The Story of the Last Elf
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Part One Spring
From the first stanza of the poem The Last Elf:
He stood alone in the woods that spring
When he heard the faint voices from the west
As they were borne upon a gentle breeze which
Caressed his face and tugged his hair.
But he ignored them
For the call of the springtime woods was stronger
With the reawakened blossoms around him
Now that winter’s icy grip had been broken.
His name was Eryndil, and he was not your typical Wood Elf from Eryn
Lasgallen. Now it wasn’t his physical appearance that set him apart for
he was tall, slender, and fair of face like the rest. But it was his
unusually strong love for his woodland home which kept this blonde
haired and green eyed Elf wandering alone far and wide over its many
paths and trails.
Now this meant he was often gone for long periods of time which to an
immortal was of little concern until in the spring of the year 1541
when King Thranduil received word that his son Prince Legolas had
sailed west with Gimli the Dwarf after the passing of King Elessar of
Gondor. It was said by those who were there at the time that when the
King had finished reading the message a veil of sadness fell upon his
face while he carefully refolded it and then retired to his private
chamber where he remained alone for the remainder of that day.
Also there was a growing problem outside the borders of Eryn Lasgallen.
More and more men were starting to arrive with their families and their
small settlements were popping up where once there had only been virgin
open land. However not all of these new comers were friendly as they
sought out areas for cutting timber for their homes. Soon the King’s
boarder patrols were finding it increasing difficult to keep these
So it was said that with the combination of the King’s sadness over
Legolas’s sailing and this new problem with the settlers that he
decided it was time to make preparations for all of his people, the
last Elves in Middle-earth, to leave these shores to the rule of Men.
But this would take time despite the King’s swift messengers to
accomplish for there were many elvish settlements scattered through out
It was several days after the King’s that Eryndil had paused in his
wandering east along a sun dappled path far in the northern part of his
woodland home when the gentle west breeze bore to him the fair voices
of two of his kindred calling his name. Turning he saw two of the
King’s messengers on horse back who rapidly approached and only stopped
long enough to tell him of the King’s plans before galloping on their
Now Eryndil was dismayed at hearing about the problems with the
settlers, and he should have ceased his wandering right then and there
and returned to lend a hand in defense of his kindred. But the
springtime woods around him was like a siren’s song he couldn’t resist
for the blossoms were at their peak and so he lingered there enjoying
all that was now free of winter’s icy grip.
Part Two Summer
From the second stanza of the poem The Last Elf
He stood in a tall tree overlooking the woods
When he heard the same voices again now stronger
As spring gave way to summer
And the woods were in their leafy prime.
This time he was mildly interested
As they talked of the long ago war
Involving a ring and a long bitter struggle which
Ended in triumph for goodness and their sad departure.
For over a month Eryndil lingered in the northern part of Eryn
Lasgallen before he decided to head back towards the King’s Caverns
where his parents had once lived until his Father had died in the
Battle of Five Armies and his Mother had finally succumbed to her grief
at his passing when Eryndil was old enough to look after himself. It
was then that his love for the woods had grown stronger no doubt in
response some close to the situation had said to the loss of his
parents and his attempt to fill the void they had left behind. Now this
didn’t mean he had turned his back on his kindred for he spent much
time with them too and was happy. But he was at his happiest out there
wandering in the woods and his kindred were willing to indulge him
knowing that he would always come back to them.
So it was this latter happiness that Eryndil was feeling now while he
wandered slowly southeast along an afternoon sun dappled path when he
came upon his favorite beech tree. Quickly he climbed up the smooth
silver grey trunk and onto the magnificent tree’s sturdy branches until
he reached the perfect place close to the top where he could look out
over Eryn Lasgallen. From here he had a clear view in all directions
over the leafy tops of the trees which by now had turned a deeper shade
of green as spring gave way to summer.
Now Eryndil sighed as his heart was filled with contentment at what he
saw. However he soon heard to the north the faint sound of many fair
and at times sad voices. Instantly he recognized the voices as
belonging to his kindred from the northern most settlement on their way
south to join up with the main Path before heading west. So he made not
a move to reveal his hiding place amongst the leaves as they passed
slowly beneath him on foot and horseback for he was interested in
listening to what they were saying.
And what he overheard was mostly talk about their battle against the
forces from Dol Guldur while the Ring moved closer to its destruction
in the fires of Mount Doom. It was during the battle that Eryndil’s
extensive knowledge of the woods proved invaluable on several occasions
for he knew all the short cuts and the best places for ambushes while
he fought alongside his kindred. And while he helped to defeat the
forces of evil, he could do nothing to save his beloved woods from its
own fiery destruction unleashed as the fighting swirled amongst the
trees. However with time and hard work, there were now few scars of
that great fire left in Eryn Lasgallen.
Now his kindred understood their time had come to leave this woodland
that had been their home for so many countless years. But that didn’t
make their departure any less painful for them and that is why Eryndil
returned his attention back to looking over the tree tops as his
kindred’s voices faded into the distance. He also didn’t want to leave
just yet and he thought he still had time for no doubt the King would
be the last to leave from his Caverns so he could join up with his
kindred there eventually.
Part Three Fall
From the third stanza of the poem The Last Elf
He stood beside a small brook in the woods that fall
When he heard the same voices again now urgent
While the woods laid aside her coat of green for
Another one of vibrant reds and golds.
Now he listened more attentively
As they spoke his name and pleaded for him
To put aside his love of the woods and join his
Kindred in the west ere time grew late.
So all that summer Eryndil slowly wandered southeast towards his King’s
Caverns until he finally arrived at a small brook which flowed close to
the main Path. Here he stopped and stood watching the clear water
sparkle in the morning sunshine as it gurgled merrily amongst the
smooth stones. But it was the surrounding trees which soon had his
attention for their green leaves of summer had turned into the vibrant
reds and golds of fall at its peak. It was such a wondrous sight that
his heart leaped with joy while he gazed at them.
Suddenly Eryndil heard his name being called joyously by three of his
kindred as they emerged from the trees on the opposite side of the
brook. Graceful as deer they jumped the flowing water and joined the
wandering Elf obviously relieved at having found him so close to the
“The King had sent us to look for you Eryndil,” the Leader of the three said. “Tomorrow we leave these woods for the west.”
“But the woods are resplendent with color now! Surely the King could
wait a while longer,” Eryndil pleaded his heart suddenly filled with
the fear of leaving these woods he so cherished never to return.
“That isn’t possible,” the Leader sadly replied. “Even though the King
has conceded some of his border land to the loggers this hasn’t
satisfied them. Just two days ago a large group was spotted close to
the Caverns. We forced them back but there will be more.”
“Then we must fight back!” Eryndil said his green eyes reflecting his
anger towards these loggers which now filled his heart while he took
out his bow. How could these mortals bring their axes deep into his
woods close to his home? Did they not see the beauty in the trees
However the Leader only shook his head and smiled sadly while laying a
reassuring hand on Eryndil’s left shoulder before saying “I too felt at
one time as you are now. But even if every able bodied Elf in Eryn
Lasgallen was here to fight, we still would be badly outnumbered. No
Eryndil our time here has come to an end. That is why you must come
with us back to the Caverns now.”
So Eryndil put his bow away and followed after his three kindred till
they reached the closed double doors of King Thranduil’s Hall. Here he
was instructed to go on in by himself which he did by opening one door
slowly and quietly for he was keenly aware of the silence which lay
like a heavy blanket in the Caverns now that most of his kindred had
gone and for some unknown reason he was loath to disturb it. Once
inside he closed the door the same way he had opened it and then
approached the King who was sitting all alone in his chair at the far
end staring at the floor apparently so deep in thought that he didn’t
notice Eryndil standing before him until the wandering Elf softly
cleared his throat.
At this small sound which seemed to echo greatly in Eryndil’s ears, the
King suddenly looked up and a wide smile broke out on his face. Without
saying a word, the King jumped to his feet and embraced the wandering
Elf like a Father would to a Son thought lost which Eryndil returned
although startled by it all. When the King finally stepped back there
were tears of joy in his eyes.
“I feared that I had waited to long for you to return on your own from
your wanderings when I sent the searchers out. While I have been forced
to give up my kingdom here in Middle-earth because of men, I wasn’t
about to leave you behind to live forever amongst them for they have no
honor and only care about their own. So tomorrow we will all leave but
the Grey Havens is no longer safe for us to use as a departure point.
Too many men have also settled in that area and have taken over the
harbor. So our ship lies in anchor further south down the coast,” the
King said. Then he shook his head sadly. “I will miss this woodland.
Tomorrow Eryn Lasgallen will exist no more.”
But in the morning King Thranduil was dismayed to learn that Eryndil
was gone. Sometime during the night he had slipped out of the Caverns
leaving only a note behind which read as follows;
My Dear King,
While I understand the wisdom of your decision to leave, my heart
doesn’t. Please go on. I’ll catch up. I just need a little more time to
let go and say good-bye to our home.
Part Four Winter
After I had written and posted the
poem The Last Elf I realized that this last stanza needed to be
expanded on. So I wrote another poem called The Lament of the Last Elf
which I have included as the conclusion to my story.
From the fourth stanza of the poem Last Elf
He stood alone on the western shore that winter
When he heard the same voices again now faint
As the snowy cold once more reclaimed the land
Covering everything in a blanket of white.
Over the crashing surf he strained to hear for the last time
Their sad voices as they now lamented
That he did not in time put aside his love of the woods
And now must remain the last Elf on earth.
Winter was late in arriving that year which allowed the colors of
fall to linger longer in Eryn Lasgallen. The end result being that
Eryndil stayed until after the first heavy snow fell before he
reluctantly left his beloved woodland home early one morning and headed
for the west. Still he wasn’t worried that he may have lingered here to
long. His kindred had waited for him in the past and he felt sure they
would wait for him now.
So he ran swiftly and lightly amongst the leafless trees their bare
dark branches standing out in sharp contrast with the pale blue sky as
he followed the Path west. Now Eryndil had ventured outside of Eryn
Lasgallen in the past and with what he had heard from his kindred, he
knew what the outside world was like. Or so he thought until he was a
few miles from the Forest Gate. For it was there did he see the first
of the many changes he would encounter along his westward journey and
this one caused him to stop and stare in horror.
Where once there had been magnificent trees and the Gate now there was nothing but rough cut stumps and wide open sky above!
Tears flowed down his fair face and he sadly knew deep in his heart
that this would be the eventual fate of his beloved Eryn Lasgallen as
he continued his way along the Path which had been turned into a rut
filled road by the loggers. Now winter had forced the loggers and
settlers to stay closer to their hearths and homes since they were not
able to withstand the cold like the Elf which was fortunate for him.
These men considered the land theirs alone and if they had seen him
running past now in broad daylight close to their village they would
have given chase and killed him if they had caught him for their
tempers had not cooled from their last confrontation with the elves
earlier in the fall before King Thranduil had left.
So Eryndil reached the east bank of the River Langflood unmolested.
But he couldn’t cross for the river hadn’t frozen completely over and
the current was too swift for swimming. This forced him to head south
and to pass close by yet another village. By now it was late in the day
and the wandering Elf thought he could use the cover of the scrub trees
and bushes along the river bank to conceal his passing. However two of
the village’s dogs picked up his scent on a sudden breeze and began to
chase after him while barking loudly. Since these dogs were big and
fast, Eryndil had no choice but to quickly fire two arrows in rapid
succession killing them both before they could reach him.
Meanwhile their barking had alerted the men of the village who came
running out of their homes to see what was going on. When they saw
Eryndil standing there with his bow out and two of their dogs dead
before him, they began to angrily shout such things as “It’s one of
those murdering Elves!” and “C’mon boys! Let’s go get him and teach him
not to come sneaking around here again!”
Wishing no further confrontation with these men, Eryndil swiftly
ran off to the south and had soon outdistanced the men who sank into
the snow. However they had unleashed ten more of their dogs on his
trail and their barking was quickly growing louder since they were
lighter and faster than their masters. It was then the Elf began to
grow somewhat dismayed. If only the trees here were larger than he
could use their branches as pathways so as to leave no scent on the
ground for the dogs to follow. Since that wasn’t possible he soon was
forced to make a stand in a small clearing with the riverbank behind
him just as the lead dog leaped at him with its teeth bared. But the
wandering Elf was quicker and in one smooth motion he had jumped
sideways, slipped out a knife, and slit the animal’s throat in mid air.
While it crashed to the ground dead where he had been standing, the
rest of the pack arrived. This time Eryndil was able to quickly
dispatch them with well aimed arrows and soon he was the only one left
alive in the clearing. Then faintly in the distance he could hear the
men calling and whistling for their now silent dogs so he gathered up
his spent arrows and continued running to the south. He knew the men
would follow their dog’s tracks and find their bodies but no trace of
him would they see for he left no tracks in the snow. Still he didn’t
feel safe enough to stop until well after dark and he had covered a
considerable amount of distance.
Then Eryndil spent the remainder of the night in a dense grove of
mature trees by the river. But he slept little for his thoughts were
filled with these men. He had been told by the King’s messengers about
the problem with these settlers in the spring of this year which had
obviously now grown to such a hatred for his kind that he knew he would
have to be more cautious if he was forced to pass by anymore of their
villages especially those that had dogs. However he was beginning to
sense that he didn’t have the time to travel only at night when it was
the safest so early the next morning after making sure there were no
threats, Eryndil stepped from his hiding place and continued his run to
Fortunately for the wandering Elf there were no more villages in
his path and by noon he had reached The Carrock. Here he quickly forded
the River Langflood only after he made sure that it was safe. Nor did
he stop running west until late afternoon when he had reached the woods
that covered the eastern slopes of the Misty Mountains. Here he paused
to do some hunting before the light faded for his food supply was
running low. As luck would have it, these woods were full of small game
and soon he had enough meat to last for some time. Then he rested until
sunrise for he planned not to stop again until he reached Rivendell.
Now the Misty Mountains can be treacherous in winter to those
unprepared and the less hardy. But the intense cold and the snow that
was now falling the next morning were no barriers to Eryndil as he made
his steady way up to the High Pass. Here the wind was blowing in strong
gusts which whipped the snow up into swirling clouds that would
temporarily obscure his vision. However the Elf wasn’t worried for he
had been this way before and knew where the path through the Pass lay
even though he couldn’t see the land marks all the time. Still he had
to walk carefully for the way was slick with ice and this slowed him
down. So by the time he had crossed over and made his way down to the
shadow draped floor of the deep valley where Rivendell was located it
was late in the afternoon and the warmer air of the valley had turned
the falling snow into a light cold rain which added its pattering sound
to the faint distant roaring of the water fall on the River Bruinen.
Now the last time Eryndil had been to Rivendell, Lord Elrond’s house
had been filled with light and life while surrounded by well tended
gardens whose beauty rivaled his beloved Eryn Lasgallen. But when he
paused before the bridge over the river he saw only a dark and silent
structure partially hidden in the dense tangle of overgrowth that had
accumulated from many growing seasons. This stark contrast between his
memory and what he was seeing at this moment caused him to feel a
sadness for what was now gone forever plus a feeling of loneliness. It
was the latter that had him puzzled for he had never felt lonely before
even though he had spent long periods of time by himself in his
Not knowing what to make of this new feeling Eryndil continued on
and crossed the bridge before cautiously approaching the wide open main
doorway in the west side of the house. While he felt sure that
Rivendell was deserted and that men had yet to discover it, he decided
to remain cautious. As it turned out he was right after a thorough
search so he settled down in front of a small fire he had kindled in
the Hall of Fire’s fireplace. Now it wasn’t the need for warmth that
caused him to start it but the loneliness he was feeling again and for
awhile he was comforted by the light for it brought back memories of
happier times there. But the loneliness returned bringing with it this
time a strong longing for his beloved Eryn Lasgallen. Briefly he
thought about returning home but quickly dismissed that idea. He had to
continue on and catch up with his kindred for he knew now there was no
going back home for the world had changed too much. It was then for the
first time that Eryndil felt a sense of urgency for he didn’t want to
stay behind in a world devoid of his kind and filled with hatred from
Early the next morning he then set off at a run following the Main
Path to the Ford of Bruinen. Here he quickly crossed without looking
back and soon reached the Great East Road. Over the next several days,
he ran with little rest not on the road itself for he would be too
exposed but along side it where there was more cover. And so it was
that he passed the Lone-lands, Weathertop, and the Midgewater Marshes
unseen by the men who lived in the few scattered villages that had
sprung up near the roadway.
However when Eryndil reached the village of Bree late one afternoon
he was forced to stop and hide in a deserted run down shed on its
outskirts. Over the years Bree had grown and now was a sprawling
bustling town which meant he would need to make a wide detour either to
the north or south in order to pass by unseen. But that would also mean
going far out of his way something he felt he didn’t have the time to
do. So he waited until the middle of the night before quietly slipping
out of the shed and running swiftly and silently like a ghost through
the now quiet town using the shadows for cover where ever possible.
Fortunately the intense cold of that winter’s night had forced the men
living there and their dogs indoors so Eryndil was able to easily pass
through Bree unseen.
By mid morning the wandering Elf had left Bree far behind and
paused in a small grove of trees when he had reached the Bridge of
Stonebows over the Brandywine River which marked the eastern boundary
of the Shire. He remembered hearing Prince Legolas speak of this place
and of the hobbits who dwell there after the Prince had returned home
from his side trip to Fangorn Forest after the King’s wedding. Also he
had mentioned that King Elessar had issued an edict that men were not
to enter the Shire. So he was puzzled when he saw only men and no
hobbits living in the villages of Whitfurrows, Frogmorton, Waymeet,
Michel Delving, and Greenholm while he made his way stealthily by each
on his run westward through the Shire over the next several days.
And the same was true for the village of Undertowers which was
nestled at the foot of the Tower Hills. It was here on the town’s
outskirts that Eryndil paused to hide and rest in the woods though it
was still early in the afternoon. Now elves were a hardy race but the
fast pace this Elf had set was beginning to take its toll on his
strength along with the lack of food. He had hoped to have been able to
hunt for small game all the way on his journey but ever since he had
left Rivendell the presence of men and the intense cold had driven the
game undercover. And it was men who now forced him to move on up into
the hills when a group showed up near to his hiding place and began to
chop on a wind fallen tree for firewood. The sound of their axes joined
others that he faintly heard all around him when he reached the top of
the highest hill where the three White Towers stood.
Fortunately Eryndil was able to quickly bring down with a well
aimed arrow the lone rabbit who had been sunning itself on the south
side of the western most of the three towers. However the Elf felt too
exposed up here in this high place so with the rabbit in one hand, he
went around to the west side of the tower looking for an entrance which
he found wide open. Now his plan had been to take shelter inside while
he had his meal and to rest. But when the stones that made up the tower
began to speak to him of other elves that had dwelled here in the past
he was overcome by such a sudden and intense feeling of loneliness and
longing for his kindred that he abandoned his plan and continued
westward down out of the hills until night fell. Once he was down on
the flat land again, he finally found a hiding place amongst a grove of
trees for the night where he could eat and rest in peace.
Now while the wandering Elf had been up on the high hill next to
the towers he hadn’t failed to notice on the western horizon the thin
blue-grey line that was the Gulf of Lune as well as the darker grey
Blue Mountain Range which flanked it on either side. If the Grey Havens
had been his destination, he would have been there by night fall the
next day. But since men were there now he was forced to take a more
southwesterly course early the next morning and for the next two days
Eryndil followed the coastline and passed around the northern end of
the Blue Mountains before entering South Lindon. Finally late one night
he reached the spot where the ship was to be waiting in anchor just off
this desolate western coastline.
In those last few days leading up to his arrival here, Eryndil had
imagined many times the joy filled welcome he would receive from his
kindred as he finally boarded the ship. The very thought of being
surrounded by them again and to hold them in his arms made his heart
feel light with happiness which dispelled his loneliness and weariness.
But Eryndil saw no ship anchored off shore that night.
The Lament of the Last Elf
He stood alone on the western shore that winter
When the moon was new and the stars
In their thousands mirrored with their brightness
The snow grains on the shore.
But he ignored them for his
Tear filled eyes were on the distant horizon
As he strained to catch a glimpse of white sails
Of his now departed kindred.
He stood alone on the western shore
While the dark ocean sent its cold waves forward
To crash themselves in a rhythmic sound
And spread their foam at his feet.
But only then did he realize
As his heart grew heavy with despair
That he had lingered to long in the woods he loved
While his kindred departed this shore.
He stood alone on the western shore
Now with tears that flowed freely down his face
And cried in a plaintive voice to his kindred
Not to leave him to this fate.
But no white sails appeared on that distant horizon
And the voices he had heard before were now forever silent
He had been left behind on that western shore
And now must remain the last Elf on earth.
The Story of Last Elf – Conclusion The Return Home
Eryndil lingered there on that desolate western coastline all winter
and watched the horizon. He still had some hope of seeing the white
sails of his kindred’s ship which would’ve been the first indication of
their sailing back for him. But as the days passed and all he ever saw
was an empty horizon, his hope faded and was totally gone by the time
spring was starting to reclaim the land. It was then the wandering Elf
decided that if he was to now spend his long life in Middle-earth he
would do it in what remained of his beloved Eryn Lasgallen as soon as
So with a heart laden with sorrow and loneliness, Eryndil rapidly
retraced his steps back east along the Gulf of Lune and left South
Lindon when he passed around the northern end of the Blue Mountains.
Then he made his way through the Tower Hills. But he avoided the White
Towers. Emotionally right now he couldn’t bear to be in a place that
still held memories of elves for it only heightened his own feeling of
sorrow and loneliness. So he detoured around them and continued
alongside the Great East Road.
Now the wandering Elf wasn’t totally oblivious to his surroundings
in the Shire as the days and the villages of Undertowers, Greenholm,
Michel Delving, Waymeet, Frogmorton, and Whitfurrows passed by. He was
fully aware that now with the warmer weather there could be more
opportunities for encounters with men who were moving about as they
prepared their fields for this year’s crop. But sometimes his sorrow
and loneliness would drive him on recklessly in his effort to reach his
beloved woods sooner so he was seen on several occasions running east
on the road. Fortunately for Eryndil the men who saw him were too
surprised to do anything but stare at him and he was able to quietly
slip back into the surrounding trees and bushes.
However these sightings quickly became embellished stories in the
local taverns at night. So by the time the wandering Elf had stopped
next to a grove of trees on the outskirts of Bree one sunny afternoon,
he had been blamed for much of the mischief created by others.
Meanwhile mounted hunting parties with dogs had been formed to track
him down and bring him in alive so he could be made to pay for his
crimes. But Eryndil was unaware of all this turmoil his recklessness
had caused and he remained standing out in the open while deciding
which way to go. Now he knew he couldn’t run through Bree like he had
done that cold winter’s night on his journey to the west. That meant he
would have to detour around Bree either to the north or south. Here
luck was with him for just after he had decided to go south and
disappeared into the grove of trees, one of the hunting parties
appeared on the road across from where he had been standing and headed
west before their dogs could pick up his scent. Nor did the hunting
parties ever find him as he made his way south around that edge of Bree
or when he returned north and then east along side the Great East Road
at a run. So by evening he had left Bree far behind.
By now the days were all a blur for Eryndil and he was growing
weary for his sorrow and loneliness wouldn’t let him break his rapid
pace to rest or eat. Always in his mind’s eye did both show him
tantalizing images of his green woodland home which had always spurred
him on with renewed energy. However this time his body didn’t respond
as it had before so he made only slow progress past the Midgewater
Marshes, Weather Top, and the Lone Lands while his thoughts soon became
enveloped in the haze of fatigue.
However after Eryndil reached The Last Bridge one morning he
paused. He wished he could avoid having to go through Rivendell like he
had done with the White Towers for he still couldn’t face a place that
was filled with memories of elves. But the path through there was the
quickest route to Eryn Lasgallen so he had no choice but to continue to
stagger on in that direction. It wasn’t until he reached the cold
fireplace in the Hall of Fire in the still deserted Rivendell did the
wandering Elf collapse from sheer exhaustion and slept for the first
time since he had left the coast.
When he awoke many hours later it was dark and silent inside the
Hall. Suddenly the stones upon which he was lying on began to pour
forth their memories of the elves that had once dwelled there. Now this
was what Eryndil didn’t want to hear and before he could get up off the
floor it caused his own sorrow and loneliness to become so unbearable
that he couldn’t move and pleaded out loud for them to stop which
shattered the tomb like silence. Then his tears began to flow and the
sound of his great sobs echoed through out the hall until he was
utterly spent before curling up in a ball and fell asleep again.
The next time he awoke the sun was up and shining brightly.
Although physically he felt better emotionally he was still shaky so he
wasted no time in leaving Rivendell at a run for The High Pass in the
Misty Mountains. Once there he stopped and stared for he could see far
and low on the eastern horizon the dark grayish green band which was
his beloved Eryn Lasgallen. Tears of joy, sorrow, and loneliness fell
from his eyes again before he continued at a run down the east slope of
the Misty Mountains.
Now the wandering Elf remembered the encounter he had had with the
pack of dogs that were unleashed on him by men while he passed by one
of their villages earlier in his journey. So after he crossed the River
Langflood at the ford by The Carrock he decided to head northeast and
would enter his beloved woods there instead of retracing his steps
along the river to the north and then east while using The Path now
turned logging road. That way he thought he would be able to avoid all
contacts with men.
Unfortunately he soon discovered how wrong his idea was when just
as he was passing through the center of a small grove of trees early
one sunny afternoon he suddenly felt the grassy ground give way from
beneath his feet. Desperately he lunged forward and tried to grab a
hold of the long grass on the edge of a large freshly dug circular pit
that was now opening underneath him. But the roots of the grass he had
caught hold of pulled free from the ground and he fell for several feet
before landing on his stomach at the bottom with a bone jarring thud.
There Eryndil lay stunned but unhurt for a couple of minutes before he
slowly started to get up onto his hands and knees.
Meanwhile seven teenage boys appeared up on the rim of the pit.
With excited cries of “We caught him! We caught the Elf!” they began to
rapidly throw sharp rocks at the wandering Elf who managed to dodge
most of their hastily aimed missiles until one of the rocks hit him
hard on the left side of his head opening a nasty gash and causing an
explosion of pain before everything went black.
When Eryndil slowly regained consciousness later that afternoon his
head was painfully throbbing and he found himself kneeling stripped
bare to the waist between two thick poles supporting the roof of an
empty stable with his arms outstretched to either side by taut ropes
tied securely around his wrists and the poles. Weakly he tried to free
himself but it was of no use. Then he became aware of the crowd of men
and women standing in the large open doorway before him. They were
murmuring curiously about him and pointing for they apparently had
never seen an Elf up close until now. Suddenly they stopped talking and
moved out of the way so that five brawny men with scowling hate filled
faces could enter the stable in a row. However it was the man in the
middle who had the wandering Elf’s attention for he carried a coiled up
black whip in his right hand.
“So Elf you decided to come sneaking around here yet again,” the
man in the middle said in a low ominous tone of voice after all five
had stopped two feet in front of him. Now Eryndil remembered hearing
this man’s voice before. He was the one who had urged the men with him
“to get him and teach him not to come sneaking around here again”
before the pack of dogs had been unleashed. Obviously then this was
“You killed twelve good dogs the last time you were here,” the
Leader continued. “No doubt part of some plot so more of your murderous
kind could attack without warning. But it didn’t work did it? We never
let our guard down for a moment. So they sent you back again to try and
find some new way of getting around our defenses.”
Now Eryndil had no idea what the man was talking about. His kindred
had never attacked anyone outside of the borders of Eryn Lasgallen with
the one exception being the Battle of Five Armies so long ago. And from
what he had learned from King Thranduil’s messengers last spring, his
kindred only fought defensively against the men who were starting to
invade the woods itself and had never been on the offensive.
Suddenly the Leader walked behind him and grabbed a handful of the
Elf’s long blonde hair and savagely pulled Eryndil’s head back so the
Elf was forced to painfully look up at him. Then he uncoiled his whip.
“But that didn’t work either did it Elf?” the man said his tone of
voice even more threatening. “We were ready for you this time! We dug a
series of pit traps some distance from our village as the first line of
our defense. Clearly you failed to notice this and dropped in for a
Now this caused the Leader, his four companions, and several of the
spectators to laugh out loud at his bad joke. Then just as suddenly the
Leader stopped laughing and pulled Eryndil’s head even further back
which caused him to gasp from the unbearable pain this caused in his
“This time you will not escape,” the man whispered menacingly in
his right ear. “You will suffer a long slow death Elf for all the pain
and suffering your kind has inflicted on my people.”
Then he let go of the wandering Elf’s hair allowing him to drop his
head forward so his chin rested against his chest. However what
happened next had the Leader and those watching puzzled. They had
expected their captive to start frantically pleading for his life to be
spared which quite a few in the crowd thought would be fine
entertainment to watch. But Eryndil simply remained silent and closed
his eyes while he waited for the first lash to fall. He had already
figured out that this would be his fate and he knew it would be of no
use to try and change these men’s minds so bent were they on killing
It was then that a single unnoticed tear slowly trickled down his
right cheek. The world of men had robbed him of his kindred by forcing
them to leave forever their beloved Eryn Lasgallen although he admitted
sadly to himself that he had been foolish in not joining them sooner.
Now when he so desperately wished to return there and find what peace
his sorrow and loneliness would allow, men were about to take his life
while he was but a few short miles from it.
“What is going on here?” Eryndil suddenly heard a new man’s voice demanding with an air of authority just outside of the stable.
“Good news Lord Aradan! We caught the Elf!” one excited voice of a woman replied.
“He’s been sentenced to death!” another man’s equally excited voice
added which was greeted with much approval by those around him.
By now the painful throbbing in his head was causing the wandering
Elf to teeter on the brink of unconsciousness again when he dimly heard
Lord Aradan call for a stop to this madness. Struggling to remain
alert, he then heard a general out cry of shock and outrage from the
crowd and the Leader until the Lord raised his voice and shouted above
them all “ENOUGH!” Then in the silence that followed he continued in a
no nonsense tone of voice “Captain I want these people cleared out of
“Yes my Lord!” was the quick reply. Once the noise of the
protesting crowd being herded away from the stable had ceased did
Eryndil hear the soft sound of someone kneeling down in front of him.
“Is he still alive?” Lord Aradan asked softly obviously talking to whoever was in front of him.
Then the Elf felt someone touching him on the neck as they felt for
a pulse. “Yes he is my Lord although he is badly wounded judging from
this deep cut on the side of his head. They must have hit him hard in
order to subdue him for I doubt these ropes would be strong enough to
hold an Elf determined to escape,” another man replied.
“Cut him loose and take him to the best house in this village and
have my Healer look at him. If the people living there protest this
throw them out! I’ve had enough of this nonsense about murderous elves
roaming the countryside!” Lord Aradan said in a disgusted tone of
It was then that Eryndil lost his fight to remain conscious and
slipped into a pain free darkness where he stayed until the afternoon
of the next day when he finally awoke. Then he found himself in a light
and airy bedroom alone except for a noble looking older man with a
short grey streaked black beard sitting at his bedside. Now this man
smiled kindly at him and said “I was beginning to wonder if I had
intervened too late to save you Master Elf. I hope you are feeling
Instantly Eryndil recognized the voice as that of Lord Aradan
before he said sadly “I thank you for your effort Lord Aradan although
I’m afraid you only delayed the inevitable.”
Now the Elf knowing his name didn’t surprise the man for he could
have still been conscious when he overheard it. So he said with great
passion and determination “But it doesn’t have to be this way! There
are still some families of men who remember our allegiance with your
kind. Surely we can join forces and put a stop to this growing hate!”
“It is too late for that. All of my kindred have sailed to
Valinor,” the wandering Elf replied. Then he added in almost a whisper
to himself “Never to return to these shores.”
Now this came as a complete shock to Lord Aradan. For several
minutes he sat and simply stared at the floor next to him. Finally he
looked back up at Eryndil and sadly asked “When did this happen?”
“They left during the fall last year.”
“But why then are you still here?”
“I lingered to long…I didn’t reach the boat in time…” was all
Eryndil could say before he had to suddenly look away and squeeze his
eyes shut when his sorrow and loneliness threatened to overwhelm him.
“You need not say anything more about it for I understand,” Lord
Aradan said kindly while placing a reassuring hand on the Elf’s
shoulder. “And you were trying to return to your woodland home when all
this happened. Well you rest for now and when you’re healed I will
personally make sure you reach there unmolested.”
“I wish to leave now,” Eryndil said softly before opening his eyes and looking at the man.
And it was the sorrow in those eyes which stopped Lord Aradan from
denying this wish. So he nodded in agreement and brought forth the
Elf’s clothes and weapons which he had retrieved from the Leader who
had thought to keep them as a trophy. Then during that fine spring
afternoon, the Lord and Elf with the Lord’s men following behind rode
their horses’ east side by side in silence the last few miles to the
edge of Eryn Lasgallen. There Eryndil quickly dismounted and with a
hand trembling from his excitement at being home he reached out and
touched lovingly the silver grey trunk of a magnificent beech tree.
Now Lord Aradan had heard all his life about the magic of elves so
that was why he wasn’t surprised to see the tree react to the Elf’s
touch by moving its leafy branches down slightly in the Elf’s
direction. All the more reason he was now reluctant to see him go for
he wished to protect this last living being of a special people. But
when Eryndil turned back and looked up at him he knew he couldn’t again
deny him his wish to return here for the Elf’s eyes were now shining
“I just realized that I never asked you your name,” Lord Aradan said.
“My name is Eryndil. You are a good man Lord Aradan. I wish you and your people well.”
Then the wandering Elf quickly turned his attention back to the
woods and disappeared into their shady interior at a run before Lord
Aradan could say anything more. Nor did he ever see the Elf again or
learn of his fate. But he remembered this encounter and wrote it down
in great detail for future generations to read.
Meanwhile Eryndil ran with joyful abandon for he was now on
familiar paths and there was no evidence that man had made it this far
into his woods. Now he felt no ill affect from his head wound so he set
a course to the northeast for in his heart there was a strong desire to
see King Thranduil’s caverns. It wasn’t until after a day and a half of
running that he safely reached his destination and his memories took
*The Memories of the Last Elf
He stood alone in the woods that spring
And looked across the swift Forest River
At the Great Gates now wide open
To the extensive caverns that were his home.
But the only people living there
Who greeted him upon his return
Were those in his bittersweet memories
Of his now departed kindred.
He stood alone before the Great Gates
While at his feet lay piled
The long dead leaves of seasons past
That the wind had drifted there.
But when he stepped across the threshold
He heard much to his surprise
The faint sound of merry voices in song
That called to him from the darkness.
He stood alone there for a moment
As a bright glimmer of hope did suddenly spark
That he was not the last Elf here
In the woods he did love.
But as he searched the halls and chambers
That glimmer of hope so bright did fade
For what he had heard was nothing more
Then the bittersweet memories he had to endure.
He stood alone outside the Great Gates
His eyes tear filled for the silence
That now would be the sole inhabitant
Of the caverns that had been his home.
But time was ever moving on
And with it a new people would come to live
So he vanished into the woods he loved
And there he remained the last Elf on earth.*