Part 50 – A Hidden Hope
Stunned, both Theomin and Eleswith turned around to see a well dressed man staring at them from the southern path that lead from the small cottage. Both were shocked that he was the same man who was part of Eleswith’s group back in the Lone Lands. She replied back with disbelief, “Sergee?”
“What are you doing in the North Downs?” he asked, stunned to see her.
Disbelieving that she saw him, she asked, “I would like to know the same.”
“My station,” Sergee started, “is here, along with my father and brother.”
“I thought you were going to stay in the Lone Lands with Magla and Helesdir,” she asked.
“Helesdir is around but Magla stayed in the Lone Lands. He may come this way after a couple of days. Now tell me, what are you doing here?”
After a pause, and an acknowldgement that it was okay to tell his story, she began, “Theomin and I have traveled a great deal, and with dreadful encounters,” her look was haunting, but she quickly recovered, “but we have come to search for his remaining family here in the north. All attempts to find them have gone ill but we will continue looking tomorrow,” she looked at Theomin, “after we return to Othrikar.”
Sergee looked at Theomin. “Did you not tell Helesdir of your story?”
“I did,” answered Theomin.
“And where did you say you were from?” Sergee asked.
“I am from Rohan.”
Sergee paused for a moment. He stayed quiet for a few moments as if deeply contemplating something. “You come from Rohan but your home is up here in the north.”
“That is right,” Theomin answered, hoping Sergee would tell him something, perhaps a clue to where his family was, “Can you tell me why you ask?”
Sergee looked dumbfounded for some reason but then looked at Theomin in the eye, “I know of a place. Tis not far. They may not welcome visitors right away but they may make an exception this time.”
“Why now?” Eleswith asked.
“What do you mean ‘why now?’” Sergee prompted.
“Why would they let us in now but not before?” she insisted to know.
Sergee looked at Eleswith intensely, “You have not changed much, have you?” She stood, waiting for an answer from Sergee. “They may make an exception because he may have family in the ruins there and I may know who they are.” He staired at Eleswith, “you, on the other hand, do not have family there. I could insist you stay in Othrikar for the night.”
She suddenly changed her tone, “Where is this place you are talking about?” she said with a smile.
He looked upon Eleswith with eyes of rememberance of how Eleswith was, “It is just south of here beyond some hills in some ruins.”
They started walking south and Theomin had to tell Eleswith, “Do not mess this up for me.”
Night soon came and a cool wind filtered in from the west. The few pines about the hills wrestled in the infrequent cool wind while in the distance Gatson’s windmill could be seen twirling gently. It felt pleasant being amongst in the land of the Kingsfell. The night air did not have the humidity that some of the other lands possessed. It felt nice for a change.
After just a few minutes they reached an old wall split in two and joined by the steep hills to the north and south. There, a sentry was posted. “Sergee,” the sentry greeting him as if he had just seen him. “Who are these two you are with?”
“I found these two near the Old Marshall house north of here. This one here,” he motioned to Theomin, “may need to speak with Athegdir.”
“You know I cannot let anyone in without the explicit concent from the council of four,” the sentry explained. “Have you such a concent?”
“And I am under strict orders from Teryndir to not allow anyone in without concent. You know this,” the sentry insisted.
“Then send someone to fetch Teryndir and bring him here. He needs to hear of my concern.”
The guard looked at Sergee, shaking his head. He looked as though he did not want to deal with such petty delema. He whistled over to another sentry further back. The sentry came forward quickly, “Find Teryndir. Bring him to the west gate.” The sentry ran toward the inside of the compound.
Sergee looked at Theomin and Eleswith, “It should only take a few minutes.”
In fact it took quite a bit of time. It was well into the night when the sentry finally returned with Teryndir. “What is this?” the man asked, visibly annoyed. He did not look too kindly. His demeanor was much different from Sergee’s and a scowel to match. “I had important business with scouts whom have returned from Evendim.”
“He is in East Nan Amlug. He should be returning shortly, why?” the man insisted.
“I need Theomin to speak with father,” Sergee said.
“Why should I allow these two into the compound and violate the secrecy of our camp to these forigners? You know the rule.” Sergee looked at the sentry and then at Eleswith. He then whispered something into Teryndir’s ear. What ever it was, Teryndir looked at Sergee with shock, “Are you sure?”
“No, not really,” Sergee said, “but I need father here to be absolutely sure of it.”
“Come,” the scoweling man motioned, “come in.” They walked into the entry way of the compound as the man continued, “I am sorry for the poor reception we gave. With so many of our people gone south, we are left with a small crew to defend this outpost. Any unwanted visitor needs to be turned away. Amazingly, the enemy still has no clue this place exists and we intend to keep it that way, which is the reason for the heightened security. To keep a place such as this secret, it takes a lot of effort on our part.”
They walked into the forecourt of the compound. Many venders and a stable man were housed there, lining the surrounding walls, confind by the high walls surrounding them. It looked as though the hidden camp continued down into another court. “Is this some kind of hidden market place?” Theomin asked.
Sergee and Teryndir both looked at eachother and gave a slight chuckle, “No,” Sergee said. “It is much more than that. This is just the forecourt where these good men and women help our cause, supplying us with weapons and armour while we supply them with the goods they need.”
“So this place is more than just a hidden market place?” Eleswith asked. “Because right now it looks like a market place.”
Sergee shook his head, “This place is more than a market place. It is the one outpost in the North Downs the orcs do not know the location of. It is the last hidden hope of the north. We call it ‘Esteldin’ which, in sinderan means ‘hidden hope.’”
“No wonder it’s hidden,” said Eleswith. “You let no one in.”
“It’s fine, Teryndir,” he shot Eleswith a desperate look to shut up.
“Eleswith…” Theomin said under his breath as he too gave Eleswith the same look.
“I’m sorry,” she said, realizing she was making a fool of herself and Theomin.
The four walked through the forecourt of Esteldin and traveled through the narrow path that lead into the central courtyard. There a bard was sitting on a well, singing for a few who would listen. A few others were sitting near tents of which were erected on the north end of the central court. To the south, amongst other tents and a fire pit were rangers training in the arts of hand to hand combat. A captain, of sorts, was watching the every move, roaming back and forth observing the rangers as they swung and clanged their swords with skill. To the west, a building stood tall with a double door leading into it and north of that a few rangers practiced their archery. The central courtyard seemed to be a training ground for the rangers of Esteldin. They seemed to be a confident and skillful bunch, adept at ranged and close hand combat. It was exactly the type of skill Sylderan, whom he met in Eregion, had advised Theomin to seak out, as opposed to his much more boisterous lore skills. Seeing as how he had no staff with which to channel the skills.
Back in Langhold, though he was well adept at lore, he was able to swing a sword quite well. In his instructor’s opinion he was pretty good but up against his friend, Eotheron, he was no match. There was no beating him as he had become even more advanced than his instructor. At that, Eotheron was very proud of himself, a trait that seemed to annoy many, including Theomin.
Pounding of horse hooves came from the east as a host of men on horseback rode into the central courtyard of Esteldin, led by a man clad in steel from head to feet. He sported a long full beard dark gray in color that reached the mid of his chest. His face was that of an older man but he looked just as strong and confident as any of the other rangers there in the courtyard.
His horse, clad in armour similar to its owner, bucked in such a display that would astound even the greatest warrior of Rohan. The man handed his sword to one of the other rangers and dismounted from his steed. He looked as though he had been in combat as his sword was stained black with orc blood and he was sweating perfucely from the brow, “Dol Dinen looks to be overrun again by orcs,” he said, with serious authority. “More have been spotted every day, our scouts say, and I have a feeling only more will be coming. We tried to counter their defenses but their count was too many. We lost one but we destroyed those who followed. There are no more following, our scouts are making sure of that. Now my concern is how they are making it to Dol Dinen. There is no path with which to cross into Dol Dinen without being spied by our scouts. There has to be a secret route they are taking to occupy that valley so quickly.”
“They could be heading around through the east of Nan Amlug, along the path of the just east of the Earth Kin. Our scouts don’t travel there much as they are not friendly to our cause,” a ranger said addressing the older man’s concern.
“That could be true,” the older man said. “We could pull part of the watch off of the pass between Nan Amlug East and West and plead the dwarves to aid us in guarding that post. If it is breached it is Othrikar that sufferes, not Esteldin. Post three near the settlement of the Earth Kin and have them set up a roving watch. Bregor, make good on that. Take two other rangers to aid you on your way. Dourhands may not be there anymore but I see more orcs and goblins every day.” Bregor bowed and left as the old man then stomped his way over to Teryndir, “Have our scouts returned from Men Erain?”
“Yes they have, my lord,” the Teryndir assured his father.
“The enemy has taken all parts of the city. They seem to be concentrated in the main courtyard and the docks. On the upper levels the wardens seemed to hold back the tide but not for much longer. Their numbers are few and they are dwindling every day. They need help.”
“They will be receiving some,” the older man said.
“Along the western edge of the city the garrison is light,” Teryndir continued.
“Do they have trolls?” one of the other rangers asked.
Teryndir looked at the ranger, “Yes, they have a whole host of trolls.”
“We can deal with the trolls,” the older man said, “we have dealt with many thus far and I don’t see us stopping now. And what of Ost Elendil? What threat is there?”
“That we cannot tell. The scouting party that was assigned to that place never returned.”
The older man thought for a moment. He was resigned to thank his son and turned toward the library until Sergee stopped him, “Father, he yelled out to the older man.”
“Yes Neleghil, what is it?” the old man addressed Sergee.
“Neleghil?” Theomin thought as he gave a glance to an equally astonished Eleswith.
He motioned over to Theomin to come closer, “This man here has traveled all the way from Rohan to search for his family.”
The older man looked at Theomin and then back at Sergee, “Neleghil, you know I am a busy man. I cannot be troubled with petty little hunts. If it’s my blessing you want to roam around these lands, you have it. Otherwise leave me to my duties.”
Sergee grabbed him by his arm. The father turned and looked down at his son with fire in his eyes. Sergee did not back down, “No father, I don’t think he can find them outside of Esteldin.”
The older man turned his gaze from Sergee to Theomin. He cocked his head to the side, part in disbelief and part in the great want to believe. “How can I believe he is who you think he is?” he asked Sergee.
“I have this blanket of which I was wrapped in when I was found as a child.” Theomin handed over the blue blanket with the single silver star adorning it.
The man looked on the blanket for a very long time. His eyes cheated no emotion as he stood there stoicly looking at the blanket. By that time everybody in the court was looking at the man, Theomin, and everybody gathered around the court. He finally looked at Theomin, “All I have is this blanket to tell me that you are my lost son. I have no other sign of which to tell me who you really are.” He then looked at Sergee, “Neleghil, stop playing a fool. You have successfully wasted my time and the time of all here.” He then turned and started to leave.
At that point Sergee stepped up next to Theomin and with boldly pronounced, “I believe he is.”
Teryndir then stepped up on the other side of Theomin and also pronounced just as boldly as his brother, “I believe he is too.”
Athegdir turned but his sudden gaze did not fall on his sons. Nor was anybody else stairing at them. It seemed as though the whole group of people were stairing not at Sergee, Theomin, and Teryndir but at Theomin’s pocked they were stairing at, and at the two brothers. Light started emenating from beneath their shirts as was it also coming from Theomin’s pocket. In the crowd, the rangers were saying, “What is that?” and “Is it some spell?”
Deeply reverent and amazed, the old man looked at Theomin, “Could it be? The lost stone? The stone that was lost with my son?” He knelt down before Theomin with praise, “It is you. My son who was lost ages ago has finally returned to his family.” He stood up and with a loud and boisterous voice pronounced, “My son has come home!” The crowd erupted in cheers for what seemed like a very long time. Theomin reached inside his pocked and removed the Amar Calad. The emerald crystal, which was once dark, was in fact glowing. From deep inside it glowed brilliantly, brighter than any lamp of the compound they were in. At that, the eyes of whole host of the rangers were transfixed on the light emenating from the Amar Calad.
Theomin put away his necklace and the whole group started murmering in wonder. The father quieted down the crowd for an announcement. “I know we have had it rough these past few weeks with the rest of our host gone. I know we have a great road ahead of us. But tomorrow night, a feast will be held. A feast to honor my son’s return!” The crowd cheered once more and patted Theomin on the back and on the shoulder, which made him feel a slight tinge of discomfort. The father came up to Theomin and whispered to him, “We have much to talk about. Sleep and we will talk in the morning.”
After the crowed had finally dispersed, Sergee brought Theomin and Eleswith to some tents in the north-west corner of the court. There, many tents were erected and filled with people of all professions from cooks to bards and even to trainers of various combat skills. “If you can,” Sergee said, “find some rest here in the tents. This should be the only night you find rest in the tent for tomorrow we will find a suitable bed for you.”
“So do we now call you ‘Neleghil?’” Eleswith asked.
“You can still call me Sergee, though Helesdir has called me Serkee for the longest time. It has sort of sticked,” Sergee said. “Only my brother and father call me Neleghil. None other. Sergee was given to me while in the Lone Lands.”
“Then were you really found inside the Forsaken Inn by Helesdir?” Theomin asked.
Sergee looked at Eleswith with a knowing smirk. She knew his story but Theomin did not. “Yes, I was found there,” he said in more grave tone. “But, now is no time for my story. Tomorrow our day is long and the night is late. Let us revel in the moment and take rest.” Sergee left the company of Theomin and Eleswith and layed down.
The night was long. It still felt to Theomin that he was on his journey to find his family but he continued to convince himself that his hunt was over. For all his many weeks of searching for his true family he finally found them. With his mid racing about his real father and of the rangers, he did not feel the need for sleep for the longest time but eventually, perhaps after many hours, he finaly drifted off to sleep.
The day started early. Sergee woke Theomin, who felt groggy from the long night. The suns rays had just started to redden the eastern sky but the sky above was still black with the continuing fading of the stars. It was cool and a breeze blew through the compound of Esteldin from the west. The busy state of the rangers was a constant noise of the hidden camp. Eleswith was still asleep beside a smoldering fire. She looked as though she was having the best sleep she had in a very long time. Her face finally looked at peace as she slept, unmoved by the many noises of the compound.
“What is it?” Theomin asked Sergee.
“Father asked me to be your guide for your journey of discovery today,” Sergee said.
“Where is he? Father? I mean Athegdir? What do I call him?” Theomin asked, confused at his new role in the family.
“Father is fitting, I think. But he is out. He left on an early errand but he will be back by midday,” Sergee said, walking Theomin to some benches to have a bight to eat. “We have many different, delightful, meals you can choose from. We have sweetened bread, yurock meat, chicken eggs, or just plain coffee with bread.”
“Coffee? What is coffee?” Theomin asked, intrigued.
“Ohh, my brother,” Sergee said wide eyed with glee in his voice. “If you have never heard of coffee you have never lived.” Sergee poured Theomin a mug of coffee. He then sweetened it wish a dash of sugar and poured a drop of cow’s milk, slightly lightening the mix of the darkened drink. “Go ahead,” said Sergee, “give it a try.”
Theomin took a sip of the dark brew and was immediately repulsed. “Ech,” Theomin disgustedly said, “you drink this?” He then had an after feeling that filled his muscles with new found energy. His eyes became blazed with old bland colors suddenly vibrant and bright. The dark of the morning became light and the steady beat as his heart raced, “You drink this!” said Theomin excitedly.
“Okay,” Sergee said hoping to settle down Theomin, “perhaps one cup is enough for you for now.”
“I feel like running laps around the camp!” exclaimed Theomin fast and excitedly.
“Hold on, Theomin. Keep yourself steady. Have a few eggs from our crazy chicken over there and then instead of running how about you learn a little about us.”
“But I am ready to learn. Are you ready to learn? I think we are all ready to learn! Is this magic elixir or what?” Theomin said in fast succession.
“Calm down,” Sergee said as he noticed the others watching the new person, crazy off of a sip of coffee. “We received the recipe from the Shire. It helps us with waking in the morning, especially after long nights. It appears it works wonders for you. Now just give the coffee a moment, have some eggs and we shall talk.” Sergee said as he left.
Like Sergee said, he let himself calm down and had two eggs sunny side up atop a small slice of bread covered in cream with just a dash of black pepper. He had not had such good food in a very long time. It was perhaps too much food. He did not know how hungry he was as he over indulged, eating the food too fast. He sat back, loosened the belt around his waste a little and sat looking at the rangers moving about the camp on the missions of their own. He breathed in a sigh, not believing he was finally at his destination. He counted down the days he was gone from his night in Floodwend to Helm’s Deep but he could not make it past the days of Rohan as he would constantly get stuck on how much he truly missed the land where he was brought up.
Sergee came up to Theomin bearing books as he sat at the same bench as Theomin. He looked at Theomin as Theomin continued to look about him at all the structures of Esteldin. “Has the initial effects of the coffee warn off?” Theomin nodded. “Still can’t believe you are here, can you?” Theomin shook his head. “I too could not believe it either.”
Theomin looked at Sergee with disbelief, “You are not from here either?”
“Up to a few years past I did not live here. I lived in Rivendell since I was a child. My father sent you, me, and our mother away over twenty years ago. Angmar was becoming too much of a threat. Orcs had multiplied too much and too fast. Father asked a wizard by the name of Gandalf the Gray what to do with us. He told them the only way to keep us all safe was to send each of us someplace safe. He and mother took you and me away from home while Teryndir stayed behind with father. He accompanied us on our way east. Apparently Gandalf passed you off to our mother, a few rangers, and a few elves. He took me to Rivendell. You headed south. You were supposed to head to Minus Tirith with mother and a messenger was to bring back word that you made it. Father sent two more messengers to Minus Tirith and patiently awaited their return. Upon their return they had informed father you and our mother never arrived at Minus Tirith. All hope that we had in the brother’s well being and our mother was lost. That is where you come in. Where were you these past twenty years?”
“Well,” Theomin began as he sighed at the story, “I was in Rohan. I guess I was found in a Gondorian tower in a land of Rohan called the Norcrofts, nearby the wold.”
Sergee opened one of the books. In it were runes of many kinds, some writings, and a few maps. He pulled out a few maps and showed it to Theomin. “Can you show me on the map where this tower lies?”
“Sure,” he pointed on the map toward the northern portion of Rohan, near the boarder of the Wold. “It was about here the tower is and the lady found me.”
“What lady?” Sergee asked. Theomin proceeded to tell of the lady of the Elthengels and her finding of Theomin in the tower of the Norcrofts. He then told of her inability to keep Theomin how he ended up with his family in the Wold.
“How, then, did you know to come here?” Sergee had to ask.
“Amongst the ruins of the tower, there was a map. On that map were written a ‘three’, at the old Gondorian tower, a ‘two’ near a ford in the Trollshaws, and a ‘one’ just east of Fornost. I made the assumption that whomever wrote on that map was from here.”
“Hmm,” Sergee looked confused, “That makes little sense knowing you were bound for Minus Tirith, not Rohan. What happened on the way south that made them change their path from Minus Tirith to Rohan, I wonder.”
“Why were we to be separated like we were?”
“To keep us all safe, and skilled as best we could be, they sent me to Rivendell to be trained with the elves. They were quite adept at sword play and learned in the ways of peace and patience. They are immortal. Teryndir stayed here and trained with our father. You were to be trained, I believe, with the Rangers of Ithilien, if I am not mistaken. Of course that did not work out and you ended up in Rohan. Did you pick up any skills in swordplay?”
“I know little. I was more a master of lore than anything. If you compare my swordmanship with that of my friend’s, Eotheron, I am not very skilled.”
“Well that is too bad,” Sergee said.
“What of our necklaces? Why did they light up such as they did?” Theomin asked.
“Amar Calad? Amar Calad is Sinderan for ‘Earth Light.’ There were only three ever made in Eregion by the elves of old. There was written something on the Amar Calad that you may find most interesting.” Sergee flipped through the book of all the runes until he came to a particular poem. It read:
On the shores of twilight hills
Down from the doors of even-rills
Across the lake where birds call
Across the lake Nenuial.
The city shines with weathered rock
Upon the banks up from the docks
Isildur founded for Numenor
Annuminas was the name it bore.
Centuries it stood as numbers dwindled
Even as war began to kindle
Away they went in until men were partial
Until the last, were called the Marshalls.
The last of them they vowed and said
My kin will return long after I am dead.
With that he swore with necklace shown
The golden leaves around the stone.
Of glowing rock it was hewn
From deep inside of Kazad-Dûm
Dug by dwarves, forged by elves
In Eregion it was finally held.
The one will come, with necklace in hand
With the others in his band
All will join to set light free
But not until they all make three.
“What does that all mean?” Theomin asked.
“We believe the poem speaks of the city Annuminus. That city sits beside the Lake Nenuial, now called Lake Evendim. We know the city as abandoned and the Marshalls were the last to stay in the city.”
“The Marshalls?” Theomin asked. “What are the Marshalls?”
“Well,” Sergee answered, “we are the marshalls, or decendants of the marshalls to be exact. In old Annuminus there were three marshalls, one for each part of the city. One for the gates at the wharf, one for the heart of the city, and one for the citadel, the very peak of the city where the king sat in the age of Arnor. Each of the marshalls have a host of wardens by his side, as loyal as the day is long. You, Teryndir, and I are all three supposed to be Marshells of Annuminus. Father bore upon us, before we were taken away, the Amar Calad because it was passed down to us through blood. All of his brothers parished in war in the north and last remaining brother who kept the necklaces and had given them to us with the hope that we would, one day, reclaim the city upon the lake and be her marshalls again.”
“What of Amar Calad? I have heard many times it had powers embued upon it,” Theomin asked.
“I know not much of the Amar Calad. What I know is written in the text of the poem. It was cut from rock of Kazad Dum, which is now called Moria in the elvin tongue. The stone, I guess, was a type of shining stone only found in Moria. The elves, in the time before Eregion fell to Sauron, forged the necklace and a wizard put upon it a spell so to shine brightly when all three are together.”
“I see.” It was all too much to take in for Theomin. His head started to ache and his attention was waining.
“I know,” Sergee achnowledged Theomin’s sudden dip in attentiveness. “It is all a little too much. There are some things I need to take care of for our party tonight. It is the afternoon and I am sure you have a lot to think about.” To that Thoemin nodded. “Then take the afternoon to relax for tonight is the celebration in your honor.”
The rest of the day Theomin looked upon his time in Esteldin. The furver he once had to find his family had finally gone away. There, an empty hole was left he had nothing left. He had no other quest to go on, no destination for the day. He wandered up a hill leading out the eastern gate of Esteldin. Through a small pass between two steeper hills he walked until he reached a ledge overlooking the valley of Eastern Nan Amlug. After a while he was joined by Eleswith. It was late afternoon as the sun had already decended behind the hills where Esteldin sat. The sky grew darker and the air became cooler.
“What is it?” she asked.
“That is something to celebrate. Why are you not joyeous knowing who your family really is?” she prompted.
“All of my thoughts about what they might be are all gone. There is nothing new to know. They have told me everything and I am not sure if I want to remain here. I miss home now more than ever and for good reason.”
Eleswith looked at the valley and the animals walking about, “I think I will stay here. This feels like home to me. These people are more like me.”
“You will not return to Dale?”
“Why? I have found my home here. There is no reason to go back,” she said with gladness.
The two sat at the edge of the cliff, looking at the valley of East Nan Amlug until Sergee came up to them. “It is time.” Theomin and Eleswith looked at Sergee, “All have gathered for the feast in your honor, Theomin.”
Eleswith looked at Theomin with surprise and gladness. She was pleased to hear someone, especially Theomin, referring to her as a friend. Inside the compound many had gathered in the Central Courtyard of Esteldin. Helesdir was there as well, looking at Theomin arriving with Athegdir standing tall at the rear of the gathered crowd. “Welcome home, my son!” he yelled out as the rest of the company cheered a great and rousing cheer. He then looked at the rest of the crowd, “Well, what are you waiting for? Feast!” he yelled out to the crowd who yelled out in gladness and dispursed to grab as much food as they could.
Through the evening the minstrals were playing music of happy times. Many were drinking and eating to their hearts content. There was salty boar meat, yuroch meat on scewers, chicken pies, apple pies, cherry pies, and fruit of all sorts, breads of all kinds, cheese and all the beer in berrals they could drink. Among those attending were a host of elves and amongst the elves, there stood Feredir.
“I see this is in your honor,” Feredir said as he approached Theomin. “Tis quite significant for them to finally meet the son they thought they had lost.”
“You were not pleased, Eleswith?” the elf asked her.
“Yes,” Feredir said, “Sergee is a special person. One I trust to the end. His brother…” he looked at Teryndir who was dancing amongst the others. “His brother takes some getting used to.” He looked over a few yards away at Teryndir dancing by a fire while one other danced and the others watched and clapped. “Look at him over there. I believe he has imbibed a drop or two too much of ale.”
“Well do not let that get to you tonight,” Feredir tried to cheer up Theomin. “Tomorrow is for thoughts of home, but tonight is for you.”
“If I may have your attention!” Athegdir announced to the partying rangers in Esteldin. It sounded like he did quite a bit drinking of the many barrels of ale already, of which many of the men and women had also done. “I would like to introduce the whole reason we are having this party tonight. It is because for the longest time we believed my second son to be long dead. Though my beloved wife never returned to me, and I miss her even to this day, today we celebrate the return of my son!” he said, half slurring his words. The crowd cheered at Theomin but Theomin was shy. He just held up his mug of ale and nodded his head slightly, hoping he was not supposed to deliver a speech. “Before this night my family was only three: my son, Teryndir,” they cheered at Teryndir, “my third son Neleghil…or if you are not apart of this elusterous family, Sergee,” the crowd gave a slight chuckle at the quip but finally cheered, “and finally, the son I thought we had lost for ever, Enedion,” the crowd cheered even louder than for Theomin’s brothers. “Come up Enedion.” They all looked over at Theomin. Shyness poured over Theomin as Athedgir called him over. He slowly walked his way up to his father in what felt like a walk that took an entire year. At last, he made it up to Athegdir and he continued, “This is day has filled me with the joy I have been missing for a long time. This day my son has finally come home and I know, deep down in my heart that this is the moment we have been waiting for. His coming is an omen of grateness that we will be victorious, for it is on this day, he has come home on the eve of our greatest battle!” The crowd roared in cheers.
Theomin looked at his father, unchanged by the cheers of the crowd and just said, “What?”
Thank you Arathaert and Leandir for helping me with this episode. Your help was invaluable!