17. The Banner of the King
The banner, woven of fine elvish cloth had once been strong shades of brown and green, with the emblem of the House of Oropher emblazoned boldly in the centre. Over time its edges had frayed, and it had faded, with some discolouration in spots that might have been bloodstains giving it the appearance of nothing more than a tattered rag as it fluttered in the cold wind. To the approaching invaders it symbolised that their enemy was weak and unprepared for battle, but the Orcs and the Easterlings could not have been more mistaken
It was so much more than just a piece of cloth. It had been damaged during the battle of the Last Alliance when the standard bearer had fallen next to his King as he was trying to protect him. Their blood had mingled on the banner as they died, but the army had fought on courageously over the following years until the enemy had been defeated. Thranduil had never repaired nor cleaned the banner in that time, nor since, for it had always been the symbol of a strong willed King and had invoked a steadfast loyalty from his warriors. In more recent times it had been carried proudly into the Battle of the Five Armies, where the Elves again proved themselves to be fierce warriors who would fight to the death to defend their King and all that the banner stood for.
So it would be this day.
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