The Family Line Part 150 – Reunion


Part 150 – Reunion

The day turned to night as the cool breeze flowed over the Misty Mountains into the northern most end of Rohan. The stars shown bright in the night sky and the moon illuminated the land in a pale-toned light that lightly shown the fields, hills and trees of the Wold. A mist hung in the north and the white of the snow that still sat in Wildermore reflected the moon’s light mystically, as if a white sheet had been placed on the western mountains of the land.

In the distance, nearby the hills that led up to Wildermore, a small camp had been set up with tents gathered round small campfires. Boxes upon boxes of stolen goods were collected and placed all around the tents; spoils of the thievery the men who occupied the camp. In the light of the campfire were the brigands. An ill look they had upon their haggard faces as they were men of unfriendly repute. Once they may have been allied with the enemy, those who attacked the small village of Langhold. They sold their country out to the dregs of existence only because they were sold a story of riches without the bothersome nature of hard work. Now with their dark ally gone and their hopes of conquest shattered, they were only scattered bands of unruly men who prayed on the weak state of the land. Men whose only care in life is to steal for themselves and install fear into the hearts of the good men of the Wold.

Theomin felt as though it was the same type of men as the ones in Eriador. They took on the same look and had the same air of villainy as the Angmarim or the brigands in Bree. So disgusted Theomin was with those kinds of men that he needed to remove them thereby hopefully sending a message to the bands of brigands that the Wold would not stand for their kind any longer. They could no longer take advantage of the weak state of the land in which Theomin so dearly loved and missed.

But first, before he had any inkling to go and send such a message, Theomin needed to find his mother. He snuck around the eastern side just outside view as the rest of the men were busy talking with each other, loudly laughing in their drunken stupors and being obnoxious with each other as some also sloppily fought each other. No guards were posted. No sentries stood watch anywhere. It was as if they had confidence that the sad state of the Wold would offer no resistance. Theomin was going to make sure they would not feel that confidence any longer.

At last, he happened upon a cave at the southern most part of the camp. It sat atop a small hill and was guarded by only one tent. The men guarding it were so caught up in their own business they had not a clue Theomin was at the cave entrance. He had not seen his mother in any other part of the camp. So, he knew his mother had to be inside that cave. Without been seen by anyone, Theomin slipped into the cave. He continued into the shadows of the cave and nobody saw even a glimpse of him.
As he continued into the cave, there was just the slightest flickering of a light just a little further inside the cave. The voice of one man began to come to Theomin’s attention. He could not hear any other voices but the one man’s. “Such a pretty thing could earn some nice coin off in the east,” the voice said. “Of course, if I did sell you, you would have to be unspoiled. No scratches or bruises. No bleeding cuts. I’ll have to make sure the boys handle you with care next time. But then again, what if I want you for my own. Make you mine,” he began to whisper, “Make you want me.” There was a little noise that came from inside the cave as the man seemed to chuckle a little as he continued, “You’re a feisty one you are.” There was then the sound of a slap and a thud.
Theomin heard all he wanted to hear. He gathered his nerves and quickly walked into the light of the cave. The man was staring down at the floor. There, laying on the ground, was his mother. Her hands were bound behind her back and her legs were tied together. A piece of cloth was wrapped around her mouth so she could not speak.

The man looked very much the same as the others. His cloth was not as ragged as the others in his group. It was as if he wore what he had stolen. He had a beard and ragged hair, greasy and stringy as if it had been a long time since had washed it. The man then noticed Theomin standing at the entrance of the cave. He reached quickly for his sword but Theomin swung his staff, which hit the man in the chest. Such a strike it was that the man flew back into a box of his own spoils. He tried to rise again but Theomin made sure he would not. He swung his staff again, and it whirled such a furry of wind that it, again knocked him down to the ground.

“You will not take from the Wold ever again,” Theomin said. “You will leave this place and never return.”
“Who are you to tell me what to do?” the ruffian said. “You are nothing to me. Go take your righteousness somewhere it belongs. We own this land.”

Theomin raised his staff and a beam of light came right through the rock in the ceiling and hit the ruffian. The ruffian fell to the ground, paralyzed. He looked up at Theomin who stood above him. “What have you done to me? What manner of sorcery have you done to me?”

“I am no sorcerer,” Thoemin said. “I am a man protecting my land.”

“Why have you come?” the man said. “Leave us in peace.”

“It is you who have not left my land in peace,” Theomin scolded the man. “You talk about peace but you do not practice it. You plunder this land. You pillage and leave this land in fear. I am here to make sure that does not continue. I am here to end your reign of fear and intimidation. If you come out again, you and all of your mates lives will end.” The man said nothing. He just lied there with a smug look upon his face.

Theomin came to his mother and removed the restraints that bound her. She looked up with weakness and only smiled as she saw him. She seemed not to have the strength to say a word but her face told Theomin everything. A look of pure joy came upon her and she brushed her hand upon Theomin’s beard as she looked at it and stroked it. Theomin lifted his mother up and walked her out of the cave.

“Help!” came the voice from inside the cave just as Theomin exited the cave. At that point, most of the ruffians who were around the cave looked up at Theomin who was escaping with his mother. They gathered what weapons they had and ran up to kill Theomin.

He softly placed his mother on the ground and quickly lifted his staff to the sky, a large electric charge stretched from the staff and Theomin’s raised hand as he then slammed his staff to the ground. Instantly, multiple bolts of lightning came screaming from the heavens and struck the many advancing men. Others saw what had just took place and ran toward Theomin. He sent a devastating tornado of winds and lightning twisting around the rest of the men as they were either flung far away or struck by the lightning bolts that emanated from the twister. Soon, the twister died down and all that was before Theomin was a mess of bodies, both strewn and smoking from the heat of the lightning.

A few steps were heard behind Theomin as he then looked back at the cave. The same ruffian who had once taunted Theomin’s mother looked at the devastation. In a gasp, he looked on Theomin, “What have you done?”

“I did what I had to,” Theomin told the man who had lost all he had gained from the Wold. He looked then sternly at the defeated ruffian, “You will return all you plundered from the people of the Wold. You will do so because you now have enemies in this land. Gather what men you have remaining and begin tonight. If you do not do as I say, swift action will be taken upon you and the remaining men in your band. Do not test me.”

Theomin then went to take his mother who refused the aid of Theomin. She looked at Theomin with regretful eyes as she said faintly, “I can walk myself.”

She limped off toward the farm as Theomin followed close behind. As they continued to walk toward the farm, Theomin asked, “What is it mother? What happened? Can I not aid you?” She only stayed quiet for the entire length of the trip back to the farm.
At last, in the dark overcast depths of night, they made it to the farm. His mother was still limping but less so than before. At last, at the center of the farm, the children came out to greet their mother with hugs. She knelt down before them as they all came with happiness and tears, telling their mother they loved her and they missed her.

Eleswith came out and greeted Theomin, “You saved your mother,” she said proudly. But looking upon Theomin’s face, he did not seem happy. “What is it?”

“She,” he started to say, “she is upset with me.”

“How can that be?” she asked, “You saved her life.”

“I did not think it was going to madden her,” he said. “Many of the ruffians who took her were going to attack us. I had not a choice but to kill them. I thought she would be thankful in that.”

“I am, Theomin,” she finally said as she stood up from greeting the children. “I am so glad to see you and thankful that you have returned.” She came to Theomin and stroked his beard again and looked sadly into his eyes, “But at the same time you have not returned. You are not the Theomin who left us so long ago. You are not the same boy who went in search of his real parents. You are different. You speak different. I look different.”

Theomin looked at his mother as if he had suddenly realized all the things he had done on his journey to find his family. It was as if he was not that same boy who left the farm. He looked down and the sudden weight of his entire journey came crashing down on him, “I know I am different,” he began to say, “had a great many things I had to do. I did things I am not proud of but I could not remember until now. I promised myself I would not hurt or kill anything on my journey. Time after time I broke that promise. I had to do so many things, mama.” He began to cry as he came to his mother and placed his head on her shoulder as he wept, “I am so sorry, mama. I am so sorry you had to see me that way.”

She held him tight as she said, “I know, I am so sorry I reacted the way I did,” she said. “I could not believe what I saw and I could not hold in my feelings of confusion. You left us, so innocent, so loving. I know you have not the time to tell me how you came to be who you are now, but whatever it is you have become, I hope you still have the love for us that you had before. I hope that has not changed.”

Theomin pulled back, finished with his sobbing. “I have not loved you any less than I did before. In fact, knowing my family and the history behind it, I love you all more than ever.” He hugged his mother again as his mother looked over at Eleswith.

Eothea then asked as soon as Theomin pulled away, “And who is this who traveled with you?”

“This is Eleswith,” he said as he came to his friend’s side. “She is from Dale.”

“Is that where you traveled to?” Eothea asked.

“Not there,” Theomin said. “I traveled all the way to Eriador. It was on my way, through a part of Eriador called the Lone Lands that I met Eleswith and her group.”

“Oh,” Eothea said. “What type of group was it?”

“We fought the orcs in the Lone Lands,” Eleswith said.

“Oh,” Eothea said. “So, you are a fighter too.”

“All my friends in Ereador were fighters, mama,” Theomin said. “We had to be. Up in the wilds of that land, things are dark and menacing.”

“And there were many occasions that Theomin saved us,” Eleswith said. “You have a remarkable son.”

“Well, fighting was never in my blood,” Eothea said. “I was relieved when I heard Theomin liked books and lore more than sword fighting. Something that I hoped I taught him well since he was a young boy. It looks as though I had not impacted  you as well as I had hoped.”

“But it did,” Eleswith said. “Time and time again he cared not to fight. He wanted to avoid the fight but in the end, he did what he needed to do. When Theomin met his father, his real father, he and his men were on the precipice of war. They were one night away from taking back a great city from a group of evil men who occupied it. He did not want to fight. So much so that he fled from the compound in which we were hiding. He did not want to go to battle. He wanted peace. But his father was a strong man with a strong will. Theomin went, he did battle, and if it was not for him, I think many more men would have fallen that day.”

“I would not put it that way,”Theomin said. “Of twenty men I had under my charge, only a few remained. Many more men died under my charge than any other commander. I have regretted that since that day.”

“You cared for those men?” Eothea asked.

“I did,” Theomin admitted. “I cared for their safety. In the end, I feel I let them down. I let down Taidir and Herion as well. And I let down Helesdir too.”

“Who were they?” Eothea asked.

“They were friends,” Theomin said. “Friends who died…” he paused as Eleswith and Theomin looked at each other with a deep history of sadness in their eyes, “They were friends who died saving our lives.”

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