22. Visions of Pelennor
Galadriel stood upon the balcony of her chamber. She looked down at the forest floor. A group of elves were to depart for the Grey Havens. The call of the sea was strong for she too was tempted to leave. But it was still not her time. Galadriel sighed. There was still much to do before she leaves Middle Earth. She had a dream last night of Aragorn and Arwen. Her granddaughter was not well. The rising power of the Dark Lord Sauron had affected her health. This troubled her for she will not survive this earth if Sauron succeeds. She will perish if Aragorn were to fall in battle. There were a number of things on her mind.
Calavénë was one of them. Her fleeing away from Caras Galadhon was unexpected. Galadriel did not see it coming and now she was lost to all of them. Her mother, Laugoneth was taken ill by grief and if she does not return soon, her mother shall fade away. If that happens, may the Valar forbid it, her father too will follow. It was now up to Rumil and Mebedir to search Rivendell.
Galadriel did consult with Elrond but according to him, no elleth by the name Calavénë had come through Rivendell. He did, however told her of an elleth named Melethovorien who was an orphaned and widowed elleth. He even disclosed to her about her pregnancy. Galadriel was having doubts. The description of the elleth matched to that of Calavénë but she was not with child. Galadriel was aware of the consummation of the relationship between Haldir and her young charge. Perhaps she was with child. The only way to find out the truth was to have Haldir here. They would have to talk openly about the matter.
Galadriel summoned Haldir for tea. She would have a private chat with him in the gardens, with no interruption, not even from Celeborn. Galadriel waited patiently for Haldir's arrival. Before he could announce himself, Galadriel addressed him, "Welcome, Haldir. Come, join me."
Haldir bowed down before the Lady of Galadhrim and took the opposite seat. The Lady was calm and composed. Haldir had a feeling that this meeting would be about Calavénë. Since she left Lorien, Lady Galadriel has yet to speak personally with him. Haldir came prepared but he was not ready for what Galadriel would be asking.
Galadriel poured some tea in to the cups in front of her. Her eyes looked at the cups but her mind was reading Haldir's. He was anxious and nervous. Galadriel smiled. It was good to know that he did not take this matter lightly. After placing the cup and saucer in front of Haldir, she spoke, "How are you henn?"
Haldir smiled, "I am well, my Lady. Only a little wearied from training with Orophin."
Galadriel nodded, "I see you have regained the full function of your arm. I am pleased."
Haldir stroked his arm, "Yes, thank the Valar for this miracle and of course to herdir Annoguil for his care."
Galadriel eyed the ellon in front of her, "What about Calavénë? Did she not play a part as well?"
Haldir's calm features turned to an expression of hurt, "She has played not just a small part but it was because of her I survived."
Galadriel was pleased to hear this, "Tell me Haldir, what do you feel for her?"
Haldir looked at the mighty Galadriel. His eyes glistened with tears but never falling, "Love is what I feel for her. A strong, complete and utterly great sense of love. I would do anything to have her by my side again."
Galadriel smiled. She was glad that Calavénë chose Haldir and it seemed Haldir too has reciprocated her love. She took a sip of the tea before continuing, "I have news from Rivendell…"
Haldir straightened himself, waiting eagerly for the news. Galadriel took her time and settled the cup and saucer back on the table. She looked at the Marchwarden, "Elrond informed me that no elleth by the name of Calavénë reached Rivendell…"
Haldir's heart sank a thousand feet beneath the ground. If she was not in Rivendell, where could she be? Surely not Dunland for it was the lands of the savage and brigands. Or did she not make it down the High Pass? Fear bubbled inside Haldir. He looked at Galadriel waiting for more news.
Galadriel studied the ellon in front of her. He was worried, she could tell, "He did however, told me of an elleth named Melethovorien, who came to Rivendell a few days ago. She had golden hair, fitting all the descriptions of Calavénë. All but one…"
Haldir's eyes lit up. It could be his love. She could have used another name to conceal her true identity. This would seem like something she would do, being a very smart elleth herself. Haldir inquired to the matter, "What was the one exception, my lady?"
Galadriel leaned back in the plush chair, "She is with child…"
The words echoed inside him, vibrating every bone in his body. If this was true, he would feel even guiltier than he already does. Calavénë has subjected herself to the strenuous climb on the High Pass. He was certain she knew not of her condition. But it could still not be her, "Are you sure it is her?"
Galadriel looked at the Marchwarden intently, "This is what I wanted to ask you Haldir. You must be open with me, hide nothing. Do you understand?"
Haldir nodded, "Very well, my lady. I have nothing to conceal from you…"
Galadriel continued, "I take it you and Calavénë have consummated your love?"
Haldir could only nod for he feared her anger. Galadriel shook her head, "I know it is not the custom here in Lorien but I am not angered by your actions. It was an act of love but it was a foolish thing to do. Elves here in Lorien are traditional, keeping true to the life of the Eldar. It was a hasty decision made by a desperate elleth and a broken ellon. It is now in the past. We must focus on the coming days. Now I must ask you Haldir, are you aware of how elfings come to be?"
Haldir nodded, "A hervenn and his hervess must want the conception to happen for them to bear an elfling…"
Galadriel came closer to Haldir, "Did you Haldir want it to happen?"
Haldir was quiet. He tried to remember the night they spent together. Did he want it? Did he say it out loud? He did not know. But it has been his dream for so long to have a family. Could that have been enough?
Galadriel took his hand in hers, "That would have sufficed…"
"But my lady, I was told by my ada that a marriage consists of the bonding ritual and the consummation of love. Neither I nor Calavénë did such ritual..." Haldir asked the all knowing Eldar.
Galadriel smiled, "To that I have a supposition; Calavénë might have bound her soul to you even if you did not. By doing so, she has allowed herself to be able to carry your seed within her. I have no doubt she wanted an elfling to be conceived that night, out of love for you. Annoguil has told me of the degree of connection both of your fear shared. That too might have made this possible."
Haldir breathed out slowly, putting two and two together, "So it is possible that this, Melethovorien is actually Calavénë?"
Galadriel nodded, "It is a possibility… But there is still some doubt. I have informed Mebedir of this news. She will try to run Haldir for she does not want to return to Lorien. In her mind she has shamed her family. She is still oblivious to your affections. In her mind you do not love her. That is the reason she left because to her, there is nothing for her here."
Haldir nodded. He knew the gravity of the problem. He needed to find her and soon. The little elfling inside her will need all the care in the world. Calavénë needed to return home so he would be able to care for her. Her parents needed to see her and tell her how much they loved her. There were a lot of things that had to be done and fast.
Galadriel stood up, walking towards a rose bush, touching the delicate flowers, "It will still be a few more days before Mebedir and Rumil reach Rivendell. The weather on the High Pass has turned for the worse. Tomorrow Middle Earth will be the place where the battle between evil and good takes place. The fate of all will be decided tomorrow, including my granddaughter Arwen. Let us pray to Eru to give us victory and may Frodo and Sam destroy the ring…"
Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and the Grey Company including Aragorn's brothers, Elladan and Elrohir stood near the banks of Anduin, watching the river as a fleet of ships with black sails floated on the great river. War was well underway and it was time Aragorn joined his fellow comrades in battle. The fleet of ships came closer and Gimli could see the Corsairs, clad in black leather and unruly hair manning the haul. The Grey Company and both the twin elven princes hid behind large rocks and trees, awaiting their orders from Aragorn.
As they crossed the precise spot Aragorn was standing by, he spoke loud and clear, "You may go no further. You will not enter Gondor!"
Loud laughter could be heard aboard the ship. The Corsairs thought it was amusing for only three men supposedly stood between them and Gondor. A thin man with a dirty face stood up and walked closer to the edge of the ship. Aragorn assumed it was the captain, for he had a certain authority in his voice when he said, "Who are you to deny us passage?"
Without turning around, Aragorn issued his order to his friend and companion in arms, Legolas, "Legolas, fire a warning shot past the bosun's ear."
The warrior prince drew his bow, aiming at the bosun only moving his arrow slightly further away. Gimli looked up at the elf, "Mind your aim." As Legolas released his bow, Gimli, mischievous as always, redirected the bow with his axe, resulting in the fatal shot to the man standing next to the captain.
Gimli watched in amusement as the plump Corsair fell to his feet and died, "That's it. Right. We warned you. Prepare to be boarded."
Once again the Corsairs laughed at the seemingly absurd warning, "Boarded? By you and whose army?"
Aragorn's eyes were dark with anger and in a silent growl he spoke, "This army…"
A wisp of white and grey cloud burst through the rocks from the mountain's wall. It looked like clouds at first but soon it became apparent that it was a legion of human skeletons, ghost skeletons. The army was headed by a tall, eerie looking ghost wearing a magnificent crown. The army boarded the ships and killed off all the Corsairs. Not long after, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, the elven princes together with the Grey Company boarded the now empty Corsair ships. The bodies of the dead were thrown overboard into the Anduin.
Aragorn approached one of the captains of the Grey Company, "Arahan, my friend, it is my hope that you manned the ship, become its captain. I have matters to discuss with Legolas and the princes."
The young Dunedain ranger nodded, "Very well my lord. I shall inform you when we are near Osgiliath."
Aragorn took his seat next to the prince of Mirkwood who was discussing matters of the war with Gimli, Elladan and Elrohir, "What is the plan mellon nin?"
Legolas looked up and pointed to the map on the table, "Osgiliath will be a stronghold. I would bet with my life, Sauron would have placed at least two regiments guarding the city. It will not be an easy entrance for us."
Elladan now spoke in turn, pointing at a small gap on the map, "The only way in and out from Osgiliath's pier would be this small gateway. We force our way in but not without the element of surprise."
Aragorn looked at the elven princes. They have always managed to come up with something mischievous and secretive, "What do you mean, Dan?"
Now Elrohir took charge, "The orcs and goblins will be expecting Corsairs armies to arrive. We let the ships dock then we ambush when they come close enough to see why we have not descended from the ships."
Aragorn nodded, "Aye, it is a good plan. In fact, it is a great plan. I shall speak with the king of the mountain men. Good work!"
Legolas watched as Aragorn entered the captain's chamber. He felt uneasy, as if someone was hurt or hurting. Someone he cared about. His mind shifted to his ada, King Thranduil. Perhaps he was in need of him. After his mother's passing, Legolas has been somewhat protective of his ada. He closed his eyes, tuning into his senses. If he concentrated enough, he would be able to see who it was that was hurting. Legolas focused on the feeling inside him and projected his senses outward. Slowly the image of an elleth appeared in his mind. The vision took form further and Legolas cried out in shock, "Calavénë!"
Elladan and Elrohir were startled by his actions. Elladan looked at the Mirkwood prince, "What is it Las? Who is this Calavénë?"
Legolas shook his head, "It was nothing. It does not matter…"
Elrohir looked at his companion intently, "Las, you seemed troubled. Tell us; perhaps it will ease your burden."
Legolas took a deep breath, "It is mellon nin, Calavénë. I met her when we rested in Lorien a few months back. She is troubled…"
The story intrigued both the elven prince who spoke at the same time, "Tell us more of this Calavénë…"
As the ship sailed, Legolas recalled the first time he met Calavénë and how he found the affable elleth. He told them of her friendship with Frodo and how she helped him out of his despair. Legolas revealed the evenings they would spend together talking about Mirkwood and Grey Havens. Elrohir was enraptured, "Tell us how she looks like, Legolas…"
Legolas smiled, "She is beautiful, perhaps not as beautiful as your gwathel but beautiful enough. She has long golden hair like your grandmother. Her eyes are kind and her voice smooth. When you are with her, you feel warm and comforted."
Elladan smiled, "Do you love her?"
Legolas laughed, "I do… but not in the way you are inferring. Her heart belongs to another, a mellon of mine."
Elrohir laughed, "There goes my chance of courting her."
Their laughter were cut short when Aragorn called out to them, "Gentlemen, be at the ready. The pier is visible from here. Take cover between the crates. Once we have docked, we are at war."
Legolas nodded and made his way to Aragorn's side as did Gimli. Elladan and Elrohir returned to the Grey Company and coordinated their attack. The fleet of ships sailed smoothly towards the pier. The sounds of battle were clear even from this far. Minas Tirith was in dire need of help.
From behind the crates Aragorn could see the captain of the orcs waiting impatiently at the gates of Osgiliath, "Late as usual, pirate scum! There's knife-work here that needs doing. Come on you sea rats! Get off your ships!"
The rest of the crew remained quiet as the ships docked. Aragorn looked at Legolas and Gimli and then back towards the Grey Company and his adoptive brothers. With one nod, the three of them jumped from the ship. The orcs stared at the three of them, as if they were a group of drunkards charging into war. At the precise moment, the army of the dead swarmed forward, killing everything in their paths.
Aragorn charged and killed off the orcs that stood in his way. Legolas and Gimli continued their sport, adding to the numbers of their kill. Aragorn forged on and killed the captain of the orcs army, slashing his arm and stabbing him at the same time saving Eowyn who was injured in her confrontation with the Witch King. Aragorn turned around and saw a rogue Oliphaunt stomping and killing the Rohirrims. He spun around looking for Legolas and when he did, he shouted to the elf prince, "Legolas!"
Legolas turned to see an Oliphaunt charging at him and he rushed to meet it, swinging up onto its tusk. He quickly moved from its trunk to its leg, clambering up its limb using the many arrows stuck in its hide as hand and foot holds. Reaching the top he was met by several Southron warriors. He pulled his arrow and struck them down, "Thirty three, thirty four…"
Legolas then grabbed hold of the rope holding the platform on the Oliphaunt's back. Swinging off, he cut the rope and let the platform fall over the side, pulling him up to the creature's back. Running up to the Oliphaunt's head he strung three arrows and shot them into the beast's skull, bringing it down. Legolas slid off the trunk, landing safely on the ground in front of an annoyed Gimli, "That still only counts as one! Come on, then! Come on!"
Aragorn looked over the battlefield; realizing most of the enemies were dead. In the distance, a group of the Dead took down an Oliphaunt. The Dead overran the city, killing all of the Mordor troops. Everything moved in slow motion. Yes, many of the enemies had died but Aragorn saw many of his companions lying on the ground, devoid of movement of breath.
In the distance he heard Eomer, nephew to Theoden King, shouting. His wails were heart breaking as he held his unconscious sister, Eowyn in his arms. All was lost for a moment as Pippin found his companion, Merry, injured and weak. Aragorn looked at the vast field covered in bodies. Things were moving in slow motion…
Aragorn tended to the injured in the Houses of Healing. Eowyn and Merry were both affected by the confrontation with the Witch King but were soon revived by the clever administration of Athelas by Aragorn. Legolas looked at the scene unfolding before him. It was made known just hours ago, Theoden King lay dead with his men, crushed by his horse.
Aragorn and his companions returned to the throne room to discuss their plans. Gandalf stared ahead, looking past beyond the mountains and trees, "Frodo has passed beyond my sight. The darkness is deepening."
Aragorn walked closer to the white wizard, reassuring him, "If Sauron had the Ring, we would know it."
Gandalf sighed, "It is only a matter of time. He has suffered a defeat, yes, but behind the walls of Mordor our enemy is regrouping."
Gimli who was until then, sitting on the steward's chair, smoking pipe weed, voiced out his opinion, "Let him stay there. Let him rot! Why should we care?"
Gandalf walked towards the ignorant dwarf, "Because ten thousand orcs now stand between Frodo and Mount Doom. I have sent him to his death."
Aragorn remained silent, lost in thought. He was not about to give up so easily when they have come this far, "No. There is still hope for Frodo. He needs time and safe passage across the Plains of Gorgoroth. We can give him that."
Gimli stood up, intrigued, "How?"
Aragorn's eyes shone with fire and conviction, "Draw out Sauron's armies. Empty his lands. Then we gather our full strength and march on the Black Gate."
The heir to Rohan's throne, …omer spoke in turn, "We cannot achieve victory through strength of arms."
Aragorn nodded, "Not for ourselves. But we can give Frodo his chance if we keep Sauron's eye fixed upon us. Keep him blind to all else that moves."
Legolas immediately understood where Aragorn was going with this, "A diversion…"
Gimli puffed out his broad chest, "Certainty of death. Small chance of success. What are we waiting for?"
Gandalf seemed unconvinced and approached Aragorn, "Sauron will suspect a trap. He will not take the bait."
Aragorn smiled mischievously, "Oh, I think he will…"
Aragorn was alone in the throne room. His companions were preparing for their departure to the Black Gate to draw out Sauron's armies. He stared at the globe hidden under a silk cover, a palantir. He knelt down before it, hesitating as he lifted the stone in his hand. The stone came to life and the eye of Sauron glowed inside it.
Aragorn stared at the stone, addressing Sauron, "Long have you hunted me. Long have I eluded you. No more! Behold the Sword of Elendil."
Aragorn held the sword in front of him. Sauron however did not falter. He showed Aragorn a vision of a dying Arwen on her bed. Aragorn was grieved and in his surprise, dropped the stone and together with it, the pendant given to him by Arwen. He watched in horror as he recalled a dream very similar to this event. Fear bubbled inside him, thinking of his beloved. A pat on his shoulder startled him. Aragorn turned around and saw Legolas.
Legolas looked at his friend with concern in his eyes, "Come Aragorn. We are ready to depart."
Aragorn nodded and together, they made their way to the warriors below. Today was the day. They must distract Sauron for as long as they could to allow Frodo more time to destroy the ring. Today was the day.
Aragorn mounted his stead, dressed in a handsome robe with the white tree on it. He was now Elessar, King of Gondor though his coronation was not yet carried out. He rode in front, with Legolas, Gimli, Gandalf, Merry, Eomer and Pippin following not far behind. The ride to Mordor was not long. Soon the cavalry and troops stopped in front of the Black Gates. There was no movement, nothing.
Pippin looked anxious, "Where are they?"
Aragorn looked at Gandalf and the rest. He nudged his horse forward towards the Black Gates. He stopped in front of the gates with his companion by his side, "Let the Lord of the Black Land come forth! Let justice be done upon him!"
The Black Gate began to open, and a dark rider on a dark, armour covered horse approached them. He was a Black Numenorean, deceived by Sauron but now served him out of his own free will, "My master, Sauron the Great, bids thee welcome."
He made a toothy grin but Aragorn returned a mocking look back at him. Annoyed by the reaction, he pressed on, "Is there any in this rout with authority to treat with me?"
Contempt could be heard in Gandalf's tone, "We do not come to treat with Sauron, faithless and accursed. Tell your master this: The armies of Mordor must disband. He is to depart these lands, never to return."
The Black Numenorean sneered, "Old Greybeard. I have a token I was bidden to show thee." He pulled out a mithril shirt from under his coat and tossed it to Gandalf.
Pippin and Merry mentioned Frodo's name in anguish and despair. Gandalf silenced them, not wanting the enemy to know of Frodo's importance.
Sensing the pain it caused them, the Black Numenorean continued, "The Halfling was dear to thee, I see. Know that he suffered greatly at the hands of his host. Who would have thought one so small could endure so much pain? And he did, Gandalf. He did."
Aragorn nudged his horse forward, halting side by side with the ugly creature. The Black Numenorean acknowledged the man, "And who is this? Isildur's heir? It takes more to make a king than a broken Elvish blade."
With one clean move, Aragorn swung Anduril towards his head, severing it from his body, thus ending his tirade.
Gimli sniggered, "I guess that concludes negotiations."
Aragorn turned to face his companions, "I do not believe it. I will not."
The gates of Mordor began to move, signalling the arrival of Sauron's armies.
Aragorn rode back, giving out orders, "Pull back! Pull back!"
Uncountable numbers of orcs marched toward the Host of the West. The warriors were starting to lose heart and courage. Aragorn saw this and urged them, "Hold your ground! Hold your ground."
The Men stared at him, fear and uncertainty written on their faces. Aragorn rode back and forth in front of them, trying to shore up their courage, "Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of Men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the Age of Men comes crashing down. But it is not this day. This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!"
The Men drew their swords. Aragorn and the others watcedh as they were surrounded by Sauron's forces. Gimli looked up at Legolas who was standing beside him, "Never thought I'd die fighting side by side with an Elf."
Legolas smirked, "What about side by side with a friend? "
Gimli's eyes softened, "Aye. I could do that."
Sauron's voice could be heard whispering Aragorn's name, "Aragorn. Elessar.."
Aragorn stood motionless and stared off at the Eye in the distance. He then turned to the army behind him, "For Frodo." With those words, he charged into battle, followed by his army.
Back in Caras Galadhon, Galadriel sat up in bed. Celeborn was surprised at her actions, "What is it my love?"
Galadriel looked into the distance, "So, it has begun…"
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.