Aragorn headed East from the main gate, and continued across the Pelennor Fields. From time to time he’d exercise his right arm, to rid it of the pain that crept through it. Being impaled by a large splinter was an experience Aragorn was in no hurry to obtain again. Aragorn travelled unhindered well into the night, until at last, he reached the fair land of Ithilien. One of the elves who had moved there with Legolas greeted Aragorn warmly. They weren’t in the least surprised at his presence there.
Elves were capable of finding out the dealings of men in their own way, and Legolas was convinced that Aragorn would be curious to know of the Easterlings. The elf, Dînesgal, had actually been waiting for Aragorn, as the Ranger was bound to be exhausted. “I wondered how long I’d have to wait.” Dînesgal remarked. “I trust tonight finds you well, Dúnadan, for you to be out travelling.”
“Well enough.” Aragorn replied truthfully.
“Legolas is awaiting you as we speak. He was certain that you’d pass through here, and has taken the liberty to ensure you are welcome. He asked me to await you, and guide you to him. You should rest before continuing.” Dînesgal informed Aragorn. “We knew of the Easterlings request to speak with you.”
Aragorn nodded. He had met Dînesgal before, but only once. It was when he had been serving Legolas’s father for a short time. Despite the fact that their meeting had been brief, Aragorn had found it easy to get along with Dînesgal. Dînesgal wasn’t that old, in elven reckoning. And he was only fifty solar years older than Aragorn was, which isn’t much for a Dúnadan or an Elf.
To his people, Dînesgal was only a child, but Aragorn held him in adult regard. This pleased Dînesgal, because it was infuriating to have lived so long, but still be considered a youngster. Dînesgal was one of those elves with a mischievous nature, delighting in comedy of various sorts. Dînesgal had been surprised and impressed at Aragorn’s skills, when they had met. But he had said nothing at the time.
Dînesgal took a hold of Brego’s reins and led the horse onwards, not giving Aragorn the chance to dismount. Aragorn was too weary to make any protest, and so allowed Dînesgal to do as he wished. This was obviously one of his jokes, to give Aragorn emphasized respect, just because he had recently been crowned. Aragorn had ridden hard, not stopping until he had reached Ithilien. But that wasn’t the only source of his weariness. The fight with that troll had taken a lot out of him.
Legolas approached them as they arrived in the upper hills of Ithilien, where the elves dwelt. “It appears I know you too well, my friend.” Legolas greeted, as Aragorn dismounted. He looked at Aragorn’s face, and perceived that something had happened. “What is it?” Legolas asked his friend.
“Nothing.” Aragorn replied. “I just had another run-in with a troll. That’s all.”
“Who came out worse-off?” Legolas enquired, amused that his friend seemed to attract troll trouble.
“The troll obviously, otherwise I would not be standing here now. Faramir arrived just in time.” Aragorn added with a heavy sigh. “I wish I knew how it had gained access to the city. Tonight of all nights!!”
“What do you mean?” Legolas asked, bemused.
“Arwen gave birth in the evening. A boy. We’ve named him Eldarion.” Aragorn replied, a smile crossing his face.
Legolas’s face lit up too. “Surely you won’t go to the East without celebrating this day?” He asked.
“I don’t want the Easterlings to know. Not until I am certain that they can be trusted. If I delay, they might get suspicious.” Aragorn replied sombrely.
“I see.” Legolas replied thoughtfully. “It does seem odd that they’d change their minds so suddenly. They were all for the Dark Lord’s promises before.”
“Yes, but Sauron is cunning. He deceives the weak with promises which he’ll never grant, even if he can. He also struck fear into many. It may well have been threats that led the Easterlings into war. Either way, I’m going to investigate. It wouldn’t do to cast them a blind eye, as it would be likely to upset them. You never know, they just may have come to their senses.” Aragorn replied, and the three of them laughed. Legolas yielded and played host as Aragorn rested, to be ready for the next day. He offered several times to go with Aragorn, hidden. But Aragorn gently refused. How could he earn the trust of the Easterlings, if he showed them no trust? Legolas subsided, but expressed his concern for his friend.
To be continued…