22. Elemental Crystals


“So soon?” said Acacia sadly. “I’ll have to get back into the habit of no time between...”

Jay peered over at the console. Her eyes widened. “You can learn everything there is to know about the ways of Mary Sues in three years, and they can still surprise you in a pinch...”

Acacia peeked at the screen, where the author’s notes the Intelligence agent had found amusing enough to include were displayed. “Dear gods. She wrote it because she was sick of Sues?” She snorted. “Then in the next chapter she tries to apologize to everyone she insulted. Except slashers. Where are her priorities?”

“I could try to figure it out, but I don’t think I could get my head that far up my arse. Oh, Lady. Five elemental crystals? I’m going to have depressing flashbacks to Captain Planet before all is said and done...”

“OC romances, AUs, slash, and WIPs.” Acacia shook her head. “Get the feeling she doesn’t make friends easily?”

“Works in progress? Is she JOKING?”

“She says ‘I also hate those stories that go on and on and on. Honestly, don’t the authors know how to end the story?’ And... oh, gods...” Acacia had looked at the (long) list of offenses against canon.

“And Psychic Magic. And, just because it bears repeating, five bloody elemental crystals?”

Acacia just muttered something about Linkin Park, alarm clocks, and a winged polar bear.

“Tell you what. Because she likes dragons so much, let’s go feed her to Glaurung.”

Acacia perked up considerably. “Sounds good.”

“Oh, what shall we be today? Dwarves would be new, dragons would be interesting.”

Acacia grinned evilly. “And the canonicals wouldn’t hurt us because—” she snorted derisively— “she’ll beat them up if they do...”

Jay grinned. “Dragons? All right! What colors does she favor?”

“Well, it seems to depend on what element, excuse me while I mop up the sarcasm, they are.”

“And they can be any element. So... earth, fire, water, air, or,” Jay snickered, “wood? Personally, I fancy being white.”

“You can pick,” said Acacia sourly. “I don’t want to play into her silly games.”

“Water, then. You’ll be a lovely blue...”

“Should be fun. Shall we go? I look forward to seeing her fry.”

“Diiie, die, die, dadadie...” Jay hummed merrily, and set the disguises.

The portal opened. Acacia, holding her gear in front of her, went in.

Jay followed. Then she gasped. “WINGS,” she rumbled. “What an incredible feeling.”

“Isn’t it, though?” said Acacia, stretching hers.

“And the tail,” Jay said rapturously, swinging hers. “I only hope we can figure out flying without too much pain...”

“Well, when’d you drop us? How much time do we have to work it out?”

“Only about an hour. Then we have to go to Mirkwood to observe Legolas and Thranduil.”

“May as well start now, then...”


Thranduil gazed wearily over the battlefield, on which recently slain elves and orcs still lay. He turned to face his son. “Legolas, go to Rivendell. We must know what is happening.”

His son nodded understandingly and turned to leave the battlements of Celebmenel, the palace of the Elves of Mirkwood.

“Charge the first,” Jay said as she hovered awkwardly in the sky above. “Causing a field to appear in Mirkwood.”

Acacia, doing rather better in the air (though she hadn’t yet mastered landing), said, “Can we get her for offensive author’s notes?”

“I think so. I was under the impression that most of the Mirkwood palace was underground, though.”

“Well, add that, then?”

“Yes. I don’t think all these battlements should be here.”

“Sounds good to me. Shall we go to Minas Tirith and see Aragorn acting really undignified?”

“I don’t know if him spitting tea all over a messenger is more important than Elladan and Elrohir getting in a fistfight... or Gimli still being in Middle-earth...”

“And being really whiny about having to go to Rivendell, too, I notice...”

“So, fistfight or whining dwarf?”

“Yes. Let me see if I can get the portal open...” Jay held the remote activator carefully in one huge paw and tapped with painstaking care. A portal fizzled to life. “Rah! Now we can go.”


The fistfight was strange. Somehow, Elrohir managed to win despite the fact that Gandalf broke it up. Both the assassins were left with the feeling that they’d missed something.

Elladan wound up with guard duty. This made little to no sense.

A number of notable peoples were in attendance, among them Haldir of Lothlorien, Legolas Greenleaf, Prince of Mirkwood, Elrohir son of Elrond, Gimli son of Gloin, Dain king of the Iron Hills, and Aragorn son of Arathorn, the Elessar. They were muttering quietly to one another, wondering why Gandalf had not started the meeting.

Perched on a handy outcrop, Jay and Acacia were muttering to one another, wondering why Legolas was still in Middle-earth.

“The author is clueless, that’s why,” said Acacia.

“But she knows Elrohir and Elladan and Dáin, so she must have read the books! Makes no sense.”

“They never do.”

Finally, Gimli voiced the question, in his blunt way. “Gandalf, why are we kept waiting? Are not all of us here?”

Gandalf turned grave eyes over to the dwarf. “There is one missing. The Magiseer. I wonder what could have happened...it is most unusual for her to be late...”

Every elf and dwarf’s eyes widened. The Magiseer was the most powerful sorcerer in the whole of Middle-Earth, the Ruler of all Magical Peoples of Middle-Earth, the Chosen of the Fates.

Far above the council, a dragon gagged. “Magiseer? Fates? WHAT bloody Fates?”

“The ones the Suvian invented,” grumbled Acacia. “I mean, really. Closest I could think of would be Mandos, and he doesn’t go choosing sorcerers...”

Suddenly, there was a sound. The sound of arrows being fired. A red and black dragon flew over and landed in the middle of the council. In a flash, all the dwarves axes were up, Aragorn’s great big whacking sword Anduril was out, and the elves slender bows were drawn.

“Great big whacking sword,” snickered the large white dragon to the large blue dragon. “Poetry in motion!”

The dragon spoke. It was unusually small, only about ten feet in height, and it sat on it’s hind legs. It’s tail was fifteen feet long, and it curled about it’s tiny body. It’s wings were broad, but the right size for its body. Its eyes were blue. It spoke.

“Put your weapons down, and end all spells!” it ordered.

None obeyed. Gandalf laughed. “If you could resume your usual form, Elvira...”

“ELVIRA?!” demanded the blue one.

“I am Elviiiiira, meestress of ze dark,” the white one chortled.

The dragon sighed. “Fine, but I much prefer my dragon form, as it is more powerful and intimidating, and therefore better for combat.”

“’d be funny if she turns out to be wearing a low-cut Gothic dress and have the long black hair.”

In fact, when she had transformed in a flash of white light, she “was a short elf. Her build was slender and catlike. Her features were generally sharp, with sea-blue eyes. Her long white-gold hair was tied neatly into a ponytail out of her face. She was comparable to a cat in many ways. She moved silently and gracefully, but it was a hunter’s movement. She wore the hunters tunic and loose pants, in black and red. In a way, she was pretty. Not the gentle beauties the elves appreciated, nor the quiet, pathetically weak girls the humans loved, but her own sharp, dangerous, catty prettiness. The knives residing at her belt and on her back were highly evident, as she wore no sheath. Her eyes spoke danger.”

It was the first time either assassin had ever heard body parts talk.

“Quiet and pathetically weak? Go tell Faramir that his wife is quiet and pathetically weak. Better, tell Éowyn herself.”

“Lúthien?” suggested Acacia. “Famously beloved of a human...”

“KickAss Women of Middle-Earth Unite Against Stupid Sues. KAWMEUASS. Not a bad acronym,” Jay said. “I’d write that in my notebook, only I don’t think I can handle a pencil.”

“I just don’t understand this coming from someone who knows about, for example, the twins.”

The elves and dwarves (and Aragorn) lowered their weapons. They recognized her immediately as the legendary Magiseer, by the golden pendant at her neck and the golden circlet resting on her head, embedded with a stone like an opal, yet not an opal. She repeated herself.

“End all spells!” She looked up and addressed a small sparrow in the rafters above her. “You too, girl.”

Jay eyed the sparrow. “Looks like a tasty snack. Bet it tastes like chicken...”

“You know we don’t eat Sues.”

“But it’s so TEMPTING! Just one little snap—”

“Believe me, I know.”

As he tried to remember, every one else watched the sparrow. White light surrounded it, and when it cleared, it revealed a tall dark-haired girl, dressed in a short-sleeved blouse and a cheerleader skirt. Her hair was braided neatly into a long plait. The strangest thing about her was her bright silver eyes.

“Silavren!” Aragorn gasped. “How did you- I expressly forbade you- How did you get here?!”

“Oh, noooooo.” Jay snarled and shook her muzzle from side to side.

“Hello, father,” the girl, Silavren said cheerily. “I flew, as a blue heron.” She sat down in an empty chair.

“Gyah!” said Acacia. “Thou shalt not shape-shift!”

“Heron.” Jay grinned. “We could have kidnapped her and given her to Buggy Swires to ride!”

“That would be... interesting,” said Acacia. “Yes. Quite interesting, I must say...”

“I said ALL spells, girl.” Elvira snapped. “That includes image spells.”

“All right, all right...” Silavren sighed. She snapped her fingers, and her image became blurry. When it cleared, she had several bruises, a black eye, and a cut lip.

“You know, let’s do that!” Jay said. “Unless you’re just dead set on feeding Silvaren to Glaurung, too.”

“Well, I don’t want to get into trouble for bringing an extracanonical character into the Discworld...”

“Wah.” Jay sighed. “What a pity. I want to do something creative to her...”

“Can you think of one that won’t get us into trouble? I don’t want to go back to the Theater of MST.”

“You know, I really can’t? What a bugger.”

“What happened to you?” Aragorn asked, his voice stricken with horror—a reasonable reaction of a parent to finding his daughter all beaten up.

“Father,” Silavren began nervously. “Perhaps you should know this one little fact about me; I like to fistfight with gangs. I’ve been fighting with them...oh, five years or so.” She grinned. “I usually win.”

Aragorn groaned. He should have been expecting something like this. “Why can’t you be more like your mother? Or your sister?”

“Feminist. Rabid. Baaah.”

“Disgrace to the species, let alone the gender...”

Silavren snorted. She did a accurate, but cruel impression of her sister. “Oh my god, I broke a nail! Somebody save me! And my dress is ripped! Help! I’m a pathetic stupid idiotic girl who is too weak to defend herself!” she ended the impression, giving her father a look that said ‘What, you think I’m that pathetic?’before speaking again. “What do you think I am, a BREEDING INSTRUMENT???”

“This kind of thing being why my father thinks feminists are hateful.”

“Poor Aragorn. Why can’t anyone get OFF the misogynist trip?” The white dragon glared at Silavren. “Let’s just fry her to a crisp and dump her ashes in the swamp.”

“Sounds good to me.”

“No, of course not.” Aragorn said, looking uncomfortable. “But it is your duty, dear, to marry and have children.”

“And the midden hits the windmill riiiight... now,” said Acacia.

Silavren looked too angry for words. She untied a necklace from her neck. It was decorated with a small impression of a sword, no larger than her pointer finger. She nicked her finger with it, and blood came out, proving the tiny sword’s sharpness. She placed it at her wrist right over the vein that pulsed there. “Give me a reason, father. Give me one good reason. The day I am forced into a marriage, I will kill myself, directly or indirectly. That I swear upon... upon my sorcery.”

“Don’t worry, hon, we’ll do it for you,” said the white dragon.

“Threatening suicide. How very mature,” grumbled the blue.

“Indirectly?” Aragorn raised his eyebrows.

Silavren gave him a you-are-an-idiot kind of look. “If I can turn into a blue heron, I could also turn into a nice plump hare. After that, it’s a simple matter of getting in the path of the hunters.”

He grew quiet momentarily, before changing the subject. “What did I tell you about wearing those short skirts? You should be wearing proper dresses, not... those.”

“How much longer do we have to LISTEN to this?” Jay shut her eyes. “This is painful!”

She gave him another you-are-an-idiot look. “To fistfight, you need as much freedom of movement as possible, or you are beaten. You can’t move in a proper dress.”

Dragon laughter is quite a strange sound, and Acacia was making it now. “She wears minis so she can fight? You know, dear, there’s this wonderful new invention, you may have heard of it, they call it ‘pants’...”

This was interrupted by Legolas, who had finally recognized Elvira. “You’re Elvira Rainsong, aren’t you?” he questioned.

Elvira turned sharp eyes on him. Sharp, mistrustful eyes. “Perhaps I am, and perhaps I’m not. Perhaps I’m neither. But it’s not likely I’m going to tell you until you tell me who you are, is it?” she riddled.

He looked surprised. “I’m Legolas Greenleaf, Prince of Mirkwood.”

Jay was desperately trying to get headphones on a head the size of a man’s chest. “Too... painful! Must—have—Rammstein!”

“Flaunt your title about, don’t you?” she remarked.

“Whaaaat?” wondered a confused Acacia. “By saying it once in introduction?”

“I don’t think much of you, PRINCE, but all right, I’ll tell you. Once, once I was the one you knew as Elvira Rainsong. However, I dropped the name Rainsong when I left Mirkwood, breaking with my family. My name know is Elvira Flameheart Magiseer.”

“I dub thee MUD,” snarled the white dragon. “You must have read the books, why can’t you choose a proper name?”

Gandalf interrupted. “Perhaps we had better get this meeting started...”

Elvira agreed. “Aye, of course. Who will begin?”

“I will.” Gimli said. “There are fires burning over Mount Doom. There have been no such fires since the Great War.”

“It’s called the War of the bloody Ring, genius.”

“Not his fault.”

Dain spoke next. “There are messengers at my gates, asking me to join with one called ‘Sauron’s Heir.’ They promise silver, gold, riches. I gave them no answer.”

Next came Legolas and Haldir. Both spoke of high numbers of orcs. “There are hordes of them, and more and more elves are slain fighting them.”

“And NOW, the bragfest. Oh, when can we KILL her?!”

“I dunno, when’s the first appropriate breach of canon?”

“Gimli and Legolas being here is a breach of canon. Sauron’s heir is a breach of canon. Let’s just kill her at the end of this chapter!”

Once the had finished, Elvira grumbled out, “No, really. I met a legion coming here. They said something about joining them and I get gold and whatever I want, or if I don’t they’ll kill me. I refused and they attacked, so I took dragon form. I roasted most of them, but then this BRILLIANT one decided if he could jump into my mouth and stab me with his damned sword, I’d die.” She shrugged. “I bit down. He tasted awful.” She gagged. “Then I spat him out and beat the shit out of the rest of them.”

Gandalf gazed amusedly at her. “There was a time when girls were more...softspoken.”

“If only there were a Lúthien mini-Balrog we could feed her to!”

“Let’s check with Miss Cam?” suggested Acacia. “There may be, at that.”

“Yeah, well, there was also a time when all elves and dwarves would bow to me, at the very least. There was a time when the Magiseer had a list of titles as long as your arm. There was a time I was known and feared throughout the land. Those times aren’t now.” she smiled bitterly.

“List of all the people who wanted people to fear them! Morgoth, Sauron, Saruman; am I missing any good guys?”

“Hmm. Ahm. Nope!” Jay hissed at the council. “I don’t want to bother with the bloody mini-Balrog.”

Aragorn was last to speak. “My messenger tell me of smoke over Mordor. I believe Barad-dur too has been reawakened.”

“Well, I want to know what, precisely, is going on?” Legolas said.

Elvira gave him a look. “You haven’t been listening, have you?”

“I don’t much care for Legolas, but add Unfoundedly Insulting Canonicals to the list?”

“You wait till you see what she does to him,” Jay said. “The bloody BITCH.”

All of a sudden, another dragon, this one grey and white, flew over and landed. Once more, everyone except Gandalf, Silavren and Elvira leapt up, drawing their weapons. This dragon was larger, about fourteen feet in height with a nineteen foot tail.

“What, does she think we want to find the surface area of the dragon?”

“Sit down, all of you! If you hurt that dragon, I’ll beat the lot of you!” Elvira shouted.

No one listened to her. She stood up angrily, made a motion with her hand, and the weapons went flying out of reach, away from their owners.

“I said, Sit down! If I have to say that again, I’ll consider it rebellion against me, and you don’t want to know what I do with rebels!” she stormed.

Jay mimed breathing mechanically through a black mask.

“You know,” said Acacia, “maybe the author is cleverly trying to imply that she’s this ‘Heir of Sauron’? She definitely seems to me as if she takes after Daddy...”

“No, it’s a male.” Jay snarled angrily. “I’m not going to watch this.” She placed one paw over an ear, and clamped her tiny headphones over the other.

Legolas glanced at her. “We are not under your command. Stay back, it could be dangerous.”

Elvira took a few menacing steps toward him, furious. Her eyes had turned light blue, like ice. Everyone else thought it wiser to sit down. It was rather astonishing that such a small elf could look so much like a full grown lioness with teeth bared, ready to kill.

The dragon spoke for the first time. “You, elf, are in deep shit.”

“Yes, that’s really appropriate to Middle-earth...”

“You have magic, have you not?” Elvira asked, softly, silkily, dangerously.

Legolas could only nod.

“NO!” Jay snarled, realizing she could not turn up the volume.

“And, therefore, you are part of the Magidom?”

He nodded again. Elvira pointed at him, casting a small spell, and he flew up. She had gained complete control of his body.

“Darth Vaderesque canon-mangling bitch!”

“And who rules the Magidom?” she thundered.

“The Magiseer.” he choked out fearfully, as Elvira threw him against a wall. He suddenly remembered all those stories about those who had rebelled against past Magiseers. At best, you could expect to be knocked into shape using labour or pain. At worst, torture, then death.

“And her other Sue was so rebellious,” said Acacia. “So, the author seems in favor of authority as long as she’s in it...”

Silavren began to laugh. To her, it was rather humourous.

Neither assassin, however, was very amused.

“And who is the Magiseer?” Elvira snapped.

“Elvira Flameheart Magiseer.” He hit a pillar.

“So who do you serve?”

“Elvira Flameheart Magiseer.” He hit another pillar.

“And who is that?”

“You.” He was slammed into the ground with force.

“Whom do you serve? SARUMAN!” Jay growled in passable imitation of an orc.

“Scarily similar,” Acacia observed.

Elvira smiled. It wasn’t a happy smile, it was the kind of smile she smiled after she’s killed something REALLY good.

The assassins got the impression that she killed really good things all the time. And kicked dogs randomly.

Her eyes returned to their usual sea-blue shade. “Very good.” she said softly, ending the spell and allowing him to get up. He nearly ran back to his seat, helped of course, by the kick Elvira aimed at his butt.

By now, Silavren was laughing hysterically. Legolas looked sulkily at her. “It’s not funny!” he said.

Silavren only laughed harder. “No it’s not. It’s hilarious! A girl two-thirds your size, beating the shit out of you!”

Acacia started repeating “We kill them soon, we kill them soon, we kill them soon...”

Elvira faced the dragon, who had gone down on all fours, with the left fore and hind legs back. The dragon translation of kneeling. She nodded.

“You may rise, Garet. What news do you have for me?” she asked.

“The Wood-dragons have been attacked by orcs. Luckily, delegations of Fire, Water, Earth and Wind dragons were there for the monthly Dragonmeet.”

“Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong—”

“We kill them soon...”


“Three died in the actual battle. Two managed to be revived by the Water-dragons using the Reverse Death spell. The third remained dead throughout all attempts to revive her.” Garet said tersely.

“Which dragon?”

“Fireli, Dragon of Fire.”

Elvira sighed sadly. Fireli had been a friend. “She will be remembered by us all.” she said quietly. “Now, you had better stay for the council. The matter concerns mostly Magical Peoples, and dragons are surprisingly under-represented.”


“Yes,” Jay snarled. “Oh, goody, she’s going to EXPLAIN AWAY SMAUG. IDIOT!”

Garet nodded and bowed, retreating to the edge of the ring of people, saying “The other Free Peoples have derived their impression of Dragons by the rogues, I would guess?”

“Rogues?” said Acacia in manically cheerful tones. “Like the FATHER OF bloody DRAGONS?!”

Garet nodded to her. “In the dragon society, a magicless dragon is not a dragon at all. They are outcasts. All dragons have magic except for the ones that rebel against the Magiseer. They are deprived of their magic. They become ‘Rogues.’ A rogue dragon usually goes out then and feeds on villages and such, growing bigger. Smaug was a rogue dragon.”

“Oh.” Silavren said.

“I want music!” Jay said, clawing angrily at the stone beneath her.

“She most definitely deserves Glaurung.”

“But we’ll have to kill Garet! I don’t want to. First, I don’t think I can. Second, he’s an innocent in this train wreck...”

Acacia thought about this. “... Do you think he’d mind recruitment?”

“We can ask. And then if he doesn’t want to join, we can release him into a Generic Fantasyland? Or possibly Pern?”

“Sounds good to me.”

“Perhaps now we can resume the meeting?” Gandalf spoke.

“Yes, yes, of course.” Elvira said.

“Well, you seem to know more about this than you’re letting on Elvira. Why don’t you tell us?” Gandalf asked.

“We kill them soon, we kill them soon,” Jay took up Acacia’s mantra.

Silavren interrupted. “Sauron had a kid?! How? I mean, he was too ugly for anyone to WANT him, so what was he? Male? Female? Or BOTH???”

“Mental floss, mental floss.”

“Shut up, Silavren. However he got the Heir is irrelevant, because however the Heir was created, he still exists.

“Now, this Heir, he’ll want basically the same thing Sauron did. Rule of the World, eternal darkness, and whatnot. Without the Ring, the only way he can accomplish this is with the Elemental Crystals.”

Jay’s claws clenched.

“Yeah, world domination, the usual,” said Acacia.

“There are five of them in total, and they can only be wielded by magical peoples, which leads me to believe the Heir isn’t ‘of Middle-Earth’ for I rule the Magical Peoples of Middle-Earth, and I would know if one tried to set himself up as ruler of the world, and I would be killing him right about now.

“Can we kill her YET?”

“I’m not sure if megalomania in OCs is really a valid canon disturbance...”

“Anyway, each Crystal represents and controls one type of Magical Element, Fire, Water, Earth, Wood or Wind. If the Heir can get all five, he can easily take over, so our course is easy to see. If we get the crystals before he does, we can wield them against him, each controlled by a different sorcerer.”

“THAT is!”

“You know? I’m as fed up waiting as you are. Let’s go.”

As Elvira finished, there were still many questions asked. Where are the Crystals? How do we get them? Who do we send to get them?

“Better yet. Ask me if I think you’re an idiot?” came the white dragon’s voice, belling down from a high tower. Silravren and Elvira looked up, and the rest of the council followed their gaze.

“’Ello,” said the other dragon, the blue one. “We’ve got a fire-dragon friend we want to introduce the Magiseer to.” This was one hundred percent accurate.

“And Silavren needs to come with us, too,” said the white one. “It’s important.”

Aragorn started to protest this, but he stopped when she started to go on another psycho-feminist rampage.

Jay fumbled with the portal, and managed to tap out the right sequence. “This way, ladies.”

The Sues and the dragons stepped onto a huge pile of gold, in coin and jewelry. The gold continued all the way up to the scales of the dragon who was sitting on the top.

“This lady,” the white dragon said to the larger, more frightening dragon on the heap of gold, “styles herself Master of Dragons. We thought you might want to talk to her about this.”

Then both dragons stood well away, so as not to get singed.

Silarven screamed. “A ROGUE!”

“No, my lady, a real dragon. Who’s just toasted the ‘magiseer.’ And since that looked so SATISFYING, we’re going to give it a try!”

Pretty soon, another pile of ash settled on Glaurung’s hoard in Nargothrond, and the two smaller dragons had portaled out.

“You know, we didn’t charge them,” Jay said as they arrived in their response center, bearing two ziplock bags of ash.

“And we forgot Garet.”

“Here’s the remote activator—go recruit.”

Jay stood alone in the response center and pondered.

They had forgotten to charge them. That was against ALL the rules. Jay considered this for a moment. Then she held up both ziplock bags, and said “Silavren Silvereyes and Elvira Magiseer, I charge you with being psycho-feminists, with being Mary Sues of the nth degree, of shape-changing gratuitously, of detaining two right and noble beings in Middle-earth, and of banging one of the aforesaid right and noble beings about like a ragdoll. Actually, that last just applies to YOU, Elvira, as well as being a godplayer, making up fates, making up a title, being a tyrant, being an all-around bitch, upstaging the canon characters, making up a sweet and gentle race of dragons, and generally screwing over canon. The penalty was death. We thank you for your time.”

And that was that.


[Editor’s note: There aren’t any author’s notes for this one that I could find. Alas!]