Safe In Isengard: 2. The Counsel of Elrond

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2. The Counsel of Elrond

The Counsel of Elrond

Imladris. IIIrd Age, 3018, August 20.

Elrond Peredhel pressed the tips of his fingers together as he listened to the wizard's voice.

"The party that continues south must be small and secretive..."

 "Yet some must be skilled at arms," the only Man present said, "for this journey shall be perilous."

 Elrond watched Mithrandir nod approvingly toward Aragorn, and he knew that his foster-son would be the chief of those described. The thoughts of the Master of Imladris immediately went to an appraisal of who of his household might be sent on this grave mission in the company of the wizard, two Halflings of the Shire, the Heir of Isildur and two Rangers, Halbarad and Beleg. Glorfindel, perhaps, and two others?

 "When do you think we should leave again, Gandalf?" the Hobbit said, his voice quavering.

 "As soon as appropriate arrangements can be made, Frodo," Mithrandir said as he laid a calming hand on the Perian's thin shoulder. "In short, the sooner, the better."

 That this Hobbit, bearing Sauron's Ring, his esquire and their guardians had slipped from the Shire and arrived in his valley entirely unscathed and in secret was nothing short of miraculous. They and their wizard guide had joined the Dúnedain at the crossing of the Greenway, apparently undetected. Word had come of the dreadful, violent searching of the quiet Shirelands and the villages of Bree, Archet and Coomb by fell Riders in black in the weeks following the clandestine departure of the pair of Hobbits. But no sign of the Nine had subsequently been seen or heard east of the bridge of Mitheithel. The last of the searchers had returned, and none reported any sense of the Nazgûl as far as three days fast ride in every direction from the Vale of Imladris.

 "I shall give thought to who might accompany you," Elrond said. "And I wholeheartedly agree," directing his words to the wizard, though his eyes lit upon the Hobbit's frightened face. "You must leave soon, before the advantage of secrecy is lost. And I agree with you also, Estel: the road before you is indeed perilous. And though skill at arms may well be needed, it shall be endurance and steadfast hearts that will see this task through to its end."

 The Peredhel frowned slightly, for at his words, meant to be reassuring, Frodo Baggin's already pale face blanched whiter still, and his servant's eyes grew even wider than they already were. One unfortunate result of their uneventful and swift journey from Hobbiton to the Last Homely House had been that Frodo Baggins and his young gardener seemed to have little idea of just how difficult a task they faced. Have they the strength for this? Elrond wondered. Has Mithrandir's fondness for this Hobbit blinded him to his true abilities?

 Aragorn was speaking now, and Elrond strove to pay attention.

 "And you still feel the safest route is through the Gap of Rohan?" he said to the wizard.

 "Just so. Winter shall soon enough hinder the passages of the Mountains, either north or south. And a sojourn within the impregnable fortress of Isengard will be a welcome one, both for the security and strategic location of the place and to avail us of the wise counsel of Saruman. Before I left him and came north, he vowed to surreptitiously gather any and all news of the Enemy's movements. Such information will be vital to our continued progress."

 As the two most seasoned travelers currently afoot in Middle Earth continued to discuss the details of the possible routes south and the dangers their party might encounter, Elrond felt a vague shadow fall upon his heart. He looked about at the faces at the table again.

 Of course I feel dread. This task is well nigh impossible, and yet is the only possible way to a future without the threat of shadow. So I have always known it would be, since I failed to convince Aragorn's ancestor of his folly… And yet…

 "We shall be the Nine Walkers, then, set against the Nine dread Riders," Mithrandir was saying with a crooked smile. "Three for Men, three of the Eldar, two for The Shire… and me." 

to be continued....

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.

Story Information

Author: Aiwendiel

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Drama

Rating: General

Last Updated: 09/28/12

Original Post: 03/22/12

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WARNING! Comments may contain spoilers for a chapter or story. Read with caution.

Safe In Isengard

ziggy - 29 Mar 12 - 1:22 PM

Ch. 2: The Counsel of Elrond

Oh oh. Got a nasty feeling about this- it's all so wrong. Gandalf taking them happily to Isengard, but Saruman seemingly realising the error of his way in the previous chapter, and now no Gimli or Boromir? Or Merry and Pippin? You'd better not leave out Legolas or there WILL be trouble!!

Safe In Isengard

Aiwendiel - 29 Mar 12 - 4:31 PM

Ch. 2: The Counsel of Elrond

Ooh I wondered if anyone was going to discover this tiny little sprout of an idea. and you are right to have that uh oh sort of feeling, though I am not sure just where it's all going or just how bad it's going to get... And in the meantime, another idea has... well... Bitten me in the backside... Another new tale in the making is to be posted later tonight, check the site tomorrow! 

Safe In Isengard

ziggy - 01 Dec 12 - 10:31 AM

Ch. 2: The Counsel of Elrond

Nice sense of foreboding- everyhting has changed, and I wonder where you will take this.

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