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Old 06-25-2006, 10:24 AM   #8
Desultory Dwimmerlaik
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Child of the 7th Age's post Lindir and Aiwendil

The old man sat huddled at his writing desk, spluttering and fuming under his breath as he fixed his attention on the paper in front of him. The message had been written on the finest parchment. At the top of the sheet he could see the seal of the King. In his intense concentration, Aiwendil had bent his upper body so close to the letter that his nose almost grazed the tabletop. The Istar had piercing blue eyes and a mop of dishevelled hair with grey locks falling forward into his face. An owl perched on his left shoulder and occasionally leaned over to nibble affectionately at his ear.

Rereading the message for the twenty-third time, Aiwendil sat upright, waggled his finger in the air, and glared across the room, trumpeting for the attention of his friend. He directed his words at an Elf who stood by the window gazing down on the buildings of Minas Tirith. The latter was called Lindir. He wore a travel stained cloak and plain brown breeches. Anyone observing this unassuming figure from a distance could easily have mistaken him for a Mannish farmer or even a tradesman. The only telltale hint of his origin was an intricate silver brooch clasped near his throat, a piece of amazing craftsmanship passed down from countless ages before.

The Elf had initially paid no attention to Aiwendil's obvious consternation. He was clearly used to his companion's whims. Now the Istar's voice rose sharp and insistent, "It says there is to be a Fellowship to rescue the soul of Mordor." Aiwendil fixed his eyes on Lindir and grimly shook his head, "Tell me. What have I got to do with Mordor? Does this assignment make sense? I know nothing about the slaves in Mordor. Plus, this is a mission for an army of young men, not for an old birdwatcher like myself."

Lindir's response was affectionate, almost as if he was humoring a child, "But you have just spent the past hour telling me how you found meaning in Harad and had decided to stay in Middle-earth to see if you could help. Frankly, I can think of no one in Arda who needs help more than these slaves of Mordor. The conditions there are appalling. They are in desperate need of someone to guide and protect them."

"Yes, that is the problem," the Istar countered. "There is this little matter about protection. Even in Harad I did not have to face a crowd of angry Orcs."

"It is dangerous. I cannot deny that. But if it makes you feel any better, I also received an invitation from the King, not an hour before, and I intend to say 'yes'."

"You too? What are we to have.... a First Age reunion? A pack of greybeards turned loose on the worst problems in the Reunited Kingdom? At least you look to be younger and in better shape than I am, though you lack the looks of Legalos."

At this point Lindir grinned broadly at his companion. But before the Elf could respond, Aiwendil had continued, "Couldn't the King have come up with some young blood? Or perhaps Aragorn has decided that we two are expendable." There was a wisp of a smile on the Istar's face.

"Aiwendil, I am ashamed of you! Look at this list. There is no lack of young healthy folk in our party. I expect that Aragorn felt a little seasoning was needed to keep these enthusiastic adventurers from running off a cliff. And surely the slaves we go to help could also benefit from a cool, sage head. I, for one, am looking forward to this. You are going, aren't you?"

"Yes, I am going," spluttered the old man, almost sounding offended. "How can there be a Fellowship without an Istar? And you didn't think I'd let you go off on your own with something as important as this?"

"But what about your manservant, that young fellow you speak so highly of? Is he also coming?"

"That is the interesting part," mused Aiwendil. "The last time I was at court, Rg had the chance to speak with Elessar. The King talked with him some time and was so impressed that he has added his name to the list of adventurers quite apart from my own. I cannot say why for sure. Rg has some unusual gifts. But I would suspect it is his knowledge of Harad and the East that impressed the King. The largest group of slaves in Mordor hail from those parts, and most men of Gondor know little of their ways. In any case, whatever Elessar's reason, it is a wise choice. Perhaps Rg will come by before we leave and let us know his decision."

Lindir raised his eyebrows sharply. "And you were the one who said you knew nothing about the slaves of Mordor?"

"Perhaps I exaggerated a bit," the Istar responded drolly. "In any case, I will surely know more a month from now than I do today. We must leave in the morning. One other would be best if there was no mention of my background or homeland. For all practical purposes, I am an old Mannish teacher who will be teaching slaves their sums and their letters."

"But what if you have to show your hand one day?"

"I'll deal with that then." With that terse answer, Aiwendil went over to the shelf, pulled down a book of maps, and began tracing out the route with his finger.

Last edited by piosenniel; 06-30-2006 at 08:06 PM.
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