they were brought down by the Elves.

Haldir looked around. It appeared to be clear. His two brothers put down their weapons.

"They came from Isengard," Rúmil said, examining one of the bodies. "Saruman is brewing evil."

"There is little else he does brew," Haldir said. "Come, let us return to Lórien."

As they turned to leave, the three Elves were alerted by what sounded like a stampede. They were set upon by an army of Orcs, coming in all directions, at least one hundred.

"The first group was sent to weaken our defences..." Haldir said. "Stay close."

The Elves drew arrows and fired once more, though they were severely outnumbered.

More Orcs joined their number, and the Elves were almost out of arrows. Rúmil was set upon by a large Orc. Haldir drew his last arrow to save his younger brother, but in doing so, an Orc caught him while he was distracted and brought him to the ground. The vile creature raised his axe. Haldir took a breath, though he refused to close his eyes as the axe came down.

Rúmil and Orophin were brought down as they ran to their brother's aid and were smacked in the head by Orc weapons.

* * *

Haldir awoke with a monster headache. He looked around to see his brothers with their hands and feet bound.

"At least we are alive," he said.

"Yes," Orophin said. "I feared we were done for."

"As did I. There must be some purpose to our being taken captive, otherwise we would all be making the journey to the Other Side."

Rúmil nodded. "But what could that purpose be?"

"I know not," Haldir said.

"Perhaps our captors will enlighten us," Orophin said, "though I do not believe it will do us good."

"That much is certain," Haldir said.

One of the Orcs came into the room and spoke in Orcish. "You are prisoners of Saruman. If I had my way you'd be dead."

"What do you want with us?" Haldir demanded in Elvish.

It was clear the Orc spoke not one word of his language.

Haldir spoke in the common tongue. "What do you want with us?"

The Orc did not answer.

"Either he does not even speak the common tongue or he will not answer."

The Orc grabbed a handful of Haldir's hair. "If you are planning to escape, think again." Roughly he released the Elf.

"I am called Braka." He tapped himself. "Braka."

The Elves understood this was his name and gave him theirs.

"I have been ordered to see to your needs," Braka said. "Provided they aren't many."

* * *

The vile Orc guard entered the room with a pot of grey slop, and a canister of clear liquid, which he placed before the Elves.

"Eat, drink, while you can." He left growling to himself.

Haldir peered inside the pot. "It appears to be a form of sustenance."

"It does not look appetizing in the least," Rúmil said. "And what if it is poisoned?"

"I will test it," Haldir said.

He took the wooden spoon and placed a little of the food on his tongue. He coughed and covered his mouth.

"Haldir .." His brothers looked at him, concerned.

"It is foul, but it is not poisoned."

The Elves began to eat. Rúmil screwed up his face. "How do they eat his vulgar stuff?"

"There isn't anything about Orcs that isn't vulgar," Orophin said, trying to keep his share down.

"I suggest we hold our noses while we eat," Haldir said. "That way we will not taste it."

 

"Why are they holding their noses?" one Orc asked, peering into the room from the window in the door.

"Perhaps it is an Elf custom," Braka said.

"I have seen Elves eat in the past and they have not done this."

"Then perhaps it is something they do when taken captive, or perhaps it is only done in certain tribes. I do not know. I do not care. They are strange creatures."

"Yes, very pretty, but very odd. When do we kill them?"

"That is up to Saruman."

 

Haldir examined the liquid in the clear canister and tasted it.

"It is water, stale, but preferable to that vile stuff."

He shared the canister with his brothers.

 

Braka knelt before the evil wizard. "We have brought you three Elves form the Woods of Lothlórien. They address themselves as Haldir, Rúmil and Orophin."

"Their names matter not. They are unspoiled?"

"We had to knock them unconscious to bring them."

Saruman nodded.

"May I ask what you plan to do with them?"

The Wizard smiled. "You are aware that Orcs were Elves once?"

Braka shook his head.

"Taken and tortured by the Dark forces... However Orcs do not live nearly as long as Elves ...With our three captives I will discover the secret to their long life... Very soon, My friend, Orcs, will live just as long as Elves ... perhaps longer." Saruman's eyes glinted evilly.

Braka smiled at this news.

"But first I must finish the final touches. It should take a day or two. On the third day, you are to take the Elves their final meal." He held up a vial. "Place this into their food. It will kill them instantly, but it will not harm their bodies for my purposes."

"I have seen your plans, Saruman," Braka said, "and they are brilliant, but I have one question. Why must we kill the Elves first? Could we not perform the operations while they still live?" Braka gave a cruel smile. "Elves scream as lovely as they look."

Saruman gave a surprised look. "I care not," he said.

"And what do we do with the Elves afterward? Can we have them?"

"What would you want with three dead Elves?"

Braka's evil eyes glinted. "They taste as pretty as they scream."

Saruman grunted in disgust. "After I am finished with them they are yours to do with as you please."

Braka grinned and eagerly went to tell the other Orcs.

"Our captors seem excited about something," Orophin said, "which cannot be good for us."

"I should think not," Haldir said. "We must get away from here. Although I do not know what Saruman is planning, I sense the darkness."

"As do I," Orophin said.

Rúmil nodded in agreement.

Another Orc came rushing to Saruman, waving a foul smelling plant in his face, saying something in Orcish.

"Very well," Saruman sighed. "Go and ask them."

The small Orc hurried off. However Saruman was curious also and decided to hear what the Elves had to say.

The grey skinned Orc entered the room, waving the plant about and barked at he Elves in Orcish. Braka joined him. Orophin and Haldir were standing, despite their bonds.

"We do not speak the evil language of Mordor," Orophin said, glaring at the Orcs.

Saruman entered the room.

"He is curious, and I must admit so am I, slightly as to why the Elves call this 'Orc weed,' or why indeed the Elves would name anything after Orcs."

Rúmil looked up. "It is named thus as it smells as vile as they do and its foul seeds belong nowhere but in Mordor."

Saruman had the answer to his question and he relayed this to the Orcs, who growled menacingly at the Elves.

"Is that all you wanted to know?" Haldir asked. "Can we go now?"

Rúmil failed to hold back a smile and though no one would know it to look upon his stony expression, that Orophin struggled not to smile as well.

"I'm afraid not," Saruman said. "Bring that one," he said to Braka, pointing at Rúmil.

"You will take me," Haldir said, stepping forward.

"Haldir," Orophin said. He tried to offer himself, but the other held up his hand. "I will go."

"Stay here," Saruman said to the Orcs. "If this one does anything foolish, I will allow you to kill them both."

Braka's bared his foul teeth in a cruel smile. He advanced on Rúmil, though Orophin stepped in front of his youngest brother.

Haldir left with Saruman.

"You are aware of how the Orcs came about?" the Wizard asked.

"Yes," Haldir replied. "A tragic story."

"What you would call a tragedy others would call a triumph."

"Only those who have lost all sense of right and wrong."

"Careful what you say. A snap of my fingers and your friends will be no more."

Haldir didn't bother to correct Saruman as he walked with him, silently cursing the evil Wizard, the Orcs and his bonds.

"Just what do you plan to do with us?"

Saruman's evil creepy eyes glinted. "Are you sure you want to know?"

Haldir gave him a look. "You will no doubt gloat and tell me in any case."

Saruman lead Haldir to a room with cruel looking objects.

"This is where you will die," he said nonchalantly. "I might as well give you a tour."

"How kind." Haldir showed no fear.

He followed Saruman to a large table. The old Wizard showed him drawings of what had been planned. Haldir hid his shock and sickness well.

"You should be honoured, Haldir of Lórien," Saruman said. "You and your two friends will be the forefathers of the Orcs of the New Order."

"We have *very* different opinions on the meaning of honour, Saruman."

"I will discover the secret to the long lives of the Elves, and give that gift to the followers of Mordor."

Haldir shook his head in disgust. "You will never find that with your crude implements. That which you seek is embedded in our very Souls, Saruman. Something you can never touch."

The Wizard growled. "We shall see. I will give you the choice of who is to go first and I must tell you," he said with a smile, "the Orcs have persuaded me to perform this procedure while you still breathe."

"Is there no end to your cruelty?" Haldir said in disgust. "If I must die, then I demand one last request."

"You are not in the position to demand anything, Elf, but I will hear your request, though I do not promise to grant it."

"Take me alone. Let my brothers go. You do not need to harm them."

"Your brothers? ..." Saruman smiled. "You do understand I must be thorough. Request denied."

"Then tell me one thing, Saruman," Haldir said.

The Wizard looked curious.

"Why do you use you powers for evil when you were once a friend to Middle Earth? Why do you use the gift of magic to destroy? You were good once, like Gandalf. Surely you realise you will pay for your crimes. If not in this life, then in the next."

"I use my power because I have it. Gandalf is a fool. He could have joined me and had Middle Earth groveling at his feet."

"Gandalf uses his powers to help those in need, not to quash them."

"It is much easier to control the masses."

"Spoken like a true evil-"

"I only have to say the word and your brothers will die. True I plan to kill them in any case, but surely you do not wish to be the cause of their deaths."

"Your quest for destruction will destroy you," Haldir said.

Saruman smiled. "My power is second only to Sauron's. Defeat is absurd."

"I grieve for the person you once were."

"Well you will not have to bear you grief for long." Saruman barked some orders. Two Orcs came thumping in.

"Take him back to the others."

Roughly the Orcs shoved Haldir back into the holding room. Braka and the smaller Orc left, but not without a cruel smile.

"I trust Saruman revealed his plans to you?" Orophin asked.

Haldir nodded. "And you do not want to know what they are. The time draws near. I have a plan to escape. It is risky, but we have nought else."

Braka brought in a pot of food and the canister of water.

"Enjoy your last meal..." he said grinning, aware they did not understand a word he said.

Orophin peered into the pot and grimaced. "It appears to be stewed Orc weed."

The others did not look happy in the slightest.

"Let us hope it tastes better than it smells," Haldir said, as he tried some. His face screwed up. "Alas not." He wiped his mouth in disgust.

Again, the Elves held their noses tightly while they ate. As soon as they had finished they washed the foul substance down with the water.

After they had finished the water, they began to try to cut their bonds on a small chip on the pot.

"We must hurry," Orophin said. "That foul Braka will be back any moment to collect the dishes."

The Elves struggled to cut their bonds. One by one the ropes frayed and snapped. It proved to be awkward work to break the bonds around their ankles, but the elves knew they could not fail.

Rúmilís were the last to break. "It feels good to be free again."

"We will not be free until we are out of this nefarious place," Orophin said.

Haldir took up the canister and Rúmil the pot.

"They are not our trusty arrows," Haldir said, "but they will have to do. We must be swift and silent. We do not wish to alert Saruman or the other vile Orcs."

The Elves stood near the door.

Braka returned to collect the empty vessels. He blinked when he did not see the Elves. Quick as lightning, Haldir bashed him over the head with the water canister and Rúmil clonked him with the pot as hard as he could.

"Let us hope he is dead," Orophin said.

"We must hurry," Haldir said, checking around. "It is clear."

Silent as the night, the Elves began to make their way out of Isengard, sticking close together, swiftly hiding behind objects when Orc sounds were heard.

Finally they saw sunlight and ran swiftly toward the entrance, keeping a close eye and ear out for Saruman or the Orcs.

The Elves made for Fangorn forest, a dark place, though the Elven folk were friends of the woods.

"What did Saruman plan to do?" Orophin asked.

Haldir told him, and although he left out the more graphic details of what he had seen, his brothers were still shocked.

"It is good he would have failed in any case," Orophin said.

Haldir nodded.

The Elves kept up a quick pace as they left Fangorn.

Rúmil looked into the distance. "They do not follow us as yet."

"That is good," Orophin said.

"I believe we would have heard Saruman's wrath all the way out here, if it had been discovered that we made our escape," Haldir said. "We will rest here or a while and bathe by this lake. We must also cleanse our garments. We do not want to take the foul stench of Isengard into fair Lothlórien."

His brothers agreed as they undressed and began to bathe.

In the sunlight, the clothes dried quickly and were donned by the Elves, who left as quickly as they came.

"We have about a day's journey ahead," Haldir said.

"We must inform Celeborn and Galadriel of Saruman's doings," Orophin said.

"Yes, and let us hope he does not try it again," Rúmil said.

 

* * *

Saruman screamed with rage.

"Pathetic, stupid Orc!" he bellowed, his teeth bared.

Braka cowered and begged for his life. Saruman did not oblige him.

The Wizard stormed to his chambers in high dungeon. No one would guess he was deep in thought about what Haldir had said. Was the secret to the Elves longevity inside their very souls? If so it would forever remain a mystery, especially to those who wished to abuse it.

 

* * *

"At last ..." Haldir said with a smile. "We have reached the borders of Lothlórien..."

The Elves could not contain themselves and ran full speed into their beloved Woods.

Rúmil smiled and placed his hand gently on one of the trees. " It is good to be home."

"Indeed it is," Haldir agreed.

Even Orophin smiled to be home amongst the woods in which he grew up. "And it is a mercy that we never have to eat that vile Orc food again," he said.

"Yes," Rúmil agreed. "Even Celeborn's cooking is preferable."

Haldir chuckled. "I will not tell him you said that."

 

*

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