So Fell The Greenwood Beech

Joined: March 13th, 2014, 4:50 am

November 19th, 2014, 3:26 pm #1

Glorfindel had known the moment Oropher and his Silvan troops charged that things would go poorly for them. Gil-galad had yet to give the command, but Oropher was too proud, too unwilling to submit to the High King's rule to await his signal. He had known in that moment that it would be his downfall, but there was nothing he could do to stop it. The only way they had any hope of beating Sauron's forces was to follow the plan that had been laid out, despite Oropher's brash actions. The Last Alliance needed to remain as cohesive as possible, a well-oiled machine, with as many separate pieces as it had. There was no more room for error.

When they were loosed, Glorfindel did his best to drive his own small contingent toward their wayward allies, but he could see the damage had already been done. There were too many foes- orcs, trolls, even men- to reach them in time. If Oropher had not been so stubborn, three years ago he could have sent troops to Imladris, where they would have been able to share in the forging of greater armor and weapons, but he'd stayed in his borders until the last possible moment. His troops were ill-equipped, unable to withstand the host that surrounded them. Hours passed before his Noldor were able to get anywhere near them.

Amdir's troops to the west were lost to them, Glorfindel could see the press of the Enemy wedge between them, cutting them off inexorably from aide. He did not, however, see Oropher's fall. His shield, an updated replica of the one he had lost in Gondolin, presumably buried with his corpse beneath the waves of Belegaer, was already slick with black blood on its sharp edges, dulling its golden shine. A classic symbol of defense, it had always been the key player in his offense, deceptive and deadly, working in tandem with the longsword in his right hand, both extensions of his own limbs. For now they were still light in his hands, but with the troll bearing down on him that did not make it easy. When it fell, finally, from a final shot from an unseen archer at his rear, that was when his path cleared enough to spot familiar silver hair.

It was the odd movement that caught his attention at first, as he climbed over the fallen corpse, an unwise decision to put himself any height above the battle, given that he already shone like a beacon with Valar-given power, but his fear of death had died long ago. Glorfindel's eyes followed the off-kilter movement, responding oddly to the stimuli around him. It was as if he was moving at an angle to the rest of them, disengaged from reason. He moved forward, pausing only long enough to cleave the head from an oncoming orc, as he called Oropher's name. But no, that was not Oropher, he realized a moment later, and then he understood what was wrong.

Glorfindel broke into a run, using his shield as a battering ram to force his way through the mob. He heard the crack of a skull as a man with kohl lining his eyes and tattoos covering his face bounced solidly off the engraved flower on his shield. He called Thranduil's name, but he doubted he could hear over the sounds of battle around them - if he wanted to hear at all.
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Joined: November 16th, 2014, 11:00 pm

November 20th, 2014, 3:14 am #2

He hadn't seen his father in many years. The decision to stay behind in Lindon, while his father crossed Ered Luin and then the Misty Mountains to rule the Silvan Elves in Greenwood the Great, had been a hard one to make. But Thranduil had made it. He had only just recently gotten married when Oropher decided to leave, and Thranduil had seen no reason why he and his wife needed to uproot their lives. Eventually the two of them would make the journey because Thranduil was his father's only heir. He didn't expect anything to ever happen to Oropher which would cause him to take his father's place but, just because he didn't expect anything to happen, it didn't mean that nothing would happen.

And then came the call to march upon Mordor. There were not many Elves in Lindon who wished to resist the call. Regardless of what his father had planned to do, Thranduil would have gone with Gil-galad. What hope did the alliance of Elves and Men have against the hosts of Mordor? Not much but something needed to be done. When they had gotten near to the Greenwood on their march, with Gil-galad's permission, Thranduil had taken a small host to ride ahead and meet up with his father's own party. Thranduil wished to fight alongside no one other than Oropher in the battle to come.

That battle was brutal from the beginning. Thranduil had foregone a shield, dual-wielding swords instead. He had tried to talk his father out of charging so early but his words were not heeded, and Thranduil had joined the fray with the Silvan Elves. Orc and Man went down beneath his blades quickly, and he saw that his father was doing just as well. But, despite his best attempts to remain at Oropher's side, they eventually became separated. Thranduil didn't think twice about that, until he caught a glimpse of a large group of orcs clustered together around a single foe of theirs.

When Thranduil saw his father standing there all alone, he did all that he could to reach him in time but his best attempts were to no avail. His father didn't see his own death blow as it came from one of the orcs standing behind him. "FATHER!" Thranduil shouted out, his voice barely above a whisper in the cacophony surrounding him. Paying no heed to his own safety and, even if he didn't know it, not walking in a very straight line, Thranduil stumbled over to where his father lay.

Oropher was already dead. Thranduil had even been robbed of the chance to say goodbye. He knelt down beside him and cradled his head in his arms, planting a tender kiss on his brow. The battle was still raging on all around him but Thranduil was in his own private world of grief. He didn't see the two orcs approaching from behind him. Even if he had known that they were there, Thranduil might not have done anything to stop them.
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Joined: March 13th, 2014, 4:50 am

November 24th, 2014, 3:53 pm #3

It was all Glorfindel could do to get there before the orcs reached his ally. He had not expected Thranduil to hear or heed his shout, with the way he knelt curled over the prone body of who he had no doubt was Oropher. There was no reaching him with sound at the moment, Glorfindel knew. He'd experienced grief such as his mid-battle, and he had done the same, forgotten all but what was before his eyes. It had taken hands laid upon him to tear him away from what he had lost, and if they had not, he would most likely never have earned his own way back to the Hither Shores.

He darted past friend and foe alike, cleaving the first orc's right arm from his shoulder before the morning star in his hand could come crashing down on Thranduil's skull. Glorfindel's body twisted as he swung, a fluid motion from one movement to the next as his sword continued its arc and plunged to the hilt in the second's back, through useless rusty plate to sever its spine. It crumpled to a heap, sliding off his blade as it did, but Glorfindel was already stepping over its corpse to crouch in front of Thranduil, on the other side of Oropher's body.

"Thranduil!" he barked, his voice harsher than it should have been but necessary over the din of the battle. He reached out to grab his armored bicep, giving him a sharp shake, "We all came here prepared to die, but there is no reason you should follow him to it! Get up!" Glorfindel, not particularly in the mood to go either, slid back to his feet in time to catch the warhammer of a charging Variag, judging by his poorly chosen armor. He took advantage of this fact, shoving the hammer aside and slicing downward across his chest, splitting both leather and flesh.

Glorfindel twisted back around and reached down to haul Thranduil to his feet, "You will see him again on the Western Shore, I promise you." Reaching around he clasped the back of his head and pulled his head forward, pressing his forehead to the other's momentarily, "Remember why you are here," he reminded him. "You are now King of the Woodland Realm. Mourn your father's death only after you have led your people home once again." He pulled back, lifted his shield arm to take the impact of a mace wielded by a massive orc taller even than he, his heels digging deep into the loam, soggy now with spilled blood, under the force of the blow. "Pick up your sword Thranduil!"
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Joined: November 16th, 2014, 11:00 pm

November 26th, 2014, 6:10 pm #4

Thranduil had promised his father that after the war was won he would spend some time in Greenwood, despite his wish to return to his wife in Lindon as soon as he could. And, although the journey was a long one, he had also promised his father that he would visit as often as he could and might even be persuaded to settle there permanently someday. What did those promises mean now? Promises meant nothing when the one who would have benefited from them was dead. Every soldier going into battle knew what they were risking but, with the way they had been talking about the near future with each other, Thranduil had not thought death would find his father so soon.

He vaguely heard a voice calling his name but he didn't look up, his eyes still solely focused on his dead father. And then the voice was telling him that he didn't have to die too, but, in Thranduil's current state of mind, all he could think of was that, yes, he didn't have to die too, but he also didn't have to live if he didn't want to. If he wanted to follow his father into the Halls of Mandos, then he had every right to do so. Who was this voice that presumed to tell him otherwise?

Thranduil looked up just in time to be dragged to his feet by Glorfindel. The Sindar didn't have the will to resist him. "They are not my people!" he spat out. A part of the reason he had decided to remain in Lindon was that he did not want to live among the Silvan Elves. He was sure that they were not all that different from his own kind but he could not understand why his father had chosen to rule over them, and Thranduil's time with them on the ride to Mordor had not made his opinion of them any more favorable. Now he was expected to be their king because his father had made a decision all of those years ago that his son hadn't agreed with?

He looked down at his sword, his gaze straying between it and his father's corpse. It was only then that Thranduil began to think about what his father would want him to do. Would he want him to lay down and die or continue on, ruling in his stead with his wife and any children they were granted by his side? Glorfindel had little to do with his decision as Thranduil reached down to pick up his weapon. The least he could was make sure that no orc or Man defiled his father's broken body.
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Joined: March 13th, 2014, 4:50 am

December 8th, 2014, 3:55 pm #5

Glorfindel grimaced at the tone in Thranduil's voice as he rejected the call to the throne his father had left him. Part of him could understand the immediate response, in the face of his own people's demise, his resurrection and call to serve a people and a king he knew nothing of- he had rejected the idea himself, though in a more inward and resentful way. It had taken nearly a year for him to warm up to the prospect, to find something tangible to anchor him to those people, to find a purpose that was not just blindly serving the Valar's wishes. Now, he wouldn't hesitate to die for both his king and his people.

For a few painfully long moments, as he fended off blow after blow by the mace wielding orc, he wasn't sure that Thranduil would rise. Was he so broken by his father's loss that he would let himself fall as well, with a wife waiting for him in Lindon? Truthfully, Glorfindel was not sure what else he could say to convince him, if his wife or his father's wishes were not enough to rouse him. He grunted with the effort of directing the orc's attacks away from Thranduil and the body of his father, but he knew he could not keep up such an effort for long without risking his own life - moreso than he already was in this semi-suicidal battle.

To his great relief, he caught Thranduil's movement out of the corner of his eye, saw the sword lifted from the mess on the ground. With newfound determination he lunged forward, ducking beneath the next swing of the mace to drive his sword upward aiming into a crack in his shoddy armor, up beneath the ribs and through the beating heart in one stroke. He sidestepped and shoved, propelling the body down to the side to avoid having it drape over him, and turned to Thranduil as he pulled his sword free. "You are needed now, Thranduil. Do not let his death be in vain, rally your people!"
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