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A story of a lost princess

Prologue:
Two months in a slavery became the worst nightmare for me. I remember crying for days after being taken, wishing nothing but death. But I remembered who I truly am. A daughter of a noble king famous for his stubbornness. I will not fall, will not surrender to darkness. I will live through it and fight for my future.

Chapter 1. Before the storm

If I were human, I'd be sixteen. The only girl in the family, the last child of the Thranduil, king of Northern Mirkwood. My childhood was far from what the normal girl should have. Surrounded by tree brothers I was more interested in the swords and bows, then crafts that were claimed to be female. If I was given a chance, I would became a warrior. But unfortunately my father was as hard as a stone or a peace of ice, that is, when it was about my future. He loved me with all his heart and I had never doubted it. But I always felt as if I was a rare flower in the royal garden, the one that is being admired by everyone, but is alone.
My eldest brother Saelon was a crown prince. He was always involved in politics, different meetings and councils. Whatever free time he had he spent with his family. I rarely spoke to him as a sister would to brother. We were not close enough for that. Suldir was king's second son and leaded our troops, commanding the army and patrol groups. He was rarely seen in the palace, spending most of his time out in the woods, protecting the realm. My third brother Legolas was probably the closest to me. He was also trained as a warrior and became rather famous for his archery. Being the youngest son and still quiet young, he had more spare time to keep me company.
We had a little secret. The one that had probably saved my life... Legolas was teaching me how to use weapons. He was a good teacher and I was eager to learn that craft. We practiced whenever an opportunity showed itself and no one in the whole palace knew about it.
With the growing intensity of a shadow that was covering our woods, father was sending me to the fair woods of Lorien more often. I suffered greatly. Dark or not, Mirkwood was still my home. I felt lost and lonely being cut from it. And what is more, I felt useless. I could do nothing but watch as my elder brother spent sleepless nights working hard with our father to find a way of survival for our people and two others were risking their lives again and again, slaying dark forces that were plaguing our wood.
I remember that day well, for my mind was playing it's events over and over again during my restless sleep. Father called me to his room. He was exhausted, his face pale and drawn. He jested for me to sit.
"Ithildae, I know you do not want to leave." He started and I already knew what would come next. "But the danger is growing. Orcs, spiders and now the slave traders... I want to be sure that at least one of my children is safe."
I wanted to protest, feeling bitter tears threatening to fall down my face. But I did not. I never did. Each time I was looking in the sad pain-filled eyes of my father, I could read nothing but love. Love and regret.
"When you want me to live?"
"Tomorrow. And I want you to bring the message to Lord and Lady of Lorien."
I bowed slightly and left the room. It took me few minutes to run toward my room and lock the door. Valar knew I didn't want to leave. With ??? still in the forest, sending no news for over a month. And with Legolas on a quest with a ranger, sent who-knows-where by Gandalf. But what choice did I have?
So I collected my things, too familiar with the procedure to even concentrate on it. My thoughts however were wandering elsewhere, seeking some way out of a twisted maze of fate I have been lost into.
"Tomorrow" arrived quicker then I would wish it. I mounted my horse, surrounded by a circle of guards and few other female elves. Despite my status I preferred to travel dressed in a common outfit, more suitable for a hunter then a princess. That was my little victory in a never ending battle against traditions. And that would prove to be vital for me.
I waved my goodbye to father trying to look happier then I felt. But some sudden dreadful feeling inside my heart was telling me, that this journey would end up badly. I wasn't blessed (or coursed) with the gift of foreseeing and so I said nothing, thinking it to be the result of my gloomy mood. We departed from the palace, quickly heading into west toward Lorien.
I was enjoying my time among the trees. Among king's children I was the one to inherited our mother's appearance and a large part of her sylvan blood. That caused living in the stone walls of the palace to be even harder for me. But what shocked me during that journey, was silence. All consuming, sinister silence that pierced my heart. The trees were not talking, the animals were hidden. The wood was resembling a graveyard, but it's inhabitances were not yet dead. I remember thinking if we were really doomed. Doomed to see no light and feel no life...
And that was the most appropriate atmosphere for a disaster to strike.

…TBC
Chapter End Notes:
Note: This one is short and too lyrical even for my liking. It would contain more actions further.
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