5. Banners In the Wind
The sound of the wind was all he could hear above the pounding of his own heart- the wind, and the whirling of the banners around him. The fabrics flapped producing a sound which seemed to him more steady than the beating inside his chest. If not more steady, at least more certain and true for the banners would remain, and that for which they stand, long after he had ceased to walk among the living; so was his hope and the reason he went forth.
Before him he felt the solitude of the plain; behind him, the solemn presence of hundreds and thousands of warriors, the hosts of Gil-galad and Elendil, already assembled to begin the march South, the final march. He had already glanced upon the glory of their princes and captains, mighty as the sun, steadfast as the moon, but this morning their faces did not matter; he looked around searching only for their hearts, and there they were: hundreds of standards flying like birds, the wind playfully teasing their folds, and obligingly did they answer as though oblivious of the purpose of their very existence. They rose in splendor above the grey gloom of horses and people, and under the dim light he distinguished their colors. To his right he saw shades of blue like the sky, silver, yellow; to his left he saw green, gold, white over black like the night... and stars, many stars, or was it the flicker of the soldiers’ eyes? And the stars made him think of his father, who had risked all to win hope for these people, and of his brother whose children he now fought to defend, and of his own fate... was it worth it?
And then, the High King raised his hand and the world came to a halt. The horses did not neigh, the riders did not move, the clinking of armors and metal ceased; hearts seemed to have stopped, and all eyes were focused on his raised palm. Then, the King turned and spoke to him.
"It is time now, Elrond. Give the sign."
His hand reached at once for the horn. He allowed his fingers to trace the patterns and words written on it, the lineage of his sires, the history of his people, and now he would also be a part of it. One last time he reveled on the sound of the banners in the wind, then slowly rose the horn to his mouth and blew. A high, clear note came that drowned all other noises and he understood: all their hearts beat with the same rhythm.
Then Elrond looked behind him and saw the standards raised high, and a moment after the King’s hand dropped and the host went forth. At last the flags were marching south, like one, to conquer darkness, and he had been there to see the day. Yes, his fate was worth it after all.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.