Disgrace - Prologue

"She has committed a crime worthy of death but I am loath to pull the sword against my own daughter. She will be at the mercy of the world and so I banish her. Take her to the gate and throw her out of my palace. Now!"

The proud princess stood firm and straight without flinching, though her heart was sinking in fear. The stains still were on her garments but for a criminal she was beautiful.

The elven soldiers, heading only their orders, seized the princess and took her from the hall. They took her through the dark corridors and reached the gate. There theay stopped. The gate opened and she was flung out with nothing but the clothes on her back. She pulled herself up proudly and not turning, she marched swiftly down the path till the gates were out of sight. She slowed down and walked more slowly along the dark elfin path through the dark forest, tears smarting in her eyes. Her cloak wrapped close about her, she peered forward in the darkness.

She knew that she had been foolish but her actions had not deserved punishment. Even so this was not what she had expected.

How could they? She was a princess! She could not be forced away...

The word bitter in her mouth, she murmured:

"Banished"

She could never while life flowed in her veins return to the Elfin realm of Mirkwood. But they would regret it. They would regret it.

*************

Back at the palace of Thranduil, an elf stood in sorrow. The King had declared that no one was supposed to go to find her or help her. In fact, she was no longer a person that could be named. The king had disowned his eldest child.

Unbelieving, he resolved to discover what she had done or rather who had really committed such a crime that she should become no one. He could not think that she had done such a thing. She was innocent. He knew that the princess was a peaceful woman and he knew her well. She had been his friend since their childhood and never given sign of a mind that could conceive such evil plots.

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