The Family Line Part 140 – To Ered Luin

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Part 140 – To Ered Luin

Morning came, bright and early. It was four days since the revelry of the nighttime party. Business went back to normal in the cool dawn of Annuminas. The small number of wardens remained on Tinnudir to finish cleaning the party grounds, mugs, empty barrels of ale, food thrown on the ground were all removed from the island as a new dawn began for the men of Eriador.

Gandalf had left just as quickly as he appeared. Business he said he needed to attend to back in Bree. So, even before the dawning of the next day, he was off again. Magla said Gandalf just did not want to be bogged down with the clean up of the party. Theomin felt it was not the case but then he knew not as he knew not about the comings and goings of wizards. He was just glad to finally speak with the famed wizard.

At long last, the Warriors of Eriador departed south toward the lands of The Ered Luin. Estonethiel led the way as Sergee was right by her side. Theomin followed along with Eleswith and between the two was Lily. Magla stayed back in Tinnudir. He had urgent business to attend to in Breeland and needed to travel eastward later that morning.

The path was long, down south from the the Colossus up the hill just south of the bridge over the Brandywine and over toward the high hills in the southern part of Evendim. At the peak, they headed south along the winding road just west of the sandy land known as the Barandalf. On they road as the time approached noon as they finally reached Dwaling.

Damaged and abandoned the homes seemed to be. It was as if the small hobbit village was ravaged by some kind of fight. There, on the road facing the village of Dwaling, the dwarf Krovrin and his friend Toby stood.

“What happened here?” Sergee asked.

The hobbit looked at Krovrin as Krovrin began to speak for the hobbit. “It would appear brigands have ravaged the lands of the Shire. For a long time they have been in the Shire and for a long time they have imprisoned the small creatures. Toby and I spoke with one of the hobbits near the village of Oatbartin. He said there may be an uprising coming from Hobbiton.”

“Is there anything we can do to help?” Sergee asked as he pulled his sword from its sheath.

Toby shook his head. “Toby here cares not for any help from men or elves. He says this is hobbit business.”

“Are you sure you care not to receive any aid from us?” Theomin asked. “You know we are well prepared for any assult. We are battle hardened and ready to help.”

Krovrin looked at his hobbit friend and still he shook his head. “No thank you, kind sirs. But we hear the safest path through the Shire is to stay on the outskirts. That way you will run into no brigands.” The dwarf then rubbed his beard as if he had a new thought. “By the way, why are you traveling through these parts anyway?”

Sergee looked at Estonethiel before he spoke, “We are on our way to the Grey Havens.”

“Ahh,” said the dwarf with sadness. “Then you shall never return.”

“Yes, they will not return,” said Eleswith.

“Then take this token of my affection,” the dwarf said. He handed to Estonethiel a fine coat of mithril mail. “It was given to me from Dwalin in Thorin’s Hall. I need it not as I already have some fine armor. This is a token of my good will toward my good friends the elves. Though the relationship between the dwarves and elves have not been kind, I have never felt any animosity toward my elf friends. You have remained a true friend to me and my people.”

“Thank you, kind dwarf,” Estonethiel said. “Nor have I held any anger toward you, my dwarf friend. May the light of the Valar always look kindly upon you.” She held out her hand and grasped the dwarf’s. The shook and smiled one last long smile as they looked at each other with kindness.

“Shall we continue?” Sergee said. “We have quite a long road to go.”

“So we shall,” Theomin said.

“Good bye, fare elves,” Krovrin said as he also shook Lily’s hand as she passed him by. “I am sorry I have not to give to you, fare elf.”

“I have no need to receive a gift as I am not leaving,” Lily said.

“I will return and explain to you all the reasons I have lost my place on the last ships to the west,” she said as they continued on south toward Oatbarten.

Through the rest of the afternoon and on through the evening, the five continued south past Oatbarten and toward Brockenborings and turned west. They skirted the towns of Overhill and continued into the forest, hoping to avoid all signs of the hobbit towns. They continued until the hills began to rise and they stayed at the foothills and on south toward Rushock Bog. The horses found it a little more difficult to keep their pace with the bog being so thick and the muck of the bog being so sticky.

As evening approached, the five travelers had already dismounted from their horses and reached Needlehole, a very small hobbit hamlet just on the western side of the Shire. It boardered the lands of Ered Luin but they cared not. It was a glad tiding to find the small hamlet still intact, though abandoned.

“Should we find shelter in one of these hobbit houses?” Eleswith asked.

“Perhaps we should not,” Theomin said, “just to show respect for the hobbits. I think it would be wise to also set up a night watch, just incase any brigands decide to come around.”

“That would be wise,” Sergee said. “I’ll be first with Estonethiel. Then Eleswith and Lily can be next. We’ll let Eleswith sleep for the night.”

“No thank you,” Eleswith said. “I will contribute as much as you contribute. That way, you have smaller watching shifts. I’ll take the last watch.”

So they all had a quick meal with some leftover rations they had from Tinnudir. They then found some comfortable hay to sleep on nearby some abandoned stables. There, they stayed the night. A quiet peaceful night it was. Not one sound came from anyplace. They were so used to the sounds of bustling from all the places they went to, Bree, Esteldin, Annuminas, Combe, that they nearly forgot the sounds of peace and quiet.

It was midnight when Sergee and Estonethiel woke Theomin and Lily. They were finished with their night watch and went to sleep where Theomin and Lily sat. The two stood up and walked to the center of Needlehole and sat, each facing two separate ways.

It was a chilly night as a slight breeze came from the way of Ered Luin. The small pass pushed the wind through the village, which made the two even colder. They sat on the ground, both leaning their backs up against each other as Theomin wished he could feel warmth of an embrace.

“Would you mind if we hold each other?” Theomin finally asked. “I need to feel the warmth of another.”

“I don’t mind at all,” Lily said happily.

They two embraced as they continued their night time watch. He had not felt any feeling for Lily up until then. The warmth of her body filled his body with affection but he had not the thought of whether she felt the same.

“Have you ever seen the moon that clearly?” Lily whispered to Theomin.

He looked up and softly said, “I have seen the moon many times that large and that clear in Rohan. Sometimes it is as large as the nearby hills.”

“So lovely it is,” she said. “I have not looked up into the sky for a terrible long while. The night I was hurt terribly by that staff, I remember the celebration of light my family and my kin were at. I cared not that the stars that night were so wonderous. I only cared about what was at the shore infront of me.” She looked at Theomin as a sudden thought came to her mind, “Can I travel back with you to Rohan? It sounds like a wonderous place.”

“I…” he paused as he was unsure what to say to her. He nodded and said, “Yes, you can.”

She smiled a happy smile. Theomin could see she was no longer that tortured soul he remembered back in Bree. She seemed like a warmer elf as she said, “Perfect.”

They stayed there the rest of the night until the late watches when Theomin woke Eleswith from her sleep. Theomin and Lily then occupied the patch of hay Eleswith was lying on and very quickly fell into a deep sleep.

Morning came early and Eleswith had already packed the packs for the horses and had them ready for the travelers to mount. She gave each of the travelers rations and allowed everybody to mount their horses and be off.

Another beautiful day it was as they traveled through hill country off toward Ered Luin. As they approached the lands, they noticed the sky becoming pinker and the smell of the air was becoming sweeter as the beautiful pink leaves of cheery blossoms filled the hills surrounding them. Then, at the very beginning of the border of Ered Luin, a flowing structure of elves could be seen strattling the nearby hill. Before it, was a dark bridge of dwarf-make joining the far shore and the lands of Ered Luin.

“That is the elf city of Duilond,” Estonethiel said. “It is a favorate stop for many elves as they travel to Mithlond.”

Beautiful it was. Giant bowl-like platforms led up to high spires of the buildings of the elves. A tan and baige color they were, almost like the autom leaves of trees before they begin to fall. It gave it an almost sad mournful feeling as the buildings would soon be abandoned by the elves before they sail into the undying lands. Beautiful and grand they were, but also sad as they would soon lose their inhabitants. Once proud and joyful were the buildings. Sad it would soon be as the elves finally depart from Middle Earth.

So the five travelers passed Duilond and Lily looked back up at Duilond. She wanted to travel there when they returned and spend some time there. She had decided to do that as they finally continued to depart from Duilond and on west toward the path that would lead toward the last leg of the journey to the Grey Havens.

It took not too long for them to find the path to the Grey Havens. Through rocky, treacherous lands they had to travel. A stark difference to the lively and happy lands where the elves dwelled. It was as if it was occupied by orcs or goblins for a long while. Though there were none there, it was as if it was ravaged by the servents of the enemy.

The travelers continued through the strange place, not straying from the path. Each felt that if they strayed from the path, they would be attacked or lost to the history of the place. So each stayed quiet and stedfast to the path as it turned south. The last leg to the Grey Havens.

By afternoon, the cliffs fell and they gave way to a great harbor, flanked by two very large towers on either side of the harbor. Much like Duilond, the old buildings of the elves were tan and beige, also the sad feel of the sea filled the hearts of each of the travelers.

“Here lies the harbor of Mithlond,” Estonethiel said to the travelers, “The Grey Havens.”

“It’s so beautiful,” Lily said in awe. “I have not expected it to be such a beautiful place. I remember nothing like it since I was a child.”

Lily led the other four as they continued down the small pathways toward the ships docked. The sun reflected on the ocean as the sun began to set on the western horizon. The red glow of the sun reflected on the harbor and the hills about them in a redish shade as the last light of the day shown on the lands about.

“This is where we part,” Sergee said. Lily looked at Estonethiel but soon realized that they all looked at Lily.

“What is this?” Lily asked as she looked on with shock. “What is happening?”

“I want you to take this,” Estonethiel handed the dwarven mail shirt to Lily. “This was not ment for me. So long ago, I gave my life to Sergee and with that, the light of the Valar left me. Because I did that, I lost my place on the last ships to Valinor. But my seat will not go unfilled. You, Lily, will take my place to the Undying lands.”

“I…” she said as she gasped for air as her throat closed tight and she could not speak. She hugged Estonethiel tightly as she looked upon the harbor. She then grasped Sergee in a hug and then Eleswith. She finally came to Theomin. She then held on tight to him and held him for a long while. For so long she held him tightly and wept. “Thank you.” She released her grip and stepped back. “Thank you for giving an elvish girl another chance. Such terrible things I did. Why are they allowing me to go with them?”

“Because you were given another chance and you proved your worth,” Theomin said. “You will go and you will go in peace.” Theomin kissed her forehead, “Now go in peace and remember not the horrors of your past. Only the peace and love that are in your heart right now that will always remain with you.”

Lily smiled and then turned to look at the last ship she will ever take. She walked slowly in wonder and sadness as she reached the plank that led from the dock to the ship. She crossed it and looked back at her friends from afar. She smiled with tears pooling in her eyes as she finally stepped off the plank and into the boat. She looked around in wonder as she found her place to sit.

On the shore, Sergee, Estonethiel, Eleswith and Theomin watched as the ropes of the boats were removed from the dock and thrown onto the boat, the plank was pulled back from the boat, and the ship was free to move. It began sailing into the open waters of the ocean and continued off into western horizon as the light of the setting sun engulfed the ship and no more of the ship could be seen.

It was then, at last, the last four remaining friends departed from the shores of Mithlond and never again looked back.

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