14. A Rescue Is Made
“Rellas? Would you care for some of the tea? It should help remove any remaining pain.”
“Yes ‘Dan, hannon le. I am quite well now, but hot tea would be most welcome.”
As the two drank the refreshing tea, ‘Dan surveyed the cave more carefully and then peered down at the cliff face that angled down to the river. Shaking his head he turned to ‘Rellas and smiled at her.
“How did you ever find this place and how did you manage to get up here? Certainly ada was in no condition to do it on his own.”
Elrond grimaced, “I was no help at all, ion. She had already retrieve supplies from the packhorse and found shelter by the time she had caught up with me. Thanks to her, we had food, clothing, and shelter while waiting for rescue. She was able to bind up my injuries with skins so that I could make the trek up the canyon wall, and she helped me haul myself up to the cave along with the supplies before the river flooded again.”
“It was sheer luck that I found the animal, hiren, and more luck that he carried the items he did. Common sense dictated I take what was available since I did not know what I would encounter in the coming hours. I had absolutely no idea where you were or even if you had survived but I had no doubt that our companions would be searching for us. I am just grateful that my footsteps were guided in the right direction and that we were able to find shelter before the rains and the yrch came.”
‘Dan grinned. “It does not matter, hiril. You are both safe now and soon we will have you out of here.” He gestured to the small bundle lying near the entrance. “Does that go with us?”
Elrond nodded. “The arrows, of course, are a necessity and should not be left. We do not know whom the clothes in the pack belong to, but I would like to return what remains and replace that which we used if possible. The rope saved us and remains serviceable and it seems wasteful to leave it behind.”
“Very well, ada, I will send it up first.” ‘Dan turned back to the entrance and sent up the signal to begin their removal from the cave.
Several slender lines of elven rope were secured by elves on the rim above and dropped to the cave below. ‘Dan secured the bundle and watched as it disappeared over the canyon rim.
Elladan then helped ‘Rellas bind two about her body and watched as she was carefully drawn up. He held one line that prevented her from swinging or twisting about and released it as she progressed up the face of the rocky wall. Once she was safely standing on the cliff top and the ropes once more were lowered he turned to his father.
“Ada? Are you ready?”
“As ready as I will ever be ion nin.”
A noise of falling stones and a thud drew their attention back to the entrance as Elrohir swung onto the narrow ledge and joined his brother and father in the cave.
“Ada, it is good to see you. ‘Roh hugged his father and then looked him over carefully. He frowned over the number of bandages his father wore and looked questioningly at his brother. “’Dan?”
“Most are only for protection as he climbs the cliff face. His head wound is pretty well healed and the one on his leg is progressing nicely. It looks worse then it is, ‘Roh.”
‘Roh did not look convinced as he turned his attention back to his father. “Ada?”
“I am fine ion nin. Cease your worry. Aside from a rather nagging headache I feel much improved over where I was two days ago. And I expect that will cease once I have been able get to my medical supplies. It was just our luck that it was not on the poor animal that went down the cliff with us.”
“It was a good thing it was not on Gilpada either, ada. Otherwise we would have to wait until we found a fresh supply along the way or reached Imladris. I had very little of my supplies left after giving a large part of them to the Lothlorien group returning home.” ‘Dan said ruefully.
“Has there been any trace of either Gilpada or ‘Rellas’ mount?” the elf lord asked.
“None of Gilpada, ada, but I fear Lady Rellas’ is most likely dead. We saw a group of yrch and one of them had her saddle.”
“You are sure it was the one her mount carried? It could have been mine.”
‘Roh shook his head. “It was hers. We disposed of the yrch so that they would not alert their masters to finding the remains and possibly drawing more attention to this area.”
Elrond lowered his head and shook it sadly. “I hope that Gilpada or the others did not suffer long. I shall miss my little star walker. He has been my faithful friend for many years.”
“I hope so too, ada.” ‘Dan placed a comforting hand on his father’s shoulder.
‘Roh nodded. “I too, ada. But there will be time to mourn later. We need to get you out of here and as far away as quickly as possible. Already we have remained in dangerous territory far too long and I fear our activities may have already alerted our enemies.”
Elrond nodded and with a sigh he moved to the cave entrance followed by his ionnath. ‘Roh pulled in the ropes and helped ‘Dan in securing a sling about Elrond. Then with Elrond between them they signaled the elves above and assisted their father climbing the cliff. It was with great relief that Glorfindel and the waiting warriors finally had their lord safely amongst their numbers once more.
Facing his lord and long time friend Glorfindel grasped Elrond’s arm in a warrior’s salute and then hugged him grinning. “For a time meldir nin, I thought to never see you again. I may never allow you to leave Imladris again.”
Raising his brow Elrond cocked his head and returned both the salute and the grin. “It may well be some time before I even wish to do so meldir nin.”
“’Fin, let us get ada settled so that he can get something for the headache and then get cleaned up and fed. I would like to see that both him and the Lady Rellas also get a decent night’s rest before we depart in the morning.” ‘Dan interrupted.
“I agree, ‘Fin. Everyone can greet ada later.”
“Ionnath nin,” Elrond snapped. “I am not ready for the Halls of Mandos just yet. I wish to make sure the Lady ‘Rellas is taken care of and I will greet our other companions before seeing to my own needs.” He glared at the gwanur.
Glorfindel smothered a chuckle before placing a hand on the elf lord’s shoulder. “Elrond, I agree with your ionnath in part. Lady Mithrellas is even now refreshing herself and changing into clean clothing. She will be ready to join us for something to eat shortly. You should at least take something for your headache and then you can join us all at the campfire for dinner. Your warriors are eager to see that you are well and you can greet them there. Once you have eaten and they have done so, you can get cleaned up and settle down for some sleep. We will all feel much better once we are out of here.”
Elrond studied his friend for a while then nodded tiredly. His face was beginning to look drawn and white with strain and he knew he would soon reach the end of his strength. “You are right. I would be grateful to have done with this headache.” He turned to ‘Dan and ‘Roh. “Ionnath nin, I know you all have been worried these past few days and I apologize for snapping at you. I am truly grateful for your concern and caring. I am however still the Lord of Imladris and there are others to whom I owe my thanks for their concern and aid over the past few days. A few moments to acknowledge that will not incapacitate me.”
The gwanur exchanged glances and then sighed resignedly. ‘Roh nodded at his father. “Very well ada, but you must sit at the fire and let them come to you. Then you will seek your bed.”
Elrond agreed and he soon found himself ensconced on a piece of log near the fire and sipping a heated potion that quickly eased his headache. One by one the warriors approached him and saluted him with smiles of welcome and good wishes. He was able to express his thanks with minimal effort and he found himself relaxing since he no longer had to fight the headache. He started to rise when the Lady Rellas appeared and when she shook her head at him he sank back on his improvised seat.
She sniffed at the odors escaping the large cooking pot on the fire. “I am definitely ready for some decent food. Lembas may be fine for all you warriors, but it loses much appeal when that is all that is available.” She grinned at Elrond and sat down beside him. “I feel much better having finally removed those ruined garments and put on clean ones. You will also I am sure.”
He smiled back at her. “I am sure I will, hiril nin. I will also enjoy a proper rest this night...although it will definitely be lacking in one thing I find most conducive to rest.”
She blushed. “I doubt if you would rest properly hiren if that were available. Perhaps you will find it so once we have reached Imladris?”
Glorfindel grinned as he listened to their byplay. He had a pretty good idea of what had happened to the two while they were in the cave. Aside from the fact that her care had enabled Elrond to survive in much better shape then he would have without her, he was glad that they had found the other comfort at well. Both deserved it.
“Elrond, meldir nin,” ‘Fin said gently, “It is time for you to seek your rest. I have had some hot water placed in your tent. ‘Dan will help you clean up and re-wrap your injuries then give you something to help you sleep.”
“Very well, ‘Fin. ‘Rellas, I will bid you good night. I hope you rest well.” He rose and waved to the others. “My thanks, mellyn nin, for your concern and aid. I will rest well this night knowing you have me in your care.”
‘Fin and ‘Rellas watched as Elrond slowly walked with ‘Dan towards his tent.
“You should also seek your rest, hiril nin.”
“Yes, ‘Fin I will. I owe you my thanks as well. All of your comrades were most diligent in their efforts to find us.”
Glorfindel smiled. “He is our lord, hiril nin. We are quite found of him and do not consider it a travail to care for him. I also can assure you that we would have searched just as diligently had it been only you who were lost.
Mithrellas smiled. “I have no doubt hiren, but none-the-less, I am grateful.”
“Your tent awaits, hiril nin.” 'Fin bowed and in a sweeping gesture escorted 'Rellas to her rest.
Hannon le-thank you
Ion nin-my son
Mildir nin-my friends
Gwanur-twins-a pair of brothers
Mellyn nin-my friends
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