Part 108 – The Dream Before the Awakening
“Where were you?” Theomin asked loudly to the man who had helped him before.
“You needed to do it yourself,” the man said. “There are many uses of the staff. Some are skills that you use yourself, and some you can already allow the staff to do. But there are also other ways to use the staff besides the use of force. You used one way when you needed to find your path. You can call on other animals to aid you. A lore-master is a friend to all nature. Great beasts like bears or the smaller beasts like lynxes. You are a friend to the birds in the sky or the great tigers. Your will can bring fire when needed, unlock doors when trapped and even give you the ability to heal some wounds that are seen or unseen. You can be a beacon of hope and a tester of will.”
Theomin, through all of what the man was saying, still could not understand why he was there. “I am sorry, but why have you brought me here to Bree?”
“To show you that not all skills are of attack,” he said. The man started walking down the cobblestone road down toward a very familiar sight.
In the distance, far to the other side of the street, was a building that held a metal gate at the front foyer. It was a large rectangular stone structure with lighter stonework that surrounded the metal gates. Red banners of Bree hung from the flanks of the light stonework. Upon the roof top to the east and south ends of the structure were two towers; lookouts where jailers could peer upon the roadways of Bree-town to watch for escaped inmates.
Theomin stopped with fear. “Why have you brought me here?” he said with trepidation.
“So you can face the fear that you have for Bree. Bree is a good place filled with decent people. They may be misled by a man, but their hearts can be won over by a kind heart. They have lived a long time in the shadow of fear from their leader. So long have they lived in that fear that any good tidings anyone could bring them could break them of that fear.”
“Is this another skill that a lore-master has?” Theomin asked.
“A lore-master has not that skill,” the man said. “Only a man with a good heart does. But right now, they do not trust you. They have heard terrible things about you. There are some, though, that do not believe these lies. But sadly, many have been led to fear you. But you are true of heart. An outsider they think of you, but you know better. You know of your family line. The lineage you came from; the lineage that even your brothers do not belong to. Your family line is even more narrow than you think and in time you will learn that.” The man looked at the Bree-town jail. “That jail over there houses someone of your past. Someone who helped you out and was jailed through no fault of his own. You will find a way to free him and the people of this town.”
“Free the town of what?” Theomin asked skeptically. “I only know I was jailed here through no fault of my own. Eleswith killed the mayor’s son…”
“…and there are people here who know it. They know it was Gerald who ordered it. They are only too fearful to speak out against him. Go to them. Convince them to take a stand with you. Go to them and take a stand against the tyrant that has enslaved their minds with fear and doubt of all outsiders. You are a man of honor. A man far greater than the one who leads this town.”
“There he is!” a man called toward Theomin. “Guards!” he yelled as he ran away toward a group of houses. “Guards!” he yelled again and disappeared around a corner.
Theomin looked at the guards who ran toward him and then looked to his friend. “What do I do? I cannot kill them.”
“You are right. You must not. Remember, you are a man of great honor and must win over the people of Bree.”
“To be caught again and subjected to more torture? I cannot escape this just to save my honor.” Theomin said. “I cannot go back to torture. I cannot.”
“You do not need to escape nor do you need to kill them. You are a lore-master, not a murderer. Keep them from taking you.”
Theomin paused as he saw three separate guards converging onto him. Fear gripped his being as the guards pulled their staves and held them out to him, “Hold fugitive,” one said as he advanced on Theomin slowly, carefully advancing with each step.
A sudden thought came to Theomin how he could escape. Quickly, he tossed a shining ball up into the sky as the guards and everyone watched the white ball of light ascend into the air. It then exploded into thousands of shining sparkles of light that floated down to the ground spectacularly as it memorized the crowd and captured their full attention as they had never seen the like. They then looked toward Theomin but he was nowhere to be seen. He had evaded their capture.
Theomin ran down a side street as fast as he could. He turned left and ran down a familiar alleyway until he ran into a very familiar site. Before him were the ruins of old columns and in the center was an ancient stone casket on a raised stone platform. The casket was for some ancient king as the figure set atop the lid was an old man clothed in rich clothes and a crown set upon his head. On the side of it was a single seven-sided star and the side was a seven-sided star surrounded by four others inside a shield.
He was in the alley way where he was beaten nightly by Gerald so long ago. A sudden fear and pain gripped him as he felt the stinging wounds of the nightly beatings pushing into each part of his body as if puncture wounds still felt fresh. He felt a cold feeling all about him; hauntings of his past as it raced back to torture him once more.
“Why have been brought here?” Theomin asked almost breathless with fear.
“You brought yourself here. Some strange force pulled you hither and now here you are. A place where you could have died. But die you did not. You endured and became the pride of Annuminus and of the Warriors of Eriador. You brought yourself here because this is where the man of innocence from Rohan died. What left Bree was a man with an inner flame. You did not know it at the time, but the events that transpired here in the back of the Bree prison set you on a path of greatness.”
The man walked over to the tomb of the ancient one who was laid to rest. “Do you know who this man was?” Theomin was silent. “Many think he was a king of old who was entombed here in this sarcophagus. It is an interesting fate that Gerald chose this place to beat you. This is no king of old. He was the first man to wield the staff. The man was Angol II. The man who brought the staff from the shores of the Bay of Balfalas.”
“If he was so important,” Theomin asked, “then why is he behind such a building?”
“No one knew who such a person was. Knowing he was a man of some importance because of the sarcophagus he was buried in, the ones who built the town of Bree did not disturb the tomb. Instead, though, of placing him in a place of prominence, he was disregarded and hidden behind the Bree-town jail. To us, he was a man of great importance, to them, he was just a man of great importance that, in time, faded from all knowledge.” The man looked at Theomin, “This tomb is of great import to us because we are of the lineage of Angol II. All of us are bound to the staff and the staff is bound to us. Not even your own brothers are of that lineage.”
Theomin peered at the image on the sarcophagus and held his hand up to the face of the image on the lid. “Does this mean my father could have carried the staff as well?”
The man stayed silent and then answered, “Yes, he could have. But he is not the one chosen to wield it.”
“What do you mean?” Theomin asked, puzzled.
“He had not the dream. If he was to wield the staff, the staff would have been calling to him. He would have found the clues that brought you there. He would have had capable allies to protect him on the way. He had none of that. Instead he decided to fight for the north, noble deed it was but brought about his end. But it was brought to you and now you must wield the staff.”
“What is more,” he continued, “the cloth you bear is very important to the intensity of the staff. The cloth you bear now, though it has continued to do well for you, is not that cloth. A special spell has been placed on the one you need. Placed on it, it was, by Gandalf the Grey and Radagast the Brown.” He looked back at the sarcophagus, “Seek out your ancestor to find such a cloth.”
“Seek out my ancestor?” Theomin asked and turned but instead of seeing the man beside him he saw a great expanse of ocean before him. He was on a beach with the wet sand below him and hills around him. “Where am I?”
“This is where it all began. This is where the staff was found. On a beach in the realm of Gondor. Before the building of the great city of Dol Amroth and all the other cities of Gondor, this was the beach the staff was found. A little elven girl found it. She touched it. And her story, whatever it was, was lost to history. Your ancestor grasped the staff and wielded it for his own. It was then passed down from generation to generation until, at last, Angolist III gave up the staff. Now, it will rest in your hands. Though in the depths of the cave you found it in,” the scenery changed to a deep cave far under the earth, “a great malice has been awoken. A long dead army has been stirred. An army long forgotten from the days of the War of Wrath. Your seeking of the staff has caused it. Be wary, the staff could do many good deeds for the will of the free peoples of Middle Earth. But in the hands of evil, it can be used as a means to open the void.”
“What do you mean, ‘the void?’” Theomin looked up and there the staff was, up on the small hill surrounded light. He then looked around and saw his friends at the doors as they tried desperately to hold the door shut. He then saw his body lying in the corner of the room.
“Go to your body. Go and do what must be done,” the man said. “Go and defend the great city up on the hill. Find your friend in Bree. Keep the staff away from those who will use it for evil.”
“Who are you?” Theomin asked.
The man came to Theomin and then placed his hands on him. “I am you,” a sudden jolt pushed him back and he rammed into the wall and felt a long drop as if he was falling from a cliff far up. A sudden crash woke him up and he opened his eyes.
“Theomin!” Sergee said.
“Theomin turned and looked at Sergee, “Yes?” he said calmly.
“What happened to you?” Teryndir asked. “Are you okay?”
“Of course,” Theomin said, still calm with no sense of worry about him. “What day is it?”