Middle-earth time is:
Nighttime on Highday, Day 7 of July, 3011
Real time is: 06:23:29 MST on Fri May 16 1997
From Elrond, Elrond +shouts, "enter"
You open the door and step into Elrond's study.
Large windows look out towards the west in this neatly maintained room. No dust has collected on the books and papers carefully shelved and stacked here. The papers on the highest shelf are as clean as the papers lying on top of the desk. Rich calligraphy and intricate tapestries hang on the walls. And the walls themselves are beautifully polished hardwood. A large and finely made hardwood desk against one wall dominates the room, and several comfortable chairs are spaced out against the other walls, and under the windows.
Glendor pushes the door and steps into the doorway, a tall elf with long golden hair and deep gray eyes, in a weather-beaten but recently cleaned and patched gray cloak. He says in an even melodical voice, "Mae govannen, Hir" and bows to Elrond. "I am Glendor, Herbmaster and historian of Lorien"
Elrond rises and smiles. "Welcome to the Valley, though I am sure my folk have more than welcomed you already."
Glendor responds with a smile himself, and replies a bit less hesitantly, "Your welcome is always special and valued, Lord. But yes, the hospitality and kindness of your household is truly remarkable. I hope I can return it if any of your folk ever come visit us under the shadows of the mellyrn"
Elrond smiles. "You are most welcome. And the hospitality of Lorien is well known, as my daughter reminded me on her return but recently."
Glendor nods, "I believe some of the messages our diplomat, Petra, is carrying, do concern lady Arwen. But of that Petra will speak to you herself, for the scroll written by the Lady's hand is entrusted to her"
Elrond nods slowly, thoughtfully. "Aye, I will see those letters as soon as may be. Though no doubt some matter other than correspondence has convinced you to undertake such a long and dangerous journey."
Glendor's gray eyes seem to become darker, and a shadow passes over his face, "Aye, that is so. As a healer I might have accompanied the party, but this was not my real purpose among the group. I have joined them at the last moment, and if not for this occasion, I would still dare the journey, alone if need be. I was also sent by the Lady and with her blessing to seek your councel and bring you tidings from Lorien about events strange and unsettling. Whether my news forebodes good or evil, I know not myself"
Elrond nods thoughtfully. "Much as I suspected. I have come to expect stange and unsettling news of late."
Glendor pushes back the fold of his cloak and reveals a medium-size leather shoulder bag. He fingers its flap, "Aye, we have seen and heard many unsettling things as well in Lorien. But the discovery I am about to tell you about stands out even in these days." He pauses for a moment, gathering his thoughts, then begins a story. His voice is calm and pace of his speach is even. "About two months ago, our border patrol have found a stone tablet, washed ashore by the swift waters of Cerebrant. It was a flat heavy piece of dark stone with few fragments of writings on its surface, although most of the writing had been apparently broken, chirped away..."
Elrond nods, with a slight frown. "A tablet? Of what workmanship?"
Glendor shakes his head slightly, "That we still don't know, although we feel that a dark power was present at its creation."
Elrond thinks a moment. "Well, tell me more of this, then." His face seems still, unperturbed, as if matters of greater moment than an ancient tablet are very much on his mind.
Glendor seems to be a bit uncertain for a moment, then nods to your words, "As I said, most of the writing was gone, as if the top surface, the skin of the stone, was cleaved. But soon the search found many small pieces of broken rock, thin tiles with jagged edges and dark polished one side, which seemed to match the stone of teh tablet. As those pieces were assembled together, we attempted to place them on the tablet to reconstruct the writings. The symbols were not familliar to us, although they did look like runes of some old language. As the search progressed and we moved closer to completing the mosaic of the tiles, it became clear that the tablet has..." he hesitates and considers the next words carefully, "perhaps not a will of its own, but an illusion of presence. And it was a dark and disturbing feeling. With most of the writing rebuilt, the tablet veiled itself in shadows, and ocassionally a chilly breaze was felt by one who touches it. We also discovered that although we cannot read the runes, the broken pieces seem to prefer to lie in certain combinations. Once the match was found, the tiles seemed to join each other, almost as if they were never broken apart. This is how we were finally able to reconstruct the whole surface.
Elrond's brows furrow slightly, as if trying to chase an elusive thought. "Odd. It reminds me of ... something, which I cannot quite place. What else did you discover? Could anyone read the writing?
Glendor frowns, and shakes his head, "Most everyone... and none. When the tablet was fully assembled, what we saw was frightening. On the jet-black surface even darker letters, thin lines of black fire. Nobody knows what the leters mean, but when I look at it, I seem to hear the words whispered in my mind. Dark, disturbing, chilling, and ... unfamilliar. But this is not all that is strange about it"
Elrond pauses, looking disturbed for the first time.
Glendor continues, slowly, as someone trying to relate most accurately a message he does not understand himself, "Others who tried to look at it felt the same, or most of them did. I tried to copy the letters, although my fingers were cold as I drew them on a parchment. But what I remember and draw does not look like what others see. The letters are similar, all frightening and dark, but not the same. We suspected an enchantment of some sort, and asked some of the greatest among us, hoping that their powers will penetrate the guise. What followed had us all stymied: The few older Quendi who still dwell in the golden wood were seeing the same characters, but /less/ clearly and not as terrifying. The mightiest of them saw almost nothing, they said that the surface looks almost undecorated to them, and they could not see the letters, other than as fleeting shadows"
Elrond seems very surprised. "Interesting. Very interesting. What did the LAdy see?"
Glendor sighs and looks down. He replies quielty, "She did not tell anyone what she saw"
Elrond seems puzzled. "No?"
Glendor adds, "But she urged me to travel to Imladris, and seek your councel. I felt like she might have suspected that the answer will be found here, but her thoughts are hidden from all of us unless she chooses to reveal them"
Elrond thinks a long moment,his eyes distant. "Something of that ... seems familiar, but I cannot place where I might have heard of such things now.
Elrond says, "Consult with the other loremasters and smiths here, and we shall speak again of the matter. It is passing strange."
Glendor's eyes twinkle and an expression of hope crosses his face, "That I will do, Hir. I trust the foresight of the Lady, and the wisdom which dwells in your valley." He pauses, and looks away, "I just hope I have not brought evil tidings before you"
Elrond smiles back. "If nothing else, someone here may remember such a thing, or be able to place it. Though it sounds like but a minor illusion cast upon the stone, though with power behind it in its first casting."
Glendor nods, and replies, more like thinking aloud, "Then it must protect something of great value. Nobody casts illusions on empty rocks"
Elrond nods at that. "Most likely, there is an inscription on it of some kind, perhaps a dwarf's treasure map or somethingof the sort. Though no dwarf would have power to place such an illusion."
Glendor shakes his head, "I head of dwarven runes which cannot be read, or even seen, unless you know where to take them, but I doubt indeed one of naugrim can create such enchantment to make our very blood run chill." He bows again, "I will talk to your smiths now. Thank you for your councel, Lord"