The Scarred One - Prologue

The Sea-Elves were the first race of elves to settle in the West. Therefore, when the Wood-Elves arrived from Middle Earth, among them some of the elves from Mirkwood Forest, the Sea-Elves considered them to be invaders. Disputes aroused, tempers flared, accusations flew between the two races as well as insults. The Wood-Elves thought their rivals to be selfish and unreasonable. The Sea-Elves thought their rivals to be thick-headed and naïve.

The quarrelling would've gone on forever had fate not intervened. The seeds of love blossomed between Legolas Greenleaf, the prince of Mirkwood, and Aurora Moonwater, the queen of the Sea-Elves. Aurora was only older than Legolas by a century, crowned queen after her parents were killed during the Last Great Dragon War when the great dragons had been driven to the West a thousand years ago.

Legolas and Aurora kept their passion secret. Their nightly rendezvous on the beach was the only time during the day they were able to see each other. To keep their relationship an honorable one, they arranged a private marriage with Legolas's Head Guard who also acted as a kind of elvish minister if the need ever came. That night, the star-crossed lovers sealed their vows with the crescent silver moon and roaring tide as witnesses. Their passion toward each other as time went on grew as a rose, spilling out its blood-red petals a love of such perfection even elves had trouble contemplating.

Eventually, their love was uncovered, and Legolas was charged for high treason by his own people. The Sea-Elves considered Aurora a victim and accused Legolas for using his powers to seduce her and, in plain English, raping her. Aurora protested desperately against this charge, but the Sea-Elves wouldn't listen and tried to convince her that she had been under his lustful power and was not really herself. They could not believe their beloved queen would fall for that interloper from the East.

Meanwhile, Legolas was held in the dungeon of his own palace until his trial. Most of the Wood-Elves were grieved. They loved their prince who was strong, kind, and fair, ruling with a gentle yet firm hand while King Thranduil was away on business. It was the Elders who had accused Legolas of treason. They believed Legolas was far too young to rule and wouldn't take orders from "a mere sapling". By Wood-Elf standards, thirty-two hundred was the age youths reached full adult maturity, and though Legolas was only two hundred years shy of that age, the Elders still considered him nothing more than an adolescent, a spoiled brat doing as he please while Daddy Darling was away.

Well, they were certainly going to teach him a lesson!

Only two of the Elders stood up in Legolas's defense. They were High Lord Elrond of Rivendell and High Lady Galadriel of Lothlorien. Between the two of them, they did everything in their power to save Legolas. But the rest of the Elders would not heed. "Fools!" Elrond had shouted in an outburst of temper he had not lost since Isildur refused to destroy the One Ring three thousand years ago. "And you call yourselves elves."

He walked out on the Council of Elders that day, vowing never to return. The elves of Rivendell would have to look to Legolas for leadership now. If Legolas was not proven guilty.

But during Legolas's trial, it was discovered that Legolas and Aurora were married. The Elders had been outraged. Then an evil plot began to form as they realized their need for power, the perfect way to be rid of the prince legally and finally. If Legolas was to denounce his marriage to Aurora, he would be pardoned and his princehood restored. If not, he would die a traitor's execution.

Legolas refused to denounce his marriage, saying in a loud voice filled with defiance, "If I must die, I will die bond to Queen Aurora Moonwater-Greenleaf, my wife!"

He was beaten for that. If was a month before his execution and everyday the Elders would whip him until he lost consciousness. But Legolas never cried out in pain. He wouldn't give them the satisfaction.

The prison guards watched with horror at Legolas's abuse. While the Elders were away, the guards would sneak Legolas properly cooked food, wine, and fresh water so he wouldn't starve or become ill. At the same time, they begged their prince to reconsider. "If you should die, what would become of us, oh prince?" Legolas would smile but would not relent. He had made his decision.

The execution was to take place at dawn. On the shore, the two races of elves gathered to witness a sentence that had not been carried out in centuries. Mixed emotions stirred among the crowd. The Sea-Elves were relieved that their queen was finally safe from this rogue. The Wood-Elves were in shock.

Then Legolas walked out of prison led by the reluctant guards, and his loyal subjects yelled out in outrage. The prince wore only a pair of breeches, revealing the bloody gashes covering his arms and back. His once long silver-blonde hair was now cut close to the scalp, the ultimate sign of shame. Only Men cropped their hair so short. But he walked with his head held high. He was not sorry for what he had done, for he had done nothing wrong.

Legolas's hands were bond to a small boulder jutting out of the ground like a stake. The guards poured ice-cold water over him and when that was done, stepped aside with tears in their eyes. "Do not cry for me," Legolas told them softly. "I shall die a noble death today." Two executioners stood beside him, a Sea-Elf and a Wood-Elf, each holding a long, bull-hide whip. Drums rolled and the beating began.

The prince didn't so much as gasp when the cords hissed through the air and sliced across his back, opening wounds already trying to heal. But colored spots glared Legolas's vision, reality reduced to mere painful flashes. His body swayed, and Legolas felt the sensation of floating as he mind danced on the fine line between consciousness and unconsciousness. No, he must fight to stay awake. But he was so tired, his energy spent.

Legolas sank to his knees in the sand. How strange. Suddenly, the stinging whips didn't seem to hurt so bad anymore. They almost tickled his skin. The floating sensation continued until he no longer felt like part of his body. "Aurora, I love you!" he cried and then his strength vanished as darkness consumed him like a tidal wave and dragged him into its fathomless depths.

Legolas did not die, though he appeared to do so. Elrond and Galadriel took his body to the North Tower, and there they healed his gashes, regrew his hair, dressed him in his prince's robes and placed him under a deep sleeping spell, only to be awakened when the Sword of the Silvan Elves was placed upon his chest by his firstborn son.

Thranduil arrived to the West and agreed to send Legolas's body back to Mirkwood. His body was encased in a glass coffin and carried back to Middle Earth by a large, red fire dragon. Then everyone, with a hushed tension, began to wait for the birth of Legolas's firstborn son.

Eight uneasy months went by, then finally, on the night of the most terrible storm the West had ever experience, Alakolas was born.

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