The Family Line Part 4 – The Lady of the Elthengels

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Part 4 – The Lady of the Elthengels

Theomin’s ride up to Langhold was free of events. He stood at the gate of the burned city, wondering what was inside. He ScreenShot00332stepped inside the remains of Langhold as smoke still rose from the town. Some houses were completely burned away leaving only the bones of the structure still weakly standing. Other homes were charred but not completely burned down.

Some structures, like the one he and his friends attended studies at through his many years as a youth, were completely burned down. He still remembered the days he spent with Eotheron training at the tents just outside before attending lore class. He remembered well the wooden horse flying tall and proud on the thatched roof of the tall building. Back then the building seemed gigantic and at times foreboding to approach. Theomin enjoyed lore and Eotheron, his friend, enjoyed the combat training that all boys of Rohan attended. It was a mandatory training that took time out of the busy day of learning lore and practicing potions that it was almost a burden on his day. Though the structure had been destroyed beyond repair, the horse that had once stood proud and tall upon the roof, still stood perhaps as a sign that Langhold, though violently razed, will live on. If not on the hill, perhaps just in the hearts of the refugees of Langhold.

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Down the road past the stairs up to the now smoldering remains of the mead hall of Langhold was the general store. It was not burned down but was ruined beyond repair. Its sign was still bearing the picture of goods at the store where Theomin spent some time in the past, gathering goods and poultices if needed. The door to the store was locked, which did not make much of a difference as it was probably raided, just like the rest of the town.

Further past the general store was the old lady’s house. Luckily the house was still standing not burned nor charred. It was still intact with only some damage on the outside of the house. He entered the house finding it had been ransacked. Not much of value was remaining if, there ever was any. The mess on the floor showed that whomever ransacked the house did it in a hurry ScreenShot00333and left pulling down papers and logs. Pictures were slanted to the side and chairs and tables were strewn about. He continued on through the mess to the room on the left and between a barrel and a shelf he saw a strongbox. It was still intact.

The strongbox was a modest one of no significant size or look. It was wooden with a horse’s head carved out on the top of it. With very little force he opened it as the lock had been damaged. If the brigands broke into it they did not seem to lift or move anything. Inside the box were about twenty letters. He pulled them out and upon looking on the bottom of the box there was what looked like a cloth bottom. He pushed aside the cloth and found a journal.

He pulled out the journal and blew off the dust that had collected on it. Theomin wondered if he should read what was in the journal as they were private thoughts. Of course, curiosity got the best of him and he opened it to the front page. Inside the journal were writings from a woman. She did not write daily but what she wrote was almost always about some man she did not name. Her name was very nicely written inside the front cover: Amandwyn.

June 29

“I start this journal for my keeping of memories of my life with my love. I have never been good at keeping a journal but I will do my best. My love has given me the promise to someday wed. We have spent a year and a day together. He knows not of this journal but I will share it when we have turned old. I trust he will love me as much then as he loves me now.”ScreenShot00324

July 3

“Oh, the day he and I shall wed. Those days of old, being just a young girl with love of horses and dresses shall end and I will be his. He has my heart and I have his. On the day of September 3, we shall wed.”

July 21

“On the steps of Minus Rant our hearts will join in matrimony. It is a sacred site for he and I. We have spent many a warm summer nights there looking at stars, watching the sun setting and the moon rising, reading old books and being lost in the pages in the aged halls of Minus Rant which is now a part of us.”

July 27

“I caught mother trying to break open my box. I feel she is spying on me but I only have my love to hide. She is not trusting of me. Ever since she started with ales every morning after father left for Helm’s Deep, she has become more mad and intolerable. I hope that soon she will begin to show her love again and give me her blessing.”

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“My sister has left for the Wold. I know not why she takes her leave of the Elthengels before my love and I are to wed but she cannot stay here with mother. I have not shared in my sister’s anger of my mother but I know her anger is not misplaced. I choose to leave my love’s name out of this journal because I do not want my mother to know who he is. She does not approve of farmers. She would rather I married a guard or some warrior. I will not and neither will my sister.”

August 10

The date of the day of our wedding draws closer. Thane Pendrad has vowed to preside over our marriage. Every day steps closer to our day. My excitement is only paled by his as he surprises me daily with a flower upon the threshold of my door. I am in such love of him.”

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For the first time my love did not want to take the walk to our tower. He has been coughing and a little weak of late but his love for our tower was always in his heart. I trust he will find the strength of will to go on the morrow.

Those were the last entries for many days. She then continued closer to September 3rd.

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“Alas, this is the day I should have bliss for spending forever with the man I love for in two days we were to wed. My love, my life, was stolen from me. Why was he taken from me?”

September 3

“Today we were to wed. He died two days past. His fever never broke. His sickness continued for two months, every day getting sicker and sicker. He will continue on in my heart as he will always have it.”

It continued with almost unintelligible writing. Dry drops of wetness dotted each entry. Her grieving continued on for pages upon pages with dark scrapes across and unfinished and incoherent sentences. Later she spoke of the hopes of a sign to leave the Elthengles.

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“My heart is not here. My heart is lies outside this life. How can I live here? How can I continue while my life ended when my love’s life ended? How? Why does he pass but not my love for him? His essence stays with me. He is everywhere. His presence, his scent, the feel of his hair, the embrace of his arms. He haunts my dreams. Nightly I see him in the distance. He does not come to me. Why?”

October 5

“Life is ending here in this town. I need to leave but I need a sign that tells me to leave this prison of despair.”

October 6

“No hope, no sign.”

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“I am in need of a sign. Please. Give me the sign to leave this place.”

Day after day she continued for a sign. An answer to her need for some sign to tell her it is okay to leave the Elthengels. She continued to the point of obsession as her words were becoming more desperate.

October 22

“I need a sign. I need it. My heart is no longer here. Every place reminds me of him. Every blade of grass, every flower, every building brings me back to him. I sit at the fountain day after day pondering the reason I have been left alone. I need a sign. I need it.”

October 23

“Mother has not returned. She parted from me after telling me to have courage because losing somebody you love deeply is very hard. I am trying. I am hoping she returns. We have not been on good terms of late, but she is still my mother and I still love her.”

At last, only days after the October 23 entry, she found her sign.

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“Not since I walked to the tower with my love have I been there. I took my leave of the house late last night. I walked the lonely walk to the tower. I passed the farms of his family. I could not bear to see the farms but I had to pass them to approach the tower. It took not but an hour to reach it. The site, the smell, the wind, the night, so many memories hit my heart that it made me scream and cry in pain. Then there, screaming back in the tower was a child. I searched for him and on the third floor I found him, took him and made him mine. In a blue blanket he was wrapped the like I have hence never seen.”

“It was me.” Theomin whispered to himself, looking up from the pages of the journal. He suddenly realized he was the sign she was hoping for. It had to have been him she was writing about. And where was this tower? Was it a tower in the Norcrofts? It was close enough to walk to from the Elthengels. Going back to the journal, it was quite a while she wrote in it again.

February 3

“My little one and I moved to the Wold. My sister and I live here in Langhold. It is a lovely small town and is perfect for me. I feel blessed now in my new home. I know it is strange but I have not named my little one yet. I have a thought of a name but I cannot utter the name yet as it is too painful. I will name him when the time is right”

March 10

“I have decided to continue this journal in the hopes my little one will read it. Someday I hope we can read it together with the promise that he can know where he came from. He is not looking like the typical little boy from Rohan. I know not from whence he came, but it matters not for me.”

March 20

“Life has taken more from me now. The sickness that took my love from me has now stricken me. What wrong have I done to justify such sorrow? If this can be given to me can it not be given to my son? I cannot give this to my little son. I cannot. I cannot. I cannot.”

March 23

“I have given away my son. I have given away the one who has given me a new life. They do not live far and I may see him from a distance. He will still be my love and I have named him Theomin, after my love who has passed.”

March 24

“I will end this journal with my message to Theomin:

My dear son,

If you are reading this, I have already passed and you need many answers. I am sorry to say I have none for you. I can only say this: I loved you the moment I saw you. You embodied the essence of my love who has passed from my life. I do not know where you came from and in the end it matters not. You saved me from my own short sighted sorrow. I hope, someday, you find your real family but always remember your family loves you and did everything to protect you.

ScreenShot00081He sat in front of the strongbox. His mind wondered to the poor woman whose life died with her love but found new life in the little child in the Gondorian tower. Theomin had hoped his questions were answered but the journal only formed new questions. “Where was the tower? How did I get there? Who is my real family and where are they?” he wondered aloud.

As the day sped to night, Theomin found himself stuck with the question of what to do. His head pounded with heavy thought. He could not concentrate with such pounding. His body felt weak and his mind was starting to become frustrated. He finally gave in ending the day by sleeping in the old woman’s bed next to the strong box. The bed was not very dirty. Only a few items were strewn across the top of it. Theomin swiped them off and laid down with the lady’s journal next to him as he drifted to sleep.

Morning came fast. Theomin found himself in the old woman’s bed. The ache in his head receded after the good night sleep. He realized he had been awake for two full days. That was most likely why he felt a new energy. He felt so much energy that he made his decision. He would pursue his birth family. He first knew he had to tie up some loose ends.

Upon leaving the old woman’s room, he took the twenty or so letters that were in the woman’s strongbox. He wondered to himself if he should really read some of the letters on his journey to the tower. He kept them, putting them in a small bag and carrying it out when looked up at the shelf and found a neck piece that belonged to the lady Amandwyn. It was a gold colored wrap that looked as though it had seen a fair amount of wear and bad weather. Never-the-less he placed the wrap around his neck in remembrance of the woman from the Elthengels while on his journey to find his family of birth.

Theomin left the home and headed south out of Langhold. He knew that without his aid, the farm and his adopted family would be vulnerable to the growing threat that saw the downfall of Langhold. Theomin decided to find help in a family friend just to the south.

 

 

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