Emergency Meeting of the Council of Elrond
25 October, 3018
Emergency meeting called by Elrond to discuss the re-emergence of the Ring of Power and plan a course of action for its destruction.
In attendance: Of the Eldar - Lords Peredhel Elrond, Elladan, Elrohir; Lord Glorfindel; Master Erestor; Galdor, envoy of Círdan of Mithlond; Legolas Thranduilion, Prince of Northern Mirkwood. Note: Lothlorien only Elven realm to fail to send delegate.
"Guess the son-in-law of Lord Galadriel and Lady Celeborn doesn't much merit their concern," Erestor sniggered. Elrond had been ready to explode when it was learned that Arwen had returned from her mother's homeland but that no delegate had come with her, only several escorts who returned immediately.
Of the Edain – Aragorn, son of Arathorn, Chieftain of the Dunedain…
"And heir to the Thrones of Gondor and Arnor, if he'd get his bloody arse together," Erestor muttered to himself.
Boromir, son of Denethor, Steward of Gondor…
"And plenty of other titles that he seems to think are impressively important to those who have lived to see more than he should have nightmares about," opined the counsellor, again to no one in particular.
Of the naugrim – Glóin of Erebor; Gimli, son of Glóin. Of the Periannath – Bilbo Baggins, formerly of Bag End, Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, the Shire; Frodo Baggins, (also formerly)son of Drogo, nephew of Bilbo Baggins. Note that Masters Samwise Gamgee, Merriadoc Brandybuck, and Peregrin Took were in secreted attendance without summons. Of the Istari – Mithrandir the Grey.
Elrond began this morning's meeting by introducing Frodo to the assembly and vice-versa.
News was exchanged concerning recent foreboding activity in the South and East. Dwarves spoke of claustrophobia in their dank little caves. Said one of their kind dragged a sizable number off to Moria 30 years ago. Never heard from again. Recently had message from Mordor from "Lord Sauron the Great" (sic) wishing to make an alliance and asking after Hobbit (Master Baggins the elder) who was in their number some years ago. It was at this point that Erestor suggested to Elrond in a whisper that we behead the two naugrim at once, for clearly they were come as spies, and poor ones at that. Dwarf claims they have not treated with the Eye and only come to warn Bilbo of proceedings.
Against Erestor's private council, Elrond praised Dwarves for prudence in coming to him. Elrond continued to blather for some while about how everyone just so happened to show up just when we were about to hold Emergency Council.
"If Elrond knew how many invitations I sent to out for this and how few decided to show, or even bother to RSVP, he would better understand my mood this morning," Erestor grumbled.
Elrond then lapsed into a history lesson/story time about the making of the Rings and how he and Gil-galad tried to warn the smiths of Eregion, went into the tale of the downfall of Númenor. Made show of his lineage and part in the Last Alliance.
"I'll have to revise that in the morning," Erestor noted to himself, taking a long sip of the Dorwinion he had sneaked off with after the horrendous council. "Does he actually think any of the most half-witted of those present didn't know all of that? I suppose I ought to be grateful that Glorfindel did not insist on re-telling his own tale, since poor Lord Boromir missed that particular pleasure. The Valar smiled on him when they delayed him!" Meeting minutes were usually very succinct and not more than a page… clearly this one was going to take a few pieces of parchment to complete. And a few more glasses of wine.
Once his Lordship (shut up), finished his expository tale, Boromir of Gondor made it known that Gondor still exists and continues to fight the enemy on the front lines. Reported a recent battle fought at fortification on the River Anduin. Then related a dream his brother had numerous times, himself only once.
"Which, of course, is why that one wound up here. Clearly it wasn't the other being called! Oh well… Irmo tried. Can't expect Men to have any clue about these things," Erestor mused, pouring himself another glass. Erestor rifled through his notes, debating whether or not to include the contents of the poem the Gondorian had recited.
At this point, Aragorn rose and laid Narsil upon the table. Boromir questioned his identity. Elrond answered for Aragorn. Frodo tried to unload Ring onto Aragorn. Aragorn refused to touch it. Gandalf told Frodo to put it with the Sword of Elendil. Aragorn and Boromir nearly got into an argument about whether Aragorn should go to Minas Tirith and make himself King or not.
"Such a comfort that such wise and dedicated beings are so closely concerned with this object of immense power." Erestor was quickly relaxing from the awful day he had endured. Dipping his quill into the ink pot, after nearly confusing it with his wine glass, he wrote on, nowhere near finished with his task.
Bilbo took his turn at reciting poetry and Aragorn forgave Boromir's doubts, but not without making known just how much he has been obliged to endure for the safety of Middle-earth as well and extolled the Dûnedain and their work, complaining that they never are "thanked" for their efforts.
Boromir asked for reason to think that the ring Frodo showed was the Ring itself. Elrond said no. Bilbo motioned that Council break for noon-hour repast. Elrond glossed over motion to break by flattering the Halfling's prose and prompting him to carry on with yet another history lesson that Elrond was well aware could get him lynched by the Dwarves.
It is at this point, during Master Baggins' tale regarding the mission to Erebor with the Dwarven company that one Lord Balrog-slayer himself began to provoke Master Erestor most infuriatingly by stealthy way of launching tiny bits of moistened parchment over Lord Elrond's head to land, unerringly, upon Erestor's person. This unjustifiable assault only ceased when Elrond raised his hand to stop the loquacious Hobbit from running at the mouth any further, only to have the younger Baggins take up the tale, which Elrond insisted upon stopping every few moments for questioning.
"When I next see Glorfindel…," Erestor growled, finding yet another bit of dried parchment stuck under his collar. Erestor took a deep breath and dove back into his notations, and wine.
After Frodo's soliloquy, Galdor just had to overhear the Hobbit mention wanting to hear Gandalf's tale and seconded the motion, also asking of the Wizard Saruman and requesting proof of the authenticity of the Ring. And so we all had to sit through an address by the Wizard. Gandalf would have stopped at admitting that this whole mess was his fault for not taking action sooner, but Elrond insisted that "we were all at fault"…
"Fault this you half-Elven pain in my ear-points!"
…And encouraged Gandalf to carry on with his talk, recounting words written by the foolish traitor Isildur that he found on an ancient scroll. With extreme gratitude to Aragorn, our little Estel, for interrupting Gandalf and making known his part in capturing the creature known as "Gollum." Aragorn tried to help speed things along, but Gandalf wrested the plotline back from him and spoke words of the Black Tongue, quite fluently, to the assembled. Elrond gave him The Glare™ but the Wizard refused to apologize. Gandalf's only useful information was that this Gollum has been to Mordor and had a lovely chat with all who would listen about the Ring and who stole it from him.
Boromir questioned the fate of the wretched thing, to which Aragorn replied that it was imprisoned, only to look like a bloody idiot when the Prince of Mirkwood cringed and told all that the thing escaped Mirkwood's guards. Legolas insisted that said guards were blameless.
"Everyone knows about Mirkwood guards and their little drinking problem," Erestor scoffed. "It's no wonder the whole woodland is overrun."
Elder Dwarf was infuriated with the young Elf and nearly started a brawl, stopped by Gandalf's intercession, allowing Elf prince to resume tale of Mirkwood's gross ineptitude.
Wizard only interceded on Elf's behalf so that he could eventually get back to his own story, saying that Saruman the White imprisoned him in his tower and has gone over to Sauron.
"How can he be blamed? Mordor has no torture like a Council meeting with all free races involved. Saruman must have seen this coming and the mere thought sent him running to Sauron. If only I had foresight," Erestor said wistfully.
It was during Gandalf's egoistically extended account that Glorfindel resumed game of "How Many More Projectiles Until Erestor Sends Me Back to the Halls of Mandos."
"Only a matter of time…."
Gandalf wrapped up by dropping the names of Radagast the Brown and Gwaihir the Windlord and saying that the Men of Rohan send tribute to Mordor yearly.
Aragorn expressed regret of this news, but Boromir insisted that it was a lie, which only gave Gandalf an excuse to brag about the horse he had borrowed from the King of Rohan. Gandalf then complained that when he got to the Shire, Samwise's father had been too talkative and that he'd only just managed to get the necessary information regarding Frodo's whereabouts.
"Ever does the pot call the kettle black," Erestor said around a yawn.
On and on Gandalf recounted his journey then from the Shire to here, finishing by asking us to forgive him for being so bloody long-winded. Then had the bleeding gall to say, "we have not yet come any nearer to our purpose."
"And whose fault would that be!" Erestor set his glass down with a bit too much force, unwittingly sprinkling droplets of wine all over.
Elrond did nothing to help the matter, being as he and Gandalf were in league to make the Council the biggest waste of time Arda has ever encountered. Mentioned that he should have invited Bombadil…
"As if I didn't think of that…"
Gandalf said he wouldn't have come…
"Or bother to send a 'no thank you'…."
But Erestor pressed on that we should still seek his counsel or to have him keep the Ring in safety.
Gandalf rejected Erestor's wise motion, saying that Ben-adar would be an "unsafe guardian." The Balrog-slaying nit-wit concurred with Gandalf…
"Clearly a mental defect amongst those who have spent time on thither shore."
…saying that no one could get the Ring back to him without being noticed and that he did not think Ben-adar could possibly defy the power of all Sauron would bring down. Galdor, too, doubted Iarwain, though admitting that he knew little of him outside the name, and suggested that the Elves of Imladris, Mithlond, and Lorien would hold more power than Ben-adar.
"Idiots…," Erestor muttered. "Do they not know who Iarwain Ben-adar is? No, they do not. I do, but just see if I ever tell them now! No one makes a fool of Erestor!"
Glorfindel suggested either sending the Ring to Valinor or destroying it. But Elrond reminded him that during Gandalf's dissertation it was made clear that the Ring could not easily be destroyed…
"Had he been listening instead of provoking me on this day of all days…."
... and that the Valar would never take the thing.
So instead, the immensely wise Glorfindel proposes tossing the Ring into the Sea.
"Lord Ulmo would have his golden head first!" Erestor chuckled gleefully.
Gandalf voted down that idea and Galdor seconded the veto, fearing that if Sauron came to the Havens none of us would ever have the means to get out of Middle-earth again.
Boromir started to go off again about how Elves owe Gondor for their protection, but Erestor brought the whole madness back into focus, bless his ear-points, reiterating the aforementioned points of discussion – hide the Ring or destroy it. Neither of which anyone in the Council could readily do. Erestor only just held his tongue from adding, "which makes this whole damned morning a waste of everyone's time." Especially after Elrond agreed that no one could really figure the whole thing out, only to make the suggestion that we must go to Mordor to destroy the Ring in Mt. Doom. Erestor took on a mad gleam in his eyes, wishing desperately to tell Elrond that he could have/should have taken care of that himself the last time he was in Mordor with the Ring. Master Erestor agrees with Elrond and thinks that it should be the Peredhil's responsibility to take it, since he failed to take care of it the last time.
Erestor glanced at the amount of notes still waiting for him. "Bloody hell…."
Dwarves nearly started an argument. Gandalf and Elrond said a few words regarding wisdom and folly. Elder Hobbit groused that if Council wanted him to deal with it they ought to say so. Gandalf disagreed. Hobbit got grumpy about missing a meal at noon. Younger Hobbit offered to take Ring. Elrond hedged his bets saying that naturally only Frodo could take Ring, not that he would say Frodo should take Ring. Younger Hobbit's (boyfriend) gardener finally (came out) (revealed himself)… made self known, and insisted that he would go with Young Master Baggings.
End of bloody Council.
P.S. – Dear Elrond, I hereby formally resign!
The next morning Glorfindel came searching for Erestor, noting that the Chief Advisor had not been present at the break of fast meal. Elrond was only just behind, hoping that Erestor had the meeting minutes prepared; they could be needed during the selection process for those who were to go on the quest.
The stoic Advisor was found there in his study, sound asleep with several empty bottles of Dorwinion wine about his person. Glorfindel held a stack of several parchments and was studying the last sheet.
"Did he write this in… blood?" Glorfindel cringed.
Elrond attempted to wake Erestor, but to no avail. Dark stains were noticeable on the dark-clad Elf's teeth. Elrond looked between the intricate wine glass and the equally decorative ink well, wondering which would cause Erestor to feel worse when he came to. "Aye, mellon, the blood of grapes. When he awakes, see if you can't prise out of him if his ink is in fact the blood of orcs?" Elrond said with a knowing smirk.
Text in parentheses and underlined to be striken from record.