“My lord, Gilraen is dead.”

Elrond dropped his face in his hands with a weary sigh. “Oh, no,” he groaned. The servant quietly withdrew from the room as Elrond slowly sat down before the fire. As he gazed at the mesmerizing flames, he could hear a quiet voice in his head,

“As surely as rivers are made of water,
Young Estel shall wed thy daughter.”

Elrond jerked. The dancing firelight cast shadows on the walls, shadows that looked disturbingly real, shadows like tapestries prophesying the future. Elrond watched, hypnotized. He could see the silhouette of a woman slowly nearing that of a man, and then the two melted together. The shape reformed into a seven-story building, each tier smaller than the one below. The voice came again-

“Nobody knows of this thing,
But his destiny is to be a King…”

Elrond eyelids drooped lower… lower… and then he was asleep.

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