I dedicate this story to the memory of Steve Irwin, AKA The Crocodile Hunter. Steve was the ultimate Wildlife Warrior and he inspired this side of my Legolas even back in Surprises in the Greenwood. We miss you Steve…

Disclaimer: I don’t own Middle Earth or anything or Person therein which Tolkien created… I just torture them and return them when I am finished…

A/N – Please note that I have TWO SEPARATE series! They are NOT connected in any way! This story falls under the Elves and Dwarves Series which includes these stories in chronological order: (1) A Dragon Among Elves (2) Before The Sun Rises (3) Choose Your Battles Wisely (4) Surprises In The Greenwood (5) Shocks In Erebor (6) Chaos In Gondor

I don’t know whether to thank or curse Chrys for dropping the plot bunny in my lap… I’ll never get Never Alone finished this way… enjoy.

A Dragon Among Elves

By Nieriel Raina

Chapter 1

A Hasty Retreat

Year 2572 T. A.

About 450 years before the Council of Elrond…

Three elven patrols converged on the last spider nest in the area. The elves breathed a sigh of relief when they realized the fourth patrol had already dealt with this nest. Suiauthon, Commander of the Mirkwood patrols, gave the three patrols leave to rest until it was time to move on and return to the halls.

The eradication of the spider nests in this part of the wood had gone well. So far there were only two elves who had taken injury and none had been injected with the spiders’ numbing venom. In this last nest, all the adult giant spiders had already been killed. All that was left was to destroy the egg sacs containing the next generation of the foul eight-legged beasts.

Prince Legolas of Mirkwood, captain of the patrol enlisted to destroy this nest, watched as the last egg sac was burned, ensuring none of the eggs from this nest would hatch to further plague their wood. He smiled grimly, satisfied in a job well done.

Movement on the tree next to him caught his eye, and Legolas turned to find a small spider climbing in haste up the trunk. It was a young spider-ling, smaller than his fist but about twice the size of one of the sharp metal barbs that tipped his arrows. Fascinated, the prince watched the spider freeze as it realized it had been discovered. The spider-ling turned to face the elf, and immediately took up a defensive stance. Raising itself on its back legs, it lifted the front two to aid its fangs defending itself.

Alyan, patrol lieutenant, walked swiftly up to the prince, unaware of his captain’s distraction. “Captain, all spiders have been killed, and the egg sacs have been destroyed. What orders now, my lord? Shall we report to Commander Suiauthon? He awaits just outside the nest.”

When his captain failed to respond or to even look at him, Alyan turned his attention to the tree that had so captured the elven prince. His eyes widened at the site of the spider-ling, and he immediately raised his dagger to dispatch the small creature.

“HOLD!” the prince commanded, stopping the elf’s arm with a firm hand.

Alyan looked to his captain and prince in disbelief. “My lord? It is a spider-ling, the same as the others we have killed here. In time it will grow to giant size as its kin.”

Legolas turned an exasperated look on his lieutenant. “I am quite aware of what these things become, Alyan. I have not spent my entire life here to be ignorant of the wildlife! But look at it… so small, yet so brave. Its death is sure, still it turns and defends itself courageously.”

As the prince’s eyes turned back to the small creature, a look of awe filled his face and Alyan was reminded just who his captain was – the youngest prince of Mirkwood, captain of the spider patrol and renowned wildlife rescuer. It seemed there was not an injured or orphaned animal that the prince came upon, that he was not able to save. How many squirrels, deer, rabbits, even wolves and other critters had their prince brought home over the years? It was inevitable, he concluded, that Legolas would be fascinated by a spider-ling, even though the prince knew the thing would need to be destroyed.

So it was, that Alyan was taken quite off guard when the prince turned bright grey eyes back onto him. “Find me a container… with a lid… NOW!”

“HOLD, Alyan!” another commanding voice declared. Striding towards them was Suiauthon. “Your highness, you are NOT bringing that along with us! I will NOT allow it!”

Alyan watched as Legolas’ head lifted and the prince turned and glared at the commander. For a few moments, the lieutenant felt he was watching a children’s game in which a ball was tossed between two players, such did his eyes bounce between commander and captain.

“I am taking it, you cannot stop me!”

“I can and I shall! You do not have the authority remove that creature from here.”

“I am captain of this patrol!”

“And I command all patrols in this realm! NO!”

“I am the PRINCE OF MIRKWOOD! You do not order me in such as this!”

“Your father would skin me alive if I allowed this! Your safety falls to me when on patrol and I forbid you take that thing from this area. It will be destroyed! Now I remind you to remember your place, or captain will no longer be a title you hold.”

Legolas dropped his eyes, knowing in this matter, he was wrong. It was not his place to challenge Suiauthon’s authority simply because he bore the title of prince. Looking up again, he met the commander’s eyes evenly.

“Forgive me, I was out of line.”

Suiauthon nodded curtly and Alyan felt relief that the matter had been resolved so easily. Commander, captain and lieutenant turned their attention back to the spider-ling that had caused the outburst… only to find the spider was gone.

All three elves quickly scanned the area and each other, looking for the small creature. But in the confusion the spider-ling seemed to have made a hasty retreat and was no longer to be found.

Suiauthon turned a glare on the prince for this turn, but said nothing more of the matter. Turning sharply, he ordered the patrols to move out.

Deep inside Prince Legolas’ quiver, a small spider-ling found a nice dark place to curl up and go to sleep.



Suiauthon (Soo-ee-ow-thonn) – means ‘warlike’. Commander of the Mirkwood patrols. (Yes…the Sui is in memory of Steve’s dog)

Alyan (Ahl-yahn) – means ‘blessed’. Lieutenant of Legolas’ patrol

Legolas – Captain of the ‘spider patrol’, a patrol dedicated to eliminating Mirkwoods unwanted eight legged critters

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