Welcome to The Silvan. I am really excited about this new project, one I have been playing with for some time now, and have finally decided to write. I hope you all enjoy this story, one you will find far less light-hearted than the Wise and the Wild series.
This tale is based on the series The Protégé, by Alpha Ori. As such please note that unconditional permission is given to play with the universe created in the series as I see fit.
Needless to say that this is Alternative Universe. Criticism for not sticking to canon will be completely ignored Your constructive feedback will fuel the continuation of this story so please review and lend me your thoughts.
Please note this story is rated T for the moment. Any changes will be duly notified.
Disclaimer: All canon characters are the sole creation of JRR Tolkien. All other characters are mine. This is a non-profit effort, although I wish it weren't!
Legolas is a child of the deep, arcane forest; with the face of Sinda and the heart of a Silvan, his dream is to become a captain in the king's militia. This is his journey from fantasy to reality, to elven warriorhood and eventually, to unraveling the mystery of his own past, one that will change the course of history.
Chapter one: Pea Soup
Flickering blue light illuminated the room, and the deep rumble of thunder resounded throughout the forest, only to leave her in utter darkness once more, save for the orange glow of a dying fire.
It was cold and damp and she pulled her woolen shawl tightly around her shoulders as she moved closer to the fire, kneeling now before the comforting warmth and she wondered for a moment, if it could warm her heart – if such a thing were still possible.
Blue light flashed once more, and she looked up in apprehension for a moment, for it had been close. A thunder clap rattled the wooden panels of her forest home and rain pelted down upon the thatchings. Her shawl was suddenly insufficient and she shuffled forward until her face felt the warmth of the hearth and still – her heart was frozen.
Someone was at her door, she realized and the fine hairs on her neck prickled in warning. Her head snapped from the warming fire to the front door of her cottage. Only dire news came at moments such as these - but what had she expected, after all this time?
Moving slowly, as if in some way she could put off the inevitable, she reached out one cold, shaking hand and clasped the wooden knob tightly, too tightly until the whites of her knuckles shone through her skin. She closed her eyes, only to open them moments later, determination now shining in the warm, honeyed depths. Who was she to defy destiny? To deny the inevitable? When had she ever been a coward that she could not face what Yavanna placed before her?
Turning, she pulled and held on tightly, for the wind howled mercilessly. Slowly she opened the door and stood in shock for a moment at the sight before her.
A tall, hooded elf stood there, strangely quiet and serene as the storm howled and raged in fury behind him. In one, gloved hand, he held an envelope and hesitantly, she reached out until her fingers stroked the rough parchment, before she took it carefully and glanced back up at the elf, expecting, perhaps, that he would give some sort of explanation; but only silence stretched between them, and with another loud rumble of thunder, he pivoted upon his heels and strode into the sheet of torrential rain until he was lost from sight.
Her heart hammered in her chest as she sunk down before the fire one more, her eyes looking straight into the timid flames that danced in her irises. A tear escaped her and she reached up to touch it, as if surprised, her right hand once more caressing the paper it held numbly.
Her pulse beat frantically in her neck, she could feel it even in her eyes and although it was cold, she felt strangely – hot. She knew this feeling; it was fear, pure and unadulterated fear for the one she loved most, the one she had not seen for many long, grueling years.
Legolas, Hwindohtar …
Her eyes moved from the fire to the parchment, once more and with a deep steadying breath, she broke it open and held it to her wide watery eyes.
"I am coming home…"
She closed her eyes, tears suddenly flooding from them, tracing down her cold face and then splashing onto the paper she now held in her lap, her eyes glancing for a moment over the harvest of fat, green peas that sat upon her kitchen table …
Winters were harsh in the deeper parts of the great forest. Once green and vibrant, humming with the magic of Yavanna's creation, the great wild trees still remembered the days of peace and love, when the sun still shone upon their needy leaves, and the rain was cool and pure.
The Silvans too, remembered those days, not long past, and yet long enough for numbness to set in, for the haze of time to filter and temper the beauty they had once known.
Deeper now, into the forest, and the dense foliage extends its leafy branches up to the heavens, where dappling light keeps them alive and content, their roots deep in the loamy earth, just like those who dwelt here, in this part of the Great Greenwood where peace still reigned, and the forest thrived; a place where one could imagine a land of idyllic beauty, where orcs and wargs and other such abominations of nature did not exist, save in the bedtime stories of brave Silvan children.
The Silvan people lived here, in the deeper parts of the Great Greenwood; away from the hustle and bustle of life in the city, of politics and splendor and courtly gossip. Their world was green and brown and filled with the fruits of the land, with good earth which they worked as only the Silvans could.
Amidst the trees, glades of vibrant green grass are dotted with woodland flowers and here, we see cottages of stone and timber, a thin haze of woody smoke floating in the air. Today, an elven lady works in her garden, collecting the long green pods that hang from wooden sticks placed up against an overgrown hedge.
Howling laughter danced merrily upon the air and Amareth smiled indulgently as her honey-coloured eyes glanced once more at the small flet at the bottom of her garden. There they go again, she smiled as she walked inside and deposited her basket upon the wooden tabletop of her homely kitchen. Sliding her thumb down the green pod, she watched as the spring peas popped from their nest and into the wooden bowl with a mellow thud.
Her smile turned from amusement to fondness, and then to motherly love, for although the boy was not her son, she loved him just as much, for is mother not she who nurtures and cares for a child? She who sacrifices her own life and joy for the simple laughter of a tiny life, one that without her, could not blossom? What had blood to do with it?
She turned to the small pot sitting over the wood fire, water bubbling invitingly, the promise of sweet pea soup and sour cream with crunchy nuts – his favorite, for he would peck her upon the cheek every time she made it, rosy cheeks and white teeth, sparkling green eyes so full of life and love; such a beautiful child.
Another grin spoiled her otherwise serious mien; her beautiful nephew that was her son, had lived in Silvan joy for so many years with no cares in the world save for those of his tutors. It had been a good childhood and yet not an easy one, for uncomfortable questions had followed him everywhere he went; and how could they not, for the child was extraordinary in every way. He had born it all, first with frustration, then anger, then surrender. She was no fool though, she knew his questions were but latent in his agile mind; sooner or later they would surface once more, and the Valar forbid he find his answers.
She carefully slid the peas into the boiling water and sat back to watch the flames lick at the heavy pan, slowly bringing the water back to bubbling.
He had trained in the Silvan way, in the forests, not in the city, yet even so, he had excelled far beyond the expectations of his tutors. The bow, the short swords and hand-to-hand combat had come so naturally to him. And how could it have been any other way? She asked herself wryly – for was it not in his blood? His Sindarin blood?
A shiver ran down her spine as her thoughts took her, once more, down the path of anxiety. She would not lose him to the shadow and she would not lose him to politics, and even though he was now an adult, still she would protect him, at any cost. Protect him from those that would break his world apart; scorn him, mark him as a child born of love and not matrimony.
She took a steadying breath as she reached for a cloth and unhooked her pot. Carrying it carefully to a basin of frigid forest water, she poured in the delicious vegetables and smiled in satisfaction at the bright green pearls, delighting as the steam warmed her face.
Turning, she sat as she dried her hands upon her apron, her eyes set in determination and maternal steel.
No, they would not mock him, they would not cause his suffering for the boy could never know, never know what she had hidden from him all the years of his life, in spite of the questions. He could never know that side of himself – the Sindarin side – for to do so would be to turn his word upside down, rock him so hard he would surely unhinge.
No, he could never know who his father was; she would never tell him, and yet something screamed at her in mock and disdain. Foolish woman, for he is a warrior now, the best they had seen for many years, and talent like that would always reach the ears of Thranduil's captains and thus, those of the king.
It was a matter of time; in her heart she knew this as surely as she did her own name. He was too good a warrior, too loved by her people, too beautiful to behold. His hair was too thick, long and pale, and his eyes – his eyes were far too green to ever pass by unnoticed.
The boy was extraordinary and for all that she wished to protect him, the only way she could achieve such a thing would be to hold him back, and that – she would never do. He was destined for great things – Golloron had said as much – and she had believed it, still did.
The peas had been strained and now sat once more in the bowl as Amareth sprinkled sage and thyme over them, before adding a knob of butter and a dash of milk.
Almost done, she said to herself as another bust of laughter tickled her ears.
He was her son in all but blood, was of her people, not those of his father and yet his colouring left no doubt in anyone's mind as to his mixed heritage. It was not spoken of though, for the villagers were respectful and wished not to pry in questions that may bring unhappiness to Amareth's house, for she too, was loved.
Tomorrow, he would ride out for the first time, out of the Western quadrant and into the city. He would rejoice, she knew, at his new-found freedom, of the bright, new things he would see. He would look on in fascination at the stonework and architecture of the king's fortress and he would make her proud upon the training fields of the King's Guard, where he had been called for recruitment.
And sooner or later, he would come face to face with the other side of himself. What would come of it she did not know, but she dreaded it all the same, for such a revelation would surely cause political unrest at the worst, and family rejection at best.
She wished to protect him – aye - but he had escaped her now – there was nothing she could do to stop the spiral of events. He was an adult, he would have to protect himself.
At least, she reassured herself, at least Ram en Ondo and Idhrenohtar would be with him and should they all be assigned to the same patrol, she knew they would protect him as fiercely as she herself would, for they were as sons to her too, brothers unto themselves.
Images of four small children playing and giggling and acting out great battles flitted merrily before her mind's eye. Ram 'en Ondo they had called the biggest of the four, for he surely was a strapping lad, a wall of stone. Another was named Idhrenohtar, for even as a child he was wont to question, to reason and logic, a child philosopher. Thavron too, played their games but his calling was different; he was to be the mightiest tree master the Silvan people had ever known. And then Legolas had become Hwindohtar for he had, quite by chance, decided that dancing could be fun with a blade in your hand, albeit a wooden one.
Before lunch, they had fought the great battles they learned of at school, had vanquished many foes. They had conquered new lands between tea time and bedtime, and at night, at night they would be heroes returned victorious to their lords.
It had always been their destiny, his destiny. Soon now, they would spread their wings and fly away, away from her, from their people and when they returned once more they would be utterly changed.
Excited chatter exploded in the kitchen, just as she placed her bowl of steaming pea soup on the wooden table.
"Mother mine!" exclaimed Hwindohtar as he sat himself down unceremoniously, his eyes, just as green as the soup he now stared at longingly.
"Now now, wait for the blessings, Legolas."
"Of course," he added with a smile, as Ram en Ondo, Idhrenohtar and Thavron sat, nodding politely to the woman they loved as an aunt.
"Yavaana, mother of Arda. We thank thee for the bounties before us," she said simply, before looking up once more and smiling at the three, expectant faces. They were hungry and they were excited. This was the dawn of a new life for them, the beginning of their own adventures. What better way to celebrate, than with her famed pea soup?
'Please lady, she said to herself, protect them … and one day, bring Legolas home to me.'
And so it was, that the next dawn brought with it a heartfelt goodbye. Amareth stood, her shawl wrapped tightly around her shoulders for there was a chill in the air, and in her heart. The heavy absence of her sister weighed her down for if Lassiel could have seen him now – young and beautiful, brave and optimistic, with the world at his feet and a thousand dreams in his head, she would have melted like the spring frost, awash with love for her beautiful son.
Golloron, the village's spiritual leader, stood quietly, ominously almost in his dark robes.
Erthoron, their leader stood beside Thavron, now an apprentice carpenter, and beside them, the school master, the healer and their closest neighbours watched, some in sorrow and others with smiles. It was still dark but these three were beloved children, they were the hope of their village, the laughter and the joy, the very essence of what makes life worthy of living.
Amareth had said her goodbyes and now, stood in silence as her eyes met the extraordinary green irises of her son; her sister's eyes. There were no words, only emotions that both understood as clearly as if they had been spoken.
Make me proud, guard your heart, and come back to me safely, my Sindarin, Silvan son …