It was the end of the second day Elle had been in Rivendell
and she had seen no sign of Chris. Living
with the Elves had made her feel more alienated making Chris’ absence worse.
She had attempted to act as they did but instead ended up looking like a fool.
Stood upon the balcony to her lavish chambers Elle sighed at her foolishness
but couldn’t help but smile at it.
Elle awoke in the softest bed she had ever slept in; she stretched her tired limbs lazily as pale sunlight filtered in through shaded windows. Slowly she slipped out of the warm blankets and moved to the dresser where she sat and brushed her hair… wait her hair wasn’t red! It was only then that she took a good look at herself; she remembered what had happened the previous night and her quest. She stood and was about to go over to the wardrobe when she returned to the mirror. Brushing her wavy hair back, Elle admired her pointed ears and couldn’t help a small girlish squeal of excitement. She was really an elf! A brief knock at her door made her stop and straightened up.
“It’s open!” She called as she moved towards the wardrobe. A young elleth who was fair haired and wide eyed, Calairiel was her name. Elle stopped just a moment later, Varda said she had to speak like an elf.
“Erm, greetings on-th this-th fine morn-th.” The girl stopped and looked at Elle with a bewildered look.
“Yes Milady… thank you. I have come to assist you dress.” She said after a moment of uncertainty. Calairiel strode over to the wardrobe, scanned the dresses and pulled out one that was lavender and flowed like water in the flared sleeves and skirt. She then walked over to Elle and began to pull up her knight gown. Elle immediately slapped her hand away.
“What the hell?!” She then shook her head. “I mean-th prey what-th are you doing-th?” Calairiel stepped back and looked a little concerned.
“My Lady? Are you well; you seem confused and seem to be slurring your words. Did you overindulge in the fruits of the vine last night?” Elle almost face palmed, fortunately or unfortunately Calairiel assumed she had a hang over, which was fine with her… kind of.
‘Ok just speak posh and slow. Maybe just avoid talking.’ She decided as Calairiel began to help her dress.
A light chuckle fell from her lips as Elle moved away from the balcony and towards the door. While in Rivendell she had constantly been dress in beautiful flowing gowns, as much as she admired them she hoped they had something more practical for when she left. Walking along the pristine gardens Elle came across the place where the council would take place. The tall arches were made of the same mother of pearl substance, as was the rest of the city, with tendrils of ivy climbing up to the domed roof. It was surrounded by plentiful amounts of fauna and flora that she knew would be perfect hiding places for the hobbits. Places had been set for Elrond and his guests, beside his throne were two chairs for his sons and facing them had been set more chairs in a semi circle. She then noticed another chair partially hidden behind one of the ones set for one of Elrond’s sons. Had it been set for her? Almost silent footfalls caught her attention as Calairiel made her way towards Elle.
“My lady, Lord Elrond has asked for you before the council. If you would follow me.” Elle nodded and followed the elleth down the path towards Elrond’s study. Calairiel lead her to a beautifully carved door before bowing and gliding away. She tapped on the door quietly and awaited a response.
“Come.” Came a deep masculine voice from within. Slowly she pushed the door open and ventured inside. There were two people in the room, one was tall, lithe and Elven, the other was elderly, gnarled and had a soft expression. Elrond and Gandalf. With a brief motion to sit Elle attempted to do so with as much grace as she could muster, which wasn’t much. Elrond then turned to her with a sombre expression that looked like it had been there for a while.
“Ercassiel, you have been informed about the council and its reason for convening.” He asked but made it sound more like a statement, she nodded once and he continued. “The reason I have asked you to be at this important council is one that I cannot seem to place.” Elle froze, this did not look good. “When deciding upon the few to trust with this secret you came to my mind before even my own sons! It is a curious thing as I have very little recollection of you, your face is familiar but little have I known you.” Gandalf had been sat quietly in the corner smoking his pipe weed until he finally decided to speak.
“Lord Elrond if I may,” He said in his surprisingly strong sounding voice. “You have great powers of foresight, is it possible this elleth may be important in affairs of this council?” Ha asked as if he knew more than he let on. Elrond nodded at the wizards words.
“You are correct Gandalf, I wished only for your opinion on this matter young Ercassiel.” He conceded, gracefully sat in his chair and looked at Elle.
“Oh, erm, yes my lord. I only hope that my presence will prove beneficial in the council.” She stumbled as she attempted to remember the poshest way to say things. His silence made her nervously nibble on her lower lip until he nodded.
“Well, we shall see. You are dismissed I will have Calairiel fetch you for the council.” Elrond said as he turned towards Gandalf, taking her cue Elle stood and left as silently as she could.
Calairiel arrived not long after to get Elle ready for the council. Once bathed, dressed and primped Calairiel lead her back to the beautiful council room. Elrond and his sons were already there and briefly acknowledged her as they returned to greeting other guests. She stood behind them and attempted to be quiet as possible. Watching as the seats filled she wondered who of these would be in the fellowship, from her brief encounter with Elrond and Gandalf they clearly only shared basic similarities with the characters she had seen in the films. It was strange to think Gandalf was not Sir Ian McKellen but he shared some traits like the grey cloak, a warm face and gnarled staff. Her thoughts returned to Chris, had she not made it to Rivendell? Once again nibbling on her lip Elle watched nervously as the council seats filled and her friend remained absent. She soon sat down in her chair and watched as Elrond prepared to begin the council. Only one chair, placed amongst the humans, was empty. Then a blonde woman approached Elrond, apologised for being late and took her seat.
‘Is that Chris?’ Elle wondered and was surprised when the woman jumped and began to scan the people around her. Finally her eyes fell upon Elle.
‘Oh, I forgot you were an elf!’ Said a voice in Elle’s head that sounded like Chris. ‘Elle? It’s me! Don’t you remember? Varda said we could do this!’ Chris’ excited voiced echoed in her mind. Varda! Of course how could she have forgotten!
‘Oh yeah! Hey why were you late? I was starting to worry.’ Elle asked as Elrond began.
“Strangers from distant lands ... friends of old. You have been summoned here to answer the threat of Mordor. Middle-earth stands upon the brink of destruction. None can escape it. You will unite...or you will fall. Each race is bound to this fate...this one doom...”
‘Yeah, sorry about that, I had a bit of an argument with Vanya. First she insisted on undressing and bathing me then she tried to get me in a dress.’
‘I see she succeeded.’ Elle commented as Chris was sat in a green gown of Elven make.
‘Shut up! Anyway, yes she won but only because she said it was either the dress or I would have to go in my undies.” Elle snorted earning a strange look from a few people.
‘No she didn’t, she’s an elf not a P.E teacher!’
“It is a gift...a gift to the foes of Mordor! Why not use this Ring? Long has my father, the Steward of Gondor, held the forces of Mordor at bay...by the blood of our people are your lands kept safe. Give Gondor the weapon of the enemy...let us use it against him!” Boromir said as he eyed the ring with a strange kind of lust.
‘Elle, I think we should catch up later. This council is kinda important.’ Chris thought as the friction between Boromir and Aragorn heightened.
“This is no mere Ranger. He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. You owe him your allegiance.” Legolas stood as he defended his friend.
‘Yeah you might be rig- holy crap! That’s Legolas!’
‘Elle stop drooling.’
‘Yeah you are.’
“Havo dad, Legolas” Aragorn spoke in elvish calming Legolas and ending the mental conversation. Boromir sat down with a sour expression.
“Gondor needs no king.” He mumbled as the council returned to the matter at hand.
“Aragorn is right...we cannot use it.” Gandalf confirmed, it felt strange to the girls
watching the council play out word for word in their heads and then before them.
“You have only one choice..The ring must be destroyed.” Elrond concluded as the council began to murmur. Elle glanced at Frodo, the ring was still affecting him and Gimli’s rash action to destroy it only made it worse for the poor hobbit. The dwarf looked in disbelief at his shattered axe and the unharmed ring.
“The ring cannot be destroyed, Gimli, son of Gloin, by any craft that we here possess. The ring was made in the fires of Mount Doom...only there can it be unmade. It must be taken deep into Mordor, and cast back into the fiery chasm from whence it came. One of you must do this.” Elrond announced looking at each individual with his heavy stare. The council is shocked into silence and the tension is thick. Boromir shifted uncomfortably then spoke quietly but the silence of the council made his words seem louder.
“One does not simply walk into Mordor. Its black gates are guarded by more than just Orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep and the Great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and dust...the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume. Not with ten thousand men could you do this. It is folly.”
‘Wow Boromir, truly inspirational! Who wouldn’t want to go there now?’ Elle thought as his words unnerved more of the council.
‘Well, I know I can’t wait to go.’ Chris responded sarcastically.
“Have you heard nothing Lord Elrond has said? The ring must be destroyed.” Legolas said as if it hadn’t been obvious.
‘White knight to the rescue Elle.’ Chris thought as the inevitable argument began. Soon everyone was on their feet arguing in an unintelligible roar. Glancing back to Frodo Elle could see in his head he was weighing up his options, he knew he had to take it. He stood and attempted to speak above the bickering.
“I will take it. I will take it! I will take the Ring to Mordor.” As he spoke the arguing quieted and all turned to him. Gandalf gave him a soft look of compassion as he moved towards his little friend. “Though...I do not know the way.” He spoke the last part quietly.
“I will help you bear this burden, Frodo Baggins, as long as it is yours to bear.” He said as he placed his withered hand on Frodo’s shoulder. Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas stepped forward.
“If, by my life or death, I can protect you, I will. You have my sword.” He announced as he kneeled before the hobbit.
“And you have my bow.”
“And my axe.” Legolas and Gimli piped in. Elle stepped forward gaining looks from many and a smile from Gandalf.
“And my blades.” She announced hoping that the swords Varda gave her were in her chambers somewhere. Boromir then unfroze and continued forward.
“You carry the fate of us all, little one.” He paused to look at Gandalf and Elrond. “If this is indeed the will of the Council, then Gondor will see it done.”
“As will Rohan.” Chris said stepping towards the growing group. Men murmured but Elrond said nothing so they kept quiet, he was about to close the meeting when Sam popped out of one of the bushes that surrounded the council.
“Mr. Frodo's not gong anywhere without me.” He stated as he raced to Frodo’s side.
“No, Indeed...it is hardly possible to separate you...even when he is summoned to a secret council and you are not.”
Elrond face was stuck between amusement and seriousness when two more hobbits appeared.
“Oi! We're coming too! You'll have to send us home tied up in a sack to stop us.” Merry said and Elrond looked a little like he was considering it.
“Anyway...you need people of intelligence on this sort of mission...quest...thing...”
Pippin piped in happily as Merry looked at him sceptically before turning back.
“Well, that rules you out, Pip.” Pippin was about to make a retort when Elrond spoke slowly as if considering something.
“Eleven companions... so be it.” He paused and looked around at the group. “You shall be the ‘Fellowship of the ring’.” He announced much to the girl’s relief; they had made it onto the fellowship the easiest of their tasks.
“Great. Where are we going?”
Calairiel- Bright meadow
Ercassiel- Bright red berry