Welcome to Erebor
Daughter of a Traitor
Chapter One - Welcome to Erebor
They ran. Mother and daughter. A life on the run where fear is a constant every day was no life for anyone, but this life had been handed to her. As a young elleth, there was nothing for her to do, fate had played his cards and all she could do was make the best of what was given to her.
They ran now from Elven Hunters that tracked them miles across the fields from Mirkwood. Hunters of King Thranduil, he wanted nothing more than to have Amoniel dead and see to it that her daughter learned her rightful place beneath him.
The fear rushed through her and she wished she could just stop running, yet, the adrenaline that pumped through her veins made it so she could not stop. Laiqualassiel desperately tried to keep her eyes forwards, tried to focus on nothing more than each and every step she took. Instead her mind thought of everything she didn’t want it to, the hunters the chased them down, how they were quickly catching up to them, how they had nowhere left to go, the pain throbbing from her ear, the ear that King Thranduil had gone and marked for reasons she knew not. They called her a Daughter’s Traitor, but she could not see how that was possible. All her life it has been only her mother and her, all her life her mother protected her. Protected her from the elves, the elves that caused her this pain, the elves that were now chasing them down.
Hooves thundered around them she was desperate to get away her hand fell upon her ear she could still feel the dried blood, wincing at the pain she pushed her body forwards refusing to return to the hands of King Thranduil once more.
She stood before the Great Elven King his face twisting in hate. Her heart pounding in fear at what was to come. Laiqualassiel wanted nothing more than to find her Nana, who had already been taken away to the dungeons.
“Thallan, mark the elleth appropriately.”
“Where is my mother?” She screamed indifferent to the social protocols in the presence of a king.
“After all that wretched mother of yours has done, she will be executed.” Thranduil sneered, striding from down the stairs from his throne closing the distance between them, king and traitor.
Laiqualassiel screamed struggling in a futile attempt to free herself from the elves that forced her to stay in the king’s presence. “Let her go, you loathsome-”
Thranduil lashed forwards snatching her chin firmly in his grip forcing her to cease all words, “Valar only knows what that elleth filled the girl’s head with, you will be marked for life for what your mother has done, forever marked as the daughter of a traitor.” King Thranduil ordered sternly, he sneered in her face as his gripped tightened.
“My Lord, please, if there must be something else, she is after all my daughter.” The elf breathed out at his king’s command, Laiqualassiel tried to look up to her father horrified as he stood by her in the armour of the king, a close friend, and confident of Thranduil’s though the king’s grip kept her in place.
“I understand, Thallan, you are a faithful, honourable ellon. Perhaps if she had been raised by yourselves she would be much different.” Thranduil growled squeezing her face harder, causing her to whimper out in pain feeling a bruise beginning to form.
“Please, my lord.” Thallan pleaded for the sake of his daughter, Thranduil glanced over to him as though he considered his plea.
“Let me go, you horrid elf, we have done nothing to you, why are you doing this?”
Thranduil dropped her chin backhanding her before snatching her by the throat choking her as he spun her around into him, Laiqualassiel dropped her head backwards against Thranduil, tears gleaming as they rolled down her cheeks, blood running down her chin. With her hands tied behind her back, Thranduil’s arm wrapped around her chest pinning her to himself the dagger he planned to mark her with now pressed against her neck ceasing all struggling.
“Ah, and so it comes out. You truly think your mother has done nothing,” Thranduil scoffed eyeing Thallan, “Your mother has ruined everything, the elleth you know is false, I almost pity you. Mark your daughter, Thallan, or hold her down and I will do it myself.”
“No!” She began her fighting once more as the king removed the dagger from her neck.
Thranduil began smirking, “Perhaps, you are right. Thallan, you will not be marking your daughter, but nor will I.” Thranduil leaned in close to her ear, dropping his voice to a whisper, “She will be doing it herself.” Thranduil said as he began dragging her away, controlling her as she struggled in his grip.
As they came to his chambers Thranduil threw her to the ground before stabbing the dagger through her ear pinning her to the ground. “Pull your ear free and I will let you go, but your mother is mine. Accept me as your king, accept your place beneath me as my servant and I will remove the dagger myself and I will heed your father’s wishes and not mark you at all.”
Laiqualassiel lay there as the king poured himself a glass of wine, he sat leaning back in his chair watching the elleth struggling to free her hands without moving so much as to rip her ear from the dagger stuck through it. Tears flowing down her cheeks.
Amoniel grasped her daughter by the shoulders looking her dead in the eye, drowning out the sounds of the hooves pounding the ground in the near distance. “Run, Laiqualassiel! Run, and hide!” The urgency was clear in the mother’s voice, she placed a hand on her heart waving it towards her daughter, giving her a nudge egging her on in the right direction.
“Nana,” She cried out in return tears slowly began to show themselves brimming on the very edge threatening to spill over.
Amoniel spun her around give her one last nudge knowing that she did not want to leave. “Now, child.”
Tears fell down her cheeks as she spun and tried to take off up the mountain when horses surrounded them blocking her path. Futile hands wiped at her face trying to rid her of the tears as the sound of the horse’s hooves against the rocky earth rang loudly in the clearing, the wind whistled and howled through the trees.
Elves leapt from their horse grasping her so she could not run, their leader raised his bow nocking an arrow Laiqualassiel was faced with the horrid scene as the leader pulled his bowstring tautly, despite wanting to Laiqualassiel couldn’t tear her eyes away. Her bottom lip quivered uncontrollably, more tears fell, feeling cool against her skin in the wind. The slight twang of the arrow being released sounded and with a stifled gasp of pain she watched as her own people murdered her Naneth and knew still that their king was seeking to capture her and here she stood captured in his hunter’s hands.
Unable to control her body any longer she began screaming, shrieking.
Atop the hill in the distance stood a group of dwarven warriors returning home, they looked onwards at the group of elven hunters, listened to the screams of the elleth they captured.
“My lord Thorin, what’ll we do?” A hefty dwarf asked with a beard speckled with grey.
“Nothing,” Said another from their leaders left, “Their elves, leave the elf to deal with their own.”
Thorin said nothing, he watched musing the situation over.
“Please! Why are you doing this? Nana, please don’t die on me now! No!”
The elven hunter covered her mouth silencing her screams, screams that echoed over the hillside, screams that determined her fate, screams that convinced Prince Thorin to help her.
“We help this she-elf.” Drawing his sword Thorin charged down the hill after them.
Laiqualassiel cried out when an arrow pierced one of the elves that held her, as he crashed to the earth she took her chance and ran as she was nearing the top of the hill she was struck in the leg by an arrow crashing to the ground hitting her head on a rock jutting out of the earth surface the world faded to black.
Thorin leads his warriors back up the hill to where the elf lay they took in her massacred ear, split lip, her body badly bruised and now to top it off a wound to her temple and upper leg. Together they helped the unconscious elf back to the back mountains healing ward before Thorin went to speak with his grandfather, King Thror.
Thorin sighed rubbing at his chin in grief for the elf he stumbled upon, and for his hatred of the elves in general. The younger elleth, as Thorin assumed her to be, could not have possibly done something so serious to deserve death by Hunter’s hand.
The King sat high upon a platform in his stone carved throne. “What is it, Thorin?” King Thror boomed throughout the room, his voice echoing in the chasm.
“I’ve rescued a she-elf, from guards in the fields to the west, they killed her mother. Might we provide shelter and-”
“Clearly these were no mere guards,” Thror snapped knowing perfectly that his grandson knew the difference between guards and hunters.
Guards did not chase people down purely for murder, that was a job king’s left for their Hunters.
“What was her mother killed for?” The king demanded bluntly, “And where is this elf we speak of if you have already brought her into my mountain.”
“Grandfather, please, she had just witnessed her mothers’ death...” Thorin tried to stand up for the elf, she looked helpless and Thorin felt the need to help the youngling. “Though I know not what she was killed, the elf in healing she was struck by one of their arrows.”
Thror narrowed his eyes and you think it wise to bring her here?”
“She needed help, I don’t believe her to know everything on her own, grandfather, allow her to heal here and I will speak with her find out all you care to know. Then you can kick her out again or allow her to stay.”
Thror mused over his grandson’s words before nodding his head. “Very well, go to her then.”
Thorin nodded his head bowing as he exited the throne room, he followed the long stone path out heading to the healing ward he smiled noticing she had awoken.
“I am Thorin, son of Thrain, son of Thror.” The dwarf introduced himself as he took a seat by her bedside. “And you are?”
“Laiqualassiel. Laiqualassiel, Orangeleaf.” She responded between gasps of breath from the pain the riddled her body. Every memory came hurdling back. “Nana! Where is she? Where is my mother?”
Thorin looked down sadly, “I am sorry but she was killed by the hunters.”
The image of the arrow entering her mother’s body replayed itself within her own mind, sobs wracked her body. “No! Damn him, damn the elven king.”
“These were King Thranduil’s hunters then?”
“Of course, they were,” She snapped angrily wiping away her tears, her sorrow quickly changing to anger for the elven king.
Thorin lips pulled into a thin line as he tried to pronounce her full given elven name, glancing around he noticed a trailing vine of ivy working its way along the ledge of a nearby window its leaves turning orange in the late fall sun, “Orangeleaf, you say?”
The elleth nodded following his line of sight, a small smile tug as she reached for the Ivy plucking a small piece of the vine, thanking the plant. With slow, careful fingers she braided it into a simple side braid. Thorin watched her scratching at his beard. She didn’t move away from the dwarf, just sat there staring off into the distance.
“Might I call you Ivy?” He asked, giving up on trying to say her full elven name, what seemed to him as a dwarf, an unusual name.
She nodded her head pulling her knees up, “Is it you I must thank, for saving me and the healing?”
Thorin smiled, “It was I that made the command to help, yes. Though I cannot say if you can stay here, that is for my grandfather King Thror but first, you must answer some questions.”
Ivy nodded slowly.
“The king wishes to know, why or what your mother had done in order to be killed by hunters.”
“I... I don’t know.” Her voice cracked with all the crying she had been doing, her eyes now red and puffy. “I do not know much of the matters concerning my mother.”
“Tell me what you do know,” Thorin commanded gently, he moved closer taking her hand in his comforting her the best that he could.
Ivy bowed her head as she spoke. “I am sorry, but I fear I don’t know much. Most of my life we’ve been on the run. My mother and I once lived in a small village until our house was raided by a dozen or so elves we were taken to Mirkwood, where my mother was imprisoned -for what I do not know- and I was left in the hands of Thranduil. In fear and confusion, I sought out my mother in the dungeons where she told me to set her free I did only as she asked, we ran away from Thranduil’s guards and Hunters. They caught up to us here on the borders of these lands. That’s when you saved me. I haven’t the faintest idea why my mother was murdered, whatever she had done must have happened before I was born and we still pay for whatever it is she has done... she always said we ran away for our own protection from the elves, our own people but I don’t know why we would need to or anything...” sobs overtook her words suddenly, understandably so as Ivy spoke my hatred for the elves only grew.
“If that pointed eared king had your mother killed, he will be looking to you next. If I allow you to stay, I will then be accepting the role of protecting you from the Elven King. Do you understand?” King Thror demanded as he entered the healing ward having heard the elf’s words.
“I do understand, my lord.”
“I expect nothing but your allegiance and utmost loyalty, you will train hard elf and fight for me.”
“Yes, my lord. Thank you for your kindness.” Ivy bowed gratefully, watching the king stormed from the healing ward once more.
Thorin showed Ivy to a room across from his own, opening the door for her he spoke, “I will have something brought up for you if you so desire.”
He didn’t wait for an answer seeing in her eyes her lack of wanting to talk, with a small polite bow Thorin took his leave, taking it upon himself to make a few trips around Erebor. To the kitchens having dinner prepared for Ivy, to the seamstress to have a few gowns made and had one altered that would fit her lithe elven frame. Thorin had taken it upon himself to make her feel at home and welcome.
As he made his way back to Ivy’s room dinner in one hand in the other a dress, he knew that he made quite the sight carrying dinner around like some common servant.
“Brother, I knew you were odd but dresses?” A throaty voice mocked from behind.
Thorin was quick to respond to his brother, “This is for Ivy, you fool.”
“Oh! Ivy you say, and who might she be?” Frerin came into sight following his brother up a set of stairs, his voice full of implications.
Thorin not buying into his brother’s foolishness answered, shaking his head. “A young elf, who’s mother was killed by hunters. This evening I saved her from a similar fate, she knows nothing as to why. We are to provide her with hospitality, and protection from King Thranduil.”
Frerin paused in his walking briefly before hurrying forward again. “An Elf here?” He seemed surprised to hear such absurdity. “Besides how do we know she tells the truth?”
“The king and I believe her, do you need more reason?” Thorin demanded with raised eyebrows challenging him.
“No.” Frerin insisted, holding his hands out in front of him.
“Good. Head to dinner.”
Frerin hurried away to tell Dis that there was an elf staying under the mountain.
Thorin shook his head in amusement at Frerin’s foolishness. Thorin entered the healing ward noticing she was resting upon the ledge of the window, at the sound of Thorin’s heavy footfalls Ivy sat up looking at him sadly, her eyes still red from all the crying. With a small smile Thorin placed the dress on the end of her bed he walked to the table placing the plates of food down.
“Hannan le,” Ivy thanked him, though she didn’t feel much like eating.
“I do not know what that means,” Thorin looked to her with a slightly confused look.
“Ah, well. Come and eat, you must continue to take of yourself and then you should rest.” Thorin bowed his head lightly, holding a hand out for her to take.
Ivy followed Thorin to the table closing her eyes, she sat taking a deep breath, her mind wandered momentarily. Wondering what life had in store for her now.
So far in all her years, all she knew was how to run away, a trail of open-ended questions was her entire life.
What did Nana do to deserve such a fate? Causing her to lose the tip of her ear. Ivy vowed to one-day gain answers to everything she didn’t know yet, no matter what it took but for now, she’ll just live, learn, and train. She would need to be prepared if she ever planned to leave the safety of this mountain and face Thranduil. Perhaps, the dwarves would prove kinder than the elves have proved to be.
Thorin noticed her face as she twirled the food upon her plate, silent tears trickled down her cheeks.
“Do you wish to speak about it?” Thorin asked as he took a seat himself.
“I do not even know you,” Ivy sniffled, wiping her tears away. “I know no one.”
“I am Thorin, son of Thrain, son of Thror. A dwarven prince under the mountain. I have a brother, Frerin and a sister, Dis. I play the harp and am training on the field with swords, bow, and arrows. And most recently I helped a beautiful elven lass, who is deep in grief and I fear is in need of a friend who she can talk to, perhaps myself?”
A smile spread unwillingly across her features, “Truth be told, I fear I was unprepared for the kindness of the dwarves. All my life it has been nothing but grief and heartache. A vast blur of running from things I know nothing of. Always being so fearful of my kin, finally a few weeks back when I finally laid eyes upon the elf that so desperately sought us and my own father I was left with nothing more than this…” Ivy paused pointing to her face indicating to ear, lip, and bruises that layered her that Thorin had earlier talked about. “We escaped true, but we both know how well that went. More pain, and fear, more heartache and grief.”
Thorin sighed for the elf pushing his food away he stood coming around the table he took her hand in his, as he pulled her into a hug careful not to touch her ears or hair. “You are safe now.” Thorin breathed out kindly, Ivy nodded her head in silent thanks.
No one ever believed a day would come when an elf would live under the mountain being raised by dwarves.