25. Finding the Singing Orc Princess
"This madness has to stop," he hissed pacing back and forth in the Hall.
Tanglinna stood in a far corner, arms folded over his chest, a carefully blank expression on his face. The rest of the Hall was conspicuously empty.
"This madness has to stop," the Elf king repeated. "I will not tolerate any more spiders, pipeweed, Dwarves, sparkly pink.or green.or.whatever in my Hall again! This has to stop, Tanglinna!"
The Master Archer raised one silver brow.
"Yes, your Majesty," he said softly, wondering if he should have kept quiet when Thranduil suddenly spun toward him, piercing him with the intensity of his blue gaze.
"Get the horses. You and I are going after them. Now. Meet me at the front of the palace."
Tanglinna bowed and hurried out of the Hall and toward the stables. He knew they would ride until they found them.
At least I am not involved in this latest escapade of theirs, he thought grimly. I only hope that all this "madness" can stop! Ai, but I tire of it!
Thranduil went to change into his riding leathers, choosing ones of a rich green embroidered with golden leaves.
"Things will change," he told his scowling reflection. "Beginning today, nay, beginning now things will be different." He nodded in agreement with himself as he smoothed the butter soft leather over his chest. "There will be no more Dwarves traipsing in my forest; no more spider hairs on my clothing; no more missing jewels; no more pipeweed that makes people act.strange and chop off their hair; no more shrieking beasts! No more anything unless I order it!" He reached for a rather plain circlet, one not often worn, with good reason. He studied the beaten silver in his hands, his thumb running over the simple design of tightly interconnected swirls. There were no jewels or embellishments to adorn it. Legolas would most definitely recognize this headgear. "He will tremble with fear." Thranduil said with a wicked grin. His sons had learned to dread the appearance of Celeb Baudh - the Silver Judgment. It didn't appear on their father's head very often, but when it did they knew that they were doomed.
Thranduil wondered if he should have donned it earlier, before things had gotten so far out of hand. Well, he was wearing it now! Little Greenleaf would be trembling like a leaf in the wind when he caught sight of his father. He adjusted it, studying his reflection once more. He scowled even more fiercely at himself, baring his even white teeth. Yes, it would end today. He turned and strode out of the room.
Anyone who caught sight of the king that morning slipped away unnoticed, not wanting to draw his attention. His blue eyes flashed with dark purpose and Celeb Baudh glittered on his brow. Two words were whispered about the realm that day:
"Do you believe this?" Tavor asked as they pulled open sticky little webs filled with glittering gems, necklaces, bracelets, rings, and other sparkly things. "Those silly spiders. Why do they have to put these webs on everything?"
The full moon shone above, setting the gems on fire with its light
"Because they are spiders," Brethil answered with a shrug, wiping his slender fingers on his leggings. "It is what they do, Tavor.
Tavor glared over at him.
"I know that, Brethil. It wasn't necessary for you to answer that. It was a rhetorical question. Why can't you just shut up! Honestly, at times I think you are incapable of it. All I did was comment on these.silly webs and you have to say, "Because they are spiders. It is what they do, Tavor." Really, sometimes I think you must talk in your sleep. Does your mouth ever rest? I don't think. "
Legolas and Brethil glanced at one another then smiled and looked at Tavor.
"Shut up, Tavor," they said loudly to get his attention as he rattled on and on about Brethil's rattling on and on.
He turned to stare at them.
"What? Why did you tell me to shut up? I wasn't doing anything."
"You sounded like me," Brethil giggled, covering his mouth with his hand. "Your mouth was running on and on and on."
Tavor glared at them, grey eyes full of indignation! Then he realized that he had indeed been babbling as badly as Brethil. He grimaced pulling a necklace from the webs.
"I have spent entirely too much time with the two of you. Look at me. Is this how I should be spending the day? I knew we should never have tried to tame a spider. How ridiculous -"
"You're doing it again, Tavor!" Brethil gasped, laughing.
"I am not. I am merely stating that the two of you have been a rather bad influence on me. I would never have gotten myself into this sort of mess with anyone else."
"Shut up, Tavor!" Legolas and Brethil laughed glancing from their friend to one another.
"At least he isn't talking about Mandos' Halls." Brethil commented as Tavor continued his list of all the things that they had gotten themselves into.
"Not yet, at any rate." Legolas had taken off his outer leather tunic and they were piling the gems and jewelry into to it so they might transport it back to Gladaran Thamas. "I suspect he will get to that in a moment."
Tavor continued to voice all his complaints about what had happened since they had seen the Dwarves stealing their boat here at Morn Nen. Legolas and Brethil ignored him letting him air his supposed grievances against them, his best friends since childhood.
"And you Legolas, singing to the Dwarves! Prince of the Singing Orcs! That is what they called you."
"We all sang, Tavor. They call us Singing Orcs. Don't you remember?" Legolas grinned. "Or perhaps you really did fall into Morn Nen!"
Tavor sneered at him, continuing to pluck things from the webs and toss them into the tunic on the ground.
"Prince of the Singing Orcs!" Brethil added. "You called Legolas that! Not the Dwarves."
"I don't think we sounded like Orcs. Did you, Brethil?" Legolas asked with a grin wiping his sticky fingers on his slightly iridescent pale blue inner tunic.
"No. I thought we sounded very nice myself. What do Dwarves know," he added with a sly grin.
Legolas narrowed his eyes in warning and Brethil laughed merrily. He stretched, throwing the last jewel onto the pile.
"May we go home now?" Tavor asked staring at his fingers in disgust. "I should have gone with Gwibess and left the two of you to contend with this."
"Then you would have faced the King's wrath alone." Brethil said with a sigh.
"Oh, no. We aren't going to think of that now. By the time we get back home we will have come up with some way to lessen our punishment.whatever it may be." Legolas frowned slightly and then shook his head. Suddenly he grinned at Brethil and Tavor and began to sing. It was the slightly eerie song the three had made up to sing to the Dwarves.
Brethil grinned widely and joined him, moving to drape his arm about the prince's shoulder. They sang louder and advanced on Tavor who was staring at them in dismayed disbelief. They grabbed him up in their embrace until he was laughing and singing with them. Everything would be fine now. The spiders were out of the palace; they had the jewels back. Yes, everything would be fine now.
"Do you hear that?"
"Yes! She is near!"
"She is not alone! There is more than one!"
"Hurry! Don't let them escape us!"
The six Orcs trotted through the trees. They had been searching the area around Morn Nen ever since they had first heard the enchanting voice that had frightened their prey away. They had never heard anything so beautiful, its siren call enflaming their hearts. Now their long vigilance would be rewarded.
Garluk the leader jogged ahead of the others, a grin on his ugly features. There would be a fight as well this night, to see who would claim the Singing Princess and her maidens as his own. His hand tightened on his weapon, his heart swelling. He had no doubt that he would be the victor.
The other five felt the same way, each confident that at the night's end they would be with the Princess and her companions. Each Orc smiled into the darkness, flexing muscles and stroking weapon handles as they ran on swift, eager feet toward the voices.
The Tricksy Trio had collapsed onto the ground in a fit of laughter near the jewel filled tunic. They lay on their backs staring up at the glory of Elbereth's stars enjoying this outing for the first time since they had fled the palace with such an ignominious exit.
"It has been a most strange time," Tavor commented with a laugh. "One I don't think I would care to repeat."
"Nay. But it will all be over soon," Legolas said, rolling onto his side and looking at the pile sparkling beside them. "This should help to lessen the blow my father will strike when we return." He reached over and plucked up a circlet studded with diamonds. He sat up and placed it on his head. Grinning he stood and bowed comically at them. "I guess I can see why the spiders had such fun with them."
Tavor and Brethil laughed and each chose gaudy collars of silver studded with fat pale gems and flashing emeralds.
"Let us adorn you, O Prince of Singing Orcs."
They stood adorning Legolas and themselves with bracelets and necklaces. As Tavor and Legolas laughingly compared their jewelry, Brethil bent to pick up a large ring set with a sapphire. As he straightened he noticed that they were not alone.
"Uh, Legolas. Tavor," he began quietly, his grey eyes widening. "Legolas! Tavor!"
"What is it, Brethil?" Tavor asked, turning from admiring his prince to look at the other Elf.
"What? What are you talking about? We don't look like Orcs," Tavor joked. "We just sound like Orcs when we sing."
Legolas chuckled in delight and turned to where Brethil was staring with such a stricken look. His face fell in dismay.
"Tavor," he hissed. "There are Orcs!"
"Oh, no. Don't start that again. I am tired of being teased. Really, you two, I don't think it is -" He turned then and saw what the others did. "Ai, Valar. They are Orcs!"
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.