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History Lessons  by Nilmandra

Chapter 18: Elves and Men Part II

Screams and shouts from the shore drew Elrond’s eyes to the women and children crowding into small boats at the docks.  He was stunned to realize that there were Men attacking them with swords and knives.  Men of the village stood between the attackers and their helpless victims, fighting them back, but falling in alarming numbers. Elrond found himself studying the men, searching for differences that would help him tell them apart. His keen eyes noted differences in clothing and hair, as well as weapons.

The small boat in which Elros rode reached the shore first.  Elrond watched him leap on to the dock and draw his sword as he ran forward into the battle.  Those waiting near the shore called shouts of relief and encouragement as the elves joined their fight.  Elrond watched in a mixture of fascination and fear as his twin hewed down a man who was about to kill an injured villager.  The villager sagged in relief as the sword he had expected to end his life never fell, and instead the man wielding it crumpled over.  A second thrust of Elros’ sword ended the attacker’s life.

All of the elves in Elros’ party surged up the shore towards the village, killing or causing the attackers to retreat away from the docks.  A second boat reached the docks and those elves followed the first ones, further pushing the battle line back away from the women and children.   Elrond’s small boat reached the dock next, and he leapt on to the dock and would have raced after the other elves if not for the restraining arm that caught his shoulder.

“Tend the wounded, Elrond,” Gil-Galad commanded.  “I will be directing our forces to bring the injured to you.  Perform emergency treatment only.  This is not the time to stitch wounds or set bones.  Stop the bleeding and ease the pain, and we will worry about the rest later.” The king paused, considering the young peredhil.  “Watch your back and do not leave your sword for any reason.  You may have to defend yourself and your patients.”

With that Gil-Galad charged forward into the battle, directing two other elves from their ship to carry some of the injured mortals to Elrond.

Elrond clutched the supply chest tightly for a moment, watching Gil-Galad leave; then the sounds around him invaded his consciousness.  He heard the crying of the children and the weeping of the women, mingled with the agonized moans of the injured and dying.  He quickly scanned the docks in the fading daylight and found a suitable spot from which he could tend the injured.   He moved swiftly to it, setting down the chest and throwing several blankets Gil-Galad had left with him on to the rough wood.  He rose and hurried to the first injured person.

“Bring the injured here!” he called as he gathered the injured man gently in his arms and carried him to the blankets. 

Elrond quickly assessed his first patient, noting the confusion in the man’s eyes and the vast amount of blood that covered his upper body.  He rapidly located the deep laceration in the man’s skull, now beginning to clot but still in need of a bandage to slow the seepage of blood. He looked around him and saw several women near the children.

“You, women, come and aid me!” he commanded them.  “Bring clean water if you have it.”

The women regarded him warily for a moment, but then two of them rose and came to do his bidding.  At his direction, they began to clean and wrap bandages around the man’s head, allowing Elrond to move on to the next man in need of his aid.

He worked as quickly as he could, skipping over some men to tend to one more severely injured, then returning to those who were waiting.  The two women proved able and aided him deftly, following his directions in the binding of wounds. 

The sounds of the battle had retreated as the men, reinforced by the elves, pushed the attackers back from the village.  The children had calmed and sat huddled with the older women on the docks or in the small boats.  The younger women were beginning to move among the injured, some providing aid, others comfort, and still others seeking knowledge of their kin. 

Elrond turned his attention to a man with a severe chest wound.  He could hear the wound sucking air, and knew the man’s lung was breached.   He realized that this man would die.  He bound the wound anyway, his hands trembling, when he felt the man’s hand weakly clutch at him.

“I am sorry,” he whispered as he bent near to the man, gently gripping the man’s injured hand in his own.

The man croaked, unable to speak, and then his head rolled limply to the side as the effort to keep it upright became too much.  Elrond closed his eyes as he stroked the man’s hair, willing the pain to leave the man and free his body.  He did not know where the spirits of men went, but he found himself pouring forth all the healing energy he could summon, not to save, but to ease this man’s passing.

Beneath his touch the man relaxed and sighed, and Elrond opened his eyes to see the man staring up at him, a slight smile on his face.

“Thank you,” the man mouthed; then he closed his eyes and moments later breathed his last breath.

Elrond did not try to stop the tears that flowed down his cheeks.  Gently disengaging his hand from that of the dead man, he stood, looking over the twenty or so injured men and women. His keen ears noted a slight sound from the reeds just behind him and he instinctively reached for the sword hilt at his side.  He stared into what was now shadowed darkness, for the sun was hidden beyond the tree tops.  A slight movement caught his attention, and he drew his sword as he moved swiftly down the dock and back to land to investigate.   He had just reached the sandy beach when a curved scimitar swung at him from the dark.

“Yrch!” he yelled as loudly as he could, while swinging his own sword to block the blow. 

The orc jumped towards him even as his blade was stopped by Elrond’s with a tremendous clank of metal and a bone jarring impact.  Elrond swung his sword around, completing the arc, and thrust from below, neatly decapitating the creature before him.  Another orc was already taking the first one’s place, and Elrond stabbed at it quickly, his keen eyes taking in at least three more orcs appearing behind the one he currently fought.   A momentary panic filled him as he realized he could not fight off a whole band of orcs himself, and that all that stood between the orcs and the injured men, the women and children was himself.  He felt a rage fill him, and he swung at the beast savagely, cutting it neatly across the chest and gut, felling it.  He spun to face the next orc, but his sword met resistance and he was knocked backward by the force of the parrying blow.  He did not fall, however, and even as he regained his balance he was thrusting his blade again, injuring one orc and causing another to step back lest it be hurt as well. 

The three orcs had formed a semi-circle around him, and he noted in his peripheral vision several more orcs slipping past them and heading towards the docks.  He knew the innocent were about to die, unarmed women and helpless children, and injured and defenseless men.   A roar filled the air, deafening him with its intensity and causing even the orcs to step back in surprise.  It was only then that Elrond realized the sound had come from him.

An answering call was returned even as Elrond threw himself into what had been his first and now seemed likely to be his final battle.  The three orcs were playing with him, he realized, and his rage grew.   To his amazement, one of the orcs fell and Elrond impaled the one next to him, who had let down his guard in surprise at seeing the one next to him fall.  Elrond quickly pulled his sword from the orc’s body and spun and swung at the remaining orc, only to meet thin air.  He twisted further than expected at the lack of resistance and then fell to his knees and rolled, regaining his feet swiftly.  He looked about him in the gathering darkness, towards where the orcs had first appeared, but saw nothing.


At the sound of his name being called he spun around, his sword lifted high, and found himself face to face with Gil-Galad.  The king had his sword raised as well, and lightly touched it to Elrond’s.  Elrond stared at him in shock for a moment, and then raced forward to the docks.  To his relief, he saw only dead orc bodies; they had not reached the villagers. He lowered his sword.

“Elrond,” Gil-Galad spoke again from behind, and Elrond felt the king’s hand on his shoulder and then a light squeeze at his neck.  Elrond looked down at the dead orc near his feet and despite having beheld much blood as he tended dozens of wounds, he felt bile rising in his throat. He was unable to stop its passage and leaning forward, he vomited next to the orc.

Gil-Galad’s hand never left him, and now his arm snaked around Elrond’s chest and supported him as he retched.  He felt his sword removed from his hand and then Gil-Galad’s hand was back, smoothing his hair. When the spasms subsided, Elrond straightened, wiping his mouth with the tunic sleeve just visible below his armor.  Gil-Galad still held him about the chest, and to Elrond’s surprise, gently turned him and pulled him into an embrace.

Elrond rested his face against Gil-Galad’s shoulder, feeling the coolness of the metal armor beneath his cheek. He allowed himself to be comforted for only a moment, then pulled back and looked up at his king.

Gil-Galad smiled and ran his hand down Elrond’s hair one last time, holding him at arm’s length.

“There are more injured.  Shall we tend them?”

Nodding wordlessly, Elrond turned towards the docks, his hand moving instinctively to his sword hilt, which was not at his side.  He spun around to see Gil-Galad still standing there, Elrond’s sword in his hand.  The king wiped the blood from the blade, and then tossed it to him.  Elrond caught the hilt and thrust the weapon back into its sheath.

As soon as he appeared on the docks, the women who had been helping him cried out in relief and one of them grabbed his hand and kissed it.  Tears of joy ran down their faces.

“We thought they had killed you,” the one sobbed.

“They did not,” Elrond answered softly.  “There are more wounded; come, I need your assistance.”

Elrond worked into the night.  As others came to assist, he turned over the task of providing immediate aid to them, and began the work of stitching up wounds and setting broken bones.  With each one he would lay his hand on their forehead first, and as time went on he could better control the healing energy he imparted.  Patients calmed beneath his touch, and their pain diminished, allowing him to stitch and set their wounds. A healer from the village joined him, as did Círdan and another elf Elrond did not know, and they worked with Elrond, stitching up those he aided first and tending to some of the more minor wounds.

Elrond felt exhaustion overcoming him, a bone weary tiredness unlike anything he had experienced before.  He was glad he was working on his knees, for he did not think his feet could support him.  Círdan worked at his side, stitching up a leg wound with all the skill he used to tend his sails and nets, and Elrond noted the perfect even stitches even as the world spun around him.   He felt himself falling, but he was so near to the ground that he only ended up sitting at a more awkward angle as he struggled to keep himself upright with one hand.  He heard fading voices around him, and then nothing more.

* * *

Círdan eased Elrond to the rough wood of the dock, next to his patient, and then quickly finished the last several stitches to close his patient’s leg wound. Gesturing for one of the women to come and spread healing salve on the wound and bind it, he turned his attention back to the young half-elf curled up next to him.

He noted the slow, shallow breaths and the pale color of Elrond’s face, despite the flickering torchlight that cast a golden hue on all else.  Círdan unfastened the bindings and ties of Elrond’s armor, removing the leg and arm plates, and then the pieces covering his chest and abdomen.  His eyes narrowed, confused, for he saw no wounds.  He stood, his eyes scanning the darkness until he saw Gil-Galad’s familiar figure on the shore.

“Erenion!” he called.

Gil-Galad came quickly, for only Círdan called him by his original name.   As he approached he saw Elrond laid out next to his patients, and he moved swiftly to the side of his young charge.

“Elrond!” Gil-Galad shook him gently even as he ran practiced hands over the still form, checking for injuries.  He turned to look up at Círdan.  “What happened?”

“I do not know,” Círdan answered gruffly.  “He appeared to be more exhausted as time went on, and then collapsed. It is unlike him; he does tire more quickly with his mortal blood, but . . . .”  Círdan’s voice drifted off. “Each patient he touched he soothed, and they felt little pain.”

Gil-Galad nodded as he turned his attention back to Elrond.  He recalled the tingling touch when Elrond had sought to comfort him earlier in the day.  “Somehow, each time he touches like that he must drain himself,” Gil-Galad speculated. He looked down at the many men lying in the temporary infirmary.  “He has touched many this night.”

A shout from shore caught both of their attention.  A group of men and elves were returning, victorious, as they had killed or routed the last of those who had attacked them.  Those on the docks who had been waiting for news of their families and loved ones swarmed forward, seeking husbands and fathers, brothers and sweethearts.   The elves moved aside, allowing the men to rejoice with their families, and in some cases, comfort those who now realized that a loved one was not returning.

With a grin on his face, and many pats on the back following him, Elros moved through the men to join Círdan and Gil-Galad on the dock.  He was nearly upon them when he realized the one they were kneeling near was his twin.

“Elrond!” With a cry of anguish, Elros called his brother’s name. He dropped to the wooden dock, pulling Elrond’s still form into his lap and cradling his head in the crook of his arm. 

“He is not injured,” Gil-Galad reassured Elros even as Elros rested his palm over his brother’s chest and felt the slow rise and fall of each breath.  Elros sagged in relief and bent over his twin’s still form.

“Was he hit in the head?  Where is his armor?” Elros choked out the words.

“I just removed his armor, and he was not hit in the head,” Círdan spoke sternly.  His gruff tone served the intended purpose as Elros straightened and calmed himself.  “He fought bravely against orcs that attacked from the shore, and he has tended all these injured you see before you,” Círdan explained once he had Elros’ attention.

“He has drained himself in tending them.  I do not entirely understand it,” Gil-Galad added.   “Take him back to the ship, Elros, and make him warm and comfortable in my cabin.  We have more to do here but will join you later.”

Elros carefully got his feet beneath him and gently lifted his twin.  He carried him to one of the small boats, where other elves aided him in settling Elrond and then paddled them back to the ship.

Gil-Galad watched them leave and then rose and returned to find the leader of the village, to resume discussions on where the injured should be further tended and what defenses the village could mount in case of another attack.  Already the small council had refused to vacate the village and come to Balar, where they might join with the elves, adding to their defense and enjoying the safety of their numbers. 

Círdan gazed west for a moment before resuming his stitching of the wounded.

* * *

Elros smiled gratefully at Magor, the swordmaster, as the elf took Elrond from Elros’ arms and lifted him on to the ship.  Elros picked up Elrond’s sword and leapt nimbly on board, calling ahead, “Take him to King Gil-Galad’s cabin.”

Magor arched a brow as he looked back over his shoulder at Elros, but did as asked, depositing the young peredhil on the bed in the King’s private cabin. 

“He handled his sword well for one who is barely grown,” Magor admitted.

Elros turned to the elf in surprise.  “You saw him fight?  How did he do?”

“Get your armor off,” Magor instructed.  “You are done fighting this night.”  Magor waited until Elros had begun to remove his armor before continuing.  “We heard the cry of ‘yrch’ from the docks, and the King recognized the voice as Elrond’s.  We hurried to the shore and spotted Elrond fighting with the orcs as they emerged from the underbrush and reeds on the beach.  Elrond did well; he had dispatched four orcs and was working on his fifth when more appeared, some surrounding him and others making their way to the docks.” Magor slipped a pillow beneath Elrond’s head.  “Elrond gave a roar that I think startled even him and began to fight furiously.  He nearly lost his edge, but then seemed to control his anger.  I took out one orc with a knife that I threw when Elrond moved out of my line of fire.  He killed the second, and when he spun for the third I had thrown my second knife, killing that one.   Gil-Galad and Reviar killed those approaching the docks.”

Elros had finished removing his armor and stacked it in the corner of the room.  Magor pointed at the washbasin on a night table, and Elros moved obediently to wet a cloth and begin to wipe the sweat and blood from his face and hands. “Thank you.”

“For what?” Magor asked as Elros dampened another cloth and began to clean his twin’s face and hands.

“For saving my brother’s life.”

Magor shook his head.  “There is no debt among warriors, Elros.  Your brother saved many, many lives tonight.   Someday perhaps he will save mine.”

Elros crawled up on the bed and reclined against the cushions at the headboard.  He pulled Elrond into his arms and began to gently stroke the dark hair that he had released from the ties that held it back from his brother’s face.  He looked up at Magor when he realized the older elf had ceased speaking, and found him watching the brothers intently.

“Who taught Elrond the healing arts?  They exceed any that I know King Gil-Galad or Círdan possess.”

Elros shrugged.  “I do not know.  He has had many teachers on Balar, in Gil-Galad’s court.  But even Gil-Galad and Círdan seemed surprised by what he did this night.” He paused, thinking.  “Even when we were small children, though, Elrond had a healing touch. So did Maglor.”

“How did you fare in battle, Elros?” Magor changed the subject and laughed aloud at the smile that suddenly appeared on Elros’ face.

“I fared well indeed,” Elros responded gleefully.  “We joined with the defenders of the village and routed the eastern men and the orcs.  There were more men than orcs,” Elros added as he considered the battle. “Men fight fiercely, Magor.  I know they were defending their homes and families, but they fight and die bravely, despite the shortness of their lives.” He paused for a long moment, shifting Elrond slightly in his arms.  He smiled when his twin sighed and seemed to actually snuggle closer to him.  He looked up at Magor to see the older elf grinning as well.

“Does this surprise you, Elros?” Magor asked. “You have mortal blood and you fight bravely and fiercely.”

Elros paused for a moment, stumped.  “But I was trained by elves who have lived long  - for hundreds and even thousands of years.  They have had much time to perfect their skills and have had many experiences in battle.  These men – most would still be children if they were elves.”

“You are still a child, Elros,” Magor answered, a twinkle in his eye, “just a fast growing one. Elrond is more a child yet than you – look at the difference in size between you two.”

“But this is what I mean,” Elros argued.  “I know we are different because we bear the blood of both kindreds, but Men live so fast!  They race through childhood and become adults, mastering the skills it takes to build and fight and raise families and survive in a short fraction of the time allotted to the elves!”

“You find them exciting,” commented Magor.

“I find them amazing,” answered Elros.  “Creative in ways that perhaps we are not.  Ingenious in how they solve problems.  Their battle tactics in routing the attackers were brilliant! The elves take a long time to find solutions to problems – they think and plan and evaluate and talk.  Men just do it!”

Magor remained silent after Elros finished his enthusiastic commentary. Elros watched him, wondering if he had offended the old elf, but Magor seemed nonplussed as he considered the half-elves before him.

“Of what are you thinking?” Elros finally asked.

“How much like a Man you are,” answered Magor with a slight smile. He stood and stretched before turning back to Elros.  “I will find some lembas and water to drink.  You need to eat now, and make sure your brother does when he awakes.”

Elros nodded as Magor left the cabin.  He curled his arm about his brother’s shoulders.  “We are not children, little brother,” he whispered.

* * *

Elrond slowly awakened, first conscious of the slight rocking of the ship and then of the sun streaming through a window into the cabin. He blinked a few times, staring at the wooden beams of the ceiling above him.  He had no idea where he was.

“You have finally awakened.”

Elrond turned slightly at the sound of Gil-Galad’s voice and saw the king sitting at his writing desk, quill in hand and a bemused look on his face. He realized then that he was in the King’s cabin, and pushed himself into a sitting position.  The room spun for a moment and he suddenly found himself lying flat on the bed again. He closed his eyes, willing the vertigo to depart and the room to stay still.

A cool cloth was laid upon his forehead and he heard Gil-Galad’s soothing voice telling him, “Easy, Elrond. The vertigo will pass.”

He opened his eyes after several moments and accepted a sip of water from a cup held to his lips.

“Am I injured?” he finally asked.

“Not by sword or spear,” Gil-Galad replied, “but perhaps by good intentions.” He broke off a bit of lembas bread and fed it to Elrond, who took it very reluctantly.

“I am sure I can feed myself,” he muttered ungraciously. 

Gil-Galad laughed, lifted Elrond’s hand to his chest, and stuffed a small piece of the waybread between his fingers.   When Elrond did not move immediately, he broke off another piece and held it to his lips.  “Eat, Elrond.  You have weakened yourself far beyond exhaustion, and I encouraged you to do so.  Allow me to assuage my guilt by aiding you.”

Elrond accepted the piece of lembas, his brow furrowed in confusion.  “What do you mean?”

Gil-Galad arched an eyebrow at him.  “You do not recall the dozens of wounded men you aided?”

Elrond scowled.  “I recall them,” he answered pointedly.  “I do not understand what you mean about weakening myself.”

Gil-Galad took Elrond’s hands in his own and focused all his energy on the young half-elf for a moment.   “What do you feel when I do that?”

Elrond shook his head slightly.  “Nothing.  Am I supposed to feel something?”

Gil-Galad smiled.  “What happened when you focused yourself on each patient?  What did they do?”

“They relaxed,” Elrond answered tiredly.  “They seemed to not feel the pain and we could care for them much more quickly and with less distress.”


Elrond blinked.  “Why?” He looked at Gil-Galad in disbelief for a moment.  The king knew nearly everything.  He had never yet failed to answer Elrond’s questions adequately, but this time he truly seemed to be asking Elrond for the answer to his question.  “I do not know.”

“Neither do I, exactly,” admitted Gil-Galad as he took advantage of the half-open mouth before him, slipping in a chunk of lembas and effectively silencing whatever comment Elrond had been about to make.  “Círdan says you have a healing touch.  When you comforted me on the ship yesterday, I felt a surge of energy flow from your touch.  It soothed me and diminished my sorrow.  It did far more for your patients, but apparently it is a limited commodity, at least at this point in your young life.” Gil-Galad held up his hand as Elrond opened his mouth to argue the point about his age. “You healed many, then you fought the orcs, and . . .”

“And then I got sick,” Elrond interrupted, his face reddening at the memory. “I am sorry I . . .”

“Everyone gets sick after their first battle, and some for many more battles after the first.  Do not apologize,” Gil-Galad dismissed his concern and instead pressed another bit of lembas into his patient.  “Then we encouraged you to keep on healing, and all those assisting you waited until you worked your magic before they set a bone or closed a wound.  Even Círdan could see that you were becoming exhausted, but none could know you would continue until you collapsed.”

“I . . . fainted?” asked Elrond, mortified.

Gil-Galad laughed aloud.  “Dead-away, and you have been blissfully unaware for hours. Elros and Magor brought you back to the ship not long afterwards.”

Elrond closed his eyes as he felt the heat rise in his face.  He had fainted in front of everyone?  His brother had carried him to the ship, and other warriors and sailors had witnessed it? His disgrace was so great he could not even look at his king.

“You have been given an amazing gift, Elrond, perhaps from the Valar themselves,” Gil-Galad continued, his voice gentler and the laughter gone.  “Never before have any of us seen such a thing, and none are more appreciative than the villagers you helped to save.  They witnessed your skill in healing, but also your bravery when you fought the orcs. You were surrounded and yet you continued to fight.  You did not run or hide, but made them fight you to get to where your patients lay.”

There followed a long silence as Elrond gradually regained control of himself.  Once he knew that no further tears would spill from his eyes, he opened them to find Gil-Galad watching him intently.   Gil-Galad wet a handkerchief and washed his face, wiping away the tears that had dared wet his cheeks without comment.  He gave him another sip of water before continuing to feed him the lembas.

“I am very proud of you and Elros.  You both performed admirably. I hope that you will forgive me and the others who pushed you beyond endurance,” Gil-Galad finished.

Elrond started to answer, but could not find the right words.  Did Gil-Galad not think him weak?  He lay in the King’s bed in the King’s cabin, and was tended by the King himself  - perhaps Gil-Galad was not embarrassed by his failings?

A knock on the door interrupted them and saved Elrond from having to speak at all.  Gil-Galad opened the door and was nearly knocked aside as Elros barreled past him and pounced on his brother.

“You are finally awake!” Elros grinned as he flopped next to him on the bed.  He looked at the lembas pieces on the small plate and popped one into his mouth, ignoring the disapproving look from Gil-Galad.  “Is Gil-Galad feeding you like a baby?”  He picked up Elrond’s arm and dropped it, noting his twin did not even try to hold it up.  “You are still as weak as a baby.  Do you remember when I broke my leg and you had to take care of me until I could walk?  I get to return the favor!” Elros laughed aloud as he grabbed a small lembas chunk and pressed it to Elrond’s lips.  “Eat, little brother! Do not make me have to force you!”

Elrond laughed and Elros shoved the lembas into his mouth with delight.  He frowned suddenly, and turned to the exasperated Gil-Galad.  “I do not do diapers,” he informed his king imperiously.

Gil-Galad swatted Elros across the back of the head.  “Get him to eat all of this and drink the water, and he will soon be strong enough to not need your assistance with his personal needs.  I must speak to Círdan and the leaders of the village again before we set sail.”  His eyes twinkled as he looked at Elrond, now lying snug in Elros’ arms.  “He will not let you fall.” He laughed at the look of confusion on Elrond’s face and the look of glee on that of his twin as Elros shoved more lembas into his brother’s mouth, and left the cabin confident his young charge was in good hands.


~ ~ ~* * *~ ~ ~

Elrond finished the story, and as he allowed his vision to expand beyond his sons and Albast, realized his audience had grown considerably as many of the healers and members of his household were gathered around them.

“Ada,” Elrohir tugged on his sleeve.  “Did Elros have to help with your. . . personal needs?”

Laughter floated around them and Elrohir blushed slightly, but Elrond calmly answered him, “Yes, he did, and so did King Gil-Galad, until I had recovered enough to walk on my own.”

“Your healing touch, Master Elrond,” Albast spoke softly, “does it still drain you?”

Elrond was touched by the man’s concern, clearly reading his emotions to know that the soldier was concerned that Elrond had harmed himself while helping him.

“No, I have learned much since then, Albast,” Elrond responded kindly, moving his hand to rest on the man’s leg once again. He watched as the man sat upright in surprise as the tingling energy again flowed into him. “I have learned to control what I give, and to use the song of Arda and others to aid and replenish me as I work. What happened then would not happen now.”

A snort from behind Elrond made him smile and he looked over his shoulder to see Glorfindel standing with his arms crossed over his chest and a look of disbelief on his face.

“Although, should I extend myself beyond that which I am capable of, or should I be in need of someone to forcefully care for me after overextending myself, Glorfindel willingly fills the role that Elros and Gil-Galad served so long ago,” amended Elrond.

Another ripple of laughter filled the room and Elrond was pleased to hear Glorfindel’s tenor adding voice to the amusement.

“Elros was amazed by Men?” Albast asked tentatively.

“Elros was fascinated, amazed and excited by Men,” Elrond answered truthfully.  “He loved the fast pace of their life and their ingenious methods of solving problems and the way they created new ways of doing old tasks.”

The room remained quiet after Elrond answered the question, and he rose, lifting Elrohir into his arms and taking Elladan by the hand.

“Now, we will leave you to your rest, Albast,” he said with a slight bow and his face carefully masked of any emotion. With his sons in hand, he smiled at his staff and departed the room.

Elrohir wrapped his arms tightly about his father’s neck as Elrond carried him down the hall, then laid his head against his father’s shoulder and whispered, “I wish we could have known Elros, Ada. I think he was a good brother to you.”

Elrond hugged the small body tight.  “I wish you could have known Elros, too.  And he was as fine a brother as I could ever have wished for.”

* * * * *

Author’s Notes:  Since I am writing this story as a ‘history lesson’, I feel compelled to make clear what is stated in the Silmarillion or HoME and what I am making up.  Would hate to start any fanon trends *grin*


  1. Maturity of Elrond and Elros:  I am showing them maturing at the rate set by their mortal blood based on the other mixed race children: Dior, Eärendil and Elwing.  They each married (Eärendil and Elwing to each other, as parents to the twins, and Dior to Nimloth, as parents to Elwing) and had children by the time they were 30 years old, so I decided to follow suit with Elrond's and Elros's development.
  2. This is not new to this chapter, but I thought it was good to say it again:  The age of Elrond and Elros is unknown when Sirion falls; we know they are fostered with care by Maglor, but we do not know for how long or where, and we only know that Elrond chooses to stay with Gil-Galad at the end of the first age.  I have used information from Tolkien’s letters about the twins being found in a cave, but even that does not say who found them. For my story, I have them being raised by Círdan and Gil-Galad, and Celeborn was involved some as well. It just worked best this way to show Elrond learning skills that would be of value to Gil-Galad, for Elros to develop a love of the sea (he built the greatest sea-going nation ever in early Númenor) and for Elrond, at least, to be present at the War of Wrath (as he says he is in the FotR, Council of Elrond).
  3. Maglor being willing to die for Elrond: It might have happened, but is something I made up earlier in the story.  It does not contradict canon, however.
  4. Círdan’s friendship with the Noldor elf Fingolfin, the help of the Noldor in rebuilding and strengthening the Falas, and Fingolfin’s role in developing Balar and building the tower of Barad Nimras: these comes from the Silmarillion (Chapter 14: Of Beleriand and its Realms) and HoME Vol XI (Part One: The Grey Annals).
  5. Gil-Galad was fostered to Círdan at the age of ten, and escaped by ship with him during the Battle of Unnumbered Tears when Gil-Galad was about twenty-six years old;  the Falas were destroyed at this time by great engines of fire and strength. They settled on the Isle of Balar, built by Gil-Galad’s grandfather, Fingolfin, as a last refuge for the elves.
  6. Some elves of all the realms of Beleriand attached themselves to King Gil-Galad after the Fall of Sirion. There was a mix of Sindar, Noldor, green elves and possibly men of the Edain living in Balar.
  7. It is unknown where the rest of the Edain lived after the elven realms fell.  The Silmarillion and HoME just do not say.
  8. Elrond’s healing skills:  Most of this is made up and I have been influenced by fanon.  His skills as seen in LOTR seem rather magical, and thus I have given him some unique healing skills.

If anyone wants direct references, please let me know.  I am aware that HoME has other pieces of information on some of these topics suggesting everything from Gil-Galad’s parentage being different to who was or was not living in Balar.  I think it is nigh impossible to reconcile HoME to all of Tolkien’s works, and I am not using the references as ‘canon’ – but as just my way of incorporating other ideas and thoughts Tolkien had into the story.

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