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Captain of Mordor (NC-17) Print

Written by Draylon

29 July 2004 | 21204 words

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Title: Captain of Mordor
Author: Draylon
Author’s Email: draylon@hotmail.com
Pairing: Faramir / Shagrat
Rating: NC17
Summary: Post War-of-the-Ring, Captain Shagrat (an Orc) finds himself slashed with Faramir of Gondor.

Author’s note and warning: what follows is a rather shaky, cheesy romance in 10 chapters masquerading as OrcSlash. It’s a tale of: ‘boy meets / loses / finds / runs away again from / Uruk,’ inclusive of the usual elements of kidnapping, swearing and violence you’d expect in a story of this sort. The content is unlikely to be suitable for people who are not great Orc enthusiasts.

Archivist’s note: Smirra made a set of drawings and watercolours inspired by this story
Not wholly unpleasant

1: Audience with an Uruk

The townsfolk had caught an Orc.

They were baying for its blood, and even at some distance from the settlement, their howls and cries, and the noise from the angry lynch mob that had gathered inside the city gates was clearly audible. The racket abated somewhat as royal procession made its way closer however, and by the time their horses were clip-clopping into town, across the market square, most traces of the earlier hubbub had all but vanished. News of their impromptu approach, caused by a shattered axel on the Royal Conveyance, had doubtless preceded them.

Much as he would have preferred to avoid the ceremony of a formal reception, Faramir, Prince of Ithilien realised that this would now be quite impossible. A number of local dignitaries, among them the Mayor himself, were standing in line in the middle of the town square, waiting to welcome him.

An unseasonably mild and damp spring was the indirect cause of Faramir’s unscheduled visit to the town. The state coach, a conveyance in which Faramir was now obliged to travel whenever he was in pursuit of his official duties, was lying broken-down on the rain-rutted roads, at least ten miles behind them. It was a vehicle bedecked with velvet upholstery, stucco mouldings and varnished woodwork to a most impractical extent, and Faramir had not been at all sorry to escape from its ornate excesses. Breghaus, one of Faramir’s most trusted aides was explaining their transportational difficulties to the townsmen. He greeted Faramir formally, as the Prince approached.

One of the members of the welcoming committee started, visibly, on hearing Faramir addressed by his royal title. The townsman’s first impression had been of a pleasant featured, if nondescript-looking young man, too careworn to be a person of note, and as such, he had overlooked Faramir completely. Surreptitiously, he now eyed the unlikely Prince of Gondor up and down, noting the simple cut of his clothing, and taking in dirt of the road that lay on Faramir’s mud-bespattered leggings and his plain, woollen cloak. Faramir had seized the chance offered by the faulty state coach as an excuse to travel as he once had done, riding on horseback, and to dress himself in the garb he had worn as a Ranger in Ithilien. It was, however, beginning to occur to him that in his comfortable riding-clothes, the figure he was cutting could be said to lack certain elements of princely dash and panache. Having a lifetime’s worth of experience behind him at mostly failing to make the grade, Faramir stood up straighter and squared his shoulders a little, reacting quite unconsciously to the disapproval he had detected in the Burgher-master’s gaze.

“It seems our visit to your town falls alongside a festival, or some day of celebration,” Faramir said, mainly to break the awkward silence that had fallen around them. “We heard no small commotion from some distance away!”

“Stage-managed, your Highness,” one of the dignitaries told him. “The situation was always well under control. It was the work of that man there.” He indicated short, red-faced individual, who was lingering a short distance from the welcoming party.

“He is naught but a travelling showman, my liege,” the Mayor blustered hurriedly. “A purveyor of freaks and oddities. He has a brightly coloured bird, that speaks with a man’s voice, in a heathen language of the Southern Lands. And a monkey, from the dusky jungles in the East, which dances on a chain. The Barker peddles simple tricks and amusements, made for simple folk. He is a harmless visitor.”

Parrots that talk and trained monkeys, thought Faramir, without much interest. “I believe I heard mention of an Orc,” he said.

Uninvited, the Barker, who had been watching – and apparently eavesdropping, from across the marketplace, sidled closer to the group. “Genuine Orc straight out of Mordor,” he said. “I’ve got one of them big soldier-Uruks from off of the Black Gate. Little piece of modern history. Could be your last chance to see one, guv’nor,” he said, obsequiously addressing Faramir himself. “It’s getting so there ain’t very many of ‘em about, these days. Floor show’s tomorrow night, in the tavern, if you’re interested, Sir.” He indicated a large, slightly dilapidated hostelry on the other side of the town square. It was the building in which the royal party had planned to spend the night.

Faramir had not seen an Orc close-to since he had been the leader of an ill-fated sortie out against the Enemy more than 18 months previously, during the Siege of Minas Tirith. Scouting parties still occasionally reported distant sightings of Orcs, and Uruk-sign from the farthest reaches of the Southern Mountains, and by all accounts the great beasts seemed continually to be on the move, always heading south and east. And as the Barker had correctly noted, since the end of the War, and especially after the Great Winter that had come after it, even these reports were becoming more and more scarce.

Faramir had to admit that his curiosity was piqued. There was, however, no use in considering it. His party would be moving out the following morning, and there could be no delay. “I would be most interested in seeing your exhibit,” he told the Barker, “and I thank you for your offer. But I must decline it. We will be leaving before tomorrow night.”

“Seeing as you’re a gentleman of taste and a connoisseur and what have you,” the Barker said, “if you was to come back a bit later on, kind Sir, I’m sure we could arrange for you to step in with my Orc for a minute, just to have a look. I’m sure we can work something out. Just give me an hour or so, to get him settled down and such, all right?”

“Orcs. A scourge and a pestilence,” one of the Burgher-masters spat, as the Barker hurried away to make ready for Faramir’s visit. “Every last one of those filthy, despoiling creatures ought to be routed out. For the sake of Gondor!” The speaker was the same man who had registered doubt and incredulity over the disparity between Faramir’s travel-stained appearance and his exalted royal status. Faramir shot him a sharp look. Orcs had indeed been a scourge and a pestilence for many decades, throughout the border region that lay between Gondor and the Land of Shadow. The War had however been over for some time, and a call to control Orcs at this stage was very much akin to closing a stable door after the resident horse was long gone. But evidently feelings still ran high; though Faramir knew that this particular remote, southwestern corner of Gondor had never directly been affected by Orcish activities. Faramir sighed wearily to himself. He supposed that an upswing in misplaced nationalistic feeling would always have been an inevitable consequence of the return of the King.

The Mayor of the Town and his welcoming committee expressed polite concern that a visit from Faramir to the Barker’s exhibit might be seen as inappropriate, but as Faramir appeared to be set on the idea, they were reluctant to try too hard to dissuade him. Moreover, the royal party’s unexpected visit had thrown the town councillors into a frenzy of excited disarray; being eager to show their town off to its best advantage, they had an ad-lib schedule of entertainments for the rest of the afternoon and evening to plan. Faramir being otherwise occupied for an hour or two, then, would be something of a godsend to them.

At the appointed time, Faramir made his way to the Tavern. He was met by a beetle-browed, heavy-set fellow – evidently one of the Barker’s employees – who had the look of hired muscle about him. He accompanied Faramir out through the alehouse kitchens and into the Tavern’s rear courtyard, to where the Orc was residing in a securely locked, but otherwise ramshackle lean-to. The Tavern’s back room was obviously more often used for storage purposes. There was an unhealthy chill in the air, and it stank of dampness and mildew, the mustiness probably emanating from the half dozen or so empty, mouldering ale casks that were piled haphazardly just inside the door. A single, tiny, square window just under the eaves of the roof let in almost enough light to see by.

Noting that the wooden floor was rotted through in many places, Faramir trod carefully as he entered the stock room. The Doorkeeper followed him closely. As Faramir’s eyesight adjusted to the gloom, something he’d taken to be a loosely piled heap of rags and rubbish that was lying against the back wall shifted slightly, revealing itself to be the Orc – a large Uruk Orc, in fact – that he had come to look at. The Orc raised itself up to bask briefly, warming itself in a stray ray of sunlight, that was beaming half-heartedly in through the cobwebbed windowpanes.

Faramir took one look at the storeroom’s lonely occupant and experienced a lurching sensation of heart-felt joy, mingled with overtones of absolute, screaming horror.

“Leave us,” Faramir told the Doorman, abruptly.

The Doorman blustered that it wouldn’t be safe, it wouldn’t be right, for him to leave a customer alone with a vicious, dangerous, untrustworthy Orc.

“I’ll pay extra,” Faramir said, staring with fixed intensity at the Uruk. He handed his coin-pouch to the Doorman. “Take whatever you think appropriate.”

A quick clinking sound accompanied the partial emptying of Faramir’s purse. It weighed considerably less when the Doorman returned it, but Faramir did not notice. He would not have cared even if he had done, for he was fully absorbed in studying the Orc.

His right eye was missing. On that side, four great, parallel scars scored down the Uruk’s face and neck perhaps explaining that loss, and the empty eye-socket had become skimmed over by a flat flap of skin. A piece of his ear was gone too, and his long nose looked as if it had been broken again and reset carelessly at some point. But still the profile was unmistakeable. He was much thinner, and even lankier than Faramir remembered, and even though he’d always had a haggard, world-weary sort of a look about him, overall, the years had most definitely not been kind. Just now he looked ill, he looked tired, he looked gaunt.

“Shagrat,” Faramir said.

NB: Please do not distribute (by any means, including email) or repost this story (including translations) without the author's prior permission. [ more ]

Enjoyed this story? Then be sure to let the author know by posting a comment at http://www.faramirfiction.com/Fiction/captain-of-mordor. Positive feedback is what keeps authors writing more stories!

Thank the author

The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Kiisseli , phgrenadier , Erika , Sabiel , Henry

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8 Comment(s)

NB: Comments span all chapters and may contain spoilers!

How does this not have any comments yet?! It’s utterly beautiful! (In a sweetly deranged way, I mean.) Tell you the truth, I’m not even really into LotR (and I ended up having to look up this “Faramir” fellow) but this was recommended to me as orc smut, for which I have a soft spot—and luckily, I have an even bigger soft spot for “evil creature is not really so evil” conventions!

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this. I got done and went back to read it again. It’s sweet, and it came close to breaking my heart a few times (“let me fall on your sword,” and Shagrat’s submission to the wolf, and when Faramir admits to his identity) and finally succeeded (when Faramir betrays him). I honestly wanted more when I was done, especially because the situation in which they land at the end of the story leaves open so many insane possibilities. I am glad, however, that you’ve come to THE END, or else I’d be yowling about the unfinished business for days on end.

You’re a fabulous writer. Absolutely wonderful. I wish I could sing your praises more specifically, but…but…eeee!

— Ricky    19 June 2007, 15:24    #

Hi,I just wanted to thank you for a lovely story. My only complaint is that it is finished.Thanks again I loved it

— Janet    22 June 2007, 11:37    #

I want to give you feedback to your wonderful stories, Captain of Morder and The Nazgûl’s Prey.
I really love both stories. Captain of Mordor is such a moving love story heartbreakingly sweet but with a measure of irony too, that it’s never get soppy.
It’s just such a good and clever idea getting young Faramir lost with a bunch of orcs. Shagrat just act heartbreakingly sweet, I fell in love with him immediately! But at the same time he’s a dangerous brutish fellow, not to underestimate even when he’s badly injured.
Your sentences and your wording have a poetic flow. Detailed so I can see all the rain and Shagrat’s misery closely but also to the point. I especially like the way the reader is tricked into Faramir’s dream of Shagrat and Faramir making love (such a pity, it’s just a dream!). There are a lot of nice pictures in it, the dramatic moments nicely detailed, perfectly captured.

You really have a good way to look at the orcs closely, also with these two stories as with your Muzluk stories, which I also like. There are some discussions about orcs lives. Despite what is written there (about orcs having family) I mostly think of them in the same way as androids in sf and the way I understand your stories you seem to think this too. They are really an interesting look at them closely. Also I think the way you described a few stray orcs left in middle earth is believable too me. There are so many good ideas in it, the barker, Shagrat communicating with the wolf.
I also like your characterising of Faramir and the way you point out what similarities they have. The way Faramir tries to escape his unconventional lover but really can’t as nobody’s giving him what he did. I was so glad that there was a happy end at least they both so happy even covered in grey rain. There are also so many truths in your story about love, sex. Not all explicit slash is written so competent (if it’s appropriate to put it this way), and everybody who writes about it should understand the core of it, the way it works (or not), to describe the action correct is not always enough in my oppinion.
I like that we get the events of his love story with Faramir from Shagrat’s point of view sometimes with different details in The Nazgûl’s Prey. It is very dark with the descriptions in the dreadful dark pits with the Nazgûl and spectating orcs. But it shows that love will fight everything and is stronger than anything else when Shagrat is able to fight the Nazgûl for that moment and exclude it out of his mind.

— Smirra    22 June 2007, 21:21    #

I subscribe everything in Smirra’s comment. Your story is magnificent. You write so well, I can picture in my mind all that happens in the story. I have greatly enjoyed your story and want to congratulate you for that.

— Apostate    13 April 2009, 21:49    #

Dear Apostate
Thank you so much for posting your review and for your very kind comments – I’m so glad you liked the story. There is a very much longer and unfortunately rambling sequel in the works (‘Orc in Ithilien’) you might be interested in, that I will be submitting to this archive when it (eventually) gets finished. So, um, watch this space (but probably best not too avidly as the thing’s been in prep for years!)
Thanks again and all best wishes, K.

— draylon    23 April 2009, 18:22    #

Just re-read this—I first read on LoM, where there are no comments. It’s so different from other stories, especially orc ones. While I know that Shagrat is an Uruk through the whole thing, you’ve put more there. It’s like he’s still part Elf in there or something.

Rotten explanation. I’ve read part of “Orc in Ithilien” and I know there’s more written than what’s at LoM. Where could I find it? The Hobbit Ludlow is an unlikely addition to the mix, but with your Shagrat it works. It just works.

— Bell Witch    15 May 2010, 08:22    #

This is fascinating because of their interaction being so natural. I’ve only ever seen one other orc story done well, and your language here is so apt for him, not overdone, not underdone, never jarring. The other striking things are that both Faramir and Shagrat come over so well, and that there are all sorts of references to the back story that draw me on. I always like that a lot in a story, when it is done effectively.

I’ve seen few stories new to me lately which I enjoyed; this one is accomplished in the telling.

I didn’t like everything but the only bit I didn’t like so far was very minor and incidental, nothing to do with plot or characters anyway.

I think this is a charming and clever story, and it makes me smile and really makes me want to find out what happens and what happened, too. I’m fascinated with how you can do Shagrat, and Faramir, so unlikely are they, and yet you make it work.

— Erfan Starled    26 September 2010, 09:26    #

I found this story through Erfan’s recommendation and was intrigued to hear about a story with a not entirely bad orc in it. I ended up enjoying this a lot, most of all because of how very natural-acting and belieavable you’ve made the characters. It also fascinates me how you manage to describe Shagrat’s monstruos looks, his filthy clothes, smell etc. and yet make Faramir’s attraction to him perfectly believable. The only thing that disturbed my reading a bit in the beginning was that I had no idea when the two of them could have met earlier, or even roughly how long ago that was. I was very happy to find that explained in detail later on in the story :-) I was touched by the sweetness of the end, of course! Thank you for this rare and memorable story!

— Malinornë    10 October 2010, 20:49    #

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