Siege of Dread

Chapter 11: Playthings

by Cassia and Siobhan

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Chase me down to the end of my rope
Bind me fast but you can’t steal my hope.
Chase me down to the end again
So many times I can’t remember when.

Doesn’t matter what you do
I’ll still breathe in spite of you.

Can’t touch a fire you don’t understand.
Hope reach out and hold my hand,
Courage come, make all fear flee...
You can take my body, but you can’t have me.


The glen stilled.  The dust still hung in the air, coating beast and plant alike with a white, ashen snow.  Mrdhdúk stood slowly to her feet, shaking her mangy mane and dusting her rider with bits of stone.  Guruth wove unsteadily on his feet, his face a mask of rage as he stared at what was left of Daradwayn.  The cave had collapsed, taking with it a good portion of the mountainside.  Water seeped from cracks in the newly formed cliff face forming tiny waterfalls that pooled in the mud at the base of the hill, the only remnants left to attest to the Dwarven cavern.

The orcs around Guruth were stirring; those that were uninjured and still among the living stood to their feet and looked to their captain, wondering what to do next.  A warg sniffed the body of the fallen ranger.  The mount’s rider kicked the human roughly.  Aragorn rolled over, his bloodied face obscuring the fact that he lived.  The orc grimaced and pushed his mount away from what he perceived to be nothing more than a dead human; their captain was calling for them and any delay would cost them.  For the second time the orcs’ lack of careful scrutiny cost them a victim, although they did not know it yet. 

“What of that human and the elves that escaped, where are they?” Guruth barked at the riders around him. 

“The human is dead.  His body is over there,” an orc spoke up as he walked into the circle of riders. 

“Good,” Guruth growled, turning in a semi-circle, waiting for news regarding the rest of his question. 

Tmarkz stumbled into the meadow.  He was holding his right arm tightly to his chest.  “The golden-haired elf and the younger brat that tried to rescue him have been recaptured, my lord.” 

“Where?” the captain demanded, shoving his way through his companions until he reached the place where Tmarkz had led him.  Two blond elves lay on the forest floor, their hands bound behind their backs with thick rope.  The younger of the two moaned softly, his eyes barely fluttering open.  Faster than his men were prepared for, Guruth leaned over and struck the fair elven face sharply, knocking the young prisoner out once more. 

Legolas stilled beside his unconscious father and was not aware when they were slung over the backs of two wargs.  His slim frame was placed none too gently across Mrdhdúk’s broad shoulders as Guruth mounted up behind the prisoner.  The orc wrapped his gloved finger in the blond hair and pulled Legolas’ head up, sneering into the elf’s face. 

“I think this is that one I wanted you to kill before, Tmarkz,” he glowered slightly at his underling, but wasn’t ready to start a fight right now.  Instead he grinned somewhat wickedly at the other rider. 

“Maybe this means that we’ll have fresh meat for dinner tonight!”  He laughed cruelly as he slammed the elf’s face against the warg's coarse hide.  “To the rendezvous! Gather up every warrior that can make the trip and head out. In fact...” Guruth turned on the small makeshift saddle that straddled Mrdhdúk and looked over what riders and soldiers he had left. “Tmarkz, lead a group out that way, Shelzkahz you take the foot soldiers over that hillock and meet up with us.  If anyone decides to come after these two before we’re ready for them, they’ll have a hard time finding which tracks to follow.”  He watched as the older elf was thrown over Shelzkahz’ mount and the orc soldiers followed the warg rider out. 

He was more than positive that Dehlfalhen and Glamferaen had somehow made it out of the cavern with their father and was not about to be surprised by them twice.


When Legolas came to, he realized that he was bound.  His hands were tied together and he was hanging from the low branches of a tree.  A large fire burned in the center of a cleared glen.  Dark shapes moved in out and out of his line of vision, but it was hard to clear his mind.  He floated between waking and unconsciousness for several minutes before the world darkened and the fire was blotted from his sight.  He squinted, frowning, wondering what had happened when sudden realization hit him. 

A large orc was standing in front of him, sneering.  “So you’ve woken have you, pretty thing?  That’s good, ‘cause the cap’n is awfully curious about a thing or two and your other friend ain’t talking.” 

“Guruth! This one’s awake now!” the orc on guard called back to his superior. 

A round of laughter and harsh cheering met the announcement as Guruth called for the elf to be cut down and brought to him.  As he was dragged nearer the fire ring, Legolas could see that he was a prisoner of the warg riders.  They had set up camp near the base of a rocky shale cliff.  Their rendezvous took up the circumference of a large glen.  He noted with dark pleasure that their company had been severely decimated and less than half the orcs and wargs had survived the collapse of Daradwayn.  Desperately he searched the grounds for Aragorn or his father.  Of the ranger there was no sign, but he briefly caught sight of his father being roughly held on his knees before the younger elf was yanked onward and hauled before Guruth.  Blood caked the side of his father’s face and it was obvious what kind of questioning he had already endured.  Legolas’ blood boiled.  They could hurt him, but the instant they touched his father they had just made themselves all dead orcs. 

The warg rider stared hard at the prince for a long moment without speaking.  He ran one black, dirty fingernail down the side of the prince’s face, his eyes tracing the elven form. 

“I’ve seen you before.  You come and go from the Healer’s house with that dead human.  What place do you hold there?  Who are you to them?” the orc asked; his tone was almost conversational as though he really expected Legolas to talk civilly with him.  The orcs holding the prince’s arms dug their fingers into his skin harder. 

Legolas’ heart skipped a slight beat at the mention of Aragorn, but he was not ready to believe a word Guruth said right now.  Orcs always lied and they had been wrong more than once already. 

“I have many questions and we have all night.  Your friend was not forthcoming with me.  I had hoped you would be smarter than he.  Now, who else attacked us?  Were Dehlfalhen and Glamferaen with you?  Do they really still live?  Do you know them?”  Guruth was almost positive it was them he had seen, but he wanted to be sure.  Things in the cave had been chaotic, after all. 

“Answer him,” the creature on the prince’s left purred in his ear, as Legolas tried to shy from the unwanted touch. “It will go better for you if you do.” 

Turning his head Legolas spat viciously at the orc.  He had no doubt they were going to kill them if they couldn’t get away and he was not about to divulge any information. 

He was surprised when his reaction brought laughter from Guruth and he glared into the face of the orc before him.  //Keep laughing,// the elf’s glare warned.  //You’ll laugh yourself into your grave filth.// 

The defiance in Legolas’ eyes was unbridled and Guruth sobered quickly.  Reaching out, he backhanded the young elf.

Legolas licked his bleeding lip, but didn’t even register pain in his features.  His eyes remained hard and taunting.  Guruth was going to have to hurt the elf a lot worse than that before he even began to scratch the surface of the prince’s extremely jaded endurance. 

“You came into my house and stole from me.  You brought our home down upon our heads and killed some of my soldiers and wargs.”  Guruth paced in front of Legolas, his ire rising, “I bring you here and spare your life and ask you simple questions and you respond like this.  You are lucky you still have a tongue in your head to spit with, you elven brat.”  The orc grabbed Legolas’ face in one hand and drew him closer, “Who are you and what do you know of Dehlfalhen and Glamferaen?  Are you close to them?  What are they up to?  Answer me, or I will let my soldiers get the answers out of you.”  Guruth turned his back on Legolas as he paced closer to Thranduil, “And trust me, you won't like that one bit.”  He grabbed the elven lord by the hair and tipped his head back, “Will he?” 

“Tell him nothing,” Thranduil said firmly in elvish.  His defiance earned him a backhanded slap. 

At the abuse of his father, Legolas thrashed in his captor’s grip, nearly breaking their hold on him.  Guruth stalked back to his position and grabbed the prince by the throat, lifting him up onto his toes and stopping his fighting.  “No answers?”  When Legolas still refused to speak, Guruth’s fingers tightened around his neck. “Fine.  Then my soldiers would like to talk you.” He shoved the elf backwards into the hands of the orcs behind him. 

Pulling his sword from its scabbard, Guruth stalked back to where Thranduil was being held. 

“Sit still or it goes a hundred times worse for him, understand?” Guruth pressed his long, wicked blade against Thranduil’s throat as he crouched down next to the struggling Elvenking.  This threat alone subdued Thranduil’s resistance and he settled down a little in the hands that held him, his gaze boring deadly holes into Guruth’s smirking face.  Guruth seemed singularly undisturbed by the elf king’s wrath.  He smiled evilly, turning his attention back to where his minions were grappling with the younger elf.  “Relax,” he told Thranduil.  “Enjoy the show.” 

The orcs holding Legolas’ arms manhandled his back up against one of the cliff walls, pinning him there.  For half an instant Thranduil saw something disturbing flash through his son’s eyes, something raw and vulnerable that was out of place in his fierce and unbending offspring.  Then the guard around his son’s icy blue eyes slammed back down quickly, shutting off whatever he might be thinking or feeling from any outside scrutiny, even the insightful gaze of his own father. 

Legolas flinched as the dark creatures harshly peeled his tunic off of him, exposing his upper body to the cold, mountain air.  He could hear his father’s voice still protesting and cursing the orcs violently.  He almost smiled.  He hadn’t known some of those words were in his father’s usually refined and highly polished vocabulary. 

Rough hands tangled in the prince’s hair and closed around his arms as they shoved him down to his knees.  Legolas pressed his eyes closed.  He was not going to be afraid of these beasts; he was not going to let them humiliate him in front of his father that way.  He was not going to let himself remember just how cruel orcs could be or how much he still dreaded them.  Instead he let his ire rise up to cover his fear, allowing himself only to feel the less degrading of the two emotions battling for control of him. 

“Rhach bo le gwaur hu.” //A curse on you filthy dogs// Legolas said coldly, his lips curling in disdain as the orcs holding his arms pawed him with malicious amusement.  Their sharp, ragged, claw-like nails scratched his pale skin and he found their mere touch repugnant. 

They did not understand his words, but the meaning was clear and the orcs snarled in anger.  One grabbed the archer’s chin and tipped his head down to meet the creature’s disapproving glower as the orc crouched in front of him.

Legolas’ breath almost hitched at the over-familiar movement, but he did not allow the momentary swell of emotion to rule him.  He was not in Mordor anymore and these creatures might temporarily control his body, but that was all it was, they never had and never would capture his soul. 

“Keep your filthy elf-speak to yourself, maggot!” the orc ordered gruffly, backhanding Legolas.  “If you’re going to beg for your pitiful life, use words we can understand!” he sneered. 

The warg rider’s spiked glove opened a bleeding abrasion across the elf’s cheek, but Legolas’ pain tolerance was high, built up by the many trying experiences in his life, and he barely even flinched. 

The prince tasted his own blood as it trickled down the side of his face and he licked it out of the swelling corner of his lips.  He smiled slightly, a cold, mirthless grin. 

Thranduil groaned inwardly.  He was fiercely proud of his son’s unbending nature, but he recognized the look in Legolas’ eyes right now and it usually meant the younger elf was about to do something incredibly foolish. 

“Lang an trî hûn pân heniach, orch.”  //A sword through the heart is all you understand, orc// Legolas growled, spitting at the creature.  Despite how it might seem to an outsider, it was not as if he had any wish to antagonize them into making this any worse.  Unfortunately however, his experience had already taught him that it didn’t matter what he did.  The orcs were going to have their sport with him as roughly as they pleased whether he begged and pleaded or screamed curses at them, it was all as one to them.  He had come to recognize that trait in some beings.

His own reactions were the only thing Legolas had control over now, and even a small and seemingly counterproductive act of defiance and provocation gave him a little bit of victory.  They couldn’t take his will away from him and, even in a powerless situation, he still had the ability to anger them and get under their skin.  Legolas had learned to take the small victories when they were all that was available.  So he grimly enjoyed the look of irritated rage that blazed across his captor’s face right before the hard-gloved hand snapped his head to the side once more, followed by a gut-churning spew of ugly words in the black speech. 

The prince instinctively drew in a deep breath and held it as he was yanked back to his feet, closing his eyes before the expected punishing barrage of blows hammered into his unprotected chest, face and abdomen.  Orcs it seemed were predictable at least. 

Legolas fell quickly into the rhythm that he had adopted in order to survive in Mordor.  Take a breath, hold it.  Let it out slowly in time with the impact of the worst of the blows.  Accept the pain, let it burn through him and then fade.  Suck a second breath in quickly before another hit to his diaphragm could steal it away and repeat the process all over again.  This was important.  If once he lost his breath he knew that that was when the situation would change from painful to terrifying.  There was something supremely panic-inducing about not being able to breathe and that could undo a strong resolve quicker than any amount of pain. 

The orcs pounded the captive body viciously, slamming Legolas back against the rock wall behind him repeatedly as their fists and axe-handles drove deep bruises into his unprotected flesh. 

The prince focused on the rhythm of his breathing and let his mind go blank.  Do not think.  Never think, or if you do, think about something else.  The comforting white noise that his vague focus on reality created in his mind helped to keep the prince detached from what was happening, giving him an ability to ride above the pain to a certain extent.  He had discovered that a long time ago, and not necessarily in Mordor.  That lesson went back a great deal farther.  He had his uncle to thank for his consummate ability to detach his mind from what was happening to his body and let it float somewhere else while his physical frame absorbed the beating. 

Thranduil was horrified; his anger and hurt rolled together into a seething serpent of rage coiling tightly around his heart.  Legolas’ face had gone strangely impassive and his body seemed all but unresponsive to the malicious abuse being heaped upon him.  The level of control required to achieve that both impressed and sorrowed the Elvenking, because he could not help but wonder how much suffering it had taken for Legolas to refine this level of indifference to so severe a beating. 

Thranduil watched helplessly as Legolas’ eyes moved swiftly behind closed lids, as if the prince were trapped in a state of semi-nightmare.  Impassive as Legolas was, he could not deny all expression of the pain being inflicted on him and his pale lips trembled slightly, his chest heaving raggedly with the forced effort to maintain his breathing pattern.  Still the prince did not make a sound, even when the orcs, irritated by his lack of response, struck him in the gut with an axe handle.  Drawing back only to repeat the move twice more in rapid succession, they nearly drove Legolas to his knees except for the hands that held him pinned upright against the rocks. 

A second set of rapid, brutal blows to the same area did finally send the young elf to his knees when his legs gave out and his captors allowed him to slide down the wall. 

Bright lights exploded behind Legolas’ clenched eyelids, swirling in brilliant patterns of pain against his consciousness.  Short, quick gasps had replaced his attempt at deep breathing in the wake of the latest assault.  He wanted to curl over his aching stomach, but was not allowed to do so.  It was all the prince could do to not cringe away from the blow he knew was coming when a heavy, sharp-toed boot slammed into his chest, adding one more burst of pain to his already over-loading system.  Nothing could have prepared him to have that boot joined by three or four others in rapid tandem, forcing the last control over his breathing out of Legolas’ grasp and leaving him reeling and unable to inflate his lungs. 

Doubling over violently, Legolas’ mouth opened in a silent, air-starved scream that he did not allow to carry any sound.  Only one soft, half-trembling word slipped unconsciously from his lips as the prince sobbed for air and battled the fierce burning inside him. 


The serpent that had been squeezing Thranduil’s heart dug its claws in with full-strength vengeance, tearing bleeding gashes into his emotions at the soft sound of his son’s well-borne distress. 

“Legolas!”  Thranduil bucked wildly against the hands holding him down until Guruth was forced to tear his gaze away from the enjoyable spectacle of the suffering prince and turn his annoyed attention on the older elf. 

“I told you to be still!” the orc leader growled.  Purposefully grabbing Thranduil’s injured arm, he dug the nails of his mutilated hand into the still raw and feverish lacerations, eliciting a sharp hiss of pain as he twisted the injured limb, driving Thranduil back down hard, pressing his knife under the elf’s chin until it drew blood. 

Thranduil couldn’t see what was happening to Legolas from where he was now held, but the cadence of scuffling thuds and jeering orcs had not slowed.  He heard a soft grunt of pain followed by a half-desperate hiss. 

Thranduil did not care about the danger.  Bringing his legs up he kicked Guruth in the stomach and knees, knocking the old orc away from him, even though that motion caused the knife in Guruth’s hand to carve a deep gash across the Elvenking’s collarbone.  “Morgoth spawn!” Thranduil spat angrily, struggling to his feet.  “Release him!” 

Guruth rebounded like a coiled wire, springing back to his feet once more with a glint of feral rage in his eyes. 

The orcs beating Legolas stopped at the sounds of the scuffle and turned to look.  Holding the prince by his elbows against the stone wall, they let him sag between them a little, although he was struggling to remain upright under his own power. 

The Elvenking’s burning eyes said just exactly how much he would like to strangle the life out of the twisted creature before him with his bare hands.  More than that, they had behind the threat the actual ability to carry through on that desire.  Thranduil probably could have taken Guruth in a fight, perhaps even with his hands bound if it had just been the two of them. 

Unfortunately it was not just the two of them and Guruth had no intention of engaging in combat with the enraged elf king.  Instead, the orc just grinned and shook his head, glancing meaningfully at where his minions were holding the Elvenking’s son.  He did not know they were related, because to him all elves looked more or less alike in the end, but the golden-haired Lord obviously cared what happened to the younger brat, and Guruth could use that. 

“What exactly do you think you’re going to do, elf?  Take us all on single-handed with no weapon?  You’re welcome to try, but rest assured the young one will be the first to die for such a foolish attempt.” Guruth expertly played one elf against the other and Thranduil scowled darkly as he realized that this creature had learned very well how to manipulate them. 

With thick disgust, Thranduil did not resist when three or four orcs rushed forward to grab his arms from behind, wrestling him back to his knees and cuffing him liberally. 

Legolas had opened his eyes when he heard his father speaking and watched with quiet dread as the orcs manhandled the elf king into submission.  He flinched when Guruth backhanded the Elvenking, splitting his father’s lip and adding to the alarming amount of blood already staining Thranduil’s blue-green tunic.  Struggling stiffly against his captor’s clawed hands, Legolas reacted far more to his father’s pain than he did to his own. 

“You do not listen very well,” Guruth growled at Thranduil, pointing his bloody knife at the elf warningly.  “You know, I had thought I might keep you two to try a trade for Dehlfalhen and Glamferaen if they’re not too big of cowards to turn themselves over.  But if I neither of you will tell me whether or not they would care if you were dead or alive, then I have just as good a chance with one as two, don’t I?  Keep pushing me and you’ll be the one who doesn’t make it!” 

Thranduil met Guruth’s gaze icily without any trace of fear and the orc scowled.  He hated these blasted elves and their damnable lack of self-concern; it was so foreign to his mind and such a nuisance.  At the end of his scanty store of patience, Guruth gave a frustrated grunt as he grabbed Thranduil’s hair, tipping the elf’s head back and exposing his bloody neck.  He had had enough of these stupid creatures.  His rational mind wanted the elf lord alive, but his burning anger and frustration won out.  Things had gone so wrong, he needed to kill something and the elf glaring at him right now was too good a target to ignore.  “Keep on glaring, elf.  It will look very good on you when your head is no longer attached to your body!” 

Legolas felt his heart drop out at the goblin’s words and the obviously deadly intent that was being turned upon his father.  Taking a deep, shaky breath he mustered his strength, prepared to do anything other than watch his father be killed in front of him.  The orcs holding Legolas had become lax in their grip as they eagerly looked forward to a blood-letting, considering the younger elf too battered to be much trouble at the moment.  Legolas used this misassumption to his advantage. 

Dropping suddenly back to his knees, Legolas’ perspiration-slicked arms slid out of his captors’ hands in one deft move.  Pushing aside the dizzy nausea created by his burning bruises both inside and out, Legolas somersaulted forward as the orcs cried out in surprise and outrage. 

The prince rebounded to his feet behind Guruth’s back in a remarkable display of lethal fluidity.  Grabbing the orc’s knife hand, Legolas wrenched the weapon away even as Guruth spun to meet the sudden attack.  The other goblins were already reacting, rushing after the loose elf.  Legolas had only half an instant to act, but he seized the moment.  Flipping the knife in his hand, he plunged it into Guruth’s unprotected side.  An experienced warrior, the prince would have preferred the chance for a clean, instantly fatal blow to a more deadly region, but he worked with the limitations of time and movement that were upon him. 

The warg rider howled in pain but reacted with surprising ferocity.  Before Legolas could even pull the knife free, Guruth swung around dragging the knife, still in his side, with him.  His spiked fists struck out with consummate speed, forcing Legolas to duck in order to avoid being clubbed.  At the same instant another orc struck the prince hard in his low back, knocking him forward.  The blade jerked out of Guruth’s side, but Legolas lost his grip on the knife handle as his hurting body was propelled forward faster than it could compensate against.  He quickly turned the tumble into a controlled roll before dancing stiffly back to his feet.  He knew he could not give up this time; the orcs would kill he and his father both. 

Thranduil made the most of the opportunity presented by the sudden attack.  He tried to kick off the orcs holding his arms.  Twisting and spinning he daunted their attempts to gain a firm hold on him again.  Lifting his arms to ward off a sweeping scimitar, Thranduil used its momentum to cut the ropes binding his wrists.  He tried to get into the clear, but the creatures were gathered too close around and he didn’t have enough room to maneuver.  All he could try to do was keep them from getting their claws on him again. 

Legolas parried the whirling strikes of the orc attacking him with quick, firm moves.  Dodging the swinging sword and blocking the orc’s punches and clouts with his forearms, he kicked the creature in the stomach.  Suddenly his mind screamed a warning as a dark, fetid scent of death washed over his perceptive senses.  He tried to turn but made it only partway around before the heavy, massive frame of the warg pounced on him.  The force of the beast’s rush knocked Legolas to the ground facedown, slamming his already battered body against the sharp rocks and forcing the air from his lungs. 

Legolas’ head swam as he struggled to turn onto his back and face the creature crouching on him.  A sharp, burning pain ripped suddenly across the back of his right shoulder.  He cried out at the surprise of it as the creature’s claws tore his flesh.  With desperate effort, Legolas managed to flip over onto his back, only to find himself face to face with the open, dripping mouth of the foul creature.  Grabbing handfuls of the beast’s filthy mane near it’s slobbering maw, Legolas pushed up with all his might, trying to put more distance between himself and those snapping jaws of death as he scrabbled backward on the sharp, rocky earth, trying to get out of this compromising position. 

Thranduil heard Legolas cry out and turned quickly, seeing the desperate situation.  At the same moment the orcs finally got his arms again and something heavy slammed into the back of the Elvenking’s head, knocking him forward and sending the world spinning out of focus for a few moments. 

The huge warg placed its forepaw on Legolas’ chest, its claws digging painfully into the unprotected flesh and its massive weight pressing crushingly against his ribs and lungs.  The prince could not breathe and his desperate struggles turned awkward and uncoordinated as darkness edged his vision.  He was vaguely aware of the warg’s frightening, fanged face hovering right over his.  This was not the way he would have chosen to die. 

Uzb, Mrdhdúk!” Guruth, gripping his injured side, called harshly for the warg to halt in their own, dark tongue. 

Mrdhdúk, with the scent of blood in her nostrils and her prey helpless beneath her, was obviously loath to obey, but her master’s authority was not to be disregarded and the beast’s primitive mind was aware of that.  With a disgusted snort, she restrained herself from literally biting the prone elf’s head off.  The warg shifted part of its weight off the prince’s chest as it resettled into a more relaxed stance, but maintained enough pressure on Legolas to keep the elf struggling for each breath. 

Legolas tried to move but the warg growled warningly.  Dropping her frightening maw back down to gape threateningly near the elf’s face, she reminded the captive being that he could just as easily turn into dinner at a moment’s notice if the creature so desired. 

Legolas nearly gagged on the foul stench of the warg’s breath.  Coupled with his lack of air, the reek was nearly enough to make him pass out, but he struggled to retain consciousness. 

Guruth limped slightly as he made his way over to the huge warg, patting the creature’s mangy hide in approval.  The orc leader was obviously in pain from his wound, but he was a survivor and had lived through much worse.  He did not intend to let this little incident take him down, nor did he intend to let it go unpunished. 

His eyes were dark and deadly.  Guruth was through playing.  These elves were going to pay for their meddling troublesomeness. 

“Good job, Mrdhdúk, you always obey me, don’t you?” he praised the warg, whom he had raised since she was a wargling, after he killed her mother.  “Mrdhdúk does her work well, does she not?” he nodded towards the creature.  “Better than some fools,” Guruth looked in recrimination at the other orcs who both scowled and cringed at their leader’s displeasure. 

Guruth glanced from Thranduil to Legolas with a malevolent glare. “I think she’s earned a little reward.”  The orc whistled around the fingers of his mutilated hand and Mrdhdúk’s ears perked up, obviously awaiting instruction.  Two other wargs that had been hanging back nearby appeared over her shoulder. 

Switching to black speech, Guruth said something to the wargs that appeared to please them, for a hungry, delighted fire lighted immediately in their small, dark, beady eyes. 

Legolas, still trapped under Mrdhdúk’s grip, could feel the change in the creature’s demeanor and did not think it boded well. 

Guruth moved stiffly over to a rock, holding his side as he sat down.  He turned a dark grin on Thranduil.  “In case you wanted to know, I just told them that they can have fun with the young one, so long as they don’t eat him... yet.” 

Thranduil reacted with a blinding fury of helpless rage, tugging uselessly against the orcs holding him and spitting epithets at Guruth.  The scarred orc was unfazed and leaned back, resting easily against the rock he was perched on.  He was going to enjoy this. 

Legolas tried not to feel terrified at the pronouncement, but the dark waves of malicious anticipation radiating from the creature above him did not help.

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