Prologue

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A sigh echoed through the cool pitch-black cut chamber deep inside the mountain. A sigh which was heard by nobody, except for the owner, who had less freedom to move than the breath she exhaled.

Alyssae was sitting with her back against an ice cold wall. A wall which never became dry and made her shivering the whole time. Her legs were spread across the floor which was also moist and her feet rested against the wooden bars. The cell was too small to look around, which caused the felling like someone was harassing her joints with knives for days. 

A passerby wouldn't dare to associate her to the beautiful, magnificent elf race. Her once spotless face was covered with a thick layer of dust and mud. Her full lips showed countless scratches and the corners of her mouth were cracked because of the little amount of water she drunk. Her shining, brown hair was so messy it looked like it had never seen a comb. The fresh cheeks she once had were hollowed now and her cheekbones were visible. Her once bright eyes gazed forward desperately, accompanied by red and purple bags which doubled her age. 

The only things showing that she was really an elf, were her pointed ears, which were covered by her hair at the very moment. And still this was the reason she was stuck here, in a dungeon which seemed to be forgotten by the world.

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The days that passed on escaped her, because of the darkness in which she was kept. She lost her sense of time. The only living creatures she had seen were the goblins who brought her water and bread once in three days. But those did not deserve that names. The bread she ate wouldn't be fed to the animals at home and the water she drunk was too muddy to sprinkle the plants. Even so Alyssae did not complain, for it was everything she had. Everything that kept her alive. That and her willpower. The inability to give up, even though all hope seemed gone.

Although she was kept for ransom - well, she assumed she was - she knew it could take years before the goblin king came into contact with her people. But she had to hang on till that moment. Even if it would last a century.

Although it was a wild guess Alyssae suspected two months passed by since the goblins ambushed her in the woods. She was just walking and enjoying the nature, trying to get everything straight in her mind. Thoughts of Thranduin, her lover. At least, he should become her lover. Father let her know he selected him to marry her and since he was not an unfriendly elf she consented to the marriage. He was an elf prince from the South. She only met him twice, but there was some kind of friendship between them and Alyssae knew she could have been less lucky. 

How would he feel about her? Was he looking for her? Or had he given up her already? That thought made her shrink a little. It would be awful when others abandoned her, while she grasped every spark of hope. Hope to escape this dark hole.

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