Disclaimer: Other than characters, settings and events of my own creation all rights to the original characters, settings and events in this fanfiction remain with the rightful owner and creator JRR Tolkien.
Author's Note: This fanfiction is my very first creation and I am very interested in hearing what you think about it. Any comments and constructive criticism are welcome and highly appreciated. Thank you.
PS: There has now been a change to the main characters name. I did not plan on changing when it was pointed out to be wrong, but after considerable research into Elvish naming traditions I have found the name is highly incorrect, and have taken the advice to change it. So due to this, she will no longer be Erudessa. Her First name or Father-name (Ataressë) will be Celebiel, meaning 'Daughter of Silver'. Her Second name or mother-name (Amilessë) is Eliedis, meaning 'Helper'. The Second name is the name she chooses to go by.
Eliedis walked swiftly, descending a long, narrow flight of stairs that spiraled on towards the lowest levels of the tree. She was surrounded by foliage and light from above filtered down through the leaves and warmed her exposed hand and fingers as they glided along the railing, feeling the intricate design engraved into the dark wood. In her mind she traced over thoughts that she could not quite comprehend, she was so wrapped up in her thoughts that it was only when her thought trail came to an end that she heard it. From the stairwell where Eliedis stood in the city of Caras Galadhon in Lothlórien she heard faintly the song of Nimrodel. It was not a physical sound she heard, but wisps of a melody that she heard only in her heart, and in her mind lyrics formed in a voice that was not her own. The voice that carried the song was soft, belonging to male Elf she had never before heard sing in the Golden Wood.
"But from the west has come no word,
And on the Hither Shore,
No tidings Elven-folk have heard
Of Amroth evermore..."
The words and melody of the song ended abruptly before the song was complete and her mind was again empty but of thoughts that were her own. Eliedis then realised that she was no longer walking but had stopped completely, so entranced by the Elf's voice and by the song sung in a language she had not heard for many years passed. Turning Eliedis ran lightly, but not without haste, back up the stairs. Making it to the top she slowed down to a walk. Across the landing at the top of the stair Galadriel stood with her back to Eliedis, adorned in silver she was and her golden hair flowed down her back, shining as brightly as it did always. Like her parents, Galadriel and Celeborn, Eliedis's hair was warm in color, but where Celeborn's was silver and Galadriel's gold hers was somewhere in between and many shades darker than either of theirs. She was fair, as was common among the Elves, but like her parents and the oldest of her kin she was amongst the fairest, having timeless beauty which transcended that of others, looking neither old nor young. Galadriel did not turn at the sound of Eliedis' coming footsteps as she knew exactly why her youngest daughter was there as she was already aware of the coming approach.
Night fell and the sky grew dark quickly, Eliedis sat at the table alongside Galadriel and Celeborn in the great hall of Caras Galahdon awaiting the arrival of their guests. Since hearing the song of Nimrodel days ago she knew now the tale of the Fellowship of the Ring, the nine who arrived in Lothlórien. She knew of Frodo, a Halfling who brought with him the danger of the heavy burden he carried – the One Ring, the Ring of Power. With the young Hobbit traveled three of his kinsfolk – Samwise, Merriadoc, and Peregrine, also two men – Boromir a steward-prince of Gondor and Aragorn a Dúnedain ranger from the North, Gimli a Dwarf of the House of Durin, an old friend – the wizard Mithrandir and Legolas, an Elf from the Woodland Realm, the one who Eliedis heard singing. Frodo and Legolas where led into the hall first by Haldir and in greeting Galadriel, Celeborn and Eliedis stood and bowed lightly. Celeborn greeted Frodo and Legolas with words as Haldir took his seat at another table, Eliedis greeted Haldir also in a quiet whisper as he passed by her,
"Suilaid [Greetings]" She said with a small smile having not seen him for a long while. As the other members of the Fellowship entered the hall Celeborn greeted them each warmly by name and Eliedis bowed lightly. Galadriel said no words of greeting, but watched in silence as the members of the Fellowship seated. Surprised was Eliedis and Celeborn when only eight were seated at the table and no sign showed of the missing companion Gandalf the Grey. Celeborn voiced his concern;
"Here there are eight, but tidings from Rivendell spoke of nine. Has there since been a change of council? Where is Mithrandir? There is much I wish to discuss with him" None of the Fellowship replied and their faces looked troubled, for the first time since they entered Galadriel spoke,
"Nay, nine set out from Rivendell, and that remains true" Galadriel said, her voice was as clear and beautiful as it was when she spoke in her own tongue, "Mithrandir has not yet passed into the realm of Lothlórien and where he is I cannot see him, his path is hidden from my vision" None of the eight of the Fellowship seem surprised to hear what she had spoken of and Aragorn finally spoke up,
"Gandalf fell through fire and shadow at the hands of the Balrog of Morgoth in the depths of the Mines of Moria… and there he remains."
At this dark news their hearts sank and many of the Elves in the hall cried aloud in sorrow. Celeborn asked Aragorn to go on and tell the full tale of what happened in Moria. By the time Aragorn had finished Eliedis no longer listened for much did her heart feel the weight of grief at the loss of her old friend Mithrandir.
Word spread quickly through the forest of the loss of Gandalf and much did the Elves of Lórien mourn. Within hours of hearing such dark tidings a Lament for Gandalf began echoing through the trees in soft voices:
"Mithrandir, Mithrandir! [Mithrandir, Mithrandir]
A Randir Vithren! [O Pilgrim Grey]
Ú-reniathachi [You will not wander]
i amar galen [the green earth]
I reniad lín ne môr, nuithannen [Your journey in darkness, ended]
in gwidh ristennin [The bonds cut]
i fae narchannen [the spirit rent]
I Lach Anor [The Flame of Anor]
ed ardhon gwannen [from earth departed]
Calad veleg, ethuiannen [A great light, blown out]"
Over the days the song continued to be heard and Eliedis joined them as they sang as she felt it lessened the pain in her heart. The Fellowship remained in Caras Galadhon to rest and often they heard the song but most could not understand what was said. Under her breath Eliedis sang as she brought food to the company, her voice blending with those of the many Elves who also sang.
"What is it they sing of?" Frodo asked the Legolas, the Woodland Elf among their company.
"It is a Lament for Gandalf, they sing for him and for the pain in their hearts" Eliedis answered for Legolas after he did not answer, her unexpected voice startled Frodo and the other hobbits who did not hear her approach.
"My Lady, what do they say of him?" Pippin asked, also curious. To this she had no answer that would set their hearts at rest so she stayed quiet and shook her head. Pippin turned to Legolas,
"Nay, I cannot say." He too shook his head "Even if I had the skill to, the grief is still to near to put into words"
Eliedis began to spend more time with the members of the Fellowship, she enjoyed their company – and most of them enjoyed hers for she was one of the few remaining in the city who could speak their common tongue and would talk with them. To Merry, Pippin and Sam she shared tales and songs of Lórien and the Elves, and much to her delight and humour they told her of Hobbits and of the Shire. To Boromir she only spoke once, she asked him of the White City – Minas Tirith, remembering what it had been like in the days of the King, but found him to be uncomfortable in her presence and so she left him be. To Aragorn she spoke in Elvish and talked of Elrond and Rivendell, but mostly they talked of Arwen, Aragorn's beloved and Eliedis' niece. Even to the Dwarf she spoke and found his company unlike what she expected. But of all the Fellowship she spoke mostly to Legolas. Her contact with those outside of Lothlórien had been brief over the passing years and he shared tidings of the world that had passed her by, as only he from the fellowship had lived long through the years to have witnessed such things. In the company of Legolas Eliedis felt most relaxed and to her he felt the same, sharing both the troubles and joy in his heart. To all Legolas said Eliedis listened fondly, and with hearing his tales much did her heart desire to see more of Middle-Earth again,
"O! The desire to leave Lothlórien has grown in my heart more these passing days, than in the passing seasons. I feel that my time here is drawing neigh and I may not have the chance again to look upon the mountains or the plains or the rivers of Middle-Earth, I hear the call of the sea, the call of our people."
To this Legolas had no answer of words that would comfort her, instead he sang a song of his own creation that brought both warmth to her heart and tears to her eyes. As much as she enjoyed the company of the fellowship she found troubling thoughts creep into the darkest reaches of her mind – thoughts of the Ring of Power. They wavered over her when she was in near it, knowing in her mind that it was within her grasp and due to this Eliedis refused lingering contact with Frodo for the fear of the ring and the fear of herself.
The time came too soon that the company would be leaving Lothlórien to continue on their journey to Orodruin in the black land of Mordor. Eliedis was saddened to see them leave,
"Im gosta an le [I'm afraid for you]" Eliedis said sadly to Legolas, her voice quite as they sat together on the evening before the company were to set out and the last time they would talk together.
"Avo 'osto"[Fear not]" Legolas told her, wishing not to worry her, his lips turned up into a soft smile, "Hebo estel, Hiril nín [Have hope, My Lady]" He spoke in a sincere voice, softer than before, but his words did not comfort her. The road the fellowship walked was paved in darkness and this Eliedis knew. She did not hold hope that they would escape all danger.
The next day Eliedis walked with Haldir and guided the Fellowship down to the river Anduin where they would say goodbye and the Fellowship would pass out of Lórien. She stood and watched as Galadriel gave gifts to them and they climbed into the boats and pushed away from the earth, their boats gliding out into the depth of the river,
"No in elenath hîlar nan hâd gîn [May all stars shine upon your path]" Eliedis called a final farewell in Elvish as they began to paddle away. Galadriel began singing and with her voice Eliedis and the Elves fell silent watching as the boats grew smaller and smaller in the distance before eventually turning with the bend in the river and disappearing out of sight. Eliedis walked silently back to the city with Haldir, as she went, putting more distance between herself and the people she said goodbye to, she wondered if she would see any of them again.