8. A Future is Solidified!
“How did a woodsman acquire Lord Hador’s weapons?” Glorfindel grimly repeated his question in Westernesse to the white faced Iorlas who slumped back in his chair as far as he could before the balrog slayer’s accusing look.
“Easy, meldir nin, you must listen to his story before jumping to conclusions. There is also this.” Elrond gestured to the crystal amulet lying on the table.
Glorfindel continued to study Iorlas through narrowed eyes before finally returning the sword to the table and picking up the amulet. Iorlas shuddered then closed his eyes and swallowed hard in relief now no longer the focus of his ire.
Glorfindel frowned as he studied the amulet then tilted it and exclaimed with surprise when he recognized the crest. He looked up at Elrond. “This was the lady Silalin’s, I recognize it because she always wore it. It was a gift from her mother on her wedding day to Lord Hador.” He turned back towards Iorlas and waited for an explanation.
“It was my mother’s, my lord, I know not how she came by it. She died while I was still a young child. My father passed it on to me when I reached manhood.” Iorlas steeled himself and returned the stern look as firmly as he could.
Elladan smiled, “He was raised by Ingold the Dunedain hermit who lived in the western Mirkwood woods just south of Eagles’ Eyrie.”
Glorfindel nodded, “I know of him, but there was never any word of him having a wife and son.”
“Iorlas, show him your ears.” Elrond said gently.
“My lord I know what you have said, but I want to make it clear. I do not make any claim to being of the house of High King Gil Galad. If my mother had anything from this lady you mention then it must have been found where ever the weapons came from. If the weapons are in truth this Lord Hador’s then please return them to who ever of his family that remains. All I desire is a place for myself where I can provide for my food and lodging.”
“Iorlas, show him your ears.” Elladan said gently.
“Very well, but I do not claim to be an elf.” He reluctantly pulled his hair back and exposed his ears.
“By the Valar, he is elf kind!” Glorfindel exclaimed and turned to his lord, “Elrond?
Elrond repeated what Iorlas had told them earlier and his extrapolation of the facts. “I believe if we return to the area of the hut and search between there and the last know campsite of Lord Hador and his lady we might finally find an answer to the mystery.”
“You believe the lady carried a child and somehow escaped whatever disaster hit the party?”
“It would fit the facts. If Ingold found her and provided shelter for her and her child then continued to raise the child as his own after her death that would explain an elf child in his care.”
“But why would she not contact either her lord’s or her kin for help?”
“We may never know. I have thought long and hard on it over the centuries. The suddenness of the disappearance in an area not usually considered dangerous would be suspicious in any event. But the disappearance of Gil Galad’s sister might speak to treason. If that were the case, then she would do everything she could to hide her child away.”
“But such a child would not be his heir. You were named his successor even if you would not take the throne.” He placed his hands on the end of the table and leaned forward towards Elrond.
“I know, but there are those who were not happy with his choice and would have used the child as a pretext to seize power.”
Glorfindel pulled back and nodded towards the now very quiet Iorlas. “What of him?”
Elladan spoke up. “For one thing, he needs to learn to be an elf. He speaks no Sindarin. His weapons skills are negligible although his skill with bow and arrow are excellent. He seems to have good woodcraft but there is much there that will need to be learned before I would feel comfortable sending him out with the patrols.”
Elrond turned to Iorlas. “What do you wish to do?”
“I wish to take service with you my lord. I make no claim to a royal house and would prefer not to have such stories spread about. I would be satisfied to serve as a simple warrior. I know what Lord Elladan has said is true and that I have much to learn. If you will agree to allow me to train with your weapons master I will apply myself to the utmost of my ability. I will seek out someone to teach me the elvish language and perhaps a teacher to learn what history I can of your…. My people. I still have doubts that what you surmise is true, but if it can be proven then I would be happy to have that knowledge of my sire and mother’s kin. Since you have indicated that none remains then such information will not add to their pain of loss nor stir up possible trouble. Let the dead stay dead.”
Elrond nodded. “It will be as you say. Glorfindel will see to your weapons training, but it will not be necessary for you to seek out your other instruction. If you do not object you can receive instruction from tutors already providing it to our hin here. It will mean receiving it in classes with our very young ones and with our ellons just starting their training. Some of which are very young.”
Both Elrond and Glorfindel watched to see how he took this pronouncement.
He was quiet for a moment. “It is a fair demand, my lord. I am but a babe in your world and I will need to start from the beginning. If your teachers will not object to this I will make myself available at their convenience. I will remove myself from your guest quarters at once and take up more appropriate ones elsewhere. If it is allowed I will build a small shelter further out in the valley and be ready to start my instruction whenever your instructors allow it.”
He paused and looked at the weapons resting on the table. “These are the weapons of a noble warrior and not suitable for an untried one such as I. Would you allow me the use of some plainer serviceable ones in exchange for these?”
Elrond shook his head. “You will be housed in the barracks with the others. It will prove more convenient for all of your instructors. You will be assigned other duties during your training so that you provide some service in return for that training. As for the weapons, they could be those of your father’s and would be yours in any event. However I will hold them until you have proven worthy of them. Is that agreeable?”
Iorlas nodded. “Yes my lord. I will prepare to move this evening.”
Glorfindel shook his head. “It will be a few days Iorlas, I must decide who will be responsible for your weapons training. Once that has been decided then you will move into his section.”
Iorlas was puzzled. “You have the young ones in the barracks my lord?”
“No, of course not. You will be housed with the new recruits. Many of them are learning to handle swords and spears for the first time. Only the nobles have the benefit of early training at home as hin.”
Elladan hid a grin at Iorlas’s obvious relief. It would have been difficult and embarrassing for him to train with the very penneth. His willingness to do bespoke well his character. Glorfindel obviously liked what he saw in the young ellon.
“Before we start all of this, I would like you to accompany my ionnath nin to your hut and show them also where your mother is buried. I would also request your permission to allow me to search your memories for any little bit of information that might give us a clearer picture of your earliest years. It is possible that Ingold told you where he found the weapons and you simply do not remember his remark. I have found that the mind often remembers odd bits of information and hides them away until it is reminded by something unexpectedly.”
Iorlas looked very uncomfortable. ”I will do so my lord, but do not know how helpful it would be.”
Elrond nodded. “We will speak of this later. I thank you for your co-operation, Iorlas. I know these past weeks have been difficult for you. One of my ionnath nin will let you know when you are needed. Now go and rest. Elladan, will you show him the way back to his chambers?”
“Thank you my lord. I am grateful for your assistance.” He rose and after bowing respectfully, he followed Elladan from the room.
“Well meldir nin, what do you think?” Elrond looked over his steepled fingers at Glorfindel.
“If he is indeed the grandson of Gil Galad’s sister, then it will certainly shake up a few well ordered lives.”
“It is not only that meldir nin, there is also the tie to Hador’s line. As such his house could claim by right powerful influence as great as any existing in Lorien, Mirkwood or Rivendell.”
Glorfindel nodded. “If he proves as great a warrior as his father he will be a force to be reckoned with. Many will seek to join his service.”
“I agree, let me know how his training goes.”
“Do you wish for me to deal with him directly?”
Elrond shook his head. “That would call attention to him before it would be wise to do so. I concur with his wish to keep this among just the few of us. We need definitive proof he is what we suspect he is and he needs to learn to be an elf before he is exposed to the others and danger from that quarter. No, he should appear to be just an ordinary elf catching up on some long neglected training. As for these,” he gestured at the weapons, “I will keep them stored among the other “historical” things in the library. They will be safe there until he is ready to reclaim them.”
“I agree.” Glorfindel suddenly grinned.
“What causes you such amusement meldir nin?”
“I was just thinking what effect a union between him and a daughter of your house would have on certain elven hopes.”
Elrond chuckled. “Well I cannot see Arwen choosing such a match and he will just have to wait until Elwing grows up to see if she would agree. But you are right, it would choke a few.”
The two comrades were silent for a moment as they imagined with wicked delight the consequences of such a union then looked at each other again and burst out laughing exuberantly.
Meldir nin-my friend (male)
Ionnath nin-my sons
Silalin’s-from sila (S) to shine white and lin (S) pool; thus Pool of white light
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