10. First Contact
Ted faced the two elves with a wide grin of delight on his face. “It is true, you do exist.” He exclaimed joyfully in Westerness.
The two elves looked at each other in surprise. This was not the reaction they had expected when they had surprised the humans. They watched the older male and the female suspiciously, attentive to any aggressive moves.
Ted shook his head as if to clear his mind. “Forgive me, young lords, you are the first elves we have been privileged to meet, and I am feeling a bit euphoric. I am Theodore, a scholar who has made it my life’s work studying the history and customs of the Eldar. Unfortunately where we come from, most believe you to be beings of myth and legend. The young man you hold is my son, Owen and the young woman is my niece Eleiann. We seek refuge in Imladris if it is allowed. We have learned there is a nearby human settlement where we hoped to settle. We pose no threat to you or your lord.”
Both elves continued to study the man and the woman then released the youth and sheathed their swords. “Where do you come from that you have never seen an elf, old one?”
Ted looked sad for a moment, “Our home no longer exists for us young lords. We have travelled a great distance from a place no one now knows of. Only one elf has ever been said to travel to our home and few knew of his passing. There is much discord and everywhere evil spreads it’s shadow. We knew the time for us to leave had finally come when my wife passed beyond the Circles of the World. She had long urged me to seek out the legendary House of Lord Elrond and beg his leave to study the books and scrolls said to rest in the library there. My niece has some knowledge of the healing ways of our people and also hopes to study with your healers to learn what she can of their knowledge and techniques. If such leave is not granted to us then we will seek a home where I can teach and Eleiann can join a healing hall to serve the people of our new home.”
They turned their attention to Eleiann. “You seek to be a healer?”
She nodded her head then responded in elvish. “My father and mother are both healers and I would follow in their footsteps.”
“You speak as if they both live.” One of the elves interjected. “Your elvish is very good.”
“I have never known my father. He left before I was born so I do not know if he still lives. My mother was alive when we first left our home. I wish to believe she still does. As for my elvish I have studied hard so that I may be ready to study with the elven healers.” She smiled, “I have no wish to give them cause to refuse simply because of language.”
Her questioner frowned. “If Lord Elrond agrees to your requests, language would not be a barrier. Most of the elves in Imladris speak Westerness.”
Owen had watched and listened to all of this and finally spoke up. “You know our names, my lords, may we know yours?”
There was a pause then the one who had held him prisoner smiled and gave a formal bow. “I am Elladan and this is my gwanur, Elrohir.” Elrohir nodded once in acknowledgement of the introduction by his gwanur.
“That means you are…” Owen started to exclaim.
“That means you are twins, does it not? Ted interrupted his son with a warning look.
“Gwanur means brother or a set of twins.” Elladan agreed. “But you have not yet answered our question as to how you passed through our patrols.”
“I cannot, young lords. We have seen no one, either human or elf kind, for more than two weeks. We have traveled southwest through rough terrain and heavy forest and stayed off known roads or paths for we did not wish to attract the attention of the yrch. We camped here in the cave last night hoping we were at last near Imladris. Our biggest concern has been how we should make contact with your people. I am quite surprised that we have gotten this close without doing so before.”
Elrohir frowned. “We found no trail leading here from that direction.”
Ted shrugged. “I regret I cannot explain that either. We would ask you to allow us to proceed to the village and seek temporary lodgings there until you have satisfied yourselves as to the seriousness of the threat we truly pose. Baring that may we remain here until our request can be considered?”
“You may remain here for the time being, but do not pass beyond the trail nor over the other side of the stream.” Elladan answered. “You will hear of Lord Elrond’s decision shortly.”
Ted managed a graceful half bow in acknowledgement. “We are grateful young lords. Would you honor us with your company for the evening meal? We have enough to share with you if you would find such poor fare to your taste.”
The two elves exchanged looks. “Regretfully we cannot, we still must travel some distance before dark. Perhaps when we return in a day or two we may share your food?”
“We look forward to your presence. May we hunt south of here if for some reason you are delayed?”
“We will not be but if that occurs you may do so. Simply stay close to camp.”
“Gladly.” Ted nodded and as swiftly as they had arrived, they were gone.
“Pop,” Owen started to speak only to have his father hold up a hand to silence him.
Lapsing back into English Ted spoke gently and naturally. “I am only speaking in English to remind you that we must remain cautious. Elven hearing and sight is extraordinary. They may be observing us from a distance. We must speak as if we have nothing to hide and do nothing that others would not do in our situation. Our voices and actions must not seem conspiratorial or secretive. We must also continue to use elvish.”
Eleiann nodded and responded in elvish. “I agree uncle, Let us prepare for a longer stay here. We will need more wood and there are a number of fallen limbs down by the stream. I will collect some if you two will set up a fire pit. I do not wish to begin our stay in Imladris with a forest fire.”
“I wonder if they even have such a thing here?” Owen asked curiously.
“That will be a question to ask our hosts later. It wouldn’t surprise me if Sauron used it as a weapon against the elves at some point.”
“What do you think Dan?” The two elves watched the humans as they prepared their campsite for a more permanent stay.
“They are cautious, Roh, but I sensed truth in much of their words. In their place I would do the same. It is as if they are hiding something but trying to be as truthful as they dare faced with an unknown place. The old one truly is a scholar and I sensed grief when he talked of his hervess. The woman is…more than she claims but again there is truth in her words. I saw strange pictures in her mind of the healers she has studied with and she seems to have some knowledge of plants and herbs. There must have been a terrible event that has led them to be so cautious in seeking refuge here.”
“We must let ada know about them. He will at least let them settle in the village for the present. Whether he will grant them access to Imladris and the library or to study with the healers remains to be seen.”
A cold wind blew from the east and the promise of rain and cooler temperatures had caused them to relocate their blankets and packs back into the cave for the night. The flames of the small campfire at the front occasionally leaped high towards the night sky and the three sat just outside the entrance in comfortable silence finishing the last of a hot cup tea.
Eli sighed and shook her head at her cousin’s obvious question. “I can’t believe we have met my half brothers so quickly. It was all I could do to keep quiet. I wanted to ask about Lord Elrond.”
“All in good time, Eli, all in good time.”
She nodded. “I will take the first watch, Uncle Ted.”
“I doubt it will be necessary, Eli, but it certainly will not hurt. If we are being watched it is the correct thing to do. Wake me when the moon is at its highest and I will relieve you. Owen, you can take the last before dawn.”
As the two men prepared to bed down, Eli wrapped her cloak about herself, took her weapons, grabbed a skin of water, and moved out to take her place behind the rock fall at the far side of the low cliff. She settled in it’s shelter out of the wind and placed her bow within easy reach. She watched as the moon rose huge and golden orange in the eastern sky. It played hide and seek behind the thin gray clouds scudding across the sky and running ahead of the promised rain. She was delighted when she saw her grandfather’s star emerge and shine brightly.
Relaxing back, she found herself reaching out mentally seeking sounds or any other signs she could pick up on. She was pleased to note that her senses seemed sharper and she was aware of far more of their physical surroundings then she had been before. It appeared that her elven heritage was asserting itself now that they had arrived in Middle Earth.
Sometime just before the moon had cleared the upper branches of the trees a sound across the clearing caught her attention and Eli tensed until a great golden wolf emerged and stared at her. He paused and looked about then returned his gaze to her. With a soft whine, he crossed the open space and stood eye to eye with her.
“Hello Golden One. Are you here to greet us or merely to check us out? I am Eleiann. It was my dog that gave your ancestor their golden coats. Are you among the descendants of the two wolf cubs my father brought back to Middle Earth?”
The wolf cocked his head and grinned his tongue lolling out. With a soft bark, he snuggled up against her and kept watch with her until it was time to awaken her Uncle Ted.
Faced with the newest member of their group, Ted merely nodded. “I wondered if we would be joined by one when we arrived. We may have trouble explaining to the twins why we have acquired one though. We will cross that bridge when we come to it.”
But that was not to be soon for come morning the wolf had disappeared.
Gwanur-brother, a set of twins
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.