Alexander sat on the raised dais and watched the workings of his court, tax collectors, workers, money lenders, soldiers, peasants and aristocrats milled about beneath his gaze as they worked to keep his lands working smoothly. He had offered the throne to Ameran, since this would be his last season as king because his lands needed strength and his was failing as the years went by.
“I don’t hate you.” Xander said simply as the slight amount of noise warned him of his approaching visitor.
Legolas knew to make some slight noise when around Alexander, even at his advanced age the human had a habit of attacking when startled.
“Truly?” Legolas asked in disbelief as he stared at his friend in surprise. Most hated him for his agelessness as the years took their toll on human bodies.
Smirking as he watched some small drama play out beneath him, Xander took a moment to look at one of the few remaining Elves in middle earth. “I pity you my friend, to walk the earth after everyone else is gone, that is not a wish I would make on my worst enemy. Even the long lived Gimli and Aragorn are showing their ages as we mortals do, while you look the same as you did so many years ago when we first met.” The once Zeppo said as he looked at his friend’s features for any sign that time held sway on him.
“You will watch as I die, and my children and grandchildren and great grandchildren, all will pass away as you walk alone, until you are cut down by some villain’s sword and fade into the memories of legend.” Xander said as he looked back down to his court with a smile.
“Is that how my story is to end?” Legolas asked as he wondered if his friend had the gift of sight so many claimed he did.
“Perhaps, or perhaps not. How would you have it end?” Xander countered as he stood and nodded as those beneath him silenced their noise and bowed respectfully as he left.
Legolas walked beside him for several seconds before answering. “I would die laughing with my friends and allies as we celebrated in joy.” The prince of Mirkwood answered as he paced the slow steps of his friend while they made their way outside into the cool air of Angbarsbane.
“Wouldn’t we all.” Xander said simply as he looked out over the works that had been accomplished in the last fifty years since the end of the third age.
His lands were secure, his children grown and married, his debts paid, his people happy and prosperous. It was time for he and his wife to step down and let the next generation take the reigns of rule.
Only one thing remained of his old life.
He had all but forgotten the world he came from, the world of machines and smoke. Where monsters ruled the night and man went around blissfully ignorant during the day.
He had settled all accounts in this world; he was unwilling to go to his grave leaving matters unsettled in the last.
Looking down from the steps, Alexander let a smile flow over his face as he watched his wife work with the horsemen as they trained the new recruits of riders.
She was too old to ride anymore, so she spent the midweek working with the new trainees and their horses.
Her hair had shifted from gold to silver in the past years, her age lined face told the tale of hard work and battles that formed this land and carved a kingdom from the rock.
He didn’t know where he would be without her.
With a smile, Legolas helped his friend down to where his wife was working.
He would regret the day these two left this mortal coil, but he would sing the song of their lives to theie grandchildren’s grandchildren.
Alexander sat up in bed, a cold sweat the only reminder of the nightmare he had only recently woken from.
Something was coming, he wasn’t sure what, but as sure as he knew the sun would rise he knew that something was coming. “TO ARMS!” the words were out of his mouth as he slid from bed and grabbed his sword tightly “TO ARMS ALL MEN! TO ARMS!”
Sliding his sword to its place Alexander started to put on the Scaled Mithril armor his people had insisted he accept as he refused to stay away from his lands battles.
Looking up as his guardsmen pushed the door open, Alexander blinked as the torchlight overpowered his eyesight for a moment before he managed to adjust and took in the room.
His Guards were looking around the room for dangers as Eowyn armed herself for whatever was to come.
“Tell the captain of the watch to sound the horns of Emosberg, every man woman and child capable of bearing arms is to be ready for war within the hour.” Alexander ordered as his mind flew around in circles as he tried to find a reason for his panic. Taking a moment to make sure the men he had ordered left to do as instructed, Alexander continued to put on his armor as he turned to another. “Send out the riders, all towns are to be woken and alert for attacks and the signal fires to Rohan and Gondor are to be lit immediately.” the dimensionally misplaced Scooby ordered as he finished arming himself and set out for the throne room.
He didn’t have to turn to know his wife was as ready as himself for whatever was to come.
Alexander looked up at the quiet words and raised a single eyebrow at the young captain that stood before him.
It had been three hours since he had raised the Alarm and the last two had been haunted by the whispered words of his commanders as they tried to find some reason for the call to arms their king had ordered.
“My lord we stand ready, what are your orders?” the young man said as he tried not to tremble in terror of his king’s anger.
Or worse, his disappointment.
“What it your name Captain?” Alexander asked as he gazed at the man before him.
“Gremere My lord, of the house of Ecebarg.” The dark haired man said with as much pride in his house of farmers as any warrior house.
“Well Gremere Ecebarg. Tell me, if you hear a wolf within your fields and call your brothers to stand with the flock, how long would you bid them stand?” Alexander asked as he looked to his other commanders for several seconds before looking back at the only one brave enough to ask the question to his face. “Would you have them stand an hour, two perhaps? Maybe three?” He asked and smiled at the man’s flush as he figured out what his king was saying.
“If I heard wolves within my fields I would bid them stand until the wolves show themselves in hunger.” The farmer’s son said before bowing deeply to his king and returning to his station.
Taking a breath, Alexander leaned his head back against his chair, he had almost drifted off to rest when the faint sounds of horns ripped all thoughts of sleep from his mind.
Sitting up Alexander looked towards the door as the sound of frantic feet was followed by a boy no older then twelve rushing into the great hall.
“Goblins my lord, some great host sally forth from the mountains.” The boy said as he stumbled up and dropped the folded report from his town’s chief man into Alexander’s lap.
Picking up the parchment Alexander read it carefully before looking down at his commanders with a smile. “It seems my brothers that the wolves have become very hungry this night.”