Part 90 – “Here We Go”
The moon had already risen up in the night sky by the time Theomin reached the road south. The surrounding land of the Kingsfell was dimly lit by the moon’s ethereal radiance as the bright dots of the surrounding stars shown clearly, unimpeded in a cloudless sky. The mountains that surrounded the valley were dark and ominouos. Like giants surrounding their prey, they stood almost looking down watching as Theomin quickly made his way toward the elf refuge. Every gallop closer to the Lin Giliath he felt he was being judged by the surrounding mountains as gloomy as they were.
A sudden realization came to him that he forgot his little Aches. It was such a long time sinse he saw his little fur ball that he completely forgot about the little lynx. He stopped, wanting to turn back. Though his muscles ached, his chest was soar and his head was spinning in dreariness, he prersisted to carry on south toward the Meluinen. He pushed the thought of Aches out of his head as the only thought he had when he left the safe compound of Esteldin was to reach his brother; but what to do afterword he knew not. He needed to finally confront him about all he had done and to pay for the offences he commited against his friends. But he knew not how to make him pay for his many crimes.
He reached the outskirts of the elf refuge of Lin Giliath in the Meluinen. The arches just outside the refuge brought Theomin back to just days before when he, Estonethiel, Magla and Teryndir were there searching for references of a serpent in the earth. Those were the days that felt so long ago, when all in the Warriors of Eriador were alive and well. Now his mates were either gone or injured; scattered by misfortune brought on by the very man Theomin went to find. The aweful feeling of the turn of events darkened Theomin’s heart as he finally came to rest at the horse master of the refuge.
The night was dark heading out to Eastern Nan Amlug. The sounds of the forests of the north were becoming a welcoming sign for Eotheron as he passed into the wilds. He looked over the lands west of Esteldin and gave a sigh and a smile. He started to become a welcome feeling being alone. It had been so long that he spoke with Theomin that he almost forgot what it was like to speak with him. He seemed different, less like the child he knew and more like a person to look up to. Theomin held more authority in his voice and the way he carried himself felt different. The feeling made Eotheron slightly uncomfortable. But he had to not think of his friend whom remained in Esteldin. He needed to focus on those who needed saving in the Valley of the Worms.
He descended down the slope and turned north toward the great craggy wall of the Ram Duath. The last he traveled the vale of Eastern Nan Amlug he was following the man whom abandoned Theomin and his group. Eotheron saw the toll that abandonment took on the group and how it was torn apart because of it. Such a dereliction would have brought Eotheron to run a sword through Teryndir, but he did not.
Eotheron thought of the decision to take Teryndir to that elf refuge. He wanted Theomin to end up there and to take him with no effort. He knew Teryndir was wanting to slip off some place Theomin and the others would not be able to find him. He just did not know how fast Theomin was going to search for his brother. It was a complete surprise, which was why he climbed the western slope overlooking the path south. He knew not the resolve Theomin had which made Eotheron suddenly stop.
That resolve started to burden Eotheron’s mind. He looked back at the hills where the refuge of Esteldin sat. His thought of Thoemin and his stubbern tenacity. He felt a sudden fear that Theomin was going to head south toward Meluinen and hunt down that terrible brother of his. He must have stood there for ten minutes, fighting with himself to either return to Esteldin or to move on to the Valley of the Worms. He then looked north toward the Ram Duath. His gaze turned north then south then north again.
If he turned back to Esteldin, he knew Theomin would insist on going with him to the Ram Duath. If he continued, he would have abandoned his quarry; the reason he came to Eriador in the first place. He looked down and after much internal debate, he finally decided to continue north. If Theomin was to go south toward Meluinen, the elves of that place would protect Theomin against Teryndir. For those friends in the Valley of the Worms, there was no protection. There were no elves or men to twart any advancing worms or drakes from finding and devouring Eleswith or Helesdir. That was his job and he had to carry it out to the end. He needed find them at the valley and to bring them back to Esteldin.
It was not long before Theomin reached the Meluinen and the refuge of Lin Giliath. “Mae Govannen, Theomin. Back so soon are you?” Dilath the horse master greeted Theomin. “It is a fare evening to see you.”
“It is fare to see you too,” Theomin said. “I am searching for my brother, Teryndir. A friend left him here under the charge of the elves.”
The elf’s face turned suddenly from a pleasant look to that of concern. “Oh dear. Perhaps it is best you speak with Thaliollang. He may have news that is best said by him.”
“What news does he have?” Theomin asked with a sudden fear growing in his stomach.
She paused for a few moments, not wanting to say. “I cannot tell you. I know not all that happened but Thaliollang does. Please speak with him. He wears a robe, blue like the midday sky with a trim of gold. His hair is fine and golden. Please, keep a calm demeanor when you speak with him. That is all I can say.” She looked toward the meluinen, almost avoiding Theomin’s gaze.
Theomin turned and looked at all the elves of Lin Giliath. He tried to find one that looked like his brother but could not. All were peacefully strolling through the courtyard of Lin Giliath and conversing with each other. He then spotted the elf Dilath spoke of. He was staring toward the distant mountains at the rear of the compound, away from Theomin’s gaze.
Theomin approached the elf, hoping the elf had a good answer to his whereabouts of his brother was. He came up upon the elf and spoke, “Are you the one they call Thaliollang?”
“I am,” Thaliollang said. “I know who you are, Theomin for I saw you and the others ride in here not but four nights past. One came with you that I had recently seen. One with a crooked smile and a feel of ill will toward us. Of those who came with you before, none came by, including the she-elf named Estonethiel. But one new face came along, one I had never seen before. He was clothed in black and hid his face from sight. He brought the man with the crooked smile back here. He told of your return to retrieve the man with the crooked smile. I cared not to keep him in our care and protested. We took him in anyway and I now I rather we didn’t.”
“Where is he? I need to return him and have him pay for what he has done,” Theomin insisted.
“He is gone,” the elf said while still looking up at the nearby hills.
“What do you mean gone?” Theomin said. The elf stayed quiet. Theomin came around to talk to him directly, “Where has he gone?”
The elf looked into Theomin’s eyes and then up at the nearby hills. “He was bound with rope by the one in black who brought him here. After the one in black left, his binds had been severed and with them he wrapped the bindings around the neck of a good friend of mine, Silefalas. Not a finger did she lay on him. Not a finger of hate or of anger. She stood there with no harmful intention toward him. He wrapped the rope around her neck and strangulated her to her dying breath. She deserved this not and now I wonder why we agreed to take a beast like that in the first place.”
“Where did he go?” Theomin asked with more concern and remorse. A small fire of rage began to build in him.
“After he strangulated my dear friend, he ran. He ran to the hills just west of here. In the dying sunlight I could see him approach the orc infested Nan Watheren and felt not an ounce of pitty for him and would not come to his aid as I knew his life would end quickly in that place.” The elf looked to the distance and shook his head as he continued, “But I saw with my far seeing eyes that he had not been slayen. He was not cut or even pierced by arrow. He was instead greeted by the orc kind of that place. He was greeted as if he was a friend to them. He was greeted, he was greeted,” the elf just whispered repeatedly. The elf’s head dropped into Theomin’s shoulder, a broken elf.
Theomin’s heart sank and the fire in his heart grew as he then knew how dangerous his brother was. There was no saving him. There was only revenge at the end of a blade for his brother. He felt the dispare from the elf and Theomin felt the responsibility for bringing his brother to the North Downs. He had to end it. He had to take the life of his brother. Only then would he repay the elves of the Lin Giliath for bringing his brother to the North Downs. “I will go there,” Theomin finally said. “I will go there and end what pitiful life he has.”
“Why you?” the broken elf asked.
“I brought him to the North Downs. I thought his ways would be manageable and to trust that he would not have the audacity to do such horrific things. But because of that laps of judgement, I caused the deaths of many people who were cared for. And that one you care for too. I will hunt him down, I will find him, and I will kill him.”
“Then take this bow,” Thaliollang said as he retried it from the wall it was leaning up against. “This bow belonged to Silefalas. She would want you to protect yourself with the very bow she had when she was slayn by your brother.” Theomin took it and the elf said with rage in his eyes, “End the wretch’s life.”
Eotheron passed the spires of dark stone marking the near proximity of to the valley. Finally, he reached the edge of the Ram Duath and the threshold of the valley. He looked up at the massive mountainous rock wall and his eyes drifted into the rift that lead into the Valley of the Worms. The stench sent him back to the days before when he followed his friend into the valley. It was a familiar stench that Eotheron did not want to come back to. The horrors he saw in that place were so great that his heart pounded with just the mere thought of it. Never before had he seen such vile creatures in Rohan. The terror they struck in him felt too much to bear.
Eotheron looked back with a thought to return to Esteldin. He then looked down with the thought of not letting fear get the better of him. He then looked back at the craggy rocks of the Valley of the Worms and gave in a deep breath. He then said to himself, “Here we go,” and then marched into the valley.
Theomin started toward the entrance of the orc infested mountainous region of Nan Watheren. An orc stood guard far off in the distance. It had not seen Theomin but was staring away from him. Theomin pulled out his bow and shot an arrow directly into the orc that was standing there, unawares of Theomin’s presence. He quickly drew another arrow and shot to the head of another that was nearby. Instead, it sank into the shoulder of the orc instead as it spun and fell to the ground. Theomin then put away his bow and drew his sword and walked up to the orc. Without thought he plunged the sword into the head of the orc as another came up to him. Theomin deflected a thrust and quickly sliced off the head of the orc. He was so blinded by his firey rage brought on by his brother he cared not for what he was doing.
He looked up at the incline that lead into the hills of Nan Watheren. It was dark and ominous but no amount of fear could detour Theomin’s rage and need to go into the compound. He then said to himself with eyes wide with rage, “Here we go.”