The two brothers sat quietly as the sun began to rise. One sat leaning against a large stone, gazing into the forest. The other stood leaning against a tree and looking out over the sea. They had been like that all night, and neither had spoken since they arrived at the cliff. Elros finally broke the silence.
“The ships leave in the morning.”
Elrond smiled. “You said that last night.”
“Have we been here that long?”
“Yes. Time does fly, and I fear it will fly all the faster for me now.”
“So you have chosen the fate of the Elves.”
“Yes, I have. I love our brethren deeply, and I do not wish to part with them. Have you made your decision?”
“I’ve chosen to be numbered among Men. I was given kingship over the remaining Edain, and Eonwë has taught us much.”
For a while the silence grew again, then Elros looked up at his brother and asked, “Will you be going to Aman with Eonwë?”
“No. I think I shall stay here in Beleriand for a while longer. There is much to rebuild, and not all the Eldar will be leaving.”
“Then I think you shall miss your chance to see the land that the Valar have given us.”
“I’m afraid so. Has this land been given a name yet?”
“Some use the High-Elven tongue and call it Numenor. Others call it Anadune in the tongue of the Edain. The most popular name though is Andor.”
“The land of gift? A fitting name indeed.”
“There will be much to build and to explore once we get there. It will be quite an adventure, but also a great task. I do not think I will return to Beleriand.” Elros felt a lump well up in his throat, but fought it down. “I do not think we shall meet again within the Circles of Arda.”
The brothers grew silent, and birds could be heard singing in the trees. Elrond took a deep breath and said, “So, what did Eonwë teach you and the Edain?”
“Just about anything we asked. Some also had questions about the Valar and times before Isil and Anar. He was more than happy to sit down and tell these tales as well, especially to the children.”
The silence grew again, and both gazed at the ground. Neither knew what to say. Then Elros smiled and said, “The ships leave in the morning.” Elrond chuckled. Anar was now fully visible in the morning sky. Elros stood up and turned to face the sea that washed over the rocks several feet below. Elrond walked away from the tree he was leaning on and stood beside his brother. Both turned their gaze from the horizon out across the calm, blue sea to the sky, where a bright silver flame burned beneath the Sun.
Elros deeply breathed in the sea air, then said “Give my love to mom and dad. When you see them, that is.” Elrond ran his finger across his cheek. “I will.”
The brothers walked down to the docks, where the ships were waiting and the passengers were already loading their belongings.
When the Sun was high in the sky, the ships were loaded and the passengers said their last good-byes. The brothers embraced one last time before Elros boarded his ship. The ships opened their sails and the wind took them out to sea, as those on the decks waved. As Elros’ ship sailed into the distance, Elrond saw Gil-Estel, the Star of Hope, burning brightly above its mast.