8. Chapter 7: The mysteries unravel
<I have a wife,> Berethor silently scolded himself, averting his eyes from Idrial, who was singing as they strolled through the forest. Few branches grew on tall, thin trees save for the thick, green treetops and the trunks were a rich brown colour, the forest floor was deep green, riddled with lush bushes and many kinds of plants and flowers, varying dramatically in colour. Their lightened and there minds rested now the danger had passed, for now.
Three days earlier, they spotted a small rabble of orcs making their way to the mountains and decided to overtake and slaughter them. This proved to be fairly easy because of few numbers. Elogast and Idrial, stealthed ahead of them whilst Berethor and Hadhod took the orc's rear. As the creatures reached the foot of the mountain, the ranger and she-elf assaulted them, catching the orcs totally off guard. Berethor met their rear soon after, with Hadhod close behind and together, the party made short work of the disgusting rabble.
Elogast silently appreciated the musical voice that was Idrial's while Hadhod simply scanned the area, seemingly not intrested the song. Then, Idrial's voice was joined by many, unseen voices and the harmony continued;
A Elbereth Gilthoniel,
silivren penna míriel
o menel aglar elenath!
o galadhremmin ennorath,
Fanuilos, le linnathon
nef aear, si nef aearon!
A Elbereth Gilthoniel,
o menel palan-díriel
le nallon sí di'nguruthos,
A tiro nin, Fanuilos
Berehtor spoke quietly to Elogast, "What do they sing of?"
"Of an elf that passed over the sea, at the beginning of the third age when the high elves knew that their time grew short. The fading of the elves had began, to make way for the time of Men, she was one of the first to foresee this. And when her husband died in battle, she fell into grief and sailed over the sea to the Undying Lands." Berethor looked around at the tops of the trees, seeing no one in sight, but the song flowed like a soft breeze all about him. Hadhod who was bringing up the rear, stopped for a second as the other voices joined in. He looked around, finding it difficult to appreciate the beauty of the music as a nervous feeling crept in his bones, he was powerless in this realm, he could feel it and it he did not like it.
After the singing ceased, an hour later they had reached their coveted destination. As they stepped through the gate, Berethor and Hadhod gaped in awe at the beautiful décor of the buildings before them. They had been magnificently designed and intentionally built into the natural landscape of the forest. Elogast smiled as if happy to be with people that had not experienced this site of splendour before. They were greeted at the entrance of the palace by two young looking elves, who smiled and bowed their heads. Berethor assumed they were of royal blood, for their elegant posture and graceful faces, but Berethor would have assumed this about any elf for that matter. "Greetings mellon-nim," the taller one directed to Idrial and then the two of them nodded courteously to the others, who all replied with bowed heads except for Hadhod who nodded curtly. To this, the two elf-men ignored. "Elladan, Elrohir, it is good to see you again, and an honour," Idrial said, smiling.
"Our father is expecting you," the shorter one then added. "You have been wise to return, undivided for it is in our unity, is our strength."
Elladan and Elrohir were the twin sons of Lord Elrond, though they were more than four thousand years old and extremely wise, they still carried their youthful mannerisms and attitude, much because of their involvement in Aragorn's life when he was just a little boy. They were like big brothers to Estel (Aragorn) when he was taken to Rivendell as a baby to keep him from for long reach of Sauron and taught the young heir much about battle and other, less vicious things. The twins were very skilled in swordsmanship and of course with bow. They patrolled Arnor often with the Dunedain and travelled over the Northern lands many a time, from Mithlond in far west to Mirkwood and beyond, in the east. One was seldom seen without the other.
Berethor, Elogast and Hadhod were left on the balconies of the palace that overlooked the north of the realm. Berethor stood, leaning his weight on his hands that rested on the wall in front, taking in the beautiful sites. The houses intertwined with the trees that stood tremendously tall and the roofs of the larger buildings under the waterfall, were shaped to carry the water to the river. It was truly extraordinary. Elogast came to stand beside him. "It is quite indeed a site to be marvelled," he said looking on into the distance. Berethor looked at him and nodded, "Truly," then turned back to look once again upon the beauty, for he knew that he would probably never see it again. "It is a pity the dwarf does not enjoy it so." Indicated over to Hadhod who stood alone, bouncing his weight ever so slightly form heel to heel. "I suppose he would prefer to be with his people?" Berethor mused. Elogast nodded, "He does not like it here." Hadhod sensed his companions watching him and turned to walk over to them.
"How are you, my friend?" Elogast asked. Hadhod shifted uncomfortably, "I am good," he looked over the balcony and added, "And much better once we leave this place." Berethor laughed, growing more and more comfortable in the place as Hadhod's unease was more apparent.
The party grew anxious as they heard no word from the Elrond or Idrial for rest of the night and the next day, they stayed close by to each other waiting to be enlightened on the situation afoot. Eventually, a small council was called, of which, the whole party were invited. Berethor walked up the stone steps, now ignoring the view of the city behind him. He was looking at his feet one stepping in front of the other, thinking about what would be revealed at this meeting. When he reached the plateau he looked around to see a half-circle of seats all facing Elrond's chair, Idrial and 4 other elves occupied a minority of chairs at the far end of the half-circle. Berethor noticed that two of these elves were Elledan and Elrohir, Elrond's twin sons but the others he did not know, nevertheless, he took seat nearest the elves and Elogast and Hadhod followed. The mood was dark and grim, and there was a moment of silence as Elrond stood from his chair. Berethor was focused as he waited for the half-elven lord to speak, whilst Hadhod leaned forward to catch a glimpse of the elves sat at the far end. "You have been summoned here because of he great war that is advancing on the free peoples of Middle earth," Elrond began. Berethor noticed the powerful, tone of authority that Elrond used, observing that he was an experienced leader of his people and very much used to leading meeting like this. "Sauron's armies are moving into position, his puppet Saruman turns to strike Rohan whilst he himself gathers to strike Gondor. Legions of Haradrim from the south are answering his call, the Corsairs of Umbar too. Easterlings and the goblin armies move to strike the kingdoms of dwarves in the north. Dol Guldor attacks the forests of Mirkwood and Lothlorien, the realm of Angmar attacks Rivendell, no place is safe in Middle earth. We are outnumbered in strength and number." The room was deadly silent as he paused everyone's attention, including the dwarf's was fixed on Elrond. "We do however hold one advantage, one key victory… the only way we can overcome this terror soon to be unleashed is to destroy the One ring. It has been found and as I speak, a fellowship travels in secret straight to the fires of Mt. Doom, the one place the ring can be destroyed. All peoples of Middle earth are bound by this fate, this one doom and our survival solely depends fellowship's success." Now a few murmers could be heard from within the listeners. Hadhod whispered in Elogast ear, Berethor huffed and mumbled to himself, the elves whispered to each other also. "But…" Elrond resumed as everything went silent once again. "There will be great loss as the war will begin soon and to overcome the evil, we must be ready for the assault. The Dwarves of Erebor, in the lonely mountain have little knowledge of forthcoming events and must be warned. The easterling wil have crossed the river Carnen by noon tommorow and are heading straight for the mountains in great force. I appoint this task to the company of Idrial, you will take the path of the high pass over the mountains and then down the Old Forest road through Mirkwood… but I warn you, Mirkwood is already under attack from the threat of Dol Guldor, and by the time you reach the Rhovanion, the war will be well underway. But remember that time is against us and you must reach Erebor is swiftly as possible." This was followed by a little more audible discussion. Idrial stood up and walked over to her friends, greeting them with a forced smile. "Are you ready for this task, my friends?" There was no need of reply from Berethor who nodded with grit and determination, Hadhod growled. "My people need me, I am as ready as ever." Elogast layed a hand on Hadhod shoulder as the little dwarf scowled at the floor, baring his teeth. The elves departed except Idrial who stayed with the group to be briefed in more detail about the mission.
Not long after they had left the meeting, Berethor found himself alone with Idrial, as they packed travelling provision for the journey. "You look troubled," she observed. Berethor sighed and then shook his head. "It's nothing, we must do what must be done," he replied. The elf closed her eyes and nodded before turning away to gather some sleeping packs from the chest, near the door. "It's just…" Berethor began, giving in to his feelings. "… Gondor is weak, the garrison of Osgiliath barely holds, Ithilien is empty, I cannot help but feel that Minas Tirith will take the brunt of the attack from Mordor. My family… my people." He shook his head looking down to his feet, playing out the worst possible scenarios in head when Idrial came next to him, laying her hand on his shoulder, "Courage is the best defense we can have now, my friend…" He mustered up all his efforts to look her in the eye without despair on his face. "… and hope is their for all, we may not see it now, but it is there." Berethor nodded solemnly and they resumed their preparations.
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.