View Single Post
Old 07-20-2006, 06:54 PM   #103
Child of the 7th Age
Spirit of the Lonely Star
 
Child of the 7th Age's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 5,135
Child of the 7th Age is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Lindir and Carl:

“A nice evening perhaps, but I’ll feel more comfortable once we actually arrive at the slavers’ camp.”

The Elf said nothing further to Carl, but stared pointedly at the northern horizon. Whether he was searching for intruders or mulling over what might happen the next morning was not immediately apparent. Hoping to continue their conversation, Carl began speaking in a stouthearted manner concealing the very real worry that lay underneath his words. “I agree. We need to find those children quickly. But what amazing luck that Aiwendil already knows the location of both camps! I mean…it would make no sense to go galloping out if we didn’t know where we’re going.

The hobbit’s comments met with silence. In the distance, a coyote howled, one of the few animals they’d seen or heard since venturing across the border into Mordor. The howl sent an eerie chill down Carl's spine. When he spoke to the Elf a second time, his voice sounded more uncertain. “Lindir….does Aiwendil really know where those camps are? I suppose the birds could have come and told him. That’s what he said before.”

This time, Lindir promptly answered, “Yes, he really does know. I am convinced of it. But he is not telling me where he got this information. And since he has been in Arda even longer than I have, I am not about to ask.”

Carl’s response was immediate, one word tumbling out after the other, “But how can that be? You’ve told us tales of the First Age and the wars in Beleriand, stories like the ones from Master Bilbo’s book. You mean that Aiwendil is older than that?” ”

Lindir nodded and went on to explain, “It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? That a dotty old fellow should have been tramping about for who knows how long…. Still, it is true. I've known Aiwendil more than a thousand years, and his tales have convinced me his roots lie much further back than that. ”

Noticing the uncertainty still in Carl's eyes, Lindir searched for words that would give the hobbit the reassurance he needed. “I am sure you know that Gandalf was a great friend of hobbits. He had a very high opinion of them and spent considerable time in the Shire. You've heard stories, or prehaps even met him when you were younger. But you might be surprised to learn that Gandalf and Aiwendil were friends. Gandalf trusted Aiwendil and sometimes called upon him for help in tight situations. Indeed, if you examined the lineage of those two old birds, you’d find they come from similar stock ….almost like brothers. And it's likely they share other gifts as well, though I am not the one to ask about that.”

His eyes bright with amusement, the Elf noted, "Weren't you the one who shared with me that famous hobbit adage? Don’t judge a book by its cover or a ploughshare by its handle. That is what you must do with Aiwendil. There is more to him than meets the eye. But hadn’t you better settle in? Tomorrow will be a long day. Good night for now. Plus, I need to check and make sure everything is quiet.”

Without waiting for an answer, Lindir trotted to the outskirts of camp and stared out across the plain to make sure there were no unwelcome intruders, all the while thinking about everything that had happened during the day. The Elf was not easily impressed by one of the Secondborn. He had lived too long and seen too much folly. But he could not help but be impressed by Carl. Despite long years spent in Arda, the Elf had never even met a hobbit until he’d gone off on this trek. Like most of those living in Rivendell, Lindir had heard tales of Carl's kinsman Samwise who'd accompanied Frodo Baggins during the War of the Ring, but these were only tales, not the same as getting to know a living and breathing person.

Lindir was beginning to understand why Gandalf had been so intrigued with hobbits. Of all the members of their band, it was Carl who’d had the good sense to question the information provided to him. He had also been the one to ferret out the entrance to the slaves' hideaway. Without him, they would likely be riding in circles. Perhaps, just like Aiwendil himself, these curious small folk had more inside than was readily apparent. He promised that one evening he would draw Carl out and get him to share stories about his kin. For now, however, Lindir was content merely to have discovered that there were people in Middle-earth who still had the ability to surprise him.

That still did not solve his other problem. If only he could get Rg to open up and share more about himself. Aiwendil was obviously not going to reveal anything more about his friend, despite his cryptic comments referring to their joint adventure in Harad. Yet not for one instant did the Elf believe that Rg had gone off to survey a bat colony this evening. No reasonable man went off on his own after dark crossing the dreaded Ash Plains of Mordor for such a trivial reason. It was simply too dangerous, especially for Rg who looked and acted nothing like a soldier.

For all his defense of the wizard, Lindir recognized that Aiwendil had one major weaknesses. He was not the best judge of men. What if the old fellow had been taken in by someone posing as a friend though with far darker motives? Lindir glanced back to where Rg was supposed to be sleeping and saw a suspiciously empty bedroll. Couldn't that fellow ever stay where he was supposed to? Perhaps he was out again with the bats.

Elessar had called their group "The Fellowship of the Fourth Age", but there were parts of that tale Lindir did not want to see repeated. The first fellowship had included one member who, certain that he knew a better way, had secretly tried to sabotage the group's efforts. Giving one last hasty glance at the empty bedroll, Lindir promised to speak with Rg tomorrow about being careful not to wander so far from camp without at least letting him know first. In the next few days he intended to keep an eye on him.

Last edited by Child of the 7th Age; 07-23-2006 at 09:38 PM.
Child of the 7th Age is offline