The Adventures of Legolas Greenleaf in the Blue Kingdom, Chapter One

The premise here is that Legolas is sending reports to King Elessar. Accompanying him on the journey is Captain Roland of the Citadel Guards, whose letters to his brother Ronceval are included with the reports from Legolas. Ronceval is a scribe/poet in the civil service of King Elessar.

Chapter 1:

From Legolas Greenleaf to my Lord King Elessar:
When last I sent word to you, we had just entered the road beside the Great Chasm and met the Ambassador from Khand, and the Chieftain Ararrat, whose daughter the Lady Larissa was wed to Squire Atacar, the young Sardaran Cavalier traveling with us. They left us and joined the Caravan that was returning to Sardara. Dispatches were sent with Squire Atacar to King Darius and the Duke Askelon.

This marriage between Larissa and Atacar may be more properly termed an Alliance, as it happens. Squire Atacar is the only son of old Admiral Atanatar, known as the Pirate Lord, who is close kin to King Darius and nearly every other Noble house in Far Harad. Ararrat is a powerful Chieftain, held by many of the Nomads to be their hereditary Overlord. He and the other Nomads have previously been, if not actively Hostile, opposed to the Claim of the house of King Darius to control of these huge Grasslands to the West of the Mountains, and South of the River Salasso. The ancient Hatred of Gondor was the one cause for them accepting any such Claim on the part of the Kings of Far Harad, operating on the old “the Enemy of my Enemy must be my Friend” adage. The chance Rescue by us of his daughter has opened Ararrat’s eyes and maybe his heart and mind to the Notion that Gondor is no longer his enemy, and that there may be much mutual Advantage to a friendship with your Kingdom. The fact that we are traveling with troops from the Households of both King Elessar and King Darius astonished Ararrat, and we sat far into the night as he Questioned me about your Rule and Policies. I hope, my Lord, that I was able to Answer him as I ought. While I am in no way an Official representative of you and your Council here, my long Friendship with you makes Care for your Concerns near to my Heart.............

....................We broke camp and continued our Eastern journey along the South edge of the Great Chasm. This is very Wild country, arid and rocky, but with a compelling grand Beauty that is most apparent at Dawn and Sunset, when the red rocks Glow in the light. I wonder at my Admiration for this land, because I had thought I could love no Place that did not have Trees, yet this is an aspect of Middle Earth that demands our Notice, and has an Enchantment of its own. It is a land of Eagles, they soar high, riding the Wind and surveying the rugged Landscape below them, seeking their prey. They dive with astonishing Speed upon some hapless little Creature, and sweep away on their great Wings to their lofty nests. They are enormous Birds; the nomads say they lose lambs and kids to these Eagles every Spring. There is not much Wildlife as we know it, but here and there one can discern, high on the ledges above, wild Goat-like beasts that climb from one tiny Outcrop to another, nibbling on scant grasses, moving about with careless Expertise on the nearly sheer walls. Yet, when we pause and stare into the Chasm itself, there seem to be no such Beasts on the chasm walls. There are birds’ nests, and we see little Lizards scuttling about, and strange insects, but of larger Animals, no sign..................

...................We had been meeting small Nomad parties about every other day. They have Wintered in the sheltered side cuts beside the Chasm, and are now leaving to go out onto the Plains, but we must surely have seen the Last of them, as we are now Seven days journey from where we met the Khandians. Now we will meet no one, they tell us, but Caravans going West as we go East. As before, the Sight of an Elf causes made these Nomads uneasy.

.........................There was a wonderful Moon last night. He was in Full, and the landscape was Magical in that cool light. The little creatures of this land move about more at night than during the day, and I, taking the last Watch, sat on a Boulder and watched as a family of little Mice scurried about, gathering the seeds fallen from the Thorn bushes. They scattered suddenly as a great Owl swooped down, but instead of pouncing upon a Mouse, the Owl landed on a Thorn bush and stared at me. He had great golden Eyes, and what looked like Horns upon his head as Owls do, but this seemed to be no ordinary Owl. He sat so long that the Mice began gathering seeds again, only to Panic when he spread his wings and swooped away.

I confess I was extremely Puzzled. There can be no doubt that the Owl was aware of my Presence, but more than that I cannot Fathom. The men slept on, of course, there had been no Untoward sound, but something had happened that charged the Atmosphere of the night for me. There are Wild Dogs in this country that generally Howl at night, but this night they were silent.

In the morning we broke camp and set out once more to the East. We saw that the Mountains were closing in again, a Purple shadow in the East, so we decided to ride farther than usual, in order to camp at their feet. There was no Water at our last camp, nor is there likely to be any until we reach those Mountains.

...................We have reached a stream, it crosses our road after Falling from a narrow Cleft above. The water is Cold, so cold it numbs the hands. We are just into the Mountains again, ahead of us they close in, rising in knife-like ridges. There is little Fuel for a fire but dried dung, but it Burns clean and scentless, and it cheers the Men to see the flames. Taking the last Watch, I had let the Fire die, and was again sitting upon a boulder breathing the night Air, when the Owl appeared. This time there was no Doubt—the Owl settled on the ground about a fathom from my Feet, and regarded me with his great horned Head slightly to one side. I almost expected him to Speak. It seemed good to me to remain Silent, but I was tempted to greet him, I confess. After some time he reared up very Straight, spread his wings, and rose abruptly into the night.

I lay down on my Blanket and rested my head on my Saddle, which is what all we Horsemen use for a Pillow, and awaited events. Again, the Atmosphere of the night had been Altered by the Owl’s visit, and I did not Fear I would sleep. The slightest sound reached me, perhaps not really a Sound, but a subtle vibration through the Earth—I turned my head very slowly and saw, standing half hidden behind a Rock, the outline of a Man’s form. I remained Motionless, but was comforted by the knowledge that the Horses were standing quietly—which would not have been the Case had there been any number of Men about. The keen ears of the Horses hear what no Man watching could hear, and they Scent other Horses long before we can see them, so I did not fear that we were under Attack, but instead, that we were being Studied.

The sky lightened to the East, and as the Night faded, so did the Outline I had observed. The Man, if it was a Man, did not move—his figure just Faded with the Dark. The Eastern sky was now ablaze with the rising Sun, She seems to leap out of her rest in these wild parts, and it becomes Daylight nearly as soon as we can say it. The Men stirred and refueled the Fire and our Breakfast was soon underway. I have said nothing to the Men as yet, about our Nightly visitors, but I think I must today tell Them. I do not believe there is cause for Alarm, exactly, but I am Unsure what Forces we might be about to Encounter. Many thoughts stir in my Mind, I recall many old Tales. Yet this Country is unknown to me and my Kin, and it may be that my Memories have little to do with Things here.......................

From Captain Roland: Dear Brother Ron,
Well, here we are, still riding along the edge of the Great Chasm, journeying East to Khand. Now, does that not make your desk-bound heart long to be out in the Air? The skies are high here, and the air keen and fresh when we set out in the mornings. We see great Eagles soaring over us, and exotic beasts clambering about on the cliffs. This is an amazing place, beautiful and wild, and we go along as merrily as Nomads. Our main worry is always to find water for ourselves and our Horses, but we manage to find brisk little streams spilling down from the melting snows, and falling over the edge into the bottomless Chasm. It cannot be bottomless, of course, but it will take some other fellow to prove it. When I look over, my head goes light, and my breath comes short. Somehow it would not be so terrifying if we could see the bottom, no matter how far! The Elf Legolas talks of throwing a rope over and climbing down, but I doubt if we have enough rope with us, and I for one would rather he did not. Even an Elf would not survive such a fall, if he fell.

Legolas is a great fellow, and has endeared himself to all of us with his carefree ways. There is nothing High-nosed about him and he seems as eager as any of us to explore, and to see things that none of our folk has ever seen before. I never thought an Elf would have much Woodcraft, somehow, but he is as knacky at setting up camp and foraging in the wild as any Ranger of old. He says he learned from a Master—none other than King Elessar, when they were on the Quest of the Ring. He has the Elven far sight, can spot a mote in an Eagle’s eye, as the saying goes, but he can shoot that mote out, too; his skill with a bow is astonishing. He seems never to tire, and is as fresh at the end of a long ride as when we set out. I have to admit I had some doubts about this expedition, I thought Elves were useful mostly at composing songs to the stars and gliding about in the Golden Wood, but Legolas is a good Leader and we all have confidence in him, even though his rank is a courtesy Captaincy. The Sardaran Cavaliers were very leery at first, when they were given their orders by King Darius, but now they swear by Legolas and think him a very fine Trooper. Most of them had been told a lot of balderdash about the wicked Enchantments of Elves, but they know better now........................

.......................We do not meet many folk on the trail now. The Mountains have withdrawn on both sides of the Chasm so that it cuts through a flattish plain. Not quite flat, though, because enormous boulders of strange shapes are scattered here and there—some balanced on narrow necks of stone, some arching like bridges over long dry streambeds. There are no trees, but bushes that have a sweet perfume, and plants with thorns savage enough to catch my flesh through my leather leggings. It is a land of extremes—the days are hot, so hot that our helms cannot be worn and we wrap our heads in scarves to ward off the sun, and the nights so cold our water buckets have ice in them in the mornings. But so beautiful, Ron! The purple and blue of the mountains, the blaze of the sunset, the golden glory of the sunrise—dear brother, I am beginning to think I have some of your poet’s blood! You cannot live here, of course, even the Nomads do not graze their beasts here, there is nearly nothing for grazing beasts to eat. We carry fodder for the horses, and we have a good supply yet.

Still, there are here and there signs that Men have lived here, not just journeyed through. We come across the ruins of clay dwellings at times, built into cliff faces like the nests of barn swallows. There are strange markings on some rock walls, stick figures and symbols carven into the rock, and in sheltered spots the markings retain some of the colour the ancient ones painted their carvings with. We have been told that when it does rain here it can rain a year’s worth of water in an hour, and that we must be careful not to camp in a dry streambed for fear of flash floods. I guess what I am saying is that a fellow needs to be on his toes here, it is a hard place, and will punish anyone who forgets to be watchful.....................

.....................After several days riding, we approach the Mountains again, or rather as it seems, the Mountains approach us, closing in to the Great Chasm on either side, so that we once again will be riding on a narrow road beside that Awful deep. Today I noticed what I took to be Eagles again, but Eagles do not hunt in groups, and these birds, about a dozen, were together, circling slowly above and to the North of us. The Sardarans call them Kondors, they are Carrion birds, larger even than Eagles, and they are watching from on high as some creature dies below them. The Sardarans say they wait until their prey has not moved for some set time, then down they plunge to their dreadful feast. It is true that without such Carrion eaters the world would soon be hip deep in carcasses, but such things chill my blood. I recall only too well Father’s tales of the War, and its aftermath.......................

Today as we breakfasted, Legolas told us of a Owl, and a Man, that he has been visited by during his Watch. Had any other told us of such things, we would laugh and dismiss his Tale as nightmares or imaginations, but coming from Legolas Greenleaf they must be taken seriously. We, even less than he, know what these visits portend.

Well, you know Ron that I set out on this expedition seeking Adventure, and that little escapade with Naughty Larissa did not quite fill the bill. I have a Hunch something is about to Happen!


So, should I post more?

Quote Originally posted by vison View post
So, should I post more?
Yes, please!! It is beautifully written and captures the imagination!

Chapter 2

........more from Legolas...........carrying on the tale: Legolas in the Blue Kingdom…..

From the Journal of Legolas Greenleaf:

It is true that in some old Tales, an Owl is always a Messenger. If that was so with this Owl, he was most Mysterious about his Duty, he told me Nothing. Not a sound did he Utter. It may be that his Presence alone was the Message, and one that I must Decypher, yet I do not have the Key.

As for the figure of the Man, that faded like Fog before the Sun, what am I to make of that? Tall, he appeared, robed, not dressed for Riding. A Staff? Yes, I believe there was a Staff. Mithrandir bore a Staff, and Saruman. I remember how Mithrandir carried his Staff into the presence of Theoden—just the Prop of an old man, he said. Indeed, this may be so now, that our Visitor is an old man, walking through here at night, and that my eyes were Deceived. And the horses?................

Just here the Great Chasm is very narrow. An easy bowshot, for the great Bow of Lorien that I carry. Across from our camp is a Cleft in the rocks that come down Steeply to the very edge of the Chasm. Beside the mouth of the Cleft, its roots clutching the very lip of the Precipice, grows a stunted Tree. It is the only Tree we have seen for Leagues, a Pine tree, twisted and lightning blasted, but Alive, and appearing to thrive. Yet I am not fascinated by the Tree so much as the markings I can perceive on the Rock behind it— carven into the rock is an Owl. Even Sergeant Daeron can see this much, it is not by my Elven sight alone.

I sent an Arrow over, and it sank with great Force into the wood of the Tree, and attached to the Arrow was a rope. Now there was a Bridge that I at least could walk.

More from Roland................

This tale is now picked up two days after I left off. Something indeed was about to happen, and something Did.

We had moved further along the Road to the East, along the South side of the Chasm as before. The Chasm was narrower at this point, and directly across from our camp grew a stunted Pine tree, clinging to the bare Rock. Legolas Greenleaf took an arrow to which he had attached a Rope, shot it across into the Pine tree, made it fast onto a boulder on our Side, and announced that he was going to Walk across it, as I might walk across a Footbridge in the Park.

We all stood Aghast. He said it so calmly, as if it was Nothing, and we did not know what to Say, or Do. It seemed to me, at least, that he had announced that he was about to Kill himself, and expected us to watch Unprotesting!

“Do you not see,” he said, “that there is a Carving of an Owl, upon that Rock face, over there?”

Sergeant Daeron said he saw it, but I would not look. I would not assist in such Folly. So I said to myself then.

We all protested, but in Vain. He shook off our Worries, and laughed, and said he was just going to Step over there, and see what he could see.

“Legolas!” I shouted. “If you will not think of yourself, think of Us! What are we to do, if you Fall?”

He laughed again. “ Captain Roland,” he said, “I shall not Fall. But if I do, why you are to carry on. You are on your King’s business, and must see it through.”

Legolas divested himself of his Riding boots, and the Leather leggings that he wore, as we all did, to protect himself from Thorns. He drew his long Knife and ran his thumb over the Blade, and sheathed it. He tied the fringed flap over his Quiver, slung his Bow over his back, and stood on the edge of the Chasm for a moment. He looked up, as if reading the Sky, closed his Eyes, breathed deeply. Then he turned to us, smiled, turned away, and stepped out onto the Rope.

I could not watch. I felt Sick, and sat down upon the Ground. Everyone held their breath, and all I could hear was the wind, and the high, far-off cry of a hunting Eagle. I opened my Eyes, and made myself look, and there he was, dancing across as the Rope swayed and swung over that awful Depth. In moments he reached the opposite side and stepped off the rope onto the narrow Ledge where the Pine tree stood. He turned and waved to us, and called back, “See! You doubters! Who is going to join me?”

Sergeant Daeron shook his head. “I have bottom enough for most things,” he said. “But not for this.” Then he shouted, “Legolas! What do you see?”

Legolas did not answer right away. He touched the Pine, then ran his hands over the Rock behind. The carven Owl darkened, became plain even to my eyes. An outline formed on the wall, the outline of a Door. Legolas stood with his head to one side, and he laughed. “I knew it,” he cried. “I knew it!”

He ran back across to us. He ran. “So,” he said. “What should we do next?”

I'm ready for more anytime now! :-)

Legolas Greenleaf travels in Far Harad, on the road to Khand, as an Ambassador of King Elessar Telcontar. He travels with Guardsmen of Gondor (including the gallant Captain Roland) and Cavaliers of Far Harad who are under the command of King Darius of Far Harad. They have traveled across the interior of Far Harad, even into Umbar, and are now in the Canyon riven by the Great Chasm. They have come to a Door………………

Legolas in the Blue Kingdom

................more of Legolas.............

The Men were frightened for my Safety, and did not wish me to walk the Rope, but I did not Dispute with them, rather I went quickly across. My first thought was that the Pine tree is indeed only a Pine tree, not an Ent, nor a Huorn, which possibilities crossed my mind, I confess. An ordinary Tree, but Planted in a not ordinary Place, for I do not believe it grew There by Chance. As I suspected, the carven Owl was on a Door, for as I touched the Rock, the Owl’s form became clearer, and the shape of a Door was revealed. I was Tempted to try to command the Door to open, but Caution prevailed and I crossed back to the Southern side of the Chasm.

We spent some time discussing the Matter among ourselves, and decided that since the Day was wearing on, we would set up our Camp, and see what the Night would bring. Several of the Men gathered the dried dung we use for Fuel, several more picketed the Horses, and Sergeant Daeron began his usual preparations for our evening Meal. Captain Roland, who seems to suffer from a more than common Fear of heights, was lying on his Stomach, staring at the Tree and the Door across the Chasm. I sat beside him and and attempted to allay his Terror, pointing out that the Chasm could not reach out and fling him Down, and he admitted that just being near the Edge troubled him, but that he was intensely Curious about the Door.

As we ate our Dinner, I spoke to the Men and told them what I knew of such Doors. I recalled especially the Doors of Moria, where Mithrandir had been puzzled, and the Hobbit Meriadoc had hit by accident upon the Clue that Mithrandir needed to tell the Doors to open. One of the Cavaliers asked what I know they all wished to know—did I know the Key for this Door? I said that I believed it would be only a word of Command, in an Elven tongue, and that I knew many. It did not seem likely to me that the Door would require a Spell, the Door’s location was in itself a Surety that no casual Visitor would try it—anyone who could stand in Front of it would have earned the Right to enter by simply speaking some version of the command to Open.

The darkness fell quickly, as it does in these parts. The Sunset is always glorious, but the instant She goes behind the Mountains, it is Night. There is no Twilight. Our little Fire made a little pool of Light where we sat eating, and above the surrounding Mountain tops the Stars were bright and sharp against the Black sky. The Horses stood quiet, and we heard the Wild Dogs howling in the distance. Then we heard the Voice of an Owl, and there he was again. He circled our Camp, spiraling down near to our Fire, and the Men murmured among themselves, some Fear in their Voices. I spoke, and said, “Greetings, Master Owl.”

He set himself down upon a Rock and again regarded me with his Head to one side. I saw that he had somewhat in his Talons, and that it fell as he rose into the Night and left us. I picked it up, and saw that it was a piece of Cloth. I took it into the firelight and could see that the scrap of cloth was Blue, even in that poor light, but that was all, the cloth was not a Wrapping, nor was it Written upon. Just a piece of Blue cloth that would about cover the Palm of my hand.

Captain Roland took the cloth from me, and shook his Head. “Blue,” he said. “From the Blue Kingdom?”

“So I would think,” I answered. “But what does it Signify? Is it a Warning?”

Captain Roland shrugged. “How should we tell? We must go forward unknowing, if we do go Forward, Legolas. Or we must take it as a Warning, and leave this place.”

The other Men concurred, and Cavalier Darsat said, “What do you wish to do, Legolas?”

“I wish to open the Door,” I said. “But I will command no Man to go with me.”

Now they all laughed. “Legolas,” Captain Roland said, “it would be of no Use for you to do so. None of us could walk that Bridge.”

“Not as it is,” I agreed. “But it can be made so that a Man could walk it. However, we cannot all go, in any case. We cannot take our Horses across, and we cannot leave them and all our gear unguarded. It is in my Mind that we decide in the morning who is to Go, and who is to Stay. We must plan carefully, for there is no Knowing what we will find.”

We sat long over the Fire that night, and each Man called to mind all that he could Remember of the Blue Kingdom, as it had been spoken of by Those we had met upon our Journey. It was not Much, but nearly all who had spoken had spoken in Fear, or had passed on some Tale of Fear. The Blue Kingdom, where those who enter do not Leave, or those who Leave are Changed. Even Ararrat had spoken of it, but he had dismissed it as Women’s tales, fit only for Children and Fools. Sergeant Axelder of the Cavaliers was the only One among us who had ever heard any Word of the Blue Kingdom before coming upon this Journey. He had been born and raised in one of the Mining camps in the Foothills, and his Mother had cautioned him and his brothers to beware of the Blue Kingdom, where disobedient boys were sent. He had always believed it to be a Bogey only, his Mother’s attempt to keep four wild boys in check, but he admitted that his Mother had seemed to believe in it, and that some Great Sorcerer ruled there. At last the Men settled to sleep and I watched.

Again, just before Dawn, the figure of a Man appeared, but this time it was across the Chasm, before the Door. It seemed most like a Shade, not a real being, and did not Look across, but simply stood there. It took the form of a Man in a robe, holding a Staff, and the Man had long hair and a long beard. I could not see its Face. It did not come out of the Door, but appeared before it without Sound, and again it faded as the Darkness faded. It did not Trouble me, such things do not, but it caused me to Wonder if I ought to take any of the Men with me through the Door. Men are frightened by Ghosts and such. It struck me that if a Great Sorcerer ruled on the other side of that Door, it would be no great feat on his Part to keep any Knowledge of the place secret—he could easily have hidden the Door, for instance, and we would have passed by it unseeing, even an Elf such as I. The Tales could always be just Tales.

No, it seemed to me that we were being Drawn on, but to what Purpose? Perhaps the Day would reveal it. The Horses stirred with the Dawn, and the Men awoke. I told them that I had again seen the Shadow of a Man, but that I was still determined to open the Door. When the light was bright day again, I took the piece of blue Cloth and turned it about in my hand. A bright Blue, deep and pure, the Cloth soft and finely woven. No more. No Markings, no stitching in Patterns. I put it in my pack, with my Share of the food and water we were to carry. I asked the men to each also fill a small Sack with dried dung for fuel, as we might have to Travel for some way under the Mountain, and we would need fire. Such Torches as we could improvise, we did. The Thorn bushes hereabouts give off a sticky Sap that can soak a rag wound about a stick, and that would have to do for Light.

Most of the men vied for a place in the Group that was to leave, and I was not surprised that Captain Roland was among them. He has a bold Heart and a clear Mind, he is observant and careful. Still, it was necessary to draw lots with black Pebbles and white, to determine which three from Gondor and which three from Sardara were to go. Captain Roland drew a white Pebble and I saw his face express his feelings, the Terror and the Wish to go being about equal!

I once again explained to those who were to Remain what was expected of them, should we Fail to return in five Days. Trooper Ephaz of Sardara was put in charge, he is an old Soldier, and commands the Respect of the rest. I then arranged two more Ropes to improvise a Bridge that Men could cross upon, and watched as Sergeant Daeron of the Guards went over, then five more. Captain Roland is equal to any Exertion, but I did not wish him to Fall from clumsiness due to Fear, so I calmed him as best I might, and stood so that his Eyes could see into Mine as he made his way across.

The Door opened to my command of “Edro!” The blast of Air that was expelled was Stale, but not Foul, and since I had taken the Precaution of having the Men grasp the Pine tree for safety, no one was Blown off his feet, and over the Precipice. The opening loomed Black before us, and we had only to Enter..................

.........More of Captain Roland’s letter..................

Legolas was determined to go back and open the Door. We spent hours talking of it and I was Sick with Dread, for I knew I was going to go with him. The Terror of Height was not going to stop me, and yet I could not think of walking over that Abyss without my stomach sinking. Some of us were going to stay with the Horses, and at last in the morning we drew Lots, to end the disputing. Sure enough, there in my hand was the White pebble that signified I was to go, one of three from Gondor, and three from Sardara, with Legolas making the seventh.

Legolas told us that he had again seen the shade of a Man, this time it appeared by the Door, and once again vanished with the Light. At this time he spoke to us all, and said, “I will command no Man to go with me. I do not know what we shall meet when we open that Door, it may be that such things as Terrify men will be there. Know now that any who wish to turn back then may do so, but once we have passed through, the Door will most likely close behind us, and then it may be too late to return.”

He looked at each of us in turn and seemed satisfied with what he saw. I know he saw Terror in my eyes, but that was for the walk across the Chasm, not for anything we might find on the other side. Ghosts and bogeys I could face, I thought, if I could ever make myself cross. We got our packs prepared, each man to carry enough for three days, food and water. We also took some dried dung, in case we found no fuel over there, and we made some coarse half-hearted jokes about that, as we each tied a sack of it about our waists. The men who were to stay behind were told to wait no longer than five days. Then they were to start out again, for Khand. This was made an order, for they all seemed to think that five days was too short a time.

Legolas prepared the bridge by taking two ropes across with him and fastening them so that a Man could walk with his feet on the first rope and hold one rope shoulder high and one rope waist high. Sergeant Daeron went first and signaled back to us by waving his fist in the air. Trooper Anborn went next, then Cavalier Sergeant Axelder, then Cavaliers Darsat and Gradaz. I was next. Legolas touched my shoulder and said, “I will cross before you, Roland. When once I am across, you look only at me, at my face. Do not look down!”

Never will I forget that crossing, dear brother. Never, though I live to be an old, old man. The air was keen and fresh, and high above me an eagle cried his wild cry. The rope felt alive, and I felt every fibre of it as I grasped it with hands that were thick and heavy, and I felt every drop of my blood flowing slow as cold honey through my veins, and my head was light, as if it would float off my shoulders. I could see Legolas’ calm face, his eyes holding mine. There was no tension in his look, just that steady regard that pulled me across, causing me to put one leaden foot ahead of the other. I could hear the thudding of my own heart, beating painfully hard. I reached the other side and Legolas put out his hand and touched mine, and I stepped onto the hard rock, and immediately I cast up my breakfast and fell to my knees, too dizzy to stand.

Still, I was across. In a few moments I was able to breathe as I should again, and I rose to my feet. Sergeant Daeron smiled at me and said, “Good lad! You’ll do now!” And the others slapped my back and I felt somewhat less of a fool.

We rechecked our packs, adjusting the straps and so forth. Legolas stood before the Door and touched the Rock. “Hold on to the Tree, Men,” he said. “There may come a Wind from inside.”

The image of the Owl was as sharp as if the carver had just put down his tools, the great wings outspread, the horned head bent as if it sought something. The shape of the Door was arched and it was wide enough for three men to stand within, about two fathoms high, the Owl’s image near the top. The wind stirred the Pine, and we could smell its clean scent. Legolas touched the Rock, and closed his eyes. “Edro!” he cried. “Edro!”

He stepped back, and opened his eyes. For the space of a dozen heartbeats there was nothing, then the Door’s outline faded and darkened again, and a sound of rock grinding upon rock assailed our ears, very loud. The door swung open, and stale air rushed forth in a blast that might have sent us over the edge, had we not been grasping the tree. Legolas staggered back, then stepped ahead firmly. A black cave or tunnel yawned before us.

I can't wait until I have a quiet moment to read all this.

I can't figure out why it is double posting. I hit "submit" only once.

Anyone ready for more?

Yes please.

Legolas in the Blue Kingdom, Chapter 4:

From the journal of Legolas Greenleaf…………..

We untied two of the Ropes and the Men remaining on the South side drew them back. They untied the third Rope on that side and I drew it over and coiled it and hung it over my Shoulder. Should we return this way, we will need a Bridge to regain the South road.

The entrance opened into a large Cavern and when our eyes became adjusted to the dim Light, after the bright Day outside, we could see that it was only a Cavern, earthen floored. There were no marks on the Floor, no Sign that anyone had ever passed that Way, the dust was deep and soft. The Cavern narrowed and became a Tunnel, and it was plain to see that the Tunnel had been shaped by something other than Nature, the Walls were cut and the Rock dressed with some care. There was no moisture, no sound of dripping Water, and the Air was cool and quite Fresh.

We had walked on for the space of about an Hour, in silence, going ahead by the flickering Light of a makeshift Torch, when we came upon another Cavern, a widening of the Tunnel. Benches had been cut into the Rock, and there were faint traces of a Hearth in the middle of the Floor. We were not yet ready to eat, but I judged it a good Place to pause, and talk to the Men.

“I am relieved somewhat,” I said, “that the Door did not close itself behind us. It is not too late for any to Return, should he wish to.”

The Men all shook their heads and I went on, “We are stopped in a Place designed for such a purpose. I would guess it was once the Barrack of Guards or gatesmen. So it is likely that we still have some Distance to go, until we reach the other end of this Tunnel. Have you noticed that we are going slightly Downhill? I think that this once was a natural Passage, and has been widened and leveled, with great Skill.”

Captain Roland spoke. “Legolas,” he said, “No folk have more knack at such work as Dwarves. Do you think it likely that Dwarves made this Tunnel?”

“I cannot say,” I answered. “My friend Gimli son of Gloin could, were he here. He could read the Marks left by the chisels, or whatever Tools were used, as another could read characters upon a Page, but I cannot. Whoever cut this Rock had great Skill, that is plain to see.”

“You will notice,” I went on, “that our voices echo and carry in this place. We must strive to speak softly. It may be that by opening the Door, by stepping into the Cavern, we have announced our Presence to someone, if someone there be to care, but I wish to go Silently, if possible. Should we come upon some Folk, do not speak of the Owl, or the Shade that I saw, or the blue cloth. I believe there is Something afoot, that we are being led on.”

“Are we entering a trap?” Sergeant Daeron asked.

I considered long before I answered. “No,” I said. “I do not think so. I would not have brought you Here, had I thought so. But if we are indeed about to enter the Blue Kingdom of the tales, we have heard enough to make us Wary. Besides, a trap cannot work, if the Prey is aware of it.”

Sergeant Axelder snorted. “That may only make it a cleverer Trap, Legolas! Still, I for one am ready to move on, and trust to events.”

“We shall do so,” I said. “But we must be Cautious. We must beware of Pitfalls, for there could yet be some. So far we have come upon no side passages, but we may. Be alert!”

We marched on for some time, stopping to eat a cold Meal at about what we judged to be late afternoon in the World outside. Then on we went until the Men were weary, and having reached another of these Rooms, we stopped and took our Rest. The Men could not bear that the Torch be extinguished, so I sat in its flickering Light until they slept. Having the means upon me to quickly rekindle the Torch, I put it out for a Time. I was visited by no Shade, nor did an Owl dare the passage. The only Sound was the breathing of the Men. After some time I relit the Torch and, wakening Cavalier Gardaz, I lay down to take some Rest myself.

Another day’s March, another night’s Sleep. No Owls, no Phantoms. I slept, while the Men shared a Watch, and dreamed of Blue cloth, reams of it blowing in the wind on some far Hilltop..... The third Day...... we saw that the Smoke from our breakfast fire was borne strongly back along our path, and that the current had become a breeze strong enough to stir our Hair. The Floor was sloped considerably downhill, but appeared as before, smooth and unbroken. We marched quickly, as always I was in the Van, when suddenly, so suddenly it drew a Curse from me, the Floor fell away into an Abyss........

from Captain Roland………

The Men on the other side drew two ropes back, and Legolas took up the third one and coiled it to carry on his shoulder. We raised our hands in farewell to our comrades, and stepped into the wide opening, into a cavern.

After the bright day, it took a few moments for my eyes to be able to see, but in any case there was not much. It was a large open space with a dusty unmarked floor. It narrowed at the back, the ceiling drew down, it became a passageway or tunnel obviously made by some hands, and this passageway we entered.

Legolas went first, carrying one of the torches we had improvised, and while at first it seemed poor light, as we became accustomed, it was sufficient. To my relief there was no water oozing from the smooth walls, nor was there any sound of water dripping. There was no sign of any living thing, not an insect even. Just silence. Our steps made little noise, and we did not speak.

We came upon a guardroom of some sort, large enough for a dozen men, with wide benches cut into the walls, and the remains of an ancient fire in the midst of the floor. Here we stopped and Legolas spoke, once again telling us we were free to turn back if we chose. He mentioned what I think we had all noticed, that there had been no sound of the door closing behind us. Upon being asked if he was leading us into a trap, he said he thought not. But he did say he thought we were being “drawn on” as he put it, and I was thinking so, too.

He asked us not to speak of the Owl, or the figure that he saw, or the Blue cloth, should we come upon any people. The Owl I understood, it is a powerful signal of Sorcery, as we are taught. The Owl is wise, and sees much, especially at Night. The figure could itself have been a Sorcerer. But the Blue cloth, well that puzzled me. I wished for you, Ron, with your knowledge of old Lore, but I did recall reading some old tales, and was wishing I had paid more attention! We are all pretty well agreed that Legolas is the one to do the talking, should any be required. We are going to be his mute companions, as far as possible!

We stopped to eat when we were all famished, and agreed that outside where the Sun was it would be early evening. It was decided to march along for a time before stopping to sleep, and so we did, walking until we began to stumble in weariness. Not Legolas. He stepped as lightly as ever, his tall form straight and his shoulders square as always. It is comforting, somehow, to travel with such a person (I nearly wrote Man). As luck would have it we came upon another wide place in the tunnel, a room as before with benches and a hearth. We made such beds as we could, and were in complete agreement that the Torch would be kept burning. Without it the Dark was unbearable, it was tried only for a few moments.

Did Legolas sleep? I cannot say. When I awoke to the murmur of voices, he was standing near our packs, talking to Sergeant Daeron, debating whether or no to make a Fire. Since we had the fuel, we decided to have a hot breakfast. Trooper Anborn noticed that the smoke was drifting strongly back along our path, evidently carried on a current of Air coming from ahead. That was good to see, it would not precede us, at any rate. So we ate our porridge and drank something approaching Tea, then took up our packs and walked on, much refreshed. Another day passed as before, then another night. Again the air carried the smoke of our little fire backward, and we became conscious, as we walked on this third day, that the floor sloped more strongly downward, and the current of air was now a Breeze in our faces. At no time had we come upon any side passages, and the floor had been smooth and always unbroken beneath our feet. So it came as a rude shock when Legolas stopped suddenly with what sounded like an Elven curse, and we saw a yawning pit before him.......