A Little More Conversation 1

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'A Little More Conversation'

Part One - Accept

The year 1696 of the Second Age saw the world apparently rushing down into darkness, as across Middle-earth the elves prepared for war with the forces of he who finally stood revealed as Sauron the Maia. Eregion stood on the brink, the high king of the Noldor mustered his armies and counted his allies, and there was a hush throughout nature as though all the world held its breath and waited.

It was in the midst of these preparations that an event occurred of almost mystical wonder. Early one morning a small boat of unknown design, a vessel that could only have come from out of the Uttermost West, was driven by an unseasonal wind into the Bay of Lhûn. The boat carried only one passenger, a tall, wirily-built elf with long hair, gold as sunlight, and friendly blue-grey eyes. To the disbelief of the young mariners who guided his boat into the harbour, he gave his name as Glorfindel of Gondolin.

Had not Lord Círdan himself identified the elf as being exactly who he claimed, they might have believed him to be either deluded or even possibly an agent of the Enemy. Gift of the Valar as he was deemed, he was given lodgings in the high king’s palace and was welcomed with deferent joy.

Such a thing had never occurred before, and truth to tell Gil-galad had no idea what else to do with him. It would have helped if Glorfindel had known why the Mighty had seen fit to send him back to Endor, but as this piece of information had been kept from the rehoused lord, it was up to the high king to decide what, if any, part the returned warrior was to play in the approaching cataclysm.

War came to Eregion, and in response Ereinion Gil-galad sent out his army under the command of his kinsman and heir, Elrond Half-elven, son of Eärendil the Mariner. After much thought and due consultation with his advisors, he decided not to include the newly arrived lord amongst their number. The gifts of the Mighty were not to be needlessly squandered, he explained to Glorfindel - and anyhow there was no time to assimilate someone trained to fight in another Age and against a different enemy into the modern, streamlined army being sent to confront Sauron’s forces.

Months later, in full retreat and with a party of refugees in his care, Elrond Eärendilion came upon an unknown valley in the foothills of the Misty Mountains. Almost completely defensible against outside assault, it was also sufficiently convenient to Lindon to serve as a possible fall back position should matters go from bad to worse for the high king’s forces. Engaged at the time in running battles across Eriador and Eregion, Elrond requested that his cousin the king appoint someone suitable who, in his absence, could take charge of the valley which he had tentatively named Imladris.

After some deliberation it occurred to one of the king's advisors that Gondolin, too, had been an inaccessible valley. What better choice, he asked, than a warrior lord, one of the Hidden City’s most famous sons, to oversee the creation of this new stronghold.

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To: Glorfindel, Lord of the House of the Golden Flower, formerly of Gondolin.

Dear Lord Glorfindel.

Please find enclosed full and complete instructions written in his majesty, Ereinion Gil-galad’s, own hand outlining the terms of the position envisioned for yourself in the proposed refuge at Imladris. Please note: this is not to be viewed as a conscripted posting, but rather as a request that you determine whether you feel yourself competent to meet the presumed needs of the envisioned community.

May I take this opportunity to wish you a safe journey and to assure you of my goodwill should you have any specific requests, not necessarily of a military nature, that you might wish brought to his majesty’s attention outside of the more formal channels.

Erestor, Administrative Assistant to Senior Military Advisor Pathenien.

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To Administrative Assistant Erestor.

Enclosed please find a letter of acceptance to his majesty, with my agreement to the terms and conditions presented in his communication. I have taken the liberty of adding a few small details I feel may have been overlooked in the original draft.

Thank you for your good wishes. The journey through Eriador was uneventful, and the terrain through which we passed has a certain wild beauty, although the devastation wrought by the Enemy’s forces has been considerable. Several water sources seem to have been deliberately contaminated, and we passed a number of burnt-out hamlets and farms formerly inhabited by both elves and mortals (details enclosed)

There are a number of unattended domestic animals in these areas, and I was wondering if anything could be done to perhaps – round them up? Feed the dogs, milk the cows? Perhaps you might have some thoughts on the matter, or could bring it to the attention of some relevant party?

We reached Imladris in good time and I have spent the past two days familiarising myself with the valley’s geography (see enclosed map) and find that I am in almost full agreement with lord Elrond’s enthusiastic first assessment. Although the valley is larger than I had been led to believe, the view from above suggests nothing beyond an inaccessible, tree-filled ravine. As the valley lies deep within the foothills of the Misty Mountains, the topography is such that the open land further down the vale remains completely hidden from view.

Lord Elrond clearly identified the strategic importance of this valley, but he possibly has no previous experience with large scale building projects. The refugees have erected temporary housing against the cliff face, giving them both shelter and access to the river water. This has been sufficient for the summer months, but is already inadequate to meet autumn’s needs and I have been told to expect heavy snowfalls in winter. My personal experience of life in a valley at a high altitude is that the climate might well be milder than in the surrounding, unprotected area, but snow once fallen will take longer to melt. Rain and cold are a given.

I enclose a list of building supplies not available to us here, such as nails and mortar, which I require almost immediately. No provision seems to have been made for anything but the most basic supplies to be sent out here, but as you have offered to facilitate such requests to the king, I hope I can I leave the resolution of this oversight in your capable hands?

I think it is clear that, as a matter of urgency, we need a mechanism in place for me to use to requisition building and other materials from Lindon.

We will need to bridge the river in one, possibly two places to open the valley up and facilitate the creation of and access to settlements on both sides of the Bruinen. Someone with engineering experience will be required to assist with this project. I also urgently need an elf who is able to communicate with the local trees to explain to them why we need to clear part of the land to make space for crops, it being a matter of urgency that we become self sufficient. To which end, would it be possible to send me someone who understands agriculture? I confess this area is a little outside of my experience.

Thank you very much in advance for all your assistance, I greatly appreciate it. You are most kind.

Glorfindel of Gondolin.

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Part 2

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Beta: Red Lasbelin