Remember Me, Always
By: Leilani


It was calling to its master. The master had heard its call. Evil that had been rid from the land was now waking from its long slumber. The Ring of Power had been found…

Before the forming of the Fellowship the dark lord, Sauron, began constructing his new reign — the reign that could cover all of Middle Earth with a second age of darkness. Fire spouted from the top of Mount Doom, where it had since lay restless. Sauron’s fortress was being rebuilt, and evil was reclaiming its throne from the exile of peace. Saruman had united with the dark ways; his mind poisoned by Sauron the deceiver. The darkness was beginning to spread.

Chapter 1

Later in Mirkwood…

Legolas, Prince of Mirkwood, stood on a fallen tree near the edge of the forest, staring out into the distance. He had come out to the forest to be surrounded by the calm that it usually gave him, but what had he sensed? A strange darkness had filled his heart. It set upon him for only a few seconds and just as quickly as it had come it was gone. Something somewhere had happened. Some form of great evil was increasing in power from somewhere…
“Legolas!” The call sounded close to his elven ears, though it came from some distance away. The Prince of Mirkwood ran toward the voice. “Legolas” He recognized the voice now. It was his father’s. Legolas knew he shouldn’t have wandered out into the woods. It was too dangerous with the strange creatures roaming under cover of bush and tree. Times were especially dangerous now. When orcs were sighted on the borders of the great woods, it was forbidden to wander off alone.
Legolas started to run toward the voice. Long were the days gone when he would sit under the trees, speak with them and breathe in the fresh, light air. But now everything seemed dark and dim. Dark clouds hung like heavy blankets over the lands in the south. Even though they appeared to be clouds, Legolas could see that they were not. They were not clouds looming over the faraway land. It was smoke, and he suspected that that was where the sudden dismal shadow had come from.
He had sensed an orc’s evil aura before, and the black aura that had covered him like a veil was that of no orc. Legolas shuddered at the thought of the darkness, and ran faster at another call of his name. Maybe his father wouldn’t be so angry for his disobedience. After all, it was his birthday.

Thranduil, King of Mirkwood, stood on the steps in front of the royal family’s large home. Though he had seen many millennia, Thranduil’s face showed little sign of age. His robes of deep greens, golds and dark blues fell around him and draped down the stairs.
“Legolas. You know the dangers that threaten us.” The king’s brows were knotted with worry from the absence of his son, but his face relaxed as Legolas walked up the steps toward him. Thranduil studied his son’s troubled face for a moment.
Legolas would gladly tell his father about the shadow of darkness he had sensed, but he did not want to worry the king anymore than he already was. He looked up into his father’s eyes. They had a look of knowing to them, almost like he knew what was on Legolas’s mind.
Legolas began to explain his disappearance. “I am sorry for my disobedience, but the forest…I –” “It will be alright, Legolas. I understand.” The King of Mirkwood turned from his son to look out at the forest surrounding them. Then he turned back and looking at Legolas, he sadly admitted, “You are just like your mother once was.”
A far-away look set upon Thranduil’s eyes, and Legolas knew old memories had emerged from the depths of his father’s mind. He never knew his mother, but sometimes he could hear her voice singing the lullaby that had put him to sleep long ago. Sadly, her time with Legolas was very brief, for servants of the dark lord had taken her life when he was an infant.
Tears stung his eyes now. He could hear her voice but he couldn’t even see her face. Thranduil sensed what sorrow had arisen in his son’s heart. Gently placing his broad hand on Legolas’s shoulder, he quietly assured him, “I regret that your mother wasn’t here to see you grow into the fine elf standing before me. Even so, she would have been proud of you.” Softly patting the prince’s shoulder one last time, he departed toward the house. A stray tear fell down Legolas’s face, and ashamed of it, he quickly wiped it away.

Chapter 2

As he began walking down the stairs, Legolas’s heart lightened at the sight of a familiar face. An elf about the same age as Legolas sat on a bench reading a book. It was Dordhaer Brownleaf, Legolas’s closest friend. Like Legolas he had fair skin. He was also garbed in similar clothes to that of Legolas’s. His eyes were gray in color and he had brown hair worn in similar style that Legolas wore his hair.
Legolas silently descended down the ancient stairs of stone until he was looking down on the solitary elf. The elf looked up from his book and smiled. “Suilad, Legolas! Happy Birthday!” Dordhaer ran toward him. “Suilad, Dordhaer!” At the sight of his childhood friend, a smile slowly lit up Legolas’s face. Dordhaer stepped lightly up the stairs toward his friend. “Where have you been all this time? You weren’t out in the woods again, were you? You’ve been out there numerous times in the past week, Legolas. Is there something wrong?”
Dordhaer’s concerned eyes looked into Legolas’s. He could not tell his friend about the dark feeling he had experienced. There was enough worry about the orcs. Maybe what darkness he had felt was nothing at all, but deep down he knew that it was something, and maybe it had to do with the sudden appearance of the orcs. He did not want to worry his friend.
“I know what it is you have sensed if that is what is wrong.” Shocked, Legolas looked at his friend. “How?” Dordhaer’s face grew grim. “It would not surprise me if that shadow was cast on every elf in these woods. It was strong enough even for men to sense.”
Legolas looked down trying to reason out an answer for what had caused such a disturbance. Dordhaer continued, “I am not sure what could have caused all of this. Have you seen the clouds in the south? They are not clouds; they are smoke.” Solemnly, Dordhaer spoke again. “What do you propose we should do?”
Then Legolas realized that his father had sensed the darkness also. The heavy weight of guilt of not telling his father had left him. Legolas raised his head to look at his wary friend. With the newfound feeling of lightness, Legolas suddenly felt happier. After all it was his birthday. “Let us not dwell on this dark occurrence any longer.” Seeing elves entering the great dining hall reminded him that it was time for the feast in honor of his birthday. “Come. Let us go and eat with our friends. Perhaps our hearts will lighten from the dimness that had ensnared them.” Dordhaer smiled and the two elves ascended up the stairs toward the great dining hall, which now housed delicious food and elves seated at large tables.

Chapter 3

Music and singing could be heard upon arrival into the great dining hall. As soon as Legolas and Dordhaer stepped through the door, voices in unison shouted, “Happy Birthday, Legolas!” Quite embarrassed, Legolas walked toward his seat. Then the cooks started to bring the scrumptious food out to serve to the hungry company of elves. A large cake was brought out and set on the table. Thranduil was sat in the seat that was always reserved for the king. Legolas was entitled to sit next to him, but the seat usually remained empty because he always chose to sit next to Dordhaer. As Legolas passed his father, Thranduil smiled and quietly congratulated his son. “Happy Birthday, son.” Legolas smiled and took a seat next to Dordhaer.
Soon everyone was merrily talking with one another. Laughter erupted from the dining hall. The happy sound carried on the breeze throughout the forest. After the meal there was dancing and music. Elves partnered up and started to dance to the lovely tunes of the elvish instruments.
Dordhaer looked longingly at the beautiful elf, Verda. She was very fair-skinned, and her green eyes flashed with life. She wore a dress of the palest blue and her long red hair flowed freely down her back. Around her neck laid a necklace made of mithril. Encased in the valuable metal was a large gem, deep blue in color.
She looked at Dordhaer and smiled. Blushing, he smiled and then looked away. Legolas held back a grin at his friend’s shyness. Dordhaer started to think out loud. “If only I could just work up the courage to ask her…” Legolas broke a smile. “Ask her to dance?” Dordhaer half-smiled and then a sullen look came over him. “Yes but what if she says no?” Legolas took some fresh flowers out of the vase on the table and handed them to Dordhaer. “What if she says yes?” Dordhaer glanced at the flowers, then at Verda and then back at Legolas. Smiling again, Legolas motioned toward Verda. “Go ahead. You’ll be fine.” Dordhaer nodded and got up. He took a deep breath and started walking toward Verda, every now and then reassuring himself. Legolas laughed and called after him. “Good luck!”
As Legolas watched from a distance, Dordhaer approached Verda and gave her the flowers. Her eyes lit up, and she looked into his eyes and smiled. Soon they were dancing across the floor with other couples.
Looking around, Legolas saw many couples dancing together. Though many elven women often reached their love out to him, he could never return his love back. Most of them only wanted to marry Legolas for the riches and royalty that he had. Others only liked him because of his handsome features. Many who tried to win his love were rude and obnoxious, sometimes fighting over Legolas right in front of him. To say the least, none of the elves really loved him for who he was inside. Though there were many fine ladies in Mirkwood, none of them emerged as that ‘someone special’ to Legolas. Seeing Dordhaer and Verda made Legolas feel lonely and sad, yet at the same time he felt happy for the new couple. Legolas could see that they were made for each other. He only hoped that there was someone out there for him as well.
Glancing over at his father, his eyes met with his. His father’s eyes had the same look of knowing as they had before and Legolas was certain he knew about the shadow of darkness he had felt. His father smiled and nodded, which reassured Legolas that he knew of the darkness and that he wasn’t angry with him for hesitating to tell him.
Legolas smiled and a feeling of peace settled over him. He watched his father and other elders talking. He also watched Dordhaer and Verda dancing and laughing. Legolas felt safe and happy, oblivious to the outside world. The last thing he wanted to do on his birthday was worry.
Amid the happy sounds emitting from the hall and the smell of delicious food, no one would suspect anything was amiss. Pairs of eyes peered out from the looming shadow of the forest. Eyes that were watching…waiting…

Chapter 4

The festive party stretched late into the night. Soon, the company of elves retired to their homes for some much-needed sleep. However, Legolas and Dordhaer wandered to their secret place, which was near a large fallen statue. It was located in a clearing and was one of the few places nearby places where you could clearly see the sky. This had been their secret hideaway since they were young. Many times they had come there to play, to read or just to talk.
Legolas lay on his back with his arms crossed behind his head. He looked up at the peaceful stars. Dordhaer broke the silence. “Thank you, Legolas.” Legolas sat up and looked at his friend. “For what?” Legolas looked confused. Dordhaer smiled. “If you hadn’t had convinced me to ask Verda to dance, I would never have really gotten to know her. She wants to see me again, you know. It turns out she has feels the same way as I do.” Legolas smiled. “I’m glad to hear that. I knew you two would be a good match.” Dordhaer looked at Legolas with raised eyebrows. “What about you, Legolas? I’ll get you a dance with someone if you would like.” Legolas shook his head and stood up. “There is no need to, Dordhaer. I am not as fortunate as you to have found someone.”
Dordhaer stood up and tried to avoid the uncomfortable situation he had created for his friend. “Its getting late. I think we should retire and get some rest.” Legolas smiled and the two friends walked toward their homes. Legolas’s home was closer and he walked up the steps to the door of his grand house. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Dordhaer.” Dordhaer turned and smiled. “Good night, Legolas.” With another smile, he turned and kept on walking. Legolas wondered if he should walk with his friend home. Dordhaer’s home was some distance away, but the thought of the happy and peaceful night convinced Legolas that his friend didn’t need assistance. With one last glance Dordhaer walking in the distance, Legolas turned and entered his home.

Chapter 5

Drearily, Legolas walked up the stairs to his room, changed into his nightclothes and crawled into his freshly made bed. Two presents sitting on the table in his room caught his eye. They were not there before. Slowly Legolas got out of bed and walked over to the gifts. He read the tags to discover the gifts were from Dordhaer and his father. He was slightly little upset because he didn’t expect or want anyone to give him any gifts. He didn’t need any gifts to make his birthday special. Reluctantly, he opened the one from his father. Two elven blades emerged from the opened package. He examined them carefully, and guessed that they were once his father’s. Though they may have looked new, he could tell that they had seen battle.
Legolas went on to Dordhaer’s gift. As he opened it, a new quiver and nearly 20 arrows appeared from the wrapping. The arrows were brand new and the quiver must have been able to hold 60 arrows or more. Then, he discovered another package from Dordhaer. Legolas opened it, and found a book. It was entitled:

‘The Wonders of Mirkwood’
An Elf’s Tale
By: Dordhaer Brownleaf

Legolas marveled at it and promised himself he would read it. He knew how much Dordhaer appreciated books.
Carefully, he set the gifts down and returned to his bed. Exhausted, he was asleep as soon as he laid his head on the feather pillow.

Chapter 6

Shrill screeches rent the air and shattered the stillness of the peaceful night. Legolas sat bolt upright in his bed. How long was he asleep? Had he been dreaming?
There were more bone curdling screeches. “Orcs!” whispered Legolas. He shivered. There were many of them. Quickly, he dressed himself. Where did they come from? How many are there? Why were they here? Legolas was in a daze. His mind was spinning with questions and disbelief of what was happening.
His father burst through the door of his room. “Legolas! Orcs are upon us! They are destroying everything and taking lives as well. We are under attack!” Legolas grabbed his bow and filled his quivers with as many arrows as he could fit. He also equipped the twin elven blades he had just received. “Come, Legolas!” The two quickly descended down the stairs and out of the house.
The Royal Army of Mirkwood was already fighting off the horrid creatures. There were so many Legolas could not count them all. He shot a few that were after an elf and his family and turned to shoot at more that were slashing at trees.
Out of the corner of his eye, Legolas noticed a group of orcs with burning torches. They had set fire to some of the houses and elves were fleeing out of them right into the melee of battle. Putting his bow away, Legolas took out his twin elven blades and ran toward the destructive group. Slashing at the hideous orcs, he felled most of them using his perfected Orc Bane. Realizing two more orcs were behind him, he dodged a deadly blow from one of them and ran an elven blade through the other orc’s chest. The wounded orc fell and with an ear-piecing scream, breathed his last. Legolas focused on the other orc who was obviously more skilled than the other was. The much larger orc snarled at Legolas and tried to slash at him with its short sword. Legolas block the move, but he had underestimated the orc’s strength. The force of the blow sent both of the elven blades flying from Legolas’s hand. With nothing to defend himself with, Legolas dodged the blows of the orc’s sword. The orc’s advancements had boxed Legolas into a corner of trees and there was little space to avoid attacks. Legolas knew that if he stayed in this spot the orc would kill him for sure, but there was no way out.
Fear gripped Legolas, and he started to back up. The orc made a noise of what seemed to be an evil snicker. Looking for anything to get him out of the dangerous situation, Legolas noticed a vine overhead. The orc was close enough to run Legolas though with its sword. He had to act now if he wanted to live! Developing a plan as he went along, Legolas grabbed the vine and hoisted himself into the air just as the orc heaved the sword at him. The sharp weapon imbedded itself in the tree right were Legolas’s head had been moments ago. The orc was furiously trying to free its weapon from the trunk of the great tree, but the trunk showed little sign of giving up the sword. Legolas swung on the vine until he could swing clearly behind the orc. With one last heave, Legolas let go of the vine and landed behind the struggling orc. A few feet away were his twin elven blades. Grabbing them, he turned and faced the hideous creature. The orc whipped around and was surprised that his foe was now behind him. With one elven blade in hand, Legolas threw it at the orc. The blade buried itself into the throat of the evil creature. With its windpipe cut, the orc was silent and was dead before it slid to the ground.
Legolas picked up his weapons and hurriedly cleaned them off. He was surprised, for nearly all of the orcs were killed or driven out of the forest. Only about a score of them remained, and royal archers were making quick work of them.
Legolas relaxed slightly as all of the fell creatures soon lay motionless on the ground. Suddenly, a thought entered Legolas’s mind. Dordhaer. Where was he? Was he alright? A sick feeling of worry filled Legolas’s stomach. He hadn’t seen Dordhaer since he left for his home before they had retired for the night. Worried, Legolas ran toward Dordhaer’s house to look for his friend.

Chapter 7
Cries of pain could be heard from all around. The wounded and dead lay on the paths and under trees. The orcs had left a trail of destruction and death. As much as Legolas wanted to help the wounded, he had to find Dordhaer. Besides, the wounded were already receiving aid from other elves nearby. They would be alright.
Legolas continued toward Dordhaer’s house when suddenly, he heard someone crying. The sound was not far away. Whoever was crying was nearby. Legolas decided to find the owner of the distressed voice. If they were wounded, no one would find them so far away from the action. Quickly, Legolas ran through the forest. The crying grew louder with each step he took until finally, the voice was only a few steps away. He came around a tree and found the source of the crying.
Legolas was not prepared for what he saw. There, on the ground, lay Dordhaer. An orc arrow protruded from his chest, and his clothes around the arrow were soaked with blood. His eyes stared blankly into the sky.
The crying had come from Verda, who was kneeling on the ground next to Dordhaer. Her fine gown was now splotched with blood from the wounded body of her loved one. She sobbed into her hands, and every now and then she would gently stroke Dordhaer’s fair face.
As Legolas drew closer to them, Verda heard his advance and raised her head from her hands to look at him. Her eyes were red from crying and rivers of tears flowed down her face. Legolas did not want to hear her words of doom. What she would tell him would confirm the worst. With a shaky voice, Verda began to speak to Legolas. “Your, highness. Dordhaer…he is dead.” Her dreadful words spoken, Verda turned away from Legolas and buried her face into Dordhaer’s shoulder.
In disbelief, Legolas looked upon the awful scene. His heart believed that Dordhaer would wake up and be all right, but his mind knew the truth. Dordhaer was dead, and there was nothing Legolas or anyone else could do to bring him back. Realizing the horrible truth of what had taken place, sorrow engulfed Legolas’s heart. A noise came from his mouth and slowly, his first breath of grief grew into a tormented cry. Everything around him grew black. Legolas fell to his knees and sank into a dark hole of despair and disbelief.

Chapter 8
Legolas woke to find himself in his own bed. Pushing aside the covers, he sat up and looked around his room. On the table lay his cleaned weapons, and next to them lay Dordhaer’s book. It was an awful reminder of Dordhaer’s death. Legolas wondered how he would ever be able to read the book. He couldn’t even look at it, for the grief was still too near.
Legolas walked down the stairs and entered the dining room. His home felt strangely empty. Suddenly feeling lonely, he went outside. Perhaps a stroll along the paths would soothe his mind, but as he walked he found no comfort, for every place he looked were memories of Dordhaer. He saw the tree that they used to climb when they were young. Continuing to walk he couldn’t ignore the looks of sympathy passing elves were giving him. Some shook their head and looked away. Ignoring them, Legolas kept on walking.
Then he came upon a fountain. This was where Legolas had pushed Dordhaer into the fountain as a joke when they were young. Legolas remembered Dordhaer’s laughing face as he climbed out of the fountain, soaking wet. Dordhaer laughed a lot, and Legolas would never forget that cheerful laugh or smile. But alas, Dordhaer would laugh no more.
Once again overcome with grief, Legolas walked over to a bench near the fountain and sat down. Hot tears stung his eyes and slowly rolled down his cheeks. How could this happen? Why Dordhaer? Legolas looked at the ground and silently began to sob. The tears fell off of his face and splashed onto the ground where they were absorbed by the rich soil of the forest.
He did not see the figure approaching him from behind. A hand rested gently on Legolas’s shoulder. Startled, Legolas turned around and looked up at the stranger. He found himself looking not at a stranger, but his father. Silently, Thranduil sat down next to his son. “I am sorry, my son. For you should never have had to bear this grief.” Legolas looked down. “Its not fair! Why was he taken from us so suddenly! Why did he have to die?!” Suddenly, Legolas remembered that night when Dordhaer was killed. He had decided against escorting his friend home. A horrible thought entered Legolas’s mind. It was his fault! He could have saved Dordhaer had he had been there!
Legolas looked up into his father’s eyes, his tears flowing freely. “Forgive me, father! I am at fault for Dordhaer’s death. I had decided against escorting him home, but alas, my decision was poor. Dordhaer’s blood is on my hands!” He looked down and clenched his fists as more tears ran down his cheeks. Thranduil put an arm around his son. “There was nothing you could have done, for this evil cannot be contained. Do not place blame on yourself when there are others at fault.”
Confused, Legolas looked up. “Others?” Thranduil’s face turned grim and he let out a long sigh. “You have heard of the Dark Lord Sauron in tails and in legends but I fear that now those legends and stories of the past are repeating themselves.” Legolas looked at his father in disbelief. “The darkness I had felt… it was…? Thranduil looked at Legolas. “Sauron. I am not sure quite yet but I don’t know of any other being with such dark power.” Legolas could not believe what he was hearing. It was impossible. Sauron had been destroyed.
Thranduil continued. “Lord Elrond of Rivendell has requested my presence at a special council meeting. This may be news to you since you have been asleep for nearly two days.” Thranduil smiled slightly at the surprised look on Legolas’s face. “Two days?” Thranduil smiled now. “Surprised are you? In the condition you were in I thought you would be out much longer than you were.”
He continued about the council. “Apparently elves as far as Rivendell have sensed this great darkness, and Lord Elrond has informed me that The One Ring has been found, and its bearer is a hobbit. Though he requests that I attend the council, I fear that I cannot leave Mirkwood, especially after the incident that had just recently occurred. Therefore, I am passing this duty onto you, my son. I know you will fair well and you are younger than I am. You could make the journey quicker than I could. What do you say.” Most of the rivers of tears had dried from Legolas’s face. “I would be honored to carry out this responsibility. I will not fail you.”
One stray tear fell down Legolas’s cheek. Thranduil stood up and looked down at his son. “Try not to dwell in grief for too long, Legolas. Dordhaer wouldn’t have wanted you feeling guilty and miserable.” Brushing all the tears that remained from his face, Legolas stood up. Thranduil patted his son’s shoulder. “You leave tomorrow after Dordhaer’s funeral.” Legolas nodded. Thranduil patted his shoulder once more and walked back toward their home. With one last glance back at the fountain, Legolas followed his father home.

Chapter 9

Dordhaer’s funeral was a blur. There had been other funerals for the elves that had fallen that fateful night, but this funeral hit close to home for many. Many elves came to pay their respects to the good-hearted elf. Most of them went over to Legolas to comfort him. Though their words were kind and sincere, Legolas found little comfort in them. He saw Dordhaer’s family weeping in front of his dead body. Legolas could not bear the sight of his younger sister’s tear-filled eyes. There was so much hurt in their eyes, Legolas could hardly look at them.
As Legolas passed Dordhaer’s body, he looked into his eyes. They were eyes that had once been filled with life and laughter. Now they were eyes that would never see again. Later that day, they buried Dordhaer under the tree where they used to play when they were young. Legolas stared at the new mound. It was still hard to accept that that was his friend beneath the ground.
A few feet over stood Verda was standing alone. Legolas walked over to her. As she lifted her head to look at him, he could see trails of tears down her cheeks. Without a word, Legolas walked over and hugged her. Verda’s grief poured out as she sobbed into Legolas’s shirt. “I wish this had never happened.” Legolas looked down at her. “I share your wish. None of us would have wanted this to happen. Now he is gone forever.” Verda pulled away from him, her tears drying up. “But you are wrong, Legolas. Do not ever feel that Dordhaer is gone forever. True he is dead in body, but not in spirit. Dordhaer will be with you and with me always. He is with us in our hearts.” She smiled and looked down. Legolas marveled at her. “You truly loved him.” Verda looked at him. “I would have gone to the ends of the earth with him. Though he is dead, he will never leave my heart as long as I live.” She looked at Legolas again. “May peace go with you on your journey to Rivendell. You represent us all, Legolas.” Legolas took her hand. “I will not fail you or our people. Dordhaer’s death will not have gone in vain.” He let her hand go.
She walked over to the grave of Dordhaer and set some flowers on the mound. As she stood up, she spoke to Legolas one last time. “Naramir, Legolas.” She turned and quietly walked away. When she was some distance away she turned again and waved. Legolas waved back. “Naramir.”
After Verda had gone out of sight, Legolas walked over to the mound. He looked at the stone on the grave that bore his friend’s name. Slowly, he sank to his knees in front of the grave. “I guess this is good bye. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to save you, Dordhaer. Verda and I will miss you along with many others. Whatever happens at Rivendell, I’ll make sure you will not have died in vain. I will not fail you, Dordhaer. We will always be friends to the end. Good bye, Dordhaer.”
With all said, Legolas placed a package on the grave of his friend. Inside the package was a book that Legolas had written that morning. The book was entitled: Friends to the End, and it told of all the memories, happy and sad, that Legolas and Dordhaer shared together. Legolas had made two copies. He made one for Dordhaer and one for himself, so he could read it and never forget the good times he had with his friend.
Legolas stood up. Though his eyes were filled with tears, none of them fell. A new sense of determination filled his heart. He had made a promise to Dordhaer, and he would make sure this never happened again. With one last glance at Dordhaer’s grave, he turned and walked toward his home to pack for his journey.

Chapter 10
Soon, Legolas was packed and ready to leave. He sat upon a white horse in front of his father and half of Mirkwood who surrounded him. “Be careful and make sure to stay on the trail. It is the fastest route to Rivendell. Send a rider once you have get there to inform me that you arrived safely.” Legolas smiled. “I will be fine, father.” Thranduil gave a small smile. “I know you will.” Legolas smiled again. “Navaer, father. I will return home safely.” Thranduil returned the good bye. “Navaer, Legolas.” With that, Legolas turned his horse and galloped away. Thranduil looked after him. “May the grace and power of our people protect you, Legolas.”
As he was leaving Mirkwood, Legolas looked around a last time at his home. He had never left his home before now, but he was confident and knew he had a job to do. Legolas passed many places that sparked memories of Dordhaer. This time he smiled at the memories and would cherish them forever.
Suddenly, Legolas became aware of someone singing. It was Verda. He could recognize her beautiful voice anywhere. He listened as she sang a lament for Dordhaer. It was beautiful and heartfelt. Legolas looked up at the sky as he rode across a large clearing in the woods of Mirkwood, as if to see the Dordhaer looking down at him. “I will never forget you, Dordhaer, and I hope you too will never forget me. For until I join you, wherever you may be, never forget me and remember me always.”
As Legolas passed the last trees of Mirkwood, he looked back at his home one last time. Verda’s song had grown faint. Then, Legolas started to sing his own lament for Dordhaer.
The figure of Legolas on his horse drew further away from Mirkwood and closer to Rivendell; his clear voice singing the lament that filled the air and carried on the breeze for all the land to hear.

The End

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