The road to Grey Havens was solemn and sorrowful as it was blessed and sweet. The time of Elves living on Middle-earth had finally passed. None longed to dwell there, for all that had been made by them was beginning to fade.
The Elf-lord Glorfindel joined his peers, among them Lord Elrond of Rivendell, as they heeded the beckoning from the western, unseen shores. Gandalf rode with them, as did the Ring-bearing hobbits Bilbo and Frodo, with their comrades, Samwise, Merry, and Pippin to bid them a sad farewell.
As the ship and its companion vessels slipped from the autumn shore toward the High Sea, Glorfindel turned back to look at the fading landscape. Never again would he see the strange Uruk, who had saved his life and earned his trust. Never would the Uruk make the journey to the distant shores learn the truth of his identity and receive the healing that could have been his.
"Rare is the day and sad," said Elrond as he joined Glorfindel, "when the joy from Lord Glorfindel's face vanishes. What robs you of your cheer, brother? Have you forgotten something of great value or someone?"
"I have failed, Elrond," sighed Glorfindel, "failed to find him, to bid fare well to the one who saved me. I did not reward him, though he asked for no payment."
"Perhaps this one, whose name you do not speak, found that saving you was a reward in itself."
"Oh, my dear Elrond," said Glorfindel, "if only I could tell you; but it matters no longer to us. His fate is sealed upon these passing shores."
Soon the ship and its companion vessels began to pass through the mouth to the Gulf of Lhûn. They passed closely to the Harlindon shore and carefully steered to avoid running aground. Frodo spotted a strange, dark figure on the on the cliffs on the Harlindon side of the mouth. He had been standing on deck, deeply breathing the fresh sea air to ease his mind. He called over Glorfindel, fearful that his old wound was causing him to hallucinate.
"I fear that I might perish before we reach the western shore," said Frodo.
Glorfindel smiled and shook his head. "Think it not, dear Frodo Baggins. You have surpassed many trials; this one is far less trying and promises a most fair result." Then he looked to the shore, and with his powerful Elven eyes, he gazed at the figure to which Frodo pointed.
Without warning, a howl pierced the air. All the Elves on all the ships turned to the Harlindon shore and looked up at the cliffs. They gasped and gaped, for there stood a Warg, staring back at their ships and howling in intervals. Upon the great wolf's back sat an even more unwelcome sight: a dark-skinned Orc, tall and muscular, also staring at the ships.
"Padog pen nin?" shouted the Orc.
Glorfindel smiled and shouted heartily back, "Arníal toled nan ammen?"
The Orc laughed. "Be off, you star-lover! Off to prettier lands than these! Cuio vae, zanbaur!" With that final farewell, the Orc and his Warg turned and fled.
"My word!" exclaimed Frodo. "If I hadn't heard it with my own ears—that Orc was speaking the tongue of Elves!"
"You are not alone in your surprise, Master Baggins," said Glorfindel. "The Elves are quite shaken now. They are more eager than ever to leave these lands after that little exchange."
"Well, it should count itself quite lucky," said one Elf. "We were all stumbling over our toes, trying to muster the last of our bows and arrows. But then it started talking to you, lord, talking to you! In Sindarin, no less! How unbelievably foul!"
"Brother, I owe my life to that Uruk, and if I could, I would sacrifice my spot on this ship that he might reach the Western shore."
The Elves and Frodo gawked at the golden-haired lord, whose eyes were ablaze with gravity. Elrond approached him and touched his shoulder that he no longer stood defensively.
"Is he the one, Glorfindel?" asked Elrond. "Is that strange creature the one who saved you? An old enemy turned to the most unlikely ally?"
"No mere ally was he, Elrond," replied Glorfindel. "He was a friend." Then he turned back to the Harlindon shore, seeing no sign of the Great Orc or his Warg.
"He was once an Elf, you know, in another life." He turned to Elrond and smiled faintly. "He doubts it as many others would, but I saw the signs, Elrond. I know. He lives now in darkness, but the light calls out to him. The light still calls out to him."
Glossary: Padog pen nin (Sind.) Are you leaving without me?
Arníal toled nan ammen? (Sind.) Do you wish to come with us?
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