Part 69 – Teryndir’s Pain
Afternoon came to the land of Evendim. The air was warm thick with moisture. Shining brightly and giving off heat were the white buildings of Annuminus. The air around the buildings was warmer along the path where Eleswith, Amathwyn, Herion, and a few other rangers were being lead out of the city.
Quickly, dressed as a ranger, Theomin ran down the path, incognito as Sergee ran behind, ready to help if needed. Finally, he caught up with the group and kept his hood low as a few other rangers looked at him. They continued on as some of the rangers in the company continued to stare at Theomin. He tried to keep his head bowed as long as possible but it was no use. The ranger pulled back his hood and revealed Theomin.
“He’s here!” the ranger yelled out in excitement, “Enedion is here,” the ranger staring at Theomin said, pointing at Theomin, drawing all the attention on him.
Theomin backed up but he was met by other rangers holding him, “We’ve got him!” they said as they held him tightly. Theomin struggled but could do nothing. He looked down the path where he came from looking for Sergee. Alas, it was too late and Sergee never came.
“Theomin!” Eleswith screamed toward Theomin.
“Let me go!” Theomin yelled to his captors.
“They will not free you, brother,” Teryndir approached Theomin. “Your schemes will end. You are beaten. I hear there is a pretty price to pay for your capture. A price set by the mayor of Bree. We need not to treat with the men of Ost Forod. They are cheats and they are liars. They care not for the struggles of the rangers and of the wardens.” He looked around at his men. “You see what happens when you appose my rule?” he said in a loud commanding voice to his men. “You see what happens when my words are not followed? You get punished.” He approached Theomin and looked in his eyes, “You get punished dearly.” With all his might, he punched Theomin in the stomach. Theomin screamed terribly and tried to breathe in but loudly made a moan and coughed loudly. “We do not have jails here yet that could house such criminals. Bree, though.” He looked at Theomin. “Bree has prisons.” He looked around at his men again, “This one,” he pointed to Theomin, “This one escaped from one such prison. This one was arrested and imprisoned for murder.” Theomin looked at Eleswith. He gave her a stare showing he knew what happened. Eleswith only looked down, shame showed on his face as Teryndir continued. “You see, this one cannot be trusted. He purposefully kept food from us. He purposefully made us starve so we were weak. And when we were at the lowest point, he was going to allow his men from Ost Forod, his cheats and liars, to take over. He does not believe we deserve this place. This place we fought so hard to reclaim.”
“You lie,” Eleswith yelled at Teryndir. “He fought just as hard as you did for this place. He didn’t even have to!”
“Ever the champion you are of this failure. You were his co-conspirator. His ally in his scheming. I heard about you, Eleswith of Dale,” he said in a mocking tone. “I heard you were jailed right alongside with him. You and Enedion both broke out of prison together. You deserve the Bree jail just as much as Enedion does. And prison you will have. I will deliver my bounty to Bree and I will be Bree’s champion. They will ask what I want in return and all I will say is food. Food for my starving people because it is food they need. I am not a monster. I will not allow a whole city to starve.” He looked at Theomin. “That would be cruel.”
“You have no right to imprison me. I have done nothing wrong,” Theomin growled at Teryndir.
Teryndir looked deep into Theomin’s eyes. He looked with insane eyes into Theomin’s soul as he told Theomin, “I have every right to send you away. You are being sent back to Bree. Gerald of Bree is already expecting you.” Just the mention of Gerald struck fear in Theomin’s heart as he shuddered. “There, you will spend the rest of your days not only for murder, but the attempted coup on the city of Annuminus.”
“I have proof, Teryndir. I have proof I am not the killer.”
“And where is this proof, Enedion?” he looked at Theomin not expecting much.
“It is in a cave under Annuminus. I will show you,” he said.
“How convenient. Drag me down to a cave only to murder me too?” He smiled at Theomin, “I’m too smart for that.”
“I did it!” Eleswith yelled at Teryndir. “I killed the mayor’s son!” She looked down in shame as Teryndir looked with shock at her, “I didn’t know it at first. It was just a job. I was supposed to kill him and receive my pay from Gerald. I did not know Gerald was the mayor’s son and that Friedrick was the mayor’s son. I only called Gerald after the name he told me. He called himself Kronog. I was hired by him many times to ‘clean up messes’ that he made. He employed me many times to do jobs for him. Horrible jobs they were because he was a horrible man. I came to Eriador to escape death, not cause it.” She looked at Theomin, “I was starving and nobody was wanting my services. He was the only one who employed me. If I knew exactly what I would be doing, I would have never accepted the job. I’m sorry. So sorry for the pain I caused you, Theomin. Had I known it was the mayor’s son I was going to kill, I would have never done it.” She looked at Teryndir with sadness, “Take only me. I am the one they want. Not Theomin.”
Teryndir looked at Eleswith half smiling as he shook his head, “You think I’m stupid? Your little story might have been true, but more than you, they want him,” Teryndir point to Theomin. “They care not for you. I can take only him and they would give me anything I want. Throwing you in is just a little added bonus. I care not for who killed who and why. Let the people decide that. I care about my city and feeding my people.”
“This is not your city, Teryndir,” Sergee came from behind. “This is the city for all of Eriador. It is not for one man to hoard all to himself. You are not the emperor of Annuminus. You are only the sheriff. Nothing more. We three must stand together.”
“No, Teryndir,” Sergee answered calmly. “I know when wrongs need to right. Enedion did not commit a crime. Perhaps Eleswith not out of her own motives. It was Gerald who did it, no one else.”
“How can you defend criminals? How can you come and tell me how to run my city? This is my city!” Teryndir yelled at his brother. “I have been promised this city since I was a child. Father always said this city would one day be mine and now I have it. It is mine,” he said with passion spewing from his lips.
“It is not yours,” Sergee said. “It is ours.”
“Take up arms, men,” Teryndir yelled to his men. They looked at each other, not sure what to do, “Take up arms. All these men are traitors.” He looked at his men who did not know what to do, “Take up arms or I will send you all to the brig.” He looked around at his men, “What are you waiting for? These men are starving us, killing us. We will die if we continue to allow them to be here!” He pushed one of his rangers toward Theomin to force him out of the city but the ranger did not budge. “Take them and we will receive our food from Bree, I promise!”
Sergee came to Teryndir, “It is over,” he said calmly. “You will not be sending anyone away.” He placed a hand on Teryndir’s back so calmly as the rest of the company stared at Sergee and Teryndir with anticipation.
“He will make us starve!” he yelled. “He will kill us all!” He collapsed onto the ground. “He killed our father. He is a bad omen.” At that point, he fell apart and cried hard on the ground as the others watched the sad display from their leader. “Father! Why did you die?” he cried, panting horribly, crying with such emotion that it filled the road with long sad echoes.
Sergee knelt down next to Teryndir, “It is okay to feel. It is okay.”
“I loved him,” Teryndir yelled, “I loved him so much.”
“Our father loved you too. I could see it in his eyes.” Sergee looked emotionally at Teryndir, “Thank you for showing your men your true self.” He took Teryndir by the shoulders and pulled him back, “Now we need to know how to live without him. It will not be easy. I never is. But we are all here to help you along that path.” He looked at everybody around, “We will do it together.”
“How?” Teryndir said, choking back more tears.
“By first letting Enedion and his men go.”
Teryndir stood up and looked at Theomin and his company. All he did was give a slight nod and his men let all of Theomin’s men go. “But how do I know he was not wanting to starve us all?”
Suddenly, out from the wall a guard yelled out, “We have a whole host of men coming.”
“What are they doing?” Sergee asked because Teryndir could not speak.
It took a while for the guard to answer but when he did, it shocked everybody. “They come from Ost Forod.” The guard looked at Sergee, “They come baring food and provisions. They have come to help us rebuild.”
Teryndir looked to the guard. All were waiting to hear what Teryndir had to say. He looked with awe at the guard. Quietly and with humility he said, “Let them in.” The host of men poured in through the gate. They bore crates of food, supplies, medical supplies, weapons and a large host of men to aid them. “How is this possible?” Teryndir asked.
“Theomin, the champion of Ost Forod, aided us in our most desperate time of need, even when one of our own killed his friend. We are honored to call him a friend to Ost Forod.
Teryndir looked at Theomin and then at the rest of his men. Again, with quiet humility he looked at Theomin, “I am sorry,” He then turned and walked away quietly.
As soon as Amathwyn was released, she ran to Theomin and hugged him tightly. He hugged her in return and the two embraced for a long while. But Theomin was watching Teryndir walk away, shamed and saddened. Pity he felt for his brother but what else could he do? He just continued to hug Amathwyn tightly as he missed her so. It felt like a very long ordeal between when he last saw her and the recent events. He closed his eyes and remembered back at all of the things that had happened. The orcs in Parth Aduial, the suffering in Ost Forod, crossing the lake injured, meeting Estonethiel…watching his friend die…reading Thanncen’s journal. It all hit Theomin at once and drove tears to his eyes. The whole ordeal was finally over.
Eleswith came to Theomin and looked at him with as much regret possible, she said, “I wanted to tell you sooner. Saeredan kept me saying anything. He felt it would not seem genuine. Please, forgive me for what happened.”
Theomin looked at Eleswith, not sure of what to say. Suddenly, and without thought he said, “You and I, we are done.” He could not believe what he was saying and the look on Eleswith’s face told of the same thing, “You leave and never return.” He then turned and walked away leaving a stunned Amathwyn and Eleswith behind.
Eleswith watched as her only friend left her behind. The busy bustle of the workers of Ost Forod and wardens of Annuminus faded away and as far as she was concerned, stopped around her as she saw Theomin walking away as pools of tears started to fill her eyes. She felt pain in her gut grow and all of the sudden, she felt the loneliest she had ever felt in her life. Under her breath she sobbed saying, “I’m sorry, Theomin.”