End of Chapter 17
His body fell flat on his face and as with the body of Fëanor, his was consumed with a sudden flame and fell to ash. Brunwen looked up at the dark ranks of the Moriquendi and saw the shield Khelekiâ had created, fail and shimmer out of existence. The Moriquendi stood silent and shocked. Their leader was gone and the elf princess was now their queen by the agreement of the challenge.
Brunwen walked towards the sword and pulled it easily out of the ground. She raised it and declared in a loud voice.
” By the agreement of the challenge, I take the sword of the Moriquendi and the crown that is bound to it. Do you accept my rule?”
Her voice echoed through the vale. The Moriquendi stood stunned, hesitant. The generals, white faced, looked from one to another and then Kemenwath, the foremost of these, rode out of the lines towards her. He stopped his horse before her, her eyes staring sharply into his. He swung down in one silent, fluid movement and faced her.
Their eyes locked. Kemenwath, taller than her, looked down yet felt diminished. He hesitated and then he knelt, his head bowed in reverence. He drew his sword and held the hilt out.
“You have my sword!”
At that, the ranks of the army knelt. Those who hesitated were pulled down by their neighbours and all cried out.
Silence fell again and Brunwen, closing her eyes briefly, dropped the shield that she had been sustaining. She took the hand of Kemenwath and raised him. The Moriquendi all stood. She then called forward the generals. They rode up and dismounted in silence. Circling around her, eyes watching the Mirkwood elves, they waited for orders. She indicated that they should follow.
Brunwen, now Queen of the Moriquendi, turned and walked to the entrance of the forest palace. Her father now stood just inside the gate and seeing her approaching, he came out, silent and surrounded by his guards.
They stopped a few meters apart. Brunwen spoke first, in a calm voice so different from the threatening voice that had spoken in Khelekiâ’s mind.
“- King Thranduil of Mirkwood, I -on behalf of the Moriquendi- apologise for our attacks and I am withdrawing all the army as quickly as possible. I hope that the relations between our two people will improve now. Receive our apology.”
The Moriquendi generals had stiffened visibly at her words but they could not change this. They knew that her power was greater than the power they had seen through Khelekiâ. They could not defy her – she was too powerful.
Thranduil smiled slowly and nodded.
” – Queen Brunwen of the Moriquendi, your apology is accepted and indeed I will hope for better relations. You may enter my palace if you need to…
– I thank you. I wish to speak to you privately also.”
The king nodded again. They then walked into the palace after Brunwen gave orders for the Moriquendi army to withdraw to the camp. The king and his daughter went to a private room and spoke for a long. They both knew that the burden of ruling would keep them apart for a long time.
Several hours later, Brunwen returned to the Moriquendi camp. The camp disappeared quickly as the Dark Elves returned home with their new leader. Gaelen and Beron watched the shadow fade away as their friend left with her new subjects. They then went to pack as Gaelen was going to accompany Beron back to his home on the other side of the forest.
In his room, Thranduil sat, his mind in turmoil. Both his children were gone. Both were gone to dangerous place. How he wished that his family was not so important that it was always at risk!
Then a voice echoed in his mind.
Don’t worry… Legolas is perfectly fine and so am I, although I wish I could convince the Moriquendi to be slightly less gloomy! Sleep well Father.
I am going to rewrite the story and post that either on this website or on fanfiction.net… I hope you enjoyed it and I may think of a sequel.