Part 106 – Many Dreams
Clouds emanated light as they gathered around Theomin as small spheres of light encircled him. They enclosed on him and in moments he felt he was lifted up from where he was. Behind the clouds that encircled him was an empty sky. Below he could see earth far below and all around was the horizon of the earth. It looked as though it was an ending day as the sun had lowered. Far above, he could see just a hint of the sun as it had already passed the threshold of the horizon in, what looked like, the west.
The clouds suddenly whipped around him faster and all seemed to come to a soft white glow. Soon, nothing could be seen about him. He lifted his hands and even those could not be seen. It was as if he had no hands at all. He looked down and saw nothing, not earth or clouds or even his own body. “Where am I?” Theomin said. It sounded like he was not in a cave anymore. He could hardly hear himself, though there was no other sound impeding his hearing. “Is this death?” he asked.
He tried to recall the events that happened to him just before he entered into the realm he was in. He remembered touching that staff that stood up on that high grassy hill inside the cave. He then remembered grabbing it and holding it high just before he saw his own body lying in the corner. It was after that he entered the realm he was in; weightless and confused.
After some time in the light, all turned slowly black, as all light faded into nothingness. He felt something hard beneath him, as if he was laying on his back. He realized his eyes were closed and he opened them. He was inside a strange hut, but it was very familiar. He had been there before, long ago. He sat up on the table he was on and jumped off of it. He exited the hut and was met on the outside by the small Dunland village of Avardin. It was unreal. “Was all I experienced after this place a dream?” he wondered. “Traveling to Eriador, meeting Eleswith and Helesdir? Was that all a dream? Did I dream up Annuminus and all I struggled through there? Was all of this a dream?”
He wandered the pathway of Avardin but something was strange about the small Dunlanding village. It was empty. Unlike what he witnessed before, when it was a vibrant village with people walking about and children playing, it was completely empty. Theomin continued down the path of the hut and over to the pavilion where benches and tables were and found one single person standing facing away from him. It looked like the one from the village who helped him so long ago. The girl named Eva.
“I know who you are,” Theomin said. “Where is everybody?” She did not answer. She looked up and the soonest as she looked up at the sky a terrible darkness spread from the east. “What is that?”
“A storm is coming,” was all she said. She turned but instead of seeing her face, he saw a battered bloodied face, distorted by beatings. “And you are in danger.” She lifted her hands to grab him but he winced, placed his arms over his eyes and walked back.
A sudden drop off prevented him from walking any further. He uncovered his eyes and before him was a vast walkway with towering statues on both sides and far in the distance, before great mountains that towered into the sky was a large structure that held a tower that pierced the sky with its height. Theomin’s mouth dropped with the awe at the enormity of the place. He walked back but felt a sudden cliff again. He looked back and saw the drop, hundreds of feet down it was to the bottom. He then found he was at the top of an enormous city, like a fortress that held many levels. The wall that surrounded the city was of black stone, much like the stone of Helm’s Deep but the rest of the city shown in white.
All around the city was littered with bodies and destruction as was some city itself. Far off was another city, much like the one he was in but even worse. Building after building was destroyed, a dome that sat amid the ruined city had been almost torn apart and the towers leading to the city were destroyed. “What is this?” Theomin asked. “Where am I?”
“This is the White City in Gondor,” a voice of a woman said. But where was the voice coming from? “Minus Tirith is the city and it has endured through a long and terrible battle. Lives were lost; many lives were lost. In the events that followed, it was believed that the last visage of evil had been destroyed for good, but those great and mighty and great warriors that vanquished the forces of evil are not focused on the north. The ring, which kept the essence of the dark lord for ages, has been destroyed. But while the armies of the west celebrate this great victory, the remanence of evil that has been long ignored for ages have now been stirring. The dark lands that populate the east should not be where eyes are focused. North, your land, is where that focus must lie. Great efforts will soon be underway to recover the father of evil. You will soon learn of what I speak.”
Theomin looked up at the skies and all around him, wondering where the voice was coming from. “Who are you?”
“We have met before, but only in dream. Great distances I can travel in the blink of an eye but only in the restless slumber of those who are in need of guidance. A dark force has shown itself in the north and you have yet to discover what has truly happened. You must leave from that dark place and travel north to your own white city in the twilight hills. It needs you. In your dream, you will be guided by your great ancestor on how best to use the gift of your past. Use it well.”
“But who are you?” Theomin begged the voice.
“I am the Lady Galadrial of the Golden Wood,” the voice said as it trailed off to nothingness.
“Where are you going? I have so many questions,” Theomin yelled out to the heavens but to no avail. No answer came from Galadrial thereafter. He looked down, not knowing what to do when he heard a voice behind him.
“Hello,” the voice said in a calm manner. Theomin turned to see a man dressed all in black, bearing a black hood and an old look full of memory. Under his hood was a man who looked almost too familiar with a full brown beard and at his back he carried the staff which he tried to grab back in the cave.
“Who are you?” Theomin asked.
“Better you know the answer to that later. I know who you are,” the man said. “You came from Rohan, but that was not where you were born. Your friends love you very much but you doubt one of them. You feel responsible for the close loss of those friends in the valley to the north. You lost a good friend in Rohan while trying to save a family. You made a pact with yourself not to harm another, even orcs.” The man smiled a deep meaningful, knowing smile, “that has not been very easy as of yet, has it?”
Theomin looked down with knowing shame, “How do you know this?” he asked.
The man came to Theomin and placed a familiar hand on Theomin cheek, “I know you very well, Theomin. In time you will learn why I know you so well.” He looked into Theomin’s tired eyes, “You miss your family in the Wold, do you not?”
A tear formed in his eyes and looked down as he nodded, “Yes,” he said sadly, “yes I do.” Theomin looked back up and the vast sky of the city had disappeared. He was back in the Wold again. The dry grasses, the random boulder, the flat plains of his home country could be seen for miles. He turned and a familiar site was before him.
“This is your home,” the man said.
“It is,” Theomin said with astonishment. He walked through the dry grass up to his small farm while gliding his hand on the waves of tall grass. The crumpling of the dirt below his feet reminded him of the many years growing up there. Theomin approached his house, stepped up on the first step and placed a hand on the wooden railing. A small notch that he carved out on the bottom was still there, just as he remembered it. The only difference was that nobody was there. He looked around and no one he cared for was there. Not his mother, father, sister or two younger brothers where there. The horses were not there either. Chief among the horses he was hoping to see was Eol, his own horse until his journey demanded a younger more vibrant horse. He looked at the stranger who was helping him. “But how did we get here? And how did you know?”
“There is much you still do not know, Theomin,” the man said. “I am here to guide you on your path to help you become the master of lore you started out to be. You are not this sword wielding fighter that you thought you grew up to be. You are a much deeper man than that. You have a strong mind and a powerful skill. You can wield it through the staff. You can fight off ten men with your sword. With this staff you can fight off hundreds. You began your journey with a lesser staff that can be wielded by a child. I can teach you to use this staff. But beware, it is a great weapon against evil. But used blindly, it can be a power too great and terrible for the free peoples.” He walked away from Theomin. “You started your journey hoping to spare lives whenever you could.” He walked up to Theomin with his eyes planted on his as he said, “Are you still holding true to that feeling?”
With no hesitation, Theomin looked into the eyes of the man as he said, “Yes, I am.”
“Then let us begin,” he grabbed the staff and waved it into the air as it all went quiet and dark.
They were amidst a plain of broken land filled with intermittent trees, dead or almost dead as if their roots were choked of water and nutrients. About were tall dark mountains, black as if they were some igneous rock that sprang forth from the ground and cooled to a dark, sickening towering rock. The sky, once blue and cloud-filled and as magnificent as he had ever seen it, seemed red, cracked and distressed as if the very sky itself was falling to the death and decay that was all around. A stench of foul air filled the nostrils of Theomin, only familiar to that of the Valley of the Worms. Horrid it was, like the decay of some many creatures all around as their bodies deteriorated into nothing.
“What is this place?” Theomin asked with pity for all the life that had been choked to death by the fumes of the cruel lands.
“We are in the realm where few dare to go, save the men of evil, orcs and even dragons. You may know its southern reaches as the Valley of the Worms. This is the realm of Angmar. A foul, twisted realm that has taken and strangled the will of all good things and bent them to its terrible rule. A sad land where good hillmen have tried to eke out a life in a small corner of the realm to live, but even they are under constant danger of what lies in the northern boarders of the land. Evil has degraded it into what you see now, desolation and despair.”
“Why have you brought me here?” Theomin had to ask.
“This land is filled with vile creatures beyond measure. You destroyed one of them only with a simple bow. The drake called Naglangon. A dragon he wished he was, but a drake he only was. But truer a dragon in every sense of the word does live here in Angmar. One that has killed many. A terrible beast it is. That is what you will need to face here in Angmar.”
“Face such a terrible beast?” Theomin asked. “How would I go about doing that?”
The man said nothing. He removed his staff and threw it to the ground before Theomin. “It will be done with that. You need to take it, so take it.”
An odd request from the man but Theomin walked over to pick up the staff. He felt sparks coming at him as he touched it and a sudden spark threw him from the staff a few yards away. “You are doing it wrong,” the man said.
Theomin sat up and felt is arm. It throbbed in pain. “Thank you for telling me,” he said half joking and half upset.
“Try it again.”
Theomin stood up and walked over to the staff. He bent down and felt the sparks already leaping off the staff. He tried to grab at it and a sudden spark tossed him just as far as the last time, but it was more painful as the last as he hurt already aching muscles.
“Again, you are not doing it right,” the man said.
“Okay,” Theomin said. “What is the trick?”
“There is no trick,” the man said. “Try again.”
Theomin decided to run and jump to the staff. Again, he was thrown from it as it sparked. He recovered quickly and ran again and was thrown from the staff. He then tried to grab it by another part of the staff, which yielded the same results as the last times. He tried again and again, each time throwing him, and each time it became less painful as the last. He tried it again held on to it for just a few seconds before he was blasted away from it yet again. Instead of falling to his back, though, he landed on his feet and then ran to it one last time and picked it up, a blast came from it but he held on to it with as much might as he could muster. At last, he was not thrown from the staff as he held on to it with a grip that was stronger than he had ever gripped anything. Finally, he felt the sparks of the staff die down and he felt the energy of the staff fill his being.
“Now you have done it right,” the man said.