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elrondperelda @ : The hour cometh
The second morn dawns cold and quiet, almost as if the Sun herself was unwilling to rise from her Golden palace in the East.
Elrond is the first to arrive in the front yard, since for some unbeknownst reason he could find no solace in the Paths of dreams that night, and the smells of breakfast could not tempt him.
So he sits alone in the bench, pondering in his heart what was it about that specific day. Not so long ago he had sent a company of nine to defend the fate of all Middle earth. He had sent warriors and diplomats on this way or other throghout the centuries. He had travelled those roads himself for much longer.
And he was restless.
Elrond spies a bleary-eyed female wood-elf dragging herself from the stables towards the building, where the morning sweet bread would be about to be served, and grinned.
Maybe it was time to press Erestor into telling just what exactly happened when he went to retrieve Arwen from Lorien a hundred years ago.
Ooc: come out, come out, wherever you are. It's time to play :P
He doesn't have to look far. Erestor is crossing the courtyard in the direction of the Hall, then stops half-way and makes his way over to where Elrond is sitting. The old friends have little need of small talk - Erestor indulges himself anyway.
The weather looks fine, he says, glancing upwards to the frosty sky. No clouds, so hopefully the snow will hold off for the journey. It isn't warm, though. He rubs his arms with his hands, and sits down beside Elrond (who doesn't appear to feel the cold at all. Lucky fellow).
You are out early, my Lord, Erestor remarks.
Elrond barely refrains from asking if Erestor had brought along a spare cloak. The lordd studied his fingernails instead, as if it held the asnwer to all the questions of elvendom.
I could not sleep,Elrond confesses quietly. And I do not know why. We have both seen the likes of this oft before, have we not?
And then, suddenly the rest of the mirth drains away from the elflord, and he turns to his long time friend and studies him at length. DO tell, mellon, are you uncomfortable with this trip?
The unspoke question is clear. Are you comfortable with what it ensues?
I would not consider any long journey in winter comfortable, Erestor says, but when the matter is urgent, personal comfort must be put aside.
He frowns. Will you take breakfast with me, my Lord? You appear troubled. I've heard that dried apple tea can work wonders, and the day is not getting any warmer.
'Tis true. I must say again, I do not envy you.
Elrond reclines comfortably on the bench, the very picture of laziness and ease. Yet the strains are still there, though barely perceptible, the tenseness and the glint in his silver eyes.
But he contents himself with checking the grounds.
I took the liberty to add another to your company. The lady is seeking, and she may well find that which she seeks on the path. For though she is known to the road, and shan't be a burden, this is the first time she knows her destination, methinks. And without the slightest change in tone, or the barest hint of guilt or self-awareness, Elrond adds, And I would be glad if you kept your eyes open as to our dear sculpter. I do not know what is taking place, but Alassiel learly does not yet know the rules of ettiquete, and the boy is eager to make her welcome. I would that good will did not bring any untoward consequences.
Still munching a strwaberry-ladden honeybread (And with several other pieces tucked in her pockets), Eamane strolls to where the elf-lords are quietly arguing... whatever it is that those two rascals talk about. The lady is rather fond of the two of them, make no mistake, but considering the task appointed to her Eamane feels rather justified in being sullen and sulking towards Endor in general.
Her mood got no better as they subtly changed their subject when she approached.
Good day, m'lords. Oh, look at that! Sunny and clear. At least we won't need to fear a snowstorm soon, thank the Valar.
The lady throws Erestor a rather pointed and somber glare. I took the liberty of asking the cooks an extra fill of Miruvor. And a few spare woolen cloaks.
Indeed, the sky is clear this morning. Erestor glances upwards again, as if to check that no snow-clouds have appeared since he last did so.
Still, the weather can be treacherous at times, this close to the mountains. I should think that extra cloaks are a wise precaution.
Eamane tilts her head to the side, very much like a wild sparrow might, and openly stares at the elven lords, as if doing so could actually help her unveil thousands of years of lore and mystery accumulated.
She accepts the futility of the effort within all of three seconds.
And grinns. A happy, uncomplicated, open, you-don't-know-what-I-have-in-store-for you grin, that had even Elrond squirming in the seat (but then again, between Elrohir and Elladan's early years, the lord probably knew to beware that sort of unspoken promise.
Oh, but I fully intent to get off the mountains before they have a chance to play any tricks on us.
She glances over the courtyard too, forgetting her previous failure and trying to gauge just what it had that had gotten the wise elves so engrossed. There was nothing particularly interesting in it. Some sleepy elves dragging themselves this way or that, battling the morning chil and the remaining effects of last night's revelry and excellent wine. The stable lad was bringing forth the horses--
Wait. Just how many of them were supposed to travel anyway?</i>
I seem to have either forgotten how to count or how many companions we are bringing to Mirkwood.
She turned, to discover that Elrond was returning the favor and giving her the grin back in full.
Eamane did not like it one bit.
I am sending another of my house along with you. Pray be gentle, the lord says simply.
Eamane scowled. She was smart enough to realise when she was being laughed at. Even if it was in a classy, extremely subtle way. I resent the implications, she replies sullenly, totally uncaring. Whatever on Arda did Elrond think of her? That she would grill the guy or hide his lembas?
ooc:hehehe. Couldn't resist.
I'm not sure I've met this extra companion you mention, Erestor says to Elrond. Perhaps we should have a parting dinner tonight - so you can say farewell to us and so that we can become better acquainted with the other members of the group. To break the ice, so to speak.
He stands up. Isn't it about time we went for breakfast?
Aye, it is. Let us gather what nourishment we can before we part, mellon.
Elrond takes the lead, leaving a scowling eamane behind, swinging her feet sulkily on the bench and looking purposefully aloof. I am hopeful this parting will not last long, and that you will be come home soon. My heart is hopeful, Erestor, and it hasn't been so in a while. All things will be determined soon. The long fight will bear its fruits.
And I will loose my treasure, even winning. But she will be happy. She will be loved. There is some comfort in that, Elrond thought.
They entered the open, large kitching and informally grabbed some homemade honeybread and wild berries to go with it.
take some sweetcakes with you, for the road. We spend so long surviving in waybread, you should indulge whilst you can.
Alassiel walks into the scene quietly, almost without sound at all with the exception of her riding boots lightly tapping across the ancient stones beneath her feet. Several juicy red apples from the Hall rest in her hands.
As is her custom in the general presence of others, her soft gray-green cloak lays over the embroidered pewter riding gown she wears over breeches, the cowl of the cloak obscuring her head and face almost entirely.
She's grateful for it this morning with such a chill in the air, but she dismisses it and nervously tugs at the high Elvish collar of her riding gown, the flowing sleeve catching a little on her broach.
Silently, she curses to herself and heads into the stable, looking for her faithful friend Ereg to give him a morning combing to get his blood moving, and to feed him the shiny red treats that she bears.
Just before she disappears from view, she pauses and sees Lord Elrond standing with 2 Elves she has not met yet. Rather than intrude and draw attention to herself, she doesn't head over to them, but instead lowers her head in a bow of recognition to the three, and continues on into the stable hurridly.
Emerging again from the stables and amazed at the hunger of her steed who had quickly devoured all the apples, she finds her own stomach craving sustenence. Sighing, she goes then to the kitchen in search of bread and startles when she very nearly runs into Lord Elrond and his companion.
"Forgive me, my lords, for my misstep. I shall be more careful."
She lowers her head cautiously, making sure her hair and face was well-covered by her cowl.
Absolutely, my dear. Pray be at ease. I was just this very moment talking to Erestor about your goal in this little venture of ours.
Extremely at ease and apparently restored to the fullness of his good humour, the lord of Imladris links his arm with the lady's, and gives the councillor a good wink.
Now you know why I cautioned your lady friend, mellon. The lady Eamane, bless her soul, is not the most gentle of beings. Elrond focus his attention back on Alassiel. Do not take it to heart, though. DO not even take it for a woodland trait. The lady in question is somewhat... willfull, I suppose it is.
Alassiel takes Elrond's offered arm and the cowl that conceals her utterly moves a little as she offers a slight nod.
"Willful is as willful does, hîr nín. I would venture that I too know something of the art of feminine willfulness, and I have found it to be far more of a virtue than a vice."
Her free hand toys somewhat nervously with the hem of her pewter riding gown's flowing sleeve, slender fingers running over the embroidery of ivy that, if one looks closely enough, was in fact placed there merely to obscure the travel-worn fraying that had begun at the edges.
The lord of Imladris smiles lazily at that. Indeed. It depends on the situation, and the will; but for us who see the interminable flow of time as a... I do believe I heard the term endless repetition, a dose of character does make life more interesting.
But please, do not be a stranger. Have something to eat. The road is not overlong, but it might be trying.
Nodding slightly and giving a slight bow to Erestor to excuse herself, she removes her hand gently from Elrond's arm and steps back towards the door, face shadowed.
"I will, my lord. I thank you again."
Quietly, she departs.