Elrond looked at the grim faced Iorlas standing before him.
“There is no doubt?”
“No hiren, my naneth was much recovered when she wrote the entry. It was her father’s brother.”
Elrond frowned, “It makes no sense, Lord Caranthir was close to his brother. He certainly gained nothing by slaying his niece and nephew in law.” He settled back in his chair and studied the younger elf before asking. “Was there anything else written on this matter?”
Iorlas shook his head. “I have only reached the part where she spoke of the attack and her remembering the details when she recovered from her wounds. The last part of one journal and all of the other have yet to be read. I came as soon as I realized she knew their murderers. Hiren, what will we do? What can we do? I know nothing of him and would not even know what path to follow to demand justice.” Iorlas’s hand rested on the pommel of the sword belted at his waist and he clearly itched to use it against his great uncle
Elrond narrowed his eyes and gazed pointedly at the younger elf’s hand and then shook his head gently. “You could challenge him of course, but I think that would be premature at this point. I think it best if I first pursue a little discrete investigating of him and those he associates with. Perhaps something was overlooked that will point more clearly to his guilt now that we know where to focus our attention.”
The elf lord raised a hand to cut off the protest. “I know you are anxious to give your ada and naneth the justice they deserve, Iorlas, but it would prove easier and more final if we can determine why he did it, prove his involvement, and place him at the site of the attack when it occurred.”
Iorlas subsided reluctantly and nodded. “When that time comes I intend to challenge him.”
Elrond nodded. “That is your right of course, but first things first. I want to have my agents to do some discrete turning over of a few rocks and see what emerges. We also need to start actively laying the groundwork for you to claim your birthright.” Elrond grinned at the younger elf and gestured for him to sit down opposite him. “A few vague rumors of a found survivor and possible heir to the house of the Silver Hand should generate some speculation and concern. Once your existence is proven it should raise the level of his discomfort and perhaps cause him to make mistakes.”
Iorlas grinned back as he sat down. “When do we start?”
“Well, mid summer festivities are coming in another month or so. I think it would be very appropriate for a mysterious young elf wearing a certain ring and dressed discretely in colors that suggest the house of the Silver Hand be in attendance. No claims will be made or confirmed at that point. The elf will of course carry the appropriate weapons but we will have the pommels recovered in …ah I have it… tooled leather to hide their most distinctive features. He will be treated as an honored guest and of course there are certain of our warriors who will casually comment on his arrival and subsequent training.”
Iorlas frowned. “Such an elf will have to carry himself well to suggest a noble birth, hiren. I may not be able to do so.”
The elf lord waved a hand dismissively. “I do not believe that will be a real problem. You are the descendent of two noble houses and you have a natural air about you that lends credence to such a claim. Glorfindel has seen to your weapons training and while you have learned much only experience will refine it further. Erestor assures me you have pursued your studies diligently and speak both Sindarin and Quenya well and you know the history of our people. There will be others who will work with you in any other areas necessary to ‘polish’ the rest of your transformation from Dunedine to elf. A little ‘roughness’ will add to your credibility.”
“Will any rumors of the finding of the remains of the lady and her lord be spread?”
Elrond paused at the question and then shook his head. “I think we will withhold that bit of information for now. I will have a watch set both on the site and Lord Caranthir. It may well be that he will send out someone to see if they have been found. If he does, then we will have him.”
“What if he sends someone here to determine if the heir is real?”
“I fully expect he will. We will allow him to see just enough to suggest the truth but not enough to confirm it.”
“Then what will we do? Do you think he will try to see to my removal or discredit a claim?”
“In all honesty I do not know what to predict. In this matter my gift of foresight has been strangely quiet.”
Iorlas nodded and both were silent as they both considered the future.
Elrond leaned forward in his chair and rested his arms on the table in front of him. “Iorlas, what will you do after we have brought Lord Caranthir to justice?”
The younger elf frowned in bewilderment. “What do you mean hiren? Will I need to go elsewhere to live?”
“Of course not, but as your ada’s ion, you are now heir of his house. Will you wish to revive it and raise his standard once more? It is your right. I have no doubt your odhron would want you to do so.”
“I had not thought that far ahead, hiren. Only an idhrinn ago I was a Dunedine hunter running for my life. Now I have a new people and a whole new life. I never envisioned the possibility of that much less the fact that I was descended from the house of the high king.”
“The history of the house of your ada is as rich as that of Gil Galad, Iorlas. Your daer ada was as great a warrior as your ada. If he had lived, he would have been among our greatest warriors. Glorfindel has often commented so.”
“I do not doubt that hiren, but it all seems surreal just yet. When I have given my odhron justice, then I will consider the possibility of doing what you asked. I cannot begin to accept that others would find me worthy of such a role nor do I have the where with all to begin to build a house upon.”
“There are your ada’s holdings north of Lothlorien Iorlas. A distant cousin of yours now manages them. There are also certain things that are yours by right from your naneth.”
“Surely, he would not welcome someone reclaiming them after all this time? It would be poor return for his care.”
“He only accepted responsibility with great reluctance. Since his hervess died in childbirth, he had wanted to sail for the Undying Lands. With no heir he would happily welcome you since your return would free him to do so.”
Iorlas sighed. “I will consider your words, hiren, but that must come after the resolution of the treason of my great uncle.”
“I understand. There are also other matters you need to be aware of, Iorlas. You are the only remaining descendent of the last high king’s house. When you take your rightful place as the ion of Hador and Silalin there will be those who may try to use you to claim the throne. I was named heir even if I would not accept the title officially and I will not allow you to do so. Our people cannot survive civil war or another kin slaying. I will welcome you as an ally but I will not tolerate you as an enemy. In time all of our people will either sail or stay and fade, but until then, it is my responsibility to see to their survival and well-being. I do not treat such a charge lightly.”
Iorlas stood there in shocked silence for sometime before replying firmly. “Hiren, I have no desire to claim the throne. Glorfindel has told me of the troubled times you dealt with after the death of Gil Galad. I can barely deal with all that has happened much less aspire to such heights or such situations and turmoil. I have not the experience, or wisdom, for such a position. All I wish for is to settle this thing with my great uncle and then find a place where I may live in peace. If the Valar grant me such here then I will gladly serve you as hiren nin and be blessed to do so.”
Elrond found himself studying Iorlas. Gil would approve of his great nephew he thought and he had no doubt that Iorlas would more than handle any situation he found himself in. For a brief moment he considered the possibility of giving Iorlas the crown with his blessing, but then Vilya pulsed in his hand and he realized that he could not place such distressing and heavy responsibilities on anyone else. His king had left both the leadership and the ring in his care and he would have to fulfill his duties. With a sigh he addressed the now silent elf.
“I will accept your oath at that time if you are still of a like mind Iorlas but if you choose to take up the rebuilding of your ada’s house I will be happy to help you do so. Many families will be happy to offer their sellath for your consideration as a possible hervess and so seal an alliance with you. You will have little trouble finding followers and I would welcome a strong leader on that side of Imladris. Troubled times are coming again and we will need to stand together if Middle Earth is to survive.”
Iorlas looked stunned. A hervess? Him a desirable husband wedded to someone? That seemed impossible. A brief thought of a strange young healer filled his mind and he found himself thinking. Maybe? He found himself rising from the chair and mumbling a few words of thanks and with a formal bow of respect he prepared to withdraw from Elrond’s presence.
“One last thing Iorlas…”
“”You might consider an elven name. Perhaps somewhere in your naneth’s writings she mentions her name for you or indicates the one your ada would have given you?”
“I will think upon it, hiren.”
Elrond watched as the younger elf closed the door after him self and sighed as he considered the whole conversation. He was pleased with the way it had gone but he was intrigued additionally with the brief glimpse he had of the elleth Iorlas had linked with his thought of a hervess. So that was the way the wind was blowing. He wondered if she was likewise interested? He grinned. Yes indeed, it would be a powerful alliance for both! He would have to share the possibility with Glorfindel and Erestor.
*Ayah Lirimaer. *
*What gives you such amusement? *
*The realization that the Valar are still taking charge of our lives. *
*What now? *
He proceeded to tell her chuckling as he did so.
Daer ada- grandfather
Hiren nin-my lord
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