Disclaimer: This story is based on The Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion, both by JRR Tolkien. I make no money off this, so kindly do not try to sue me.

The ships were wrecked, and would never sail again. We had managed to get almost everyone out, and the beach was covered in lost, dazed people. Those ships that we had... I forced my thoughts away from my sons and the ships in their followings. Most of us were wet, cold, and covered in sand. That must change, and soon. "We need to get fires started," I told my aide Meneldir, "otherwise we're going to lose people to the cold. There must be some wood, somewhere, that is dry enough to burn. Those pine woods look thick enough to have kept the worst of the storm's rain off."

"I shall take a party and look, my lord," Meneldir said.

"Take three parties, with no fewer than ten men in each. We know little about the land so far north, and there may be danger."

"I will, my lord," Meneldir said.

"Thank you," I replied. So much to do, where to start... We will need food and shelter, much of which we can salvage from the ships. Once the storm surge ends and the tide goes out, we should be able to get to the ships more easily. It is too dangerous right now with the wind and waves so strong. A dull thudding sound caught my attention, and I turned. There were three people riding along the top of the beach, one of them carrying a standard I recognized but could not identify. Dark blue with silver stars... The riders were still too far away to see clearly to what people they belonged. Were they a threat? My perceptions blurred for a moment, and I had the oddest feeling that I did not need to fear them. In any case, they were only three of them. I summoned a few men to come with me, and began walking towards them. They stopped when they reached the outskirts, obviously waiting.

As I drew closer, I realized that they did not look quite like any men I'd ever seen. They were tall and dark haired as were we, but there was a light in their faces and their eyes I'd never seen before, and their bone structure was different: narrower and more angled. Their clothing also looked far finer and better made than was typical for men of the darkness. There was silver inlaid in a pattern of stars on the scabbard of the herald's sword, among other fair devices. This far north, could they be elves? I suddenly remembered where I'd seen the banner - in a book about the wars of the elves and Sauron. It belonged to Gil-Galad. This was not likely to be Gil-Galad himself, so it must be a herald, although how the elven king had known that we would be here I was not certain. Perhaps they had Palantiri also. After all, ours had come from the elves. I was suddenly very glad that my father had spent so much time teaching me Sindarin and Quenya in secret.

One of the elves got down from his horse and walked towards us. "Greetings," he said in somewhat accented Adunaic. "I am Elrond, Herald of Gil-Galad, High King of the Eldar of Middle-earth and King of Lindon, who bids the exiled Elendili of Numenor welcome to Middle Earth and offers help in settling in."

"I thank you," I answered in Sindarin. "I am Elendil, and I accept your King's kind offer of help." Stranded in a foreign land, there was no point in false pride. We needed their help.

"That is well," the elf answered, also in Sindarin. "When we heard of Ar Pharazon's plan to attack Valinor we feared the worst for those of your people who remained faithful. That terrible storm... I've not seen it's like since the days of the War of Wrath. Do you have news of Numenor itself?"

"Numenor no longer exists," I answered harshly. "The Valar's wrath was terrible, although I cannot in honor say that it was unjust."

"My sorrow for your loss. A tragic end to what once was good and beautiful." He bowed his head in silence, as did I. Some losses could never be healed. Yet somehow, one went on.

"You said you bring offers of help," I said. "What type of aid are you offering and when might it arrive?"

"Dry firewood, clothing, tents, and food for a start."

"My thanks to your King," I answered. "Such would be most welcome."

"Beyond that, you may wish to discuss matters with the High King." Elrond herald of the King tilted his head to one side slightly, as if thinking or listening. "If you will offer him and his folk safe-conduct to walk among you, they will be here within the hour with aid."

"Return to your King, and assure him that he is most welcome among us. I will personally guarantee his safety, and the safety of all who come with him."

"I shall return, once I have told your words to the King." Elrond bowed slightly, which I returned, before walking back to his horse and remounting. They rode away. I watched them go, my heart strangely lightened despite all that had happened these past weeks. Numenor might be destroyed, but we lived still. Who knew what might yet be?