4. The Watcher
The follow-up relief wagons had departed shortly after the balrog slayer and his warriors due to the efficiency of Master Hebgobel and should provide needed help should his people need the blankets and food to replace what ever they had lost. Finally he could wait no longer and cast his mind out seeking Glorfindel.
*One moment my lord, I must finish dealing with this village elder. * Glorfindel responded briefly then responded back to his question.
*Elrond, this is amazing, all the villages directly on the river have suffered total destruction, but there have been no injuries or loss of life. We have passed through five so far and every story is the same. Apparently all were in receipt of a warning from the Lord Of Imladris and told to seek higher ground away from the river. They did not have much time to save their stores of food and such but they were able to get everyone to higher ground before the water surged over the banks. Our supplies have been able to provide what immediate food and shelter was needed, but we will have to arrange more long-term help to get everyone settled more permanently before winter starts. We will continue our search and see what can be salvaged, but I suspect nearly everything has been lost. *
*Strange, I sent no such message. Even more worrisome though, I should have. It never entered my mind! Our friend seems to be at work again.”
*We will definitely have to deal with this, meldir nin. When I get back something must be done before our enemies discover such a weakness! *
*I agree. It is not good that such orders are given and I have no knowledge or memory of them. We will do so when you return. But what help can we provide to the villagers now? *
*There is the possibility we will need to transport several whole villages back to Imladris. There is nothing left and we cannot get them ready in time to face the coming winter here. At the very least I believe we should transport the hen and elders there immediately. That will relieve the strain on the remainder having to care for them in such strained conditions. Some villagers have already departed to stay with family or friends nearby but further away from the river so that has helped. But we will have to send additional supplies there so as not to drain their stores as well. With the able bodied remaining we should be able to start building limited shelters and complete any salvage of belongings worth saving. *
*I will arrange for the additional transport and get Master Hebgobel busy on setting up quarters at once. If we are faced with a long-term resettlement, we will have to start making the necessary adjustments to arrangements here. *
*I do not think it will be necessary to plan any longer than for just this next winter. Most are eager to start rebuilding and are already making plans to do so. They will not be eager to move to Imladris permanently but I think they will see the wisdom of do so for the short time the weather could be a danger. *
*That will certainly give us more time to help them acquire the necessities to helpmset up housekeeping again. We should also look to see if there are more favorable and safer sites to re-establish the villages themselves. One or two always seem to be questionable to me. *
*That could prove difficult; people tend to have deep attachment to their homes. *
*I know, nonetheless, it will be worth exploring, especially if we can send our engineers along to help. They have not had anything to keep them busy for a while and they will welcome the challenges to stave off their boredom. *
*I will start preparing the villagers for the move. *
Elrond took care to erect strong shields around his mind and did some serious thinking over what had transpired next. Not long after his contact with Glorfindel, Master Hebgobel had arrived to inform him on the ongoing state of the relief effort. Without comment he heard about the progress of the new requirements for the temporary housing and transport of the villagers back to Imladris.
“The wagons are already being loaded with additional food and clothing, my lord, and will be ready to depart at first light in the morning. With your permission I have raided the army stores of tents and their large cooking pots and added them as well. They will be returned as soon as a more stable settlement has rendered their need superfluous. The wagons will of course be able to bring back those survivors as Lord Glorfindel has suggested. We are preparing housing for them over in the barracks on the west side and I believe they will be ready for the first group by late tomorrow. It is close to the Healing Halls if such support is necessary and there is also space to set up some classrooms for the hen to help keep them occupied and out of mischief. A number of both ellyn and ellyth have volunteered to help the newcomers settle in. Do we know how many we should expect yet?”
“No, but you should be aware that not all will be elf kind. There will be nearly an equal number of men and their families.”
“I know, Lord Elrond. I have already contacted the local village elders and they have agreed to provide housing for some of the families when they arrive later. They have already started to increase their hunting so as to provide additional meat and are going through their granaries even now to provide what additional wheat and corn they can as needed. They have added several bolts of homespun and wool for blankets and clothing and there are a number of animal skins for new shoes and boots. ”
“Please thank them for their support. We must be careful, though, to make sure their seed stock remains high enough for the crops next spring. We should be able to provide nearly everything we need from our own stores.”
“I agree, but they were most insistent. I gather they consider it little enough repayment for the safety they have found here. They are most grateful for your protection over the years.”
Elrond smiled. “They cost us little, and as the descendants of my brother I consider them more family than outsiders. We have a mutual enemy and it serves us both well to stand together.”
Hebgobel nodded. “Have I forgotten anything My Lord? Is there anything else to be done?”
Elrond shook his head, “You have covered everything I can think off right now. My thanks for such a prompt response.”
“It is my pleasure to serve you and our people, my lord.” At that he sketched a slight bow of his head and retreated from the room.
Elrond frowned. It had happened again. This was most worrisome!
The elleth sat in mute horror as she realized the import of what she had just ‘heard’. Never in her worst nightmares had she anticipated this. Lord Elrond had not been aware of his sending the warning! How had she caused that? Had she somehow wiped it from his memory? Why was she now able to follow his contact with Glorfindel? This gift was proving to be a serious liability instead of the help she had envisioned for her lord and her Golden Lion. She would have to go to Lord Elrond and confess. She buried her face in her hands and wept. The only solution she could see was to sail immediately for the Undying Lands or seek her own death. She had to end this terrible danger for those she loved.
*Elrond mell nin. * He felt the light touch of Galadriel’s mind brush across his tentatively.
*My Lady, * he acknowledged with affection for his mother-in-law.
*I sense the situation has become more troublesome. *
*Yes. * He told her what had happened since their last communication.
She was silent for a moment and then continued thoughtfully. *I have searched through things here again and have not found anything that would lead me to believe that it has occurred here. However, after careful thought, I believe there may be a simple but unusual answer to what is going on there. *
*I would be relieved to know the answer. Is it something that is a danger to Imladris? *
*If I am right the answer is no. I believe you have a Watcher. *
Elrond frowned in puzzlement. *What is a Watcher? *
*They are rare but do occur from time to time. It is one who wishes to protect and serve those he /she loves. It can be as simple as providing for the comfort of the loved one through a personally performed task much like a wife/husband for one another, a parent for a child or a child for a parent. Or become much more complicated to cover all of a specific group. *
*Such care is not unheard of within a family but I have never heard the word “Watcher” applied to the accomplishment such tasks or knowledge of such an elf with the kind of power this one has shown. *
*If you indeed have a Watcher such increase of skill and power may be tied to frustration arising from a refusal from the loved one to acknowledge or accept the offered love or fear by the one who offers the love knowing it will not be accepted. *
*That certainly would fit the initial situation with Glorfindel, but why does it now spread to me, and the rest here? *
He sensed Galadriel’s amusement. *Elrond mell nin, Glorfindel’s affection for you and the rest of Imladris is well known. If the focus is Glorfindel and he has rejected the affection of the Watcher, is it not natural he/she would expand this desire to protect him to those he loves as well hoping to change his mind? *
*If that is the reality of this, then what can we expect to happen next and is there any way to stop it? *
*In many cases the Watcher may not even be aware of their power or its impact. When they realize what has occurred, they may be terrified, angry, or even desperate to cope without discovery. Depending on the seriousness of the impact they may go mad or seek to take their own life. *
*Is there no way to stop this? *
*Perhaps, but you must first discover the identity of the Watcher before you can do anything. *
*Then I had best seek the Watcher out at once! Namarie My Lady. *
*Namarie, Elrond. *
Meldir nin-my friend
Mell nin-my dear
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.