20. The Road to Rivendell
Haldir and Orophin had been tracking Calavénë for four days now. She was close but somehow she had managed to stay out of sight. Both Haldir and Orophin were beginning to feel frustrated at their inability to track her. It seemed as if years of training were going down the drain. To make matters worse, Rumil had to take Mebedir back to Lorien for he was wounded in an ambush by orcs. Haldir also sustained some injuries but none too great. He was adamant on finding her and refused to return back to Lorien.
Orophin was beginning to lose hope. For half a day now, he could not find any signs of Calavénë; no footprints, no hair not even a scent. She had managed to cover her tracks meticulously. She too was adamant on not being found. The both of them were nearing the road to the High Pass. It was clear that Calavénë might be considering Rivendell as a refuge. This greatly worried Haldir. The High Pass was known to sometimes be occupied with orcs. Calavénë was alone and thus making it dangerous for her. The High Pass was also known to be treacherous, claiming many lives each year. If Calavénë used that pass she would be facing both orcs and the elements.
Haldir scanned the area. Something was amiss. There were hurried scurrying, here and there. Someone or something was watching them. He patted Orophin's shoulder to alert him. Orophin stood up, now looking around as well. There was an uneasiness cloaking their senses. They continued to watch for any movement. Almost immediately two warg riders jumped from behind bushes and landed in front of them. The beasts snarled at the sight of the two wardens.
Haldir pulled his arrow, ready to strike while Orophin had his trusty sword at hand. One of the warg riders leaped over Haldir and separated them both. The fierce looking beast lunged and tried to bite his hand. Haldir released the arrow and it hit the warg. The beast did not falter instead it lunged again and this time it managed to injure Haldir. Orophin saw this and came to his aid. With an injured arm, Haldir took out his sword and swung at the warg while Orophin shot an arrow to the orc riding it.
It took them nearly an hour to finally kill the two wargs and both of the orcs. Haldir fell to the ground. He had lost a lot of blood. Orophin rushed to his side, "Haldir! You are hurt. Let me take a look at that and we should return to Lorien and heal you."
Haldir stood up, eyes set upon the path to the High Pass, "No, we must find her. Orcs are roaming free. She could get hurt."
Orophin shook his head, "No, you are no use to her if you are dead. This wound needs to be tended to. Warg's saliva contains many germs. Your wound could get infected. We know she has made it this far. Return home first and heal. Then we will set out for Rivendell."
Haldir sighed dejectedly. Orophin was right; he was no use to her dead. Haldir stood up with his gwanur's help and they turned around slowly and made their way back to Lorien. Haldir glanced around and looked at the pass. He whispered silently, "May the Valar keep you safe…"
Calavénë looked up at the mighty mountain. She has been on the pass for half a day now. The weather was wonderful and the feel of snow under her feet soothed her journey. She had managed to avoid a couple of warg riders earlier today. They were patrolling the path. Calavénë could sense the heightened emergency in the air. It has been four days now since she last left Lorien. The Rohirrims must have gathered their forces now. Last she heard of the war was when Lady Galadriel told her of the gathering in Dunharrow. She had no news of her friends, Legolas, Frodo, Aragorn, Gimli and the others. She could only pray to Eru to keep them safe and may they become victorious.
Calavénë herself did not feel well. Her body was weakening and lembas could only do so much. She still however could manage to travel all day only to stop for a night's rest. Now, looking at the vastness of the mountain range, she wondered would she be able to find a shelter for the night.
Calavénë climbed and threaded through the thick snow slowly. The air was beginning to thin out. It was nearing dusk and the sky blazoned orange. She forged on, needing to find a shelter for the wind had picked up. It would be at least another hour more before she found a small cave, nestled in between the rocks. Her cheeks were cold and her body trembling. She entered the cave, relieved to find it empty. She sat her belongings down and huddled near the corner. She had no means for making a fire. She took out the miruvor she had with her and drank a few mouthfuls.
The gurgling feeling rose upwards and the miruvor she drank was expelled forcefully from her. She coughed and panted. Her weakened body could not hold the miruvor. She laid her body down on the ground and pulled a blanket over her. She was cold and had hoped the miruvor would warm her. It came as a surprise to her since she could drink the elven wine before. Maybe her body was too weak or perhaps days of only eating lembas had rendered her stomach delicate. She was tired and sleep was upon her. She closed her eyes and sailed away to the land of dreams.
Calavénë looked around. The palace was beautiful. Flowers were everywhere and birds flew around chirping happily. She could see a large fountain in the middle of the courtyard and a beautiful elleth sat on a golden stool, playing a golden harp. She approached her carefully, not wanting to alarm her. With a timid voice, Calavénë spoke, "Mae govannen… Im Calavénë… Telin o Lorien. Man râd na Imladris?"
The elleth stood up and faced Calavénë. Her skin was glowing and she was the most beautiful creature Calavénë had ever laid her eyes upon. She walked towards her, floating. Her warm smile captivating. The elleth stood before her and spoke. Her voice was mellifluous, "Im Elbereth… Mae govannen Thandiell."
Words could not describe how she felt when the elleth spoke. 'Twas Elbereth, queen of the Valar. Calavénë knelt down before her in reverence and fear, "My Lady Elbereth, forgive my impertinence. I did not know it was you…"
Elbereth laughed, "Come henn. No need to fear me. I have come with great news for you."
Calavénë rose and walked side by side with the queen of the Valar, "Great news for me?"
Elbereth nodded, "Yes. First, eat and drink. You need the nutrition. You have a long journey before you."
Calavénë saw fruits and wine appear before her eyes. She ate the food provided and drank the wine served. The taste of the fruit was a welcomed change to the taste of lembas. Elbereth watched her eat, gently stroking her golden hair. Once Calavénë was done, she turned her attention to the queen of the Valar, "What was the news you had come to tell me?"
Elbereth smiled, "We have seen your love for Haldir. We know you had followed your heart. Your love is pure and true and so, we have bestowed upon you a great gift. With this gift it is hoped, you will find happiness and a sense of purpose."
Calavénë's eyes lit up, "What is that gift, my Lady?"
Elbereth stroked Calavénë's cheek, "Patience… It will be revealed all in due time. Do not give up hope. True love always finds a way."
Calavénë smiled. She watched as the beautiful Elbereth turned into mist and disappeared from her sight. Calavénë woke up, panting and filled with a sense of wonder. Her body felt refreshed and her mind was at ease. The Valar had visited her and bestowed upon her a gift. She looked around the cave to see if it was there. Then the words of Elbereth chimed in her ears, "It will be revealed all in due time…" Calavénë stood up and peered outside. Morning was upon her and she packed her belongings and made her way out of the cave. She had at least four more days to go before reaching Rivendell and she cannot wait.
Back in Lorien, Haldir was getting restless. It had been four days now, since their return. Herdir Annoguil had made it impossible for him to leave to find Calavénë. He had Haldir move into the healing talan where his assistants kept a watch on the Marchwarden twenty four hours a day. The wound on his arm did in fact become infected, just like Orophin said. Haldir had only just recovered from his fever and his wound was now healing tremendously. But it would be at least another week before herdir Annoguil would let him travel again.
He sat on the bed, looking out from the window. He could see the river where Calavénë and his brothers took him for some practice. He remembered her scent when she sat on his lap and he remembered teasing her about pleasing her over and over again. How he wished none of this had happened. He should have been more courageous and told her about his feelings. Lady Galadriel's words echoed in his mind, "My dear Haldir. Your courage and your devotion for duty have won me over years ago but I fear your early judgement of others might be the very end of you…"
He sighed. She was right. His flaw of judging others too soon had become the end of him. He had judged Calavénë harshly the first time they met. He continued to do so, even when she had declared her love for him. He had not the wisdom to see all ends. Calavénë is an exceptional elleth, he thought. She loved me unconditionally even when I was horrid and cruel towards her. Haldir looked towards the sun, "When I find you, my love, I will never let you leave my side. I will love you the way you deserved to be loved…"
Rumil entered the talan and found his gwanur staring at the sun. He had been doing that a lot lately, this Rumil had noticed. Haldir had become quiet and did not say much. He spoke when he was spoken to. Even then, it was only a few words at time. Rumil knew how worried he is for Calavénë's safety. Rumil had considered the possibility of Calavénë dead but Haldir insisted, he could still sense her. He knew Haldir was anxious to start the search again. Rumil sat down beside his gwanur and was not surprised when Haldir did not notice him.
He shook his head and patted Haldir's shoulder, "What are you thinking, Haldir?"
Haldir was startled, "It is you, Rumil. I did not see you come in. Nothing. I was only thinking of Calavénë, wondering where she is and whether she is safe…"
Rumil squeezed his broad shoulder, "I hope she is. Fear not, gwanur. In a few days we shall resume our search. We will find her and you shall be reunited with your love once more."
Haldir smiled. That was his hope and he will see it done. He looked at Rumil and embraced him, "Thank you for being here for me. You and Fin are the best gwadeir an elf could ever ask for."
Rumil laughed, "My! It looks like the tough Marchwarden has become a puddle of water. Love suits you well gwanur and I am proud to have you as my gwanur. Speaking of love, has Mebedir come to see you? He has wonderful news."
Haldir shook his head, "No. He has not. What news is that, Rumil?"
Rumil smiled, "I will let him tell you."
Just then, Mebedir walked in with a broad smile on his face. Rumil looked up, "Speak of the orc! Here comes Mebedir."
Mebedir growled at Rumil, "Labo vi Orodruin, Rumil. Haldir, how are you mellon nin?"
Haldir laughed hearing the banter between the two, "I am well. How are you? I hear you have great news."
Mebedir sat down on a stool next to Rumil, "I am well and happy, Marchwarden. I have come to invite you to my wedding tonight."
Haldir could not believe his ears, "Is that so? Congratulations! Who is the lucky elleth this time?"
Rumil sniggered and cut Mebedir off, "Mirnimmeril. You should have seen them these past two weeks, giggling and touching. It is all very sweet. I never knew Mebedir could be such a soft ellon."
Mebedir laughed and threw the apple in his hand at Rumil, "Sa farn palan, Rumil. Yes, it is Mirnimmeril. We spent some time together these few days and I find her agreeable. It is time I marry and she is a good choice. My parents' have approved and so does the Lady of Light and Mirnimmeril's parents."
Haldir patted Mebedir's hand, "She is a good elleth. I am happy that you found your happiness, Mebedir. Where is the ceremony to be held?"
Mebedir stood up, "Near the gardens. I shall see you there?"
Haldir nodded, "You can count on it, mellon nin."
Mebedir smiled, "Good. I shall take my leave. There are many things to prepare. Good day, Haldir, Rumil."
Both of the brothers nodded and watched as Mebedir left the talan. Haldir looked forlorn again as he spoke, "If I would have told her about how I truly felt, it could be my wedding today."
Rumil smiled and held his brother, "No matter Haldir. When we find her, I will throw you the most wonderful wedding reception ever, complete with orc heads!"
Both of the brothers laughed their sorrow away. In his heart Haldir promised to himself to give Calavénë the biggest and the most beautiful wedding reception ever!
Calavénë was less than half a day away from Rivendell. She was glad to have climbed down the High Pass. Her body became weary again two days after her dream. The effects of the food Elbereth served to her only lasted for two days. She was desperate to reach Rivendell. Her lembas supplies had ran out and her clothes were wet from the melting snow. She was now between the trees of Imladris. The soul of the Eldar inside her felt free amongst the trees but it did not help her body. She walked for a few more hours before finally stopping for some water.
There was a small stream flowing between the trees. She took a sip of the cool water and felt slightly refreshed. She sat down under a tree when her vision began to spin. Her body felt strained and exhausted. She crawled on all four and heaved the contents of her stomach. Water and bits of lembas came out for she had not much to eat the last few days. Her breathing became ragged as another wave of heaving came upon her. When her stomach had finally settled, she sat down by the tree again. She was tired and before she knew it, the world around her went blank.
Glorfindel, the Balrog slayer, friend and protector of Imladris was out on his usual ride around the lands of Rivendell. He took over patrol duties from Elladan and Elrohir who were now riding out to meet Aragorn in Dunharrow. Sadness cloaked the land for Arwen Undomiel was taken ill by the rising darkness. Elrond, lord of Rivendell sent out his sons to aid Aragorn thus ensuring the safety of her daughter. Elrond was indisposed, exhausted by the thought of war and the well being of his only daughter. Glorfindel took it upon himself to help keep Rivendell safe.
He rode on his trusty steed, with watchful eyes for any orcs or beasts. The black stallion trotted along the stream and whinnied; it saw something. Glorfindel patted the horse's back, "What is it? What do you see?"
His eyes scanned the area and stopped abruptly when he saw a body lying under the tree. The golden warrior dismounted his steed and walked up to the body. It was an elleth! She had golden hair just like him but she was weak. Glorfindel felt her forehead. She was running with a high fever. He looked around trying to see perhaps she had any companion with her. He saw nothing. He placed her gently on his steed and mounted it. Together they galloped slowly, taking the unknown elleth with him to Imladris.
The magnificent steed was brought to halt in front of Elrond's office. Lord Elrond stood up, looking out his window. Below, he saw Glorfindel with an unconscious elleth. Elrond was intrigued. He went down immediately to his companion to assist him with the young elleth. He walked downstairs hurriedly and saw the golden haired elleth, "Who is this? Where did you find him mellon nin?"
Glorfindel laid her down on the ground, "I do not know. I found her lying on the forest floor. She had no other companion with her. Elrond, she is not well."
Elrond approached the two of them and held the unconscious elleth, "You are right. She has a temperature. We should carry her to the healing bay."
The mighty Balrog slayer carried Calavénë to the healing bay and placed her on the bed. Elrond dismissed him for he needed to keep her modesty. The two elleth Elrond kept to assist him undressed her and clothed her in a white sleeping gown. Minutes later, Elrond returned and examined her. She was indeed running a high fever. From his inspection, he saw that she had cuts and bruises on her body. Her skin was dry, evidence of water deprivation. Her body was small. Perhaps she did not eat properly.
Inspection of her clothing showed that she was an elleth from Lorien. Why was she here and why did she travel alone across the High Pass? Who was she? He continued his examination. He inspected the area around her heart and found a broken rib. He moved further down to her belly. There were some bruises as well. Elrond ran his hand over her abdomen. He froze and looked at the elleth again.
"This is not possible…" he whispered to himself.
He moved further down her legs and was relieved to find nothing injured or broken. He instructed the other healers to administer the cooling potion and tend to her broken rib and bruises. He walked outside to talk to Glorfindel. He approached the warrior, "Glorfindel, was she alone when you found her?"
Glorfindel looked at Elrond, "Yes. I am certain. I did not find any other elves around her. But if she was separated from them, then that is another story."
Elrond pressed on, "Did you see any ellon with her? Husband? Brothers perhaps?"
Glorfindel looked impatient, "Pay attention Elrond! I told you, I found no one. Why?"
Elrond shook his head, "Forgive me. My mind was distracted for a moment. Why? Well, I needed to know if you had found her husband because she will need him soon. She is with child… and her body took quite the beating. If she had travelled alone that could only mean she is not aware of her pregnancy."
Glorfindel was surprised, "With child? But Elrond…"
Elrond understood what Glorfindel was trying to say, "I know. I could not find any indication that she is bound by marriage, no ring… nothing and yet she is with child. I do not know what to make of this. We should at least wait until she is well to tell her of the news. The designs on her gown is of Lorien. She might be from there…"
Glorfindel ran his hand through his long locks, "What could have pushed this elleth to go to such lengths to cross High Pass in this bleak time? Orcs roam the pass often. She is lucky to have avoided all the dangers."
Elrond nodded, "Lucky… Indeed she is. Only time will tell who she is…"
Mae govannen… Im Calavénë… Telin o Lorien. Man râd na Imladris? – Well met. I am Calavene. I am from Lorien. Which way is Imladris?
Im Elbereth… Mae govannen Thandiell – I am Elbereth. Well met, daughter of Thand
Gwanur - brother
Gwadeir - brothers
Herdir - master
Labo vi Orodruin – Go jump in Mount Doom
mellon nin – my friend
Sa farn palan – That is enough
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.