38. Tangled Web Of Plans Begin
The gathering in the Hall of Fire was noisy as the crowd enjoyed the hospitality of the Lord of Imladris. Ildris shook her head and turned away from the terrace door towards the figure of her friend half hidden in the gathering evening gloom.
“This should be a very interesting Harvest Festival. The crowd is almost as big as that when the Lady Amarie and Lord Elrond announced their engagement and subsequent marriage. I guess the fact that Lord Elurin has finally decided to sail for the Undying Lands, Lord Carenthir will get his wish to assume control over the House of the Silver Hand. I must admit to some confusion as to why Lord Elrond has chosen to invoke the old custom of gur uin hil but I suppose he wants to at least give the impression of impartiality.”
Eleiann moved closer to the door. “I do not think that is why, Ildris. From what I have heard, ada does not want to be responsible for being forced to make that decision. He finds Lord Carenthir most distasteful. In my land he would be considered a snake oil salesman. Perhaps ada is secretly hoping a more appropriate candidate will emerge and be selected in stead. The whole story is just so sad. ‘Fin has said that he knew Lord Hador and his ada and both were brilliant warriors. As for the lady, imagine being the only remaining member of the high king’s family and simply disappearing like that.”
Ildris nodded and both turned back to study the throng inside. “Have your uncle and cousin arrived yet? You did say they were coming to be here for your public acceptance into your family.”
“Uncle Theodore arrived late last night and Owen is arriving with my muindyr and Iorlas later this evening. I know that ‘Dan and ‘Roh have to be here for the hud uin din.” Eleiann sighed. “I should return to my chamber and prepare for it.”
“You still are dreading facing everyone, are you not?”
“Yes, but not nearly as much now that ada has explained what to expect. I will not have to say anything, merely bow in acknowledgment of my introduction when he calls me forward. Apparently he and Amarie will enter the room first followed by all of the hin. “’Dan will escort Arwen, Roh will escort me and Elros will escort Elwing, that is if he can pay attention long enough not to get distracted and do something unexpected.”
“That could present some difficulties.” Ildris chuckled and shook her head in amusement.
“Tanthar will be waiting to collect them after they are introduced. Hopefully that will keep trouble to a minimum.”
“Well we best get you ready. Which gown are you wearing?”
Turning towards the stairs leading to the lower terrace Eleiann glanced at her friend in exasperation. “Really Ildris, I am quite capable of getting ready without help. You need to prepare yourself….”
* * * * *
Elrond paced up and down in his private study and turned as Amarie entered and closed the door behind her self.
“Well I think my threats have them thoroughly traumatized and promising to behave themselves for at least the presentation.” She announced cheerfully. “Now I must get dressed and take one last look at everything before we all gather. Have ‘Dan and ‘Roh arrived?”
Elrond nodded. “About an hour ago. They have Iorlas tucked away in the barracks and Owen joined his ada. They should all be ready in plenty of time.”
“What about our “special” guest?”
Elrond grinned. “He arrived earlier this afternoon and has been lording it over his toadies as if it was already official. Several of his main supporters remained behind so they will be “collected” tonight and tomorrow morning. Kiril will make sure they cannot disappear and will escort them here for the gur uin baudh. Those accompanying Carenthir will find themselves taken
day after tomorrow during the gur uin baudh itself. They will certainly find their quarters far more comfortable then those they provided for Hador and his lady.”
Amarie grimaced. “I suppose I will have to be polite even somewhat friendly to him this evening.”
“Regretfully so, meleth. After all of our plotting we cannot afford to let him escape his punishment. Iorlas is the true hil of Lord Hador and we need him to hold those lands for the future against the growing darkness. I do not trust Carenthir anymore than I would trust an orc.”
“He is such a nice young elf. I know he has progressed a long way since his arrival, but is he really prepared for the role you are expecting of him?”
Elrond sighed wearily. “Are any of us ready for the role destiny decrees for us, meleth nin? Once Carenthir has been dealt with, Iorlas will return as acknowledged lord of the Silver Hand with Elurin for a period of training and familiarity for his new duties.”
“He will need a few good advisors he can trust while that is going on.”
“I know, I intend to send Kiril and a squad of warriors with him to deal with the military side of things. He trusts and accepts his guidance. I suspect Kiril will remain even after Iorlas is finally settled in as the Lord of the Silver Hand. Galadriel has offered to send Haldir or one of his gwanur along with a small contingent of warriors as added protection as well until Iorlas is comfortable with the capability of his own warriors to provide for the protection of his people.”
“It appears you have pretty well covered the military side. What about the administrative and household management? Surely Erestor has a suggestion or two.” Amarie paused reflectively as she remembered how she would have been lost without her great aunt Saeldae’s aid after the death of her daer odhron.
Erestor has suggested we also send Melpromaen as a seasoned advisor to Iorlas. I have also asked Elurin for a suggested advisor he trusts to work with Iorlas. Elurin says his present housekeeper was Hador’s nurse and I suspect she will serve his ion well once she learns of his acknowledgement as heir.”
“Does Elurin know about Iorlas?”
“No, he suspects something but will hold his counsel. He has heard the rumors about a long lost heir. I have not refuted them. He is not happy that Carenthir will apparently be his replacement.”
Amarie crossed to the small table that held a carafe of miruvor and poured to glasses. Offering one to her hervenn, she smiled and raised hers in a toast. “To the success of all your plans dear one. May they all succeed as you hope.”
Elrond studied the glowing cordial before tossing it back in one swift swallow. “May the Valar grant us success and may all go well.”
Setting the glass down he crossed to where Amarie stood and embraced her tightly. “Now meleth nin, we had best finish preparing ourselves and insuring the hin are collected and ready to begin this enterprise.”
Smiling up she nodded and reached up to kiss him. For a brief moment they forgot the looming gathering and she felt his response to the warm softness of her body.
“Meleth,” she choked back a laugh, “there is no time for that! Afterwards I promise to sooth your unease, but first we must deal with this evening.”
Elrond smiled down at her ruefully. “You tempt me far too easily hervess nin, I have but to hold you and I find my self distracted!”
* * * * *
Iorlas sat at the table in his room and reread the letter from Lord Elrond. Tonight they begin the long awaited task of bringing his parents’ murderer to justice. He smiled evilly as he thought of the pleasure that sinking his father’s great sword in Carenthir’s heart would bring. Both Elrond and Glorfindel had cautioned him that revenge would not prove all that satisfying, but he was willing to live with that as long as the monster met his end. But the time was not yet arrived when he could do that. First he must attend tonight’s banquet and watch the announcement that would recognize the Lady Eleiann as Lord Elrond’s daughter.
The young elf sighed. His hopes for any future with her now seemed far out of reach. How Lord Elrond would approve such a union was beyond his imagination. He had yet to prove himself. Even though his family was acceptable…. He laughed to himself. Being a great nephew of the last high king and son of the Lord Hador certainly made him an acceptable suitor. Why then did he feel so unworthy? It was a good thing he had not revealed the growing depth of his feelings to her. Luckily she was so focused on her work in the healing hall that she had never even suspected.
Well there would be time to sort all of that out, once he was established in his inheritance and she was finished with her training. First they had to get through tonight and not raise any danger signs that would alert Carenthir to his danger. Then he had to put forth his claim to the lands of his ada in the gur uin hil the following day. Once he was successful in proving and winning there then he had to bring charges against the murderer in the gur uin baudh. He might not survive the challenge if his uncle chose battle rather than trial. No, he could not even think about a future of any kind until the next few days had sorted themselves out.
Gur uin hil –counsel of the heir’s choosing
Muindyr – brothers
Hud uin din – the opening of the assembly
Hin – children
Gur uin baudh – judgment counsel
Hil – heir
Meleth nin – my love
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