The Family Line Part 45 – The Truth Seeker



Part 45 – The Truth Seeker

ScreenShot01184 (2)The night was dark as the last glimpses of the sun had already faded far into the western horizon. A mist surrounded the village of Bree as a cool breeze of filled with moisture dampened the night air. Few people were out and about the village. The chill of the night was too unpleasant for people to remain outside. Only those who needed to be outside, such as guards, remained outside while the rest of the villagers had already withdrawn inside the warmth of their houses.

ScreenShot01152-1 (2)That was to the advantage of the three fleeing Bree. After the elf cut their bonds, he led Theomin and Eleswith away west from the ancient gravesite where Gerald gave Theomin his so many beatings. He causiously but quietly led them out into the court where the town hall was but quickly veered to the left of the hall down a small alleyway. He stayed off the main roads and instead took the two through the less crowded side ways of Bree of which less guards would usually walk. The elf tried to stay as stealthy as he could, looking around houses and watching for roving guards. They were able to sneak for a while until, alas, horns blew frantically behind them from the direction of the prison.

“He awoke,” the elf disappointedly said, “I had hoped he would be out for just a while longer.”

“What do we do?” Eleswith panicked.

“We must continue along. I must get you out of Bree,” the elf said.

“And go where? Where are you leading us?” Eleswith demanded.

“I know of a place just north of Bree that is safe. But you must trust me,” the elf insisted.

Eleswith withdrew more questioning for the moment as the elf could continue to lead the two further away from the prison. He took them down alley ways and past many unlight houses and unlit streets. The buildings were imposing, giving the town of Bree an ominous feel as the fog grew ever thicker while they continued further through Bree. In the distance they heard more horns and the barking of dogs. They knew not where the sounds were emanating from as the echoing of the horns and dogs were reverberating off the surrounding houses. They could be coming from anywhere.

They were finally led up some stairs to a second level of Bree. Men of Bree could be heard all round them. Suddenly, from behind, a sure sound of of a voice saying, “Check up there” one voice said, “will do,” a second voice answered. The three continued further, as fast as they could, through the second level of the town. They strode as quickly as they could, almost caring not for what was infront of them, for they knew that someone was persuing them from behind.

Theomin could hardly move fast. The injuries he sustained throughout the, now five nights, shown on his body as he limped along, trying to match the quick steps of the elf and the hurried pace of Eleswith. His broken body pained him with each step he took and even the movement of his chest was such a pain to him that he finally had to stop. Sweat dripped from his brow with the emence pain he had.

“Theomin, what are you thinking?” Eleswith came back to say to him.

“We must continue,” said the elf, franticly. “They are almost upon us.”

“I cannot,” he panted painfully shaking his head. “I cannot.”

The elf approached Theomin and with a serious tone, told him, “When they catch you,” the elf said, “you will be thrown back into your jail cell and the next time and will never see daylight again,” he took Theomin’s chin and looked him in the eye, “and make no mistake, they will kill you.” Theomin looked at the elf for a moment and just nodded his head and continued along with the two.

The three passed over a bridge under which was another dark alley way through the city. Timing was on their side. A guard was seen rushing beneath them as he repeatedly yelled to the city folk, “Stay inside, lock your doors. Prisoners have escaped.”

They passed the bridge and continued on just a little further until they heard people ahead of them. They turned back but amidst the fog of night a toarch light was already coming across the bridge. They were trapped. As the toarch light came closer it was the same captian who placed Theomin and Eleswith under arrest back at the ruins. From the other side was another two of the Bree guards.

ScreenShot01156“Thanncen,” the captain of the guard called out to the elf with a voice of shock. “You are in league with these two?”

“No,” the elf calmly said, “I have found them hiding here.” He took Theomin by the shoulder and stood him up, “I am delivering them to Gerald.”

Eleswith attempted to rush at the elf but one of the guards grabbed her arm and held her as tight as he possibly could. “Let me go!” she yelled at the guard, flailing her arms about and tried to strike at the guard, who had a very strong grip on her, “You are a liar!”

“I will take these two back to Gerald,” said the elf, who’s name was Thenncen, told the captain of the guard. “They will receive an extra beating tonight.”

The captain looked at the elf with a tinge of suspicion. “What where you doing up here, Thanncen?”

He staired at the captain, shocked he would question him, “I just told you. I was searching for these two and found them here.”

“These two will stay here with me. You may go back to your home, now. I’ll call on Gerald myself.” He took his horn but just a moment before he blew it, the elf kicked the captain in the stomach. For just a moment the other guards drew their swords but the elf was too fast. He hit the other guard over the head. The guard holding Eleswith tried to aid his fellow guards but as he let go of Eleswith she grabbed hold of him as the elf hit him over the head with the club.

The elf took the guard’s horn and threw it far away from them. “Come! I know secret paths out of this town.” He led them away from the three downed guards and toward a door.

Further down an alley way Theomin could see a way out, “There, take us that way,” he called to the elf. “That will lead us out.”

The elf pulled Theomin and Eleswith into the house and slammed the door. There Toby Took saw them and with his signature smile waved and said, “Hullo!”

Theomin tried to go back out but the elf continued to pull him back, “What are you doing? We must make for that exit!”

“Do you not think that the mayor would already have each gate alerted to your absence? They will have extra guards posted, armed, and ready for you and Eleswith.”

“What is happening?” the inquisitive hobbit asked, “and who are they?” he asked with no recollection of Theomin or Eleswith.

Theomin looked at the hobbit with shock. Of course he knew who Theomin was. He dressed his wounds and helped him for the past five days. “Is he serious?” he pointed to the hobbit.

“Worry not about the hobbit. He’s harmless.” The elf then looked at the hobbit seriously, “Groth,” was all he said to him. The hobbit turned from happily oblivious to blank and serious. He turned and headed toward the back of the little house and stopped at a bookshelf. He then pushed a bookshelf out of the way, revealing a hidden staircase behind it leading down to a door. The elf looked at the other two, “Come, this way out.”

Guarded but still half trusting the elf, Eleswith and Theomin followed him. The door opened to a tunnel. It was a dark tunnel full of cobwebs all about. The darkness of it was the worst part. Here and there were lit toarches that were obviously prepared for someone by someone.

“What is this place?” Eleswith asked.

ScreenShot01155The elf led them through the tunnels under Bree as he told Eleswith and Theomin of the tunnels. “This tunnel was built in the beginning of the third age by the Dunedain after the fall of Arnor. Before the great cities of Arnor fell into ruin, the tunnels had been carved out of the ground for the Dunedain to smuggle supplies and weapons for the war against Angmar, which lasted for many years. Just recently the war with Angmar rekindled with the rise of Mordirith and Amarthiel. Evil was Amarthiel but she was not always so cruel.” Tunnels crossed here and there off into the darkness. The only light were on the path they were on as toarches had been strategically placed as their aid. Soon the path started to rise as the elf continued. “Many of the paths through this tunnel have been abandond or caved in. There are a few that still last. Some even travel through the North Downs and even to Annuminus. I am not sure if those still exist, though, as it has been too many years since any have set foot here.”

“I am sorry,” Theomin had to interject as weariness increasinly grew, “does the mayor know of this place?” He thought for a moment for a more practical question, “More importantly, does Gerald know of it?”

“This place had existed long before Mayor Greame was even born. At no time had he or his son ever mentioned it nor has he ever step foot in this place.”

“And what of your hobbit friend?” asked Eleswith. “Will he give away our secret path?”

The elf smiled and looked back at Eleswith, “I doubt he has any recollection of our visit.”

“What do you mean by that?” asked Theomin.

“Our friend, Toby, is a special little hobbit. Short of memory he is and an overly kind heart. One thing, though, is that I conditioned him over many a year to open this tunnel if I said the key word, ‘groth.’”

“And what does groth mean?” Theomin asked. “Is it elvish?”

“Yes,” Eleswith said suddenly recollecting something from her past. “It means tunnel.”

“That is right, Eleswith,” the elf said, surprised. “It should not shock me that you know that, with Dale being so close to my kin in the east. I suppose that story will have to come at a later time. We are here.” They approached a rickedy old wooden ladder that rose up to a ledge at the top. “Eleswith, if you would aid Theomin in pulling him up while I push him. He may be too weary to climb but must.”

ScreenShot01159Eleswith climbed the steps up to the top. She then layed down and reached down for Theomin. Theomin was next, hardly able to keep his balance but being aided by the elf, he was able to finally reach Eleswith’s hand as she pulled him up, keeping Theomin from using too much of his strength. The elf continued to push Theomin until, at last, he was pulled up the rest of the way by Eleswith. Finally, the three were at the top on the ledge, but there was no visible way out from the ledge.

“Where have you brought us?” Eleswith started to angrily protest.

The elf walked over to some roots sticking down from the ceiling above. There, a small hole was placed. Very difficult to see, it was, as roots grew down low around it. “Follow me,” the elf said as he climbed out of the hole. Eleswith was next and both pulled Theomin out of the hole.

Fresh air filled their nostrils as they felt the cool clean air of freedom. They were out on a hill that bore an old ruin beside it. Below the hill, the whole skyline of Bree could be seen. The fog was not as thick as they had supposed. It was still not easy to see details but it was not so thick as to hide Bree from view. They were free, high above the village, and that was all Theomin cared about.

Theomin, tired, hurt, and under tremendous pain had to ask, but felt so dizzy before asking, “Why are you aiding us?”

The elf looked at Theomin, “I know who murdered the mayor’s son and it is not you.”

By that time, Theomin could not remain standing. The ordeal of the past five days had finally caught up to him and in his terribly weary state, he thought he asked who murdered the mayor’s son but instead collapsed to the old stone ruined ground, completely passed out.

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  1. Merryrose /

    I’ve really enjoyed the storyline since the beginning. The diversity of the plot has me addicted to the series and I am reveling in the “murder in Bree” mystery.

  2. Leandir /

    I can’t tear my eyes away. I have to keep re-reading!

  3. timhedden /

    Thank you so much Leandir and Merryrose. It warms the heart to read your posts 😀


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