6. 5. How Did You Know?
Prompt: A chess game
“How did you know,” Glorfindel asked his companion. He stared intently at Erestor. For his part, Erestor remained hunched over the chessboard, analyzing the effect of his potential move.
Silence ensued and the re-made warrior sat back to wait. His mind drifted to his former lifetime. Chess was not a game played by warriors; it was the entertainment of scholars. Although the game required a great deal of strategy, the pieces could only move certain ways and that meant that your opponent could easily anticipate the consequences of any given move. That is not how combat really worked! Chess did not serve a purpose in the practical world! As such, Glorfindel had never bothered to pursue it. In this life, however, he was wise enough to admit there was merit to the game. He had watched Elrond and Erestor locked in a single game for hours, enjoying a cup of wine and camaraderie. He often sat with them, reading a book or gazing at the stars. It was quiet and relaxing and…well rather intimate. It was far less bawdy than the “warrior’s den” and more quiet than the Hall of Fire. Therefore, Glorfindel finally asked the Lords to teach him chess. The games were quick and embarrassing at first; but in time, Glorfindel wrapped his ‘here and now’ reality driven warrior’s mind around the finer points of looking not just one move but also several moves a head. He discovered a real love for the game!
“You will have to be more specific in you question mellon nin…Glorfindel? Findel!?”
Glorfindel flinched back to the present. “Forgive me, what?”
Erestor sat back and looked at his long-time friend. “I said it is your move and you will have to be more specific in your question. I know a lot; most of it learned through various methods.” Glorfindel stared oddly at the raven-haired advisor. Erestor sighed. “I moved from here to here and you asked me ‘how did I know?’ Know what?”
Blue eyes scanned the board quickly before the warrior picked his knight and moved it. “My braids, Erestor. The other night at Elrond’s begetting celebration. How did you know about the braids of my house? That is not something you would find in a book, at least not that I am aware. And I am certain I have never worn them before as someone has to do them for me.”
“Check mate,” Erestor stated as he moved his queen to take the knight. He sat back, took a long drink of wine and closed his eyes. A memory flashed before him…
He watched from the platform, just behind Gil Galad as the party from the Havens approached. An elf of great stature rode at the front, garbed in a beautiful golden breastplate and a deep blue cloak embroidered with golden flowers that glistened in the sun light. The elf wore no helm, his golden hair gleaming as bright cerulean eyes smiled at the world as he passed. Erestor forgot to breathe, so beautiful was this vision approaching. The elf dismounted and kneeled before Elrond, head bowed. It was then that Erestor saw the beautiful braid work in the re-made warrior’s hair. Tiny braids across the top and side pulled the hair from the noble face and ears but allowed it to hang long in the back. The advisor now understood the sketches and rare portraits of the Elder Lords. It seemed each had their own style; this must be the design of the House of the Golden Flower…
Erestor opened his eyes slowly and looked at Glorfindel with such emotion that it took the other by surprise. Pink lips turned to a gentle smile as Erestor softly replied,
“You wore them the first day I saw you.”