You've traveled here once, during that time it was known as Greenwood the Great, but you never step foot in the forest, you never dared. The rumors of the deadly silvan elves scared any right minded person away from their borders. Unfortunately you would have to venture into the sick forest, your company needed to. For the lonely mountain lay beyond.
"(Y/n) Half-Elven!" Called Gandalf, you turned to face your old friend and saw that he still mounted his horse. "It seems your elvish blood can be of no more importance than it is now"
You narrowed your eyes. "You mean to leave us?" Upon saying this the rest of the company had stopped whatever task they were doing and all eyes rested upon the wizard.
"Yes...And I only do so out of great need" He said slowly, seeing the betrayed look of the thirteen dwarves, one hobbit, and a singular half elf. "The ruler of these woods, King Thranduil, is not overly fond of dwarves. Perhaps seeing one of his own kin may stay his wrath"
"Why are you telling her this?" Thorin stepped forward, his usual cold stare intensified at the mention of the elven king. "We do not intend to seek his audience"
"You may not intend it, Thorin son of Thrain" Gandalf said, a hint of annoyance in his voice. "but it very well may happen."
The company watched as the grey wizard rode off into the distance, eventually disappearing behind a hill.
"What now?" Bilbo said stupidly.
"Now, Master Baggins, we go into the unknown" Thorin huffed. "Stay on the elven path!" He commanded as the fifteen of you stepped into the dark forest.
The effects of the forest consumed you and the company quickly, but you held more of a resistance to it. Soon your friends had begun to babble around you. Saying strange remarks and crying out in anger and frustration. Thorin and Dwalin, at the head, insisted you were following the elven path. But the farther you went in the more 'elaborate' the path had became, at one point you found yourself climbing up the side of a small ledge. Beginning to grow frustrated you pushed yourself to the front and grabbed Thorin's shoulder. He jumped at the sudden contact and faced you but when he did you could see his eyes were slightly glazed.
"This isn't right" Despite the dazed euphoric sense that seemed to ever so slowly creep its way into your mind you made your voice loud and firm "we are no longer on the path."
"No, this is the right way. We are following the path" He pulled away. Just as he had said that Dwalin began to kick around at the dirt and leaves beneath him.
"We've lost the path" Shock overcame the three of you.
"Find it. All of you look, Look of the path!" Thorin called out to the rest, trying to find a solution.
"We've gone too far, we could miles from the path" You breathed out.
"We've been going 'round in circles!" One of the company called out, you grunt in agreement.
As the fifteen of you pressed on you felt...weird...weirder than before. The unusually thick air was was even thicker and you couldn't shake this feeling that you were being watched, not like the trees were watching you— No, it wasn't the trees. Not the trees...not the trees. It was something else...Whispering filled your ears, it was quiet and quick like the tapping of wood or summer rain against a cottage roof. You shook your head and rubbed your eyes frantically, nearly falling down. Now you had fully succumb to the forest's sickness.
kill them, kill them
"Do you hear that?" You say looking at the surrounding trees
Thorin turned back, his eyes angered "Hear what?!"
"Th-the whispers...the whispers, do you hear...the whispers"
"It's this accursed forest!" Dwalin called. Though you weren't convinced. "It's playing tricks on your mind, lass, nothing more!"
You stretched aggressively, nearly knocking Gloin over "Are we there yet...?" You manage to hiss out, your legs started to drag along the forest floor and your eyelids began to feel as heavy as led.
"We're on the path, keep moving!" Thorin yells in that stupidly demanding tone of his. Growling you pushed forward reluctantly for you don't know how long.
The grip you had on your bow began to loosen, the quiver and backpack you burdened began to feel heavier. The sword in its sheathe felt like it was weighing you down, dragging you into the earth. White dots appeared in your vision and one by one the company disappeared from your sight, you continued to stumble on. Where had they gone? They were just in front of you! A few muffled screams could be heard but you payed no mind to them. Suddenly the ground shook as something large landed behind you, slowly you turned to see eight black eyes and a pair of large venomous fangs before you. Letting out a terrified shriek you attempted to grab an arrow from your quiver, but its terrible web had caught your hands and you were quickly defeated. The world slowly began to fade out.
Your back hit the ground with some ease but enough force to wake you up. (E/c) eyes shot open only to reveal a sticky substance that encased your body. An angry growl escaped your lips as you began to tear the webs from your body. Once released from your silk prison you stood only to find the rest of the company doing the same. The sound of branches snapping caught the attention of your ears, something was running its way along the trees above you and was approaching quickly.
Twenty spiders were making their way towards the disorganized company. "Come on, everybody up!" You bellowed grabbing Bombur by his ginger beard and yanking him to his feet, as he was the last one to stand. The fourteen of you sprinted across the root littered forest floor, you being the fastest at the head. Though your efforts were in vain, the spiders had the advantage of speed and launched a brutal and relentless attack.
You armed your bow and shot down three, but as soon as you did the foul creatures would be replaced by three others. A strangled cry left Gloin as one jumped on top of him, it's fangs prepared to dig itself into the dwarf's flesh. Leaping into the air you drove an hour straight through it's skull, It let out a defeated screech of pain and fell to the ground limp. Grabbing Gloin by the arm you hoisted him up, then continued on with your aimless running.
"I don't see anymore!" Bofur yelled.
"I can't hear them either!" Scanning the tree line you reached for your quiver and armed your bow once again.
"Did we kill all of them?!" Yelled Kili.
"No!" You shot back quickly before any could answer. "Their nests hold great numbers, more will come. We must keep moving!"
Thorin only nodded at this and pointed in a random direction,"This way!" He ordered, all obeyed and followed him deeper into the sick forest.
The forest hadn't become any less thick, though there were no signs of the spiders as you and company scaled the dark terrain . "We're clear!" Thorin called back from the front. As if to laugh at his sudden assessment a large spider landed before you all and raised it's hind legs as a means to challenge. Growing tired of corral of arachnids you drew the string of your bow back with means to kill the beast but before you released your fingers to deliver the killing blow your peripheral vision caught sight of something running along the giant branches of the trees. Lips parted slightly, as your full attention was now on the bipedal figure.
It grabbed onto the silk string of a spider and used it as it's way to the forest floor, crushing the spiders head on impact and using the momentum to slide elegantly across the dirt, cutting and killing the large spider that was before you. It had all happened so quickly you hardly had time to blink as the figure stood and pointed an arrow directly at the company. Thorin drew orcrist back meaning strike the figure, but as soon as he did so others came out from the shadows. Soon over twenty figures surrounded the fourteen of you, the sound of their bows string being pulled back filled your ears. The company formed into a defensive circle, your taller form being pushed to the middle as a means of protection.
"Do not think I won't kill you dwarf, it would be my pleasure" It says. On closer inspection, it wasn't an it at all. It was a tall elf with long platinum blond hair and piercing cerulean eyes. He stood tall and strong, his gaze never faltering. But seeing him threaten your leader and friend caused an anger to rise within you.
Without second thought you draw an arrow from your half empty quiver and arm your bow with amazing speed, pointing it directly at the blond elf. "If you so much as lay a finger on him, I'll cut your immortal life short!" You seethed through gritted teeth, baring your canines. The blond's attention focused on you now as was the rest of his comrades who's aim now rested upon you, each one of their gazes menacing. The elf's eyes widened with surprise, you dare say even dumbfounded for a second. Soon though, that expression hardened immediately to a condescending smile.
"If you do shoot not only will your precious dwarf friend die but you and the rest of your company will as well..." He states more than threats.
"(Y/n)..." Thorin whispers, hardly audible, he put his hand on yours, lowering the bow. The company was completely surrounded, there was nothing you or anyone could do. The other elves around glared at you, you shrunk in their scrutinizing gaze and held your head down, letting your (h/l) (h/c) hair slide from your shoulders and cover part of your face. The blond elf's gaze was on you for a moment longer till he turned to the others.
"Search them!" He commanded
Certain elves departed from the others and approached the company, grabbing them by the collars and fishing out anything that could pose a possible threat. A younger looking elf with dark brown hair approached you "Remove your armor" he demanded. You only returned his command with a steely glare. "I said remove your armor."
"As if I would degrade myself by stripping in front of some woodland peasant like you~ Please! Do find someone else harass~" The words rolled off of your tongue with ease, each word holding a burning resentment. His eyes widened with disbelief but his surprise morphed into that of insult and rage. He raised a gloved hand with the means to strike, you could hear the gasps off disbelief and anger from your dwarf friends. Before he could finish his stroke another hand quickly grabbed his.
"What business do you have harming this woman?" It was the blond elf again.
"Hîr nín" The elf stuttered, obviously unnerved "Sh-she insulted--"
"That is no excuse," He then turned towards you letting go of the other elf's hand, his gaze just as steel like "take off your armor..."
"Do as he says lass..." Bofur said, displeased with the other elf but taking into consideration your safety. Both your eyes and the ones of the blond elf lingered on each other until your forced yourself to turn away. Sighing sadly you stripped yourself of your protective gear. Soon after they quickly confiscated your sword, bow, quiver, your trusty lock picking kit, and even a spare coin you had tucked away in your pocket. The elf that had nearly struck you had thrown your belongings to the side disrespectfully, probably not meaning to ever pick it up. While you were grieving over the loss of your much loved weapons you overheard Thorin talking to that elf again.
"Where did you get this?" he asked, holding orcrist admiring its beauty.
"It was given to me..." Thorin replies in a dangerous tone.
The elf's gaze turns again towards Thorin, pointing Orcrist at his exposed neck "Not just a thief...but a liar as well--Enwenno hain!" He yelled flicking it back to his possession, just avoiding Thorin's throat. Soon you felt the unkind hands of the elves harshly guiding you deeper into the forest, yanking your elbow away from one that attempted to take hold.
"You." The blond elf approached "What is your name and what are you doing with a pack of dwarves?"
"Those 'pack of dwarves' are my company, and my business with them is my own" You retort, flicking your (h/c) hair into place angrily. "It does not concern you, little elfling"
"Mind your tone," Suddenly his hands grasped at your elbow pulling you close, you yelped at the sudden action. "I would keep your wrath at bay, considering that you are my prisoner"
"I am no ones prisoner" You glared intensely into his striking blue eyes, rage burning behind your (e/c) irises.
"Your disobedience will get you killed" He sneered, though you could tell he was enjoying himself, the glint in his eyes gave it away. His grip loosened until he released you. "Where are you from? Rivendell?" He said more gently this time.
"Rivendell?" You question, half insulted.
"I understand half elves are more welcome there, though I do not recall there being another half elf in Middle Earth"
Your mouth was agape slightly, how could he possibly know? Was it your mannerisms? The lack of ethereal grace? You looked ahead to see Thorin staring back at you, his eyes filled with concern and anger. Straightening your back you bared your teeth. "Not even close, elfling"
He looked puzzled, "Then your name"
"Why does it matter?" You say, almost sadly.
"Am I wrong to wonder?"
You paused, (e/c) eyes widening slightly, searching for any bit of sarcasm or hurtful undertone but the elf male was completely sincere. He must be a fool. Seeing your puzzled look he smiled warmly, you felt your face heat up and you looked ahead. "Yes, you are wrong"
Suddenly a warm gust of wind blew through your hair and light leaked through the canopy and for the first time in a long while you heard the call of a bird. Gone was the sickly forest only to be replaced with a shimmering healthy one that was crisp with the oncoming winter. The company was lead across a small bridge that hovered above a roaring river. The elves around you exclaimed with delight in their native language, probably glad to be rid of the evil forest and safe at home. Two armored guards stood on either side of a massive stone door, upon seeing the arrival of the other elves they opened the doors only to reveal darkness for which your eyes had not yet adjusted to.
"Holo in ennyn!" Shouted the blond elf. Turning back you see the guards shutting the doors, the last sliver of sunlight extinguished. You only looked ahead when you heard the gasps and awes of your company, and it truly was awe inspiring. The ceilings seemed to never end and tall stone arches sprout from every side of the wall, natural springs weaved their way through the Kingdom making the air cool and fresh. Though deep inside the bedrock, there was a gentle glow of the sun, it was truly ethereal. You longed to explore every inch, learn everything there is to know about this Kingdom. Your heart dropped as you were led away and brought deeper into the dark cave.