32. Who Shall Find Their Answers?
Iorlas crept forward his bow at the ready and cautiously peered through the tangled underbrush at the elf studying the chasm below. Motioning to Kiril, he slipped backwards to give him room and waited as the other warrior studied the figure silently. Glancing back at Iorlas, he nodded then they both retreated back the way they had come. Signalling for continuing silence Kiril led the way to their horses hidden in a thick stand of firs up one of the narrow gullies beyond the canyon complex where the remains of Lord Hador’s party had been found several years before. Grim faced Iorlas turned a questioning look to his companion.
“Is that the elf Dior pointed out to you on the Great Eastern Road three weeks ago?”
Kiril nodded. “He is the one Dior followed all the way from your great uncle’s house. We had to leave off following him when he left the main road.” He gestured over at the golden wolf lounging over near the horses. “Celldae trailed him and we fell back enough to keep on his spoor without him discovering us.”
“It would appear we have found the link we have been looking for…” Iorlas began.
Kiril shook his head. “All we have confirmed is that this elf knew where to look. Unless we can prove that your great uncle gave him the location and directed him to find it and see if anything had been disturbed, we cannot yet accuse him. Dior seemed to think Lord Carenthir will accept Lord Elrond’s invitation to the mid winter festival. Perhaps the rumors of a survivor will cause him enough discomfort to make a mistake.”
Iorlas growled in frustration and slammed his fists together. “When will I be able to finally challenge him? We are just wasting time, Kiril.”
Kiril smiled at the younger elf’s impatience. “Easy penneth, we have all the time in Middle Earth to carefully lay our trap and insure our quarry will not escape. When he falls, he is all yours and the house of your adar will rise again in righteous wrath and demolish him, completely.”
Hissing through gritted teeth he turned to kneel by the golden wolf that then batted his huge head against the younger elf’s chest. Iorlas buried his head in the wolf’s neck and wrapped his arms around him. As he struggled to control his anger, he stroked the thick silky coat and gradually calmed enough to look up at Kiril apologetically. “I am sorry meldir nin, It is hard to remain calm when I know what that snake has done. All I can think of is my poor naneth forced to watch her lord and friends being slaughtered and having to hide away from a member of her own family that seeks her death when he should be protecting her.”
Kiril nodded. “It is understandable, Iorlas, but caution will help us win the day. Well-placed rumors are already making their way around the elven enclaves and there is a growing sympathy to find this supposed long lost survivor and seek out more thoroughly those guilty of the crime. There are many who would like to see the house of the Silver Hand rise once more.”
Iorlas shook his head. “I do not know if that is something I will be able to do, Kiril. I just want justice for my adar and naneth.”
“I have no doubt that you will be able to do so. Glorfindel and Lord Elrond have both commented on your growing skills as a warrior. In time you will be able to lead others as you gain experience.” Kiril paused and was silent for a moment. “We need to get back to Imladris with this information. I will give our scouts further instructions to make for your old cottage and pick up additional supplies before returning to keep an eye on the visitor.”
Iorlas nodded. “Elrohir and Elladan have asked me to join them for their next visit to the Dunedine camps and Mistress Eleiann wants to send her cousin some things so I will need to get everything ready before I leave.”
Kiril cocked his head and studied the younger elf. “You have become quite friendly with the young healer.”
Iorlas returned his gaze curiously. “Her situation is much like mine. Her other family is human but she is part elf kind. If she cannot find her ada, she will be alone when they are gone. We have both needed to learn how to be elven and what is required to live in the new world we have found ourselves. Lord Elrond has taken her under his guidance like he did for me, and is helping her to adjust as well as instruct in her chosen profession.”
“She is very young by our standards.” Kiril commented as he turned and mounted his horse.
“I know, but she has matured beyond those elves of comparable age. She says it is the fact that she is peredhil and her human side aged her faster as a child. I think she worries whether or not she will be accorded the choice that Lord Elrond and his gwanur were given.” Iorlas swung up on his mount and followed the lead of the older elf.
“Has she said anything about her odhron?”
“Only that they both were healers.”
“Strange, she reminds me of someone, but I cannot quite place who.”
Iorlas nodded, “I have had that same feeling upon occasion. I suppose in time she will find out what happened to her adar and then she will be better able to determine what fate the Valar have in store for her.”
Kiril chuckled as he led out of the thicket. Iorlas frowned. “What is so funny?”
“Oh I was thinking you two seem to suit each other very well. She would make a very proper Lady for the Lord of the Silver Hand.”
Iorlas turned red and shut up following the older elf silently. Kiril glanced back and chuckled again. “Yes I think she would do very well.”
Iorlas mulled over the comment during the following days during the return to Imladris. He had never truly allowed himself to think about a future for himself and certainly not one, which included a hervess. Too much yet lay before him that must be dealt with before he could do so. He was very much afraid he was not going to survive the coming confrontation with Lord Carenthir.
If by some miracle he did manage to survive it all, he was not at all sure an elleth would want to share her life with him. He might be descended from an illustrious house with peerless ancestors, but he had yet to prove his right to claim them. Lord Elrond seemed to have faith in him and if he was successful in gaining justice for his own odhron then he could reclaim their lands and offer a certain elleth a proper home and place. He hoped whomever her adar would proved to be that he would not object to his suitability as a son in law.
Back in Imladris, the aforementioned elleth was studying a very large tome and the serious look on her face was intimidating. She looked up at Ildris who was watching her with amusement and frowned at her friend. “What is so funny? It is a very old and detailed medical journal in Quenya no less. How Maenestad can expect me to get anything out of this I will never know.”
“Well you could always ask Lord Elrond to help you with it, Eleiann,” Ildris commented dryly.
“Oh sure,” Eli grumbled, “I can just knock on his door and say, “Excuse me Lord Elrond, but could you translate this in terms a simpleton like me could understand? Please? I would be ever so grateful. Sure, he would take time out of his workload to deal with me. Why in the Valar’s names would he do so?”
“He would do so because he wrote it and there is no one who would understand it better. And because you are his sell. When will you let go and accept he wants to acknowledge you as such.”
“Because… You know why, we have gone over and over this.” Eleiann sputtered out.
“Are you ashamed of being his sell? Is that why you hide whenever your gwanurs return and your muinthel visits from Lothlorien?”
“Of course, not, I just do not want to go into long explanations that will cause embarrassment or disharmony within their family. I certainly do not wish to come to the attention of Galadriel. At least not just yet.”
Ildris frowned. “What else is there that you have not told me, Eleiann?
You have hinted before there is something you dare not talk about and that you fear. What is this great mystery you carry that is so dangerous that you will not discuss your past or allow your family here to claim you?”
Eli sighed and looked apologetically at her friend. “I am sorry Ildris, I cannot answer that question except to say it would be very dangerous for someone beyond Lord Elrond and Lady Amarie to know. If ‘Dan and ‘Roh were ever to find out whole truth about me, they would probably kill me. As for the Lady Arwen if she does not know about me then she will not mention anything about me to her daer odhron and raise their interest in either me or my uncle and cousin.”
“I take it they know what this is all about.”
Eli nodded, “Yes, and it has been difficult for them to remain silent while they have made a place for themselves here. My cousin really likes and respects his fellow rangers, and he hates having to hide our past when they have shown him their trust and accepted him so completely into their ranks. My uncle feels like he is betraying the trust of the villagers by not being completely truthful with them as well.”
Ildris was silent for a while as she considered Eli’s words. “Have either you or your family lied to them?”
“No, we have just not been completely truthful with them.”
“Eleiann, there are many who have sought refuge here in Imladris and among the northern Dunedine rangers and not all have felt it necessary to reveal every little thing about their past or their reasons for coming. You three carry no taint of the evil of Sauron, nor are your faers clouded with deliberate lies. Indeed there is the glow of goodness and rightness about you and your being here that I am shocked that no one has noticed it, In fact I am surprised that no one has recognized you for who and what you are.”
Eli stared at her friend’s pronouncement open mouthed. Was it possible she had been mistaken in trying to hide her birthright? Was it time she publicly claimed her place in the family?
“Perhaps you are right Ildris, perhaps the time has come for me to take my place in Lord Elrond’s family. However, I do not know how to explain our relationship when all know that he has not left the boundaries of Imladris for the last century and certainly my naneth never visited here. It will raise questions that we cannot answer.”
Ildris nodded. “I do not have any words of wisdom Eleiann. Perhaps the time has come for you to ask the Valar for help since it is certain that they had a hand in your appearance here. Lord Elrond has always enjoyed the favor of a high one. Surely some of that favor rests with you.”
Eli lowered her gaze to the large book in front of her reluctant to discuss her view of the Valar with Ildris. “I do not know if I can do that just yet, meldis nin, but perhaps when Master Gandalf visits here next he will be able to give me some good advice. Surely with all of his knowledge he will be able to suggest a way to approach this whole problem.”
Sensing her friend’s reluctance Ildris did not pursue the matter further merely commenting that the old wizard would surly be there for the mid winter festival and that would give her time to consider her possibilities.
Relieved Eli returned to her studies and Ildris resumed her needlework.
Above in the family quarters Elrond rose from his desk and began pacing. He had been aware of his newest sell’s growing discomfort and noted her disappearances whenever his other hin returned to Imladris. Certainly, they were aware of Eleiann’s presence, but except for an occasional question, none had expressed real curiosity about her. Amarie was able to deflect any interest saying that Eleiann was there merely as a foster and that she was only interested in pursuing her studies as a healer and seldom visited with them.
Frowning as he considered the matter, he decided that it was time to settle a few things and as her ada, Eleiann deserved his help. It was time the Valar were asked some questions and they provided some answers.
*Gandalf, brun meldir nin, I have need of your council. Will you come to visit me soon? *
*Ahh, you have decided to finally do something about your visitors. I wondered when you would. *
*This will require more knowledge then I have to resolve. It will require their assistance as well. *
There was silence for a time as the old wizard considered the situation and consulted with his Valar, Manwe and Varda. *I shall return for the mid winter festival. I believe there is a second matter that will also be resolved as well? *
Elrond smiled. *Yes, I believe there is. *
*I look forward to meeting Carenthir. He has much to answer for. *
*Indeed he has, meldir nin, Indeed he has. *
Meldir nin-friend (m)
Meldis nin-friend (f)
Brun meldir nin-my old friend
AN/Indicates mental communications
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.