For the Love of Nightingale - Foreword

Regarding Eryn Lasgalen (before the Destruction of the One Ring)
The King, its Prince, and their Guardians.

The center of Eryn Lasgalen is the Citadel, which is protected by a strong wall made of stone that surrounds it in all directions. It is also protected by the outer defenses which are composed of the warrior elves of Mirkwood, called the Guardians. The Guardians are led by the Citadel Guardian, an elf from the Ostovarno line, a line of elves that have long protected the Citadel from orc invasions.

Thranduil, the King of the Mirkwood, has ruled as a kindly King since the middle of the Second Age. His wise rule and capable leadership has kept Mirkwood from being overrun by the orcs that dwell at their borders. Though the shadow of darkness has fallen over his own green and fulfilling lands, Mirkwood has survived and will continue to persist through all the challenges it faces with stout hearts and brave souls.

The heir to the Mirkwood throne is Prince Legolas, Thranduil's and Laurëvanya's only child. Legolas's mother, Laurëvanya, has long since felt the call of the seas and has departed to the Undying Lands. She waits there now for her beloved husband and her precious son to rejoin her there when their time comes. Possessing a radiant beauty, Laurëvanya has passed on her extraordinary beauty to her son, Legolas.

With his blond hair and blue eyes, Legolas has broken many a maiden's heart. But like his good-natured mother, his heart is true and his wit, sharp though not cruel. Born just as the Third Age came to be, he became of age in the year 1001 of the Third Age. Always raised to be the next Mirkwood King, Legolas's burden of responsibility has groomed him to be a caring young elf with a wisdom beyond his years.

When his mother departed for Valinor in the year 1891, just before Mirkwood would begin to be shrouded in the gloom of a returned Mordor, as she could not bear to think of her beloved home desecrated by Evil. Legolas's sorrow was nearly the equal of his father's; for Legolas was his mother's son, possessing a sensitive heart after her own. Laurëvanya, knowing her son would miss her guidance, enlisted her childhood friend, the dark beauty, Lórawen, to watch over Legolas.

Lórawen was known to Legolas as the sister that his mother never had as an only child. She is married to the Citadel Guardian, Vorondil, whose family, the Ostovarnos, have been Guardians for Legolas's family since before the settlement in Mirkwood. By responding to the request of Laurëvanya, Lórawen left her only daughter, Eleniel behind on the outer defenses that guard the city against the marauding orcs.

At first Legolas resented Lórawen's presence, not understanding why his mother would think he needs someone to care for him when he is already of age. But he soon comes to appreciate her company when his father is gravely injured in one of border skirmishes as Lórawen is a gifted healer, being one of Elrond's students. Lórawen heals his father and guides Legolas from a young elven Prince into a wise student that begins to understand the souls of Elves.

Though Lórawen is disappointed when Legolas does not possess the gift of healing, as she has no students to teach her gifts to as her daughter is incapable and her nephew has not inherited the skill, she persists to open the Prince's heart to knowing the essence of life. Meanwhile, her daughter, Eleniel grows up under the tutelage of her warrior father, Vorondil and her orphaned cousin, Morion.

Deaf from birth, Eleniel must be sent away from the outer defenses as the woods grow darker and more dangerous. Escorted by Morion to the Citadel, Eleniel arrives to rejoin her mother, Lórawen, who Eleniel has not been seen for over 500 years. Her mother sequesters Eleniel into a hidden garden where solitude and quietness are Eleniel's only company. Left with nothing else to do, Eleniel continues to hone her ability as a skilled elven weaponsmith.

Hidden from the rest of the elves, Eleniel finds her only comfort from Morion's frequent and her father's infrequent visits. Though she is a skilled warrior, her father refuses to allow her to join the Citadel Guard. Vorondil thinks its too dangerous as Eleniel cannot hear the enemy but must rely on sight alone. Thus he sends her away, even if she is one of his most skilled warriors.

While Eleniel wishes that she knew her mother better, she understands the important role that her mother plays in the royal court of Mirkwood. And even before her mother had departed to become the Prince's teacher, Lórawen was too busy being the Healer of Mirkwood. But if Eleniel is close to anyone, it is her father. Lórawen has often said that the daughter she has it truly Vorondil's.

When her father is killed in battle, Eleniel feels that she must return to the outer defenses since the founding of Mirkwood there has always been an Ostovarno there. Her mother will not allow this, as she is devastated by the death of her husband and cannot bear to lose her daughter as well. Eleniel then sends a secret missive to Morion, who has been leading the Guardians since the death of Vorondil.

With Morion's help, Eleniel finally has come home to the outer defenses, where she was born and raised amongst the warrior elves of Mirkwood. Unwilling to let Morion step down as the Citadel Guardian, as he knows more about battle strategies than any elf that she knows--- she instead insists that she will be his weaponsmith. Together, they drive away the first terrible onslaught of the first reformed Mordor army since the War of the Ring.

Even though they know that they were victorious, there is celebration of triumph. Instead, there is the deep dread for all the bloodshed and the grim battles ahead of them as Mordor has risen from its ashes to not only shadow their beautiful woods but to terrorize them with armies of orcs released from deep within its darkness...

Concerning the Mirkwood Elves

Legolas Greenleaf
His name means "Greenleaf." The Prince of Mirkwood and Lórawen's faithful student, Legolas has proven him to be every inch the Prince that his mother expected him to be. Under tutelage of the Healer of Mirkwood, Legolas has grown into a bright, intelligent elf with the uncanny instincts that a monarch needs. While he is no healer, he is an empathetic Prince that understands the needs of his people and the yearnings of their souls. Trained by a retired Guardian, Legolas becomes a skilled warrior, but he realizes that he must test his battle skills on the front line to see what he still needs to learn. Coming underneath the guidance of Citadel Guardian, Morion, Legolas blossoms into a fine warrior--- the "greatest archer the forest has ever seen." He is about 2,700 years old.

Thranduil Greenleaf
His name means "Beyond the Long River." He is the King of Mirkwood and is a strong, capable ruler. He is over 5,000 years old and has been King for over 4,000 years since the middle of the Second Age. He was devastated when his wife felt the call of the sea, but he understood that she could not bear to see her beloved Greenwood darkened into Mirkwood. He now rules Mirkwood `til the time when it again be known as Eryn Lasgalen and `til he can rejoin his wife in Valinor.

Laurëvanya Greenleaf
Her name means "Golden Beauty" as she is the loveliest of all elven maidens to grace the Halls of the Citadel. She is the beloved wife of King Thranduil and passed over to the Undying Lands in the year 1891 of the Third Age. She left her son in the care of her childhood friend, Lórawen, who she trusted to teach her son to become a wise and kindly Prince.

Eleniel Ostovarno
Her name means "Star Maiden." But what her fellow Guardian brothers call her is Lómelindë or "Nightingale." She is more like her father than her mother, though she has inherited her mother's dark beauty. Though she was born deaf, that has not prevented her from being a warrior worthy of her bloodline nor has it stopped her from becoming a gifted weaponsmith. She is especially gifted at bow-making and swords-making. Nearly 2000 years old, she has become the Chief Weaponsmith for the Mirkwood elves. Considering her considerable skill with weapons-making, she is kept protected in the outer defenses to supply the Guardians with the weapons they need to defend the Citadel against the Mordor orcs.

Vorondil Ostovarno
His name means "Devoted Faith." He was the Citadel Guardian until his untimely death in 2528 by the hands of orcs. He dearly loves his daughter and sought to protect her by sending her back to the Citadel in 2395. From a long line of skilled warriors, the Ostovarnos (City Defenders), he has taught his daughter everything about weaponry and combating He was nearly 4,500 years old at his death.

Lórawen Ostovarno
Her name means "Dark Maiden," hinting at her dark beauty. Her origins are shrouded with the elves that originally settled Rivendell with Lord Elrond Half-Elven. Stories have it that she descends from her mother's side to a close relative of Lúthien and that is where she got her dark good looks. One of Elrond's first students, Lórawen comes from a long line of healers. She practiced the healing arts under Elrond's guidance for a thousand years before finally marrying the elf her parents had betrothed her to at her coming of age. She is over 4,000 years old and known as the Healer of Mirkwood.

Morion Telromenisil
His name means "Dark Son." He is a cousin of Eleniel from her mother's side. Orphaned at a young age due to the fact his parents had settled dangerously close to Mordor and were one of the first elven settlements to fall, he has lived the past 2000 years with his Uncle Vorondil. Lacking the healing gift that's prevalent on his father's side (his father was Lórawen's older brother), the Telromenisil (Last Rising Moon), he trains under Vorondil as the next Citadel Guardian. At Vorondil's, Morion assumes the position as Citadel Guardian with Eleniel's blessing when he's nearly 3,000 years old.

Notes on New References

Citadel: The heart of Eryn Lasgalen, where the King of Mirkwood resides. It would be equated with the White City of Gondor.

Citadel Guardian: The leader of the armed elven warriors of Mirkwood that defend the Citadel by holding the outer defenses. The Citadel Guardian has always come from the Ostovarno line until Morion Telromenisil, who is the nephew of Vorondil, the last Ostovarno Guardian.

Guardians: The armed elven warriors of Mirkwood. They are typically young elves that use the experience to become matured and experienced elves. Before the darkening of Greenwood into Mirkwood, it was not necessary for every male elf to serve as a Guardian but not it is mandatory.

Healer of Mirkwood: The title given to the Chief Healer of Mirkwood.

Weaponsmith: The name given to any elf that is skilled with the forging of weapons. The title of Chief Weaponsmith is given to the current master at weapons-making.

Author's Note: This story has a lot of background knowledge. I won't even try to say this isn't Mary-Sueish. If you can get past it, I hope you'll see that it's a lovely and very detail intensive story. If you have read my other LotR fanfic, "In Times Like These" it'll be written in a similar breathtaking fashion but better (as I hope I get better as I keep writing).

If you like it, review it and you might see more of it.

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