In the Forests of the Night
Title: In the Forests of the Night
Distribution: please ask
Disclaimer: Sadly, I do not own these characters. Willow and the Buffy crew belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Lord of the Rings belongs to J.R.R. Tolkien.
Author’s Notes: For Buffy, this takes place early season seven after “Same Time, Same Place,” but before “Selfless.” For “Lord of the Rings,” this story follows book/movie canon until after the Ring War, but becomes AU sometime after that.
When he was young, he wandered the forests, tracing the footsteps of his ancestors through the tall trees. Nothing was more beautiful than the sun shining on a verdant glade on a summer morning. He was one with the forest, with the earth, as his people had been for eons before him. Life was simple…peaceful…and he had no doubts who he was, who he was meant to be.
Then darkness fell across the land, and the once-plentiful peace became scarce. The dark lord brought forth great armies, and the people of Middle Earth went to war. He had been one of the few, the Fellowship. He’d been one of the victorious in the battle for Helm’s Deep. He had watched his friend, the brother of his heart, ascend to the throne to lead the reunited people of the race of men.
When the ring war was over, he had thought his mission completed. He had planned to join his family in the West, cross the sea to Valinor and live out the rest of his immortal life in the Undying Lands. The swift currents of fate, however, had a different direction in mind.
A group of Maiar, led by Gandalf the White, made a vow not to let evil like that of Saruman and Sauron menace Middle Earth again. They sought out a select group of elves to be guardians of good, to be always watchful against evil, whether from Mordor or some other sinister source.
He was chosen, and, being still a young elf despite his experiences in battle, relished the thought of a new adventure. His life and immortality had great purpose once more – to keep his people safe.
Over time, the earth changed, and the homeland of his youth became unrecognizable. No longer could he find comfort in the forest, peace beside the gurgling streams. The trees ceased talking -- first to his people, then to each other – and grew stagnant.
The contours of the earth itself changed, and as it did, the old ways passed away. The journey to Valinor had ceased to be a simple ride across the sea. The waters became perilous, the road harsh, until those that were left of his people could not make the passage at all, even if they so chose. They were trapped forever in a mortal world that was increasingly unaware of the presence of his kind. Trapped in a world that no longer believed in magic.
His magic remained strong through the ages, and had served him well. But magic -- and immortality – set him apart from the world. The world of men devoted itself to “science,” and as the magic faded from the land that was now known simply as “earth.”
And as the magic faded, so did his kind. Once many in number, the elven warriors soon became too few. And evil began to rise again.
** to be continued **