Chapter 1 – An Unexpected Awakening
Disclaimer – I own nothing but my OC.
Hello there ladies and gentlemen! It's been a while since you last saw me and I'm here with a complete remake of my fic. I've read over it since I last updated it and noticed a great many glaring errors, regrettable dialogue as well as some minor things here and then. The plot remains more or less the same, but it will be expanded upon somewhat. Enjoy!
When he had gone to bed that evening, the weather had been nothing short of awful. Wales was known as a great many things, but tropical paradise was definitely not one of them. It even rained during the Summer on many occasions, but its people had come to accept it as simply the nature of the country. Needless to say, the window was closed so as not to flood the modest flat in the Hayes. Despite the howling winds and the lashing of rain against the window, the sole occupant of the home drifted off into a deep sleep.
Considering the foul weather and the fact that the window was closed, one could therefore understand when the young man woke with a start at the feel of a gentle breeze. Sunlight filtered in through the large windows but it quickly became apparent that he was not in his flat any more. Indeed, judging by the incredible view of a lush valley, he wasn't even in Cardiff, let alone his home. Birdsong was carried by the wind as, momentarily, he was lost in the beautiful view before realisation hit him. He was very far from the city.
"Where the bloody hell am I?" He asked out loud, not that he expected an answer from an empty room.
Looking down at himself, he noticed he was wearing a navy blue cotton tunic with silver leaves detailing the collars, cuffs and hem. He also seemed to be dressed in loose black cotton trousers, though he was barefoot, which was the only thing that seemed to have carried over from last night.
"What am I wearing?" He asked as he threw aside the blankets and stepped out onto the balcony, his breath taken away from him.
The valley below him was indeed verdant with life and a comforting warmth enveloped him despite the fact his nerves were somewhat shot with all the questions in his mind. Wherever he was, it was small as far as cities, or even villages were concerned, but the house was large and indeed part of a small group of buildings that made up a small settlement, the architecture unfamiliar to him. The door opened behind him and he nearly jumped out of his skin at the sudden noise before turning to see a stern-faced male with long raven hair and ornate robes. His eyes looked as though they had seen much, but the most staggering feature of all were his pointed ears.
"Good." He said approvingly. "You are awake."
"I'd be inclined to disagree, considering this looks nothing like home."
"And where exactly is home?" The man asked, raising a perfect brow in question.
"Home is Cardiff, Wales." He said and then he chuckled humourlessly to himself. "And I'm arguing with a man in my dreams, which is technically an extension of my subconscious...I'll just wake up and I'll see the rain that I'll have to walk through to get to work."
"You are very much awake, I assure you." The man stood by the door, his expression the same but there was a hint of amusement in his voice.
"There's not a place that looks this good where I come from, I assure you." He said, feeling concerned that he was not waking.
"I have lived many thousands of years and have not told a single lie in this time. I assure you that you are fully awake." He walked over and pinched him, not even jumping when the young man retracted his arm with a yelp. "So you see, you are here."
"And where is here?" He looked concerned.
"Imladris. Some also refer to it as Rivendell in the common tongue."
"I've never heard of it..."
"There we have some common ground at least. Just as you have never heard of here, I have never heard of a kingdom known as Wales." The man said. "And yet, despite that, I can tell that in your heart, you tell the truth of your origins. Not all of Arda is known to us, however...it may yet be undiscovered to us."
"You mean Earth is our world." He looked at the other as though he were insane. "Right?..."
"You are not of this world..." The man said, his tone indicating his interest. "I can see it now...your mind tells me that much, Glyndwr Magnus..." At the mention of his name, the Welshman turned to the male with wide eyes, his face the expression of pure horror.
"How do you know my name?"
"Your mind is open to me...I see the red dragon on a field of green beneath the white sky...the streets of the city you call home."
"Stop...if that's all true...if I am awake and I'm not of this world...how the bloody hell do I get back?" He said as he began to pace.
"I do not know the means of how you came to be here myself. What I do know is that many things happen in this world for a reason." He noticed the other clutch his stomach, as though he were going to be sick. "Here."
He poured water into an elegant crystal goblet and handed it to Glyndwr, who sipped it slowly. His stomach began to calm and he stepped back out onto the balcony, still sipping now and then and taking in the sights before him.
"I am Elrond, Lord of Rivendell." He stood beside him, his gaze somewhat sympathetic. "Perhaps a walk will help to soothe your nerves."
"Good luck with that...my Lord." He hastily added. "Where did you find me?"
"North of the River Bruinen...but given you do not know this world, that would mean little to you. My scouts found you unconscious...we initially assumed you were one of our kin from another realm..."
"One of your kin?" He asked, and Elrond grabbed a small hand mirror and showed it to him. "I don't see what you're..." The Welshman stopped and looked in shock. "Dear God..." He reached up and felt the tip of his ear, finding that yes, that was indeed pointed. "What?..."
"You are what is referred to as a Half-Elven. You possess a rather unique gift. To choose mortality and live as a Man...or immortality as an Elf..."
There was a pregnant pause then.
"Are you absolutely sure I'm awake?"
The gardens of Rivendell held just as much majesty as the rest of the valley. Life seemed to flourish and any ill feelings fade away just being in this incredible land. Or at least, Glyndwr had the impression of the latter, but he couldn't speak from experience yet, what with the pit in his stomach as the information Elrond gave him sank in.
"So I do have to make the choice..."
"Yes...until such a time comes, you would have the benefits of an Elf. Superior sight and hearing, reflexes and agility, resilience to illness and incredible healing..."
"I take it humans don't have these?" He asked and Elrond shook his head slightly.
"A decision like this is not made lightly. Time is granted until such time that fate forces you to make it. But it is a choice that you must make." Elrond said firmly. "I cannot claim to know your purpose in this world, Glyndwr Magnus...but I do know you were brought to this world for a reason. Whether you return to your world once your task is complete or not, I do not know..."
"Task..." He very nearly scoffed. "That implies I received any kind of instruction."
"What you will come to learn is that the happenings of Middle-earth are heavily guided by fate." Elrond said just as another Elf walked into the garden.
"Forgive me, my Lord Elrond...Mithrandir has arrived."
"Bring him to the garden, Lindir."
"At once, my Lord."
"Mithrandir?" Glyndwr asked curiously.
"A man I should think you would want to meet. A wizard and a knowledgeable one at that. Perhaps he would be able to shed some light on why it is you are here." Elrond said and the Welshman wanted to scoff but then he remembered his pointed ears and where he was. "Your world is one without magic and this one is recent to you...it is understandable you are sceptical."
"I have a feeling my perception of reality is about to change drastically..." He chuckled as he stood with Elrond by a fountain.
"For the time being." He smiled cordially just as Lindir returned, and with company.
Glyn noted that the man looked very much like a stereotypical wizard with a pointed hat as well as long grey robes and a rather long beard that was just a shade lighter than the clothing. The staff he held was made of twisted wood with some sort of crystal in the top of it. He had a kindly expression as he smiled at Elrond, with the Elven Lord smiling back before they bowed respectfully.
"Mellon nin..." The old wizard said. "I was unaware you had company..."
"I am sure..." Elrond rose a sceptical brow. "Mithrandir...allow me to introduce you to Glyndwr Magnus."
"Pleasure to meet you, sir." The Welshman smiled, having not noticed Elrond's expression. "If you two need to talk, I can find my way back to the guest house."
"Actually, it is you I have come to speak to. You see, I was not being truthful when I said I was unaware Lord Elrond had company. At least, not entirely. I knew someone was here, but not that you would be with him at this moment."
"And what would a wizard need to speak with me for?" Glyndwr asked curiously.
"I too know what Lord Elrond does about you, Master Magnus. Come. Join an old man for a stroll. I often find walking through these gardens quite pleasant." He said and Glyn smiled, confused but happy to accompany him. "And please...call me Gandalf."
"Then you should call me Glyn. Tell me, Gandalf...do all wizards speak in riddles? You strike me as the kind to speak in riddles." He said and the wizard chuckled slightly.
"It seems you have foresight as capable as that of Lord Elrond."
"Perhaps I'm adapting quick."
"You want to know why it is you are here. Why you were plucked from your abode in the capital of your nation and brought to a strange world." Gandalf stated rather than asked and he nodded.
"Yes. It's not exactly everyday you get plucked from your home and just dropped into a new place like this."
"Then I am sorry, my lad...but I cannot answer that for I do not know." The wizard said sympathetically.
"But I do know this. Your arrival and my travelling here are not coincidental." Gandalf turned to him, holding his staff in two hands. "Fate has a funny way of making itself known. You and I have met for a reason. And so it is because of this timing that I make you an offer. I intend to journey North and I would like for you to join me. I believe that, with each other's help, we may be able to discover the task that has led you to this land. I cannot guarantee it will lead to your return to your world, but I do believe we can discover the truth behind your appearance..."
"Gandalf...I appreciate the offer but I've barely had time to process what's happened. One cold, rainy night, I go to bed and I wake up to warmth, sunshine and a new world." The Welshman smiled slightly. "I don't know the inner workings of this world, and Lord knows it must be complex if magic exists, but what I do know is I'm in some unknown territory."
"That you are...but for a reason. And I do believe the decision is permanent on behalf of who brought you to this world."
"For the simple matter of what you are and the choice you must face. You have been made into a Half-Elven by no divine mistake. It presents the choice of you returning to the state of a mortal and the other grants the gift of eternal life. Your decision will only present itself when the right situation is found...it is not enough to simply wish it."
"I see you read my mind to know that I've tried..."
"Your mistrust in this world is not without merit. I cannot claim to know what you are going through, my boy. I do know that this journey will be the key to your decision. You and I would not be here within a day of one another if it were not so." There was silence then as Glyndwr considered his words.
"With every revelation about this world, I keep thinking that this couldn't get any stranger...and then I've got a wizard offering to help with some divine task I've been given. I'm not even going to ask what's next."
"Probably for the best." He chuckled good naturedly.
"What I will ask is this. Regardless of whether or not I return home...will I survive, Gandalf?"
"I cannot give you that false hope, my lad. This world is not without its dangers. I will do my best to keep you safe, but I cannot guarantee your safety."
"Take some time to think about it. I shall be here until the morning comes. At which point I will wait for you in the courtyard. If you are not there when the sun crests above the mountains, I will know your decision."
"Thank you, Gandalf..." He said as the wizard went to walk off. "For having the kindness to present me with a chance to find out at least...I shall let you know before the morning comes."
That evening, Gandalf and Elrond were sat at a table on a balcony that overlooked one of the gardens. Many of the others had already retired for the evening, but they were still very much awake, catching up with the goings on in Middle-earth. It was then that Elrond rose a perfectly shaped brow at the wizard and leant back in his seat slightly.
"Do you truly believe Glyndwr Magnus will find his reason for being here?" He asked.
"And just where is this journey taking you in the North?" The Lord asked and Gandalf have him a small smile, but stayed silent. "Always with the mysteries..." He sighed.
"Trust that it is important, my Lord. I would not undertake it were it not so."
"Glyndwr is new to this world...we have achieved a hard won peace, Gandalf, but the road is not safe for any unprepared person, let alone someone of another realm entirely." Elrond pointed out and Gandalf nodded.
"I believe he will have the capacity to learn when he is on the road. In any case, I must wait for him to decide if he wishes to join me. I will not force this decision on him." Gandalf said and the other nodded. "I do believe he has a role to play in the outcome of my journey, however..."
"A part of me hoped you would say that..." The Welshman walked in. "My apologies for interrupting."
"Not at all." Elrond said, both turning to look at him.
"I don't know why I've been brought here...all I know is that I am in this world now. And if I have arrived here by some form of providence for a task, it wouldn't do to ignore it. Perhaps it will lead to me returning to my home...or perhaps I would choose to remain. From I know, the journey may be long indeed. It should give me plenty of time to think about it."
"You understand the risks?" Elrond asked and the other nodded.
"An adventure is never without its risks." Glyndwr said.
"Regardless..." Elrond stood. "We had a little something made for you just in case you chose to go. As I have said to Gandalf, the peace we have is fragile, but the roads are still quite dangerous. You should be ready for anything. Follow me."
"Yes, my Lord..."
The second he saw that they were in the armoury, Glyn gulped. The fact that they felt the need to arm him in and of itself was nerve-wracking. He'd never swung a sword because he never needed to, not in Cardiff. He'd last used a weapon in self-defence when a drunken customer at the bar he worked in had attempted to get a hold of him for refusing to serve him and even then, it was just a measly corkscrew to the hand.
"Your reaction tells me all I need to know...you have never used a sword." Elrond said as he prepared one for him. It was beautifully crafted, curving elegantly when it got closer to the tip of the blade, the hilt decorated with an intricate pattern in gold.
"Never needed to...swords are ceremonial where I'm from." Glyn explained.
"Well that changes."
"I will be able to teach you the basics, my lad." Gandalf reassured as the blade was carefully handed to him. It was a surprise as to how light the weapon was.
"I'd expected something heavier..."
"My kin have always fought with agility. Our swords are made of strong but light metal and it will rarely need to be sharpened." Elrond said, handing him the scabbard. "Have you ever used a bow?"
"For target practice."
"Once or twice."
"Good..." He handed him a dark wood bow with golden detailing on either side of the grip. "We are known for our skill in archery. Coupled with our incredible sight and a well-made bow will rarely fail you. How does it feel?"
"Just fine, my Lord. I take it this is all necessary?" He asked and the Elf gave a firm nod. "I'll make sure I look after it so that it may be returned..."
"It is yours, Glyndwr. Should you choose to stay, you may need it." He said, before leading him over to a set of silver armour and long navy blue robes that were decorated with silver vine patterns. "Do not be alarmed at the potential weight. Much like the sword you own, it is light but durable and perfect for travel. The cloak will keep you warm on cold nights..." He gestured to the cloak that was identical in colour to his robes, with leaf covered vines running down the edges.
"I will also grant it a gift..." Gandalf touched his staff to the material, the crystal glowing softly. "If ever you are in danger and fighting is not an option, merely pull this over you and it will shield you from unfriendly eyes."
"Thank you, my Lords...I can't fight well, but I'll do my best."
"That is all any of us can ask of you." Gandalf said with a kindly smile. "I suggest you get some rest, Master Magnus...we have a long journey ahead of us and we must start early."
"The armour will be brought to you. You will be shown how to put it on and how to remove it." Elrond said and the other nodded. "In the event I do not see you before you depart, I would like you to know this, Glyndwr Magnus of the Unknown World. If your task does not lead to your return to your home, you will be most welcome here."
"You've done so much for me, my lords...I don't know how to repay you."
"We do not expect recompense. This is a new world for you, one which carries risks you have not known on your own. We want you to be prepared." Elrond said and Gandalf nodded.
"Now...go rest. Lindir will be by to wake you when it is time to depart." The Elven Lord said and the other had nodded, handing his weapons to the armourer and making his way back to the guest house. Elrond turned to Gandalf.
"I hope you are right about this, Gandalf..."
"As do I, my friend. As do I..."
And that is the end of my first re-written chapter. I shall be leaving the original version up as well for some time until I reach the half-way point. Let me know what you think in a review. And as an advisory, based on a past review I had, please keep any kind of politics out of your comments. I write for fun, as do most of us. Enjoy!