The Light of Elbereth - Chapter 2--The Alliance
Dawn's early rays filtered down through the canopy as Legolas ate his morning meal while walking through the city. It seemed to him that he was in a haven of rest, simply breathing the air refreshed him. The sounds of laughter and singing gently floated down from the tree tops. He quietly sang an Elven song as he walked along, thinking of the greatness of Lothlorien.
Soon, however, his thoughts wandered from the Lorien, to the woman he met. It was not that he hadn't met pretty girls before, for he knew many, or that she was much different, for he had chanted poems before with lots of women, but the way she disappeared. That disturbed him. He felt foolish, like a young boy playing cat-and-mouse in the woods. He was a prince of Mirkwood, and his tracking skills were indeed great. For elves have sharp senses, especially those of sight and hearing, much greater than those of men, but his were far greater still. Yet she still managed to elude him. He wondered where she came from and who she was. Perhaps she was of this city, one of the Galadrim.
As he walked through the city, his steps lead him to the Gathering of the Elves, the grand hall where the council of the Alliance would take place. Lord Celeborn had summoned the chosen representatives of all the Elf people for this special gathering. Some from Rivendell, called Imladris in Sindarin, Home of Elrond, the last of the Eldar. Others, from Mirkwood, or the Woodland Realm, such as he was, sent by his father Thranduil. Though he journeyed alone to Lorien, he was not the only one to come from his home. Another company of Elves, the lords of his kingdom, also came to represent the Sindarin.
The Gathering of the Elves soon filled as the all the representatives gathered for the council. Among the many faces he recognized those of Arwen and lord Glorfindel. Arwen was the daughter of Elrond, the Evenstar of her people, for her likeness to Luthien and for her dark beauty, and never again did such loveliness as hers appear in Elves in all of Middle earth. Lord Glorfindel was perhaps one of the greatest elves in all of Rivendell, second only to Elrond. For he was a great warrior and a lord of great power. But the face Legolas did not see, was that of the Elf he met at the river. He expected to see her here, for here were the greatest Elves gathered, and he assumed she must have been a daughter of some great lord to have such a musical voice and great beauty.
The words of Celeborn returned him to the present, for he was calling the Alliance to order. As in the fashion of the Elves, they all took their places, seated in a circle, with Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel at the head. When all were quiet, Lord Celeborn stood and spoke.
"A dark shadow is growing in the distant land. What should never have been left alone, was abandoned, and now, the time has come for the Elves to unite, or fall alone." Lady Galadriel stood and spoke slowly in her low voice, looking out into the distance.
"I have foreseen the coming of great peril. A darkness is creeping over the hills. Long has my mind been tormented by its shadow. I feel it in the water. I feel it in my heart. Soon, the age will no longer be that of Elves, and we will diminish. This darkness does not threaten us alone, but all creatures, for it seeks to destroy all life. Malice lies in its heart, I can feel the growing hate. It is searching for a place, a place where it can hide, and lie unnoticed as it makes its plans to destroy all of Middle-earth. The evil has not been revealed of yet, but soon, we will see its form, for it is awakening.
"Yet we are not without hope, in all life and breath there is hope. This great evil has not yet gathered all its strength together, and there is still a chance. It will perhaps, be a long struggle, without rest, till we reach the end.
The eyes cannot always see the end of the road, but yet we must walk the path that is laid before us, knowing not whether if it is to our doom." Lord Celeborn now looked among the Elves as he stood again. He started to speak of the Alliance,
"We must be attentive to this evil, and watch everywhere as we wait for its coming. For perhaps, by the uniting of Elves, we can find this great shadow, and stall it, for the salvation of Middle-earth. It has been appointed to us, this great task, the Alliance of all Elves. We must unite, and seek out this force, before it grows. We must be aware of all the evil around us, though it is detestable to all life, we must not be caught off-guard. Send your messengers to and fro, and do not allow our distance to be our downfall. Together we must fight this evil, or we will be tortured by it."
All day the Elves spoke in turn. Talking of this strange evil, and of its return to Middle-earth. They laid the plans for the great Alliance of Elves. No longer were they going to be distant kingdoms, but they would seek out their kinsmen, and together they would prepare for this dark shadow. At twilight, they ended the council.
As they all left, Galadriel beckoned for Legolas to follow her. They walked wordlessly to her garden. She picked up he silver pitcher and filled it water. She walked over to the basin. As she poured the water, she looked up into his eyes and into his soul.
"I have seen her too," she finally said. Legolas was confused. He started to question her, but she spoke first,
" The one you met at the river." Galadriel motioned for him to look. He gazed down at the basin of water. First, all he saw was the reflection of the stars against the deep blue of the sky. Then, the picture wavered out and he saw himself walking in the woods. He was about six feet tall, somewhat slender, yet graceful and strong, clothed in shades of green, with a bow and quiver, along with two white knives, on his back. His long blond hair flowed over his shoulders, and his face was fair. Though he was old, there were no lines or wrinkles on his face, and dark brows shaded his deep grey eyes. The picture wavered again, and he saw the woman from the river, and he heard her gentle laughter. Then he saw a new face, it was that of Elbereth. She appeared in shining white fana. A gentle voice spoke to him.
"O son of Thranduil, I have seen your path and sent you a special light."
The picture of the girl at the stream reappeared in the basin. But this time, she did not seem real, for the was a glow around her, and her eyes were shining. Then, various scenes flashed before his eyes, there were mountains, plains, and a great battlefield, yet too quickly for him to understand.Then the pool returned to the reflection of the stars. Legolas stood still for many moments, pondering in his heart what we had just seen.
Elbereth, or Varda as she is sometimes known, is concerned with lights. For it was she who made the stars, filled the lamps of the Valar with light, and fashioned newer stars and constellations in preparation of the awakening of the Elves. She too hallowed the Silmarils, established the courses of the moon and the sun, and set the star Earendil in the sky. But why she would give attention to Legolas, he did not know. And how was this girl to be his light? His thoughts were confused. He looked up at Galadriel. She was smiling at him, as if he were a child, baffled by the simplest of problems.
"It was she who summoned you here. You will have some part to play in the fight against the ever-growing shadow. She has seen the path you are to take, and though you will be beset with perils and danger, you will find friends where you least expect them, for Elbereth has revealed her shining face to you, and you are blessed. Go now to the river. Sit beside the Nimrodel and see what is to befall you, you will be safe. I can tell you no more." She gave him one last smile as she left the garden.
Slow steady steps lead him out of the garden. Soft chants floated on the breeze. The stars shone bright in the darkening sky. The green glow of Caras Galadon, the chief city of Lorien, seemed to put a spell on him. He thought of the path that laid before him. What was he to do? He decided to go to the river, and see what he would find there.