3. A Helping Hand?
The increased sound of rushing water from the nearby river suddenly caught Elrond’s attention and he cast his mind out over the nearby countryside seeking to understand what it meant. He shook his head in concern. The rain that had dogged the footsteps of Glorfindel during his recent travels had finally filled the pools and basins in the upper hills and was now spilling over in a flood that would continue until the levels returned to normal. He frowned, knowing that there would be trouble for those villages located on the river further down stream. A team would have to be sent out with food and other supplies to provide succor to those who had been caught unawares. As he moved to his desk to start making a list of possible villages that would need help, he was wondering what supplies were available in the warehouses and who should head the relief effort. He hated to send out Glorfindel again so soon, but with Erestor still visiting in Mirkwood and his ionnath now in Lorien waiting to escort Arwen back, he remained the best available candidate. Over the course of the next hour he made some rough notes and called to the guard that stood outside the entrance to his private chambers. He was startled when Master Hebgobel entered instead.
“My lord, I have the list of supplies that are available for the relief team. I have ordered the preparation of an initial amount that will be ready to go by horseback with the relief team tomorrow at earliest light. A second more complete package will be ready to go by late tomorrow afternoon. That is the soonest we can have the three wagons ready. Do you have any indication of which of the healers will accompany Lord Glorfindel in the initial group or with the later team on the wagons? They will have to decide which medicine and other supplies they will need.” Master Hebgobel placed the lists on Elrond’s desk and stood back awaiting his lord’s instructions.
Elrond stared at him in consternation. “How did you know of this? I just now finished my thoughts on initial plans and have not even finalised them.”
Master Hebgobel returned his look with total bewilderment. “But…but…did you not mind speak to me of an emergency, my lord, a flood that required immediate relief for our people further down river? I could swear I heard your voice. I assure you I would have never taken such actions if I had not.”
Elrond shook his head. “No Master Hebgobel, I was but calling the sentry outside to send for both you and Lord Glorfindel when you entered.”
“I am going mad, I must be.” Master Hebgobel collapsed into a nearby chair. “First there is this matter of Lord Glorfindel’s arrivals and departures and now I am hearing voices that do not exist.”
Elrond studied his dazed face. “I do not believe so, meldir nin, there is something strange going on here and I intend to ferret it out. In the meantime, the tasks you have set in motion are most satisfactory. I have only to alert Glorfindel to his new errand.”
“I know, Elrond.” Glorfindel entered as Elrond finished his comments to Hebgobel. “I received your message and have already begun to assemble the relief team.” He nodded to Hebgobel and sprawled in his favorite chair across from the desk. “You were very emphatic in the seriousness of the situation and the need for speed.”
“Master Hebgobel has begun the necessary preparations and will have the initial relief supplies ready to go at first light. Can you and the others be ready?” Elrond asked quietly.
“Yes, I will have twenty warriors ready. I believe we should add another five healers and assistants and be prepared to travel fast with only minimal emergency relief supplies. Speed may be our most important advantage. We can begin to immediately survey for damage along the river and establish centres for the use of the healers and survivors. People will need to be removed from any debris or rubble and will need treatment as quickly as possible. Once we have determined the scope of that and have it under control, we can help build temporary shelters or transport them back here. The wagons can follow up with the rest of the supplies. We should be able to determine by then if any additional aid is needed.”
Elrond nodded, “It sounds like everything is being done that needs to be.”
“My lord,” Hebgobel interrupted hesitantly. “Perhaps it would be best if someone else took over my duties. I cannot swear as to my continuing dependability. If I am hearing voices that lead me to take actions as I have just done, then the next time, it could be to the detriment of Imladris. I do not wish to cause that.”
Elrond shook his head. “The things that have occurred so far have not harmed anyone. Indeed they have aided us. What ever is going on is more worrisome because we do not understand its cause. If it would ease your mind then by all means seek the healing hall and speak to Master Nestadren about your concerns. I do not, however, believe he will find anything.”
“I will do so as soon as I have reviewed the progress of the relief preparations my lord.” Hebgobel rose and still wearing a deeply worried look departed.
“Poor Hebgobel, he looks a bit distracted.” Glorfindel smiled after the departing elf.
“He has had a rather unsettling experience, meldir nin. Apparently our mysterious friend has now been able to take my thoughts leaving me unawares and pass them to others. Master Hebgobel had already started with the relief preparations even before I had completed my initial planning. He thought he heard my instructions and began passing on the orders.”
“This is serious, Elrond. While these actions appear to be relatively innocent, it is one thing to provide for one’s comfort, but quite another to cause others to take actions that may not be in our best interest.”
Elrond nodded in agreement. “I do find it interesting, though, that all of these actions tend to be to aid others. I have certainly found no hint of malice in the intent when I searched.”
Glorfindel pondered that for a while. “I wonder if any of the others have noticed such aid in the past. If you have the opportunity to speak with Erestor or your ionnath any time soon, why don’t you ask them?”
“I will.” Elrond sighed. “I spoke to Galadriel and asked her. She has not noticed any unusual activity that fits this description. While she and I both have the same concerns, she admitted there did not appear to be any real danger involved.”
“What has me worried is that it appears to be expanding in scope. Almost as if having finished practicing and perfecting its technique on me it now is ready for much larger things.” Glorfindel leaned forward and looked at Elrond intently.
“Well we will have to deal with it later. The relief team must take priority now. There will be many who will need our aid.”
Glorfindel nodded. “I will be ready to depart at first light.”
There was deep worry floating across the mind of the elleth as she sat on the stone bench above the falls and watched the roiling waters dropping into the depths of the pool below. She had never been able to ‘read’ Lord Elrond before and she feared what the implications could mean. She had picked up on his unease over the mysterious activities taken for the benefit of the balrog slayer and his concerns about a possible enemy’s infiltrating unknowingly within the walls of Imladris. She knew she had been able to sense the thoughts of others more than she had ever done before and she had been frightened. She only knew there was danger and that others would need assistance. Her alert had gotten things underway faster then if she had waited for Lord Elrond to take the necessary action. She would have to rethink her actions and decide what she had to do. She could not continue to deal with this growing sensitivity without becoming just a little mad. She feared to leave for if someone else found out she could prove to be a danger to the safety of her lord and the Golden Lion.
Meldir nin- my friend (male)
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.