33. Where Is The Future Leading?
Where Is The Future Leading?
Middle Earth, Imladris, Third Age, Spring 2868
Four years after the revelation of her identity to Elrond found few changes for them all. Eli had started her training in the healing halls but knowledge of her true relationship to Elrond remained hidden much to his distress. Her uncle was a regular visitor to the Library and he and Erestor had become fast friends. Owen was now a ranger but they seldom had an opportunity to see him since he spent nearly all of his time in the north.
Eli turned from the window and grinned as she watched her uncle grumbling while he wrote at great length in his journal.
“What is the matter Uncle Ted, another disconnect in their history?”
“No, damn it, too many versions. How will I ever get to the bottom of this mess and figure out the true one?” He slammed down the quill and pushed away from the table. “What I would not give for a decent ball point pen, these quills are a pain in the rear.” He began pacing up and down in frustration.
Eli crossed to the table and straightened the papers and reference books scattered about. Shaking her head, she added the quill to its companions in the cup then picked up the journal he had been writing in. Curious as to what had set off his temper, she glanced at the page and read for a few moments before looking over at him in surprise. “Uncle Ted, is this wise? You’ve writing this in English.”
He paused in mid stride then shrugged at her expression. “What better way to protect ourselves, and the information, Eli? There is a great deal to record before I die. This way, I do not have to be careful about what I say. Can you suggest a better way to protect it until it is no longer a danger? When the time is right you can translate it for them, or even teach them the basics of our language and let them translate it themselves.”
Eli nodded and placed the journal back on the table. “I have the night duty in the Healing Hall later this evening, Uncle Ted. Do you still intend to return to the cottage day after tomorrow?”
“I think I will stay a few more days. Erestor has found a whole new group of writings from Gondolin and I want to see if there is anything that might shed some light on the survivors.”
“Very well then, I will see you in the morning for breakfast. I am having dinner in my quarters with Ildris and her sister and then I will have to do some studying before I start my shift.”
“Before you go Eli, I wanted to ask you how things are going with your father. You still refer to him as Lord Elrond and you have not met with him the whole time I have been here.”
Eli shrugged. “It is best to keep my distance since I am trying to maintain the role of a ‘foster’ who is accepted but not an actual part of the family. The Lady Amarie has made it a point to act as my intermediary and we figure that it will seem more natural if the bond appears to develop over time.”
Ted nodded. “It is still difficult for you to accept all this, is it not?”
She paused at the door and looked back over her shoulder. “Of course, you and Owen have found your way and I have still to find mine.” Then she was gone.
Ted shook his head in mild exasperation and settled back down to his writing. He was soon lost in his research.
Eli returned to her room and did a quick clean up in preparation for her guests then settled into a chair to do some studying before their arrival. The book she was reading dealt with local plants and their medicinal uses and she was cross-referencing them with her knowledge gleaned from her experiences on earth. She was hoping to provide additional applications they would find useful in the years to come. Eli soon found her thoughts wandering to the events of the past few years and the book slid forgotten to her lap.
Owen had gone north four years before to start his training as a ranger. It was two years before he returned to the cottage a mature self confident, young man. She remembered the conversation between Ted and his son and the recounting of some of his encounters with yrch. She knew the stories were carefully edited so as not to alarm his father and her but even so she shuddered to think of him involved in hand to hand combat with them.
When Ted commented about Aravir’s remarks to his parents about the lad and his unusual knowledge of tactics, Owen merely shrugged.
“You know I always intended to become a Special Forces type, pop. From the time I discovered Dungeons and Dragons, I loved the process of outsmarting my opponents. I really enjoyed that game. It led me to do a lot of reading about tactics used by great military leaders like Alexander and Napoleon, as well as the Mongols while I was still in high school.”
Ted nodded, “For a long time I wondered what you found so fascinating in all that. It was a relief when I realized your real interest lay in the process of developing tactics. I could see that it had applications in what ever career you chose to follow.”
“Funny how everything I focused on later in college all added to my knowledge and understanding of guerilla warfare and where it was most successfully applied. Now it seems someone or something was helping me prepare for this time and this place.” He grinned at his father; “I wish I could have brought a couple of Uzzis or M14s with us. I would love to be able to use them against a band of yrch.”
Ted shook his head. “I understand your feelings but think what would happen if Sauron or Saruman were to get hold of one to use to replicate more. What harm they would be able to unleash against the elves, Dunedine, and Rohan.”
Owen sighed. “I know pops, it was just a momentary wish. Sometimes I get so angry when I see the results of their work….”
Ted reached a hand out and squeezed his son’s shoulder. “We do win.”
Owen paused. “But the whole thing will be so darn bloody. I wish I could feel I was making a difference now.”
“You have a very important contribution that will show up in a generation or two.” Ted smiled.
Owen chuckled, “Yeh, I guess so. Its just since this whole thing started, I was worried about what I was supposed to contribute. I am just grateful I can do something now.”
Eli smiled to herself. Owen the warrior was still difficult for her to get her thoughts around properly and the fact that he was to be Aragorn’s great grandfather was mind-boggling. Picking up her book she once more began to study.
Iorlas stared gloomily at ‘Roh and ‘Dan. “Will he come this time?”
‘Roh flashed a grin and nodded. “Your cousin Elurin has made it clear he is ready to sail and asked ada to chose someone else to govern the lands belonging to the House of Hador. Who else is there but Carenthir with any sort of claim? He will come to seek the appointment, his greed will insure it.”
Iorlas shook his head. “He did not accept the last time Lord Elrond invited him for the mid winter festival.”
“He felt no urgency then. Now he cannot risk the possibility another will reap the fruits of his connivance’s. Ada believes he was spooked by all the rumors of a survivor. Since none has come forth he has now been reassured his crime remains undiscovered. The fact that the resting place of your parents’ party remain undisturbed must have eased his mind considerably.” ‘Dan pointed out calmly.
“Kiril says that a visitor still occasionally shows up.”
“Our watch has identified three different ones, all from Carenthir’s inner circle. Each time links him more surely to the incident. How else would his cronies know where to look and having found it why has he not revealed it publicly if he had nothing to fear?” ‘Roh studied his friend. “Do not become impatient meldir nin, you will have your chance soon.”
Elrond looked up as Amarie closed the door to the younger gwanur’s nursery and crossed to where he sat at his desk in their sitting room.
She sighed and bent to brush his mouth with a brief kiss. “At last meleth, they have finally settled down and gone to sleep! If Elros asked for one more story, or one more glass of water, I swear I was going to insist you deal with him.”
Elrond settled back in his chair and rested one hand on an arm. Smiling affectionately at his hervess, he reached for her and pulled her into his lap. “He is a handful I know, lirimaer, but he is much improved. Eleiann has been a good influence on both the gwanur.”
Amarie rested her head on his shoulder and looked up at him her eyes twinkling in amusement. “Were you and your gwanur this difficult, meleth?”
Elrond became pensive as he remembered his brother and their past. “Elros was always eager and impatient for life much like our little one. After naneth cast herself into the sea and left us behind, we both had a difficult time adjusting. Maglor could have slain us but he took pity and saw that we were raised and educated but I think the pain of what we both experienced during all of that is what drove Elros to seek to control his own destiny outside the world of the first born. We both chose different paths, but we never regretted our choices. It is my ferverent hope that none of my hin will make his choice. Losing him was the most painful thing I ever had to face. I do not think losing one of them will be any easier.”
“Only time will tell meleth.”
Elrond sighed, “I know ind nin, I just wish that I had a better feeling about their choices. I fear that ‘Roh and ‘Dan will let their rage over Celebrian’s wounding drive them to stay until the last yrch is destroyed and that may be well after the last ship has sailed. Our little ones hopefully will not be old enough to be faced with making it and will follow our own decision.”
Both fell silent as they each considered the possibilities. Amarie nuzzled his forehead and gently kissed his ear. “I wonder why Gandalf really did not come for the mid winter festival when we were expecting to finally get some answers regarding Eleiann’s future?”
Elrond turned his head and kissed her. “He said the timing was not yet right. That there were some things yet to happen before more progress would occur. I tried to get some answers for her but he was adamant. He did suggest that Arwen and her brothers need to know about her and since they will be here in a few weeks, I will tell them then. She is not happy but she is resigned.”
“I find it strange that during all this time only Ildris has noticed the resemblance between the family and her.”
Elrond nodded.“ I wondered about that too. When I asked Gandalf about it the last time he was here. He said that she was protected by a spell cast by the Valar.”
“She does not know of their aid?”
He shook his head. “She believes she is more their pawn then a willing accomplice. She is suspicious of them and finds it difficult to trust in them as we do.”
“I hope there will be some answers soon then, for all our sakes.”
Meldir nin-my friend
Gwanur-a set of twins-brother
Ind nin-my heart
A/N: Considering how few the Dunedine were by this time, necessity forced them to develop and utilize guerilla warfare tactics over the centuries against the orcs and other creatures fielded by both Sauron and Saruman. The development of a small, highly mobile force of rangers able to move swiftly and secretly through the countryside was key to their survival although they continued to suffer critical losses right up until the emergence of Aragorn. The fact that Owen was able to bring a different perspective of such tactics from Earth and apply them in the battles he participated in against the other side will prove valuable to them in the future.
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.