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Deviants

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We are the oldest deviantart fan group focusing on professor, author, and philologist JRR Tolkien. We accept fan art of all his works, including his more popular stories surrounding Middle Earth (Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Silmarillion) as well as his lesser known poems and short stories.
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Dec 12, 2004

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Heart Of Gold 23The water lapped at my boots as I reached down to help an elderly woman to shore. Her hand was icy cold and gripped my wrist in a strangle hold. She fell to her knees with a sob, trembling. "Everything is gone."A floating barrel bumped against my leg as I reached for the next person and the next. Smaug was dead. Not long after reaching the edge of the lake Tauriel, Legolas and I watched the dragon plummet from the sky shot down by Bard's black arrow.I'm the reason the elves weren't there before Smaug's attack. Did Bard's children die because Legolas and Tauriel weren't there to save them from the Orcs? What of Kili who needed Tauriel's elven healing magic to recover from his poisoned wound? These were just a few of the questions that circled around in my head as more and more people stumbled onto the shore.The sun broke over the eastern ridge, the bright rays striking against the surface of the water. Ducking my head, I squinted and searched the floating debris for anyone else in need of help. I averted my gaze when a body drifted closer.Nothing I did here would truly erase my mistake, but I had to try. I wish Gandalf were here. I'd even welcome some of his annoying riddles.A woman passed me a blanket from a stack. I wrapped it around the shoulders of a shivering woman, ignoring the chill that bit at my bare face and rippled down my spine. I hissed, my broken wrist throbbing. Gritting my teeth, I pressed my arm closer to my side. Maybe I was overdoing it but I couldn't stand by and do nothing.Women were weeping. Children were screaming. People lay on the ground injured. Everywhere I looked tragedy stared back. Guilt twisted my stomach. These poor people."The children are hungry." A woman murmured."What should we do? We don't have a tally of our supplies." Her companion muttered, wringing her hands.A small child wailed and soon others took up an ear-piercing chorus.There wasn't much I could do for them but...I fumbled in my pocket, pulling out a wrapped piece of Lembas Legolas had given me.Grabbing the sleeve of one of the mothers, I offered her the bread. "This is elvish waybread. It only takes a small bite and they'll be full."The woman eyed the bread with suspicion before nodding grudgingly. "My thanks.""Shaft Killer?" A familiar voice said behind me.I spun around to find a part of the company staggering onto land. The dwarves were a bedraggled lot, their long hair and beards streaming water. Fili and Oin held Kili between them. His face was a sickly gray.Fili adjusted his hold on his brother's waist. "Adelaide, how came you to be here?" His blue eyes were puzzled. "We believed you safe in the Elf King's halls."I shook myself free of my stupor. "Forget about it for now. Let's help your brother. Tauriel!" I shouted in the direction of the she-elf.Her super hearing caught my voice over the din. Tauriel loped across the grass and knelt beside Kili. Sitting her bow aside she, pushed up her sleeves. "I need athelas." Her eyes lifted to me. "Hurry, Adelaide."Hearing the urgent note in her voice I sprinted toward the woods grabbing Legolas' arm along the way and hauled the elf prince after me. "I don't know what athelas looks like. I need your help to find it."Legolas pulled free, his expression cold. "Why would I help a dwarf?""Argh!" I wanted to strangle him. This Pre-LOTR Legolas was such a pain. "Get rid of the stick up your ass and help me! I'm not in the mood for your racism! A person needs help and that should be enough for you!"Shocked, Legolas stared at me. He'd probably never had anyone talk back to him before. "You are a strange mortal." He looked back through the trees to where Tauriel sat beside Kili and held his hand. "Perhaps...I shall aid you."I planted my fist on my hip. "Good. I'm glad I got through to you."Legolas found the athelas quickly and cut a cluster with a knife from his boot. He pressed the plant into my hands and stepped back. "The party of Orcs that followed the dwarves will have made for Gundabad." A breeze ruffled his pale blond hair. "I cannot delay long.""There's no point in going to Gundabad." I told him.Legolas rounded on me pinning me with an intense look. "Explain yourself."What the hell? I'd already fucked up the Laketown plot point. Telling him what I knew wouldn't make things worse. Curling my fingers around the athelas, I inhaled deeply. "The Orcs you refer to are going to summon their army. They will be heading toward the Lonely Mountain. Will you stay to help the refugees or will you return to Mirkwood?""The king said you had the gift of foresight." He folded his arms across his chest. "I will reserve my judgment on the matter.""So are you going to help the humans or not?" I pressed.Legolas didn't answer. He was quiet on the way back to the Company but since he was always quiet, I didn't think anything of it.Tauriel grabbed the athelas with desperate hope, holding the bundle to her breast for a moment. "Thank the Valar." She crushed the herb in her hands and then mixed it into a bowl Oin pulled out from somewhere."Can you save him?" Fili asked urgently."I will try. Hold him down." Tauriel pressed the mashed herbs into Kili's injured leg and began whispering in Elvish.Kili roared in agony and flailed. Grunting, I pinned his left shoulder with my knee and Fili got the other side.A corona of white light encircled Tauriel, growing brighter and brighter with every second. I had to close my eyes or risk being blinded by her elvish aura."Bless my beard, what a marvel." Oin whispered reverently.Bofur leaned harder against Kili's other leg, nearly getting a kick to the head. The young dwarf panted, his muscles easing as the healing took hold.The light around Tauriel faded gradually until her spell came to a close. Breathing shakily, the she-elf bowed her head, pressing her lips to Kili's knuckles.I looked away, the intimacy of the moment making me uncomfortable. Tauriel really loved him. They were virtual strangers and yet the bond between them was undeniable. I always thought love at first sight a fairytale.Pain flashed across Legolas' face. Our eyes met briefly and he turned away, putting his back to the group. Should a prince really suffer from unrequited love? It was counter to every story I ever heard as a child.Well, he was unmarried in the books so maybe he never got over Tauriel?I sighed. Love was so confusing."That was a privilege to witness." Oin bowed his head respectfully to Tauriel.She smiled, tears sliding down her cheeks. Even crying she was beautiful. Tauriel swiped at her cheeks. "He will survive.""We should make for Erebor before the day grows too much longer." Fili gazed across the lake at the mountain looming on the horizon. "Thorin will need us."Thorin. My stomach squirmed uncomfortably. The dragon was dead. There wasn't any reason to hang around. The Laketown villagers wouldn't welcome an outsider into their fold after the tragedy they'd suffered.The whole point of escaping Thranduil's halls was to save Thorin and his nephews. I couldn't exactly do that if I weren't there.Bofur and Fili pushed a rowboat into the water. They held it steady while Oin and I helped Kili into the boat."Will you join us?" Bofur asked Tauriel kindly.She stared at Kili and then Legolas and pressed her lips together. I knew how she felt. Torn in a million directions. Tauriel bowed her head, looking defeated. "I cannot. I must remain."The boat floated further into the lake, the distance rapidly growing between us and the shore. Rubbing a hand over my face I watched Erebor loom closer and closer.OoOAfter crossing the lake it took another day to reach our destination. The scent of brimstone lingered heavily in the air as we reached the blackened and charred entrance to Erebor. Carefully picking my way over rubble I stumbled into the gaping maw of the mountain, feeling like I was being swallowed hold as the blackness engulfed me."Where are they?" Kili whispered."They will likely be in the king's hall." Fili answered back in the same hushed tone.There was something foreboding about the energy inside the dwarf kingdom. An air of neglect and malice. Shivering, I wrapped my arm around myself.Up ahead torches lined the walls. Fili freed one from its sconce and took the lead. For someone who'd never been here, he had an instinctive sense of direction.The remaining members of the company were sitting around in an alcove. They lurched into motion when they saw us, Bilbo sprinting ahead to greet our bedraggled party. "You made it!" He gripped Fili's shoulder in greeting then blinked rapidly when his gaze landed on me. "A-Adelaide? How?"I shrugged sheepishly. "I, uh, escaped the elves."A wide smile stole over the Hobbit's face. To my surprise he enveloped me in a hug, nearly bowling me over. "You are a sight for sore eyes, my friend."I staggered and regained my balance, wrapping my good arm around him. A small glowing coal of warmth settled in my chest as I rested my cheek on his curly hair. "I missed you too, Bilbo."It was true. In a year, the Hobbit had become my best friend. Seeing him safe and whole greatly relieved me."Where is Thorin?" Fili asked.Tension filled the air at his question. Still gripping my shoulders, Bilbo pulled back, his wide smile sliding into a frown. "He's searching for the Arkenstone."Dwalin and Balin both exchanged nervous glances.Swallowing hard, I entered the chamber of golden light and my eyes almost fell out of my head. Mountains of gold, far as the eye could see stretched into oblivion. I had never seen anything like it."Impressive, isn't it lass?" Balin clapped me on the back. "The legacy of our people.""Well...I've never seen anything like it." I agreed, the shock wearing off. I scanned the heaps of riches for my real target, landing on a kingly robed figure picking through a pile of egg-sized gems.My heart raced. Thorin.Thorin tossed a sapphire carelessly over his shoulder, muttering to himself.Uh-oh."Has there really been no trace of the Arkenstone?" Fili stroked his beard, watching his uncle warily. "I wonder..."The dwarf prince didn't finish his thought before Thorin noticed his audience. White teeth sparkled in his dark beard as he pressed a hand to his chest. "Welcome, my sister-sons, to the great treasure horde, of Thror." He ended on a deep note, filled with longing.Fili and Kili gaped when Thorin tossed up a ruby to them.Fili caught it reflexively, in numb fingers. "Erebor." He breathed in awe, gazing at the jewel in his hand."Come, my friends. There is much work to be done." Thorin said.The Company descended a set of broken steps to reach the Dwarf King. I hung to the back of the group, my boots slipping and sliding on the coins. God, there was really too much gold here. More than anyone could spend in a hundred lifetimes.The sight of all the treasure repulsed me."Adelaide has rejoined us. She escaped from the elves." Kili declared, drawing attention to me.My stomach churned nervously when the Company parted leaving me face-to-face with Thorin. I stared at him silently, not knowing what to say.He wore a beautiful black surcoat trimmed in light-brown fur. Upon his brow was a golden crown, which only highlighted his change in status. Curling my fingers against my chest, I lifted my chin. "Thorin."His crystal blue gaze rove over me slowly, warming as they alighted on my face. "Welcome, my queen."What the hell did he just call me?
Heart Of Gold 22“Lady Adelaide!”The quill in my hand slipped, drawing an ugly black line across the page. I scowled at the ruined text and puffed out my cheeks. Lord Aelfric didn’t appear to notice and strode into my room. “Lady Adelaide, your friends have escaped.”I rubbed a hand over my face, his words barely registering. “What?” Maybe getting up early to write wasn’t the best decision. I was exhausted from the party the night before. I turned to look at Aelfric. I plunked the quill on the desk and balled up the ruined page into a tight ball.“The dwarves have escaped.” The elf repeated firmly to gain my attention. His words struck like a hammer blow. Escaped. The Company left without me? Tears stung my eyes as I realized what it meant. I’d been abandoned. Why? “Care to elaborate, my lord?”“The dwarves were able to open their cells. No one knows how.” Aelfric shook his head. “They gained access to the underground tunnels, using the empty wine barrels as watercraft to flee. My king, is livid with the events that have transpired.”I barely acknowledged what the healer said, draping my arm over the back of the chair. Things were progressing quickly now. Damn it. Stubborn dwarf. This is the worst time for Thorin to ditch me. How could I save them if I wasn’t with them?I didn’t remember the gold lust taking Thorin this soon. He shouldn’t be exhibiting signs of gold-fever until Laketown. Perhaps, things were different in real life versus the book. I knew things were bad between us, but I never imagined he’d up and leave me especially with elves. Thorin’s anger ran deeper than I ever expected. Aelfric took my hand, his long slender fingers a warm comfort against Thorin’s betrayal. “Where has your mind drifted? What ails you, Lady Adelaide? Is your wrist bothering you?” His brow furrowed in worry. “How may I be of service?”“I…” I faltered and stared. Instead of his usual healer garb Aelfric had donned a set of polished steel armor. A quiver of arrows slung over his shoulder and a slim sword was strapped at his side. His golden hair was tied back from his face in a sleek ponytail. “Why are you dressed for battle? Do you intend to go after them?” I demanded, sliding free of his grip.Aelfric wore a grim expression. “The kingdom is under attack by Orcs. It is my duty to protect my people not only as a healer but also a warrior.” He adjusted a strap on his left gauntlet, the bronze detail on the leather gleaming in the candlelight. “Fear not, you will be safe within the bosom of these halls, my lady.” The healer bowed deeply at the waist. “Forgive me, I must hasten to the back gate.”Spinning on his heel he darted from the bedchamber quick as a gazelle. My gaze darted from the wardrobe to the open doorway, a plan forming.Gandalf told me to trust my instincts. That’s what I would do.Unable to shed my dress without help, I pushed up the skirts and wiggled into a pair of leggings one-handed. The elves had returned my belongings not long after my arrival in the city. I donned my coat and checked the pocket to make sure I still had my mace. Surveying the room one final time, I double-checked the contents of my pack. Everything seemed to be in order. OoOHeavy footsteps marched in my direction, I hurriedly ducked into the shadows of an alcove, crouching behind a potted plant. A troop of well-armed elves stomped by in full armor, bristling with weapons. Sinking lower, I flinched when something clanged in my pack. Peering over large waxy leaves at the retreating elves, I tensed when the male elf in the rear tilted his head slightly. “What is it, Arlon?” A she-elf asked when he hesitated.The male elf gestured sharply, his long pale hair swinging around his shoulders. “Move on.”“Yes, sir.”I sagged in relief. Good, they hadn’t noticed me. Scanning the corridor, I emerged from my hiding place and headed in what I believed was city entrance. After walking for five minutes, the first tree-root bridge came into view. Golden sunlight spilled from an opening in the ceiling. I crossed quickly, conscious of how out in the open I was. With most of the elves off fighting Orcs I had a narrow window to escape Thranduil’s clutches. I wrinkled my nose. A faintly swampy smell hung in the foyer, a fug of rotting vegetation and stagnant water from the still pools beneath the root bridges. For once I had a bit of luck and the front gate was open, a lone elf standing guard. Taking a deep breath I sprinted outside, pumping every ounce of energy I had into my limbs to cross the bridge. “Wait!”I glanced over my shoulder and saw the elf heading in my direction. My boot heel hit a patch of wet leaves and I skidded. Teetering, I tipped precariously toward the foaming water and jagged rocks below. At the last second a hand grabbed my shoulder roughly, jolting my bad wrist and hauled me back.Heart racing, I hugged my bound arm close to my side. A rock tumbled off the bridge and disappeared into the churning mist. I gulped at the distance from where I stood to the bottom of the ravine. The elf guard had saved my life. “Are you mad? Running across the bridge is dangerous!” The male elf scolded, brown eyes glittering with anger.Shrugging off his hold, I backed onto solid ground, the first line of trees tantalizingly close. “I’ve decided to leave. With my friends gone I have no reason to stay here.” “There are Orcs crawling all over the forest. It isn’t wise to go off alone.”“What choice do I have?” I shot back.We both knew Thranduil wouldn’t spare any of his guards to escort me to Laketown. When making a decision, he always weighed human lives against his own kind and viewed them less. ‘Mortal’ equaled ‘worthless’ in the elf king’s eyes.Tramping through Mirkwood again didn’t thrill me, but I had to go it alone. I didn’t have another choice. Expressionless, the elf crossed his arms over his chest. “If you think I will disobey my king’s orders you are mistaken.” His eyes narrowed. “I have no wish to harm you. Come with me peacefully and there will be nothing to fear.”I retreated several steps closer to the forest. “No.”“Very well.” The elf said in a flat tone. In a flash he drew his bow and aimed an arrow at my heart. “Turn around slowly and head toward the gate.”“Mae govannen!” A clear confident female voice cut across the din of the waterfall, saving me from making a stupid and dangerous decision.The male elf and I spun toward the gate where a slight red-haired she-elf emerged. She strode confident across the narrow stone bridge without the same trouble I had. “Tauriel, mae govannen.” The male elf said.Tauriel pressed a hand to her breast and bowed her head. “I need to go on patrol to make certain the Orcs are gone.” Her green eyes flickered over me. “Why have you stopped the king’s guest?”“Lady Adelaide has not been given leave from our halls.” The other elf replied.“I see.” Tauriel said.Seeing an opportunity, I pushed past the male elf. “I need to get to Laketown. My friends are traveling there.”The she-elf averted her gaze. “I know.”I knew she had feelings for Kili. If I had to take advantage of that emotional weakness, so be it. Curling my fingers around the strap of my pack, I leaned forward on my toes. “If I don’t get to them, they’ll die. I have to be there to stop it.”“Of what do you speak?” Tauriel demanded, her face intense.“Let’s just say I haven an…inkling of future events and leave it at that.”“Tauriel-” The male elf began.Tauriel shook her head, a barely perceptible movement. “I will take you to the edge of the forest.” Her gaze was steady. “From there you will be able to find your way.”Relieved, I nearly hugged her and only resisted the impulse at the last second. I rocked back on my heels. “Thank you.”Tauriel motioned for me to follow. “Let’s go.”I darted after her, sprinting to catch up. “I’m Adelaide, by the way.”The she-elf smiled faintly. “Tauriel. Well met, Miss Adelaide.”OoOTauriel kept a grueling pace as we hurried through the forest. It had rained overnight turning the ground into a slog. We kept to the higher dryer ground, but it was still tough going. My leg muscles ached from constantly jumping over roots and other forest debris.Tauriel suffered no such ill-effect being an elf in her prime. Air sawed in and out of my lungs like razor blades. Only a few years shy of middle age I was feeling the effects of our flight. I couldn’t take this much longer. Ten minutes later I stumbled to a halt, panting heavily. “Tauriel, I need a break.” The she-elf scanned our surroundings and nodded. “Very well, a brief respite.”My legs were jelly as I sat down on a fallen log. Tugging at my sleeves, I peeled the fabric away from my sweaty skin. I drank deeply from a waterskin Tauriel offered to me. Sunlight filtered through the trees casting dappled shadows on the thick carpet of leaves on the forest floor. The same eerie quiet pervaded the clearing, danger crouching in wait. Plugging the waterskin, I returned it to Tauriel. “Thank you.”Tauriel nodded distractedly. “Come, we need to reach the edge of the forest by nightfall.”I dusted my leggings off and stood. The muscles in my legs still quivered from exertion. “Right. Orcs and giant spiders.”“We slew most of the Orcs.” Tauriel said as we started walking again. “The prince and I took one to the king for questioning and his words troubled me.”I’ll bet. Since they presaged Sauron’s return. Which is why Thranduil was so quick to behead the orc before Legolas realized the gravity of the creature’s mocking confession. After another hour of walking, the sound of churning water reached us. Tauriel followed the sound, breaking through the trees onto the bank. We ran along the shore until the current slowed. Tauriel caught my elbow. “Wait here.” The she-elf nimbly navigated the slippery cluster of stones. Tauriel knelt beside a pile of bloody rags and the carcass of a deer.A soft gust brushed against my skin as someone passed me. I barely blinked and Legolas was standing behind Tauriel. The she-elf quickly spun around and aimed her bow at the prince. Legolas spoke in Elvish.Leaning against the trunk of a birch tree, I settled in to wait how things played out. Would Legolas haul us back to the king? Or would he let us go? I had no way to predict how my presence might change this part of the story. Tauriel and Legolas did not converse long. Both elves darted back to shore where I waited. “The plan has changed. We will take you to Laketown.” Tauriel told me.I compressed my lips and nodded. Our party had gained a new companion. Legolas largely ignored me as we traveled. He said nothing when I called for breaks, but he fairly vibrated with impatience. I kept going until I couldn’t walk anymore. I collapsed in a circle of trees, stretching my legs out in front of me. “Stick me with a fork. I’m done.”“What?”“Its just a saying where I come from.” I explained, noting Tauriel’s confusion.Legolas stalked around the clearing. “The sun is nearly set. This place will make an adequate camp for the night.”“We cannot linger.” Tauriel argued. “We must reach Laketown before the night wanes.”“Peace, mellon. We will reach the town on the morrow.” Legolas said, resting a comforting hand on the she-elf’s shoulder. Tauriel closed her eyes briefly. “I’ll gather some firewood.” Without another word she disappeared into the thicket.I understood her urgency. Kili had been struck by a poison arrow. More than anything I wanted to catch up with Thorin and the others. Make sure that he was okay. Ask Thorin to forgive me for not trusting him. Explore the tenuous connection between us and see where it led.Legolas and Tauriel started a fire. From a pouch on his belt the prince produced a piece of Lembas bread. We each took a portion. I was surprised how full I felt after one bite. At the edge of the camp the elves spoke in low voices. Neither seemed interested in conversing with me so I curled up on a patch of moss, using my pack for a pillow and watched the dancing flames until I fell asleep.OoOWe pushed harder the next day. The vastness of Mirkwood impressed upon me with every mile we traveled. Dark fell before we reached the edge of the forest. The three of us emerged onto a frost encrusted field.Thick clouds of smoke hovered above the lake. The massive form of a dragon cut through the air, roaring in triumph. Laketown was burning. Even from this distance the heat pressed against my skin like a furnace. Terrified screams pierced the atmosphere.A tear rolled down my cheek as the gravity of my error descended upon me. I’d fucked up big time. Mutely, I watched the town burn as ash spiraled down from the sky....
Heart Of Gold 21I’d been locked in the guestroom for three days with only the occasional visit from Lord Aelfric to break up the monotony. He even brought me parchment and ink so I could write. His attentiveness made me slightly uneasy. Elves were typically aloof from humans so why did he go out of his way to visit me? Shaking my head, I banished the thought. It didn’t matter. I was more worried about the others locked in the dungeons. The elves wouldn’t mistreat the dwarves, but I didn’t like Thorin being locked away like an animal in a cage. Especially knowing he was angry with me for hiding the truth about my origins. He shouldn’t be angry. Claiming to be from another world isn’t something you spring on someone without really knowing them. How did I know he’d believe me?I paced around the sitting room, my footsteps muffled by the thick rug covering the stone floor. Where was Bilbo? The guard mentioned nothing about a Hobbit being captured with the rest of the Company. I pressed my index finger against my bottom lip. Could Bilbo be using the Ring to sneak around the mountain?Thinking of the Ring made me feel all skivvy. Someone knocked at the door. I tensed as the key turned in the lock, the tumblers clicking loudly. Compressing my lips, I arched a brow as Lord Aelfric stepped into the room looking apologetic. “Forgive me for the intrusion. King Thranduil wishes to speak with you, my lady.”Smoothing the green satin of my borrowed gown, I joined him in the hall. “And he sent you to play messenger?”“Would you not prefer my company to that of one of the guards?” He volleyed back.Point taken. Who knew Aelfric had a feisty side hidden beneath his serene-elf exterior? It made me like him better. We made our way to the throne room in silence. No amount of small talk would make the situation less awkward. Thranduil wasn’t lounging in his throne. He stood off to the side fixing himself a drink. An elven king with a drinking problem, go figure. Of course, if I had to rule a kingdom in this world, I’d probably be guzzling alcohol like water. Aelfric bowed and after a subtle gesture to me I curtsied. Thranduil plugged the crystal decanter with a stopper and motioned us forward. “Miss Monroe, Lord Aelfric has informed me of…some oddities regarding your character.”I glared at the elf healer and gritted my teeth. “What oddities?”“It appears while in the library in Imladris you searched for information on travel between worlds.” The elf king pinned me in place with his icy blue eyes. “Is this true?”I shrugged. “I’m a scholar. The more obscure the study the better.”“Lord Aelfric believes your study is more prosaic in nature.” Thranduil calmly sipped his wine before continuing. “There have been World Walkers in the past. They come during critical junctures in our history. Before the fall of High King Gil-Galad is one such instance I can think of.”I had no idea who Gil-Galad was. Tolkien created numerous histories of Middle Earth to expand his world. After reading the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, I bowed out. “What do you want me to say?”“The truth.” Thranduil replied, examining the silver filigree on his goblet. “I do not suffer liars or deceivers within my halls.”Shooting Aelfric another glare for backing me into a corner, I exhaled sharply. “Yes, I’m from another world. I’m not going to say anything more than that.” “Why?” The king challenged.“Because if I do, it will screw up important events.” Thranduil raised his brows in surprise. “You possess the gift of foresight? How…unusual for a mortal.”“Capriciousness is part of our charm.” I said dryly.“Our opinions differ on what is charming.” Thranduil said, setting his empty goblet down and taking up his scepter. “You are a complication.” He forced my chin up with the end of his scepter and studied me. “I do not particularly care for complications.”My throat bobbed against the hard wood. “Are you going to kill me?”“Has my character so fallen among Men that I am regarded as a monster?” Thranduil’s forehead wrinkled in consternation. “I have no wish to kill you, Miss Monroe, but neither can I allow you to roam free and wreak havoc upon the world.”“Meaning what exactly?”Pushing me away with his staff he pivoted on his heel and glided toward his throne. “I sense we are upon a precipice. Until events come to a head you will remain within my halls.”Anger exploded in my chest. Clenching my fist, I stormed toward him. “You can’t lock me up! I haven’t done anything wrong!”Sinking onto his throne, Thranduil looked at me like a cockroach skittering across his finely polished floor. His handsome features twisted into a mask of fury as his own hot temper surfaced. “Do not question me! This is my kingdom! My word is law!” “Does that mean you’re going to keep the dwarves locked up forever?” I shot back furious.A cold smile curled the elven king’s lips. “It will not be forever. Time is not on the side of mortals such as yourself or the dwarves. They will grant my request or rot within the dungeons until old age takes them. Have a care you do not further anger me or you will join them.” He gestured imperiously at the elven healer. “Lord Aelfric, remove this woman from my sight!”Lord Aelfric reached for me and I dodged his hand. Swearing under my breath I stormed out of the throne room and charged blindly through the halls. That arrogant asshole! How dare he imply I’d propagate disaster! I knew Thranduil was a dick but not how much of one until this moment. “Lady Adelaide you are going in the wrong direction.” Aelfric said behind me.I whirled on him. “Why did you have to tattle on me? Where I’m from has nothing to do with Thranduil.”Aelfric flinched, hurt shining in his eyes. “I meant no harm, my lady. I only told the king about your past in the hopes he’d allow you access to the library here so you might find a way home if you still desired it.”Pinching the bridge of my nose, I sighed. “I understand you meant well, my lord, but things are more complicated than you know.”Aelfric touched my shoulder gently. “Then share your burdens. Perhaps I can be of aid.”I sighed again. If only I could shove off this responsibility on someone else. I was invested now. Thorin, Kili, Fili…I couldn’t imagine the world without them in it.Thorin. My heart did a funny little flip-flop at the thought of the dwarf king. I hoped he was okay. OoOTonight, Thranduil was throwing a party. I stood still while a maid wove small star shaped flowers into my braids. The Feast of Starlight had something to do with elven memory according to Aelfric. To further emphasize his pull, the elven king had ordered me to attend. If I could get away with it, I’d punch him in the face.The maid finished her ministrations and smiled. “I hope you enjoy the festivities this eve.”“Thank you.” I said stiffly. Lord Aelfric waited in the hall to escort me. His eyes lit up when he saw me. Bowing his head slightly, he pressed his hand over his heart. “I am honored to escort you, my lady.”I smiled tightly and looped my arm through his. I was far from a party mood. Sensing my discontent, Aelfric did not press me into conversation. Soft tranquil music lured us in the right direction. The feasting hall had been decked out with garlands and the last of the fall flowers before winter’s swift encroachment.Thranduil smirked in my direction as Aelfric pulled out a chair for me at one of the four long tables spanning the room. I glared back and turned away. He was in charge. I got it. He didn’t need to underscore the fact any further.I made polite chitchat with my dining companions responding with abbreviated answers. It soon became evident I wasn’t going to be the life of the party and they gradually drifted to other tables to greet friends and family. Only Aelfric remained at my side. “I know this is not what you planned but please try and enjoy yourself.” Aelfric murmured refilling my wine goblet.“How can I when my friends are locked up?” I hissed back.The elven healer wisely changed the subject. “I know you do not to discuss your origins, but might you share something of your world with me? A tale perhaps?”Aelfric was trying to be a friend and I appreciated his effort. I poked at my salad unenthusiastically and plunked my fork down. “I suppose I could share something.” So, I told him of the love of Eros for the mortal woman Psyche and how he eventually raised her as his goddess wife to live at his side. Aelfric listened attentively as I spoke of Aphrodite’s cruelty and the enduring love her son had for Psyche despite the obstacles the goddess threw at them. He smiled faintly when I finished. “Thus, love triumphed in the end.”“Hmm.” I said noncommittally. “You don’t believe in love?”“I’ve never really experienced it.” I admitted. “I’m not sure I’d ever recognize it if I did.”Thorin’s face began to take shape in my mind, and I quickly banished it. No. I wasn’t going to go there right now.“Have faith, my lady. There is love in your future, I know it.” Aelfric held out his hand, green eyes dancing with warmth. “Shall we adjourn to the ballroom? There is to be dancing.”What the hell. I curled my fingers around his and stood. Aelfric was a beautiful dancer. I didn’t have to worry about falling flat on my face with him.The Mirkwood dances were markedly similar to those in Rivendell. Aelfric steered me around the room confidently, his hand a warm weight against my lower back. My spine tingled from his touch. I bit my bottom lip. “Thank you for being so nice, my lord.”Aelfric answered with a brilliant smile that lit up his entire face. “We are friends, are we not?”“Yes, we are.”Other elves danced with me, enjoying the novelty of a pet human in their presence. As the night wore on, their faces blurred together, indistinguishable from each other. Thranduil abruptly appeared in front of me for the last dance of the celebration.I tensed, my muscles going rigid as he inclined his head. Was he serious?He raised his brow pointedly when I gaped at him.I sank into a grudging curtsy and allowed Thranduil to lead me into the crush of dancers. We didn’t speak. I knew he had no interest in dancing with me. He was merely going through the motions of being a courteous host.What a farce. A gilded cage was still a cage. I was a prisoner and we both knew it.Yawning widely, I drew back as the dance tapered off. I pressed the back of my hand against my mouth and was surprised by the numbness in my legs. Since coming to Middle Earth I’d danced more than I ever had in my life.Thranduil dipped his chin slightly and clasped his hands behind his back. “Rest well, Miss Monroe.”I nodded vaguely and went in search of Lord Aelfric to escort me back to my bedroom. The elven healer stopped me at my door and squeezed my hand. “Pleasant dreams, my lady.”I was unable to conceal another yawn which made Aelfric chuckle slightly. “Good night, Lord Aelfric.”OoOThe dwarves gathered on the stairs. The Hobbit continued to surprise Thorin with his cleverness. He braced his fists on his hips and surveyed the Company. One of their number was missing. “Where is Adelaide?” He asked Bilbo.The Hobbit blinked. “She’s in a well-guarded corner of the palace. I think if I sneak up on one of the guards I can get the key to her room.”Thorin didn’t say anything and turned away. Imprisoned by the royal arse he’d had ample time to think. Guilt ate away at him for constant danger Adelaide had been in since leaving the Shire. He never should have allowed her to leave the safety of Rivendell. His stomach twisted. The road grew in danger every day. Leaving her behind was the right decision. If Adelaide continued on with the Company she was liable to be killed and Thorin did not want that un his conscious.Bilbo read his hesitation. “You mean to leave her behind.” He glanced back up the stairwell. “I don’t think-”Thorin cut him off. “As leader of the Company, this is my decision. She will only slow us down.”Stunned Bilbo stared at him as if he were a stranger.Thorin hated the judgment in the Hobbit’s eyes. “Lead on.” He ordered his burglar....
Heart Of Gold 20A gloomy pall hung over Mirkwood, seeping beneath my skin causing me to shiver. Of course, that had less to do with the spooky atmosphere and more to do with the spiders I knew skittered somewhere in the forest. My eyes darted around the skeletal trees, noting the clawed hands of the limbs draped with spiderwebs and bearded moss.The moment I set foot on the elven road a dizziness washed over me, churning my stomach into a tornado of nausea. After a few minutes of trudging along I couldn’t take it anymore. Bracing against a tree root, I closed my eyes willing the disorientation to pass.When I opened them Bilbo and the dwarves were gone. I fought down a surge of panic. How could they have vanished so quickly?Hurriedly scanning my surroundings, I spotted them ahead just around the bend. I rushed to catch up, only to trip over a tree root and fall flat on my face. Wincing, I slowly lifted my head. Pain throbbed through my wrist. I really hated this place.Scrambling upright I cursed when I realized I lost sight of the Company again. Bracing myself, I proceeded down the road cautiously. A sepulchral gust sent a flurry of dead leaves across the cracked and broken stone reminding me of the inherent danger lurking in the broken landscape beyond massive spiders weaving their webs.A sudden howl of frustration cracked through the gloom. “Is there no end to this accursed forest?”My head shot up. Thorin. Turning in a slow circle I searched for the Company leader. He was to the left in the distance on a broken arched bridged. The other dwarves were scattered far and wide around him. Crap.I began to hyperventilate. We were all strewn about like pool balls shot by an unskilled hand. How the hell were we going to get out of this mess?Taking slow breaths to calm myself, I put on my metaphorical big girl pants and continued down the road alone. I had to have faith the rest of the Company would find their way back. Until then I had to stay focused. It wouldn’t do for me to get lost too. Gandalf told me to rely on my instincts.Time seemed to proceed at a crawl. The density of the canopy prevented me from gauging the position of the sun which meant I had no clue how long I’d been trudging along. I clenched and unclenched my jaw repeatedly as I walked. The unnatural quiet ate away at my nerves. The light patter of feet in the limbs above jerked me to a halt. Thick silver rope unspooled from the foliage and several slender figures rappelled to the ground and surrounded me. I gulped at the multitude of arrowheads trained on me and slowly raised my uninjured hand in surrender. “Parley?”A handsome blond elf in dragon scale armor worthy of a Targaryen, broke through the circle and assessed me with cold eyes. “Who are you?” He said in Common Speech.My heart did a somersault. Legolas! I resisted the urge to fangirl. My favorite character aside from Bilbo! His cupid bow lips turned down into a scowl. “Woman, why have you trespassed in the lands of my people?”I blinked stupidly, realizing he’d just asked me a question. “Um, what?” Legolas took a step forward. “Who are you?”Okay, I needed to spend a little less time admiring his sexy elven self and a little more groveling. I hitched a sweet smile into place. The one I used on Bilbo when I accidentally burned his dinner or forgot to weed the garden. “I’m Adelaide Monroe.” I held out my hand and the elven prince stared at it coolly. I dropped it. “Never mind.”“Adelaide Monroe.” Legolas repeated slowly, tasting the foreignness of it. Suddenly, he pinned me with his sharp gaze. “You have crossed our borders without leave. For this you must answer to the king.” He spun on his heel and barked something in Elvish.A pair of red-haired female elves flanked me. With my broken wrist they couldn’t tie me up. A male elf took my pack and searched for weapons. There wasn’t much. One of the she-elves patted me down and checked my coat pockets. She studied the mace with a puzzled frown. “What is this?”“A beauty product.” I lied and gestured at my face. “To reduce redness in the skin.”The she-elf shrugged gracefully and tucked the mace in her own pocket. I bit my bottom lip hard, wanting to protest but knowing it’d give me away.The other she-elf shoved me between the shoulder blades and the three of us set off together leaving Legolas and a large contingent of guards behind. I peered over my shoulder for one final glimpse of Legolas Greenleaf. He had a firm shapely ass that was emphasized by his tight leggings. A damn shame he was staying behind. If I’m going to be arrested, I’d at least like something gorgeous to look at during the trek through Mirkwood.OoOWe crossed a footbridge leading to a pair of elegantly carved stone doors. A small waterfall spilled into the ravine nearby. What’s with elves and waterfalls? I wondered as the doors opened with the ominous sound of stone scraping against stone. My captors led me over a tree root bridge that was fine for a nimble-footed elf but a bit more dangerous for an awkward, clumsy human. I almost plunged to my death twice. The she-elves bracketed me to prevent another slip until we reached the throne room. A fair-haired elf lounged lazily in his throne. He regarded me coldly with pale blue eyes as we arrived at the foot of his dais. All Thranduil needed was a chain and a bucket of water and he could have his own Flash Dance moment. I burst into giggles at the image and clapped a hand over my mouth when the elven king arched a thick brow. “What is this?”The she-elf to my left brought her fist over her heart in salute. “A trespasser, my lord.”Thranduil looked at me expectantly.I swallowed my laughter and put my game-face on. “I got separated from my friends. We are traveling at the behest of Gandalf the Grey.”“Your friends?”“A group of dwarves and a hobbit.” I supplied.“What business do you have in these lands for I know nothing of Mithrandir’s intent.” He replied in a deep carefully measured tone.At least he didn’t seem mad at me. Yet. If I were a dwarf I’m sure it’d be a different story.Thranduil mouth curled in an icy smile that didn’t reach his eyes. “The ways of Men have not changed so much that they allow their women to roam free.” He flicked a strand of pale hair over his shoulder. “You do not have the look of the Rohirrim. You could past for Gondorian I suppose.”“I am not from Rohan or Gondor.” I agreed pleasantly. “I have recently been in the employ of Bilbo Baggins in the Shire.”Swinging his boots to the floor Thranduil descended the stairs slowly. “What is a human woman doing among Hobbits?”The line of questioning was getting dangerous. My mind frantically pedaled through options before landing on something when he stopped in front of me. I met his gaze. “Do you happen to know Lord Aelfric? We met in Rivendell. He can vouch for me.”It was asking a lot but we had danced together during the midsummer celebration after all and he didn’t seem to hate my company. The elven king shifted his gaze toward the she-elves. “Summon Lord Aelfric. I wish to speak with him at once.”Which left me alone with Thranduil. I fidgeted nervously under his scrutiny aware of how grubby and dirty I was. After a minute he grew tired of standing with me in silence and went to fill a goblet of wine. I was surprised when he produced one for me.Surprised and suspicious. The wine was good. Sweet and earthy. I suppose a king would only have the best for himself. A guard darted into the room. “My lord, we have captured a company of dwarves in the forest.”A cunning expression crossed Thranduil’s face. “Throw them in the cells.”I winced and buried my nose in my goblet. The elven king turned back to me. “So. What are you and your companions after? The mountain of riches guarded by a dragon beyond my borders?”I rolled my eyes. I couldn’t help it. Is gold all anyone thought of in Middle-Earth? I swallowed another mouthful of wine. “My friends and I have different objectives. I seek a way home. I’ve been acting as their scribe for the journey.”I doubted Thranduil would care about my second part of the mission. He’d probably throw a party if Thorin died.“True or not, you are foolish to place your trust in dwarves.” Thranduil assessed me over the rim of his goblet. “They care nothing for outsiders. I suspect this is more of Gandalf’s meddling.”He wasn’t wrong.“Not to be rude, but I don’t see what this has to do with you. It’s my business.” I didn’t want to have to share yet again how I came from a different world. “You are correct. Your fate is irrelevant, but I seek answers about the dwarves’ intentions. If I cannot get them from you, I will apply pressure to the leader of the Company.” “That’s awfully direct.” I remarked.Amused, Thranduil canted his head to the side. “I want there to be no misunderstanding. This is my kingdom and my will rules here.”“Fair enough.” I set my empty goblet down on the little side table and propped my hand on my hip. “I’ll be direct too. I won’t betray my friends to a complete stranger. I have to say, Lord Elrond is a lot nicer.”“Lord Elrond can afford to be generous in his hospitality because Imladris does not suffer the dangers Mirkwood is plagued with.” Thranduil snapped.Um, the party of orcs Elrond killed would claim otherwise.“My lord?” A soft male voice floated into the throne room. Aelfric strode into view looking confused until he saw me, and the confusion melted. “Lady Adelaide? What are you doing here?”I showed him my splint and his green eyes darkened with concern. “Do you know this woman, Lord Aelfric?” The elven king inquired.“Yes, my lord. We met during my stay in Imladris. She was a part of a Company led by Gandalf the Grey.” Aelfric answered, his gaze fixated on me. “She is your prisoner, my lord?” He asked reaching for my hand. “May I?”Thranduil inclined his head.Aelfric examined the splint Oin had constructed for me. “If you have no objection, I will take her to the infirmary.”Thranduil flicked a bejeweled hand at us dismissively. “For the time being she will be a guest in these halls. Arrange a room and a bath after you have completed your examination, Lord Aelfric.”In this case I think guest and prisoner were the same. I let Aelfric lead me away glad to be free of Thranduil’s stifling presence. The infirmary was a clean and spacious room with a single window. The healer was used to seeing me in a state of disarray, so I didn’t feel as self-conscious when Aelfric made me sit on the edge of a bed and pushed back my sleeves. A deep furrowed appeared between his brows. “So many bruises. You are ill-suited for the journey you have set yourself upon, my lady.”The lantern light turned his hair into spun gold. Lord Aelfric is one of the most gorgeous elves I’d ever seen and I was happy to see a familiar face in this place. He tested my damaged wrist carefully and nodded. “I can fashion a better splint. One that is proof against most elements.”I grabbed his hand. “Will you help me rescue the others?”Lord Aelfric frowned. “I will not disobey the king. Nor should you seek to anger him after he has offered hospitality. It would be the gravest offense.”“Do you mean he’ll execute me?” I squeaked my heart racing in fear.“Please, Lady Adelaide. Have you not caused yourself enough suffering?”Aelfric sounded genuinely upset. I averted my gaze unable to answer for my newly developed self-masochistic streak.The healer dabbed ointment on my scratches and bruises. Finding more of them on my legs and back, his disapproving frown deepened. When he finished, he led me through a warren of tunnels until we reached the guest quarters.A maid waited at the entry of the bedchamber. She curtsied to Lord Aelfric who inclined his head in greeting. “Lady Adelaide will take her meals in her room until the king deems otherwise.”Aelfric wore a stern expression when he took my hand in his. “These are not the Halls of Lord Elrond. Behave with discretion, my lady.” He squeezed my palm lightly then whirled away, striding down the corridor quickly.A steaming tub of water waited in the middle of the room. The maid departed after laying a clean nightgown on the edge of the bed. A key turned in the lock followed by the maid’s retreating footsteps. Alone, the tension drained out of me. I managed to land on the bed before my legs buckled. I was a prisoner in Thranduil’s halls. At the mercy of the mercurial king.
J.R.R. Tolkien himself, Tolkien Movie
J.R.R.Tolkien portrait by RUGIDOart
JRR Tolkien and Bilbo Baggins by victoriaclare
The professor, take two by Onirio
J.R.R. Tolkien Old and Young - SOLD by Rearda
LOTR - Book
First Snow by fishing4stars
The Heart of Elvendom on Earth by MatejCadil
Gildor Inglorion by ArwendeLuhtiene
The Bridge of Khazad-dum by Stefano-Lei-Art
LOTR - Movie
Saruman by grumpyUthen
Frodo by 5kooma
The Balrog by piratebutl23
Bilbo by Stefano-Lei-Art
The Hobbit - Book
comic The Fifth Mutant by NinjaInArt
60 pence. Dream and reality by NinjaInArt
Good Morning by MatejCadil
Azog by Thrillosopher
The Hobbit - Movie
Thorin by 5kooma
Runnin away by ClarissaSchwarz
Smaug - The terrifying flight from Lonely Mountain by RiavaCornelia
King Thranduil by CloudineTibaut
The Silmarillion
Haldad by peet
Tar-Minastir Upon Oromet by peet
The Courtship of Earendil and Elwing by peet
The First Silmarillion Map by Airyyn
Artisan Crafts, Cosplay
Long elf ears with vitrail fairy wings by Lyriel-MoonShadow
Elven Ranger elf ears: Autumn Forest by Lyriel-MoonShadow
Elven Ranger Elf Ears by Lyriel-MoonShadow
Gift from the Forest Lady by AranelTauri
OCs, Other Tolkien Works, Crossovers
A map of Middle-earth by Undevicesimus
Return to Gondolin by fishing4stars
Wizards 9/14/23 by VoglerIllustrationz
Orc by Thrillosopher
Unsorted
Merry Christmas and Pippin New Year! by HoremWeb
Games: Lotro, SoM and others
worried hungry and afraid for you by KisTithen
The Rings of Power - 2022
Adar by lovely-little-gun

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:iconinfinityai:
InfinityAi Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2023
Aragorn by InfinityAi   
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:iconplaiemobile:
Plaiemobile Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2023
LEGOLAS by Plaiemobile  
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:iconerasure85:
Erasure85 Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2023
Hello everyone, This is my first attempt at using an ‘AI Art Generator’ to create ‘Comic Styled Book Covers’ for J.R.R.Tolkien's beloved works. I would like to get your feedback and any suggestions on the next type of 'Lord of The Rings' content to generate, to help me practice. thank you
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:iconlordmearln:
LordMearln Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2022  Hobbyist General Artist
I find it kind of amusing how few RoP fan art there is, half of which actually features Adar... Keep up the spirit and let that garbage sink into oblivion where it belongs! :D
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:iconerasure85:
Erasure85 Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2023
Is right, that RoP is an insult to Tolkien and the fans, as Elrond stated, "cast it into the fire"
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:iconeezz171:
EeZz171 Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2022
namarie!
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:iconandresenriquez88:
AndresEnriquez88 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2022
Ent - Sketch by AndresEnriquez88  Ent
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:icondark-sapphiron:
Dark-Sapphiron Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2022
Does anyone know a good map maker/cartographer who can make a middle earth style map ? Need it in A2 size, so pretty massive and very detailed please <3 happy to order a comission
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:iconmarkquiaki:
Markquiaki Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2022
Thanks!
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:iconthordaxel:
ThordAxel Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2021
Thanks for accepting me to the group. 🤓
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:iconmorgandietrich:
MorganDietrich Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2021
Thank you for admitting me to the group!
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:iconeramiskell:
EramisKell Featured By Owner May 19, 2021  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hello, all Tolkien fans! I am proud to be part of this group :>
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:icondamyanoman:
Damyanoman Featured By Owner May 5, 2021   Digital Artist
THE BALROG SHALL PASS! UP FOR VOTING AND READY TO FIRE UP YOUR A-PPAREL
www.qwertee.com/product/balrog…
BALROG - I SHALL PASS by Damyanoman   
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:iconcocoaamango:
cocoaamango Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2021   Digital Artist
hi! :D
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:iconjakub-radl:
jakub-radl Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2021  Professional Digital Artist
Gandalf vs Balrog in Moria - Lord of the Rings by jakub-radl   
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