The World Turns by elwen of the hidden valley

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Story Notes:

(This story was partly inspired by an rp between myself and Febobe.)  Hurt/comfort?  Yes.  Angst?  Yes.  Plot?  You may want to read elsewhere.  Tolkien is ambiguous about the whereabouts of Galadriel and Celeborn at this time.  They could be in Rivendell or they could be travelling.  They were not Lord and Lady of the Golden Wood yet.  So I have them visiting Lorien.  It’s possible they did, resulting in their eventual rulership of that realm when Amroth departed.

 

 


“Isildur!”

For a moment he could only stare at Isildur’s retreating back, mind refusing to grasp what had just happened.  But now the heat of the mountain began to make itself felt even to elven blood.  Elrond turned to follow him toward the arch of dark sky, just visible amid the smoke and fumes.

Mind still whirling with the consequences of Isildur’s actions, Elrond did not see the huge orc waiting just beyond the exit.  A sudden foreboding made Elrond rear back as the wicked blade sliced diagonally across his body, cleaving the armoured breastplate cleanly in two.  There was a moment of stunned stillness before he fell into fiery agony, consciousness fleeing on a strangled cry.

The orc had no such sense to warn it of Glorfindel’s presence and it took the full brunt of the balrog slayer’s blow.  It’s severed head bounced and rolled down the path.  The rest of its bulk landed atop the crumpled Elrond for only a moment before Glorfindel heaved it aside.  Stripping off his glove the warrior tucked fingers beneath his friend’s chin, relieved to find a racing pulse.  An ominous tide of red pulsed out through the sharp edges of the rent in his armour and began to pool beneath Elrond’s still body.

Glorfindel rose swiftly to look out across the plains of Gorgoroth.  The tents of the healers were only just visible through the smoke and fighting, far in the distance.  He glanced down again.  As a warrior he had some basic healing skills but this was beyond him with nought but bare hands.  Elrond needed trained healers with all the necessary equipment to hand.  The problem was getting him there before he ran out of blood. 

With a whispered prayer to Este, Glorfindel gathered up his friend and began to race down the treacherous cinder road that zigzagged down the mountainside.  Only an elf could have been so sure footed on the treacherous surface or as swift to dodge the poorly aimed blows of still fighting orcs. 

By the time he reached the plains Elrond was beginning to moan in pain but Glorfindel did not slow, his passage followed by many shocked elven eyes.  To lose Gil-galad and his herald in the same day was more than could be borne.  A contingent soon formed about Glorfindel to provide safe passage through those  remnants of Sauron’s army still fighting.

In his arms Elrond lay limp, head lolling over Glorfindel’s arm and his gored hair almost sweeping the ground.   In their wake dripped a trail of blood and Glorfindel could feel Elrond’s precious life sliding down the front of his own armour.

Oooooooooo

“Carefully, my lord.  Do not move him again if you can avoid it.”

Glorfindel grimaced.  With two healers pressing firmly upon Elrond’s chest, their hands disappearing within the slashed armour, it was unlikely that even Glorfindel would be able to move his friend.

He dried his scarlet hands upon a towel and began to pick anxiously at the delicately wrought buckles at Elrond’s side and shoulder.  Blood seemed to coat everything, making his fingers slip, and Glorfindel glanced up to reassure himself that Elrond did indeed still breath.  How that could be when there seemed to be more blood outside his body than within, he did not question too deeply, grateful only for this small mercy.

Growling in frustration as the mithril buckle refused to yield, Glorfindel grabbed up one of the waiting scalpels and sliced through the gore-stiffened hide instead.  Within moments the front of Elrond’s intricate plate armour was lifted away and all drew in a breath as the full extent of the damage could be seen clearly for the first time.

The scimitar had sliced the armour from shoulder to hip in a diagonal line.  Elven armour was not intended to repel close attack, only to turn aside stray arrows.  For an orc to come so close to an elven warrior of Elrond’s skill and experience was most unusual and Glorfindel could not imagine how it had happened. 

The gaping lips of the chain mail shirt told their tale, following the line of the rent in the plate armour precisely . . . as did the leather jerkin and fine silk shirt below.  Blood, welled ominously more slowly now, flowing from the full length of the long slice.  For a moment the two healers stared hard, then their hands flew to grab more dressings to pack the wound.

“Lord Glorfindel, we will need to remove the mail.  Can you fetch others to help?  We must move him swiftly but gently.  He can ill afford to lose any more blood but we must get him undressed if we are to help him.”

The words were punctuated by a low moan and Elrond stirred slightly, his eyelids fluttering as he struggled for consciousness. 

One of the healers called out to Glorfindel’s already retreating back.  “Wait, my lord.  Quickly.  He will be in much pain when he awakens.  We must keep him still.”

Glorfindel was back at his friend’s side within a heartbeat, obeying the signal and moving to replace a healer’s hands on the crimson wad of dressings as the other sprinkled pungent liquid on a pad and pressed it gently over Elrond’s mouth and nose.

“Breathe deeply, Hir Elrond.”

Whether the words penetrated their charge’s consciousness was unclear.  It looked as though Elrond would struggle at first, but with each inward breath he grew quieter, eyelids stilling as his head rolled helplessly to one side.

“He will sleep now.  Go Lord Glorfindel.  Fetch those helpers.  Now!” 

Even with several helpers cutting free the chain mail it seemed an age before Elrond was stripped of chain and clothing and the healers could begin in earnest their work of stemming the ebb of his life.

 

 




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