They stood before him arrayed in leather armor – an elite fighting force, the greatest warriors from among their respective clans. Helmets of steel adorned their proud heads and polished swords lay strapped to their backs alongside great quivers of arrows. Each ellon carried a mighty bow as long as the warrior was tall.
Quietly he strode among them as they stood in rigid formation, looking each warrior in the eyes as he passed. Courage and intense pride met him in every gaze. These sons of the Noldor, Sindar, and Galadhrim stood shoulder to shoulder, ready to march at his order, ready to die at his command.
The kin of these ellyn, wives, parents, siblings, and children looked on, confident that they would return. But Lord Celeborn did not share that confidence.
He knew what he was doing, ordering these soldiers to Helm's Deep to aid the desperate mortals in the battle which was sure to come. And he knew better than anyone – including his puissant, far-seeing beloved wife – what that outcome would be.
Stopping before Haldir, the captain of Lórien's march wardens, Celeborn looked long upon him.
"My captain and my friend, what you are leaving to do, I…" Celeborn began.
Haldir flashed him a reassuring smile. "We will bring our people honor in this battle."
"I know you will. I am just concerned. I just-"
But Haldir cut him off. "My lord, I have not foreseen my death nor those of my kinsmen accompanying me. Do not fear for us. I will lead my warriors well, and we shall return victorious."
Celeborn closed his eyes for a moment, then sighed, nodding his acceptance. Meeting Haldir's gaze once again, he clapped him on the shoulder, nearly choking on the blessing as he spoke it.
"May the Belain protect you all and bring you home victorious."
In a deep commanding voice, Haldir bellowed the orders for his warriors to march.
Galadriel joined Celeborn, wrapping her arm around his waist, but her presence brought him no reassurance. Together, they watched the ellyn stride away to their doom, though only Celeborn fully understood that for some, the doom which awaited would be far greater than any could have imagined.
Ellon/ellyn – male elf/elves
Belain – (Sindarin) the Valar