- Uninvited -
Glorfindel straightened his back and, obeying the subtle signal, his steed stopped. He reached out to pull the hood from his face. They remained still, and only the movements of its ears betrayed the animal's curiosity.
The fog had risen from the valley and, in engulfing the path in its soft paleness, had drowned out the sounds of rustling leaves and ordinary forest life. The air was still and full of moisture, the tiny droplets suspended as if by some greater will. They clung to Glorfindel's cloak and to his hair; silver on gold.
And yet the silence was alive, full of expectation and wariness. Glorfindel's senses had told him that the alarm had been raised a few hours ago; but so far the invisible guards of the valley had not made their presence known. Something creaked, and Glorfindel's trained ears recognized a bowstring. He smiled; he had not been mistaken. They were indeed cautious of him, their arrows ready to fly into the heart of a stranger venturing too far away from the more travelled roads. Unwelcome and uninvited was he; unexpected on a secret path.
And well-hidden it was indeed: only the horse's steps had betrayed the gentle slope downwards; but soon it had become steeper… and narrower. Glorfindel had felt rather than seen the abyss to his right, sensed the immensity of the space behind the cloak of fog. He had found the valley, at last, after a long journey, over sea and land and through death itself.
"I come in peace," he called out; his voice shattering the eerie silence like a scream. Whispers came echoing back to him; the fog served no master, and betrayed both him and his watchers.
"Your hands… Show them!" came the slightly muffled reply.
Glorfindel obeyed, unclenching his fingers from the hilt of the sword where they had snaked by instinct.
"I will do what you ask," he added. "I am no threat to you."
The fog swirled and parted, and two elves stepped onto the path: one older and one young, from what Glorfindel could see. A warden in training and his master… The master still held an arrow nocked, and the young warden eyed Glorfindel, then circled him to make sure he concealed no more weapons. Finally he nodded, and his comrade lowered the bow before sliding the arrow back into the quiver.
"One is never too cautious," stated the archer simply for all apology.
"True," Glorfindel agreed. He said not that they were little threat to him, unless reinforcements still awaited in the canopies above.
"I am Maeglad. This is Nendir." The older warden bowed slightly, his stance still wary. He was expecting a name in return.
"I am Glorfindel…"
The words, once so ordinary, almost drew the rest of the sentence from his lips. But that title was no more; it had disappeared along with the House. Glorfindel sighed.
"…Just Glorfindel. I come to seek Master Elrond."
Maeglad nodded. "We shall take you to him, my Lord." He motioned to his comrade, who went to show the way.
As they walked, Glorfindel caught the curious glances to his sword, and to the package where lay his armour. It was new, as the blade, which had been forged in the fires of Valinor to replace the one that been melted away by the heat of a different flame.
"Many come to seek Master Elrond's wisdom and help," started Maeglad. "His wisdom is of great renown."
Glorfindel nodded; he stared to the white emptiness of the abyss, and wondered yet again what his mission really was. Despite all he had seen and heard these last days, still he questioned his presence here; and still his soul ached for the rest he had but tasted.
He smiled bitterly. "I seek no advice."
Maeglad watched him for a moment. "Then may you find peace, my Lord," he said quietly. "Welcome to Imladris."
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.