2630 Third Age – Dale
It was the first time after the formation of the White Council that Elrond travelled east of the Misty Mountains. First he had gone to Lothlórien, to escort Arwen, and to talk about how they might keep the passes open and safe, and about the darkening tide of the world – not quite a meeting of the White Council without Círdan or the Istari there. Still, it had been a useful visit, and it was good to be away from Imladris for a while – he had forgotten how nice it could be to travel at his own pace, without set goals.
It was only sensible to continue eastwards and see for himself the threat of Dol Guldur's tower, to travel the Forest Road and see what Dwarves and Men were building beyond Mirkwood's gloomy darkness. Of course, after visiting Dale's lord, he could not return without visiting Thranduil's realm; not that Oropher's son would be pleased to see him, but courtesy required the visit be made. Undoubtedly, Thranduil still held the Noldor accountable for his father's doomed charge during the Last Alliance. The effort had to be made, though; they could not afford estrangement among the Elves in these darkening days.
For now though, Elrond was happy to wander the streets of Dale and its market – the fabled toys of Dale were indeed marvels of craftsmanship, the town itself was pleasant, its people extending their welcome to all travellers. Most of those he saw were Men of Rhovanion and of course Dwarves, but there were more than a few Elves in the crowd, as well as Men who looked as if they came from far away in the East of Middle-earth – as well as one or two who were so obviously of Dúnedain blood that they had to be from Gondor.
2771 Third Age – Rivendell
The messenger nodded. "I saw him myself. I had gone to Dale to trade with the Dwarves, and I barely escaped. Dale is gone, as is the Kingdom under the Mountain, and all the land is a smoking waste."
"I am troubled," Elrond said to Glorfindel later that day. "Even if the Enemy is not directly involved, it is convenient for him to have this hold on Wilderland."
"But will the dragon heed Sauron?" Glorfindel asked.
"Even if he acts only on his own behalf, the damage Smaug can do plays into his hand," Elrond said.
Quadrabble, originally written for Imhiriel's birthday, January 2013