The Abduction of Celebrian
Part I – Journey Interrupted
The late afternoon mist cooled my skin as I stepped out of my working
chambers onto the veranda, which overlooked the courtyard. With a
start, I looked up at the waning sun and realized that I had been
inside for most of the day. I sighed. Working at my books took my mind
off the fact that my Celebrian and Arwen were no longer within the
palace or indeed even within the borders of Rivendell.
They had left in the early dark of the last morning to ride to Lorien,
to stay for a time with Celebrian’s parents, Lord Celeborn and the Lady
Galadriel. The escort party had assembled in the courtyard, and I
remembered the feel of Celebrian’s soft touch on my cheek and the
sensation of her kiss on my lips as she leaned down from her mount. She
had gathered our sons close and whispered to them, making them smile
though they hated to see her go. They had wanted badly to go with her,
but she had insisted that they stay here with me, continue their
schooling and warrior training. She had laughingly declared this trip a
“ladies adventure” and had swept Arwen up into the saddle with her and
set the pace at a gallop out of the gate, making the rest of the party
scramble to keep up with her. The memory made me laugh.
I watched the sky deepen into hues of purple and gold, missing my wife
and daughter. They were far more beautiful to me than even the most
spectacular sunset. My mind occupied with thoughts of them, I almost
didn’t hear the clamor in the courtyard below.
As I turned, I felt an urgent hand tug at my sleeve.” Lord Elrond, come
quickly! “ The fear in his voice was evident. “One of the escorts from
the traveling party has returned…” The sentence was not finished and
cold fear filled my heart.
In the courtyard, members of the household staff were physically
supporting a small elf. He was bloodied and covered in dirt. Kneeling,
I immediately recognized the lad as Glaston, one of Celebrian’s pages.
He trailed after her everywhere, faithfully, and had begged to be
allowed to accompany his mistress on her journey to the Golden Wood.
She had said no at first, as he was very young, but his pleas had
melted her heart and she had finally agreed to let him ride with her.
His face that morning had been shining and excited – now it was
scratched and tear stained. He was trembling so hard he could not speak
– but when he saw me, he threw his arms around my
neck an sobbed. I held him tightly, soothing him as best I could,
sending calming energy into his mind, willing him to regain his ability
to speak. As I comforted him, I felt him quieting. When I judged that
he could once again speak, I implored him to tell me what had happened.
He started, struggled and burst again into tears. He whispered one word. “Orcs.”
The word rushed through my veins, filling them with ice. I could not
stop the pounding of my heart as the enormity of that one simple, ugly
word echoed in my brain.
Around me, the servants were pale. In Rivendell, sheltered from all
that was warped and dangerous, orcs were a legend, not a reality.
Stories of their dark atrocities were told in hushed whispers in
hallways and corners. They were most feared and reviled. And now such
evil things had touched their mistress.
I willed myself to stay calm and commanded my leaden limbs to sit on a
chair in the great hall. I brought Glaston close to me, holding him by
the shoulders and looking into his eyes. As our gazes held, his mind
became clearer and he was finally able to speak, haltingly, of what had
“We had traveled nearly the full day, my lord, without incident. We
rode in single file, surrounded by the guards. We were laughing and
singing, excited to be traveling. When we came to the shallow brook,
pass through the mountain valley though, we found that rain had swelled
its banks and made the usual spot nearly impassable.” He stopped, took
a breath and closed his eyes, remembering. “ The guards felt that even
trying to cross at that spot
would be dangerous. So the guards separated; three went up the river
northwards to see if they could find a better spot to cross. Three
others went southward to see if a level spot existed anywhere upstream.
We traveled with ten protectors, so four remained. After several
minutes had passed, there arose a commotion northerly, the sounds of
blades crashing. Two of our guard immediately went to assist their
comrades, leaving only two with my mistress. The clamor grew louder,
and those that remained gathered together under a nearby stone ledge,
so that we were no longer out in the open.
Suddenly there was silence. Complete silence as though Arda herself had
ceased to breathe. I could see that the my lady was frightened. I drew
close to her, and kept my hand on my sword.” He looked up at me. “ I
would die for her, my Lord.” I nodded, for I had no doubt that he
would. He continued then, his voice a bit stronger now. “ She pulled
Arwen close to her and wrapped her in her mantle until all you could
see of her was bit of dark hair. My mistress whispered something to
Arwen… I could not hear what it was, but in the middle of her whisper
she sat straight up and cried out, “Fly!” She spurred her horse into a
just as a black shape hurtled out of the woods into the spot she had
been just a moment before.
I made to follow her, but I was pulled off my horse by one of those
foul creatures and thrown aside into the broken rocks. A host of them
charged after the Lady, screaming something I could not decipher in
their black, ugly words. She rode hard, but was overtaken.” He choked
up, visibly fighting his tears. “She fought them,
my Lord…I heard her cries, and I know the sound of her blade, but there
were too many of them. When last I saw her, they were bearing her away
like a sack of food, slung over the biggest one’s shoulder.”
I tightened my grip on him, as despair washed over me in a great wave. “Glaston – was she alive? And where was Arwen?”
“ I feel she was still alive my lord…. but I do not know. And as for
Arwen, I did not see them take her. But I cannot swear that they did
not,” he hung his head. “ I could not see very well, as the blood from
my wound had run into my eyes and all but blinded me. I could not
follow her, my lord. I lost her.”
He wept bitterly now, reliving those moments. Around me, a swell of
murmurs rose to indignant shouts of anger as the household reacted to
I let go of Glaston, and felt my arms go limp. My wife was in the hands
of the foulest of creatures and I knew not whether she was alive or
My daughter was missing somewhere in the wilds of the Misty Mountains.
The thought of either of my loves in the hands of orcs made me
physically sick, my stomach knotting.
The cries for vengeance were growing louder by the moment. Glaston was
taken away to have his wounds tended to; but before he was borne away,
he turned and came to me, taking my hands in his, his tears imploring
me to not banish him, exile him for his failure to save Celebrian. I
raised his face and looked into his eyes. “You were brave, my young
one. You tried to save your mistress, and such valor will never be
forgotten. I swear.” I touched his forehead where the orc blade had
slashed him and knew that for the rest of his days, he would look at it
and remember the battle as his failure. With the tips of my fingers, I
traced the wound, and murmured in a voice none could hear, save myself,
a vanishing spell.
He would not have to live an immortal life scarred by what he had not created.
At my nod, the healers came and gently led him to his room. His eyes
were now closed, and I knew the spell was working its ancient magic.
His blood shone on the stone floor. Never before had blood stained the
realm of Imladris, the last safe haven in Middle Earth. But now I
watched as the blood congealed and sank into the surface, leaving
nothing but a dark stain that would blacken with age and never allow me
to forget this day.
I was filled with anger that I had not thought possible. It flooded me,
burned me like fire. I was not aware that I had risen up and raised my
hands until the room fell silent and all eyes turned to my face.
I fought to control my emotions in front of my people; for their sake I
had to remain calm. For their sake I could not give in to my warrior
instincts, which cried out for orc blood. For their sake, I must be
strong and lead them as I always had. For their sake I had to remain
Lord Elrond, first, and desperate husband second.
But then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the greatest reason to be
strong. My sons stood trembling in the doorway. They had heard every
And in their eyes, I saw vengeance.