Part 77 – The Warriors of Eriador
“Absolutely not,” Teryndir shouted to Theomin and Eleswith when they returned. They were in the Court of Archatecture, formely known as Echad Garthadir where much of the planning to retake the city was. It was changed just recently as it was the court where Sergee and some of the wardens planned on the rebuilding of the great white city. “A dragon?” Teryndir continued, “are you out of your minds? Your wizard friend is either daft or has plans to kill all of us. Because that is what will happen. That dragon will smote our dead corpses long before we even set our eyes on it. It is a killer, a monster, a murderer.”
“The only murderer amongst us is you, Teryndir,” Theomin mocked Teryndir. “The only reason you are out is because we need you on our quest. If we never had this scepter you would have still been imprisoned deep in the dungeons of the city.”
“I hate to agree with Teryndir but he’s right,” Sergee said. “We know not what this dragon can do. It may just be a fool’s errand to find this dragon. If we had another way to search for this serpent in the ground another way, we could avoid this dragon.”
“And how would you propose searching for the serpent?” Eleswith asked. “All libraries in this city are destroyed; the books burnt to cinders. We have no way to research such a task.”
“What about the books in the library of Lin Giliath?” Estonethiel asked. “Such books may contain the information we seek.”
“And what of the library of Esteldin?” Teryndir asked. “We have use of those libraries there. The books are ancient and the pages are old but such books may contain the door to this ancient serpent we seek.”
Theomin nodded silently. He looked at each of the people there in agreement and finally said, “This if we can find the knowledge we seek in these libraries in the North Downs then so be it. We shall do this. But if we should fail, then what? What course do we take then?”
“Then,” Sergee said, “it will need to be the dragon we seek. The point of the libraries is to avoid a dragon, that is all.”
“Is everyone in agreement with that?” Theomin asked. Each person gave a silent nod of the head. “Okay, we have ourselves a plan.” Theomin looked at Sergee, “Did you find a suitable replacement for us while we were away?”
“I did,” Sergee said, “Your friend Herion, my chief architect, Thavron, and the master guard, Nethdir.”
“Isn’t Nethdir quite young to be in charge of the city?” Teryndir asked.
“He is,” Sergee agreed, “but his rise through the ranks of guards has been staggering. I trust him more than I trust some of our company,” Sergee did not say who he was referring to but everyone knew who the intended target was.”
“Then it is settled,” Theomin said. “We will leave by midday. Gather your belongings and what cloth you wish to wear. If we are to go underground, I know not the state of the environment down there. Be prepared.”
An hour and a half passed and Eleswith was looking for a saddle to place on her horse, she named “Celegiel.” Her gaze was narrow as it was not only her saddle she was looking for but also the quest she had before her. It was a while since she left the land of Evendim and to travel back to Esteldin was starting to raddle her just a little bit. In Annuminus, she felt more safe than she ever had been. Not since she was a little girl did she feel more safe and in the right place than she did at Annuminus. But she was leaving the city and she did not know how to process her feelings.
“Eleswith,” Theomin called for her from behind. She turned as if startled back to reality. “I was not able to apologize for my actions two nights past,” Theomin said in a low apologetic tone. “I was wrong to insist you kill Teryndir. I know we have not been on as good terms as we were. Things have been going so wrong lately that I am blaming my friends around me and not those who truly deserve the blame.”
“You cannot apologize for what you did. You had every right to insist it,” Eleswith said. “Had you told me to do it two a few months ago I would have done it with no hesitation. That was my life but I need to leave it behind.” She smiled at Theomin with the appreciation she never showed him before. “I am thankful for meeting you. You made me into a better woman. A much better woman than Gerald was making me into. I was a monster. You may not have known it at the time, but I could have killed you. You have been a good friend to me and I would never destroy our friendship over such a gesture.”
“Thank you, Eleswith,” Theomin said. He turned to leave and told her, “We are almost ready. Only a few more items are needed in order to set off toward the North Downs. Wear something warm. The cool winds from the north tell me there will be a chill this night.”
“I see not a reason to leave Gud Methen. This sword has seen little combat in my hands,” Sergee told Helesdir and Magla as he took up his sword in his hand. He looked at it with amazement as he swung it around a few times. It gave a whistle as it hewed through the air. “Even on the trek south with the Grey Company I left it amongst my possessions. I felt I had not the desire to stain such a sword.”
“Why then bring it now?” Helesdir asked.
“I know not. I feel this quest is no more important than the one I was to take with the other rangers. But to have the help of an elven sword such as this may prove useful. Magol has found its usefulness. She’s a good sword but she has been bent and cleaved much too many times. In addition, she is rusting. Soon, she may break. I would much rather bear a sword of good quality on this expedition.”
“If you feel that way,” Helesdir said. “I will continue to bear my bow. She is a good bow and plus, I have no others to choose from.” The two exchanged slight chuckles. “It is good to be by your side again, my old friend.”
Sergee gave a smile and patted Helesdir on the shoulder. “It is good to be by your side again. I miss the Lone Lands but more: I miss your company.” He looked at Magla who stood silent, stoic in the corner, “I miss your company too. Please, refrain from talking so much. Our ears are bleeding.” Magla continued to stand there, not breaking a smile. Sergee looked at Helesdir, “Has he ever smiled?”
“I’m not sure he can,” Helesdir joked.
“I am thankful you were able to lend a horse to me, stablemaster,” Estonethiel told the man in charge of the stables. “I will have the elves of the Eavespires compensate you upon my return.”
“It is no worry, elven lady,” the stable master said with wide eyes and grand inquiry. “It is the pleasure of the Wardens of Annuminus to allow you to ride such a fine steed.”
She looked at her coat with appreciation, “Her fine white coat is a thing of beauty. You must take good care of her.”
The stable master was so glad to hear the elf’s appreciation that he had not the words to say. He stuttered a few words but in the end he could only say, “You’re thanked,” by which he meant to say either “you’re welcome,” or “thank you.” He looked away and could not believe what had happened. He just mumbled quietly to himself, “You’re thanked? Are you joking? What is wrong with you Nat?”
By then, Theomin strolled up to Estonethiel. He looked at her and told her, “You are not obligated to join us.”
“It will be wise for me to come with you. I am schooled in all manner of ailments from diseases to poisons. You also need me to find reach the inner libraries of Lin Giliath. Without my help, you will be denied by my elf friends, I garentee that.”
“Then with us you will come,” Theomin said. He opened his saddle bag and removed his book he had sinse he was a little boy reading it in Langhold. His thoughts rushed to Eotheron and his teacher there but was brought back by Eleswith.
Eleswith came along with her horse, Celegiel. “I am ready to depart.” She wore the same outfit she wore during the siege of Annuminus. White cloth it was, linked down the center with metal fasteners draped over chainmail beneath that hung rather loosly around the neck with arms that covered only partially down the arms.
“Are you?” Theomin said.
“I remember that book, Theomin. You had it sinse I have known you.”
“It was mine sinse I was a child in Rohan. Many a day I would sit in Langhold reading it, thinking back on the tales of old of ages past. I really thought I would be a fine lore-master. I suppose this quest I have been on has proven otherwise.”
“I feel you are still a fine lore-master. Lacking a staff does not make you a master of lore. I hope that some day you will receive your staff back from Bree. But that doesn’t seem possible with Gerald still there.” She looked at his book and paused for just a moment. “I remember wanting to study such lore when I was a girl. That is partially why I knew my people would be in such paril if they kept their ways. I knew elves would no longer be here in Middle Earth and that dwarves would again care only for their gems and jewels and all things that shine. My readings only made me angrier that my people would forsake their past and repeat their mistakes. Though that is how I feel, I still want to learn more.”
“I can teach you if you would listen,” Theomin said. “I may not be an expert to become a teacher, but I know enough.”
“I would love to learn, please teach me,” she said, almost with giddiness as a school girl would have.
Theomin slid the book back in his saddle bag and then said, “I will be much abliged to.” He closed his saddle bag and announced, “Well, I am ready.”
“As are we,” Sergee came with Helesdir and Magla. Sergee too was wearing the same outfit he wore during the siege of the city. The emblem of the star as a device on a rusting metal plate over chainmale a shirt. His new sword hung to his side, shinging in the sunlight of the day, bright and proud.
Helesdir had also removed the cloth he had on before. The simple clothes he had on before he had removed to wear a traveler’s cloth and long jacket of dark brown leather, stiched together rather crudely t the seems. The emblem running across his waist in silver metal was that of a tree. He still bore the same hat utop his head that he had worn previously.
Behind, Magla rode very close to Teryndir whom they had kept close vigilance over. “I see not why we should wait any longer. It is mid day and we are all gathered,” Teryndir stated rather rudely.
“You are right,” Theomin agreed, though he was not fond of agreeing with him. “It is time for us to depart.” He looked down and thought he would tell the company of the name he though of while looking through his things. “I have thought up a name for our company. I know it is not a grand cause we are undertaking but I feel it needs a name.”
“What is it,” Eleswith asked with anticipation.
“Back in Esteldin, before the retaking of Annuminus I heard our father say this and I believe now would be the appropriate time to use it, The Warriors of Eriador.”
Helesdir looked knowingly at Eleswith, Sergee and Magla. At last he looked at Theomin, “That was the name we called our band of warriors in the Lone Lands.”
“Oh,” exclaimed Theomin apologetically, “I did not mean to take your name.”
“In my opinion,” Magla started much to the surprise of everyone, “I cannot think of a better name for our band.”
All in the company agreed, making Theomin’s heart lift in utter gladness. The name had a nice sound to it and Theomin had thought of it ever sinse. And of all the people, it was Magla who confirmed that, yes, the Warriors of Eriador were setting out once again. And so away they left, Theomin and Estonethiel leading, Eleswith and Helesdir behind, Sergee and Teryndir behind and holding up the rear of the company was Magla, keeping a sharp eye on Teryndir.