Loran walked through the vast gardens of the palace, lost in his thougts. Not far away, he heard the clanging of sword blades. Lord Elrond was apparently teaching the young prince how to wield a sword.
Loran was one of the forgiven Elders along with Valandros. The two had not neseccarily spoken against Legolas but had not stood up for him, either. Basically, Loran and Valandros just sat there and watched everything fall apart.
Loran was young for an Elder, only 4,964 years old but he was wiser far beyond his years. He was not a Wood-Elf. His people were the North-Elves, a race of elves with snow-white hair and eyes as gray as winter who lived in high up north, and he was the one they chose to represent them. The Council of Elders was created for the behalf of all Elven races. The North-Elves did not like to mingle in the affairs of their southern cousins, but they were always willing to offer help should the need arise.
The Elder stopped by the lilacs where he could observe Alakolas and Elrond during the training session. If what was said to be true, Loran was becoming better aquainted with Legolas through his son.
“He is a speedy learner,” a voice observed from Loran’s side. “They have trained only a few short hours and looking at them, one would say Elrond was the student and Alakolas the teacher.”
The voice belonged to Valandros, whose brother was the king of the Shadow-Elves, an isolated race dwelling in the mountains with black hair and eyes that seemed to drink in all light and not reflect it back. The Shadow-Elves were not planning on moving West in this lifetime, content where they were, but they did desire a voice in the Council. Valandros’s wisdom was valuable considering he was almost 7,000 years old.
“Good afternoon, Valandros.”
“Good afternoon, Loran.”
For a minute both elves said nothing as they watched Alak deliver a powerful blow with his sword that nearly snicked Elrond’s arm off. “Careful!” Elrond warned as he dodged out of the way just in time.
“Sorry,” Alak said sheepishly, his youth causing him to giggle.
Loran sighed, the first to speak. “Valandros, do you think things would be different….if we had spoken up in Legolas’s defense?” He said the words slowly and carefully. This was a very touchy subject.
Valandros’s voice remained expressionless as he replied, “I knew it would useless. That is why I said nothing. Thalor is as stubborn as an oak. He would not budge for Galadriel or Elrond, the most powerful elves in the Council. What makes you believe he would’ve budge for us? The same outcome would have occurred. Except you and I probably wouldn’t have to ask for forgiveness.”
“Thalor makes me nervous,” Loran admitted. “Even now when he and the other two have been exiled, he still makes me nervous.”
“You are wise, my friend. Only a fool would say that Thalor does not make them nervous. I am nervous, too. I am not even sure Thalor is an elf. He is cold and regardless of others. Had I had my way, he wouldn’t have been in the Council in the first place.”
More silence. Elrond had just decided that Alak had enough experience with the sword and now it was time for the bow.
“It’s amazing how the Queen pardoned us like that,” Loran spoke up.
Valandros stared at him. “Not so amazing. The only thing we did wrong was not stand up for the Queen’s husband. It is not so hard to forgive others, Loran. The hardest thing is forgiving yourself.”
Loran began to contemplate this as he watched Alakolas practice with the bow. “He acts just like his father,” he observed, a fact he was now certain of.
Suddenly something whizzed by his ear and landed in the tree behind them. An arrow had just barely missed slicing off the pointed tip of his ear. “Sorry!” Alak called to them, giving them a wave. Elrond was looking toward the sky, muttering something in Elvish along the lines of why him?
Valadros rolled his eyes. “Aye,” he said in a mutter of slight disgust. “Maybe too much.”