Emeralds and Ice


A strange elf has been found outside of Imladris, he is black and terribly wounded and nobody, not even Elrond can make sense of what he is. But te King of Mirkwood do take an interest in the stranger and the truth about this black skinned beauty is to be revealed.

Thriller / Romance
Age Rating:

Death in darkness

He was cursed. He had been cursed since the first moment he did draw breath, since he opened his eyes. He was cursed by his mere existence, by his blood, his looks and his name. He was cursed by the place in which he had to live, by a society which only valued strength and ruthlessness. He was cursed by his family and their ambition and he was cursed by his own weakness. There was no place for tenderness here, no place for things like compassion or love and yet he had wandered off the straight and narrow and now he was paying the price and it was the ultimate one. He wasn’t even regarded as worthy of becoming a sacrifice to Lolth, not even useful as drider food. It had all been for nothing and yet he couldn’t help but feeling a faint glimpse of pride, of hope. At least he had done something good in his life, one last act of defiance, of spite. Maybe she would make it, maybe she would live and maybe his son or daughter would face a better destiny than the one he was forced to endure.

The end of him was inevitable, he was dying a slow death but oddly enough there wasn’t much pain, it was almost confusing for pain had been his constant companion for many years now, a constant reminder of his worth and his status. He could look back upon his life and contemplate it all and the tale it told wasn’t a happy one at all. He could count his good memories on his fingers. Breathing became harder with each wheezing breath, the cold stone floor underneath him slick with his drying blood and the silence was deafening. If there only had been something there, other than the darkness and the knowledge that his life had been forfeit from the moment he was pushed out of the womb.

He had been born as the first son of the matron of the house, and he had often cursed that fact. It would have been better to have been the third, and been put to death right after he first saw this world in which he had been forced to live. But alas, he was the first son born to Matron Avarice of the house of Shalann. She had seven daughters before him, ambitious hard hearted priestesses and they all wished for one thing and one thing alone. To climb within the ranks of this twisted and dark society. The house had not even been regarded as one of the noble ones, the matron was a merchant and she had always been careful not to be too obvious in her ambition. That changed when the house of Do’urden was wiped out and the power balance shifted. Suddenly there was room available and every lowly house was scrambling to fill the void. Avarice was not one of those who would kill her way to the top, oh no, that was way too risky. She was smarter than that, she used her experience as a merchant and bought her way to the rank of nobility. Everybody who was someone owed her favours and she knew just how and when to demand those favours returned. She was safe in her seat, without her many would face problems and of all the nobles there she was the one who probably would outlive the rest.

But then she had a son, one single male offspring and as always she was practical. The baby had been unusually large and long and it was a terrible birth but she survived and deemed that even this backlash could be used for something, to her advantage. The boy had been raised by servants until he reached the age of six, then the weapon master of the house did take over his training. That was when he got a name, the mother hadn’t even bothered with that. To her he was a thing, an object she could do whatever she wanted to and she had her plans ready. The weapon master stared at the boy who already was as tall as one twice his age and mumbled “Zhay”

And from that day on that was his name, Zhay. It wasn’t even a name for it was a sort of slang word which was used to describe whether something was useable or not. So he was useable, barely.

He had been privileged and the thought left a bitter taste in his mouth, he had not understood why he suddenly was being fed better than before. Why the small and cold closet which had been his room since birth was switched for a larger and warmer one. He didn’t understand why he no longer was being beaten if he did something wrong, but he was glad the change had come and he was intelligent enough to understand that he had to continue to do his best. He was taught well, the servants had managed to beat some sound respect into him. He would never look at a female unless asked to, he would never talk to a female and always bow to the will of a female. And he would always obey whatever order he was given, immediately and without ever asking questions.

He was growing fast, and even if he was given basic training he sort of felt that it was different. He wasn’t being prepared for the academy and he didn’t understand why. As the firstborn son his fate would most usually have been the school of sorcery, he would have become a magician and been tasked with protecting their house from magical attacks. It was less likely that a first born son would be placed in the Mele-Magthere and be trained to be a warrior but it did happen every now and then, if the talent was there. He had received a very different training, not focusing on skills but on his body and his control over it. He was forced to lift heavy weights, to run and do acrobatics and he often cried himself to sleep at night, so stiff and sore he could barely move. As he matured he knew that there was a reason behind it and he dreaded to find out what it was. He was fed only the best food and it was wonderful for he had spent the first decade of his life starving most of the time, meat and vegetables were expensive and yet he was given all that he could eat. It did make him worried but he couldn’t say no, he had to eat when the plate was placed in front of him.

He was made to run, to dance, to do acrobatics and the weapons master did never cut him any slack. The discipline was rock hard and absolute and he was often punished but never in such a way that he could become scarred. His mother did never bother with him, he barely saw her and his sisters ignored him too, they saw him as something not even worthy of their attention and he did try to be invisible most of the time. His key to survival was to obey and listen, the weapons master had been very clear about that. The society into which he was born accepted no weakness, no flaws. To be weak was to be dead, easy as that and feelings were something nobody would even discuss. He kept his locked away, hidden from view, hidden at times even from himself.

He was twenty and at the age when he should have been sent off to the academy when he realized what his mother had in store for him. He had grown into something which was very rare among the drow, a very tall wide shouldered male with a beauty which made many stop and stare the few times he was allowed outside of the house. He was groomed and taken care off as if he was some prized animal and there were slaves busy with taking care of his skin and hair. He was a rarity in many ways, not only his height which was in itself strange but also his eyes, they were a deep dark green, like good emeralds or the moss which did grow on the rocks of moist places. They had kept his hair long, it did reach his knees and was thick and silky and he knew that he did look exotic and beautiful. The matron had spared no expenses with him and he had even been tattooed, with white and golden ink. The drawings elegant and beautiful and yet he didn’t understand why they did all these things to him. He was only a male and not even trained for war or protection. He had dreamed of becoming a famous warrior or a strong magician and do wonderful things but those dreams were the dreams of a naïve child and he already knew that fate had something else in store for him, had he only known what.

There should have been no reason for them to take care of him in such a manner unless there was something the matron wanted from him and he already knew how ambitious she was, and how ruthless her way of thinking could be. He had been shaken awake early one morning by a slave as always, then he had been taken to the bath for a wash and been given some food. He had waited for the weapons master to arrive to take him away for more training but instead one of his sisters had entered the room. He had kept his eyes on the floor, he had never seen the face of any of his kin and he feared to even be in the same room as them. She had stared at him, if he had dared to look at her he would have seen an almost sardonic grin on her face. “Come with me”

He got up and nodded, he was only wearing a pair of loose pants and sandals and felt insecure. “I am not decent?”

She almost barked. “It matters not, come!”

He had followed her, meekly and with a feeling of rising dread, what was this? He was just a male after all, maybe the matron had decided to get rid of him? That he wasn’t worth the trouble?

They had walked through a part of the palace he never had visited before, he was shivering when they reached their destination, a room he could only describe as luxurious. The female did sneer at him. “Mother has spent huge amounts of our resources on you, if you do not make it worth it I can assure you that the Goddess will be thrilled by such a lovely piece of meat on her altar.”

He didn’t answer, his heart beating like a war drum in his chest. She pushed him inn through the door. “Obey her, or else I will have your hide”

Zhay did tremble, he was staring at a bedroom and there was a female there, one he didn’t know. And even worse, she was naked. He had no idea of where to put his gaze so he stared down at the floor and confusion was fighting with fear of domain over his thoughts. He had never been alone with a female who wasn’t his sister and he didn’t know what to do, what to say. She sighed, a loud sound and she did smack her lips together. “Avarice didn’t lie, you are beyond gorgeous but that won’t matter much unless you can perform. Off with it”

He did dare to raise his gaze for a swift second, utterly confused. “What?”

She shook her head. “Your pants, off with them, now!”

He had to obey, his hands shaking as he did pull the garment off and she did walk closer to him, he was sweating, what was she doing? The female chuckled. “And she was right about this too, indeed blessed. I think you will become most satisfying, the tool is rather impressive”

Zhay did tremble, what was she talking about? And where was he to look now, she was standing so close to him he felt her scent and it did awaken some odd new feelings within him, feelings he didn’t understand and it scared him. She almost giggled. “Scared young one? Oh don’t be, do what I ask of you and I am sure the matron will be happy to see her investment returned to her, tenfold. “

He yelped, that certain part of his body had started to react to the sweet scent of her and he tried to cover himself with his hands. She simply tore them aside and smacked him over his cheek, hard. “Do not do that, do not try to hide your assets, you have a huge cock and a strong body, it is your one value. This is what you are for boy, and I will make sure that your services will be sought after by all”

Zhay had no words, he just felt terrified and ashamed and confused and above it all warm, and strange and there was some sort of ache within him which he never had felt before. She smiled and he saw that she was rather pretty, suddenly he couldn’t draw his eyes away from her dark breasts with their hardened nipples and the slit between her legs where he could see a small hint of something pink. He had never seen a female before so close up and absolutely not naked or in real light “Do not worry first boy, you will enjoy this”

She reached down and grasped onto his cock and Zhay had to gasp, he tried to pull back against the wall but couldn’t and she chuckled. It felt like an electric shock, nobody had ever touched him before and it was both wonderful and terrifying at the same time. She had started to move her hand and it felt so good he was in tears. “Good yes? Remember this, you will never fail to satisfy the woman you are brought to, if you do the pain will be beyond anything you can imagine!”

She grasped his balls and squeezed and the pleasure turned to white hot pain, he had to double over, almost retching with the agony. His mind spun with horror and she let go and forced him to look up at her face. “Understand?”

He had to nod, shivering still with fear and pain. She smiled and kissed his cheek. “Good, I will teach you all about pleasure and how to bring pleasure to a female, you will be the matrons most prized possession, and believe me, if you do your job well you will be very popular indeed. You are large and strong and beautiful and will sire strong daughters.”

He felt his heart drop and his mouth was dry, so that was the matron’s plan, he was to become a breeding slave?! The female laughed. “Don’t look so frightened young one, it is an honour. Do your duty now and I will show you every secret you need to know”

She had taken him by the hand and lead him to the bed and he had followed her without any words, his mind too crushed by the truth to be able to fully comprehend this. She had indeed taught him well, and at first she had been almost gentle with him, understanding even. He had never imagined this and he had never been taught anything about sex at all so it was all completely new to him. The first time he did come he fainted and she giggled and held him until he did awaken again. There was joy in it, this had awakened his natural lusts and for a while he was eager to learn and experience more. She did show him so much and taught him about things he previously had no idea about. It felt so good and he was forgetting his initial fear and shock, he wanted to please the matron and knew that his life did depend on his skills so he tried to be as observant as possible. He was young and vigorous and as he became fully awakened sexually he found that he craved these things almost constantly. But he wasn’t allowed to please himself, if she believed that he had tried to seek release on his own she would hurt him in ways which made him scream in agony more than once. His pleasure meant nothing, only that of his partner and his seed should never be spilled except when it could be spilled within a female.

After his training he was aware of every possible way one could satisfy a female, and he had confidence in his skills but he did soon learn that even his new skills were no hindrance when it came to the sadism of the priestesses. He had been taught about dominance and submission and he had to submit. He had to submit himself to torture and humiliation and still he was expected to fuck well, and come too. At first he had no problems with it, he was so full of hormones not even the worst pain could stop him from getting hard and doing his job. He had to fuck at least twice a day and sometimes more and the matron did brag about him. He was indeed a prized possession and she did not sell him to the first bidders for sure. No, they had to pay a lot and he knew that failure would mean beatings so he did his best all the time.

The rest of the day he was forced to train and then he was bathed and groomed and prepared for the next customer and it became a routine and one he dreaded. He shivered each time the servant came to bring him to that bedroom again and he felt as if he never could get clean again. The scent of them were on his skin, in his blood and when he slept he had nightmares where they sucked the very life out of him. He witnessed perversions beyond description and he was bought by those who found their release through watching him in agony. There was only one rule, no permanent damage to the goods and thus he was never seriously injured nor scarred but the priestesses knew how to inflict pain in ways which never left any marks on the body. He was starting to fear each new day, cursing his own cowardly heart for he didn’t dare to end himself. He didn’t always manage to get hard now and he was given herbs which made sure that his cock did its job each time. It had become a routine, a show he had to put on in order to live. He never felt lust anymore, not even interest but he had to pretend as if he did find those females desirable beyond description.

His nights were filled with terror and tears and he knew exactly what he was, a toy. One which may be tossed away whence it breaks and he feared being sacrificed more than anything else. Sometimes there was more than one female present and he had to satisfy them all, that was when he blessed the herbs and the fact that they also made him come if the stimulation was continuous, even if he felt no pleasure. It was just an automatic reaction the herbs did trigger and didn’t require any pleasure at all. He did no longer desire females, he feared them and their cruelty and wicked ways and he wished yet again that he had been killed at birth. So many of them did horrible things to him, just to see him writhe in agony and they laughed when he screamed. Trying to stay cool and hide his pain was stupid, he had learned that by now. There could be no pride and no strength, only complete submission and obedience to the desires of the female he was sent to satisfy and if she wanted to cause him pain it was his duty to perform well even when it shouldn’t have been possible for any living being. He was a whore, for sale to the highest bidder and he had no idea of for how long he had been kept thus. The days did melt together into one ever lasting nightmare and his tears had dried up.

He learned to read the females, to anticipate their demands before they were even explained and his heart was dying within him. One more day, just more work to do, to ensure the wealth of the matron. He had given up, become a machine which didn’t have a will of its own at all. Automatic reactions all that there were, all that he was. His wounds and injuries were taken care off by the healers, potions poured down his throat every day to fix everything from deep gashes to fractures. The society of the drow was based on sadism and he did see this in all its terrifying dark glory. He did look amazing still but his eyes were dead and empty and his smiles hollow and fake. His looks were never allowed to fade, there was still servants grooming him every day, polishing his nails and trimming his hair and making sure his skin was baby soft.

Then one day he was taken to the room again rather late in the evening and to his shock there wasn’t a female there. It was three males and he didn’t understand until they grasped onto him and pulled him down on the bed. He had heard rumours, he wasn’t stupid but he had never truly believed that males could do that to each other. Now he learned the harsh truth. These three had been rewarded by their matron and he was the reward. His screams did only make them more eager and he had fought them with all his might but to no prevail. He had never been trained to be a warrior, these were the very best of their house and he didn’t stand a chance. His body was toned and muscular but it was all about his looks, not real strength. He was raped that night, over and over again. They used him in manners he hadn’t even imagined in his worst nightmares and when they were done the following morning he was so weak and injured there was a chance he might die.

The matron was angry but didn’t punish them, he did survive without scars and that was what mattered to her but he had to rest for several weeks and they had to pay compensation for the lost income. Zhay was broken, his spirit so injured he no longer saw any hope, any joy. He had nothing to look forward to, no way to become more than just this, a thing for use. He was cursed and there was nothing he could do about it. Then the matron decided that he was free for all the females of the household, they shouldn’t have to pay for him and now he suddenly got even more to do than before. He went from one bed to the next and had to drink those horrible potions all the time to be able to perform. He hated sex, he hated everybody and everything and at least that was something he had in common with the other drow within this dark realm. Hatred was the only emotion which was accepted there and he had a lot of it, he hated himself most of all.

From that day on he did often receive men too and he was terrified each time, the incident with the three warriors had shown him how little he really could do to protect himself and how helpless he was. He was at their mercy each time and he loathed being touched, each time it felt as if he died a little bit more inside and only the dark hollow feeling within did grow. He learned how to please other males as well, a virtue born out of sheer desperation and the matron was pleased with him. Nobody had complained about him yet and he did never try to protect himself, he did accept all that was done to him without complaints. Like the dumb beast he was forced to become, was expected to be.

Since he was the breeding slave of the entire household he had no right to say no if a female asked for his attention, he had to be on service all the time and the house slaves did often order him to their beds, enjoying knowing that they could have for free what the haughty priestesses had to pay to touch. He had no idea if any of the females he had been more or less forced to fuck had born him offspring. Father was an unknown word within this world, and he stopped thinking about it. If he hadn’t it would have driven him mad and if he was to stay alive he had to think clearly.

Then one evening he was stopped by one of the kitchen slaves, a young and skinny female with a heart shaped face and large eyes. He hadn’t seen her before, she was new there and she did order him to her bed like many others did almost daily. He had grown tired of it all by then, he knew it was dangerous and a sign that the end could be near but he didn’t care anymore. He no longer had any will to live and it was visible too. The matron didn’t ask for that much anymore and there were rumours that his replacement was already in training. He didn’t care, he longed for death, for real rest. Anything was better than the hell he was living in now. The kitchen slave was very young and couldn’t have had many lovers before for she was tight and acted as if he did hurt her but she didn’t complain and she didn’t try to stop him. She didn’t speak to him at all and when he was sent off back to his room he felt an odd sensation of curiosity.

She asked for him again, some days later. This time she did touch him, caress him and it was so unusual it almost made him loose his cool. But he did what he always did and then he returned to his room as usual but with one treasure though, her name. She had whispered it to him, she was Bezhra and he let the word caress his tongue as he laid waiting for sleep that night.

Bezhra did take him to her bed often now, almost every day and for the first time in years he did look forward to bedding anyone. She was gentle and it became love making instead of fucking. It was dangerous and yet he didn’t care for it brought life back into his body and he found that he did care about her. She was so shy and so fragile and he wanted to protect her and keep her safe. His orgasms became real too, not forced forth by the herbs and there was real pleasure when they were together. But they had to be careful and not even in the darkness of her room did they reveal their feelings. No words were exchanged between them but the truth could be read in their eyes when they were together. Zhay had no concept of love, it was as foreign to him as the surface of this world but his heart knew the truth and they both treasured this strange gift.

They couldn’t meet that often, it would be suspicious so Bezhra did only send for him once a week or less and he had to endure the touch of others in the meanwhile, spill himself into their insatiable bodies while he thought about Bezhra and felt like the most wretched creature that were. The few moments with her were heaven and he lived for them and them alone.

They kept their romance hidden for some years and it was what kept Zhay going, what kept him alive. Then one evening she sent for him again and he did enter her room and saw that she was crying. She tried to smile but couldn’t and he felt bewildered and scared, had she decided not to see him again? She sniffled and took his hand and then she laid it on her belly and there and then he did understand. The world changed within that very second and he stared at her wide eyed and in shock and fear. How was he to protect her now? She was a slave, being heavy with child would most likely lead to her being sold, or worse.

She whimpered and held his hand and he knew there and then that his life had no value whatsoever if he couldn’t save her. It was his sole purpose from now on and he felt an odd determination within.

When he was taken back to his room he did work on a plan, it was risky but had to work. There were servants within the house who weren’t slaves and he did have a few things of value, things he had been given by the customers. Mostly jewellery and other trinkets and he had no real idea of their value but he had to try. So he did manage to bribe one of the servants into smuggling Bezhra out of there, and another one into taking her to somebody who would take her to another city where she could work and live with a new identity. It did take all that he had but it was all that he could do and he did kiss her goodbye and felt as if his heart was being ripped out of his chest as he watched her go.

He tried to tell himself that it was for the best, but the ache in his chest was real and if he could have escaped with her he would have but the matron would have hunted him down. A kitchen slave however wasn’t worth the attention and he was right. Nobody did even notice that she was gone, and for a few weeks he had hope that maybe he too one day could get out of there and maybe join her. But the hope was crushed, and in a brutal manner. His sisters came to him, two of them, the oldest of them and the most evil minded. They demanded that he did service them and even if the idea did sicken him he had to obey. He felt dirty and horrible and yet he did his outmost to satisfy the two harpies. They did harm him, and they found great joy in humiliating him but he didn’t complain and he didn’t try to avoid them in any way.

Having to fuck his own sisters was below anything he had ever done before and he was sure the gods would punish this, it was a sin, even in this depraved and perverted society. To his horror they returned some days later and demanded an encore and when they were finished he was bleeding from many cuts and on the verge of a complete collapse. One of them didn’t like to wash and did stink and yet she demanded that he did lick her to completion and the other one had placed some sort of magical device around his cock and balls and it had squeezed so tight he couldn’t come. His entire groin was burning with pain and his balls were swollen and so tender the smallest touch made him scream. And that was just the start of it, the two did come to him rather often and each time they did take it further, he was sure they would kill him in the end.

Then it was discovered by the matron, the two daughters were denounced immediately and thrown out of the house, they lost their title as priestess and were suddenly paupers and even worse, branded. They had committed one of the few sins known to drow society and thus they had to carry the sign of it for the rest of their lives. Zhay had been dragged off and thrown into a dungeon after having been beaten tortured and raped repeatedly by the guards, he was going to die and he knew it. There would be no healers this time, no healing potions to knit together torn flesh and replace lost blood.

The dungeon had no light and even a drow’s light sensitive eyes saw naught there. Not even heat was visible in this black hole and he just laid there, broken and abandoned. Life was slowly leaving him and his body was shivering from fever and cold. He didn’t fight it, didn’t try to live at all. He had always known that the end would come and perhaps this was a mercy. He was dying alone, protected by the darkness. It was better than dying screaming on some altar while a priestess cut his still beating heart out of his chest. He had several fractures and many deep gashes across his back. They were infected and oozed and he knew that his soul probably would end up in hell for what he had allowed himself to be used for. But there was one glimpse of light, one hope. Even if he did die now Bezhra could have made it, the one good thing in his life. Yes, even his death was worth it if she was safe, he accepted the end and as the light vanished from his emerald eyes her name was his last conscious thought.

The small group of elves were on their way back to Imladris, they had been out on patrol for more than two weeks and they were longing to return to their safe haven. They had been killing more than ten dozen orcs to the southwest of the Ettenmoors and now they looked forward to decent food and rest. Their captain was experienced, a noble noldo who had once been a part of Gil Galad’s court and he was known for having quite a temper and also lots of skills when it came to being a leader. Everybody trusted Arastion and knew that he would do his outmost to keep everybody safe. They rode along a bridle path and it was well hidden, they were already near Imladris and the magic of the place could be felt even here. At least to elves that was, others wouldn’t notice anything. Arastion was riding in front of the group, they were just twenty and all wore armour and rode good long legged steeds who also longed to get back to their home.

They were crossing a river heading for a sharp turn in the road when Arastion’s horse suddenly started to act up, it did take a few steps sideways and snorted and threw its head and the rider did try to calm it down but with no luck, the horse was whinnying and dancing around and some of the other horses started to copy him. The chestnut stallion did most certainly smell something and the elves did stop and grasped their weapons. Could there be orcs this close to the borders? One of the scouts did shout. “My lord, over by that beech, by the roots!”

Arastion did jump off the horse and he did see something in the shadows underneath the large tree. It was very dark whatever it was and he did cringe, he could smell something now and it was most certainly the scent of infection and decay. Could it be some dead animal? A dead orc perhaps? He did gesture towards the others and two of the front riders did dismount and joined him in case this was some sort of trap. They moved forth very slowly, weapons drawn and Arastion did gasp. He saw something he never had encountered before and he had no idea of what it was. It had the shape of a human or elf but the skin….It was black, black as pitch and it was alive for it was shivering. Could this be some sort of orc? The bodyshape wasn’t twisted the way it usually is with that race, as a matter of fact this did remind him of an elf and as they got closer his eyes got wider and wider. What the faint light of the forest did reveal was both stunningly beautiful and utterly alien at the same time. His first officer did wet his lip. “My lord, is that some sort of orc?”

Arastion did shake his head slowly. “No Halador, that is no orc, but it isn’t an elf either, at least not a type I have heard of before. “

Zhay had not anticipated to ever open his eyes again, but suddenly he felt things anew and he was startled and confused. He felt terribly cold and the pain was everywhere, so strong it felt as if he was burning alive. He did not wish to open his eyes, the flames of hell was surely what awaited him and he whimpered and held his eyes closed, the fear made his heart thunder in his chest. Then he heard something odd, a sort of loud sound and the ground did tremble underneath him and he felt scents which were alien to him. There was a scent which did remind him of his own people but also something very alien and strong and he dared to open one eye a little. The light was so bright it forced him to close it again right away but he had seen something, although faintly.

Zhay had been told the stories of the surface, the stories all young drow were told. Of how the surface elves had forced them to live within the underdark and how cruel and horrible they were, even compared with the drow. He had heard of their hatred of his kin, of the way they would mutilate and torture prisoners and Zhay just knew it, he was being punished now, for every conceivable sin of his life. These were surface elves beyond any doubt, he was on the surface and the light would burn him if these creatures didn’t kill him right away. He heard footsteps, light and swift and he felt a sort of resignation, there was no escape now was there? Even if he had ended up on the surface somehow death would claim its prize as it always did. He just hoped that these elves wouldn’t torture him before they killed him.

He heard words he didn’t understand and the sound of a blade being pulled from its sheath and he couldn’t help it, he let out a whimper of fear and squeezed his eyes shut, tried to think of Bezhra and the baby, of something better than his death. Tears did flow down his face and he whispered her name, slowly curling into a fetal position in spite of the agony, a last instinctive attempt at protecting himself. He had pissed himself in his fear and it was just such a very pathetic way to go, like a beast lead to the slaughter.

Arastion did go closer to the creature, it was like an elf in shape and it was in fact long haired and rather elegant too. The hair was white, not silver like on some Sindar elves but stark white, like freshly fallen snow. The creature did stink of disease and he could see that this was a very injured being, on the verge of dying. “What in the name of Eru is that?!”

Halador’s voice was very hoarse from the shock and the creature whimpered and didn’t open its eyes at all, it did appear to be terrified. Arastion swallowed hard. “I have no idea? Some new monstrosity of the enemy?”

The other rider frowned. “He is beautiful, look? Such elegance”

Arastion made a grimace. “The enemy often uses beauty to deceive the goodly ones, there is no such thing as a black elf. This has to be a sort of trick.”

Halador sighed. “So what do we do?”

Arastion shrugged. “Put it out of its misery, whatever it is, it is clearly on the verge of dying and even if this is a creation of Sauron we don’t let living beings suffer now do we?”

Halador did pull his dagger and knelt down by the creature and they felt the smell of urine and saw that the wounded being did fold itself up, even if the injuries ought to make it impossible. It did whimper and it did sound like a name, tears were drawing wet streaks down its face and Halador did drop the dagger. “He is crying my lord, orcs don’t cry?”

Arastion did hesitate, he felt confused and conflicted but there was pity in his heart. “You are right, but he is close to death, I don’t think even Elrond would be able to save this one”

The other rider took a deep breath. “I say we try, if this indeed is some evil being of Sauron we need to know more, what if there are others around? What if this is a weakling, one they have tried to dispose of?”

Arastion did frown. “You are saying something there, it makes sense oddly enough. Okay, we have to try at least. Make a fire and get me some athelas and bandages, and wine, strong wine”

He did kneel down next to the creature and laid a hand carefully on its shoulder, the creature let out a wail of fear and for a second it did open its eyes in shock. They were green, an amazing colour Arastion never had seen before, and he did see the agony within the face and realized that this was a creature which had suffered a lot. It closed its eyes again and sobbed and Arastion did forget the idea of this being some sort of orc there and then, orcs don’t show weakness like this. The others got a fire going right away and the black elf had to have felt the scent of it for it started to tremble almost violently and it whimpered and the tears were flowing freely down the cheeks.

Zhay could smell fire, and there were many of these surface elves there and he could only reach one conclusion, they wanted to burn him alive. He was panting, struggling to breathe and yet his body hadn’t given up yet. Why hadn’t they slashed his throat already? Were they like the priestesses? Keen on watching him being tormented? He forced himself to open his eyes even if the light did burn them and he bared his throat in a last effort to beg for mercy, for a swift end. “Please”

His voice was barely audible and it held no hope, he just had to try. The surface elf who was kneeling down there did stare at him with obvious shock and Zhay had to close his eyes again, the light was unbearable.

Arastion had expected the creature to be unconscious but he wasn’t and he did look at the noldo and did something odd. He tilted his head back, bared his throat and said something which sounded like a plea. Arastion didn’t understand even a single syllable of it but the meaning was clear, the creature was begging for mercy and the captain looked over at the fire and he cringed, did this strange elf believe that they were to torture him?!

He felt a surge of sheer horror, who burns others alive? Probably orcs. Could this be some survivor from the very first days of the elves? Some long time prisoner of the darkness? But Utumno and Angband had been razed millennia ago, could the dark lord have hidden a sort of storage of prisoners somewhere? They had to find out. He did sigh, the injuries were horrible. There were several fractures which had to be reduced and set and the wounds, ah Eru, they did stink! But he did notice that the creature had tattoos and they were exquisite, so beautiful and yet very different from anything he had ever seen before. Elrond had to take a look at this one for sure.

The water was boiling and they found some cloth and Arastion did grasp the dark elf and turned him over. The creature let out a thin wail of pain and it made everybody cringe. The wounds were horrible, they could see his ribs and spine in some of them and a few of the warriors had to leave, green in the face and shivering. Arastion did nod to Halador. “I will reduce the fractures, if you can help me pulling?”

Halador nodded and grasped first an arm with a very visible fracture just beneath the elbow. The creature gasped and the eyes opened anew, shock and fear so very visible and Arastion realized that this was a very young elf, barely more than a child the way they saw it. He had to gather all his determination to be able to do this, they didn’t have any painkillers left and this would hurt horribly. He pulled and the dark elf screamed, Halador had to hold him down and Arastion did use a branch as a splint. The creature was weeping, sobbing and panting and he was so warm it felt like touching embers, the body trembling the entire time and they set the fractures they found as swiftly as they could.

At the end the creature was just laying there, not making a sound, being completely passive and not resisting at all even if the agony had to be unbearable. Then Arastion took some cloth and started cleaning the wounds. They were filled with filth and even faeces and it did take quite a while to get them cleaned out. He had to cut away infected tissue and he wondered how much blood this creature could lose without dying. The body was shivering and there was this thin wailing coming from the creature the entire time, like from a terrified child, a sort of keening. It was heartwrenching and Arastion did soak the cloth with a mixture of warm water and athelas and started washing the wounds with it. It made the elf arch and scream again, it had to burn but he didn’t try to protect himself at all.

Arastion did finish the work, he washed the wounds with wine and wrapped them lightly. The dark elf was crying still, sobbing quietly and he couldn’t help it, he reached forth and stroked the thick silky hair, trying to comfort the wounded creature. “I am only trying to help you, don’t be afraid”

Zhay had never imagined such pain, such violent and absolute pain. It burned like wildfire down his veins and in his bones and when his fractures got set he was sure he would die from the pain alone. But these surface elves were obviously not going to kill him right away, maybe they wanted to save that for later? Right now he was too weak to provide much fun. When he felt the first touch of a hand on his skin he almost lost it, suddenly he was there again, in the room with the three warriors, lusting and sadistic. He couldn’t help but screaming and he felt how despair filled his very soul. Had he wandered from the ashes to the fire itself?

The fractures got taken care off, then they cleaned his wounds and he could do naught to stop them. They washed them with something which smelled oddly refreshing and then something which had to contain alcohol. Zhay had never felt that specific scent before. The dark haired one did touch him and said something which sounded almost sad and Zhay didn’t understand at all. Then a cup was presses against his lips and he realized that he was thirsty, terribly horribly thirsty. This could be poison for all he knew but he didn’t care, he opened his mouth and got a mouthful of something fresh and cold, with a wonderful taste. He let out a gargling sound and tried to get more, he could have drunk a whole barrel of the stuff. He was so thirsty!

Arastion did grimace, the thing wanted more to drink and denying him more miruvor was like denying a child its favourite toy but too much would be harmful. The fever was still burning in the body and they needed Elrond to figure out what to do. He did stroke the thick white hair once more, by every God, the creature was indeed gorgeous, now that he was stretched out they saw that he was rather tall, not overly so but a wee bit above average height for a common noldo, and he was muscular and toned and simply perfect. What was he? Arastion was a wise elf and he knew a lot but he had never heard of black elves before. Arastion nodded to the others. They had brought stretchers which could be hung between the horses and two of the warriors did prepare one and attached them to the horses harness. “Galadhrion, Malador, ride ahead and ride fast, warn the lord that we are coming with a wounded elf, of unknown origin”

The two got back on their horses and took off and Arastion and Halador did lift the dark elf up onto the stretcher. The elf was naked and the tattoos were very visible and Arastion couldn’t help but thinking that they had some sort of erotic meaning. The elf had some thin and silky white hair in his groin and a faint line leading up to his navel and that was very unusual. Elves do not have pubic hair but this one had and it did make him look at least a wee bit more mature. Arastion did cover the elf with his warm cloak and made sure that he laid comfortably. He took a deep breath. “We have to ride fast but not too fast. Let’s go, this one does need Elrond badly”

Zhay was still terrified but he had sort of resignated, he had no idea of what they wanted to do to him and the feeling of being lifted was oddly comfortable. He laid in some sort of device and someone covered him up and it was odd. Why bother with that? Then everything started to move and he yelped and felt so scared he almost pissed himself again, then there was a hand there, holding his and he grasped onto it, desperately. He didn’t know why. There was a deep voice and even though he didn’t understand the words it felt comforting. He did somehow feel that maybe they didn’t want to harm him after all. He just let go and let his consciousness fade, he had no idea of where he was or what had happened but they had tried to fix his injuries so perhaps there was hope after all? He could only wish, darkness took him again and the group of elves did ride as fast as they dared to towards the hidden valley. Arastion wondered if their wise and knowledgeable lord would understand what or who this was, he was looking forward to seeing Elronds face when he saw this creature. It would be a sight for sore eyes for sure, Elrond did never reveal his feelings but this one would make even the lord of Imladris drop his mask, Arastion was willing to bet on it.

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