The Wheel turns and another chapter begins
My preparations are now nearly complete, the armoury has reworked my armour and I was gifted two fine gifts prior to taking my leave of the vale.
The first was a surprised gift from Cuillidir, I happened upon him when he was training alongside a warrior maiden by the falls. We spoke a little about what is expected by those who strive to keep the vale safe when he enquired why I was leaving. He then briefly vanished to return holding a saddle satchel which he then laid carefully on the grass and opened up to reveal its contents. Inside were many vials with wax stoppers of which the contents were of different colours and some of the vials had symbol decoration on the glass. I could tell from the detailed description and the expressions upon his face that the items I was being shown and gifted were special to Cuillidir for he had laboured over them for a prolonged period to get the desired end result. No doubt the potions he had prepared will serve me in good stead on my journey, and if I return I hope I will be able to provide him with more information on their usage.
The second was a hand and a half longsword forged in the vale. The weight of the blade and the way it sang when drawn through the air reminded me of my old blade which was discarded in the withdrawal from Eregion an age ago. I spoke of how it reminded me of my old sword when the smile came to Master of the Forges’ face. He exclaimed with a laugh that my senses were indeed being truthful, that it was indeed my old blade but now with an extended hilt to accommodate two hands but the blade length had been kept the same. He had found time to rework the blade in the last century and re-harden the leading edge. I thanked the artisan for his hard work and the most welcome gift, for a maethor does never know when he would require a spare sword. Even one such as myself who was now blessed to be in the possession of a sword endowed with a dwelmer and forged from an alloy metal believed to have fallen from the sky above the Blue Mountains.
With the final preparations done I took time to speak with Master Elrond and my long-time friend Elladan. Elrond spoke with his usual weight of voice “ Lord Khalis I know you no longer command the maethor of the warband, but you will always have a place among my own warders here in Imladris. Your skills and experience are needed more so late into this age than perhaps ever in the past. I must once more call upon your services for there are powers that are moving now to the south. For too long have I looked more closely to home, now I need eyes in the south. Eyes I can trust to report truthfully upon what is seen and take immediate action if needed. “
At this stage the son of Lord Elrond did speak. “Khalis my friend, once more it appears that fate will send us in different directions. For my presence is required to guide the one who could unite the free folk for they are at a most perilous crossroads and we can only hope they take the right decisions. I bid thee a safe onward journey my friend, may we meet here again in the future to share a glass of red and exchange tales like we often did around the campfires an age ago.”
With that Elladan exchanged a few words with his father before heading out of the room. As the door closed behind the son Elrond beckoned for Khalis to follow as he headed out the smaller door to the chamber down a corridor out to the flower beds surrounding the Homely House.
Elrond spoke again “I hope this task I place upon you will cause you to shed the cloak of unrest which you have been bearing since the Lady Elisbeth stood down the Warband from active service. The few Dunadain which were among your company still serve Imladris and we are most honoured to have them as friends. It pleases me to still see the silvered filigree clasp of the Warband of Imladris being worn by them.”
A moment of silence hung between them, the only sound being the falling waters of the Bruinen cascading downwards and onwards out of the valley.
I looked at the lord of the vale and remembered the three oaths I had now sword in my lifetime. The first to stay the fight sword to Celebrimbor at the start of the war between the dark lord and the elves. It was at this time I had first set eyes upon the one who would later command my service Lord Elrond Half-elven.
The second was to the Vale of Imladris and its lord sword when Lord Elrond gave order to form the Warbands of Imladris of which the Lady Elisbeth would form the lead banner.
The third was that taken by all those who dwell under the roof of Bar En Vanimar to keep the shadow at bay and seek to slay the servants of the eye.
“Thank-you Lord for once more allowing me to serve the vale for with much of past lost to me since the fall of Eregion when I was struck down in battle I find the only thing that eases my restless spirit is the dance of battle and the song of the sword. I know this is not as it should be for our kind but I feel that part of me which should find solace in the sound of our musicians or seeing the grace of our people in the dance halls has been cleft away when I was wounded. It was only by the grace of the our healers that I lived”
Lord Elrond looked at his Captain, a look of worry to his face. “There are some things which even our skills cannot restore. I have no doubt the young commander I once knew who would dance around the camp fires of the encampment on the eve’ of battle bringing mirth to the maethor is still there. Perhaps there is a reason beyond my understanding why things happen. Truth be told it has made you into a maethor unmatched by almost all, your grace upon the battlefield is unique you have honed your fighting skills into a web of death to those who dance with your blade.”
I looked directly at the lord of the vale seeing no emotion of the level of concern he had for all those who had been in service for so long. “I will do my best to once more serve the vale and hope to see you again my lord upon my return”
As I walked away the lord of the vale did say one more thing “Lord Khalis, make sure you take companions, remember your own words, stand together as kin or fall solitary into shadow. With a smile he said “yes that is what you were often heard saying. Travel swift and safely my Captain”.
My pathway was leading me down through the vale the words of my lord repeating in my mind when I came across the Lady Tingruviel of House Vanimar. She did ask how things fared and I explained to her that the time of my leaving was at hand but I had yet to see Lord Tindir one of the oldest of Bar En Vanimar known to me and as such he commanded my deepest respect. The Lady was surprised to hear I was leaving so soon, she must have expected me to linger for a little longer.
The warrior Aamu then came across us which caused a change of subject. She had news that the western road was still relatively secure which was good to hear as the patrols west of the vale were less frequent than they have been in the past. After a brief exchange I did bid my farewell to them both and carried on the path downward towards the stables where my steed was waiting.
What tomorrow brings I do not know but I will meet it with heart, spirit and steel.
(OOC - the journey will head southward through Eregion, down to Rohan to arrive at the enclave of Edhellond in Gondor. If anyone would like a role-play encounter just let me know. Thanks )