The Lonely Eldar
It was a sunny still autumn morning when Eldhereb was gazing into the distance at the last elves of Rivendell leaving to Mithlond, from where they were to leave Middle-Earth forever. He stood on the high terrace facing the West, looking at the last sparkles of his kin's banner as they were slowly fading beyond the reach of his eyes. Behind him, the rising Sun was playfully shedding streaks of light on the falling waters of Imladris.
He was now the lonely elf of the Last Homely House East of the Sea. Once homely, but now deserted to time-wearing. No elven songs, no laughter, no words of wisdom to comfort a sad soul... Just the copper-coloured leaves continuously falling and the mourning of the waterfall. Why hadn't he left with his kin?The answer was still
not clear in his mind. All he knew was that mysteriuous inner voice, beyond his reason, whispering to him not to leave... Not yet... He had always had an unusual taste for exploring new and new places from the world of mortals. But what could he do in that deserted kingdom, all by himself, lonely in a time which now belonged to humans? That was the same question that lord Elrond had asked him; but all he could remember was the feeling that he still had not found something, that he still had places to say good-bye to before his passing to the Undying lands.
The noon found Eldhereb listening to the silence around him. But suddenly there was a soft rustle, as that of leaves on the branches, and then a sweet song was carried by a breeze towards him. He turned round, but to his amazement, there was no sign of any living being. That moment he felt an immense sadness overwhelming him and bearing it no more, Eldhereb hastily left the terrace and the houses and Imladris and... No... He had to stop.
"Where am I going anyway?" he thought to himself.
But he went on, until he found himself on the Eastern bank of Bruinen river; there he stopped for a moment. The river was whirling on his way from the Mountains to the Sea and in its voice Eldhereb suddenly heard that strange sweet song again, only he could distinguish some unknown words in it, softly whispered, half by the water, half by the evening breeze. It somehow reminded Eldhereb again how lonely and far away from his kindred he was, but also, how difficult was for him to leave Middle-Earth. He looked Westwards where, beyond the horizon, the Sun was setting in crimson steams. Then he realized what he really wanted all that time: peace, about which, though, he did not know where to find it. In Valinor he would always miss the wild lands of the mortal world and its continuous changings. But here he would always long for the eternal light of the shores of Aman.
He eventually decided to cross the Bruinen river and set the next morning towards the Old Forest, a place that had fascinated him since he first heard about it.
The dawn came with a sharp wind blowing from the North and although the Sun soon rised from beyond the Misty Mountains, there was an icy feeling in the air; or at least that was what Eldhereb felt when he opened his eyes and found himself out in the open air. Thus, he hurried towards the Old Forest, hoping to get there in seven days.
But the journey took him eleven days because, although the weather was getting better, Eldhereb tried to avoid being seen by the other travellers who happened to take that road, so he walked under the cover of trees and after the sunset. He could not imagine what a human being would say when seeing an Eldar still wandering on those lands.
That day he was standing on a hill, looking at the skirt of the Old Forest, which was wonderfully shining like an emerald in the noon sunlight. But turning his gaze to the South, Eldhereb saw the plains of Minhiriath stretching for miles and miles and traversed by the clear sparkling waters of the Mitheltel river. Not only was his gaze attracted to that place, but he could also feel a strange force calling him towards those wild lands, which he became curious about. So he set out that way, not realizing that the road would take him to places where he was not prepared yet to walk onto.