79. The Road Goes Ever On
The Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn proved to be welcoming hosts and eager to show off the beauty of their Golden Woods. Much to everyone’s surprise and joy Galadriel’s mirror had shown that Celebrian was a mother again and that there were little ones waiting in Valinor for their daer naneth and ada. Now released from her anxiety over Celebrian she was able to open her heart to her daughter’s successor and the hin. Galadriel was indeed lonely for “little ones” and willing to share her affection for them as their daer naneth. Still everyone was very relieved when Elrond’s family was safe once more back in the last homely house.
While Elrond was grateful for the comforting presence of Amarie and the twins during the increasing dissonance outside Imladris, he more then once debated the wisdom of sending her and the hin to safety in the Undying Lands. He found Amarie was adamant that neither she nor the hin would go until he was prepared to do so as well. In one matter she did agreed and no further trips were made to Lothlorien.
Orders for the original creations of Bar-Meneg-Mir-Lain continued to grow in spite of the outside problems and Amarie found herself challenged to develop new cartoons to meet the demand as well as for her artisans to complete them. A small number of skilled weavers appeared among the refugees both men and elves that arrived in small battered groups from time to time and she was glad to add them to her still growing group of artisans. Two proved to be exceptional. The first was a man of Gondor called Haram, who also had experience as a dyer and produced the richest and finest colored threads that allowed the weaving of the finest tapestries they had yet produced. The second was a young elleth Nibenell who was a fine artist able to quickly pick up on Amarie’s ideas and translate them into finished cartoons. Both proved to be excellent additions to the artisans.
Over the decades Gandalf was a frequent visitor and spent many hours sequestered in closed meetings with Elrond and his councillors. He was a welcome addition to family gatherings and the two elflings loved his stories and colorful fireworks. Amarie often found herself the subject of his teasing over her earlier fears that Elrond’s possible refusal to welcome Bar-Meneg-Mir-Lain.
“Did not your dreams give you any indication of his desire to welcome you penneth?” he chuckled.
She glared at him. “It would have if I had known who he was at that point. But then who was I to expect the great Lore Master and Lord of Imladris would be anywhere in my future? I would have really been terrified if I had known the Valar themselves intended to take a hand in our meeting.”
Gandalf simply smiled and shook his head.
In spite of the looming darkness there were the occasional bright periods when there would be various get togethers for high holidays, begetting days, and fairs. Harvests remained good and Imladris was able to share its bounty with those not so lucky. One thing that did not change was the everlasting shadow that ranged just beyond her borders and the workload of keeping tabs on Sauron’s activities.
Elrond sighed and turned from the pile of finished work on his desk.
*Meleth, are you coming to bed soon? * Amarie touched his mind.
*Ai, ind nin, I am on my way. I just finished the last report. * He smiled at her sleepy tone and snuffed out the candles on his desk and in the nearby wall sconces.
*It has been a long week, meleth nin, I am glad the delegates have finally departed. *
*As am I, lirimaer, but I fear we solved nothing. Our list of allies grows thin. * He entered the hall and wearily climbed the stairs to the family apartments.
*I meant to ask earlier, is Arwen still coming next month as she planned? Galadriel said nothing about it last time we talked. *
*I have not heard anything to indicate she will not. * He opened the door to their rooms and crossed to their sleeping chamber pausing at the door to look at Amarie’s slender form lying comfortably in the centre of their bed.
*I must remind Sadi to make sure her rooms are ready… * She stopped as her hervenn joined her on the bed and swept her into his arms.
“I have wanted to do this all evening, ind nin.” And he proceeded to show her exactly what he meant.
While Imladris continued to be a refuge for many, the growing problems outside its borders as Sauron sent his underlings out to ravage the surrounding lands placed additional pressure on Elrond to take some kind of action. Elrohir and Elladan were often gone as they travelled with the Dunedine Rangers gathering intelligence and fighting the increasing threat of the yrch. Arwen spent less time in Imladris, as both her ada and daer odhil refused to let her make the trip between the two kingdom during certain dangerous periods fearing a repeat of the Red Horn Pass incident when Celebrian was brutally attacked.
It was one hot summer day that was to herald the change that everyone was hoping for and fearing.
*Ada. * The sad and troubled voice of Elladan reached Elrond as he sat in his office listening to Glorfindel as he discussed the latest requirements for new recruits.
*Ion nin, what has happened? Are you and Elrohir all right? * Elrond sat up straight and immediately raised his hand silencing the golden haired warrior.
*Yes ada, but Arathorn has been struck down. We are taking his body home to Gilran. *
Elrond closed his eyes in sadness and sighed deeply. *Another of the line of Isildur gone. *
*Ion nin, Neither his wife or child will be safe now. Bring them both here to Imladris. They must disappear before the agents of Sauron can find them. *
*Yes, ada, we should be there by the end of next week. *
*Be careful, ion nin. *
*We will, ada, until then, namarie. *
“What is it Elrond? What has happened?” Glorfindel asked quietly.
Elrond looked at his Balrog Slayer. “Arathorn is gone. Ionath nin are bringing his widow and their son to Imladris.”
Occasional meetings of the representatives from the various elven and dwarven kingdoms continued over the following decades but those from the human realms soon drifted away. Finally only Lothlorien, Imladris and a few of the dwarven representatives continued to meet and worry about the growing power of Sauron. It was clear that he was spreading his influence and corruption among the various human kingdoms and there were fewer to restrain his actions.
Saruman as head of the White Council played a waiting game and urged a cautious approach to whatever action they pursued. He said that the one ring had been lost, washed to the sea and would never be found. Neither Elrond nor Galadriel were comfortable with his presumption about the ring and continued to carefully keep watch. Gandalf travelled extensively through the lands of middle earth seeking to keep an eye on Sauron’s activities. It would not be until much later that Saruman’s desire to hold the power of the ring himself that the depths of his perfidy were discovered.
The future of middle earth was growing dark and the final battle was nearing…….but that is another story……
Ind nin-my heart
Meleth nin-my love
Ion nin-my son
Ionath nin-my sons
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.