THE ELF AND THE ORC: A LORD OF THE RINGS FAN-FICTION SAGA – CHAPTER 4
By Brittany Keller (alias Silverneko)
Word Count: 25,304 (total)
Rating: PG for mild violence and language
Summary: While escaping Orc Hunters, Morfang son of Gorbag finds himself in Mirkwood forest and meets the sister of Legolas Thranduilion, Lindariel. Will Lindariel’s compassion reach Morfang, or will Morfang abuse Lindariel’s kindness to avenge his fallen comrades?
She did not expect him to stop. If anything, she thought Morfang would just leave her to fend for herself.
They had been walking together for two weeks. During that time, Lindariel revealed herself to be very curious about Orcs and their culture. But whenever she alluded to what sort of woman Morfang liked, he’d shout at her to shut up and she obeyed.
Lindariel admitted to herself that she liked Morfang in an odd sort of way. He wasn’t friendly, nor was he kind and gentle. But there was a sort of air about him that made the Elven Princess want to befriend him even if he did not want her friendship.
This day, she just couldn’t seem to walk right. Her feet had hurt for several days now, but she did not want to bother Morfang with her predicament. But today, as they stopped beside a riverbank, she could barely stand on her own feet.
“Stupid girl,” he growled, “why didn’t you mention this?”
“Your feet are bleeding from broken blisters,” he snapped. “As it is, it’s impossible for you to walk right now.”
Lindariel didn’t remind him of his threat to leave her if she slowed him down.
He glanced around. “So far we’ve been lucky,” he muttered. “Not a single Hunter. And it doesn’t look as if your brother’s tracking us down.”
“I wouldn’t be so positive about my brother’s actions. I’m sure even the Elf Lords know about you kidnapping me by now. At least half of all Elf-kind will be on the lookout.”
“Well, we’re not anywhere near an Elven settlement,” Morfang snapped. He jabbed his thumb behind him at a mountain. “We’re nearing Dwarf and Man settlements. Sixty-some years ago, a dragon of the name Smaug ruled these parts. He lived in that mountain which actually belongs to a clan of Dwarves. They reclaimed the mountain and it’s been their home since. I believe your people are at odds with the Dwarves of that mountain.”
“The Dwarves will not let us go by without trying to cause trouble.”
“Then what do you propose we do?”
“We should go by the mountain under cover of night,” Morgang replied, “but first you need time for your feet to heal. And you must have shoes. Stay here while I check out the town.”
“Only if you promise to return.”
Morfang mumbled under his breath. “Alright, you have my word. I’ll come back as soon as I can.”
He stood and sprinted away toward the nearest settlement. Lindariel clasped her hands and bowed her head, praying to Eru that Morfang would be safe in his travel…
Morfang hid in the shadows, hiding his face with an old sheet he had found. He snuck into a house and filled a woven sack with bandages, a pair of leather shoes, a tunic, and trousers. Perhaps the princess would be able to move more freely disguised as a lad. He also took a cloak and leather hide gloves for himself.
Hearing someone coming, he climbed out the window and hid. No one seemed to notice as he slipped away from the town.
Over the last two weeks, he had given much thought to the pretty Elf Princess following him around. Annoying as she was, she was insightful and eager to learn—eager to break away from her people’s prejudices. But Orcs are not Elves, he kept reminding himself. They do not belong together.
There had been several Orcs throughout history who had tried their hand at a normal life away from war and killings, but eventually they had been caught and captured by Men or Elves and put to death. Rumor of those unjust deaths later would reach the ears of other Orcs and the outrage would grow to enormous heights and a raid would be carried out. Millions had died at the hands of Orcs. Maybe more.
However, those times had become almost myth to the Orc-kind.
Morfang sprinted across the field and out of town. No one stopped him or asked him to wait, for which he was grateful. At last, he found Lindariel resting her feet in the river.
She looked up and smiled at him. “You took long enough. There was no trouble, I hope.”
“The town’s an hour or so away from where we are,” he said. “It might take longer to get there with your condition.”
“I’m sorry,” she said.
“Enough of that,” he snapped, pulling one of her legs out of the water and propping it on his leg. The river cleaned it very well. Apart from blisters, her feet were cut and some of the wounds were infected. He pulled out a vial of Orkish medicine and dabbed it on her foot. She hissed a breath and scrunched her eyes tight. He wrapped it in a bandage. “Don’t get it wet,” he instructed, taking her other foot.
“That should be easy enough,” she said, wincing at the medicine’s sting again. After bandaging the foot, he set it down on the floor and pulled out her new clothes.
“Wear these,” he told her, setting them down on her lap. “I’ll keep a lookout while you change, but be quick.”
He gently lowered her legs onto the rocky shore and stood, looking away, scanning the terrain.
“I don’t see how this will enable me to walk,” Lindariel said after a few moments.
Morfang glanced behind at her. She was fully dressed in the tunic and trousers, and had braided her hair back. He handed her the shoes. “These will protect your feet while they heal.” As she eased her sore feet into them, he added, “But you’ll need a walking stick. I can’t carry you until your feet are better and also fend off the Hunters or whoever comes after us.”
“And what shall I use as my walking stick? There’s not a single twig around for miles!”
Morfang frowned and looked around. He swore under her breath. “Fine. But I’ll only carry you until we get to the town.” He wrapped the weathered cloak around him again, tugged on the stolen gloves, and knelt in front of her, waiting for her to climb onto his back.
Lindariel limped over to him and wrapped her arms around his neck. He stood easily and began walking to the town. After a time, he noticed that the princess was far too quiet. Glancing behind him, Morfang rolled his eyes and shook his head. Lindariel had fallen asleep.
He still battled with his conscience, wondering why he kept her around. He couldn’t explain it. Her people persecuted his merely because Orcs weren’t…weren’t…
Why did Elves persecute Orcs? Why the prejudice?
Whatever the reason, his people were put to death merely for existing, as far as he knew. Because they were expected to be evil—because they were labeled as dangerous since their birth—Orcs had become what the people believed them to be.
And yet, when no one else would show him mercy simply because he existed and suffered, along comes this spoiled little Elf princess who saved his life after he threatened hers. Surely, no matter how annoying she got, no matter how many times he vowed to kill her, he could never raise his hand to his dagger and just stab her heart and leave her to the wilderness.
Morfang pushed his curiosity out of his mind and concentrated on getting to the town.
By the time he arrived, the sun had set and people were heading for inns and their homes. Hidden deep in his cloak, he took them into an inn and asked the bartender to show them a room. It was easy to tell the man that he was simply a Ranger who smoked heavily. It convinced him about Morfang’s scratchy voice, at least. The bartender did not ask about Lindariel, who continued to sleep peacefully as Morfang placed her on a bed.
Staring at the unconscious princess, Morfang crossed his arms and shook his head. “What am I to do with you?” he whispered.
Now that they had reached a town, it should be easy to leave her here. Eventually her family would find her and take her home. Eventually, someone would realize that she was Elvish Royalty and find a way to get her home.
Unless the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain got wind of her and decided to hold her hostage against Thranduil.
Morfang went downstairs and left the inn, saying he’d be back soon and that to give Lindariel anything she wanted to eat. Payment would be made when they left. (He may be an Orc, but he had to travel too, even if unwelcomed. Orcs would steal the money off of their victims and kept it with them for when it was needed).
He found a shop about to close. He quickly selected a slender walking stick and lay the coins on the counter before walking out with it, ignoring the, “pleasure doing business with you, Sir,” that the owner said to his back.
As Morfang walked back to the inn, he began to smell a scent that he did not recognize. He stopped and sniffed the air loudly. Dwarves, he thought. Did they recognize me?
A dwarf passed by, but said nothing to him. Morfang shook his head, laughing at his own paranoia, chasing it away. No one would recognize him. There hadn’t been an Orc around in these parts for nearly sixty years. Not since the Battle of the Five Armies.
Morfang returned to his room at the inn. Lindariel began to stir when he entered. He glanced at her and she sat up.
“How long have I been asleep?”
“Who knows,” Morfang said, resting the walking stick against the wall. “Since I started carrying you here, most likely.”
Lindariel blushed. “I’m sorry!” she said, “I didn’t mean to fall asleep—”
“Enough with the apologies!” Morfang shouted.
Lindariel winced and opened her mouth again, but stopped herself and bit her bottom lip.
Morfang sat at the table and stared out the window. After a moment, he glanced back at Lindariel. “Are you hungry?”
“A little bit,” she admitted.
“There’s a walking stick there.” He jerked his head over at the stick, and Lindariel looked at it. “Use that to help you walk.”
Lindariel stood and winced. Carefully, she walked over to the wall and grabbed the stick before heading downstairs.
After she left, Morfang leaned back in his seat and wondered why it was that the Princess enticed him so much. Surely it had to be because she saved his life. Surely it had to be that she didn’t judge him for what he was.
But then why did he feel compelled to take her with him on his journey? Why did he feel the need to have her by his side?
It’s not as though he was falling in love with her.