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"Thrall Wars" part five - in which the gloaming reels so dizzily from the reeking aftermath of the Dwarf-Thrall collaboration of fireworks the revelatory Night (seemingly) goes ever ever on

Lurker in the Mirk

Aug 20 2014, 12:24pm

Post #1 of 3 (1227 views)
"Thrall Wars" part five - in which the gloaming reels so dizzily from the reeking aftermath of the Dwarf-Thrall collaboration of fireworks the revelatory Night (seemingly) goes ever ever on Can't Post

What business do Elves, Dwarves or even Men(?) have with drooling thralls, yea, with camera smartphones in tow, unto the slopes of desolated Erebor? ... oh, yes, the Hobbit's lingering in some shadows, ever ready to swoop to the hairy rescue, if he isn't crushed by Dwarven-thralls, or Thorin (who's distractedly dispensing HUGS). And how long can Thranduil keep the drooling throngs at bay? Tis a thrallfestation of the involuntarily compulsive ilk. One thing's for sure: Nothing, and (almost) no one is safe. Take cover if you dare!

What has transpired so far
Prologue: aka the 'tater mash accidentally sparked into some semblance of life by the fiery flares from the kiddy ping-pong 'twix Dwarf/Elf pervsobsessors, one thrall to another (slippery slopes are these indeed).

The ongoing irrelevance: Parts two, three (revised on 17 Jul), three-appendix: An Unexpected Flashback (new, posted 10 August), four.

Part five
in which the gloaming reels so dizzily from the reeking aftermath of the Dwarf-Thrall collaboration of fireworks the revelatory Night (seemingly) goes ever ever on





So spewed the Mountain into the long night, startling almost all far and near with the Oin-Bombur and Dwarven-thrall induced vulcanic celebration of unending (so it seemed) gold, gems, treasures and fine-crafted artefacts. A veritable fountain immeasurably fair and foul. Fair in the unmentionably exquisite expensiveness which valuators and auctioneers, being unpitiably unable to procure, purloin or indeed purvey, Dwarven and otherwise, could only pray would haunt their dreams forevermore. And foul in the deceptively feather-light confetti of organic origins (containing matter now quite unrecognisable and unspeakable to most, save perhaps Dragon-produced bits perceived to be more worthy than all the rainy treasures to connoisseurs who fancied collectibles of THAT ilk) which burst into instantaneous combustion where it will in colours strange and wonderful while in the air and flaming away until landing, at times continuing joyously burning, which to the uncouth eye looked as a Elf-feast flash-mob overran the Mountain peak intent on overthrowing its Lonely quan, unless the owner of the eye had the undesired privilege of being so near to the joyous fires, in which sad situation the eye would be odiously smarting.

Yet among the sea of beings in the vicinity of Erebor's impromptu fireworks caught unawares (many gagging badly in the aftermath), there was one who was not surprised: with his innate instinct and ability to intuit and draw conclusions deadly close to the mark, the incomparably beauteous dread King of the Elves of Mirkwood coolly watched the fireworks (glittering with more than the spark-powder the Dwarves called flash-flame). In his enraptured eyes was a silver light, a rare gleam of youngling wonderment and delight that rivalled the spectacular display, a light lightening the icy-grey of his eyes so filled with the wisdom of ages and a long eventful life worth many lucrative book deals, they glistened as dewdrops catching a strand of light on a bright crisp morn of chilly early spring.

With a clear view of the spectacle from within his austere tent of gold, the very tall, broad-shouldered Elf-lord stood in perfect long-limbed proportioned splendour as a breeze created visions of pale gold shimmer with his hair. Thranduil enjoyed both the polite breeze and the last of the wine, his fine-boned long-fingered hands gently holding the glass (a gesture that would send any Elven-thrall into maddened pangs of wine-glass jealousy should any be fortunate to be near enough to bear witness to the Elvenking's carelessly graceful poise, though unseen to the immaculately perceptive Thranduil, but clearly sensed, was someone indeed watching, aided by a well-made telescope of great power from a deep recess near the broken Front-gate of Erebor marring the very top of the Mountain he himself was viewing), the very definition of statuesque, cloaked in the tasteful shimmer of his voluminous robe-cape in which beings of lesser stature (that is, almost everyone else) would be hopelessly, overwhelmingly, ridiculously lost.

Alas, too soon it seemed, the Mountain sputtered, its glorious fury spent, and quickly the fireworks faded, with naught remaining of the spectacle that had at times seemed so bright the very veil of Night was lifted (for a moment), much as wastefully generous skirts of a well-to-do lady take flight in the bellowing gusto of a windy day. The Mountain's now slightly slushly peak seemed jauntily sloped on the one side, glittering and darkling in places with more than snow, ice and mud, pock-mark legacies of the pongful fires and much, much more. For the exceptionally powerful main explosion, and myriad after-blasts (fuelled by the misbegotten crafts of the worst of Dwarven mischief or something of that ilk no doubt) thoroughly flewed its proud solitude, and no longer quite so quan was the Mountain's Lonely. Thankfully the terribly unwarranted flensing rearranged its peak on its northern face (mostly), the direction in which the image of its iconic silhouette mattered least, thus saving many the trouble and heartache of procuring replacement maps, though cartographers (understandably) felt differently (acutely so).

Too soon did it end? For whom?

Not for the indescribably well-thewed Elvenking yearning in his heart of hearts for the White Gems (only rivalled by the very starlight glittering in the deep pools of his eyes of blue tinged stormcloud grey of the summer sky) the Dwarves in their avaricious arrogance denied him to his flawless face even as he submitted himself to gracing the tedious court of Erebor for the purpose of receiving the finished commission into his own fair hands. For though the amusement (and implications) of the Dwarven fireworks made up (somewhat) for the dorwinion rationing he was self-imposing for the expedition with his will of mithril-wrought determination, the fireworks (and that accursed burning organic matter) rendered utterly helpless the powerful King of Elves of the Woodland Realm; no hurt would he risk to the precious Gems and yet hope was all he could the Dwarves, no doubt in some new devilry to keep the misguided thralls enthralled, had not caused harm nor scattered the Gems so dear to his mighty heart too far afield for quick recovery, especially yon smoking pits marking where the organic matter landed.

In disgust at being held hostage once again by (typical) fecklessly careless (likely) Dwarven inconsideration, the King swept again with his perfect Elven sight cold with both hope and anger the newly sloping slopes of the injuriously insulted Mountain, grim and yet hoping against hope for a happy chance of discovery. Alas! It was truly not to be. And so Thranduil sighed, a breath of untold longing that, if he had but stood there, would instantly freeze the polar ice-cap even were it in deep-thaw.

Not able to bear the throes of the Elvenking's longing, the besotted breeze fled with his sigh, casting its stolen tribute to the night as the moon waned and stars vanished behind the darkly skies darkened darker still with sullen clouds poignant with rain. What stars remained shone valiantly on, but for mere moments before they too succumbed like disoriented cetaceans pinged by unethically disorienting weaponised sonar, floundering from the great evil violating the sanctity of their abode. For it seemed the organic pong had indeed reached the very rafters of the skies: one by one and then in the tens the stars peeled away from the sparse filament of Night, trailing trains of spectacular stardust as they tumbled. A sudden stillness covered the lands as the frowning head of the now darkling Mountain sparkled as if the fainted stars were fallen upon its slopes.

Only the flickering candles from within the tent of gold gave light still, and yet even in the pallid light the fair hair of the Elvenking gleamed silvery golden soft, and as ever lightly he shook his head in resignation, his hair was as stardust of the lightest spring-rains framing his perfect face unmarred by the weight of his grim thoughts. Wearied of Dwarves and indeed (the still darkly frowning) Erebor, and likely the superior olfaction of his shapely nose so well-balanced in its symmetry too was suffering from the pong (far though it was), he drew the flap of his austere golden tent, shutting out the eyes he knew watched him, and the gloaming stretching long into Night; a noxious one.

Too soon it did end for the unseen King watcher, whose eyes were tearing from the utter desolation their owner felt, for she had barely trained her trusty telescope on the very magnificence of the Elvenking within his tent (thanks to the deliriously happy happenstance of straight line-of-sight and open flap carelessly left so by Bard, may his twitter have ever-growing followers if indeed he should sign up for an account) when the explosions happened. Expressing herself most expressively, and reaching far back into childhood memory for the most imaginative word combinations that would have earned her a paddling from her gramma, while furiously and desperate-clumsily cleaning the fogged-up finderscope - the viewfinder for the uninitiated - caused by the organic pong making her eyes, already pre-disposed to sensitivity, smart and water while pressed to it when the Mountain went ballistic (which was inevitable due to her unenviable, or maybe enviable for those so tastelessly inclined, proximity to the fireworks) to the point where it could see (just barely) she had eagerly set her bleary vision to the still-grubby lens once again only to find the Elvenking already retired.

As pebbles of varying sizes dislodged by the blast begin to rain down upon her, she could only sneeze into the noxious ash as she desperately tried to dissemble her precious telescope with both haste and care.

Suddenly, a large pebble hit her on the head, stunning her.

Her life seemed to flash before her very eyes (though understandably she would rather it was the Elvenking flashing than having her last moments wasted with an epic rerun of what she knew anyway).

Rocking back on her haunches she knew a moment's despair, helpfully accentuated by the realisation she did not have her antihistamines with her at all. She did not come all this way, living dangerously and quite literally sleeping with the enemies, suffering cheek and jowls and sometimes even elbows primed with chronic scleroderma, to be denied even glimpses of the Elvenking in angst while the Dwarven-thralls stomp around Erebor with abandon, gawking (and drooling) openly at Thorin in all his unkempt messy-haired arrogance and hissy-fits, and sometimes even FiliKili and KiliFili. Right there and then, she broke down and bawled as the pent-up frustrations of having her unrequitable thralldom constantly rubbed in her face by the carnival of the Dwarven ilk could hold no longer against the combined effects of abject Elven-thrall misery, base Dwarven-thrall delirium, and homesickness (well, basically she just missed baths, proper meals and her comfy bed... and oh yes, her medications)... and yes the unbecoming allergic reactions brought on by those combusting organic material. In a word, she was absolutely scrooged.

Yet in even in her misery she was not afforded wallow-time for her self-pity, for the blasts had dislodged more than just natural matter. Before she could react to the girly yelp, a Dwarven-thrall had slid down the slope and sprawled beside her precious scope, which was a lucky thing for the Elven-thrall, even were she not in such a state, would have dealt most severely with anyone who molested the virtue of her precious scope, by intention or accident.

The young Dwarven-thrall (late of the anime fandom who loved fanart and was thus diverted by online creations of Dwarves, Elves and Men so different from the clean-shaven bishounens who filled her head with visions of tall perfect beings long of limb always perfectly coiffed, clean of face with ridiculously attractive large moe eyes, complemented with lashes girls die for), saw what she thought was the opening she needed for the confrontation she could otherwise not win, given the superior intellect of the Elven-thrall and her own timidity with anyone other than her bestie (another quiet thrall who she was peeved with for choosing to join the line for re-enrapturement by the busy Mountain King in the broken and now greatly leaky Throne room instead of standing with her in this confrontation). For the enemy's weak points were hers to exploit, if that Sun Tzu fellow (or was that the Confused one?) was right. Quickly she recovered herself from her disarray.

"I know you," sniffed the Elven-thrall. "You're the one who tried to lick my 'zine. Go away, you two-faced pervert."

"At least I'm not, like, eating the Dwarves' food while only pretending to, like, love them," the Dwarven-thrall shot back. "You think, like, I want to be here? Just take it back and I'll, like, leave you to your stupid telescope and the 'zine, which is not stupid by the way, just, like, your oversized telescope."

"Huh?" answered the Elven-thrall, as she sniffed through her mucus-beset nose, "What do you bean?"

"How can you forget?? It was like just a while back!" The Dwarven-thrall sputtered.

The Elven-thrall sighed. Young girls just don't know how to bluster properly. "Rebind me, will ya?"

"Huh?" said the Dwarven-thrall this time. The Elven one made an exaggerated gesture at her now reddish nose. "OH! You mean, like, remind, don't you?" As the Elven-thrall nodded, the Dwarven one pointed to her knapsack, where the 'zine was safely ensconced. "You said fanart of the Elf King and his son, like, put the most dishy of bishies to shame (nice rhyme there by the way). And like, it ain't nothing compared to the real deal. Remember?"

"Of course (and thanks)," said the Elven-thrall.

"Take all that back!" the other demanded.


"Because bishies, like, are perfection!" sputtered the other.


"What? But like, you have to!" sputtered the other.

"I don't see why." The Elven-thrall eye-balled the livid one. "Convince me. How are bishiesperfect?"

The Dwarven-thrall rolled her eyes. "Because bishiesare like, tall perfect beings long of limb always perfectly coiffed, clean of face and with ridiculously attractive large moeeyes, complemented with lashes girls die for. Do I really have to, like, repeat it?" Hesitating at the expression on the older, and more intelligent, thrall's face, a sense of doubt crept into her bluster. "Wait. Why does saying that, like, feel like repeating already?" There must be something else that can impress, she thought. "Oh, and they, like, never have bad angles or appear like they're dressed like anything less than a million dollars. Like, there! Something new isn't it?" She said proudly.

"Nothing I haven't heard before," said the Elven-thrall, the exertion of conversation clearing up her nose apparently. She examined the information and catalogued it carefully. Then she smiled, or tried to, through her disdain for the time-wasting young thrall. "Let's look at the object facts, shall we?"

"Like, ok."

"Now everything you said about bishies, they can be applied to Elves, Middle-earth Elves, yes?"

"Uh-huh." The Dwarven-thrall nodded, then shook her head, "Not, like, the large and moeof the eyes though." She giggled, "That'd like make the Elves really alien-looking."

"Fair point. And agreed. But the rest is a nod, yes? Good. You heart anime so surely you have watched live-action adaptations?" Another nod. "How do the live-action cast compare to the real, animated bishies?"


"Not quite the same level of bishi-ness are they?"

"Well, of course!" The young thrall retorted. "Like, get REAL!" She snorted. "There's no way real people can be like, as perfect as bishies!"

Aha! Gotcha now, thought the elder-thrall. "But the Elven fanart are based on real beings, right? Perfect beings."


"Go on," encouraged the Elven-thrall.

Sudden realisation dawned. "Oh my... like..." Revelation shone in the young thrall's eyes.

SCORE! Now let's see how far we can take this. Clearing her throat, the Elven-thrall said gently, "Actually, I wonder why you're on the Dwarves' side, since you evidently appreciate beauty."

The young-thrall looked at the older one with what can only be termed askance. She cleared her throat and as in a trance a mystic might invoke on spirit travel, half-closed her eyes and began to sway. "Because of the majesty of Thorin's eyes of azure which like, are so pure in their blue the skies weep with jealousy. They blaze forth with a fierce fire of like, blue-bunsen flame, framed perfectly by an abundant beard proof of His Magnetic Majesty's virility and on his head a tangled brunette mane like, like utterly rumpled dark silk luxurious in its sheen..."

Snapping her fingers impatiently, the Elven-thrall interrupted: "Yeah, yeah. Yada yada. What is it with all that extraneously fulsome adjectives all you Dwarven-thralls have to pile on when you mention Thorin? Don't you get tired of saying it? Of having to stop, think them up and string them together? Have some consideration for people who might not be so enthralled, or maybe in a hurry, you know? Geez." She stopped herself at the young-thrall's crestfallen look (quite aptly moefully mournful if she could be objective about it), who frowned and whipped out her phone, trying apparently to look up 'foolsome'. The Elven-thrall knew a moment's empathy for the ignorance of youth. She made herself smile after taking a deep breath. "Look here. Key facts checklist time. Messy hair, scruffy, and heavily bearded. Short too. Right? And blocky." The young thrall nodded, frowning. "Now, think on this carefully before you answer: How bishieis all that?"

"Erm. Like... ... none," replied the young-thrall slowly.

The Elven-thrall replied with a smile, a genuine one this time.

"Oh my gawd!," breathed the other. She jumped up. "OMGOMGOMGOMG!" She ran around the ledge, worrying the Elven-thrall for the safety of her telescope, still perched precariously on the edge. When the other finally stopped in front of her, her look of relief was probably misread.


"Uh-huh," said the Elven-thrall noncommittally.

"Oh, that means oh my god, by the way," the other supplied helpfully. Then she frowned. "Eh, it can mean whatever is your almighty power ... or non-power... eh--"

"I believe in Gilthoniel, the Lady of the Stars."


"I got it," the Elven-thrall waved her on, "just don't mind me... carry on."

"Oh you're sure? All right," the other asked. "OK. So where was I... Do you know, like, what this means?" squealed the other.

"I can guess."

"Like, I've been obsessing with the wrong King!"The other paused for breath. "OMG!"

"Yes, you've said that. So what's the plan now?" She asked with a strange gleam in her eye.

"Uh... I need to, like, follow you?" She frowned. The Elven-thrall knew a moment's glee, secretly of course. How easy it is to gain a minion and trim the Dwarven-thrall ranks!

"Erm... let's see." The other took a deep breath and closed her eyes. "Oooh, I got it! The tall Elf who is really the King of Elves, that's why he's so tall... " she faltered. "Like making up adjective-love for Thranduil is hard. Why is that? He's so unspeakably beautiful and all."

The Elven-thrall shook her head. Grimly she said, "You said it. The Elvenking is unspeakably beautiful, so there's no need for speaking about it. Quite unlike the Dwarven-thrall need to continually talk up the Dwarves. The Elvenking's Beauty," she sniffed," His Wisdom, His Majesty, His Splendour, His Magnificence are sure as rain falling and full-moon shining bright, winter snowing and summer sun swelter-- hey..."

"Woah! Like that came so naturally for you," the other gushed. "You're a star! I must learn to focus my thralldom!"

Truly taken by surprise at her own unexpected prosing, the Elven-thrall took a moment to recover her composure. "Lard-ecstasy is the province of dwarf thralls," she stated, grandly disdained, as the other coughed lightly. But if she was honest, she would embrace the lard-love high and let it take her-- "Ahem! Anyway," she said through the secret glee at her unexpected larding, "let's not talk about it now... help me with the telescope first. Then we'll talk."

"Sure!" The other would have run over to the telescope and probably run the telescope over the ledge if she hadn't grabbed her arm.

"Slowly!" She hissed. "There's not a lot of room here! You move only when I tell you to. Clear?"

Suddenly contrite, the young-thrall stood still with her hands clasped in front.

"Okay, now you walk, w-a-l-k, behind me, you hear? Okay, deep breath, keep calm and walk."

"You know what?" The young-thrall said brightly as she followed, eager to be BFFs with her new fellow-thrall/mentor-thrall. "I'm so excited, I mean, like, the changes to my fan-fiction will be hell but it'll be, like, PERFECT by the time I'm done."

"Oh? What's it about?" asked the older distractedly.

"Well, like, it's an AU, of course." The Elven-thrall grunted. The other paid no heed, too excited about sharing her plot of a lifetime. "I added Gollum to the company, which in MY story has 18 members cos it means twice as much fun as the fellowship and sounds so much better than 14. Oh, and I made him a girl, cos why can't we have more girls in the story? And she's just misunderstood cos her meanness was due to her no-good father marrying a mean step-mother who had 2 fugly daughters of her own. You know, like, self-defence mechanism. She's special because she's not an Elf but she's like actually the most beautiful girl in the world but of course no one knows except herself, and she's got eyes with all the colours of the rainbow, like including the infras and ultras cos let's face it, like, just having eyes of different colours is like, so last decade. And of course, she and Thorin, like, you know, actually like each other, but just don't know how to tell each other. And of course Thorin treats her bad cos he thought he was in love with a boy so yeah, like they are so at each other's throat all the time. and Bofur is like jealous because he can tell Thorin likes Gollum, which like reduced his chances, like A LOT--"

"Hold up!" the Elven-thrall said, her face losing colour rapidly, and not just from the cold night air at altitude. "Did you say Gollum is the most beautiful girl in the world? In your story."

"Yeah. Why?"

"You do know Dwarf women are bearded, right?" asked the Elven-thrall with genuine concern. "I mean to each her, or his, own and all that overrated political-correctness goodness, but also, they have similarly Dwarven proportions as the men. No Dwarf-lady is going to win 'Middle-earth's Next Top Model' anytime soon, however pretty she is, if the general sense of aesthetics are anything like ours."

"Yeah, that's why she's a human girl like me."

"Even though Thorin falling in love with anyone but a proper Dwarf-lady is even less likely than Morgoth knocking back a few with Manwë?"

A very pregnant pause laboured through the silence.

"Well!" said the other finally. "It's a good thing I'm an elf thrall now right? So Gollum's an elfmaid," she inferred, if it can be called that, happily. Her joy would not be so overt if she caught and inferred correctly the meaning of the cold gleam in the Elven-thrall's eyes. " So let me continue. Actually, like in my original dwarf tale, FiliKili and KiliFili are girls too. And they are special cos their motherfather was from a lost tribe across the oceans to the east (cos my best friend's from Korea and hey, this is the 21st century and we all got to be inclusive you know) and their fathermother and he was capture by her after fighting with her but she was like impressed with how handsome and how different he was to the local dwarfs, and like you know, she's a girl with a strong-will so like she refused to obey her father and married him anyway. Of course there's going to be all this absolutely hilarious things that happen in FiliKili and KiliFili's growing up years because of," she sniggered, "you know, like, cultural differences."

"So," said the Elven-thrall, "like the TV mixed marriage back home?" Even she who had no great love of Dwarves did not wish such travesty on them. The ice through her veins was not enough to stop the Elven-thrall's heart, but it was enough to freeze her in place, and mislead the young-thrall to think she found a fellow kindred-spirit (finally) who thought her ideas, like herself, the greatest thing since emoji packs for smartphones.

"Yeah!" She thought hard. "Oh-oh. This is so going to mess up my fic-canon! Say, wasn't there some elf twins somewhere?"

The Elven-thrall bit her tongue in time, just.

"And oh, since I'm an elven thrall now (thanks for helping me see by the way) the company's all, like, elfs actually--"

"What?!" Ye merciful Valar! What have I done?! What is this Grendal about to rampage through my Elvenking's Realm that I created with my own hands??

"Yeah, like so cool right? So the elf king, which was ThrorThrain originally, is really like sending the company on a secret mission to Erebor to ask for the hand of Smaug's daughter in marriage because he like you know, watched her bathing a few time and like fell in love. And oh! Actually I lovelovelove the idea of time-travel so he is, like, actually the prince like cos Legolas, which was Thorin previously, can time-travel and he went back in time and fell in love with his own grandmother-- I got it! That's why Thranduil's always so moody! Well, it was Thorin's grumpy hissy-fits actually. But you see, don't you? Must be such a traumatic thing to discover. What a great plotlink to movie-verse don't you think? Now those 'purists' can't say there's no 'character development'!"

Ye Ainur! Did I, in all my pure intentions, succeed only in turning this abomination from outraging the Dwarves' senses to instead corrupt and twist the dignified beauty of my beloved King and all he holds dear?

"Wait! Wait! Your story is... interesting, but erm, I thought you love the story and the characters?"

"Like, of course! Best movie ever and all that (just not the book though)."

Carefully the Elven-thrall closed her mouth. "Then why are you changing the story and the characters into something totally different?"

"Oh well, that unhip singing, and like, the talky thinking parts were all too much."

The Elven-thrall resisted the urge to throw herself off the ledge with the young-thrall, "But don't you see what's wrong with what you want to do? You know, like the movie 'Body Snatchers' (1993)? No? Oh yeah, too way before your time." She wracked her brains in desperation. "How about the 'The Faculty' (1998)?"

"Why are you mentioning creepy movie titles?" asked the young-thrall in a small voice, shuddering at the thought of the musty stuffy faculty halls she had finally taken permanent vacation from.

"How about 'Eight-legged Freaks' (2002), '28 Days Later' (2002)? 'Shaun of the Dead' (2004 ?!" She almost screamed. "'30 Days of Night' (2007)?"

"Eh. I think I remember 8legged freaks." The Elven-thrall glared. The young-thrall sighed. "'Eight-legged Freaks' (2002). My brother made me watch it with him. It's like, the one where these large spiders come out of people's mouths right?"

"Yes!" The Elven-thrall shouted with relief. "So the people with the spiders coming out of their mouths were changed into something they're not, right?"


"Eh, do you see what you do to the people in your story, your AU, is something like that?"

"No... those people were dead. In my story, like no one's dying and no one going to have those awful things in them. Like, c'mon... "

"Don't you see, you are effectively changing all these characters to something they're not? Just like the townspeople who were invaded by the spiders? No? Wait... , 'Warm Bodies' (2013)! What about 'Warm Bodies' (2013)? Seen that? Yes? Yes!"

"But I don't see how..."

"What's 'Warm Bodies' (2013) about? Zombies, right? They still looked like their pre-zombie selves, somewhat, but they also couldn't help themselves when they see people, live people. They get this instinctive need to attack. right? Like they're not in control, and someone else is making them do things they would never do if they were not zombies. So what you are planning in your fic is like you're the zombie maker."

"Yeah..., but hey those zombies were cured right?"

She cringed inwardly. Wrong analogy! Careful to roll her eyes only mentally, she attempted again to stop the train wreck. "Yes. But well, take Thorin. If you told him about what you're doing, or were planning to do to him and his family's history, he wouldn't like it, would he? It's like the cured zombies, they didn't forget what happened." Meantime, the zombie-maker gets away scot-free to ruin other worlds.

"Of course I won't tell Thorin - he has too much on his mind, poor king. Maybe Bofur, he was quite open to the fanart that made my bestie his thrall, you know?"

Then write your own bleepity bleepity bleeping bleep bleep original crap! She fought back tears as her nose threatened to turn red and make like a faulty beer barrel spigot, and tried again. "Well, you know how people say if you love someone you accept them as they are? Right? Right? So how can you love Middle-earth, the Dwarves, and now the Elves, if you're changing them so much?"

"But I hate how the story goes! It made me sad. I want the characters to do things I want them to do, and like you know, just make myself happy and share it and make others happy too. Besides, that's why it's called creative writing," she sniffed.

ARGH! Must I be the Beowulf to this creature? "No, no, no! You're not getting it. Look, forget about 'Warm Bodies' (2013). The fact (?) is, zombies are just parodies and insults of their living selves, just like your parody insults the characters and the story! You're a zombie maker. Don't you see? You change them into something they're not, and they become hideous monsters which only look somewhat like the characters, but they're not those characters anymore."

The young-thrall frowned. "Oh! You mean like zombies in the walking dead?"

"Huh? Oh, yes. Yes!" Of course, she forgot about TV. "Yes, the survivors hate the virus that made the zombies, right? It's totally inane, but do you want to go out on a lame reason like that? To be the hated that much? Like a virus?'

"Did you just call the walking dead inane and lame at the same time?"

"They're synonyms (you're mixing inane up with innate, and that's not even close to what innate means anyway). Look, 'The Walking Dead' zombies were cool but they got nothing on the celerity of the ones in 'World War Z' (2013)."

"Huh (Thanks for the public service dictionary teach)? I'm sorry, but I don't agree there."

The Elven-thrall knew a secret thrill; finally a movie this Grendel can talk about.

"How were they like celery?" asked the young-thrall. The older's face fell, and would probably fall further than twenty-thousand leagues under the sea, if one was close at hand. "Anyway, now you mentioned it, you can't say there's no similarity between the walking dead and the hobbit you know?"


"Yeah, like they're both about a bunch of people," the other said in all seriousness," or in the case of the hobbit, dwarves... and one hobbit, trying to get somewhere and having to like go through stuff, like a lot of it, getting there, only it seems like they're not getting there at all... are they? Woah, that's some really depressing news for them."

"I--" The Elven-thrall struggled mightily to not think of murder."That's--," she tried again, "that's so unusual a straw to grasp, I don't even know what to say. I'm just worried about the state of your mental capacity. That zombie virus can be a doozy--"

"Hey," the other said like she was struck by lightning - which would hopefully be the last time the Elven-thrall thought," you know what's like, the doozier thing?"

"Dare I ask?"

The other leaned forward with what she hoped was portentous doom. "Rick is like, obviously Thorin."


"You like, like that word don't you?" The other observed.

"Huh? Oh, uh, I just-- fail to see the resemblance--"

The other hooted with laughter. "Oh man! But it's so obvious! They both have a killer mob of well-trimmed close-crop of a beard, they're both well, grumpy as hell, and they're both uh, reluctant like, leaders of a bunch of dishevelled people stomping all over the place. Oh, they're both dark-haired too, and scruffy manly. So scruffy manly. Never thought dirt on a man could look so good. Of course Rick is much taller."

The Elven-thrall simply stared. "Well, you got me," she admitted. "You know what, might as well throw in every other scruffy bearded character in a western too. They sure got dirt and beards if nothing else."

"Hey, at least I can draw other connections besides the same dirty beard. Look at all those long haired blonds people say the elf king looks like just cos. You can almost see the resemblance in some of those but the rest, now that's the real reaching. I may look flighty, but that doesn't mean I don't have a brain you know," the other said, obviously feeling misunderstood.

Then why aren't you gainfully employing it? The Elven-thrall stared again. And shuddered at the countless associations, regardless of worlds, characters, background, motivations, looks, or even gender, that have been thrown at the incomparable King of Elves. "You're right. I'm sorry. That is indeed a better theory than just 'they got the same hair!'" She tried to smile. "But you really should think about, you know, your fic and all that virus implications."

"Oh, don't be. But you're like so sweet!" ingenued the ingenue. "Don't you worry. I don't mind at all!" She said brightly. "Besides, they can be cute too, you know? I'm waiting for Plants vs Zombies to go MMORPG! It's written in the stars and all that... but like, that's another story. For the dwarfs, like I mean the elfs now, I just want to tell the story I want to see because like I really really didn't like the real story. Ooh, you know like, the best doujinshi that--"

There was a sudden rumble. Inexorable. Ominous. And surprisingly speedy.

The Elven-thrall blinked in mid-thought (as in "What in the good earth's name is 'Plants vs Zombies'?"), as the grumbling boulder rolled over the edge, the young-thrall pressed into the side, looking for all the world like a stubborn bit of putty tired from overuse and abuse that could not be dislodged from a well-used mould.

"Oh well. Good riddance. That was a conversation that was going nowhere anyway," said she, who was mentally gearing herself up to serve the recently demised fan-troll a total dose of 'Kill Bill Vol II' (2004) augmented 'Hot Fuzz' (2007), to no one in particular. "Now I better get away from this ledge." She sniffed, and fumbled for a (highly questionable) bit of what passed for disposable wet wipes in these parts. "Damned nose. Enough dangerous living for one night."

She could not help but look southward again. As the austere tent of gold glimmered like the beacon it was ever so tantalisingly, tears streamed down her face unbidden. Again.

With a reluctant sigh, she went about packing up her gear, unaware just how close to fatal her dangerous living was at that moment, and not just from the pair of vital organs in her nether regions calming down from impending implosion. "I wonder how's the Thorin-hug line," she mused. "Probably too long," she sighed. "But since I can't have Elf, I'm not passing up on Dwarf. Better than having none at all." She hoisted her equipment in place with a grunting effort. "What a long night this is really turning out to be."

Just a few un-Elven blinks and some rhitinitised nose sniffles ago, the hapless boulder, having escaped fragmentation by explosion-induced violent dislodgement, was in fact violently dislodged toward that ill-fate by the vehemently anger-management challenged companion of the Qi-centering, hood'd patrol Dwarven-thrall, she who had been taken by surprise by the dislodging as much as the dislodger herself.

For if there was one thing the militantly emo thrall had less mercy for than the shamelessly leechsome Elven-thrall, it was the delusionary self-righteously careless turncoat treachery of fan-trolls. They had no sense of decency, of respect, of true allegiance, merely going from fandom to fandom like so many flavours of the week, wrecking havoc like the Biblical plague of locusts as they pass, outraging the virtues of worlds with nary an iota of consideration for the creator and fans whose reverential memories become corrupted by stinking revenant spawn, remnants of the tediously hideous of what passed for fan-troll story-telling, bad fan-fiction the thrall abhorred with shuddering passion. The demised fan-troll was the rank example of a bad-ficcer, all tropes and no genuineness even in her being (though she did have decent casual-gaming savvy), the kind that had driven the violent thrall to abandon fandom after compromised fandom.

'The Hobbit' was her Custer's Last Stand - there was nothing else for her if it too was swamped in fan-troll gunk. In truth, it had already began, and yet the militant streak in her refused to concede until every last inch of ground was overcome. One fan-troll down was at least twenty bad-fic less she reckoned. And so, quicker than thought, or maybe just a trigger-happy impulse that was just on that side of disturbingly hair-trigger, she had dislodged the boulder with all her ninja reflexes, aimed truly thanks to the hours she spent in the bowling alley.

Unfortunately, much like treadmill running belie the trauma of real pavement pounding, her ninja certificate was no brace for the burn in her thusly dislocated shoulder. Clearly, the dues she paid in sweaty toil (assuredly literally) and blood (assuredly figuratively) had not sufficed to acquaint her with the higher mysteries of ninja. Yet.

Still, in Disturbia all were fair-game. As the Elven-thrall sniffed her way away from the ledge, triggering in the thrall a reaction like those laser-rigged motion detecting anti-theft setups in fancy heist feist movies, she had in fact turned to dislodge the other conveniently located boulder, shoulder dislocation be damned.

In that moment a few things happened in quick succession. The hood'd Thrall had reached out too late. But she was stopped nonetheless, for as the hood'd Thrall was still forming the thought to reach out, a flash of ridiculously hairy flame-red flashed before their eyes and engulfed all their senses with that sensual well-being only close encounters of the Firstborn kind could bring. Both (self-professed) ninja-graceful guards of (now roofless) Erebor's peak found themselves pressed against the jagged face of Erebor rock, effortlessly, by only a cool hand each before they could even think to utter that (universally acknowledged) quickest of swear in all mundanity. Even before their awe registered, their captor spoke.

"If you think you can escape, you’re mistaken!” shrilled Tauriel, quite quelling the instinctively jiggling thralls' still budding awe for a moment. The altitude was clearly doing strange things to the Captain's voice. She cleared her throat, and tried again. "Do. Not. Think. To escape," she pronounced throatily, "Dwarf-thralls."

As her awe finally bloomed, the hood'd thrall managed to turn her head, and gasped as she glimpsed her first Elf up close. Her companion though, had no such fortune, and as her thwarted vengeance boiled , drowning out the allure in the (admittedly diminished) Elf-voice, she gave vent in the only way possible. Instinct took over, and to the eternal embarrassment of her inner-ninja, she did the utterly girl thing and SHRIEKED--

Only to be instantly trussed up like a stuck pig ready for the spit, silenced by a suitably-sized rock that was selected and picked up with inhuman speed and an expert hand.

Thus poised, like a great Galapagos land tortoise clearly prized by early seafarers for the wrong reasons and turned on its shell ready for the butcher knife of the Beagle's kitchen hand in ecological history's closeted past, she forgot the indignation and fear she had shared with the eviscerated tortoise of yore as she laid eyes on the vision enthralling the (similarly trussed) hood'd thrall.

Having scaled the Mountain side, and nearly plunging to her death when the fireworks started, the usual veneer of equanimous cheer of the Captain was worn a little thin. Still she was an Elf, and even in her frizzled state, she was a vision (well, a version of one) of Elven allure Mirkwood-style, with her sheen of unwise danger in full-on mode. Her eyes were a little wild, adding to the effect, but it was simply the shock of the fireworks shaking some long-deficient sense into her impassioned hike. For she had once again abandoned her post and the incomparable magnificence of her King (however momentarily). She knew well the penalty for her King himself had described in details his expectations in granting her pardon for her unauthorised foray into Lake-town. Yet her repentance chaffed like her quiver in the small of her back during the relentless summer heat, foresworn as keen concern for the well-being of the Dwarf she had saved, or so she told herself, stretched her heart, drawn tight as an arrow on a taut bow as she veered off course , and made her way across the sorry plains of Lonely and up the Mountain's other side than she intended in her mission.

Then the sudden explosion veered her physically off her veered-off course.

When she gained the ledge, she found herself observing the observing Dwarven-thralls, so sure in their ninja stealth, and yet so visible to her Elf-eyes. She would not have stopped to intervene but for the obvious distress of the Elven-thrall. For though her King could not see how fiercely and utterly thrall-fires were wont to burn, she felt a strange kindred spirit with the man-child in her devotion to the chillingly insightful ken of her King's cool pensive gaze, among other things.

The skies were suddenly dimmed, distracting Tauriel with the unexpected feast of falling starlight.

What time had passed before she was herself again she did not know. Stifling the inward groan of her necessarily deeper penitence upon returning, she turned to the quieter thrall who seemed to be the leader. "Now, nod if you will swear not to scream."

The hood'd thrall did not respond.

"Thrall? Do you hear me?"

Suddenly the hood'd thrall grunted, snapped out of her reverie by a well-aimed knee from her muffly-vocalising companion. "Hmm?" she asked. The other seemed strangely helpful toward the Elf. Then she noticed the way the other was rotating her injured shoulder, which clearly was no longer dislocated. Drawing the only conclusion she could, the hood'd thrall felt her awe go into second bloom. What an accomplished ninja-move to do all that double truss-up and considerately set that shoulder at the same time!

Tauriel was leaning closer, and despite the many occasions of close-quarter interactions spent with the Dwarves, her nose wrinkled despite her fortitude. "If you promise you will not scream, I will remove the rock," she said, gagging discreetly at the same time.

The enthralled thrall nodded, merely in imitation of Tauriel's own earnest prompt, as the other began to test the strength of the Elven-wrought bonds. Still, happily the Elf reached for the rock. And promptly turned grim at the completely be-slimed gag as she gingerly removed it.

As the hood'd thrall, conscious suddenly of the long faded sensation of a good bath, worked her mouth free of the pumicey remnants of her gag, and tried not to dwell on whence the powdery ash bouquet came, the Elf spoke. "Now, tell me where are the Dwarves?"

In spite of her awe, in full-bloom glory now, the hood'd thrall's eyes hooded as she considered the Elf whose truss-up skills far exceeded any professional savoury bakers of tenderloin fillet roast.

"Well?" prompted the Elf.

"Verily we doth sight none of the Dwarves beyond the bounds of yon grand halls of Erebor," the thrall intoned, shocking the violent one into stillness, "but KiliFili 's presence in the grand throne-room was noted, methinks, not too long ago, perhaps a mere half hour past. Forsooth! FiliKili was surely with him."

Eagerly Tauriel pressed, "How does one gain the grand throne-room without being seen?"

"Through yon cavern," indicated the thrall with her nose, vaguely, "and should one, solely through the misfortune of the changed landscape of course, lose one's way, surely the Dwarves' booming voices doth serve as the surest beacon to the chocolate glory of the raiment that doth bedeck Thorin and his noble nephews."

"Who?" asked the confused Tauriel.

"Verily, they be KiliFili and FiliKili."

"Ah," said Tauriel. Hesitantly, she asked again, "What is this shore-coe-lett you speak of? I have heard of the wonders the Dwarves wrought with metal and other materials. Is it some strange new wonder the Dwarves uncovered in Erebor?"

Both thralls exchanged a look. The emo one nodded with a gruff grunt.

"Oh if thou doth trust this humble ninja-skilled serf, greatly-skilled Elven warrior of Mirkwood whose stealth surpasses all excepting perhaps the most stalwart mortal ninja," said the hood'd thrall with heartfelt passion, "verily there are no words for the virtues--" ... and crimes... " --of chocolate. For in truth it must needs be tasted for one to know it at all!"

Tauriel nodded uncertainly.

"Prithee then, if thou dost deign to, stretch forth thy shapely hand into the knapsack yonder until hark! A sound as of crisp autumn leaves crackling thou dost hear.'

"Yes, I hear it," the Elf gasped, "and a cold, cold thing it is."

"A necessary evil," the thrall assured her. "Draw it forth, if it pleases thou."

Tauriel stared at the squarish, soft thing in her hand, and the contents within. It was like looking through glass and also water for the thing was both solid and pliant, like cloth that was transparent. It felt suddenly very heavy, as if either it or Tauriel herself was in some way reluctant for another to touch it.

"Prithee, it is as the orange, to be peeled apart for the treasure within. Now harken and take the ridged edge with both shapely hands and gently pull, left hand to left, and right hand to right. Against each other. Forsooth! Do watch thy strength!"

With care, Tauriel unfastened it and slowly opened her first ever Ziploc(R) bag. Instantly the heady scents from the contents overtook her senses, much like her walks beyond the forest and up into the night. She looked in to a jumble of (mostly) rectangular shapes, and the strange siegel that was emblazoned on them in letters of Westron, of a strange mode, but the language was surely that of an unknown tongue which she could not utter even if she tried. But this in the Common Tongue was what was printed, close enough (omitting the marks that made utterly no sense):

Intense Dark
Twilight Delight
Moments of Timeless Pleasure

Tauriel's hands shook at the portentous import, and wondered if she read awry the meaning.

"Prithee, yon art chocolate bars. Rude cousins," the thrall said apologetically, "to the fine gourmet chocolate thou should only ever taste, yet it needs must suffice with the dearth of proper drink and board herewith. Select one and unwrap it, peel it like an orange for what thou see is merely the shell, a coarse paper-like foil ."

Both thralls felt their toes curl to see the Elf held the One Bar. Their favourite flavour as well.

"Ware, Elf-maid of such great bouncing ninjawarrior skill. Yon foil is not for eating."

Tauriel nodded, and carefully breaking a piece of the darkly aromatic bit of chocolate, bit into it, and was instantly transported via an alternative route to reach that place, walk about there and see the world falling away and the white light forever filling the air.

"... and this is but a taste of the ecstasy chocolate will unleash," the hood'd thrall was saying.

The twilit delight was still alight in Tauriel's eyes as she recovered herself from the moment of timeless pleasure. It was a strange fate that any could linger so far in light and joy with so small a thing. Such a little bite. "And this, this is what the Dwarves are garbed in?" she asked breathily, with the flush of chocolate-high still in her face and breath. "Surely it is genius to be able to wear it too!" And perhaps that was how they found a way there, so garbed in such magic. Though I have never met them in all my time there (nor anyone else really)... The Dwarves must be brave indeed to be so arrayed among their Thralls, she thought, and instantly frowned at the sickly cloying green-tinge in her wonder. Her rapture suddenly dead, she turned to clear her head of the lost marvel. Clearly, there were things that even chocolate could not overcome, at times.

"Why did you, you know..." she gestured, un-Elvenly irritably, at the still precariously perched boulder she saved before the hood'd thrall could unveil more of the mysteries of chocolate.

Truth be told, she might have saved the be-puttied ex-Dwarven-thrall-actually-fan-troll as well but for a moment's hesitation caused by a strange feeling of loathing and unknown dread as she listened to the queer speech, unable to comprehend the intensity of the demised-thrall's need to like her own words. Only a glad emptiness where she last stood told of the troll's former existence, yet the Captain would not have two man-child lives on her conscience this night.

Again, before the thrall could answer, the Captain changed the topic, decidedly un-Elvenly. "The sniffly one is clearly plighted to my King," she said solemnly, brandishing her knives in that threatening way of hers at the Dwarven-thralls. "I do not have time to spare. But listen well and know this: your fate is now tied to hers for should she suffer any injury, on your heads be it." So saying she turned and disappeared, with ninja cool noted both thralls, into some of Erebor's newly acquired shadow ridges, as gestured by the hood'd one.

"I know you think the original gourmet heaven, but blast-proofed fossilized Dwarven bread is really quite something else entirely," remarked the emo thrall, as she removed the remnants of her dissolving gag with a now (ninja-skilled) freed hand. She worked her jaws, restarting the blood-circulation in her face. "Totally crafted to last," she said, giving grateful silent thanks to her physical constitution of ninja. "In fact think I might have tongued the quality mark of Durin himself," and offered silent gratitude to her well-honed tactile sensitivity of ninja. Quickly she ninja-ed over and freed her companion as well. She looked at the crusty-eyed hood'd thrall. "Are those tear-streaks down your smudgey face?"

"Well," agreed the hood'd thrall conversationally, centering her awe-skewed qi."at least it does dissolve. Barriers to ingestion can no longer be an excuse for our sister-thralls to turn up their noses at perfectly digestible food. And it's just the dry-air, I'm not that moved by your admittedly incredible credit to ninja cred dissolve-fossilized-Dwarven-bread-orally feat or anything like that, just so we're clear."

"Sure. Crystal. And I won't accept the lack of well-trained jaws of ninja excuse. Those prissies just have to start applying proper mastication techniques."

"Or," continued the hood'd thrall, "apply for premastication service from Lord Roäc's flock."

The emo thrall nodded with a shuddering set to her still achy but expertly relocated shoulder. The taste in her mouth was memorable enough without adding avian food enhancing techniques. "Still... think well of me if I make permanent flatline before the morning." Then she smacked her across the shoulders.

"OWW!" exclaimed the hood'd thrall as her qi scattered once again. "What was that for?"

"What's with all that prithee thouing with her? Ye Valar!"

The hood'd thrall giggled with serenity as she balanced her recovering qi. "Oh, you know how Shakespeare distracts," she answered airily. "She may be Elf, but she's Girl!Elf. I reckoned she'd be focusing too much to realise the misdirection. You did want that too right?"

The emo one nodded. "Just don't do it again without warning me first. I nearly died from holding in all that snert. Add trying to not swallow the bread... yeesh!" She shuddered. Then she jabbed a ninja-finger at the other's temple."You were just murdering it, just mur-der-ring! You probably got him turning in his grave like a rotisserie chicken on with the rotisserie on whack. Oh, my poor bard," she sobbed.

"Dear hammer of Mahal," exclaimed the hood'd thrall, smacking her across the head. "what did you do that for, anyway?"

The smack reversed the course of her tears with its force of ninja. "Hey! What--"

"That first boulder?" reminded the hood'd thrall. "You could have alerted the Elven-thrall before we're ready to deal with her! Besides, you love parodies, so what's up with the over-reaction to that bad ficcer?"

The other gave a wilting look. "Parodies are intentionally funny and they are created with properly channelled love and affection for the original. Bad-ficcing is just mortifyingly unintentional comedy asking, no, begging, to be snerked," the emo thrall pronounced loftily. "You know that!" The she stuck out her tongue, "'Cos, it doesn't matter to you because you don't read fan-fic."
"Well, yeah... but to be fair, just hearing her say it I know it's BAD without having to read it," the hood'd thrall said meditatively. "Don't look surprised. You know of what I speak. Female original character in the lead of a re-telling of a story that did fine without one? That's criminal self-facsimile according to you, or I'm Thranduil's badass daughter no one knows about. "
"Exactly. Bad ficcer giveaway 101. Parodies are cool, and great parodies GREAT! But fics of that ilk? Euwww. Just... Do not trouble me with bad-ficcers. I know their uses, and they are zilch."

The hood'd thrall shrugged. "But you fic, and it's a free-- I mean we are from the world of free-will and internet connectedness after all."

The other scratched one of her long-unwashed pit pensively. "Well, let's put it this way: The Lord Of The Pants will never get Bored Of The Rings, but you can count on one bad fic to rue them all. There is no curse in Elvish, English, or the tongues of Dwarves for such travesty."

The hood'd thrall laughed in spite herself. "Fair enough. Wait... You're not going to go ballistic over the Ghira bar?" asked the hood'd thrall in amazement. " It was precious to you beyond measure. Well, to me too. But you're the one with the EQ issue."

"Are you kidding? What's one hit of supermarket-available cacao pleasure to this?! I've never felt more alive! All this shadow-dwarf guard thing is great, but damn! She has mad skills, ninja skills... having heard tell of the wonders of elvish ninja-badassery, that was a privilege to witness. Talk about spectator sport!"

"Too right! But SIGH," sighed the hood'ed thrall hugely. "She is far away. Sh- She is far, far away from me, and she walks in grand mastery in another ninjutsu level."

“It was just a dream,” agreed her companion. "A good dream, but a dream nonetheless."

Sighing in union, they then sat in awkward silence.

"Wait, pinch me. OUCH! That.Really.Hurts!" She would have truly gone ballistic but a sudden flood of emo flooded her mind, and she emoted a forlorn wistful look into the other's eyes. She slowly raised her hand and entwined her fingers with her companion's. “Do you think she could teach us?”

"We are mortal," the hood'd thrall said softly. "She is Elf-kind. It was a dream sister-Thrall, nothing more. Besides, we are Dwarven-thralls. He has our hearts... melting like marshmallows in a cup of hot cocoa he keeps warm with his microwave-strength radiance but doesn't drink, because all he wants is tea and seedcake."

"Bu-- but," the other sputtered, "if he doesn't drink cocoa, why am I not tea and seedcake? Wherefore our allegiance?" She thought for a bit. "Eh, but I am ninja, and that means I aim to be pure H2O... then how can he, my King with all the tangled mess of hair and beard in the world ever see me?" she wailed. "Who am I? Does the ninja or the Thrall come first?"

"Easy, sisterninja Thrall," frowned the hood’d Dwaven Thrall. "Remember the mantra. That's it. Centre your qi. Feel the Force. Embrace mana. Breathe," she intoned encouragingly. The other listened to her words and inhaled, feeling both the center and floating debris irritating her throat. As she coughed, the hood'd thrall reminded her: "Just not deeply right now. And by Durin’s beard, please don’t go all existential on me now. I have no time for full-length therapy sessions, and there's no couch."


"Listen!" The hood'd thrall was in her face. " You and I know, and you've said it just a while ago: We.Are.People.Kind. We're not Dwarves, we are not Hobbits. Okay? Okay." She waited until the other nodded. "Because hairy faces and feet are bad for the aerodynamics of ninja badssery. So we stay people, we stay ninja. We are invisible. Cool drink of clear water. That's us. That's shadow dwarf-guards. Got it?"

"Yeah, yeah," the emo thrall gasped. It has been a while since any thrall thought about dental hygiene. "I'm-- good now. ALL good."

"So... we're agreed again?"


The hood'd thrall sighed. "That he has our hearts... melting like marshmallows in a cup of hot cocoa he keeps warm with his microwave-strength radiance but doesn't drink, because all he wants is tea and seedcake. It's just a fact of Thorin-thralldom. All thralldom abiding thralls have to accept and live--"

"No! No, I refuse to accept it!" The other shouted emotionally. "My heart--" she whispered, as a subtle tug made it skip a beat. Her companion too felt that same tug, a fine line of heat spun on a gossamer strand so frail a snowflake could fall through it, and yet so tenacious it could not break but by the will of the of magic from their awakening in the day, which would otherwise have been another day of glassy-eyed vegetating, collecting sweat, moss and Valar know what else. The refracted starlight gleam that had accompanied the Thralls' reanimation, veiled the last few hours by the epic grumpily scruffy of the wind-tangled hair and beard of the sons of Durin and divinely appointedHairHeir-apparent, quietly glowered for but one moment in the altitude-dried eyes of both shadow-dwarf guards of (roofless) Erebor, inducing a reverie of quite a different sort, like picking up a plain chocolate truffle from a bowl full of such, only to experience a heady rush from a surprising filling of an exquisite cherry liqueur ganache. An unlooked-for guilty pleasure, a bitter-sweetness burning a mark in the taster's secret place.

Suddenly warm from a tiny polite flush deep within, both thralls looked away in their separate bids to quickly regain their shadow-dwarf edge.

The emo thrall coughed and resumed first, rather calmly she reckoned. "My... heart," she said tentatively, and was glad none of the effusively un-Dwarven warmth was triggered again. "It is mine to give to whom I please, even be it in several pieces. I am both Dwarven-thrall and NINJA! My lord will want us to be ourselves, and level-up too. He is our daimyo, naturally with a much better hairstyle (if frizzy scruff is a style). He will know ninja at times have to follow their shishou, go into the MountainsWood and all that," she ruminated loudly. "Besides, he will always have his Hobbit."

"Yes," the hood'd thrall nodded. "To channel our kuji kiri for the uttermost zen, for the betterment of being better, oh so much better at our shadow-dwarf guard-duty, without worrying about the void in our lord's heart, hearth and halls. Besides, it's not like we're going to the Elf side," she snarled, "or even submitting totally. Shishou obviously is Dwarf-friend."

She stood up, and the other with her. Their eyes gleamed as they proclaimed the one truth: "Tauriel is us! We are Tauriel!"

And thus Assimilation branched its pruning-deficient canopy yet again, spawning an inter-world pin-up for the unwieldy bloated banner of Affirmative Action.

"Ah... that was great!" The emo thrall said brightly, shaking off the tingle of ominous. "So now we track her?"

The other smiled beatifically. "We just need to follow the sounds of her sneezes, all that floating smelly debris, you know. That new cave is the perfect wind-tunnel," she giggled.

"That was some quick thinking!"

"Thank you. Though I guess I need to think about getting some allegiance-appropriate stuff but I hear Celebrimbor's Elven Exquisite Crafts and Knick-Knacks is tough to track down. Very ."

"Google them."

"They aren't online. They aren't any-known-where, period."

"Oh. That epic Elf soap opera eh?"

The hood'd thrall nodded, and then sighed. "I'll think of something." A sudden gust sent from the other a waft of power to her. She sniffed delicately. "You know what?" She sighed again. "That camp by the river looks so good now."

"Yeah," the other breathed, looking at the sliver of silver hope and the lights flickering along the bank, with a new sense of affinity.

The hood'd thrall looked askance at her scratchy companion. "What happened to 'If this is to end in pruritus , then we will all itch together!'?"

"Yeah," she coughed. "I know, I know. Ninja has no bath, Ninja needs no bath." She smiled wanly. "All this toughing it out and being stoic like the Dwarves is great. But even ninja-camps have an end... and baths," she said sheepishly. "I sure can take the hunger, for I am NINJA! (And all that conditioning and training finally got used!) But going until I can barely remember what a bath felt like is really too much, even for Thorin's Thralldom. Can't wait til we finally get a proper bath. Woot-- OOWWWWW!"

"Muscle burn finally cutting through the adrenalin?" asked the hood'd thrall.

"Well, she couldn't have healed bruised muscles as well in that one bone-setting moment, could she? For a Silvan, she's got moves. But these are field-operation conditions. I mean, even High-Elves probably would have trouble pulling the hocus-pocus."

"True. Maybe that's why her light was sorta off-ish? I mean, Arwen was PURE WHITE LIGHT. Well, anyway, what do I know. The Elf family tree is more tangled than Thorin's magnificent mane at his most."

"Heresy!" gasped the emo thrall. "No one, and nothing can be more messy than Thorin's unruly hair so perfect in its tangle even the entropy of the universe can only concede!"

The hood'd thrall looked at her meaningly. "Were you one of those who actually read the Silm?" she challenged. The other, contrite, shook her head faintly. "No? Well, anyway, I'm sure our shishou will grant us the privilege of a inter-racial medicine show, appropos appropriate setting, once she accepts us. Let's go."

"What's the hurry? The night is young!"

"It isn't all that young, ninja," returned the hood'd thrall.

The other closed her eyes and focused on her inner ninja-clock. "Oh.... Good thing I've eaten then, thanks to our soon-to-be-shishou," she proclaimed, and gagged involuntarily. Then she braced herself. "Long night is as long night does."

In another new tunnel born befouled, shallow shadows flit restlessly, one cranny to cranny, one nook to another (and sometimes between nook and cranny or cranny and nook), bleached grey no doubt by the unusually enthusiastic multitude of torches and the bits of explosion remnants floating languidly in Brownian bliss upon their collective heat. That is, until chance brought the bits so near a torch they flare discreetly into oblivion.

Adding to the uncommon bustle, for a foul-smelling tunnel Gollum would have been proud to call his own, Dwarven-thralls wilted wretchedly in the pungency of the smokey heat. Weakly they moshed , jostling for positions by the torches, holding out contraptions as near the flames as they could bear.

Contraptions like those things they called "foe-own", "mole-bile" or "sel", caressed like precious extensions of themselves and yet smaller, with trailing entrails that seemed to Nori's admittedly inexperienced eyes like the cords binding newborn babes to their mothers, bloody bonds Óin had once in detail delved too thoroughly and too deep (along with a great many other things related to the birth process) and awoken such a darkness in his mind he could neither keep food now or close his eyes for days.

A shortcut through debris was what KiliFili hoped for risking this new cavern. Progress had been good at first, with KiliFili leading the way. Yet now so near the exit, which both Dwarves had intuited opened right near the grand throne-room, hindrance. The mosh pitters turned their attention to him, shuffling closer and reaching out with their droolsome maws, exactly like moths to flame (or appropriately attired death metal fans drawn to amped up distortion), fuelled only by a moribund vigour that drove them forward. Remembering his increasingly temperamental uncle's detailed instructions, he immediately affected a stance (an synchronised EPIC moment he hope he could successfully pull off without his wayward brother), gesturing wildly behind his back and whispering loudly, "Light! On my left, and to the side. And wind, hurry!"

Nori scrambled, grabbing an un-accosted torch and finding the angle KiliFili called out. Yet what could he do for wind? He had no time to think for suddenly from nowhere it seemed, a delicate looking thrall, doll-eyed looking and as short as Bombur was round, clung to him.

"No Li Sa Ma! No Li Sa Ma! " she breathed. "Die Sue Ki, Tote Tey Mo Tote Tey Mo Die Sue Ki Day Sue Yo! O Are Ma Ri Nee Moe Wad Ta Shi O Ai Shi Te Ku Da Sigh!"

"What in Mah--?" Nori's face was red (what could be seen of his hirsute face).

"It's your name, O Master Nori," a dusky-skinned thrall, equally small-sized, offered helpfully. She was on the ground, out-jostled in the KiliFili-time mosh going on behind her. Rubbing her nose free from the unsettled dust, she said: "She's Japanese, and your name has the same pronunciation as seaweed, which means you are practically a Japanese too. You're," she sneezed," so her type."

Nori was not sure he understood nor did he appreciate the association with weeds of the sea (or any other ilk) nor the sea itself. Seafood was never something he fancied for dinner. The only surety was the clinging thrall had a strength in her small hands that made him very uncomfortable. It seemed she was not to be unclinged unless she so wished. Yet, through his discomfort his trusty eyes, which had failed utterly in the shooting of the Woodland hind, informed him of a large concern. Awkwardly, he reached out and made a desperate grab KiliFili's shoulder.

"You got to make them put out the flames. Now!" But KiliFili was not looking at him at all, he was quite in an enthrallment of his own, watching in bewildered fascination at the clinging technique of the small thrall.

Nori pressed hard. Grimacing, KiliFili focused.

"Look! The ground's full of the after-blast," Nori gestured, trying to ward off the clinger's hands from straying too near his discomfort at the same time." And see how the disturbed dust spark in the torch flame?"

"Wither my beard!" KiliFili exclaimed. With a sudden mighty burst, he broke through his mosh mob, grabbed two torches and waving them near his own face, whirled so fast the feeble wind motion created some semblance of movement in his hair. The deprivation of the thralls was such that they immediately stood still, mesmerised.

In the effusive silence (though faint hunger growls still brooked the quiet air), KiliFili identified one who seemed least-starved. Hoping she possessed more of herself than the others, he spoke to the vacant-eyed thrall. "What is going on here?"

She blinked, her vacant eyes belying both her guilt at partaking in the 'zine gush earlier, and the inner-squee she was mentally squeaking out at being spoken to, out of the multitude present. "Eh," she managed at last, "well, it's our phones, sweet prince." At the gesture from KiliFili to continue, which set off a collective sigh of epic halitosis swirl as the moving torch in his hand offered the now quiet moshers another angle of his braided profile, she continued (after adding her own feels to the swirl). "They need to be charged--"

"Charged? Are these 'foe-owns' criminals then?"

"Oh, no no," she assured him. "Eh, well, put it this way: they... need to eat too."

"They are alive?" the dwarf prince marvelled. As sure as his mother's beard he had been of North and South until these Thralls appeared. Truly there are always new things to be known, even for Dwarves.

"Well, I guess you could say they are as alive as us. But," she said quickly, "dwarf bread is not for them. They need a certain thing that is not erm, used as food, here."

"Then how can you keep them alive?" KiliFili asked, fascinated as he mindfully wave the torches and toss his hair for the lesser thralls.

"Well, see these things," she proffered her own solar power-pack, "are the things that get our phones to the thing. These things just need sunlight to make the thing."

"Huh," said KiliFili dubiously, declining to touch the pack, having caught the frantic gesturing of Nori who was valiantly putting out torches with the thrall still on him. KiliFili was impressed to note she had conquered his front, looking for all the world like a second cuirass, which happened to be eating his neck.

"But it is not yet day," KiliFili reminded the thrall instead.

Disappointed to be denied the chance of having a personal item an Heir of Durin touched, the thrall waved weakly. "Actually, a strong light-source works too, only much more slowly. So that's why we thought of the torch fires. But, the real problem is, there's not many of us with chargers, and less of us with solar (and rather more environment friendly) ones. And snapping pictures drains the phones fast. And well, we're like a UN convention or something, just without professional translators. There's some who know some of some languages so we can pass messages but we get so many things wrong all the time. Talk about lost in translation," she giggled. "The Japanese have it best, since the world loves anime. "Then sotto voce, she intimated, mindful of that contigent's proximity: "But the South-east Asian girls (mostly) are the weirdest. Especially the ones from Malaysia and Singapore (which many of us thought was some cute little place in China). They seem to be using English words, I mean, you can pick the words out, but it sounds like a totally different language all together. But they sure understand us!"

"Pom loh, dey aw dem lousy listning," mumbled one of those thralls as the group huddled nearby.

"See lah, like dat how can don't haf fone leh? How come never sey don't know wad we talking one. How to fren like dat," complained the one beside her. "Eh, so 'sotte voce' si simi?"

"Peng san liao loh. I oso blur leh," the other replied. "never dee ell de offline dictionary cannot check. But confirm not Soto Ayam one. So long since I eated it, damn miss it man."

The vacant thrall was completing her geography report: "And well, we don't really have to worry about the Chinese since there's hardly any here," she lowered her voice discreetly. "For some weird reason, it's like the whole place's totally smitten with the other king, going by that March Madness brouhaha. I guess holding one in every seven fangirl (mostly) in thrall, on top of sharing the rest of the thrall population is really an ace that can carry anyone to victory, not that the beautiful Elf King is just anyone-- *ahem*"

KiliFili and Nori frowned, their gast thoroughly flabbered at the preposterous thought the King Under The Mountain's thralldom was not utter. There was no haha in the madness to their ears, whatever the month. For though Thranduil kept no thrall and showed no desire to keep any thus far, it forebode great ill such a large part of thralldom was closed to Erebor's need, and merely opening his tentarms a mighty thrall-host could be for Thranduil.

"... So the Californians went all ra-ra and thought of a pledge we'd all say to His Majesty. And that really just killed all our phones making all the translations, but we got them all done," the thrall was saying, missing both Dwarves' confused alarm at the casual murder of the beloved "foe-owns". "So now the non-English speaking thralls, the Asian contingent especially, they're going crazy with the speaker function and translator. Got to hand it to them, they are dedicated to learning how to express their love--" KiliFili flinched, and she quickly corrected herself, "I mean swear allegiance to His Majesty in English, I mean the Common Tongue."

"I am sure my uncle appreciates the fealty of all," KiliFili said kindly, "whatever the language used. Please tell them they should swear with every confidence. Now, you must leave this tunnel and never light a fire in there or it might bring down the roof on us all."

After herding the thralls out, and finally dislodging Nori's diminutive one (which meant cutting out Nori's cuirass as well), the Dwarves hurried away.

Finally, the eventful evening seemed to be settling down, except for the incessant keening cries of the dislodged thrall. Restlessness rippled through the Dwarven-thrall ranks yet.

The vacant-eyed thrall was tasked with ensuring no more fires were lit without authorisation and she set about patrolling her posse. Thus it was that she came upon one furtively hiding a small flame behind a large Dwarf bread-brick. Immediately she coiled her stick-figure body and with vacant-eyed fury, sprang into the sprint of her life and knocked the flame out.

"Oh... that's nice! Ash on my antique dwarf bread!" cried the furtive one. "Why'd you do that for?"

"Because I know you can't live without your phone!" Flopping down beside her, the vacant-eyed thrall heaved with the exhaustion, the meagre energy from the digested ancient carbs of her Dwarf bread ration utterly spent. "We're buddies, but you can't be a friend with benefits, not here."

"I hate you."

"Do you really want to risk setting off another explosion? Because you will, you know. And if His Majesty sends you away because of that, how are you going to live without hearing his voice every day? That melting moment voice replete with the fullness of a rich chocolate flavoured filling..."

"Really? At this time, you have to do this? Dead phones, no food. All this allegory of chocolaty confections isn't helping to make that fossilized gunk we got any more appetizing, not to mention now there's hardly any of it left."

"I did warn you," the vacant-eyed thrall reminded her. "Behave yourself."

"Says the one whose thrallop kept showing*cough*El Vogue 'zine droolfest*cough*," she sneered. "Anyway! Is it morning yet?" she pleaded furtively with no one in particular. "I really, really, really need to charge my phone!"

"Look," snapped the other, "it's a long night for everyone with the same dead phone. Just deal with!"

"I hate damnably long nights," she furtively cursed before piping down under a particularly intense stare of vacancy.

Leaving Nori to Óin's care (after he swore under pain of beard removal one hair at a time to not delve Nori again into the birth process, though Bofur who was present expressed a keen interest), KiliFili hurried to the treasure vault, for once ensconced his uncle was wont to wallow in the heaps for hours. Too, the well-travelled Thorin took long to get anywhere: Not all who wander are lost, but the Company has long since learnt it saved time, and made sense, to go to Thorin then expect his company if time was of the essence. Even within the broken yet familiar walls of Erebor.

Following the line of thralls, yet weak with hunger and alive with wan devotion, waiting their turns for their second round of Thorin-hugs, KiliFili encountered a long procession of very tall (and very ample) girls (mostly), many of whom had light-coloured eyes and blond hair. Their delirious joy a sign of their huggedness as they bowed to him and filed past in the other direction, they tittered breathily as they bend down to smile at him. The other thralls, usually so sisterly in their affection for each other seemed uncharacteristically cool to their Thorin-hugged happiness.

Thorin himself seemed to having a break from dispensing hugs, luxuriating in the mountainous glitter of the blasted vault still intact (more or less), thanks to the strong pillars thrusting through the floor and holding up the roof (where it still existed) . He had removed his chainmaille and leather, and in his sky-blue (albeit a little ratty) raiment it was easy to spot him in there in the vast obscenity of the hoarded treasure.

Near to him were a battalion of cleaner thralls, pressed into service after the explosion to sort the treasure according to their level of explosion taint. But their tour of duty was near its end for most were too far gone in drool to resist putting anything in their mouths in their instinctive desperation, and yet not far gone enough to lose that cognitive eye-gleam reflex women (mostly) have in the face of bling. Eyes agleaming himself, Thorin trusted not their gleam.

Just a few hours earlier, no Thrall would have dreamed that prestige existed in cleaner-detail assignment or close-quarter scrutiny envy could be desirous but the cleaner thralls visited with the balefulness of the Eye of Erebor could do naught but stand in amazed delirium, unholy joy coursing through their stillness while other, more cognizant, thralls complained about neglect and huglessness from the King Under The (now blasted) Mountain. The other Dwarves and Roäc had proposed letting the birds take over the monitoring but the avian security trial run died when the flocks simply pecked every thrall with the same gusto. The Company, to their collective dismay, realised the menial chore was theirs to complete when Thorin declared: " I want the vault admission restricted. No coin jingle but I hear of it. No thrall enter the vault and no thrall leaves it." Thankfully, the Company persuaded Thorin to allow the cleaner thralls to finish the worst of the task.

Just then, tired perhaps from his self-appointed surveillance, Thorin turned, tangling more gold in his messy tangle than Smaug managed in a body roll (properly scaled of course). Sighting his nephew, he beckoned the young Dwarf over, his eyes aglow with an unusual light.

"There you are,FiliKiliFili, nephew on the stairs," he called, a cold fire alight in the blue of his eyes soft-glowing the affection of the King of Carven Stone through a faint flush of fever."Come, climb upon the mound and sit with me. Don't be shy, for I am feeling just a little lonesome without the Raven."

"Uncle, the Man has been seen off," KiliFili began instead, forcing himself not to hurry the urgency. "Though we trust the Ravens' word, I ask your permission to patrol the Mountain foothills ourselves, to be sure the Man taste the wrath of Dwarf should he choose unwisely to linger where he is not welcome. Perhaps we can also learn something of the plans of yon combined host."

Thorin nodded, dislodging some of the coins in his beard, tinkling merrily on their slither down the heap the King Under The Mountain was reposed upon. Suddenly a different sound seemed to come from a far pillar at the same time. Four eyes of blue narrowed as both Thorin and KiliFili turned toward the unglittery sound, staring hard. It was like a sneeze, its discordance among the golden sibilance amplified by its ridiculously perfect musical appeal, just like...

"Elves!" Thorin snarled, for so hale the constitution of the utterly tangle-tressed King Under the Mountain and so royally vital his Dwarven lung capacity spitting the word out would have sullied a great many gold coins under his feet and around him, hapless in their precious glitter.

"Elves?"KiliFili wondered at the same time.

"Faithless Elves!" Thorin emphasized. "By the Mirrormere's crystal waters! Mine enemy will not rest until he has his perfectly shaped fingernails upon what is wholly mine own. Whoever his spy, I will find him yea, even if it means sundering the walls of Erebor (ready to fall apart anyway) and sunder him limb from limb!" Already he reached for a sword which hilt was within reach, striding dwarven-sure on the shifting mound.

"But Uncle, Uncle!"KiliFili jumped in front of him, jingling coins like music to Thorin's ears. "There are no Elves here. Lord Roäc, surely, would have reported any elven breach even if any spy passed our vigil or the shadow-dwarf guard thralls. Surely it was but a mouse or perhaps a mocking bird." Suddenly he waved. "There! See the shadow-dwarf guard right where the light shines not."

Thorin grunted, still staring. Finally satisfied naught more could be discerned with the night-impaired vision of his intensely magnificent blue eyes, Thorin turned to his other favourite nephew, his gold-tangled beard jingling merrily. "Speaking of the Raven," he said conversationally, to KiliFili's relief, "tis strange indeed but Roäc, who seemed to be enjoying the ceremony of the Thrall-hugs has suddenly flown off, pleading a need to see to urgent business with a nightingale soon after your departure as well," whose head throbbed dully with sudden suspicion. "Gah." KiliFili took an involuntary step back."Why should we trust to others when none do we give to the weakness inherent in the glass-thin faith of Men. Do as you will! Do not worry about neglecting your other duties. I shall discuss the Hug roster with Balin upon the morn--" The Lord of Erebor noticed at last his favourite nephew's absence. His eyes hardened in their cerulean brilliance. "Where might FiliKiliFili, I mean Kili, be?"

"My brother-- is making the preparations. We might as well be prepared to stay at the foothills for a day or three," KiliFili with a smile. Then he added, hoping to draw his magnificently frowning uncle away from dwelling upon his brother's absence from his side, "the tall blond thralls are quite something are they not?"

His eyes smouldered midnight-blue, and in his voice like rough-hewned rocks smash-grinding in a rockfall, Thorin asked: "Why? What is it to you?" His eyes narrowed and he considered his other favourite nephew. "Do you protest your Thrall-Hugging duty likeFiliKiliFili, I mean Kili? Do you too, wish to give your hugs only to whom you will?"

"You misunderstand, Unc--"

"So hugging the tall (and buxomy) ones proves *cough* awkward. What of it?" he questioned, the dangerous inevitability of seduction in his voice searing as a cup of hot tongue-burning chocolate made from the best dark cacao bars tempered as only artisans in the best chocolatries could, flavoured with a hint both of the premium honeycombs from Beorn's bees and a secret-recipe extract of capsaicin that can only be described as the distillate fire of suns innumerable. " For by the Beard of Durin, and the axe of Mahal, every Thrall will get their King Under The Mountain Hug! Or affiliated ones. " So moved by the fiery Dwarven commitment in his voice, Thralls fortunate enough to be within earshot, discreetly disregarding the caveat, fervently gasped at the (imagined) burning ecstasy in their throats. "It matters not if they are Elven-tall or Hobbit-short. None! And know this, I will not amend anyone's Contract, nor will I add any exclusion Clause. For if it is to end in bosom nuzzles, we will all feel queer together!"

KiliFili was stunned. His tall, dark, handsome uncle clearly was not himself this moment. More, if his brother had indeed broached unthinking (as was his wont) the subject of recontracting, there was indeed trouble ahead. KiliFili frowned in concern, and made a mental note to warn the others to have a care what was reported to the King whilst he lingered in the treasure vault.

Misreading KiliFili's distress, the harried dark-haired King Under The Mountain descended his golden mound and wrapped his nephew in a no-holds barred hug. "I have already requested, nay ordered, the tall ones to remove their cuirasses if they be wearing any for hugs," he offered reasonably by way of apology. "Or breastplates, though I personally would rather risk the plates than *cough* some bosoms so uncurbed."

"To prevent nuzzle rash?" KiliFili manly-squeaked, trying in vain to vocalise masculinity through his constricted thorax.

"Or the worse accident of having our beards tangled in the seams," Thorin said grimly, releasing his nephew. "Besides, these man-child Thralls," he said gently, considerately lowering his bassery voice, "are, hur hur, too clean-shaven. The incomparably well-bearded profiles of Dwarven-ladies cannot be so easily bested, or they are no Daughters of Durin!" KiliFili nodded stiffly. Patting him with paternal heft on the back, Thorin was suddenly again the regal uncle KiliFili knew. "Go and do your duty. And tell FiliKili this: he has been having *cough* feelings confusticating beyond measure. I understand that, for I know their wrath and ruin*cough*. "He cleared his suddenly dry throat, "Would that good beer was at hand! But hark, we shall speak upon your return about the hammers and the anvils, both of you." He beamed: "You boys are growing up so fast."

"But Uncle, we are both of us already metal-smiths (among other things)," KiliFili reminded him, "fully accredited."

"Well, huh! Just know this hammer and anvil talk is special, my lad, and was entrusted to me by your mother, to be delivered before *cough* anything happened we return," Thorin muttered, "and Mahal shatter my shield if I should break pact with my own sister." KiliFili nodded politely. Both he and his brother have heard tell of the mysteries in that particular talk, on pain of sobriety, from everyone else in the Company. But Thorin need know none of it.

"Are you all right, Uncle?" KiliFili asked with concern. "You seem to have a cough."

With a majestic wave of his mightily calloused hands, the Dwarf King of (roofless) Erebor squared his formidable shoulders, dismissing his nephew's worries. "Never better!" he said, though he turned grim at the thrall moans without. "Duty calls. Now where is mine Hobbit?" The King Under the Mountain was saying, "I need more of his hugs if I am to get through this night."

"I could use one too," KiliFili said under his breath.

"What--" Thorin rounded on him, his messy tangle shimmering in the dim vault fires, "--did you say?"

"I said long night isn't it," KiliFili said with what he hoped was a earnest smile.

"Yes," grumped the mistrustful King Under the (Broken) Mountain. "It seems rather long for some strange reason."

Having followed the Man and his Dwarf escort, Bilbo lingered in the guardroom, trying to sort through his thoughts and feelings, without incurring the attention or wrath of Thorin.

Bilbo was certain Aragorn was the name of the man-child they met in Rivendell. And yet the Ranger bore a resemblance so strong Bilbo could not believe he was not the boy himself, grown into the flower of manhood (though just a little too disagreebly unkempt). Yet if they were one and the same, how could it be?


Someone had found him again after all. Or maybe not. It was Glóin, clutching a scroll and he looked surprised to see Bilbo sitting in the dark of the room.

"Oh, hello," said Bilbo, removing his hand from his pocket. "Just wanted some air."

Glóin coughed. "Well, this is an unlooked for happenstance. Happily too. Actually I was thinking to have a chat with you. Some... questions I have, about *cough* the Woodland Realm."

Bilbo's nose twitched. What's this, a Dwarf (other than FiliKili) interested in Elven stuff? "Sure, what do you want to know? I'm just catching the breeze --" he yawned, and stretched, "OWW!"

"What--" yawned Glóin in return, "-- is it?"

"Oh. Heh, nothing-- well, it's my ribs. I might have got a few cracked ones, you know-- " he mimed the hearty hugs of Thorin.

"Ah, yes," Glóin said, "hur hur. Well, we Dwarves are hardy folk, able to crush limestone with a single pound of the hammer. It's not a proper hug if something isn't broken, laddie. The harder the hug, the higher the regard. And you know Thorin holds you in the highest regard."

Bilbo winced. "Well, regard me as high as you please, but excuse my preference to not have my insides rattling and chipped." He looked out the window and rubbed a tired eye (a gesture that would have driven certain Thralls mad with its cute overload). "Oh! Goodness me, somehow I feel as if I should be asleep already! Long night isn't it?" he asked Glóin with a tired smile.

The skies were still dark, and the path was difficult to find even after his eyes had accustomed themselves to the night. Even when he had found it, it seemed he wandered for a long time, though the lights of the camp seemed within his grasp if he but stretch forth his hand.

Suddenly out of the dark, an Elf stepped onto his path, captivating in the manner of Elves, pointing a drawn bow at him. The Elf spoke not, and yet perhaps there was surprise in the face exceeding fair when FiliKili grinned and hailed: "Thank you, thank you so much for finding me, O fair Elf. You are a welcome sight, a vision. The stars shine, I mean they would be if they were out," he said, gesturing meaningly at the lightless skies," upon the hour of our meeting indeed!" There was no reply from the stern Elf so fair. The dark-haired heir of Durin squinted into the surrounding dark. "You would not be alone now, would you-- ah." There were silently grim-faced Elves everywhere he turned. "Well now," he turned back to the fair Elf, who was reaching with bonds for his hands. He offered them eagerly. "Always happy to cooperate with the fair-folk, especially one so fair," he said as the Elf tied his hands and turned to lead him into the shadows. "Lead on, beautiful maid." Some among the now hidden band of Elves laughed. "It is quite the night for a walk," he continued, pleased he seemed to have struck a chord, and broken through their grimness," is it not?"

The fair one stopped, and turned back to face him. Surely the Elf would speak now. FiliKili smiled encouragingly. "I thank you for your compliment," said the Elf indeed, in an amused voice that was equally fair but clearly not female. "Now please come quietly."

It was a short walk, yet it seemed to FiliKili he alerted the world with the clamour he made through the dry underbrush. The noiseless grace of his captors soon wore his joy of finding capture rather thin, and he lost his smile. That is, until they reached their destination.

Even before they gained the meeting point, he discerned the Elvenking's son by his golden hair, and was reminded again here was one fairer still than any of the Elves present. He grinned in spite of his soreness from his night wandering, for the presence of Legolas surely meant he was nearing his goal. So it was that the Dwarf was brought before him, smiling despite being bound and held by the fair Elf of FiliKili and one other, Legolas was not as amused. "What business does a Dwarf have beyond the broken doors of Erebor?" he asked coldly. "What was all that noisy blasting? Some new-wrought Dwarvish bane?" His nose wrinkled becomingly, as only Elven nose-crinkles could. "There is a fell stink on the air. If you think to offend the combined host into conceding, you have much yet to learn."

As the Heir of Durin's Heir faced the Son of the Elvenking, sudden memories of the Company' capture in Mirkwood reminded the Dwarven son of the King's son stern treatment. He bristled and drew himself up, still only reaching an inconveniently unimposing equilibrium with his captors' underarms. "I am looking for the Dwarf of my life," he said solemnly. "And our blasts are our own." He cleared his throat. "Though I do apologise for the smell. Eh, how about a drink?"

"Dwarf?" Legolas said. "There are no Dwarves here or yonder," he said, spreading his well-toned arms and gesturing to the camp still in the distance. "You can keep your blasts, I care not."

"Assuredly, Erebor keep our blasts," the Dwarf said. "And I said 'Elf', not 'Dwarf'," FiliKili assured him in what he hoped was an agreeable tone of politeness. The Elves exchanged looks he could not see, but at a nod from the King's son, the others released their hold and retreated. FiliKili was disappointed the fair Elf did not bid him good-bye or give him his drink.

"Do you," Legolas was asking, "mock the unparalleled and unfailingly keen hearing of the Elves, who can just by Dwarven breathing - and do not think I won't - shoot one in the dark? Clearly, you said 'Dwarf!'"

"Elf!" said the Dwarf.

"Dwarf!" said the Elf.

"Elf!" repeated the Dwarf.

"Dwarf!" corrected the Elf.

... some moments later, as the other Elves still stood guard...

"Elf! Look, thurk-- Elf-lord's son," FiliKili said, reminding himself to be polite, "even were we to continue this unnecessary back-and-forth for a hundred days, it is still 'Elf!', naught but 'Elf!'"

"One hundred days? It is not even a blink in the eyes of an Elf! And you said 'Dwarf!', Dwarf!"

"'Elf!' So what is it then?" he asked.

"'Dwarf!' So is what what?" Legolas enquired.

"Elf!' One hundred days. If it's not even a blink in the eyes of an Elf, what is it?"

"'Dwarf!'. Why, just a little more than a season of course," Legolas informed him.

FiliKili considered that. "Yes, I would think so. And it's still 'Elf'!"

Legolas took a deep breath."All right," he said with a pleasant smile, "you did not say 'Dwarf!'"

"By Durin's ever growing beard! I did indeed say 'Dwarf!'"



"You said it again," Legolas got in his face, "Dwarf!"

"No, I did not."

"Not only forgetful, but a liar as well. If only," the son of Thranduil said icily, "you could hear your own betrayal!"

FiliKili snorted. "Clearly you do not know of Thralls and what their 'foe-owns' can do," he muttered.

Legolas' fair face darkened at that which filled his dreams. "What did you say?" Legolas ask quietly, dangerously. "There is nothing we do not know about your... thralls or what you do behind yon broken walls."

FiliKili glared back. "For all your elven uppities you have not thralldom. And if you know everything there is to know, why are you beating about the bushes here?"

Legolas looked hard at him. "We are not finished." To the Elf-guard standing near he said, "The Mountain, or perhaps it's just Dwarves, are done for this night. We return to camp now. Bring him. He has much to answer for."

"Uh--" FiliKili began.

" And give him his drink."

Swiftly Legolas prepared his report on Kili's interrogation as they hastened back to camp. And as a guard watched over the Dwarf (carefully installed in a tent and supplied with the same food, served hot, to the armies of the host itself), he sought audience with his magnificent father and King in the tent of austere gold not quite so shimmering with the air dead and skies still dark.

The tent flap was once again open, for the Elvenking wished to look upon the stars should they shine again, and perhaps to ponder upon the troubling Mountain glitter. At his desk Thranduil sat, the King wise in his long rule: his hair was of silvery gold, his face fair and young and fearless and full of sternness; his eyes were bright and keen, and his voice like music; on his brow sat wisdom, and in his hand holding a wineglass was strength.

Legolas stood waiting as Thranduil read his report.

"Legolas," he said, his voice the velvety luxury of the fanciest of dark chocolate, rich with buttercream enticement made dangerous by the addition of crushed black pepper, alluring with Pear Williams bits made utterly delightful by the hint of goat cheese. "Your penmanship is lamentable."

"Indeed, Adar--," Legolas began. "Why do you say that?!"

"You know of what I speak. I thought I had ordered your penmanship remedial not two decades past. Clearly you have been remiss. Rewrite your report anon," Thranduil commanded, his piercing grey eyes stern and hard. "I will not have cacography admitted into the archives again."

"But I am merely following your lead. You hardly do any weapons practice yourself," Legolas protested. "No one has seen you in the practice fields for-- as long as anyone can remember."

"My time is my own, I need account how I spend it to no one," Thranduil said. "Also, Archery is your province."

"What about swordplay?" Legolas pressed, pointedly looking at the beautiful sword hanging on the wall.

Thranduil, redolent in his grace as a leopard watching the world from a tree perch, looked long at his son.

"Well," said Legolas, "what about the Dwarf?"

"What about him?" asked Thranduil.

"He came searching for a way into camp, armed with his bow and axe-- "

"I am well aware of that from your report. Though your failing handwriting leaves much to be desired, I can always read my child's hand, however dismal it is."

"Then you must see that he should not be let free," Legolas said, ignoring the chiding. "Surely it is some new Dwarven devilry born of the explosion, Adar. Who knows what he intends, trying to get into camp." He paced before his father. "I know what he is! A diversion, " he announced. "I fear it means they mean to unleash a weapon so terrible it will destroy all before it! He is sly. Already he began applying his wiles upon capture, mooning after one of the male guards for his fairness, claiming to think him a woman!"

"The hour was moonless," Thranduil reminded him in a gentle purr," and Dwarves are hardly known for their night-vision. We have seen it before."

"But he has seemed nothing but happy to be now in the camp."

Thranduil stood then and regarded his earnest son yet unwise to some truths of the world. Beckoning Legolas nearer, he put his elegant hands on the shoulders of his son and looked down searchingly into beautiful eyes not quite as stunning as his own. "He is merely one fool of a Dwarf," Thranduil said. "Such is the bane of beauty. Out there in the vast deprivation of the world admiration languish and diminish, a hunger that dies in the mundanity. A thirsting desire as deep as the oncoming wall of night. So it ever was; so will it always be. In time, admirers (of all ilk) come forth.”

Wonderingly Legolas said: "I marvel at the vastnesses of the world out there, Adar. And I hope someday I will have your wisdom and knowledge in them."

"You have done well," said Thranduil instead, "which is only to be expected of the King's son. But hist, for I do not care for one captured Dwarf."

Legolas frowned. "But, he is the same dead one," he reminded Thranduil, "you did not care for."

"The fortunes of the Dwarf may raise and fall," the Woodland King said in his voice darkling fair, "but here in this camp he is succoured. He can wait. I am more concerned with your capture than the manner of it. Where is the young Captain of the Guard? Was she not with you?"

Legolas nodded. "We began scouting as soon as the explosions started. For a time it seemed all was quiet after the blasts. We were ready to return. But I sent her to the northeast slopes of the Mountain, where strange movements, of a man but with a extraordinary load and yet fleet of foot upon the slopes, or perhaps a large misshapen thing which kind we could not discern, were reported after the explosions. And there were many dark shapes in the sky as the man, if indeed he was one, moved, and they moved with him and over him, like to birds and yet what birds are air-borne at this time of night? What does it mean?"

Thranduil pondered his son's words. "And she is not yet returned?"

"No, she is not," said Legolas. "The ground is treacherous and rubble-strewn, and likely more care is needed with the once-known terrain." Thranduil nodded, and Legolas was pleased at the faint smile upon his father's lips. The King returned his son's scroll. "Will you not see the Dwarf?" asked Legolas again.

"Nay, I have the measure of him and his equally short kin. There is nothing more he could tell me."

"And now your duties for this night are done." Thranduil handed a glass to Legolas, the very last of this day's ration of Dorwinion he had saved for his son. Wordlessly, Legolas received the glass though it was not his wont to drink.

"There is much still to do and ponder," the King said briskly then, as he sat down once again at his desk.

Legolas watched his father at work while he sipped the wine. It was strange to know this was the most time they had spent in each other's company alone in a long time. Legolas thought back and realised when it began.

Perhaps it was the wine, or something about the night yet undying. Legolas felt a sudden need for speech with his father, and perhaps an answer or two. "Adar."

"Yes, Legolas," Thranduil laid down the scroll he was reading, sensing the roiling feelings in his son.

"When I entered camp, you seemed more pleased," Legolas began," with my nosebleed than that I had returned."

Thranduil regarded his son, a gentle fire burning in his clear grey eyes so arresting a mere mortal could not bear the brunt of their magnificent regard without turning stark raving mad. "Why do you think that is, my son?" he asked, soft as a cup of warmed milk in the night.

"I-- I do not know."

Thranduil sighed. "It seems to me, mine son," he said gently, "you do not know half of yourself half as well as you should know; and you know less than half of yourself half as well as you deserve."

This was unexpected and rather difficult. There were some scattered thoughts, but most of all the son was trying to work it out and see if it came to a logical concept.

"What did you feel?" asked the father after a while, "when your nose bled?"

Legolas regarded Thranduil, who in turn regarded him. He was startled to see the tender patience in his father's eyes. Feeling helpless, he started to pace. "Pain. In truth," he admitted," it is a surprising feeling I have not had for many a years. And shock." He turned back to face his father. "But mostly anger," he growled. "I have not been injured, let alone have any part of myself broken and bleeding. in six hundred years!"

"Nor have you been more alive," supplied his father helpfully.

"Nor feel more alive," he repeated agreeably.

"And your Fëa seemed woken from a long sleep. As if it had fled your hröa, but had been summoned back by the rude bleeding shock."

Legolas stared at his father. "How did you know?" He asked in wonder.

"You are my son. Do you truly think I would not see?" Thranduil asked in return. "You have been a long time far away, Legolas. I know you are there, but why do you linger in the shadows?"

"I never--" Legolas began. "Yes, I have been lingering in shadows," he said slowly. "It is as if I had been in a dream, a dream both long and grey... and bland. Nay, rather it is as if my eyes, my heart-- in fact my very self has been cheated by some spell." Thranduil listened, glad dreams and portents were not aught Legolas was consumed with. "It is as if a part of me had been drawn off," Legolas continued," and I see the part of myself being made into something apart from me. Missing it in myself, I can do no more than pine. I eat but do not taste. I laugh but do not feel. I dread to think why it is so, or that I may yet sink again into those depths. And yet, I-- feel it in the water, and I feel it in the air, Adar. It is as if an end of things will soon be, and I will be free of this sundering, and made whole again." He smiled, and then frowned. "Yet I cannot fathom... it is exceedingly strange, that it is orch that quickened again my slumbering Fëa."

"Swear," Thranduil said, a dangerous light in his eyes and a fey. "Swear you will not return the favour when next you meet."

"No," Legolas agreed, greatly determined. "I will free his miserable head from his wretched shoulders!"

"I shall hold you to your word," Thranduil smiled though his mood was stern. "Remember, you are no son of mine if the orch lives beyond your next encounter."

"Adar," promised Legolas, "thy will be done."

Thranduil smiled the lavish smile of a father. Then he indicated the scroll Legolas still clutched in his hands. "For the now, you still have your report to rewrite."

Legolas sighed. "Yes, Adar."

"Still the night has yet to fade," Thranduil frowned. "Though I have not need nor desire for sleep, it runs on as if the very light of Anor is still far behind it."

Legolas nodded, and looked out at Erebor, brooding loomingly against the dark sky, its slope sparkling ever merrily. He frowned as his father gazed upon him.

Putting down the scroll, he stepped outside the tent. "The night has grown long indeed," said Legolas, as his magnificently taller father joined him, "if it rains both water and stars, explodes a mountain, sends a Dwarf into our hands and still show no sign of ending.”

The first of many stars twinkled, greeting again the Elf-lord fairest of fair and beckoning others quickly forth. Against the sparkle on the Mountain shadow, it seemed the very sky had come down closer to the earth to cover again the ground with the faintest light, that the grace of the Elvenking may be glimpsed by the few so blessed if he deigned to be abroad again upon starlit fields.

Suddenly upon the night air beginning to stir came fellness itself wailing down the Mountain. Shrieks, shrieks in the dark. The Thrall Speech that was yet be heard in every corner of the Realm (thankfully) rang anew, disturbing the settling dust flung far from the Mountain by the explosion. Father and son looked at each other, bewildered beautiful blue eyes meeting stunningly steely grey eyes. And if the exceedingly comely faces of the fairest Elves in all Mirkwood and beyond seemed to be a fairer shade of pale, it may just be the starlight still feeble from the explosion. "The night has grown long," said Thranduil.

I'm a lurker. Fan of both books and movies; it seems I have severely misnamed myself... for the moment.

Heart Appreciating Thranduil, thread by thread: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X
(Tis true! More appreciation threads for Thranduil exist than ME movies)

Laugh Thrall Wars!: What business do Elves, Dwarves or Men(?) have with drooling thralls, yea, with smartphones in tow, unto the slopes of Erebor? ... oh, yes, the Hobbit's lingering in some shadows, ever ready to swoop to the hairy rescue. Take cover if you dare!
Teh partsies: Prologue (aka the 'tater-mash of whatever came before), Two, Three, three-appendix: An Unexpected Flashback by Kerewyn (new, posted 10 August), Four

"BoFA"= The Battle || "BotFA"/"tBofTA" = The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Middle-earth dispatches out of the lurkmirk

(This post was edited by Altaira on Oct 21 2014, 3:21am)


Aug 30 2014, 4:54am

Post #2 of 3 (946 views)
A long awaited response [In reply to] Can't Post

At last time to respond properly…..
Bravo Lurker! What a trooper you are to pull out this epic (and then to have to wait over a week for a response – I hope it has not been too tedious a wait!)Angelic

Anyways, what a read – many LOLs!! Literally full of chocolatey goodness and very clever. I have much enjoyed getting into the psyche of these selected Thralls. I love how you’ve covered off a few other pet(?) topics as well, such as a grizzle about bad fanfic, and the ‘troll fan’, blindly and cluelessly following fandoms Evil


For if there was one thing the militantly emo thrall had less mercy for than the shamelessly leechsome Elven-thrall, it was the delusionary self-righteously careless turncoat treachery of fan-trolls. They had no sense of decency, of respect, of true allegiance, merely going from fandom to fandom like so many flavours of the week, wrecking havoc like the Biblical plague of locusts as they pass, outraging the virtues of worlds with nary an iota of consideration for the creator and fans whose reverential memories become corrupted by stinking revenant spawn, remnants of the tediously hideous of what passed for fan-troll story-telling, bad fan-fiction the thrall abhorred with shuddering passion. The demised fan-troll was the rank example of a bad-ficcer, all tropes and no genuineness even in her being (though she did have decent casual-gaming savvy), the kind that had driven the violent thrall to abandon fandom after compromised fandom

LOLOL at this 'social commentary' of sortsLaughLaugh

Enjoyed the anime vs elves discussion between the thralls. *Ahem* bit of a ‘serve’ (as we say down under) to dwarven thralls along the way as well. Laugh

And the Walking Dead mention! Heart Methinks a bit of fun-poking at Tumblr too. Wink

Gotta love a fic that causes me to go look up terms eg daimyo, sishou, bishounen... tres educational! I found this definition online: "bishonen villains often develop devoted followings among fans" and could see myself falling into that campBlush if I had any more time to devote to getting utterly and wastefully lost in yet more fandoms, which I don't. Crazy

much as wastefully generous skirts of a well-to-do lady take flight in the bellowing gusto of a windy day.

Love this imagery Smile

Gorgeous imagery of Thranduil surveying Erebor by night in spite of ‘the eyes he knew watched him’.

Not able to bear the throes of the Elvenking's longing, the besotted breeze fled with his sigh, casting its stolen tribute to the night as the moon waned and stars vanished behind the darkly skies darkened darker still with sullen clouds poignant with rain. What stars remained shone valiantly on, but for mere moments before they too succumbed like disoriented cetaceans pinged by unethically disorienting weaponised sonar, floundering from the great evil violating the sanctity of their abode.

LOL – HeartHeart

The Elven-thrall knew a secret thrill; finally a movie this Grendel can talk about.
"How were they like celery?" asked the young-thrall.


Poor Elven thrall, all that, and denied sight of her precious, and suffering allergy! Shocked(this is going to be me before Christmas – access denied plus my seasonal hayfever should be in full swing by then) So I can sympathise. What happened to the Elven Thrall by the way? Last thing we see her, she has been trussed up like a turtle, but I think I have missed (or am somehow overlooking) her final fate.

much like treadmill running belie the trauma of real pavement pounding

OMG, another little gem I can relate to!

KiliFili and Nori frowned, their gast thoroughly flabbered at the preposterous thought the King Under The Mountain's thralldom was not utter.

Gast thoroughly flabbered – LaughLaugh

The hammer & anvil talk! How I want to hear that. Wink

Big chuckle at the exchange between Kili and his captors. And Legolas being called up for his hand-writing – ha ha, that is so right somehow!!

the King wise in his long rule: his hair was of silvery gold, his face fair and young and fearless and full of sternness; his eyes were bright and keen, and his voice like music; on his brow sat wisdom, and in his hand holding a wineglass was strength.

Ah yes, so perfect. And SIMPLE, like the elven thrall had demonstrated. Heart

Do you know, I hadn’t heard of that particular chocolate? That is probably sacrilege – I must investigate at my nearest purveyor of dark chocolates. (I myself am something of a cheese addict)Angelic

Anyway, *lengthy applause and continued ‘wow’s* SmileSmileSmile Way to move Thrall Wars along! I just know I'm gonna keep re-reading this one Smile And for some reason, I want to keep following the fate of that particular Elven Thrall. Maybe..... I should...... take it up. Angelic


"Thou speakest of thralldom. If thralldom it be, thou canst not escape it..."

Lurker in the Mirk

Aug 31 2014, 4:14am

Post #3 of 3 (1045 views)
*bows in response appreciation* [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks very much, Kerewyn! I know the 2 people I can count on to give feedback, so RL is just an inconvenient obstacle to be endured in the waitSmile But am glad it's come in the same monthLaugh

In Reply To
Anyways, what a read – many LOLs!! Literally full of chocolatey goodness and very clever. I have much enjoyed getting into the psyche of these selected Thralls. I love how you’ve covered off a few other pet(?) topics as well, such as a grizzle about bad fanfic, and the ‘troll fan’, blindly and cluelessly following fandoms Evil

Goodies! Many LoLs is cool; means the silliness is going over as intended. *YAYING phew* Heh, the chocolate. Well, the obvious obsession with chocolate in tw4 begs for rapprochement, so... Angelic

Thralls: you know, I am rather surprised to realise the thrall variants that's out there, though I know I shouldn't be. Don't have to go far to look at allLaugh Plus Avandel had so kindly supplied a few as well. Had much fun, but the depths are still yet unplumbed.

Eh, *cough* yes, them be pet gripes, among others. And my armchair ecology activist had to put in a word as well. All in all, quite the view when one's got well, dark humour and the eye jaundicedEvil Nice to have an outletEvil

In Reply To
Enjoyed the anime vs elves discussion between the thralls. *Ahem* bit of a ‘serve’ (as we say down under) to dwarven thralls along the way as well. Laugh

So glad you enjoyed that analysis! As Sinead O'Connor angsted so well, "Nothing Compares To You". Just because fanart and anime you know, just enhances and can make even the most unredeemable faces pretty, am just floored by how fanart has been inadequate in surpassing the real deal for Elves, especially in HeartThranduil's case.

Hee! I truly seriously doubt the serious Dwarf thralls bother at all with my tw offerings so I'm safe from misguided thrall-rage, death threats and such Sly
We can enjoy the 'serve' tastefully quietly and in peace.Angelic

In Reply To
And the Walking Dead mention! Heart Methinks a bit of fun-poking at Tumblr too. Wink

Evil hee It was a phase. I got zombies in my brain. Lots of them. Come to think of it, tw puts them there too Crazy

tumblr... yeah, we loves and hates it, precious. Seriously, it's been the source of most of the WW Pretty! so I like it there, but some of the goings-on... really sets me wondering if we've hit the devolution stage already. Anyways! Movin' on!Tongue

In Reply To
Gotta love a fic that causes me to go look up terms eg daimyo, sishou, bishounen... tres educational! I found this definition online: "bishonen villains often develop devoted followings among fans" and could see myself falling into that campBlush if I had any more time to devote to getting utterly and wastefully lost in yet more fandoms, which I don't. Crazy

AHaHa... anime is a whole 'nother world altogether eh? I'll just say this: if you find the time, and you find yourself liking the shounen, action genres, lemme know. I think I can hook you up with a few of those bishie villainsAngelicEvil

In Reply To
Love this imagery Smile

Gorgeous imagery of Thranduil surveying Erebor by night in spite of ‘the eyes he knew watched him’.

Thank you, thank you. tbh, I applied the Avandel methodolardy doing imageries of ThranduilHeart By the Valar! It is really tough-going, for me anyway. I don't think I managed to put enough lard, anyway, but glad it worked for you.

(I still marvel at how she just seems to pull lard out of the air at willCrazy)

In Reply To
Poor Elven thrall, all that, and denied sight of her precious, and suffering allergy! Shocked(this is going to be me before Christmas – access denied plus my seasonal hayfever should be in full swing by then) So I can sympathise. What happened to the Elven Thrall by the way? Last thing we see her, she has been trussed up like a turtle, but I think I have missed (or am somehow overlooking) her final fate.

Yes. Poor her. I reckon those who don't know might think I'm not a Thranduil Thrall with the stuff she gets put through, eh? Tongue But to be honest, I see her as the collective avatar of us all and what we put up with lack of Thranduil screentime and Thranduil Pretty!, the misconceptions about Thranduil in general and everything else Frown It has to come out someway, somehow. Or maybe it's just me.Unsure

Eh, the Elven-thrall should be in the Thorin-hug line. Somewhere near the far end of it, I'd imagineTongue The one who got trussed up is the militant emo-thrall, that shadow dwarf guard who got so much of the fossilized dwarf bread goodnessLaugh I'd imagine the shadowy duo are doing their valiant best to keep up with their intended shishou.

In Reply To
The hammer & anvil talk! How I want to hear that. Wink

*cough* well, since I'm no Dwarf culture expert, I'll defer to the spokesThrall of Thorin
on this delicate matter. Angelic *looks at Avandel expectantly*

In Reply To
And Legolas being called up for his hand-writing – ha ha, that is so right somehow!!

*evil laugh* well, we know Elves just are perfect at everything they do. But something his uber cool daddy does/not got to get Legolas in a flap everytime he's with ThranduilHeart so yeah... with much apologies to LegolasEvil

In Reply To

the King wise in his long rule: his hair was of silvery gold, his face fair and young and fearless and full of sternness; his eyes were bright and keen, and his voice like music; on his brow sat wisdom, and in his hand holding a wineglass was strength.
Ah yes, so perfect. And SIMPLE, like the elven thrall had demonstrated. Heart

Oh yes. *cough* of course I can't take full credit. Tis co-opted and customised for Thranduil, from the the book description of GlorfindelHeart I do have a tendency to want to use bitses from the books and the movies, oh, here and there, as you might have noticed.EvilBlush

In Reply To
Do you know, I hadn’t heard of that particular chocolate? That is probably sacrilege – I must investigate at my nearest purveyor of dark chocolates. (I myself am something of a cheese addict)Angelic

Confession: I just googled best dark chocolate or something like that, and picked the most elegant sounding one I foundTongue

In Reply To
Anyway, *lengthy applause and continued ‘wow’s* SmileSmileSmile Way to move Thrall Wars along! I just know I'm gonna keep re-reading this one Smile And for some reason, I want to keep following the fate of that particular Elven Thrall. Maybe..... I should...... take it up. Angelic

*bows* Thank you for sharing what you enjoyed about it. Helps confirm what works.

I really had FUN. Some bladdy head-to-wall moments for sure, but well, I had forgotten how fun ficcing can be when you get the groove. And it has taken a bit to get the flabby musies going at a decent pace (just comparing tw3 to this) Evil but much thanks to Avandel for that excellent tw4, which really helped in goading this lot out of my poor head. Though you might have noticed a decidedly smaller focus on ThranduilHeart Which is what I feared with the stupid musies... if you remember my gripe about their sadistic nature: we do loves and hates them Crazy *ahem* And of course I have kept working
offline at bits in tw5 that bothered me, just general clarity in parts, enhancing ThranduilHeart imagery and the likeBlush, and formatting issues... am not changing any major plotlines

Personally, I'm hoping the Elven-thrall gets some eventually... but who knows. The ball's in Avandel's court now Tongue I tremble at the what she might be lobbing back (though *snigger* i hope she keeps the vortex of everNight going for a bit moreEvilAngelic), though any help from you for our Elven-thrall will be greatly appreciated I believeSmile

Now, I'll just sit back, catch up with the Silm reading, go mess up the TA thread, look forward to more appendices and to quake in my boots in anticipation of tw6.Shocked

ETA: Woohoo! Made the Grey Havens!

I'm a lurker. Fan of both books and movies; it seems I have severely misnamed myself... for the moment.

Heart Appreciating Thranduil, thread by thread: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI
(Tis true! More appreciation threads for Thranduil exist than ME movies)

Laugh Thrall Wars!: What business do Elves, Dwarves or Men(?) have with drooling thralls, yea, with smartphones in tow, unto the slopes of Erebor? ... oh, yes, the Hobbit's lingering in some shadows, ever ready to swoop to the hairy rescue. Take cover if you dare!. (A tag-team fanfic with Avandel and Kerewyn)
Teh partsies: Prologue (aka the 'tater-mash of whatever came before), two, three, three-appendix: An Unexpected Flashback, four, five (new, posted 20 August)

"BoFA"= The Battle || "BotFA"/"tBotFA" = The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Middle-earth dispatches out of the lurkmirk

(This post was edited by Lurker in the Mirk on Aug 31 2014, 4:17am)


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