Elone: Forgotten Daughter of Rivendell - Chapter One
The child who's born upon this day
Will of her sorrow ride away
Death will taunt her in her dreams
And call her, bekon, by its means
So love will tempt her from afar
But into shadow falls her star
-thus prophesied Galadriel, whence Elone earned the name of Elengwath--star of shadow
Morning rose quietly over Rivendell. Gandalf the Grey stood in silent thought on one of the many balconies and watched the early grey morning mist disappear. But he had no time for such things. A council, one of the first in Imladris in nearly a century, would be held within the hour. Frodo Baggins--Gandalf smiled--had undertaken the most dangerous mission in Middle-earth since Luthien rescued Beren and a Silmaril from Melkor.
Slowly, methodically, he turned to face the east, and the Gates of Rivendell. Hoofbeats. They grew louder. Presently, two riders came through the Gates, breathless in the cold morning. One Gandalf recognized--it was the young warrior Arnach. The other he did not know, though the face was familiar. It was a Man, tall and fair, with a noble face.
From his standpoint, he saw Elrond himself come out to meet them, his velvet robes brushing the dewy grass. They spoke urgently, though Gandalf could not hear them, and Elrond bekoned them to follow him. They gave their horses' reigns to a nearby Elf, and followed Elrond. They were soon lost to the Wizard's sight.
Turning, he strode from the balcony to fetch Frodo. Time was growing short.
Elone shifted uneasily in her chair. it was bad enough that ELrond himself had come to meet them at the GAte, but Boromir had dragged her the the council. It wasn't so much being here that she minded, but her father had a way of knowing more about a person than they ever told him. And her hair was red, that should have tipped him off immediatly. No Elf since Feanor had been blessed with red hair like Yavanna. Of course he didn't know Arnach, but his eyes registered something deeper when she had introduced herself.
She turned her wandering mind back to the present; her father was speaking:
"Middle-Earth stands upon the brink of destruction; None can escape it. Each race is bound to this fate, this One Doom. You will unite or you will fall." he paused and gestured at a very small person seated at Gandalf's right. "Bring forth the Ring, Frodo."
The Ring? Elone started. So this must be the Frodo Gandalf esteems so highly. I have heard him mentioned before. Her mind had been elsewhere during introductions. The little person, a Hobbit, stood up. ELone smiled inwardly in pity. He was only about three or four feet, and had a very uncertain expression on his face as he walked towards the table in the center of the council ground. Slowly, he drew something from his pocket and very carefully laid it on the table. A slight gasp arose from the others. Frodo turned and sat down again with a troubled sigh. As everyone present began whispering, Elone began to look around. There were many there. She sat at Gandalf's left, with another Elf she did not know on her right. His garb was that of Mirkwood and his face was proud. Inwardly, she made a face. There were also two dwarves, and she recognized her friend Aragorn, slouched in his travel clothes. Her gaze turned to Boromir, who sat a little apart, and his eyes were proud. And there were so many Elves! She did not know half of them, only Glorfindel, and the emissary for Cirdan. She smiled to herself as she gazed at the counsil ground. When she was small--millinia ago--she used to play here, sitting in her father Elorond's chair, and pretending to be overseeing an important meeting.
She hurridly reigned in her meandering thoughts as the discussion picked up. Much was said of news from the South, and of East of the Mountains. The elder of the Dwarves, who was called Gloin, spoke of his home in the Lonely Mountain, for he had come from Dain. He spoke of things which troubled their hearts; and of Moria.
Then Elrond began to speak. In his clear, deep voice, he recounted the tale of the One, and she listened despite herself. She had heard the tale before, but it had been long centuries ago. Elrond told them of Númenor: it's great glory and disastrus fall, of Elendil the Faithful and his sons Isildur and Anarion. And of the Last Alliance, their victory; Isildur's folly and destruction. Elrond sighed, remembering.
"I remember well the strength of their banners," he said.
"You remember?" Frodo spoke up, voiceing his thoughts.
Of course, Elone thought, Did not the Three come to us, wisest, IMMORTAL, fairest of all beings? Earendil is his father, and Elwing grandaughter of Luthien was his mother. He lived in the Hidden City of Gondolin before its fall.
"I was the hereld of Gil-galad," Elrond was speaking again. "I was there, at the last combat on the slopes of Orodruin, where Gil-galad died and Elendil fell. Alas! for the victory of the Last Alliance, for here we are, three thousand years later, facing the same problem as before." His voice had grown soft, as if speaking to himself. Now he looked at Boromir. "What of Gondor, son of Denethor?"
Boromir stood, tall and proud and told them of his city, and of the growing dark threat of Mordor. Then, he spoke of the dream, the reason for his journey. He and his brother Faramir had both dreamed it--of this Elone knew much already.
"In the West a pale light lingered, and out of it I heard a voice, remote yet clear, crying
Seek for the Sword that was broken:
In Imladris it dwells;
There shall be counsels taken
Stronger than Morgul-spells.
There shall be shown a token
That doom is near at hand,
For Isildur's Bane shall waken,
And the Halfling forth shall stand.
"Of these words we could understand little," he continued. "However, the warrror Arnach, who sits in silence even now revealed one thing to us: that Imladris was the name given to this place of old, the place called Rivendell where the Lord Elrond Halfelven still dwells. Arnach and I have journeyed a hundred and ten days, and here I see the Halfling, and the bane of Isildur."
"And here in the house of Elrond, more shall be made clear to you!" Aragorn stood up.
Elone watched as he cast his sword on the table. The blade was in peices.
"Here is the Sword that was Broken!"
Boromir gazed in wonder at Aragorn. "Who are you, and what have you do with Minas Tirith? What would a Ranger know of the White City and the tower of Ecthalion?"
Elone could have answered that foolish question herself, but the Elf on her left stood up and spoke. His face was still proud, and his voice cold as ice.
"This is no mere Ranger! He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. You owe him your allegence!"
Elone wondered how he knew Aragorn as she watched Boromir's response. He stiffened. "Aragorn? This is Isildur's heir?!" His face showed surprise, puzzlement, and disappointment.
The Elf spoke again. "And heir to the throne of Gondor!"
Aragorn gestured towards the Elf's chair.
"Havu dad, Legolas."
Slowly, Legolas sat down. Boromir's eyes were trouble. Elone began to understand what this meant for him. As it had stood before, Boromir was eldest son to the Steward of Gondor, the present ruler. Aragorn's coming would rob him of that power. ELone thought of Denethor, and shuddered. Boromir turned to gaze at the One.
"Isildur's Bane!" he mused quietly. "Is then the doom of Minas Tirith come at last? But why then should we seek a broken sword? What aid would that be to my city?"
"The words were not 'the doom of Minas Tirith'. But doom and great deeds are indeed near at hand, closer than anyone suspects," said Aragorn. "The Sword that was Broken is the sword of ELendil, Narsil, which broke beneath him when he fell. This is the blade that cut the ring from the hand of Sauron. This is the sword you seek; now what would you ask? Do you wish for the house of Elendil to return to Gondor?"
"I was not sent to beg a boon, lord Aragorn, only the meaning of a riddled dream did I seek."
Elone allowed her mind to wander as the two Men talked. Men were boring anyway. She watched the proud, fair face of Boromir and the rugged, noble face of Aragorn. She thought back to the beautiful white stone of Minas Tirith, riddled as it was by war, and of the tower of Ecthalion. It was more of a home to her now than her own valley of Rivendell. She looked about her and suppressed a sigh. A sorrowful memory. She was only here now because Boromir had begged. Only Gandalf knew what she had become. She wondered where Arwen was. Probably looking in a mirror or mooning about Aragorn, she thought. I know it's wrong to be bitter, but--
Her thoughts were interupted as another Halfling began to speak. She hadn't noticed him before as being at the council, but she knew him well. Bilbo Baggins. She listened as he told of how he had found the ring. She had heard it before, but listened anyhow. Many years ago, it was, when he discovered a mere trinket in the goblin-caves of the Misty Mountains. On he went and seemed not to wish to stop, for he loved attention, but Elrond halted him. He then bade Frodo to speak.
Frodo was more reluctant, shy to say the least, but told well his adventures. Elone leaned forward in her chair to hear, for this tale was new. She listened as he told the counsil of how he and three companions had fled their little land called the Shire, met Strider the Ranger in Bree, and at last made it to Rivendell with the Nazgul on their very heels.
Then, to everyone's request, Gandalf told what he had experienced. All were dismayed to hear his tidings of Saruman, and his black treachery which ran so deep. And when he told about how he, Aragorn, and Arnach had hunted down and captured Gollum and deliered him to Thranduil of Mirkwood, the Elf called Legolas who sat at her left cried in distress.
"Alas! Alas! The tidings which I was sent to tell must now be showed forth," Elone saw the distress on his face, which was no longer haughty. "My tidings are not good, but only here have I learned how evil they must seem to this company. Gollum has escaped!"
"Escaped?" she cried in horror.
"Escaped?" echoed Aragorn, and his eyes were troubled. "This is ill news indeed, and we shall all rue it bitterly. How came teh folks of Thranduil to fail in their trust?"
Elone watched the faces of Gandalf and Aragorn as Legolas explained that Orcs were to blaim for the ill news.
Gandalf then picked up the threads of his tale once more, and took most of the day to finish. Elone's back was sore and her legs were cramped from sitting so long. She was tired from riding, and found it difficult to focus on the discussion, which she found dull, vital though it may be. They talked seemingly endlessly about Saruman, and then back to the Ring, and what was to be done with it. Here Elone straightened up in her chair to listen better, wincing as her back popped. She was surprised when Boromir stood, fand at the words he spoke.
"Valor needs first strength and then a weapon. Let the Ring be your weapon, if it has such power as you say. Take it and go forth to victory! Let us use it against him!"
He was immediantly contradicted by both Elrond and Gandalf. The former spoke again.
"You have only one choice: the Ring must be destroyed. It must be taken deep into Mordor and cast back into the firey chasm from whence it came. One of you msut do this."
Elone glanced at Frodo. He looked pained and was staring unhappily at the Ring, as if it filled all his vision and was hurting him. She then looked back to Boromir as he spoke again.
"One does not simply walk into Mordor. It's Black Gates are guarded by more than just Orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep. And the Great Eye is ever watchful. Not with ten thousand Men could you do this. It is folly!"
Elone started as Legolas leapt to his feet, his eyes blazing. "Have you heard nothing Lord Elrond has said? The Ring must be destroyed!"
The smaller Dwarf, Gimli, stood up.
"And I suppose you think you're the one to do it?"
Elone sighed. Dwarves. They loved nothing better than themselves and their ridiculous gold. Soon everyone was standing and arguing. Everyone except she, Frodo and Aragorn. She caught Aragorn's eye and sighed. She smiled as he rolled his eyes in annoyance and gave her an encouraging wink.
She again looked to Frodo, and her brow furrowed in concern. He looked pained, as before, with his hand over his eyes. He lifted it to gaze terrified at the Ring, and his eyes were afraid. Suddenly, he too, stood up and spoke. He was forced to repeat himself, as his voice was small, and the crowd was loud.
"I will take it! I will take it!"
The crowd grew quiet. Gandalf smiled. Frodo continued.
"I will take the Ring to Mordor," he paused, then continued uncertainly, "though, I do not know the way"
Elrond turned to gaze at Frodo, and his glance was keen.
"This is the hour of the Shire-folk, who arise from their quiet fields and holes to shake the very towers and counsils of the Great. But it is a heavy burden. So heavy that none can lay it on another. I do not lay it on you. But if you take it freely, I will say that your choice is right; and thout all the mighty elf-friends of old were assembled together, your seat should be amoung them. May the Valar bless you."
Suddenly, a new voice was heard.
"Hoi! But surely you won't send him off alone, Master?"
Elone had to make an effort not to laugh. Another small person--another hobbit--had risen from a corner, where obviously it had been hiding.
Elrond turned to him with a smile. "No, indeed; it is hardly possible to seperate you two, even when he is summoned to a secret coucil and you are not, Samwise Gamgee."
The hobbit, Sam, blushed. "What a nice pickle we have landed ourselves in, Mr. Frodo!"