Title: Once and Future

Author: Pyro

Disclaimer: Lord of the Rings is copywrit to J.R.R. Tolkien and family. I am just playing with the characters and concepts.

Author's Notes: writing, thoughts, mental speech

Prologue

Once upon a time, that's how all faerie tales start, isn't it? Well, it's said that all myths have their root in reality, and that even a lie can hold truth. Mankind has been around for a long time. No one is quite sure how long exactly, and even generalities are open to debate. Stories have been told for eons, and some may have always been fantasy, while others were pure truth. It doesn't really matter, because with every telling, the story changed. Sort of like that whispering game you play as a child, where one person whispers something in another's ear, and then that person whispers what they were told and adds to it into someone else's ear, and so on, until the last person speaks out loud and says something completely different from the original version.

I've already said that myths are rooted in fact. Elves, dwarves, trolls, they all had to come from somewhere, right? And it can't have been an isolated concept, because there are tales from all over that feature them, or creatures like them. So here is a bit of the tale as it was told to me, from someone who was if not exactly there, than in the general vicinity thereof, or something like that.

Over eight thousand years ago, the last elf departed this middael earth, that being the old name for plain old earth. See, it was believed there were three planes of earth, the heavens, earth, and the underworld. So, humans lived on the middle earth, hence the name. But I digress. The last elf departed, and a veil decended behind him, forever closing the faerie folk off from the mortals. This is the part in all the stories about the faeries living behind a veil or underhill or some such thing.

So there were no more elves. There were still some other faerie folk. Leprechauns, dwarves, trolls, that kind of faeries and magical creatures. But they aren't around anymore, either. No one knows why. Mankind took over the earth, and forgot that the old creatures and stories ever really existed. Well, after all, we are primarily creatures of logic. If there isn't any proof, it can't be, right?

So, for over eight thousand years, the veil stood. And then, one day, it fell. Oh not all at once. But the elves were sent back, a few at a time. See, a "GREAT EVIL" was rising. One that everyone thought had been defeated. Kind of a naieve thought, in my humble opinion. I guess elves don't see things as we do. There is good and there is evil and never the twain shall meet. But even the most vile and evil person can do something good, and likewise, the kindest, most good person is capable of horrible deeds. And mankind is stubborn. Just when you think we are going to give up, or a tragedy strikes, we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and do amazing things. We will keep going simply to spite someone or something. And we never make the mistake of believing that what has been destroyed cannot or will not rise again. Oh, we may not acknowledge it, but it's been proven too many times that if we don't learn from our past we will be forever doomed to repeat it.

Right, right. Veil, elves. Get to the point. See this "GREAT EVIL" whatever it was had to bee stopped. Apparently, the best people to stop it were those who had done so before. Nevermind that they were all dead. It wasn't the physical body that mattered anyway, it was the soul, and that is eternal. So, the elves came looking for this group of souls. They had some preconcieved notions about things, and someone who knew the "lay of the land" as it were. So here they were, ready to save the world, find the heros, and all live happily ever after. Boy were they in for a shock.

A/N: Well, I'm back, sort of. This is my first LOTR fic, so do be gentle. I am currently in a massive state of writer's block on everything else, and am in the process of trying to graduate, so updates may be sporadic. Enjoy!