Chapter 1


                  An unseen visitor clothed in light walked unhindered down the hallways of Imladris.  He eyed the halls with satisfaction and entered a room set apart from the others.

                  High men of great prestige silently studied a map.  The visitor knew each by name: Elendil, son of Amaríndel, with his eldest son Isildur; 2 young Elf-lords, Glorfindel and Elrond, son of Eärendil; and the high Elvin-king, Gil-Galad.  All 5 mused over ways to undermine Sauron’s power.

                  The visitor stood beside Gil-Galad, unseen to their eyes.  The visitor’s bright, almost fiery eyes surveyed the maps with the wisdom of the ages.

                  “ There,” his finger touched the map as he looked at Gil-Galad’s bent head, “ There is the place on the plains between Mount Doom and Barad-Dûr.  It is called Dagorlad.”

                  Gil-Galad’s head snapped up.

                  “ There,” his finger pointed to the place the visitor’s had, “ There, between Mount Doom and Barad-Dûr is the place; Dagorlad it is called.  It is flat and wide open.”

                  “ I agree,” Elrond nodded, “ These plains will give us the advantage even though we fight on their land.”

                  “ Then we are adjourned.  I will sleep well tonight knowing Sauron’s time comes to an end,” Elendil stood and left with his son and Glorfindel behind him. 

                  Only Gil-Galad, Elrond and the visitor remained.

                  “ What made you think of this place?” Elrond asked.

                  “ Twas like someone whispered it in my ear.  I believe we will win this no matter how many rings Sauron possesses,” Gil-Galad lowered his voice almost nervously, “ Is it-”

                  “ It is safe and I do hope you’re right.  We must win this for the sake of Middle-Earth,” Elrond nodded.

                  “ Or I will die trying,” Gil-Galad vowed.

                  “ Do not speak so dismissive of death,” Elrond said sharply, a dull fear in his eyes.

                  The visitor put a gentle hand on Gil-Galad’s shoulder, which the King felt not nor heard what was whispered as Gil-Galad tried to reassure Elrond.

                  “ You will die trying, Gil-Galad, but not in vain.  Courage will rise up from the ashes to defeat evil or I am not Manwë,” the highest of the Valar whispered.

Manwë walked back out the way he came, unseen still, though all of nature heralded his presence.


                  A young girl walked restlessly in the heavenly land of Valinor.  Unspeakable beauty surrounded it, but she saw it not.  Her sad gray eyes were set before her, seeing nothing.

                  “ What saddens the daughter of Varda?” Mandos fell in stride beside her.

                  She was silent, listening to the sweet singing of birds and the swishing of Mandos’ black robes.

                  “Êlenrana,” Mandos prodded gently.

                  “ What lies beyond Valinor?” she asked, “ No one speaks of it, yet day after day, shipfuls of people come from across the Sea.”  The girl faced him.  “ I grow tired of this…perfection.  I want to see what else there is.”

Mandos was silent before nodding.

                  “ Come then.  I have an appointment in Middle-Earth,” Mandos answered grimly, “ I warn you though.  Tis nothing like here.”

Êlenrana nodded without a second thought.

                  They were suddenly there.  Where exactly there was, she didn’t know, but they were in the midst of a battlefield, though they remained untouched.  She scanned the desolate barrens.  Men and hideous creatures fell together, their blood staining the black ground, dead.  Êlenrana had never known death existed, only life.  Mandos gently steered her through the fighting.

                  “ High king of the Elves, Gil-Galad,” Mandos explained, motioning to a blonde haired Elf fighting valiantly though grossly outnumbered, “ The Firstborn equal of your father.”

                  “ He is to die,” she whispered.

                  Mandos nodded grimly.  He himself was used to this cruelty if one could be.  The young girl, on the other hand, could not understand death.  Why did it exist?  Why did the brave and noble have to die with the evil ones?  It just didn’t make any sense to her innocent mind.

                  “ Child, turn your head,” Mandos ordered, but Êlenrana paid him no heed.

                  The sickening thud of a sword as it plunged itself deep inside the Elf could not be muted, nor could the evil grin of the one who did it be concealed.  Êlenrana watched in horror, her eyes connected to the King’s now glazed ones as he fell.  How could anyone do this?  A young dark haired Elf appeared, strength seeming to overcome him as he slaughtered those who had murdered the King.  Suddenly, all the Evil was gone.  Êlenrana looked around, but there was none to be seen anywhere.  The Elf dropped to his sword, falling to his knees beside the dead King.  The spirit of Gil-Galad rose to meet Mandos.  Instead of Mandos beginning to lead the spirit, Nienna seemed to appear.  Êlenrana watched the reunion as they took the journey to Mandos' halls where he would wait his turn in the Ring of Doom.

                  “ Do not cry for them, Child.  They leave here for a better place,” Mandos bent so he was eye-to-eye with her.

                  A soft voice spoke to him, telling him of her place in the Ainur.  She’d always been sorrowful, like his sister, Nienna, but she always sought to comfort those engulfed in sadness.  It was time for Middle-Earth to hear her song, to let the notes of her voice heal their broken hearts and transfer the sorrow to her.

                  “ You, Êlenrana, the star wanderer, shall wander here under these stars your mother made, like one of the Firstborn.  You shall humble yourself to become like them in stature, though you need not their food to live and you will be greater than the oldest in mind.  All the ages are yours to see and yours to walk, alone,” Mandos said gently.

                  “ Then I am exiled?” Êlenrana asked.

                  “ Until the last Elf passes over the Sea,” Mandos answered, “ When you pass out of these borders, you will become like them, a Firstborn.”

Êlenrana nodded as she turned.

                  Her once pristine white robes not fluttered, torn and gray in the wind as she walked among the bodies.  She bent beside the crying dark haired warrior, laying a cheek to his soft hair as he mourned his loss.

                  “ Elrond, Isildur has the Ring,” Glorfindel ran up.

                  “ Take him,” Elrond began.

                  “ You’re the only one who knows the way,” Glorfindel reminded.

                  “ Do not move him,” Elrond ordered, standing with a sigh.

                  Êlenrana looked back one last time to see the Elvin souls rise to find the golden halls waiting for them on the other side.  She turned her head away, to this land, her future.  Tears moistened her eyes, but dried before they even fell.  She found she almost despised this hot barren wasteland.  Away she walked from this land.  Her foot passed outside the borders and her heart broke completely for all the sorrow she’d never forget.

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